Managed WordPress hosting is the next logical step when you want to improve your site’s performance.
Founded in 2020, this managed WordPress hosting company promises to give your website an instant advantage. They claim to have blazing fast speeds, an easy-to-use control panel and built-in website security.
But is Rocket actually any good? Let’s dive in.
Table of contents
Introduction And Overview
Rocket is a newcomer onto the managed WordPress hosting scene. However, it’s already making waves in the industry thanks to its simplicity, performance, and built-in security. But do they live up to the hype?
In our review of Rocket hosting, we’re going to look at how it performs in terms of speed and go over their main features and pricing options. We’ll also explain their support and security options.
Rocket is gaining traction because it aims to simplify the WordPress hosting experience for website owners. They offer fast loading times, built-in security, and round the clock support.
Keep reading for real performance data and a more in-depth look.
When it comes to WordPress hosting, performance is one of the most important metrics to consider. And with Rocket’s focus on fast loading times, it’s normal to expect great results.
First, we installed WordPress along with Elementor, WPastra and a starter site to simulate a real site. This makes it possible to equally compare page load times across several load time tests. It also gives us a more realistic picture of the load times.
Most WordPress users will use a more complex theme often paired with a page builder plugin rather than run WordPress with a basic theme like the ones that come preinstalled with WordPress.
Another reason why we decided on Elementor is because it is the 4th most popular WordPress plugin.
We ran the first test using Pingdom and a server in San Francisco, California. As you can see from the screenshot, the site loaded in 325ms.
The GTMetrix test revealed a 2-second load time using a test server in Vancouver, Canada.
We ran a Load Impact test to see how Rocket handles page load times during periods of high traffic. Our test used 50 active visitors and maintained a pretty stable load time:
The results are not surprising when you consider the fact that Rocket is using the latest technologies such as NGINX and PHP 7.4 as well as SSD servers optimized for WordPress.
In addition to that, their hosting relies on edge computing. Edge computing, simply put, refers to computing done at or near the source of the data.
Edge cloud is located where all cloud providers interconnect with all internet service providers and where all Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) have their footprint.
Rocket uses that footprint to put your WordPress website as close as possible to your end-users. Rocket’s hosting servers are distributed in 200+ different Edge Hosting Locations that have direct connectivity with local ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
Ultimately, this results in lower latency and faster loading times for your visitors. According to their case study, they were able to significantly improve page loading times for Twodot Marketing. The results were as follows:
- 3x Improvement in TTFB. TTFB stands for Time To First Byte which calculates how long it takes for a browser to receive the first response from a website.
- 2x Improvement in Full Load Time which is the amount of time it takes to fully load a webpage.
- 10% Reduction in page size due to Brotli compression. Brotli compression is a GZIP alternative with its own compression algorithm.
- Cost Savings. Since Rocket has an always-on Enterprise Web Application Firewall (WAF) and malware scanning, powered by Cloudflare, there’s no need to have third-party security services and plugins.
On top of the Enterprise WAF mentioned above, Rocket also has a local WAF and real-time malware scanning to further protect your WordPress website from brute-force attacks, malware, weak passwords, bots, and more. You can find more information on this by visiting Cloudflare’s Enterprise solution page, here.
Thanks to these proactive security features, they were able to protect all of Twodot’s websites from a recent major security exploit in the WordPress File Manager plugin which affected more than 700,000 WordPress users.
What about uptime?
When it comes to uptime, Rocket offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee which is on par with other managed WordPress hosting providers and, in some cases, even better.
For example, WPEngine, a well-known name in the managed WordPress hosting arena offers a 99.95% uptime guarantee. While this may not seem like much of a difference, it rounds up to about 4 hours of extra downtime per year in WPEngine’s case.
Support & Documentation
Rocket offers several levels of support: you can open a ticket easily from your hosting dashboard or you can take advantage of their live chat, email or phone support that’s available 24/7.
We tested their Live Chat response time and they replied before we were even done typing our question.
