Swift Performance vs WP Rocket [Speed Comparison]

Swift Performance vs WP RocketPin

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

I’ve spent countless 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.

Table of Contents:

Speed Test Results
Swift Performance vs WP Rocket
Pricing
Support
PRO Tips

Main Differences

Choose Swift Performance IF:

– you need more advanced options
– 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. And for some time I’ve also used 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 Swift Performance, I wasn’t surprised to achieve 100/100 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

Pin

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 ResultsPin

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, it was quicker and more intuitive. The load times seem more stable too. However, the differences are so small that it’s pretty much 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
– 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

Pricing

Swift Performance Lite is free.
– Swift Performance PRO is ~$40/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 if you are on a budget.

If you go with Cloudways, you’ll have access to Digital Ocean, Linode, Google Cloud and Amazon servers.

Alternatively, check out these high performance hosting providers.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

I don’t use a CDN because it makes my site slower in my target country (Australia). TTFB times seem to increase by 2-3x. This appears to be a common occurrence for websites that are already highly optimised.

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 almost any WordPress theme, it’s much easier to do so with a performance focused one.

I recommend using Generate Press or WP Astra. The free versions are great!

Testing

For the purpose of this article I used GT Metrix to run speed tests.

But all of the best testing platforms pull data from Google Lighthouse (including GT Metrix) so you can easily run tests directly from the Chrome Developer Tools. It’s free and you can run tests simulating load times from your exact location.

Regardless of the testing platform, makes sure you test mobile speed.

If you want to measure website performance at your exact location, then use the Lighthouse test from your Chrome Dev Tools.

See screenshot below showing a test where I score 100/100 across all of Google’s most important performance metrics including SEO best practices.

Pin
Google Lighthouse test using Chrome developer tool. Perfect scores across all metrics.

Learn how to improve your website performance

If you are interested in learning how to improve your website performance, I highly recommend learning from Google.

Google have set up a learning hub called Web.Dev.

Check it out >> https://web.dev/learn/

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 scores.

However, you can still achieve 100/100 scores and often faster load times WITHOUT a Swift or Rocket.

Instead try to find a hosting provider like Kinsta that does all caching at the server level. Much quicker than plugins that do it via php.

Note: if you are using cheap hosting, you will still benefit a lot from caching plugins like Swift and Rocket. But to be honest, if you have read this far, you are clearly interested speeding up your site. So invest in a high performance provider.

It’s unlikely that you will need a host as good as Pagely that costs $499/month (unlimited PHP workers though!). But you definitely don’t want to go cheap.

Still can’t decide? Contact me today and I’ll try and help 🙂

Update 9/4/21 – I no longer use Swift Performance or WP Rocket for this site. Instead I leave caching to be done at the server level. My site is faster than ever and I’m still getting 100/100 scores.

Pin
GT Metrix – 100% Performance Score – Structure is only 99% because I don’t use a CDN.