Hummingbird minification breaks site

This is the second site on which I've tried Hummingbird, both with mixed results but I appreciate it's early days.

Turning on minification with the default settings causes this site to look very strange (I know this is not unusual). Sometimes it appeared to be loading in Mac Chrome as a mobile site, but parts of the page did not load. I think combination/minification breaks visual composer. Given its prevalence, some settings or guidance would be a good thing for widespread Hummingbird acceptance.

I selectively turned things off until none of the files were minified or combined. Every file had include "on", minify and combine was "off" and they were all in their original location. Unfortunately, with these settings the Nivo image slider that is part of the theme presented a black box with a neverending loading symbol.

This was the best I could get, but it's a live site and I can't leave it like that. I had to turn off minification entirely. However, I was able to get it to this state with about half the files included in minify and/or combine. If we can fix the slider, it could be worth using.

While testing, I turned off Cloudflare and WP Super Cache, but I will turn them on after I send this. Support access is on if you need to have a look. I didn't create the site, I just maintain it. From what I've seen, it's a bit hacked together. There are changes directly to the Story theme without a child theme and other odd things in there.


  • Nastia

    Hello @morgan6

    As it mentioned on the Hummingbird usage page the WP Hummingbird is compatible with most WordPress installations, and themes or plugins coded outside WordPress standards may see broken elements with Javascript minified.

    I've done a few tests on your site, even when the minification is disabled on all of your JS & CSS files, the site seems loads incorrectly. After excluding all files from minification the file list wasn't visible, most likely this because of the conflict with a plugin. Please check for a conflict with a plugin as it shows at this flowchart.

    The Minification indeed can break themes, because not all of them are built with WordPress standards.

    After scan is finished, it's better to exclude all files from minification and enable them one by one, to check when the site is breaking up.

    Once you find the one that breaks something change how they are placed: in the header or in the footer. Some scripts need to be implemented in header, so if you change them to footer they will stop working.
    There is many combination you can try and test - see what is working best for your site. If some files are not handling well minification then disable it only for them.

    Let us know how it went!


  • Morgan

    Hello Nastia,
    Thanks very much for your reply. I'm just looking at the site again today and have noticed a few things:

    1. It appears minification was left on and the site was broken again when I returned to. I have turned it off.
    2. The minification settings don't show any eligible files. Before I wrote you, it was giving me around 30 files to minify/combine. I returned, this time, to try different settings.
    3. Good News! The performance score has jumped up (possibly with CloudFlare and WP super cache on) to 96. I started at 70 and got it to around 84 before writing you. This is good, but I'm trying to understand why/how.
    4. The only item on the performance report now under 80 is 'server response time' at 34. Strangely, the report now gives very high scores to minification and does not highlight any render-blocking code. I don't understand how this is possible (CloudFlare minification is off, it's mostly for caching) as I haven't made any changes to the code to remove render blocking. Before, I was getting low scores for minification, render blocking,

    I think I've done everything I can for the server response time. WP Super Cache and Cloudflare are installed with small improvements. I've suggested to the site owner to upgrade the hosting service for speed improvement.

    Before trying Hummingbird, I had a look at plugins with P3 and removed a lot that I could. Many there now are not my choice or can't be removed for other reasons. However, the current performance score suggests little further intervention is necessary.

    Best regards,

  • Nastia

    Hello Morgan, I hope you are doing well!

    My apologies, I might have left the minification enabled!

    2. Yes, the list is not visible, I've mentioned in my first post that this is a conflict with a plugin. Please run a quick test by following the steps from the flowchart
    Once we know what plugin is causing this and the problem is fixed, we may "play" with minification settings to see if different combinations may solve the issue with the broken page.

    3. Really happy to hear that the website performance have so high score :slight_smile:

    4. I tested your page speed with Pingdom, and I see no messages regarding minification either. The gtMetrix shows the minification score 87/100
    I can't think of a good explanation, have you apdated your theme latly, or Visual Composer plugin? In case you did, the new update has improoved and reduced the size of resources.

    Please advise,


  • Morgan

    Hello Nastia,
    Thanks for your reply.

    I don't think I've updated anything between tests that could account for differences. I mentioned the list of files not appearing in minification because it changed without any other changes to the site. Before I emailed, it was around 30 files in the minification list. After I heard from you, I went back to the site and there were none.

    I'm a bit reticent about turning off plugins on a live site. In any case, it relies heavily on Visual Composer and a couple of others. If they are causing problems there's little I can do about it.

    I need to do a few updates, so will check again after that. However, I don't think I'll do much more about speed unless the site owner is unhappy with it. (I still think it would be more economical for her to upgrade hosting than pay me to test it more.)

    I'll let you know if I discover anything else or anything changes.

    Many thanks,

  • Nastia

    Hello @morgan6

    I hope you are doing well today!

    I checked the GTmatrix of the site again, the pagespeed score went to 91/100. Looks great!

    I'm a bit reticent about turning off plugins on a live site. In any case, it relies heavily on Visual Composer and a couple of others. If they are causing problems there's little I can do about it.

    The solution here is to do all the testing on the staging site and if you find a plugin that causes this issue please let us know and we will troubleshoot further :slight_smile:

    Let us know if you require any further assistance!


  • Sajid

    Hi Scott,
    Hope you are doing good today!

    I am sorry but it is not possible to determine and test it with every theme out there. Yes, you have to switch toggles until it works.

    If you need further assistance, please create your own ticket instead of posting in here.

    For future reference it is always recommended to start new thread instead of posting in similar thread. If you find any thread related to your issue, feel free to include that thread link in your own ticket of reference.

    Take care and have a nice day :slight_smile:

    Best Regards,

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