How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

I haven’t had the best relationship with the issue of site speed over the years, if I’m honest. I mean, even though I knew that it’s obviously important, I wasn’t doing much testing to find out how fast my site was for its actual audiences.

After all, the site loaded just fine for me (when doing administrative tasks, publishing content and so on), so it’s probably the same for my audience too, right?

Well, not quite. As it turned out, the average visitor had to wait around eight seconds (that’s 8) for my site to load. I was quite shocked to see that number, and that’s probably why I remember it so clearly.

Hello with Bootstrap and Responsive design

Happy new year to all HTMLCenter readers!

HTMLCenter blog meets this year with completely refreshed look & feel and new monthly Newsletter (we will give our best to make ‘monthly’ – regular). In addition to this we have made few other minor changes to overall blog structure.

How and why we did it all?

Site look & feel redesign project was sitting on my to-do list for a while, but somehow it managed skip down in priority order each month.

HTMLCenter runs on WordPress (very good CMS indeed), and the old custom theme we had was becoming much outdated.

Old WordPress theme was build with desktop Internet browser in mind and didn’t look good on mobile device browsers at all. Increasing number of HTMLCenter readers arriving via smart devices was a constant reminder that we had to find the time and do blog redesign.

PhoneGap and WordPress for building mobile applications

These days many developers are exploring ways to speed up and to simplify mobile application development process. And I see more an more tools created for this reason.

Today I noticed one such tool which takes slightly different approach. It allows you to build mobile applications by using WordPress CMS. Its called Apppreser.
They help you to convert WordPress based HTML sites to a native mobile applications by wrapping them to PhoneGap framework.

The idea is to use WordPress plugins to talk to PhoneGap APIs and this way connect to mobile hardware.

Even if folks from Apppress are charging quite a few bucks for their plugins and implementation the use case is promising. There are plenty of websites powered by WordPress and theoretically it should be possible to make HTML5 mobile applications from them with a little bit of effort.

As for the high price for the service, I’m sure there will soon be open source versions of such plugins available. WordPress developer community is known for creating great open source plugins.

What do you think about such way of creating HTML based mobile apps?

Facebook Launches Full WordPress Plugin

Earlier today Facebook announced that they have launched a full WordPress plugin. The Facebook developer blog has a full overview of the plugin which is available now from within the WordPress admin plugins page.

The plugin allows you to post directly from WordPress to your Facebook profile. The plugin also allows for Facebook comments, Facebook like button, Facebook share button along with an activity option.

To use this plugin, you need to setup your blog as an application inside of WordPress and then link  up your Facebook account with the plugin if you want the full functionality of the plugin.

One important note – when I added the Facebook plugin to one of my blogs – the like button completely removed ShareThis and the Facebook commenting option completely removed the regular WordPress commenting option.

 

Eliminating Options in a Gravity Form

For those of you using WordPress, GravityForms can be a real godsend. GravityForms is a premium plugin that makes it extremely simple to create forms on your website. However, there are a few features that aren’t quite built out the way they probably should be, yet.

One of those features is the ability to stop people from submitting forms with duplicate values. While this feature is extremely useful the way it’s currently implemented when it comes to duplicate entries for people’s names, email addresses, etc., it’s not overly useful when it comes to select elements, radio buttons and checkboxes. As it is currently implemented, all of the options are still available for the user to select when filling out the form, but when they submit the form, they get an error message indicating the option has already been selected.

With the use of some GravityForms filters, though, you can make things slightly more usable.

Using Media Queries on Windows Phone

More than likely, you probably haven’t noticed, but Windows Phone 7 devices don’t fully support media queries (used mostly for responsive and adaptive designs). However, media queries can be used for designs presented on Windows Phone, you just have to know how to do it.

For the most part, I have seen designers and developers include media queries within their stylesheet(s). Windows Phone 7 will ignore media queries directly in your CSS. Instead, you have to set up separate stylesheets for each media query. For instance, rather than having the following code in your main stylesheet:

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