Stopping Slow Websites One Nonprofit at a Time

DESC nonprofit website

Client: DESC

Scope of Work
Front-End web development
Performance optimization
Security hardening
Visual design
CMS Training

Team: David Owen Hastings, Scott Marlow

The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) provides integrated services including housing, emergency shelter, crisis intervention and healthcare to thousands of homeless people.

Our goal: to redesign www.desc.org into a custom, mobile responsive, modern website that showcases the organization’s updated brand identity with bright, bold colors.

Performance Metrics

Performance WordPress Site Benchmark
Google Mobile Speed: 73
Google Desktop Speed 94
Pingdom 81 faster than 87% of tested sites
WebPageTest Speed Index 875 median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow 84 average score = 70
Web Page Size 340 Kb In 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests 30 < 40 – 60 recommended

Connecting Nonprofits thru WordPress

Whidbey Community Foundation website

Client: Whidbey Community Foundation

Scope of Work
Content strategy
Custom Photography
Front-End web development
Performance optimization
Security hardening
Visual design

Team: David Owen Hastings, Michael Stadler Photographs, Moore Ink, Scott Marlow

Whidbey Community Foundation, founded in 2016, is a grantmaking public charity that supports Whidbey Island nonprofit organizations through philanthropy, training and capacity building.

More than 750 community foundations operate in urban and rural areas in every state in the United States.

The new community foundation website, powered by WordPress, allows the organization to easily share fundraising, training and other news. A third-party portal by Community Suite provides additional tools for nonprofit listings and donations.

Performance Metrics

Performance WordPress Site Benchmark
Google Mobile Speed: 71
Google Desktop Speed 86
Pingdom 90 faster than 86% of tested sites
WebPageTest Speed Index 1,440 median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow 82 average score = 70
Web Page Size 526 Kb In 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests 28 < 40 – 60 recommended

Get Help for Your WordPress Website

LifeWire tablet screenshot

ClientLifeWire
Founded in 1982 as Eastside Domestic Violence Program (EDVP), LifeWire was the first agency to directly serve survivors in East and North King County. Today, LifeWire is Washington state’s largest domestic violence organization and a nationally recognized leader in the field. LifeWire has helped over 141,000 survivors break free from abuse, find safety, heal, and create a stable home for themselves and their children.

Scope of Work:
Front-end web development
Performance optimization
Rebranding
Security hardening
Search engine optimization
Visual redesign

Team: David Owen Hastings, Scott Marlow

The Challenge

LifeWire completed a branding overhaul with Phinney Bishoff circa 2014. The website needed to be updated with the new brand identity.

The Results

We built the new mobile responsive site in WordPress on _Underscores, optimizing desktop layout for more modern 1,440 pixel width monitors. New full-bleed homepage headers promote the organization’s latest news. Bold custom fonts and colors help distinguish the new brand. Social media, Constant Contact e-newsletter signup form and the latest events are promoted via a colorful attention-getting sitewide footer. Volunteer management was streamlined with a new online volunteer application. Online donations are integrated thru eTapestry.

In 2018, the LifeWire site was updated with a fresh online Impact Report section.

Performance WordPress Site Benchmark
Google Mobile Speed: 94
Google Desktop Speed 100
Pingdom 89 faster than 87% of tested sites
WebPageTest Speed Index 2,255 median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow 79 average score = 70
Web Page Size 1.2 Mb In 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests 34 < 40 – 60 recommended

Thank you so much for the fantastic job you have done on the LifeWire website! It looks awesome!!
Kelly Becker, development director, LifeWire

Fostering Content Management for Clients Through Open Source Solutions

Ladies Musical Club website

Graphic Design: David Owen Hastings
WordPress Web Development: Scott Marlow

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Ladies Musical Club of Seattle worked with us to redesign their static ‘fixed width’ website into a mobile responsive Content Management System (powered by WordPress – the most popular open source CMS in the world).

The new site features rich, custom photography and videography; and a public concert event calendar. Volunteers can now add and edit content, including events.

So exciting! A huge thanks to you and David for the beautiful layout, design, your knowledge and patience while guiding us through! … There is more work ahead, more to learn, but let’s take a big breath and delight in this huge milestone!  Wow, just wow!
Claudia McCormick-Kester, Vice President of Communications

The new site also loads among the top 10% of tested sites.

More site features are planned for the future.

Localized Community Websites

Community Health clinic website screenshot
Graphic Design: David Owen Hastings
WordPress Web Development: Scott Marlow

International Community Health Services is a nationally recognized nonprofit community health center that provides affordable health care services to King County’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

In 2015, we upgraded the 300+ page site with a new mobile responsive design. New site features include:

  • improved information architecture, with custom menus and clearer calls-to-action
  • more dynamic homepage content
  • translation for multiple languages
  • font resizer and contrast toggle for visitors with disabilities
  • simple online contact form, social media integration
  • extended footer with Quick Links
  • overall improved accessibility and usability features