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.

WordPress is a hog

I was doing some reading on WordPress and came across some people’s experiences with it and how they switched to another blogging software or how they have concerns with the way the software runs. Some of the posts note excessive queries for data that may not be necessary. Finding these articles made me decide to do a little digging myself. I currently have this website running on wordpress and I have another website I manage that runs on wordpress.

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