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Tag Archive

How to Enable the Default WordPress Object Cache

Recently, while attempting to optimize site performance, I found myself experimenting with various caching mechanisms currently available for WordPress. Specifically, I explored each of the following caching options: WP-Cache 2 [WordPress plugin] (404 link removed 2012/08/10) WP Super Cache (404 link removed 2016/01/02) [WordPress plugin] WordPress Object Cache [built-in caching mechanism] While working with the two plugins, WP Cache 2 and Super Cache, I was pleased to discover crystal-clear instructions on each their respective sites. Having access to installation and usage information greatly facilitated the implementation of each of these caching techniques. On the other hand, finding information about the […] Read more »

Optimize WordPress: Pure Code Alternatives for 7 Unnecessary Plugins

In this article, my goal is to help you optimize WordPress by replacing a few common plugins with their correspondingly effective code equivalents. As we all know, WordPress can be a very resource-hungry piece of software, especially when running a million extraneous plugins. Often, many common plugins are designed to perform relatively simple tasks, such as redirect a feed, display a random image, or return a database value. For those of us comfortable with editing PHP and htaccess code, there is no need to bloat WordPress with additional plugins for the sake of a few routine tasks. For each of […] Read more »

Focus on the Details: Optimizing Images for Humans and Machines

In this article, I discuss how to get the most out of your site’s images by optimizing them for both people and search engines.. For many sites, images play an important role in the communication process. If used correctly, images have the power to make your articles come alive with clarity and vibrancy. Some visitors may merely notice the image and continue reading, while others will want to know more about your images and dig deeper. While checking out your images, inquisitive guests will explore any clues available to them: alt tags, title tags, and captions, for example. Likewise, when […] Read more »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 “best-practices” for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed to score an average 77% (whoopee!) via the YSlow extension for Firebug. Of the handful of these tips that I […] Read more »

Perishable Press Site Renovation Strategy

Now that my recent site overhaul project is nearly complete, I thought it would be useful to share my carefully developed “plan of attack.” The following seven-step strategy is designed to facilitate the entire renovation by logically ordering events and breaking down complex tasks. Upon execution, the following plan is designed to improve overall site functionality, presentation and structure, while factoring in several critical parameters: Modular time organization — due to my hectic schedule, it is necessary to break large projects down into manageable chunks. Separation of main site from test site — I need a clear distinction between Perishable […] Read more »

Rethinking Site Functionality, Presentation, and Structure

Two weeks ago, I decided to completely overhaul Perishable Press. The decision came after several months of smooth sailing with excellent site performance, an optimized theme, plenty of visitors, and even a comfortable posting schedule. All things considered, everything was peachy keen — until I began reflecting on the “big picture,” meditating upon certain aspects that are frequently taken for granted or simply overlooked during periods of hectic operation and maintenance. For example, while troubleshooting htaccess and PHP errors, webmasters generally don’t take the time to meditate on the structural and functional integrity of their overall site configuration. Fortunately, I […] Read more »

Notes and Tips for Better Social Bookmarking

For those of you still hiding your bookmarks within the dark confines of your browser’s “favorites” menu, may I suggest stepping into the “here and now” with a fresh new approach: social bookmarking. Hopefully, most of my readers are already familiar with the many wonders of managing and sharing your bookmarks online, but for those who may still be questioning the whole idea, allow me to expound briefly on several of the immediate benefits: Universal access to your bookmarked sites Forget about time-wasting browser extensions that fumble to synchronize your business; manage your collection online at a great site such […] Read more »

Five-Step Feed-Portfolio Makeover

Recently, I found myself drowning in an ocean of RSS feeds. Even after switching to Google Reader, which definitely speeds up the process of plowing through posts, I was wasting too much time consuming subscribed content. Thus, in an effort to find balance between saving time and staying current, I executed the following five-step feed portfolio makeover: Drop lame feeds. Previously, I had subscribed to a number of feeds simply because they were recommended or mentioned in an article somewhere. Unfortunately, sound referrals and interesting commentary do not necessarily equate with strong syndicated content. I often found myself reading post […] Read more »

