The WordPress Settings API Video

Here’s the video of my session about the Settings API in WordPress from WordCamp Sofia 2012. You can find the slides and notes/transcript in a post I published earlier: The WordPress Settings API.

If you’re interested in making the Settings API better and less painful to use, please chime in to the discussion on this core ticket: #18285. Have fun!

High Performance WordPress

A co-worker and friend of mine Iliya Polihronov gave this talk earlier this year at WordCamp San Francisco 2012. He walked through an optimal server configuration for a high-performance WordPress environment, including nginx, php-fpm, APC and memcached. His notes are on SlideShare.

I’ve been running an nginx and php-fpm configuration for over a year now, with a VPS from MediaTemple. I tried quite a lot of different configurations, including Batcache, W3 Total Cache, Varnish and more. I found that WP Super Cache with nginx and php-fpm works really well for my setup, where I have just over ten sites in a multisite environment, running on 512M of memory.

After watching Iliya’s talk and the performance improvements possible by APC, I have decided to give it a go some time later this year. My codebase is quite small, so I think I’ll manage to survive with much less than 32M dedicated to APC.

I’d also really love to run the Memcached Backend for WordPress’ object cache, but unable to at the time of writing, since one of my sites in the network has over a thousand “posts” published every day, but accessed only once or twice in their life time. If you’re wondering, they’re Twitter profiles for Foller.me.

As much as I’d like to avoid that, I’ll have to move the site out from the network, instead of hacking the Memcached plugin to avoid caching, based on a domain, which I think is also possible. I’ll keep looking into other solutions, and probably blog about how I solved that later.

In addition to the tools Iliya talked about, I’d like to mention one called ab, or the Apache server benchmarking utility. It has quite a few options to test and benchmark your (not necessarily Apache) web server performance.

What does your WordPress environment look like? Which caching plugins and techniques do you use? Are you planning to try something, or is your setup working well for you? Share your thoughts via the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Wilhelm Joys Andersen: Responsive Web Design

From WordCamp Norway 2012, earlier this year, an awesome presentation by Wilhelm, who takes us through the world of responsive wed design. It isn’t something new, I agree, and as he mentions media queries have been around for over 10 years. However, it’s very nice to catch up on things, since a lot of WordPress theme developers are still overlooking all of this.

One important aspect that Wilhelm mentions is that your printer is a device as well. Nothing to do with media queries, but reminds me of the importance of the print stylesheet. Also to keep in mind is that responsive doesn’t necessarily mean device, but the browser width too. It’s nice if you can shrink your browser width and still be able to read without scrolling left and right, I wish we had this in the PHP functions reference and the WordPress Codex — would save me a bunch of Cmd+Tab hits back and forth.

Anyway, how are you using responsive web design? What are your favorite examples? What grids and/or CSS frameworks would you recommend for responsive web design? Have you tried changing the browser width on my blog? Thank you for taking the time to read/watch this, and feel free to subscribe for more goodies!

Daniel Bachhuber: The Zen of WordPress Development

Daniel Bachhuber of Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP team, gave this awesome talk at WordCamp Phoenix 2012 earlier this year. He walked through some things developers are overlooking when working with WordPress, and some great tips and tricks to speed up your development workflow.

One thing I learned from that talk is that I should stop using Textmate’s “search in project” and use ack instead, which is faster, available in the command line environment (no need for GUI), and has a bunch of options for output customization. By the way, here’s how you install ack on OS X:

  • Download and install MacPorts if you haven’t already.
  • Open your Terminal and type sudo port install p5-app-ack

You can find the notes and slides to the presentation on Daniel’s blog, and by the way, it was originally called “Five tenets to mastering WordPress development” :)

Hope you enjoy the video and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.