This post is might sound over the head of your average WordPress blogger but trust me, if you can click a mouse, you can turn your sluggish and bloated WordPress into the lean and reliable blog you’ve always wanted.
If you have a WordPress blog with a few years on it, there is a good chance that you have a messy database. Every theme, plugin or tool you add to your WordPress installation can leave behind a unhealthy handful of orphan database entries.
Ironically, often times these orphan entries come from a plugin or theme you have removed in an effort to speed up your blog. Sadly, many themes and plugins don’t leave your blog as clean as they found it. Sometimes these orphan entries come from theme and plugin updates or even blog settings and customizations.
Just today I did a cleaning of my blog which resulted in my database shrinking by 11.3 megabytes, a decrease of over 50%. This removed 4,122 orphan entries in my database. To accomplish this I used two must have plugins. Continue reading →
Big thanks to two Twitter friends who took it upon themselves to solve what was to me a major issue on my blog. I explained it in an earlier post but basically comments took up twice as much space as they should. That made for an ugly comment section.
Turns out the problem was two fold. First WordPress’s Twenty Twelve theme simply puts too much space between comments. The second problem was a CSS conflict with Livefyre was double-nesting all the comments, thus doubling the space taken up. Five comments in a row would end up taking ten comments worth of space. So the solution? Much easier than I thought!
Lines 1-5 prevent the double-nesting of comments (or so I’m told via @onebrightlight). LInes 6-12 close up the space after each comment and lines 14-16 remove the extraneous lines WordPress insisted on adding to my blog. The last bit of help came from @BigCloudMedia. He later went on to help me close in the extra space on my sidebar between items. How kind!
I’m not sure if this is because I’m using Livefyre to manage my comments or maybe it’s a fault of WordPress’s Twenty Twelve theme but ever since I moved from Twenty Eleven, my comment threads have added space between comments and again in between each thread. This doubles the length of my comments on the blog and makes for messy comment reading experience.
You can see an example of this with the image on the left. The areas in purple are the wasted space. It wastes so much space that I had to shrink the image down so you could get an idea of how much space it is wasting.
I have threading turned off in my WordPress settings.
I’m no CSS expert, this is no secret. I can get a theme and hack it together into something I like but normally with the help of qualified friends like David. I’ve asked on Twitter a few times but no one has responded with a suggested solution. The image to the left is a screenshot of the post for my Nutella Ice Cream Recipe, if you want to see the problem for yourself.
Maybe you guys can help in the comments, on my comments. How meta is that?
No, this is not another blog post about me going to the gym, experimenting with a new 4 Hour Body recipe or anything else you are probably guessing. This is about how I’m trying to make the experience on my site better for both of us.
I spent the better part of my last two evenings optimizing this site. Seems like I spend a ton of time helping clients and friends do this sort of stuff, meanwhile I have been neglecting my own site. This is what happens when you start to do what you love as a means of income; when you’re not getting paid to do it, it’s the last thing you want to do!
While this post is about what I did to my site, many of my choices are relevant to anyone that wants to take blogging seriously. I touch on how I’m speeding up my blog, to making money off of my original content and encouraging others to engage with my posts.
I hope this proves to be helpful for the both those who have just started blogging as well as those veterans who may simply have forgotten, or never knew, these tips to get the most out of your blog. So without further adieu, here’s a totally inside baseball look at what I’ve been up to. Continue reading →
Tonight, these sites and perhaps hundreds more died. At least temporarily.
The Internet was ablaze (almost ironically) tonight when a massive storm on the East Coast caused a power outage that affected Amazon’s “Amazon Web Services” cloud server system. AWS is what power so many sites and services these days. It’s their reliability, scalability, cost and speed that have so many startups jumping to their system.
Tonight became Survivor – Startup Edition
However, tonight highlights what happens when you rely on a single fail point. What’s the adage? “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” Well tonight it was a single Amazon server location’s power outage that has many of the most popular sites offline. Amazingly, Twitter is not one of the sites shutdown.
Once the power is back on, or once Amazon starts shifting bandwidth and syncing servers, all of these sites will be back up and running. What’s disappointing is that even though Amazon has tons of servers all over the country, it only took one power outage to cripple their system. Continue reading →