Let’s kick things off with something controversial — WordPress sucks.
Of course, it has its advantages, providing accessible website creation for just about anyone with its templates and out-of-the-box features. But it’s kind of like a build-your-own table kit from Kmart.
The main reason WordPress is lacking is that it doesn’t optimise page speed. WordPress is like that cluttered drawer you’ve got in your kitchen — it’s got everything you need in there, as well as a ton of stuff you don’t need. You often give up searching for the spatula and use something else!
When it comes to websites, every second counts — and Port Macquarie businesses with slow websites lose customers and revenue.
While a lot of cheap web designers in Port Macquarie make websites on WordPress, it’ll never be as unique and powerful as something bespoke — made by expert developers using only the latest and greatest tools and materials.
At Phiranno Designs, we build results-driven websites using industry-leading software. We thought we’d show you what’s under the hood of the websites we create — and how we maximise page speed for clients.
Meet Our 5 Tech Stack Elements to Maximise Page Speed
Frontend – Gatsby
Your website’s frontend is the user interface — the text, buttons, and images your visitors see and interact with on their screens when they click on your website. Frontend development uses three main technologies:
- HTML: creates the UI elements on the screen.
- CSS: a set of rules defining the website style, including colours and font.
The majority of websites are built on frontend programmes like WordPress – these are what developers call dynamic websites. This means that every time someone lands on your website and clicks on a page, WordPress has to do some technical backflips in order to generate the relevant content — and a page speed test will reveal the impact of this on your site’s performance.
Dynamic sites built with WordPress kill page speed — here’s how.
Let’s say you’re an accountant in Port Macquarie, and your WordPress site has Services pages detailing what you can do for different target audiences. Your WordPress site stores the raw components for these pages on a database. When someone, let’s say a startup owner looking for an accountant, loads your relevant services page, WordPress has to do the following things:
- Go into the database
- Find and extract the relevant information (content, images, etc.)
- Create HTML to present the information
- Send it to the visitor’s screen
Sounds complicated, right? Plus, all this activity is squeezed between the time it takes to click on a link and load a page — and that’s what makes the page speed of dynamic sites so slow. Whenever your WordPress website has to talk to a database, it’s expensive on the server — requiring a lot of memory and RAM to generate the page and then chuck it at your reader.
Gatsby? What Gatsby?
A lot of web designers in Port Macquarie claim to know how to speed up page load time — but they don’t use Gatsby.
Gatsby creates the fastest websites on the internet.
Breaking away from the conventions of dynamic websites, Gatsby is a site generator that can create static content. This basically means that it pre-preps your HTML way ahead of time, so your pages are pre-built on your server and ready to go.
Because static site generators like Gatsby break conventions by producing HTML files ahead of time, your website no longer needs to run all that digital admin just to show someone a page — everything is ready to be delivered to visitors instantly.
The final product: insanely fast page load speeds.
Why Phiranno Designs uses Gatsby
As expert web designers in Port Macquarie, there are a few reasons Gatsby is our first choice for frontend web development — and why WordPress eats its digital dust.
- Page speed (obviously): Web design agencies using Gatsby clearly know how to speed up page load times for their clients. Because faster websites increase conversions and online revenue for businesses, results-driven website builders must prioritise page speed.
- Security: Because static site generators like Gatsby store ready-made HTML files on the server, it’s far more secure than WordPress sites. When WordPress sites have to go into the server and create HTML on the spot for a visitor, they carry that visitor’s data with them — so hackers infiltrating a WordPress site can access user data from the server. Yes, that can even mean sensitive information like credit card details. Even if someone did hack the server of a site built with Gatsby, they’d only access HTML files as no user data is stored there — or even required due to the HTML being pre-prepared.
- User-friendliness: The web development community loves Gatsby. Old-school tech stacks like WordPress ruin developers’ lives, but Gatsby is modern and clean — with a team of experts constantly improving and innovating the programme. If your web designers are happy, you’ll be happy — because they’ll enjoy building your website and creating something powerful.
Styling – Tailwind CSS
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets — and that probably sounds even more confusing if you’re not a web designer.
