Best WP Rocket Settings to Improve Google’s Core Web Vitals 2021

WP Rocket Settings

Do you want to speed up your WordPress website? Here’s Best WP Rocket Settings 2021 & Beginner’s Guide to Speeding up a WordPress site.

WP Rocket is one of the most popular & Powerful WordPress cache plugins. It launched in 2013 it quickly became World’s best cache plugin to optimize your website loading time.

After installing WP Rocket, It immediately applies to the WordPress website and optimizes your website performance up to 80%. It’s suitable for all types of users, from beginners to experts, entrepreneurs to business owners, and everyone in between.

Today WP Rocket powers over 1,00,00,00+ websites to boost loading time. Wp Rocket is also completely flexible with all popular WordPress themes, drag & drop WordPress page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, etc.

Now, let’s drive into WP Rocket beginners guides & ideal settings for your WordPress website to optimize performance.

Why you need to use WP Rocket?

No one likes slow-loading websites. Website Speed optimizations are very important for your website. It’s so important that Google’s recent Core Web Vitals update has made it an actual ranking factor.

After using Wp Rocket here’s my website core web vitals result:

Core Web Vitals result

As you can see, After using Wp Rocket my website was completely optimized for Google core web vitals. You can also use my Wp Rocket settings to get the same results.

What is Wp Rocket?

WP Rocket improves the website loading time & user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, database cleanup, reducing the download times and providing CDN integration, etc.

WP Rocket

Here are some amazing Wp Rocket features you need to know:

  • Static cache for desktop and mobile,
  • lazy loading for your images,
  • XML sitemaps preloading,
  • Google Fonts optimization,
  • CSS and JS minification,
  • Deferred loading of JS files,
  • WordPress Database optimization,
  • Browser caching,
  • Cross-Origin support for web fonts,
  • Combination of inline and 3rd party scripts, and many more

That being said. Let’s check our Wp Rocket guide to speed up your WordPress website.

Best WP Rocket Settings 2021 (Beginner’s Guide)

One of the reasons I like the WP Rocket plugin so much is because of its simple user interface and quick setup. It’s a WordPress caching plugin with the power to make your site blazing fast, but any beginner could sit down and understand most of the settings involved.

I’m also using the same WP Rocket settings on my all websites to increase loading time. Here’s my website loading time with WP Rocket cache plugin, GeneratePress theme, & Kinsta managed WordPress hosting:

WordPress website performance

In this article, I’ll take you through every WP Rocket settings step of the process using real screenshots. So whether you’re a total WordPress beginner or an advanced WordPress user, you’ll be able to figure everything out easily.

Step 1: Install Wp Rocket on your WordPress website

WP Rocket is a premium WordPress plugin, it’s mean WP Rocket is not available at the wordpress.org plugin directory. To use Wp Rocket you have to buy from their website.

First of all, Buy the WP Rocket cache plugin (Discount applied automatically). After purchasing WP Rocket, download it from their website (which will be a zip file).

Wp Rocket Download

Next, you need to do is go to your WordPress website dashboard and visit Plugins » Add New page. After that, click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button on top of the page.

Upload WordPress Plugin

After you have selected the file, you need to click on the ‘Install Now’ button. Once installed, you need to click on the Activate Plugin button to start using the plugin.

Then, head to its configuration options. You will be accessing the WP Rocket configuration dashboard via settings » WP Rocket. Now that you have installed WP Rocket, let’s take a look at other WP Rocket options and how to set them up to further improve your website speed.

Step 2: Wp Rocket Dashboard

When you open the WP Rocket setting, The very first screen is the dashboard. Here you can your Wp Rocket cache plugin license, Expiration date, & RocketCDN subscription details.

Wp Rocket dashboard

From the WP Rocket dashboard, you can remove all your website cache files with a single click. And you can regenerate critical CSS and start your website cache preloading with a single click.