In addition to that, they have a knowledge base that offers articles on getting started with your Rocket hosting account and basic guides about hosting such as using FTP and configuring your domain name servers (DNS).
Their knowledge base is not as extensive as what you might find with other hosting companies but given that Rocket is a brand new company, that’s to be expected.
Note: You have to be a customer to access these resources. They are not publicly available to everyone.
What sets them apart is their 24/7 phone support which is not offered by a lot of competing hosting companies. They also offer multi-user support in case you have multiple users accessing your hosting dashboard and managing your site.
Plans And Pricing
Rocket offers four different plans for your WordPress website. Their plans are on par with other managed WordPress hosts and you can pay annually or monthly. Note that the annual plan allows you to get two months for free.
In terms of features offered with each hosting plan, all of the plans offer the same core features which include hands-free migrations, automatic daily backups, hack and malware removal, optimized Google Fonts, and automatic WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates.
All plans also include a 30-day money back guarantee, free SSL, CDN, and firewall.
Here’s how the plans break down:
|# of websites||1||3||10||25|
|Price||$30mo or $25/mo billed annually||$60mo or $50/mo billed annually||$100mo or $83/mo billed annually||$200mo or $166/mo billed annually|
Note that Rocket doesn’t offer email accounts or email hosting on any of their plans, like it’s the case with most managed hosting providers. If you’re thinking about migrating to Rocket, you’ll need to sign up for GSuite, Microsoft Outlook Premium or a similar service.
Similarly, they don’t offer domain registrations so if you’re just getting started, you’ll need to purchase your domain name elsewhere. You can connect your existing domain name and their knowledge base offers tutorials on how to do it.
A customer service representative assured me, that they have knowledge base articles that cover moving domains from all major domain registrars and Cloudflare. Plus, they can work with you in real-time via live chat to ensure a smooth transition.
Rocket takes WordPress website security pretty seriously. In this part of our review, we’ll take a look at different security features included with every hosting plan.
Rocket calls this Website Security Suite which includes:
- Website Firewall (WAF) – to protect your site from hackers and malicious requests from reaching your website
- Malware Scanning – will scan your site for malware 24/7 to ensure it stays safe
- Malware Patching – to immediately patch any security issues and resolve any potential malware left over from your previous host
- Brute-force Protection – that will hackers from gaining access to your website using brute-force attacks
- Weak Password Prevention – that will generate strong passwords for you and each user for your website
On top of that, each plan comes with a free Trusted SSL certificate so you can rest assured that your visitors’ sensitive information is encrypted and protected from hackers. The SSL certificate is provided by Sectigo (formerly known as Comodo CA, a known name in the online security industry).
Rocket comes with a custom hosting dashboard. It has a clean and modern design that’s easy to navigate and use. When you log in, you’ll see an overview of your website’s stats including visitors, disk usage, and bandwidth usage.
You can also see which plugins and themes are active on your website. This area of your dashboard allows you to activate or deactivate plugins and themes as well as update them or delete them completely — without logging into your WordPress dashboard.
Since Rocket doesn’t provide domain registrations, you’ll need to use your domain registrar to point your domain name to Rocket’s servers. You’ll need your Rocket URL for this which you can find in your dashboard under the Overview tab.
✋ Remember – you have to be a customer with them to be able to access the above links.
Overall, the dashboard is intuitive to use and doesn’t clutter your screen with unnecessary information – which we like.
Easy WordPress Installation Process
Installing WordPress is an easy process. All it takes is a couple of button clicks and you’re ready to go.
- Start by entering a name for your site and choosing your server location.
- Provide your email address and choose a password for your site. Click Continue and Rocket will install WordPress for you.
Once WordPress has been installed, you can navigate to the admin dashboard and proceed to customize and set up your website.
By default, their WordPress installation will come with a few select plugins pre-installed, including:
- All In One SEO Pack.
These plugins give you a nice head start on adding useful features to your site. You can easily uninstall them and replace them with your favorites.
Developers or webmasters – you can also create staging sites with a click of a button and easily switch between production and staging sites using the drop-down menu. A feature that has been available in the past only with expensive hosting companies.
