The Chrome 41 Bump

Patrick Meenan mentioned first paint time improvements in Chrome 41. I noticed a ~25% improvement in the first view SpeedIndex times for one of our tests. It was easy to spot when the auto update from Chrome 40 to 41 happened:

chrome-41-bump

I compared the individual tests before and after the update and this really is all about first paint times. The total time for the page to be visually complete was roughly the same.

Google Fiber to the South, Google Fiber to the North

This week Google Fiber announced they are coming to Salt Lake City. It looks like this is going to be a new fiber network, built from scratch. That is significantly different from the Google Fiber in Provo, which was done by purchasing an existing network.

Unfortunately there is no fiber run to my house, and as far as I know there are no plans for it in the future. There are really only two options: CenturyLink and Comcast. For my location CenturyLink offers a maximum speed of 12Mbps down, which is usable, but not great. Under the new FCC guidelines that isn’t even considered broadband.

Comcast does provide 50 – 100Mbps down connections. Unfortunately that means there is effectively only one broadband connection option.

At this point with Google Fiber already in Provo, and Google Fiber going into Salt Lake City, they may as well build out the area between the two :-)

WordPress.com #3 in Worldwide DNS Performance

Two weeks ago I mentioned dnsperf.com. After that I reached out to @jimaek about adding WordPress.com to the list of measured providers.

It has been super exciting to see WordPress.com DNS performance rank #3 worldwide:

dnsperf-wpcom-1

We are behind second place EdgeCast by just 0.66ms.

Serious kudos to our systems and network operations teams on including DNS as part of our Anycast network, which made this level of performance possible.

WordPress Upgrades > MySQL Upgrades > PHP Upgrades

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the updated WordPress.org stats page shows more than 50% of active sites are on version 4.0 or newer:

wp-versions

That is really good for a piece of software released less than seven months ago. The years long effort into making upgrades easier and more reliable are paying off nicely.

When I looked at PHP and MySQL version usage that is where things got strange. I know that PHP upgrades at some hosting providers happen at a very slow pace, but I didn’t fully appreciate how slow.

wp-mysql-versions

The most reported MySQL version for active WordPress sites is 5.5, at nearly 60%. The first MySQL 5.5 General Availability release was two years ago ( February 2013 ). Considering how sensitive data storage is I’d consider that a good upgrade rate.

Turns out to be significantly faster than PHP.

wp-php-versions

Less than 47% of active WordPress sites report using PHP version 5.4 or newer.

The first release of PHP 5.4 was three years ago ( March 2012 ). I could see not wanting to upgrade on the initial release, so I’ll discount that to two years with PHP 5.4.13 in March 2013. That still leaves PHP 5.4+ at 47% compared to MySQL 5.5+ at 66%.

I didn’t expect to see hosting providers upgrading MySQL faster than PHP.

2015 Utah Legislature In Review

Adam Brown has a series of posts covering The 2015 Utah Legislature | Utah Data Points. Here are a few highlights: