Updated on: 29/05/2024

Website performance matters. And to ensure top-tier performance, you’ll need to use a plugin that gets your site running optimally. However, choosing one might feel like a challenge, with so many to select from and all.

That’s why we’re comparing two side-by-side today. On deck we have WP-Optimize and WP Rocket. Both plugins aim to speed up your site and enhance user experience. But they bring unique features and benefits to the table worth exploring.

We’ll begin by discussing their key features, pricing, and overall effectiveness. And once we put these plugins through their paces, you’ll have a clear understanding of which suits your needs best by the time we’re done.

Let’s get started!

WP-Optimize vs WP Rocket: Key features

No plugin comparison would be complete without a rundown of their top features. Here’s a quick table so you can see what each offers, side-by-side:

 

Feature WP-Optimize (Free/Premium) WP Rocket (Premium Only)
Database Optimization Yes Yes
Cache Preloading Yes Yes
Lazy Load Yes Yes
GZIP Compression Yes Yes
Image Compression Yes No (Requires additional plugin Imagify)
Critical CSS No Yes
CDN Integration Yes (with Cloudflare) Yes (integration with multiple CDNs)
File Minification Yes (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) Yes (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
Automatic Database Backups Yes (with UpdraftPlus) No

Now let’s look at each of these features in more detail.

Database optimization

How your database performs can impact your overall site’s performance by a great deal. WP-Optimize offers comprehensive database cleanup, including the removal of spam comments, expired transients, and unused data. It also allows for advanced options like optimizing individual tables (with WP-Optimize Premium) and automatic cleanups to keep the database speedy​​.

wp-optimize-database-optimization-settings

WP Rocket, on the other hand, includes basic database optimization features like clearing out post revisions, drafts, and spam comments. It allows for automatic scheduling of cleanups but lacks advanced options​ like cleaning auto-draft posts and removing expired transients.

wp-rocket-database-optimization-settings

Cache preloading

As for how these plugins handle cache preloading, WP-Optimize preloads the cache to improve site performance. This ensures pages are quickly accessible to site visitors.

wp-optimize-pre-loading-settings

WP Rocket does this as well and offers both manual and automatic options.

wp-rocket-pre-load-settings

Lazy load

Both plugins also provide lazy loading for images and videos. This delays content loading until a site visitor scrolls to it on the page. This improves page speed​, especially for media-heavy websites. For WP-Optimize Premium, you can turn this feature on for images, background images, iFrames and videos.

wp-optimize-lazy-load-settings

With WP Rocket, you have identical options.

wp-rocket-lazy-load-settings

GZIP compression

Another key optimization feature on deck here is the ability to implement GZIP compression. This helps to reduce the size of files sent from the server to the browser. This speeds up site performance overall​​.

You can enable GZIP compression by going to the same-named tab in the WP-Optimize settings.

wp-optimize-g-zip-compression-settings (1)

If your website runs on an Apache server, WP Rocket enables GZIP automatically. If not, this feature is unavailable. 

Image compression

WP-Optimize offers bulk image compression and automatic compression of new uploads. This feature is available in both free and premium versions​.

wp-optimize-image-compression-settings

However, WP Rocket doesn’t include built-in image compression. If you need this feature, you’ll need to buy WP Rocket (since they don’t have a free version) and an additional Imagify plugin, which is a definite drawback.

wp-rocket-imagify-add-on

Critical CSS

WP Rocket generates critical CSS to optimize the rendering of above-the-fold content, significantly improving load times and user experience​​. This is the Load CSS asynchronously option in WP-Optimize. 

However, the preferred option is to remove unused CSS, as this is more powerful way to optimise performance.

optimize-css-delivery-settings-wp-rocket

WP-Optimize doesn’t include a feature for generating critical CSS or removing unused CSS. It does however offer several CSS customisation options like minification, merging, and control over which CSS files to include (or exclude) from these processes.

wp-optimize-css-compression-options

CDN integration

WP-Optimize offers CDN integration via Cloudflare. No configuration is required as this operates separately from any page caching the plugin would provide. 

WP Rocket integrates with Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and RocketCDN to improve global load times.

File minification

You’ll be pleased to hear both plugins provide file minification and concatenation of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to reduce file size and improve loading speed​​.

In WP-Optimize, this is presented in a straightforward manner, with simple toggle on and off buttons for each feature.

wp-optimize-file-minification-settings

A similar presentation is offered by WP Rocket.

javascript-file-minification-wp-rocket

Automatic database backups

WP-Optimize includes automatic database backups when used with UpdraftPlus, providing an extra layer of security during optimizations​. In contrast, WP Rocket doesn’t offer built-in automatic database backups.

Key feature comparison: Summary

WP-Optimize provides a more comprehensive set of features. Especially of note are its powerful image compression and advanced database optimization capabilities. These features are available even in its free version. 

This makes it an excellent choice for those who need reliable performance enhancements without additional costs.  

WP Rocket excels in offering critical CSS generation and removing unused CSS. These aspects matter for improving Core Web Vitals and overall site speed​.

But when you consider WP-Optimize has a free version, it’s a top choice for anyone seeking cost-effective optimization. WP Rocket is premium-only. 

WP-Optimize vs WP Rocket: Areas of difference 

After using both of these plugins for some time, a few key differences present themselves. 

Here’s what we noticed:

Ease of use

WP-Optimize has a super user-friendly interface. It makes it easy for beginners to navigate and use. The dashboard is straightforward, where people can quickly access features like database optimization, image compression, and caching. The plugin also offers detailed settings for those who want to customise further. It’s all there and well-organised.

