Sitecore to WordPress CMS Migration

Seattle Foundation WordPress website

Committed to Accessible WordPress Websites for Nonprofits

This project involved cloning the existing Seattle Foundation visual layout and design from a website powered by Sitecore into a new more accessible, performance-optimized site powered by a WordPress Content Management System.

Foundation staff wanted a CMS that was simpler and easier to maintain. Project challenges included poorly structured Sitecore-exported XML data files, a low contrast color palette, and a short timeline. Content management was the primary dependency for the new website launch, since hundreds of posts needed to be migrated.

Scope of Work

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

Performance

Mobile speed index improved 69%, from ~9.5 to 2.5 seconds [source: WebPageTest]. This was achieved by reducing overall homepage size 89% – from 5.7 Mb to 639 Kb, and significantly reducing Javascript 95% – from 2.2 Mb to 112 Kb. Overall, web server requests, the primary contributor to slow page loads, decreased 49%. Finally, DNS management was moved to a Cloudflare CDN for better performance, redundancy and security.

Accessibility

Improvements include higher contrast colors to better adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG); increased font sizes; a navigation skip link; and removal of auto-rotating content sliders.

Before & After Performance Comparison

Performance Metricformer Sitecore CMS homepage (Nov 2022)
New WordPress homepage (December 2022)
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility87/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices75/10092/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed46/10079/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed60/10099/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization83/10093/100
WebPageTest Speed Index9.4682.473
Total Homepage File Size5.733 Mb (3.01 Mb Images + 2.2 Mb Scripts + 398Kb CSS + 162 Kb Fonts + 67 Kb HTML)639 Kb (302 Kb Images + 112 Kb Scripts + 69 Kb CSS + 150 Kb Fonts + 21 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests59 (24 Images + 19 Scripts + 8 CSS + 7 Other + 1 HTML)30 (8 Images + 3 Scripts + 9 CSS + 3 Other + 1 HTML)
Approximate Homepage Load Time (mobile)~9.5 seconds~2.5 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.

Seattle Foundation manages over $1 billion in philanthropic investments. 2022 marks the 1-year anniversary of the Foundation’s REPAIR initiative (Racially Equitable Philanthropy Aimed at Initiating Relationships), with a minimum investment of $25 million to Black-led organizations around Seattle; and its Center for Community Partnerships striving to achieve greater racial and economic equity in the region. The Foundation also incubated SkillUp Washington – a workforce funders collaborative connecting employers, post-secondary training and low-income adults.

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

Accessible Websites You Need. Content Editing Features You Want.

A new WordPress Theme for Base Supply Center, operated by The Lighthouse for the Blind. This new Gutenberg block-powered Theme replaces the former Avada Theme. Website improvements include:

  • mobile-friendly phone numbers;
  • increased font sizing with improved line-height for readability;
  • improved color contrast;
  • and table-less HTML layout.

supply center website

Scope of Work

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

Benchmarks

Performance MetricUnderscores Theme
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices92/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed67/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed89/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization91/100
WebPageTest Speed Index2.396
Total (Discover) Page File Size2.09 Mb (1.4 Mb Images + 528 Kb Scripts + 81 Kb CSS + 138 Kb Fonts + 20 Kb HTML)
Total Web Server Requests90 (26 Images + 38 Scripts + 16 CSS + 6 Fonts + 3 Other + 1 HTML)
Total Homepage Load Time~2.6 seconds

An optional HTML Table Caption
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.

Proven WordPress Websites that Nonprofits Love!

Sound Generations’ Project Enhance provides licensing, training and assistance for two nationally recognized evidence-based programs: Enhance®Fitness and Enhance®Wellness.

The new Project Enhance WordPress site features an integrated members-only content area for fitness instructors and affiliates across 43 states. Benchmarks across all measurable areas have improved significantly. Overall page size has reduced 93% from 6.5 Mb to < 500 Kb; web server requests have reduced 69% from 59 to 18. These improvements result in page load speeds less than 3 seconds.

Enhance Fitness and Wellness website

Site Statistics

Performance MetricOld (Divi) WordPress Theme
New Custom-Branded WordPress Theme
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility88/100100/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices75/10092/100
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Speed47/10096/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Speed64/10099/100
Google Lighthouse: Search Engine Optimization82/10090/100
WebPageTest Speed Index6.1212.008
Homepage File Size6.46 Mb (6.06 Mb Images + 205 Kb Scripts + 239 Kb CSS +100 Kb Fonts + Kb HTML)484 Kb (302 Kb Images + 3 Kb Scripts + 33 Kb CSS + 149 Kb Fonts + 8 Kb HTML)
Web Server Requests59 (16 Images + 17 Scripts + 19 CSS + 5 Fonts + 2 HTML)18 (7 Images + 2 Scripts + 6 CSS + 2 Fonts + 1 HTML)
Homepage Load Time~6.1 seconds~2 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.

Other site updates and improvements include:

More readable content with font sizes > 16 pixels and reduced line widths; keyboard-navigable menu with skip to content link for screen readers;  custom-branded browser favicon; improved security, including bruteforce protection.

Project Enhance is a collaboration between Sound Generations, University of Washington and Group Health Cooperative (now Kaiser Permanente).