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Two months ago, I spent a week or so learning how to build a WordPress site.  As a part of my post-mortem, I identified some performance issues and things that I would have done differently.  As I’m taking some time to review previous projects, I am taking the time to tackle a big issue of my site so far — performance.

A major part of the lessons I learned after creating my site was how quickly a WordPress (or any) site can become bloated and have bad performance.  I’d noticed that my site took a lot longer to load than I’d like, so this weekend, I am carving out some time to tackle the issues with the site so far.

My benchmark… 

I was pleased that Google rated my site 99/100 for User Experience.  This was a pleasant reward considering I had user experience in mind the entire time that I was building the site.  However, my Speed results were an abysmal 43/100.  One of the major issues was render-blocking CSS and JavaScript, with a few images that were uncompressed and unoptimized.  I was able to fix the image issues immediately, which bumped my score to 59/100 on both mobile and desktop.  However, the other issues require a big of digging on my behalf.

Where to go from here…

Now that I’ve identified the issues, I feel as though I am well on my way to correcting them.  Here are some tasks things that I will be doing in hopes of improving performance overall:

1) Reformatting my stylesheets:  I have one gigantic stylesheet that is a mess of issues, which was identified in my post mortem.  Although I usually code neatly and with a purpose, much of the piece-meal formatting of my style sheets came from me not fully understanding how Bootstrap + WordPress works together.

2) Testing my CSS: I installed CSS Lint to run tests on my CSS code and the first test revealed 3 errors and 143 warnings.  I will fix these warnings and errors, but I will also take this time to re-organize my style sheets to make far more sense than it does currently.

3) Broken JavaScript files:  I have a couple of errors in my JavaScript files caused by updates to some plug-ins.  I will work on getting these errors corrected.

I believe this is a really good place to begin.  From there I will continue to use Google Page Insights to increase my page speed.  I believe there is some serious refactoring to be done on my part, and use the knowledge that I’ve gained over the past few months.  Very exciting times, indeed!

Mira is a Senior Full Stack, specializing in Web Applications developed in the healthcare industry.