Not using Perfmatters yet?
It’s a great plugin by Kinsta and one of the few speed plugins I use on my site. This tutorial shows you what it does and how to configure the best Perfmatters settings (while using the script manager to selectively disable plugins, scripts, and styles for better load times + scores).
What about Asset Cleanup Pro?
The ideal Perfmatters settings (click thumbnails to enlarge):
*Before configuring Perfmatters, buy the plugin, grab your license key, and add it in the ‘License’ section. Using my affiliate link is appreciated and helps me write these guides.
- Disable Emojis – enable (emojis hurt load times).
- Remove Query Strings – enable (removes URLs with ? or & from static resources which CDNs can have trouble caching, can make small difference, Kinsta says it can only help).
- Disable XML-RPC – enable (unless you post from mobile, otherwise it weakens security).
- Hide WP Version – enable (prevents your WP version from showing publicly).
- Disable Password Strength Meter – enable (sometimes this file can load across your entire website when it should only load on account, checkout, and password reset pages).
- Images –
- YouTube Preview Thumbnails –
- Exclude from Lazy Loading – leave blank unless you have file to exclude from lazy loading.
- DOM Monitoring – only enable if you use infinite scrolling). Kinsta says this “watches for changes in the DOM and dynamically lazy loads newly added elements. This improves compatibility for third-party plugins and themes that utilize infinite scrolling…”
- Disable Cart Fragmentation – (cart fragments are used to update the cart total without refreshing a page, but really slow down WooCommerce sites. I suggest checking how long cart fragments take to load in your GTmetrix Waterfall report and make a decision on whether you want cart fragments or faster load times).
- Disable Status Meta Box –
- Enable CDN Rewrite – enable (rewrites URLs to serve assets, like images, from the CDN: https://x7r6b9v3.rocketcdn.me//wp-content/uploads/2020/03/logo.png – Cloudflare doesn’t use a CDN URL so if you’re using it, you would skip the CDN section all together).
3. Google Analytics
- Tracking Code Position – header (default) is fine.
- Track Logged In Admins – (you don’t want admin visits in your analytics data).
- Adjusted Bounce Rate – 30 seconds (recommended by the Perfmatters developers).
- Script Manager – enable (lets you disable CSS + JS on certain pages/posts). See #6.
- Include jQuery – disable (unless you enable previous option and see visible errors).
*I recommend reading up on browser resource hints to learn what each setting does. You should also be measuring load times of your font, images, and CSS files (e.g. in GTmetrix Waterfall) while making these tweaks to see how each optimization impacts their load time.
- Enable Instant Page – disable (same setting as “preload links” in WP Rocket, this downloads a page when users hover over a link. If not using it in WP Rocket, enable it).
- Preload – fonts, images, and CSS files can be preloaded when used across your entire site. If you look at WP Rocket’s source code, you can see they preload multiples types of these files. Look at your GTmetrix Waterfall tab, test which files load across your entire site, then add them here. WP Rocket already has a “Preload Fonts” option so make sure you only preload them in one place. All preloaded files should be hosted on your domain/CDN.
- Preconnect – CDN URLs and external fonts are the most common examples of preconnecting. Again, grab those files from your GTmetrix Waterfall and add them here.
- Prefetch – third party scripts are the most common type of prefetching (Google Fonts, Analytics, AdSense, Tag Manager, YouTube, Facebook Pixel). See the reduce DNS lookups section of your GTmetrix report to see which third party scripts are loaded (here’s a nifty list) then add them here. WP Rocket already has this too, so only add them in one place.
- Cleans your database (usually not done by your cache plugin, however I always recommend WP-Optimize for advanced cleaning since it lets you delete the same garbage files from Perfmatters, but also lets you delete tables left behind by uninstalled plugins).
Basic uninstall, import, and export settings.
Activate your Perfmatters License key here.
6. Script Manager
The Perfmatters script manager lets you disable plugins, scripts, and styles on pages/posts where they’re not being loaded. Some things load across your entire website even when they’re not being used. A few examples can include contact forms, social sharing plugins, rich snippet and structured content plugins, or even certain parts of Elementor and other page builders.
Things To Keep In Mind
- Testing – disabling certain functions, especially in page builders like Elementor, can break things on your site. Do thorough testing if you’re not 100% sure what you’re disabling.
- Finding Your Slowest Plugins – use Query Monitor or New Relic.
- Finding Scripts On Different Pages/Posts – edit several pages/posts where different types of scripts are being loaded (and look at your “Global View”) so you don’t miss any.
Step 1 – Enable The Script Manager In The Perfmatters Settings
Step 2 – Click The Script Manager On A Page Or Post
Step 3 – Disable Unused Scripts From The Page/Post
You can disable the script everywhere (with exceptions), only on the current, and use RegEx to selectively load scripts based on URL patterns. For example, if you have a blog section named /review/post-name you can choose to only load your rich snippets plugin in that category. Same thing with social sharing plugins, affiliate link plugins, table plugins, contact form plugins, etc.
You can disable comments everywhere but posts:
Disable Elementor animations and other page builder features you’re not using:
Disable certain plugins everywhere except URLs using that plugin:
Or use RegEx to only load a plugin on specific URLs. In this example, I disabled a rich snippets plugin everywhere except on URLs containing the word “review” which is the only time I use review schema. You can also enable a plugin everywhere except on URLs with specific words.
Step 4 – Review Your Global View
The Global View shows you an overview of the script manager across your site.
What Do You Think? Is Permatters Worth It?
I think so.
Besides a cache plugin, Perfmatters is really the only other must have speed plugin. What do you think? Some people say they don’t need it and that it only adds more bloat, but I don’t think those people took the time to set it up properly. Let me know what you think in the comments!