In a previous post on optimizing WordPress, I suggested configuring WordPress so that revisions are not saved, and to delete old revisions to make the wp_posts table smaller and faster to query, but I didn’t mention how to do it. That’s because there is a little more to deleting old revisions than many posts on the web, and some plugins designed to delete revisions, would have you believe.
Several months ago, in his WordPress.org post “Deleting Post Revisions: do NOT use the a,b,c JOIN code you see everywhere,” kitchin, and the discussion that follows, provides an excellent description of the problems one may encounter when attempting to clean out old post revisions. As you will find if you read that post, there is an easy way to safely remove old post revisions. You can even optimize your database tables while you’re at it.
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I have been dealing with a WordPress site that was consuming a lot of resources on the server on which it is installed. In the course of discussing the problems I was seeing with the web host’s support team, the support representative suggested that I try W3 Total Cache instead of WP Super Cache to see if it improved the site’s loading time and reduced the resource usage for the site.
I have used W3 Total Cache in the past, and what I remember most about it was that I had one text widget which simply would not update on the front end until I deactivated the plugin and activated it once more, but I had already done everything I could think of to optimize this problem site, so I was game. And he got me thinking, which of these caching plugins really works the best?
First, I ran GoDaddy’s P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) on the site several times to obtain a baseline measure of its performance with WP Super Cache installed and configured as I have described in a previous post on optimizing WordPress. WP Super Cache was set up to use mod_rewrite.
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My purpose today is to share some of the methods I’ve found that really work to optimize WordPress, reduce the load on the server, increase the performance of a site, and improve the user experience.
Before you get started, you may want to install GoDaddy’s P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) and run a baseline test so you can see the benefits of each optimization step.
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It’s a rare and wonderful feeling when I come across a development tool that gives me that, “Where have you been all my life?” feeling. Firebug was one. GoDaddy’s P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) is another.
I formally used a variety of web-site performance testing sites in order to measure the loading speed of sites I developed, but often pinpointing problem WordPress plugins meant testing with the plugin deactivated, re-testing with the plugin activated, going one-by-one through a site’s plugins, or poring through the server logs to find the resource hogs. It wasn’t fun, and it was very time-consuming.
The P3 (Plugin Performance Plugin) makes finding out which WordPress plugins are performing well–and which are not–much easier.
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