WordPress’ Twenty Twelve theme: not so fast bro!

tiny twenty twelve thumbnailWordPress 3.5 was released a couple of days ago, one of the new features being a completely new theme. Twenty Twelve, as it is called, is a responsive, html5-based theme which is just clear, simple and beautiful. I like it that much, actually, that after 5 years with Journalist, I’m considering switching to Twenty Twelve for my blog.

But as with all things web (images, social sharing widgets, fonts, themes and plugins/ modules) there’s a potential performance-cost. Some themes by default come with heavy background-images, jquery and jquery-plugins, and a handful of webfonts to download. So let’s look into Twenty Twelve’s performance, shall we?

My tweaked Journalist implementation on my testblog will serve as a baseline:

Switching to an out-of-the-box Twenty Twelve gives:

Wow, that’s pretty sad, no? The reason for this performance-hit; Twenty Twelve comes with Google webfonts, causing 5 downloads (1 CSS file and 4 font-files) totaling over 124KB of webfont-fatness. I’m not a big fan of webfonts, so I dove into the code to disable them and the results all of a sudden are a lot more pleasing:

So I’ll probably look into the creation of a child theme which will be optimized for performance (there’s some CSS and JS minimizing to be done as well, for example) before switching to Twenty Twelve.

[UPDATE 20/12/2012; 2012.FFWD, a high performance Twenty Twelve child theme, is here]

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