It's no secret that performance is a big deal to us around here at Themeco. We believe there is always something we can be doing just a little better in order to make X perform more effectively. The core of this release was centered around some very big and important performance updates with regards to the Customizer, that coincidentally have improved frontend performance as well.
Essentially, WordPress has two methods available for storing options in the database. Through many long nights of research and investigation, we found that the method we were using with the theme seemed to be somehow related to the load times of the Customizer. We'll skip all of the technical tedium here, but the results we found were pretty definitive as switching from one method to the other saw incredible performance improvements with X.
On the backend in the Custoimzer, the time it used to take to load the page HTML averaged around 3.36s with the page load event firing around 6s (remember that there is a lot of data loaded into the Customizer to handle all of the functionality carried out there). Switching out option methods saw that HTML load drop to around 0.638s with the page load event firing around 2.4s. This means that on average we were seeing an 81% decrease in HTML display and 60% decrease in the time it takes for the page load event to fire. Similarly, on the frontend we saw HTML display times drop from 1.02s to 0.703s on a test page with a significant amount of self-hosted content and third-party content, resulting in a 31% decrease here as well.
Ultimately, the most important thing to take away from all of this is that you should notice enhanced performance both in the Customizer and on the frontend of your website by updating to v2.2.0 of the theme. Do keep in mind that this update utilizes a new method for storing and retrieving options as mentioned above. Please note, we have implemented an automated update script that should take care of the switch for you the first time you login to your admin panel after updating the theme, so make sure that you do that to ensure that everything is switched over properly (you should already be in the admin panel anyway if you're updating, so as soon as you're redirected back the script should run for you without any problem). Even though we've switched methods for utilizing options in WordPress, your old XCS files should still work if you absolutely need to use them, so you can try making a backup of all settings before updating even though everything should be moved over automatically as specified above. We'll be working to update the XCS files available in the Demo Content section as well.
Additionally, we've included quite a additional improvements and maintenance updates as well. All of this information can be found in more detail in the changelog, so definitely make sure to check that out if you'd like to see a list of everything else we worked on.
- X 2.2.0 - July 14, 2014
- Feature: New markup for Renew portfolio index meta information.
- Feature: Portfolio permalinks now automatically updated when altering values in the Customizer.
- Updated: Portfolio slug can now be set to the same value as the main portfolio page template.
- Updated: WooCommerce shop layout applied to all archive pages for greater consistency.
- Updated: All "Keep Sidebar" options updated to "Use Global Content Layout" for greater clarity.
- Updated: Removed editor.css file and functionality.
- Updated: Significant Customizer and frontend performance improvements implemented.
- Bugfix: Fixed bug keeping the portfolio content in Renew from displaying.
- Shortcodes 2.3.3 - July 14, 2014
- Bugfix: Image display problems in Firefox and Opera.