[theme-reviewers] Proposal for a new guideline and plugin function

Robb Shecter robb at weblaws.org
Tue Apr 24 14:08:00 UTC 2012

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM, Edward Caissie wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 9:49 AM, Doug Stewart <zamoose at gmail.com (mailto:zamoose at gmail.com)> wrote:
> > Speed and performance optimization is a complex problem that has no
> > specific set of solutions and said solutions can vary greatly based
> > upon your hosting situation.
> This is the key to the issue, aside from the additional points @James offered, how would be insure a "level playing field" to use the benchmarks suggested?

I don't think it'd be hard.

I'm guessing from these replies that you're not too familiar with YSlow and PageSpeed? These tools and their motivation are somewhat revolutionary: Yahoo and Google realized that much a user's perception of a site's speed is not server-side configuration per se, but rather things under control of the theme (in WP context).

So, the values could be advisory. But I further believe they could be mandatory. Because Both YSlow and PageSpeed give clear "grades" of a web page along with very specific instructions on how to improve them.

Here's a great example: the results for the online demo of News, the theme that gave me trouble:


You can see that it scored 42 out of 100. That's the lowest I've score I've personally seen it give. And click on the very first "high priority" item - "Combine images into CSS sprites":


Page Speed is showing the exact problem that brought down my server.

Prior to this, I've only seen it go down to 70 - and that was for some *slow* sites. For comparison, TwentyEleven out of the box gives 78.

So as you can see, there's a lot of room for an objective measurement which is independent of server config. Say, for example, a minimum of 70 would raise a flag, but 60 would be a hard reject. 

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