I love WordPress very much but sometimes things happen that strain the relationship a bit. With the WordPress 4.2 update came built in support for Far Eastern language characters and advanced Emoji. This is great for a large part of the world but the new abilities came with a price, they slowed down the load time of WordPress.
Creating and maintaining a fast loading speed is an important part of optimizing your website for search so anything that slows it down needs to be dealt with. In the case of the Emoji upgrade the slowdown was significant. I tested this site and several client sites on Pingdom Tools and found all of them to have loading times that were nearly double what they had been.
After some research on the web I found that there was no easy way to get rid of the new and improved language and emoji functions on WordPress as the abilities were part of the core WordPress files. I found several recommendations for a plugin called “Disable Emojis”. You can click on this image if you want to go to the plugin site.
I added the plugin to this website first. Installation was simple and straightforward. Once added and activated I cleared my cache files and then tested it again using Pingdom Tools speed test. The improvement in loading speed on this site was nearly one second faster with the new emojis disabled.
I began installing the “Disable Emojis” plugin on client site and found that the loading speed improvements happened on all of them. Of course there were variations depending on the hositng company and the type of hosting being used by the client site but overall the results were uniform in that, by removing the new Emoji support from WordPress 4.2 and higher, a significant reduction in loading time was realized.