I am trying to improve the performance of a wordpress based blog. I am looking at wp_options table and am thinking to set the column auto_load to 'no'.

Does it have any side-effect on the site itself ? Does it improve the performance of the site ?

1 Answer 1


It depends on content and context.

Options with autoload = yes are loaded very early, all in one query. This is pretty fast, but it might be too early when an options contains a serialized object whose class isn’t loaded yet.

Options with autoload = no are loaded when get_option() is called.

Use yes when …

  • ( you need the option on (almost) every page load or
  • you don’t know when you will need the option or
  • the option value is very small ) and
  • the value is not a serialized object

Use no in all other cases, or refactor the code to make it “yes-compatible”.

You have to weight the number of database requests against the size of the transferred content. When in doubt, measure both.

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