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The WordPress Themes Directory is a truly fantastic resource, offering thousands of themes for download at no cost.

However, the sheer volume of themes contributes to the

repository’s less user-friendly side. Of those thousands of themes, many

will not be up to the standard you require. And with somewhat limited

search and filtering tools, it can be extremely difficult to find the

right theme for your WordPress website.

Fortunately, that’s where this resource aws come in. We’ve taken the time

(a long time!) to trawl through the directory and carefully

selected what we consider to be the best 100 free WordPress themes

available. So rather than settling in for the long haul on, take a few minutes out of your day to peruse the 100 best

free themes you’ll find right here.

Of course, this list is completely subjective. If you’ve come

across a theme that hasn’t been included, do let us know in the


  • Enlightenment

    If clarity is what you seek then Enlightenment will make sure your message is clear, no matter what device it’s viewed upon.


    • Built with Bootstrap
    • Responsive, mobile-first design
    • Drag-and-drop content builder
    • Complete theme customization
  • Fashionista

    Fashionista is perfect for fashion forward bloggers, or people who need their content to be front and center.


    • Fully responsive
    • Five custom widget areas
    • Use Google Fonts
    • Flickr Integration
  • AccessPress Parallax

    AccessPress Parallax allows your creative agency to tell its

    story in style through the effective and enticing parallax scrolling



    • Responsive design
    • Perfect for creative agencies
    • Parallax wordpress hosting style scrolling
    • Ability to incorporate 3D effects
  • SKT Full Width

    If you need to showcase your photos, or portfolio in an

    efficient, yet understated manner, then you should give SKT Full Width

    Pro a go.


    • 50+ social media icons readily integrated
    • Completely widgetized footer
    • Gallery and photo album friendly
  • Hemingway

    Hemingway allows personal bloggers to showcase their best content

    in a minimalist manner, with just enough power to make your message



    • Sharp typography and crisp images
    • Supports multiple post formats
    • Custom header image
    • Multiple color schemes
  • Zerif Lite

    Showcase the most important elements of your small business with Zerif. Don’t sell yourself, let this theme do it for you.


    • 3D slide in effects
    • Parallax style scrolling
    • Flat, with minimalist styling
    • Built on Bootstrap.
  • Sampression Lite

    Sampression Lite offers a unique masonry-style layout, which

    allows you to present your content in a very fun and friendly format.


    • Retina ready
    • Displays beautifully across all devices
    • Masonry style layout
    • Warm and inviting color scheme
  • Accelerate

    Accelerate is a highly functional and very flexible theme. It’s

    clean lines, images support and swift slider allow you to highlight the

    most important aspects of your business.


    • Has a premium look
    • Integrated slider
    • Multipurpose and very flexible
    • Clean quote styling on pages and posts
  • Hathor

    Hathor is the perfect theme for small business owners looking to represent their company in a cool and creative manner.


    • Customize in minutes
    • Multiple page layouts
    • Adaptable website hosting to different business types
    • Ability to upload logo
  • Interface

    Simple, clean, responsive and retina ready. if your company

    demands a crisp and elegant design to showcase your best work then look

    no further than Interface.


    • Retina ready
    • Supports multiple layouts
    • Highly customizable
    • Supports most popular domain names WordPress plugins
  • Iconic One

    If B2B business blogging is a core aspect of your business, then let Iconic One take your publishing efforts to the next level.


    • Easy theme setup
    • Beautiful fonts
    • Engineered for fast loading
    • Upload your own logo
  • Enigma

    You can tell Enigma has been built with a lot of love. A great choice for any small business or creative agency.


    • 4 page layouts
    • Perfect for creative agencies
    • Streamlined full-width slider
    • Multiple color skins
  • MH Magazine Lite

    Magazine Lite allows you to create your dream magazine in

    minutes. Let this theme help take your online magazine from a dream to



    • Over 12 widget locations
    • Flexslider 2 support
    • Integrated ad placement
  • Decode

    Decode places an emphasis on reader experience. If you want to

    place the focus on your reader and minimize distractions, then it’s time

    to give Decode a go.


    • Mobile first design
    • Elegant sidebar placement
    • Easy social integration
    • Multiple color options
  • Isis

    Isis allows you to put the focus back onto the work you do. With

    it’s clean, simple lines and basic design principles you can put your

    message front and center.


    • Displays beautifully on all devices
    • Retina ready
    • Multiple language support
    • Easily customizable
  • Sparkling

    Sparkling allows you to use the power of flat design to convey

    your message in a stylish manner, all while elegantly displaying your



    • Built using Bootstrap 3
    • Integrated full-screen slider
    • Very flexible layout
    • Multiple color options
  • Travelify

    If you have a travel agency, or travel related company that’s

    looking for a better way to showcase your work and connect with

    visitors, then Travelify might be for you.


    • Easy to customize
    • Custom logo
    • Integrates with popular WordPress plugins
    • Available in multiple languages
  • MesoColumn

    If your business relies on your ability to publish and highlight a

    stream of high-quality content, then MesoColumn might just take your

    efforts to new heights.


    • Unlimited menu color choice
    • Google Webfont selection
    • Supports multiple high-quality WordPress plugins
    • Friendly ad integration
  • Radiate

    Radiate blends a brilliant parallax header with streamlined

    content presentation to truly showcase the beauty and work of your

    creative agency.


    • Parallax header
    • Retina ready
    • Multiple language availability
    • Integrates custom background
  • Virtue

    Virtue is a clean, modern, and image-centric theme that will help

    to illuminate a photo-heavy websites. Perfect for photographers and

    other creative professionals.


    • Unlimited fonts
    • Powerful and functional sliders
    • Multilingual ready
  • Spacious

    Like the name suggests, Spacious is an absolutely beautiful theme

    that is made with care. Extend this feeling to your customers by

    utilizing this one-of-a-kind theme.


    • Super fast loading
    • Multiple color options
    • Beautiful slider
  • Point

    Point is a multipurpose WordPress theme that works best for

    companies with the need to display and organize high quantities of



    • Multiple site layouts
    • Flexible background choice
    • Ad management integration
    • Trending stories option
  • Hueman

    Hueman is perfect for online magazines, or bloggers with a lot of

    content. Let this theme help highlight your best content in a modern



    • Unique toggle sidebars
    • Unlimited widget areas
    • 10 different post formats
    • Unlimited accent color selection
  • Quark

    Quark is a great building block for creating a number of

    beautiful, custom themes. If you require an easy-to-change framework

    then Quark might be worth trying out


    • Easy to learn and modify
    • Built on a twelve-column grid
    • Multiple content templates
    • Retina friendly
  • Baskerville

    Finally a way to showcase your incredible amount of content

    without overwhelming your visitors. If content is your bread and butter,

    Baskerville might be the theme for you.


    • Full-width header
    • Four content templates
    • Multiple media formats
  • Moesia

    Mouse is the perfect business theme for building a strong

    internet presence. Easily highlight your services and what sets your

    company apart.


    • Parallax background image
    • Google font selection
    • Home page animations
    • Home page content blocks
  • Spasalon

    This pixel-perfect design will transform your old website into a

    beautifully inspiring site. Spasalon was designed specifically for

    beauty and health providers.


    • Online shop integration
    • Easy to customize
    • Beautiful home slider
  • Highwind

    If content and the online reading environment really matter to

    you, then Highland is at least worth a test-drive. Pastel colors and

    elegant fonts make this theme come alive.


    • Lightweight and fast loading
    • Beautiful typography
    • Widget areas for customization
  • Tracks

    Tracks doesn’t look like any other theme on the market, and this

    is a good thing. Its unique post display style showcases your content in

    a way that makes you want to dive in.


    • Social media icon integration
    • Personal logo uploader
    • Multiple layouts
    • Bold typography
  • Storefront

    Storefront really makes selling easy. If you’ve got something to

    sell and want to do it in the most minimalist way possible, then

    Storefront is a worthy choice.


    • Woocommerce integration
    • Several layout and color options
    • Multiple widget areas
  • Circumference Lite

    Circumference Lite is the perfect theme for small business owners

    who want you to feel at home. If your service demands that extra bit of

    personal touch, try Circumference Lite.


    • Full-width or boxed layout
    • Unlimited color selection
    • Font-based icons
    • Child-theme included
  • Radcliffe

    For bloggers who want to let their words do the talking.

    Radcliffe seamlessly blends full-width images and bold typography to

    bring you an enjoyable reading experience.


    • Full-width header images
    • Retina ready
    • Custom logo support
    • Custom accent color
  • Wilson

    Clean, modern design for the minimalist writer in all of us.

    Wilson finds a way to showcase your multiple styles of content in a

    friendly, yet modern way.