Step 3: Wp Rocket Cache Settings

Cached data are files, scripts, & images stored on your browser after opening visiting a website for the first time. This allows a WordPress website to skip running the heavier PHP scripts and improve your website speed.

Wp Rocket Cache Settings

Mobile cache: Wp Rocket Mobile cache options create a dedicated cache file for mobile devices (It improves website loading time on mobile devices. Don’t enable mobile caching if you are not using responsive website design.

Separate cache files for mobile devices: Now, If you are using the latest WordPress theme then, you don’t need to enable Separate cache files for mobile devices. If you are using a dedicated WordPress theme only for mobile devices then enable this option.

User cache: If you have multiple users logging into your website (like a membership site) then you can enable the User cache option. User Cache options, allow Wp Rocket to creates a dedicated set of cache files for each logged-in WordPress user. Otherwise, disable this option.

Cache Lifespan: Wp Rocket Cache Lifespan options allow you to set the maximum age a cached page can be. A lower Cache Lifespan means the cache will refresh more frequently.

Wp Rocket recommends every user’s to set 10 Hours Cache Lifespan. But you can set Cache Lifespan to a higher number to saves server resources.

Step 4: Wp Rocket File Optimization Settings

When you minify your WordPress website’s CSS, HTML, and Javascript files. you can save some valuable time off of your site’s page load speed. Wp Rocket allows users to minify, combine, and optimize CSS, JavaScript files with just a few clicks. Below are the Wp Rocket file optimization settings I use to get the best results in GTmetrix & PageSpeed Insights.

Wp Rocket CSS files Optimization
Wp Rocket File Optimization

Minify CSS files: Wp Rocket Minify CSS files options can help reduce their CSS file sizes by removing comments, white spaces, semicolons, and redundant code. If you enable Minify CSS options, Wp Rocket automatically replaces the existing CSS files with their optimized version. Optimized CSS files download fast, resulting in a faster execution by the browser.

Combine CSS files: When you enable the Combine CSS option, Wp Rocket automatically all your website CSS files are combined into one single CSS file to reduce CSS file size. Combine CSS options help you to reduce the number of HTTP requests on your site.

Optimize CSS delivery: When you Enable the Optimize CSS delivery checkbox, Wp Rocket automatically generates critical path CSS for your website in the background and added upon the next page load. After that, CSS will be loaded without render-blocking on your site, hence you site page load faster than usual. It’s Improves your website user’s experience.

Remove Unused CSS: Unnecessary CSS files can slow down your website performance. After activating Remove Unused CSS checkbox, Wp Rocket automatically collects all CSS stylesheets and scripts and sends files to Wp Rocket external tool to process.

After few minutes, Wp Rocket removes all Unused CSS from the HTML, and Used CSS will be added as inline CSS. Note: Removing unused CSS files is not immediate and may take time.

Wp Rocket JavaScript files Optimization
Wp Rocket JavaScript files Optimization

Minify JavaScript Files: When you Enable the JavaScript Minification files checkbox, it allows removing all unnecessary JavaScript source code characters, remove website whitespace, comments, and semicolons. Wp Rocket JavaScript Minification files compact JS file size, to improve website loading time.

Combine JavaScript Files: When you Enable the Combine JavaScript Files checkbox, your website all JavaScript files and inline scripts are combined into one single JavaScript file. Combine JavaScript Files helps you reduce your website HTTP requests and improve your website TTFB.

Load JavaScript Deferred: Wp Rocket Load JavaScript Deferred option allows your site to load JavaScript after the page has finished parsing. By enabling these options, all your website JavaScript files will be loaded with the defer attribute to improve your PageSpeed score.

Delay JanaScript Execution: When you Enable the Delay JavaScript Execution checkbox, It improves website performance by delaying the loading of JavaScript files. Delaying JavaScript Execution will improve your website’s initial load time & PageSpeed Insights score.

