Save the Internet from WordPress speed abuse.
Updated: August 2017
4 minute read
Steve built speed websites before – coding by hand. A tedious method but fast loading even on shared, cheap hosting. Creating sub-second loading web pages fascinated Steve. And he developed all sort of tricks and strategies to solve the puzzle of speed. But no one appeared to care. Small mobile screens and wireless connections hadn’t hatched. Cross-device didn’t exist in the web lexicon yet.
Christian, our favorite advisor, persuaded Steve. He said, “Building websites by hand (the old way) is obsolete. The ‘CMS of the Day’ is WordPress.” Steve hated Content Management Systems because they were so bloated and slow. Christian claimed Steve was a Luddite. But, Christian also said something that changed Steve’s life:
“Then make WordPress do what you want.”
A light bulb went on. Steve’s most valued super-power is creativity. Steve thought, “You can do that?” It had the ring of a creative challenge to it.
In 2013, Christian threw down the gauntlet. And Steve picked it up. At that moment, Steve began discovering if WordPress could load in under two seconds or not. Most WordPress sites load in 4-seconds to 8-seconds. But some were much worse, like 20 seconds or more. In fact, the average website load time by the end of 2016 was 8 seconds on a desktop. Nothing improved! Yet, many sites now have 60- to 70-percent mobile traffic. Ouch!
Steve’s goal is the industry-best-practice of under 2 seconds – good enough. 1 second being the ideal. Sub-second being magic.
The market need for speed increases. Mobile has slow connections. Heavy page weight is a detriment to good user experience (UX). Ironically, websites get heavier and heavier each year. Sites that weighed 750k in 2010 now weighed an average of 2.3M in 2017 (and growing). Average web page weight is expected to exceed 3M in late 2017. Apathy is the main reason. You can fight this trend of heavy page weight and improve slow speed. The main enemies of speed today are sloppy branding with heavy images and indiscriminately adding third-party scripts with plugins.
Steve researches WordPress speed techniques and methods. Christian often said, “No one cares about these kinds of speeds. No one’s going to read this stuff.” But Christian read it – and that’s all that mattered to Steve.
In 2017, WordPress crossed another milestone. Now, a bigger chunk than ever of the Internet uses WordPress. The WordPress free plugin repository grew at a rate of 25 percent per year. It now has over 50,000+ plugins. And there are over 1,500+ free, responsive WordPress themes.
Site owners need education. Not how to make nice-looking sites. But how not to abuse and ruin WordPress – and thus the Internet itself. Steve’s mission: save the Internet from the approaching WordPress Apocalypse!
Steve Teare researches experimental speed techniques. Steve’s passion is balancing the perception of speed with color and images. Building for speed avoids website user abuse.
Fast, responsive, branded websites are for businesses who depend on web income.
Today, speed and branding are big concerns for most website owners and web developers. Branding and speed solve your user experience needs. Pain-free mobile sites.
Why bloat happens?
- Fear of being perceived as insignificant.
- Designer is not using themes properly.
- A common mistake is the belief that a good site includes everything.
- Not using file compression.
- Feature creep.
- Constantly adding features and tweaks.
Pacific time zone.
Steve Teare is a client-side performance expert using WordPress endorsed plugins and themes.
WordPress Mobile Speed
Healing WordPress Distress
This free report debunks 24 WordPress-related errors and falsehoods. They are perpetuated either accidentally or deliberately. Most of our shared insights are about WordPress speed misconceptions. Some notions and half-truths are actively “marketed” to create website-owner anxiety to sell services, themes, or plugins. We give some alternative recommendations to consider.
1. WordPress is easy
2. Speed and SEO
4. Google Analytics
5. Post Comments
6. CDNs and speed
7. Caching plugins
8. WP Smush plugin
9. Paid vs. free plugins and themes
10. Too many plugins
11. Google Webfonts
12. Global site drag
13. Google PageSpeed Insights
14. Speed test scores
18. Hosting speed performance
19. WordPress image optimization
20. Expressive aesthetics
21. Web designers are accountable
22. Site redesign
23. User Experience
24. The “WordPress Way”