If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you would have probably seen my earlier review on WP Rocket caching plugin for WordPress sites. That review was written quite a long time ago when WP Rocket was on early era of their v2.4. A long time has been passed by then and WP Rocket is now in their v2.6+. Back then when I tested their plugin I was really very unhappy with it for various reasons, but after so many days when I re-tested their plugin on v2.6+ I fall in love with it so hard that I cannot control myself to sharing my experience with you guys.
I must admit that, after my earlier review, WP Rocket guys take my criticism very seriously and immensely improved their plugin. Right now it is a complete unbeatable caching plugin for WordPress. So let’s gets started with the woes and wows I’ve found in the latest WP Rocket plugin.
First the Speed Test
Last time when I reviewed WP Rocket, many people poked me saying that why I didn’t posted any speed test results along with the post. Back then the result was really not so impressive to share but now I must share the speed test result of WP Rocket (v2.6+), tested simultaneously with other popular WordPress caching plugin – WP Super Cache & ZenCache Pro.
|No Cache||Super Cache||ZenCache Pro||WP Rocket|
All tests has been performed in Pingdom Tools, location – New York, without any CDN enabled
Pretty impressive right? In fact when I calculated the speed between ZenCache Pro (the current version) and WP Rocket, it seems WP Rocket is almost 47% faster than ZenCache Pro. 🙂 So, as you have seen the power of latest WP Rocket Cache plugin for WordPress, let’s get into its wow and missing features.
The WOW Features
So, first lets discuss about some of the wow features of WP Rocket, which really made me feel wow!
On my earlier review about WP Rocket I’ve mentioned that how pathetic the LazyLoad option was and then I suggested the authors to go with the lazysize lazyload script written by Alexander Farkas as it is the best modern lazyload script I’ve seen so far and they did go with lazysize.
Now WP Rocket (v2.6+) uses a forked version of lazysize script for the lazyload option of the plugin and as a result the lazyload now works almost everywhere, perfectly. Though there are a few missing things here and there, like if your
img tag uses HTML5
srcset polyfill, WP Rocket lazyload script will not be able to add lazyloading on your image. Though this feature is available in the lazysize script, I guess WP Rocket devs have removed this features in their forked version to make the lazyload script even more lighter or may be because
srcset is still a polyfill and not natively supported inside HTML5.
So, if you use plugins which added srcset attribute in your image, like WP Retina, please note that those images are not going to be lazyloaded.
WP Rocket guys have really worked hard to improve their minification. Now WP Rocket css/js minification, does not bring the scripts mentioned in the footer to the head. Also the minification process works flawlessly with almost every site without breaking things up – which is great. Now you also have the ability to merge your css and js files into one or two files. This is a great feature for those sites who cannot take advantage or paralization for some reason.
But merging all your css/js files into one or two css/js files might not work for every site or server. As this process is basically work by sending all you css/js files through a GET request like
http://yoursite.com?f=script1.js,script2.js,script3.sj and almost every server has a predefined limit that how much long an URL can be. So if your domain name is pretty long, this feature might not work on your site.
As of WP Rocket v2.6+ CDN service works like a charm. It adds cdn to all the static files (except videos) and even the image files mentioned inside the css. Every image you have in your website will be loaded with the CDN without any special steps, like people had to use several WP Rocket functions to load all images through CDN in the earlier versions of WP Rocket. Now it will work 100% without any glitch.
Google Font Minification
This is really a great thing and works fantastically. Now a days almost every theme, plugin adds bunch of Google Fonts (e.g.
//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family= Open +Sans) into their code without even thinking about the outcome. As a result the number of requests to Google fonts gets increased and reduce your page load time.
It has been seen that most of the slow loading page get delayed due to the external loading resources and not the internal one. WP Rocket concatenate all the Google fonts that are loaded into your website and path them into one request (i.e.
//fonts. googleapis.com/css?family=IM| Open+Sans) so that your website only sent one request to Google font and in return get all the fonts it needs. This is a pretty efficient thing to reduce external resource calling.
Page/Post specific settings
With WP Rocket, it doesn’t matter what settings you have enabled in the dashboard, you can overwrite the settings for each specific page or post from the page post edit page. This is really great to do some page specific tweaks instead whitelisting that page completely from the settings as Do Not Minify or Do Not Cache. As an example, lets say in a page you just wanna disable the js minification, while keeping the other features alive, you can easily do these with this on-page settings. Really nifty, really dope 🙂 So, with WP Rocket if some cache option is bothering you on some specific page, just turn off that specific feature and you are good to go without sacrificing the other caching features.
Code Quality & Extensive Documentation
WP Rocket has improved so much that it’s hard to cover it through words. The full plugin has been coded compactly with lots of hooks to use for the developers. Every code is properly commented and described making it easy to understand every element.
Also documentation of WP Rocket is very well covered and you will get the solutions of the basic problems you might face with WP Rocket. I really like their docs page.
