Blog Post

WordPress Benchmark: 3.0 vs 2.9.2, Part 2

After the first part of the benchmark of WordPress 3.0 versus 2.9.2, here is the second part focusing on the admin section of the WordPress and the execution on the client side. Part 3 is coming in a few days and it will be dedicated to testing on the blog side of the WordPress.

To check the results from first part of the benchmark, go the this post. There you have test setup and results for memory usage, page generation speed and executed SQL queries.

Test 4: Generated Page Size and JavaScript

This test will show how the big pages are, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and images send to the browser. There is a slight increase in the data send, but this not a big deal, considering the results from Test 5 you can see later. More JavaScript shows that interaction is better, and more elements are now using AJAX or animate for better user experience.

Generate Page Size: WP 3.0 makes slightly larger pages
Generate Page Size: WP 3.0 makes slightly larger pages
Page JavaScript: WordPress 3.0 adds slightly more JS
Page JavaScript: WordPress 3.0 adds slightly more JS

This is not very important test, because standard Internet connections today are broadband everywhere, and that can handle a bit bigger pages. But, it’s a good idea to keep the track of everything and don’t allow to grow out of control.

Test 5: Client Side Execution

Well, new jQuery and better JavaScript code payed of and the WordPress 3.0 executes faster now. But, this is highly dependent on the browser and there are big differences in speed. My measurements are done with Firefox 3.6.3, and here is the chart:

Clientside Page Execution: WordPress 3.0 is faster
Clientside Page Execution: WordPress 3.0 is faster

WP 2.9.2 is a bit faster on post edit panel, but in WP 3.0 there is much more going on there, more AJAX, so this is not a big surprise. In all other cases WP 3.0 is faster. But, if you want it fast that don’t use Firefox! And don’t use MS Internet Explorer. Opera 10.5/10.6 is 3-4 times faster than Firefox, and in Opera a page renders usually under 3 seconds. Google Chrome 4 is 2 times faster than Firefox, and Chrome 5/6 is 4 times faster. Safari 4/5 is 2 times faster than Firefox. Internet Explorer (even IE8) in some cases can take 20 seconds to render some pages in WordPress.

For administration of all my WP websites I use Opera, and I always get frustrated when I have to use Firefox because it slows me down, since I am so used to Opera and speed it provides. Browsers race in improved JS speed is a good thing, and with every new version Opera, Chrome and Safari keep getting faster. I don’t know what’s wrong with Mozilla, but Firefox right now is very slow compared to these 3 browsers, and I hope that Mozilla will make some important changes and get back in the speed game with Firefox 4 (for 3.7 is already too late, and it’s not faster than 3.6).


So, WordPress 3.0 is faster now and gives much better user experience, and more things are changed and improved to provide better administration features. AJAX is used much more, and there are more interactive elements all over. Despite some problems with memory usage and other things I talked about in previous part of this benchmark, there is no doubt that WordPress 3.0 is the best and most important release of this platform in last 2 years.

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About the author

Milan Petrovic
Milan Petrovic

CEO and Lead developer of Dev4Press Web Development company, working with WordPress since 2008, first as a freelancer, later founding own development company. Author of more than 250 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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