How fast is your web site? Is WordPress Theme Speed chasing away your visitors?
Speed is on our minds all the time, both because we live in a society that demands it and because in WordPress there are quite a few places where speed can become an issue. While you’d like to be able to address them all, some are beyond your control. People visiting your web site from a slow connection, for example, or your server speed when you use shared hosting can’t be tweaked.
That last one isn’t really beyond your control, of course; pay more money, get more server. But there are many elements that effect the perceived speed of your site. Problem is, tools like GTmetrix.com and Pingdom offer great advice but also point you at “fixes” that you can only make happen with code-level tweaks to both your WordPress Theme and your plug-ins.
Using too many plugins is a recipe for disaster, and using the wrong ones is an even faster road to poor site performance. But assuming you keep that under control, WordPress theme speed can be an even bigger issue. When you select a WordPress theme, knowing a bit about its performance can be the difference between happy, engaged visitors, and a WordPress site that … doesn’t work. Assuming you use themes found in the WordPress repository, WPSpeedster will help. WPLift has an interesting article on both WPSpeedster and the idea behind it.
Now, our spin:
WPSpeedster can be useful. But the “themes found at WordPress.org” part of things makes WPSpeedster … way less useful than it could be. It’s a new kind of WordPress problem.
Tools like WPSpeedster and CSSHero only work with pre-approved, pre-tested resources. That makes sense to a point, but it also means that the “open” nature of WordPress is closing.
While we’re very much proponents of the idea of “don’t tell me about problems; tell me about solutions” at The WordPress Helpers, software that flips open-source and to a situation where you need to work in a proprietary way is the absolute opposite of what WordPress is supposed to be about.
In other words, until WPSpeedster and CSSHero become universally workable—and that’s problematic, too, as Chris Lema and I discuss here—it’s … no more than a great big-picture idea, operating in a niche.
Sorry, folks. WPSpeedster is not the answer to WordPress Theme Speed issues.