NitroPack Review: Sounds Too Good, What’s The Catch?

Nitropack Logo
NitroPack is a cloud-based website performance optimization plugin. It is a cross-platform service with many plugins for popular content and eCommerce platforms. I’ve been using the tool and managed to speed up my website by around ~57% on average.
starCreated with Sketch.
Features
☆ 4.7
NitroPack has many good features for code optimization, image optimization, CDN, and also caching.
Ease of use
☆ 4.5
It comes with many plugins for different platforms making it easy for you to configure the plugin.
Artboard 17
Price
☆ 4.7
It is really well-priced for the features. The increased conversions on the website really payback
contact_supportCreated with Sketch.
Support
☆ 4.5
They have a live chat and also email support. The replies were quite immediate when they were online

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In this blog post let me present to you the review of NitroPack.

NitroPack is a great cloud-based performance optimization tool for speeding up your website. Unlike other tools, you can make use of this service to speed up your websites no matter what CMS you are using.

If you’re running your website, you may already know about various caching tools and also CDN tools. In WordPress, you may already be aware of the tools like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, Autoptimize, etc.

But Nitropack is not a WordPress plugin, it’s a cloud-based optimization platform. It indeed comes with a WordPress plugin for installation and configuration if you are on WordPress.

Chances are that you are on this blog post because you’re tired of using dozens of tools to improve your Google Pagespeed score.

You know what?

Let’s face it.

Improving the Google mobile and desktop page speed score just seems impossible. You may sometimes even feel that unless you implement Google amp the score can’t be improved.

But that’s simply not true.

NitroPack is a great performance optimization tool that’s aimed at improving your website performance by making use of CDN, code minification, caching, lazy-loading, and much more.

I was surprised by the results I got from NitroPack. I had no option but to review it.

Apart from the page speed increase, NitroPack has got its own quirks which I’ll discuss in this review.

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NitroPack is a great cloud-based performance optimization tool for speeding up your website. This deal saves you 10%, click to copy the coupon code.
Type Performance optimization plugin
Best forTo improve the website's Google page speed
FeaturesGoogle-PageSpeed-focussed Optimization
Amazon CloudFront integration
JavaScript compression
CSS minification
Cache Invalidation
Starting price$19/month
CompetitorsWP rocket
Jetpack
Perfmatters
Autoptimize

Pros:

  • NitroPack really is an all-in-one website performance plugin. It replaces your CDN, caching plugin, code optimization plugins, and also image optimization plugin.
  • As per our experiments, NitroPack increases your website speed by an average of 57%. If you are not using any CDN, then you can expect even more!
  • More page speed equates to more conversions.
  • As NitroPack comes with CDN and caching features, you’ll save good money if you are on metered hosting.
  • NitroPack has really good eCommerce support with plugins for WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, etc.
  • NitroPack is focused around improving your Google page speed score and it equates to potential higher search engine rankings.

Cons:

  • NitroPack adds a lot of code in the header of your website. But it’s crucial for it to add it.
  • NitroPack makes your website’s above-the-fold look ugly when visitors are first loading your site. But this is unavoidable if you want to decrease the “First contentful paint time” in Google Pagespeed Tool.
  • Your website audit tool can report certain issues when you have NitroPack installed on your site. Again, you may want to play with some of their settings and modes that I’ll discuss to get around this.

NitroPack overview and installation

NitroPack is a website performance optimization plugin that’s compatible with any type of website.

I completely realized the importance of this tool when I stumbled across this post by Matt where he described the impact of NitroPack on his business.

Matt Diggity fb post
Matt Diggity fb comment
Mark Jenner fb post
Gareth Daine fb comment

They’ve got dedicated plugins and tools like:

  • NitroPack for WordPress
  • NitroPack for OpenCart
  • NitroPack for WooCommerce
  • NitroPack for Magento
  • NitroPack PHP SDK
  • API integration

Even if you are non-techy, you can make use of their plugins to easily integrate NitroPack with your website.

Let us look at the installation of NitroPack on WordPress.

You need to first install their WordPress plugin by heading over to “Add New Plugin”.

Once you activate the plugin, you need to paste in the site ID and site secret on the settings page of the plugin.

NitroPack setting page in wordpress
NitroPack account credentials

These credentials can be found in your NitroPack account.

