WP Rocket Review: Is WP Rocket Worth it?

WP Rocket Review

WP Rocket Review: Is WP Rocket Worth it?

In this short WP Rocket review I’m going to go over if it’s worth purchasing or not. Not to delay the point, I believe it is worth purchasing, but only if you are experiencing slow site issues regularly. I’ll cover more of why I use it on my main sites, and what it has to offer below. Let’s dive in!

WP Rocket Review

What Does WP Rocket Have to Offer?

WP Rocket is a WordPress plugin used to boost your website to rocket fast speeds. Now, I realize that sounds a little cheesy, but it was created to make your sites faster. This in turn can improve your user experience and your website’s ranking.

WP Rocket Review Basic Settings

Website Speed Increase

As I mentioned above the focus of WP Rocket is to improve your sites speeds. It does this by caching. The plugin creates a cache of the static file of your site content. When a user accesses the content it then serves it directly from the cache folder. This greatly increases the overall speed and performance of your website. 

WP Rocket Caching

Easy Setup

WP Rocket has a leg up on many of its competitors because of its easy to use control panel layout. It has multiple tabs to work with including Basic, Advanced, CDN, Tools, FAQ, Support. In all honesty you can stick within the Basic settings and be just fine using this plugin. This makes it very easy to get your site speed boosted in just seconds after installing the plugin. I’ll get into some of those settings here next.

Minification

Minification is one of the key areas focused on within the Basic page. This is one of the things that many sites get dinged on when using GTMetrix to test page speeds. This plugin alleviates that from ever being a problem again by letting you focus on HTML, Google Fonts, CSS, and Javascript. These changes will not only boost your GTMetrix score, but will also help your site speed.

Lazy Load

On the Basic page the first option is Lazy Load. What lazy loading images does is focus on displaying images and videos only when they are visible to the user. This is a huge advantage over the alternative of loading an entire site with every image and video. If you’ve ever seen a site slowly loading image by image on it, it’s highly unlikely they’ve got a lazy load feature enabled on their website.

Support

This is a tough one for me to talk about as I previously applied for a support position with WP Rocket. Anyways, their support team is awesome. They use a ticketing system, and as long as your account is active you can open tickets with their skilled staff anytime help is needed. I know that they have staff members available in all different time zones. Therefore, getting help shouldn’t take too long once a ticket is submitted.

WP Rocket Support

WP Rocket Pricing

In terms of pricing WP Rocket has a few options. For starters, they have a 14 day no-risk money back guarantee period. It’s awesome that they offer this because you can literally try it out and see if your site speeds improve, and if not get a refund. That offer is hard to beat!

The paid plans on WP Rocket include a Single site license for $49, a Plus license for $99 that covers 3 websites, and an infinite license that covers unlimited websites. With each of these plans you get one year of support and updates. Therefore, if you want to continue to have an active license and take advantage of support and updates you’ll need to renew each year. At this time each renewal come at a 30% discount.

WP Rocket Pricing

WP Rocket Review: Final Thoughts

I recommend WP Rocket. However, I know many people opt to go for a free plugin rather then pay for a more premium one like this. If you decide not to go with WP Rocket, there are many free alternative plugins out there within the plugin repository for WordPress. Either way I highly recommend using one of them to cache your sites. In the past, I used WP Rocket on my two higher volume websites, and only upgraded to a bigger license when offering it as a feature for client websites as part of an upsell. 

When using it I’ve seen better speeds than the other free caching type plugins. I tend to use this in tandem with the plugin ShortPixel and have seen wonderful results. However, I’ve also seen good results with ShortPixel and the free caching plugins as well. I think much of this is site and content dependent though. If you’d like to read more about ShortPixel check out my ShortPixel review post. Either way, I hope you found this WP Rocket review to be helpful, and it at least opened your eyes to the need for WordPress speed.

ShortPixel Review: Image Optimizer Plugin

ShortPixel

ShortPixel Review: Image Optimizer Plugin

In this ShortPixel review I’ll be covering the image optimizer plugin, and if it’s worth purchasing. To cut to the chase on this, I personally use ShortPixel on my own websites and on my clients as well. To find out exactly why I’m using it continue reading on!

In this day and age, we have so much analytical data out there showing the importance of images on websites. If you have a website or a basic blog without images chances are it isn’t performing well. Readers don’t want to be bogged down with nothing but text. Images are important, but so is website speed. ShortPixel helps us to find the balance between the two.

