The WordPress Athlete

Does your WordPress website need to drop a few pounds?

The Wordpress Athlete

Excess and lot’s of it. There are a lot of big Dutch people in West Michigan so it makes sense that some WordPress developers in the greater Grand Rapids area create ponderous WP sites. In fact, ponderous is too polite. Bloated lard-arse sites, covered in plugins, monstrous themes and pushed out with thoughtless abandon. It’s like a bariatric surgery here at Fairly Painless every time a broken, slow site built by someone else comes to us. Lines of website outpatients waiting for repair, fixes and re-builds reside on our re-inforced development desk. It makes it sag – and makes us sad.

It probably comes down to cost and lack of proper design/development time. Throw a template at a design that hasn’t been completely thought through, force feed some plugins, push it live and then never answer the phone after your client complains their site is too large to fit through the digital turnstiles anymore.

“We Found An Awesome Wordpress Theme”

There are some good ones, but many poor ones, or at least themes unfit for purpose. Most of the sites we get handed by Clients screaming “HELP” have been built in a lazy, cheap way using off-the-shelf purchased themes. Yes, they may look nice on the front-end, contain full width beautiful images, have a super cool circa 2012 parallax effect, but most of the time that’s where it ends. Much better to build one tailored to the Clients’ needs, that doesn’t rely on plugins, other themes or updates. Just like your meat – you need to keep it lean. I have a sneaking suspicion most of them have no idea they have been sold so much rind with their bacon. A good developer (or butcher) can trim the fat, and rebuild an existing site the right way at minimal time and cost, so you don’t have to go out and buy a bigger grill.

Update Your Wordpress Plugins

Erm, like…everyday? The more plugins, the more updates, the more chances your site breaks. It’s like eating badly. Think of a plugin as a Tootsie Roll. The more you have, the more zits you get. A treat every now and then is fine, but even a complex site doesn’t need more than a handful of plugins (or a daily dose of Clearasil) if it is built correctly.

… Or Don’t Update Your Wordpress Plugins

That little update circle won’t go away by itself, but it looks quite cute, so maybe leave them alone? Nope, those Russian hackers are everywhere… keep things updated. The problem with a chubby WordPress build is that you reach a point when you can’t update it without breaking the site. And then you get hacked.

If you know your vegetables, WordPress can be an athlete, but you need to know your vegetables, especially your onions.