Core Performance Team Update: January 2024

Tickets and contributions

The Performance Team works on performance-related tickets in coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and holds a fortnightly Bug Scrub on Wednesdays; check for current time.

The Performance Team is focusing on upcoming tickets for WordPress 6.5, including the Performant Translations work mentioned below which has now been merged #59656, and several items for improving template loading (see GitHub overview issue).

Performant Translations PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party

Over the past half a year or so, the Core Performance team spent significant time on extensively analyzing i18n performance in WordPress and finding ways to improve it. The corresponding ticket #59656 has now been merged in time for WordPress 6.5. Please also see ‘Merging Performant Translations into Core’ for further details.

Interactivity APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways.

The Interactivity API aims to be a standard way to allow developers to add interactivity to the frontend of their blocks and other components. The team helped identify potential bottlenecks and fix issues with long tasks during hydration. On a related note, for WordPress 6.5, the performance team has been collaborating on shipping support for ES Modules and import maps (see #56313). 

AVIF Support

Edge 121, released on January 25, 2024, added support for AVIF and AV1 file formats. This means all major browsers supported by WordPress support this format, which was one of the remaining blockers for adding AVIF support in WordPress itself. This is now on track to be merged in time for WordPress 6.5 (see #51228).

Server Response Improvements

The Performance Team has worked on improvements to the way blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. variations are registered, so that block variations are only loaded when they are accessed. This results in a significant performance gain for blocks like the template part block that get registered on every page request (see #59969).

Plugin Checker

The Performance Team has continued work on the Plugin Checker, collaborating closely with the Plugin Review team. We are on track to release version 1.0.0 in the upcoming weeks.

Additional Plugins

The Performance Team have also published 2 new plugins:

Both plugins are now available and we welcome testing and feedback from the community.

Team headlines and updates

December saw the WordPress Performance impact on Core Web CVitals in 2023 post shared, which summarizes The overall CWV passing rate across all WordPress sites has improved from 28.31% to 36.44% (+8.13%) on mobile devices and from 32.55% to 40.80% (+8.25%) on desktop devices. The WordPress performance team and all WordPress contributors can be very proud of the accomplishments.

In January, the Performance Team released the 2024 performance roadmap highlighting the areas of focus for the year ahead. 

Additionally, the End of Year Performance Hallway Hangout recording was shared on the blog post where the team discussed the overall improvements achieved throughout 2023, and took a look ahead to 2024!

Performance Lab Plugin

Performance Lab plugin updates are released monthly on the third Monday of the month.

January’s release 2.8.0 included a feature to add a new UI for managing Performance Lab standalone plugins. There were also several other enhancements including support for plugin live preview in the plugin directory, allow module can-load.php callbacks to return a WP_Error with more information, Implement admin pointer to indicate to the user they need to migrate modules to their standalone plugins, Implement migration logic and UI from Performance Lab modules to their standalone plugins and Reset admin pointer dismissal for module migration when the user activates a module, plus resolving a bug to fix construction of translation strings in admin/plugins.php