WordPress Gears

Some may have noticed the “Turbo” link in the upper right corner of the admin area. (Remember when computers used to have a Turbo button?) Behind it is a new feature of WordPress.com, support for Gears.

Gears? It is a browser extension like Flash or QuickTime/Media Player. However Gears works with the browser to enhance web based applications. It can create local database and file storage, and run JavaScript in the background to update them without slowing down the browser.

Gears has been in the making for over a year and is well known among the web developers. Currently it supports Firefox versions 2 & 3 and Internet Explorer versions 6 & 7. Safari 3 support is coming soon.

On WordPress.com it is used to store all images and other web page components from the admin area to the user’s PC, speeding up access and reducing unnecessary web traffic.

The speed increase is most noticeable when Internet is slow or on high latency and makes everybody’s blogging experience more enjoyable.

To enable this new feature, click on the “Turbo” link and follow it to Gears’ site to install it in your browser (if not already installed). Then the browser will have to be restarted and after logging back in WordPress, click the “Turbo” link again to give permission to Gears to work on WordPress.com.

After that Gears will download around 200 files and store them on your PC. It will also update them when needed automatically in the background, no other actions are required.

The downloaded files will be used everywhere in the admin interface, speeding up every page load, enabling you to blog at faster than the speed of light.*

* Your mileage may vary.

Guest post by Andrew Ozz.

More info in the FAQ: Boost your dashboard – Turbo style.


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Matt

217 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. ClapSo

    I’ve been running gear for a few days now, and since I’m too cheap to pay for an ISP I use my neighbors wi-fi. Needless to say this is slow going at times. Gears speeds it up nicely!

    Thanks…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

    Like

  2. Ilan

    thats cool

    Like

  3. Manuel Reis

    Cool feature. I already have seen and installed Gears, but now I’ve understood how it works.

    Like

  4. Gurindam Jiwa

    Ow, speed of light? I like that.

    Like

  5. Craig Hodgkins

    Can’t wait to try it out. My blog is starting to get a little media-heavy.

    Like

  6. aporia

    Wonderful thingymajig.

    Like

  7. Lady

    Hmm.. Interesting addition. I hope it helps out, especially since I’m on dial-up.

    Like

  8. Eru

    Cool and Neat! Awesome!

    Like

  9. kimberlynlebsock

    This is really good stuff Matt. I am some what new to WordPress but I am enjoying this blogging experience.
    Thank You
    Kimberlyn Lebsock

    Like

  10. Ann

    Goodness, more great stuff from WordPress. Keep it coming!

    Thanks, Matt.

    Like

  11. teen

    Whoa , thanks a lot guys.
    Wordpress rocks!

    Like

  12. Robert D

    Ya know, I don’t understand a lot of what you talk about on the tech side of things, but I sure thank you for the ease of operation. I never thought I could have a web site that worked so easily.

    Like

  13. Rahul

    Speed Increase is always Good news :)

    Thank a Lot :)

    Like

  14. unseen

    so much IMBA!
    thank you guys :-D

    Like

  15. wordtrauma

    Thanks for this :). seems really cool!, ill have to try for a few days before i could actually “sense” the difference, but, seems to be working like a charm :)

    Like

  16. Pingback: WordPress.com Gears « Raanan Bar-Cohen
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  18. Farijs van Java

    wow. it’s great! awesome!

    (^_^)v

    thanks, matt.

    Like

  19. bodge101

    cool! good job! :D

    Like

  20. Brent

    Thanks but no thanks. I don’t want to have to download 200 files.

    I am content with either using the standard wysiwyg/html editor or Windows Live Writer, or perhaps even Flock.

    I can see how this would be useful to those on Mac or Linux, or for people who use Firefox as their main browser.

    I do see how this could be useful for those who don’t have a constant connection to the Net. But I’m afraid it’s not for me. Thanks anyway for the effort.

    Like

  21. MondoFree

    Thanks a lot for this feature, wordpress.com. I need this when i back to home from the city where i study, because i am from a small village and internet is very very slow.

    Thanks.

    Like

  22. Aguair

    Holla!

    Nice :D I like speeding.


    ~Ag!~

    Like

  23. Pingback: WordPress has Gears (and my Glass is Half Full) « UK Web Focus
  24. Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus)

    Thanks for this development. I’ve installed it – I guess this will be an enhancement which will not be noticeable, as the performance enhancement will; be taken for granted.

    I’ve written a post on this development, and on the continual enhancements to the WordPress.com service at:

    http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/wordpress-has-gears-and-my-glass-is-half-full/

    Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, UK

    PS If you find my blog of interest, please consider voting for it in the Web 2.0 and Business category of the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 08.

