WordPress Performance Team Releases New Features Plugin to Test Ongoing Improvements – WP Tavern

The WordPress Performance Team has published a new feature plugin called Performance lab which includes a set of performance related improvements for the kernel. The team, which formed just five months ago, is led by core contributors sponsored by Yoast and Google, and has seen more than 250 people join its Slack channel, many of whom regularly participate in weekly discussions.

This first release includes the following modules, which are in various stages of development:

The purpose of the plugin is to allow users to easily test ongoing improvements. Each of these modules can be enabled or disabled in a new Settings > Performance menu in the admin.

The WebP upload module can be tested by uploading JPEG images and then verifying that the WebP versions are generated in the media library and displayed on the frontend. The other performance modules are checks that will show on the site health screen:

WordPress Core Committer Felix Arntz pointed out that the plugin should be considered a beta test plugin, not a quick fix to make your WordPress site faster.

“The plugin won’t be a suite of all the crucial performance features you need to make your site fast – that’s where existing performance plugins have their market, and the Performance Lab plugin indeed shouldn’t falsely look like you want to compete with them,” Arntz commented in a GitHub ticket regarding the brand of the plugin.

Users should be aware that they may experience unexpected results when testing the plugin, especially when enabling more experimental features that are not enabled by default. It should not be seen as a replacement for other more established performance plugins. Performance Lab may also change over time as new features are released for the core.

“Because the Performance Lab plugin is a collection of potential WordPress core functionality modules, the list of included modules can change drastically over time,” Arntz said. “New modules may be added on a regular basis, while other modules may be removed in a future plugin release once they have landed in a mainline WordPress release.”

The goal of the feature plugin is to test ongoing performance improvements more broadly, eliminating edge cases before shipping the modules into a major release. Testers can log issues like GitHub issues or like wordpress.org support forum requests.

Esther L. Gunn