WordPress 3.0 Initial Thoughts

I finally got around to installing and playing with the new WordPress 3.0 version. The new interface is a small improvement over the previous versions. I think the biggest improvement so far is the Appearance/Themeing options. There are now options for the Header, Background and Menus.

Appearances

The Header option allows you select which image should appear in your header with ease.

The Background allows you to define a color for your background or an image, it doesn’t seem to allow for more controls than that with the default theme.

The Menu option allows you to create a custom menu system. Definitely a nice touch. You define your elements, and include the custom menu as a widget into your theme.

The theme included is definitely an improvement over the older themes. It’s a more general design that you see in alot of wordpress sites, and should suit most of everyone’s basic needs.

Creating Posts

When creating posts you can define a featured image. The image will appear on your homepage and category listings, custom header, or other location if your theme supports.

Memory Requirements

My biggest issue the new version, which is still an issue with the previous versions, is the memory requirements. A fresh install of wordpress takes up to 10 Megabytes of memory to run for a single page request. That’s insane. The wordpress team really needs to make some headway on improving the memory requirements of wordpress. I’ve read their recommendations on the subject, and they all boil down to increasing the memory limit for php (especially when you use quite a number of plugins), or getting a bigger box. This is only a half-solution, and doesn’t solve the entire problem. The other option of caching the php code is fine, but that increases the running httpd processes on your server, there by eating up more memory.

Conclusions

I’m seeing some good improvements with wordpress which makes me continue to use it. When it comes to memory requirements thought, I’m not too thrilled. I hope to find another system with the same or similar functionality and customization. If you’re on a shared host, the memory issues can bite you later on when your site gets popular, of if you’re running too many plugins.

I hope the wordpress team really addresses the memory usage issue, and makes some more performance improvements to WordPress. I would recommend to them the following:

  • Caching the wp_options table to a file on the filesystem and/or support for memcache.
  • General support for memcache.
  • Move the rss_feed data that gets left in the wp_options table and move that to another table.
  • Not to clone the wp_query object. I don’t know why they do this, but having two of them just takes up more memory.
  • Eliminite the older code in the codebase. There are numerous references through out the files for old pieces of code that have been superseded by the same function under a different name.
  • Allow for more exposure of the underlining data from posts, comments, and other areas, so there aren’t as many plugins that get created.

New Windows O/S coming out, it will be called…. Windows 7

Ladies and gentlemen, Microsoft is releasing a new version of their operating system. A follow up to Vista. It’ll slice, it’ll dice, it’ll…. okay, maybe not all that, but it will be called… Windows 7! That’s right, it’s called Windows 7. Not Windows XP Senior, not Windows Viva la Vista, not Windows 2012; simply Windows 7. Microsoft decided to drop the special names and date name scheme because they felt it just didn’t work anymore, and I agree. As noted in the article, the date naming didn’t match the release time, similar to Madden games being dated 1 year ahead, based on stats 1 year behind; bad EA. And they also said they didn’t want to come up with the “aspirational” name either. I agree with this move as well. It’s easier for people to deal with just a number associated to a software. It’s bad enough you have multiple versions of the OS that don’t really stand out that well at the end of the name like Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Home Ultimate, Vista Business, Vista yada yada. It’s just frustrating. A number tells the story better and in fewer words, “You need this version of better”.

The new OS will improve upon Vista, and will be available to devs in beta version soon. Honestly, I think Microsoft needs to slow down on all these releases. I’ve been using Vista for just about 18 months. These turn around cycles don’t allow for sufficient time to work out the kinks properly and to include the features that people want if you don’t allow for proper feedback. Vista has probably one of the worst releases of any Microsoft OS due to the number of issues with stability and support at launch time. Most of the issues have been resolved, but I still have some issues with my OS running a 64 bit platform. Stabilize the OS before you go off and work on something new, because if you haven’t fixed your current OS by the time you work on the new one, aren’t you carrying over the issues and bugs I’m experiencing?

I’m sure the motiviation for this is money, and to help push the transition to the new platform for all the businesses who said no to Vista. Look, if you get it working better, you will see the move.

Blah, I’m done on this topic. Time to go back to my command line interface on linux.

PuTTy and WinTabber unite! WinTabber now comes with Putty built in.

I noticed recently that my version of WinTabber, version 0.232 was no longer the current version. I decided to download the new version that was available, and what a surprise. Putty now comes with WinTabber.

This is great. I’m using putty and wintabber daily to work on and manage a number of linux machines. It makes organizing all these windows efficient, and I don’t have to spend the money on

Some other new features to note:

  • Tab placement: allows you to position the tabs to either the Top, left side, right side or bottom.
  • Tab appearances: give you the option to style your tabs, either as a flat look, visio style, excel style and more.
  • Color coding the tabs for easy identification.
  • Will read your old putty profiles for easier access.
  • large icon support.

Download the newest version here.

Improving the performance of a website for a VPS: MySQL

I’m running this website, and others, on a VPS hosted at VPSLink. For those who don’t know, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a “fake” server that is partitioned off of a real server. For example, say you have this big beefy box with 16GB of RAM, over 1 Terabyte of disk space, Dual Processors with Dual Cores. Sounds pretty nice. Well you could if you wanted to, segment the server into small servers by creating these smaller servers virtually. Through the use of software like OpenVZ or XEN you can do exactly this. You can take a beefy server and make multiple servers out of it. It’s different from shared hosting where you share resources with other sites on a server. With a VPS, you get a dedicated portion of the resources, or a slice of the box. It works out great if you want to have a server with it’s own resources to get around the issues of shared hosting, but not spend the full cost of full server like with a dedicated server. So that’s a VPS, and back to my problem.

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WordPress Tip: Using the More Link

I was noticing in the wordpress admin, that you can add a more link. This more link is very useful. Have you ever been to a website an noticed that each blog posting just runs on and on? Well some of the postings on my own site have been very long, and I don’t really like that. I want them to be more of an intro text on the homepage, with a link to read more. Here’s an example.

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