In this guide, you will learn the Swift Performance Lite plugin tutorial and best settings to speed up your website with good user experience for free.
There are 2 methods:
- Auto config – This auto config settings will scan your website for the best pre-made settings for you. Usually these settings will give you higher page speed score, but not the best for real human visitors experience.
- Auto + Manually config – In my opinion, these are my best Swift Performance Lite settings with the best user experience for a real human, but not always the highest page speed score you will get.
Which one do you prefer depends on individual, but if you prefer the manual settings, in my opinion for best visitor’s experience, you may refer the settings as below.
Step 1 – GENERAL SETTINGS
Go to Swift settings and click (Advanced View) at the top-right. You just need to toggle on the settings I mention below & the rest of the settings that I didn’t mention can leave it as default.
- Use Compute API – Enable, this will reduce CPU usage & speed up the cache pre-build process.
- Disable Heartbeat – Click (Toggle All) but UNCHECK Post or Pages. This is the auto save function when editing.
Step 2 – MEDIA SETTINGS
- Images – GenerateWebP – Enabled, this will generate WebP version images for your website.
- Images – Serve WebP – select “use picture elements” option or if you have image display issues, select “use rewrites” option.
- Serve WebP Background Images – Enable.
- Images – Lazy Load Images – Disable, for better user experience is to keep your site continue to load all other images after the top fold of your site, so that when visitors scroll down your site they will see all images without waiting the images to load from the blur images blocks.
- Embeds – Lazy Load Iframes – Enable. In my opinion, it is OK to lazy load embeds YouTube video.
- Embeds – Load Iframes on User Interaction – Enable. Load Iframes base on user interaction.
Step 3 – OPTIMIZATION SETTINGS
- Optimize Prebuild Only – Disable, to make sure your website always optimizing.
- Disable Emojis – Turn on, to disable this function. WordPress is loading it by default. If you disable it you can decrease the number of requests and page size as well.
- Normalize Static Resources – Enable, this will remove unnecessary query string from CSS, JS and image files.
- Merge Scripts – Disable, I don’t suggest merging as most of the new websites already using HTTP2 protocol or higher, where all page load requests can be load at the same time. If you enable this & your site didn’t break any display issue, this option will only let you get higher page score, because it reduces the number of request, but not actually improve performance for real user experience.
- Disable jQuery Migrate – Enable, this will keep older JS code compatible.
- Merge Styles – Disable – same story with JS merge script, I don’t suggest merging as most of the new websites already using HTTP2 protocol or higher, where all page load requests can be load at the same time. Enable this will only get higher page score if your site didn’t break any styling issue, but not actually improve performance for real user experience.
- Only for Pro version.
- Fix Invalid HTML – Disable, for faster cache preloading. Sometimes themes and plugins contain invalid HTML, which doesn’t cause issues in the browser, because the browser can fix it on the fly, but it can cause issues with the DOM parser. If you enable this option, Swift Performance will fix these issues automatically, like the modern browsers does.
- Minify HTML – Disable, for faster cache loading. I suggest HTML/CSS/JS minify, if you want to, should be done on Cloudflare side if you are using Cloudflare.
Step 4 – CACHING SETTINGS
- Enable Caching – Enable. You must enable this to use Swift Performance caching.
- Caching Mode – Select “disk cache with rewrites” is fastest.
- Cache Expiry Mode – Select “Action Based Mode” for most of the websites. It is recommended to use Action based mode. Swift Performance will clear the cache if the content was modified (post update, new post, new comment, comment approved, stock changed, etc). However, if the site is no content, you should choose the Time based expiry mode.
- Clear Cache After Update – Enable. If this option is disabled, Swift Performance will show a notice to clear cache.
- Enable Browser Cache – Enable. If you enable this option, it will generate .htaccess/nginx rules for browser cache.
- Cache Sitemap – Enable this for sitemap preloading for important pages or posts first.
- Strict Host – Enable. With Strict Host mode, you can prevent www/non-www related issues, or generating cache for unused but served domains.
- Just leave it as default, is fine.
- Exclude Post Types – You should exclude all post types that are not showing on your website to save & speed up the cache prebuild process for important post types on your front-end website.
- Exclude Pages – You should exclude any pages with form, private pages or WooCommerce cart & checkout pages.
- Exclude URLs – Exclude any URLs that couldn’t be excluded using post types or pages.
- Exclude Cookies – Add this to prevent visitors with some cookies from seeing cached pages.
- Exclude Content Parts – Add here to exclude certain content to be cached.
- Exclude User Agents – prevent certain devices from seeing cached pages.
- Prebuild Speed – Try to use “Unlimited” if no issue.
- Warmup Table Source – Select “Auto” if your website is small, or select “Sitemap” to prioritize important pages first.
- Remove redirects – Enabled. This will remove redirected URLs from Warmup table
- Prebuild Archive – Enable. This will to pre-cache category pages.
- Prebuild Terms – Disable this unless your terms page need to be show to every visitor.
- Enable Auto Purge – Enable, if you are using Varnish.
Step 5 – CDN SETTINGS
- Enable CDN – Enable if you are using CDN.
- Enable Auto Purge – Enable if you are using Cloudflare. Enter your Global API key details here.
Step 6 – EXPORT/IMPORT SETTINGS
- You can export and download current settings here. (Note: Check your caching path is correct every time you import a setting
- Finally, click the SAVE CHANGES button and purge all cache. Wait for a while for the cache pre-building and play around to test your website using incognito mode.
How To Check Your Website Is Caching Correctly
- Use Chrome incognito mode window without logging in.
- Right-click anywhere on the page and click “View page source” and scroll to the bottom.
- If you see “Cached with Swift Performance Lite”, it is working.
- You may need to refresh your page to see this. If you are using Cloudflare, you may need to temporarily pause proxy your website from Cloudflare and recheck again.
Swift Performance Lite Basic Troubleshooting
- Your website still slow – If all the settings you set correctly, then it might be the web hosting you are using is too bloated.
- Broken styles (CSS) or functions (JS) – Most of the time this cause by merging CSS & JS script. Disable the merging.
- Some website elements broken – Enable “Fixing invalid HTML”
- Strange characters or symbols – Disable GZIP.
- Contact forms not working – Exclude contact forms page from caching.
- Pre-cache not running – Make sure “Prebuild Cache Automatically” is enabled & the caching path is correct.
- Crash Error 500 – Swift is not compatible with your website plugins:
1. Delete Swift section in .htaccess
2. Delete “wp-content/cache” directory
3. Delete “wp-content/plugins/swift-performance”
4. Delete “swift-performance-loader.php” in wp-content/mu-plugins directory.
- If issue still exist, the best person to contact is the creator itself, Swift Performance support or for faster response you can join their official Swift Performance Users Facebook group.
Swift Performance is my recommended caching plugin, especially for small, budget & web hosting running without Litespeed technology.
You may also want to refer my Swift Performance plugin review here.
You may also want to check Swift Performance full list of features here.