Introducing commonWP

For years, Use Google Libraries was my favorite plugin because I liked what it did and I liked how it did that.

WordPress is open source and it uses other open source JavaScript libraries (like jQuery, for example) and when it includes those libraries in a page, they are the same everywhere, on all sites that use them. Public CDNs exist with idea that you offload those kind of libraries to them so you increase chance that they are already cached by your visitors, you take load off your server, your visitors use less data, you use less bandwidth, you take advantage of using CDN, and generally, your site gets some performance boost.

Back when Google hosted libraries were used, there were only a few libraries. But over time independent public CDNs popped up with much more choices. I experimented with cdnjs in the past but I never released my work past GitHub.

Then, a year ago, I saw that jsDelivr (one of public CDNs) was revamped so that all files hosted on npm, GitHub, and WordPress.org Plugins Repository are available. Immediately, I got idea for a WordPress plugin that can force sites to use files from jsDelivr rather than local one. Why I didn’t release it back then? Because I wanted to make this as secure as possible, and also as simple as possible.

Second thing I liked about Use Google Libraries was that it just worked: there are no settings, options, any UI. It followed WordPress philosophy that I also follow: “Decisions, not options.”

I finally released commonWP: it’s dead simple to use (just activate it and it works!), it tries to be as secure as possible, it gives developers options to fine tune it (with a lot code examples and a code reference to guide them).

It is not for everyone but many can get real benefits while using it. Take this one example I tested: Serbian site hosted in US got over 1 second improvement because files were now served from jsDelivr’s POP in Belgrade, not by origin on another side of ocean, and all that for free.

Check it out!

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