What is Photon and how does it work? • WordPress Help

One of the most interesting modules of the plugin JetPack is perhaps also one of the most mysterious or unknown so let's put some light on this little free wonder called Photon .

What is Photon?

 jetpack-photon "width =" 550 "height =" 331 "srcset =" http://bootstrapx.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/jetpack-photon-550x331.jpg 550w, https://ayudawp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jetpack-photon-768x462 .jpg 768w, https://ayudawp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jetpack-photon-840x506.jpg 840w, https://ayudawp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jetpack -photon.jpg 1080w "sizes =" (max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px "/> </a></p>
<p> Photon is <strong> one of the modules that you can activate in the JetPack plugin </strong>and being one of the most interesting is curiously those that are inactive by default. </p>
<p> According to the pr oppia web of JetPack, Photon is defined as <strong> an image acceleration service for sites hosted on WordPress.com or connected via JetPack </strong>. This means that it will require less loading time in your hosting and <strong> images </strong> will be loaded faster for your visitors. </p>
<p> The same module describes its function: </p>
<p> Improve your site by uploading images from the CDN (Content Delivery Network) of WordPress.com. We cached your images and served them from our servers, which reduces the burden on your Web storage provider in a single click. </p>
<p> That is, it comes to be <strong> a kind of content delivery network or CDN </strong> (Content Delivery Network) in the style of Amazon S3 or CloudFlare, but <strong> hosted on WordPress.com servers </strong>and best of all, <strong> at no cost </strong> nor have to configure anything or create new DNS or anything like that. </p>
<h2><span id= How does Photon work?

To use Photon you just have to go to the JetPack page of your WordPress installation and from the configuration menu or main menu, Activate it

Once active there is nothing to configure, it has no settings page, it works automatically from that moment a copy of each one is created of your images on the servers of WordPress.com and the next time someone visits your website you will see your site as always but the images, instead of showing the copy hosted on your server will be displayed on the servers of WordPress.com, adapted to the right size

Apparently nothing will change on your website, except that it will go faster since the images are loaded from much faster and optimized servers.

If you upload an image to illustrate a new publication the process is the same, your site is connected via JetPack with WordPress.com and will also host the image on your servers, so that it is ready by the time you post it and is visible on your website.

The only way to that someone realizes that you are not hosting the images on your server will be reviewing the published URL of each image, as you can see in the following example before and after activating JetPack's Photon:

As you can see the image is no longer on the web server but on the WordPress.com CDN, of type i1.wp.com /tusitio.com. If you notice it even retains the same relative path of upload and image name.

Some interesting details that you did not know about Photon

  • Photon filters the content but does not make any changes to the WordPress database. ] Photon only acts on the images in the entries and on the highlighted images (image thumbnails)
  • Photon acts on both the old and new entries.
  • Photon only hosts the whole image you upload, without its copies Minor, performing a resize appropriate to the content based on the size values ​​to insert that you define when inserting the image in your entry, the HTML attributes of width and height. In case you do not define any size attribute, it adapts to the maximum container of your input.
  • Photon compresses without loss all the images it hosts using OptiPNG or jpegoptim.
  • Photon is not just a content delivery service but also an image manipulation service. Photon can resize, crop, adjust brightness, contrast and zoom levels and even apply filters to images .
  • If you activate Photon you do not lose anything, your images are still uploading to your server.
  • With Photon you do not save hosting space, because your images keep uploading to your server and creating different sizes.
  • If you deactivate Photon you do not lose anything, the images hosted on your server are loaded.
  • Photon only stores, resizes and serves gif, png and jpg images.
  • Photon can only serve images of servers that serve port 80 (99.99% of the planet's web servers)
  • Photon does not enlarge the images, which would also be horrible and pixelated, it only resizes to smaller sizes, to adapt to the content.
  • If your server takes more than 10 seconds to upload the image to Photon, in the course while uploading the image will appear on the page as if the image is missing, with the resource and broken image.
  • Photon also stores and serves animated gifs but if it requires some resizing then it would be static (this is so even if they are hosted on your server).
  • Photon does not update the cache, it lasts forever. If you want to "update" an image you will have to change the name or upload another one instead.
  • The stacked galleries of JetPack use Photon to work, in fact the images of this type of galleries will be loaded from the WordPress.com CDN even if you do not have active Photon, which means that they activate a "version" of Photon in reality. If you do not want to use Photon you can activate the DEBUG mode of JetPack .
  • Photon also acts on the image thumbnails that are displayed in the JetPack related Entries module.
  • You can use Photon and your cache plugin without problems. In the CDN tab you simply have to indicate that you do not use a CDN, even though you are actually using it.

