A Free WordPress Site, Why? Create Your New Website for Free with WordPress

A free WordPress site, why?

We chose a free WordPress site to talk about our WordPress Optimization expertise

because of a sort of bet. We were talking about the new Twenty Seventeen WordPress Theme and we wanted to prove to a couple of customer of us, the impact of an high end server to the optimization process. While it seems that the metrix tools don’t love the environment we actually using, our site, with some strange low numbers printed out as scores, the truth is that an high-end server, full HTTP/2 complaint, and really expensive, is very very fast, very high performance, and, of course, works. There is a lot to talk about these kind of servers, to keep it simple, they work (why not?).

Speed Up Your WordPress Site Now!

And while normal people struggle in search of the every little detail that can be optimized, big brands really don’t care about it. For this page we used this featured image from the official wordpress.org site. Since this free WordPress site can be only manually optimized, we wanted to check everything. That image is 400 KB. We now use it at a larger resolution with a weight of 46 KB. Big brands just don’t care about serving unoptimized images. We see this behaviour everywhere, But if you care about site financial management, well, serving 10 times more than what needed it is a real waste of money. And the page will load faster, saving time in the above-the-fold section of the page, that is another great benefit.

And we wanted to add some more value to this challenge, proving that in spite of all the limitation WordPress gives to free sites, we are able to push this platform to its limits. We showed how it is possible to use out of the standard layout, just working with basic well structured HTML code.

And there is another challenge, an hidden one, since SEO is not fully supported  for free. We know how we wrote the code. We will show in a couple of weeks how is the good HTML making the story of SEO, still in 2017.

By the way, this site uses the free WordPress Gazette Theme from Automattic.
We will add some numbers in the next days, keep tuned!

The numbers? Quick update.

No test on slow server this time. A simply test on GTmetrix, a quick manual optimization and the recheck.

And the total loading time drop from 4.0s to 2.0s. That’s the number we like. All the other metrix scores can’t be improved more. But image optimization, thing that can be easily done on a real WordPress installation, and code on a fast server shown to have a great impact. We seriously think that a full optimization in this environment can lower the page load under the 0.5s.

We made a quick comparison on this blog page too, since we made a couple of test after its publication. It has the .gif below that is 7.4MB, so we did not expect fast page load times.

Page load times are the same, but scores improved.

Pingdom Website Speed Test from Dallas:

A bit more interesting, scores remained the same, page load time drop from 5.84s to 1.99s.

Google PageSpeed Insights remain the same, we attach this data too, just to have a complete overview, and please note the warning about “Reduce server response time” triggered from 0.28s to 0.35s. We tested the URL Speed and servers had fast responses, so Google takes into account the global server response. It will be interesting to see how this metrix will change in response to HTTP/2 performances, connections with multiple concurrently open streams…

By accident, we were going to close this update, we made also this test

an interesting final number, just to write to this update the word the end.

Quick manual optimization.

First, image optimization, as said above

Second, code. We analyzed how WordPress uses Photon CDNPhoton CDN – Photon is an image acceleration and editing service for sites hosted on WordPress.com or on Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers., and use Photon CDN to maximize speed on serving the cached images – avoiding resizing – wherever it was possible.

Third, hard-coded some widgets, no more php but HTML, just to speed-up the above-the-fold content a couple of ms more. Everything helps.

We like to play, from time to time…
ooh, some extra line that this limited editor won’t let us do. Their appearing indeed!
There is the need to  write HTML code, and forget about the native WordPress Visual Editor, because using it will break the pure html.
You need to remember all of the limitation that this editor has, but… playing a bit, a quick example
–  This is what happens when you make a simple image gallery, 4  columns in this case:
the image captions  override each other, really ugly.
but with a bit of “on the edge” CSS
everything is clear and good looking.
and it is possible to keep advantage of the existing CSS rules of the free theme used to

your site just as preferred.

and it is possible to keep advantage of the existing CSS rules of the free theme used to

your site just as preferred.

And about our frontpage? A video in the header? That’s not possible, videos cannot be uploaded or used…

Simple solution, we uploaded and used a .gif.

That enough, you already saw us playing. enough.



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