Hummingbird: All-New Ultra-Fast Minification Engine & Gravatar Caching

Hummingbird: All-New Ultra-Fast Minification Engine & Gravatar Caching

This week we’re excited to announce we’ve added a brand new, ultra-fast minification engine to our Hummingbird performance plugin! But that’s not all. Hummingbird now features Gravatar caching, too!

Updated: 08/16/2018 Hummingbird includes page, browser, RSS and Gravatar caching, full Multisite support, all new developer tools and a new streamlined interface.

So what does this mean? Well, two things:

  • The new minification engine uses an API located on our dedicated servers, so when you minify a file, Hummingbird sends the contents of that file to our API and a minified and much faster version is returned to your site, and
  • When you turn on Gravatar caching, Hummingbird will retrieve and save your Gravatar images locally for faster access.

It’s also worth highlighting that since we last talked about Hummingbird on the blog, we’ve also redesigned the admin interface AND added performance reports, so now you can run performance checks on your site and have the results emailed to you so you know exactly how your site is performing.

Pretty neat, right?

In case you’re new to Hummingbird, it’s our performance optimization plugin for WordPress that provides minification, Gzip compression, browser caching, CloudFlare integration, performance reports, and uptime monitoring to help speed up websites.

Let’s dig into the details of today’s announcement.

All-New Minification Engine

Hummingbird minification
On the surface, Hummingbird looks simple enough, but its power is all under the hood in how it works to minify and speed up access to your files.

When you enable minification in Hummingbird, it takes your files, minifies, combines and moves resources to the footer, and you can configure these settings to suit the needs of your site.

The new minification engine now accesses our servers for faster minification, plus if you decide to turn on Hummingbird’s CDN option, your optimized files will be served from our dedicated servers, ensuring your site loads even faster.

On top of that, we’ve added more control over positioning and file shrinking for greater compatibility with third party themes and plugins.

So if you’re getting that annoying Google PageSpeed Insights error “Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content”, all you need to do is install and activate Hummingbird to make Google happy.

All-New Gravatar Caching

Is Google PageSpeed Insights holding back points from your site because Gravatar is taking its sweet time serving images to your site? Well, time to cut out the middleman! When you enable Hummingbird’s new Gravatar caching feature, your Gravatar images will be retrieved and stored locally for faster access.

Hummingbird plugin Gravatar caching
Enabling Gravatar caching is as easy as flipping a switch.

This feature is further enhanced when you combine Hummingbird with our image optimization plugin Smush and turn on directory smushing for even faster access to images.

Try WPMU DEV for Free and Make Your Site Fly with Hummingbird

It’s only been a year, but with over a quarter million downloads Hummingbird has quickly become one of our most popular tools… and it just keeps getting bigger and better. Head to our Product Roadmap to see what’s coming up – Hummingbird is in constant development and we take member feedback and feature requests seriously.

If this post has got you curious about what Hummingbird can do to improve your site speed, members can update to the latest version in The Hub.

If you’re not a member, try us for free for 30 days. Add Hummingbird to all your sites (we don’t have restrictive licensing – you can use all our products on unlimited sites!), and see for yourself how easy it is to use Hummingbird to speed up your WordPress site.

Want to learn more about how you can use Hummingbird to speed up your site? Check out these resources:

How much faster can you get your site? If you’re using Hummingbird to speed things up we’d love to hear about it. Share your scores in the comments below!

Raelene Morey

Raelene Morey Raelene is the Founder of Words By Birds, a digital writing agency that works with startups, SaaS, B2B, and WordPress businesses on turning tech speak into words that convert. She was formerly the managing editor at WPMU DEV. A computer science grad turned newspaper journalist, when she’s not taming browser tabs, she likes brunching and bushwalking.