Last updated on October 17th, 2020 by Samuel Ryan, copyright reserved
Jetpack gets a bad rap. Any blogger worth their salt will tell you; “Don’t use Jetpack, it will lag your site”. It’s common knowledge that Jetpack is awful, laggy, heavy, and s-l-o-w.
But, is that fair and factual? If you’re the average blogger, using WordPress out-of-the-box, will Jetpack meaningfully reduce your page loading speed?
The answer is, no. And in this post, I’m going to show you how I configured Jetpack to help me achieve a 100 point perfect score at Google’s PageSpeed.
Note: Before making any changes to your website, create a backup. The following is not advice, simply information. Seek professional advice if you’re not sure.
Jetpack – A WordPress Plugin
It’s also the ultimate multi-tool for your blog. Need a Cookie Notice? No problem. Brute-force login protection? They’ve got you covered. What about site-down monitoring? Done. Want more? …
+ Extra Sidebar Widgets
+ Lazy Loading
+ Related Posts
+ Search Bar
+ Social Sharing Buttons
+ Single WordPress.com Login
+ Website Verification (with Google etc.)
+ Subscription Service
+ And still, there’s loads more!
And all of that, is FREE.
Created by Automattic, the team behind WordPress.org & WordPress.com, Jetpack is enhanced, year on year. With over 5 million active installations, you’re in good company if you’re using it too.
However, in some quarters, Jetpack has a bad reputation; “It’s too slow”, they say. “It lagged my site”, they insist.
Does Jetpack Slow Down WordPress?
The problem with Jetpack is, it does so much. With all of its options at your finger-tips, you might not realise that some may cause slow-down.
So, as you play around with the design and function of your site, it’s easy to inadvertently increase its payload.
With Jetpack, it’s better to imagine that every one of its functions is an individual plugin. Now instead of just ticking a box, you should evaluate the value of having to install a whole new WordPress plugin for each function. Would you do it? Is it that important to you? Or, are you only using it because the option is conveniently there in front of you?
If you do decide to go ahead, you should A/B test its impact on the performance of your website.
The fact of the matter is, some WordPress functions will slow-down your website, and it doesn’t matter if Jetpack is doing it, or another plugin.
In a nutshell, Jetpack won’t slow down your website by default, although certain modules will.
My 100 PageSpeed Score Jetpack Configuration
I have been targeting a perfect score at PageSpeed for a while now, and recently achieved a 97. I thought that was the best I could do, but kept digging. Then I discovered what was costing me those 3 points: JETPACK!
After a lot of A/B testing, I finally uncovered that the module costing me those 3 points was Jetpack’s ‘Downtime Monitoring’.
With that turned OFF, I achieved my perfect score.
HERE’S MY CURRENT JETPACK CONFIGURATION:
Starting with all modules turned OFF, I enable –
- Security → Brute force attack protection – Brute force protection
- Performance → Performance & speed → Site accelerator (images & static files)
- Performance → Performance & speed → Lazy loading
- Writing → Widgets → Make extra widgets available (I use the Cookies and Consents Banner)
- Discussion → Subscriptions → Let visitors subscribe
Is Jetpack Slowing Down Your WordPress Blog?
Following my investigation, I’m satisfied that Jetpack isn’t the root cause of slow-down for the average blogger or small business website. More likely, it’s large image sizes, animated themes, and feature rich plugins.
I choose to use Jetpack because I like their simple visitor stats counter, their free basic subscription model, their clean privacy cookie notice, and their free image CDN.
Yes, I could’ve got those functions from separate plugins, but why? With Jetpack, my site is in safe hands; the same hands that made WordPress in the first place.
My question to you is, why aren’t you using Jetpack? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.