Exploring WordPress quirks, nuances and plugins

Published : Wednesday 24 June 2015

Wordpress the holy grail of content management, but there is more to it than meets the eye ...

Please note: this content is 9 years old. It may be of lower quality or no longer accurate.

This evening I found myself immersed in the world of WordPress and plugins, trying to fine-tune its performance by delving into the code (PHP).

One tool that stood out during my exploration was Query Monitor – a WordPress plugin that provided instant insights into code issues. While there were commercial alternatives in the market, Query Monitor, being a free plugin seamlessly integrating with WordPress, proved to be a gem for debugging and optimization.

In the realm of custom queries and post rendering, I discovered a potential performance bottleneck. My plugin, executing numerous custom queries to compile and display post lists, faced challenges when dealing with iterative processes involving a substantial number of posts.

A specific example was the use of get_permalink($ID), which, although obtaining the permalink, incurred an additional database call for pages within a loop. This seemingly innocuous operation could escalate performance overhead significantly, especially when dealing with larger datasets.

In my experimentation, I stumbled upon an intriguing workaround: using get_permalink($post) instead. Strangely, this alternative method yielded the same result but seemingly avoided the extra database call associated with pages. While the justification for this behavior eluded me at the time, I suspected it was embedded somewhere in the WordPress code, possibly linked to caching mechanisms.

Despite my enthusiasm for working with WordPress, I couldn’t ignore the emerging realization that the platform harbored its fair share of quirks and nuances. Scaling quickly could potentially expose these issues, leading to unforeseen challenges, which I’m not sure I have time for.

As much as WordPress served as an efficient framework for rapidly launching projects, a cautionary note emerged – One still needs some idea of what is going on under the hood to comprehend its intricacies especially for those aiming to achieve scalability while keeping costs at bay.

This is even truer if like me you are looking to tap into the “API” and write wordpress pluggins.

More research is going to be required.

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