We love WP Rocket. And if you get to use it, chances are you’ll love it too.
But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone.
If you’re looking for a free plugin to speed up your site, WP Rocket’s $49 price tag will turn you away.
If you want to spend as little time as possible optimizing your WordPress site, again, there are better options than WP Rocket.
So if you’re not sure what the best WordPress caching plugin is, keep reading. You’re bound to find a good plugin for your site performance optimization.
First, though, let’s get on the same page.
What Is WP Rocket?
- Database cleanup
- CDN support
- Media optimization
- Other extensions and third-party plugins
- Critical CSS
- GZIP Compression
- WebP format for images
All of these help speed up your WordPress site and improve user experience. They’re also pretty helpful for Search Engine Optimization.
However, WP Rocket is also pretty expensive compared to its competitors. If you want to use the caching plugin, you can pay upwards of $49 per year. Most of the competition for WP Rocket is either completely free or has a free version.
Moreover, WP Rocket lacks some of the tools you’d expect from a plugin in its price range.
More specifically, it’s missing options for image compression and adaptive resizing, as well as a way to manage assets.
So, if you’re either looking for a cheaper option or a more comprehensive solution, we’ll round them all up below.
Best Alternatives to WP Rocket
Before you check our picks, remember that good WordPress website optimization looks different for everyone.
Some sites need reliable image optimization features.
Others need to clean up their databases.
And yet again others need robust file optimization capabilities.
So any plugin below can be useful, depending on what you need. That’s why they’re all on this list. Here are other criteria we used to round them up:
- Features and options. The more capabilities in a tool, the higher the chance it’ll help you solve a particular site speed problem. But of course, it’s not just about quantity. If a plugin has fewer features, but they better address common site speed problems, it’ll rank higher on our list.
- Test performance results. It’s not all about the features you get. For example, WP Rocket and WP Optimize both minify CSS. But they’re not equally good at it. We’ve tested the plugins below, and used site speed test results to choose and rank them as well.
- Pricing. Nitropack might be the fastest and easiest to implement solution for WordPress website speed. But it’s also the most expensive. Not the right pick if you’re bootstrapping.
- Ease of use. Caching plugins can get pretty complicated. So while interface, installation, or support might not be the most important criteria, how easy you can deploy a tool is also pretty important.
With these in mind, let’s round up the best WordPress caching plugins in 2023.
WP Rocket Alternatives
Nitropack isn’t an affordable choice. It’s probably one of the most expensive solutions for WordPress page optimization.
But it’s worth the money you’ll pay for it.
Nitropack has all the classic bells and whistles of a premium WordPress caching plugin: caching, file minification, and some media optimization.
But it gets WAY ahead of the competition thanks to its comprehensive image optimization toolset and content delivery network.
The only thing that came close to Nitropack was a WP Rocket and Autoptimize combo.
The thing is, they’re still not nearly as fast as Nitropack. Here is a GTMetrix test for WP Rocket + Autoptimize:
And here’s the same test for Nitropack:
Twice as fast.
Despite all of this though, Nitropack is not the right WP Rocket alternative for everyone. It’s much more expensive than WP Rocket. Here’s its pricing scheme, to get an idea of what Nitropack can cost you:
So this is only a good choice if you can afford it. If you want to find out more, don’t forget to read our Nitropack vs WP Rocket showdown.
WP-Optimize is a surprisingly good caching plugin.
It does most of what WP Rocket can, and even a bit on top. WP-Optimize started as a simple caching plugin, with other smaller tricks up its sleeve:
But it’s come a long way since then.
Recently, WP-Optimize added file optimization to their toolset as well:
Not to mention, they’re a very good WP Rocket alternative if you need image compression.
WP-Optimize is a reliable image optimization plugin, with a feature to compress your media library in bulk:
And even automatically compress new images as you upload them:
WP-Optimize is also known for its database cleanup capabilities.
It has the most options for cleaning up your WordPress database:
And this can come in handy a lot, especially for older sites that have racked up a lot of posts.
So if you’re looking for a WP Rocket alternative that can help with images and posts, WP-Optimize might be the right choice.
In our tests, we narrowly passed the Core Web Vitals test with it:
So it’s not the best-performing tool, but it’s still decent. And it has some tools that WP Rocket doesn’t have. Find out more in our WP Optimize vs WP Rocket review.
Breeze is a toned-down version of WP Rocket.
It’s a new tool, launched by the guys behind Cloudflare, and it has more or less the same features that WP Rocket has.
