Lightning Talks: Doing it Right (Zack Tollman, Joe Dolson) #wcsf14

The second session I manged to attend (after one was postponed due to an emergency drill included two “Lightning Talks: Doing it Right
A Look at WordPress Performance by Zack Tollman (@wired)

  • Official description: While site performance is an important topic in the WordPress community, how are we really doing at maintaining fast websites in the real world? In my talk, I will attempt to answer this question by examining a large sample of performance data from actual websites. With this information, I will suggest areas of improvement for the community in an effort to improve performance for WordPress
  • How performant is WordPress?
  • Is it terrible? we all got a poor performance
  • You can get “C+” with the right service; noone says A+
  • Objectively? testing real sites
  • We have data at http archive. Scrapes the top 300K sites twice a month
  • He got the data and cmopared WP and non WP sites
  • Looked at 290K sites, 20% of those are WP
  • WP was slower at every sense
  • Why?
  • WP issues more http requests, more redirects, more DNs lookups
  • How can we do better?
  • 1. Start with education.
  • Performance is everybody’s issue, not just developers.
  • 2. New core features
  • 3. Performance culture: We have something that big companies don’t: our community controls 23% of the web.
  • Imagine if we really care about performance.
  • QA:
    • Cannot know whether slowness was due to plugins or themes.
    • Performance got better in WP over the years, but we have more libraries (e.g. jquery). Depends on how you use them.

Good Habits: Coding for Accessibility by Joe Dolson

  • Official description: Web accessibility isn’t a collection of check boxes; it’s a way of thinking about web development. This talk will outline development habits for building WordPress sites that provide a consistent and reliable experience for everyone.
  • Is accessibility hard?
  • It is, but it is not hard to start.
  • How to make it easy?
    • Buttons should be button elements <button>
    • Links are <a>
    • Images are meaningless. They worth a 100 words only if you can see them. Communicate in text. Assisted technology reads the page
    • Label. All. The. Things. – Form needs labels. A placeholder is not a label.
    • Focus, focus – who’s got the focus? Not all people who use assisted technology are blind. Needs to be visible focus. Assign focus and
  • How to make it hard?
    • Blame the technology. Assisted tech has issues. You need to write good code.
    • Leave it for later. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Don’t write code you know you’ll need to fix later.
  • QA:
    • Government guidelines are a joke: written in 1998. Look at guidelines published by W3C
    • Hamburger icon needs to be labelled too. Core files is good in WP
    • Are there tools to rate accessibility testing? yes, a lot of them. Need to test the rendered DOM. Hard to do pre-commit testing. WAVE tool is good.


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