We are excited to share that our premium WordPress plugin, Perfmatters, recently turned three years old. With it, you can now get all the web performance hacks we do on our sites, all within one simple and easy to use plugin.
Check out below how Perfmatters can help take your site to the next level. Unlike some developers who build plugins to make money, we build plugins to solve problems first.
Diving into our Perfmatters WordPress plugin
We developed the Perfmatters plugin with simplicity in mind. We use all of these optimizations on our own sites and are excited to provide an easy way for you to now have them too! No messing around with code or your functions.php file. Performance optimizations shouldn’t have to be complicated and so everything can be enabled/disabled with a single click.
The main way this plugin helps speed up your site is by disabling things that might not be used on your site. For example, by default emojis load on every single page of your site. If you don’t use them, this is simply slowing it down. By disabling it, the script no longer loads and so it reduces your overall number of HTTP requests and your page size.
Another great optimization is to limit your post revisions. These can quickly fill up your database and slow down your site. By limiting them you can ensure a fast and snappy database.
This plugin isn’t designed to replace your caching plugins or image compression plugins, but rather work alongside them to further strip out things that aren’t needed on your WordPress site. Perfmatters is compatible with all popular optimization plugins like WP Rocket, Cache Enabler, Autoptimize, etc. It also works great on hosts like Kinsta, WP Engine, and SiteGround, who have server-level caching.
Perfmatters is for those of you who want to squeeze out every ms of speed from your sites. And maybe you already have some of these hacks in place, this is a great way to manage them without having to edit your functions.php or wp-config.php files.
Here are some of the current features in the Perfmatters plugin. And there are a lot more coming too! We use this plugin on woorkup.com and were able to get rid of 6 plugins and a bunch of messy hacks, as they are now all in the Perfmatters plugin.
- Disable emojis
- Disable embeds
- Remove query strings
- Disable XML-RPC
- Remove jQuery migrate
- Remove WordPress version number
- Remove wlwmanifest link
- Remove RSD link
- Remove shortlink
- Remove Dashicons
- CDN Rewrite
- Change WordPress login URL
- Disable Password Strength Meter
- Host Google Analytics locally
- Lazy load images
- Databse optimization
- Preload resources
- Disable RSS feeds
- Remove RSS feed links
- Disable self pingbacks
- Disable WordPress Heartbeat API
- Change Heartbeat API frequency
- Disable and Limit Post Revisions
- Change autosave interval
- Remove REST API links
- DNS Prefetching
- Disable WooCommerce scripts and styles
- Disable WooCommerce cart fragments (AJAX)
- Disable WordPress comments
- Add code to header or footer
- Instant Page
The above are just a few of the features in the Perfmatters plugin. There are a lot more. And don’t worry about this plugin being too big! It doesn’t load a single thing on the front-end of your site. And is only 60 KB on the back-end.
Script Manager + MU mode
When it comes to WordPress there are a lot of plugins out there that aren’t coded for performance. They are coded for usability and for their rich feature sets. While these things are important, performance almost always get left out of the equation. This is one reason WordPress has such a bad wrap in the non-WordPress developer community.
Why don’t plugin developers simply load their scripts only when the plugin is being used? Well, actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. For example, let’s say you have a plugin with a shortcode that allows you to place it anywhere. With WordPress, it’s much harder to query data from them when you dequeue scripts as opposed to querying data from the post or page metadata.
Therefore, a lot of times this is simply due to usability issues. The less chance they have for a plugin to break, the fewer tickets and support they will have. However, with a lot of plugins on the marketplace, there are ways to get around this and code for performance if they really wanted to.
But that is where the Perfmatters Script Manager comes into play. With it, you can easily one-click disable scripts in WordPress. You can do this on a per post/page basis, by custom post types, or even globally across your entire site. This is very powerful and can drastically increase the speed on your WordPress sites (especially your homepage). A few examples of what this can be used for:
- The popular Contact Form 7 plugin loads itself on every page and post. You can easily disable it everywhere with one click and enable only on your contact page.
- Social media sharing plugins should only be loaded on your posts. You can easily disable it everywhere and load only on post types, or even custom post types.
You can disable or enable scripts in the Perfmatters Script Manager using Regex (regular expressions). This is especially helpful for sites that have a more complex URL structure in place or dynamically generated pages (archives, search, etc.).
(MU) mode takes the Script Manager to a whole new level. It gives you more control and the ability to disable WordPress plugin queries and hooks as well as inline CSS and JS. You can control every aspect of a plugin, from its front-end scripts, inline code, and MySQL queries.
You can use the included Testing Mode to safely preview the Script Manager’s configuration before applying the changes to your public site.
Below are some examples of sites we are using the Perfmatters plugin. They are of course also optimized, but wouldn’t be as fast without all these additional optimizations. Check out our speed up WordPress guide for additional ways to decrease the load times on your site.
Chad Barnes provides WordPress maintenance services over at SkyrocketWP. He already purchased our Perfmatters plugin and ran some tests. Here’s what he had to say!
“Awesome! Perfmatters couldn’t have been easier to setup—really clean design and to-the-point documentation. We took the recommendations from the documentation and reduced our requests by 10% and shaved 12% from our page speed—down from 1s to 864ms.”
We decided to run a few tests for you to see the performance differences when you disable scripts in WordPress. Also note, all of our sites are pretty optimized already. If you were to run this on an unoptimized site you definitely will see even more speed improvements.
