Having developed web sites using WordPress for many years, I have noticed many welcome improvements but unfortunately have seen the system becoming bloated. What do I mean by bloat? I mean lots of additional features that most sites never use. The WordPress engine itself can still render pages quite fast, especially when setup on a decent hosting platform using the newest releases of available technologies (namely PHP7 performance increases can be quite noticeable). You can easily turn off features you don’t use, add in a good caching plugin and use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and your site can load incredibly fast.
Where most of the bloat comes in is through off-the-shelf themes. Although these themes can make amazing looking websites – there is a ton of extra features in the form of endless style sheets, script files, fonts and needless other things added in. Setup half a dozen plugins and your site page speed will start to plumet. Looking at the rendered source code for many of these plugins, they drop inline styles and all sorts of things into each page. Don’t get me started on how fragile WordPress can become when your site is built on a complex theme with dozens of plugin dependencies – you are just asking for problems when updates are released and need to have competent developers on hand to ensure your site doesn’t become unusable.
At TBayIT we will happily setup an existing theme for you, but our preference is to custom develop our own from the ground up. We strive to achieve W3C validation on all our sites and more and more clients are asking for accessible websites to meet the new AODA standards – specifically meeting WCAG 2.0 recommendations. This is near impossible with an off the shelf themes and many plugins will kill your validation and probably not work well for disabled folks. Contact us for a free web site performance report.