19 Comments


  1. ·

    You’ll like quick Cache, I use it on all of my sites. I do not regret ousting W3 one bit – it was too much hassle to make it play nice with plugins.

    Take a look at the Permalink Finder plugin. It helps redirect visitors to pages from an old domain to the correct page on the new domain. It does it by guessing the page requested when the actual request leads to a 404. The plugin’s in the WordPress repository.

    Reply
    1. Alan Watchorn
      ·

      I already like Quick Cache. W3 does have many more features though, like css and javascript combining and minifying. There are separate plugins for that though so when I’m happy with the way my site looks I’ll try one of them.

      Thanks for the tip about the Permalink Finder. I don’t think I need it in this case but I can see how it might be useful.

      Reply

      1. ·

        It’s the Javascript minifying that causes plugin problems. W3 is okay but I think it’s over-complicated. When I switched from W3 to Quick Cache on my home (development) server, page loads went from a sluggish 1 second per page load time to a near instant load time (as they should be because there’s no downloading involved).

        If you’re looking for security plugins, try Secure WordPress, Better WP Security and WordPress Firewall 2.

        SEO Ultimate is Rich Snippets ready and Simple Facebook Connect is pretty comprehensive for FB integration.

        Great post, by-the-way.

        Reply
        1. Alan Watchorn
          ·

          SEO Ultimate is definitely something I might try out in the future. But I’ll wait to see how WordPress SEO develops over the next few months. Rich snippets are going to be very important. Thanks for all the tips! Appreciated. Are you using SEO Ultimate?

          Reply

          1. ·

            I do use SEO Ultimate. Switched from Greg’s High Performance SEO. Switched to SEO Ultimate because it’s easier to use and provides a means to edit the dynamic robots.txt file that WP produces. Prior to that I used a separate plugin to control the robots.txt file’s output. There are a couple of other reasons for the switch. I like to change things every once in a while just to see what’s new.

            Reply
            1. Alan Watchorn
              ·

              You can edit the robots.txt and .htaccess files with WordPress SEO too.

              Reply

            2. ·

              I’ll have to give it a try. I have an SEO plugin
              from WPMU Dev that I’ll be trying soon. Will put it to test on a new build rather than mess around with an existing site again.

              Reply
              1. Alan Watchorn
                ·

                Let us know how it goes.


  2. ·

    The effectiveness of W3 Total Cache really depends on how you set it up and how your server is configured. On shared hosting W3 can be a bit of a let-down in some cases, but If you’re on dedicated hosting and you install APC, W3 Total Cache can make your site BLAZING fast.

    W3 also makes using a content delivery network ridiculously easy. You just set up an Amazon Web Services account, add a bucket or two, enable CloudFront, and within a few minutes you’re distributing all your static content across Amazon’s massive, high-speed infrastructure.

    It took me a while to sort through all the info on the web and set everything up, so I can understand your hesitation to use it. Still, in my opinion the effort is worth it because when configured correctly there is no better caching plugin for WordPress.

    Once I finish getting my website ready for public viewing, one of my first to-do items is to write a comprehensive guide for setting up a hyper-fast WordPress site using W3 Total Cache. In the meantime, if you decide to give W3 another go feel free to email me if you need any help.

    Reply
    1. Alan Watchorn
      ·

      Yes, I do think that W3 Total Cache is more powerful but I just didn’t have the time to go through all the settings. For one of my sites I am thinking of setting up a CDN at some point. Well, if the traffic doubles this year.
      I also want to use the javascript and css minifying functions but because I am constantly changing something on my site I’m worried it may cause problems.
      Do you know if there is a way to reverse the combining and minifying once they have been implemented?

      Reply

      1. ·

        The combining and minifying is done on the fly, so the original files are left untouched. To reverse it all you need to do is disable the setting in the W3 Total Cache admin panel and you’re back to normal.

        You can also manually choose which files you want to combine and minify through the minify options panel. You also have control over whether or not to minify inline CSS and JavaScript. On one client site I had to disable inline JS minifcation in order for a particular plugin to function correctly.

        Reply
        1. Alan Watchorn
          ·

          Thanks for the reply. I thought that might be the case but I couldn’t find the information. Probably should have searched harder. When I get time I might test it out again.

          Reply
    2. Charles
      ·

      You mentioned “but If you’re on dedicated hosting and you install APC, W3 Total Cache can make your site BLAZING fast”.

      When it comes to W3TC… would you consider 5 sites on a dedicated server to be ‘dedicated hosting’ or ‘shared hosting’ for configuring W3TC?

      Reply

  3. ·

    One other plugin you might consider giving a whirl is Disqus. The social integration alone is worth giving it a test run and it also provides great spam protection. You can even use Akismet in conjunction with their own internal filtering for basically spam-free comments that don’t require much moderation. http://disqus.com/

    Reply
    1. Alan Watchorn
      ·

      I see that used a lot. If comments ever get out of hand I’ll give it a shot. Any downsides to using that as a comment handler?

      Reply

      1. ·

        Nope, not that I’ve noticed so far. I have seen a very slight increase in page load time on rare occasions, but they’re moving to a lazy loading JavaScript implementation soon so that should help with that quite a bit. Other than that, it looks nice, works well, and I don’t have to worry about watching for spam attacks so I’m happy with it.

        I think you can customize the look of the comments quite a bit if you want to, but I haven’t tried messing with it much yet. The default themes are very well designed in my opinion.

        Reply

    2. ·

      I second that one. Disqus or Livefyre. The only time I don’t use Livefyre is when a website’s comments need to use pre and code tags.

      Another good benefit to them is that you can lockdown WordPress user registration because people don’t need to register with a site to comment with either Disqus or LiveFyre and commenting is done in realtime.

      Reply
      1. Alan Watchorn
        ·

        Thanks. Hadn’t heard of LiveFyre.

        Reply

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