Answering entrepreneurs' most burning marketing questions

Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and get quick, targeted marketing advice

Our CEO Vicky Wu brings her 30 years of experience marketing for Fortune 500 companies, multi-million and multi-billion-dollar global corporations to answer your specific marketing questions. Most entrepreneurs aren’t able to find – or afford – access to this level of expertise. And that’s exactly why we’re bringing it to you.

Entrepreneur Question:

Help! I am looking for a second opinion on a website that is losing ranking because of performance issues. Our product pages on mobile are exceptionally slow. I am seeing tons of bloated code and code that we do not use (ie. Loading Google Maps API when we don't use it).

The vendor is trying to say that because we do not use webp images and use compressed jpgs, that is the only reason why the site is slow. The load renderings and lighthouse tests tell me a different story.

Also, the vendor stated that they have 'special pages' for Google and now Google is using actual Chrome user timings. I see a lot of server lag with inventory and script calls for a few scripts that we use and several that we do not use. The vendor will never blame shoddy coding. We cannot use webp because many of our customers and employees do not have browsers that can see the images.

Alana

Expert Answer:

Without seeing your site (send me the URL and I can update my answer) … there are ways you can easily optimize images without webp (tinypng.com and Smush plugin or similar).

It’s definitely never beneficial to have bloated code from completely unused scripts. Simply removing a plugin, or script in the header, may not be enough – you may also need to clean related entries out of the database.

And having ‘separate pages for Google’ is complete BS … google scans whatever the hell they want to.

Vicky

Yes, we did use tinypng to shrink the product images. I ran the site through Google speed tools, the vendor is blaming everything on images and I am seeing a lot of fonts and unused JavaScript.

Alana

Well, we had a call with the vendor, and as expected, he blamed everything on images. I pointed out the massive render blocking JS files and CSS. I also pointed out that it was loading tons of stuff that we do not use (like Google Weather API) and he then claimed it was coming from Tag Manager (and it isn't). He basically blamed anyone except himself/his team and I expected that. I guess next I need to try to call the CMS and see what they recommend.

Alana

After reviewing your site, I see the Google map API and other render blocking scripts. The fonts are loading as render-blocking, and one has a 404. There is so much unnecessary code loading from unused plugins. 

You’re using WordPress as your CMS and WooCommerce. I’ve built thousands of sites on these platforms since 2005. The CMS isn’t the issue, your vendor is. And it’s okay if they don’t know something, but they need to be willing to learn.

For example, I see multiple SSL integrations; multiple social media plugins. It’s very likely that your database has become bloated and needs cleaned up. Often this needs to be done manually. The post and options tables; and the actionscheduler tables are big culprits. You can upgrade server specs which can help the system run through bloated database tables quicker, but the root of the problem still needs to be addressed.

Don’t get a new website; get a new vendor.

Vicky

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