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Here is everything I’ve learnt recently in trying to debug a Wordpress sites performance problems. The site runs on a dedicated server however a lot of these also apply to shared hosting. Remember to please take backups before trying any of these.
1. Run Wordpress Updates
Often performance issues will be fixed in newer versions of Wordpress, plugins and themes. This may not always be straight forward as it depends on the plugins you have installed and the theme you use.
For all plugins you need to check they are compatible with the latest version of Wordpress, fortunately you can easily see this on Wordpress.org and on the Updates page in newer version of Wordpress.
When I come to run updates I usually take a snapshot of the site to run locally. I can then test and debug any problems before running them on the main site.
2. Empty Caches
Caching can be a great way of speeding up your website however it can also get in the way when trying to debug other problems. When trying something new always clear your caches to make sure cached data doesn’t interfere with anything you’re trying. Most caching plugins have the option to disable caching for authenticated users.
3. Disable unused plugins.
If you’re anything like me you will always be trying new plugins for that extra bit of functionality. Check to see if there are any plugins you have that don't add to the value of your site or don't fit in with what your site offers.
4. Enable Caching Plugin
For years I’ve been using WP Super Cache as its easy to setup and works really well. However as I was troubleshooting around this area I found W3 Total Cache, this has more configuration options and the ability to configure a Content Delivery Network (explained below). Most of the default options are a good start however its worth going through every one to see how it affects your site.
WP-Optimize gives you access to a number of database tasks without needing PHPMYADMIN. Among other features it allows the easy removal of post revisions, comments in the spam queue, and unapproved comments.
All of the following are changes you can make to the wp-config.php file (not to be mixed with wp-config-sample.php).
6. Limit number of revisions
The idea behind this one is that as your site grows by limiting the number of revisions an article can have the wp_posts table grows at a slower rate meaning any SQL queries take less time to complete. The WP-Optimize plugin mentioned above also lets you remove unwanted revisions if you wanted to do this manually.
To disable post revisions all together add:
7. Increase memory limit
While not strictly for performance if you get out of memory errors you can add the following:
(This can also be set in php.ini and .htaccess - some shared hosting may not let you overwrite this).
8. Enable Wordpress Caching
There are different levels of caching available - to enable the basic built in caching add:
(Caching plugins often do this for you.)
9. Add Blog Address and Site Address
Each time a page is loaded it looks up these values from the database - the idea behind hard coding these is that its one less SQL query to do.
Once these are set in the wp-config.php file they will be greyed out in the Wordpress Admin General settings page.
10. Add Template and Stylesheet Paths
As above this adds in the paths for the template and stylesheet to stop an SQL query to find it.
This will disable the ability for you to change themes unless you remove these two lines.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
11. Use a CDN
A CDN allows you to serve static content such images, scripts and stylesheets locally in a geographical sense to the user. So if the server is US based and the visitor is from the London they would get these files from a server close to London. The idea being that as the data is being served from a fast server/network close to their location loading time will be reduced.
CDNs have been around for a long time however only more recently have they become very easy to integrate with Wordpress. The service I tried was MaxCDN they offer 1TB of bandwidth for $40 making it cheap to play around with. Before you can setup MaxCDN with Wordpress you need to install the W3 Total Cache plugin and you need access to your domains DNS.
11a. Login to MaxCDN go to Manage Zones and click create pull zone. As the name suggests a pull zone will copy content from your site so you don’t have to worry about uploading it to multiple places.
11b. Enter your blogs name for the pull zone, your blogs URL for Origin Server URL, something like cdn.yourblog.com for the Custom CDN Domain, something that describes the zone for Label and tick the compression box.
11c. Maxcdn will give you a URL for your CDN that you need to setup as a cname in your sites DNS. This may take several hours to propagate.
11d. Go to Manage Account > API and add a key. The description can be your blogs name.
11e. Login to Wordpress and go to the W3 Total Cache Performance section. Scroll down to Content Delivery Network, tick enable and select NetDNA/MaxCDN.
11f. Go to the Browser Cache Settings tab and change all three options for ‘Cache Control policy’ to ‘cache (“public”)’
11g. Go to the Content Delivery Network tab in W3 Total Cache and add the API ID and Key provided by MaxCDN. Add the cname you setup under Replace site’s hostname with.
Refresh your cache and visit your site. If everything has worked you should see the urls of your stylesheets, scripts and images have been replaced by the cname URL you setup in MaxCDN.
Server - Apache
The following tips require server level access and are for more advanced troubleshooting and performance tweaking.
12. Enable compression
mod_deflate allows the server to send compressed files to the supporting browser, it will increase CPU slightly however should decrease the amount of time a client is connected to the server, a full tutorial can be found here.
13. Hostname Lookups
Turning off DNS lookups can help make your server capable of handling more traffic.
To do this add to your httpd.conf or Apache2 file (often found in etc/apache/httpd.conf or /etc/apache2/apache2.conf):
(There are a lot more Apache tweaks however the above two often get good results).
Server - PHP
Memcache is another type of caching for PHP, again there is a plugin - Memcached Object Cache.
Again Batcache is another caching module - Batcache Wordpress plugin.
(I will confess I didn't try any PHP caching techniques in my recent troubleshooting however where I've used them in the past there have been significant performance gains).
Server - MYSQL
There are a number of tweaks for mysql.
17. Enable Query Cache
This will cache results to help speed up queries.
In my.cnf find or add:
query-cache-type = 1
query-cache-size = 20M
query-cache-limit = 2M
18. Setup logging of large queries
In my.cnf find or add:
long_query_time = 1
Enabling logging of large queries ultimately helped me fix the performance problems with my site. For instance I noticed a query for counting comments to determine popular posts was taking over a second to complete (since the site was now getting a lot of comments). By rewriting this query and setting it to run on a daily cron job I could still generate a list of popular posts without the query running every time the page was loaded.
