While 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, WP Rocket is going to ring in the new year in style. WP Rocket WordPress plugin is getting ready to launch version 3.8, the 4th major version of the year. To align with the emphasis Google’s Core Web Vital metrics will place on user experience and overall SEO performance, WP Rocket 3.8 “focuses on improving some PageScore Insight metrics and user experience.” Read on to learn more about the latest improvements WP Rocket will be implementing.
What’s Included in WP Rocket Plugin Version 3.8
This latest version of the WP Rocket WordPress plugin comes with two main improvements and some great enhancements focusing on the interface and overall user experience, including WordPress speed performance. As WP Rocket stated, “this major release tackles the Cumulative Layout Shift and Time to Interactivity metrics and allows you to improve their score.” The 3.8 version enhancements include:
- Adding missing width and height attributes on images
- Excluding images from LazyLoad
1. Adding Missing Width and Height Attributed to Images
If you’re looking to improve the Cumulative Layout Shift metric score for your website, this new WP Rocket image optimization enhancement is for you. The Cumulative Layout Shift metric, which shows how much the content on your web page shifts as the page loads, is one of the Core Web Vitals that Google is rolling out in May 2021. Images that don’t have their width and height specified are one of the reasons content on your webpage will shift.
Not having defined measurements for the images on your website makes it impossible for the browser to reserve the spaces needed for those images. The browser, as a workaround, will move the content on your page around to accommodate enough room for the images once they’ve been downloaded. As part of this new 3.8 version, the WP Rocket plugin will add in any missing dimensions to the images on your website.
You can find the option to have all of the image dimension attributes added to your website’s images on the Media tab. In the Image Dimensions section, select Add missing image dimensions.
2. Excluding Images from LazyLoad
LazyLoading is the feature to help make WordPress sites load faster. This feature allows your website to load iframes and images only when needed. When a visitor lands on one of your website pages, the images above the fold will display first, which allows the users to begin interacting with your webpage sooner while the images below the fold continue to load.
As part of the WP Rocket plugin’s new 3.8 version, you can exclude certain iframes and images from LazyLoad through the plugin’s interface instead of having to install an additional plugin. By deciding which images and iframes you want to exclude from LazyLoad, you can directly measure the impact your choices have on your website’s Largest Contentful Paint metric score.
You can decide which images and iframes you want to exclude from LazyLoad by making your selections in the Media tab under LazyLoad. You can enter the image class name, domain src, or filename into the text field.
WP Rocket Plugin Version 3.8 Also Includes a Cleaner Interface
Version 3.8 of the WP Rocket plugin also features a cleaner interface. WP Rocket removed:
- The cache lifespan minute frequency
- WordPress emoji option
- The Beta Tester option
Because generating new cache files every few minutes can actually hurt your website’s performance, WP Rocket has removed the cache lifespan minute option from the available choices to help speed up WordPress from the backend. This change won’t affect many users, but for those who were using the cache lifespan minute option, WP Rocket recommends setting that cache lifespan to an hour.
The WordPress emoji option will automatically be enabled and removed from the Media tab, so users won’t see this option anymore.
WP Rocket has also decided to end the Beta program that’s been running for more than a year. To help maintain their reputation as one of the best WordPress speed optimizers available, WP Rocket rolls out new versions to a small selection of customers, they’re able to collect feedback on the updates and address any issues prior to rolling out the enhancements to the rest of their customer population.
Looking to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster?
*Image Credits: WP Rocket