With Breeze, you get caching:
And a lot of other extra options on the side:
Of course, since this is Cloudflare’s tool, you get great support to integrate with its CDN. But you also get great support for any CDN you’re using:
And even an option on top of WP Rocket — enabling or disabling relative paths.
Overall, Breeze is a pretty OK tool.
It even rivals WP Rocket with how pretty its interface is:
But unfortunately, Breeze is not on par with WP Rocket in performance. At least not yet.
These are the problems we encountered with Breeze:
It does some work to improve site speed.
But it’s not at the level of WP Rocket. So if you’re looking for a free alternative, you can give Breeze a shot. Especially if you use Cloudflare. But don’t expect the same results you would with the best caching plugin.
FlyingPress is a heavyweight in the world of website optimization.
It’s an all-in-one web performance plugin that boasts features like:
- An advanced caching system
- Baseline code minification
- Advanced CSS customization options
- Database optimization
- Google font optimization
And a ton more bells and whistles, all targeted to help you pass the Core Web Vitals.
If you need a powerful suite, complete with a CDN and every feature you need for performance optimization, FlyingPress is a great choice.
But it is a bit more expensive than WP Rocket upfront:
And here’s how much the CDN costs on top of that:
If you need a real time-saver, Nitropack remains the best alternative.
But FlyingPress is not too far behind.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is hard to rank.
Here’s the thing.
W3 Total Cache is undeniably complex and powerful.
It has tons of advanced settings that are not available in the WP Rocket caching plugin:
And this screenshot is just scratching the surface. You get all of those options for most caching types and file categories:
However, W3 Total Cache is very cumbersome to use. All of these options can pile up and be very overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Not to mention, W3 Total Cache didn’t perform extremely well in our tests.
So if you’re tech-savvy and you know you can make the most out of W3 Total Cache, you can give it a try.
It’s a solid WordPress plugin.
If not, maybe steer clear of it and try one of the simpler tools.
And if you’re not sure, find out more by reading our WP Rocket vs W3 Total Cache showdown.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is an advanced caching plugin.
Much like W3 Total Cache though, it’s not useful to beginners.
Take a look at these advanced options you get in the tool:
A lot of them are useful.
For example, mobile caching can help your performance on mobile devices. But not in all cases. It all depends on how responsive your theme is.
It’s easy to make these kinds of choices when you’re an experienced developer.
So for anyone with years of experience playing around with WordPress, WP Super Cache can be a great alternative.
Besides these options, you can also enable a CDN with the help of Super Cache. That’s useful, but it pales in comparison to all the options available in W3 Total Cache.
So even if you’re tech-savvy, give W3 a try before you install WP Super Cache.
WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is very similar to WP Rocket. They have more or less the same features, and they’re both premium plugins, starting at $49/month.
Not to mention, WP Fastest Cache also has a free version with tons of features.
Here are the general settings you can play with:
There are a lot of useful options there, like:
- General caching, and preloading
- Minification and concatenation for CSS files.
- GZIP Compression
But of course, there are some downsides as well.
WP Fastest Cache isn’t nearly as easy to use as WP Rocket. It’s pretty obvious from the screenshot above, but here’s more if you’re not convinced:
The interface is outdated.
And the options aren’t nearly as intuitive.
So WP Fastest Cache is great, but not our first pick.
Autoptimize is an unorthodox alternative.
It’s not a comprehensive performance optimization plugin. Autoptimize does one thing well — file optimization.
It’s very good at it. Autoptimize performed VERY well in our tests, and it’s easy to see why.
You get file optimization fixes that target the most common Core Web Vitals issues, like eliminating render-blocking resources:
Or optimizing the delivery of Google Fonts:
But it’s much lower on our list because it’s not a caching plugin per se.
Most of the other entries on our list have more features than just file optimization, including caching, media optimization, and even the ability to integrate with important third-party tools.
So that’s why we recommend you use Autoptimize, but not really as an alternative.
If the WP Rocket caching plugin lets you down, try them both at the same time.
Something like this would usually break your site, but in this case, the two plugins have pretty good synergy. If you activate Autoptimize, WP Rocket will automatically turn off its modification:
If you want to find out more, don’t forget to read our WP Rocket vs Autoptimize showdown.
Swift Performance Lite
Swift Performance has a different approach to installation and user experience.
When you activate the plugin, you’ll be taken to a different window to set everything up:
It even sets up Cloudflare automatically.
And Swift Performance keeps on giving.
