We have updated our Site to WordPress 5.5.3 from 5.4.4.

  • We haven’t done it before, because it was giving problems to many users.

 

This new version claims to be faster than the previous one.

  • We will put it to the test.

 

Today, we will analyze:

  • What problems it caused on our Site and How we fixed them.
  • If it affects our Page Builder: WPBakery.
  • How it affects page speed.

 

Summarizing: We will analyze whether you should update your site to WordPress 5.5.3 or not.

 

In case you don’t know, in this Diary we talk about How we are building this Website: our SEO strategy, Plugins we use, our Traffic Results…

 

This analysis will be divided into 4 parts (+ our traffic results, as usual):

1. Our Page Speed with WordPress 5.4.4.

2. Updating WordPress to 5.5.3: Problems we found.

3. How we fixed the issues caused by the WordPress update.

4. Page Speed results with WordPress 5.5.3.

  • Results Comparison.
  • Conclusion: Is it Faster? Should you Update your WordPress?

5. Our Web traffic: Page Views and Users we have.

 

Let’s begin:

1. Our Page Speed with WordPress 5.4.4.

Before updating our WordPress, we have tested our Site’s Speed.

 

We have tested our “Product Mix” page with PageSpeed Insights.

  • It is one of our most popular Pages. We’ll use it as our reference.

 

 

As you may know, PageSpeed Insights divides the results in Computer and Mobile.

 

These are the results that will be our Benchmark.

  • We will compare the results obtained in a summarized way, below.

 

PageSpeed Insights – Computer results

 

Performance

Field Data

Experiment Data

Opportunities

 

PageSpeed Insights – Mobile results

 

Performance

Field Data

Experiment Data

Opportunities

 

If you visite our “Incrase your Page Speed” Page, you’ll notice how our speed results have decreased.

  • The reason? We installed AdSense.
    • It slowed down our site remarkably.

 

2. Updating WordPress to 5.5.3: Problems we found.

As soon as we installed WordPress 5.5 (.3) we noticed that there were some problems with our Visual and Text Editors.

 

We use WPBakery in our Site (a Page Builder such as Elementor).

Before updating WordPress, our Visual Editor looked like this:

 

However, once we updated WordPress to 5.5.3 version, these “Classic Mode” and “Frontend Editor” options disappeared.

 

This is what our “Visual Editor” Looked like, once we updated WordPress:

 

Also, our “Text Editor” didn’t worked at all:

  • We couldn’t even open the “Text” Tab.

 

3. How we fixed the issues caused by the WordPress update.

We found a very interesting Site that explained what was going on:

  • WordPress 5.5 has changed something in its code that is causing some issues with certain plugins.
    • Additionally, this new encoding method will be used in future releases.

 

We found the answer and a very effective solution, here:

 

The solution that fixed everything was to Install and Activate a simple Plugin:

  • Enable jQuery Migrate Helper.

 

This Plugin told us that our WPBakery Plugin was not “updated” and was causing some problems.

  • When this Plugin finds a problem, it solves it and tells you where it is.

 

However, we were surprised that WPBakery was not updated.

  • It is a premium and very professional Plugin.

 

Then, we found that, we had to Update it, together with K Elements through the Install Plugins Tab, in the Appearance Menu.

 

So, even if we thought our Plugins were updated, they were not.

 

We use KLEO Theme and, WPBakery was included with it.

 

Finally, with our Plugins correctly updated, we no longer needed the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin.

  • We deactivated and uninstalled and everything worked perfectly.

 

4. Page Speed results with WordPress 5.5.3.

With everything working correctly again, it was time to check the Speed.

 

We tested the same reference Page with PageSpeed Insights and obtained these results:

 

PageSpeed Insights – Computer results

 

Performance

Field Data

Experiment Data

Opportunities

 

PageSpeed Insights – Mobile results

 

Performance

Field Data

Experiment Data

Opportunities

 

Now, we’ll compare the most significant changes when updating WordPress to 5.5.3.

