What Would WordPress Do?

City of Gig Harbor parks website

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in the world. WordPress powers 42% of all websites; and 62% of CMS-powered sites.

But not all WordPress sites are created equal.

One of my favorite tasks is showing clients the benefits of open source technology. In particular, I enjoy demonstrating Core Web Vitals for open source WordPress Themes vs. cheap, popular paid commercial themes from vendors like ThemeForest. I primarily use Google Lighthouse to evaluate sites, but I also rely on Pingdom, WebPageTest and other benchmarking tools.

This latest nonprofit project for PenMet Parks in Gig Harbor involved rebuilding a commercial theme-powered WordPress site with my favorite Theme, _Underscores.

The client’s previous page load speed was atrocious, and the website crashed on a regular basis. Worse, content contributors could not even use the CMS to make the most basic content edits due to bloated Theme and Plugin features.

By following better WordPress and web standards, web server requests were reduced 69% and page size was reduced 73%. As a result of better web development practices, page load speed improved 78%. And the parks organization can now easily, intuitively edit all of their site content.

Scope of Work

accessibility testing
brand discovery
project management
content migration
copywriting
creative strategy
art direction
color palette development
front-end web development
performance optimization
security hardening
search engine optimization
visual design
WordPress training and consulting

Site Statistics

Performance MetricOld WebsiteNew Website
Google Lighthouse: Mobile Performance3/10067/100
Google Lighthouse: Desktop Performance12/10092/100
Google Lighthouse: Accessibility97/100
Google Lighthouse: Best Practices93/100
WebPageTest Speed Index7.1761.831
Total Homepage File Size
(In 2020, average page size was ~2.4 Mb; median size was ~2.1 Mb)
4.5 Mb1.2 Mb
Total Web Server Requests19461
Total Homepage Load Time~6 seconds~1.3 seconds

Team

Photography by Chrisy Dorsey
Visual Design by
Heidi Grace
WordPress Theme Development by Scott Marlow