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
color palette development
front-end web development
search engine optimization
WordPress training and consulting
|Performance Metric||Old Website||New Website|
|Google Lighthouse: Mobile Performance||3/100||67/100|
|Google Lighthouse: Desktop Performance||12/100||92/100|
|Google Lighthouse: Accessibility||97/100|
|Google Lighthouse: Best Practices||93/100|
|WebPageTest Speed Index||7.176||1.831|
|Total Homepage File Size|
(In 2020, average page size was ~2.4 Mb; median size was ~2.1 Mb)
|4.5 Mb||1.2 Mb|
|Total Web Server Requests||194||61|
|Estimated Mobile Homepage Load Time||~7 seconds||~1.8 seconds|