NitroPack plugin configuration

In plugin configuration these are the important options you need to pay attention to.

When it comes to optimization modes, you have Standard, Medium, Strong, Ludicrous, and Manual mode.

The Strong mode is the default mode. We recommend sticking to it. Because the Ludicrous mode is too aggressive in terms of optimization and sometimes may cause some issues with other plugins.

Also enabling to purge the cache when content is updated and published is important.

You can also consider configuring the plugin on your cloud dashboard.

Those will be considered as global configurations and will be overridden by plugin-specific configuration.

NitroPack review: Features and explanation

When it comes to website performance optimization, here are some of the features that NitroPack offers you.

Code optimization

For any decent website to load, there are multiple files that need to be loaded like JS files, CSS files, etc.

NitroPack offers really good features to compress and minify the various files.

Here are some of the features:

  • JS Compression
  • JS Minification
  • CSS Compression
  • CSS Minification
  • HTML Compression
  • HTML Minification

These features enable your website to load faster with optimized code.

Along with these, there are features like Defer JS loading and also Key Requests Preload. They help in faster speed index and also faster painting, which is crucial for boosting the page speed score.

Image optimization

NitroPack also does a really good job of optimizing your uploaded images.

It has features like:

  • Deferred Offscreen Images
  • Container-specific Image Resizing
  • Deferred Offscreen Images
  • Image Lazy Loading
  • Next-Gen Image Formats like WebP for space savings

These features help you serve the optimal size of images according to the user’s device as and when necessary.

I really liked the container-specific image resizing functionality, which dynamically resizes the images as per the visitor’s viewport size. That means, your 1000×1000 image will be resized to say 250×250 image so as to fit the visitor’s screen size thus saving space.

It also supports the usage of next-gen image formats like WEBP which carries the benefits of both JPG and PNG.

CDN for faster page speeds

NitroPack also comes with support with Amazon CloudFront CDN, which is now the fastest CDN you can get your hands on.

With this, all your static assets like optimized code and images will be served from Amazon’s high-speed servers for faster page loads.

If you’re already making use of any CDN providers like MaxCDN or KeyCDN, you don’t need to use them.

For example, in my case I needed to disable the “WPX Cloud” CDN feature as NitroPack already offers CDN that’s enterprise-grade.

I don’t really recommend you to make use of multiple CDNs on your single website as it may cause resource conflicts and may result in breaking your site.

If you are using Cloudflare on your website, here’s the good news.

NitroPack integrates perfectly with Cloudflare. But you need to consider disabling some features of Cloudflare like Mirage & Rocket Loader and also tweak some settings.

Smart caching

NitroPack comes with really good caching mechanisms.

Here are some of the features when it comes to caching:

  • Browser-aware Caching
  • Cookie-aware Caching
  • Device-aware Caching
  • Session-aware Caching

These different mechanisms make sure that the cache is intelligently loaded based on the browsers, cookies, devices, and user sessions.

Generally, the cache is generated the very first time the user visits any page. For any consecutive visits, the cache will be served thus enhancing their browsing experience.

You have good control over your cache. You can purge them whenever required, you can set expiry, etc.

They also have a cache warmup feature which automatically schedules new cache file generations, once the cache is purged or invalidated. You have really a good number of settings, especially URL related settings you can configure in this area.

This kind of caching mechanism helps you tremendously to improve response time/TTFB (Time To First Byte). It is one of the crucial metrics you need to consider improving when it comes to getting a good Google page speed score and experience for the users browsing your page.

This feature alone replaces the use of caching tools and plugins.

My results with NitroPack

I recently installed NitroPack on my website.

Fortunately, by keeping publishing of this NitroPack review in mind, I documented the entire process and results.

I checked the pagespeed of my website before installing NitroPack and after installing it.

Here are some of the things we kept in mind while testing:

  1. We tested the pagespeed in Google Chrome’s “Guest” mode where all our extensions were not active
  2. We deleted cache of the page for which we were testing pagespeed (just in case)
  3. We had only CDN and caching mechanisms set in place at a time.
  4. No changes were made to our website, whatsoever, through this test – except for disabling the CDN and caching plugins to conduct the test

Before installing NitroPack

A little bit of background.

I’m hosting my websites on WPX hosting. It comes with WPX Cloud CDN functionality. I was also using WP Fastest Cache (that delivered better results than W3 Total Cache for me).

