NitroPack Review 2021: Does it Really Improves PageSpeed?

NitroPack Review

This post is my detailed review of NitroPack. 

If you are looking to know about NitroPack in detail, then you shouldn’t miss this.

In this review, the following NitroPack things are covered.

  • NitroPack performance test
  • NitroPack Features & Pricing
  • NitroPack Pros & Cons
  • Use cases of NitroPack, etc.

NitroPack Overview 

  • Service: Cloud-based optimization service.
  • Include: Caching, CDN, and Image Optimization.
  • Pricing: Free, premium plans at $19/month.
  • Platforms: WordPress and Opencart.
  • Site: www.NitroPack.io

What is NitroPack?

NitroPack is an all-in-one Cloud-based performance optimization services for WordPress and Opencart sites.

With an advanced caching mechanism, high cache hit ratio, image optimization, NitroPack comes with every feature combined to deliver fast loading websites.

NitroPack Home

Before going with features, I will show you a live case study of NitroPack as that makes sense here.

What does NitroPack Promise?

NitroPack guarantees the PageSpeed score will be 90+ for Desktop and 75+ for Mobile.

If you get a lower score, NitroPack support will do a private check and provide you custom optimization to improve the scores. 

NitroPack Performance Test

To perform NitroPack performance, I’ve got the following setup.

  • I took my site hosted on SiteGround GoGeek plan hosted on USA datacenter;
  • Installed Astra site designed with Elementor;
  • Compared before and after the test.

Instead of going with the default setup, I made the site with many images and used Elementor to increase the page size to test the best of NitroPack.

Before NitroPack

To test NitroPack, it’s good to know the performance before applying them, so you can get a good idea of how much percent NitroPack improves the page speed.

At first, the site is tested on PageSpeed insights with a focus on Core Web Vitals. Here is how the site performed on the Mobile and Desktop tests.

Default Mobile Score
Default Desktop Score

Now, the sites are tested for TTFB, which is the main thing to focus on to reduce initial server response time in WordPress. Below are the TTFB scores while trying from global locations.

After NitroPack

To test NitroPack, I have installed their WordPress plugin on my site and used their default setup. I cleared the cache and put the site on test across the tools.

In PageSpeed Insights, NitroPack improved the mobile score has been enhanced from 32 to 93, while the desktop score has been enhanced from 87 to 100. 

Modified
Original
Modified
Original

More than the overall score, we need to consider Core Web Vitals WordPress metrics, which are as follows: The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) has improved from 7.7 seconds to 2.8 seconds on mobile. The desktop LCP score improved from 2.0 seconds to 0.7 seconds.

The other two parameters of Core Web Vitals (Total Blocking Time and Cumulative Layout Shift) also improved, which summarized in the below table.

CompareSiteGroung GoGeek (Mobile)Nitropack Score (Mobile)
Score3293
FCP3.7s1.1s
Speed Index5.8s2.1s
LCP7.7s2.8s
Time to Interactive7.5s2.4s
Total Blocking Time1220ms210ms
Cumulative Layout Shift0.0550.241

CompareSiteGroung GoGeek (Desktop)Nitropack Score (Desktop)
Score87100
FCP1.0s0.3s
Speed Index1.5s0.5s
LCP2.0s0.7s
Time to Interactive1.1s0.3s
Total Blocking Time0ms0ms
Cumulative Layout Shift0.0030

The best thing about NitroPack is the speed optimization is done automatically. The only thing I did was installing the plugin and connecting it to my NitroPack account.

Do you know? NitroPack offers a free account so that you can test and upgrade only if needed.

Here is the before and after comparison of global TTFB:

SiteGround TTFB
NitroPack TTFB

How good is NitroPack?

If you are not aware, SiteGround performance has been declining in recent years. SiteGround TTFB or initial server response time is not great, which affects the overall performance.

To give you a clear picture, I’ve compared the Cloudways Cheap plan and SiteGround’s highest plan. With no further explanation needed, Cloudways clearly offers better performance.

SiteGround
Cloudways

So, I took the SiteGround site to test NitroPack performance. Improving performance on SiteGround is not easy with a traditional setup ( SG optimizer, Cloudflare, image optimization, etc.). However, NitroPack does the job in the most sophisticated way to improve Google PageSpeed Scores. 

At the time of writing, NitroPack powers more than 18,000+ websites globally, given the fact, most of the users try their free plan and upgrade after getting impressive results. With coupon code “BLOGGINGIO” you can get a 5% discount on their annual plans.

