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WordPress Consulting for Private Companies and Nonprofit Organizations

Environmental Services firm website screenshot

A website conversion from Joomla into WordPress for SoundEarth Strategies, a professional services firm that provides environmental and engineering consulting services in the Pacific Northwest. The marcom staff wanted to clone the existing Joomla website into a more intuitive, user-friendly WordPress CMS, already in use by a subsidiary.

Like WordPress, Joomla is a PHP-based open source Content Management System. With an estimated 2.5% share of market – it is estimated to be the fifth most popular CMS after WordPress (65% market share), Shopify (6.5%), Wix (3.4%) and Squarespace (3%). There are approximately 6,000 extensions available for Joomla vs. over 60,000 for WordPress.

Scope of Work

  • Accessibility Consulting
  • Database Content Migration
  • Performance Optimization
  • WordPress Theme Development

WebPageTest Speed Index shows a 62% improvement in mobile page load speed by reducing web server requests almost 20% and reducing page size from 3 Mb to 2 Mb.

Google Lighthouse accessibility benchmarks also improved markedly from 79 to 98/100. This is important for federal contractors who
must legally follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) level AA under the American Disabilities Act. Improvements included accessible form fields, increased font sizes, and higher color contrast ratios.

Before & After Performance Comparison

Performance MetricOld Joomla Homepage
New WordPress Homepage
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility79/10098/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices92/10092/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed62/10087/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed89/10087/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization84/10093/100
WebPageTest Speed Index6.7672.588
Total Homepage File Size2.99 Mb (2.5 Mb Images + 295 Kb Scripts + 119 Kb CSS + 117 Kb Fonts + HTML)1.98 Mb (1.05 Mb Images + 776 Kb Scripts + 86 Kb CSS + 39 Kb Fonts + 31 Kb Other + 34 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests50 (9 Images + 19 Scripts + 17 CSS + 4 Other + 1 HTML)41 (7 Images + 12 Scripts + 8 CSS + 8 Other + 1 Font +5 HTML)
Total Homepage Load Time~6.8 seconds~2.6 seconds

WebPage Test Speed Index: median = ~3.591; top 10% = <1.388
In 2021, 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 Theme Development: Scott Marlow

Developing Outstanding WordPress Websites for 12 years

Presenting my latest website overhaul for Early Music Seattle, a nonprofit presenting classic concerts at venues around the city – including Benaroya Hall, Bastyr University Chapel, Federal Way Community Performing Arts Center, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and Town Hall.

Early Music Seattle screenshot

This project involved converting a custom-built WordPress Theme and migrating content into a new performance-optimized Theme (_Underscores). The Block Editor was integrated for more robust layout and styling. Accessibility improvements included higher contrast colors, navigation skip links, keyboard accessible menus, and mobile-clickable phone numbers. A new branded event calendar was also integrated, with the ability for community organizations to submit third-party events. By reducing server requests 45% and reducing page size 85%, page load speed now ranks in the upper 10th percentile of sites.

Scope of Work

  • Accessibility consulting
  • Content migration
  • Performance optimization
  • Security hardening
  • WordPress training & consulting

Site Statistics

Performance MetricOld WebsiteNew Website (September 2022)
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility79/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices67/10092/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed62/10090/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed89/10095/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization83/100100/100
WebPageTest Speed Index4.4262.804
Total Homepage File Size2.1 Mb ( 1.36 Mb Images + 574 Kb Scripts + 156 Kb CSS + Kb HTML)323 Kb (169 Kb Images + 57 Kb Scripts + 45 Kb CSS + 43 Kb Fonts + 18 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests64 (22 Images + 29 Scripts + 11 CSS + 5 Other + 2 HTML)35 (7 Images + 11 Scripts + 13 CSS + 3 Font + 1 HTML)
Total Homepage Load Time~4.4 seconds~2.8 seconds

WebPage Test Speed Index: median = ~3.591; top 10% = <1.388
In 2021, 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.

Photography: EMS staff, volunteers and Scribe Music
Videography: Markdavin Obenza: Scribe Music
Visual Design
: Amy Tullis
WordPress Theme Development: Scott Marlow

Building WordPress Websites with Equity and Accessibility in Mind

Sometimes a website with reasonable benchmarks can still perform poorly. This dental foundation website is a perfect example. The former site’s 2.2 Mb page size was well within the industry median; and 84 server requests is above optimum, but certainly not atrocious. Still, migrating from a custom-coded Theme to a WordPress-approved Theme (_Underscores) significantly improved perceived page load speed, despite server requests increasing and page size decreasing nominally.

Dental Foundation website
Arcora Foundation’s new WordPress Block-powered website

Benchmark Analysis

Performance MetricOld Website
New Website
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility95/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices92/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed31/10073/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed81/10091/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization80/10083/100
WebPageTest Speed Index7.3091.926
Total Homepage File Size2.2 Mb ( 1.36 Mb Images + 574 Kb Scripts + 156 Kb CSS + 110 Kb HTML)1.7 Mb (1.28 Mb Images + 295 Kb Scripts + 63 Kb CSS + Kb Fonts + 124 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests84 (25 Images + 32 Scripts + 16 CSS + 11 Other + 1 HTML)92 (64 Images + 15 Scripts + 8 CSS + 3 Other + 2 HTML)
Total Homepage Load Time~7.3 seconds~ 1.9 seconds

WebPage Test Speed Index: median = ~3.591; top 10% = <1.388
In 2021, 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.

Scope of Work

  • Accessibility auditing, consulting and remediation
  • Performance optimization
  • Security hardening
  • WordPress training & consulting

Web Design + Development Team

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