ShortPixel Review

Why Use ShortPixel

ShortPixel was created to optimize your images. This has become more and more important to users. The big reason this has become so important is because of website speeds. No end user wants to sit around staring at their screen waiting for an image to slowly load. If you want to speed up your website, optimizing images is essential.

Google sees it as essential as well. Google has been documented speaking about the importance of page speeds. They want the best experience for users on their browser, and we should want the same for our users on our sites as well.

Various Compression Types

Compressing images makes your website load faster. There are three compression types or levels with ShortPixel. The three types are lossy, glossy, and lossless. For most users, lossy is a great option. Glossy has a slightly higher quality, but can slightly slow down your site. Lossless has the most picture perfect look. However, lossless has the smallest reduction is file sizes.

ShortPixel Compression Types

Automatic and Bulk Optimization

When setting up ShortPixel you’re given the ability to have automatic optimization upon upload of new images into your WordPress site. This is possibly the best feature within ShortPixel because of how much time it saves you. Additionally, you can do bulk optimization with already existing images. These are both huge advantages over manually doing image optimization. 

Faster Website Load Speeds

Earlier I wrote about the three image optimization options that ShortPixel has. The option you choose directly affects your website speed. However, picking any of the options will make a positive impact overall. I personally experienced shaving off over 1 second on my load time on my other website, which is a big blog site with tons of images. The site load time went from 1.8 seconds to 0.7 seconds load time based on my GTMetrix results.

No Size Limits

There are no size limits or restrictions with ShortPixel images. This is not true of all image optimization plugins. This can really come into play if you’re a professional photographer with very high quality large images.

Pricing

In terms of pricing ShortPixel currently offers four monthly plans. They have free, short, large, and xxl plans. The free plan is a great way to get started and test the plugin, but in reality it probably isn’t enough for most users. It limits the images to 100 optimized images. 

ShortPixel Pricing

The paid plans also include an option for one time purchases as well. These are for 10,000 images, 30,000 images, 50,000 images, and 170,000 images. If you don’t like subscriptions this could be a great option for you. These one-time plan images do not expire. So, if you purchase 30,000 images today you don’t need to use the credits for them until you’re ready.

The other pricing option is for dedicated servers where millions of images can be optimized. Most of the people reading this will not need this kind of plan, but the option is there if you ever do.

ShortPixel Backend

When you login to ShortPixel there are more options than you might think. Some of the key features are the sub-accounts, the API key, and the associate domains sections. 

The sub-accounts area lets you manage clients and their usage. For web development companies or agencies this could be very beneficial. The API key is important because that’s how you validate or link your account to a specific website. The API key also helps with that when you’re using the ShortPixel adaptive images plugin. There is also an optimization report that shows your account usage stats.

ShortPixel Backend Options

ShortPixel Review: Final Thoughts

I hope that you found this ShortPixel review to be helpful. I have mentioned this in some of my other posts, but I believe a great combination for speed is combining ShortPixel and WP Rocket with a solid host like SiteGround or GreenGeeks. This is the formula I’ve used time and time again with great results. 

GreenGeeks Review: Is GreenGeeks Hosting Good?

GreenGeeks Review

GreenGeeks Review: Is GreenGeeks Hosting Good?

In this GreenGeeks review I’m going to cover if GreenGeeks hosting is good and some specific features. In particular, I’ll be going over the WordPress hosting plans, support, website speeds, uptime, and backups. Without further ado let’s dive into the GreenGeeks hosting review!

GreenGeeks Review

GreenGeeks Hosting Features

As I alluded to above, we’re going to be going over some key GreenGeeks hosting features. A big reason why I wanted to write about GreenGeeks here is because I use their web hosting services personally. I think they’re one of the best budget hosting solutions for people just getting started in WordPress.

This fits well for many of my viewers within my free Udemy courses and on my YouTube channel. Unlike many people in the WordPress niche I actually want to bring you all the best products out there, that I actually use and believe in myself. I also believe in their environmental message. However, I honestly think they go a bit overboard with it at times as well.

GreenGeeks Features

Plans

GreenGeeks offers a variety of hosting plans. In particular, I’m going to focus on their WordPress hosting options as this is a WordPress related site. I know I just mentioned they go a bit overboard at times with the green message. You can clearly see this in their host plan names. The three available for WordPress hosting are Ecosite Lite, Ecosite Pro, and Ecosite Premium. 

