Swift Performance vs WP Rocket [Speed Comparison]

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I've compared Swift Performance vs WP Rocket and achieved perfect 100/100 scores and under 1s load times using both plugins.
Swift Performance vs WP Rocket

How would you like to achieve 100/100 page speed scores for your website?

I’ve spent 1000s of hours optimising WordPress websites so I’m confident I can help you achieve those perfect scores and fast load times.

Just so you know, I’ve compared Swift Performance vs WP Rocket and achieved perfect 100/100 GT Metrix scores using both plugins.

I’ve also tested my own website using both caching plugins and achieved under 1s load times (when testing from an Australian server).

The proof is always in the pudding. Check out the speed test results below.

Main Differences

If you don’t know much about page speed optimisation, then you should probably choose WP Rocket. It’s just easier to use and causes less problems.

If you are savvy when it comes to optimising websites, then you might prefer Swift Performance. It has more advanced options. For example, if your site has a bunch of third party scripts, Swift Performance gives you the option of lazy loading scripts. This way they don’t add to your page load time. Instead they load after someone starts interacting with your site, not before.

When integrating WP Rocket into this website, it was quicker and more intuitive. The load times seem more stable too. However, the differences are so small that it’s negligible.

I’ve also found WP Rocket to be more compatible with themes and plugins. So if you want more piece of mind knowing your caching plugin won’t cause problems in the future, then WP Rocket might be the go.

Choose Swift Performance IF:

– you need more advanced options (e.g. lazy loading scripts)
– you are on a budget >> use their free version
– you don’t want to pay for an image optimiser (included in pro version)
– you have time to thoroughly test your website

Choose WP Rocket IF:

– you are a beginner
– you don’t have time to thoroughly test your website
– you want to mitigate risk of software incompatibility
– you don’t mind paying a little extra

Actual Speed Test Results

Most comparison articles are completely biased. I’ve used Swift Performance for years with incredible results. Not just for me, but for many clients. But right now I’m using WP Rocket, which works just as well! I’ve also integrated WP Rocket into many client sites too.

So this comparison article won’t be another ‘Swift Performance is better than WP Rocket’ article or ‘WP Rocket is better than Swift Performance’ article.

When it comes to improving your website speed, neither caching plugin is better than the other. Both of them will help speed up your site.

So which caching plugin should you choose? Well, it depends on your preferences.

Read on to see which is the best caching plugin for your WordPress website.

Swift Performance Speed Test Results

When testing this website using Swift Performance, I wasn’t surprised to achieve 100/100 PageSpeed Scores and 100/100 YSlow Scores.

The below screenshots show a single speed test using GT Metrix from a Sydney, Australia server location.

I actually ran 5 speed tests using GT Metrix from the Sydney server.

Load Times:

Speed Test #1 = 0.7s
Speed Test #2 = 0.9s
Speed Test #3 = 0.7s
Speed Test #4 = 0.8s
Speed Test #5 = 0.8s

Average load time using Swift Performance = 0.78s

Swift Performance Speed Test Results

Swift Performance speed test results for Web Creation Studios (old domain name).

WP Rocket Speed Test Results

Next I integrated WP Rocket where I also achieved perfect scores and ~1s load times.

The difference in page size is due to image optimisation. Swift Performance comes with an image optimiser but WP Rocket does not. I actually think it’s better to use a third party plugin like Imagify for image optimisation (which I’ve done with this WP Rocket setup).

You’ll also notice a slight increase in external requests, which is due to the way WP Rocket merges styles and scripts.

Load Times:

Speed Test #1 = 0.9s
Speed Test #2 = 0.8s
Speed Test #3 = 0.9s
Speed Test #4 = 0.8s
Speed Test #5 = 0.9s

Average load time using WP Rocket = 0.86s

WP Rocket Speed Test Results

WP Rocket speed test results for Web Creation Studios (old domain name).

Swift Performance vs WP Rocket

If you don’t know much about page speed optimisation, then you should probably choose WP Rocket. It’s just easier to use and causes less problems.

If you are savvy when it comes to optimising websites, then you might prefer Swift Performance. It has more advanced options.

