As WordPress developers, we often need to retrieve posts, pages and other content matching specific criteria from the database. Usually, we don’t need to build SQL queries (and often we shouldn’t) because the WP_Query class and its methods provide us with a safe and efficient way to retrieve data from the database. We just need to declare an array of arguments, and the $query object will build the actual SQL query. In this post, I will assume you already know the basics of the WP_Query class, its methods and properties, and where to find a list of the available variables. I will focus on parameters provided by the WP_Query class specifically to optimize SQL queries, reducing execution time and resource consumption. When traffic and content are limited, we usually don’t care about the efficiency of our queries. WordPress builds well-optimized SQL queries and provides a caching system out of the box. When traffic and site content grow significantly – up to thousands of posts – then we must consider query execution time. Our toolbox The code I’m going to show you has been tested with Query Monitor, a free plugin which provides essential information about
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