Performance Lab WordPress Plugin – New Feature Plugin For Testing Improvements In Progress

WordPress’ performance team has released a new feature plugin called Performance Lab that includes a set of performance-related improvements for core.

The team, which formed just five months ago, is led by Yoast and Google-sponsored core contributors, and has had more than 250 people join its Slack channel, with many participating regularly in weekly chats.

The Performance Lab plugin is a collection of modules focused on enhancing performance of your site, most of which should eventually be merged into WordPress core.

The plugin allows to individually enable and test the modules to get their benefits before they become available in WordPress core, and to provide feedback to further improve the solutions.

Currently the plugin includes the following performance modules:

  1. WebP Uploads:
    Creates WebP versions for new JPEG image uploads if supported by the server.
  2. WebP Support:
    Adds a WebP support check in Site Health status.
  3. Persistent Object Cache Health Check:
    Adds a persistent object cache check for sites with non-trivial amounts of data in Site Health status.
  4. Audit Enqueued Assets:
    Adds a CSS and JS resource check in Site Health status.

Purpose of Performance Lab WordPress Plugin

The primary purpose of the Performance Lab plugin is to allow testing of various performance modules for which the goal is to eventually land in WordPress core.

It is essentially a collection of “feature plugins”, which makes it different from other performance plugins that offer performance features which are not targeted at WordPress core and potentially rely on functionality that would not be feasible to use in WordPress core.

The list of available modules will regularly change: Existing modules may be removed after they have been released in WordPress core, while new modules may be added in any release.

The goal for the feature plugin is to get performance improvements in progress tested more widely, weeding out edge cases before shipping the modules in a core release of WordPress CMS.

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