Our client demonstrated a need to speed up their page load times. They had some issues related to their CMS that we were able to mitigate with an elegant, easy to use solution. The plugin that we designed, architected, and developed cut their page loads dramatically.

The Problem

WordPress is a great and powerful CMS. It is widely used and widely supported. There are a lot of themes, plugins, and other resources built by many, many capable developers. The problem for WordPress users comes when there are a lot of files supporting the site. WordPress loads nearly all resources when the first page is requested. Caching is an effective option, but caching does not reduce the number of files being loaded on the initial request. Browsers limit the number of files they will load per trip to the server. So with many files many trips are made to the server to request them. Our plugin eliminates that problem.

The Solution

We designed and architected what was probably the perfect solution. Well, it is close, that’s for sure. Our plugin automatically gathers all of the enqueued CSS and JavaScript files and combines them into one file of each so that there is only one CSS file and one JavaScript file for the browser to download.

Two-pronged approach

But our solution doesn’t stop there. It also compresses or unglifies the CSS and JavaScript files so they are flattened to a fraction of their uncompressed file size. That is a two-pronged approach that has proven very effective in cutting load times.

Easy to use admin interface

Of course, sometimes combining certain files together can cause some unexpected problems. Our solution also includes a simple interface accessible in the WordPress Admin. It allows for any CSS or JavaScript file to be excluded from compression. It also supports rebuilding the compressed files with a single click as well as turning the Compressor off and on.

Another feature of our WordPress Compressor, as with most of our WordPress plugins, is that it is super easy to install and update. We use Composer which means we issue a single command and all our plugins are installed or updated to the latest version. With Composer we also add in a hook for after the plugins are installed so that the Compressor is executed and all the files that are set up to be compressed are compressed at that time. This saves a lot of work and clicks because we don’t have to open the WordPress Admin to re-compress the files that just got installed or updated. Clever, useful, and very usable.

Let’s get started on your next project together!