Perfmatters is a lightweight WordPress plugin created by the people over at woorkup to help speed up your site by disabling commonly unused parts of WordPress and the multitude of scripts(requests) that run on your site via Themes and Plugins.
I found Perfmatters while searching for ways to reduce the number of requests a well functioning and beautifully designed WordPress has. After all having over 50 requests each time a visitor loads the page is never a good thing speed wise. In a lot of cases some functionality of your site may only be needed on 1 particular page yet the files for these are still loaded site wide.
An example of this is the Contact Form 7 plugin which is probably the most used contact plugin on WordPress. While this plugin does a great job at creating contact forms for your site it loaded a peice of .JS code (contact-form-7/includes/js/scripts.js) on every page. Typically you will only have 1 contact page so why is it needed to load the contact form .JS on ever page. You guessed it, its not!. This is a prime example of why Perfmatters was created.
If you run a lot of plugins or have a code heavy template you are most defiantly going to want to read on.
The first set of options are speed tweaks that allow WordPress to load faster
Here is a break down of what each one of these settings means.
Not many sites use the default WordPress emojis so there is no need to load the requests for this.
turning this on stops other websites stealing your bandwidth by embedding your content on their site.
Remove Query Strings
This removes the query strings from static CSS and JS files. Turning the file name from style.css?v=7.4 to style.css
XML-RPC enabled remote access to your WordPress site, for example if you want to post from to WordPress from your local machine.
Remove jQuery Migrate
jQuery Migrate was added to WordPress from version 3.6. It basically helps your site function if it uses older than version 1.9 of JQuery. Any modern site should be using the latest code so this is generally not needed.
Hide WP Version
This helps to prevent attackers knowing your WP version to find an exploit.
Remove wlwmanifest Link
wlwmanifest is added to your blog header and is used for Windows Live Writer. Another way to externally update your blog posts.
Remove RSD Link
RSD is yet again another external way to manage your site, if you update your site from within your WP dashboard you wont need this.
WordPress added this functionality to shorten post URL’s. Generally this is not used by many people.
Disable RSS Feeds
RSS feeds allow people using and RSS ready to be notified of new content. Not many people use this now days
Remove RSS Feed Links
This will disable WordPress Generated RSS feed links which are used with the RSS feeds
Disable Self Pingbacks
If you link internally to another post on your site you will get a notification of a new comment. Turning this off stops this from happening.
Remove REST API Links
REST is an API that allows scripts to manage WordPress tho its still relatively new and not well supported so can be turned off unless you have an application that specifically requires it
This disabled dash icons on the front end when your are not logged in. Some themes dont use these.
Disable Google Maps
Turning this on stops Google Maps code from loading on every page.
This allows you to stop WordPress from storing revisions and auto saving (recommended to leave off)
Control’s how often the heartbeat script is allowed to run
Limit Post Revisions
Basic but can help you reduce load on the MySQL database by not storing unlimited post revisions
Allows you to change how often Auto save is run
Change Login URL
Lets you change WP-login to anything you want, handy for prevent attacks finding your login page.
Perfmatters also includes some simply settings for WooCommerce
This disabled the scripts and files WooCommerce loaded for every page, regardless if its WooCommerce is not needed. It will leave them loaded on Cart, Product and Checkout pages
Disable Cart Fragmentation
Cart Fragmentation is a function to update the cart total when a new product is added. While the function is good it will massively slow down the site
Disable Status Meta Box
This turns off the WooCommerce status box on the WP Admin dashboard
When you install WooCommerce it comes with a set of widgets. If you dont use these you can disable this option to prevent them loading.
Perfmatters has additional options for CDN and Google analytics.
Removing Unused Scripts Perfmatters
Now we get down to the nitty gritty of this plugin and what it can do. As mentioned Perfmatters will stop scripts from loading on specific posts and pages or the entire site. To do this you just need to visit the “Extras” tab and enable Script Manager
You then need to visit posts and pages on your site and click the “Script Manager” button which is located in the WordPress Admin bar. This will load the Perfmatters Script Manager.
Here the table is separated into the JS and CSS and shows the size of each file, the Script Name, location and the settings to disable it either everywhere or the current URL.
The information is clear to read the settings are straight forward to a certain degree.
What I Don’t Like
For someone experience in WordPress and this sort of thing it can be a relativity easy process to disable scripts however you still need to know what each script does. Unfortunately you have little information to go as to what effect the script will have on the site if its disabled or what the script actually does. I guess this is not the a fault of the plugin since its unable to know this information.
The only way to know whats going on is through trial and error, turning off one script and testing the sites function, then repeating this process for the rest. Obviously there will be some you cant tern of and you will know when you see the file names.
The process for doing this is tedious and cumbersome. but one that is necessary if you want to get the best results.
For those running blog sites i can see some benefit to using this. Mainly as blog sites dont have the heavy loaded functional that eCommerce sites have. While those using eCommerce will gain the best results from this, especially those using WooCommerce which is known for increasing page requests with additional scripts and styling.
Ultimately this is the best plugin on the market for doing this job and for the price i think every website owner can benefit from it.
Pricing starts at $19.99 for 1 site, $49.95 for 3 sites and $99.99 for unlimited sites and you can use the discount code PERFMATTERS for an extra 10% off