Their design is pretty outdated in the WordPress dashboard, but it’s still very easy and transparent to use:
So if you need an accessible caching plugin, Swift Performance is the best alternative.
But how does it fare in other areas of web performance?
It’s not a good look. Caching is very helpful, and this plugin does it well.
But Swift Performance Lite (the free version of the tool) lags behind the competition when it comes to file and media optimization.
With the paid version, you get all the tools you’d expect, and more. It includes advanced file optimization and comprehensive image compression. Just beware, it has quite a lot of negative reviews.
But Swift Performance Lite isn’t a top caching plugin.
LiteSpeed Cache is much lighter in features than the other entries on this list.
Granted, you get a lot of advanced options for caching.
And you can even configure different types of caching individually. For example, here are the options for Object cache:
And here are the options for browser caching:
But beyond caching, the functionality of LiteSpeed Cache is nothing to write home about.
That is UNTIL you enable QUIC.cloud.
It’s not easy, or fast for the average user. It’s a 6-step process, outlined here.
But with QUIC.cloud active, you get access to one of the most comprehensive web performance toolsets out there. It includes file and image optimization, a CDN, database cleanup, and a lot more.
And it even has a free version!
So if you’re willing to put in the time to set everything up, LiteSpeed Cache can be one of the best alternatives to WP Rocket.
But it’s not for everyone.
WP Performance Score Booster
The WP Performance Score Booster isn’t complex.
In fact, for the free version, WP Performance Score Booster only offers 4 customization options:
These are good. Browser caching, GZIP compression, query string removal, and page preloading will all help you improve your site’s speed and performance.
However, they pale in comparison with the options and features available in other free caching plugins.
More importantly, they won’t solve your site’s web performance problems.
If you want a truly faster site, and better test results in the Core Web Vitals, you’ll need to choose a different WP Rocket alternative.
Cache Enabler is another lightweight plugin, although this one has more options than the WP Performance Score Booster.
First, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way.
It’s only focused on caching.
Not to mention, it’s pretty outdated in design:
So don’t expect to drastically improve your Google Pagespeeds score after installing Cache Enabler. If that’s what you need, it’s not the WP Rocket alternative you’re looking for.
But Cache Enabler can help your site speed a little bit.
And here are the options it has for that:
You can control a lot about your cache, which makes Cache Enabler adaptable to your website’s needs.
You can also exclude pages, cookies, or query strings:
This is helpful.
For example, you can exclude common query strings like ga, affiliate, or gtm.
This way, when traffic ends up on your site from a campaign, the regular page will load, instead of creating a new cache for the new traffic source.
So you can give Cache Enabler a try if you want a small bump in speed.
But it’s not a reliable WP Rocket alternative if you need anything more.
Conclusion: What Caching Plugin Should I Replace WP Rocket With?
There’s no definitive alternative to WP Rocket.
What you’ll choose likely depends on your budget and time.
If you have the budget, Nitropack is the best WP Rocket alternative.
You won’t need too much time to get it set up, it takes care of everything on its own. Read our Nitropack review to find out more.
If you’re looking to bootstrap, you’ll need some time to get everything set up.
In that case, we recommend WP-Optimize.
All the other plugins on this list have their use. But by and large, WP-Optimize is the best WP Rocket alternative if you’re on a budget.
Is WP Rocket necessary?
If you just want a speed bump, WP Rocket isn’t necessary. You can make do with free alternatives like Breeze, W3 Total Cache, or WP-Optimize.
However, if you own a mid-sized site, and you want to pass the Core Web Vitals, WP Rocket is the easiest way to do so.
Is LiteSpeed better than WP Rocket?
If you spend the time (and have the knowledge) to set up QUIC.cloud, yes, LiteSpeed cache can perform better than WP Rocket on some sites.
But WP Rocket is easier to use, faster to deploy, and provides very good performance results. So for most people, WP Rocket is a better choice.
Is there a free version of WP Rocket?
Unfortunately, WP Rocket doesn’t have a free version. You’ll need to pay at least $49/year to get the web performance plugin.
But there are decent free alternatives to WP Rocket out there. WP-Optimize, Breeze, W3 Total Cache, and Autoptimize all can do wonders for your site. And they’re either completely free or have a free version.
Which cache plugin is best?
It depends on what you need. In an ideal world, everyone would get Nitropack and be done with web performance optimization in a few minutes. For everyone else, WP Rocket is a decent alternative. And if you need something completely free, WP-Optimize won’t disappoint.