The WordPress Performance Lab plugin is officially out of beta

WordPress has announced that its Performance Lab plugin has officially come out of beta testing and is officially released as version 1.0. This means that the Performance plugin is considered stable and should have no infrastructure bugs and is considered ready to test performance improvements before they are released in WordPress Core.

The official announcement noted:

“The first stable version 1.0.0 of the Performance Lab plugin has been released. You can download it from the WordPress plugin repository or via GitHub.

The stable release means that the Performance Lab plugin infrastructure is no longer in beta testing.

What is the WordPress Performance Lab Plugin?

WordPress formed a performance team at the end of October 2021 whose goal was to focus on improving the performance of WordPress.

The initial proposal from the performance team noted that WordPress was falling behind its competitors in terms of website performance.

The core WordPress contributor who posted the proposal also noted that not only is WordPress falling behind competing website building platforms, he wrote that the performance gap between WordPress and its competitors is growing. dug in as companies like Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace continued to invest in performance improvements.

“Compared to other platforms (e.g. Wix, Shopify, Squarespace), WordPress lags behind. Other platforms are on average faster – and getting faster – than websites WordPress (see The HTTP Archive’s Core Web Vitals report), and are actively investing in (and marketing) heart performance as a feature [1, 2].

We can see the impact of this investment in the growing gap between the proportion of WordPress sites that achieve “good” Core Web Vitals scores, compared to other platforms.

Prior to the formation of the WordPress team, there was no unified approach to website performance.

The Performance Team was created to fill this gap and the Performance Lab plugin is the first product produced by the Performance Team.

What is the Performance Lab plug-in for?

The purpose of the plugin is to give publishers the opportunity to best test new enhancements and performance-enhancing features that are being considered for a future release of WordPress core, the core WordPress files that power websites.

This allows publishers to gain advanced previews of improvements that might be included by default in future versions of WordPress.

The hope is that the WordPress editing community will provide feedback on the improvements which in turn helps the performance team understand how well the improvements are working and, if viable, include them in future releases. of WordPress.

The official announcement noted:

“The primary focus of the plugin remains to facilitate beta testing for future WordPress core performance features and improvements…”

The Performance Lab plugin can improve website performance, that’s the purpose of the plugin after all, but it’s important to know that the various improvements are still meant to be considered advanced previews of possible features to be included in a future release. of the WordPress core.

The Performance Lab plugin uses a modular interface

The plugin is currently made up of five individual modules tied to specific performance improvements. Some of the modules are health checks, for example, and others are real enhancements that can help speed up a website.

The modular approach allows publishers to test only the features they want to test.

Here are the five modules included in the Performance Lab plugin:

  1. WebP Downloads:
    Creates WebP versions of all JPEG images uploaded to the WordPress media library. This feature only works for server environments that support it.
  2. WebP Support:
    This is a health check that tells the publisher if their server supports WebP.
  3. Checking the state of the persistent object cache:
    This is a health checking module that will offer a persistent object cache for sites that might need it, especially sites with large amounts of data.
  4. Audit autoloaded options (experimental):
    A health check related to auditing the usage of autoloaded data, to alert a publisher to a possible problem.
  5. Audit queued assets (experimental):
    A status check that notifies an editor if there are too many or too many CSS and JavaScript files queued.

About Experimental Modules

Modules labeled experimental are not necessarily stable for use in a live production site. Modules that are not labeled experimental may be considered tested and ready for use on a live production site.

The WordPress Performance Lab Plugin page provides the following explanation:

“According to the main purpose of the plugin (see above), it can primarily be considered a beta testing plugin for the various performance modules it includes.

However, unless a module is explicitly marked as “experimental”, it has been tested and established to such a degree that it should be suitable for use in production. However, as with every plugin, you do so at your own risk.


Read the official Performance Lab announcement

Performance Lab Plugin Version 1.0.0 Released

Official WordPress Performance Lab Plugin Repository Page

Performance Lab by WordPress Performance Group

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