Lara Schenck: Vetting and Choosing Themes

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October 6, 2016

A slow website has serious business impacts. Period. 40% of mobile users abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load (1). Many “Creative Responsive Multi-Purpose” themes are beautiful and flashy with their demo content, but have speed indexes of more than 50 times what is recommended (2). Are free themes any good? How can you tell good premium themes from bad ones without buying them? Never fear! There are several ways to vet a theme before shelling out the cash.

In this talk, we’ll cover strategies for evaluating themes’ code quality and performance, and creating healthy, content-oriented websites. In many ways, this is a call to action to the WordPress end user community: let’s shift our values from flashy effects to rock-solid content and fast websites. Scroll-jacking and parallax are over!


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WordCamp Pittsburgh 2016 19


Lara Schenck 4


Speed Optimization 39
Themes 238
Web Performance 37


English 4169

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