My guide walks you through all this but if you have questions, drop me a comment. Good luck!
- Avoid bloated themes/plugins
- Replace jQuery dependent plugins
- Lazy load videos/iframes
- Use a smaller Google analytics tracking code
- Disable New Relic, email obfuscation, Rocket Loader
- Compress pages with GZIP or Brotli
- Enable “improved asset loading” in Elementor
- Enable Divi’s performance settings
Where are they loaded from?
- Third-party code?
- Your page builder?
Also look at your “third-party code” report which we’ll get into in steps 5-10.
2. Avoid Bloated Themes/Plugins
Sounds obvious, but tons of people still use Elementor/Divi/Avada and slow plugins.
If you’re open to switching, I suggest GeneratePress (what I use), Blocksy, Kadence, or StudioPress. If you must use Elementor or Divi, at least take advantage of their performance settings, code your header/footer in CSS (instead of using their bloated code), and avoid using page builder plugins because you want a fancy design with robust functionality. Keep it simple!
You can also use Query Monitor to find your slowest plugins, WP Hive’s extension to browse slow plugins in the WordPress repo, and check which plugins add database bloat using WP-Optimize. If plugins load below the viewport (i.e. third-party comments), try delaying them.
3. Replace jQuery Dependent Plugins
If you see jQuery in your reports, use Perfmatters to show jQuery dependent plugins. This is found in the Script Manager Settings. Removing jQuery is an ongoing process that usually involves finding more lightweight plugin alternatives and coding things manually (or using Gutenberg for tables, galleries, etc). The only jQuery dependent plugin I use now is Rank Math.
Step 1: Enable Test Mode to prevent your site from breaking.
Step 2: Head to the script manager to see all JS files loading on the page. Disable files that aren’t loading on the page while checking your site for broken elements. Here are examples:
- Disable slider plugins everywhere but pages that use sliders.
- Disable contact form plugin everywhere but pages with forms.
- Disable social sharing plugins everywhere but posts (see below).
Step 3: Deactivate Test Mode to publish changes.
Hosting files locally on your server is always faster.
Google Tag Manager
*Delaying this too long can impact revenue/data. Test carefully. You will also need to delay the plugin you used to add AdSense (if applicable).
Specific Plugins (Only Use When They Load Below The Fold)
8. Lazy Load Videos/Iframes
Lazy loading videos/iframes and replacing iframes with a preview image prevents third-party requests from YouTube and Google Maps. Most cache plugins do this (same with Perfmatters).
9. Use A Smaller Google Analytics Tracking Code
I recommend Perfmatters or Flying Analytics since they host Google Analytics locally while reducing the size of the tracking code through various settings. For example, analytics.js and analytics-minimal.js are smaller than the gtag.js versions. You can disable Display Features to prevent a second request to DoubleClick if you’re not using certain Google Analytics features.
10. Disable New Relic, Email Obfuscation, Rocket Loader
13. Compress Pages With GZIP Or Brotli
14. Enable “Improved Asset Loading” In Elementor
When using Elementor, Improved Asset Loading only loads elements where they’re actually used (JS files in Elementor Core widget handlers, and Swiper in Elementor + Elementor Pro). You can enable this in Elementor’s settings. I have a tutorial specifically to speed up Elementor.
15. Enable Divi’s Performance Settings
PageSpeed Insights can take 28 days to update, so you can try Lighthouse or SpeedVitals for retesting your website. Hopefully this tutorial helped you get closer to passing core web vitals!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use Perfmatters to see jQuery dependent plugins in the script manager settings then replace them with lightweight plugins, code, or simply removing the plugin.