When enabling these options, you’ll see Wp Rocket pre-tested JS files list. When your site is using any lists JS file scripts, you’re site automatically getting an improved performance.

Step 5: Wp Rocket Media Optimization Settings

Media is one of the main reasons drains on page load time. Wp Rocket offer lazyload features for images, iframes, and video loading features. Along with Lazyload, Wp Rocket also allows the user’s to replacing the videos, YouTube iframes with a preview image to improve loading speed.

Wp Rocket Media Optimization

Lazy Load: Wp Rocket LazyLoad features delays the loading of images, iframes, and videos on your website until you scroll down the page and they become visible. Google also recommends using LazyLoad features to reduces initial load times and HTTP requests.

If you are using LazyLoad sub-option ‘ Enable for iframes and videos’ and ‘Replace YouTube iframe with preview image’, it helps you to relapse all types of videos with preview images, since embedded videos are very heavy.

Image Dimension: If you enable ‘Add missing image dimension’ options, WP Rocket adds missing width + height attributes to HTML images. Browsers can use image dimension information to reserve the space needed for the images on the page. GtMetrix & PageSpeed also recommend you to use image dimensions for better performance.

Embeds: Disable WordPress embeds options to prevent other sites from embedding your content and also remove WordPress JavaScript requests. Always enable these options.

WebP compatibility: WP Rocket does not convert images to WebP format. You still need the Image WebP plugin (ShortPixel Recommend), Wp Rocket recommends using the Imagify plugin to handle image conversion but I recommend you to use the ShortPixel plugin to convert images into WebP format.

If you already using WebP images, WP Rocket automatically creates a separate cache file if needed. I’m not using WebP image format on my website, If you want to load images faster and look nicer then you should use WebP format.

Step 6: Wp Rocket Preload Settings

Preload allows you to specify resource types that are needed right away or very soon during a page loading time (Typically this is used for web fonts, CSS, & Javascript). It helps to browser to prioritize the resource loading; hence, performance is improved.

Wp Rocket Preload Settings

Preload Cache: Wp Rocket Preload cache features allows browsers to start fetching resources that will be very soon. To understand it simply, When you publish blog posts or pages, WP Rocket automatically clears caches for that specific post and any other related content like category, tag, pagination, etc to ensure your site is fast right away.

Wp Rocket automatically Preloading your XML sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO, All-in-one-SEO, Rank Math SEO to improve performance. If you don’t use any SEO plugins and you want to sitemap preloading, just enter your sitemap URLs in the “Sitemaps for preloading” field.

Preload Links: Wp Roeckt Preloading links will improve user experience and perceived load times for a user. If any website visitor hovers a link for 100ms or more, Wp Rocket automatically fetched HTML data in the background. So when the user clicks the link, the page will load instantly.

Prefetch DNS Requests: If you add third-party content on your website like Google fonts, Google analytics, YouTube video. You can add its origin domain to the Prefetch DNS Requests option. It helps browsers anticipate those third-party content requests loading time.

For example, if you use google fonts you can add this: //fonts.googleapis.com (Check most common DNS Prefetch URLs). You can also use the GtMetrix tool to find all URLs on Reduce DNS Lookups section in your YSlow report.

Preload Fonts: Wp Rocket Preloading fonts features improve WordPress site loading time and perceived performance. If you don’t know which font you should preload. Then test your website Google PageSpeed Insights, here you can check out any fonts that could benefit from Preload Fonts this optimization.

Step 7: Wp Rocket Advanced Rules

Sometimes there come cases where you need to specifically ensure some pages are never cached like cart widgets, or something related to eCommerce checkout pages, or a specific cookie needs to be avoided.

If you are not running an eCommerce site, then ignore this Wp Rocket ‘Advanced Rules’ tab. Leave this blank in all sections. Otherwise, check the WP Rocket official Advanced Rules guide.

