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Interesting WordPress Performance Tweaks

Over the course of a couple of days, the speed of loading a new post form (like the one I’m typing in right now) has been kind of sluggish. Multiple second load times and kind of sluggish responsiveness was bugging me, but I’m not in the new post that often.

While reading up on some good WordPress habits, like Core Functionality Plugins. I noticed a bug posted that hasn’t really been fixed in several years. Basically: WordPress, on the new post page, makes a really slow query for these old Custom Fields that aren’t used in many new posts. The queries run can take make the new post page take several seconds (15+!) on large sites.

The fix is surprisingly easy:

/**
 * Remove Ancient Custom Fields metabox from post editor
 * because it uses a very slow query meta_key sort query
 * so on sites with large postmeta tables it is super slow
 * and is rarely useful anymore on any site
 */
function s9_remove_post_custom_fields_metabox() {
     foreach ( get_post_types( '', 'names' ) as $post_type ) {
         remove_meta_box( 'postcustom' , $post_type , 'normal' );   
     }
}
add_action( 'admin_menu' , 's9_remove_post_custom_fields_metabox' ); 

Add that to a custom plugin, or Code Snippets and boom, much faster loading times for new posts.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day!

Emerging Information Technology

When you think of “emerging information technology” as a classroom subject, you think of things like AI, “Deep Learning”, Rust, embedded tech, robotics or speech recognition. You probably weren’t thinking packet inspection. Especially not a class from what looks like the early ’00’s.

A picture of a Windows XP (yes, XP) open file dialog box for Wireshark.
This is an actual slide from the slide deck posted in my class.

Unbelievable. In addition to this ancient material that we covered in CISCO 1/2 and a myriad of earlier courses, this professor is one I have experience with. Bad experiences. He is habitually either late or misses entire classes without notification.

Sigh.

Customization

Because WordPress themes are often imperfect, depending on the use, you often have to customize them in various ways. Sometimes it’s adding a logo or featured/header/hero image. Sometimes it’s tweaking the sidebar or widget layout. Sometimes you just need to add or adjust some of the CSS.

Normally, I would recommend customizing more than a few things as a child theme. That way when the base theme gets updated, if you modified your files, they’ll be safe. You can also customize things through the Customize tool. This allows you to set various settings, as well as add CSS. Couple this with Custom Snippets, and you can do quite a bit without having to crack open an editor and SFTP your files back and forth.

To that end, I’ve started saving and documenting some of these tweaks that I use for DeGruchy.org. Everything stored in git on SourceHut. I’m planning on adding more documentation, like plugin usage and some innocuous configuration settings.

Check it out!

WordCamp Europe

So, I apparently missed the entirety of WordCamp Europe. It wasn’t like I was going to any place, as much as I’d love to have the excuse. This year, like with everything else in what I am coining as: “2020: The Lost Year”; WordCamp Europe was online.

Going online does have it’s benefits. People can connect from where they are and save on expenses. This newfangled Internet thing really revolutionized that. Additionally, if you’re someone who missed it (*cough*), then you can watch the recorded videos and pretend like you’re there.

My personal favorites are:

As you might be able to tell, I am an exciting person and would never bore the life out of you at a party or convention. Never.

I dare say that these sorts of streamed/recorded conferences are going to change the way we handle future events. COVID is not going anywhere any time soon, and while I know it’s not going to last forever, we should really think about employing a mixed setting to these events. Bizzcon does this, where you can virtually attend via stream and recording. You pay less for the virtual ticket and still get some of the goodies. While I know that that is less than idea for the sponsors of the event, it might be worth investigating.

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