Minify – A great plugin

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I have been struggling for a week or two with how sluggish WordPress was running, so I started looking around the internet for solutions.  I went through everything – or so I thought.  I even started looking at other web hosts, thinking that iPage was the problem.  Well, I found a plugin called Minify that seems to be the answer to all of my prayers.

Let me start off by saying that my WordPress-enabled site was slow.  When I say slow, I mean SLOW.  It ran like cold syrup out of a bottle.  I thought, at first, that it might be my host bogging everything down.  After all, to keep things affordable, I use shared hosting.  To their credit, I don’t believe it was the host’s fault this time, I believe it ended up being a mish-mash of things in WordPress causing the problem.

So, I started examining my options.  The first that would probably be effective would be to get rid of my theme and a large part of my site’s functionality, BuddyPress.  Then I considered getting rid of the social networking site widgets and buttons, but, again, I wanted to keep that stuff to stay connected to the larger world in a meaningful way.  So, I started looking around, specifically at complaints that WordPress users had about just about every hosting company out there.  In one of those forums, someone stated that using a plugin called Minify reduced her page load times by around 70%.  70%, you say?!  Well, I’m not sure if it helped me quite that much, I (and anyone who visits here) can probably attest that the site is loading alot faster.

So, what is Minify?  The original Minify engine was written in PHP and allows for optimization of JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) files by compression.  From the description of the product itself:

A few days ago I read a post on Webmaster Source about Minify, ‘a PHP5 app that can combine multiple CSS or Javascript files, compress their contents (i.e. removal of unnecessary whitespace/comments), and serve the results with HTTP encoding (gzip/deflate) and headers that allow optimal client-side caching.’

So, people started integrating it into their own blogs to speed things up dramatically.  It caught on so well, in fact, that a WordPress plugin was created to speed the process up even more, and so we now have WP Minify, where the author states:

I have previously reviewed the Minify PHP application and found that the only drawback it had for a WordPress user was that it was semi-tedious to integrate with WordPress. Because of that I would like to release the ‘WP Minify’ WordPress plugin that will integrate Minify into WordPress for you and help you improve your site load time.

Wonderful news!  I’d recommend this plugin to anyone having terribly slow loading times on their WordPress software.  That’s all for now, I’m off to my paying job again!

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