The client is one of the largest independently owned networks of orthopedic specialists in the United States, primarily focused within Chicago and its surrounding area. The orthopedic group sports over 100 surgeons and physicians, and is now expanding into Indiana and further away from Chicago. In 2017, a new website was developed on WordPress by a third party and Today’s Business has been contributing SEO and website maintenance support from site launch – on.
Menus were being redesigned, pages were being expanded upon, and new features were being added.
Website became more powerful – and more people were visiting = slow page speed
By the end of spring, the problems were getting to the point where a drastic solution would be needed. In order to diagnose the problem, Today’s Business’ web development, SEO, and hosting teams conducted an extensive review to identify why the website was experiencing such slow performance. In short, there were too many resources being used, some of which could not be cached (stored away and pre-loaded for faster page speed).
Creating A Custom Theme
Remove Unnecessary Resources
With approval from the client, Today’s Business expedited rebuilding the backend of the website from the ground up.
- Custom plugins consolidated 12 off the shelf plugins
- Completely overhauled the way the website was coded and loaded in under a month.
- Maintain all aesthetics and functionality
- Ensure that each webpage would have the fastest time possible to be interactive, and allow lesser functions to load later.
Two weeks after the new website launched, Today’s Business reviewed the real-world results from Google Analytics, not just page speed tools:
Total Percentage of Improvement
Page Load Time
The time it takes a page to load every single element
Domain Lookup Time
The amount of time it takes to find the domain after the request
Server Connection Time
The amount of time it takes for the server to connect the page
Server Response Time
The time it takes the server to respond to a request
Document Interactive Time
The time it takes for the page to be interactive (before this point, the user can’t do anything but wait)
Document Content Loaded
The amount of time it take the browser to understand the files of a page and execute
Number of users who immediately leave the site without interacting
How many pages people explore during a standard visit
How long people are actively engaged per use
How often a visit turns in a lead
Across the board, the project was a success, and also showed just how important page speed is to users. Google has also shared reports on just how important it is as well, particularly for mobile:
Is your website slowing to a crawl? Let’s talk. We can help you diagnose your problems, provide you with your options, and get your website performing better than ever before. Today’s Business is a multi-channel digital marketing agency based out of Pine Brook, New Jersey, with experience working in healthcare, e-commerce, waste management, real estate, brick and mortar retail, and much more.
Why Use a Custom Theme?
WordPress is an open source platform, and many developers have created themes for it to allow for more user friendly development, content management, unique designs, and functionality. WordPress, Squarespace, and other content management systems remove the need to hardcode a website, but they also come at a cost when it comes to page speed. The reason is that standard themes often have a lot of extra code and processes. More code and resources = more data to load every time a new page is navigated to. Plug-ins add on to this issue, especially if they’re not needed but still active. Thus the tradeoff is a website that is easier for people to add to, but harder for servers to load efficiently. For more complex websites with a lot of traffic, the convenience factor is not worth losing customers to a slow page load.
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