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NitroPack Evaluation (with check information): Pace ​​up your web site with one device

Do you need speed? No, I'm not talking about auditioning for a role in the next Fast & Furious movie. I'm talking about always looking for ways to speed up your website.

When you have a website, how fast it loads, no matter what it is, matters a lot. A slow loading website leads to unhappy visitors, lowers your conversion rates, and takes you to the doghouse with Google.

Perhaps these facts led to our NitroPack Review – NitroPack is an all-in-one website performance tool that, according to its landing page, is "the only service you need for a fast website".

If there is an easy way to speed up your website, I'm not sure you can find a more convenient way to improve your load times significantly.

Sure, as so often, you will pay for this convenience. But depending on your situation, the money might be worth it.

In this review, I'll be testing NitroPack by …

Run some before / after performance tests to see how much NitroPack can speed up my website. Take a look at the various features of NitroPack. Here's how to set up and configure NitroPack with a WordPress website (although NitroPack works with non-WordPress websites). to).

In the end, you should know whether or not it is the right tool for your needs.

NitroPack performance test data

Of course, the most important factor in deciding whether or not to use NitroPack is whether it can noticeably improve the performance of your website. Because of this, I think it's best to start our NitroPack review with some real performance tests before talking about any of its features.

Basically, the features in the Marketing Copy sound good, but page load times are important.

To test the performance of NitroPack, I used my trusted WordPress demo site to run some before / after tests from different locations.

My test page is hosted on the cheapest DigitalOcean droplet and uses the Astra theme (our test). To add some "weight" and make the test more realistic, I also imported the full Elementor version of the Organic Store template that includes the WooCommerce plugin (along with demo content that is linked to Elementor, a popular plugin for the WordPress site builder).

To collect the test data I used WebPageTest which I think is the best performance testing tool. In addition to various metrics for “loading time”, it also contains data for Google's new Core Web Vitals initiative, which will become a ranking factor in 2021.

The Core Web Vitals metrics measure load times for user experience, rather than just a single metric for load time. Since many of NitroPack's tweaks focus on improving these metrics (e.g., by inlining critical CSS), I think they're another important element to look out for.

For my test configuration I used the following:

Test location. Chicago, Illinois AND Mumbai, India (to see how the CDN works)Browser: Chrome.connection: FIOS (20/5 Mbit / s). This leads to a slower result than a tool like Pingdom. However, it is more accurate how actual human visitors experience your website as it is close to the average internet speed for the US as a whole.Number of tests to be performed: "9". WebPageTest runs nine separate tests and uses the median, which eliminates the variability of individual tests.

I will also run my test page from PageSpeed ​​Insights as I know a lot of people are interested in PageSpeed ​​Insights results. However, don't worry about scores. What really matters is how your human visitors experience your website.

Here's how it worked: I'll start with the raw data and then summarize everything at the end of this section:

Chicago, USA:

No performance optimization (control)

With NitroPack

Nitropack test Chicago

Mumbai, India

No performance optimization (control)

Test data no plugin Mumbai

With NitroPack

Nitropack test Mumbai

PageSpeed ​​Insights

Before NitroPack:

Cell phone, mobile phone:

No optimized Pagespeed Insights Mobile

Desktop:

No optimized desktop for Pagespeed Insights

According to NitroPack:

Cell phone, mobile phone:

Nitropack Pagespeed Insights mobile

Desktop:

Nitropack Pagespeed Insights Desktop

Conclusions

Ok, I know I spat a lot of technical information and tables on you in the previous sections. If you're not a website performance junkie, this may have felt a bit overwhelming. Here are the philanthropic conclusions from all of this test data:

NitroPack has significantly improved the loading times of my website in all areas::

The overall page load times have decreased, which is important to most people. The LCP (Core Web Vitals Largest Contentful Paint) has been improved so that your visitors can see the most important content of your website faster (which should result in a better user experience). The time to the first byte (TTFB) decreased, which means the server responded faster. The PageSpeed ​​Insights results have been significantly improved.

