Speeding up WordPress

Tim Bowen’s Speeding up WordPress 5/25/10 presentation

Test load times/elements here: Pingdom
Also use YSlow and Google Page Speed to test speed.

PHP Query Elimination:
Use this: <meta charset=”UTF-8″ />
Not this: <meta charset=”<?php bloginfo( ‘charset’ ); ?>” />

Use Google hosted JQuery / Prototype libraries by adding this to functions.php file:
function my_init_method() {
wp_deregister_script( ‘jquery’ );
wp_register_script( ‘jquery’, ‘http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4/jquery.min.js’);
add_action(‘init’, ‘my_init_method’);

Remove actions for WordPress meta, rsd_link and wlmanifest by adding these lines to functions.php:
remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘wp_generator’);
remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘rsd_link’);
remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘wlwmanifest_link’);

Use Google minify for JS and CSS files.
Add Javascript files to bottom of page for faster load speeds.

Define elements in wp-config.php file:
define(‘ENABLE_CACHE’, true );
define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);

Set the WP URL and Site URL to improve site performance.  Make sure these are same as in the General Settings page
define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘http://SITENAME.com/cms’);
define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘http://SITENAME.com’);

Set the template directory and stylesheet directory to improve site performance and eliminate server queries
define(‘TEMPLATEPATH’, ‘/home/public_html/cms/wp-content/themes/THEMENAME’);
define(‘STYLESHEETPATH’, ‘/home/public_html/cms/wp-content/themes/THEMENAME’);

Use optimized .htaccess file

Disable hotlinking with this code in .htaccess file:
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*.(gif|jpg|png|ico)$ – [F,L]

Image hosting off-site with WP-Offload plugin and Steady Offload

Add <?php flush(); ?> after the </head> and before <body> to speed up loading.

Potentially useful plugins:

  • DB Cache Reloaded (small speed bump while helping to eliminate queries to server)
  • W3 Total Cache (small speed bump, also good for heavy traffic)
  • Quick Cache (small speed bump, good for heavy traffic)
  • WP Super Cache (didn’t notice speed bump, reviews claim good for heavy traffic)
  • PHP Speedy (compresses scripts from plugins, small speed bump)

“Design Can Change” Presentation

Tim Bowen (of Creative Slice – green website design) & Kimberly Daly (of dalysite – sustainable graphic design) will be giving a short presentation on the Design Can Change concept of sustainability through design.

  • Where: Spoke6, 439 N 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705 (located on the SW corner of 6th avenue & 6th street)
  • When: Tuesday, April 13th at 7pm.  The presentation will begin around 7:30pm
  • What: This event is an opportunity for networking while learning more about Design Can Change ideas.
  • Cost: FREE  (though please bring drinks or snack to share)

This is an open event.  Everyone is welcome.

Reference Materials

important resources

the design process
The ODO Ecodesign Toolkits are a resource to help designers “create eco-friendly projects”.

“…recent trends have thrust design into centre stage and we are increasingly being invited to take on bigger challenges with high-profile partners and even higher potential for impact.”

educating clients
research from 2009 on green consumer trends

reports on trends

article on how consumers are going green despite rough economy

eco paper sources

aiso.net (only known host to actually be run on solar. all others listed purchase carbon off-set credits)

Cradle to Cradle
William McDonough’s book, written with his colleague Michael Braungart calls for transforming human industry through ecologically intelligent design. This clear and persuasive volume is backed by case studies that establish an alternative perspective on green design. Buy the book (or pick it up at your local library.) http://www.greenblue.org/cradle_vision.html

Green Graphic Design
Respected industry leader Brian Dougherty captures the ability of designers to communicate, persuade, and ultimately spread a socially and ecologically responsible message to both consumers and corporations. http://www.greengraphicdesign.net/

SustainAble: A Handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients
Serin writes how sustainable design is becoming a major topic at the best design schools and professional design conferences.

Packaging Sustainability: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Package Design
“Packaging Sustainability, a textbook that combines big picture systems thinking on the role designers play in our consumer culture with a practical how-to manual for creating sustainable packaging. Armed with the information and advice in Packaging Sustainability, designers will look at their next package design project as more than an assignment; they’ll discover an invitation to innovate.” (Communication Arts, Sep/Oct 2009)

Transmedia – The future of storytelling and games?

