NitroPack: The Hidden Gem of Speed Optimization Plugins
Now that Google has added Core Web Vitals and page speed to its search ranking algorithm, WordPress site owners have been wondering: how can I make my website faster and my user experience better?
Enter NitroPack: a WordPress plugin with powerful speed optimization capabilities. With NitroPack activated, Google PageSpeed scores on desktop and mobile can now reach 90+ out of 100, the largest increases we have ever seen with an optimization plugin (sorry WP Rocket and Lazy Load). Google’s FCP, or First Contentful Paint, is also frequently brought to under 1.8 seconds, the benchmark for a good score.
How Does NitroPack Work?
Many optimization plugins also cache web pages to help increase site speed, so what makes NitroPack different? If you have used a plugin that caches your site, you may know that it can sometimes be a hassle to make sure your users are always seeing the most up-to-date content on your site. However, NitroPack has features like smart invalidation and automatic cache warmup that make it easy to update your content while keeping your site optimized.
Additionally, NitroPack allows you to clear the cache of individual pages, using significantly less CDN bandwidth than would be needed if you were to clear your entire site’s cache. This allows many sites to operate using the free optimization plan from NitroPack at 1GB of CDN per month.
Image and Video Optimization
Not only does NitroPack automatically lazy load images, videos and iFrames, but it also converts your images to WebP on supported browsers. WebP is the newest image format that offers a smaller file size with the same level of quality.
CSS & HTML Optimization
NitroPack supports CSS and HTML minification and compression. Most importantly, it supports above-the-fold critical CSS, meaning that it puts the CSS of your above-the-fold content in the <head> tag so that it loads quicker.
NitroPack has its own built-in content delivery network (CDN) that allows your site to serve resources to users quicker. The CDN works to save cached versions of your website in multiple geographical locations so that the data does not have to travel far to get delivered to the user. This works to speed up your site and increase your Google PageSpeed score.
Configuration is Key
Like with any optimization plugin, NitroPack can affect the way your site operates. That’s why configuration of plugin settings and performing QC on your site to account for changes are key to making NitroPack’s optimization as seamless as possible.
JS, CSS and HTML optimization can cause formatting issues on your site, so it’s important to implement NitroPack on a staged version of your site that you thoroughly QC before launching it on your live site. In our experience, NitroPack has had minimal effect on site layout, especially in comparison to other optimization plugins, such as WP Rocket.
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Is NitroPack “Cheating”?
You may be thinking, “Well, that sounds a little too good to be true.” And that was our first response. When your PageSpeed score shoots up to the high 90s within minutes, it’s easy to assume NitroPack is somehow tricking the Google PageSpeed system. However, we found that this is not the case. All the features mentioned above play a part in making your site faster and, combined, make a big difference in page speed.
Give NitroPack a Shot
Your site speed needs to be addressed if you want to maintain or increase your organic search rankings. If you don’t, visitors may not wait around for your site to load and your keyword rankings could plummet if competitor sites display much faster.
With its user-friendly dashboard and configurable optimization options to fit your site’s specific needs, NitroPack makes tackling page speed a whole lot easier.