    Like

  25. John McKlain

    I tried it, but I couldn’t tell any difference, to be honest.

    Like

  26. Julio Fragoso

    Cheers for WordPress and Google

    Like

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  28. Paso

    great!
    I’ll try asap!

    Like

  29. Sknownotice

    Wow, this is a plus! I could notice the difference between before and after installation – it really loads my dashboard faster! A great add-ons to the rescue on slow network. Thanks, WordPress team!

    Like

  30. Olli

    I hope you guys will support offline posting through gears as well, now that would be useful!

    Like

  31. pKay

    Great one! Keep up the good work!!

    Like

  32. Zeezat

    Wow.. cool and nice feature. This feature makes the blogging a enjoyable habit.

    Keep growing guys. You rock all the way..

    Best smile,
    Zeezat

    Like

  33. Lazza

    Very nice feature. :-D I’ll give it a try.

    Like

  34. Pedro Monscooch

    That is perfect. Keep it up guys.

    Like

  35. foxgal

    whew! thanks. i noticed it even this is my first blog. good work. rawr!

    Like

  36. horninc

    Nice stuff, but unfortunately I have Opera browser, no support for it from Google or Google Gears ;(
    I think Opera is the most common browser for better web experience.

    Like

  37. Varun Kashyap

    Gears Support! Awesome! Seems great, dying to check it out..

    Like

  38. Chirag

    Thanks for letting us know matt!
    That’ll be much better for bigger blogs looking to upload a lot of videos and pictures.

    Like

  39. Charles

    amazing one… speed can increase my blogging mood. thanks for the effort… :D

    Like

  40. masbadar

    sorry, my previous post was’nt on the topic. about wordpress gear, i have downloaded it and just felt it better..
    any way, thank you for the improvement of the wordpress machine..

    Like

  41. Jonathan

    Fantastic news. Well done – will make blogging possible for me on the train now, instead of battling with word processors and a fragile mobile connection…

    Like

  42. wyndblown

    Sounds nice. I might like to use this WordPress Gears later when I am already familiar with this site. I am just new here and I need to get used to this site first.

    Like

  43. Ron

    OK – I have now have Gears installed on my backup machine and, so far. not the slightest difference, pro or con. I’ll see how it makes out.

    And I can’t conceive of a situation – which may once have been relevant in the days of dial-up – why I might want to access Gears-enabled apps offline – I’m never offline except when I’m in bed. Yes, the sort of person who annoys a carriage-full of people by pounding on a laptop for 300 miles might conceivably want it, but NEED it? I doubt it.

    Isn’t this – really – more about reducing server traffic by shifting data to the user’s computer than anything else?

    Like

  44. sulochanosho

    Yes SPEED is the Need of the hour. Kudos to Word(ex)Press!

    Like

  45. LIL-YONE

    dudes you guys rock!!!
    lov WP

    Like

  46. Daniel Florien

    Seems like a great use of gears.

    Can we write and edit posts offline, too? (Like Google docs.) Or is it only to make things faster?

    Like

  47. Matt

    Daniel, as it says in the post it’s just for making things faster right now.

    Like

  48. Gautham

    COOL. I never expected wordpress of all things to support gears though. That makes this unexpectedly cool. :D

    Like

  49. Nostro Sito

    Very nice! I’ll work out in this. Thanks man.

    Like

  50. Jason Adams

    Well done!

    Like

  51. piratenblog

    hmm, sounds interesting, i think i will try it as soon as i am home.

    Like

  52. Anthony

    Thanks, you guys rule. Keep all the sweet updates coming please.

    Like

  53. Pingback: Hot WordPress Tips » Blog Archive » WordPress.com and Google Gears
  54. netsavvysolutions

    “Gears has been in the making for over a year and is well known among the web developers.”

    Gawd, I had no idea, not that I am a developer from any angle. But I like the sound of this gears thing.

    Pardon the ignorance but if one clears the cache, does the gears stuff go too.

    Another thing is can other sites use gears for local storage or would they have to come up with their own turbo?

    Like

  55. Raanan Bar-Cohen

    @netsavvysolutions –

    Clearing cache will not impact Gears. A few more details here: http://faq.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/boost-your-dashboard-turbo-style/

    Like

  56. josepheulo

    I am all geared up, thanks WP……lol

    Like

  57. munggur

    Well, this posting answers my wonder on what is ‘turbo’ button function. This Turbo is an important feature for blogger with low-bandwidth, such as countries in Asia region. Thanks WP.

    Like

  58. shamekh

    thanks very much

    it’s realy work fine , and i feel the different

    thanks again

    Like

  59. DASannikov

    Nice!

    Like

  60. G

    Niiiice!