Warner Onstine of ClearBox Media will be doing a presentation on Transmedia (or Alternate Reality Games) Feb. 24 for TDAC.  This presentation will begin around 7:30pm with networking and socializing opportunities before and after.  This will be the first official TDAC event at the Spoke6 coworking space located on the SW corner of 6th Street & 6th Avenue (439 N 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705).

First, what is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) and where did they start?

Second, how can businesses use them to promote their brand and create a better experience for their customers?

Third, why use this technique?

ARGs have come a long way since their beginning in 2001 with The Beast, an ARG for the film A.I., ARGs now encompass many mediums including T.V., film, radio, magazines, and books. They have also emerged as a new way of telling a story on their own – becoming more than just a vehicle for promoting a primary media vehicle (film or T.V. show).

In this presentation Warner will show a brief history of ARGs, some of the current tools and techniques for running an ARG, and why you might want to do this in the first place. He will wrap up with a preview of his forthcoming game.

Questions and suggestions on content are welcomed beforehand.


OpenTucson Hackathon

Please join us this Saturday for the first ever meeting of OpenTucson. We’ll be doing an one-day version of the “Great American Hackathon.” You can learn more about the official Hackathon here: http://www.sunlightlabs.com/hackathon09/
In a Nutshell: we’re inviting civic-minded coders, designers, and others interested in using their skills to make Tucson a more livable community to come together to create apps that can make a difference. Some of the ideas we’re exploring:

1. City Radar: build an app that can take multiple data sources and automatically report and display events of different types within a specific distance of a user’s home. Imagine getting an automatic email when a liquor license is applied for down the street, or when demolition permit is issued. Or being able to see google maps of clusters of certain types of permit activity throughout the city.

2. Historic Tucson: build an app to make it easy for people to share and tag historic photos of tucson, and promote interconnections between people while doing it.

3. BuffelTracker: build an app to make it easy to report and map buffelgrass infestations in the Tucson area. Help build the already active community of volunteers in Tucson. This could include photo uploads as well as iPhone versions.

4. Tool Lending site: why should everyone have to buy their own post-hole digger when you only use it once a year? Build an app that makes it easy to find tools to borrow, to lend your own tools, and establish trust with other members.

You can see a lot more ideas for inspiration here. (This one is great)

When & Where?
Our first meeting is this Saturday, December 12th from 11am until 4pm, and is being generously hosted by Bookmans and will be held at their corporate offices here (1135 N Jones, Tucson, AZ, 85716). They will also be providing pizza and beer (as in free). You can reach me at 520-248-9810.
What are We Going to Accomplish in Five Hours?
Hard to say. Some groups are already well along on various projects and are using this weekend as a coding session. We’re not there yet. But if we can walk away from the meeting with an idea for a pilot project, a basic application architecture, and a sense of the resources we have to execute it, we’ll be successful. If we can set up some of the infrastructure (wiki, github, svn repo, what have you) all the better.

What is OpenTucson?
OpenTucson is a non-profit startup formed by Andrew Greenhill (chief of staff for Mayor Walkup) and Ian Johnson (partner in MoiaGroup) to promote  web and mobile technologies to foster civic participation through apps that facilitate communication between citizens and government, between citizens themselves, and that generally improve the quality of life in our community.

What Should I Bring?
Bring a laptop; you may want to install RoR since there’s a good chance we’ll be using that if we do get started.
We hope to see you Saturday! Please do RSVP here so we can make sure have enough food and chairs.

If you can’t make it, you can still join our mailing list.

Help update the TDAC website

The TDAC website needs an overhaul and we’re looking for designers and WordPress developers to help.  The site is built on the WordPress MU platform with BuddyPress modules installed.  It’s pretty simple though, and if you have any WordPress or CSS knowledge you can definitely help.

Where: 115 E Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85701 (map it)
When: Wednesday, December 9th from 7pm to 9pm
What: Bring a laptop and your coding skills.  We’ll share theme files and give access to the server as needed.
Who: Tim Bowen and Lance Willett will definitely be there.  Hopefully we’ll have at least 5-10 others to help make things go quickly and offer suggestions.
Why: To improve the TDAC website.  If done well it should help us all!

Please RSVP by leaving a comment below.

Here’s a brief outline of what we’ll be trying to accomplish.  Your suggestions are welcomed, please add them in the comments below!


