[Hummingbird] Performance test suggests using font-display: swap

On one of the sites I’m building Hummingbird suggested adding font-display: swap for custom fonts I’m using, but I wasn’t able to make it work there even after adding the CSS code.

Also, I’ve set browser caching to be 8 days and Hummingbirds shows that in the back-end, but the test shows that assets have different values set, like 3h etc.

Can you assist?

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Stuart

    I hope you’re well today and thank you for your questions!

    As for browser cache.

    Google PageSpeed Insights report only one asset as being cached for 2 hours and it’s an “analytics.js” file coming from Google. You cannot change the caching policy of the external scripts though and it doesn’t really make much sense to cache that for longer as it could affect stats (e.g. if there’s some urgent update pushed due to an error).

    While all other resources are reported by PageSpeed to be cached for 8 days – and that complies with what’s set in Hummingbird and reported in its browser cache settings – I can see different expiration times reported by Hummingbird Performance Test.

    However, in this case I would trust PageSpeed insights more and I believe the result that Performance Test is giving is not quite “up to date”. I checked some of the resources reported as e.g. cached for 3 hours and looking at HTTP headers directly in browser confirms expected 8 days expiration – so caching does work fine.

    I did notice though a bit unexpected behavior: if you run some Performance Tests “in a row” it should get blocked and stay locked for 3 hours until you can run next tests. But when I tried that on your site, it did get locked but got “unlocked” much faster, the test itself went surprisingly fast and returned results different than PageSpeed (worse, like it wasn’t giving them “up to date”:wink: – while it is actually using PageSpeed as it’s based on its API (so results should be pretty much the same).

    I can see that you’re hosting with BlueHost and I’m not really sure about their caching mechanisms currently. I can see that there’s EPC cache set on site to “Level 0” (which should be no cache) and, according to chat, you checked if there’s no cache but I’m wondering about some additional caches such as e.g. object caching that could possibly cache DB query results – that could affect

    Performance Report. Could you check about that?

    Can you also make sure about the webservers configuration as this would be important for browser caching settings? By “webservers” configuration I mean that Hummingbird and WPMU DEV Dashboard they are both detecting that site’s powered by Apache webserver but a check from outside returns response from “nginx” webserver.

    This isn’t unusual and a common case is when there’s Apache that’s the “main” webserver, serving the site while there’s also “nginx” in front of it acting as a kind of proxy – but that would also mean that browser caching configuration would have to be added to nginx config if that is even possible at all.

    As for fonts

    If “font-display:swap” doesn’t work, you might want to try other options as it’s quite an “individual thing” which one will help. Instead of “swap” it can also be “auto”, “block”, “swap”, “fallback”, “optional’.

    Have you tried with them already?

    Best regards,

    Adam

  • Stuart
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Adam,

    Let me start with the font thing first. With your suggestion as a guide, I tried every variant of font-display and none of them had any effect on the google pagespeed warning. As it is not a serious time delayer, I will forego experiments for now and concentrate on more productive stuff like deferring scripts and css that is not critical and which is flagged as slowing the page load.

    I checked in with Bluehost, the hosting provider. They also see a difference between Hbird and google page speed but assure me there is no caching in operation and the servers are definitely apache, with no ngnix.

    So, it all remains a mystery. I’m going to try moving / deferring some scripts.

    Cheers,

    Stu

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Stuart

    Thank you for your response and asking BlueHost about webservers.

    I must say I'm quite surprised by their answer as server clearly responds as nginx:

    This basically means that there is nginx server and Apache is behind it. Apache only, nginx only and nginx "in front" of Apache are three most common types of "webserver configuration" but they all need a bit different treatment.

    However, I also noticed something else and that would explain why I've seen yet another set of settings in .htaccess. I didn't notice it before and I'm sorry about that: apparently while you shared site access crednentials to mytechanalyst.net site (and that's the site I was checking), the FTP credentials that you provided are for "multi.mytechanalyst.net" site – which is a separate install as far as I understand.

    This means that everything that I checked in wp-config.php, .htaccess and other files (like log files) was irrelevant to the case! Taking that into account, I'll need to check those again but I need proper FTP account credentials.

    Could you please send me a message containing those? It'd be best if you could just provide me with all the, double-checked, access credentials again so I was sure that I'm using right ones.

    Note: Don't leave your login details in this ticket.

    Instead, you can send me your details using our contact form https://premium.wpmudev.org/contact/#i-have-a-different-question and the template below:

    Subject: "Attn: Adam Czajczyk"

    – Site login URL

    – WordPress admin username

    – WordPress admin password

    – FTP credentials (host/username/password)

    – cPanel credentials (host/username/password)

    – Folder path to site in question

    – Link back to this thread for reference

    – Any other relevant urls/info

    Best regards,

    Adam

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