There is one main thing you need to know when it comes to these plans above all else. That is, that the Ecosite Lite plan is limited to just one domain name or website. To clarify, you can still use sub domains for this plan. However, you can only have one primary domain name.

The other two options available are Ecosite Pro and Ecosite Premium. These two options include unlimited websites and domain names allowed. They also come with better performance according to GreenGeeks and powercacher technology.

GreenGeeks WordPress Plans

Support

When it comes to support GreenGeeks has a lot to offer. They have some of the best support in the hosting industry in terms of budget hosts. I’d rank them just behind SiteGround for the best budget hosting support. If you want to learn more about them, check out my SiteGround review.

GreenGeeks offers live chat support, ticket support, phone support, video tutorials, and a helpful knowledge base area to get you help quickly. If you’re having an issue you and need it resolved quickly GreenGeeks has the answers. There is nothing worse than waiting for days when you’re sites down and could be earning you money. GreenGeeks alleviates this potential issue from occurring with their support staff.

GreenGeeks Support

Website Speeds

When it comes to website speeds they’re more important than ever before. Google is now evaluating website speeds when determining search engine rankings. This means if you’re on a slow host it can directly affect your online presence. GreenGeeks had some of the best website speeds that I tested on their GreenGeeksGreenGeeks also includes CloudFlare CDN with their WordPress hosting plans. This will speed up your website from the start. This is yet another big reason why I like, and recommend GreenGeeks.

Uptime

Uptime is very important. In many ways it overlaps between the other features being covered. For example, better support generally means better uptime. This is because good support can resolve any hosting issues more quickly. Better uptime can in turn result in more sales or website traffic. The bottom line is that if you run a large online business, you need that site to be running smoothly.

Backups

Nightly backups are done on each of the WordPress plans that GreenGeeks offers. This is done to protect your website data from hardware failure or accidental erasure. By doing this GreenGeeks is then able to resolve issues more quickly and restore your website back to its state from within 24 hours of the last saved backup. It’s essential to have daily backups like this these days.

Pricing

GreenGeeks has affordable pricing when comparing it to many other popular hosts. This is a big reason why I’m suggesting it to begin with. However, there are two things I want my readers here to be aware of up front.

Number one is that it pays to pay for a longer plan duration up front. To actually get the prices being displayed you need to sign up for 3 years up front in most cases. This may sound scary, but you do get a 30 day money back guarantee.

The second thing worth knowing is that the renewal price after your initial contract will be higher. This is a very common tactic in the hosting industry, and it’s certainly not unique to GreenGeeks. This is why I say it really pays to get a longer contract up front. Whenever I sign up for hosting accounts I personally make sure to sign up for the longest duration possible to take advantage of the lowest upfront prices, and avoid any high renewals for a long time.

GreenGeeks WordPress Install Steps

Many of you reading this are likely here because you have or want to have a WordPress site. Within the short video below I show you the step by step process of signing up for GreenGeeks and installing WordPress on your domain name. These WordPress install steps can come in handy if you haven’t done it in a while.

GreenGeeks Review: Final Thoughts

I hope that you found this GreenGeeks review to be helpful. Much of what I mentioned above is my opinion based on my experience. I’ve compared over 30 different hosting companies over the years. There’s no such thing as a perfect web host. In reality, I don’t think one will ever exist. GreenGeeks checks many of the boxes for me though. They’re above average in every category that matters to me, like the ones mentioned above. 

If you end up using my GreenGeeks link just know that I greatly appreciate it. You’re helping me to continue to create free WordPress tutorials online. If you don’t think GreenGeeks is for you I recommend checking out SiteGround. They have very similar pricing, and check all of the boxes as well. Just know that the renewal rates are higher on SiteGround than GreenGeeks over time.

SiteGround Review: Is SiteGround Good?

SiteGround Review

SiteGround Review: Is SiteGround Good?

I won’t beat around the bush. SiteGround is a great hosting option for the large majority of WordPress users. In this SiteGround review I’ll explain why I believe that. I’ll also touch on some key aspects and features worth knowing about. Let’s dive into the review now!

