One thing that I learned early on was how important site speed is. A slow website is a very easy way to achieve a high bounce rate, poor rankings, and most of all your visitors hate slow sites too — and, to make matters worse, so does Google. There are a lot of WordPress plugins that only certain sites need. And then there are some plugins that every single WordPress site needs. A caching and performance optimization plugin is exactly what every site needs. Early on I tried a variety of free cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache but through some trial and error I realized it was well worth paying for a dependable plugin — and that plugin was WP Rocket. For $39 it’s simply unbeatable.
So what does WP Rocket actually do?
Here are some of the biggest tweaks that you get:
- Minification – shrinks the size of your site’s code by removing unnecessary content, like whitespace, without changing the code’s functionality.
- Browser Caching
- GZIP Compression
- Combine files – Combines multiple files (like multiple CSS files) into a single file.
- Remove query strings – removes queries strings, like “?ver=1.0”, to improve your GTmetrix score. (Literally, run a gtmetrix report on your site prior to installing WP Rocket then run it again right after, you’ll be amazed by the results)
- Render-blocking CSS/JS – helps you get rid of the famous “Render blocking” warning in Google PageSpeed Insights.
- Lazy Loading – speeds up your site by only loading certain media content once it enters the visitor’s viewport. Essentially, your site won’t load images and/or videos until absolutely needed.
- Easy CDN integrations – helps you connect to CDNs like Cloudflare and origin pull CDNs.
- Database optimizer – Clean your database as a perk of this plugin, rather than having to install a separate plugin
- Defer JS loading
- Disable emojis/embeds
- Combine Google Fonts files
For me it sped up my site by about 50% and removed virtually all of the errors I was getting in my gtmetrix report. It was the most satisfying plugin purchase on my site! Here’s how great it looks when you buy it!