If you attended our live site speed presentation on YouTube, then you’ve probably heard of the Autoptimize plugin. It’s earned over 1 million active installs. And for good reason–it can help speed up your website significantly. But there are some things to be aware of before using it. In this post, I’ll explain what Autoptimize does, and why it’s a good idea to try it out on your website. I’ll also cover some reasons why you might not want to use it, and how to work around those issues.
A Plugin That Helps Optimize Code
One of the main benefits of using Autoptimize is that it can help reduce page load times. This is especially helpful for websites with a lot of visitors or visitors from different countries, as it reduces the amount of data transferred between servers. Additionally, Autoptimize can help to improve your website’s SEO performance, as it reduces the size of files and can make them easier for search engines to crawl.
Pros and Cons of Using Autoptimize
Here are five basic reasons why you might want to give Autoptimize a try:
- Aggregates and moves stylesheets to the top of the page, for improved render speed
- Optimizes font files, which helps reduce HTTP requests and save bandwidth
- Caches your pages
- Can process images faster using an optional CDN
Conversely, here are a few reasons you might hesitate before using the plugin:
- It can potentially interfere with other plugins
- It can potentially break your website if you don’t know what you’re doing
- If your site is already loading quickly, it may not be necessary to use it
It can be difficult to debug problems if something goes wrong with the plugin, and it can also cause conflicts with other plugins or themes if they aren’t compatible.
I’d say it’s best to use Autoptimize if you’re using a third-party theme on your site, and you are not planning on touching any of the code yourself.
If anything unexpected happens when installing and configuring Autoptimize, you can always disable the plugin and see if normal operation returns.
Does Autoptimize Really Make a Difference?
To put Autoptmize to the test, I created a brand new WordPress site on a shared hosting server. The base site includes no other optimization plugins.
I used GTMetrix to run two tests, one without Autoptimize installed, and one with Autoptimize installed and configured with the settings used in our full guide.
Here were the results:
|Metric||Base site||Autoptimize plugin|
|Fully loaded time||2.0s||751ms|
Notice how the Autoptimize plugin reduced overall HTTP requests by half! That’s an incredible improvement, managing to reduce overall page load time from 2 seconds to less than 1 second.
Overall, Autoptimize is a great plugin for WordPress users who want to optimize their website for speed and performance. However, it’s important to be aware of its potential drawbacks before using it. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional web developer before making any changes. With that said, Autoptimize can be a great tool for improving your website’s speed and performance.