Improve the mobile speed of your WordPress site

If you’ve ever run a PageSpeed or other speed test for the mobile version of your site, you’ve undoubtedly been horrified by the low speed and score compared to the desktop version  of your site.

In this post I’ll explain:

  • Why mobile performance is typically worse
  • The primary cause of slow mobile pages
  • How to create mobile-specific versions of your pages
  • How to remove unnecessary files from your mobile pages

Optimizing for mobile does take a bit of extra effort since site owners are usually “retrofitting” their sites for mobile performance.

If you are starting a new site, it will be easier if you consider mobile performance from the start, and make it a priority.

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What’s Making Our Websites Slow? We Are!

This is the blog post that accompanies a talk I gave at WordCamp Seattle in 2019. You can see the slides here. The video of the talk is up on WordPress.tv

Additionally, the HTTP Archive Web Almanac was published around the same time so I’ve also interspersed some of the insights from that report since they dovetail really nicely.

Providing excellent context for this post, the CMS chapter shows how sites built with a Content Management System (and WordPress sites comprise almost 75% of those in the report) tend to:

  • be more bloated with heavier page weights
  • use more 3rd party resources
  • use heavier images

Additionally it reported that WordPress sites tend to have slower performance metrics.

Now this is not really the fault of WordPress itself, it’s really due to what we site owners have done.

While it’s possible to build bloated pages and use techniques to make them seem fast, that shouldn’t be the goal. Let’s just build lighter pages to begin with!

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Design WooCommerce Product Pages with WooBuilder Blocks

A lot of online stores look very similar these days. It’s not really a WordPress-specific issue – websites in general kind of look the same.  When it comes to ecommerce, WooCommerce has become the default plugin to use because of its enormous power and market penetration.

But if you install WooCommerce and do nothing else, everything does look the same. Even if you use an ecommerce theme, in many cases the product galleries are laid out the same way, the information is organized on the page in the same way etc.

Some themes do offer more unique and creative layouts. But if you’re someone used to using page builders, for example, or you want to be able to customize your product pages without switching themes, you’ll need a plugin to help you. And honestly the state of this in WordPress is not as advanced as I was anticipating.

Given that page builders are a fairly mature concept at this point, I was expecting to find some really good ones dedicated to WooCommerce. That’s not really the case.  So I’m going to do a series of posts where I test out some of the available options for customizing your WooCommerce product pages. 

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Learn How to Make Your Site More Inclusive with the Accessibility Checker Plugin

Accessibility is something that I’m really into… in theory. I believe everyone should have full access to the internet no matter what challenges they face or if they are using different devices to navigate and access the web.

But in reality I have not put as much work into this as I need to. So when I received the pitch email about the Accessibility Checker plugin, I thought it was a good opportunity to figure out just how badly I’m sucking at this, and find a starting point to try to address some of the issues.

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How to avoid enormous network payloads in WordPress

If you are using Google PageSpeed Insights to test your site, you’ll see this “avoid enormous network payloads” warning if the total size of your page is more than 1.6MB.

It sounds technical, but this is actually one of the recommendations that you as the site owner have the most control over. Unlike some PageSpeed recommendations, you can fix this one!

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WordPress Image Positioning, Spacing & Alignment – Common Problems and Fixes

problems with images in WordPress - alignment, spacing, positiong


Ah images.

They cause so much grief in the WordPress editor don’t they? They just don’t seem to do what you expect of them. Unfortunately the WordPress editor is not a drag n’ drop interface which is how people generally expect it to work.

With the release of WordPress 5.0, the content editing experience has been revamped with the “Gutenberg” block editor. So it’s time to revamp this post. Gutenberg is not completely drag n’ drop, but it is a more visual way of creating content. Some parts of it make your life a lot easier, but not all issues are resolved. 

If you haven’t yet upgraded to WordPress 5+, the Classic Editor section of this post is for you. 

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