How To Configure WP Rocket Settings For Maximum Speed

How To Configure WP Rocket Settings For Maximum Speed 1 2020

As your website grows and you start getting more and more visitors, you’re likely going to see a lot more lag and even a few crashes here and there. The reason behind this is that your website is optimized for a certain number of visitors, and it can’t efficiently accommodate the expanding numbers.

In order to allow WordPress to more efficiently recompile a page every time a visitor tries to access a site, a lot of people have started downloading WP Rocket.

How To Configure WP Rocket Settings For Maximum Speed 3 2020

In the simplest terms, WP Rocket is a plugin that gives you the ability to enable certain options in WordPress that’ll allow it to run a lot more smoothly.

However, the exact configuration is crucial, and certain functions might actually slow down WP if they aren’t compatible with certain other functions that you’ve enabled. That’s exactly why we’re here – to show you which configuration is the best option when it comes to speeding up WordPress.

How to install WP Rocket

The first thing that you’re going to want to do is log in to your WordPress site and make sure that you’re registered as the administrator.

On the left-hand side of the screen, you’re going to see a menu that says “Plugins” and you’re going to click it. There is going to be a pop-up that appears immediately next to the menu, and you’re going to want to select and click the “Add new” option.

The Add Plugins screen is going to open up, and you’re going to want to click on the search bar in the top right corner of the screen and type in the name of the plugin. All you need to do is find the plugin on the list and click the “Activate” button.

Alternatively, you can go to the official WP Rocket site and sign up for a license by selecting one of the three payment plans (or simply use the link that we provided). If you download the plugin this way, then you’ll need to go to the Add plugins screen and click on the “Upload plugin” button that’s located at the top left-hand corner of the screen. Click the “Choose file” button, locate the .zip file of the plugin on your PC, and click the “Activate plugin” button.

Once the plugin is finished installing, you can find it by going into the Settings menu that’s located on the left side of your WordPress account screen. After you open it up you’ll see a “Save changes” button, that’s going to save all of the changes that we’re going to go over next.

Dashboard

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When you open the WP Rocket plugin, the top-most menu that you’ll see on the left side of your screen is going to be the Dashboard. This menu is going to display your license status, the expiration date of the plugin, and other information that you can look through by pressing the “View my account” button that’s located near the center of the top of the screen.

You’ll also be able to see the Frequently asked questions section, which is where you can go in order to ask about any aspect of the plugin that you aren’t clear on. Additionally, you might choose to press the “Rocket tester” button, which will mark you as an active participant in the beta testing program, and the “Rocket analytics” button, which will allow WP Rocket to collect data anonymously.

  • Remove all cache files

This feature does exactly what it says – it removes all of the cached files. This is usually a recommended procedure for after you’re done with configuring all of your WP Rocket settings.

  • Start cache preloading

This function generates a cache for your homepage and all internal links on the homepage.

  • Purge OPCache content

This function purges the OPCache. This will help prevent any issues that might arise when you update the WP Rocket plugin.

Cache

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The second menu is the Cache menu, and it’s divided into 3 sections:

Mobile cache

  • Enable cache for mobile

This option will make your website more mobile-friendly and it will allow visitors that try to gain access through their phones to be able to open the page with as little issues as possible. In addition, the “Separate cache files for mobile devices” should also be enabled since WP Rocket will run better if both options are working in tandem.

User cache

  • Enable caching for logged in WP users

This is only a useful feature if you have a website that has an implemented membership system. Enabling this on such a site will provide your members with a better experience while they’re logged in to your site. However, this function is useless if you don’t have such a system, so whether you turn in on or off will depend on the nature of your site.

Cache Lifespan

This section allows you to decide how many hours the cached files will remain on the server before they get removed automatically. The lower the value, the busier the site. It’s recommended that sites with more visitors set the number of hours in the single digits, while sites with less visitors have a bit more flexibility when it comes to how long they can keep the files on the server without any issues.

File optimization

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The third menu is the File optimization menu.

  • Minify HTML/CSS/JavaScript

This function removes the white space between the code and reduces the size of the files. This isn’t all that vital since the difference that this makes in terms of affecting the performance of your site is pretty negligible. Keep in mind that some minified files might actually cause issues in your site code, so you might need to go into the source code to check if it’s the HTML, CSS or JavaScript files that are doing that and disable their minification.

  • Combine Google fonts files/CSS files/JavaScript files

The “Combine” option on all of these functions merges all your files into just one file, which will reduce the number of HTTP requests and speed up your site performance. Keep in mind that combining CSS and JS files is a good option if your site runs on HTTP/1, but it isn’t recommended if it runs on HTTP/2 and you should only combine the Google fonts in those circumstances.

