Tag Archives: Tools

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Server (Part 1) … Plus Some Jokes

English: WordPress Logo

Anyone in the mood for some speed? Not the kind you popped to pull all-nighters during college (remember the intervention? it was awkward): the kind that populates your site on all PCs and mobile devices in the tri-state area like lightning, without the electrocution part. At Superb, we host a heck ton (that’s how the kids say it, right?) of WordPress sites. Here below we will look at a few quick ways to speed up that server, courtesy of commentary at TekBrand and Pure Concepts.

Be aware, folks (space aliens, that doesn’t mean you), Superb Internet has something amazing in store for you and yours – 18 months of WP hosting for the price of 12. Hurrah! That’s like a baker’s dozen, but the baker goes completely crazy and throws in 6 extra (5 more than the standard 13 for a baker) doughnuts. “Kyle, take it easy,” says Jiminy, the bakery’s GM and financial wizard. “Doughnuts don’t grow on trees, except maybe an undiscovered tree in the Amazon. It’s right next to the tree with the cure for cancer. Grab me a paper towel, and go take a long walk in the hot sun.”

Speed Up Your WordPress Site, Now! (Or Tomorrow, or the Next Day …)

Here’s an interesting thought from Jason McCreary at Pure Concepts (note that his thoughts are excerpted from presentations he gave at WorldCamp Chicago & WorldCamp Louisville, neither of which involve actual camping, but both do exist in the world): WordPress is heavy, and so many websites run on the CMS that it is slowing down the entire Internet. Say what?! Let’s set an example for our children, our children’s children, and the free-spirited robots: let’s speed this sucker up. I’ll share a few of Jason’s thoughts first in Parts 1 & 2, then get into the TekBrand piece in Part 3.

  1. Generating a Faster Site – Optimizing your WordPress speed also involves some changes that would affect your site whether it’s on WordPress or not. The reason that’s important is because baby, WordPress doesn’t own you (unless you signed a really awful contract in a Tennessee motel room in 2009, as more than 16,000 Americans inexplicably did). When you move to another CMS, guess what? (Pause while you guess.) No, not quite: You will know how to make that site fast too. That’s what you said? My bad.
  2. Code Validity – Use this tool – the W3C Code Validation Tool –so that pages render correctly. Bad code will slow down your site or make it display incorrectly. A pox upon it.
  3. Permalinks – That’s my sausage brand. Original name: Chock Full o’ Preservatives. Note that WordPress uses permalinks to access each page of your site. You want your URLs to fit the WP structure well. In the new WP version, Jason mentions the site load time decreases only @ 1% between /%postname%/ and /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/. Note that Jason advises to always consider SEO over speed, so do what you gotta do (plus, it’s closing time).
  4. Nix Plugins – Streamline the site. Is your site constipated with plugins? Well, then let’s give it a laxative. Jason recommends a regularly scheduled plugin audit to ensure everything is worth the decrease in speed – it’s all weight, after all. (We could also invent a piece of software that goes in and clears out all the debris, but that’s like having your shifty cousin organize your condo for a case of beer.)
  5. 404s & Settings > Discussion – Do you want any of these? Jason advises “No” to all three. Get rid of 404s (pages that have nothing on them except your nutty 404 page copy – oh, you silly duck!). Pingbacks and trackbacks can be an open door for spammers to abuse your site; plus, they use up bandwidth and power. Go to Settings > Discussion and shut them off. Lights out at the ping party, let’s close our eyes and see what happens. Here’s more from WordPress on spam.
  6. Settings > Reading – You can display an excerpt rather than all of a post. Additionally, you want the settings to be at a mid-range: if it’s a larger quantity, pages will be more sizable; but if it’s too small, it’ll increase the pagination of the site and slow down the site with excess page requests.
  7. Code Placement – HTML requires CSS to be placed in the <head> section of your code. (Say that ten times fast to the nearest senior citizen, I bet you $20 they’ll call the FBI.) If you place CSS stylesheets anywhere else on the page, it’ll prevent progressive loading of the page, as does JavaScript. Those little wieners! Place all <script> in the footer of the page. Knock it down a few pegs; see how it treats you then. If it works with your mother-in-law, it’ll work with code. (Be aware these placements will help speed, but they may cause what’s called a flash of unstyled content, depending on what GUI you’re using).

Conclusion & Continuation

Hold on, hoss. I’m not done with you yet. Hopefully you don’t mind me calling you hoss; it’s a term of endearment here in Virginia City (I rent a cabin from the Cartwrights, really more of a woodshed or outhouse … okay, it’s an outhouse). We have two more parts in this series, and then we can all have a slumber party (a chance for us to relax in our pajamas and use those expensive sleeping bags, since we shut down the ping party). Everyone grab your flashlights and be thinking about ghost stories. No tickling.

by Kent Roberts

Hosting Your Own WordPress Development

WordPress is a great platform for managing content, but what if you have a specific idea of functionality other than just information that you want your website to serve? As an example, your idea is to turn your website into the goto community for people comparing their progress or milestone data. You are now extending your content management platform in several aspects.

  1. The data it collects is no longer reliant on what you alone will submit. You need to collect additional fields of information for your website database.
  2. It has some other processing capability, able to compare data and call up information relevant to individual users. Now you’re in the development realm of actual programming and running queries.

WordPress has several plugins that you can adapt to work together to create these kind of Web 2.0 features. An example of the type of interactivity would be creating a booking calendar that reserves consultation time, and also confirms with an automated email to you and your new lead.

At some point you may find that generic plugins just don’t work well enough to tailor to your exact needs or those of your client. You’ve probably found work-arounds with different plugins that give you what you need but sacrifice the upgradabilty of the WordPress platform due to odd Javascript conflicts. I’ve also found when you’ve added so many plugins, the back-end of the website can start to get heavy and clunky to operate. Today I’m going to take a look at the best recent insights into tinkering with your own hosted WordPress plugin development.

Starting with a tutorial series with 1st Web Designer:

In the first part of our WordPress Plugin Development Course for Designers we learned about the importance of WordPress plugins for designers and its base structure. Today we are going to talk about the core WordPress functions…

I included part 2 of the series because it gets into the nitty gritty of the coding and is far easier to follow than the wordpress codex.

 

I spend a lot of time building WordPress plugins. Here are some of my thoughts as they related to building WordPress plugins for both fun and profit.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Thank you Tom! He mentions he doesn’t build themes because that is more to do with the layout of the site. Functionality, the software part of your website is something that users will often pick and choose regardless of the theme.

 

I’ve written a few plugins for jQuery and WordPress over the past few years, but mostly for specific projects or my own personal use. The first time I released a plugin (Hashgrid for WordPress) for…

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

As Morgan states, don’t go with free hosting plans in case you lose all your hard work. He’s learned from experience the value of legacy code storage and peer support in places like GitHub.

If coding is not your thing, take a look at the approaches mentioned by Morgan and Tom. You’ll realize that to undertake such a project means you need to start defining exactly what you want your site functionality to do. If you can define your problem, you’ve completed the biggest communication hurdle between coder and procuring an interactive WordPress website.

This is something I personally would love to learn more about, but never have the time code myself. I could potentially be a client of a WordPress Developer. If you can send over tips on what would make me a better client, please do hit me up with Google Plus comments and suggestions for our audience to learn from.