Nearly a year ago, we published information about a new project by Arūnas Liuiza, a WordPress plugin developer, called Measure Jetpack that would benchmark Jetpack’s performance on websites. Outside of a post published in January, there’s been little information on its progress.
I reached out to Liuiza and discovered that he’s going to give a lightning talk about the project at WordCamp Stockholm in November. “I’ll have to rerun all the tests with the latest versions of everything in October for the presentation,” he told the Tavern. “I’ll probably publish the results soon after the WordCamp speech.”
I asked Liuiza what is the most challenging part of the project, “The biggest challenge is to find the time,” he responded. “I’ve become way more busy than I was when I started this, that’s why it is taking so long.” He goes on to say that the results he’s accumulated so far do not show major performance hits unless all modules are activated.
Jetpack 4.2 was released last month with major performance improvements. Liuiza has partial test results for Jetpack prior to version 4.2 but is unsure if he’ll publish those in a separate report.
“He goes on to say that the results he’s accumulated so far do not show major performance hits unless all modules are activated.”
I suppose “major” is relative, but any usage of Jetpack modules at all not only greatly hurt speed for most users, but also SEO. It is a typical example of the lack of transparency behind a lot of the WordPress related applications and services out there. Not only does Jetpack (Photon) upload your images to Automattic-owned servers, but they don’t even explain that is happening during activation, not to mention that it also kills your on-site SEO; it remains a “hacky” app for clueless users.
Besides the lack of transparency on features, there is also no disclosure of the server “map” that Jetpack is powered by. While a website and user base near Dallas (e.g.) might not see a speed decrease, 90% of internet users around the world probably will.
The fact that Jetpack, and other Automattic-owned plugins, continue to be “featured” and “recommended” with hype marketing across the WordPress universe just makes other developers more jaded and less interested to contribute to the community. It is definitely a cash cow for Automattic, but it is also their worst enemy as well.