I love teaching others how to do something. In 7th grade, I was evidently the only person in our class who understood our Algebra teacher and wound up helping almost the entire class with their homework every day. I feel fortunate to have a gift for translating information so others can understand it, and that I’ve been able to continue doing so into my career. I have been teaching women how to code for the last 3 years and now also share my love of web development by training developers in my role at Pantheon.
Scalewp.io is a WordPress site I built a custom theme for in early 2016. Aside from WordPress core and plugin updates the site hasn't had any active development since. A couple weeks ago I took some time to tackle improving the performance of this site so it can last another two years (or more). Spoiler Alert: After the improvements, which we will cover below, the mobile network performance improved by 4x, with time to first paint going from 2,910 ms to just 730 ms.
We all are looking for ways to take our WordPress performance to the next level. Peak performance is an ongoing effort of continuous improvement. Your WordPress site may be fast, but there are always tweaks to make it even more performant. In my search for expert insight on how to do this, I did some sleuthing for insider tips. I connected with three Pantheon experts in WordPress development best practices. My inside sources:
People visit your site for a reason. They want to read an article, or get information about an event, or shop and compare products, or something else important to them. Your site should move at the speed of their thought.
Symfony 4.0 stable has been released, and, while packed with many new and powerful features, still maintains many of the APIs provided in earlier versions. Just before the stable release, many participants at #SymfonyConHackday2017 submitted pull requests in projects all over the web, encouraging them to adopt Symfony 4 support.
Working on the Agency and Community team here at Pantheon means that I get to meet a lot of amazing people from the WordPress and Drupal communities, including event organizers. I have also had the opportunity to help organize camps, and this year, I will get to lead WordCamp Minneapolis. When organizing events and choosing speakers it’s important that you find a diverse audience. One thing I’ve noticed as part of this amazing community is that we have a lack of diversity, especially with speakers.
Imagine your WordPress site is blisteringly fast, rounding the internet track like an Indy race car. Then the thwack of a flat tire and the shriek of riding on the rim interrupts your revery. When your website blows a tire, load delays and error messages drive site visitors out of the stands, leaving you with an empty stadium.
*/ In the battle for customers’ attention, speed wins. Faster sites rank higher in search engines, lower in bounce rates, and generally outperform their more sluggish counterparts. If your website is essential to your business, it needs to be as speedy as possible.
Seconds matter when it comes to websites. When a site loads slowly, I confess I don’t hesitate to close the page and move on. I’ll be a bit more patient on my desktop computer than on my cell phone, but not by much. It’s not called the spinning circle of death for nothing. It’s a safe bet you’ve done it too. More than half of online customers report they abandon an action when a site bogs down. So what do you do about it?
Hardly anyone does their job in complete solitude. We all collaborate with team members and stakeholders to meet goals. Even if you are a solopreneur, working on your own, you still work with and for clients. When a team is working at maximum efficiency—when the people and processes really click—it feels magical, almost effortless. It’s like coasting downhill on a bike, breezing past the scenery. On the flipside, a bad team dynamic makes work feel like, well, work. Like riding a bike uphill. With a squeaky chain. And square wheels.
Why should web developers care about SEO? It might seem like the very essence of “not my job.” Developers build the site. Content creators fill the site with content. The quality of the content, plus the content creators’ amplification efforts is where SEO lives. Right? The fact is, though, web developers can do a great deal to increase a site’s search engine visibility. Which means that if we view SEO as someone else’s job, we’re holding content creators—and website performance—back. There are three stages of SEO:
Pantheon often touts version control, namely Git, as one of the tools of successful developers. However, for the many developers out there currently not using Git, I am going to go out on a limb: you probably know about it, have tried it, and are doing just fine without it, thank you very much. Your customers are happy, sites are chugging along, and the last thing you need is a cryptic command-line tool to add complexity and slow your flow.
With the release of Pantheon Upstreams, I’ve been asked a few times to clarify the story vis-a-vis multisite from the WordPress perspective. Unlike Drupal, where I think there’s a clear and easy choice, WordPress has a first-class core feature for operating sites in a multisite configuration called Site Networks.
Last month in Vienna, people from all over the world came together to learn, share and collaborate at DrupalCon Europe. One of the interesting topics of conversation this year was the question of how to make Composer approachable for a wider base of users. The first stable release of Drupal 8 was nearly two years ago; in that time, it has become easier to use Composer with Drupal from the command line.
In this guest post, the team from Mediacurrent: Senior Drupal Developers David Younker and Joshua Boltz share how to size up Drupal contrib modules to maintain high security standards on your site.
It started as a humble blogging platform. Over time, it attracted a community of open source developers that helped transform it into a versatile powerhouse of a CMS. Now, WordPress powers over a quarter of all the websites in the world.
PHP 7.1 is now available platform-wide with security and performance improvements over 7.0. PHP 7.1 is fully supported by WordPress and Drupal 8 core. While full Drupal 7 support is a work in progress, many sites can upgrade without errors, and any warnings that do pop up are easy to fix. If you’re still on PHP 5.x, then it’s high time to speed up your site by updating now!
Large organizations interested in Drupal or WordPress as CMS platforms have historically faced a fundamental conundrum: the main benefits of open source are directly undercut by the compromises inherent in Multisite architecture. Far too often this tension is unresolved and allowed to fester, even to the point of dooming entire projects.
Today we’re happy to announce that we’ve opened up our Pantheon Upstreams workflow to be self-serve and available to all organizations using our website management platform. Upstreams have been a valuable tool for our partner agencies and enterprise clients for quite some time; allowing them to build scalable solutions and maintain a large network of sites. We believe this is a benefit that any organization managing more than just a few sites should take advantage of.
*/ Netflix is for watching DVDs through the mail. Apple is a computer company, not a phone company. WordPress is just a blogging platform.