Website Changes for March 2015

All Sites

After running various website speed tests (Pingdom, Google PageSpeed), it told me that I should enable compression (gzip) and take advantage of the browser’s cache. So, I started to do some research on how to turn those on at my webhost. For compression, I finally noticed an “Optimize Website” option in cPanel after I had tried some things in .htaccess that were not working. There I was able to enable it for the following mime types: text/html text/plain text/xml text/css application/javascript. The results were rather dramatic. A 40K html file would be compressed down to 10K or something.

For the caching part, I found the following piece of code to be placed into the .htaccess file in my highest level directory:

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
          <FilesMatch "\.(jpe?g|png|gif|js|css)$">
                      ExpiresActive On
                      ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 month"
          </FilesMatch>
</IfModule>

And, hey it worked! Files of those types are now set to expire after 1 month. Before, Firefox was caching things based on how recently the file was modified. I found an explanation here: Two Important Differences between Firefox and IE Caching. After making these changes, the response headers coming from the server were now like:

Cache-Control: max-age=2592000
Connection: close
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:02:20 GMT
Etag: "1410-419260a0e3ec0"
Expires: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 23:02:20 GMT
Server: Apache

These changes affected the behavior of all my websites. I was also advised to make the connection keep-alive but I think my webhost has that disabled for performance reasons.

Main Website

I modified most of the main pages to show a last modified date in the central time zone. A lot of pages still show an eastern timezone (DVD pages mainly). It’s a difference between the date being generated via SSI (server side include) and PHP which has been configured for the central timezone even though the server itself is in the eastern timezone.

Blog

My Blog was updated to WordPress v4.1.1. Backed-up the database and file structure and clicked the update button. Not that big a deal. I also figured out how to add a function that would tell me how much memory PHP was using in the Admin section without changing any of the core files:

###########################################################################################
function memory_stats()
{ // BEGIN function memory_stats
   if ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] == HOME_IP) {
      echo '<p style="clear: both;">Memory used: '. number_format(memory_get_usage(true)). ' bytes.<br />';
      echo 'Peak Memory used: '. number_format(memory_get_peak_usage(true)).' bytes.</p>';
   }

} // END function memory_stats

add_action('in_admin_footer', 'memory_stats');

On average the admin portion uses around 40MB. I have PHP configured to 128M. I then noticed some CSS problems after one of my plugins updated and corrected that.

Gallery

I updated my galleries to Zenphoto 1.4.7. Actually, I’m using one of the master support builds due to some bugs I discovered that were corrected in the support version. I’m not going to go into detail about what all I did. Not in the mood right now and I doubt anybody cares LOL. Actually, it could be its own post if I wanted it to be.


Well, that’s all I have for now. :) If I think of anything else I’ll update this post or make another.