If you're looking for a way to speed up your website, you may have come across NitroPack.
In this NitroPack review, we'll look at what NitroPack is, how it works, and whether it's worth the investment.
NitroPack is the new cloud-based performance optimization tool to speed up your WordPress sites. NitroPack is a first-of-its-kind plugin that does everything you need to speed up your site. NitroPack has several speed optimization features, such as CDN, caching, and code optimization, to make your WordPress sites run faster.
NitroPack Pros and Cons
- The most advanced all-in-one speed optimization service for WordPress.
- Easy to set up in just a few clicks.
- Fast-quality support for faster resolutions.
- Transparent pricing and no upsells.
- Limited CMS support. For example, it doesn't work if you're on Shopify or Squarespace.
- Can't able to disable their own CDN, which is powered by Cloudflare.
What is NitroPack?
NitroPack is an all-in-one speed performance optimization service for WordPress, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Magento sites. NitroPack has the most features for making websites load quickly. It has advanced caching mechanisms, a high cache hit ratio, and image optimization.
The latest data proves that NitroPack improves the Pagespeed score and helps you pass “Core Web Vitals” based on field data.
NitroPack Speed Test
To check 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.
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.
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.
To test NitroPack, I 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 its mobile score from 32 to 93, while the desktop enhanced from 87 to 100.
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, summarized in the table below.
The best thing about NitroPack is the speed optimization is done automatically. The only thing I did was install the plugin and connect it to my NitroPack account.
Do you know? NitroPack offers a free account to test and upgrade only if needed.
Here is the before and after comparison of global TTFB:
If you are not aware, SiteGround performance has been declining in recent years. SiteGround TTFB, or initial server response time, is not great, affecting overall performance.
I've compared the Cloudways Cheap plan and SiteGround's highest plan to give you a clear picture. With no further explanation needed, Cloudways clearly offers better 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. So, I took the SiteGround site to test NitroPack performance.
At the time of writing, NitroPack powers more than 18,000+ websites globally, given that most 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.
NitroPack December 2022 Update:
Based on new httparchive data, NitroPack tends to pass the Core Web Vitals score better than the services like WP Rocket and Cloudflare. The below graphs consider the last four months of data, and NitroPack surpasses WP Rocket in terms of having an excellent CWV score.
How does NitroPack improve 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 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. Below are some of the NitroPack features to improve Core Web Vitals:
- 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.
- Smart Invalidation: Ensures optimized content is 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.
Advanced Caching Mechanism
NitroPack has a 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.
Robust CDN with Global Pops
NitroPack partnered with Amazon Cloudflare CDN, which has 200+ global POP locations. With CDN, your content will be served from a nearby POP location, thus improving international visitors load time.
Earlier, the company partnered with Amazon Cloudfront for many years but moved to Cloudflare as they're the frontier in web technologies. Numerous network-level optimizations like HTTP/3 can be made on the Cloudflare network, which is not possible on Cloudfront.
NitroPack also promises to bring HTML edge caching, which can deliver sub-100ms response time throughout the global location.
Improve response time
Nitropack offers a static page cache to improve the server response time. This option is permanently enabled, and you can manage the time duration your cache pages will be stored through the cache expiration settings.
By default, Nitropack has set the expiration time to 25,92.000 seconds (3 days). But you can change this duration according to your requirement.
HTML, CSS & JS Optimization
NitroPack performs all HTML, CSS, and JavaScrip optimization. It does Intelligent Minification and Compression when needed.
Complete Image Optimization Suite
NitroPack takes care of all image optimizations 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, so your scores will improve significantly.
Some of the NitroPack image optimization features are
- Lossy and lossless image compression
- Preemptive image sizing – Image containers optimized for faster rendering.
- Adaptive Sizing – Images are delivered based on the user's device and screen size.
- Advanced Lazy Loading
- WEBP Support.
Adaptive Image Sizing: This is one of the latest features of Image Optimization. Adaptive image sizing is the concept by which the images are delivered to users based on the screen size, be it desktop, mobile, or Tablet. All these evaluations of screen size and image resizing happen in less than a second.
For example, a picture of 1000x1000px changes to 250*250 to fit the user's screen size. This reduces the Largest Contentful Paint and Cumulative Layout shift happening on the page.
Enable this option under the Image settings and see the performance improvements.
Lazy load offscreen images: Through lazy loading, the browser only loads the image the visitor is viewing in real-time. This reduces the Largest Contentful Paint and improves the load time. Nitropack uses this feature to load the website faster, even with lesser bandwidth.
NitroPack has launched a new set of optimization exclusively focused on fonts. Font Subsetting is one such feature that offers multiple benefits:
- No Flash of Unstyled Text issue (FOUT)
- Lesser network requests
- Better performance
When the Font Subsetting option is enabled, NitroPack creates a subset version of the existing font files by removing the unused glyphs. According to Google,
A single glyph takes up one space in a font’s glyph table—a database that sits inside a font file, organized in a standardized way according to Unicode recommendations.