Stop WordPress from Leaking PageRank to Admin Pages

During the most recent Perishable Press redesign, I noticed that several of my WordPress admin pages had been assigned significant levels of PageRank. Not good. After some investigation, I realized that my ancient robots.txt rules were insufficient in preventing Google from indexing various WordPress admin pages. Specifically, the following pages have been indexed and subsequently assigned PageRank: WP Admin Login Page WP Lost Password Page WP Registration Page WP Admin Dashboard Needless to say, it is important to stop WordPress from leaking PageRank to admin pages. Instead of wasting our hard-earned link-equity on non-ranking pages, let’s redirect it to more […] Read more »

Seven Ways to Beef Up Your Best Pages for the Next Google PR Update

Time is running out! Soon, it will be time for the next Google PageRank (PR) update. While it is difficult to predict how your site will perform overall, it seems likely that your highest ranking pages will continue to rank well. The idea behind this article is to improve your site’s overall pagerank by totally beefing up your most popular pages. Of course, every page on your site is important. Ideally, you would want to employ these techniques to every article on your site. But time is short, and Google is coming soon! The next PageRank update is slated for […] Read more »

CSS Throwdown: Preload Images without JavaScript

Clean, easy, effective. You don’t need no stinking JavaScript to preload your images. Nope. Try some tasty CSS and (X)HTML instead! Here’s how.. (only two steps!) Step 1 — Place this in your CSS file: div#preloaded-images { position: absolute; overflow: hidden; left: -9999px; top: -9999px; height: 1px; width: 1px; } Step 2 — Place this at the bottom of your (X)HTML document: <div id=”preloaded-images”> <img src=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> <img src=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> <img src=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> </div> ..and that’s a wrap! All images are preloaded and ready for calling as you please. Completely valid, […] Read more »

SEO 101: Best Practices

After studying Peter Kent’s excellent book, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, several key methods emerged for optimizing websites for the search engines. Although the book is written for people who are new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), many of the principles presented throughout the book remain important, fundamental practices even for the most advanced SEO-wizards. This article divulges these very useful SEO practices and organizes them into manageable chunks 1. Text Essentials The golden rule for developing a popular website is to create a useful site and share it with as many people as possible. When designing […] Read more »

Compressed JavaScript Compression

In this article, we extrapolate our favorite CSS-compression technique for JavaScript. Below, we outline the steps required to auto-compress your JavaScript documents via gzip and PHP. Two different compression methods are presented. The first method does not require htaccess, but rather involves the manual editing of JavaScript files. The second method employs htaccess to do all the work for you, thus requiring much less effort to implement. In either case, the result is the same: automatically compressed content delivered only to supportive browsers, resulting in reduced bandwidth, faster loading times, and smiling visitors :) Read more »

Fast, Effective PHP Compression

PHP compression is an excellent method of conserving bandwidth and reducing client download times. We have already discussed an excellent method for CSS compression, and in this article we share a super-easy technique for compressing all PHP content without editing a single file. Read more »

Flash-Detection Triple-Threat

In our previous article, Alternate JavaScript Slideshow for SlideshowPro, we present an elaborate method for providing alternate content specifically for SlideshowPro. Although the method points toward a more generalized adaptation, its overall functional implementation remains focused on the presentation of slideshows. Read more »

Alternate JavaScript Slideshow for SlideshowPro

For the unenlightened, SlideshowPro (SP) is a Flash-based slideshow-authoring system that delivers full-featured, high-end, Flash-based slideshows. Websites featuring SP slideshows present content in sophisticated fashion, inspiring users with elegant captions, beautiful transitions, and intuitive navigation. However, many visitors are unable to experience SP slideshows because they lack the requisite Flash support. SlideshowPro-based slideshows currently require Flash 7 or better to function. And, although Flash 7 is quite common, it is far from ubiquitous. In the “worst-case” scenario, Flash-challenged visitors will see a broken webpage or missing content. Unfortunately, the typical “best-case” scenario is not much better, as non-Flash users typically […] Read more »

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