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Long story short: Switching from Divi to TwentyNineteen WordPress theme on tobycryns.com sped up the site’s Google Pagespeed Insights score by 60%.

How We Decided to Use TwentyNineteen Theme

  1. First we tried a couple of different server configurations:
    – More RAM provided a marginal speed boost.
    – Lightspeed server was worse than our Pressable server.
  2. Then we tried theme & file optimizations:
    – Hummingbird Pro
    – Smush Pro
    Both provided marginal speed boost and more headaches than the speed improvements were worth.
  3. Finally, we switched to TwentyNineteen theme. Why didn’t we start here? Because:
    – Divi has some beautifu & unique features we don’t want to part with.
    – We use Divi on lots of websites. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could figure out a way to speed things up for the millions of Divi customers out there? Alas, no dice for now.

Is TwentyNineteen Theme really faster than Divi theme?

Yes, TwentyNineteen is faster than Divi theme. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to start recommending it to our customers, nor will we necessarily stop recommending Divi where it’s appropriate. We’re always looking for the best combination of functionality and speed, and Divi is a great mix of both right now.

If I switch from Divi to TwentyNineteen will my site speed up?

Probably. Out-of-the-box Divi is heavy compared to out-of-the-box TwentyNineteen. Therefore, Divi will load slower than TwentyNineteen for 99% of people.

What About Beaver Builder & Elementor?

I don’t use Beaver Builder and Elementor, however my hunch is that they’re slower than TwentyNineteen for the same reasons that Divi is slower. (But I’d love to be proven wrong on this point – let me know if you’ve experienced something different!)

Is TwentyNineteen the fastest WordPress theme?

Geeks around the globe regularly benchmark WordPress themes. Today, they all point to GeneratePress as the fastest theme. I tested GeneratePress on TobyCryns.com and saw virtually no difference in the site’s Google Pagespeed Insights score. Given that TwentyNineteen looks better out-of-the-box compared to GeneratePress, I’ll stick with the former for now.

Does Google Pagespeed Score matter?

Yes. If you think Google isn’t communicating its organic search algorithm through Google Pagespeed Insights, you haven’t been paying attention. There is, however, a sound argument to be made that Google is measuring the wrong stuff and the score isn’t actually helpful in determining the user experience. So, yes, it’s an arbitrary tool that doesn’t take user experience into account fully. And, yes, it matters to Google and you should pay attention to it.

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