I checked the pagespeed of my website before installing NitroPack with the above configuration, and here are the results:

Below is the GTMetrix report of my homepage:

GTMetrix report of Bloggingx before installing NitroPack
GTMetrix

The homepage is taking 5.5 secs to load – according to ultra-fast GTMetrix Canadian servers. It may not seem a lot, but considering the fact that most of the people around the world are still using slower internet connections, the time can be much more for them – maybe 2x or 3x

After GTMetrix, I also checked the pagespeed using “Lighthouse”, web tool you can access here, or using inspect feature in Chrome.

Page speed using Lighthouse before NitroPack in mobile
Mobile
Page speed using Lighthouse before NitroPack in desktop
Desktop

Now, I’ve checked one of my blog posts that were ~5,000 words.

GTMetrix report of Bloggingx post of 5000words before installing NitroPack
GTMetrix
Page speed of 5000 words using Lighthouse before NitroPack
Mobile
Page speed of 5000 words using Lighthouse before NitroPack
Desktop

After installing NitroPack

Now, I disabled the WPX Cloud and also deactivated the “WP fastest cache”.

Because the NitroPack I installed will replace all of their functionalities.

I repeated the same tests.

The first is for the homepage.

Bloggingx GTMetrics page speed after installing NitroPack
GTMetrix

As you can see, the homepage’s pagespeed has been increased by 2.6 secs (47% pagespeed increase). This is due to code optimization, enterprise-grade CDN, and much more.

Page speed using Lighthouse after installing NitroPack
Mobile
Page speed using Lighthouse after installing NitroPack
Desktop

You can see my Google Lighthouse performance score also increased as intended. I’m sure that with more improvements on my site, plugins, and also experimentation with different NitroPack modes I can further improve these scores.

Now, let me analyze the same post which I’ve analyzed previously before installing NitroPack.

Bloggingx GTMetrics page speed before installing NitroPack
GTMetrix

As I told you before this post is ~5,000 words with plenty of images and GIFs. This post was taking a whopping 7 secs to load, but now 3.0 secs.

That’s a 57% increase.

It means, crazy conversions!

Page speed of 5000 words using Lighthouse after NitroPack
Mobile
Page speed of 5000 words using Lighthouse after NitroPack
Desktop

As you can see, both the homepage and my blog post’s pagespeed time decreased drastically.

Homepage and blog post’s pagespeed time decreased

When I saw in the GTMetrix’s waterfall report, the major contributor for faster pagespeed was code minification and optimization.

I saw a significant reduction in load times for JS and CSS files, especially for the plugins that I’m using.

Experimenting with NitroPack vs. WP Rocket

As I was testing out NitroPack with my site, my friend approached me and suggested he would try to get similar results with WP Rocket and my WPX Cloud CDN.

I decided to give it a shot.

We optimized our website in various aspects.

We did:

  • Deactivating many plugins (replacing them with code)
  • We moved our custom CSS to child theme
  • We resized some important images
  • Many other optimizations

Now we want to test WP Rocket + WPX Cloud CDN and NitroPack alone (as it comes with CDN)

We installed WP Rocket with almost all performance settings on – except CSS minification as we are using HTTP-2 (enabling that option broke our site). We documented the test results. We then deleted WP Rocket, disabled WPX Cloud and activated NitroPack on our site.

Homepage results

WP Rocket Homepage
WP Rocket
NitroPack Homepage
NitroPack

Blog post results

You can see NitroPack resulted in a significant difference in speed and page size. It almost doubled our speed in some cases.

When you compare the price of WP Rocket with NitroPack, the WP Rocket costs you $49/year, whereas NitroPack costs you $228/year (as of now).

So that's a $179 extra. Because, NitroPack also comes with a CDN which WP Rocket charges you extra as RocketCDN.

Nevertheless, due to the doubling of speed, even if it makes me $179 extra it's worth the price I paid. It's an investment.

Because of our cognitive bias “absence blindness”, and inability to track the boost in conversions due to speed doubling, we feel that it is a costly deal.

Even if it means that with NitroPack I need to disable my WPX Cloud CDN feature I bought it. Because, I think there's no similar solution in the market comparable to NitroPack.