SiteGround Review

Plans

In particular, I’ll be covering the SiteGround Managed WordPress plans here. I do this because the majority of people reading this on WP With Tom are likely WordPress users. The three managed WordPress hosting plans are the StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans.

The smallest hosting plan, StartUp, is only for one domain name, or one website. This is pretty standard within the hosting industry. However, the two more expensive plans, GrowBig and GoGeek, are for unlimited websites. Personally I use and recommend the GoGeek plan. It’s great to be able to have unlimited sites at an affordable price like this.

SiteGround WordPress Plans

Pricing

Before moving on to the support section I wanted to point out the renewal pricing. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention the renewal prices being much more than the introductory offer. This is also common in the hosting industry, and something you should be aware of. To see what the monthly price will cost you can view where it says “regular” beneath the bold introductory price listed. Therefore, it pays to sign up for longer terms, which essentially extends the introductory offer.

Lastly, there is one pricing difference that you need to know about as well. You should know that the rate for signing up for 1 year is the same as signing up for 3 years. For example if the GoGeek plan is $5.95 per month for one year, it’s also $5.95 per month for three years. 

This is an advantage over my other recommended host, GreenGeeks as well as almost every other host. With other hosts you often will not get the $5.95 rate unless you sign up for the full 3 years. It will often be something like $6.95 or $7.95 per month or higher for shorter terms. However, a host like GreenGeeks does have lower renewal rates than SiteGround does. In the long run this saves you money. You can read more about GreenGeeks within my GreenGreeks review if you’d like to know more.

Support

When it comes to support I believe SiteGround has the best support for any budget host. With that being said, my other recommendation GreenGeeks is a close second. I’d even go as far as saying only a couple of premium hosting solutions such as Liquid Web and WPEngine are better. 

They offer live chat, ticket support, and phone support as well. What sets them apart is that they’ve got very quick response time compared to other budget hosts. Not only are they quick though, they’re also very helpful and knowledgeable. I recommend contacting them for yourself if you’ve got any questions about their services.

SiteGround Support

Site Speed

On one of my other websites that gets a lot of traffic I use SiteGround. The site is more of a blog type site with lots of long articles, images, and videos. With all of that going on it could be very slow. However, when testing the site speed on GTMetrix it regularly takes under one second to load. Granted, I’m also using Short Pixel and WP Rocket on this site as well. Combining Short Pixel and WP Rocket with SiteGround makes websites fly. If speed is a big concern of yours I recommend combining the three. If you want to learn more about ShortPixel and WP Rocket check out my other short review articles.

CDN & SuperCacher

Another way that you can improve your overall website performance is by having a CDN. SiteGround offers free CloudFlare CDN on each plan. This can help speed up your websites as well by caching your content. SuperCacher is SiteGround’s own in-house caching system that helps to speed up websites. These two components are both ways that gives SiteGround a leg up in terms of site speed over many of their budget competitors. 

SiteGround CDN

Uptime

Uptime means the total amount of time that the server has stayed up and running. Uptime is another strong suite for SiteGround. They actually display the amount of uptime on the right side of your admin login for your account. This lets you know right away how good or bad of a job they’re doing. From my experience they have nearly perfect uptime. This means when people go to your site, they won’t be disappointed and have it not load.

Backups

SiteGround performs regularly scheduled daily backups of your website. These backups go back up to 30 days. In fact, their GrowBig and GoGeek plans have on-demand backups. This means if something goes wrong with your site you can back it up to an earlier state almost instantly. You’re allowed 5 of these backups at one time.

SiteGround Daily Backups

Staging

Another thing that separates SiteGround from most budget hosts is staging. Up until recently staging was only available on the most premium, GoGeek plan. However, it’s now available on the GoGeek plan that I recommend as well. Staging allows you to create a copy of your live site to test changes before implementing them for the world to see. It’s a great feature, especially if you’re designing sites or making website changes for clients.

SiteGround Staging Tool

SiteGround WordPress Install Steps

In this section I wanted to quickly cover the SiteGround WordPress install process. For this I’ve made a video of how to signup with SiteGround and install WordPress. You can view the video below.

***

SiteGround Review: Final Thoughts

I hope that you’ve found this SiteGround review to be helpful. As I mentioned, there are tons of budget friendly hosting options out there. However, SiteGround is easily one of the best. I hope I was able to convey just some of the key features that set them apart within this short article. If you have questions about them I’d recommend reaching out to their support. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help!