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Does Wp Rocket Work With Ezoic? Here’s What I Discovered (Plus How To Test A Caching Plugin With A Template!)

Do you use Ezoic as a monetization platform? I do! (and here’s my Ezoic review about how it helped me to increase my ad revenue by 300%).

If you do as well, you probably noticed how much it slows down your website. And I bet you have tried to fix it, for example, with a good caching plugin such as WP Rocket.

But are you sure WP Rocket works well together? 😉

Turns out it all depends on how you integrated Ezoic! In a nutshell, if you use the Ezoic plugin, it breaks WP Rocket 😱

Let me tell you about a wild ride I had while I was trying to figure out this answer! 🏇

How I did not buy WP Rocket

I have always been concerned about the speed of my websites. No need to explain that website speed is very important these days.

This Black Friday, I finally decided to do something about it. More precisely, I decided to buy a well known and highly praised caching plugin WP Rocket 🚀

Prior to that, I had been using W3TC, a free caching plugin. It was good but everybody and their cat were claiming WP Rocket is so much better!

So I ran tests against both plugins and the results surprised me. 

WP Rocket actually slowed down my website compared to W3TC 😣

“Oh my f***ing god!” 😰

“Good lord they have a 14-day trial” 😅

“Return all the things!!!” ✊

return all the things

These were my thoughts when I saw the test numbers 😁

So obviously, I requested a refund from WP Rocket.

However, WP Rocket did not want to lose a customer that easily. They insisted to let them take a look at my website and try to understand the problem.

Turned out the problem was with the Ezoic plugin I used to integrate Ezoic platform on my website. WP Rocket is simply not compatible with it 🤷‍♀️

In order to resolve the issue, the WPR support suggested to switch to the Ezoic name servers integration. 

Here’s what Ezoic says about it:

WP-Rocket is compatible with Ezoic. When used properly with Ezoic nameservers integration, and Ezoic’s caching app, sites can often see considerable improvements in website speed.

Indeed, with this setup, WPR got my website noticeably (in numbers) faster! Compared to W3TC, WP Rocket undoubtedly won the competition.

However, I still returned WP rocket.

Why?

Because I needed to do the Ezoic integration with the plugin. The platform has got a new feature called Site Speed Accelerator, which ambitiously claims to make your website very fast 🚄 However, there is a catch: it should not be used with the Ezoic name servers 🤷‍♀️

Since I do want my website to be very fast even with ads, I made my bet on this new feature.

Bye-Bye WP Rocket! 🙋‍♀️

How to switch to the Ezoic name servers

So, how do you integrate your website with Ezoic? 😉

If you are using the Ezoic plugin and WP Rocket, you definitely should switch to the Ezoic name servers 🧐

How to do that?

First of all, you need to know who your registrar is. I assume you do have this information but if you don’t, go to whois.net and perform a lookup:

whois1

Then, you need to find out your Ezoic name servers. Here’s how to do it in their new dashboard:

  1. Go to the settings (if you have multiple websites, choose the one you implement the integration for)
    ezoic_nameservers_1
  2. Find the Nameservers row and click on View Instructions
    ezoic_nameservers_2
  3. Here are your new name servers:
    ezoic_nameservers_3
  4. Copy-paste the name servers into your registrar; Ezoic has a list of instructions about how to do it for 20 popular registrars
    ezoic_nameservers_4
  5. Then, press the Integration Completed button in the Ezoic app

Once you do it, the change will propagate over the internet in 48 hours. However, you can still check right away if the change was applied correctly. Just do a lookup in whois.net:

whois2

Here, you should see the Ezoic name servers you found in your settings earlier.

How to test a caching plugin

Testing a cache plugin is not easy… Because of the cache! 😉

The cache exists on almost all the levels your website readers have to go through: the website, the CDN, a layer between the CDN and browser (in our case, it’s Ezoic), the browser. 

And for each level, you have to make sure the old cache is cleared before implementing the change you want to test 😫 Just clearing it might not be enough and you may need to wait to make sure it’s gone (like for CloudFlare)

And then, once you clear the cache… you will need to build it back again with your new settings! Otherwise, the results won’t be representative 🙈

Here’s the methodology I used when I was testing WP Rocket against W3TC:

  1. Export the settings of the cache plugin you are using – if will save you time later!
  2. Clear the cache of the old plugin
  3. Disable and delete your old caching plugin
  4. Go to your hosting and delete the residual files of the old plugin
  5. Clear the cache of CDN
  6. Enable your new caching plugin
  7. Import its settings (or set them up if you don’t have the export file)
  8. Clear the cache (just in case!)
  9. Preload the cache if possible (WP Rocket has this functionality)
  10. Now, go to bed! 😆 Or wait about 8-10 h until your CDN cache gets properly cleared; in case of Cloudflare, they say it may take up to 48h to clear the cache fully
  11. Then, open your website in the incognito mode in your browser to verify if it is not broken. Don’t forget to press Ctrl+F5 to clear the browser cache.
  12. Run your website through a speed measuring tool and discard the first result. The first run might be uncharacteristically slower because this is when your CDN pulls the website data for the first time and your caching plugin cooks it up.
  13. Run it again. Finally! You can start writing down the numbers to see if the new plugin has an impact on the speed!

Simple, right? 😉

Just to make it even “simpler”, here is one more thing 😉

If testing different CDNs, make sure that the settings of the caching plugin fit the CDN you are using.
For example, if you use Cloudflare, W3TC does not recommend to turn on Minification on its side. However it’s needed if you are using the Ezoic name servers (they can’t be used alongside with Cloudflare).

This ☝ is what I stumbled upon. For your setup, there might be other cases.

Speed measuring tools to use

To get trustworthy results, I used not one but three speed measuring tools.

Here’s the list:

All the tools are free to use (however, GTMetrix has a limit of tests you can run per day; it can be bypassed by creating and using a new account)

Running each tool once is not enough either. You will see right away that the website speed fluctuates and each time, it differs from the previous run.

WebPageTest actually takes it into account and runs 3 tests under the hood of a test launched by a user.

So, I ran each tool 3-4 times one after another and gathered the results in a spreadsheet.

Then, I averaged the results of each tool and looked at all metrics.

My test result table + template

You should also capture your test results so that you can compare different setups and cases against each other – and also to avoid getting lost!

I created a spreadsheet where I got columns for the values from the speed measuring tools as well as the testing matrix that contained all possible setups I wanted to verify.

It’s very easy to lose track of the tests you are executing but gathering all the numbers accurately is essential here.

In my test table, the rows represented tests and the columns were for the speed measuring tools and their params.

test_table_1

I also had a set of columns that represented the test matrix with the combinations of the setting parameters I wanted to test:

test_table_2

Just to give you an idea about the complexity of the tests I ran, here’s a screenshot of the whole table 🤯😱:

test_table_4

At the end of the table, I added summary rows where I averaged the test results for easy comparison:

test_table_3

Conclusion

Hope you liked my post about WP Rocket and Ezoic.

When I was troubleshooting my case, I could not find much info about it. That’s why I decided to write this post to share my experience with you.

Testing and troubleshooting a caching plugin is not easy! However, this is worth your time since you can find problems you didn’t know existed and even potentially save money – like I did! 🎉

I hope you also find useful my tips about testing a caching plugin.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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