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How we improved the technical parameters of Wordpress and freed up 100GB of server space.

How we improved the technical parameters of Wordpress and freed up 100GB of server space.

Whitemad Magazine
About why it is necessary to periodically review sites on Wordpress. Will the plugin responsible for optimization alone give us a smooth Wordpress experience and optimization ?

We began work on the portal after we started consulting with the WhiteMad editorial team. The problem with the portal reported from the hosting informed about too much space taken up by the Wordpress template graphic files.

15zine Wordpress Template

An additional problem was the 15zine template because each photo that was uploaded to Wordpress Media generated more than 20 different formats not used on the portal.

Where did we start with the optimization work ?

We started by checking the image sizes used in the template. It turned out that we have more than 15 additional (in addition to the default ones from Wordpress) sizes, including several larger ones (above 1024px).

Images in these larger sizes often weighed about 300-500kB each, which, with more than 100,000 uploaded images, added up to more than 50GB of files.

Disable unused photo sizes

The first idea was to disable unused image sizes, but after reviewing the site, it turned out that virtually every one of them is used in various places on the site (mainly the article grid). Realistically, it was possible to disable maybe 3-4 sizes, which wouldn't be of much benefit.

We provide support for sites on Wordpress

See the service Wordpress care and optimization of Wordpress sites.

Fly Dynamic Image Resizer plugin

We decided to take a different approach - using the "Fly Dynamic Image Resizer" plugin, it is possible to disable Wordpress' generation of alternative image sizes when uploading images to the media library.

Instead, images are generated only when they are needed on the front end. In our case, such an action will significantly reduce the FTP disk usage, since all the image sizes used in the article grids apply only to the image of the main post, and not to the images from its content. Thus, in total, only about 10% of all images will have alternative sizes generated, and the remaining 90% will appear only in a few default versions.

'Add image size' and manually delete registered image sizes in wordpress

However, just enabling the plugin is not enough, as it does not replace the default operation of the Wordpress size generator. The plugin expects to use "fly_add_image_size()" instead of the default "add_image_size()" when registering sizes in the template, and to use "fly_get_attachment_image()" and "fly_get_attachment_image_src()" instead of "wp_get_attachment_image()" and "fly_get_attachment_image_src()" respectively when displaying images.

The web portal we worked on used a pre-made Wordpress 15zine template, so there was no way to swap these functions directly in the template code. Instead, it was necessary to manually remove the pre-recorded sizes using ""remove_image_size()"", and then plug in the "wp_get_attachment_image" filter and swap the logic of this function to automatically retrieve images using "fly_get_attachment_image()".

After the whole operation, all previously generated image sizes still had to be deleted to free up FTP space.

The only disadvantage of using the "Fly Dynamic Image Resizer" plugin is that for the first person visiting the site after adding new photos, there will be a slightly increased loading time (the necessary photo sizes must be generated before displaying). With the traditional solution, this operation is already performed by the administrator when uploading new photos to the media library.

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Scope of work

Fly Dynamic Image Resizer