    • Retina ready
    • Custom logo support
    • Custom widget sections
    • Multiple post options
  • BoldR Lite

    BoldR Lite wants to make a bold impact with its modern design by

    focusing on the online magazine market. If you need to make a statement,

    let BoldR Lite do it for you.


    • Custom logo upload
    • Custom background
    • Home Features image area
    • Translation ready
  • Business One

    Business One is elegant, clean and is perfect for creative

    companies or corporations looking to show off their younger side. Time

    to bring out your professional and confident side.


    • Unique portfolio area
    • Awesome icon fonts
    • Google Maps integration
    • Mobile touch friendly slider
  • Adventurous

    Adventurous is very flexible and geared towards those looking to

    show off their wild side in business. This box-shaped theme is perfect

    for photographers, bloggers and businesses alike.


    • Full-width theme
    • Highly customizable
    • Full-width slider
    • Featured content section
  • Ignite

    Ignite is beautifully responsive and is perfect for personal

    bloggers with a little more class. This theme will make you site look

    incredible — no matter the screen size.


    • Custom background colors
    • Social media icons
    • Custom logo tools
  • Ryu

    A zen-like theme for personal bloggers. If your words and images

    require space and breathing room, then Ryu will be able to give this to



    • Large font-sizes
    • Beautiful image display
    • Background color matching
    • Social media icons
  • Garfunkel

    If you can’t get enough of Pinterest’s design scheme, then give

    Garfunkel a go. Garfunkel beautifully displays your content within a

    relaxed reading environment.


    • Masonry layout
    • Retina ready design
    • Six post formats
    • Jetpack Infinite Scroll support
  • Discover

    Discover allows you to showcase what’s best about your business

    and hide the rest. If your message is clear and to the point, then you

    need this theme, so no clarity is lost.


    • Multi-level dropdown menus
    • Orange and white color scheme
    • Home call to action box
  • The Box


    Sleek, minimal and modern. The Box supports any personal blogger

    or creative agency, with its clean lines and beautifully integrated



    • Post thumbnail support
    • Multiple post formats
    • Custom header
    • Custom background
  • Unite


    Your wedding deserves website deserves to be just as memorable as

    the day itself. Unite brings the best it’s best so you can focus on

    what matters.


    • Bootstrap 3 framework
    • Jetpack Infinite Scroll support
    • Fancy image slider
    • Has eCommerce potential
  • Pictorico


    If you see the world through pictures and need a theme that can

    keep up, Pictorico might be right for you. Both professional

    photographers and hobbyists can benefit.


    • Grid-based
    • Large Features images
    • Post slider integration
  • Sauron


    Right out of the box Sauron is the perfect solution for

    business-minded bloggers and corporations looking for a parallax theme

    to further their message.


    • Interactive parallax design
    • Social media integration
    • Beautiful testimonial integration
  • Hiero


    A modern and fun magazine style feel. Hiero is perfect for

    bloggers who have the need to showcase their contention a bold manner,

    yet still want to maintain that classic blog feel.


    • Post thumbnail support
    • Threaded comments
    • Bold color choices
  • Heavenly


    Heavenly is a corporate style business theme that allows you to

    showcase the multitude of avenues your work takes without overwhelming

    your visitors.


    • Unlimited color schemes
    • Built using Twitter Bootstrap
    • 3 Page Templates
    • Custom homepage
  • Rambo


    Rambo is a simple, efficient and for the  business-minded.

    It allows you to showcase the best of what your business has to offer.


    • Home page slider
    • Corporate color selection
    • Built-in optin box
    • Easy to customize
  • Superhero


    Give your personal blog a boost with Superhero. With it’s bright

    color accents and unique full-width slider Superhero elevates itself to

    the top.


    • Full-bleed posts and images
    • Fixed header
    • Subtle CSS3 transitions
  • THBusiness


    A business theme with elegance. THBusiness sets itself from other business-minded themes with it’s attention to design detail.


    • Full-width slider
    • Easy to customize
    • Created in Twitter Bootstrap
    • Drag-and-drop home page
  • Discovery


    Discovery is flexible and can be used for a multitude of website

    creations. From sailing schools, to corporate environments, Discovery

    has your back.


    • Focused on simple customization
    • Full-width slider
    • Multiple page templates
    • Multilingual support
  • Snaps


    If your portfolio demands respect, then let Snaps demand it for

    you. Showcase your work in an organized fashion that works for you and

    your clients.


    • Full-width header
    • Social media menu integration
    • Multiple page types
  • Weblizar Lite


    Weblizer Lite is very flexible and can be adapted to many

    markets, as long as you demand simplicity, and the ability to customize

    every aspect of your site.


    • Full-width slider
    • Google fonts integration
    • Bootstrap framework
    • Social icon selection
  • Esteem


    Esteem is a multipurpose, boxed layout theme that extends itself

    nicely to multiple industries. The perfect blend of modern style and

    effective design.


    • 3 blog post templates
    • Custom logo support
    • Brilliant slider
    • 5 home page widget sections
  • MyWiki


    MyWiki is the perfect theme option if you’re actually running a

    wiki. Most wikis look old and outdated, but MyWiki brings a fresh

    perspective to the field.


    • Lightweight, loads fast
    • Perfect for company FAQs
    • Based on Twitter Bootstrap
  • Isola


    Isola brings a fresh take on minimalist design. Showcase your best writing, photos, or videos in a bold, yet simplistic manner.


    • Hidden navigation
    • Beautiful fonts
    • Unique page layout
  • Syntax


    Syntax was designed with writers and readers in mind. It’s very simplistic and places the focus on your words above all else.


    • Fixed navigation menu
    • Easy-to-read typography
    • Sophisticated style
  • Hoffman


    Hoffman is a beautifully stylish, minimal and geared towards

    personal bloggers. If you demand a clean slate to blog and showcase your

    message then try this out.


    • Retina ready design
    • Multiple post formats
    • Social links integration
    • Custom accents and background
  • First


    First is great for personal bloggers, especially if you’re just

    starting out. It features common paid options and it’s simplicity makes

    the design timeless.


    • Custom headers and backgrounds
    • Great for beginners
    • 4 widget areas
    • 3 different menu locations
  • Health Centre Lite

    health centre

    Health Centre Lite is perfect for hospitals and other healthcare companies. Showcase what really matters to your patients.


    • Full-width slider
    • Perfect for hospitals
    • Built in FAQ section
  • Catch Flames

    catch flames

    Catch Flames is a spacious theme that allows you to highlight all

    of your content in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm your visitor.


    • Compatible with popular plugins
    • Full-width header
    • Sliding navigation
    • Highly flexible
  • Quality


    Quality allows you to create a corporate or business website that

    still retains a bit of style. Its full-width header brings your site to



    • Full-width header
    • Perfect for corporate creatives
    • 2 page templates
    • Portfolio page
  • Rams


    Rams is a minimalist theme with zero fluff. Convey your message

    with the utmost clarity by using this theme for personal bloggers.


    • Retina ready
    • Multiple post formats
    • Custom accent colors
    • Perfect for personal bloggers
  • Start Point

    start point

    Start Point forces you to get to the heart of your business with

    it’s fluid one-page design, and its elegant header draws you in.


    • One-page design
    • Parallax effect
    • Perfect for small businesses
    • Easy to customize
  • Invert Lite


    Clean and very flexible, Invert Lite allows you to have a beautiful business website in a matter of minutes.


    • Parallax section
    • 3 custom page templates
    • Bundled call-to-action
    • Featured text section
  • Influence


    Influence gives you the ability to connect and share your work

    with those who matter. The huge interactive slider will grab your

    visitors the moment they land on your page.


    • Perfect for non-profits/charities
    • Home page slider
    • Integrates with Page Builder plugin
  • Geekery


    Let your inner geek shine with Geekery. A great choice for media driven companies, online magazines and news websites.


    • Flat design
    • 10 different color schemes
    • Perfect for video game blogs
  • FlatOn


    FlatOn continues the flat design trend and brings us an elegant

    business theme featuring several interactive media elements to highlight

    your work.


    • Bootstrap Grid system
    • Flex slider option
    • Lightweight and fast loading speeds
    • Mobile responsive navigation
  • NewsFrame


    Deliver a steady stream of news to your readers in an easy to

    digest format. NewsFrame allows you to display and organize your

    content-heavy news site.


    • Built with Foundation 5
    • Perfect for content-heavy news websites
    • Infinite scroll
    • Article subtitles
  • Bota


    Both will help you showcase what matters about your business in a

    clear and easy way. Reach your customers in new ways with this simple



    • Full-width slider
    • Perfect theme for small businesses
    • Featured content areas
    • Social link integration
  • Unconditional


    Unconditional is fluid, flexible and great for professional

    bloggers and creative companies alike. Convey your message with it’s

    elegant full-width slider.


