Developers: Radmila Pletl, Iva Petkovic
Most popular architectural portal in Serbia gradnja.rs has reached us to help them in switching to a new WordPress theme.
Igor, the general manager of Gradnja.rs portal, was looking for a magazine theme that can meet the standards of his portal. The request was to have more wide space for good quality photos and enough room for advertising. The final choice was Gillion WordPress Theme.
Working with premium themes is always a special type of work because WordPress, as an open-source platform, doesn’t define standards for theme development. Given that, WordPress theme universe has been overpopulated with loads of premium themes that can be purchased with no warranty that it will work correctly with the latest WordPress versions and your choice for hosting provider.
Our approach with clients who want to apply purchased premium themes is that we will provide all support for setup, configuration and deployment, but cannot guarantee perfect performance.
Almost all current premium WordPress themes are using some kind of visual composer plugins that are used for building blocks on page templates, and Revolution slider as the most used plugin for sliding images.
When client browses for new premium themes, each demo is working flawlessly - even our development VPS theme is running smoothly.
However, 8 out of 10 cases in 2017 resulted in tremendous lags and website slowness, that results in growing disappointment of clients.
This was the case with the new gradnja.rs website, from the moment we pushed it to production server.
Average homepage load time of was around 25 seconds and entire Wordpress was dying with about 50 visitors.
The only way to resolve problems was a huge website optimization - caching on the highest level, and CDN as the only way to serve images.
This tutorial is all you need to properly configure W3 Total Cache plugin:
- Enable homepage caching;
- No cache for logged users;
- Turn off default CDN option and activate Cloudflare extension;
- Authorize CloudFlare account and apply settings;
- Bonus activate free SSL that comes with CloudFlare account. Here are two tutorials how to do it: https://jonnyjordan.com/blog/how-to-setup-cloudflare-flexible-ssl-for-wordpress/ https://www.cloudflare.com/integrations/wordpress/free-ssl-certificate-wordpress/
- Gillion premium theme
- Plugins: Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache
With Total Cache we managed to get homepage loading time of 2 seconds.
To conclude, keep this in mind: always have a good hosting, CDN, optimization and cache when buying themes.