WP Rocket is also easy to use. Its setup process is simple, and many of its optimizations are applied automatically, like GZIP compression. This reduces the need for manual configuration. 

Database optimization

WP-Optimize excels in database optimization. It comes with comprehensive tools to clean up and streamline your WordPress database. With these tools, you can remove unnecessary data such as post revisions, spam comments, and transients. And it provides advanced options like optimizing individual database tables and scheduling automatic cleanups​. 

You can also set up and schedule when these optimizations run.

schedule-optimizations-to-run-with-wp-optimize

While WP Rocket includes basic database optimization features, such as clearing post revisions and spam comments, it doesn’t offer the same level of detail and control as WP-Optimize. You can schedule automatic cleanups, but the features are more limited compared to WP-Optimize’s extensive database management tools​​.

wp-rocket-database-cleaning-options

Image optimization

One of the standout features of WP-Optimize is its built-in image compression. This is available in both free and premium versions. It supports bulk image compression and automatic compression of new uploads. This helps to reduce the size of images and improve site speed. WP-Optimize also offers WebP conversion. 

And it’ll show you images currently in your Media Library that have yet to be compressed so they can be attended to.

uncompressed-images-in-media-library

CDN integration

WP-Optimize integrates with Cloudflare automatically and many other CDNs with some tweaking. 

WP Rocket provides integration with multiple CDN providers, including Cloudflare as well as KeyCDN. CDN integration with either plugin allows you to enhance site performance and reduce load times for international visitors. 

The last key area of difference we’d like to draw your attention to are the caching and performance optimization features. 

WP-Optimize provides essential caching features, including cache preloading and browser caching. These help improve site speed. 

WP Rocket also excels in advanced caching and performance optimization. It includes features like critical CSS, delay of JavaScript execution, and removing unused CSS.

Pricing and plans

Before coming to a decision about which plugin to use, having a clear sense of their pricing can be helpful.

WP-Optimize pricing

Free version:

The free version of WP-Optimize offers a range of features including database optimization, image compression, cache preloading, and GZIP compression. This makes it an excellent option for users who want to enhance their website performance without incurring additional costs.

wp-optimize-pricing

Premium plans:

You have three plans to choose from with WP-Optimize: 

  • Starter Plan ($49/year for 2 websites): This plan includes all the features of the free version plus additional benefits such as advanced scheduling, more comprehensive image optimization, and priority support.
  • Business Plan ($99/year for 5 websites): In addition to the Starter Plan features, the Business Plan supports up to 5 websites, making it ideal for small businesses or agencies managing multiple sites.
  • Unlimited Plan ($199/year for unlimited websites): This plan supports unlimited websites. It is designed for larger businesses or agencies with a broad portfolio of websites.

Get started with WP-Optimize

Join over 1 million WordPress users who trust WP-Optimize to boost their site speed and performance.

WP Rocket pricing 

WP Rocket has no free version available.

wp-rocket-pricing-plans

Premium plans:

This plugin has three plans available as well: 

  • Single Plan ($59/year for 1 website): This entry-level plan includes all WP Rocket features, such as advanced caching, critical CSS, and delay of JavaScript execution.
  • Plus Plan ($119/year for 3 websites): This plan extends the Single Plan benefits to up to 3 websites, suitable for small businesses or developers managing a few sites.
  • Infinite Plan ($299/year for unlimited websites): Designed for agencies or large businesses, this plan supports unlimited websites.

Conclusion and recommendations

Both WP-Optimize and WP Rocket offer valuable tools for optimizing WordPress sites. WP-Optimize provides comprehensive database optimization, built-in image compression, and a cost-effective pricing structure. It also has a robust free version.

Which you go with depends on what you need. That being said, Based on the comparison, here’s why WP-Optimize stands out and is our preferred choice:

  • Cost-effectiveness: WP-Optimize’s free version delivers significant value, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious users. Its premium plans are also competitively priced, offering advanced features at a lower cost than WP Rocket​​.
  • Comprehensive optimization: WP-Optimize’s all-in-one approach covers database cleanup, image compression, and cache management, providing a more powerful, complete optimization solution without additional costs.
  • Advanced database tools: With superior database optimization capabilities, WP-Optimize ensures your site remains fast and efficient. Features like individual table optimization and scheduled cleanups set it apart​.
  • Integration with UpdraftPlus: The seamless integration with UpdraftPlus for automatic backups adds an extra layer of security. WP-Optimize  is a safer choice for maintaining site integrity during optimizations​​.
  • Affordable premium plans: WP-Optimize’s premium plans are more affordable and flexible, supporting multiple sites at lower price points compared to WP Rocket​.

FAQs

How does WP-Optimize handle image compression compared to WP Rocket?

WP-Optimize includes built-in image compression in both its free and premium versions. This allows people to compress images in bulk and automatically compress new uploads. WP Rocket requires an additional plugin, Imagify, for image compression, which incurs extra costs.​

Does WP Rocket offer a free version?

No, WP Rocket does not offer a free version. It is a premium-only plugin, with plans starting at $59 per year for a single website. For users looking for a free option, WP-Optimize offers a robust free version that includes database optimization, image compression, and cache preloading​.

Which plugin is better for e-commerce websites, WP-Optimize or WP Rocket?

Both WP-Optimize and WP Rocket offer features beneficial for e-commerce websites, such as cache management and performance optimization. However, WP-Optimize’s integration with UpdraftPlus for automatic backups and its built-in image compression provide added security and efficiency, making it a strong choice for e-commerce sites​.