Tag: Search Engine Optimization

WordPress Theme Bloat: Premium Themes and Layout Builders

(originally posted on Bring Your Own Design)

Inspired by a thread on Reddit, let’s look at one of the main complaints about WordPress these days: bloated installations that run slow.

One of WordPress’s greatest strengths is the fact that anyone can purchase or download a premade theme and have a “custom” website up in a short span of time. It’s also one of the things that can cause the most headache for more experienced users. Many theme developers are obsessed with cramming as much functionality into a theme as possible in order to attract the greatest number of potential users. The byproduct of that is a theme that causes the site to load slowly, causes conflicts with plugins, or is simply difficult to arrange the content the way you want.

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Site Speed As A Ranking Metric

Site speed is important from a usability standpoint. If you’ve got a Flash-heavy site, or large images, the bounce rate tends to go up, given that people are, by nature, impatient. So, for Google to announce that they’re taking page load speed into account is no surprise.

I’ve said many, many times before that the ultimate goal of Google is to see the web as a real person does, and rank accordingly. They’re getting quicker and better at it. People need information and want data quickly. They want it to be updated and as efficient to access as possible. Attention spans are simply shrinking, and unlikely the surfer will stay very long if the page takes forever to load.

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