[wp-hackers] compression and caching

William Canino william.canino at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 28 21:35:20 UTC 2009

> Also, most people installing on shared server installations are the
> ones that *don't* need compression. Compression adds a heavy amount of
> CPU load, which is your most limited factor on a shared host.


One of my sites got booted off byethost.com because it consumed its
entire monthly CPU allotment in 12 hours -- PHP-level minifying and
gzipping on-the-fly as it did.


2009/12/28 Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com>:
> On Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 2:34 PM, Micah <wp at twolanedesign.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> Actually, that's the correct way to do it. There's dozens of different
> possible ways to optimize a site, should every single possible one of
> them be integrated into the core as well?
> Simple techniques like whole-page caching or server-side compression
> don't fit every site. Not just because of bad things when you try to
> use them inappropriately, but because there's lots of different ways
> of doing them, and people who need these sorts of things can choose
> from different solutions that fit their needs best.
> When you put something in core, you tend to pre-empt it from the
> plugin realm. Caching and compression don't need that sort of
> pre-emption, they need variety.
>> While I'm about to make a huge
>> assumption, I think the majority of Wordpress installations are standard,
>> shared server installations.
> That's a MASSIVE assumption there, and probably a wrong one at that.
> Also, most people installing on shared server installations are the
> ones that *don't* need compression. Compression adds a heavy amount of
> CPU load, which is your most limited factor on a shared host. Caching
> can be useful on shared hosting, unless you're on some form of grid
> hosting in which case file-caching to a network filesystem would cause
> you to become much slower than normal.
> You can't assume anything. That's sort of my point. All the things
> you're advocating have downsides, and even those are in cases that are
> commonplace.
>> 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
>> plugins.
> Neither of these creates a better end user experience in 95% of the
> cases. Compression doesn't magically make things faster. Compressing
> things on-the-fly is slower than not compressing them half the time.
> Compression saves your bandwidth.
> Caching saves your CPU time.
> Both together *can* make a site speedier, but **they usually don't**.
> Not all the time, and not even a majority of the time. And there are
> severe compatibility issues to contend with as well.
> What I'm saying is that because things can go wrong, and will go
> wrong, in a not insignificant number of cases, this is and should be
> plugin material.
> FWIW, I'm fairly sure that WordPress.com doesn't use whole-page
> caching; every one of those 20,000 page requests they get every second
> is generated dynamically. They do use memcached object caching (or
> similar), as I recall hearing somewhere.
>> 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.
> Actually, it gets a thousand times worse in the core. Object caching
> was removed and made pluggable for that very reason.
>> Compression will always make a file smaller. Smaller file sizes means less
>> bandwidth. Less bandwidth means faster page loads. This isn't blanket
>> statement.
> Not only is that a blanket statement, it's a series of *wrong* ones.
> Compression takes CPU time. CPU has to process instructions to
> compress the data. While the data is being generated, browser is
> waiting for data. Data cannot be transmitted until compression is
> complete, as compression is not a streaming operation in most cases.
> Thus, page takes *longer* to display.
> This happens in about 35% of cases, depending on server load. If you
> combine full page caching into the mix, then yes, you can achieve much
> by eliminating the compression itself, at the cost of making your page
> static instead of a dynamic page (a cost that many people don't want
> to pay).
>> 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.
> First, understand that plugins are NOT slower. Quite the contrary, in
> fact. Plugins can specialize. The core cannot. Specialized code is
> often faster than generalized code, because it can afford to exclude a
> percentage of the possible population.
> Also, plugins are NOT middle-men. What exactly do you think the
> difference is, technically, between a plugin and core code? Because
> *there isn't any*. When WordPress loads, one of the first things it
> does is to load the list of plugins and include them, one by one. You
> know what it does to load other pieces of the WordPress core code? It
> includes them.
> WordPress plugins are loaded and executed in the exact same way as
> every other file in the whole thing. Half of the internal "core"
> functionality of WordPress even uses actions and filters in the same
> way plugins do (see default-filters.php).
>> 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.
> If you put those pieces in the core, then you get the exact same
> slowdowns, only now you get them even if you *don't* use that piece of
> code.
>> 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.
> I'm sorry, but you are simply mistaken. I'd be glad to further expound
> upon why you're mistaken, but I'd prefer to do it off list. People get
> cranky when I go on list with this sort of thing. You can email me
> directly if you like at otto at ottodestruct.com and I'll be glad to
> continue this part of the conversation.
> -Otto
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