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SitePoint WordPress Blog:
Speed Up Your WordPress Site
July 08, 2014 @ 10:08:34

Some advice has been posted over on the SitePoint WordPress blog with some tips for speeding up the performance of your WordPress site using both internal changes and some outside testing tools.

As one of the top user experience factors, website performance is more important than ever. Website speed and performance on mobile devices is particularly important, with a rapidly growing number of visitors accessing the web via smartphones and tablets. While WordPress is very easy to get up and running, making your site speedy requires a bit more work, and is an ongoing process. In this article we'll cover why speed matters, and offer some practical advice for how to speed up WordPress. Improving performance takes a lot of trial and error, but it's great fun!

They start the post with a few reasons why speed matters to your application and its users (including higher conversion rates). The show you how to run a basic speed test using the Google PageSpeed Insights and profiling the performance using the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). The post then gets into some of the factors that make an impact on your site's performance including the hosting provider configuration, choice of theme and number of plugins. They recommend some simple steps like minifying assets, caching or using CDNs to host the assets and make their load faster.

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wordpress speed performance tips

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speed-wordpress/

Master Zend Framework:
Using the ClassMap Autoloader for Better Performance
June 19, 2014 @ 11:18:29

Matthew Setter has a new post to his Master Zend Framework site today with a recommendation on how you can use a classmap in your autoloader to reduce the time it takes "searching" for the files it needs.

Zend Framework 2′s been critiqued many times as being slow, at least slower than some of the other leading PHP frameworks. And to be fair, sometimes it's true. But it doesn't need to be and there are simple things you can do to improve performance of your applications. So this post will be the first in a multi-part series looking at ways in which you can improve the performance of your Zend Framework 2 application, with only a minimum of effort. Today, we're looking at the 2 autoloaders which are available in Zend Framework 2; these being the StandardAutoloader and ClassMapAutoloader.

He briefly introduces the concept of autoloaders and the PSR-0 standard that helped to bring a more unified method for their handling. He then gets into examples of using each of the two autoloader types. The Standard version (a fallback if nothing else is set up) resolves things based on a file path and locating classes in the right namespaces. The ClassMap autoloader does this mapping ahead of time and matches a path to a namespace+class. He includes code snippets showing how to set each of them up and a few statistics (using Apache's ab tool) of the difference in performance.

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zendframework2 tutorial autoloader classmap standard performance

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/performance-2/classmap-autoloader

PHP.net:
PHP Next Generation
May 28, 2014 @ 09:14:05

On the main PHP.net site today there's an announcement posted about the working being done on the next generation of the PHP language based on some recent discussions (and actual development work). The PHPNG branch helps boost the performance of the language to new levels and cleans up some of the core APIs.

When we aren't looking for pictures of kittens on the internet, internals developers are nearly always looking for ways to improve PHP, a few developers have a focus on performance. Over the last year, some research into the possibility of introducing JIT compilation capabilities to PHP has been conducted. During this research, the realization was made that in order to achieve optimal performance from PHP, some internal API's should be changed. This necessitated the birth of the phpng branch, initially authored by Dmitry Stogov, Xinchen Hui, and Nikita Popov.

The post talks about the performance increase of these changes (an average of 20%) and the current progress made on the internal project. This is "only the start" of the work on this new functionality, so keep an eye on the PHP.net site for more upcoming details.

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phpng next generation branch project performance

Link: http://www.php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-05-27-1

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Fights HHVM and Zephir with PHPNG
May 27, 2014 @ 10:14:23

In a new post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc talks about a "fight" that has broken out between various technologies vying to come out as the top PHP performance platform...more specifically the recent PHPNG patch to the PHP language itself.

Chaos in the old world! First HipHop, years ago, and no one bats an eye. Then suddenly, HHVM happens, introduces Hack, and all hell breaks loose - Facebook made a new PHP and broke/fixed everything (depending on who you ask). Furthermore, Zephir spawns and threatens with C-level compilation of all your PHP code, with full support for current PHP extensions. It's mushroom growth time for alternative PHP runtimes, and HippyVM appears as well. Amid the sea of changes, another splash was heard: PHPNG.

He covers some of the basics of the PHPNG patch, who has been working on it and some of the main pros and cons about the refactor. While it does provide a speed boost and native extension support, not all extensions are supported and the internal developers are divided on its adoption.

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hhvm zephir performance phpng introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-fights-hhvm-zephir-phpng/

PHPClasses.org:
PHPNG Dramatic Speedup Features Coming in PHP 6 Release
May 12, 2014 @ 12:43:14

The PHPClasses.org blog has a new post today looking at a recently introduced proposal for updates to the core PHP functionality that could lead to significant speed and overall performance gains. In this latest article they talk about PHPNG.

Not a very long after Facebook announced the Hack language, Dmitry Stogov of Zend announced a somewhat secret development branch of PHP called PHPNG that brings a JIT engine, significant speed and memory management improvements eventually to PHP 6. [...] This branch was added somewhat secretly by Zend developers to the PHP development repository in April 16 but it was openly described only in May 5 when Sebastian Bergmann of the PHPUnit fame asked in the PHP internals about it. Dmitry Stogov of Zend presented a more or less detailed description of the PHPNG branch. He explained that he has been experimenting using a JIT engine (Just In Time compilation to native machine code) using LLVM.

