WordPress Optimization 101 – How Rocket Eliminates The Need For Additional Plugins

WordPress Optimization 101 - How Rocket Eliminates The Need For Additional Plugins
  • 6 min read

Every plugin you install is a possible point of failure on your WordPress install. And when it comes to speed, security, and reliability, you don’t want third-party plugins to fail you when you need them most. This is why our Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – Rocket Value Proposition (RVP) as we like to call it – is the elimination of additional security and optimization plugins. You’re welcome.

Is WordPress Plugin Bloat Still a Thing?

When you think of the word bloat, what comes to mind? One too many beers? Too much pizza? Yeah. We’ve all been there. And how fast do you feel when you’re bloated? We bet you’re not up to running a 5k let alone a sprint. It’s the same with web performance. So yes, plugin bloat is still a thing.

How Many WordPress Plugins Are Too Many?

When the Rocket team migrates a new customer, we often point out the number of plugins they’re running and how that can impact performance. Try not to think of plugins as either good or bad, additional plugins may not break your site, per se, but they will slow down the delivery of your website to the end-user – your customer. The slowing of content delivered to your customer directly affects a customer’s experience with the site and your brand.

The customer may see broken shortcodes on your site for example — which is relatively harmless. Not professional, mind you, but it may be overlooked. What won’t be overlooked are slow-loading product pages or issues with checkout leading to checkout abandonment. There’s always another site willing and ready to sell to a customer.

The real issue with plugin bloat is twofold: security and management. In truth, they are two sides of the same coin. Lack of plugin management causes security risks. Let’s think it out.

Every time WordPress has a security update or a Core Update (WordPress 6.0 rolls out May 24, 2022), each client site needs to be tested on staging before core, theme, and plugin updates are pushed live. Your agency is responsible for that workflow — for every client site. If the client remains on WordPress 4.9 (pre-Gutenberg), for example, that’s a security risk. Why? The only officially supported version, as of today’s date is WordPress 5.9.

Every technical dependency in the form of a plugin is a potential point of failure. Every potential point of failure is your responsibility as the agency of record. The real cost of plugin bloat is human resources; not technical debt. Are you ready to streamline your agency’s workflow?

How Do I Fix A Slow WordPress Admin Dashboard? Use Less Plugins!

Only last week a customer was complaining that his admin area was slowing down and asked if we could take a look for them. Upon further investigation, we found 136 total plugins and asked them to remove anything that they really didn’t need.

Manage Your WordPress plugins directly from your Rocket Portal
Manage Your WordPress plugins directly from your Rocket Portal

The customer was able to remove them quickly directly from their Rocket Control Panel, and after reviewing the entire list with them, we were eventually able to delete the ones they didn’t really need and got the number down to 59 plugins. Again it’s not a matter of whether or not plugins are good or bad, it’s what does each plugin do exactly and what value does it bring to your website at the expense of performance.

What’s The Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugin? (None. You Don’t Need One Anymore)

We all know that images are resource hogs – thanks to our iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. The resolution and file sizes are enormous now. Hardly any website needs Retina-quality images – let alone bulk uploads of these massive files. And yet, your clients upload giant images to their websites. And then wonder why their Core Web Vital score lowers. But that’s another blog post.

Rocket does everything for you right out of the box – Straight from EDGE Cloudflare Enterprise CDN.

With our new Automated Image Resizing feature, Rocket.net can help your site to score even better on Core Web Vitals when it comes to serving the most optimal images for each visitor, no matter what device.

Will Rocket Convert My WordPress Images to WebP Automatically?

You don’t have to purchase premium plugins like ShortPixel, Imagify, Optimole, or any other third party service anymore, it’s all done dynamically with Cloudflare Enterprise and our image resizing feature.

 One of the major pain points of running a web agency is client education – especially over images. It’s hard to understand that photos taken on our phones are a performance and storage liability. Say goodbye to TinyPNG (:sadpanda:) before you upload images to your media library. Say goodbye to Smush, Kraken, and Imagify. 

Your agency is probably using lazy-load scripts and/or has shuffled through some of the many image optimization plugins available to WordPress. We’re happy to let you know that you can deactivate and delete those plugins once you’ve migrated to Rocket. Since Cloudflare Enterprise is standard on every hosting package, you’re golden.

“​​Polish automatically optimizes the images on your site. When an image is fetched from your origin our systems automatically optimize it in our cache. Subsequent requests for the same image will get the smaller, faster, optimized version of the image.”


WordPress Security Plugins – Let Cloudflare Enterprise And Imunify360 Take Care Of That For You. No Longer Needed with Rocket

You read that correctly, my friends. I know what you’re thinking, too. This can’t be true. You have security plugins for this and for that and to patch holes and to defend and, and, and. It’s more work for you as the agency owner and your team. Did you build a web development agency to manage the management of your “Managed WordPress Hosting?” We didn’t think so.

Another way that Rocket over-delivers, not just in web performance (speed, FTW), but in our Rocket Value Proposition, is the integration of a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Imunify360. These are standard features for every instance of hosting on every plan. Yes, every plan.

You may know, love, and trust the founders and creators of Sucuri, WordFence, and iThemes Security Pro. You may even still have lifetime licenses with one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. But this is 2022, those plugins are no longer needed once you’re on the Rocket Platform. Less management of “Managed WordPress Hosting?” Yes, please.

“New rules are active in seconds for instant protection unlike other WAFs that need 45 minutes or more to protect.”


Imunify360 probably tells you all you need to know with its name. There are 360 degrees in a circle meaning full coverage. Immune, well, since COVID is all in the front of our minds, we know about vaccinations and immunity. Unlike security plugins that only focus on one WordPress install, Imunify360 focuses on the entire server.

 Think of it like this. With an apartment building that shares walls and attic space, if someone moves in with roaches in their boxes (gross), the whole apartment is likely to be infected. This is why so many high-dollar websites prefer to be on private servers. The Rocket Platform democratizes security – every site on every plan has this enterprise-level protection. That’s our Rocket Value Proposition.

Free WordPress Activity Log Is Included – No Plugins Needed For That Either

Oh yeah, we almost forgot to talk about our activity log. Of course, we’re thrilled to launch our activity log on the Rocket Platform. We also think you’ll be excited to say goodbye to some old friends – WordPress Activity Plugins. It can be a nice breakup, polite. Maybe tell them, “it’s not you, it’s me.” But really, it’s plugin bloat. No reason to hurt anyone’s feelings, we get it. But that uninstall feeling is too good to pass up. (And look at the money you’ll be saving, too.)

Is the activity log hard to configure? Nope. The only thing you’ll do is log into your Rocket Dashboard and click “enable.” As we mentioned, we’d like to free up your agency workflow for billable time – not managing your Managed WordPress Hosting.

WordPress Activity Log in the Rocket.net Control Panel

“From the time you enable it, WordPress activity will be securely logged via the Rocket.net API and will be available immediately in your control panel. No more confusion when trying to find where the WordPress activity log location is on your website if you are searching for it.”

Ben Gabler – Founder and CEO of Rocket.net

Talk Is Cheap. Let Rocket Show You What The Fastest WordPress Hosting REALLY Means!

Saving site performance, your agency’s time, and money? Yes. The Rocket Platform has built-in features that eliminate your need for otherwise paid versions of security, image optimization, CDN, and JS content loader plugins. They are features built into your new favorite platform (the product formerly known as Managed WordPress Hosting).

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Let’s talk about how we can migrate your site to Rocket.net, the fastest WordPress hosting available anywhere. Launch your Mission today!