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Rob Watson is a Web professional. Beginning in 1995 as a self-taught web designer, he now owns and operates a web creative agency named Webidextrous.com. If you need website coordination (a.k.a. "webmastering"), media production, social media, and SEO, ask Rob for help!

JetPack is a hog.

There. We said it. Many people love Jetpack for its utility and ease of use. But for as popular a plugin as it is, it sure bogs down WordPress with all of its external server requests.

One of Webidextrous’ clients is super-focused on site speed and page speed, as well they should be. Most site owners know that Google has ratcheted up its emphasis on page speed in recent years and that it has been downranking sites that are too slow.

Want to know what we did? First, to motivate you even further, let’s start with the results we got. The graph below shows that Jetpack is indeed a resource hog, adding up to 1.5 seconds of extra page load time.

Jetpack performance tuning

Usually, the color green means “go”. Not in this case!

Nobody wants that, even if it’s just momentary. But this was happening on a regular basis, and it was adding up. Over the prior 7 days, Jetpack had “leaked” about 1.5 hours of page load time!

Jetpack performance is slow

Jetpack performance is slowwwwww.

Yes, Jetpack can be convenient. But at this price? No thank you.

Our strategy was to “remove and replace”. We picked through each of this client’s enabled Jetpack “apps”, found a suitable replacement, and installed that instead. Once we finished, we disabled Jetpack. Forever. Because we don’t want our pages to take forever to load. All told, it took a bit over an hour to remove and replace.

Here’s what we removed, and what we replaced it with:

Removed Replaced With
Jetpack Site Stats Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Jetpack Sharing AddToAny Share Buttons
Jetpack Related Posts WordPress Related Posts
Jetpack Subscriptions MailPoet Newsletters
Jetpack Gravatar Hovercards JP Gravatar Hovercards*
Jetpack Enhanced Distribution In WP Dashboard, use Settings > Writing > Update Services and paste in a list of RPC services found at https://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services#XML-RPC_Ping_Services or http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-ping-list/
Jetpack Photon Use CloudFlare. It covers a multitude of page speed and image size sins. You’re welcome.
Jetpack Extra Sidebar Widgets The client only had images in the footer sidebar, so we replaced the Jetpack widget with the native Text widget and used plain old HTML.
Jetpack Widget Visibility JP Widget Visibility*
Jetpack Custom CSS Honestly, we don’t know why this is even in Jetpack. WordPress already provides CSS customization natively. And people who need it usually already know this or know how to add styles to a child theme. So this is never really necessary.

* Okay, we cheated. A bit. An enterprising developer just separated the individual plugins from Jetpack and republished them separately in the WordPress Plugins Directory. They still do the job but don’t have the main Jetpack plugin’s overhead to do so. And Automattic is totally cool with people doing this. We think.

So, that’s it. Now your web server issues fewer external web requests and your site loads faster. Enjoy!

The following two tabs change content below.
Rob Watson is a Web professional. Beginning in 1995 as a self-taught web designer, he now owns and operates a web creative agency named Webidextrous.com. If you need website coordination (a.k.a. "webmastering"), media production, social media, and SEO, ask Rob for help!
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