Wp Rocket Advanced Rules

Never Cache URLs: If you want to exclude some individual URLs. Just enter the URL of the page like http://www.yourwebsite.com/page/ or part after the domain name like /page/. Either way will work.

Never Cache Cookies: Wp Rocket Never cache cookies option will prevent caching in the presence of the specified cookie.

Never Cache User Agents: If you want to prevent cached pages from being served on certain device types and in certain browsers. You can also prevent cached pages from some bots.

Always Purge URLs: When you update a post or a page, Wp Rocket automatically cleared partially cache. Use the Always Purge URLs section to specify URLs that you want always to be purged.

Cache Query Strings: Query string is where you have a URL that contains a question mark like (http://www.yourwebsite.com/page/?search=WordPress). By default, WP Rocket never caches pages with query strings. If you want Query string pages to be cached, then just enter the parameter ( In my example ‘search’ is the parameter.

Step 8: Wp Rocket Database optimization settings

WordPress database is where all of the most important website data is stored. Not just the WordPress website usernames and passwords but it also includes all posts, pages, comments, revisions, and spam comments, as well as all your themes and plugins configuration settings.

Outdated useless data leads to database bloat. A bloated database can affect TTFB and slow down your website’s loading time. So cleaning up your database not only helps speed up your site but can also clear up a significant amount of space in your database so it runs more efficiently.

Wp Rocket Database optimization settings

Wp Rocket offers a database optimization feature to reduce the size of your database and running regular cleanups.

Wp Rocket Database cleaned

Revisions: Old post revisions quickly add up, especially if you constantly saving their work over many days (like me). And it’s safe to remove all posts & page revisions.

Auto Draft: WordPress Gutenberg editor automatically saved post versions, if you don’t hit Publish.

Trashed Posts: All deleted old posts, drafts. Remove trashed posts, if you don’t need them anymore.

Spam Comments: All comments are marked as spam. You can check spam comments by using the Akismet anti-spam plugin. Their studies show, out of every 100 comments only 15 are legitimate. And it’s safe to remove all spam comments.

Trashed Comments: All deleted comments. And it’s safe to remove all deleted comments.

Expired Transients: Transients temporarily store cached data in your WordPress database. Sometimes, transients set by WordPress plugins can take up a lot of space in your database. And it’s safe to remove expired Transients. WordPress plugins automatically generate new transients, when required.

Optimize Tables: WordPress database table is where all the data in a database is stored. Unoptimized database tables can slow down your site. Enable optimize table option for best performance.

Automatic Cleanup: How often do you want to clean your database with Wp Rocket. I set ‘Daily’ options but you can change it to daily, weekly, or monthly.

Step 9: WP Rocket CDN Settings

CDN Stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN caches your server’s static resources like stylesheets, javascript, and images from websites based on the geographic location of the user.

When a visitor opens your website, all static resources are served through CDN servers. CDN reduces the load on your hosting server and makes the website faster and more efficient.

Wp Rocket CDN Settings

With Wp Rocket you can enable CDN on your WordPress website with a single click. If you already have a CDN service, then first enable a content delivery network.

Then copy the CDN CNAME given to you by your CDN provider and enter it in the CDN CNAME field and click on Save Changes to apply CDN on your all server’s static resources.

Note: If you are using Cloudflare CDN then, you don’t have to add your CNAME here since Cloudflare doesn’t serve assets from a CDN URL like other CDN providers like Stackpath CDN, RocketCDN, etc.

Exclude Files From CDN: If you want some server’s static resources files to load locally instead of the CDN server. Then just the file’s URL and it is stripped automatically. Usually, these files come from some WordPress plugins to disregard cross-domain load. Most of the time, you don’t need to exclude files from CDN.

Step 10: Wp Rocket Heartbeat Settings

WordPress Heartbeat allows you to communicate with your server when you’re logged into the WordPress admin panel. Heartbeat functionality showing other authors that a post is being edited by another user. Using WordPress Heartbeat API some plugins show you notifications in real-time.