CSS is basically a set of styling rules for HTML to work within when producing your site’s content. It includes fonts, colours, text size and alignment, etc. It also tells HTML how to adapt the configuration of a webpage to suit different screens, like mobile and desktop.
Tailwind is a CSS framework that provides us with a whole host of ‘utility classes’ (meaning they only do one thing and they do it damn well), and we can use as many of these as we need.
Because Gatsby actually builds pages rather than generating them on-the-fly, we can compare the classes used in the site, with the classes available in Tailwind, and strip out all the classes we don’t use — shipping the smallest possible amount of CSS, and keeping your page load speeds fast!
Bloated CSS kills page speed on WordPress
WordPress started as a platform for bloggers, but has grown to become one of the most powerful website builders on the internet. Theoretically, anyone can build a website on WordPress — just choose a theme and away you go.
Having pre-set themes makes WordPress very accessible for noobs, because you can work within a template’s CSS without having to learn complex code — and you end up with a website that isn’t too shabby.
This makes WordPress advantageous for business owners doing DIY web design, or the cheapest web designers in Port Macquarie — but it’s a major disadvantage for expert developers building high-performance sites.
WordPress templates are highly restrictive, and WordPress web designers have to develop and lengthen the CSS so that their client’s website doesn’t look like everyone else’s. A bloated CSS slows the page load speed, and sometimes your CSS doesn’t load altogether. When this happens, your website looks like this:
Source: CSS -Tricks
Embarrassing, right? No one’s staying on a webpage when the CSS won’t load — they’ll go somewhere else.
Does your business need a results-driven website? At Phiranno Designs, we combine the most powerful programmes to create websites that can take your business further. Give us a buzz to see what we can do for you.
Tailwind – the utility-first CSS
Tailwind is the most flexible of all CSS, which is terrifying for newbie designers who rely on a WordPress template or tight frameworks like Bootstrap. But for expert web designers in Port Macquarie like Phiranno Designs, this gives us the freedom to build beautiful, clean, fast websites from scratch.
To break it down for you, imagine you’re building a desk.
- A traditional CSS would be like going to Kmart and getting your stock-standard desk building kit, complete with all the pieces you need, instructions for how to build it, and only one possible result.
- A utility-first CSS is like going down to your local Mitre10, getting all your tools and materials, and building your very own desk that’s like no one else’s — it’s even customised with all the drawers and creative finishes you like.
Tailwind lets us create our own CSS components, giving our developers free rein to build responsive sites with a seamless user interface without being confined by templates.
Phiranno Designs uses Tailwind CSS to maximise page speed.
We don’t just use Tailwind CSS to flex our web development muscles; it’s also the perfect way to increase page load speed for our clients’ websites.
Typically, as a WordPress website grows, developers have to go into the CSS to add features and rules that can be applied to the additional pages. Over time, the CSS becomes bloated and cluttered with code — a larger file means more work for a WordPress site trying to configure pages on-the-fly, and a slower page load speed.
Tailwind CSS can minimise your website’s CSS file size, even as your site expands and you add more powerful features. This utility-first programme is like an organised and minimalist kitchen drawer compared to the clutter of WordPress — and the result is faster page speed for your website.
Hosting – Netlify
Hosting is the means by which your website is housed on the internet, and accessible to visitors via your URL. A hosting provider is a service that provides the tech and support required for your website to be viewed on the internet.
Netlify is a cutting-edge, low-cost, high-impact service used to provide cloud hosting and serverless backend services to static websites (those ultrafast ones talked about earlier).
The advantage of hosting through Netlify is that it finds the best CDNs through which it can distribute your site’s content, resulting in static websites that load way faster than traditional (WordPress) hosting networks. Same as before, instead of configuring and loading your site each time a visitor clicks on a page, Netlify provides a pre-loaded version sent directly from the nearest server — talk about ultrafast page speed!
Why Phiranno Designs uses Netlify for hosting
It works perfectly with Gatsby. Netlify is the perfect hosting option for modern, static sites like those built through Gatsby. They share the same priority for optimised website performance through static sites and the most cutting edge web development features.
CMS – Sanity
Without a CMS or a web designer in Port Macquarie, updating your website’s content is a nightmare — you’d have to get files from the server, change the HTML code manually, check for link breakages, then upload the HTML files back to the server.
