If a WP theme is slow to respond, or if it responds imperfectly on occasion, it can be a sign that its underlying code is not up to standard. There may be code present that does not perform any useful function; but that excess code still must be processed, and as a consequence, it can slow an application down. A presence of excess code often suggests proper coding standards were not adhered to, which could affect the overall quality of a program or application. Excess or unused code goes by another name – bloated code.
Bloated code tends to be poorly documented code. It can be difficult to maintain, and it tends to introduce errors when a theme is being updated. Writing code capable of supporting a multiplicity of functions is fine if it is done well, but doing it well is not always the case, and can lead to a preponderance of bloated code. It is far better to focus on writing code that gets one thing done right, which is what you want to experience in a WordPress theme’s code.
What to Look for in a WP Theme
Since a WordPress theme’s code is not open to direct examination by the theme’s user, there must be other ways to determine how to avoid themes that might be based on bloated code. Code minification, template optimization, and the proper use of plugins, are three practices that can have a positive effect on a theme’s performance by reducing the likelihood of introducing excess code.
- Minified JS and CSS – Minified code is lean and mean code. All unused code and unnecessary protocols have been removed, variable names have been shortened, extra spaces have been deleted, and redundancies have been eliminated. The net result is less code, and less code requires less processing time. Minified code makes modifications and upgrades easier and less open to error. Look for a theme whose performance is lightning fast, and whose upgrades are not overly focused on removing bugs.
- Optimized Templates – Templates and layouts act as website and page design foundations. More is usually better where layouts are concerned, but if the underlying code has not been properly optimized, additional templates may simply create additional problems. Fast page builders can slow considerably if script and style functions were not properly utilized while coding. Non-optimized templates can be inefficient to work with and slow to load. A demo or two may give a hint as to any presence of bloated code.
- Plugin Management – Some authors integrate as many plugins as possible into a theme, while others focus more on making a theme compatible with a number of useful or essential external plugins. Plugins do much of a theme’s “heavy lifting”, but when they are an integral part of a theme they can load it down when they are not in being used. A plugin that is infrequently or rarely used is nonessential if the functions it performs can be done equally well using an external plugin. A nonessential theme is an example of bloated code. It will slow things down
Case Study: Jupiter – a Premium WordPress Theme
Jupiter is a WordPress theme that is known for its fast, smooth, and seamless performance, and its ease of use. Jupiter has also been proven to be extremely easy to upgrade and maintain. This is a result of the developer’s insistence on adhering to superior coding standards and practices. The fact that 20000+ users will attest to this theme’s exceptional performance says its authors are doing things right – and one thing at a time.
A Development Team that can be Justifiably Proud of Their Code
The Artbees’ Jupiter team is made up of veteran designers and developers who work constantly to improve and nurture this theme’s code to ensure it always conforms to the latest industry standards and practices.
The team discourages the use of external plugins to perform essential tasks, and completely avoids any use of nonessential internal plugins. Nonessential plugins, like nonessential code, are breeding grounds for issues that lead to a need for constant patching and tweaking to maintain performance.
The team recognizes the need to leave the door open to maintain compatibility with useful third party themes and extensions. Artbees-themes.com is a portal featuring an increasing number of extensions that Jupiter users will find beneficial.
The Jupiter team takes full advantage of tools such as the Google Performance Profiling timeline to optimize their applications. This timeline shows how a given application is spending its time, enabling performance-improving adjustments to be made on a continuing basis. Performance profiling addresses areas such a memory management and browser scrolling. Browser painting speed is a key performance parameter, and other performance profiling metrics will highlight code that is either nonessential or is being inefficiently utilized.
Jupiter’s Key Features and Strengths
Ease of use is claimed by many themes, and often justifiably so. Among Jupiter’s strong points however, are superior UI features you will experience in many of its functions that are not found to the same extent in most other themes. The Jupiter team, in addition to paying close attention to the quality of the code they produce, have also placed a great deal of stress on user experience, and continue to do so.
- Start with a Popular Page Builder
Visual Composer is the page builder of choice for this theme. By far the most popular of the WP theme page builders, Visual Composer is fast, efficient, intuitive, and easy to use. Visual Composer is all drag and drop, it has few if any rivals, and it makes creating websites fun.
- Take Advantage of an Admin Panel Designed with Humans in Mind
Jupiter’s admin panel is elegant in its appearance and elegant in its use. It was not designed to impress; it was designed to be used. This key Jupiter feature makes it ever-so-easy for a user to create and manage content. Combined with the layouts provided and Visual Composer, it packs a definite punch. Tasks such a creating headers, backgrounds, and layout building are completely visual. No guesswork is involved.
- Add a Template, and Off You Go
Once you have installed one of 25 ready-to-use templates, the Admin Panel and Visual Composer lead the way. A template takes but a single click to install, and when used with the multiple header options features creates limitless page and web design possibilities. Jupiter’s advanced template system is arranged in 6 categories: Agency, Creative, Education, Food, Shop, and Health. New templates are added each week.
- Portfolio Styles Galore
The portfolio layouts are indeed impressive. There are 8 Classic style variations and 8 variations of a Portfolio Grid to work with. You can also select a no-space or a spaced masonry style or pick one of the Single styles. Any of these portfolio styles lend themselves to applications of the Hover features.
Visit the Jupiter website to see the hover features in action. The demos are impressive, and it will be immediately become apparent how you can put these to use on a portfolio or a product page.
- Shortcodes, Slideshows, and Support
10 new shortcodes have recently been added, bringing the total number to more than 30. Several of these shortcodes are unique to Jupiter, including animated columns, sliders, and a fascinating flip box feature a web designer will find many uses for.
The multiple navigation and pagination styles offered are not only innovative and useful, but fun to work with as well. Your reputation as a creative web designer will definitely be enhanced if you take full advantage of these features.
Last, but by no means least is the level of support you can expect from Jupiter/Artbees. You have access to a series of video tutorials and ample user documentation. FAQs answer the more common questions, and most importantly, there are well humans who are dedicated to assisting you 24/7 and who will respond to your queries within 5 hours.
Visit the Artbees website. You will discover it is packed with information you can use to explore the many ways in which Jupiter can improve your web design productivity and enhance the quality of your products. Jupiter’s basic strength lies in its clean, streamlined code. Bloated code is forbidden and non-existent. Jupiter was designed with excellence in performance and the user in mind, which is what you will experience. Give Jupiter a further look, and let us know what you think.