Swift Performance is a relatively young plug-in whose task is to accelerate the operation of our website and its technical optimisation. In most cases it works superbly, and the results that can be obtained thanks to it can strongly distance optimisation generated by competitive solutions.
Core capabilities of Swift Performance
The Swift Performance plugin offers many options to speed up your pages, including some unique to the market. The basic capabilities of the plugin are:
Smart cache means that: the plugin loads the cached version (so that the user can see the page quickly). In the background, it checks if the cache is still valid or if there is a change that requires it to be refreshed, e.g.: there are requests that may affect the content such as a new comment, post, etc.
An interesting feature, especially for beginners, is automatic configuration, which allows Swift to automatically select the potentially best plugin configuration for your site. You can then go into the settings and adjust the settings according to your preferences if necessary.
The Swift Performance plug-in has Built-in image optimiser. You can losslessly compress JPEG and PNG images and thus improve the performance of your site. You also have at your disposal a very powerful database optimiser and a tool that allows you to eliminate the resources of certain plug-ins, which, if used skilfully, can effectively slim down your site.
Using an external proxy server, you can load Google Analytics, Facebook etc. scripts, which usually have a very short cache period. You can set an acceptable expiry header for these.
The Swift Performance plugin also provides CDN support. You can specify a hostname to be used for static resources. You can set 3 different hosts for CSS, JS and media files.
Results of the plug-in
Swift Performance, even in the hands of an inexperienced user, is able to effectively optimise a website and thus drastically improve its speed and results in tools such as GTMetrix or Google Page Speed. In the video below you can watch a test of three optimization plugins, including Swift Performance in the free Lite version.
The results clearly show that the plug-in, even in the free version, is able to cope with optimisation very well and in many areas outperforms its competitors. I invite you to take a look.
Swift Performance - Does it always work?
Of course not. The same goes for any other plugin of this type. A lot depends on the website, theme, plugins used and the content itself as well as your experience. While testing Swift Performance also in the paid version I happened to analyse websites, which were simply lame when using this particular plugin. Some subpages of the tested website worked like a firecracker, others behaved as if the plugin was not present at all, despite the fact that they were optimised with it and served from cache.
I had a similar effect on JZS, where I use my favourite WP Rocket plugin (unfortunately there is no free version). I wanted to see if maybe Swift Performance would be the new plugin I would start using on this site. The first effects, to be honest, were satisfactory. All analysis tools unanimously shouted that it is better.
However, when browsing the site I had the impression that it wasn't as fast as when running with WP Rocket (the feeling of a regular user), and some sub-pages with more extensive content even seemed very slow. First instinct. It was probably lag on the link. But since I like to be sure, I started analysing individual sub-pages.
My subjective feelings have unfortunately been confirmed. It's not lag, but the effect of Swift Performance, and the pingdom data below raises no doubt that something is up.
A page with the Swift Performance plugin active and extensive content took nearly 10 seconds to fully load. By contrast, the same page with the WP Rocket plugin active took just 1.4 seconds to fully load. This is an unacceptable difference.
Despite playing around with the plug-in's configuration, I was unable to improve this time, and this in this particular case means nothing less than its disqualification.
However, this doesn't have to be the case for your site. Just test it out, because in many situations Swift Performance really does improve performance sensationally and is without a doubt a plugin worth considering.
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