    • Flexible slider
    • Bootstrap powered
    • Perfect for creative agencies
    • Mobile first design
  • Tonal


    Tonal is a theme that makes bold ideas even bolder. It has crisp

    and has minimal design features, so your content can truly shine.


    • Large featured images
    • Full-width videos
    • Multiple post formats
    • Changing background color
  • Sketch


    Sketch is a portfolio theme for artists and creatives. Highlight your best work in a manner that your clients will love.


    • Perfect for solo creatives
    • Elegant portfolio format
    • Sleek menu bar
  • Convac Lite


    Showcase your best self with Convac Lite. Make people take note

    of your personal brand, while putting your best foot forward with

    appealing imagery.


    • Full-screen landing page
    • Perfect for personal branding
    • Clean and elegant
    • Photo focused
  • CWP YouIT

    cwp youit

    CWP YouIT provides gaming review and IT websites with a modern look to creatively display their content and engage readers.


    • Ranking widget
    • Perfect for gaming-related websites
    • Multiple post formats
  • Metro CreativeX


    When you need to be modern and make a statement. Metro X is for

    bloggers and media companies who are looking for a little more edge.


    • Perfect for media companies and bloggers
    • Striking black background
    • Pinterest-style display
    • Multiple content formats
  • Book Lite

    book lite

    With Book Lite words and stories are all that matters. Entertain

    your audience with dazzling stories and clean, minimal design features.


    • Perfect for writers and storytellers
    • Focus on content
    • Large fonts, easy to read
    • Full-width header image
  • Bushwick


    Bushwick beautifully bundles content and imagery to give your words style and entice your readers with a new reading experience.


    • Great for personal bloggers
    • Fluid layout
    • Lightweight, fast loading
    • Beautiful typography
  • Casper


    Casper is simple, yet beautiful and allows you to communicate

    without any clutter getting in the way. Designed from the Ghost blogging



    • Great for personal bloggers
    • Fast loading times
    • Beautiful image integration
    • Minimalist design
  • Foodeez Lite


    Foodeez Lite is elegant, classy and allows you to highlight your

    restaurant or hotel in style. Stun you visitors with dazzling images.


    • Floating navigation
    • Interactive full-width slider
    • Parallax Style
    • Perfect for restaurants and hotels
  • Klasik


    Klasik is a great starter theme for your business or creative

    agency. No bells or whistles, just a solid theme to connect with your



    • Retina ready
    • 12 custom widget areas
    • Fast loading
    • Perfect for small creative agencies
  • Alhena Lite


    Even corporate themes can have a little bit of fun sometimes.

    Alhena Lite conveys your message in a sharp manner, so nothing is lost

    in translation.


    • Full-width animated slider
    • Multiple widget areas
    • 18 different color skins
    • Perfect for corporations
  • Griffin


    If you demand greater readability from your blog, then let

    Griffin take care of you. Clean lines and typography meet under a

    gorgeous fluid layout.


    • Multiple columns
    • Full-width background header
    • Ideal for personal blogs or websites
    • Fluid layout
  • Food Recipes

    food recipe

    Food Recipes helps foodie bloggers beautifully display their recipes, reviews, and other cooking related content items.


    • Fluid grid layout
    • Perfect for food-related bloggers
    • Elegant image integration
  • Saga


    Getting your words to display beautifully on the screen can be a tough task. Luckily, Saga is up to challenge.


    • Impeccable typography
    • Easy customization
    • Perfect for long-form storytelling
    • Beautiful image integration
  • CW Magazine

    CW Magazine

    If you’re a media driven news site, or online magazine then CW

    Magazine will give you the perfect framework to get your words into the



    •    Featured content slider

    •    Thumbnail image integration

    •    Full-width header

  • Sporty


    Sporty allows sports bloggers, or media companies to focus on the action while it focuses on the fundamentals.


    •    Full-width featured slider

    •    Logo upload

    •    Ad management

    •    Perfect for sports bloggers

  • Striker


    Striker is an easy to customize theme that helps creative agencies do what they do best — focus on their work.


    •    Featured widget area

    •    Home page call-to-action

    •    Recent post section

    •    Full-width slider

  • Singl

    singl wordpress theme

    Singl allows musicians and artists to highlight their work and connect with their fans. It really is as simple as that.


    •    Social media and audio integration

    •    Tour management section

    •    Perfect for musicians

    •    Clean and minimalist

  • GK Portfolio


    GK Portfolio allows photographers and other creatives to highlight their best work, through their unique grid system.


    •    Social media integration

    •    Flexible grid layout

    •    Perfect for photographers

  • Advertica Lite


    Advertise Lite can’t be contained. It’s flexible and easy to use framework makes it useful across any industry.


    •    Parallax based

    •    Bootstrap foundation

    •    Highly customizable

    •    Full-width animated header

  • Edin


    Edin is a modern business theme that does simplicity right. It’s

    creative use of typography and imagery ensures your branding will be



    •    Grid format

    •    Full-width home page CTA

    •    Stunning drop-down menu

    •    Perfect for corporate businesses

  • Espied


    Espied allows you to show off your image-oriented designs,

    photos, and projects to the world. When you need to show the world what

    you can do, use Espied.


    •    Grid layout

    •    Simple website descriptor

    •    Hidden navigation menu

    •    Perfect for visually inclined creatives

  • Klean


    Klean can work for almost any style of site, as long as you can get past the striking full-page featured image.


    •    Interactive post menu

    •    Three-column layout

    •    Social media integration

    •    Full-page header

  • DailyPost

    daily post

    DailyPost will help you capture your daily notes and thoughts. It’s the perfect solution for an online journal.


    •    Supports multiple post formats

    •    Perfect for personal bloggers

    •    Easy to customize layout

  • WikiWP


    If you’ve ever wanted to build your own Wikipedia, then WikiWP

    can help you get there. Now you can transform your website into a

    digital encyclopedia.


    •    Easy to use and modify

    •    Simple and clean layout

    •    One of very few encyclopedia themes

  • Untitled


    Untitled is a nice bold theme for personal bloggers. If you have

    something to say then Untitled can help you say it more efficiently.


    •    Full-width slider

    •    Minimal navigation menu

    •    Bold typography

    •    Perfect for personal bloggers

  • Pink Touch 2

    pink touch 2

    Pink Touch 2 takes us back to the old days of blogging. Where things were simple and blogs functioned more like online diaries.


    •    Textured background

    •    Easy readability

    •    Several post formats

    •    Nice blend of color choices

  • RokoPhoto Lite


    RokoPhoto Lite goes beyond most photography themes by focusing on

    the story behind the shot. Modern and clean you’ll virtual private servers want this for the

    photographer in your life.


    •    Full-width header

    •    Permanent navigation bar

    •    Classic typography

    •    Perfect for professional photographers

  • Minamaze


    Take corporate blogging to new heights with Minimaze. Clean, simple and clear, so you can get back to work.


    • 10 widgetized areas
    • Retina ready
    • Easy to customize framework
    • Full-width slider
  • Catch Kathmandu

    catch kathmandu

    Catch Kathmandu is lightweight and perfect for travel-related

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    • Easy to customize
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    • Full-width content slider
    • Great for anything travel-related

In Closing

Just as almost every round-up post is incomplete, there were some

beautiful themes that didn’t quite make the cut. You’ve got to draw a

line somewhere, right? However, any of the themes highlighted above

would make a great choice for your own website.

But did we miss any? What free WordPress themes do you love

to use regularly that we didn’t include above? Let us know in the

comments below.


To test domain names your theme, temporarily switch to the default WordPress theme

and navigate through the site. If there is an improvement in

performance, the problem is most likely related to your theme.


Another front end cause of slow site performance is image size. The

file size of your product/blog images directly impact the spead at which

you site loads. A tool like WP Smushit will help you optimize your images within WordPress.

Also, please refer to this WC Image Guide.


It’s possible that the site sluggishness is related plugins. To test,

deactivate all plugins and To narrow in on the wordpress hosting specific cause,

reactivate each plugin one by one until you find the culprit.


It might be necessary for you to increase the WordPress memory limit as explained below

Increasing the WordPress Memory Limit

1. Edit your wp-config.php file and enter something like:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '96M');
WordPress memory can be different to the server – you need to set this regardless of server memory settings

2. If you have access to your PHP.ini file, change the line in PHP.ini

If your line shows 32M try 64M:

memory_limit = 64M ; Maximum amount of memory a script cloud hosting may consume (64MB)

3. If you don’t have access to PHP.ini try adding this to an .htaccess file:

php_value memory_limit 64M

4. If none of the above works then talk to your host.

Cache and CDN 

Using a caching plugin is another way to optimize site performance:

With these caching plugins you can also use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and/or Cloudflare to further speed up your site.