With more unused glyphs, the font's size will be higher, and here comes the NitroPack magic, which automatically removes the unused glyphs on the page. It also identifies the glyphs used on the page and optimizes them. Here is a real-time case study of this feature works.
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 dashboard.
For example, you can delay the chat widget snippet on your website and allow other vital information to come up first.
Combining your JS and CSS files will help browsers enhance your web page speed. You can do it with pages having HTTP/1 and HTTP/2. The clubbing makes it very easy to render the site.
- Combine CSS – Websites mostly use media queries to make themselves accessible on laptops, phones, and tablets. It creates multiple CSS files, which Nitropack has merged files of media screen and media.
So, it avoids all the unnecessary files and comes down to a single folder.
It is highly advised that you perform both these features with the technical expert's help to avoid future complications.
Cache warming fills the void when the visitor hits the website. Like this, no visitor will miss the cache when they visit 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.
The Safe mode will allow you to test your website's functionalities without making 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 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.
Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is one of the significant elements of building a website. To make any web page changes, you must customize your CSS code first. And this is what Nitropack offers; it helps you change your website's default theme.
Cookies are also known as HTTP cookies, Internet cookies, or web cookies. These are text 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 with your visitors through the excluded cookies features. This feature is already in default if you use Nitropack on platforms like WooCommerce, OpenCart, or WordPress.
Due to the abundance of CMS and plugin platforms, providing a list of all the cookies becomes difficult. You have to choose which cookie needs to be excluded.
Nitropack optimization modes, and which should you choose?
Nitropack offers four optimization modes you can choose according to your website requirements. The best mode should be the one that provides the highest scores with the most minor UX issues.
- The standard and medium modes are the primary modes that optimize your website's performance and are the most stable. They use a built-in browser rather than the custom code mechanism.
- The strong mode is much faster and more 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, which is stable and offers higher website speed.
- The Ludicrous Mode: This is the best-performing model with the highest speed. It prioritizes CSS and HTML and delays Java scripts for 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 is mainly 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 significant 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 the 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. Before using the ludicrous mode, you must check your website's dependency on the JS script.
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 an excellent option for your website.
The Pricing for NitroPack is calculated based on pageviews. Apart from the free plan, there are three different available.
NitroPack doesn't limit features; all their paid plans include every website speed service feature.
- 50,000 Pageviews – $19.95/month, 25GB CDN Bandwidth
- 200,000 Pageviews – $48.45/month, 100GB CDN Bandwidth
- 1,000,000 Pageviews – $167.20/month, 500GB CDN Bandwidth
- 5000 Pageviews – Get Started for free.
You can also check our exclusive NitroPack Coupon Code and get a 5% recurring discount on your billing, applicable on both yearly and annual billing.
All plans come with a 14-day 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. If your WordPress site receives less than 5000 visits per month, you can use them for free forever. It is enough to move your sites and see how it performs.
The Paid plan comes with a complete set of features. There is no difference in features among plans, and it is differentiated based on page views alone. Check your analytics for monthly pageviews, and then choose any plan accordingly.
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 to your WordPress dashboard and click “Add Plugins.” Now search for NitroPack and install the official plugin.
NOTE: At this stage, take a screenshot or record the score from PageSpeed Insights to verify the metrics manually.
Connect your account and select the site. You can choose either the default or custom option based on your need.
You can play around with many options and see which settings work best. In most cases, the default settings provide better results.
Do I recommend NitroPack?
Yes, we do.
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.
I've done extensive research on NitroPack Vs. WP Rocket in this post, and no wonder, NitroPack outperforms WP Rocket in every way. Moreover, with “Page Experience” getting into a ranking factor by May 2022, everyone should use NitroPack, if your manual optimization doesn't improve your scores.
We also don't recommend users on a budget. NitroPack is excellent, but it's not affordable for everyone in the online industry. 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.
Also, they offer manual configurations if needed, an incredible 100% money-back guarantee, and multiple tiers of packages suitable for different customers.
NitroPack Review – Frequently Asked Questions
Is NitroPack worth it?
Definitely worth the price, considering the speed optimization results. NitroPack was a matured product in development for more than seven years.
Is NitroPack Free?
Get started for free and upgrade if your sites exceed the plan limits.
How to improve NitroPack Mobile Score?
To improve the NitroPack Mobile score, try their five configurations named Standard, Medium, Strong, Ludicrous and manual, if needed. Test your site against each method, see which design provides the highest mobile score, and start using them.
Does NitroPack affect SEO?
No. More than 157k+ users are using NitroPack, and no site reported a traffic drop. However, an improper configuration can affect how search engines crawl your site, reducing SEO traffic.