  • Remove Query migrate

This function removes the version query string, and then encodes the version number directly into the URL. This allows the browser to more quickly locate the necessary files and enables a faster connection between the browser and the server that the site is using. In simple terms, it allows the user to connect to your site faster.

  • Optimize CSS delivery

When your site loads, the CSS files that are interspersed within the HTML code sometimes are processed more slowly and this causes the page to be rendered more slowly due to an effect that’s called render blocking. This function speeds up the page rendering times by only processing the critical CSS files and allowing the HTML files to be processed and the page to load before the rest of the files need to be finished.

  • Load JavaScript deferred?

This function essentially accomplishes the same thing for the JS files as it did for the CSS files that we mentioned in the point above.

  • Safe Mode for JQuery?

This feature loads jQuery at the top of the document as a render-blocking script in order to ensure support for inline jQuery references from themes and plugins.

  • Delay JavaScript execution

Improves performance by delaying the loading of JS files until a specific user interaction.

Media

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The fourth menu is the Media menu, which is divided into 3 sections:

LazyLoad

  • Enable for images/iframes and videos

Both of these features essentially do the same. If you enable them, the images or thumbnails will only load when they are in view and the visitor has scrolled down far enough on the page to where they are located. This significantly reduces initial load times and HTTP requests.

  • Replace YouTube iframe with preview image

Having a background video or gif run on your page can significantly impair performance. This function allows you to replace that background video with a simple thumbnail that’s placed in the YouTube window.

Emoji

  • Disable Emoji

Emojis slow down your site and this function takes care of that problem by disabling their use entirely. This still allows the default emojis on the users browser to remain, while also getting rid of the additional HTTP requests.

Embeds

  • Disable WordPress embeds

This function prevents any users from embedding content from your site, and simultaneously also prevents you from embedding content from other sites. Additionally, this function also removes JavaScript requests related to WordPress Embeds.

  • WebP compatibility

This function will allow WP Rocket to serve WebP images to browsers that are compatible.

Preload

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The fifth menu is the Preload menu, which is divided into 4 sections:

Preload cache

  • Activate preloading

Enabling Preloading triggers cache warming when content is added or updated, which essentially means that the visitors are immediately met with cached pages. Enabling this option is also necessary if you want to enable the other two preloading functions from this section.

  • Activate sitemap-based cache preloading

This function must be enabled in order to allow WP Rocket to cache all of the necessary URLs that are found in the sitemap files

  • Rank Math XML Sitemap

This function enables WP Rocket to automatically detect XML sitemaps generated by the Yoast SEO plugin

Preload links

  • Enable link preloading

This function allows the user to manually enter any links that he would like WP Rocket to automatically preload.

Prefetch DNS Requests

Any URLs that are entered into the field that’s available in this section will load faster. By having the administrator enter the URL’s of the sites that they would like their site to link to, the DNS will be obtained in advance and the connection will happen much quicker.

Preload fonts

This function allows the user to manually enter any fonts that he would like WP Rocket to automatically preload.

Advanced rules

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The sixth menu is the Advanced rules menu, which is divided into 5 sections:

Never cache URL(s)

This function allows you to block specific pages from getting cached by manually entering their URL into the text field from this section. 

Never cache cookies

This function allows you to block specific cookies from getting cached by manually entering their ID into the text field from this section.

Never cache user agents

This function allows you to block specific user agents from getting cached by manually entering their device into the text field from this section.

Always purge URL(s)

This function allows you to purge any specific URL from cache whenever you update anything on your site.

Cache Query string(s)

This function mainly works in tandem with product pages or e-commerce sites and it caches the information from these sites.

Database

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The seventh menu is the Database menu, which is divided into 5 sections:

Post cleanup

  • Revisions

This function deletes the old versions of your posts that are saved when you hit the “Publish” button.

  • Auto drafts

This function deletes the versions of your post that were automatically saved if you don’t hit the “Publish” button.

  • Trashed posts

This function deletes any posts that were marked as trash.

Comments cleanup

  • Spam comments

This function deletes any comments that were marked as spam.

  • Trashed comments

This function deletes any comments that were marked as trash.

Transients cleanup

  • Expired transients

This function deletes any transients that have expired but are still in your database.

  • All transients

This function deletes any stored data that takes a long time to retrieve.

Database cleanup

  • Optimized tables

This function optimizes the tables in your WordPress database.

Automatic cleanup

  • Schedule automatic cleanup

This function allows you to set the time and frequency of each cleanup.

Recommended frequency: 

CDN

The eighth menu is the SDN menu, which is divided into 2 sections:

CDN

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  • Enable content delivery network

Turning this function on will allow you to reduce the number of requests that are made to your server by essentially allowing the CDN’s servers to take on the load of these requests instead.

