Introducing Words, A Fast HTML Theme

November 20, 2014

For the last few months we've been restructuring what we do at Retro Mocha to find new opportunities and a new focus. So, we've started looking elsewhere for the next phase of Retro Mocha.

One area that has been a surprising opportunity for us is what we learned when making our website fast. After making our website fast, we started to notice that other websites are pretty slow. That gives us a nice competitive advantage in the short term, but we think it might be a bigger opportunity in the long term.

We think site speed is something mostly ignored in the marketplace. Even though responsive design is a much bigger deal than it used to be, websites keep getting bigger and more bloated. In our own informal testing, the average website is about 1.5 MB in overall page size, 50+ HTTP requests, and loads in 4-5 seconds.

To us, that is unacceptable. A web page should be less than 100 KB in page size, less than 15 HTTP requests, and should load in less than 0.5 seconds. For most pages, that is a highly achievable goal.

After spending some time thinking about why websites are so big and slow, we realized that the tooling for making fast websites is terrible. For example, what do you do when you buy or install a responsive WordPress theme that is bloated with extra junk and is terrible on mobile? If you aren't a developer, you are probably out of luck.

In our experience, sensible defaults lead to better outcomes, so why not make themes with better, faster designs?

That is just what we are setting out to do.

Just Words

Today we are launching our first theme and it's a HTML theme called Words. It is based off the work we did to make our own site fast and we think it goes a long ways to making the web a better place, one website at a time.

The concept of the theme is to be a distraction free, readable theme. It is designed around putting the visitor first and providing a world-class reading experience. It should feel like reading a book.

Words uses PureCSS to be responsive and doesn't include any JavaScript or jQuery. The design doesn't rely on images or web fonts, so it loads really fast.

Putting the work in to design a fast responsive theme means that the experience on mobile devices should be outstanding.

Words is fast, simple, and mobile friendly.

You can experience the Words theme by going to the Words demo page. If you want to purchase Words, you can buy it here.

Not Just Words

Right now Words is a HTML theme. We aren't stopping there. We plan on making Words a WordPress theme and possibly a Drupal or Joomla theme if there is demand for it. Also, Words is just the first of many themes we plan on building.

The long term goal with our themes is to make the internet a faster, better experience for more people. We believe faster websites are better websites, and we know we can make that happen by building high performance HTML and WordPress themes.

Our themes will focus on three things - speed, simplicity, and mobile.

Every theme we put out will be fast, it will be very simple, and it will look great on every device.

As in everything we do at Retro Mocha, this is an experiment. We don't know what it will turn into. If there is demand for tools, themes, and content around making fast websites, we will keep at it. If not, we will have to find something else.

We believe in what we are doing because we know it makes the internet a better place. We want to live in a world where every web page loads instantly, and if nobody else is going to build fast websites, we will do our best to fill that need for anyone who wants a faster website.

Words in the first step to making the internet a better place, Retro Mocha style!

About The Author

Brian Knapp is one half of the dynamic duo that runs Retro Mocha. You can follow his hilarious puns on Twitter.