How does NitroPack Improves Core Web Vitals Score?

Nitropack is laced with a broad range of advanced features such as code optimization, smart caching, image optimization, and CDN (Content Delivery Network) to improve your page loading speed. 

It can also be integrated with eCommerce websites like OpenCart, WooCommerce, Magento, etc. In the next section, we will understand them in detail. 

The Core Web Vitals score can be improved by improving the three metrics Largest Contentful paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

So, here are the three primary reasons you need Nitropack for your website:

  • Optimized images: The tool automatically changes the size of the images according to the device on which the visitor views your website. For example, a picture of 1000*1000 changes to 250*250 to fit the user’s screen size. This reduces the Cumulative Layout shift happening on the page.
  • Lazy load offscreen images: Through lazy loading, the browser only loads the image the visitor is viewing in real-time. Nitropack uses this feature to load the website faster, even with lesser bandwidth. This reduces the Largest Contentful Paint and improves the load time.
  • Boost DOM parser execution: The platform fully optimizes your website HTML code by understanding its structure using DOM Parser. After which, Nitropack can easily make modifications in the code.

NitroPack Features

In short, NitroPack speed optimization service includes

  • NitroPack proprietary speed algorithm;
  • Amazon Cloudfront CDN with 200+ global POP;
  • A complete Image optimization suite;
  • HTML,CSS,JS Minification and Compression;
  • DNS prefetching, preloading, JS delay, and more.

1. Advanced Caching Mechanism

NitroPack comes with their proprietary caching mechanism that ensures a high cache hit ratio for better load time. They integrate well with any 3rd-party cache like Varnish, Nginx, etc.

The most common features are

  • Smart Invalidation: Ensures optimized content always served to visitors.
  • Cookie and Device Awareness: Content delivery based on language, device, etc
  • Browser Caching: helps to faster browser delivery.
  • Auto Cache Warmup: Page automatically optimized after edits. 

2. Robust CDN with Global Pops

NitroPack partnered with Amazon Cloudfront CDN, which comes with 200+ global POP locations. With CDN, your content will be served from a nearby POP location, thus improving international visitors’ load time.

Cloudflare doesn’t serve your pages from all their POPs (limited based on plan) while Cloudfront doesn’t put any restrictions. So it's better than the Cloudflare plans (only $200/month Enterprise user will get all POP access). Apart from it, Cloudfront is much faster than Cloudflare in response time.

Lower score is better

Cloudfront also performs GZIP and Brotli compression to reduce the page size.

3. HTML, CSS & JS Optimization

NitroPack performs all HTML, CSS and JavaScrip optimization. It does Intelligent Minification, Compression when needed.

Most common PageSpeed Insights issues like -Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript; Eliminate render-blocking resources will be automatically fixed with NitroPack.

HTML, CSS and JS Optimization

Some of the most brilliant features are

  • Critical CSS generator for all pages
  • Advanced Resource loader
  • Intelligent JS Combining

4. Complete Image Optimization Suite

NitroPack takes care of all image optimization tech required to speed up your site. If your site faces the issue of “serve images in the next-gen format,” NitroPack does WEBP image delivery with adaptive sizing, so your scores will improve a lot. Some of the features are

  • Lossy and lossless image compression
  • Preemptive image sizing – Image containers optimized for faster rendering.
  • Adaptive Sizing – Images delivered based on users’ device and screen size.
  • Advanced Lazy Loading 
  • WEBP Support.

5. Cache warmup

Cache warming is done to fill the void when the visitor hits the website. Like this, no visitor will miss the cache when they come to the website for the first time.

Primary functions offered by the features include:

  • It will optimize the website when an automated cache is removed.
  • Optimizes all the pages present in the configured URLs

The user can provide either the Sitemap XML or the homepage URLs. Once you enable cache warmup, the platform will identify the number of optimizations and ask you to confirm the warmup.

6. Safe mode

It will allow you to test the functionalities of Nitropack on your website without having to make any changes to the original web page.

You can enable the safe mode and extend your website URL by adding – ?test nitro=1 at its end. Likewise, you will be able to process all the changes Nitropack is making without actually publicly affecting the website interface. 

The changes you make through the safe mode will only be on the test pages. Remember to disable the safe mode else, all the changes will be transferred to your live website. So, make sure you reverse all the unwanted changes and only keep the important ones.

