Category Archives: wordpress

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 :-)

Another Autoptimize Experiment; Extra’s

So with that nice little page cache experiment concluded, I started working on something that will definitively be included in the next version of Autoptimize; Extra Auto-optimizations!

You can read all about it below or you can skip all of that and immediately download the zipfile of the “AO Extra power-up” from the Github repository.

The 3 features available now;

  • remove Emoji’s
  • remove (version parameter from the) query string (not that big a deal, from a load time perspective, but still)
  • the ability to have Autoptimize add the async attribute to the local or 3rd party JavaScript (local JS-files will be excluded automatically if added here).

There’s one extra feature that will very likely be added; optimize Google Fonts (because removing them is considered harsh, apparently).

Do download, do test and do let me know if anything is broken in the comments or via my contact form. And If you have other ideas for extra features, do let me know too!

Small experiment; Autoptimize with page cache

So I integrated a page cache (based on KeyCDN Cache Enabler) in Autoptimize, just to see how easy (or difficult) it would be. Turns out it was pretty easy, mostly because Cache Enabler (based on Cachify, which was very popular in Germany until the developer abandoned Cachify) is well-written, simple and efficient. :-)

No plans to release this though. Or do you think I should?

Sucuri, TTFB and Google ranking

Sucuri writes about their pov on performance:

We focus on useful metrics to optimize speed, like total time, not first byte or server response time.

Whereas Neil Patel writes:

When you’re in the weeds of optimizing your site speed, play smart. Instead of trying hard to push down your document complete, start rendering, or fully loaded page load time metrics (all of which are important), focus on the highest-impact metric first: TTFB.

Where TTFB = time to first byte. Needless to say I’m with Neil on this!

Code snippet to block author pages

So you can remove the author-pages with an author.php file in your (child) theme, but what if you don’t want to touch the theme you ask? Well, I just added this code snippet to two of the sites I manage to stop user-enumeration (which can be done on any WordPress site by going to /index.php?author=1):

function no_author_page() {
  if (is_author()) {
    global $wp_query;
    status_header( 404 );
    get_template_part( 404 );

Disclaimer: the bulk of above code was shamelessly copy/ pasted from

Loading webfonts just for a title? Switch to SVG instead.

So I wanted to replace a site’s (*) main title which required some fancy font (Courgette!) to be downloaded, by an SVG image.

Here’s what I did;

  1. make a screenshot of the node in Firefox Developer Tools -> Inspector -> select node -> click “screenshot node” in context menu
  2. convert the png-file into svg at result being a 6.93KB file.
  3. optimize the svg at resulting in a 3.1KB file (see above image) which remains crispy at whatever size.
  4. added the SVG as background image (not inline though, might do that next) and set “visibility” of the logo->a->h3 (which has the title in it as text) to “hidden”
  5. ticked Autoptimize’s “remove Google Fonts”-option (which also removed a slew of other unwanted requests for fonts)

(*) The site is my wife’s which is an offspring of her successful “De Boekenjagers” Facebook group where people hide books for others to find (hunt) and share info about that. 27 000 members and counting, proud of my Veerleken!

Quick heads-up: Autoptimize 2.1.2 and 2.2.1 release, includes security fix

[Updated 23/06 to reflect newer versions 2.1.2 and 2.2.1]

Heads-up: Autoptimize 2.2 has just been released with a slew of new features (see changelog) and an important security-fix. Do upgrade as soon as possible.

If you prefer not to upgrade to 2.2 (because you prefer the stability of 2.1.0), you can instead download 2.1.2, which is identical to 2.1.0 except that the security fix has been backported.

I’ll follow up on the new features and on the security issue in more detail later today/ tomorrow.