The major concerns addressed

When it comes to NitroPack, there are two major concerns for the people.

  1. NitroPack leaves a lot of code in the header of the website
  2. NitroPack makes your website’s above the fold look ugly when the webpage is loading.
  3. NitroPack breaks some websites

Let’s look at the first one.

NitroPack leaves code in the header

This behavior of the performance optimization tool is expected. As Nitropack needs too many optimizations, even before your website starts loading, it inserts a lot of code in the header of your website.

Many SEO people are paranoid about whether this affects the SEO of a website as the text-to-code ratio is one of the Google ranking factors.

I would argue that – “Website speed is a more important ranking factor than that of text-to-code ratio”. I would trade off the latter for the former any day of the year.

As a matter of fact, trading off the text-code ratio for incredible page loads is crucial. I can’t see any tool that helps you improve pagespeed without a good amount of extra code.

Google has come a long way to crawl the website in spite of the code and has good computational power than in 2013ish when we used to emphasize a lot on text-code ratio as a ranking factor.

Now the second concern.

Yes, NitroPack makes your website’s above the fold look ugly as it aims at reducing the “First Contentful Paint” duration – depending upon your website code.

Depending on your website’s design this may not become an issue for you at all!

But well, this will not be a big deal for most of the visitors – and they don't care about it all. All they want is speed.

The third concern.

Many people have reported that NitroPack broke their site.

I've not witnessed this. But I'm sure that some people who have custom-developed their site or plugin conflicts may end up breaking their site. In those cases, you just need to add an optimization exception to the script in question or disable NitroPack before getting the solution.

I also advise you try out the generous free version of NitroPack before hopping on paid plan. It'll help you decide whether the solution is right for you or not. Nevertheless, they have a 14 days refund policy.

Pricing and support

NitroPack is a freemium tool.

NitroPack pricing

It comes with Free, Lite, Regular, and Plus plans.

The free plan comes with basic chat support, and also 500 MB available resource storage and upto 200-page optimizations per month. Every time any change is made to a webpage, the page needs to be reoptimized that counts towards the limit.

All their premium plans come with free installation and configuration from their team, unlimited optimizations, and more resource storage.

The only difference between their premium plans is the resource storage. The Lite plan comes with 1GB of storage space and Regular and Plus come with unlimited storage.

For most of the small and medium-sized websites the Lite plan (at $19/month) or the Regular plan (at $39/month) will be more than enough.

When it comes to support, as I told you, for premium plans they’ve got free installation and configuration.

They’ve got their live chat support (that’s not 24×7) and also email support. They also have a good support knowledgebase that’s highly detailed.

They also have a 14-days money-back guarantee if you don’t like their service.

FAQs

What is NitroPack?

It is a website performance optimization solution that is cloud-based.

Is NitroPack SEO-friendly?

According to my above experiment, NitroPack increased our website speed on average ~57% (refer the above analysis for more exact metrics)

Is NitroPack compatible with Cloudflare?

Yes, NitroPack is compatible with Cloudflare. But you need to disable some of the Cloudflare features like Mirage, Rocket Loader, and some others for a smoother experience.

Is NitroPack compatible with WordPress?

NitroPack is a cross-platform cloud-based tool. It has its own WordPress plugin which I reviewed in one of the above sections.

What CDN does NitroPack use?

NitroPack makes use of Amazon CloudFront for spreading your optimized static assets across various servers for faster page load times.

Verdict

Increasing your pagespeed is really important when it comes to boosting your website conversions and also SEO.

NitroPack is a no-brainer if you have lead generation, affiliate, or product-selling website. The boost in conversions is absolutely worth the money you spend on it.

Along with that, if you are on metered hosting, NitroPack saves you good money as it reduces the overhead on your hosting servers.

Depending on the price of the product you’re promoting, even one extra sale would pay back all your investment apart from SEO benefits.

I hope you loved my NitroPack review.

If you’re still not sure whether to go with NitroPack or not, please go ahead and sign up for their free plan and give it a test ride.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission with no additional cost incurred to you. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

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I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks. SHARING IS ♥️

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission with no additional cost incurred to you. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur the founder of BloggingX. I dropped out in 2015 to pursue my passion in blogging, digital marketing and training. I help people like you to learn blogging and help you grow your online business leveraging the power of strategic content marketing.

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