Category Archives: Blog

As part of my “speeding up my blog” series, I planned to write a nice, informative post about upgrading to WordPress 3, deploying your theme to a CDN, and getting it all running under nginx. Unfortunately WordPress irritated me so much in the process, that this has turned into more of rant. Sorry in advance.

I have a like/hate relationship with WordPress. That is to say that it does a lot, it has a great admin area and there’s a large community producing themes and plug-ins. However, I am a PHP developer of many years, and every time I come into direct contact with the core WordPress code-base I end up being sick in my mouth.

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Speeding up my blog

Performance issues aren’t just for high traffic sites. I’m lucky if I get 50 visitors a day to this site, but by using scaling techniques popular with the big boys, I figured I could increase page load speeds, (good for visitors and good for SEO). If I could achieve this and use less resources, perhaps I could even save some money on my hosting bills. I currently run a 512MB VPS on Slicehost, and I’d rather not increase this right now.

With a few days off work, I decided to take the plunge and swap out some of the server tech powering this blog. From the bottom up, so to speak, this was as follows –

  1. Replace Apache with Nginx (below)
  2. Upgrade to PHP 5.3.3 and run as a FastCGI (next post)
  3. Upgrade to WordPress 3
  4. Deploy a CDN
  5. Add a Varnish cache for extra speed

I’ll go through my experience across a number of posts, starting with Nginx. I shan’t replicate any existing documentation; I’m just going to go through what I did and point you at the resources you’ll need.
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Another Twitter app launched itself to momentary viral stardom this morning by using a practice that seems to irritate more-or-less everyone. I refer to the mandatory auto-tweet posted from your own account saying something like “I just scored X% using suchandsuch app” – you know the type. This particular app was the sneaky, (or misguided) type that gives no warning, and no way of opting out.

Anyhow, this isn’t the first time I’ve been annoyed by auto-tweeting, I’ve written about it before. It’s happened more times than I care to remember, so I won’t go into the details of today’s particular example, except to say that its author has [sort of]  apologised. It’s already been blogged anyway if you’re curious.

What I will harp on about though, is the fact that this is nothing short of spam – Twitter needs to agree, and needs to make it easier to report badly behaved apps. Continue reading…