Perfmatters Vs Asset Cleanup Pro -- An In Depth Look

By James LePage
 on November 30, 2020
Last modified on January 7th, 2022

Perfmatters Vs Asset Cleanup Pro -- An In Depth Look

By James LePage
 on November 30, 2020
Last modified on January 7th, 2022

In this article, we will be comparing Asset Cleanup Pro and Perfmatters, two plugins oriented at improving the performance of your WordPress website.

We're going to take a look at pricing, features, design, and more to help you make the best purchase decision.


Hi, guys, this is James from Isotropic. And in this video, I want to compare Perfmatters and Asset Cleanup Pro. Both are WordPress plug ins dedicated to improving the speed and performance of your WordPress website.


So really quickly, I'm going to take a look at pricing and features on both of them and then get into the actual backend demo where we can really see the similarities and differences between the two. So Perfmatters comes in at $24 per year for a single site license and 15 percent discount is applied, when you renew.


For unlimited sites, you get $124 per year. Going over to Asset Cleanup, the same pricing would be $47 and $147 respectively. So we're comparing $24 to $47 and $124 to $147.


It's up to you to make the decision as to which plug in is more valuable to you. Hopefully that's what this video is going to show you. So I have both of the plugins installed on a demo website, and I kind of wanted to get into this instead of going through the websites of the plug ins and looking at that, because I think this gives you a better picture of what you have. So first, let's take a look at everything Perfmatters has to offer.


Then everything Asset Cleanup has to offer and then compare and contrast the two and poke around with the actual functionalities. So first Perfmatters' backend dashboard gives you options to disable a bunch of different things so you can disable a lot of things that would cause additional HTTP requests. Specifically, emojis... Utilize the browsers emojis instead. You also have the option to lazy load a bunch of different things. This is a recent addition and dom monitoring is pretty cool because it will dynamically load newly loaded elements - so if you have Ajax on the site, that's what that's for.


You also have WooCommerce-specific elements. So if you have global WooCommerce scripts and styles, you can disable them everywhere on the site except for the actual product, cart and check out pages. Next up, you have integration with a CDN so you can rewrite all of your URLs that you include in directories with your CDN. This is helpful if you use something like Cloudways CDN and want to integrate it like this. You can locally host Google Analytics - pretty cool.


The main thing that Perfmatters has to offer is the script manager, which is another selling point of Asset Cleanup. And we'll take a look at that in a second.


You can also defer JavaScript. Preloading... Instant page, look up the plugin called Flying Pages. And that's exactly what this does. When you hover over a link, it will fetch the URL and give the illusion that it was instantaneously loaded, when in fact, it was loaded before the user got to the page.


Pretty cool. Also set up preload and reconnect - preload for fonts. You have database cleaning tools so you can optimize your database. And finally, the tools for the plugin specifically. The script manager is a major selling point on this plugin and you can use it globally or apply to individual post pages and content types.


So here is a post. If you see then in this post, I have an image, I have a contact form, I have a script being called, and I have a bunch of content generated by a plugin called FakerPress.


When you have Perfmatters installed, on the admin bar, once you have enabled script manager, you click on that and it loads the script management utility. Here it displays all the scripts loading on the current page and classifies them by plugin. I only have one plugin on this site to show you how it works, which is Contact Form Seven.


You can toggle everything on and off. You can also work on things specific to the theme. And there are miscellaneous elements here as well. So I'll show you what happens when you toggle something on or off. And and you have a couple options here, and this is disabling the theme styling, so it should break the entire theme when we save this, but it's going to basically take this script and stop it from loading on this page. And you can stop it everywhere.


You can also stop it on the current URL, or you can write a regular expression rule to match it to specific patterns of pages. I'm only going to do it on the current URL now and just click save. Once it's saved, I can go back, get out of the Perfmatters page and go here and it will show you. This is broken because there's no CSS styling anymore.


Now, what we can also do is toggle this back on save and go back to this page and our CSS is back. Now, this is helpful, not if you're trying to break your site, but if you have a bunch of plug ins loading specific scripts and styles on pages where they're not used. So a good example of this would be WooCommerce or Contact Form Seven. Let's go with the contact form example.


So Contact Form Seven, you're probably only going to use Contact Form Seven on the contact page. So in this example, the URL would be /contact. It would only load on that page on additional pages, Contact Form Seven. Still globally, it loads all its scripts and styles, which adds to the loading time of a website.