Does Photon harm my website?

Photon and SEO

In principle might seem that all are advantages when activating Photon because by offering a faster load of your website due to the higher speed of the WordPress.com servers when serving your images, the result is an improvement in many whole navigation experience

And yes, that's true. Activating Photon you get a few load times of your web, which results in better performance and positioning for search engines in the aspect of speed but …

but "is that on the other hand you can lose positioning in the search engines by losing all the traffic to your images which will no longer point to your website but rather to the WordPress.com servers. This is true with any CDN but you must take it into account and weigh what contributes more to the performance and positioning of your website: the speed or visits to the images .

But you must take it into account, as what is clear is that the images hosted on your server will no longer be indexed in Google, that's the case.

Anyway, in my opinion there is no color, it is much better to offer a few load times, taking into account that the traffic coming from images is of very low quality, with some times of permanence in the page ridiculous .

If I have to put in a balance the traffic by the images in front of the of speed and reduction of bounce rate I am clear that Photon wins.

If, in addition, in passing we eliminate the harmful effects of hotlinking on our website because although do it to us no longer consume resources of n Our server, in this sense the advantages win over the inconveniences.

In any case, it is a decision that you must make based on your knowledge and previous statistical analysis, and subsequent checks, as there are situations in which it is better to choose the positioning coming from images. It occurs to me, for example, if you have an infographics site or similar.

Photon ghost URLs

It has been detected that Photon can generate additional URLs on your site even if it is not active, this is because JetPack activates it in part always, for example for the module of related inputs. Fortunately you can disable it completely using the following filter:

Photon and HTTPS

It has been detected that Photon does not get along with SSL certificates because it accepts HTTPS but returns HTTP, but it has an easy solution by applying the following filter: [19659062] add_filter ('jetpack_photon_reject_https', '__return_false');

add_filter ( 'jetpack_photon_reject_https' '__ return_false' )

Rights of transfer of images

Another aspect to take into account would be if there is any right to copy and print the images that you must fulfill, for example if you have assigned rights to an image for your site , but not to house it in a C DN in which case you would have to, or extend the agreement or not activate Photon only for that / s image / s. It's a special case but you have to say it all.

Are there more free CDNs besides Photon?

Of course there are some, but you should bear in mind that none is so easy to activate and use as Photon, here are some how many alternatives to Photon:

So should I use Photon?

If you're not already using another CDN, it's highly recommended. You get the same service but without any cost and without having to configure anything, it works instantly and you get the same as with any of these services, except for the additional features of WAF (Web Application Firewall) that some include.

With Photon you get :

  • Shorter load times.
  • Lower bandwidth consumption of your server.
  • Usability improvements and user experience.
  • Reduction in bounce rate.
  • Less consumption of resources. from the server, which no longer has to display the images.
  • Fewer requests to the database to display the images.
  • You save the cost of a CDN.

In summary, that Photon is one of the reasons why JetPack is a highly recommended plugin, especially for sites hosted on servers with few resources.

JetPack has its stuff and I criticize it a lot, but certainly Photon is a very favorable point, a lot . If you need a CDN and do not want to spend the money it costs or get into cumbersome configurations, or pay an expansion of resources on your server, then Photon is the best option, no doubt.

NOTICE : this publication is two or more years ago. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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