This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Faster Smilies


On posts and pages with comments the most timeconsuming part in page creation is translating the smilies to images!

This has now been fixed in WordPress 2.8-bleeding-edge, but if you are not using that (and in production you probably shouldn’t, yet!), this plugin gives you the speedup anyway.

It replace smilies_init with a new one that constructs a more efficient regular expression, resulting in 10 ggr faster handling of smilies replacement.

Note: it uses the ‘e’ modifier to preg_replace to avoid patching any core files. Not all hosts allow this.


A page with 25 comments on an otherwise empty WordPress 2.7 got created on average 28% faster!

Profile of filters on 2.6.5 without plugin on a page with 403 comments:

    Total: 7.052s, Filters/Actions: 5.856s (83%), Db: 0.033s (0.5%)
    1. convert_smilies (calls: 403, total time: 3.911s (55.5%))

Profile with plugin:

    Total: 3.439s, Filters/Actions: 2.174s (63.2%), Db: 0.036s (1%)
    4. convert_smilies (calls: 403, total time: 0.357s (10.4%))

More than 50% faster!


  1. Download and extract plugin files to a folder in your wp-content/plugin directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the WordPress admin interface
  3. Enjoy


My host does not allow the ‘e’ modifier to preg_replace()! What do I do?

Wait for 2.8, or if you really want to you can apply the patch from

Contributors & Developers

“Faster Smilies” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.