    Thanks!

    Like

  61. Sankar

    That’s pretty good… though it won’t matter to most since they are on broadband anyway. But it sure is interesting.

    Like

  62. Bombero King

    this is gonna be great!

    Like

  63. Dont be sad

    How innovative! Really, you keep surprising us*

    Like

  64. mostafa farghaly

    i wait gear support since along time , thank you for the turbo feature , and i suggest enabling offline post … WP is the best ;)

    Like

  65. cpwoton

    That’s really cool! I can’t wait for the Safari version!

    Like

  66. Infy

    I got into into turbo mode yesterday. Works, and the improvement is pretty noticeable.

    Great! as always :)

    Like

  67. Pingback: WordPress goes turbo speed with Google Gears | Blogging
  68. Will Entrekin

    Now that there is a great new feature. Rock.

    Like

  69. juliust68

    cool

    Like

  70. Sonic30132

    Awesome. I’m going to download it now.

    Like

  71. Gerald Ford

    I sure do miss those PC “turbo” buttons. 100 Mhz to 133 Mhz…go! :)

    Like

  72. James

    The next great improvement would be offline access. I’m about to embark on a lengthy overseas trip and it would be great to blog on planes, trains etc where internet access isn’t possible. Cheers and thanks for all of the regular improvements.

    Like

  73. piyecarane

    Local cache may reduce wordpress server’s load thus improving global performance. I think that’s the main idea.

    Like

  74. cpwoton

    Rock on WordPress! :D

    Like

  75. mikecane

    I still don’t understand what this is about. Others seem content to just give it a whirl. I’d like more details.

    What exactly are these “200 files” and how much disk space will they take up? And where on my HD will they be placed? Will they modify the Registry on XP systems?

    If I’m using something like BlogDesk already for posts that are long and contain many images, is there any advantage to Gears?

    And if this will also speed up me being to read through a media-heavy page on my blog, won’t I actually have a false sense of security, because it will be calling up stuff locally from my HD — and I won’t even realize there are possible problems others are seeing on my blog?

    Like

  76. Matt

    Mike, the files are like a local cache to speed up your dashboard. I’m not sure how large they are, probably around a megabyte. It has nothing to do with posts, just the images, javascript, and CSS used inside the WordPress dashboard.

    Like

  77. Pingback: WordPress shifts Gears to speed up blogging » VentureBeat
  78. raincoaster

    Why does it support IE 6 when it doesn’t support Windows 98, the operating system IE6 was released with?

    Like

  79. theblackrat

    I think that is a nice inclusion, is the offline / local editing the only reason Gears is being used for WordPress. And does that have much projected benefit for your servers? Or might it allow extra features for blogs in the future? I guess we will have to wait and see.

    Like

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  81. raymonty

    This is the place to be.

    Like

  82. cvos

    Will this be added to wordpress.org?

    Like

  83. Matt

    cvos, it will be in the next release of WP.org.

    Like

  84. the rufus

    Don’t know what the aliens will do with my computer now, but I’ll give it a try. And firs clicks showed ………. wow ;)

    Like

  85. Emma Sutton

    I will have to try that. I am the most computer illiterate person, but that sounds like something even I can do.

    Thank you for the info.

    Much laughter,

    Emma Riley Sutton

    Like

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  87. Khürt

    Interesting. Can’t use it from Safari and I don’t need ( or want ) Firefox on my Mac. Sigh!

    Like

  88. Moon

    Great :)

    Like

  89. jusamawi

    It’s a very good news but I can’t install it because I use Linux_x86_64-gcc3. What a pity!

    Like

  90. CriticalDocs

    PLEASE support Opera!
    cheers!

    Like

  91. TJ Rutkowski

    I had a few speed bumps slowing things down…and so far gears seems to work nicely. Thanks!

    Like

  92. mohd222

    Sweet hawt post!

    Like

  93. Pingback: Gears on WordPress.com :: WPLover
  94. alaskareport

    Right on Matt!

    Sounds like it’s prime time to do a little blogging with Satphone ;-)

    Like

  95. psychscribe

    I sure do hope you get geared up for safari soon! Thank you!

    Like

  96. photographerno1

    nice feature thanks ..

    Like

  97. ijoitem

    I’m with Olli, offline posting would be a great deal of a problem solving for me, if it’s in there, then I’ll do gear.

    Like

  98. 2046

    I agree with Olli. I thought the greatest thing about Gears is allowing users to do their thing offline and when the next time they are on the net, their “work” is automatically updated to their accounts. Offline posting would come in handy when I am on the road and nowhere near an internet connection. Speeding up our experience is a great start. I hope the WordPress Gears will get to their full potential some day.

    Like

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