“Simpler WordPress” plugin offers speed and simplicity

Julien de Luca’s Simpler WordPress plugin, now installed on Exc-el, is claimed to improve basic blogging performance by removing more advanced features, such as the upload and preview parts of the screen.

This may also be helpful in enabling some bloggers to be presented with a simpler interface if they’ve no need to use the upload feature.

We’ve installed it to see whether it can provide a worthwhile performance improvement in schools with particularly slow internet access. Initial tests suggest it will make a difference, but not a dramatic one. Much of the downloading that takes place is for editor toolbar buttons, and that isn’t affected.

For maximum performance Simpler WordPress could perhaps be used in combination with the basic, non-WYSIWYG editor, but that editor is only suitable for people who won’t be put off by the sight of the underlying XHTML, or the corresponding HTML tag editor buttons, such as b-quote, img and ul. If you’ve an Exc-el blog and want to try it, you can switch off the normal editor under My Profile (there’s a link in the top right of your admin screen).

Feedback on the Simpler WordPress plugin would be appreciated. In particular, it would be good to know what difference is observed on the various slow school networks.