WordPress Performance Audit

I’m on vacation this week!

So naturally I decided to start a WordPress performance audit of my personal websites to purge any under-performing plugins as well as evaluate my Child Theme for improvements.

I audit plugins no less than every six months. If a plugin hasn’t been updated in that time I’ll consider removing it from my website.


I removed AMP for WordPress and Redis Object Cache.

AMP for WordPress is great if you want that Google love but its overkill for my personal blog. Ironically it hinders site performance a bit so removing it made sense. With AMP removed Redis Object Cache became unnecessary so that was removed as well. I’ll likely need to cleanup some database tables as a result and WPOptomize is perfect for removing old cruft so I’ll do that next.

Plugins That Remained

Progressive Web Apps for WordPress which I recently started using earned a top spot on my site. Not only does it easily set up progressive web app support, it seems to provide a performance boost as well.

Lazy Loader provides lazy loading until WordPress 4.5 is released and becomes a core feature.

The IndieWeb Suite

IndieWeb, Semantic-Linkbacks, Webmention, and Micropub are enhancing my site as a social media hub.

  • IndieWeb – integrates this site with Twitter
  • Semantic-Linkbacks – provides additional commenting features
  • Webmention – Allows users to provide a link to their website as a comment.
  • Mircopub – uses IndieAuth to for third party integration for apps like Quill


I use Wordfence’s two factor security login app to provide an additional layer of protection. Understandably, the full version as it doesn’t play nicely with Micropub as it allows third party access.

Child Theme

I added OpenGraph support so Featured Images show up on social media posts to my blog. Jetpack had provided that previously but I decided to remove it as I wasn’t making full use of all its features.

Chromium website audit
Pretty snappy results

Because PWA caches the browser with service workers a website becomes available offline. Reloading a webpage can result in a page refresh of less than 200ms because its stored locally on your device. Not quite as quick as Gatsby JS or Hugo…But pretty close.

Current Status
  • Listening to: "L.A." by "Mu330" on "Live Oh Yeah!"

It takes 1GB for WordPress in 2020

When it takes 1GB to run a relatively lean WordPress website in 2020 I see the appeal of static site generators. These are from my $10 a month Digital Ocean server for this website.

A few years back we could comfortably run a basic blog on a server with a mere 512 MB of RAM.

Current Status
  • Listening to: "Ruby Soho" by "Rancid" on "...And Out Come The Wolves"
WordCamp Santa Claritavideo

Lessons Learned From Presenting a Remote WordCamp Session

WP_Query, Going Beyond The Loop at WordCamp Santa Clarita April 18, 2020

As conferences have moved online to fight the spread of Coronavirus WordCamp Santa Clarita was one of the early WordPress events to try this new format. Here are my thoughts on how I could have improved my session for a distributed audience.

Cooking Looks Easier On Television

I grew up watching a lot of cable TV. One of my favorite tropes is that chef toiling over a cutting board passing fresh ingredients into spotless glass bowls. Ten minutes later pulling a flawless meal out of an oven.

Everything scripted and budgeted for time. A distributed conference is actually a lot like those cooking shows. No audience just a conversation with a camera.

Give Yourself Plenty Of Time To Prepare

Back in 2017 Chris Lema shared his process with me for preparing one of his standout conference sessions.

No matter how small or big the talk he would be ready to present two weeks early and rehearse a few days before. At my best I’m ready a week before. However, after a few talks I’ve found the closer I apply his advice the better things go.

My Usual Process

Before I submit my proposal for consideration I narrow down possible topics. Usually something I could present with no preparation whatsoever with anyone.

Next, I draft the proposal from beginning to end. Being sure not to cover too much or not enough for the time slot.

After I’ve submitted a proposal and before its accepted I’ll gather additional research materials and start taking detailed notes. I flow it into a nearly complete draft and consider possible additions or items that may need to be removed.

Once I’m approved to speak I start refining the final script and build out a slideshow and have everything done 14 days prior.

Well, a remote conference is a lot different from speaking at a podium in front of a poorly lit slide projection.

I Should Have Ditched My Slide Presentation

A good slide presentation is always valuable but lets be honest…When’s the last time we’ve watched a Powerpoint for fun on social media?

If I had this talk again I’d take a queue from those cooking shows and prepare each step in advance and present them to the audience step by step.

I’d probably still start and end with a slide presentation but at each point I’d jump into my WordPress templates and build the code live. Then, when it breaks… and it will. Just pull a working example out of the oven.

When it comes to code watching someone make errors live is just as valuable as seeing it work perfectly. It gives our audience a rare look into our problem solving process and developer workflow.

Broadcast Delays

Unfortunately the conference speakers all experienced at least a three minute delay with their audience. With no faces directly asking questions or responding in real time I missed an major opportunity in my talk… Where should we place the code? Yup, Its like I pulled bread out of an oven without mixing the ingredients together.

It wasn’t until the question and answer session that I realized I never mentioned WP_Query loops belong in a Child Theme’s template. If I were presenting the files live rather than slides the audience would have seen me open and close files moving content around and testing the results live! There would have been errors, it could have been glorious.

Don’t Panic! Success is in the oven, just off camera. ????