Each week we answer one or multiple Upwork job vacancy questions here on WP Villain. Here is Post I on a WordPress theme built with Visual Composer that has become slow and needs to be converted into a faster site with a better theme setup.
We are currently running a WordPress theme that was heavily modified CSS and utilizes Visual Composer. We need someone to remake a theme using the design we currently have that does not use VC or performs better for Google speed.
Visual Composer is a great page builder to quickly set up beautiful pages but it takes up a lot of space with short codes and special tags, embedded code, scripts an such. And all this in the end makes many pages on WordPress websites very slow. And, if you ever want to move away from them you are stuck with a lot of custom code tags in your posts and pages that won’t work anymore and will just be printed. It also often conflicts with plugins like Yoast SEO or at least has in the past. That is why we decided a long time ago to dump Visual Composer and either go for a custom code theme or use better page or site builders such as Elementor or Oxygen.
Migrating from Visual Composer
Migrating from Visual Composer to another page builder or simply the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor or Gutenberg is painful. This as it will leave behind all its short codes. And all the functionality that was loaded with it will disappear. So always do this with a local copy and clean it up and find replacement for what was used before.
You will be able to choose a new turnkey theme or start out with a custom theme, a theme from scratch. The latter is better as you will be able to customize all but will require a lot more work as all will be custom. The former is set up for a large part already so will give you a head start.
Sage Starter Theme
The Sage starter theme is a wonder base theme that works well with many CSS frameworks such as Tailwind, Bootstrap and Foundation, works with a Laravel style file system and view caching and that allows to quickly build solid themes that load fast. It also has built in tools to optimize code, images and concatenate and minify ll the code to loads things way faster. So this would be an option. But it would require quite a bit of work to convert heavily Visual Composer customized pages into custom theme pages. And there may not be budget for that.
Jupiter X and Elementor
With the Jupiter X theme and Template and the use of Elementor Page Builder we would be able to build better pages more quickly that should also load better. Jupiter X offers many templates out of the box that are a great start for many businesses. They also offer a nice range of plugins that make our lives easier. Plugins to add custom post types, custom fields, sliders and much more. It would still take quite some time, but probably less than doing a theme from scratch. Will it be better? It will be better than your VC setup for sure, but the Sage setup will be better and faster.
Choices to make
So what should you choose? A custom theme, one with Sage working with us or a ready made theme we will customize into a site like your current with Elementor? Well, that depends on the budget. A Sage set up will be more work as it will be a new customized theme, possibly using Elementor or Advanced Custom Field, but built form scratch. When you start with Jupiter X you will have a base and styles to work with and you can customize those. You should have an advantage with existing layouts. This depends on how close your base template is to the site you currently have though.
So can Jupiter X match site quite well layout wise and or style wise? Well, if so go for that. If not go for the Sage starter theme. We believe in the end Sage will pay off as it will be tailor made, swift and completely as you want it. With Jupiter X as you have a base and several plugins including a page builder that is always somewhat tougher and you are more limited by the foundation you start with. Sage is more of a clean slate you can tailor to your satisfaction.