This article is a review of Rocket.net high performance WordPress hosting by an agency that actually uses it. In this review, we will be detailing our experiences with this company in terms of hosting our main agency site, content blog that gets almost 100,000 views per month, and an ecommerce store that sells digital templates.
There's a reason why we chose this company to host our mission critical web sites, and we hope that this review will detail why. We really like the company in terms of the technical aspects that it has to offer, incredibly high quality support, and great performance for the price. With that said, let's get right into our Rocket WordPress hosting review (buy a company who actually uses it).
This review is one of six, covering some of the best performance oriented WordPress hosting companies, and utilizing several industry standard speed tests to understand the quality of the service. For more information and a comparison of all these hosting companies, read this article. All testing was completed in late 2020/ early 2021.
Before jumping into the company, pricing, features, and support, we should be clear about who we are reviewing and using for our personal websites. We are using Rocket.net hosting (not other offerings like Rocket.hosting or “Rocket” branded hosting). Rocket.net Is a managed solution for enterprise level use cases, and mission critical websites. The other offerings are shared hosting which have abysmal performance.
Rocket Hosting is a company that offers performance over everything. Because we are a performance oriented website design company, and need our blog to load fast so it will rank high on Google, we've adopted this company as our personal host. We use them to host our content blog, agency website, and direct to consumer template offerings (WooCommerce website). the company is relatively new,
But, while Rocket.net hosting is new, the people behind it are not. They have 17 years of experience in the hosting industry, and have proved it during our support requests which we will discuss in depth below.
This is speed oriented WordPress hosting that is managed by a knowledgeable team. It's the only offering that includes Cloudflare enterprise with their native setup, offering a deep integration with the tool. Cloudflare enterprise on its own is an incredible way to speed up your WordPress website, and when you compare it with solid hosting hardware, you get performance that is in a class of its own.
Cloudflare enterprise also has dozens of other features like an industry leading web application firewall, DDoS protection, On the fly file optimization, and more. A takeaway is that even if you do not end up on rocket.net hosting, you should consider Cloudflare enterprise.
For us, the main 4 selling points are the performance, easy to use panel back end, incredible support, and WAF security options.
You will be able to see real world performance testing from a production website below, and you should also get an understanding of the performance that we're talking about when clicking through our blog. The combination of the hardware that they use and the CDN integration leads to an incredibly quick loading experience.
Rocket.net hosting uses proprietary hardware coupled with software and optimization
At the time of writing this review in late 2021, we can see the aggregate statistics for the day that this article was published:
The main thing that we're interested in is the 70 milliseconds TTFB. that's really quick for an average of the entire platforms requests.
The other major benefit for us is security. On our old host, we would get hundreds of but trying to brute force attack our login pages, even when utilizing some of the leading security plugins out there. Keep in mind, we were not on Cloudflare enterprise, but Cloudflare free. When we switched over here, these requests dropped to almost zero per day.
That's primarily due to the website application firewall as well as the managed nature of the platform. That means that real humans watch over our website and blacklist various IP's that make it past our automated bot prevention.
Hopefully you have a good understanding of the features that Rocket Hosting has to offer, now let's take a look at the price, the platform design, the support (this is perhaps the biggest selling point for new users in my opinion), and the actual real world performance.
Rocket.net hosting is primarily for companies that have a performance requirement for their website, need knowledgeable management behind it, 100% uptime, and no issues whatsoever. The company can offer all of that, but also competes with most other hosting platforms out there. That's what makes this pricing model unique, accessible, and pretty good in our opinion.
First things first, you can access your first month of hosting for a single dollar if you would like to test out the platform for yourself. With this promotion, you get a free migration, so it's pretty much pain free for you.
This company operates on a four tier pricing structure, with additional custom options and reseller hosting for agencies. Right now, we are only using this company for our personal hosting requirements, but in the future we will explore the reseller hosting for agencies simply due to the pricing and quality of service that we've had so far.
With these different pricing tiers, the differentiating factors are storage and visits, though for most setups 10 gigabytes of storage is more than enough. So, you more need to consider the visits. However, plans are very scalable, and you can move between them depending on your usage.
The starter plan comes into $25 per month, and is limited to 25000 visits per month. You also get 10 gigabytes of storage, and can access the Cloudflare enterprise CDN and W AF.
The pro plan, which is the one that we are using (though will probably need to upgrade very soon ), gives you 100,000 visits per month, 20 gigabytes of storage, and all of the other features.
The business plan costs $83 a month, gives you 10 WordPress installations, 25,000 WordPress visits, 40 gigs of storage. The agency plan comes in at $166 per month, offers 25 WordPress installations for, 500,000 visits, and 50 gigs of storage. Every plan comes with live chat support.
We mentioned the agency reseller hosting, and this looks like a great offering that goes head to head with other industry competitors. You can white label the entire platform, implement your own billing system, and pay for what you use.
Though we don't have any personal experience with this yet, we will probably end up opting for this in the future.
The platform is an easy to use hosting panel that is completely customed to the Rocket.net hosting company.
Here's a screenshot of the initial dashboard that you get , with a website and test domain installed.
To manage these specific website, you can head to the overview, and activate and deactivate themes and plugins directly from the back end. You can also manually toggle a backup, view automatic backups, and access advanced PHP settings. It's also very easy to create FTP accounts, and limit them to specific directories if need be.
