GenerateBlocks/Generate Press Performance vs Avada

So I just completed the migration from Avada to GeneratePress/GenerateBlocks. This was a multi-stage rollout where I first converted each page manually to GenerateBlocks. Once all pages were converted, I switched over to the GeneratePress theme. (My thoughts go out to any other designers out there dealing with this switch.)

Along the way, I took note of the Pagespeed/GT Metrix/Pingdom performance scores and I wanted to share them with the community. Here are the results from one of the most important pages.

Avada with Avada Fusion Builder
Pagespeed Desktop: 24
Pagespeed Mobile: 4
GTMetrix: D 56%
Pingdom: D 64

Avada with GenerateBlocks Builder
Pagespeed Desktop: 36
Pagespeed Mobile: 17
GTMetrix: D 67%
Pingdom: D 65

GeneratePress with GenerateBlocks Builder
Pagespeed Desktop: 63
Pagespeed Mobile: 69
GTMetrix: A 95
Pingdom: D 66

I’m still getting poor scores, but that’s due to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Google Analytics, Endorsal and other 3rd party scripts that are slowing down the website. Those are another work on progress that will take some time.

I’m extremely happy with the overall performance of GB/GP. Although these numbers don’t seem great, the overall speed of the site has increased significantly. It’s so nice to finally be free of Avada.

Thats awesome to see - thanks for sharing.
You may want to checkout:

For YouTube deferred loading: WP YouTube Lyte – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org
For local loading of GA: CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org
And for deferring other 3rd party scripts: Flying Scripts by WP Speed Matters – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org

OR Invest in Perfmatters which does a lot of those things and more:

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Since writing this, I actually invested in PerfMatters to disable unnecessary Javascript and tweak performance. I’ve brought the score even higher now…

Pagespeed Desktop: 98
Pagespeed Mobile: 78
GTMetrix: A 98
Pingdom: D 66 (I’ve given up on Pingdom lol)

However, those links you provided are filling in the missing gaps I needed for YouTube. Thanks!!

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Last update. After delaying more javacript, adding video façades, tweaking Litespeed cache, optimizing images and disabling some javascript-hungry plugins, I’m now in the green.

Pagespeed Desktop: 98
Pagespeed Mobile: 92
GTMetrix: A 99
Pingdom: C 71

Thanks so much for this incredible theme and page builder!

@BlueSquares congrats on getting your website performing better. I am also working on a website built in Avada and moving it into GeneratePress/GenerateBlocks. Can you share with me your steps on migrating and launching the website after all your updates were completed? I am almost done rebuilding all the pages on my website, but I am still unsure on the best way to migrate my updates to the live website. Thank you.

I rebuilt the website in a live production environment which goes against traditional convention. But I wanted to see in real time how GenerateBlocks would affect Google rankings and I didn’t want to just “go live” with a 100% brand new dev site and risk tanking the rankings. This was a high revenue e-commerce site with about 25 sales pages and about 40 landings pages.

Here’s the process I followed…

I would go into each Avada page individually and clone it. I would open the clone and force Gutenberg to load, and I would rebuild the layout by hand while remaining in Draft mode. I saved common elements to reuse later which made future page rebuilds easier. In many cases, I was just duplicating pages and tweaking the guts. Once the page changes were done, I would swap out the page slugs, go live with the GenerateBlocks version and store the old Avada page builder version in Draft mode. (It’s always nice keeping a backup.)

I only made 1-2 page changes initially and waited 2 months to see how Google liked the page. So the site existed in this weird Avada/GenerateBlocks hybrid mode for a few months. The layout spacing looked wonky because Avada just didn’t play well with the GB page builder.

After I saw Google was fine, I started rebuilding all the pages one by one using the same steps. Clone, rebuild the clone with GB, swap page slugs and go live. It was a painful, page-by-page migration. All the while, I kept an eye on Google to make sure it liked the changes.

Once all pages were done, I finally swapped the Avada theme for the GeneratePress theme during low traffic hours. I had previously installed GeneratePress in a test subdirectory and tweaked the CSS so I had all those tweaks copied in Notepad and going live was a matter of pressing a few buttons, changing logos and colors, changing page layouts on salespages to full size, and pasting the CSS.

Other miscellaneous stuff I did…

  • Over the years and upgrades, Avada had filled the WP database to almost 180mb of useless wp_postmeta, wp_options and other junk data. I went through the WP database and performed a thorough cleanup using MySQL scripts. I did not use a plugin for this!! That dropped the database down to around 50mb which further improved response times. I also cleaned up a lot of deleted plugin junk along the way. MySQL queries are your friend.
  • Once the site was live, I used PerfMatters to delay many javascript calls and speed up the site. Unfortunately, I delayed one of the scripts that was loading ActiveCampaign and CRM embedded forms…so be careful with any page that has embed scripts on it and thoroughly check your live site.
  • Avada left behind SO. MANY. BROKEN. SHORTCODES. Especially on the blog. My database cleanup included finding those broken shortcodes and removing them. Again, MySQL scripts are your friend. Just make a backup of MySQL before you start!

I’m currently running with a Pagespeed score of 97 mobile/100 desktop and the results are reflected in Webmaster Tools as can be seen below. Can you see the date Google picked up the final changes? :wink:

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Wow! Yes, I can see the data chart. That’s awesome. Seems like a ton of work but makes sense to clone the pages as a backup on production. I currently have a staging environment and I’m almost done converting all the pages to GB on the website manually. I will try your approach of cloning the pages to save the Avada versions as a backup and move over the GB versions. There aren’t a lot of static pages, but I do have a lot of posts to consider. I appreciate you sharing your process and results, this is all very useful information. I’ll let you know how it goes when I have approval on going live with the update!

Just moved from Avada to GeneratePress - not done but so far it was an easy move and first scores. Chapeau! Team GeneratePress !
GeneratePress:

Avada:

Really nice results. I’ve never regret not using Avada or similar MP themes.