 

We won’t use Field Data since, it is data collected from users.

  • It doesn’t vary immediately. In fact, you can check that it remained constant.

 

Instead, for assessing FCP, Speed Index, Lasgest Contentful Paint, etc, we’ll use Experiment Data.

 

Let’s compare the results:

 

PageSpeed Insights results Comparison

 

Computer results comparison

 

  • Overall Performance: from 78 to 70: -8.

 

Experiment Data

  • First Contentful Paint: from 0.7 to 0.7 seconds: + 0 s.
  • Speed Index: from 2.7 to 3.0 seconds: -0.3 s.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: from 1 to 1 seconds: + 0 s.
  • Time to Interactive: from 3.4 to 3.2 seconds: – 0.2 s.
  • Total Blocking Time: from 240 to 390 ms: + 150 ms.

Time Variation (except for Speed Index): – 0.05 seconds.

 

Opportunities

  • Preload Key Requests: from 1.55 to 1.55 seconds: + 0 s.
  • Delete unused CSS files: from 0.4 to 0.68 seconds: + 0.28 s.
  • Reduce initial server Response time: from 1.08 to 1.2 seconds: + 0.12 s.
  • Remove unused JavaScript resources: from 0.29 to 0.32 seconds: + 0.03 s.
  • Remove resources blocking rendering: from 0.45 to 0.43 seconds: – 0.02 s.

Time Variation: + 0.41 seconds.

 

Mobile results comparison

 

  • Overall Performance: from 35 to 39: + 4.

 

Experiment Data

  • First Contentful Paint: from 3.0 to 2.4 seconds: – 0.6 s.
  • Speed Index: from 9.8 to 12.5 seconds: + 2.7 s.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: from 3.7 to 3.1 seconds: – 0.6 s.
  • Time to Interactive: from  13.6 to 16.5 seconds: + 2.9 s.
  • Total Blocking Time: from 2090 ms to 2740 ms: + 650 ms.

Time Variation (except for Speed Index): + 2.35 seconds.

 

Opportunities

  • Preload Key Requests: from 7.08 to 8.28 seconds: + 1.2 s.
  • Delete unused CSS files: from 2.56 to 2.03 seconds: – 0.53 s.
  • Reduce initial server Response time: from 1.14 to 1.7 seconds: + 0.56 s.
  • Remove unused JavaScript resources: from 1.5 to 1.65 seconds: + 0.15 s.
  • Remove resources blocking rendering: from 1.94 to 1.34 seconds: – 0.6 s.

Time Variation: + 0.78 seconds.

 

We are aware that some variables are present in one analysis and not in the other.

PageSpeed Insights does not show all results.

  • We have used those that were present in both analyzes to be able to compare them.

 

Is WordPress 5.5.3 faster than 5.4.4?

No.

After testing and comparing WordPress 5.4.4 and 5.5.3 we can conclude that WordPress 5.5.3 slowed down our Site.

 

Should you update WordPress to 5.5 version?

 

We think you should update your Site to 5.5 because sooner or later you will have to do it.

  • WordPress as changed some codes, and the next versions will use this new way of coding.

 

But, if you are very concerned about the speed of your Site, you can wait a few weeks before they release the new version of WordPress.

 

We will analyze it and, if it offers better Page Speed results, you can update your WordPress safely.

  • We will test it and inform you of the results.

 

5. Our Web traffic: Page Views and Users we have.

We thought that this week, our results would continue to improve, but we didn’t think of a “small” thing:

  • USA presidential elections.

 

Users:

 

Our results hold steady As you can see on November 3, our trend changed (on Election Day).

  • Our results remain constant, compared to the previous weeks.

 

We expect that next week we will return to the “good trend”.

 

Pageviews:

We currently receive 15,322 Pageviews per month.

  • Our goal is to reach 20,000 by the end of this month.

 

We want to consolidate the upward trend before the Christmas traffic drop arrives.

 

None of this would be possible without you.

As always: Thanks for being there.

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