The post talks about the availability of the branch and some of the changes (like updates to extensions) that would need to be made for it to work correctly. There's also a mention about the "plot to kill mod_php" in the future and how the discussion around it reminds the author of the deprecation of the MySQL extension a few years back. The rest of the post compares the PHPNG branch's features with that of one of the other high-performance PHP tools out there, HHVM.

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phpng speed performance release hhvm branch

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/234-PHPNG-Dramatic-Speedup-Features-Coming-in-PHP-6-Release.html

Stephan Hochdörfer:
Speeding up your Satis run
May 02, 2014 @ 09:11:40

Stephan Hochdörfer has a new post with a handy tip on speeding up the indexing Satis does on your local repositories to generate its information. His tip involves being more selective in the rebuild process, only indexing the projects that might need it.

In the last couple of months this [indexing] process takes quite a while because Satis rebuilds the index for every repo it knows about. Since we deal with quite a few repos containing a large amount of versions it slowed down the "build time". Obviously it does not make any sense to run Satis on a repo that has not changed. Since Satis was lacking this feature I started hacking on it and I am happy that the feature got merged into master this morning.

With his patch, you can specify only the repository you want reindexed via the "build" command. You can even specify multiple repositories to rebuild, allowing for a bit more automation around the process.

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satis repository index speed performance patch single

Link: http://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/speeding-up-your-satis-run/

ServerGrove Blog:
Running Composer with HHVM, not so fast!
April 21, 2014 @ 12:46:02

On the ServerGrove blog today they share some interesting results when it comes to using Composer on a normal PHP install versus using it inside of a HHVM instance.

HHVM is an open-source virtual machine developed by Facebook and designed for executing programs written in Hack and PHP. It offers increased performance for PHP, most of the time. [...] Since Composer needs to perform some heavy computations in order to resolve the dependencies of a project, it makes sense to use HHVM. However, the heavy computations are mainly done when running composer update, or when the composer.lock file has not yet been generated so this is where you will see most of your gains in execution time.

With a bit more testing, this is shown to be true (about a 7 second difference). However, this is only on the "update". The "install" command actually takes longer inside of the HHVM instance, regardless of if the JIT (Just In Time) compiler is disabled or not.

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composer install update speed performance benchmark

Link: http://blog.servergrove.com/2014/04/17/running-composer-hhvm-fast

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Speed Up Your App's API Consumption
April 11, 2014 @ 10:51:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has some advice posted today from Jacek Barecki about how you can speed up your use of other APIs with a few performance increasing tips.

In the process of creating a PHP application you may come to a point when keeping it isolated from remote resources or services may become a barrier in its development. To move along with the project you may employ different API services to fetch remote data, connect with user accounts on other websites or transform resources shared by your application. [...] But using APIs in an incorrect way can quickly lead to performance issues and lengthen the execution time of your script. If you're looking for a way to avoid it, consider implementing some of the solutions described in the article.

He recommends four things you can think about doing to help make the most effective use of these services:

  • Make multiple requests at a time
  • Separate API calls from the app main flow
  • Build a smart cache engine
  • Master the API documentation
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api performance recommendation tips usage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speed-apps-api-consumption/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Optimizing MySQL
April 04, 2014 @ 11:54:48

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the first two parts of their "Optimizing MySQL" tutorial series by Peter Nijssen. The first looks at general tips around indexes and the second shows some configuration tips to get the most from your database systems.

MySQL is one of the most used databases in conjunction with PHP. Making sure that your MySQL databases are running at their best is one of the most important aspects you have to consider whenever your web application grows. In this series of 3 standalone articles, we will have a look at how we can optimize our MySQL installation. We will take a look at which optimizations we can perform on our database, on our MySQL configuration and how we can find potential problems when MySQL is not performing well.

The first tutorial walks you through a brief introduction to indexes, shows you how to find duplicates and unused indexes that might be hanging around. The second post deals with the configuration topics using the Percona pt-variable-advisor. They also make use of the MySQLTuner tool for even further enhancement. Finally, the article finishes with a look at cross-server configuration comparison and how to see the differences.

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mysql series performance percona configuration indexes

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/series/optimizing-mysql/

Ulf Wendel:
The performance penalty of the early MySQL Fabric support for PHP
March 13, 2014 @ 12:16:23

In his latest post Ulf Wendel looks at the performance issues around the recently introduced MySQL Fabric support included in the mysqlnd extension.

PECL/mysqlnd_ms 1.6 is currently being modified to support sharding and fully automatic server and client failover when using MySQL Fabric (slides) to manage a farm of MySQL servers. PECL/mysqlnd_ms is a mostly transparent load balancer that works with all PHP MySQL APIs (PDO_MySQL, mysqli, ...). The idea is, that if, for example, a MySQL server fails, the plugin talks to MySQL Fabric to learn about alternative servers that Fabric has provisioned automatically. This "talks to" gives implies a performance penalty for applications.

He takes a look at what's happening "behind the scenes" when it comes to using the Fabric functionality and sharding (based on the use of mysqlnd_ms_select_shard). He traces through the execution path and how much slower then end result is. He includes some results from the connection debugging and the number of queries a single request makes.

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mysqlnd performance penalty mysql fabric support

Link: http://blog.ulf-wendel.de/2014/the-performance-penalty-of-the-early-mysql-fabric-support-for-php/


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