Category Archives: performance

Taking over Async JavaScript WordPress plugin

David Clough, author of the Async JavaScript WordPress plugin contacted me on March 5th to ask me if I was interested to take over ownership of his project. Fast-forward to the present; I will release a new version of AsyncJS on March 13th on wordpress.org, which will:

  • integrate all “pro” features (that’s right, free for all)
  • include some rewritten code for easier maintenance
  • be fully i18n-ready (lots of strings to translate :-) )

I will provide support on the wordpress.org forum (be patient though, I don’t have a deep understanding of code, functionality & quirks yet). I also have some more fixes/ smaller changes/ micro-improvements in mind (well, a Trello-board really) for the next release, but I am not planning major changes or new functionality. But I vaguely remember I said something similar about Autoptimize a long time ago and look where that got me …

Anyway, kudo’s to David for a great plugin with a substantial user-base (over 30K active installations) and for doing “the right thing” (as in not putting it on the plugin-market in search for the highest bidder). I hope I’ll do you proud man!

Want to test automated Critical CSS creation?

Over 3 years ago Autoptimize added support for critical CSS and one and a half year ago the first “power-up” was released for Critical CSS rules creation.

But time flies and it’s time for a new evolution; automated creation of critical CSS, using a deep integration with https://criticalcss.com using their powerful API! A first version of the plugin is ready and the admin-page looks like this (look to the right of this paragraph);

The plan:

  1. beta-test (asap)
  2. release as separate plugin on wordpress.org (shooting for April)
  3. release as part of Autoptimize 2.5 (target mid 2018)

This new “criticalcss.com” power-up has been tested on a couple of sites already (including this little blog of mine) and we are now looking for a small group of to help beta-test for that first target.  Beta-testers will be able to use criticalcss.com for free during the test (i.e. for one month). If you’re interested; head on up to the contact form and tell me what kind or site you would test this on (main plugins + theme; I’m very interesting in advanced plugins like WooCommerce, BuddyPress and some of the major themes such as Avada, Divi, Astra, GeneratePress, … ) and I’ll get back to you with further instructions.

 

Introducing zytzagoo’s major changes for Autoptimize 2.4

[UPDATE 29/03/2018: Autoptimize 2.4 can now be downloaded from https://github.com/futtta/autoptimize/archive/beta.zip and will automatically update so ensure all new functionality and fixes are applied]

TL;DR Autoptimize 2.4 will be a major change. Tomaš Trkulja (aka zytzagoo) has cleaned up and modernized the code significantly, making it easier to read and maintain, switched to the latest and greatest minifiers and added automated testing. And as if that isn’t enough we’re also adding new optimization options! The downside: we will be dropping support for PHP < 5.3 and for the “legacy minifiers”. AO 2.4 will first be made available as a separate “Autoptimize Beta” plugin on wordpress.org via GitHub and will see more releases/ iterations with new options/ optimizations there before being promoted to the official “Autoptimize”.

Back in March 2015 zytzagoo forked Autoptimize, rewriting the CDN-replacement logic (and a lot of autoptimizeStyles::minify really) and started adding automated testing. I kept an eye on the fork and later that year I contacted Tomas via Github to see how we could collaborate. We have been in touch ever since; some of his improvements have already been integrated and he is my go-to man to discuss coding best practices, bugfixes and security.

FFWD to the nearby future; Autoptimize 2.4 will be based on Tomaš’ fork and will include the following major changes:

  • New: option only minify JS/ CSS without combining them
  • New: excluded JS- or CSS-files will be automatically minified
  • Improvement: switching to the current version of JSMin and -more importantly- of YUI CSS compressor PHP port which has some major performance-improvements of itself
  • Improvement: all create_function() instances have been replaced by anonymous functions (PHP 7.2 started issuing warnings about create_function being deprecated)
  • Improvement: all code in autoptimize/classlesses/* (my stuff) has been rewritten into OOP and is now in autoptimize/classes/*
  • Improvement: use of autoload instead of manual conditional includes
  • Improvement: a nice amount of test cases (although no 100% coverage yet), allowing for Travis continuous integration-tests being done
  • dropping support for PHP below 5.3 (you really should be on PHP 7.x, it is way faster)
  • dropping support for the legacy minifiers

