How to Boost WordPress Performance Drastically with Zend Optimizer+ - ManageWP

How to Boost WordPress Performance Drastically with Zend Optimizer+

A monorail travelling through a tunnel.

At ManageWP we are obsessed with speed. With the recent launch of our new dashboard we improved loading times for the application by almost 100% in some areas.

We also invest time in optimising our server setup for optimum performance. We already run the optimised “WordPress stack” – PHP 5.4.x,  nginx with PHP-FPM and Percona MySQL.

Today we explored the Zend Optimizer+ opcode cache for PHP:

The Zend Optimizer+ provides faster PHP execution through opcode caching and optimization. It improves PHP performance by storing precompiled script bytecode in the shared memory. This eliminates the stages of reading code from the disk and compiling it on future access. In addition, it applies a few bytecode optimization patterns that make code execution faster.

The interesting thing is that Zend Optimizer+ recently became open-source and can be freely downloaded now on Github. This happened as part of the push to include Optimizer+ into PHP 5.5.

With that said, this morning at 9.00 AM we enabled Zend Optimizer+ on the ManageWP server, which is proudly running WordPress. Let’s see what effect it had.

CPU Usage
CPU Usage
load average
Load Average
Memory Usage
Memory Usage

What we could immediately, within seconds, notice is CPU usage going down by 50% and memory usage going down by 20%.

Other Noteable Resources

Installing Zend Optimizer+ is piece of cake. Here is how.

Others confirmed Zend Optimizer+ beats the APC cache when running WordPress by 10%.

APC vs Optimizer+ on WordPress
APC vs Optimizer+ on WordPress

Other reports (here and here) show that by simply upgrading PHP from 5.3 to 5.4, you gain 10%-25% performance improvement when running WordPress.

If you ask your self why is this important, here are just a few sobering facts (source):


If you care about your business and are not obsessed by speed of your website, you should start taking action now.

Server side improvements like upgrading to PHP 5.4 or installing the Zend Optimizer+ cache are easy and cost nothing to execute.

But also understand that the race does not finish there. At ManageWP we are constantly fighting to save every second we can so that you use the service in a most efficient way possible. We also include feature like our Website Performance Scan feature which provides a wealth of information and suggestions on how to make your website faster.

Photo Credit: Express Monorail

Vladimir Prelovac

Vladimir is the Founder of ManageWP, and is a frequent contributor to the WordPress community - in the form of numerous plug-ins, tools, WordCamp talks and a book by the title WordPress Plugin Development.


  1. Johann

    We made an article about personnalizing php.ini for the case of shared hosting, if this can help anyone :

    On our server, Zend and Gzp are installed and are doing a great job after testing, we realized that no added WP plugins were necessary…

  2. Farzana Neha

    I’ve installed PHP 5.5.2 on my website and my website seems loading faster. Some people say Zend Optimizer doesn’t work properly with WP based websites. But, it’s working for me great (I have APC installed on my server too). I am gonna stick with PHP 5.5.2 for now :)

  3. Jason Jalbuena

    sounds great and am going to try it!

    but dude, your post title says “How To” and there’s no how to anything anywhere

  4. gtms

    QuickCache Plugin and Zend do not like each other :)

  5. Glenn

    I installed it and it broke the wordpress plugin PC Custom CSS. Any ideas why that might happen?

  6. Guy Cook

    To enable Zend Optimizer on your hosting account, you must either modify or create a php5.ini file. Can this be done on shared hosting accounts? I contacted one host and they said they have zend optimizer inplace, just have to do the edits to php.ini to make it work. If they’re using the zend optimizer and not zend optimizer plus, making a php5.ini to use zend optimizer plus could cause problems? How can I determine the zend optimizer version for any host is the riddle, right? Thanks.

    1. ManageWP

      Zend Optimizer+ is usually enabled system wide, so if you do not control your hosting setup you probably already have it, or some other PHP opcode cache installed.

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