7. Custom CSS

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is one of the major elements to build a website. For making any changes to the web page, you have to customize your CSS code first. And this is what Nitropack offers, it helps you in changing the default theme of your website.

The feature allows you to make changes to different elements of your website before Javascript execution. For example, if you think your website doesn’t have an aligned header or footer when the page is loading, adding a custom CSS will solve your problem and make it more attractive.

8. Delayed scripts

It is the most important feature that helps in scheduling your scripts. You can set the first few javascript and delay the one which can be loaded after this. The java scripts will only be delayed by 5 seconds and then loaded according to your priority list.

You can do it in two methods:

  • External scripts- By directly entering the script’s URL in the code.
  • Inline scripts- By mentioning the script URL/code on your Nitropack portal.

For example, you can delay the chat widget snippet on your website and allow other vital information to come up first.

9. Excluded cookies

Cookies are also known as HTTP cookies, Internet cookies, or web cookies. These are text that is transferred from a web server to the visitor’s browsers. If the browser saves those cookies, it helps the server keep track of the user’s activity.

You can share non-cached snippets to your visitors through the excluded cookies features. If you use Nitropack on platforms like WooCommerce, OpenCart, or WordPress, this feature is already present in default. 

It is best for platforms other than the one mentioned here. Due to the abundance in the number of CMS and plugin platforms, it becomes difficult to provide a list of all the cookies. You have to choose which cookie needs to be excluded.

10. Disable text flashing

Nitropack multiples the process of your webpage rendering. But the procedure cannot start before all the fonts are loaded, which ultimately results in slowing down your website. 

To improve this, Nitropack instructs browsers to render text as soon as possible and then swap text when the original font downloads. However, this process can observe this process so you can disable it in a few steps.

11. Combine CSS/JS

Combining your JS and CSS files will help browsers enhance your web page speed. The clubbing makes it very easy to render the site. You can do it with pages having HTTP/1 and HTTP/2.

  • Combine CSS – Websites mostly use media queries to make themselves accessible on laptops, phones, and tablets. It results in creating multiple CSS files, because of which Nitropack has merged files of media screen and media all. 

So, it avoids all the unnecessary files and comes down to a single folder.

  • Combine JS – Combining JavaScript can be tricky as they all work on a set pattern and any change in the order can hamper the working of your website. But Nitropack takes care of this efficiently and rarely encounters cases with any such problems.

It is highly advised that you perform both these features with the technical expert’s help to avoid any future complications.

12. Improve response time

To skip multiple server logic, Nitropack offers a static page cache and helps improve the server response time. This option is permanently enabled, and through the cache expiration setting, you can manage the time duration your cache pages will be stored. 

By default, Nitropack has set the expiration time to 25,92.000 seconds (3days). But you can change this duration according to your requirement.

Nitropack optimization modes, and which should you choose?

Nitropack offers four optimization modes which you can choose according to your website requirement. The best mode should be the one that offers the highest scores with the least UX issues.

  • The standard and medium modes: These are among the primary modes that optimize your website’s performance and are the most stable. They go for a built-in browser approach rather than using the custom code mechanism.
  • The strong mode: It is much faster and aggressive than the standard and medium modes. This mode posses’ latest features like font modification, lazy loading, and an advanced loading mechanism. It is also the default mode of Nitropack, which is stable and offers higher website speed.
  • The Ludicrous Mode: This is the best-performing model that offers the highest speed. It prioritizes CSS and HTML and delays Java scripts to give the quickest loading speed. You must perform extensive research before choosing the mode, as it might be a little overwhelming for some websites.
  • The Manual mode: This mode is mostly used by developers or tech-savvy people who can customize advanced settings like combining resources and resource manifestation. You should only opt for the manual mode if you are confident enough to make such big changes.

Difference Between Strong Mode & Ludicrous Mode

Both of these modes use different approaches to improve the loading time of a webpage. The strong mode is faster than the standard and medium mode, but Ludicrous is the fastest. It uses advanced features to boost your website speed without delaying any resources. 

Ludicrous prioritizes CSS and HTML and delays JS scripts. It means your website will load even before it becomes interactive for the viewers. You must check your website dependency on the JS script before using the ludicrous mode. 

Run your website after disabling JS scripts and find out if all the essential information is in place. And, if everything is fine, you can go for the ludicrous mode. Otherwise, the strong mode can also be a great option for your website.

