Since the beginning of
time this year, we've been tuning and refining our WordPress development workflow, with a few goals in mind:
A major factor in the delivery speed of a WordPress site is the builder, or theme, with which it is built. A theme can inject a lot of redundant code to make all pages look good.
There are light-weight builders and themes out there, but one stood out way above the rest: OxygenBuilder.
Oxygen is unique, because it does away with themes altogether. In the builder, we add the elements we need for the page, and nothing else gets added. No bloat, no unnecessary <div> elements, no unused scripts, nothing.
The result: clean code with a minimal number of requests to the server, resulting in blazing speed.
On top of that, we get total design freedom. We no longer have to fight with the quirks of a theme: we just roll our own. We can implement any graphic design delivered to us in no time at all.
Now that we have a nice and clean front end, what about content editing?
Content creators and editors need an environment that is as distraction-free as possible, and shouldn't have to worry about website technicalities. With Advanced Custom Fields, we can create a 100% custom editing workflow, where the content is focus.
Whatever the type of content, with ACF we can tune content creation and editing into something that is natural and inviting.
We'll take care that it looks great on the front end.
Another major factor in web page size and delivery speed: images.
If your site is image-heavy - like our own - you need to deliver images as optimized as possible. Optimizing images can be done manually. PhotoShop has great tools for this. But we want editors to be able to add any image to their content without worrying about optimization.
There are plug-ins that handle this for you, but they all have limitations. Sometimes they can't handle many images at once. Most of the time they're quite expensive and require a subscription.
And then, we found statically.io
Statically is a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) that will handle image optimization for you. Just slap it on, and it works: your site will serve fully optimized images through a fast, global CDN.
We just added this Statically Images logo image to this post. The original was 55kB (already quite small), but we let statically.io do it's magic and it came back at 22kB!
Sometimes, things that sound too good to be true exist 😉