23 Weird Speed Tips #3768

WordPress Mobile Speed


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1. Themify Ultra is a heavy theme. It loads in about 250 milliseconds. One reason for it’s slowness is the built-in pagebuilder. But other pagebuilders are worse, like Divi is a 1-second load time. Changing the theme would be painful $$$. If we were building today fresh, we’d use something else. But that is not a goal or realistic.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/how-elementor-page-builder-affects-mobile-page-speed/

2. The website is using Open Sans Google Fonts which produces 5 requests per page. If is removed with a plugin, the theme fallback is a default serif font. This is odd. It should be a sans-serif in the CSS font stack but it’s not. You can set fonts in the Customizer. The theme option to use is “Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif.” We don’t do this as part of plugin surgery.

3. There is site drag caused by Font Awesome. It appears to not be used in the shopping cart icon or mobile hamburger menu icon. The social media icons are the Font Awesome culprit. An alternative solution is using Lightweight Social Icons plugin which doesn’t use Font Awesome. This would save on speed. How much we don’t know exactly. But we try to never use Font Awesome because of global loading.

We’ve changed out 50 icons on websites with PNG images to avoid FA. You could replace FA icons on with 70 PNGs and still load faster than Font Awesome. Font Awesome is “fake graphics for web developers.” Faddish and trendy. It will go away eventually. You don’t have to do this – but we do it in extreme cases on site rebuilds.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/should-i-disable-font-awesome-and-google-fonts-for-improved-speed/

4. You have a MailChimp signup on your homepage. Our recommendation is having the signup form on a separate page with an image link – or even better offsite at MailChimp. This we call inter-site offloading. It keeps the API off of critical pages. We do this regularly on rebuilds but it is your call. This is atune up and not a rebuild. The value question is: “How many MailChimp email signups do you get from the homepage each month?” The server wait probably slows loads by 300 to 500 milliseconds.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/speed-up-mailchimp-for-fastest-loading-wordpress/

5. If you are not using Gutenberg block editor, it should be disabled with a plugin. Then we can dequeue (turnoff) the scripts and styles called block library and block style which load on every page. This is small potatoes but everything helps.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/get-rid-of-slow-block-editor-residue-after-disabling-gutenberg-with-plugins/

6. Far Futures Expiry plugin should be added.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/fixing-pingdom-leverage-browser-caching-errors/

7. WooCommerce is enabling jQuery Ajax scripting on every page causing a 766 millisecond load-time delay. There is no way to disable this or selectively deactivate it. What pages have eCommerce on them? For PagePipe, we split the site into a blog and store for speed.
Item 2 in the attached report “WooComa” describes how we fix this. Also our philosophy on how old and how many plugins are acceptable is in this free PDF.

8. Broken Link Checker plugin is a banned/blacklisted plugin by most hosts. This is because it causes severe delays and slows down shared servers. You have 843 broken links reported. Gak! We recommend disabling the plugin and only enabling it when you do maintenance. Don’t leave the lights “on.” NOTE: This plugin may break your site when viewed on an Apple iPad.

9. Essential Grid plugin is used on 567 posts. There are lighter responsive grid plugins. But conversion would be done by hand. Ugly and $$$ again. Lightweight Grid Columns plugin loads in 8 milliseconds instead of Essential Grid plugin 83 milliseconds. We approve of responsive column plugins to eliminate pagebuilders. But here you are using both. This is mysterious.

10. Something odd from somewhere is asking you to enable Monster Insights frontend style. This is a very heavy and slow plugin. Are you planning on using it?

11. We recommend scaling all images to a maximum of 1000px wide instead of 1918px. And setting the JPEG compression to the WordPress default of 82. Originals that are uploaded do not receive this compression only resized images do. Many people don’t realize this. We will retroactively automate the optimization of your media library. We recommend using Imsanity plugin and leaving it active for any future uploaded images.

You’re serving big images that are mathematically reduced in the browser. This is being done by the theme. It’s not good practice and is the reason the “Featured Shoots” page loads so slowly even with caching. Large images are poor for mobile user experience. A compromise must be negotiated.

We are unsure if image file size reduction will reduce the page speed significantly on this “Featured Shoots” page or not. It has to be tested. If not, then the alternative is described at the link below on how to create thumbnails for speed.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/how-to-optimize-images-for-mobile-speed-with-imsanity-plugin/

12. Autoptimize settings need to be corrected. These include enabling:
a. optimize HTML code.
b. Lazy-load images.
c. Remove emojis.
d. Remove query strings from static resources.

13. Get rid of Yoast SEO plugin if possible. How to do this and why is explained in the attached PDF: SEARCH.ME.pdf. We do not recommend using SEO plugins.

14. Do you use Search and Replace a lot? We recommend deactivating it except when needed for maintenance.

15. Fast Velocity Minify plugin is unnecessary and should be removed. It is redundant to Autoptimize plugin.

16. We’re uncertain how and why you’re using Google Sitemap Generator (XML sitemaps) plugin. XML sitemaps are an option in Yoast SEO plugin. But even better is Simple WP Sitemap plugin which loads in 1.3 milliseconds.

17. Why two form plugins? WP Forms and Contact Form 7 should be redundant. We would selectively activate the form plugin only on the pages where used. We’d need your help in identifying those pages.
Attachment PDF: CONTACT.ME.pdf
REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/selective-plugin-deactivation/

18. Do you use YouTube or Vimeo videos anywhere on the site?
REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/lazy-loading-and-infinite-scrolling-for-faster-loading-pages/

19. Autoptimize is also a caching plugin. So there is caching plugin redundancy. We recommend removing the slow SiteGround Optimizer plugin.

20. You are using PHP version 5.6.4. In theory, upgrading to PHP 7.x will speed up your site. We can test for PHP compatibility if you’d like before you make the switch. You’d need to contact your host provider or make changes via Cpanel.

REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/php-version-7-ate-my-wordpress-website/

21. We recommend using CAOS plugin for speeding up Google Analytics.
REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/how-does-google-analytics-affect-mobile-page-speed/

22. We recommend Simple CSS plugin in the Customizer to protect custom code. You have 81 lines of code that are uprotected.
REFERENCE: http://pagepipe.com/remove-wordpress-child-themes-for-mobile-speed/

23. If you are not using Updraft Plus, it should be removed. It causes 26 milliseconds of site drag.


Steve Teare
performance engineer


More Unconventional Speed Tips from PagePipe

Instead of band-aid approaches, we drill down to the root cause of your slow site. This is origin optimization. Also known as site tuning. To do this, we analyze site components:

  • Hosting
  • Theme
  • Plugins
  • Scripts and third-party services.
  • Images and media library.
  • We minimize globally loading plugin effects.

Find out more details about Site TuningGet Speed!


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