19. Optimize/Repair Database tables
In PHPMYADMIN or using WP-Optimize you can optimize and repair database tables. Remember to take a backup of these tables first.
Server - General
20. Running Top
While not strictly a performance tip, running top or task manager can help you troubleshoot when the CPU is being used excessively for PHP, Apache or MYSQL.
22. Checking with server admin/hosting company
If your server is managed by another company it’s often worth checking with them if there are any performance problems on there. On shared hosting another account maybe be culprit and causing issues so checking with the provider can often fix this.
23. Theme Performance
A simple way to see if your current theme is causing problems is to change to another one. If with the new theme the performance is significantly better you can then start disabling plugins and widgets until you diagnose the problem.
24. Minify/Combine Files
Plugins such W3 Total Cache allow you to minify and combine scripts so that the browser has less and smaller files to download when requesting.
25. Optimize Images
The net tab in Firebug lets you see exactly what is downloaded when loading the page and the total size of all the files. You’ll be able to see any particularly large images and scripts and optimize accordingly.
I hope you've found this list helpful - if you have any tips please leave them in the comments.
In the digital age, freelancing has experienced an incredible boom. Now, according to Forbes, freelancers make up an astounding 35% of US workers, accounting for right at $1 trillion of income in 2016.
So what are the factors behind this growth of the freelance economy, and how can freelancers and businesses alike take best advantage of this growing trend?
Factors Leading to the Growth of Freelancing
The rapid growth of freelancing is no coincidence, as several factors have boosted freelancing to the prominence it now enjoys. These factors are:
By far the biggest factor contributing to the growth of freelancing has been innovations in technology. The internet and the plethora of tools and platforms it has given birth to have opened the door for many employees to complete their work remotely. No longer required to show up at an office, employees in legal, marketing, engineering, design, and many other fields are now able to find clients and deliver work to them on their own thanks to advances in technology.
The attitudes and lifestyle of modern workers, particularly millennials, have played a large role in the popularity of freelancing. Many millennial workers have a thirst for freedom and travel that only freelancing can provide. They value the ability to set their own hours and work from the location that they choose above most anything else that a traditional job could offer. Of course, it isn’t only the younger generation that is recognizing these benefits – 28% of Baby Boomers worked as freelancers as well in 2016.
Talented freelancers are in demand. Companies all over the world value the flexibility, diversity, and skill that freelancers bring to the table, and they are willing to pay for it. According to a survey of freelancers who quit their traditional jobs to begin freelancing, a little over half of those surveyed said that they are now earning more as a freelancer than they did at their old job. Meanwhile, 53% of freelancers surveyed said they believed having a number of clients they work for makes them more financially secure than relying on a single employer.
How to Take Advantage of the Growth of Freelancing
The growth of the freelancing economy offers plenty of new opportunities to both businesses and freelancers alike. For businesses, more freelancers in the field means more options to choose from, providing plenty of flexibility in regard to how modern companies complete their projects.
For freelancers, freelancing’s rising popularity may mean more competition, but it also means more opportunities that may have not been available just a few years ago. As companies all over the world continue to increasingly rely on freelancers as part of their workforce, you can expect more and more lucrative freelancing positions to become available.
Whether you are looking to hire a freelancer or you are thinking of starting a career as one, now is an excellent time wade into the wonderful world of freelancing. If you’re ready to get started, be sure to check out the freelancing platform freelancemyway.com.
In today’s generation, online gaming is slowly growing to become a great hit. The universal demand of online games is astonishing. According to researches done, it displays that one in four internet operators visit online game websites, bringing an annual report of more than 217 million online gamesters worldwide. This online game groups are settled by people from both sexes and of all ages. Universally, people are spending time playing slots, trivia, and board games. However, are all these games healthy? Yes, perhaps in many more ways than you would ever think.
Memory and Cognitive Skills
Nowadays, old and young alike are finding cognitive boosters and fun challenges in online games targeting memory and reaction. Online slots, puzzle games such as Sudoku or Mah-jong, and trivia games like Slingo MatchUms are easy to learn and play, yet provide a continuing challenge for players. Once you click the link to play online slots there really is no turning back, the simplicity of online casino has taken over.
Grown person tend to use certain parts of their brains frequently, while other parts are less lively. By enjoying games that focus on memory, speed, logic and reasoning, you can work out those smaller used parts of the brain. According to studies, logic, trivia, slots, puzzle and memory games can help stave off the forgetfulness and dementia that occasionally comes with old age. By using all the parts of the brain can have big advantages for you now and as you grow older.
For kids, these same challenges can improve the cognitive growth they are experiencing as they grow. Where memory and speed might not be as much of a test to a 13-year-old, logic and reasoning probably are. Games have constantly been a part of the childhood development cycle. Alternating physical play with nowadays overabundance of online games gives the brain the workout it needs and provides a healthy balance.
Online game communities and multiplayer online games provide occasions to promote social interaction within current relationships as well. Whenever family members or friends are miles apart, remaining in contact can be challenging at best. However, today grandson and grandpa can go head to head every night trying it out over 8-ball, backgammon and chess, while old buddies are playing bingo and checkers, all the while chatting about the day and remaining involved in each other’s lives.
Rich story lines, cooperative play and mental challenges draw game players in, nonetheless part of what makes online games extremely admired is the social interaction. Through online communications, players build both meaningful and casual relationships. They have the chance to strengthen existing relationships and meet new people.
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