Optimize WordPress loading time by 75%

November 12, 2010 | No Comments Yet

So we’ve confirmed Google is factoring in site speed into their search ranking algorithms, but what exactly can you do to your WordPress site to make it load faster? David Kadavy shares his own website optimization story by doing the following:

  • Move from a shared hosting service (in this case Dreamhost) to VPS (virtual private server) hosting
  • Install the W3 Total Cache plugin
  • Use a CDN (content delivery network) such as Amazon Cloudfront: this works well with W3 Total Cache, which is why he recommends it over other WP caching plugins
  • Optimize with CSS sprites, inline styles and scripts, Gzip, and other recommendations from Yahoo.

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WordPress 3.0 to drop blog importer and TinyMCE

May 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There’s been a bit of a slowdown in the WordPress RC and final release schedule yet again, but here’s an important heads up from this week’s developer chat: In an effort to reduce server memory consumption and delays in the releases, WordPress 3.0 is dropping several core features. One is the WordPress Importer, which can then be installed as a plugin.

Another is the TinyMCE script, the most popular WYSIWYG editor out there. It’s not clear if eliminating it is a permanent move since a lot of people are dependent on creating properly formatted posts with it, but more details should follow when the new WP 3.0 releases come.

Read updates on the rest of the WordPress developer chat for 5-20-10 here.

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Reasons you should and shouldn’t use WordPress

May 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Killersites.com points out several advantages to using WordPress in building websites as opposed to purely static webpages:

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

On the other hand, WP Fun emphasizes its disadvantages in back-end maintenance, which is technically a whole other job outside of building websites, but is slowly merging with it anyway.

Which of these two win the argument? While I agree with WP Fun that you shouldn’t just go into a project hastily deciding to use WordPress, using static HTML files is not the only alternative solution, especially if a web designer’s concern with clients is ease of use. There is no interface to deal with in static webpages but you can use lighter and/or hosted CMS solutions too.

That’s just one factor to consider. Other factors like extensibility with plugins, security, support, community, etc. should definitely affect your decision to choose a publishing platform. WordPress tends to win out because of those.

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WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

May 10, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The second beta of WordPress 3.0 was released May 6. This is a little behind schedule as the Release Candidates should be out by now.

Following the successful post-WordCamp San Francisco code sprint, we are now ready to release the second beta of WordPress 3.0.

The update focuses on improvements to the menu interface and the WordPress importer/exporter. Everyone is encouraged become a beta tester with the help of the beta tester plugin.

Download WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

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Google Living Stories for WordPress

May 4, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Targeted mainly at news websites, Google Living Stories makes covering an on-going story more convenient and navigable. Old but still working examples are found at this Google Labs website, but now everyone can enjoy the same functionality on their own sites as a plugin and theme package for WordPress.

Here’s a list of features from the Labs site:

  • “All in one place” – all the articles developing around a single story can be found on a single URL, and you can navigate around them much more quickly
  • “Easy to explore” – browse either by timeline, themes, people involved, or multimedia
  • “Smarter reading” – new additions to the story are highlighted while older news is summarized

Grab the code here. Take note that this isn’t just a fancy way of displaying developing stories, but a new content format which Google has open sourced.

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Plugin Readme files now support video

February 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

A new feature that will benefit WordPress plugin authors and plugin users alike: you can now add video in the readme.txt file of a plugin. This information will be displayed in the WordPress Just like WordPress posts & pages support shortcodes and oEmbed, so do plugin readme files now. There are two ways of doing this: oEmbed, by entering the URL of the video in its own line, and shortcodes, by entering the type of video and the URL in between square brackets, e.g.:

  • [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EiKx_WSesk]
  • [vimeo http://vimeo.com/173714]
  • [wpvideo OO4thna8]

The feature currently supports three video providers: YouTube, Vimeo, and VideoPress. It must also be noted that object embed codes (the usual way of embedding videos on websites) is not supported, just the two methods above. View the test example here.

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BuddyPress 1.2 installs on WordPress

February 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Test Drive site

The biggest roadblocks to adopting social network software BuddyPress have finally been eliminated. With the latest version 1.2 coming out, you can now install BuddyPress on WordPress and not just WordPress MU. That goes for any WP version. Consider this the official way to run BP following this one.

Another highlight of this release is a quicker, simpler installation process: just 3 steps detailed in the download page. Simply add BuddyPress from your plugins page and activate a theme for it.

Probably the most exciting part of this release is a new default theme, which you can see running on the official site and the BuddyPress Test Drive site. BP is looking cleaner and more flexible than ever—you can create child themes with BP too.

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Add Google Buzz to WordPress & BuddyPress

February 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Google Buzz Logo

WPMU.org lists 5 different ways you can integrate Google Buzz into your WordPress and BuddyPress site. Aside from a the Buzz This WP plugin and the Digg-like button, you can also display your Buzz stream and share BP profiles to Buzz.

