Recently I did a small audit of the plugin we use on this site, the main goal of which was to try and speed up the site a bit. During the audit I noticed we had installed the plugin “Pricing Table” a few months back to display our prices, we were happy with the results but when reviewing it I found it was adding lots of extra JS and CSS files for what seemed like a simple table.
A quick Google search for a simpler alternative brought up this page: https://coveloping.com/tools/pricing-tables the site seems like a treasure trove of small free developer tools and in this case for pricing tables it seems like the creator must have looked at the pricing table plugin as a reference or maybe it’s just so customisable that you can create almost any pricing table you want?
The visual results:
I was able to copy almost exactly our pricing table made by the plugin, all I really had to add was the “Each x months” text and the “Best” banner image and I added the CSS hover zoom effect (there was a zoom effect option on the site but it did not seem to do anything, I assume it’s somehow broken at the moment, hopefully they will fix it soon).
Before, Pricing Table plugin:
After, coveloping.com tool + two tiny CSS tweaks:
So how much time did it speed up our site?
Well I did a few changes that day and managed to speed up our site by around 30% but I didn’t take exact reading for just the pricing table plugin…. So I did some fresh benchmarking on a pretty clean 2015 install on the sample page with the results as below. (these were averages of several refreshes with no caching)
Before pricing table plugin:
After pricing table installed (but no shortcode added to page):
Pricing table plugin active and shortcode on page:
You can see the actual KB difference transferred is not huge but the browser having to load 9 extra files combined with whatever processing and extra files included in memory adds up to around a 35% extra loading time difference, this high difference is high because the site I benched this on is already very light weight.
Was this worth doing? Absolutely, this was just one plugin and the end result is 9 files not having to be loaded by every page load, this just goes to show that sometimes a plugin is not always the answer to simple tasks.
With the coveloping.com tool you can create a pricing table with no coding knowledge required, it’s simply a copy and paste job once you have done customising, you just copy the HTML to the page/post and the CSS to your theme’s style.css and you are done, you have a nice pricing table that won’t slow down your site!