UPDATE – February 17, 2021: As a follow-up to Chris Lema’s February 17, 2017 post about Jetpack plugin performance, Chris has now written an excellent blog post about a new “Jetpack Boost” plugin that aims to speed up your site. Your mileage with Jetpack Boost may still vary, so be sure to test, adjust, and test some more until you get the right balance of features and performance. Now, on with the original post…
JetPack is a hog. There. I 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 was 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.
A Quick Analysis of Jetpack and WordPress Performance
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.
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!
Yes, Jetpack can be convenient. But at this price? No thank you.
How to Speed Up Any WordPress Website That Uses Jetpack
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:
|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||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!
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