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Providing WordPress Support, Empowering Clients, & Encouraging Accessibility

supported living services nonprofit website

A WordPress Theme rebuild for Alpha Supported Living Services – a non-profit agency providing supported living and group training home services to adults and children with developmental disabilities in King, Snohomish, and Spokane counties.

This latest WordPress website project involved helping a nonprofit to better comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Level AA). By replacing the commercial paid Theme with an open source WordPress-approved Theme (_Underscores), accessibility benchmark scores improved markedly.

Scope of Work

accessibility testing
front-end web development
performance optimization
security hardening
search engine optimization
WordPress training and consulting

Accessibility

To improve conformance with WCAG Level AA, 3 navigation features were added: a ‘skip to content’ link to help visitors bypass repetitive navigation; a keyboard-navigable menu; and site search. For low vision visitors, color contrast ratios were increased to meet the minimum 4.5:1 guidelines; a second visual indicator was added to body text links; image-based text was replaced with text; and the minimum font size was increased to 16 pixels.

Other accessibility improvements included removing an auto-rotating content slider (that did not include a pause feature); integrating more accessible social media icons; and making telephone numbers more accessible to assistive technology and mobile devices.

Ongoing accessibility efforts include improving alternate text for images; converting inaccessible PDF documents, like Annual Reports, to Pages and Posts; and maintaining content in semantic HTML.

Performance

Additional work involved optimizing page load performance. By optimizing images for web loading and reducing the number of web server requests (generated by Plugins and the former Theme) by 46% – page load speed almost doubled.

Performance MetricOld website
New Website
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility71/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices93/100100/100
WebPageTest Speed Index3.0921.654
Total Homepage File Size6.4 Mb (4 Mb Images + 937 Kb Scripts + 157 Kb CSS + 278 Kb Fonts + 63 Kb HTML)1.5 Mb (464 Kb Images + 763 Kb Scripts + 84 Kb CSS + 111 Kb Fonts + 72 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests99 (13 Images + 32 Scripts + 13 CSS + 8 Other + 16 Font + 5 HTML)53 (8 Images + 20 Scripts + 10 CSS + 5 Fonts + 7 Other + 6 HTML)
Total Homepage Load TIme~3.1 seconds~1.7 seconds

WebPage Test Speed Index: median = ~3.591; top 10% = <1.388
In 2020, the average page size = ~2.4 Mb and median page size = ~2.1 Mb.
Database-driven websites, like WordPress, are more performance optimized when server requests are < 40 – 60.

WordPress Child Themes at Work

supply chain and logistics company website
Twenty Twenty-One is a blank canvas for your ideas. It makes the block editor your best brush. See how Twenty Twenty-One elevates your portfolio, business website, or personal blog.

WordPress’ TwentyTwenty-One template theme turned into a turn-key landing page solution for Solmark International – a global supply chain and logistics company.

Scope of Work

brand discovery
project management
content strategy
copywriting
creative strategy
art direction
color palette development
front-end web development
performance optimization
security hardening
visual design
WordPress training and consulting

Team

Branding, Visual Design and Content Strategy by: Gravity Communications
WordPress Theming by: Scott Marlow

A WordPress Developer Committed to Performance-Optimized Themes

Composer website screenshot

This new version of the site is definitely WAY more mobile friendly. Love it!
Reg Unterseher

My latest WordPress project, which involved customizing a single Theme for 5 domains for 4 Northwest choral composers.

By collaborating on their marketing efforts – the group was able to affordably launch a series of custom, co-branded domains. The new, customized Gutenberg Block Editor enables each composer to create rich page layouts and integrate a unique color palette – while providing a consistent layout and user experience to visitors. In particular, each composer appreciated the power and flexibility of the Latest Posts Block, which was used to compile their respective choral catalogs alphabetically, as well as showcase featured compositions on their homepages.

Conductor-Composer website screenshot

Based on Automattic’s _Underscores Theme, page load speed ranks in the top 10% of sites – with high benchmark scores for accessibility, SEO, and other best practices.

Site Statistics

Google Lighthouse Insights
Accessibility: 98/100
Best Practices: 100/100
Mobile Speed: 87/100
Desktop Speed: 99/100
SEO: 100/100

WebPageTest Speed Index: 1.238 (median = ~3.519; top 10% = <1.388)

Total Server Requests:   26 (7 Scripts + 7 Images + 3 Fonts + 7 CSS + 1 HTML)
Total Page Size:                 334 Kb (In 2020, the average page size was ~2.4 Mb; the median size was ~2.1 Mb)
Page Load Speed:             ~1.2 seconds

Composer-Conductor website screenshot

Web Design + Development Team

Visual Design by David Owen Hastings
WordPress Theme Development by Scott Marlow