Finally, it would be advisable for you to contact your hosting

provider to discuss the impact your hosting plan has on your site


We’ve included some of our wordpress recommended WordPress hosts below:

Additional Tools and Tips 

Site analysis:

Ninja tips:

  • Do not force SSL on all pages, only force SSL on pages that NEED it.

    WC has options to do this automatically (Force SSL and Unforce SSL)

  • Offload all unnecessary functions from

    your web server to another vps hosting server or third party service. such as email

    being sent through a dedicated SMTP provider


Frederick was previously the Founding Chief Technical Officer of

Mashable, one of the top independent media sites worldwide and is

currently the organization’s Senior Technical Advisor. As a search /

social media marketer and WordPress consultant, Frederick’s projects

typically include WordPress as a core element. One of his largest

contributions to the WordPress community was his web performance

optimization framework W3 Total Cache.


is the gold standard platform in democratized online publishing. In

digital media, performance means delivering the most value possible

using the fewest resources and least time. The better the site

performance, the more usage and the higher the adoption rates. Every

website needs a host. And selecting the right web hosting partner has

always been a key starting point of success. The definition of the

‘right’ hosting partner has once cloud hosting again changed. Your web host is no

longer just a provider of commodity hardware and resources at a

competitive price point. Today, web hosting companies are software

companies in disguise — specializing in making sure that the

applications you use scale, thereby assisting you in creating great end

user (or customer) experiences.

Let’s review some of the components in the hosting ‘solution’ stack

that great hosts consider or that your organization would consider when

trying to improve application / website performance.

The Foundation

Performance matters because a positive (fast) user experience

facilitates all goals a publisher or application developer might have.

WordPress, like most applications, has numerous moving parts that must

be considered when trying to scale.


Quite a bit can be said about the impact of disk performance on

applications. So much so, that there are many false notions about the

value of memory-based caching as a silver bullet solution. Assuming your

hardware is modern, here are some rules of thumb for thinking about

your architecture:

* A non-shared local disk will always give the most consistent and reliable performance.

* Network (shared) storage definitely plays its role, but will not scale

as far as or in the way that you would like. Always break up the

problem you need to solve into pieces optimized for the need.

* Never compromise on data redundancy even when using cloud-based solutions.


The query cache

is your best friend. MySQL has been proven to be a scalable relational

data store time and again. There’s no reason why it cannot continue to

work for WordPress for years to come. You’ll want to vps hosting ensure that the

query cache is enabled and performing well for your site(s). That will

make sure that MySQL is doing as little work as possible, freeing up

resources (hopefully) for more important things than redundant queries.

You’ll also want to make sure that you use a tool like mysqltuner

or similar to ensure that your table performance (buffers, etc.) is

optimal. Switching engines to InnoDB, which web hosting now has support for full

text search, is recommended for higher traffic sites. You won’t

compromise the native WordPress search quality by making the switch. I

recommend the Percona distribution of MySQL, especially if functionality like sharding, read replicas, etc, allow it to scale as your needs grow.


Once you’ve ensured that MySQL your data store isn’t a bottleneck, you need to analyze your queries

generated by your theme and plugins to either optimize them (reduce

their response times), reduce their number through refactoring code or

various caching techniques. Remember that by default, using transients

in WordPress ‘moves the problem’ of caching something like a time

consuming API request (API requests become expensive because they block

execution while waiting on and processing responses from third parties)

and puts it into the database (wp_options table). That may not be such a

bad thing if that data was not serialized and stored in the same table

as various other settings in WordPress. Fortunately, there are new

options for reducing database load that will be highlighted shortly. New

Relic makes it trivial to disseminate the goings on in your


New Relic Database screen


PHP is slow. That’s not the fault of WordPress, nor is it anyone else’s

fault; technology simply keeps moving forward. What do we do about it?

Use New Relic’s stack traces to get an empirical view on where

optimizations can be made. Some rules of thumb to consider:

* The larger the memory usage, the greater the execution time

* Take advantaged of PHP 5’s auto load to reduce memory usage

* Use memorization and avoid loops wherever possible to reduce execution time and memory usage

* Avoid opening more files than necessary to reduce calls wordpress to disk and memory usage

* Use include and require rather than include_once and require_once

Opcode Cache


is a ‘free, open, and robust framework for caching and optimizing PHP

intermediate code.’ That means that when added to your web server you

can realize dramatic speed improvements (especially with wordpress well written

code). APC keeps the interpreted (executable) version of your code in

memory so that requests for it do not have to be re-interpreted.

APC also offers an object store, allowing objects you create to be

stored in memory right next door to the scripts that need them. The only

drawback to this level of caching is that it’s local to each respective

application server you have. That means that the cache for objects is

rebuilt on each server (wasted CPU time) and, more importantly, purging

of objects is tricky. There are multiple copies of objects everywhere,

potentially with various ‘states’, but there are solutions to the

purging issue.

Object Cache

WordPress’ object cache

is where a lot of magic happens. There are various groups of objects

that are generated by WordPress when it processes page requests. These

groups serve numerous purposes, and depending on how you use WordPress, a

very significant performance increase is realized by persistently

storing the objects using memcached or APC backend stores for example.

Similar to APC, functionality exists to take advantage of using the object cache via the transients API mentioned earlier, or directly.

All of this depends on the wp_options table so test carefully using New

Relic’s reporting to ensure that the aggregate performance realizes

positive results.

New Relic Overview screen

Fragment Cache

Some WordPress caching plugins implement this at the page caching level

allowing for scenarios where portions of a given page can still be

generated by PHP while larger portions of the page that are unchanged

are cached and not regenerated. This definitely realizes some

performance benefits — especially when performed by a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

that supports it (more on that later) — but there are some

opportunities for increasing performance using this technique at the

application level, ultimately allowing you to have a fully dynamic

eCommerce or personalized website without the need for page caching to

speed things up.

A quick way to realize this is to use the latest version of W3 Total

Cache (W3TC) along with the transient API mentioned earlier to cache the

template parts that remain unchanged. W3TC will allow you to choose a

data store other than MySQL like memcached,

which is designed for high-speed access from multiple application

servers. So rather than every page request that already needs to fetch

respective information about the visitor or other dynamic elements,

MySQL is now able to focus (and be tuned for) only the dynamic parts of

your templates.

Fragment caching will reduce your execution time by orders of

magnitude as well as reduce the CPU utilization across an application

pool of any size.


Its value may be reduced to some degree when HTTP 2.0 arrives, but until then, especially for mobile, minification

is vital to improving end user experience. Reducing the file size and

number of files (and therefore HTTP transactions) has a dramatic impact

on the user’s experience with your site. Unfortunately, not all

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or JavaScript (JS) lends itself to the

various techniques in popular minify libraries. Developers should take steps using jQuery or WordPress Core to provide a fully optimized version of their files to take the load off the publishers.

There are various tools for WordPress that support the minification

process. When making a selection, ensure you pick one that caches the

minified files to disk, respects the differences between templates,

supports local and remote files and most importantly is compatible with

content delivery networks and mobile plugins.

Page Cache

The first line of defense and go-to tactic for scaling a typical website

is the caching of pages. This particular optimization moves the problem

of returning HTML via PHP and MySQL to the web server (e.g. Nginx or

Apache), which adds orders of magnitude of more scale because web

servers are designed from the ground up to return files from disk to

user agents. Some things to consider when caching pages are making sure


* Caches are primed to avoid traffic spikes

* Caches are purged when comments, revisions, etc. occur

* Caches are unique (if required) for various cookies, user agents and referrers

New Relic provides some fantastic value around these pieces of the web server stack because they not only provide server monitoring, they also provide analytics and monitoring around end user experience with your pages, which takes into account more than just the HTML of your site, but all of its assets.

Reverse Proxy

Reverse proxies often provide caching that sits between the web

application and the public Internet. Its goal is to lighten the load on

the web servers behind them. Reverse proxies are optimized for returning

content generated by the underlying application. Varnish, Nginx or even

Apache can be configured to provide reverse proxy functionality. As

with other components of the stack, the goal is to optimize layers in

the stack to do one job and do it well. Often there are multiple

application amazone servers that provide specific functionality; a reverse proxy

can be used to marry those endpoints together under a single hostname.

The browser caching policy (headers) set by your application then

determines how the cache behaves, just as it would for the browser or


Content Delivery Network

CDNs are yet another form of caching provided as a service for

publishers. The performance key here is that they provide low latency

access to media you choose to host with them. With a CDN, it doesn’t

matter where your site is hosted. If you have visitors in other parts of

the world, the CDN caches that content close to them and shaves seconds

in aggregate off of the total page load time for your site.

