For years, I felt this website’s styling wasn’t exactly, just-the-right-way-right. I occasionally burst into frenzied tinkering with css in frustration. Then I put the blog aside altogether, resolved to learn more about CSS while I kept a local blog on Emacs. I hoped that with a break from publishing and more practice, I would get back to blogging transformed. I thought I’d finally get the power to tweak everything to my heart’s content.
Time gave me another way to appreciate the difficult and arcane art of exacting, fine control over little details. The more I changed WordPress child themes, the more I added plugins, the slower the page loaded. That’s when my tastes changed. No point in getting finicky about little details if the page took so long to show up.
Recent tests on Google’s page speed insights showed a lame loading time. About 56 to 59 rating (corresponding to “average”). I used the results to check what files took the most time to load. The slowest came from the Jetpack plugin, which I deleted. Other files where in the child of an old parent theme, a free version that hadn’t been updated in a bit. I also deactivated most plugins and tested more page loads. I added the Litespeed Cache plugin. Once I switched to the TwentyNineteen theme, performance went way, way up. Removing plugins, adding one, and switching themes took me from a 59 score all the way to a 95.
Now that I have a childtheme activated, I can change CSS styles in a laid back, lazy fashion. TwentyNineteen is a great starting theme for changing and tweaking CSS.
What I learned
- Too much energy and time can get wasted in getting a site to look exactly some way or other. Tastes change fast. Better to stick with something as minimal as possible and slowly work on it over time.
- Faster page loading also makes me want to publish more often, now that I know future visitors won’t wait 5-6 seconds to see my homepage,