What you can do is disable Contact Form Seven scripts and styles like so. And you can do it everywhere except for. The current URL and say this, this page is a contact page, so Contact Form Seven scripts and styles are disabled everywhere except for the contact page, which means on any other page that you're browsing, because this is turned on, it won't be loading these additional scripts and it won't add to the loading speed of the website.


This is helpful, especially if you're running dozens of plug ins and allows you to disable a bunch of different things. You can also globally manage your scripts.


A couple settings here, and that's really what Perfmatters has to offer you, so you get a bunch of little code snippets and all of this can be done by code snippets, but you basically have it in a nice graphical user interface.


You can access and lazy loading, which would have to be done by a third party plugin if you didn't have this (or an image optimization plugin), easily integrate a CDN locally hosted Google Analytics, preload, pre fetch and. Defer JavaScript, which is helpful, and this is included in a lot of performance plug ins like WP Rocket, something like that. So basically you're getting a lot of performance utilities minus a caching tool in this plug in. Now, let's compare this to Asset Cleanup Pro, which is the reigning champion, in my opinion, of optimization of a website.


So first, we're going to go through all of the backend utilities and then take a look at their version of the script manager. Main thing here, you can enable test mode, which means you don't have to push changes live to see if they break the site. Test mode is is pretty helpful in all honesty. Optimize CSS so you can merge, minify and defer CSS. And this is the pro version. You can optimize JavaScript, merge, minify, defer JavaScript - very helpful.


You basically take a bunch of individual scripts and merge them into one file, which reduces the number of requests to the server, which speeds things up. Like Perfmatters, you can set up a CDN URL rewrite, except this is a little more in-depth, you can set up your style sheet and your JavaScript. You can set up the common unloads on the site, and "unload" is the same term as "disable script", except they call it unload in Asset Clean Up.


So you can do that here to. As you can see, there's something called HTML source clean up, and this just removes a lot of link tags and additional things that WordPress automatically includes. If you don't use them, it would clean it up. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make to the speed of your site, but it's their local font optimization preload font files. Pretty helpful. This is this is really great for for many WordPress websites.


You can also set up global font display rules. You can do that with a code snippet as well. Final option here is Google fonts. If you're using Google fonts and want to preload them. This is the place to do it. This is really helpful because preloading fonts speeds things up and fixes a PageSpeed Insights audit that would be failed if you didn't preload your fonts.


Finally disable XML-RCP and then you have a couple other things.


You have a CSS and JavaScript manager so you can globally disable similar to what you can do in Perfmatters, except you can see this is a little more complex than what Perfmatters has to offer.


There are a lot of things that you can do here, which is very helpful. So you can see that this is a little more powerful in relation to the global script loading. Now let's go to our page. And instead of going to the front end of the website and clicking script manager and doing it like that with Asset Cleanup, you go to the back end of the page, it scans the page on the front end, and gives you a list of everything that's been being loaded on this specific URL.


So here's your page URL and here's everything being loaded on it. On the specific page, you can disable it. You can also set up a sitewide unload from the same page. Media queries, pretty cool. Asynchronous and defer deferred loading for JavaScript, and then you have your theme files here as well.


As you can see, the only additional thing that this locates and Perfmatters doesn't locate, are some of these hard coded elements directly in the actual page, so it scans the page and it will go ahead and find hard coded scripts.


So I have included here a script tag loading the GASP animation library. And if you notice here, Perfmatters isn't finding that, but. Asset Cleanup is and it's in fact allowing me to unload this on the page and make an exception, so if the users logged in, I can load it and a couple other things.


There are a couple of other things that as Asset Cleanup has to offer to. You have a plug ins manager so you can disable plug in throughout the website. This is really helpful. So say you have WooCommerce and you just want to disable it, unless it's on the commerce page. You can do that here using regex, simple, easy clicks and everything's done.


Apply the changes, manage the plugins there. Also, you got bulk changes so you can bulk unload tools, stylesheets, stuff like that, preload, defer and async sitewide. And then you can also access an overview of what this plugin is actually applying to your website. And then you have your basic tools Asset Cleanup. So that's basically what Asset Cleanup has to offer and that's what Perfmatters to offer.


If you can see now, the initial conclusion is that Asset Cleanup is a little more powerful than Perfmatters, and Perfmatters is a little less powerful than Asset Cleanup, but it's also cheaper.