As with all of the other types of caching, purging old content is

tricky because we always want to make sure that users are downloading

the latest versions of JS, CSS, images etc. So make sure that you have a

mechanism to automate handling this before taking this step. Nearly

every publisher will see an reduction in page load time using CDNs and

parallelization, image optimization and other techniques that help you

extract the most from CDNs. Use New Relic’s RUM to track your progress.

Browser Cache

Leveraging the browser’s cache is one of the biggest performance wins

available. Setting the expires headers will make sure that any proxies

that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cache also respect the policies

of your content, so that content is automatically purged.


provides very robust functionality that allows publishers to cache

resources locally on devices, creating a ‘native’ app-like experience.

Things to Think About

End user experience is typically optimized by improving the performance

of what is sent to the browser — there are still lots of tools and

tactics to consider like mod_pagespeed and SPDY, neither of which are silver bullets on their own because a well built site is always the starting point for success.

Do you have a site with many social layers? Are you using something like BuddyPress

for forums, comments and personalization on a WordPress site? Because

there’s more to great user experience than optimizing what is sent to

your visitors, you have to ensure that the heavy lifting the server does

is as performant as possible because a logged in user can never be sent

a cached page.

Caching is nothing new; it’s at work all over the place. In

computing, RAM is a cache. The trick is keeping them fresh and purging

them. That requires automation.

The Automation

Enter New Relic. I started working with them when they first arrived on the scene while working as CTO at It was immediately clear they were more than an alternative to creating cachegrind files using Xdebug

and instead offered real time insight into the behavior of not just

WordPress itself, but the server software (third party resources, MySQL,

etc.), as well as the domain names end user experience.

New Relic closes the loop in Web Performance Optimization Automation

by combining alerts, stack traces (insight into the processes the

application is performing), visualizations, real time end user

monitoring and server monitoring.

Web Transactions Summary screen

Using New Relic allows the publisher to focus on publishing rather

than stretching WordPress into trying to achieve these things inside the

same hosting account. In other words, plugins like P3,

which are great for troubleshooting, fall by the wayside, as you no

longer have to remember to run and have to use other tools to figure out

how to address performance issues in your site.

W3 Total Cache, the Web Performance Optimization

framework for WordPress, wordpress now provides a robust integration with New

Relic, exposing even more data and insight into the platform.

W3TC Dashboard screen

So, if you have a New Relic enabled host like (which hosts this blog), you can put everything discussed here to use with ease. All of these performance optimization techniques and hundreds more best practices are packed and ready to be managed inside the W3 Total Cache framework.

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It’s well after lunch. I’ve had this thing on my wrist for

something like six hours now, and the truth is that I’ve barely used it.

That’s by design: again, you’re only supposed to interact with the

Apple Watch for 10 to 15 seconds at a time and then get back to your

life. On one level, that domain names all makes perfect sense: my regular go here watch has

had a dead battery for over a year. I don’t exactly use it for anything

except looking cool. How much am I really supposed to use the Apple

Watch to make it worth whatever price I’ve paid for it?

On another level, everything about the Watch is designed to

reinforce the idea that you have some sort of real life to return to

once you’re done using technology — that you’re not just sitting at a

desk in your office with your laptop and your phone, getting work done.

That’s the situation I’m in most afternoons — meetings have

wrapped up, decisions have been made, and I’m catching up on email,

editing, reading the site, and generally setting up the next set of

things I have to do. I’m as plugged into the internet as I vps hosting can possibly

be, using my phone and my laptop for slightly different variations of

the same task: communicating with people.

This is where the Watch’s lack of speed comes to the forefront —

there’s virtually nothing I can’t do faster or better with access to a

laptop or a phone except perhaps check the time. It’s not just the

small screen or the quick in-and-out domain names interaction design, it’s actual

slowness, particularly when it comes to loading data off the phone.


Third-party apps are the main issue: Apple says it’s still

working on making them faster ahead of the April 24th launch, but it’s

clear web hosting that loading an app requires the Watch to pull a tremendous amount

of data from the phone, and blog there’s nothing fast about it. I sat

through a number of interminable loading screens for apps like CNN,

Twitter, The New York Times, and others. Apps that need to pull

location data fare even worse: the Uber app takes so long to figure out

where you are that you’re better off walking home before someone

notices you staring at hosting your $700 Watch and makes a move.

What good is a Watch that makes you wait?

This first set of Watch apps is really just loading additional

screens from the apps on your phone; you might think of all of them as

remote controls for your phone apps. True native apps are coming to the

Watch later on, and I assume they’ll be faster. That’s a big deal:

without a rich set of apps that extend the phone, it really is just

another smartwatch.

But right now, it’s disappointing to see the Watch struggle

with performance. What good is a watch that makes you wait? Rendering

notifications can slow everything down to a crawl. Buttons can take a

couple taps to register. It feels like the Apple Watch has been

deliberately pulled back in order to guarantee a full day of battery

life. Improving performance is Apple’s biggest challenge with the Watch,

and it’s clear that the company knows it.

By the end of each day, I was hyper-aware of how low the Apple Watch

battery had gotten. After one particularly heavy day of use, I hit 10

percent battery at 7pm, triggering a wave of anxiety. But most days were

actually fine. Apple had a big challenge getting a tiny computer like

this to last a day, and it succeeded — even if that success seemingly

comes at the expense of performance.

But do you want another tiny computer domain names in your life that you have to

worry about and charge every day? That’s the real question of the Apple

Watch. Does it offer so much to you domains that you’re willing to deal with the

hassles and idiosyncrasies of a new platform that is clearly still

finding a true purpose?

The Apple Watch is one of the most

ambitious products I’ve ever seen; it wants to do and change so much

about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of


domain names

There’s no question that the Apple Watch is the most capable

smartwatch available today. It is one of the most ambitious products

I’ve ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about vps hosting how we interact

with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits

of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of

its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and

it’s not clear that anyone’s yet figured out what smartwatches are

actually for.

If you are willing to go along on that journey, then you’ll

enjoy the Apple Watch. It is a bauble, after all, and baubles delight

simply by their presence. Apple will update the software, and developers

will make apps, and Google and Samsung and Microsoft will release

competitors, and the people who love technology will have something to

buy and argue about, talismans domain names that display tribal affiliations.

But that’s technology as fashion; it’s not quite yet fashion

itself. If you’re going to buy an Apple Watch, I’d recommend buying a

Sport model; I wouldn’t spend money on how it looks until Apple

completes the task of figuring out what it does.

Good Stuff

  • Easily the blogging nicest smartwatch available
  • Platform has endless room to grow, especially with native apps
  • Taptic Engine is really cool

Bad Stuff

  • Performance issues, especially with apps and location services
  • Notifications need way more granular settings
  • Much more expensive than other smartwatches
  • Animated emojis are nightmare fuel

Apple’s done an awful lot of work to position the Watch as a

fitness device — in many ways, it’s the cloud hosting only thing it can do that an

iPhone can’t do. With a built-in heart rate monitor, an accelerometer,

and the advantage of always being on your wrist, the Watch feels like it

should be the ultimate fitness wearable, a tiny supercomputer to put

all those Fitbits and sites Ups hosting to shame. But like so much else with the

Watch, while the fitness capabilities are the first blogging steps towards what

eventually might become a juggernaut, they’re nowhere near a complete


The Watch’s health and fitness features are broken up across

two apps: Activity and Workout. The Activity app is beautiful, but

extremely basic — it’s what monitors your movement. You can set goals

for your calories burned, exercise, and standing, which are displayed as

three concentric rings. Red is calories, green is exercise, and blue is

standing. I’m not sure why standing is measured in “hours” — the Watch

just bugs you to stand up for a couple minutes every hour, hosting and that’s

good enough. It’ll also show you your steps and total distance, which is


The Watch and phone work together to make it even more accurate.

All of this tracking worked fine while I was wearing the Watch,

but there just wasn’t much else going on. Unlike the Fitbit and other

popular activity trackers, there’s no social component here to let you

compete with your friends, and there’s no tracking of your calories

burned against your weight or what you’re eating. The data feeds into

the iPhone’s Health database, so other apps could pull from there and

give you these other features, but out of the box it’s just a very basic

activity tracker.

The other health and fitness app is Workout, which offers you a

series of presets geared towards various cardio workouts. It’s not a

huge list of choices: you’ve got indoor and outdoor walking and running,

elliptical, cycling, stair steppers, rowing, and the catchall “other.”

Apple says these presets all trigger specialized algorithms that use the

accelerometer and heart rate sensor in slightly different ways to

capture extremely accurate data. If you’ve got your iPhone in your

pocket, the Watch and phone will work together to calibrate

accelerometer data against the phone GPS to make it even more accurate.


