Cache or Cash: WordPress Performance vs. Cheap Hosting


How do you get snappy performance for a site when you’re not spending very much on hosting? How much hardware can your hosting provider throw at your blog when you’re paying $5 to $6 per month?

There are two WordPress plugins what will vastly improve the performance of your site, W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Both take a bit out of the most expensive part of the WordPress performance cycle, building a page. A typical WordPress page requires dozens of database queries. As content is retrieved from the database, it’s wrapped in HTML, merged with CSS, compressed, minified, and ultimately delivered the the reader’s browser. And, most of the time, that page is exactly what was delivered the time before, and the time before that.

These plugins work by doing all that work just once and storing the result as a file. If you ask for a page, the caching plugin jumps in serves you the static copy. If your browser has already been served the page, it just sends a code “304” – you’ve already go it, so use your copy.

Either plugin will give you impressive results.

Make sure you use a caching plugin to get the best performance from your WordPress site.

Ideas for my next post – Looks like CiviCRM

It's been a while since my last post.  Got to come up with some ideas for the next one.  Things I'm working on:

  • Using CiviCRM to create a CRM for a membership organization and backbone for its new website
  • Getting ready for the reveal of a new website for a professional organizer
  • Developing a donor management solution for a Chicago-based foundation in Salesforce
  • Developing a client tracking solution using Salesforce for the Chicago chapter of a national service organization
  • Waiting for a client to get back into developing her WordPress site.  (Yes, Sally, I'm talking about you.)
  • Designing a Drupal module to clone a user's last webform submission
  • Helping to build a set of interlinked Drupal sites that revolve around a Salesforce system used for association management
  • A presentation for Lumity on Social Media for non-profits.  Still have to work on the opening humorous moment and nailing the finish.

Of these, the one I'm most excited about is CiviCRM.  Because it is deeply integrated with Drupal, it fits my need to have membership control site access, and everyone who fills out a form at the site will automatically become a contact. It also supports payments, event regisrations, and mass mailings.  I guess we're agreed. As I move forward with this CiviCRM project, I'll write about how it's going, what went well, and what didn't.  Meantime, follow my Twitter stream for micro-comments on the process.

How do Drupal and WordPress Compare?

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The key take away is that for many things both can do the job, but Drupal scales to greater complexity.

[slideshare id=8338700&doc=20110617-tla-managers-drupal-wordpress-110617112704-phpapp01]

A presentation at the TLA Managers meeting from June 17, 2011.  An auspicious day — Happy Birthday, Mom. Happy Birthday, Aaron.

What can you blog about?

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OK, you’re going to start a blog. The first post is easy.  It’s the post where you lay out your reasons for starting a blog. The second one sort of writes itself, too, because it’s been perking around in your mind for weeks. Where do you go from there?

Your daily life provides the material. It’s not so much the details of your life, but your thoughts about them.


  • What did you read today?  What did it mean to you?
  • What outraged you today?  What filled you with confidence?
  • What did you do today?
  • Who did you see today?
  • What advice do you have?
  • What lessons could be learned from what you saw or did today?

Just do it!

Learn how to create your own website and blog at