While a 4.35 second load time with a 2MB home page is not the worst, it definitely can be better - and that’s where JCH Optimize comes in. Let’s see a more in-depth analysis of what’s wrong with the site:
Let’s check the Free Features tab now.
The only option here I use is enabling the Sprite Generator which combines all background images to a single sprite - again, to reduce the number of requests.
I use the Pro version so I have access to paid features as well, but I only use two - Lazy Load and Optimize CSS Delivery.
The first one enables a function so that an image is only loaded when the user scrolls down to it, which speeds up the initial load time of the site. However, it doesn’t do much good with background images since they come into view instantly, but it works wonders for galleries and news columns. As you can see, you also have the option to exclude images or entire image folders from this option.
Optimize CSS Delivery basically takes out the critical parts of your CSS formatting and forces it to load first, making it so that the site gets rendered faster and still looks good while the less critical parts of the coding are being loaded on the fly. Quite a neat trick if you ask me, but remember, just going with the smallest/biggest option possible here might not necessarily be the best option for you - experiment and see.
The extension also has its own API to optimize images - the amount of how many images you can process through it depends on the version you have. There are many image optimization resources out there, but this just makes it one less thing to worry about.
OK now, but how did JCH Optimize help us here? Well, I won’t post the load time screenshot of it like in the beginning because I’ve found that Pingdom is simply not reliable when it comes to sites that use JCH Optimize. Why? Beats me. But you can take my word for it that I gained at least a second of load time, which is quite a bit.
Let’s see the more in-depth analysis.
In conclusion, will using JCH Optimize, even the Pro version, beat hiring an actual front-end developer to optimize your site? No, it will not. But it is a very good way of doing a lot of the job automatically if you’re not a developer and don’t have a budget for one.
Please bear in mind that neither CloudAccess.net nor its employees endorse any 3rd party extensions in any official capacity and the article you just read describes the author’s personal views.