Most user friendly admin dashboard
WP Rocket has the most user friendly admin dashboard for such a complex caching plugin. The admin interface is so simple that not only a non techy person but also aged person like parents, uncles can use it too. Seriously I haven’t seen any other plugin whose work is so complex having such a simple admin interface. I must admit that. No matter how much pro or novice user you are setting up caching with WP Rocket won’t take more than 5 minutes, that’s for sure.
In-Dashboard FAQ & Support
This is another great thing they have incorporated in the latest WP Rocket. Now if you face any issues with WP Rocket, you don’t have to login to your WP Rocket account or email to get a support. You can now sent the support request directly from the Admin Dashboard Settings for WP Rocket. Also there is a FAQ section within the Admin Dashboard. This is a really useful and premium feature and is not available and many other premium plugins of the same cost.
WP Rocket has taken some serious steps towards showing the transparency of their work. Now you can see the development roadmap of WP Rocket publicly. Here you can up vote any given requests to make sure the developers takes that feature request seriously, but you cannot post any new feature request directly here. You have to use the contact form to sent the feature request to them. Then if many people request for it, they will put it in the board to see how many user upvote the new idea. You can also post comment on any specific request, sharing your thoughts about that.
I like this approach but I personally believe that it could be more open and transparent like ZenCache Issue Tracker maintained using Github. Here you can post bugs/feature requests directly and the devs will communicate with you regarding the requests over the github. In the WP Rocket public roadmap I have seen very few engagement of WP Rocket Devs in the general users conversation.
The Missing Features
Even after all these improvements WP Rocket still have quite a few missing features – which they are working deliberately to incorporate into the future updates.
Multisite Network Compatibility
WP Rocket is still not compatible with WordPress Multisite networks to activate it for the whole network and to have a centralized settings. Right now, you can activate the plugin for the whole network, but there is no centralized settings. You have to tune the settings for each sites you have on your network. This is not bad in every approach as this gives you to have different tailored cache settings for different sites depending upon the themes, plugins that site is using.
Incompatibility with other plugins due to minification
It has two solutions, either you find out the exact JS file/s creating this issue and then mentioned them as do not minify these files in the settings of WP Rocket or you add that specific page to “Do Not Cache” list. WP Rocket dev are completely aware of this issues and they have confirmed me that they are deliberately working with the other popular plugin developers to find out the common problematic files and then in future update, whitelist these files by default so that these file never get minified.
No Way to Purge CDN from Dashboard
Currently there is no way to purge your CDN inside the WP Rocket dashboard (like what you have in W3 Total cache), but I’ve seen this as a feature request in their public roadmap, though I’m not sure when it is going to come. I have no idea and no eta. So right now if you want to purge your CDN, the only option you got is going it through your CDN provider dashboard.
No Memcache support
Again this is a very impressive feature if it gets added to the WP Rocket. I’ve also seen this request hanging in the feature request list of their public development page and no eta about when it is coming.
What about the pricing?
Well during last few months I’ve been doing a research on plugin pricing for one of my client and the result I got was really shocking. Almost every plugin author in the WordPress domain follows the same pricing model of $39, $99, $199. Be it WP Rocket or OptinMonster or Gravity Forms 🙂 . I don’t know why they do it, buy may be these numbers are the most successful numbers in the WordPress plugin business and businesses having this kind of pricing model gets more conversion that others.
Also the best part about the WP Rocket pricing is that even the basic $39 Personal license can be used in a WordPress Multisite environment, unlike other companies will force you to get the highest Pro pack to use it in a WordPress multisite. WP Rocket doesn’t count the subdomains as an extra install, it just counts the new domain. Here is an excellent article from WP Rocket docs explaining everything. So all in all the kind of features it has along with the speed improvement it does to your site, it really worth the money.
What about the refund policy?
Well it still sucks. There is no 30 Days No Question Asked Refund Policy yet, still you have to send them pingdom screenshot of your site load time – No Cache vs WP Rocket enabled and if it doesn’t improve your site load time, then they will refund. But you cannot ask for refund just because you don’t like it.
What about the support?
For last few days I have contacted them many times asking for support and they have provided in depth support along with explanations every time I asked for support. The support time was pretty good in terms of email based/ticketing system. But still there is no chat support available like other premium support you get from MaxCDN or others. By judging the number of employees WP Rocket has, I will say that the support time was pretty good.
Being a meticulous person, I’m very much satisfied with latest updated version of WP Rocket (v2.6+) and I must admit that the WP Rocket developers has done tremendous job to improve the quality of their plugin after my earlier review on it. Now, it’s a completely new plugin works like a beast. You can purchase this plugin without any hesitation and I’m pretty much sure that it will speed up your site at least 40 – 50 %.
So, what do you think about the latest WP Rocket? Are you agree with my review or you have some different opinions too? I would love to hear your experience on WP Rocket. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
WP Rocket Cache Plugin$39 - $199
- Easy to use admin interface
- Fill with bunch of great features
- Great code quality
- Immensely documented
- Great Support
- No Network Activation feature for WP Multisites
- Minification may break some plugins
- LazyLoad doesn't support srcset