The page speed of an optimized website scaled for high traffic is a phrase which a developer often hears from the moment they enter the industry. There is a lot of discussion about these topics, and rightly so! In this tutorial, we're going to be taking a look at some of the topics that are often discussed - especially caching - and how it can not only benefit our site, but how to configure our WordPress installation to achieve the best results possible.
I run several class blogs as subdomains on ryanhoover.net (2325.ryanhoover.net, 13o2.ryanhoover.net, etc.). Before this solution, I’ve been installing each class blog as its own instance of WordPress. Of course, with the near-daily updates to WordPress, I’ve been updating 8+ blogs routinely. A network installation would make my life so much easier. But here’s the kicker. I don’t want the root page at ryanhoover.net to be a WordPress blog. I’ve got a fun little setup there that I don’t want to lose. Plus, I use that page as a playground for new html tricks I want to try.
I think the WordPress software is the best blogging software around from an end user’s perspective. Its GUI is full of eye-candy and features that are not present in other blog software. But wearing my security hat, I see past this eye-candy onto the code and see several bad design decisions.
If Joomla! is Linux, then WordPress is Mac OS X. WordPress might offer only 90% of the features of Joomla!, but in most cases WordPress is both easier to use and faster to get up and running.
If you self-host WordPress, it's advisable to implement some kind of caching solution. Whether you want to run your blog in an economical micro instance at Amazon's Cloud (AWS) or expect your blog to get significant scale or traffic spikes, caching will be critical to manage performance. Caching can also help improve your Google Page Speed which impacts your search engine ranking.
Over the past several years, I’ve trained a lot of people on WordPress, through individual one-on-one training, seminars, workshops, and conference events. Most of the people who want to learn WordPress have plans for blogging. They think blogging requires you to understand the technology before they can jump in. But the technology is easy — learning how to navigate and publish content with WordPress is a no-brainer. The hard part is creating regular, interesting content. I’m not sure how to teach content creation.
When choosing a blog platform, you have a variety of options: Drupal, Movable Type, Typepad, Blogger, Joomla, Expression Engine, WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress, and others. But when you start researching the options, WordPress seems to have at least 10 main strengths over its competitors.
WordPress is fairly simple to set up as a CMS ‘out of the box’, but where it needs a lot of customization is for setting up ‘smart’ navigation and being able to serve up pages or posts in multiple languages.
I think the idea of providing a site template from WordPress is ingenious. It made me think about exactly what a chapter WordPress template would look like. I wish I could say our Intermountain-STC site is a perfect example, but it’s not (not yet anyway). I spent a good chunk of time this weekend tweaking a few things. Here are several elements that I think a chapter WordPress template would have.
I'm amazed at how easily people can make sites look both professional and functional in a short period of time using WordPress. Clyde Parson, the STC-Suncoast chapter in Tampa, just redid the Suncoast STC with a new WordPress theme. It looks pretty cool.
You don’t have to cram all your content into an endlessly long post. Instead, you can create shorter posts that are connected with series navigation. Not only are series more readable online, they’re also easier to write.
Very interesting usability study of one of the most popular blog authoring tools. Provides detailed description of the usability testing method and results, including the use of eye-tracking. Provides a wealth of ideas for those designers who develop publishing platforms.
For a company that recently secured $29 million in funding, has grown from nonexistence to worldwide popularity in just four years, and which has the reputation of being the platform for serious bloggers, it’s kind of bold for me to call attention to its biggest mistake in a post. But I’m convinced that it’s a huge miscalculation on the part of Automattic (the company that leads WordPress). The Automattic team, led by Matt Mullenweg, has about 25 engineers and …. not one technical writer.