Web Optimizer Plugin [Review]

Ever since my WordPress Optimizations – YSlow, PHP Speedy, DB Cache, Hyper Cache, and CSS Sprites post six months ago, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple on the blog.

Not so many adjustments, not constantly trying out new plugins, but here’s an update:

  • DB Cache: Hasn’t been updated since January, created some conflicts where I couldn’t edit a page. To edit a post (even small things like tags), I’d have to turn off DB Cache, make the changes, and then turn it back on. I decided turn it off completely.
  • PHP Speedy: Hasn’t been updated since February. It caused some problems for me, for which I went on the author’s blog to ask for some ideas on how to fix it, but I was ignored, and the comment was deleted. It wasn’t perfect for me, but I ran it up until a couple of days ago when I found Web Optimizer (covered later in this post).
  • cSprites (CSS Sprites): Last updated in June, but doesn’t work with caching plugins. Otherwise it was fine, but that’s a big issue for most. I don’t run this either. Plugin author is nice though and does reply to comments.
  • Hyper Cache: This I use. In fact, I donated to the author, and he updates the plugin constantly. Not sure what the updates are but updates are usually a good sign.

Web Optimizer: Like I just mentioned above, I’ve replaced with PHP Speedy with Web Optimizer. Web Optimizer does all the things that PHP Speedy does, but also quite a few additional things as well. I don’t think PHP Speedy’s GZIP ever worked right for me, or it had caused some other slowdowns in the process, but Web Optimizer’s seem legit. My YSlow scores are quite good, and the blog loading speed seems good (but that’s hard for me to really measure because I’m in Vietnam trying to access Bluehost, this site’s US host). Web Optimizer even suggests using it with Hyper Cache.

I sent a bug in two days ago to the developers regarding Web Optimizer breaking the Sociable plugin, and I got a report it was fixed for the next version today!

Strangely, the plugin gets average review scores on its WordPress plugin page, but I can’t see why it’s getting rated so low, even after reading about people’s issues and feedback in the forums. There are two versions of the plugin, a free version, and a $99 full one. See below for the comparison chart:

Christmas011

While $99 is a hefty charge in some ways, if the other benefits are as advertised, and you have a fairly well trafficked blog, I’d suggest spending the $99 and getting it. Otherwise, you can always check out the free version (it’s not a trial version, it’s a fully operating version with less features) and see how you like it. I’ve attached screenshots of my performance on various tests with Web Optimizer, free version, at the bottom of this article. In all, the plugin looks good, and I’m a big fan so far- tons of features, support, and jeez, tons of documentation.

Widget Cache: I’ve also been using Widget Cache, but I’m not sure how good it really is. I can’t tell what it’s caching, but most reviews of it are quite positive so I’m sticking with it until I hear otherwise or run into problems. I do see some comments that suggest it doesn’t work in the newest versions of WordPress, 2.83+, however.

Also, from the WordPress Extend page, there’s:

How to know it works?

You can have a look at the source of the web page, and search

<!--WP Widget Cache End -->

and I don’t see that in my source, so maybe that explains why I can’t tell.

 

My tests with Web Optimizer:

YSlow:

 Web Optimizer (1)

Web Optimizer (2)

Is My Blog Working:

Web Optimizer (4)

IE8 Performance:

Web Optimizer (6)

IE7 Performance: (oddly enoughIE7 loads faster than IE8 on the initial load)

Web Optimizer (5)

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4 Responses to Web Optimizer Plugin [Review]

  1. Michael November 8, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    Sorry to hear about the Sasha1, I actually like it quite a good deal. No stability issues, no big bugs, no install issues.

  2. sasha1 November 8, 2009 at 5:58 am #

    hey micheal, I want a plugin to install quick, easy and be stable no bugs no troubles, I dont wanna have to read pages and pages of documentation, the developer doesnt reply to issues in wordpress plugin page, its all hype wit this plugin and then you gotta pay for the stuff that the developer says makes the big difference – just a scam, i’m gonna keep to the plugins I listed. all hype man, there’s nothing time proven about this plugin

  3. Michael November 7, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Hi sasha1, What issues did you encounter? Did you read the documentation or contact the guys for help?

  4. sasha1 November 7, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Hyper cache is a great plugin and would recommend it 2. I also use the GZIP Output and WP-HTML-Compression plugins and I get good results with these. as for the Web Optimizer plugin you must be one of the few people that got it to work without big problems – did you spend $99 on it? so not worth it imo when theres more stable free ones.

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