I’ve been in web design madness…
Create a website they said….it would be easy they said… lol. 🤣
, for the most part it is, but some template designs can completely throw off your entire site! That’s what happened to me yesterday – so I apologize if you visited my site and it looked like someone threw-up in code and called it a day.
I’ll tell you what my goal was…to have a fast loading page with great design elements. I found a really great template for WordPress called Tuulikki. It was a minimalist style, which I like. Clean lines, pretty elegant fonts, and nice looking page templates. It also has a lot of great features too! The problem was the pages were taking more than 10 seconds to load. :(. No bueno.
I’m fairly new to blogging on the regular. I have created a few blogs over the years just for fun. Like my Sk8Agent99 blog, and Cafe Patryn blog. I look back at them now and think “oh lord what I have done!?” lol. They are very rudimentary with pretty awful photos, but life is about learning isn’t it? We all start somewhere, and one thing that holds true –
Never Give Up.
I made the food blog for my daughter so she has access to my recipes on-line forever. Guess what? She never uses it….ahahah! Now I’m a vegetarian, so I definitely need to update that one!
For every 1 second of time your page takes to load, you lose 7 potential readers
Anyway….back to website madness.
So, I did a little research on some of the fastest loading websites for WordPress. There were several great lists out there and I decided to go with OceanWp and try it out. I imported the .zip file and I tweaked it a bit and it was wonderful! Then I had the bright idea to test other OceanWP demos (mistake). Don’t get me wrong. I do still love OceanWP site designs because they have so many design element options that other themes make you pay to use. However, it takes many more hours of tweaking to get the desired look, and can be a little overwhelming for website design beginners. It just completely destroyed my website for a moment.
WordPress has this great features where you can “Try and Customize” a theme before you make it live. Well, I just released a pattern and my traffic has been up a bit (so thankful for that too). I was happy I fixed the slow-loading problem before my pattern went live too….then it all went wonky.
When I thought I was just trying out a new theme in the customizer, everything was going live on my website as I was making changes. I checked loaded my website after I realized these changes were being made live and it looked like a 2 year-old got a hold of it 😟! It had three home pages, three blog pages, the menu was four rows deep, the background was black, the text was black, and it just looked awful.
Of course I freaked out and started feverishly uploading a theme and modifying again (which took about four hours). Luckily all this madness happened at midnight last night – so I was up until 4 am this morning (sarcasm).
All is well that ends well.
I settled on a paid theme for now called Redwood by SoloPine. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it does look good and loads fast (most important of all)! I also opted for the 12 months of additional support (just in-case). There are still a few issues I would like to resolve, like for some reason the images in my posts are not centered, even though the editor has them set to center. Another one is my menu is above my logo and I would love for it be below the logo. So, unless my eyes fall out from too much computer screen time…I will be learning how to fix these little quirks over the next week (wish me luck!)
I may try to go back and play with the OceanWP theme, because I must say…I 😍 bells and whistles 😉. I also found a lot of new options while researching a list for this article, so I may play around some more, but with extreme caution 😬
Another funny thing that happened was the OceanWP theme created and posted a bunch of blog posts written in another language. Yay. 😂😳
What have I learned from this?
1. Find a theme that is easy to modify and user friendly (must).
2. It’s okay to pay for a good theme – especially if it has tech support.
3. Be thoughtful. What I mean by this is think before you jump on something that looks too good to be true, because it may turn around and bite you in the butt. ;).
Why Site Speed Matters
“The two main reasons why site speed and having a fast loading website matters is a positive user experience and an improved rank in the search engines.
Studies have shown that which each additional second it takes for your website to load, the number of visitors who hit the back button rises exponentially. With nearly half of users expecting websites to load in two seconds or less, it doesn’t take much for a site to be considered slow.” ~ this quote is from the athemes website.
A few helpful tools to see how fast your webpages are loading:
- Pingdom – you enter your URL and press the button and it will test your loading speed and give you insight on what is slowing your page down.
- KeyCDN.com has a great blog on a host of tools you can use to speed up your blog too!
Here is a list of the top 10 fastest loading WordPress Themes paid and free, plus a few more!
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel – I went ahead and compiled this list from a great blog that has a wealth of information each site below, thank you athemes. You can find their post here. You can find more info on GeneratePress, Astra, and OceanWP, here. Although Redwood didn’t make any of these lists, so far I love it. Here is a link to the theme I am using: Redwood. Mind you – it doesn’t look as cool as theirs yet, but I will definitely be playing around with it to see what it can do!
I hope this helps all you future crochet bloggers out there! Please share your experience with me in the comments section. I would love to talk about it. If you have any questions for me, I’ll do my best to help you get started on your crochet blogging journey!
We are all in this together right?