These clients will NEVER reach their dream website speeds for these reasons:
1. LOW BUDGET
They have a $200 budget, using tons of crappy bloated plugins running off a crappy $5 shared hosting plan. But they want their site to be as fast as their competitor site…which was professionally built for $5-10k, has a custom theme, and much faster webhosting plan.
2. NO COMPROMISE
They tell me they “absolutely need results!” but when I tell them exactly what’s causing the biggest slowdowns. They come back with “but I can’t get rid of that…can’t we do something else?” Ha…ok so listen here. If I tell you where your problem is and you refuse to change that, there isn’t much I can do. You’re asking me to remove the cancer…without removing the cancer.
3. ARGUING WITH DEVS
If you hire someone to do the work, it’s assumed that you inherently trust them to make the right decisions for you. And if you’re questioning and probing them every step of the way…what you’ll get is a dev who stops using their experience and instead does whatever your silly ideas are (yes, the ones that got you in your predicament in the first place). They might also be less generous with their time and not able to squeeze in extras for you. It’s better you get a dev you trust, than a dev you can order around.
4. MIXING DEVS
They come to me with something they heard another dev say. Oh boy. I’m totally fine with mixing ideologies from different consultants but the moment they clash, you have to pick one or another. Forcing two entirely different strategies to work together, doesn’t work.
5. SHORT-TERM PLANNING
Many clients come to me to “fix the problem TODAY”. They don’t want to spend any money. They want the cheapest bandaid fix for that one problem and just that one client. Sure, I can add another bandaid on top of their 20 other bandaids. What happens when WordPress or WooCommerce, or another major plugin updates in 2 months? What happens with Google algorithm changes again? They come right back crying because they had to spend more money.
6. REBUILD REFUSAL
Some clients don’t understand development physics. Some things in the dev world are truly easier and cheaper to rebuild from scratch than to repair and hope that it doesn’t break again. This can be your theme, your server, or your whole darn site. Adding more bandaids only delays the inevitable and sets it up for a higher fall. It’s like adding another Jenga piece to your website.
7. OVER OPTIMIZATION
There are some clients who [incorrectly] believe more is always better. It isn’t. Enabling caching features you don’t need hurts you. Getting a CDN when you don’t need it hurts you. Adding crap you don’t need adds to your overall bloat. There is no validity to the logic of “just in case” or “better with than without”. It’s like putting every tool in your truck just in case. It only adds weight and gets in the way of the stuff you DO need.
8. CHANGING SETTINGS
Weird that I even have to say this. I set the best settings. Client complains 2 months later. I check in and sure enough, the cache settings have been changed. They say they didn’t do it. But I KNOW I sure as hell didn’t do it. It’s not like a dev would log into a functioning site and break it just for fun. Some clients adjust settings to try and fix another issue. Some clients adjust settings out of boredom/curiosity. (What are you? Children?)
9. PAGE SCORE CONFUSION
Ahhh, page scores…the bane of developers everywhere. Clients see red marks all over their recommendations and think their site won’t ever run fast until all are “optimized”. Nope. Your site is likely running slow for 3-5 main issues. It’s the 80/20 principle. You can go around ticking boxes to feel productive. Or you can get your hands dirty and go straight to the main problem.
10. UNANSWERED EMAILS
Another common sense one. I write to a client asking if they need such and such plugin/feature. They never reply. Well how can I continue optimizing if you won’t tell me what you need and don’t need? Equally amusing is when they reply saying they don’t know. Apparently they don’t know anything about their site. Ok so I make my own calls….and the next day I see 20 emails that some important function (buried deep within the site) no longer works.