A CMS, or content management system, is a software tool used to create, manage, modify, and publish content — from the words, images, and videos on your web pages to the articles in your blog — without needing to know how to code.
A traditional CMS like WordPress can kill your page speed.
Like the make-your-own-desk-kit we described earlier, WordPress CMS provides you with all the necessary features of a CMS in a stock-standard, out-of-the-box way. This includes themes or templates, an easy-to-use dashboard, a pre-planned database, and code that retrieves requested code from your database and injects it into your website’s frontend.
This sounds great if you’re looking for something easy to use, but all that out-of-the-box tech equals a ton of code and a ton of files — leading to slower page speed and a rubbish user experience on your website. Web designers in Port Macquarie who know how to speed up page load time will choose headless CMS over the traditional systems any day.
Introducing Headless CMS
Unlike a traditional CMS like WordPress, Sanity is what developers call a headless CMS.
Explaining headless CMS below might get technical — here’s a thorough breakdown if you fancy doing some research, but we’ll try to break down the basics without being too nerdy.
A traditional CMS is one giant integrated system, like how the human body is a bunch of muscles, organs and blood vessels working together.
A traditional CMS contains:
- Author interface (the bottom half or legs): where you write the stuff
- Database (the chest/arms): where you store the stuff
- Frontend (the head): the thing that goes into the database and creates web pages
A headless CMS separates the content repository (the body) from the presentation/frontend layer (the head). It lets you manage the content for your website with a straightforward frontend. Meanwhile, the backend takes care of the heavy-duty tech stuff — delivering your content seamlessly to website visitors via APIs. APIs or Application Programming Interfaces ensure visitors get the content in a way that integrates best with whatever screen or software they’re using.
The result is that anyone can create the content for their website without worrying about how that content will look on your different platforms, or someone’s iPad or someone else’s smartphone.
Why Phiranno Designs uses Sanity CMS
Seamless integration with our tech stack. Sanity works beautifully with the static site generator and innovative systems that we use here at Phiranno Designs, optimised for maximum page speed and the best possible user experience.
Ultrafast page speed. Sanity CMS minimises bloat and file sizes, fueling our passion for ultrafast websites that amplifies our client’s advantage.
Clients have full control over content. As a headless CMS, Sanity allows us to empower clients with the ability to control where and how their content is displayed across tablets, smartphones, desktops — any device that’s connected to the internet.
Ready to harness the power of a high-speed website? At Phiranno Designs, we know how to speed up page load time, so your website delivers the ultimate user experience. Check out our web design services.
DNS – Cloudflare
Put simply, a DNS server (Domain Name System) is like a translator — matching human-speak domain names to the computer-speak IP address. When we type a URL into a browser, it’s the DNS that finds the IP address and takes us to the corresponding website. If we didn’t have DNS servers, we’d have to memorise numerical IP addresses — 22.214.171.124 just to find LinkedIn.
While this seems like a straightforward process, not all DNS are equal. A default ISP DNS server can seriously affect your website — slowing down page speed and even putting users at risk with decreased security and privacy.
Speed and security are critical components for your website, and DNS is a common area where delays and risks occur. At Phiranno Designs, we build our websites using the best DNS out there.
We use the fastest and most secure DNS
It’s as simple at that, really. Cloudflare is the fastest global cloud network for web applications — delivering optimised online performance for businesses like yours.
Independent research confirms this, and Cloudflare customers have been reaping the benefits of using the service — including ramped up page speeds, boosted conversions, and increased leads.
At Phiranno Designs, we’ve integrated the best-in-the-biz programs within our tech stack to maximise page speed for our clients — and Cloudflare is the icing on the cake.
It’s nice to have a website that looks attractive, but to truly harness the power of your business’s online presence you’ve got to look under the hood — what kind of tech stack is your web designer in Port Macquarie running? Is it a WordPress template with a bunch of bloated add-ons, or a bespoke creation that’s built for speed?
At Phiranno Designs, we know how to speed up page load time to drive results for Port Macquarie businesses. Our tech stack is the result of consistent research into the most cutting-edge systems, built by designers who recognise the value of page-speed for a business.
Partner with a web design agency that’ll make an impact for your business. Give the team at Phiranno Designs a call.