Finding Hummingbird a little daunting

Here is a short story

I was originally searching for caching plugins for one of my sites.

Just about every "review" i read recommended Hummingbird. However, they also all said it is a little complicated whereas WP Super Cache is plug and play, or at least has that option.

Whilst researching this i kept coming across Smush so ended up signing up primarily for Smush.

Have now Smushed the site, and what a difference it has made, so thats all great. However, having now run the diagnostics/performance tool in WPMU DEV Hub the site fails badly on two counts namely

Enable Compression
Leverage Browser caching

BOTH suggest i install and run Hummingbird

I am a little nervous as although i am experience with WP anythinh 'techie" is a bit daunting - so three questions

1. Is there a plug and go option?

2. Is there any support i can get if the answer to question 1 is no.

3. I have read that it is compatible with WP Super Cache and I dont have to uninstall that. Can this be confirmed and does it make any difference to Q's 1 and 2?

I believe you can see the site yourself via the Hub. There is only one in there currently. Support access has been granted.

Andy

  • Luís

    Hi Andy ,

    Hope you're doing well today!

    Regarding to your questions:

    1) I am not exactly sure what you mean by "plug and go option", Hummingbird have some options that needs to be configured.

    For the suggestions "Enable Compression" and "Leverage Browser caching" given by the Hub tool, they can be solved with HummingBird.

    It have a Browser Caching and GZIP compression that you can enable in your site, "only" clicking in the buttons to enable, as an example:

    However, it have a Minification feature, that allows you to minify, combine and move files load position (header or footer), to get a better optimization results.

    This feature requires a little more attention, because some files can not be minified/combined/moved and it can break some features of your website.

    2) There are some informations that you can get in the plugin usage page:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/wp-hummingbird/#usage

    We have a cool tutorial too in our blog explaining how to configure Hummingbird, that I think it may interest you:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/make-wordpress-fly-hummingbird/

    Also, if you have any doubt/difficulty, I can help you configuring Hummingbird, so, please, let me know.

    3) Hummingbird only have a browser cache feature not a full page cache like WP Super Cache, so these plugins should be used alongside to a proper optimization.

    I hope this information has been helpful. If I can help you in this or other questions, please let me know!

    Cheers, Luís

  • Luís

    Hi Andy ,

    Hope you're doing well today!

    Actually, WP Super Cache have more advanced options to configure, in the Advanced tab as an example.

    However, I took the liberty to install Hummingbird on your website and enabled the Browser Caching, GZIP compression and the Minification feature.

    I made some tests to make sure that everything is working as expected, however, if you found any glitch, please let me know.

    Cheers, Luís

  • Andy

    Hi Luis

    Thank you for doing the install etc. It has stopped two plugins working as follows

    1. YARPP - but I have removed that now as it hasnt been supported for a long time.

    2. The KK star ratings. This is quite essential to the site. Oddly enough it still works on a cell-phone but no longer on a PC, laptop or ipad.

    KK stars is important to the site. Do you have any ideas how me might make it work again without having to remove Hummingbird? My site speed and rating has improved dramatically since you did the install but this small rating plugin is important.

    Andy

  • Andy

    I dont know if you did something but it just started working again so maybe just a temp issue. All seems good.

    I now have a couple of things I am not sure about

    Hummingbird is advising me to move 5 things (all Hummingbird related) to the footer. I can see that it does it automatically if i click it. My question is - if it doesn't work how can i get them back to where they were as i have read a few threads that some themes cannot do this move. I am using the smartMag theme fyi

  • Rupok

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for granting Support Access. I've logged in and checked that suggestion. It seems like all of those are Hummingbird Cache files. So I think it won't create any problem if you send them to footer.

    But I'll suggest you to take a full backup of your site before doing this so you can always revert back to current state if anything goes wrong.

    I've also pinged our developers regarding this and I'll update you as soon as I get something from them. Please keep in mind, our developers work round the clock and they have to deal with lots of critical issues and other things. So it may take a little while for them to check this and provide a feedback.

    Have a nice day. Cheers!
    Rupok

  • Rupok

    Hi Andy,

    To understand how to fix render blocking resources, you can check this reply from our developer on another thread: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/render-blocking-css-and-js-and-hummingbird#post-1164911

    There he had described how it works and what we can do. I believe this will help.

    And please let us know how it goes when you click on "Improve Score" button. I'm looking forward to hearing from you and resolving this issue as soon as possible.

    Have a nice day. Cheers!
    Rupok

  • Andy

    Hi Guys

    I seem to have encountered a problem. I just noticed that my Google Maps are not working. This was only the case on PC, they are working fine on cell-phone which is why I only just spotted it.

    I de-activated Hummingbird and they started working just fine again.

    Unfortunately these maps are a very key element of the website so I have had to leave Hummingbird de-activated.

    That leads me to a couple of questions.

    1. Is there anything we can do to fix this? A setting perhaps?

    2. is it possible to run Hummingbird then to turn it off? I mean does that do the GZIP etc or does it have to be activated all the time to work?

    If possible could i trouble you to go into the site again and have a look. Feel free to turn Hummingbird on again so you can see the issues with the maps on the site itself.

    kr
    Andy

  • Andy

    Hi Luis

    Yes, doing great thanks and hope you are too!

    Thanks for all the help - the site is so much faster and the two plugins are now working again.

    I have gone from a score of 52 to anything from 83-91 but I assume the variable is one of the facts of being on a shared server. I am very happy regardless

    I still have the very low score (54) on remove rendering. It recommends moving 6 things to the footer, 3 Hummingbird Javascripts and 3 Hummingbird CSS

    I am very cautious about doing this for the reason i said before - if it breaks the site I don't know how to fix it. i read a thread in here where it did just that.

    I might leave things as they are, as I am so vastly improved I wonder if a few %% here or there is worth the risk - what do you think?

    If you think its worth it I will try the WPMUDEV "back up" plugin and give it a go but will wait to hear if you think the %% increase is actually worthwhile

    Andy

  • Nithin

    Hey Andy,

    Hope you are doing good today. :slight_smile:

    I jst re-ran the performance test and back down to 53 again.

    This is really odd, I checked your website in Google Page speed, and it's showing a score of 87.

    I deleted the cache, and still the there isn't any difference in the page score in PageSpeed. On checking the render blocking issue in Page speed, it seems like the configuration is at it's optimal best. I'm pinging the developer, regarding this page score anomalies, so that he could give a closer look. Will keep you posted once I get an update asap. Have a nice day. :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

  • Nithin

    Hey Andy,

    Hope you are doing good today. :slight_smile:

    One of my colleague Nastia, just checked your dashboard, and a new scan was able to get the score back to normal, not sure what's the exact reason for this change. Maybe it's a small glitch. If you are able to replicate the same anomalies with the score, please do let us know.

    Regarding render blocking issue, all the files mentioned are related to Hummingbird, and it depends entirely upon your theme on how your files can be moved, this is the optimal score what you could achieve without breaking your theme.

    Having a few %% here or there shouldn't affect much, however you could still look for other factors to improve these %, like compressing the images in your plugin plugins/kk-star-ratings/yellow.png, plugins/kk-star-ratings/gray.png should help.

    Please advise if I had missed out anything, so that we could help get this sorted. Have a nice day. :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.