Website Load Times

So I haven’t written a post in a while. This is not what I had planned; however, the site was not performing the way I wanted.

Load times were terrible from my perspective. was taking between 7-10 seconds to load, which was just unacceptable. You spend day and night working on your website, only to see it fall apart when launched. At first, I ignored the load times, but over time, the load times just became frustrating. One thing leads to another, and I started looking into the cause of the slow load times.

The Investigation

First, I started tweaking the CDN setting, which didn’t do much. So deeper and deeper I went down the rabbit hole of website optimisation. Using online tools GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Pagespeed

revealed more problems. I compared my site load times to sites I visit often. This revealed just how slow my site was performing. So I built test sites, checking load times and plugin conflicts as I went along.

Over the course of a month or so, I uncovered what I kind of already knew. I had too much JavaScript on my site, causing slow load times and JavaScript conflicts. This stemmed from the theme and plugins I had installed. The problem was, the plugins I was using I needed to add functionality to my site.

  1. Theme A, by itself good.
  2. Theme A + plugin A not so good.

The Solutions

  1.  Host my site on a VPS or dedicated server that can handle all the JavaScript. Not an option too expensive
  2. Compromise, uninstall plugins and take functionality from my site. Also not an option. 
  3.  Use WordPress Multisite to build my site. Which brings its own set of problems. In terms of user management.

The Resolution

I went with option 3, I have rebuilt the site from the ground up. Under a subdirectory structure to give me the site structure I want. This won’t give the seamless experience I wanted to offer, but it will do for now.  Load times are now 2 seconds or less, which I can live with. Over time, I will try to get it down to 1 second or less.

To limit the amount of JavaScript loading on my site. I have changed my theme from Avada to the Hello theme by Elementor. Each subsite will cater to a section of the overall site (blog, store, etc.), having its own theme and plugins. Instead, all of the plugins on one main site. 

Part of the problem causing the slow load times was the initial response time of my site. Which, I believe, meant once my site had been reached, it took 2-3 seconds to respond and load my site. Hence the reasoning behind Option 1. 

Rebuilding my site I also optimised it for a mobile experience and tweaked the design of the site as I went along.  I will build more functionality into the site over time.  I plan to try and post at least once a week.

Until then, I am Raymond Bruce, and I have spoken!

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