YSlow – Test Your Site’s Performance

Test your site’s performance with YSlow browser extension for detailed performance analysis at the click of a button

YSlow website speed analyser

These days everyone seems to be talking about website performance, and speed in particular. As time goes on, the major search engines are giving more and more weight to speed in their ranking algorithms.

If you want to know how fast your site is, along with a detailed breakdown of the contributing factors, then there is a fantastic free tool you can use called YSlow. It’s available as an extension for all major browsers and is as simple to use as literally clicking a button.

Here is a screen shot of the kind of information it gives you:

YSlow - test your site's performance

This kind of detailed breakdown gives you actionable steps you can take to improve your site’s performance and thereby keep the search engines “happy.” This can be invaluable if you want to keep or gain the edge over other sites offering similar products and services. 

If you find that your site is performing at lower than a “B,” you will probably want to take steps to improve the situation. There are several things you can do ranging from the simple to the involved, and you may want to bring in outside help if this kind of thing either baffles or bores you!

Once you have checked out how your site performs with YSlow, you might find it interesting to try the tool on other sites to gain useful insights. I hope you enjoy using YSlow!

WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI)

Developing for WordPress in Exeter and Plymouth

WP-CLI is a super-useful command line utility for WordPress developers. Instead of doing everything through the WordPress back-end, or using custom templates to render and debug your code, you can now interact with you site using simple commands from a console.

Developing this way may require an adjustment to your familiar workflow, but the learning curve is not steep, and the trade-off in terms of ease and power is definitely worth it! This post isn’t meant to be a tutorial, but to give you some idea of how easy WP-CLI can make your life, check out how easy installing WordPress becomes with using it:

wp core download
wp core config --dbname=wordpress --dbuser=root --dbpass=root
wp core install --url=http://localhost/dev/wordpress/ --title=WordPress --admin_user=username --admin_password=mypassword --admin_email=myemail@post.com

And that is all. You now have a working installation of WordPress!

Once installed you can run commands like: 

wp post list

to get a list of all posts from your site, or

wp plugin install bbpress –activate

to install and activate bbpress. And much, much more…

The project website is here for more info. I hope you enjoy using this fantastic tool.

For installation on Windows, this is what I did:

  • Install Compser from https://getcomposer.org/ using the Windows Installer
  • Open a command window and type just these two instructions:
    • composer global require wp-cli/wp-cli
    • composer global require psy/psysh
  • Now, navigate to a folder with a WordPress installation, and you can now use all that WP-CLI goodness to your heart’s content!

Creating a Custom Template for a Specific Post

Developing for WordPress in Exeter and Plymouth

Quick and Dirty WordPress Development Tip #1

There’s a lot of info out there about custom post types in WordPress. For example, there’s an excellent article here. But what if you only want to tweak the appearance or functionality of a single post? It seems a bit excessive to make a whole new custom post type for a one-off situation.

Enter WordPress’s super-cool file-naming system to the rescue!

Working on a child theme, as you absolutely should be, just create a file with the following format: single-post-{post-title}.php. For example, your file might be named single-post-spain.php. Then you can copy the contents of your parent theme’s single.php file, and make any changes you want. When the post with the named title is displayed, WordPress will automatically use the correct file.

This is similar to the method for displaying custom post types using single-{post-type}.php, but saves you having to make a new post type.

I hope this was helpful. Look out for future quick and dirty WordPress Development tips.