Yesterday I invited feedback on my new blog theme, and today I thought I would explain what else I did last week. I haven't seen very many posts like this online, so I hope that this finds its way to other bloggers with similar problems.
For the longest time now I have been unhappy with the performance of my blog. It was slow to load and I kept getting 404 and 500 errors while trying to do basic stuff behind the scenes. I complained to my webhost, but they refused to even try to help.
So early last week I disabled all the plugins and scripts running on this blog. As the week went by I turned them on a couple at a time. While this isn't conclusive, it did let me eliminate some of the more common plugins (akismet, for example). I'm down now to 3 plugins that I have not reactivated, and I'm not going to. My blog seems faster and more stable now, and it's staying that way.
So here are the plugins I didn't activate again. I'm not sure if one or a combination of the 3 were causing the problems, but they seem to be the source of the problem.
- Add Link to Facebook
- WP Super Cache
The first was causing errors all by itself, so I replaced it with dlvr.it. Rule of Thumb: The more work that you can offload to free services, the better.
The second is a cache plugin, and I appreciate the irony of plugin that is supposed to speed up my site actually slowed it down. To be fair, WP Super Cache probably did not do any harm, but I'm still leaving it turned off. I don't need it.
And then there's Jetpack. This is a plugin that gives self-hosted WordPress blogs access to a number of WordPress.com features, including spellcheck, stats, and more. Jetpack was probably the problem. Its features would seem to be resource intensive at first glance. That's a pity because it was also incredibly useful.
Again, I don't know for sure that my blog is faster, but it seems to be. Have you noticed the difference?