All Performance settings explained

🕓 3 minutes | 473 views
Experience Level: Beginner
Audience: Developers

Lighthouse – WordPress Performance Plugin

Lighthouse’s Performance screen shows all performance-related settings. Some of these will speed up your website, while a combination of some of them, might slow down your website. Let’s break them down below:

Performance Settings

Tick the checkboxes to selectively remove/disable WordPress actions and filters. These options will reduce database queries and HTTP(S) requests, making the site lighter.
A database query is a request for information from a database. An HTTP(S) request is a browser request for a file (a CSS stylesheet, a JS script, an image or the actual HTML/PHP document).

Check the HTML5 Boilerplate .htaccess rules for further performance and optimisation.

Check the WordPress Native Settings Optimization guide to squeeze even more speed from your WordPress site.

Always follow the in-plugin recommendation badges:

recommended We recommend enabling this option
not recommended We do not recommend enabling this option
use with caution Only enable this option if you know what you are doing
use if needed Only enable this option of you need it

Zen Mode

This option removes most of WordPress-related clutter, notifications, meta boxes and filters in Dashboard view.

This is sometimes useful for client-facing sites, where a developer is actively managing the website. If you manage your own site, leave this option off.

Performance

Resource prerendering is most useful for high traffic websites. When a user hovers over a link, prerender and/or prefetch hints are dynamically appended to the <head> of the document, but only if those respective hints haven’t already been generated in the past.

This helps with loading of pages that are “about to be clicked” and makes the website look snappier and more responsive to clicks.

Theme Cleanup

Remove version parameter from scripts and stylesheets URLs in order to help with browser caching.

Disable replacing special characters with emojis and smilies. This helps with page loading speed by skipping several JavaScript and CSS resources, usually useless for 99% of websites.

Disable canonical URL redirection when page not found. WordPress will try to match a missing page to the next similar URL, which is not what the user wants.

Disable author archive. This options helps with search engine indexation, duplicate content and security.

Scripts and Styles Cleanup

Normalize HTTP(S) scheme. Use the scheme/protocol of the current page or do not force a certain scheme (useful when switching from HTTP to HTTPS or to minimize mixed content warnings).

Lighthouse uses a lightweight code to achieve this, rendering other HTTPS plugin useless.

<head> Cleanup

This options cleans up RSD, WLW references, WordPress generator tag and post shortlinks (also remove WordPress-generated <rel> tags).

If you don’t need your content to be available in Google News or Google Discover or if your website is not post-heavy, remove RSS links and prevent content copying and republishing.

System Cleanup

If your website is not post-heavy, disable comment cookies. Disable the user information – name, email and website – being saved in browser.

Disable automatic WordPress updates (useful for managed sites).
Disable automatic plugin updates (useful for managed sites).

These two options are not recommended, unless you actively manage the website updates, or you have legitimate reason to keep your website under a certain version.

Disable WordPress embeds. Remove embed query vars, disable oEmbed discovery and completely remove the related scripts (disallow WordPress posts to be embedded on remote sites). Use this option if you don’t need to embed YouTube videos or Twitter posts in your posts.

Disable mediaelement.js. Remove mediaelement.js if not required by any page functionality. In some rare cases, this script gets registered and enqueued, even if there is no requirement or dependency.

Code Minification

Minify/compress HTML source code. Remove all new lines from HTML source code, strip whitespaces before and after tags, strip inline CSS comments and removes script and style types from inline source code.

Note that this option might conflict with Cloudflare’s HTML minification or other optimization plugins present on your website.