Proposal for a WordPress Performance Team

WordPress Performance
Ari Stathopoulos has published a proposal for a WordPress Performance Team with input from Joost de Valk, Francesca Marano, and Adam Silverstein. According to the proposal, “compared to other platforms […] WordPress is falling behind” in its speed and performance. While it is well-positioned “to meet the increasing needs and expectations of site owners and end-users, WordPress needs to be actively investing in performance in WordPress Core and beyond.”

The proposal acknowledges performance plugins (and functionality that should remain in plugins, like CDNs) as well as performance-focused themes. Why is a team needed to tackle performance optimization? The proposal authors’ answer:

“A team gives more visibility to the effort… it also opens up contributing to new types of contributors, like performance or data analysts… [and] could also attract contributions from different groups; browsers, hosting, SEO companies, etc.”

While the proposal has received mostly good responses in some public social circles like Post Status Slack, the birth of a new team is a rare event. WordPress performance for the common user hasn’t been embarrassing if you pick the right plugins, themes, and host. (This is a bigger if than most of us may like.)

Managed WordPress hosts have generally built their infrastructure, server environments, marketing, onboarding experiences, and put limits on WordPress to ensure performance. Increasingly, Headless WordPress is a bankable service. But vanilla WordPress could and should be much faster out of the box β€” and solutions such as headless and static have proved that the experience of speed has a high level of demand.

Joost noted in Post Status Slack he has a vested interest in WordPress’s performance now as an employee of one of the biggest WordPress hosts:

β€œPerformance is a core feature of a CMS now in my opinion… we have ideas for both frontend performance improvements as well as some pretty big ideas for an overhaul and speed up of WordPress bootstrap. I’m superbly excited about sharing those with everyone over the coming weeks and months.”

β€” David and Dan