[wp-hackers] compression and caching

Micah wp at twolanedesign.com
Mon Dec 28 20:34:25 UTC 2009

Bear with me while I attempt to satisfy replys all around. I realize how 
complicated this issue is but I don't think it's as black and white as 
either include it or not include it.

> With caching and compression there are many solutions, some better than 
> others and no one solution will rule all for everyone. It is the reason 
> there are plugins that handle this. Not everyone can dig into Apache and 
> command it, so plugins are great for dealing with those people.

So this is the root argument against integration into Wordpress. Not 
everyone does everything the same way and most people don't need to learn 
Apache in order to use compression when plugins are created for this 
purpose. I get it but I don't agree.

Compression can't be turned on by default. Bad idea. However, providing the 
option to a) include mod_rewrite into .htaccess or b) php compression give 
immediate options to those who do need them. While I'm about to make a huge 
assumption, I think the majority of Wordpress installations are standard, 
shared server installations. Compression *can* be used in these 
installations but not always in the same way. While simple blogs rarely need 
major compression, the rise of Wordpress as a CMS should put light on 
creating a better end user experience out of the box, not just with a lot of 

> When you add this to core, then well, while it would be better than some 
> image editing feature or another bloating feature, it will still require 
> maintenance and the people willing to extend and maintain all of the 
> different gotchas that come up.

Isn't maintaining the gotchas what already happens to WP Super Cache 
support? It seems logical that since the core developers can control all 
aspects of the hows and whats about caching a dynamic system, knowing how 
brilliant you people are already, I don't think this problem gets much worse 
in the core. I agree that adding caching to the core would be better than 
more bloat and that's why I'm one man getting attention of many others.

> In particular, what if your server isn't storing the filesystem
> locally? If your filesystem is network mounted (NFS), then it's quite
> possible for a file-based caching solution to be slower to the point
> that it actually bogs down your network.
> You can't make any blanket statements about what's "better", because
> that depends entirely on the configuration of your particular system.

Compression will always make a file smaller. Smaller file sizes means less 
bandwidth. Less bandwidth means faster page loads. This isn't blanket 

There are always going to be exceptions to the rules for systems that might 
not see the benefits of compression and caching.

> Plugins are not automatically slower than non-plugins. It's all just
> code. It doesn't magically get any faster by being in the core.

Plugins are third-party to the core software. Including these techniques 
into the core takes away the middle man of having to use a plugin. I'm not 
against plugins, I just think root functionality that helps end user 
experience shouldn't be dismissed as plugin material.

I know Wordpress is already complicated as it is. Adding tons of plugins 
further complicates this CMS and add more requests to slow it dwn. In the 
end, the CMS is a more efficient, dynamic way to publish a website and the 
end user experience can be improved immediately with core compression and 
caching functionality.

While I realize how many compression techniques and caching techniques exist 
and knowing that there are best case scenarios for one method versus the 
other, support for some of these methods already exist in the widely used WP 
Super Cache. Time and time again I see a top 10 list of the must have 
plugins for Wordpress and guess what's on there? WP Super Cache.

I realize these are complicated, subjective things to include in Wordpress 
since installations vary. I get that. My main argument goes into the fact 
that Wordpress is going to fall behind competition by not including these 
features in the core as so many others have. I certainly don't believe that 
one person's agenda should be the reason why this stuff is included and I'll 
bow out of this if it's really too complicated. But the fact that WP Super 
Cache gets it right for a huge amount of installations is case study proof 
that this can work. 

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