You can rely on a cache plugin only after a real test. WP Rocket is one of the best speed tools for WordPress optimization. Lots of other cache tools are either difficult to operate or need manual filling of data.
WP Rocket does most of the optimization, compression and minification in the background. Its settings are simple to understand and configure.
One thing I like about WP Rocket is the settings. They are very minimal and easy to understand.
Sufficient guides, tutorials, videos and helpful pointers are provided at each step. Even a novice can understand its features, and there are no advanced settings.
CSS and JS Minification is a breeze. We have already shown that WP Rocket and Autoptimize do a great job at caching and minifying. But, if you want to save some DB resources by reducing one more plugin, you can purely use WP Rocket.
It has all the minification features of Autoptimize and can defer CSS, JS scripts without much intervention.
One-time paid service per year. Instead of purchasing a separate tool like criticalcss.com, you can save money with all the features in one cache and minify plugin.
Performance Test Review
In this scenario, we used the same test site as used in the FVM case study to analyze speed, user experience and performance. Same plugins, themes, and settings used. FVM and Autoptimize disabled but not removed.
Note: A small mistake was done during the test. WP Rocket recommends using Incognito mode of Chrome. But we tested in the normal browser version. I later checked the results. But not much were different.
Related plugin cache cleared. After the previous configuration of WP Rocket and Autoptimize plugins together, we removed the OPCache and other cache for both the plugins. Same web page used for this test also.
WP Rocket Plugin Settings
Autoptimize and WP Rocket case-study options kept the same. Only the minification features changed a bit.
Following File Optimization settings enabled.
- Minify CSS files.
- Combine CSS files (Enable Minify CSS files to select).
- Optimize CSS delivery.
Cloudflare’s CDN cache is also cleared.
GTMetrix Test with WP Rocket
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Test with WP Rocket
WebPageTest with WP Rocket
After going through the above results, we could see that the scores were not that great. You could obtain the exact optimal settings without using the caching plugin.
WebPageTest reports that cache static content is not 100%.
What went wrong? Some things have spoiled a perfect score.
- Video ads were executing JS and loading for a long time.
- Test not conducted in incognito mode could have impact.
- Advanced settings configuration needed to cache third-party ads.
Though it has something to do with the video ad code scripts, performance metrics are still low. I checked the results with minification of CSS and JS.
Another important observation is that time to first byte (TTFB) time is quicker on using DreamPress plan of DreamHost. Varnish cache helps in this metric.
We are going to test another test site with WP Rocket plugin and Adsense ads only. You can see the results in another case-study.