Rocket is a newcomer onto the managed WordPress hosting scene but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a host that will improve your site’s performance while making sure it stays safe.
The company specializes in WordPress hosting so you won’t find other plans like shared hosting plans where you can install other software like Joomla or Drupal.
It’s worth mentioning that they offer WooCommerce hosting which offers the same benefits and features as their WordPress hosting plans.
- Free SSL, CDN, and firewall on every plan – no matter which plan you choose, your site will have a free SSL certificate provided by Sectigo, a global Content Delivery Network with over 200 locations, and a firewall that filters, monitors, and blocks malicious traffic to your site.
- Edge Cloud so your website’s performance is drastically improved. You’ll benefit from faster loading times as opposed to using a shared hosting plan.
- 200+ server locations so you can serve your website from a server that’s closest to your local audience. This means your website will always load fast for your visitors. To compare, Hostinger describes having server locations in 7 different regions.
- Automatic daily and on-demand updates with a 14-day retention policy. You won’t have to worry about manually backing up your site or losing important content.
- Free staging installs to test out new plugins, themes, or features without affecting your live website
- 99.99% uptime guarantee. Rocket will do its best to ensure your website sees no downtime and this is a comparable percentage to the top hosting providers like Bluehost.
- 24/7/365 live chat, email, and phone support. You can access the support whenever you need to.
- 30-day money-back guarantee. A risk-free way to check out Rocket and see if it’s the right host for you.
- Custom hosting dashboard – which is super easy to use.
- Transparent bandwidth and storage space so there are no surprises of going over your limit. You may even be able to work out a custom plan if you reach out to customer service. Still, there are other cheaper hosting plans out there that offer much more with unlimited storage and bandwidth like A2Hosting and Hostinger.
- Every new WordPress install comes with a bunch of plugins pre-installed. Even though we wrote it off as a con, this is something that’s been happening with bigger hosting names out there for quite a while. Still, we don’t like this approach.
- Accessing their documentation requires you to be on one of their paid plans.
- No way to register a domain with them. Some people prefer the approach of buying everything from the same service provider. Makes things easier, instead of having to learn how to manage domains with a dedicated domain name registrar, such as Namecheap.
- No free domain included with any purchase. Other WordPress hosting providers offer this even on their cheapest plans.
Additional Information About Rocket
Rocket is a privately owned hosting company founded by Ben Gabler and Aaron Phillips. The duo has extensive hosting and business experience and focus on solving real world problems with elegant and easy to use solutions.
Ben Gabler’s experience includes founding HostNine and Exovian and working as a C-level executive for companies like HostGator, Help.com, and StackPath. He also worked as a senior project manager for GoDaddy.
In his own words, Aaron Phillips has worked mostly for companies that were started by teenagers & enjoyed the journey. His experience includes working for companies such as PowerSurge, FastServers.net, cPanel, WHMCS Ltd, and others.
And that wraps up our Rocket review. The only thing left to answer is:
Should you choose Rocket as your host?
Rocket offers a great hosting experience when it comes to managed WordPress hosting.
Even though Rocket is a new hosting company, they already offer pretty fast loading times at prices that are on par with others in the same industry.
Their customer support is always available and you can reach a customer support agent through chat, email, and phone which is crucial when it comes to troubleshooting and resolving issues with your site.
When compared to shared hosting plans and even managed hosting plans offered by companies like BlueHost and SiteGround, Rocket is definitely more expensive.
However, keep in mind that Rocket offers a significant improvement in your website’s performance thanks to their included integration of Cloudflare’s Enterprise solution.
When compared to other managed hosting providers like WPEngine, Cloudways or Kinsta, Rocket sets itself apart thanks to Edge Cloud — a technology not typically offered by hosting companies.
This means Rocket is an enterprise level product with a surprisingly affordable price.
All things considered, Rocket is a great choice for both beginner webmasters who don’t want to deal with any of the tech hassles associated with running a website as well as those who are ready to upgrade from their shared hosting and invest in their site’s performance.