To help you compare, look at the following for the Chicago, Illinois test:

Loading time (document completed) Largest content-related PaintTTFBWithout2,370 s2,319 s0.352 sWith NitroPack0.905 s0.958 s0.175 s

Here is the Mumbai test:

Loading time (document completed) Largest content-related PaintTTFBWithout4.123 s2.832 s1.149 sWith NitroPack1.357 s1.479 s0.836 s

Notice the massive improvement here. The test site is almost three times faster with NitroPack.

Finally, here are the PageSpeed ​​Insights results:

DesktopMobileWithout58? 35? With NitroPack98? 54?

Overall, NitroPack passed the speed tests with flying colors.

How does NitroPack speed up your website?

Ok, now you know that NitroPack can vastly improve your website load times. So … how does it do that?

The most unique thing about NitroPack is that it offers an all-in-one approach to speeding up your website. Instead of hacking a collection of different WordPress performance plugins, you can just set up NitroPack and have it running for a day.

Here are some of the greatest techniques that can be implemented to speed up your website.

Caching

NitroPack has a variety of caching systems to improve performance and reduce the load on your server. The two largest are page caching and browser caching:

Page caching – saves the static HTML version of a page so your server doesn't have to run PHP every time you visit.Browser caching – stores certain static resources on a visitor's local computer so that they don't have to download these resources every time the page loads.

NitroPack also includes smart features like cache invalidation and pre-loading that can help you ensure that as many visitors as possible get cached versions of your content.

If necessary, you can also exclude certain content / resources from caching. For example, if you run an ecommerce store, you need to exclude your shopping cart and checkout pages.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN speeds up your site's global load times by caching static resources in a network of servers around the world (called edge locations). When someone visits your site, they can download these resources from the nearest edge location instead of going all the way to your site's physical server.

This CDN is a big part of what explains how my test site was over 3 times faster with NitroPack when tested in Mumbai, India.

The NitroPack CDN is supported by Amazon CloudFront and is automatically integrated into the service.

Image optimization

Images are about half the file size of an average web page. Hence, it is a great way to narrow down the possibilities in order to shrink it. NitroPack automatically optimizes your images, including conversion to the fast WebP format and lazy loading.

Code optimization

NitroPack includes many different features to optimize your website code. This includes not only minimizing the size of your site's code, but also the loading of your code.

First, NitroPack can automatically generate critical CSS for each individual layout and then postpone loading non-critical CSS, which will speed up content visibility (and also increase your PageSpeed ​​Insights scores).

It can also postpone render-blocking JavaScript, which has the same positive effects as postponing CSS (and PageSpeed ​​Insights is always yelling at you).

Finally, there are a few other improvements like DNS prefetch and font rendering optimization.

NitroPack prices

Now to the next important question: how much do all these features cost you?

NitroPack has a limited free plan that works for small websites. However, there is a NitroPack badge in the footer of your website.

After that, paid plans start at $ 19 per month billed annually or $ 29 per month billed monthly.

Annual billing::

Nitropack annual billing

Monthly billing::

Nitropack monthly billing

These prices apply per location. However, you can also contact the sales team for plans for multiple locations or agencies.

How to configure NitroPack on WordPress

As I've mentioned a couple of times, one of the great things about NitroPack is how easy it is to get started. With all of the features implemented, it's probably the easiest optimizer I've ever used.

I will focus on WordPress in this tutorial. Remember, however, that NitroPack isn't limited to WordPress websites. However, if you use WordPress, the dedicated WordPress plugin will be up and running in minutes.

To get started you need to:

Then go to Settings → NitroPack On your WordPress dashboard, click Connect to NitroPack Button:

Nitropack tutorial 1

If you are already logged into your NitroPack account, NitroPack will recognize this. Otherwise you will be asked to log in.