WordPress Heartbeat functionality uses the wp-admin/admin-ajax.php file to make AJAX calls. When you check your website loading time, If you notice a significant amount of POST requests by the admin-ajax.php file, this means that you need to limit the work of Heartbeat or stop it completely.

Wp Rocket Heartbeat Settings

With WP Rocket you can control the WordPress Heartbeat to reduce high CPU usages. By first enabling the Control Heartbeat checkbox, you can choose to either Reduce activity, Disable, or Do not limit the WordPress Heartbeat.

You can completely disable Heartbeat if you’re the only person working on your site at a time. When you choose to Reduce activity, Heartbeat frequency will be reduced from one hit per 1 minute to one hit per 2 minutes.

Note: Disabling WordPress Heartbeat completely could disable some plugins and themes functionality that rely on it. That’s why I Reduce activity on the backend.

Step 11: Wp Rocket Add-ons settings

Wp Rocket Add-ons

Wp Rocket offers several Add-ons to optimize third-party scripts like Google Analytics, Facebook pixel, Varnish, Cloudflare CDN, & Sucuri. Let’s check why you need to enable this WP Rocket add-on to get better performance.

1: Wp rocket Google Tracking Add-On

Note: This option is not available on Wp Rocket’s latest versions.

When you use Google Analytics on your site to track your website traffic, those files are hosted from Google’s servers. It’s slow to your website loading time, and you get a “Leverage browser caching” warning on you to test your website performance.

leverage browser cache

Since you cannot apply caching on Analytics files, the solution is to host Analytics files locally on your domain or CDN. Wp Rocket Google Tracking Add-on optimizes those files.

After enable the Google Tracking Add-on on you will no longer see the “leverage browser cache” warning on those particular files.

This Add-on currently only works with the Google Analytics tracking code. And Wp Rocket recommends the MonsterInsight analytics plugin to optimize your website performance.

2: Wp Rocket Facebook Pixel Add-on

Note: This option is not available on Wp Rocket’s latest versions.

Facebook Pixel is an official analytics tool, helps you measure, target, and enhance your Facebook ad campaigns. When you use a Facebook pixel on your site, it will cause Leverage browser caching warnings in performance testing tools like GtMetrix, PageSpeed Insights.

Facebook leverage browser cache

The Wp Rocket Facebook Pixel Add-on resolves this by storing the tracking files on your server, and apply browser caching to optimize performance.

If you are not running Facebook ads, then you do not need to enable Facebook Pixel add-ons. However, if you do promote your WordPress site on Facebook by Advertising, you should use Facebook pixel to check data and definitely enable this add-on.

3: Wp Rocket Varnish Add-on

Varnish Works as an HTTP reverse proxy cache or cache accelerator to speed up delivery with a factor of 300 – 1000x, depending on your server architecture. It’s works on your hosting server’s side and stores all its responses to the client’s server. A varnish cache server is faster than the origin server and it helps you to decreases your website Time To First Byte.

Wp Rocket Varnish Cache

If your hosting server uses Varnish cache, to speed up websites. Then enable the Wp Rocket Varning Add-on to purge the Varnish cache automatically whenever the WP Rocket cache is purged. However, if you’re not sure about the varnish cache, you need to ask your hosting support team.

3: Wp Rocket Cloudflare Add-on settings

If you’re using Cloudflare CDN to your website, only then enable this option.

This add-on simply provides a convenient way to configure Cloudflare settings for better performance. If you use the WP Rocket Cloudflare add-on, then you do not need to use the Cloudflare plugin to configure settings.

Wp Rocket Cloudflare settings

First of all, enable Cloudflare add-on. Then click the Modify Options button and It will take you to the Cloudflare tab. Here you need to enter your Cloudflare Global API Key, Zone ID for your domain, and Cloudflare email address (You can find all details on your Cloudflare dashboard).

