This weekend I redid this site with a visual web-building tool called Elementor. It works pretty well.
I had read about visual site building WordPress tools for years. I was lazy and bought themes often instead of doing that work. However, I realized I might be able to learn something useful so I bought the Elementor 1-site $49 Pro package. It is the same cost I have spent just for one theme in the past. I would change themes every six months to a year. It will pay for itself.
I spent about 8 hours in total redoing the site. Saturday about 5 hours, and then Sunday 3 hours. It would have only been about 2 hours, but the other six were wrestling with the Favorite Music page. Why was this page so difficult? Mostly because I had about 300 individual links to music YouTube/Vimeo videos I liked and I had to manually add them to the Video Playlist element. The element depended on Google retrieving the data for the video like the length of the song, and album art and I think Google was limiting my frequent requests. If Google had been more cooperative it would have been faster. Maybe half the time.
Why was getting the videos in this player so important? For several reasons. 1. I watch the videos and first I appreciate having them available. I don’t support Google so I am not going to make a playlist which is the obvious solution. I don’t sign in and I don’t give Google information about what they can sell since Brave prevents that. 2. I learned that trying to load that page previously with just 300 individual videos/links on an iPad doesn’t work. That isn’t good for anyone browsing the site on mobile which is supposed to be the majority of browsing now. At times I may want to browse it on my iPhone so I should be able to do that as well. 3. I have tried a variety of video plugins and never found anything that worked well for me. Now with this player the page loads instantly and I also as a side benefit help out energy usage since it is not pinging Google for each video. Videos are loaded as they are selected. It also made the page time decrease from loading on an iPad from 30 seconds to less than a second. It is also instant on a desktop as well. If you design for mobile, your desktop is automatically fast.
I will continue to refine the site, but anyone can use a visual tool like this. It is a really empowering way to make your site stand out from others. It also helps new WordPress users who don’t have the experience or knowledge of what is possible because they don’t know Plugins. It offers functionality that otherwise you would need plugins for. I think this is a great tool for anyone who wants to make the most of their web presence.