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I recently had to do optimization work on a not-to-be-named website, that used the Jupiter theme. It was one of the worst experiences I have ever had with a theme and I am here to share my frustrations.
I had previously used the theme in its 5.x branch and was familiar with its functions. I knew going into the project that it was going to be a pain, but in theory it should only take a couple of hours.
Boy, was I wrong.
Can’t Turn Off Critical CSS Feature?
The primary issue I ran into right away was the option to disable the critical CSS feature was no longer present.
I wanted to disable the critical CSS because this website used a lot of custom inline CSS on the child theme. I’m no web designer, but why the designer didn’t stick the custom styles in the child theme CSS that they were already using is beyond me. I had to change that myself.
Then, the critical CSS was not actually the critical CSS. This led to un-styled content, making the whole process frustrating and pointless.
At this point, I was going to use Autoptimize to aggregate the inline CSS. This made the website break.
Cue annoyed developer.
Turning Off Lazy Load Doesn’t Turn Off Lazy Load
I am truly at a loss for this one. In the theme’s performance options, it reads “Global Lazy Load”. If you want to enable lazy load, you enable the option there. But there is one short fall that makes it useless.
“Turn on Lazy-Load For All Supported ShortCodes”
I was trying to use my own LazyLoad script, thinking that was the issue. I thought I was preventing the plugin from loading by checking for the is_product(). Even with it, the images were still being lazy-loaded.
The worst part is the global option did nothing. And I could not turn it off. Why would you Lazy Load the featured image of a product? A product that is in the initial viewport of the user!?
And THEN not let me disable it.
Other Minor Issues With The WordPress Jupiter Theme
- It uses the WebFont loader, but was returning an error because the JS file was not declared.
- Jupiter’s cache feature make no sense. It has a very stark contrast compared to Avada’s Fusion Cache, which seems to focus on the CSS/JS files generated by the compiler.
I could go on, but overall the theme is not user friendly. It seems the theme’s developer used a more forceful approach to website optimization. Even if it is not the proper way.
If you attempt to use something non-standard with this theme, such as in the creation of your header, or you use a slider like Revolution Slider, you will run into frustrating issues.
TLDR: The global lazy load feature does not work for WooCommerce and causes headaches. The critical CSS generation seems highly limited. It only allows you to use the stock theme and comes with numerous issues. The critical CSS feature can not be disabled, which would resolve the previous issue. CSS optimization when using the theme’s critical CSS does not use any sort of Async CSS loader, such as the Filament Group’s script.
The theme is still moderately appealing to look at. It is not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but for what it is, it is solid.