It’s definitely nice to have these presets built in, but again,

it’s all hosting pretty much table stakes. There’s nothing that captures

lifting weights, yoga, or other exercises that don’t either crank up

your heart rate or trip the accelerometer with movement. You can use the

“other” preset, which will always give you credit for a brisk walk even

if the other sensors aren’t returning a ton of data, but it’s

definitely not perfect. And I found that the heart rate sensor struggled

during my workouts, especially when I was really sweaty; it

consistently measured about half my correct heart rate instead of my

full 148bpm.

Again, Apple will surely improve all of this with software

updates; it’s hard not to see them adding more workout types over time.

But out of the box right now, the Apple Watch is a very expensive,

barebones fitness tracker. It’s much nicer than its competitors — I used

it with the white sport band and thought vps hosting it was really quite striking —

but it’s certainly not more full-featured.

The Apple Watch is an extraordinarily small and personal

device. It is designed to participate in nearly every moment of your

day, but almost never directly interact with anyone else. It knows when

you’re wearing it. You can talk to it. You can poke it — and it can poke


Every so often, the Apple Watch thinks about your heartbeat.

But the Apple Watch is also an enormous device. It’s the first

entirely new Apple product in five years, and the first Apple product

developed after the death of Steve Jobs. It’s full of new hardware, new

software, and entirely new ideas about how the worlds of fashion and

technology should intersect.

It’s also the first smartwatch that might legitimately become a

mainstream product, even as competitors flood the market. Apple has the

marketing prowess, the retail store network, and the sheer

determination to actually make this thing happen.

It just has to answer one question: would you actually use the Apple Watch instead of your phone?

Good Morning Beautiful

Hardware and Software

web hosting australia

Let’s just get this out of the way: the Apple Watch, as I

reviewed it for the past week and a half, is kind of slow. There’s no

getting around it, no way to talk about all of its interface ideas and

obvious potential and hints of genius without noting that sometimes it

stutters loading notifications. Sometimes pulling location information

and data from your iPhone over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi takes a long time.

Sometimes apps take forever to load, and sometimes third-party apps

never really load at all. Sometimes it’s just unresponsive for a few

seconds while it thinks and then it comes back.


Apple tells me that upcoming software updates will address

these performance issues, but for right now, they’re there, and they’re

what I’ve been thinking about every morning as I get ready for work.

Wearing a smartwatch like the Apple Watch is a far deeper commitment

than carrying hosting a smartphone in your pocket; you are literally putting the

technology on your body and allowing it to touch and measure you while

you display it to the rest of the world. Committing to technology that’s

a little slow to respond to you is dicey at best, especially when it’s

supposed to step in for your phone. If the Watch is slow, I’m going to

pull out my phone. But if I keep pulling out my phone, I’ll never use

the Watch. So I have resolved to wait it out.

I’m putting my phone in my pocket and this Watch on my wrist, and we’re taking this trip together.

These mornings have been full of self-reflection, moody

contemplation as I gather my screens of all sizes and pack them in a

bag, work alerts flashing across an array of devices that are all less

important than my phone. I love my phone. Everyone loves their phone.

The only real question a smartwatch like the Apple Watch needs to answer

is “why would I use this instead of my phone?” The answers so far

haven’t been apparent; the Watch seems like it can do a little bit of

everything instead of one thing really well. So I’m putting my phone in

my pocket and this Watch on my wrist, and we’re taking this trip


We are going to need more coffee.

As an object, it makes sense that the Watch is not nearly as

cold and minimal as Apple’s recent phones and tablets and laptops. It

has to be warmer, cozier. It has to invite you to touch it and take it

with you all the time. Take the bands off and it’s a little miracle of

technology and engineering and manufacturing, a wordpress hosting dense package containing

more sensors and processing power than anyone could have even dreamed a

few decades ago. It’s a supercomputer on your wrist, but it’s also a

bulbous, friendly little thing, far more round than I expected,

recalling nothing quite so much as the first-generation iPhone. It is

unbelievably high tech and a little bit silly, a masterpiece of

engineering with a Mickey Mouse face. It is quintessentially Apple.

It’s also surprisingly heavy. I noticed when I was wearing it,

and everyone who held it commented on the weight. That might simply be a

function of how unfamiliar watches have become; my stainless steel

Apple Watch with leather loop band weighs 2.9 ounces, which is more than

my plastic Nixon’s 1.7 ounces or the 1.8-ounce Moto 360, but much less

than my 5-ounce Baume and Mercier. All in all, the Apple Watch isn’t

light enough to fade away, but it’s also not so heavy that it’s a


On the right side of the Watch you’ll find the Digital Crown

scroll wheel and a dedicated button (the official name is just “side

button”) that opens your favorites list with one tap and activates Apple

Pay with two taps. This side button is extraordinarily confusing — it

looks and feels so much like an iPhone sleep / wake button that I still

hit it to turn the screen on and off, even though I know I’m doing the

wrong thing.

On the back of the Watch, there’s a slight dome that holds the

optical heart rate sensor and the inductive charging system. You’ll also

find a pair of buttons that release the watchbands. They’re flush with

the case but relatively easy to depress, and the bands slide right out.

You can make the Watch work in basically any orientation you’d like by

flipping the screen with a setting in the iPhone app — a boon for the

left-handed. It’s a fairly simple system, so expect to see tons of

third-party Watch bands; Apple says it has no problem with that.

Apple Pay is my favorite feature on the Watch.

Apple gave me three bands to play with: the leather loop, the

Milanese loop, and the white sport band. I mostly stuck with the leather

loop, which feels more like plastic than leather but which I found

super comfortable because it was so easy to readjust throughout the day.

The white sport band basically felt like any other plastic band I’ve

worn. I felt ridiculous wearing the Milanese Loop, so I didn’t.

The face of the Watch curves up off the sides, leaving a

noticeable air gap above the display underneath. But besides that small

complaint, the display is simply terrific. It carries the same Retina

branding as the iPhone display and it delivers, with imperceptible

pixels and inky blacks that allow the screen to blend right into the

curved sides of the glass. It’s easily the best smartwatch display on

the market, and it would be unassailable if not for the air gap. It’s

light-years beyond web hosting australia everything else.

The back of the Watch is arguably more beautiful than the front.

On Your Wrist

Once you actually start living with the Watch, it quickly

becomes clear that there are three main ways to actually use the thing:

the watch face, the app launcher, and the communications app.

Apple is insistent that one of the main functions of the Watch

is simply to be a great watch, so when you raise your wrist, you’ll see

the time by default, just like a regular watch. The lone exception out

of the box is the workout app, which Apple says is “sticky” so people can check their exercise stats quickly at the gym.

In the first of many moments where the Watch felt underpowered,

I found that the screen lit up a couple of ticks too slowly: I’d raise

my wrist, wait a beat, and then the screen would turn on. This sounds

like a minor quibble, but in the context of a watch you’re glancing at

dozens of times a day, it’s quickly distracting. Other smartwatches like

the Pebble and the LG G Watch R simply leave their screens on all the

time; having a screen that constantly flips on and off is definitely

behind the curve.

Telling Time

The main watch face really is a complete self-contained

experience: if the Apple Watch had no other functionality except for

what you can do from the watch face, it would still be competitive.

Customizing the watch Face is the first time you’ll use Force Touch: you

push a little bit harder on the screen, and you can swipe between

Apple’s selection of watch face templates, each of which can be

customized and saved as individual variations. Most of the templates are

minor riffs on the same basic analog watch, but others are very strange

indeed, like the animated butterfly servers and jellyfish. There’s no

particularly great digital face, and there’s no ability to load up your

own watch faces or buy new ones from the store, which is a clearly

missed opportunity.

If the Apple Watch had no other functionality except for what you can do from the watch face, it would still be competitive.

The Watch app is literally the most central experience on the

Watch — you can rearrange every app icon on the homescreen except the

Watch icon, which is always in the middle. What’s fascinating and

somewhat confusing is that so many of the Watch’s core abilities are

only in the Watch app, so interface ideas you learn there don’t work

anywhere else.

For example, the Watch app is the only place to access

notifications after they appear. Notifications are the most important

part of any smartwatch experience, but on the Apple Watch you can only

swipe down to see your notifications when you’re on the watch face. Once

you click the Digital Crown and open the app launcher, the notification

drawer goes away entirely and swiping down does nothing. Same with

Glances, which are essentially single-screen status updates from various

apps you access by swiping up from the Watch app. They’re a major piece

of the Watch experience, but they disappear everywhere else in the

operating system. These are radically different interface patterns than

iOS, where you can access the notification center and control center

from virtually everywhere, and it makes navigating the Watch interface

more confusing until you get it.

