October 21, 2014

More on WordPress

I’ve been experimenting with ways to speed up WordPress (following my plan I posted about…).  Some of the problem seems to be the Google Analytics code and how you insert it – with a plug in, which plug in, manually insert or let the theme handle it if there’s an option.

Google will tell you their new “asynchronous” code takes care of any performance hit, but there’s quite a debate over whether it’s best to put it in the header (captures the page load for stats) or the footer (don’t have to wait but may miss the page load for stats).  Sites where the theme handles the code do seem to load faster but it’s also in the footer and I swear I’m missing stats for that site.

I removed some unused plug-ins and reconfigured ones with social networking shares to display a minimum of sites.  Minor improvement…  Also toyed around with W3 Total Cache.  Used all the default settings but turned off the browser page caching because when it was on, pages wouldn’t refresh – automatically or manually.  Probably have to set the time to expire or something like that but I did notice some improvement with the other default settings.

On a side note, I experienced my first WordPress “white screen.”  Couldn’t log into the admin panel of one of my sites.  Have NO idea why but usually a bad plug in causes it.   Good thing I had a backup of the server directory folder…   Database was okay – in fact you could visit the site and everything looked fine.

Not sure which plug in caused it, but my backup didn’t have a stats or the cache plug in installed – and a few of the other plug ins were older versions (which I didn’t update – chicken!).

Because I’m getting tired of installing screwy plug ins to get the functionality I want, I’m going to move all the sites to the Genesis framework.  I could install the Theme Test Drive plug in while I do that…but I’d have to install yet another possibly buggy plug in.  So if you visit this site over the next few weeks and something strange is going on, it’s me.