A Fast and Compact WordPress Site? You Bet!

By Jay Adamsson

Recently we launched a new website for an academic partnership between Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Gondar in Ethiopia. This is in support of a new program in health-related fields that involved a new program in Ethiopia, as well as opportunities for students and faculty in Ethiopia to study in Canada. In particular, the program targets potential students with disabilities.

But creating this website was not a typical run-of-the-mill site. With a good portion of the website targeting Ethiopia, there were two challenges. First, internet connectivity in much of the target area can be spotty at times, and there is a heavy reliance on mobile phones. So it was critical not only that the website be functional and useful, but that it load easily and quickly on all devices.
Second, the website is targeting students with disabilities, so it had to be navigable and usable for potential students that may be hard of hearing and using assistive devices, or have visual difficulties, or other limitations.

But, when another requirement is to have an easy-to-use content management system in the background (in other words, WordPress), there are certain limitations. There is always an overhead when using these systems that is difficult to work around.

But for the eventual website (https://uogqueensmcf.com/), we managed to squeeze the website down in both size and load time. The home page of the website is a paltry 300k. That is smaller than the size of an individual photos on most websites. The load time is down to about one second, putting this website in the top 10% of all sites on the internet – and that’s despite having the WordPress overhead.

Through all this, we’ve managed to keep an attractive design, and built the site to meet AA accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

Congratulations to the University of Gondar and Queen’s University on the launch of their new partnership, and we’re certain your new website will serve you well in upcoming years

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