CSS and JS | Hummingbird – WordPress (Plugin)

Short description : CSS and JS

Hummingbird is a caching plugin with other features (CSS and JS minification, lazy load, etc…) for a faster WordPress site. 

Long Description : CSS and JS

Description Hummingbird 

Loading speed is a decisive factor in improving the user experience and the ranking of a site on search engine pages (SERP), especially on Google.  Hummingbird is a plugin that has some great features that you can leverage to improve the loading speed of your WordPress site for better performance and a higher Google Page Speed ​​score.

What is the Hummingbird plug-in?

Hummingbird is a plugin developed by WPMU DEV to help WordPress users improve the loading speed of their website.  The tool is a caching plugin, but also has other optimization features that you can use to improve your site’s overall performance.  Among these optimization features, we can cite: 
  • Caching 
  • The possibility of deferring CSS style sheets and JS scripts
  • Minification of CSS and JavaScript codes 
  • Integration of Lazy Loading 
  • File compression
  • Etc. 
Millions of files are zipped every day with over 100,000 downloads of the free version of the plugin. 

Hummingbird: How to install the plugin? 

Installing Hummingbird depends on the version of the plugin you want to use:

1. Install the free version of Hummingbird from WordPress 

Installing Hummingbird is quite simple like any other WordPress plugin. 
  • To get started, go to your WordPress dashboard 
  • In the menu bar on the left, click on “Plugins” then on “Add new” 
  • Then search for “Hummingbird” then click on the “Install now” button. 
  • When the download is complete, click “Activate”. 
Hummingbird has just been installed, you should be able to access all the features of the plugin directly on your WordPress dashboard.  

2. Install Hummingbird Pro 

For those who want to install the Pro version of the plugin, you have the WPMU DEV Hub platform with an all-in-one management interface.  This option makes it easier to manage updates and install plugins and themes through a single workspace. 

Hummingbird: The main features of the plugin 

Here is a list of the main tasks you can do with the Hummingbird plugin: 

Configure caching 

To configure caching with Hummingbird: 
  • Go to your WordPress dashboard
  • Click on WP-Admin » Hummingbird » Caching 
  • Then click on “Activate” to activate the Hummingbird caching module 
After activating the module, you have a list of parameters to configure the caching of your site such as:  Cache preloading : By default, the files of a page are stored in the cache only after a first Internet user tries to access this page. The cache preloading feature allows you to emulate a first visit to your pages in order to trigger the caching process. This improves the loading speed of your pages immediately from the first real visitor.  Mobile caching: This feature lets you decide whether or not to enable caching for your visitors who use mobile devices.  Exclusions: Hummingbird also offers you the possibility of specifically excluding certain cookies, pages or URLs to avoid conflicts with third-party programs. You also have the toggle switches to easily decide which content you want or do not want to be considered for caching.  There are several other features that you can learn about on the official Hummingbird documentation. Generally, in most cases, it will not necessarily be necessary to use all of these features. You can enable caching and leave the rest of the settings at their default.  But if you are particularly interested in a feature, you can activate it then go to the footer and click on “Save settings”. 

Combining and Minifying Files 

Combining and minifying files is one of the best practices for improving the loading speed of a website. This is also a feature available on the Hummingbird plugin.  To activate it: 
  • Go to the “wp-admin” section then click on “Hummingbird” and “Asset Optimization”. 
  • Then click “Enable” to activate the minification and file combination module. 
The plugin will then run a full scan of your site to identify any files that potentially need to be optimized.  Once the analysis phase is complete, Hummingbird displays the number of files identified on the screen.  You can then decide to continue with the file optimization phase. Once thisphase is complete, the tool displays the number of optimized files as well as the total file size that could be reduced.  subscribers Hummingbird Pro have the possibility to activate in addition the WPMU DEV CDN for more performance with a file table composed of 5 icons namely: 
  • Minify: To reduce the size of the selected file. If it is an already minified file, the Minify » icon will be greyed out. 
  • Combine: This icon is used to combine or concatenate all your style sheets into a single CSS file and all your scripts into a single JavaScript file. This lightens the browser by reducing the number of requests sent to it. Thus the browser is less busy and the pages load faster. 
  • Move scripts to footer : This is a technique that prevents blocking of JavaScript and CSS renderers. 
  • Online CSS: With this icon, you can move the selected CSS file and make it directly accessible online. 
  • Do not load file: As the name already indicates, this feature allows you to block the loading of the selected file. It can be useful in case you don’t necessarily need a certain script on your site. 
It’s true that with Hummingbird you have the option to enable bulk concatenation of scripts. However, it is recommended to proceed as follows for more efficiency:  Combine JavaScript files one by one: For the concatenation of your script files, it would be more judicious to browse the list of scriptis (identified by Hummingbird) and proceed to a manual concatenation and a single script at a time and then save your changes. Then test your front-end code to make sure everything is working properly.  If no issues were found, skip concatenating the next script until all the scripts you are targeting are combined. This will decrease the total number of requests sent to the browser and your pages will load faster.  Minify JavaScript files one by one: Minification is also a practice that greatly contributes to improving the loading speed of your site. But for more efficiency, it is recommended to minify each script file separately. For this, the principle remains the same with concatenation.  You go through the list of scripts to minify identified automatically by Hummingbird, minify one script at a time, then save your changes. Then test yourfront-end to make sure everything works perfectly.  Once you have configured all the previously presented elements, you should notice your website loading faster. 

Hummingbird: Pricing 

The plugin exists in two versions: 
  • Hummingbird free version 
  • Hummingbird Pro paid version starts at $7.5 per month with a 7-day free trial to test the tool before subscribing

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Hummingbird is developed by Incsub. It is a company founded in 2007 by Jacques Fermier and which intervenes in the sector of Technologies, information and the Internet.  Incsub has its head office established in Victoria and more precisely Albert Park. It is a company specializing in the hosting industry and in software development. Most of the tools set up by the company most often concern WordPress. Specifically, IncSub is a development platform used to help customers create websites from WordPress. Anyway, the various WordPress plugins as well as the other tools developed by Incsub are aimed at all businesses, small, medium and large. They are also aimed at SEOs, SEO agencies and digital marketers.

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Alexandre MAROTEL

Founder of the SEO agency Twaino, Alexandre Marotel is passionate about SEO and generating traffic on the internet. He is the author of numerous publications, and has a Youtube channel which aims to help entrepreneurs create their websites and be better referenced in Google.