Underscores, or _s, if you prefer, is a starter WordPress Theme. It is the foundation of Automattic’s Twenty-xx Themes, which is why it’s called Underscores. It’s also called the 1000-hour head start theme because it includes years of refinements by dozens of WordPress theme experts.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
content migration copywriting creative strategy color palette development front-end web development online data management performance optimization security hardening search engine optimization visual design WordPress training and consulting
The new website is simply FANTASTIC! Absolutely beautiful! Glenna Burmer
Scope of Work
content migration copywriting creative strategy color palette development front-end web development performance optimization security hardening search engine optimization visual design WordPress training and consulting
Page load speed ranks in the top 10% of sites.
Google Lighthouse benchmarks Mobile Speed: 85/100 Desktop Speed: 97/100 Accessibility: 96/100 Best Practices: 100/100 Search Engine Optimization: 93/100
Total Page File Size: 489 Kb (In 2020, the average page size was ~2.4 Mb; the median size was ~2.1 Mb) Total Web Server Requests: 24 (4 Scripts + 5 Images + 6 CSS files + 4 fonts + 2 Other + 1 HTML )
Content Strategy by: Rita Cipalla Visual Design by: Joan van den Berg Banner artwork: Descending Dragon by Nobu Burmer | Banner photo: Sakurajima volcano, Kyushu, Japan, by Glenna Burmer WordPress Theme Development by: Scott Marlow
Puget Sound Training Center provides career training and employment services to immigrants, refugees and under-served individuals. PSTC trains individuals who are clients of Washington State Labor and Industry (L&I) and Department of Rehabilitation (DVR); PSTC also partners with CBOs (Community Based Organizations) to provide customized skills training.
This website redesign project involved upgrading the job training center’s decade-old static HTML website into a mobile-first responsive layout, powered by an intuitive WordPress Content Management System. During the redesign, nonprofit staff were trained how to add and edit website content – including text, images, and links – using WordPress’ new Gutenberg Block Editor. In addition to editing content, staff can now use the block editor, which has been custom-branded to their identity, to create mobile responsive layouts.
Scope of Work
creative strategy color palette development front-end web development performance optimization security hardening search engine optimization visual design WordPress training and consulting