Landesa partners with progressive governments and non-profits to develop pro-poor and gender-sensitive laws, policies, and programs that strengthen land rights for the world’s poorest people.

Landesa needed a website that both looked polished to their donors and policy advocates in North America and Europe while remaining fast for their user base in developing nations around the world.

Mercury successfully redesigned the website faithfully following the existing Landesa brand and delivered a site that loads in 600ms.

The Challenge Landesa


Landesa’s current website was outdated and underperforming, a problem further magnified by the available bandwidth for many of their users. Internet access is often slow or intermittent in many of the developing countries Landesa serves. They desired a site that both looked polished to their donors and policy advocates in North America and Europe and yet remained fast for their userbase.

While the average advertised Internet speeds in developing nations could seem reasonably fast; what is actually delivered is often nowhere near what was promised. It is common for Internet speeds that never exceed 256kbit/s, which is excruciatingly low for current worldwide standards, to be sold as high bandwidth.



Landesa’s former website averaged load time was over 26 seconds with a page size of 2.3MB. The site was only able to achieve a score of 61 (out of 100) on the Google PageSpeed analysis.



The load time dropped from over 26 seconds to mere 606ms in Europe, and the performance grade was up to 96 points out of 100. Moreover, load time from other parts of the world such as Brazil, Africa, Asia, Australia, averaged 5 seconds.

Loaded time from
Hong Kong – China

map-hongcong-1 Landesa
fraction Landesa6.5s

previous-hong-kong Landesa 50.1s

Loaded time from
South Africa

map-africa-1 Landesa
fraction Landesa4.7s

previous-south-africa Landesa 46.8s

Loaded time from
Mumbai – India

map-mumbai-1 Landesa
fraction Landesa5.8s

previous-mumbai Landesa 37.8s

How we did it!

  • Optimize images (size and compression) – use a plugin such as WP Smush PRO to retain image quality and decrease size.
  • Use device detection plugins from WordPress to take control of the server response. This allows you to customize the response and send fewer images when viewers browse the website via mobile phone or with a slow connection.
  • Reduce your code – Go page type by page type and remove all unnecessary plugins and scripts. Take a hard look at all processes involved in a page build and cut everything that isn’t necessary. Once done, combine and minify your JavaScripts and CSS files.
  • Invest in a fast and reliable hosting provider that is dedicated to your CMS – In this case, WordPress.