Exclude files from CDN

This section allows you to choose which files shouldn’t be re-written to the CDN by manually entering them into the text field that’s provided in this section.

Heartbeat

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The ninth menu is the Heartbeat menu. The Heartbeat API provides a connection for real-time data transfer and syncing between the server and the browser. The API is present in the real-time data displayed on the dashboard, the autosave and revision functions in the post editor, and even in the notifications on the WordPress admin dashboard.

The Heartbeat menu is divided into 2 sections:

Heartbeat

Selecting the “Control Heartbeat” option in this section will open up the options in the following section and it will allow you to reduce or disable the Heartbeat API’s activity however you see fit.

Reduce or disable heartbeat activity

Selecting the “Reduce activity”, “Do not limit” or “Disable” options will apply the selected function to the Heartbeat API. Keep in mind that selecting the “Reduce activity” option might limit the efficiency of the functions that the Heartbeat API is involved in, and selecting the “Disable” option will limit them even further.

Recommended setting:

Add-ons

The tenth menu is the Add-ons menu, which is divided into 2 sections:

One-click Rocket Add-ons

  • Google Tracking

The number of external requests is reduced by allowing WP Rocket to locally host the analytics script on your servers. This will in turn increase your site speed.

  • Facebook pixel

This function works pretty much identically to the before-mentioned Google tracking function.

  • Varnish

This function will remove the Varnish cache whenever WP Rocket does a routing cache purge in order to ensure that the content is always up to date.

Rocket Add-ons

  • Cloudflare

This function will enable Cloudflare to run on your site, and it will automatically remove Cloudflare’s cache whenever there’s a routing cache purge.

  • Cloudflare credentials

This sub-menu can be found by clicking the “Modify options” button on the Cloudflare add-on. In this section, you’ll have to enter the email that you use for your Cloudflare account, your domain name and your global API key, which can be found in the top right corner of your Cloudflare account.

  • Cloudflare settings
  • Development mode

Turning this function on will allow you to make changes to your site without worrying if you’re actually modifying the cached version. This function automatically turns off after 3 hours, so it’s always recommended that you turn it on whenever you’re making changes to your code.

  • Optimal settings

This function configures your Cloudflare settings for speed and performance. This boosts Cloudflare’s compatibility with your site and automatically minifies certain files in order to reduce their size.

  • Relative protocol

This will convert the URL of static files so that they’re written as // instead of http(s)//. This feature should only be used in tandem with Cloudflare’s flexible SSL feature.

  • Cloudflare cache

This function will manually remove Cloudflares’s cache whenever you update your site in any way in order to make sure that everything is up to date.

  • Sucuri

This function enables the Securi feature to be made active on your site. The feature is designed to defend your website from hacks and DDoS attacks, while also removing any malware that it identifies and even providing a bit of a performance boost. This function will also automatically remove Securi’s cache whenever there is a routing cache purge.

Image optimization

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The eleventh menu is the Image optimization menu. This menu is where you go in order to install the iMAGIFY tool. iMAGIFYis used by WordPress in order to help reduce the size of the images that you post on the site, while also reducing the size of said images as much as possible. The image optimizer is an all-round great tool and every WP Rocket user should really consider installing it.

Tools

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The twelfth menu is the Tools menu, which is divided into 3 functions:

Export settings

This function will allow you to download a backup file of your settings by clicking on the “Download settings” drop-down menu that’s present in this section.

Import settings

This function will allow you to browse your PC for any settings that you might have previously saved. You can do this by clicking the “Choose file” button, or the “Upload and import settings” drop-down menu and locating the necessary files on your PC.

Rollback

This function allows you to re-install a previous version of the WP Rocket plugin. This is an incredibly useful option if the version that you’re currently working with is giving you problems or isn’t compatible with the software that you’re using.

Enable Google Font optimization

Combine multiple font requests into a single file in order to reduce the size of the files and slightly improve the performance of your site.

Tutorials

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The thirteenth menu is the Tutorials menu. This particular menu doesn’t have any configurations that can be switched on or off in order to improve the functionality of your site. It is however the hub that contains all of the video guides and instructions that can help show you what each option in WP Rocket does and how to use them all in order to get the most out of all of the functions of the plugin.

Conclusion

With the right settings, WP Rocket can really speed up your site’s efficiency and load speeds. However, the reverse is also true, and simply enabling all of the features can actually do more harm than good.

However, as long as you stick to the settings that we’ve outlined in this article, all of your functions should work well together and should help optimize your site so that your visitors experience as little lag as possible.

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