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