  • Simple to add (edit?)
  • Official TDAC vs Regular Submitted
  • Register for events
  • Help to decide on future events. Interest List?


  • grid should be easy to explore and filter through
  • Gravity Forms submission to specific WPMU blog (and category)
  • Internships?
  • Jobs need to expire
  • Login to respond to a job and see contact info
  • “I’m looking for ___ work” ?

USER PROFILES (directory focused)

  • Separate directory for members and companies
  • For company profiles choose status: hiring, outsourcing, full
  • More fields
  • Images of work
  • Select type of work they do (top 3 categories)
  • Combine mailing list (google group) with member profile. Manage subscriptions. Built in Newsletter (Subscribe2 plugin?)
  • Directory of members by tag/category
  • Twitter feed shows activity
  • Relationship status for jobs (busy, open, eager)
  • Facebook Connect


  • FAQ’s
  • Get points/recognition for answering questions?
  • Pricing info for typical services (discussion?)


  • Weekly/Monthly?
  • Panels discussing a topic
  • Interview members (quick, short, interesting)


  • Of Past Events
  • Live streaming (ustream.com)
  • Tutorials?
  • Learning Area


  • the deck (http://decknetwork.net/)
  • google ads?
  • member sponsorships?
  • local business sponsorships?
  • TDAC “Points” for giving presentations or answering questions. Top point members featured.



  • Separate forum for easy navigation of all discussions.

When you’re a hammer: Choosing Between Drupal and WordPress

It’s easy to keep using the same familiar tools to build websites — it’s faster and easier, and it’s a lot more predictable. But is WordPress really an appropriate solution for every website? Is Drupal? Ian Johnson will spend an hour comparing these two open source CMSs and the relative merits of each with case studies and live examples. Experts with strong opinions are welcome!

During this TDAC event Ian Johnson of Moia Group will be doing a short presentation on choosing content management systems, specifically Drupal vs WordPress.

When: Wednesday, October 14th at 7pm (presentation will start at 7:30pm)

Where: 115 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85701


Mobile Web Extravaganza

Join Anchor Wave and the Tucson Digital Arts Community for a networking mixer and presentation on the Mobile Web.

Presentations will begin at 7. Feel free to come at 6:30 to mingle! We’ll have snacks and a cooler of beer, wine and soda. Contributions to the cooler are appreciated.

  • Mobile Website Statistics and Trends, Anthony Rivera of Anchor Wave
  • Mobile Web Usability, Cia Romano of Interface Guru
  • Mobile Website building platforms, Mike Schmidt of Anchor Wave
  • WordPress Plug-in’s for mobile compatibility, Mark Garity of Anchor Wave

Address: 245 S. Plumer Ave #3, Tucson, AZ, 85719 (Google Map)


Directions From U of A  Area:
Take Campbell Ave south towards Broadway. Make a left (heading East) on Broadway. Turn Right (South) on Plumer Ave. We are located in the “Commerce Plaza” office park on the East side of the street. We are located in Suite #3 on the right hand side.

Please RSVP here if you are coming to this event.

Monsoon Mixer: Social Meet-up at Interface Guru’s Offices

On Wednesday, August 19th from 6-9pm, Interface Guru will host the monthly TDAC meet-up at our offices Downtown. We’ll provide some snacks and drinks (and a killer 9th-floor view), please feel free to BYOB!

Where: # 177 N. Church Ave. Suite 919# (9th floor) Tucson, AZ 85701
: Wednesday, August 19th from 6-9pm
What: TDAC monthly meet-up for socializing and networking plus one-time-only free access to our usability lab to do your own testing!

Throughout the night, we will be conducting live user tests in our lab so attendees can view usability in action. The user tests will be conducted in a separate and soundproof room. The main offices will be open for attendees to socialize and network.

If you are interested in being a test subject, please email us at kyle@interfaceguru.com. Please include your full name, profession, and the name of the Web site you would like to critique/perform a task on. We will conduct these tests in 15-minute intervals and have limited slots available, so opportunities are limited.

Tucson Startup Drinks, June Edition

startup-drinksStartup Drinks is a simple concept: startup culture in cities around the world gathers around a bar to have a pint and discuss what they are working on, what they need help with and what they can do for each other.

The Tucson version of this group meets on the last Tuesday of every month.

When: Tuesday, June 30th beginning at 7 pm

Where: Creative Slice (115 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85701) map it