Journal

The Good Problem of Bad Web/WordPress Optimization


My website is currently suffering a bit from some really poor optimization. For a while I wasn’t uploading images that were prepared for web use. That wasn’t a big deal back when I was only getting about a dozen visits a day but now that I’ve grown into a tiny three to four hundred views a day it is starting to add up. It’s a good problem though because it means there is interest and it challenges me to do better. I’ve set up a new caching service called WP Super Cache which should improve performance dramatically.

Basically 99% of the people visiting are visiting pages that don’t update often. This’ll provide them with a stable and low impact static HTML page rather than a unique query. At least that is how I understand it. We’ll see how that changes the page draw. Currently we are hitting over a gig in bandwith usage a day and a lot of that was coming from some rather large images that I ignorantly uploaded in the past (and not so recent past). Liz has taken the scalpel to a few and cleaned them up. I’m backing up all ~2,200 images that make up this website tonight and I’m going to try and automatically fix them all tomorrow. If any get broken I’ll replace them with their unbroken counterparts from the backup. It should be fun.

Unironically* I’ve listened to the song “What is Love” by Haddaway about a dozen times in the last week. It’s basically jibberish and the music video is absolute madness. But I’m about to link you to it because we need a break between this website news.

Alright now that you’ve either got that out of the way or you are listening to it while you read we’ll move on. I’ve also downloaded and removed all the vestigial content that was on my hosting. We had a few wiki sites, a plagiarised forums, and a few old archived sites. I’ve backed them up and will keep them hard copy offline. I’ve also gone through and culled most of the addons that I don’t use just to be safe. I actually would love to see a future where wordpress lets you hide all plugins that are required for your theme. That way I can just freely uninstall addons that I don’t use anymore or don’t see any benefit from.

I’ve also gone into the actual SQL databases and cleaned them all up. There was some problems with redundancy and empty table entries that were mucking up the inner workings. It’s actually a really easy thing to accomplish with PHPMyAdmin if you are using it. You go to the SQL database you are interested in, click the overhead link beneath all of the table entries, and then for “action” select “optimize.”

So simple even a Cave Penguin can do it.

If these solutions don’t work my next plan after that will be to switch the theme which might be happening in the next month or two depending on time and how much I can poke my wife (who is a wizard with this stuff) before she lights a baseball bat on fire and starts chasing after people in the Target parking lot. Although that would be a sight to see. Hopefully the website won’t break while I’m trying all these new tricks. If you notice anything broken or perhaps are having problems of your own, I’d love to try and help or perhaps get help?

Regardless this is a good problem to have (as I mentioned and forgot I mentioned in the introduction of this post). In the end the viewers will be getting a better website that is more responsive and I’m getting the views that give me that little emotional pick me up I so desire. Those brief moments where I see the hit count I am reminded of that feeling when you glance at a stranger and you both smile. A momentary connection that begins and ends positively. No complications, just interaction and satisfaction.

*(an unword that will soon be a word I’m sure, much like unword).