Team Yoast has released beta versions of their popular WordPress SEO and Google Analytics plugins for the public to help test.
I put the WordPress SEO beta plugin through its paces to see if it meets the claim of 30-40% faster processing. Plus, I ran it through Google’s mobile testers and checked the microdata output on the Google Structured Data Tool as well. Get a quick look at my results.
For end users, I’m going to save you the suspense and tell you my end findings right up front.
For my fellow geeks, the test conditions, and more detailed results are further down the post.
NOTE: It is not advised that you run this beta plugin on a production site.
The new plugin does run faster, but only 7.75% faster than the current version, according to the way I tested. Yoast’s test conditions were not revealed, so I have no way to know if it was an apples to apples comparison.
Just for reference, the site loads 16.35% faster with the beta plugin than with no plugin at all.
Dip on Mobile
However, it pulled down the score on the mobile portion of Google PageSpeed Insights. It was only 3 points, from 60/100 to 57/100. It also pulled down the desktop score from 70/100 to 69/100. Google isn’t exactly forthcoming in details about how they grade. So, I can’t give you specifics on what caused the drop.
The plugin, in both original and beta versions, decreased the number of overall requests, from 22 to 21.
The beta version decreased the DOM Elements from 398 to 394.
Structured Data Tool Test
The same info was gathered for the extracted structured data and rdfa-node data on both plugins.
So, as far as I can tell, the meta data is functioning properly. This is another element Yoast wanted to gather data on.
Twitter Card Test
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to run this test. The Twitter Card seemed to validate, but it showed no preview. But, the options don’t look any different to me than they are on the original plugin. It still has summary and summary with large image.
I’d be happy to see anyone else’s test conditions for this section of the plugin and will try to replicate them.
Case Study Data
The full 40 page case study is available in the Webmaster Training membership. And we’ll be discussing more of the recent updates in the WordPress SEO plugin as well in our upcoming webinar available to Webmaster Level 5 members on Jan. 22.
- all of the details of the site setup
- hosting info
- content used
- plugin configuration
- site load configuration
- screenshots of all test results including page speed testers like WebPageTest, plus performance testers like Google PageSpeed Insights
Below is a brief on the test conditions and a sampling of the data I gathered.
I tested on a new WordPress install and imported significant dummy content. Plus the site was placed under simulated load while all testers were being run.
A baseline test was run with no plugin, then with the standard plugin, then with the beta plugin.
WebPage Test Results
Following are summaries of the three tests on WebPage Test.
Run Your Own Tests
If you’ve run your own tests, I hope you’ll share the test conditions and results overview you achieved.
He is also taking feedback via the GitHub form of new issues or via email listed on the post.
I’ve already sent in my full case study and looking forward to seeing comments from other testers and end users.