- This topic has 14 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by Nicholas.
May 18, 2018 at 2:02 am #578657Stephen
I’m just going through the process of moving my site across from Rainmaker to Generate Press. The guy who is doing the work for me is using Thrive Architect to build the pages. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. It seems a bit complicated to me. Does it defeat the purpose of using a light and minimal theme like Generate Press? I’m a bit concerned and don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.GeneratePress 2.1.2May 18, 2018 at 3:50 am #578724DavidStaffCustomer Support
i think the concern for you is usability, if this is the route your developer is going then i would look to test Thrive Architect first before making any commitment. Regarding speed, all pagebuilders are generally the same and do add weight to the page, using GP does of cause lighten the total load in comparison to other themes.
Beaver Builder and Elementor seem to be the most favoured builders with GP Users. But there are users of all pagebuilders here, you can always expand the conversation with our facebook community.May 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm #582176Stephen
I’ve had a play around with Architect page builder and it seems to be easy enough to use.
SteveMay 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm #583858Stephen
I just wanted to follow up on this. I have a podcast, here is the main podcast page; https://stephenanderson.com.au/. Each episode page is created in Thrive Architect but I wonder if there is a better way to do it? Could I create a template (or get a developer to create a template)? My concerns are that if I decide to make style changes later, I’d have to change each episode individually. Also, creating it in a page builder means that the yoast plugin can’t analyse the content. What are your thoughts?
SteveMay 24, 2018 at 1:19 pm #583898DavidStaffCustomer Support
i have never used TA, so i am not sure if you can create post templates (for the style) and edit the content from the back-end. Which would help in future changes. Maybe something to investigate first.
Personally, i would be inclined to build a style sheet for use with either the GP post template or a Custom Post Type. It keeps content entry in the WP editor and allows the styling to be refreshed globally.May 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm #583974Stephen
I like the sound of that. How much work do you think it would be for a good coder now that I have the exact layout that I like?May 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm #583980DavidStaffCustomer Support
That’s a good question Stephen, the fact you have the layout defined should cut the cost, i would suggest you open a conversation on our facebook community, there are some good guys that could give you a cost.May 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm #583986Stephen
Thanks, I’ll do that.May 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm #583988Stephen
Oh, where can I join the Facebook community. I saw the facebook page for GP but not sure where I would go to the community page.
SteveMay 24, 2018 at 3:37 pm #584001LeoStaffCustomer SupportMay 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm #584010Stephen
Thanks Leo. Got it.May 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm #584021Burt
My 2-cents here. David is correct all of the Visual Editors add a ton of weight to your web pages. Many with add-ons like Visual Composer even add more weight to the pages – even if they are not used on the page.
VC loads all of their CSS and most times 80% is not being used. Of all the Visual Editors, Beaver Builders has the smallest added weight to a page and if it is not used on a page their objects are not loaded
The most important factor going forward is the speed of your website – especially if you are in a competitive nitch.
There are a number of website speed test out there but the only 2 that matter are the following
1> Google Mobile Speed Test https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/
2> Lighthouse https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/ which can be found in the Chrome Console under the audit tab.
This is what I would use to measure my website speed – this is what Google will be using.
1> I would ask my developer to show me a site built with Thrive then I would run it through the above tools
Here is an example of a page in the Thrive site run in the Google Mobile Speed Test – remember the Goal is to be <=3seconds
Here is a Thrive page assuming it is using its architecture
And Here is GeneratePress Home Page
Yes, this is not a fair test, but with some simple library additions and tricks you can get the GP to be in the 3second to sub 3second range, Difficult to accomplish with the Thrive pages
2> No matter which VE I used I would take my top 10 to 20 landing pages and use the built-in sections in GP to create the fastest pages I can.
3> A problem with the BB is the UX / UI is not as sophisticated as some of the other VE, but with the simple use of boxes that are offset, interesting headline layouts, and CSS3 you can make compelling front pages and landing pages – half the battle is using GP’s headers creatively
runner2009May 11, 2019 at 8:19 am #896303Nicholas
Hey Burt, that’s awesome analysis. I’ve just started doing some work optimizing and used Thrive themes in the past. I’m concerned about speed. Some of what you said went over my head, but my big question is wouldn’t a caching plugin negate the lag caused by the page builder? That’s my hope anyway. (I didn’t see a caching plugin mentioned). In other words, there can be a lot different between two websites other than the page builder they used, and the presence or absence of caching seems like a big factor that’s unrelated to which page builder was used. Server speed, image optimization, etc are also factors in load speed. Right?May 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm #896550Burt
Hey, Nicholas –
Yes, WordPress needs some caching even to function. I just assumed either a caching plugin or a server-side cache like varnish cache.
I use only varnish caching and no plugins – as the caching plugins can cause increase overhead in themselves – just as Yoast SEO does too. Cacheing is a must for anything but the primary WordPress site and caching is a complex subject – here is a good overview resource
In my experience, there is only so much tweaking one can do to get a fully dynamic WordPress site with some visual page builder to be able to be sub 3seconds load on a 3G network.
The first step IMO is to have a host with a fast server and some server cache and if you can afford it use Cloudflare and make sure it is configured correctly – very important.
Secondly, I would forget about all the online speed test measurements and only use Google’s Lighthouse – open up any webpage in Chrome and right click and select inspect and then on the dev page at the top click on the audit tab. ( Might have to turn on developer mode in Chrome’s preferences )
This is where you can see what Google is observing and measuring on your page. To get an accurate reading I would open up an incognito Window – so none of your Chrome Extensions are also loading. On the network tab, you can also select options to eliminate the caching, throttle down the page to say a slow 3G ( you can do some of this on the audit tab )
So that we are on the same page, let us take a look at Stephen’s site https://stephenanderson.com.au/. Load the site up in Chrome and right click the page got to inspect and then audit and run an audit on this page.
I ran lighthouse with it throttled on the network tab with no caching, slow 3g throttling and ( so it is like loading on a slow mobile device ) this is what I got:
I’ve looked at literally 1,000s of these audits and this is not bad as an example on a slow 3G mobile device. If you look at the Opportunities heading and will see in 1 that images are a big issue. This is an area that can have the biggest payback in speed even for a non-technical person. If you look at Stephens images they are all.PGN format and IMO after a quick look at where they are on the page these images can be converted to .JPG and compressed dramatically without losing quality. If converting to .JPG is not an option – these images can be compressed in .PGN with some advanced technique
Doing this task would make a dramatic difference – especially on a mobile device. There are other things that can be done with these images but you then could not use your page builder.
The next issue is the render-blocking – and in again in most WordPress sites with or without page builders, you see jQuery. Tom of GP is moving forward on making the GP theme not dependent on jQuery – and your mobile pages can be designed such that you don’t use jQuery – you can use it on the desktop version. On mobile, you don’t need the interactive UX so you can get away from loading jQuery – not always.
Thanks for the detailed info! That’s really helpful. I’m happy to report that my site loads at 95-96 score on Google Page Speed Insights (I wasn’t aware of the developer tool in Chrome, but rather have been using the google website: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=mindwhale.com ). This is great because before caching and image optimization I think my score was high twenties!
Yes, minifying pictures before placing them on the page made a HUGE difference for me. I was blown away by the ability to compress an image to 10% of original size without noticeable loss of resolution using https://tinypng.com/
I also use a caching plugin and Autoptimize. I’m trying to get away with not using a page builder because I do dabble in CSS and HTML, however, I’m sure it will be tempting to use one. In the future because I know about Lighthouse I can keep tabs on how the page builder affects my speed.
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