For example, if your site has a bunch of third party scripts (e.g. Live Chat), Swift Performance gives you the option of lazy loading them. This way they don’t add to your page load time. Instead they load after someone starts interacting with your site, not before.

Update on 14/10/20 – WP Rocket has finally released functionality to lazy load scripts! Wooo!! It’s worth noting that WP Rocket often lags behind Swift Performance when bringing out new functionality. Evidently with the lazy load feature. Are they copying Swift? Or just waiting to see which functionality customers actually want and/or need? Who knows. Something to consider though.

When integrating WP Rocket into this website, it was quicker and more intuitive. The load times seem more stable too. However, the differences are so small that it’s negligible.

I’ve also found WP Rocket to be more compatible with themes and plugins. So if you want more piece of mind knowing your caching plugin won’t cause problems in the future, then WP Rocket might be the go.

Choose Swift Performance IF:

– you are on a budget >> use their free version
– you want to save $ on a third party image optimiser (included in PRO)
– you need more advanced options (e.g. lazy loading scripts)
– you have time to thoroughly test your website

Choose WP Rocket IF:

– you are a beginner
– you don’t have time to thoroughly test your website
– you want to mitigate risk of software incompatibility
– you don’t mind paying a little extra

Pricing

Swift Performance Lite is free.
– Swift Performance PRO is $39.99/year
WP Rocket is $49/year

Support

In my experience, the online support is great from both plugins. After submitting a ticket, they usually respond within a day.

Pro Tips

No matter which plugin you choose, your website needs a solid foundation. Neither plugin is a quick fix, especially if you have a terrible hosting provider.

Hosting

If you want a faster website, THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP is moving to a better hosting provider. I recommend using Cloudways, which gives you access to the best cloud hosting providers in the world. 

This website is using a VULTR High Frequency (HF) server based in Sydney. But Cloudways also gives you access to Digital Ocean, Linode, Google Cloud and Amazon.

But there are even MORE high performance hosting providers. If you don’t mind investing in the absolute best, make sure you check them out^^.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If you want to achieve faster load times worldwide, then you’ll need to integrate a CDN. Cloudways has partnered with StackPath, which integrates a CDN with a click of a button.

Using a CDN is also critical to achieving 100/100 YSlow scores on GT Metrix.

Image Optimisation

Optimising your images can significantly decrease your page size, therefore speeding up your website.

As mentioned above, Swift Performance PRO comes with an image optimiser while WP Rocket does not.

If you choose WP Rocket, then I recommend using Imagify.

WordPress Theme

While it’s possible to achieve perfect scores with any WordPress theme, it’s much easier to do so with a performance focused one.

For the fastest website possible, I recommend using WP Astra. Their free version is great.

Mobile Speed

For the purpose of this article I used GT Metrix to run speed tests, but an even better measure (but MUCH MORE strict) is using Google PageSpeed Insights.

This is less known than GT Metrix and requires a more advanced understanding of page loading metrics.

However, it does show both mobile and desktop load times. 

Arguably, the most important metric is contentful paint time; separated into ‘First Contentful Paint’ and ‘ Largest Contentful Paint’.

Contentful paint time essentially means the amount of time it takes for something to appear on the page. e.g. text and/or images.

Optimising for paint times is very important to improve user experience. You’ll notice that GT Metrix does show this data but it’s less clear and without specific recommendations.

Note: unlike GT Metrix, you can’t choose a server closest to you. I believe PageSpeed Insights uses servers in the US. So keep this in mind if you get a warning/recommendation to ‘increase initial server response time’.

Google PageSpeed Insights - Mobile Speed Test

Mobile speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights - Desktop Speed Test

Desktop speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights - Lab Data

Speed Metrics aka PageSpeed Insights Lab Data.

Final Thoughts

The best caching plugin is the one that aligns with your preferences. When comparing Swift Performance vs WP Rocket, both achieve fast load times with the potential for perfect 100/100 Google PageSpeed scores and Yahoo YSlow scores.

P.S. this website is using Swift Performance.

Still can’t decide? Let me know your thoughts below and I’ll try and help 🙂 

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About Max Jacobs

Hi there! My name is Max and this is my blog about online marketing.

Contact Max - Web Creation Studios

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