So you're paying less for less features, you're paying more for more features. This is also a more mature plugin. So I would expect Perfmatters to continuously be adding features that pushes it closer to Asset Cleanup. And they're actually increasing their price because they're adding more features, I think is. Nineteen dollars last time I checked, now it's 25. The main thing to think about here is Perfmatters is twenty four dollars. Asset clean up is forty seven dollars.


Pefmatters offers a bunch of specific features. It gives you lazy loading, it gives you a couple of things related to fonts. Asset Cleanup offers you a couple more features, it allows you to modify and merge and defer and combine success in JavaScript. This is something that sets it apart from Perfmatters a lot. It gives you a test mode so you can test everything on your site, on the live site without having to do any staging or without risking breaking the entire site for everybody.


Then it just gives you a little a little more for for fonts Font optimization is important. Google likes it. So that's important here too.


However, with Perfmatters, you can augment the features that it's missing with several free plug ins, and I wanted to mention this because it brings Perfmatters closer to Asset Cleanup Pro. So the first plug in is Freesoul deactivate plug ins, I'm not going to install. This allows you to essentially unload plug ins, as you would with Asset Cleanup.


This is a free plug and it's really well done. As you can see, five stars from 32 people, and that's about it. You can also merge and minify, your JavaScript scripts by using this plugin Merge + minify + refresh. Now what this does is exactly what you can do here with Asset Cleanup.


This is integrated into Asset Cleanup and there are little more features that come with this. However, if you're looking for merging and minifying and you don't have a plugin like WP Rocket and you don't want to splurge on Asset Cleanup, you can get Perfmatters, get this plug in and get this plug in and have a very similar functionality to ACUPro.


Now, it depends on what you're doing on your website. If you have a website that is larger and needs more optimization and you want all of your settings in one place, and it's mission critical that you test everything before pushing things live, I would 100 percent recommend Asset Cleanup Pro. This is a really nice plug in. It's really well done. New features are being added all the time. We use this on many of our websites and it just comes with a lot of features.


Hard coded scripts are recognized because it actually scans the source code of the page as opposed to Perfmatters, which I believe is scanning for requests on the page and maybe link tags/ something like that.


So you have more control with as Asset Cleanup Pro and you have more options with Asset Cleanup Pro. With that, you're paying about twenty dollars more for the tool per year for a single site. So you can go ahead and use Perfmatters, they have a script manager. If you're just looking to disable scripts, this is really helpful. You also have options to do a lot more with this tool as well. It doesn't it doesn't come up to the features that you get with Asset Cleanup Pro, but it's getting close and they're continuing to add more features as well.


And then finally, you can augment this 25 dollar plug in as opposed to the forty seven dollars plug in with two free plug ins that add these these main things, a plug in manager and the CSS and JavaScript optimization.


Here's your plug in manager and here is your optimization tool. Obviously, it's not integrated into Perfmatters, so that's something to take take a look at, but it brings it closer to ACUPro. If I had to recommend something and money wasn't that much of an issue -- it's only a twenty dollar difference -- I would go for Asset Cleanup Pro, it's an older plug in.


The developer behind it offers great support. Perfmatters does too. So that's not really a differentiating factor. But the developer offers great quick support. I've been in contact with him in the past. Furthermore, it's just it's an all in one tool for optimization. The only additional thing you need to add to a website would be caching. And even without caching, this makes things a lot quicker.


Perfmatters is a good plugin. It's cheaper. It's also newer, so it has less features. But it's doing all right. I mean, if you're just looking for something to disable scripts on a per page basis and maybe clean up your HTTPs request and add lazy loading, then this is a good option, too.


So they're two great options. Basically, what it boils down to is - do you want more power and do you want to pay more for more features or do you want a little less power and do you want to pay less for less features and maybe augment them with two free plugins?


So I hope this kind of gave you a good overview between the two plug ins. They're very similar. They are very powerful. Whichever tool you choose is a good idea because increased speed comes with increased ranking and user experience.

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1 year ago

Hi James, One feature that has me considering Asset Cleanup Pro is the ability to unload something based on whether the visitor is on mobile or desktop. Can you say whether perfmatters has this option?

Article By
James LePage
James LePage is the founder of Isotropic, a WordPress education company and digital agency. He is also the founder of, a venture backed startup bringing AI to WordPress creators.
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