ElementorElementor is the world's most popular WordPress plugin for quick and comfortable website building by anyone, regardless of their skills. Elementor is currently used by about 7 million sites worldwide and this number is still growing.

However, there is no shortage of people who loudly criticise this tool. The main complaint is the performance of pages created in Elementor, which unfortunately is not far from the truth, especially when comparing the code Elementor with the code that generates Oxygen.

Elementor's developers are well aware of this and as soon as Google confirmed in late 2020 its plan to introduce a new ranking factor (Core Web Vitals), it has become clear that there is no other way to avoid future user churn than to roll up our sleeves and, in addition to new features, ensure better optimisation.

The upcoming changes to Google are being publicised to such an extent that many people are simply becoming wary of them, especially when their page results for the metrics Core Web Vitals are far from ideal.

No one really knows what will happen when the new ranking factors are introduced. Will we witness a significant reshuffle in the SERPs or will the change go barely noticed. Until the new algorithms take hold for good, which is expected to happen eventually at the end of August, we will live in uncertainty and slight stress.

Elementor's developers certainly feel this stress and concern from their clients, as I have no doubt they are inundated with questions along the lines of: "What can I do to make my website in Elementor more efficient?". It is impossible to give a good answer to these questions if you don't know the specifics of the site in question, and this is an impossible task even for a huge team of specialists with so many of them.

So Elementor is creating tutorials on Core Web Vitals and how to optimise, but that's not enough if changes to Elementor itself don't follow.

Yesterday an article appeared on the Elementor blog discussing the performance plans. In it we can read, among other things:

[...] our main goal is to make sure that our product does not adversely affect the performance of your site. This has been and will continue to be a top priority for us. So without further ado, let's delve into optimising Elementor's performance, according to our 2021 roadmap

In addition to optimising the product development cycle, our vision for improving Elementor's performance consists of five pathways. In some of these areas we have already made significant improvements, while others will be included in upcoming versions of Elementor.

We are proud that performance has become an integral part of our site development and release process. Every version of Elementor is performance-tested to ensure that no new feature, fix or enhancement adversely affects existing sites built using Elementor. [...]

Amitai Gat - Vice President Product

Which five paths does Amitai Gat mention? Here they are:

Load only what you need

In recent versions of Elementor this functionality has appeared as an experiment. The idea is to load only those resources that are actually used on a given subpage. This can significantly reduce the amount of CSS/JS code, which in turn translates to faster loading and faster rendering of the page in the browser.

Exploiting the native capabilities of browsers

Elementor was created in 2016, and a lot has changed since then when it comes to browser capabilities. Now some features that required external libraries a few years ago can be implemented using native browser support. As an example, Amitai Gat mentions the Waypoints library, which in some cases has been replaced by the Intersection Observer API.

Amitai goes on to write that Elementor is to move in this direction, so as to take advantage of all possible native features of modern browsers.

Improving and optimising internal JavaScript and CSS

The third path is to optimise, above all, the delays associated with rendering the page, which is greatly influenced by Google fonts or the Font Awesome library.

The improvement in this area that is announced is the ability to configure the font loading method and the font-display property added to Font Awesome.

Backend optimisation

The dynamic CSS loading and rendering mechanism has been improved in Elementor 3.0. Elementor used to scan pages for elements with dynamic values every time a page was loaded. Since Elementor 3.0, when a page is created and visited for the first time, Elementor creates a cache of all elements with dynamic values. This significantly improves server-side rendering times and results in noticeable improvements.

There are plans to introduce additional parsing enhancements to Elementor.

Slimming down the code

Finally, something that is grist to the mill of Elementor's critics. The code generated by this builder is overly bloated which has a direct impact on quality and performance results especially if the site is launched on older mobile devices.

Version 3.0 of Elementor removed three elements that reduce the DOM structure of the code. In version 3.2 another two, and others will disappear in the upcoming releases of the builder. The aim is to reduce the structure of the code to the necessary minimum, which should be clearly noticeable especially if we do a future test of version 2.9 and version let's say 3.5 (there is no such version yet).

Summary

It's good to know that the developers of Elementor are working hard to optimise the performance of pages created in it. This is important for several reasons, but the most important one is business as usual. If Elementor didn't do anything in this field I'm sure that it would not only slow down on the way of acquiring new clients, but the balance of new and departing users of the builder would be under the dash, and this could lead to a serious crisis and the imminent loss of the crown.

Let's remember that there are still new tools emerging that want to compete with Elementor, and I have to admit that some of them do it remarkably well. However, Elementor's advantage is the huge number of extensions and integrations that the young competition will have to work for years to achieve.

If Elementor does indeed lead to a situation where page performance is at a high level, it is likely that for many years to come its Creators will be able to sleep relatively soundly 🙂 This year will show how the predictions and what has not been announced, but is perhaps planned, will be implemented and reflected in the satisfaction of Elementor users.

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