NitroPack Pricing

The Pricing for NitroPack is calculated based on pageviews. Apart from the free plan, there are three different available.

NitroPack doesn’t limit features, and all their paid plans include every website speed service features.

  • 50,000 Pageviews – $19/month, 25GB CDN Bandwidth
  • 200,000 Pageviews – $39/month, 100GB CDN Bandwidth
  • 1,000,000 Pageviews – $159/month, 500GB CD Bandwidth
  • 5000 Pageviews – Get Started for free

All NitroPack comes with 14-days money-back guarantee. There are also custom plans for agencies and enterprise clients. 

NitroPack Free Vs. Paid

As we already mentioned, NitroPack comes with a free plan which you can use for testing. It is more than enough to move your sites and see how it performs. If your WordPress site receives less than 5000 visits per month, you can use NitroPack free forever.

NitroPack Paid plan comes with a complete set of features. There is no difference in features among plans, and it is differentiated based on pageviews alone. Check your analytics for monthly pageviews, and then choose any plan accordingly. 

How to choose the best Nitropack plan?

Nitropack plans are based on the pageviews your website receives monthly. It offers both free and paid versions. The plans are:

  • 50k page views at $17.50 monthly
  • 200k page views at $42.50 monthly
  • 1 Million pageviews at $146.67 monthly

Note – All these plans are billed annually

To select the perfect plan for your website, you must know your view count correctly.

How to calculate your page views?

1. Open your Google Analytics account and check your audience report.

2. Choose a month that yields a high traffic

3. Check your pageviews

Now, you can choose any of the plans that match your website’s page views.

How to Setup NitroPack With WordPress?

First, sign up for a free account and confirm your email address. After login into your account, Click New Website and enter your details.

Now, head over to your WordPress dashboard and click “Add Plugins.” Now search for NitroPack and install the official NitroPack plugin.

NOTE: At this stage, take a screenshot or record the score from PageSpeed Insights so that you can verify the metrics manually.

Connect your NitroPack account and select the site. You can either choose the default or custom option based on your need.

You can play around with a lot of options and see which settings work best for you. In most cases, the default settings provide better results.

NitroPack is suitable for

If you are pre-paid for hosting in advance and need a speed improvement, then NitroPack is your ultimate choice. It is also suitable for agencies when their clients require immediate high scores.

Moreover, with “Page Experience” getting into a ranking factor by May 2021, everyone should use NitroPack, if your manual optimization doesn’t improve your scores. 

NitroPack is not suitable for

Users on budget. NitroPack is excellent, but it’s not affordable for everyone in the online industry. Many of them must be just getting started with fewer bucks, and many have other commitments to improve the rankings.

If you are in such a scenario, use the combination of Cloudways, StackPath, and WP Rocket for better results. Cloudways is cheap at $10/month, and WP Rocket, priced at $49/year, can improve your site speed if the configuration is done correctly.

By default, Cloudways solves the problem “Reduce initial server response time,” and WP Rocket will take care of caching and other speed optimizations. For sites that require CDN, choose StackPath. It’s one of the most affordable and faster CDN than Cloudflare. 

Do I recommend NitroPack?

Yes, we do.

NitroPack has provided impressive results in our tests. There is no competing alternative to NitroPack, thus making them an industry leader in PageSpeed Optimization service. 

Also, they offer manual configurations if needed, an incredible 100% money-back guarantee, and multiple tiers of packages suitable for different customers. You can get a 5% discount on any of their plans, exclusive to Bloggingio visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NitroPack Free?

Get started with NitroPack for free and upgrade if your sites exceed the plan limits.

How to improve NitroPack Mobile Score?

To improve the NitroPack Mobile score, try each of their five configurations named Standard, Medium, Strong, Ludicrous and manual, if needed. Test your site against each method, see which configuration provides the highest mobile score, and start using them.

Does NitroPack work with GoDaddy?

Yes, it works with GoDaddy. Make sure you remove existing caching, optimization plugins, and leave the entire settings to NitroPack.

Does NitroPack work with Shopify?

NitroPack only works with WordPress and Opencart.

About Mohan Raj

Mohanraj is the founder of Bloggingio.com and doing blogging as a business for the last eight years. He has done Post Graduate in Electronics Engineering and worked as an IT consultant for Fortune 500 Company. Managing dozens of sites, he shares his experience on WordPress, SEO, and hosting at Bloggingio.com.

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