These improvements will be released in a separate “Autoptimize Beta” plugin soon (albeit not on wordpress.org as “beta”-plugins are not allowed). You can already download from GitHub here. We will start adding additional optimization options there, releasing at a higher pace. The goal is to create a healthy Beta-user pool allowing us to move code from AO Beta to AO proper with more confidence. So what new optimization options would you like to see added to Autoptimize 2.4 and beyond? :-)

[corrected 19/02; wordpress.org does not allow beta-plugins]

Autoptimize 2.3, the Happy New Year release

I just released Autoptimize 2.3.0, the Happy New Year release. As described here earlier it has some significant extra optimizations to help you improve your site’s performance even more for 2018:

  • new: optimize Google fonts with “combine & link” and “combine and load async” (with webload.js), intelligently preconnecting to Google’s domains to limit performance impact even further
  • new: Async JS, can be applied to local or 3rd party JS (if local it will be auto-excluded from autoptimization)
  • new: support to tell browsers to preconnect (= dns lookup + tcp/ip connection + ssl negotiation) to 3rd party domains (depends on browser support, works in Chrome & Firefox)
  • new: remove WordPress’ Core’s emoji CSS & JS
  • new: remove (version parameter from) Querystring
  • new: support to clear cache through WP CLI thanks to junaidbhura
  • lots of bugfixes and small improvements done by some seriously smart people via GitHub (thanks all!!), including a fix for AO 2.2 which saw the HTML minifier go PacMan on spaces in some circumstances.

Enjoy! :;-)

[heads up] Autoptimize 2.3 coming with new features, last call for testers

With the last release almost 6 months in the past, it’s high time for a new Autoptimize release. And what a release that will be my friends!

Here are the most important features/ improvements (most new options are on a separate tab, “Extra” to keep things organized as seen in the screenshot);

  • Google fonts; remove (not new), but also “combine & link” and “combine and load async” (with webload.js), intelligently preconnecting to Google’s domains to limit performance impact even further
  • Async JS, can be applied to local or 3rd party JS (if local it will be auto-excluded from autoptimization)
  • support to tell browsers to preconnect (= dns lookup + tcp/ip connection + ssl negotiation) to 3rd party domains (depends on browser support, works in Chrome & Firefox)
  • remove WordPress’ Core’s emoji CSS & JS
  • remove (version parameter from) Querystring
  • support to clear cache through WP CLI
  • a significant amount of bugfixes done by some seriously smart people via GitHub (thanks all!!), including a fix for the main bug in AO 2.2.x which saw the HTML minifier go PacMan on spaces in some circumstances

If you want to test AO 2.3, you can download the zipfile from GitHub here. I would love your feedback!

Happy end-of-year to all, who knows we can wrap up AO 2.3 nicely, ribbon and all, for New Years? :-)

AO extra feature-complete, testers needed

I just committed what I consider the last feature to be added to AO Extra; the optimization of Google Fonts, with the choice between:

  • “remove”
  • “aggregate and link”, where the Google Font CSS might still render-blocking but there will be no “flash of unstyled fonts”)
  • “aggregate and load asynchronous with webfont.js” will not be render-blocking, but might lead to that dreaded “flash of unstyled fonts”

Next step before merging AO Extra with Autoptimize to become AO 2.3; testing. And that’s where I need your help;

  1. Download the AO Extra zip-file from Github
  2. go to Plugins -> Add New -> Upload Plugin
  3. Click “browse” and select the zip-file you downloaded in (1)
  4. Click “Install now”
  5. Click “Activate”
  6. Go to Settings -> Autoptimize -> Extra
  7. Test
  8. Give generic feedback below or file bugs in the projects Github Issues

If all goes well Autoptimize 2.3 could be release before we have to wave 2017 goodbye :-)