The Law of Wearable Success

In order to be successful, any given piece of wearable

technology has to be useful the entire time it’s on your body.

Prescription glasses sit on your face, but improve your vision all the

time, so they’re successful. Sunglasses sit on your face and make you

look cooler all the time, so they’re successful. Google Glass sits on

your face, but mostly does nothing, so it’s a failure. It’s a simple


Understanding that the Watch app is an entire primary

experience unto itself is the key to understanding what happens when you

press either of the buttons on the side of the Watch — they launch the

other two main Watch experiences. Pressing the side button takes you to a

totally unique contacts screen, which is where you send the ephemeral

Digital Touch messages. Clicking the Digital Crown on the watch face

opens the honeycomb app launcher, which is where you can open the

various other apps on the Watch.

All of this sounds complex, but you’re not really supposed to

use it all at once — the aim is for the Watch to shine in 10- 15-second

burst throughout the day, not in extended usage sessions. And that was

borne out every morning, because I didn’t have any reason to wear the

Watch until I left the house.

I was half-hoping to put on the Watch in the morning and use it

instead of my phone, but that didn’t happen. I grab my phone first

thing in the morning and use it nonstop to prepare for the day: I

organize my calendar, catch up on The Verge, check Twitter, and bang out

replies on Slack and email. None of this is even possible to do on the

Watch. Apple spent tons of effort and millions of dollars promoting the

iPad as a business and creation platform instead of just a consumption

machine, but there’s no fighting the tiny display and limited input

options of the Watch — this thing is web hosting all about quickly glancing at

information, not really doing anything with it.

It becomes far more valuable once you’re on the move.

Walk It Off

Notifications, Music, Apple Pay


It turns out that I’ve gotten really good at using my phone

with one hand while I walk to the train. I’m really good at looking at

notifications come in on my phone screen and dismissing them with my

thumb, or pressing the volume buttons to turn up the music, or even

sending a quick text message with one thumb. I can even do some of that

without looking very carefully at what I’m doing, since there’s muscle

memory involved.

But you simply can’t one-hand the Apple Watch. It’s the

simplest thing, but it’s true: because it’s a tiny screen with a tiny

control wheel strapped to your wrist, you have to use both hands to use

it, and you have to actually look at it to make sure you’re hitting the

right parts of the screen. domain names You have to carry your coffee cup in your

other hand if you’re not interested in spilling on yourself. If you’re

like me and you refuse to use both backpack straps so you can be a One

Strap Cool Guy, this means your bag will sometimes fall off your

shoulder while you screw with your smartwatch, and you will be a No

Straps Smartwatch Guy Murdered By NYC Traffic.

Please do not die this way.

The Watch made it a lot easier to keep my phone in my pocket on the walk to the train.

Of course, you can’t one-hand any smartwatch; that’s

just part of the deal. But no other smartwatch has this much going on —

the Apple Watch literally has buttons and knobs — and no other

smartwatch has so many lightly concealed designs on one day becoming a

platform as powerful as your phone. If the existential question for the

Apple Watch is “why would I use this instead of my phone?” then the

answer almost always has to involve “because it’s more convenient.”

That’s sometimes true of the Apple Watch, and sometimes not.

ut when it’s more convenient, it’s far more convenient.

I usually spend most of my commute to work with my phone in my

hand — listening to music and checking messages as I walk to the train,

and reading saved articles on the subway. The Watch made it a lot easier

to keep my phone in my pocket on the walk to the train — I saw

notifications coming in on my wrist, and I could control the music apps

on my iPhone from the Now Playing Glance on the Watch. The Watch also

started tracking my steps and logging my movement into the Activity app,

for a pleasant morning jolt of gamified living. So far, so good. But

there’s more work to be done here.


Notifications on the Apple Watch work pretty much just like

notifications on any other smartwatch: you feel a buzz, you look at your

wrist, and it shows you some information. Apple’s big trick with the

Watch is dramatically improved buzzing with what it calls the “Taptic

Engine.” It’s a haptic feedback system that feels wildly different from

the fuzzy, cumbersome vibrations of other devices. Apple’s Taptics are

more like the Watch tapping your wrist. The taps can come in different

patterns and strengths; Apple says the Taptic Engine plays a vibration

waveform related to the audio waveform of associated notification sound.

Imagine a set of stereo speakers, but the right channel is insistently

poking you along with the music.

If anything, Apple has been underselling the Taptic Engine, and

I sort of understand why — you have to feel it to get just how

different and powerful of an idea it is. But it’s also pretty clear that

taptics on the Watch are only the first half of a brilliant idea. There

are a ton of missing pieces that need to get filled in before the

Taptic Engine lives up to its potential.

It’s also pretty clear that taptics on the Watch are only the first half of a brilliant idea.

First, the Taptic notifications are fairly weak and fairly

short — if the audio alert is a beep, you’ll get one insistent poke and

that’s it. They’re easy to miss. To counter this, Apple’s built a

setting called “prominent haptics,” which basically revs the engine at

full speed like a more traditional vibration to get your attention

before playing the far more subtle Taptic notification. It’s the haptic

equivalent of having an assistant blow a reggaeton horn before

discreetly handing you a note in a meeting.

But the biggest missed opportunity is that there’s no way to

customize the notification sounds and Taptics on the Watch. I couldn’t

set a different alert for messages than for mail or calendar invites;

they all just sort of felt the same. Without this ability, the Taptic

Engine is just a small improvement over existing smartwatches. Let me

create and set my own notifications, and it’s a revolution.

Getting notifications on the way to work also highlighted a key

issue that the Apple Watch shares with Google’s Android Wear: you have

to be really bought into a single ecosystem for everything to work well

out of the box. If you’re not a believer in all of Apple’s apps and

services, the Apple Watch is going to be a little frustrating until

developers build more support for it. For example, it’s easy to send

iMessages from the Watch, but there’s no way to use WhatsApp or

Hangouts. I spend a huge part of my day in Slack; it’s somewhat useful

to know people are mentioning you in a chat room because of taps on your

wrist, but it would be much better if you could actually do something

about it. There’s a lot of work left to be done here.


I’ll just be super blunt about the music app on the Apple

Watch: it’s not as good as wearing an old iPod nano on your wrist.

Remember when turning sixth-generation iPods into watches was a thing?

That nano did a great job of displaying a lot of music information on a

tiny screen, and the Apple Watch does not. Song and album titles get cut

off in lists and on the Now Playing Screen, album art isn’t as big,

there’s no ability to sync podcasts, and on and on. It does a fine job

of controlling an iPhone, but as a dedicated music player it leaves a

lot to be desired.


Glances also feel like they have enormous untapped potential. A

Glance is just a status screen for an app on your phone, much like the

app widgets on the Today screen of an iPhone. You swipe up from the

bottom of the watch face to access Glances, and then swipe horizontally

through the Glances you have installed. Apple says Glances are “real

time,” but they’re not — opening a Glance kicks off an update cycle,

which usually means it’s pulling data from your phone. The updates don’t

take long — unless the Watch is trying to grab your location, which

always takes forever — but the delay means you can’t just bang through

Glances to see everything that’s going on. The Twitter Glance is set to

display top trends, but by the time it loads I could have pulled out my

phone. Transit is set to show me the nearest mass transit options, but

it takes so long to find my location I… could have just pulled out my

phone. This is a theme.

All of this will presumably get solved, of course — third

parties just have to build in support for the Watch and figure out how

to best use these features. But that will take time, and the Watch needs

to sell in numbers that will justify that investment for the long tail

of apps. And there’s a real chance the solution is just a faster

processor that uses less power in next year’s Watch. Moore’s Law tends

to solve a lot of problems like that.

Apple Pay

But when all those pieces fall into place, it’s incredible.

Apple Pay is my favorite part of the entire Watch, a little blast from

the future. Paying for coffee at The Café Grind in Manhattan involved

nothing more than double-clicking the communications button on the Watch

and holding my wrist over the terminal; it beeped and the payment

processed instantly. Paying with the Watch is even faster than paying

with an iPhone, since it doesn’t have to read your fingerprint: it’s

ready to go anytime after you put it on your wrist and unlock your phone

with your fingerprint. I love using Apple Pay with my phone, but it’s

even better with the Watch, some mild contortions to line it up with

payment terminals aside. Apple Pay remains a shining example of what

Apple is able to do when it has complete control over hardware,

software, and services.

One of the most common questions I see in forums, and when talking to people one-on-one is “how do you know?”

How do you know what style rules a specific element has? How do you

know exactly what classes are applied to it? How can you tell that the

script isn’t loading properly? There are JavaScript errors? How do you

know what the return of an AJAX call is? And so on.