Then you need to choose which website you want to optimize, which you should have entered when creating your NitroPack account:

Nitropack tutorial 2

And that's it! You're connected – I told you it's easy.

While NitroPack gives you a basic dashboard within your WordPress site along with a few settings, you manage most things from NitroPack's cloud dashboard. Not Your WordPress site. Let's go there next.

How to configure NitroPack

The cool thing about NitroPack is that you don't even have to "configure" it. It works pretty much instantly. In fact, when I ran the tests above, I used the default configuration – I literally didn't make a single change.

If you want to dig deeper, go to the settings Tab in your NitroPack dashboard. You can then choose from the desired degree of optimization construction Slider. Based on the optimization level you have chosen, NitroPack will automatically configure some / all of the above features.

For example, if you want Strong (Default) includes features such as deferred loading and font optimization. For reference, the tests I ran above used the Strong Level too.

Nitropack tutorial 3

If you're a casual user, you're done! Just stop – you don't have to go any further than choosing the level of optimization you want.

If you scroll down you will be given a few additional options, most of which concern including / excluding certain content from optimization.

For example, you can exclude certain images or resources, cookies, URLs, etc. This can be helpful if, for example, you're a photographer and want to exclude your high-resolution portfolio images from being compressed, or if you have a membership website and you don't want cached content to be served to signed-in members:

Nitropack tutorial 4

The Integrations The tab also allows you to integrate a few other tools:

Reverse proxy – Many managed WordPress hosts use Varnish or Nginx as a reverse proxy for server-level caching so you can continue to benefit from these optimizations with this feature.CloudflareSucuriNitropack tutorial 5

NitroPack gives you some other dashboard areas where you can monitor usage and see which pages have been optimized.

Just right?

Final thoughts: should you be using NitroPack?

At this point in our NitroPack review, I'm pretty confident that NitroPack can actually speed up your website – the numbers speak for themselves.

Plus, it's very easy to use – the WordPress setup process is dead easy and completely straightforward once you've overcome that initial hump.

The only disruptive factor is the price.

The question is not just "Will NitroPack speed up your website?" That answer is a resounding yes.

Instead, the question is, "Is NitroPack speeding your website enough to warrant paying at least $ X a month?"

Here the answer is yes … sometimes and no … sometimes.

When not to use NitroPack

If you use WordPress and are on a budget, there are other tools that can help you significantly improve your website load times for much less money. The best option here is probably WP Rocket, which in our hands-on WP Rocket review cut my test site's load times by 41%.

This test site was now in a different hosting environment. So it's not fair to compare this number to NitroPack (my NitroPack test site starts off with a much faster baseline hosting). The point, however, is that WP Rocket can vastly improve your website load times for a one-time fee of $ 49.

For many websites, this is “good enough” and will save you a lot of money.

When should you use NitroPack?

If you're willing to pay for great performance, NitroPack has a lot to offer:

First off, the performance improvements on my tests were … well, pretty darn impressive. It actually went much better than I expected. My test page is already pretty fast with its DigitalOcean droplet, but NitroPack still cut my page load times by well over 50% for the tests in Chicago and Mumbai.

Second, NitroPack not only improved the top-line page load time, but also massively improved the performance metrics for the user experience in Google's Core Web Vitals. In the Chicago test, for example, my Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) time was reduced from 2.319 s to 0.958 s.

Since Google will be using Core Web Vitals as an SEO ranking factor from 2021 onwards, this is another way that NitroPack makes a living.

Remember that there is a lot of data that links load times to important metrics like conversion rate and bounce rate. So if you have a "reputable" website like a membership site or an ecommerce store, NitroPack might pay off by helping you sell more products and get happier customers.

Final verdict? If you're ready to invest in your website's performance, then you should definitely consider NitroPack. If you're using WordPress and you're on a tight budget, a one-time fee plugin like WP Rocket might give you better value.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that we may pay a small commission when you make a purchase.

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