NYC Video Prod.

September 2019

WordPress performance optimization for an NYC video production company

  • Re-building content to be more efficient
  • Untangling rat’s nest of plugins
  • Proper cache configuration
  • Solving misc Javascript errors
  • Image optimization

Summary

An established NYC video production company needed assistance optimizing their WordPress website.

The website had performance issues with regard to page loading speed. At times, average page loading speed was 5-8 seconds, with particular heavier pages taking 10 seconds or more. Google Lighthouse’s performance score averaged 25-30.

Slow page speed was not only an issue for the end-user experience, but this was possibly harming their search rank, as indicated by Google’s analysis tools.

A ball of spaghetti

After analysis, it was determined the page performance was not largely affected any one single factor (like cache being disabled).

The main culprit was primarily sloppy overall structural design of the website, where there was too much reliance on a huge amount of plugins, each loading a multitude of resources and with many overlapping capabilities. Of note was the presence of two major page builders being used at the same time (Visual Composer and Muffin Builder).

Compounding all of this is the fact that the situation existed for a long while, with many content posts already having been made by various editors.

The solution wasn’t simply making some theme changes, but individually analyzing each page (+30) and posts (+50) to see how each item was put together. Heavy cost.

Chipping away

A variety of steps were taken to help improve page loading speed all around:

  • Re-building critical areas of the website from scratch using vanilla code as opposed to heavy reliance on a plugin
  • Having code resources concatenated and merged
  • Configuring the caching system correctly with an eye towards file cache but also memcache
  • Optimizing images including converting logo’s into SVG format
  • Eliminating many plugins that actually didn’t provide crucial functionality and/or had overlapping capabilities

Progress

More work needs to be done, however speeds for certain pages have improved from 8 seconds average to 3-4 seconds average.

Overall, the main issue is the website could have been built much more efficiently.