A few months ago, Ezoic reached out to me and asked if I would like to join the Ezoic Leap beta. I thought, “What on earth is this?”
They stated that Ezoic’s solution is to help websites improve their website speed and key web vitals.
With all the news about Google’s implementation of Web Vitals in the search algorithm, I was ready to join the Ezoic Leap beta. I thought I should at least try.
I have been using Ezoic Leap for a few months now on OwnTheYard.com (my public niche site Project 4 site) and wanted to review and share my experience.
Does It Really Improve Core Web Vitals? Does it make your website faster? What are the pros and cons?
What is an Ezoic Leap?
The idea behind Ezoic Leap is a toolset that will help you improve the speed of your website and CWV (Core Web Vitals) as easily as possible. Ezoic even has a behind-the-scenes support team to help you set up and tweak all of your activation settings to get started (if you don’t want to do this yourself).
I’ve actually hired a few people in the past to try and improve the speed of my websites and it’s always a very convenient process for them. You need to uninstall plugins, install plugins, tweak settings, etc.
Ezoic Leap still requires your participation; However, Leap does much of the heavy lifting of several other plugins together, so you can get rid of those plugins. However, to optimize your website even further, you need to lend a hand yourself to decide whether it is worth the minimal speed improvement it offers your website to get rid of google fonts or your favorite plugin.
Ezoic Leap will immediately start improving your website and with the right settings (which the Ezoic team can set up for you); Your website could improve significantly over time.
Leap also gives several recommendations to make your website even faster and more optimized. beyond the default settings. These recommendations will give you the knowledge you need to make quick decisions about what is causing problems on your website and will give you a chance to decide whether to remove or optimize this feature of your website.
I’ll share all of the details below.
The importance of server-side ads
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most advanced technical person, so some of this gets over my head. However, one of the big complaints about getting ads on your website is that it slows them down!
And that’s a valid point, showing ads on your website requires bandwidth.
One possible answer with Ezoic leading the way is with server-side ads (Adthrive, Mediavine, and others don’t yet).
In addition, ad blockers are being used more and more frequently. Server-side ads allow you to continue serving ads on your website even though users have ad blockers. The technology isn’t new, but interest in the technology is growing.
What do server-side ads do? Well, here’s what Ezoic says about it.
I think the above picture shows how server-side ads work well.
What does Ezoic Leap eliminate?
Because Ezoic uses server-side ads, it does many of the heavy lifting that other plugins often try. So you can disable or completely remove multiple plugins from your website when you enable Ezoic Leap.
I used Ezoic Leap on OwnTheYard.com and disabled several plugins. Fewer plugins usually mean a faster website.
As a result of Ezoic Leap, you can disable CDN caching plugins, lazy loading, minification, speed / image optimization plugins like Imagify, Shortpixel, etc. Ezoic Leap does all of that.
My experience with Ezoic Leap
What is my experience with Ezoic Leap on OwnTheYard.com so far?
I disabled several plugins and my main web vitals and website speed have definitely improved.
It’s not perfect, however, so I’ll review both the pros and cons.
First, here’s what my performance looked like. This is a picture I took pretty early after activating Ezoic Leap. My trends seemed to be going in the wrong direction and I was worried.
Mobile CWV score of 67 and desktop score of 75 at the start.
Where are you now?
The mobile score is now 85 and passes all important web vital signs! I love to see all the green for phones! The above screenshot shows the average core values of the vital signs for the last 28 days.
However, my desktop score is still about the same or lower at 76.
This is what a recent screenshot from PageSpeed Insights for mobile devices and desktops looks like.
So the PageSpeed findings show that my desktop speed is better than mobile’s. However, what Google is really interested in (and shown in the Google Search Console) is Core Web Vitals.
The desktop “lab data” for PageSpeed insights show that I am “green” or pass all the important web vitals. But the “field” data is really important. This is what other Chrome users see when they visit my website (how the field data is calculated).
So I’m handing over Core Web Vitals for mobile devices according to Google PageSpeed Insights!