Development mode: Development Mode allows you to temporarily disable Cloudflare’s caching and minification features. Enable it when making a lot of code changes to your site.

Optimal Settings: I highly recommend you to enable these options to enhance Cloudflare performance with Wp Rocket. Optimal settings option helps you to Set Standard Cloudflare’s caching level, Deactivate Rocket Loader, Activate Cloudflare files minification features, etc.

Relative protocol: You can only this option if you use Cloudflare’s Flexible SSL feature. Otherwise, disable it.

Clear All Cloudflare Cache Files: By default, the Cloudflare cache will be purged automatically whenever you clear WP Rocket’s cache. It’s not necessary to press this button every time to clear the cache.

4: Wp Rocket Sucuri Add-on

If you use the Sucuri WordPress Website Firewall to secure your website, you should definitely enable the WP Rocket Sucuri add-on to optimize your performance. If you activated the Sucuri add-on, each time WP Rocket clears its cache, the Sucuri Firewall cache will also be cleared automatically.

Wp Rocket Sucuri Add-on

First of all, enable the Sucuri add-on, then click the Modify Options button, and It will take you to the Sucuri tab. Here you need to enter your Sucuri Firewall API key (for plugin), you can find API Key from your Sucuri dashboard. Finally, click Save Changes.

Step 12: Wp Rocket Image Optimization settings

High-quality unoptimized Images are one of the biggest drains on page load time. Even with Wp Rocket caching and a CDN, an unoptimized image will still drag down your page loading time.

Imagify Image Optimization by Wp Rocket

WP Rocket recommends their own Imagify plugin to optimize images. But there are lots of best image compression plugins available (Recommendation: ShortPixel) including Imagify for your lossless image compression. It helps you to perform a bulk optimization of all the files in your Media Library.

Imagify is a freemium plugin, and you can optimize up to 200 images per month for free. Imagify also supports the latest WebP image format to increase image loading time. I personally use the ShortPixel plugin to optimize images, both plugins offer almost similar features.

ShortPixel Plugin Settings

Step 13: Wp Rocket Tools Tab (Import/ Export Settings)

Wp Rocket settings tools tab helps you to manage the plugin import/ export settings and version.

Wp Rocket Tools Tab

Export Settings: Export settings to use the same Wp Rocket settings on multiple sites. If you press the Download Settings button, your current Wp Rocket settings A JSON file downloaded to your computer.

Import Settings: If you want to save time on configuring WP Rocket. Then browse for the Wp Rocket JSON file on your computer, and then press the Upload File and Import Settings button to import all Wp Rocket settings.

Rollback: If you are facing any types of issues with the latest Wp Rocket version. You can Rollback to the previous major version of WP Rocket, press the Reinstall Version button. The previous Wp Rocket version will be downloaded and installed on your website instantly.

That’s it for now. I’m currently using Wp Rocket v3.8.3. in the future when Wp Rocket launches new features I update this post as soon as possible. So bookmark this post.

Wp Rocket hosting & theme recommendation: CloudWays managed WordPress hosting, GeneratePress WordPress theme.

Final Thoughts on Wp Rocket settings 2021

Wp Rocket #1 WordPress cache plugin for its speed optimization features. I’m using Wp Rocket on my all website because reportedly delivers great results with very little effort.

That’s why you need the WP Rocket cache plugin to optimize your website loading time.

WP Rocket also offers its users lots of helpful speed optimization documentation, including video guides, to assist you in improving your WordPress website loading times.

I hope this guide helped you learn how to install and configure WP Rocket plugin settings on your WordPress website.

If you are not using Wp Rocket, What are you waiting for? They offer 14 days refund policy.

Have you used Wp Rocket on your WordPress website? Share your experience with other users to improve their website loading time.

If you feel I left out some Wp Rocket cache plugin settings & optimization information? Please let me know asap in the comment section.

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Thank you. Have a nice day.

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