Archive for October, 2015

Using Cache Plugins for WordPress

Using caching can provide a major improvement in your site's performance, without having to do the kind of careful analysis and re-organizing of your site and its content required to do offloading. Some of the plugins are practically "fire and forget." Install the plugin, activate it, set a few basic settings (in many cases you can just use the defaults), and boom! Your site loads twice as fast as before.

Here at the IMC there are there WordPress plugins that we have evaluated and use on a regular basis. All three do a good job, so which one you choose has more to do with what features you actually need on your site, and how much complexity in the configuration you are willing to deal with.
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Security Plugins for WordPress

What You Can Do to Secure Your WordPress Site

As we mentioned in a previous post on WordPress security, unless you're a computer security expert, you'll probably need some help with securing your site. In this post, we are going to talk about some of that help.

Making WordPress Secure 270x300 PNG

First, you should install a good WordPress security plugin. There are several good such plugins out there: at the IMC we currently like to use one of two different plugins, depending upon what we consider to be the value of the site. Those are "LoginLockdown" and "All-In-One WP Security and Firewall." There are many others, some of which we have used in the past, such as "Better WP Security," "BulletProof Security," and "Ultimate Security Checker." Eventually, which one you use will come down to two questions: "how secure do I need this site to be?" and "how much effort do I want to expend to make it secure?"

There are other security aspects to consider that often can't be addressed by a plugin, such as the configuration of your webserver itself, the file permissions on your PHP code files, how PHP is configured to behave, and system-level security, just to name a few. Most of these things will be outside your control unless you do your own hosting. However, if you are getting your hosting through a reputable, professional provider like Bluehost or HostGator, you can be reasonably sure that those issues are being handled.

That said, there are plenty of things you can do to secure your site on your own. Let's talk now about the two security plugins we use here at The IMC...
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This is the first in a series of articles about improving the security and the performance of your WordPress site (or sites). We will be discussing several methods for increasing the speed of your page loads, some involving use of plugins and some requiring analysis of your pages. We will also be talking in more detail about how to secure your site against online attackers.

Improving the Performance of Your WordPress Site

Making sure that your website performs well is crucial to your success on the Internet. Multiple studies have indicated that if your page takes longer than 2.5 seconds to load, more than 25% of your readers will lose interest and click away. A sad commentary on the attention span of much of the public, but these are the facts of life. In addition, Google now favors sites that load more quickly, so improving the performance of your site can also improve your Google ranking.

The best methods for improving the performance of your WordPress site can depend on many different factors:

  • Your hosting provider
  • Your site's available bandwidth
  • How many (and which) plugins you have installed
  • The complexity of your WordPress theme
  • The size and performance of the WordPress backend database

Trying to account for all of these factors for anyone who might be reading this article is obviously impossible. But don't despair: there are things you can do to improve your WordPress performance that should help in pretty much all cases. We will be giving you an overview of the methods in this post, then breaking them down in detail over several subsequent posts. Please feel free to ask for more details in the comments section here; we will take your suggestions into account while completing the rest of the series.
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