What is a “fake visit”?

WordPress Cron only runs when someone visits your site. A fake visit causes a page to load without needing a real person to visit.

For the more technically minded, the plugin spawns a PHP sub-process that loops indefinitely and loads wp-cron.php each minute. This causes WP Cron to be triggered in exactly the same way it would if a real user was visiting your site.

Can the interval be adjusted?

Yes. However, you’d need to modify the plugin code. The reason is that WordPress won’t allow cron jobs to run more frequently than 1 minute, and running every minute has very little downside.

If you really must tinker with it, open main plugin file (imcron.php) and change ‘interval’ => 60. You’ll need to stop and re-start on the settings page to get the new interval to take effect.

Will it list every scheduled event in the admin, including those scheduled by plugins or themes?

Yes, it includes all events scheduled within WordPress at the time.

What is PHP requirement of using this? Is it PHP exec() enable?

If your WP-Cron jobs work when you have a visitor, then this plugin should work for you. The plugin uses exactly the same code as WP Cron does, just in a different way, and with safeguards, a keep alive, logging available, etc.

The ‘background process’ is really a HTTP request that loops indefinitely until you press stop in the panel. I also use a lock file system to prevent multiple ‘processes’ starting, as well as provide a failsafe method of killing the process (if the lock file is gone when it wakes up, then it dies).

Doesn’t running a background process consume extra memory?

Yes, but only a small, fixed, amount of memory. During testing, I left the plugin running for a couple of weeks while logging memory usage each minute. There was no growth in memory usage (Iow, no memory leak) and a pretty small memory footprint (under 250KB).

Do you know if the “fake” visits will be detected by WP Stats/Google Analytics/etc?

The plugin calls wp-cron.php directly, so I doubt any stats programs will record these visits.

Does this allow you to create cron jobs, or does it just help them run?

It just helps them run when you expect them to (+/- 1 minute). Normally, WP Cron requires a visitor so the actual run time of a cron job can be hours after you scheduled it to run.

Will this works with WordPress 3.2.1 in multisite mode? And if so, can I turn certain double crons (like plugin update checks) off?

I haven’t done any testing with WordPress multisite yet. I created it for a project I was working on and spun it off into a standalone plugin. Unfortunately, I haven’t made anywhere near enough sales to justify much extra development effort at this stage, however I’m open to sponsorship to test and/or extend it.

I received the following error: PHP Warning: file_get_contents(1320997139.lck) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory

Your web user needs permission to create files in ‘../plugins/improved-cron/bgp’. It uses the files to ensure only one copy of the background job runs at any one time.

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