So when I look at my Google Search Console for OwnTheYard.com; Here’s what I see for Core Web Vitals on mobile.
As you can see, this “good” score for all urls occurred only recently. Up until a few days ago, my URLs were shown as “needing improvement (orange) with regard to CWV”.
But now all of my urls on mobile for OwnTheYard.com are going by! And to be clear, I haven’t done anything to “fix” this in the past few days. This is all of the Ezoic Leap work that has only improved my scores since I installed it.
I still have work to do on my Desktop Core Web Vitals Score. After speaking to my WordPress technician, he believes that some of the CLS issues are related to ads on my website. However, Ezoic Leap still has a ton of recommendations that I could make to improve my website’s scores. So, I should probably exhaust these recommendations before I start pointing a finger :).
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Ezoic Leap. With a Core Vitals Score of 85 on mobile (and getting better), but a score of 76 on the desktop and sinking … it feels like I’ve got more work to do.
Ezoic Leap has done a lot of work for me and the team is definitely there to help you get all of your settings started initially.
So the “pros” are that Ezoic Leap definitely does the work of several plugins (caching, image optimization, etc.) so that I can get rid of some bloating on my website. And clearly, Ezoic Leap automatically improves my most important web vitals (except on the desktop?).
But the downsides are that it’s not a silver bullet and it still takes your own time tweaking your website as you go through all of the Ezoic Leap recommendations.
When I started out, I often complained that I had to do something on my website in order to use Ezoic Leap. I wanted something that would do all the work for me!
Again, Ezoic Leap does a lot of things automatically to optimize your website (and I’m seeing good results). But in order to refine your website and get the best possible results for both desktop and mobile devices, you’ll need to dig in and do some “manual” cleanups.
This is where the Ezoic Leap recommendations come into play.
Since you need to dig into your website to speed it up, you can also create a detailed to-do list with suggestions for improvement.
This is how I see the Ezoic Leap dashboard, a to-do list.
Here is a screenshot of some of the recommendations Ezoic Leap has for OwnTheYard.com:
I have around 20 recommendations on my Ezoic dashboard that I could come across at some point (I’m lazy!). I’ve hired my technician in the past to go through all of these recommendations and fix them.
But unfortunately, new recommendations keep popping up over time. That just means that the Ezoic Leap is behind the scenes, continuing to build its “technology” to find more ways to improve websites. Or it could be that I installed new plugins or updated plugins which are now causing minor issues that need to be fixed.
Ezoic Leap is currently still in beta, but I can already see that the types and specificity of the recommendations have improved significantly since my launch a few months ago.
The Ezoic Jump Leaderboard
Can You Really Get Perfect Web Vital Scores With Ezoic Ads On Your Website?
That’s a question I’ve heard in the past, and on my own website, I’ve asked myself at some point. However, my website now has passed results on mobile and I expect that after some tweaking based on Ezoic Leap’s recommendations, I will also get passed results on desktop.
However, Ezoic Leap also has a “Leaderboard” which shows the website the best results on their platform. In other words, these are all the websites that are using Ezoic ads and still have perfect speed and core stats for the web vital signs.
Here’s a look at the leaderboard:
This shows that several have perfect speed values and CWV. You can even see the “Technologies” used or their Ezoic features / settings used.
This shows which plugins they are using etc.
I’ve checked out several of these sites and they definitely use Ezoic ads.
So you can definitely get perfect speed and CWV values when using Ezoic displays. This is what this leaderboard shows.
Not a wand, but helpful
Overall, I think Ezoic Leap is a good fix so far, and it seems to keep getting better (as it is in beta). I wished for a wand that was completely hands-free, but it’s not quite there yet.
The fact that Ezoic is running server-side ads is huge! And the fact that Ezoic Leap can help you eliminate multiple plugins from your website and do a lot of heavy lifting in optimizing your website and key web vital signs is a big deal too.
And it’s free. So from my point of view … why not? Hopefully you enjoyed this Ezoic Leap review.
If you’d like to try Ezoic Leap, you can learn more here.