Jason Cosper

Semper fudge.

Author: Jason Cosper (Page 1 of 116)

The Decision

I know things are normally pretty quiet around here. But I have some actual, legitimate news.

In just a couple weeks, I’ll be joining the Managed WordPress team at Liquid Web as their Senior Performance Engineer. It’s an opportunity for me to get out of Marketing—where I’ve been broadening my skillset since last fall—and back into implementing things that impact users.

The decision to leave WP Engine was hard. In the five and a half years that I’ve been there, we’ve managed to grow the company from five employees in Austin (with me working remotely) to over four hundred and fifty across five offices in the US and Europe. I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve been able to build, as well as the hand that I’ve had in helping to do that.

However, when the opportunity came to work with the team that Chris Lema has put together, I couldn’t pass it up. It was simply too exciting.

So exciting that I don’t even know what else to say without turning this into a big, rambling, 4500-word post. Seriously. The previous revisions of this draft post go to some really weird places. And because I’m not really interested in tying my disjointed ideas together right now, I’ll spare everyone the word salad and post a GIF of how I’m feeling instead.

Maybe I’ll digest things a bit more and write about all of this later. Considering the last post I did here was in March, probably not. But hey, here’s to future aspirations…

A Quick Take On Guetzli

I ran a few (incredibly unscientific) tests on Google’s new Guetzli JPEG encoder last night at 100%, 90%, and 84% compression. Why 84%? Well, that’s the lowest the Guetzli binary will let you go without editing the source and recompiling.

Each run (compressing a single image) took about 20 minutes on a medium sized cloud instance with 8GB of RAM. During these runs, the server routinely went into swap. If you’re interested in seeing how things panned out, here’s the output: https://img.boogah.org/g/

Included in the link above are 2 versions (lossless, and lossy) of the same image run through ImageOptim on macOS. Doing both of those took me less than 2 minutes, combined. And while the output of ImageOptim’s lossy compression isn’t near as sharp, it’ll still be “good enough” for most folks.

At the end of the day, Guetzli’s output is really nice. And it does do a great job compressing things. I saw anywhere from a 74.63% to 89.28% decrease in size from my original image with very few visual artifacts. In its current form, however, it takes way too long to act as an efficient enough batch processor for small, independent publishers.

So don’t go throwing away Kraken, Imagify, or Smush just yet… Especially if you post a lot of galleries. 😀

Return of the Slack

While I find the official WordPress Slack team incredibly useful, the sheer scope of it — over 10,000 users & 66 channels — makes the copy of Slack on my desktop ridiculously sluggish. It’s actually pretty crazy how much lower the RAM usage on my machine is when I remove the WordPress team from the app.

At this point I feel like my options are:

  1. Stop hanging out in WordPress Slack. 😞
  2. Requisition a new work machine with more RAM. For Slack. 😕
  3. Shut up and continue to deal with it. 💩

I’ve gone with a modified version of option #3 thanks to Nativefier. It quickly wraps any site in an Electron shell and creates an executable for your operating system. So now I’ve got an app just for WordPress Slack. My (7) other teams can stay snappy and I can restart the Electron app as needed when RAM gets tight.

And if you’re using a Mac, you can have it too… Just click the image below to grab a (totally unsupported) copy.


Pardon the hastily thrown together icon. It’s this Dribbble shot plus a plain ol’ WordPress logo. To be honest, I wasn’t looking to blow a whole lot of time on this. And I didn’t. So that’s cool.

Hopefully at least one other person finds this useful!

Playing with Laravel Valet

I finally had the chance to do a little WordPress work in Laravel’s lightweight development environment Valet last week. My hot take?

It's the best. I love it.

If you’re interested in setting it up on your Mac, there’s a solid tutorial that outlines how to get started by Tom McFarlin over at Tuts+. And if you’d like to go down the rabbit hole even further, Aaron Rutley has written a script that helps you create and delete sites under Valet in seconds.

I’m going to spend a little more time with this over the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll put something interesting together if I can find the time… No promises though.

Simple Cache

Taylor has been on fucking fire lately with plugin releases. Simple Cache does one thing — caching, natch — and it does it very well:

Simple Cache was constructed after getting frustrated with the major caching plugins available and building sites with developer-only complex caching solutions that get millions of page views per day.

If you need your site to run fast, don’t have time to mess with complicated settings, and have been frustrated by other caching plugins, give Simple Cache a try.

Sounds nice. Wish I had an unmanaged site to use this on.

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