Scoring 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix PageSpeed and Yslow (and why you probably shouldn’t bother ;)

This article will teach you how to get a perfect score with Enfold and its latest performance upate to Version 4.3 on Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. It will also explain why it’s probably not a good idea to obsess over it

Don’t let yourself get fooled by the title. You should definitely care about your site performance and using those tools allows you to identify problems easily. In general you get very good recommendations but you should know when to follow them and when to ignore them :)

The metric that is much more important than any score, awarded by those testing tools, is the page load time of your site. And to achieve a good page load time a good server environment and optimised images are usually much more important than any theme optimisations you can do.

So make sure to not get obsessed with a good score, just for the sake of the score ;)
Also, while building our latest Enfold Update we set up a total of 12 test environments and probably did 1000 speed checks. The conclusion we came to, is that the trade offs for a perfect score are often times not worth it. (eg: compressing your images to a point were quality suffers dramatically, using a ton of inline css and javascript to satisfy above the fold rules, etc)

So here is what we are going to do:

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Enfold 4.3: Performance Update

As announced earlier we wanted to improve the speed and usability of Enfold. I think you will like what we came up with :)

This release is probably one of the most important in recent years, since its the first major step in changing some of the core workings of our Enfold theme.

Whenever software is written, a developer has to make certain decisions on how this software works. Most of the stuff we decided on, when first building Enfold has served us well. But unfortunately some of those decisions now started to affect our ability to improve the theme further. This is why we decided to do a few major overhauls and Enfold 4.3 is the first one. This release affects performance in a few major ways and its hard to overstate how important all those performance changes are. So before we describe what we did, here is how it affects the theme:

  • A typical Enfold based Website now loads anywhere from 15%-75% less CSS and JS
  • Enfold is now probably the best optimised multipurpose theme out there. We checked the competition and Enfold now uses less CSS and less JS on an average site than anyone else.
  • In addition to being leaner and cleaner than the competition out of the box, the theme is now also exceptionally easy to optimize and you can achieve perfect google/gtmetrix pagespeed scores if desired
  • Search rankings will be higher for Websites using Enfold since loading speed for mobile will be factored into search results soon
  • Conversion from visitors to customers will be better, since it’s a fact that every millisecond you can shave off the load time has a positive impact

Achieving a perfect score in google or gtmetrix is now possible ;) – Blog post here!

So what did we change and why?

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A few updates regarding WPML: Introducing WPML’s Contractors System

WPML’s new contractors system makes it easier for Enfold users to find experienced developers to help them on  their multilingual projects and for developers to find Enfold users who need help.

WPML recently launched their contractors system to connect end users with contractors. End users can invite selected contractors to their projects in case they need help and the system will take care of the rest and distribute those invites. Once user and contractor are connected, WPML steps back and lets those two parties work out the details (WPML does not get involved in payments)

Now Enfold users can search for contractors on WPML’s Contractors System. Contractors are well experienced in both Enfold and WPML but services they can provide are not limited to making your Enfold site a multilingual one. Most contractors can help you build a new website, maintain an existing website, fix issues on your existing website, help with SEO and more.

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Enfold 4.2: Focus on Audio and 5 new Demos for creatives, as well as first steps in theme optimization

Since our last release only featured 2 new demos due to all the backend work, we decided to help our creative community with this release and a slew of new demos concepts

With that in mind we decided to cater for a few niche categories which were not really well supported by Enfold till now. Namely everything related to audio. And although we supported the WordPress audio player from the first release, it was more of an afterthought. We now added a dedicated audio player element with more options like autoplay so you can build Dj, Band, Nightclub and other sites that are focused on audio.

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Enfold 4.1: Mobile improvements, Photography Demos, new Gallery and more

This update is the first in a series of updates to enhance Enfolds performance even more, both on mobile and desktop devices

Lets start with the new demos and the new layout builder element. We noticed a lot of photographers are using enfold for their projects and wanted to provide a few more demos for them to present their work. Therefore we created a new minimal photography demo, a dark photography demo and a horizontal gallery element.

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Enfold reimagined – Version 4.0

If Enfold were a new theme and we were to release it in 2017, that’s probably what it would look like

Everything in this release was geared toward the question: If we would release a new theme today, how would it look like and how would it behave? More detailed:

  • Would we build the site with a frontend editor or still use a backend editor?
  • How would it look like?
  • Would we need another slew of elements for the builder or are we fine with what we got?
  • What about the design of existing elements?
  • Which demos would we need?

First of all, I think a lot of the decisions and assumptions on how a theme should work that we made back when we built Enfold are still valid. And I think a lot of our customers agree with us, since Enfold is still the best rated top seller on Themeforest with an astonishing rating of 4.85 out of 5. If you think about it, thats quite insane. Our rating gets worse if someone rates the theme with 4 stars; yet 4 stars is already considered an excellent rating :)

But there are always things to improve so here here are a few explanations, thoughts and conclusions for those questions above, and what we plan to do in the future:

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