WordPress 3.2 will be lighter and faster

by Peter

In a previous post I wrote that for WordPress 3.1 and beyond I would like to see speed increases – blogs that are meaner and leaner, that load faster. Now it seems I will get what I want. In the WordPress Development Blog, Mark Jaquith writes that the plan for WordPress 3.2 is “faster, lighter”. I don’t think this happens because I wrote about it, but rather because many people, like me, have started to focus more on speed and fast loading of their web sites.

WordpressThere is a good – excellent actually – reason for this: Google have officially stated that web site speed is one the factors that determine search ranking. While implementing this may require a balancing act by Google, it is a move that makes a lot of sense. Web site speed is one of the factors that influence whether users like a web site or not – there is nothing worse than a very slow site. And it is easy to understand why Google doesn’t want search results with links to very slow sites – if users get annoyed they will eventually get annoyed with Google as well.

If you ask me, it’s about time for a lighter and faster WordPress. The current and previous versions of WordPress are quite heavy and require execution of a lot of PHP and a large number of MySQL queries to produce its output (many of the themes and plugins are very slow too, but that will not change in the short term). As a result, most people running WordPress these days use caches that store pure HTML-version of the pages and serve them instead.

I am looking forward to the new version. I love WordPress and eagerly await every new version – but 3.2 perhaps more  than the previous ones. I hope developers of plugins and themes pick up on the implicit challenge by WordPress and start to focus more on speed as well. Also – I would love to see WordPress or the WordPress community publish speed rankings of themes and plugins – as it is you are pretty much left to your own devices when it comes to finding efficient, fast and reliable plugins and themes.


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