  1. “Buzz This” Plugin for WordPress
  2. Make Your Own Button to Add Anywhere in Your Template
  3. Share Your Google Buzz Posts on Your Site with Google Buzz ER Plugin
  4. Add the Ability to Share BuddyPress Profile Links With a “Buzz This” Button
  5. Add “Buzz This” to Individual BuddyPress Activity Stream Posts

Although Google Buzz is facing controversy right now for privacy issues, it could become a huge social network overnight since it’s built right inside Gmail, and bloggers will definitely want to take advantage of that audience.

Update: see also this post by Mashable.

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BuddyPress can now run on WordPress single user

January 5, 2010 | 1 Comment

Great news for everybody itching to run BuddyPress but are still having second thoughts running WordPress MU: BP no longer requires WPMU! The latest trunk version can now run on single-user WordPress (that’s the original flavor of WP we all know and love) and these are all you have to remember:

  1. Install WP Single User.
  2. Make sure Pretty Permalinks are turned on.
  3. Download the BuddyPress Trunk here.
    Scroll down to the bottom and grab the zip archive.
  4. Unpack it and upload to your wp-plugins directory.
  5. Make sure you move the bp-themes folder to the wp-content/themes directory and you should be good to go. The BP theme folder shows up automatically in the Appearance tab in WP 2.9.

I didn’t expect that this would happen before the WordPress-Wordpress MU merger, so this is a pleasant surprise. Read more details on this forum thread.

As an aside: this is the first time I’ve heard of WordPress being referred to as “single user”. Of course, this is just the counterpart to the term “multi-user” for WPMU, since we all know WordPress can have multiple users/authors in one installation.

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Read & blog on WordPress.com from your iPhone via Twitter

December 31, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s an odd but fascinating hack discovered by Team 55 at the WP Quebec meetup: using the Twitter API, you can read and publish posts on WordPress.com from your iPhone! Matt Mullenweg explains step by step in this article. Pretty much any third-party Twitter client is okay; the key is to change the API URL to twitter-api.wordpress.com and then you can log in using your WordPress.com account.

Instead of following users you will follow blogs. Refer to them by their domain names (e.g. matt.wordpress.com). Support for replies and retweets will be added soon.

When you post a status update using our Twitter API, the update will appear on your blog. (If you have more than one blog you can choose which one gets the updates. The option is in your profile.)

Read more about this here. Matt also announced that they plan to release a WordPress MU plugin for this, so stay tuned for that one.

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How to use the WP.me URL shortener for self-hosted WordPress

December 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users have enjoyed the WP.me URL shortener since August, but here’s a neat discovery for self-hosted WordPress users, courtesy of the folks at WP Tavern: if you upgrade to WordPress 2.9 and install the WordPress.com Stats plugin, you can get to use WP.me too. Once you type in a post title, a “Get Shortlink” button will appear right beside the “Edit” button for the post permalink. For example, the clicking on said button gives us the shortlink http://wp.me/pely2-Aq.

What do you think of the requirements? Stats buffs probably won’t mind grabbing yet another analytics plugin if they haven’t already. But upgrading to WordPress 2.9 this early might still be discouraging.

What exactly is more attractive about choosing to use WP.me over, say, native post ID-based permalinks instead? Probably the number of characters you can save with a much shorter URL.

But take note that both Google and Facebook have just rolled out their own URL shorteners in goo.gl and fb.me. Seems like the URL shortening arena is getting more serious competition than ever.

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Will bbPress turn into a canonical WordPress plugin?

December 11, 2009 | No Comments Yet

BloggingPro reports that sister software for forums bbPress might become the first WordPress canonical plugin after the first IRC meetup for new direction.

Between the integrating of WPMU into the WordPress core and this development, it seems that the Automattic and the rest of the development team is pushing WordPress as the end-all, be-all publishing platform on the web. It will definitely be much easier to persuade site owners to choose bbPress as their forum software over third-party brands like vBulletin, or third-party plugins like SimplePress. And of course, it will also be exciting to see how bbPress can tap into the core features of WordPress.

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Plugin problems? Try these steps

November 3, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Don’t panic! Daily Blog Tips has a list of things to do when a WordPress plugin you installed suddenly stops working or breaks your site.

  1. Try to de-activate the plugin
  2. Rename the plugin via FTP
  3. Delete the plugin via FTP
  4. De-activate all the plugins via PHPMyAdmin

There are several ways to disable your plugin and it will depend on how “broken” the situation is. The higher the number the more drastic the measure. The concept should apply to themes as well—try deactivating using the WordPress admin first, then try it through your FTP client, and so on.

Good luck!

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Upgrade multiple plugins at once in WordPress 2.9

October 31, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another new feature coming in WordPress 2.9 that will make maintaining your blog a lot easier. You can now upgrade multiple plugins that have updates available all at once. No need to go through them one at a time. A welcome improvement for WordPress sites of all sizes. Visit WP Engineer for a screenshot of the feature.

There are few details yet but it’s great that we’re getting news about all these new improvements to WordPress before it comes out, so we know what to expect.

(Via Weblog Tools Collection)

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