My answer is Chrome Developer Tools! All big browsers have developer

tools built right in, which can give you a wealth of information about a


In this article we take a look at Chrome’s Developer Tools, but the general idea can be applied to all large browsers.

If you have Chrome open, go to View > Developer > Developer Tools or press Command + Shift + C on your Mac or Control + Shift + C on Windows to bring up the developer tools. Let’s get cracking!

Inspecting Elements

The foundation of any HTML/CSS information is the Elements section and the Element Inspector.

When you fire up the tool this is the initial view (below). You should

see the page’s HTML structure on the left and CSS rules on the right.

By default the inspector will be turned on. This can be switched

on/off using the magnifying glass icon in the top left of the toolbar on


The inspector allows you to hover over an element on the page and

click to select it. The HTML view on the left of the inspector will jump

to that element, the CSS rules will display all the rules for it.

Inspecting A TItle
Inspecting a title in this article. Click for a larger view

You can also click around within the left-hand side of the inspector

to view specific elements, or use the arrow keys to move around.

One trick I like is that you can copy/edit/delete nodes. Right click

on any element to copy it or edit it. You can delete the currently

selected element by just pressing delete.

I use the delete method to figure out what is causing bugs, and also how pages look if a specific element isn’t shown.

Working With CSS

There are three ways you can use Developer Tools to your advantage:

  • Get an overview of an element’s styles
  • See all rules – what is overriding what and which selectors are used
  • Add quick inline styles

Element Style Overview

When viewing an element, take a look at the right hand side of the

tools window. To get an overview of the element styles switch over to

the Computed tab on top.

Calculated element styles

The image on the left shows an example of what you’ll see. Click on

it to expand it into full view. The top section shows you the box model

visually, and below you wordpress can see all the properties. The properties and

their values are the result of the full cascade, which means that they

show the end result of all your rules. By clicking on the black arrows

next to each property you can see all the rules that contributed to it.

This is a handy view if you want to find the final value of a

specific property or you want to get a good idea of the dimensions of an

element. I’ve found, however, that if you vps hosting need to keep referring to

this view instead of the main Styles view it may indicate that your

style rules are too complex. This is not a hard rule but it is something

I’ve noticed across multiple projects.

View and Add Rules

The default view is the Styles tab, which shows you all the rules

applied to this element. In the case of the second level heading shown

above, you would see that there is a general font-weight associated with

all headings, which is 400. There is also a rule applied to all second

level headings which makes them 3.125em in size Finally the .article-style h2 selector is used to add styles to this specific element making the weight 500 and the font size 34px/40px.

Element Styles
Element Styles

This view is extremely useful because it allows you to judge how

complex your rules are and – even better – allows you to modify and add

things on the spot.

You can click on any property or value to modify it and even create new rules within each selector. By using the empty selector on top you can even add inline styles which will overwrite everything else.

I use this view a lot to figure out three things: why my style rules

aren’t working, what selectors I need to use to target an element and

what elements would look like with modified CSS.

Next to the section on the right there are

two icons. The plus icon allows you to add a new style rule altogether,

selector and all. The other icon opens a new section which allows you

to check active, focus, hover and visited states. By checking these you

can view the states and write specific rules for them.

Working With Javascript

The Developer Tools offers extremely powerful features for JavaScript

and it’s a bit similar to an IDE in this respect. wordpress The reason JavaScript

is easy to build features for is that it is mostly client-side so

Chrome has access to everything it needs.

The Console

The console is the starting point for most Javascript debugging

needs. It can give you all sorts web site hosting of info, not just related to


Chrome Developer Tools Console

In the screenshot above we can see some good advice (in blue) and two

issues in red. The message is shown alongside the originating file

which makes it easy to find where the problem is.

If you’re concatenating and minifying your Javascript don’t forget to

generate an source map so you can see where the problems actually are,

instead of just a nondescript line in a huge mass of code.

Alternatively, you can wait with script minification until you push your

product into production.

If you click the arrow to the left of the messages you’ll get some

more information about the issue. By clicking the arrow for the 404

error we see that the issue is actually in global.js but it bubbles through to jquery.js. Clicking on the file will actually take you to that file, awesome!

Script Debugging

Sometimes our scripts don’t work and it’s not really clear why.

Script debugging allows us to figure out problems and solve them easily.

The usual way is to use breakpoints. The concept is fairly simple but

the tools offer us so many features it’s a bit difficult to find your


Breakpoints are essentially intentional stop signs created which will

cease code execution. Using various controls you can then inspect what

is going on at the breakpoint (what variable values are used, etc) and

continue aws execution when you’re ready.

Your first stop should be the Sources panel where you can open a file using Command + P (Control + P for Windows users). This opens the script on the left side, the tools on the right can be used to control the flow.

You can set breakpoints by clicking the line numbers on the left.

These will show up in the breakpoints section on the right. You can then

run your script again which will stop at the specified points.

Breakpoints in our Javascript

You can add conditional breakpoints and use this section for all sorts of other debugging magic. I strongly suggest reading Google Chrome’s documentation on Javascript debugging, it is extremely helpful!

The Network Section

The Network section provides a wealth of data about requests and

loaded assets. It domain names shows things like the status of requests, their type,

size, load times, loading timelines and so on. There is a lot you can

learn here. I use it for the following:

  • Troubleshooting bad requests
  • Finding load time bottlenecks
  • Checking AJAX request data
Developer Tools Network Section
Developer Tools Network Section

Bad Requests

Each items shows the request method, status and type. It is unusual

to need to correct a method and a type but the status is very important.

You should of course keep an eye out for 404 errors which will be

marked red.

By clicking on the status header you can order the list by status. If

you click it again 404 errors should be near the top since they will be

sorted descending. You should also keep an eye out on redirects and

anything out of the ordinary.

Loading Time Bottlenecks

Detailed Loading Time

The whole right side of this view shows horizontal bar charts of

loading times. You may need to view it full-screen to get a proper view.

If you see any bars which are longer than usual take a closer look,

perhaps there is something going on!

You can hover over a bar to get a lot of info like waiting time, DNS

lookup, sending time, etc. Using this information you can weed out slow

services, or even some slow code on your own website.

Checking AJAX Requests

This is my favourite part of the Developer Tools, it makes working

with AJAX so much easier. AJAX requests are shown in the network tab,

you can click the XHR filter on top to show only AJAX requests.

These will be shown on an ongoing basis. If you load a page and do

something via AJAX the request will be added live. You can click on the

request to view the headers, preview, response, cookies and timing. I

spend most of my time in the response and headers section. Let’s look at

an example.

Load up Dustin Curtis’ website – a pretty good read – and take a look at the XHR requests. You should see something like this:

XHR Requests
XHR Requests

Kudos is something you can give to articles on the Svbtle network.

It’s clear that this request pulls in the Kudos given to the posts

loaded on this page. If you load up the first article you should see

that it indeed does have the number of Kudos shown in the response.

Now, keep your developer window open and hover over the Kudos

facility. Once a Kudos is given you should see a new AJAX request. This

request just returns true, it probably indicates to the javascript that

the Kudos was received successfully.

Now, turn your attention to the Headers section. You can see the Form

Data section in there which shows the data that was sent along with the

request. This information, along with the response gives you all the

data you need to troubleshoot your AJAX calls without resorting to

echoing, alerting, console logging and all that nasty stuff.

Responsiveness Testing

What developer toolset would be complete without responsiveness

testing? Chrome has one of the best interfaces for handling this. Take a


Responsiveness Testing
WPMU DEV on and iPhone 5

The controls on top make all the magic happen. You can select a

specific popular device like an iPhone 5 or a Google Nexus S, or you can

set custom dimensions. The cool thing is that Chrome also spoofs the

user agent for you so instead of just making the same page thinner, it

makes the website think it is actually being loaded by the specified

decide. Note that you need to refresh to make the spoofing happen.

You can also opt to throttle your network connection automatically.

This helps to test in conditions where networks speeds aren’t great –

you can see how annoying it is to use your site on a 50kb/s GPRS


The little stepped icon on the left will open a menu that shows your

specified media queries so you can quickly switch between them. I think

this is pretty awesome!

Page Audits

This is a feature I came to very late, simply because it’s web hosting hidden in

plain view. It doesn’t show anything and the option to run a site audit

isn’t very visible, especially on large screens. Take a peek at the

bottom and run a site audit with page reload.

It’s like having your own personal assistant! From speed to unused

CSS rules, it analyses a so much and gives you a whole lot to do.

Dev tools page audit
Developer Tools page audit

I use this tool whenever I create any new product, be it a whole

website or just a plugin. It lets me know when I’m being sloppy or I’ve

forgotten something.