Assets Addon 1.1 for WP Offload S3 Released

assets-addon-1.1

Yesterday we released WP Offload S3 Assets 1.1, which is the first major release since it’s launch last September. In this release we focused on improving page load times by reducing the overall size of your assets, specifically CSS and JS files. Read on to see how.

New Options UI in Assets Addon 1.1

Minify

Minification was one of the first pain points we encountered with offloading assets to S3. There were already plenty of great plugins out there that performed minification, but none of them played nicely with the Assets addon. So, instead of trying to fix these incompatibilities we decided to build a minify option directly into Assets 1.1. With the minify option enabled we were seeing an average decrease in file size by 30%.

Gzip

All good hosts have their servers configured to automatically gzip supported file types when requested by the client. The problem with S3 is that it doesn’t perform any form of compression, which results in much larger file sizes. Larger files sizes equate to more time on the wire (increased download time), resulting in slower load times. For that reason we introduced the gzip option, which compresses your assets before sending them to S3. This has the additional benefit of improving scanning time, as files are often up to 80% smaller in size.

If you’re using either CloudFront or MaxCDN we recommend that you disable the gzip option and enable compression within your CDN provider. This will ensure compatibility with the insignificant number of devices that don’t support gzip content.

Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the before and after results using GTmetrix. Both of these tests were performed on the same server using the Twenty Sixteen default theme.

Before (Assets 1.0.2)

assets-1.1-before

After (Assets 1.1)

assets-1.1-after

That’s a pretty dramatic change! The total page size has almost halved and the overall load time has decreased by 0.8s.

We’re pretty happy with these results, but let us know what you think in the comments below.

About the Author

Ashley Rich

Ashley is a PHP and JavaScript developer with a fondness for solving complex problems with simple, elegant solutions. He also has a love affair with WordPress and learning new technologies.

  • Charles Sellers

    This looks great, looking forward to testing this on our next site build!

  • Always great to see before and after results of web performance optimizations. Thanks for making it so clear. Many posts on this matter get convoluted and hard to understand for beginners.

    And thanks for the MaxCDN tip. Good advice on gzip. Let me know if you ever want to collaborate with us on a MaxCDN post. Our audience is full of WP evangelists.