WordPress smilies – use them or not to use them?
WordPress smilies are enabled by default right after you install wordpress in your blog, just like Akismet and Helo Dolly plugin. (related: Akismet API key).
I used to use them too, or likely, I did not really pay attention on those smilies. I though oh, they are cute, and it is very nice when my readers or commenters or even myself typing like :) will be displayed as smilies, yellow graphic, as shown below.
This graphics or images will show up both in your comment template and in the post, actually, whenever you type the :)
There are many kinds of graphics, you can wink, grin, smile, and some of blogs I have visited, had installed plugins that can change those graphics to have more color and more fun.
Very nice actually, and I guess you can replace the default graphics to your own one too, I guess in wp-includes/images/smilies folder path, but I have never been interested to do so, this is why I am not sure how to do it, if this might interest you, you can Google search it.
I have been using this smilies almost for one year, and finally, a few months ago, I disabled these wordpress smilies manually, and then enabled them again and I will tell you why in this wordpress smilies post later..
Why did I disabled wordpress smilies in this blog?
A few months ago, I have tried to speed up this blog, by checking my blog speed, and then tried to validate in w3c, as well as improve the loading speed.
In my “check blog speed” post, I have included a Firefox addon, which is called PageSpeed. I am not sure if you are using another browsers, but by using Firefox PageSpeed Addon, you can then check whether your blog speed is fast or slow.
If slow, you can then inspect what elements can probably slow down your blog loading speed. By doing this, you can actually speed up your blog, although this method alone won’t work, especially the big part is it depends on the webhosting provider ( related: Recommended wordpress webhosting), but it will definitely help.
So when I used the smilies, here is a screenshot of the result if I use PageSpeed Firefox addon.
As you can see, those images affected the loading speed of my blog. PageSpeed says,”expiration is not specified”. This means, you need to set expiration period for any image formats including those wordpress smilies that by default made in .gif formats that are hosted in your site.
This means if you don’t set the expiration dates for those wordpress smilies images, they will only slow down your blog speed.
How to disable and enable WordPress smilies?
It really depends on your audience, if you think your audience needs those wordpress smilies, you might not want to disable them.
If disabling those graphics would not change your blog negatively, you can disable them too.
Or if you want to make sure the difference before and after using wordpress smilies, you can actually try to disable them first, check with page speed, note down the score, and enable them again after you found out the score of your website speed.
After it is done, you can compare how far your site speed is improved, and then decide, disabling or enabling these little graphics.
Anyhow, this is how we disable or prevent our blogs displaying those wordpress smilies:
1. Go to your dashboard, and scroll down, find in the left sidebar, “Settings” and then “Writing” Click that link.
2. In this “Writting Settings” page, you will see this line of sentence, “Convert emoticons like
:-P to graphics on display”
Click off or tick on the box to disable or enable them.
Do you use wordpress smilies? :)