Tom McFarlin on WordPress Development and Performance Optimization (Podcast)

by Omer Siddiqui  August 30, 2013

WordPress has grown by leaps and bounds in the last ten years to become, by far, the dominant CMS in the world. Many have contributed to WordPress’ ever-expansive growth. Tom McFarlin is one of these contributors. Earlier this month, Omer Siddiqui of Cloudways contacted him to get his views on WordPress development challenges, performance optimization tweaks, his favorite plugins and more.

Tom McFarlin WordPress Development

In this podcast, he tells us about his journey as a WordPress core developer and how he’s helping businesses get the most out of this CMS by using it as a framework for apps development.

Podcast Highlights:

  • WordPress is beyond blogging and building themes or plugins. It can be used as a framework like Ruby-on-Rails for building web apps.

  • Managing the core updates is a tedious and manual process. It takes couple of hours along with basic testing that things are good to go. It requires a development and staging environment.

  • Shared hosting is dependent upon the architecture that is offered. Managed hosting or VPS or cloud hosting means dealing with something significantly robust and dedicated strictly to a specific site. It’s a choice customer which a developer has to make when dealing with larger WordPress site.

  • Want to optimize your WordPress site? Minifying and combining all your Javascript and CSS is what Tom McFarlin recommends.

  • Multisite depends on how your business and users are going to use the site. If a business has a storefront, home page, blog and web app than multisite might work great.

  • No platform is 100% security proof. That is the argument for why a user should be backing things daily. Why many need someone on staff or someone to be contracted to handle this stuff easily? This makes sure your business is only 24 hours behind at the most when it comes to data.

  • Use default WordPress API. Going with PHP apart from API can turnout to be a security risk. Get someone to check your code. Use developer plugin.

  • Tom recommends Theme Checker, Log Deprecated Notices, and P3 (Performance Profiler Plugins) for WordPress developers.

  • Tom favorite plugins are Sucuri, All in One SEO Pack, Yoast, and Jetpack.

About Tom McFarlin

Tom McFarlin developed an interest in coding and software development when he was still in college. Since then, he has been a contributor to the open-source CMS and has also developed and maintained plugins and themes, most popular of which is the (now defunct) Standard Theme. He writes a personal blog, maintains a number of GitHub projects, and speaks at WordPress events–in short, he has a pretty darn busy life. You can connect with Tom on twitter at @tommcfarlin.

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About Omer Siddiqui

Omer Siddiqui oversees Marketing Communications, Digital Partnerships and PR at Cloudways. He has 6+ years of experience in the IT Services Industry.

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