There is a built in staging mode, which can easily be toggled on and off, and you can simply push from one state to another. This staging mode is very robust, and works well with all the use cases that we have tried it out with. It's much better than any plugin, and goes head to head with all other hosting staging solutions.
All in all, the panel is very easy to use and navigate, and if you need to do anything crazy, it will allow you to do so (but, it's probably quicker to reach out via the live chat support and have them do it for you -- after all, that's what managed hosting is for, and with the quality that this company offers in terms of support, you can't go wrong),
Rocket.net support is the best in the industry, hands down. They are a smaller company, meaning that we have had the pleasure of interacting with their companies support, and actually getting to know the people behind the live chat.
And you'll be very surprised to know that the two people that we have interacted with the most are the founder and the co-founder of the platform Aaron and Ben.
A good way to illustrate the quality of this service is with this quick anecdote:
We were launching our Oxidize.co WordPress template offering, which was built on a localhost, and then migrated to their platform. Because we RA digital agency, we completed this migration ourselves, but we're having issues connecting the domain for some reason. It was a Saturday night, December 26th. That date is significant because not only was it a Saturday night, it was the night after Christmas during a holiday season (yeah, we’re workaholics, OK?).
The company has a 24/7 365 day support policy, but many companies have this same selling point. I never expected that I would get a response on that Saturday night after Christmas. But, almost instantly I got an email back from the founder himself, letting me know that the issue was resolved on his end. And, upon checking on the newly migrated website, the issue was resolved.
This is a great way to show the quality of the support. And not only did they support me on a Saturday night, they supported me during the holiday season, and the agent to actually help me out was the founder of the hosting company himself.
On multiple occasions, I have been able to speak with him about my platform and they have implemented website specific changes to ensure that I have the best hosting service possible.
Because of that, the support that this company has to offer is seriously the best in the industry, and whether you are a digital agency looking for a hosting partner, or an individual with mission critical, performance dependent website hosting needs, you can definitely count on this company when you need them the most.
Other support engagements include the white screen of death (caused by one of our developers), which was resolved in literal seconds. These guys actually know what they're doing and have seen it all during their 17 years of working in the industry.
A unique selling point of the Rocket.net platform is the page speed guarantee. This company literally guarantees that you'll have a major page speed performance - that's confidence if we've ever seen it. Let's take a look at some of our proprietary speed testing of the Rocket.net hosting offering. This is using a production website that was cloned. This production website is a complete WooCommerce website that had many third party requests, heavy homepage way, and was completely unoptimized.
These statistics are not meant to show you how fast the website can be made , instead they are taken to help you understand the speed of the server hardware, and compare with additional hosts. in early 2021, we tested 6 performance oriented WordPress hosts, all with the same copy of the website, making it easy for you to draw comparisons between them.
The first statistics that you should be looking at in terms of the speed of Rocket.net hosting is our K6 load testing. K 6 is an open source tool that allows you to simulate massive amounts of traffic to a server, and determine various average statistics because of it.
For this test, we made 4739 requests, peaking at 20 requests per second, and having an average response time of 22 milliseconds. This 22 milliseconds is some of the best in the industry, and when you compare it to both the pricing, incredible support, and management aspect of this company, if you compare to anybody else in the game, the average response time of 22 milliseconds should blow you away.
Additionally, none of these requests failed, meaning that this is very durable hosting and you can depend on it for any traffic requirements. With it, we have complete confidence that if and when any of our blog articles go viral (and we've had several of them do just that) our website won't go down at the time we need it up the most.
And, remember that this is a complete production website that we were testing against.
Now, let's take a look at the page speed statistics. This is primarily to help you compare with the other hosts (read the comparison).
We had a very decent first contentful paint, and an average speed index.
The aggregate performance as measured by FastOrSlow, over 18 geographical locations was very good, especially when compared to other hosts that did not have a built in CDN. With this test, we know that the CDN is actually working, and visitors across the world will have fast loading times due to the Cloudflare enterprise integration.
There were some hiccups with specific locations, but All in all, we were pretty happy with the time to interactive being just about one second, ending us up in the 98 percentile. The end performance score of 91 was achieved, and this was with absolutely no on page optimization. Again, these statistics should not be used by themselves, instead you should use them to compare with the other hosts tested with this same boilerplate website.
A very solid performance.
Also, GTMetrix confirmed that this hosting company utilizes the HTTP 2 connection method, meaning that all requests are sent at the same time. this is a serious improvement over HTTP 1, where only one request can be transferred at a time.
Here we can see the unminified, unoptimized waterfall chart, with all requests beginning at the same time.
The browser timings are out of this world in terms of our connection of 12 milliseconds, the back end of 76 milliseconds, and the time to 1st byte of 88 milliseconds. Again, when we compare this to other companies out there, bringing into account the pricing, features, and support that Rocket.net has to offer, they are easily the best in the industry.
Additionally, here’s the WebPageTest score:
(Security is due to the headers, and the WAF has nothing to do with it). The main thing here is that we effectively use a CDN.
To conclude this review of Rocket.net hosting, it is simply the best in the industry. When we take into account the incredible performance, bundled Cloudflare enterprise, support where we are literally speaking to the founders of the company, and solid pricing when compared to other offerings out there, you can't go wrong with Rocket.net hosting. That's the reason why we use it on our personal website, and recommend it to anybody who has a requirement for performance oriented WordPress hosting.
If you have any specific questions for us, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.