Do you want a fast website? WordPress can help but...

This is my typical response to a potential client that is very frustrated about WordPress and thinks that WordPress is slow and fundamentally unreliable.

Letter from the client:

I absolutely HATE wordpress because we had a wordpress website before - there was ALWAYS sth wrong/ hacked/ not working/ plugins colliding...its a nightmare. I was also never able to even change 1 word anywhere without getting in touch with some coders.

With Squarespace we never had a single issue. It always works. No hacks, no plugins, it always works, no costs.

However the speed is not acceptable as we are running large marketing campaigns. So whats a speedy alternativ with the pros of SQS without the disadvantages of WP?

We are looking for expert advice as it's a big decision to change platforms if we would do so. We need loading times below 2 seconds, at a maximum. Thanks

My response:

Hi,
I came across your job post and it's an interesting challenge for me. I understand why you hate WP. Your website is simple, at least I see a very simple website and I don't know all its functionality. But let's assume that it's the front page, blog and signup form scheduling I presume a call or presentation. Now looking at Squarespace code and how is made, it's actually one of the heaviest websites I've seen. It loads 5.7MB of CSS and JavaScript. I know from my experience that this number should be under 500KB, so now it's like 10x more than it should be in order to be able to load fast. Optimising this? Good luck with that!

Now back to WP, and please suspend for a while your opinion about WP.
I've been speeding up websites for 5 years, worked with many clients from all around the world. I can tell that you came to this point because you built your website on WP yourself or some inexperienced developer, mostly a cheap Asian WP builder, not a developer, who doesn't understand anything about speed. No wonder it was always a failure.

A fast website is like Formula One, it's built from the beginning to be fast. In the design, aerodynamics, materials, construction and top talented staff, there is no compromise on any detail. None. So if you want to have fast loading website, it must obey the same rules. The top priority is speed, then design and functionality. Why? Because physical laws don't care about what resources are available and budget. It's their rules on this planet, not ours. So far so good?
Right, so in order to build fast loading website it must obey certain rules, otherwise it won't be possible. And no optimization on the end can help. It must be built from the very beginning in a certain way. So how to build fast loading website?

The key is for a developer that:
1. Must understand what does it mean "fast", what's all that technical jargon like TTFB, LCP etc.
1. Must be aware of bottlenecks, yes there are a few that most developer doesn't know about
2. Must understand what makes a website slow
3. Has available tools, or can create such that allows translating the design into a website that would deliver desired results
4. Must have skills to see all details and make appropriate measurements of individual parts

Another part is in the design. Certain features just cannot be part of the design because it's just impossible to load and process by the user's device within the time required.

Now can it be done with WP? Absolutely! Can any developer achieve it? NO!

What do I suggest doing? Well, let me explain. But first let me address your biggest concern, the WP plugins breaking, glitches, insecure code and maintenance.

If you as a client don't want to deal with it, there is a way. How? That's actually easy. I can build the website in WP on my server and generate a static version of your website. So you receive just plain HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images and so on, upload to your server and that has not any part that can break. Zero, because it's static. When you want some change, I do it on my server and upload to your server the new static version. I take care of any issues on my server, none of this would be visible on your public website. It's as simple as it could get. The alternative is to build everything from scratch. That of course is much more demanding for the budget.

Your website is a simple website, it's possible, not like a shop that requires constant database usage.

So few details I see already that your current version is doing wrong. The video on the top is part of page HTML and unnecessary bloats crucial part that has to be as lightweight as possible.

And then, the front page has a lot of content. The same applies here. In order to keep initial HTML as small as possible, all content under the fold has to be loaded sequentially, not in one large bulk as it is now. All this is doable and it requires only skills and dedication, and I have all of it.

If you feel that this can be a solution for you, I can answer any of your concerns.

Best Regards,
Jaro

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