Without Perfmatters on nogluten.com
We are using our nogluten.com site since it is bigger. We first temporarily disabled Google AdSense on the site so we could run tests. Why? Because when AdSense is enabled it loads different amounts of ads each page load, which makes it impossible to run comparison tests like this. We then ran five tests on Pingdom and took the average. This is with Perfmatters disabled.
With Perfmatters on nogluten.com
We then enabled the Perfmatters plugin and ran five more tests on Pingdom, again taking the average. As you can see, it decreased our total load times by 20.2%. And on our homepage alone we were able to reduce the number of HTTP requests from 46 down to 30! The page size also shrunk from 506.3 KB to 451.6 KB.
You can’t really argue with those results. And this is on top of our server-level caching.
- Both the above scripts are being used by a shortcode plugin. With this particular theme, shortcodes aren’t used on the homepage.
- Used by the extended widget plugin we have running. This isn’t used on the homepage.
- Used by a table of contents plugin, also not used on the homepage.
- Used by an Amazon affiliate plugin which isn’t used on the homepage.
- Used by our social media sharing plugin. This only needs to load on posts you want people to share.
Disabling CSS from loading
Here is a screenshot of the CSS we disabled.
Here is the CSS disabled from loading on the homepage:
- Used by widget plugin, not needed on homepage.
- Used by a custom plugin we wrote for the site, not needed on homepage.
- Table of contents CSS is not used on homepage.
- Used by Amazon Affiliate plugin, not needed on homepage.
- Both of the above scripts are used by a shortcode plugin, not needed on homepage.
Here is the CSS disabled from loading everywhere on the site except for on certain custom post types:
- Used by our social media sharing plugin. This only needs to load on posts you want people to share.
We use the perfmatters on this site, and along with other optimizations, it loads well under 600 ms.
We utilize the perfmatters plugin on the site where we sell our other premium WordPress plugin, WP Coupons. As you can see our homepage is blazing coming in under 400 ms.
This website is running the Avada theme, which is known for having high load times, but after being optimized, along with installing the perfmatter’s plugin, it easily achieves a 600 ms load time.
And of course, we utilize the perfmatters plugin on the perfmatters.io, which achieves a 100/100 on Pingdom with a load time of under 400 ms.
Getting some good feedback from the rest of the community as well. Make sure to check out Kevin’s in-depth review of perfmatters.
Lazy loading is a quick and easy way to speed up your WordPress site. This works by delaying the loading of images, iframes, videos, etc. until the user scrolls down and the media enters the viewport. In our own tests, we’ve seen on average a 33% speed increase just from this feature alone.
Here a few lazy load features in the Perfmatters plugin:
- Lazy load images, inline background images, iframes, and videos (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). This includes WebP support.
- Swap out iframes with preview thumbnail and SVG play icon which loads the video on click.
- DOM monitoring for better infinite scroll compatibility.
While Perfmatters focuses mainly on the front-end of your site, the back-end is still important when it comes to performance. The plugin also has fast and easy to use database optimization features which can do the following:
- Delete WordPress post revisions
- Delete WordPress auto-drafts
- Delete WordPress spam comments
- Delete WordPress trashed posts
- Delete WordPress trashed comments
- Delete WordPress transients (expired or all)
- Optimize WordPress database tables
- Schedule optimization so you don’t have to worry about it
Perfmatters has an awesome feature called Instant Page which lets you automatically prefetch URLs in the background after a user hovers over a link. This results in almost instantaneous load times and improves both the user experience and perceived performance (how fast a site feels). We use this on all of our sites!
Host Google Analytics locally
Ironically, the Google Analytics script can be quite heavy. But there are some easy ways to speed this up. Our Perfmatters plugin gives you a few options:
- Host Google Analytics locally (
analytics.js) 17 KB
- Minimal Analytics 1.5 KB
- Minimal Inline
We are big fans of the Minimal Analytics option and is what we use on all of our sites. It’s very small, loads incredibly fast, and takes advantage of caching in the browser and your CDN.
Support from the developers
You get support directly from me and my brother. We don’t outsource anything. We work on our plugins full-time over at forgemedia, this isn’t just a hobby or side gig for us.
Previously I was the CMO at Kinsta. I have been knee-deep in the web hosting and CDN industry for years. During this time I have optimized thousands of sites and have published hundreds of articles across the web pertaining to WordPress optimization and performance.
Prior to forgemedia, Brett was a WordPress developer for an agency in the medical space. He loves building awesome web applications and of course anything WordPress. He is constantly figuring out new performance optimizations that can he implement to speed up client’s sites.
We take pride in our support and the quality of our plugins. Check out the changelogs for our other plugins (Novashare changelog, WP Coupons changelog), you can see that we push out a lot of updates! That is because we utilize our own plugins on every site we use.
This is the perfect scenario for both us and you, because we also want new features! A lot of developers build plugins to simply make money. We build plugins to solve problems first. So if someone has a great idea that we should add, let us know and we can all benefit from it.
You can check out our current feature requests page for the Perfmatters plugin. If you have a performance idea we haven’t thought of we would love to hear about it!
Because it takes time to develop the plugin, update it, and fix bugs we tried to keep the price as cheap as possible. Here are the pricing options:
- $24.95 for 1 site license. Includes 1 year of support and updates.
- $54.95 for 3 site license. Includes 1 year of support and updates.
- $124.95 for an unlimited site license. Includes 1 year of support and updates. The unlimited license also supports multisite setups.
And yes, the plugin comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. For a limited time though, use our coupon code PERFMATTERS for 15% off!
We hope you enjoy the Perfmatters plugin as much as we do! We have a lot of great new features already planned for it and hope to make it the #1 lightweight performance plugin for WordPress.