Theme Alternative and Optimization

darkzerothree

DunkelNullDrei
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
287
Likes
218
Degree
1
#1
So as mentioned in my other thread, I got some clients back.

One of the biggest concerns here is the theme they are using, called "Resca"

https://themeforest.net/item/wordpress-restaurant-theme-resca/12124219

Out of the box, that theme sets off over 130 requests, and includes 40 javascripts.

Pingdom result of their DEMO page at http://resca.thimpress.com/!

Performance Grade: C (74)
Requests: 132
Javascript files included: 46
CSS files: 15

I am unsure if optimizing this pile of .... code(?) is worth it.

Maybe one of you knows a similar, but leaner theme.
If not, pointers to good WP theme optimization guidelines are appreciated.
(I know my way around, but there is a lot I don't know)

Thanks for any pointers!
 

built

Gotta get it before its too late
BuSo Pro
Boot Camp
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
1,564
Likes
1,331
Degree
4
#3
+1 for generatepress. Only Wordpress theme worth using these days imo
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
2,920
Likes
5,358
Degree
7
#4
If they properly enqueued all of the styles and scripts, you should be able to use a plugin to concatenate and minify them, and also those of any plugins that were properly enqueued.

I'm not saying this is the best one, because I'm sure more have rolled out and some caching plugins have also added the options, but you can quickly test this concept using this plugin called Autoptimize

You may be able to trim it the CSS and JS numbers down quite a bit this way without having to switch themes and dealing with all of those implications. Add some server caching after that and you may find you're happy with the results.

I'd also see if I could optimize those giant image pictures at a Lossless level, since they're huge but important.
 

turbin3

BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
574
Likes
1,125
Degree
2
#5
At this point, honestly, I only use Studiopress themes for the few WP sites I'm still involved with. I usually opt for the Studiopress-developed themes, and not even their third party-developed themes (though most of their third party marketplace themes are still good). The primary reasons why are:
  • Consistent code structure (Developer sanity!)
  • Many have good accessibility (SEO win)
  • Many are to HTML5 specs (SEO win)
  • Fast and light (yup, SEO win)
  • Good functionality & extensibility (Easy to mod!)
Themeforest is Fiverr for themes. Really think about the type of seller that would use that sort of marketplace, versus investing in creating their own brand or marketplace. Unreliable, often no coding standards or best practices. This is a recipe for terrible performance and maintenance hell.

As far as optimizing, as Ryuzaki said, Autoptimize is a good option. It's lightweight and easy to use, unlike some other similar plugins. Just beware, you'll want to test with it in a staging environment. Anytime you're concatenating files, there's potential to break the function or appearance of the site.

I would also look at how much of the resource file bloat is coming from the theme vs. plugins.

HTTP/2
Also, are the sites on TLS? If so, I'd check if the host is capable of HTTP/2 (aka H2). There are some performance gains to be had with "H2", namely in improved parallel resource loading.

If they're already on TLS, one quick way you can check if H2 is already enabled is in Chrome dev tools.
  • Load a site, go to the Network tab on dev tools.
  • Right click the column headers in the window and check the box for Protocol.
  • If it's enabled, you'll simply see "H2" for files loaded over it.

Lighthouse
In Chrome dev tools, I'd recommend running the Lighthouse tool under the Audits tab. It's another good source of some interesting performance info, and can help tackle issues that matter.

Some page load testers are a bit indiscriminate in how they operate and what they report. Like if you have tracking and other non-essential scripts that are not render-blocking, but long-running. The site may have rendered quickly, but some tracking script might be long-running in the background, throwing off some load time testers.

This is where things like "First meaningful paint" and "First interactive" come in useful. Basically, what the user might care more about.
 

darkzerothree

DunkelNullDrei
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
287
Likes
218
Degree
1
#6
@Goldorak - Thank you. Astra looks great, but single page only?
@Ryuzaki - Thanks for pointing out Autoptimize

@turbin3 - I could not agree more. The theme was not purchased by me, but by the "agency" that took them on a ride.

My plan is now the following:
See what I can optimize in the current setup, then explore the alternatives.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
59
Likes
54
Degree
0
#7

That header font combo hurts...

I'm always looking for a good base theme that's fast and light but still lets clients make meaningful edits in the backend.

More recently I've been using a super stripped down WP Twenty Twelve with a few choice BootStrap 4 CSS styles (flexbox grid system is great) and Advanced Custom Fields to build backends that clients can use without breaking shit.

Definitely going to be looking into GeneratePress, thanks for the tip.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
390
Likes
510
Degree
2
#8
Definitely going to be looking into GeneratePress
Ditto, I've been seeing it everywhere lately.

I have a bloated Envato theme going on right now, and I realized I'm not using any of the extra features, so I'm considering switching to something more lightweight.