Interview with Brad Markle of the Memory Viewer Plugin

Interview with Brad Markle of the Memory Viewer Plugin

It’s no secret that we’re fans of killer tools that help WordPress users be more efficient.  We’ve already mentioned the new(ish) plugin, Memory Viewer, here on WPMU.org and even recommend it to members over on WPMU DEV.

So we were stoked to sit down and discuss with Brad Markle of Inmotion Hosting (virtually via email of course) and gather some of his thoughts behind this handy plugin.

First off, Brad tell us about your Memory Viewer in your own words.

The Memory Viewer plugin allows you to see WordPress’ memory usage at several points while WordPress loads, and it also gives you a summary of all MySQL activity. This is great if you have a heavy WordPress installation as it can help pinpoint where in WordPress an issue may be.

What led you to develop this particular plugin?

Working for a large hosting provider, we work with various types of clients. Being in the Shared Hosting business, many of our customers run WordPress sites, and sometimes they get flagged as using excessive server resources. While it is easy for anyone to get a website up and running with WordPress, not too many users understand what MySQL usage is or how CPU time and memory are “shared” in a shared hosting provider. This plugin was written to help users pinpoint possible bottlenecks in their WordPress installation.

How does Memory Viewer help during development?

During development, the Memory Viewer plugin is a great way to see how many MySQL queries you’re running and how long each query is running. For example, if you have a bad loop in your code, you should be able to easily pin point the excessive queries. Also, if your queries are calling too much data, for example if they call everything when they only need the `id`, they may be able to see a bump up in memory usage.

How can Memory Viewer help a regular user?

For the regular user, the Memory Viewer plugin most likely isn’t going to make too much sense to them. I can see however a ‘regular user’ being contacted by their web host about their account’s resource usage, and then passing the Memory Viewer plugin results to a developer for further review.

Anything else our readers might find useful?

The WordPress Memory Viewer plugin is still quite young, it’s only been around for a month or two. We’d love to hear comments / suggestions as we’re eager to make the plugin as good as it can be.

 To me, one of the coolest things about Brad’s interview is to see how this plugin came out of a real problem that needed a solutionMassive props to InMotion Hosting for releasing this tool for free to all!  This kinda action shows a thoughtfulness to the community.  They even provide a thorough guide to using memory viewer right here.

Have you guys used memory viewer yet?  Be sure to send Brad and the team at InMotion Hosting some love in the comments or even provide suggestions as to what else you’d like to see :)