Popular Plugin Thoughts & Myths

WordPress Mobile Speed

Updated


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Sitemaps
XML sitemap functions are included as part of WordPress core since August 2020. Google XML Sitemaps are supposed to help SEO. We’ve found they are unnecessary. Google is quite capable of crawling your site fast. The best reason to include a sitemap is for visitors to find things. This is called “findability.” So we recommend using an HTML sitemap. But we’ve found a nice plugin that does both:
Simple WP Sitemap, download size: 115k.

or

Hierarchical HTML Sitemap, download size: 9.1k

Schema
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin. Fiddling with snippets is unproductive. Read more: https://pagepipe.com/speed-up-yoast-seo-plugin-remove-it/

Caching
Myth: Caching plugins speed up your site and make it quicker to access.
The usual recommendation is either W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache plugin. We’ve find no speed improvement from caching plugins on well-optimized websites. In those conditions, there is no measurable benefit from caching. Except for one caching plugin, and it didn’t improve caching, it improved TTFB which is a server-side improvement in speed.

Cache Enabler, download size: 17k

Usually improvement from caching plugins is from some other function that is not caching related – like enabling Gzip code compression.

Lazy Loading Images
Lazy loading is included in WordPress core since August of 2020. The usual recommendation is BJ Lazy Load. It is not our preference for speed. We’d recommend:
Rocket Lazy Load, download size: 361k.
and for YouTube and Vimeo videos:
Lazy Load for Videos, download size: 254k.

Social sharing
Myth: A social sharing plugin improves site traffic and SEO.
We don’t believe social media marketing is a vital part of content marketing these days. It’s a controversial topic. But from our research, it is usually unproductive. Only 12 likes on your blog page isn’t very convincing or credible. It’s hard work to generate beneficial traffic from Facebook – an unproductive waste of time. If you’re a celebrity, it’s a different story.

Most Facebook widgets and counters drastically slow down your site. Are you really getting a good return on your time investment with social media links? We’ve seen one-second wait times for Facebook counter widgets.

Broken Link Checker
This plugin slows down your site by consuming server resources. Broken Link Checker plugin is a RAM hog. It’s best to leave it disabled and only run it manually – not automatically. We keep Link Checker deactivated and only run it once a month.

Redirection
We see nothing wrong with this plugin suggestion other than it’s heavy. It automatically adds a 301 redirection when a post’s URL changes. The Redirection plugin has 700,000 active installs, and the download weighs 516k.

We use:
Simple 301 Redirects, download size: 5k. Much lighter.

Godspeed-

Steve Teare
performance engineer
July 2021

 

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