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Bedrock, the light side of WordPress

Bedrock is technically still WordPress, but it has been significantly rethought compared to the version we all know. WordPress has always had a tarnished track record for being bloated and slow compared to some other platforms out there, only to be solved by experienced users. The main aspect of WordPress that, from my experience, is superior to other platforms is the fact it has a great CMS system. Bedrock addresses both of these angles, completely rethinking the front end whilst keeping hold of the original admin CMS.  

Losing the bloat and increasing the options

Introduced with Bedrock there is a boilerplate theme called Sage. Sage is as bare-bones as themes come, only having a single post loop and plenty of white space, but this isn’t a bad thing for experienced users, especially as it can be installed with a framework of your choice including Bootstrap 4, Bootstrap 5, Foundation, Vue and Tailwind. With all of the most popular frameworks at your disposal, there’s one for a wide variety of projects. Because the Sage theme is so light, you lose all of the bloats that come with the usual WordPress themes, there is a tonne of great themes out there but they all are accompanied by a  certain amount of bloat. Whether that is a set of functions that you’re not intending to use or a page builder that you use three modules of that come with hundreds installed. With Sage, it’s a case of if you need it, you build it yourself, so you only ever have what you need, granted you might make things that get retired over time but it’s extremely easy to take out.


Decreasing bloat decreases the sizes and the number of files that are being requested when you load the website. You can also go a step further with optimizing images and minifying files, which keeps everything to the absolute minimum resulting in some pretty impressive performance scores, as seen from one of our client’s websites below.

Plugin and WP core control

Usually, with a standard WordPress install, you wouldn’t need to manually update the core WordPress version and the plugins straight through the terminal with the use of composer. When you update plugins through the WordPress admin, it’s often left to fate to see if the plugin works or causes a conflict that takes the entire website down. With composer, you can test it locally and then push it to the live website when everything is running smoothly with the use of version control.

Version Control

With standard WordPress installs, it’s very difficult to version control, and I’ve found myself working on live websites many times in the past or having to test plugins on an offline version and then redo the work on the live website, doubling the work I have to do. The great thing about bedrock is that you can have multiple environment files so you can make sure everything is running smoothly through the use of git (Global information tracker). Git ensures that there’s always a backup on the repository and allows multiple people to work on aspects of the website at the same time and merge to push the website live.

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