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

  2. Ilan

    thats cool

  3. Manuel Reis

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

  4. Gurindam Jiwa

    Ow, speed of light? I like that.

  5. Craig Hodgkins

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

  6. aporia

    Wonderful thingymajig.

  7. Lady

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

  8. Eru

    Cool and Neat! Awesome!

  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

  10. Ann

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

    Thanks, Matt.

  11. teen

    Whoa , thanks a lot guys.
    Wordpress rocks!

  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.

  13. Rahul

    Speed Increase is always Good news :)

    Thank a Lot :)

  14. unseen

    so much IMBA!
    thank you guys :-D

  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 :)

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

    wow. it’s great! awesome!

    (^_^)v

    thanks, matt.

  19. bodge101

    cool! good job! :D

  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.

  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.

  22. Aguair

    Holla!

    Nice :D I like speeding.


    ~Ag!~

  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.

  25. John McKlain

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

  26. Julio Fragoso

    Cheers for WordPress and Google

  27. Pingback: Wordpress’ Gears « Neon Wilderness.
  28. Paso

    great!
    I’ll try asap!

  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!

  30. Olli

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

  31. pKay

    Great one! Keep up the good work!!

  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

  33. Lazza

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

  34. Pedro Monscooch

    That is perfect. Keep it up guys.

  35. foxgal

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

  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.

  37. Varun Kashyap

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

  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.

  39. Charles

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

  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..

  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…

  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.

  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?

  44. sulochanosho

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

  45. LIL-YONE

    dudes you guys rock!!!
    lov WP

  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?

  47. Matt

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

  48. Gautham

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

  49. Nostro Sito

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

  50. Jason Adams

    Well done!

  51. piratenblog

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

  52. Anthony

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

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  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?

  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/

  56. josepheulo

    I am all geared up, thanks WP……lol

  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.

  58. shamekh

    thanks very much

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

    thanks again

  59. DASannikov

    Nice!

  60. G

    Niiiice!

    Thanks!

  61. Sankar

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

  62. Bombero King

    this is gonna be great!

  63. Dont be sad

    How innovative! Really, you keep surprising us*

  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 ;)

  65. cpwoton

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

  66. Infy

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

    Great! as always :)

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

    Now that there is a great new feature. Rock.

  69. juliust68

    cool

  70. Sonic30132

    Awesome. I’m going to download it now.

  71. Gerald Ford

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

  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.

  73. piyecarane

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

  74. cpwoton

    Rock on WordPress! :D

  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?

  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.

  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?

  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.

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  81. raymonty

    This is the place to be.

  82. cvos

    Will this be added to wordpress.org?

  83. Matt

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

  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 ;)

  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

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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!

  88. Moon

    Great :)

  89. jusamawi

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

  90. CriticalDocs

    PLEASE support Opera!
    cheers!

  91. TJ Rutkowski

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

  92. mohd222

    Sweet hawt post!

  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 ;-)

  95. psychscribe

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

  96. photographerno1

    nice feature thanks ..

  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.

  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.

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