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

Robb Shecter robb at weblaws.org
Tue Apr 24 14:28:43 UTC 2012

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6:49 AM, Doug Stewart wrote: 
> Robb, Chip:
> Your post gives the game away. While there may be 47 HTTP requests
> generated by the News theme, as you pointed out, 36(!) of those are
> for images. One of your commenters suggested serving static content
> from a subdomain or a CDN which would highly benefit your load times.

Yes, I guess so ... but now talking about a CDN means we're talking about well funded, pro users, and that's not really my concern here. I'm thinking about both novice as well as technically savvy users who are simply starting a new blog as I was. I just wanted a reliable WP install, and I thought I was being conservative: installing only WP, a featured theme from the Admin panel, and a single plugin, Akismet.

It turns out that this setup is *not* reliable; in fact, it could lock you out of your server. 

Also, BTW, I disagree about a CDN being the best solution for the 36 images. The real solution is to reduce these external calls with sprites, or eliminate the images altogether w/ HTML5+CSS3. And both of those solutions are only in the hands of the theme designer.

> 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.
We have to agree to disagree. A theme that needs 46 resources ... before any for the actual content(!) is too expensive and slow to run anywhere. I wouldn't want to pay a CDN to host these files.

I guess that for me, I'd sum it up like this: Wordpress is making a promise to users. That, out of the box, it'll work well. Not well enough to handle true slashdotting or front page of cnn.com, but well enough for small traffic and the occasional link from Hacker News.

And so, I feel like this might not be the case, after my experiences this weekend.
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