Frank Under Fire—How a WordPress Theme Designed for Speed Performed Under High Traffic Conditions

I wrote an article for Smashing Magazine a few weeks ago showcasing Frank. As was expected, my site got bombed. Since Frank was designed from the ground up to be fast, I wanted to share the results of how Frank performed on a high volume traffic day. It’s important to know that my site is hosted on a medium-tier VPS with no CDN. Continue reading Frank Under Fire—How a WordPress Theme Designed for Speed Performed Under High Traffic Conditions

Some Random Dude is Now (More) Responsive

In the past two weeks, I was able to update this site (and more importantly, the open source theme behind it) to have a responsive layout. This was the last big hurdle for me to get a final-ish version of the theme out the door.

There are still small issues that need to be addressed, but this was the big one. The next goal is to get a project page up along with some simple starting guides, take a breath and see where the project goes from there. My current site is still imperfect, but I consider it to be a good reflection of how I view responsive web design. As I mentioned in an recently, responsive web design goes beyond a responsive layout. Our designs need to address limited bandwidth and processing power associated with mobile devices.

My hope is this theme will continue to improve so that it can provide a viable option for bloggers who provide a fast, reading-centric experience for their visitors. Due to my limited schedule however, I need to rely on the community to help me push this project forward. If you have enjoyed this site and/or you would like to use this theme, I encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to help make it better for everyone else. So please, fork this theme and get in touch with me if you are interesting in contributing.

Design for Speed

The homepage of Some Random Dude as of today is 39.6Kb spread across 5 requests (13.1Kb and 2 of those requests are Google Analytics). Over 30% of pages sampled load in 1 second or less. 74.5% of pages sampled load in 3 seconds or less. These numbers increase dramatically when you restrict the sample page loads to countries with high broadband adoption. This site performs this way not because of a plugin I installed or the server’s Apache settings (although they help). It performs this way because of tough decisions made in the design process. This site was designed to be fast. Continue reading Design for Speed