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WordPress Plugins

I’ve just added the WordPress Minify [1] plugin to my blog. It’s purpose is to combine CSS and Javascript files and to optimise them for size and it’s based on the Minify project [2]. On my documents blog this takes the main page from 313KB uncompressed, 169KB compressed, and a total of 23 HTTP transfers to 306KB uncompressed, 117KB compressed, and 21 HTTP transfers. In each case 10 of the HTTP transfers are from Google for advertising. It seems that a major obstacle to optimising the web page load times is Google adverts – of course Google has faster servers than I do so I guess it’s not that much of a performance problem. The minify plugin caches it’s data files and I had to really hack at the code to make it use /var/cache/wordpress-minify – a subdirectory of the plugins directory was specified in many places.

deb http://www.coker.com.au lenny wordpress
I’ve added a wordpress-minify package to my repository of WordPress packages for Debian/Lenny with the above APT line. I’ve also got the following packages:
adman
all-in-one-seo-pack
google-sitemap-generator
openid
permalink-redirect
stats
subscribe-to-comments
yubikey

The Super Cache [3] plugin has some nice features. It generates static HTML files that are served to users who aren’t logged in and who haven’t entered a comment. This saves significant amounts of CPU time when there is high load. The problem is that installing this requires modifying the main .htaccess file, adding a new .htaccess file in the plugins directory, and lots of other hackery. The main reason for this is to avoid running any PHP code in the most common cases, it would be good for really heavy use. Also PHP “safe mode” has to be disabled for some reason, which is something I’d rather not do.

The Cache [4] plugin was used as the base for the Super Cache plugin. It seems less invasive, but requires the ability to edit the config file. Getting it into a shape that would work well in Debian would take more time than I have available at the moment. This combined with the fact that my blog will soon be running on a system with two quad-core CPUs that won’t be very busy means that I won’t be packaging it.

If anyone would like to Debianise the Cache or Super Cache plugin then I would be happy to give them my rough initial efforts as a possible starting point.

I’m not planning to upload any of these packages to Debian, it would just add too much work to the Debian security team without adding enough benefit.

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