Blog Archives

Wishing For Spam Free Hosting

Are You Wishing For Spam Free Secure Hosting

Do you wish you could host your WordPress blog (self-hosted) where spam wasn’t a problem, where hackers couldn’t damage your site, where your host took effective steps to keep spammers and hackers away from your blog?

Are you fed-up with all the spam and hacker attacks from China, the former Soviet states and other notorious regions, the sharply rising level of cyber-attacks from the middle east and northern Africa?

Are all the hacking attacks and login attacks from hacked web sites and bad-host web-servers giving you grey hairs?

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Htaccess Site Speed Impact

Does the .htaccess File Slow Site Performance

Bloggers often ask the question “does using .htaccess for security or redirection slow down the site”? The answer should perhaps not be a simple yes or no. Some hosts recommend .htaccess should not be too large (not have a lot of rules) as it has a bad impact on performance. htaccess logoThen again some users have very long lists of rules in their .htaccess files and their sites are still fast enough to satisfy visitors and accepted Google page load speeds.

We need to weigh the benefits of using .htaccess for security, redirection and site configuration against any performance penalties (or advantages). Once we understand how .htaccess works on our blogs we can make the decision how we will this extremely useful file.

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CartPress Sends no-cache Headers

WordPress Plugin News Feed Stops Website Caching

It’s hard to believthecartpress sends no-cache headers icone a simple news feed from the CartPress e-commerce plugin for WordPress prevents WordPress from caching pages. This is apparently what happened to a website recently.

We received a request for assistance for a WordPress e-commerce site with this problem. The owner read our article; Fastest WordPress Caching System – and asked if we thought it would overcome a problem with his site. We explained this system wasn’t suitable for e-commerce.

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Botnet Attacks on WordPress

Latest Botnet Attacking WordPress wp-login.php

botnet ddos brute force attack iconA botnet is currently attacking WordPress login (wp-login.php) with user name admin in a dDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) Brute Force attack intended to force the server and WordPress to allow the cyber-criminals access to the site

We’ve seen this botnet hammering some of our WordPress sites the last several days. So far we’ve seen attacks from the IPs listed below. (Note: These are only those used to attack our monitored sites – and the botnet will have more…

Be Pro-active and Defend Your WordPress Site

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WordPress Database Junk

WordPress Database Contains a Lot of Junk

WordPress stores a lot of junk in the database. WordPress news feeds, theme and plugin update release notices and information, old plugin and theme stuff from removed plugins and themes that don’t clean out their data; and that’s before getting to the useful junk like post revisions and other data useful to WordPress users.

Storing junk in the database is nothing new to WordPress, as a .org support submission from 4 years ago shows.

I noticed my WordPress database was excessive in size, found it padded with 7,000 lines of WordPress “news.” Why is this stuff in my database, and how do I get it out? wordpress.org/support/topic/database-padded-with-junk-content

Interestingly, no-one bothered to reply to the submission.

Unnecessary Data Stored in Database

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Slow Website for Work Sample

Really Slow Joomla Site for Server and Site Demo

slow website thumbnail imageI received some links to a couple of really slow Joomla websites today. The links came in an e-mail with promotional offers from a South African web developer (competitor?). I don’t like to knock other developers so I won’t mention the sites or his name. However, the slow page loads for the two sites mentioned as recent samples, and the hosting setup mentioned motivates me to write about my findings…

The developer states “all sites hosted on my own server which only has my customers on it…  All  customers have the same server benefits of unlimited email accounts, unlimited website traffic, unlimited website storage…” I was intrigued by the ‘own server’, and decided to have a look at the sites.

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WordPress 3.6 Due

WordPress 3.6 Delayed but Still Due in April 2013

The release of WordPress 3.6 has been delayed for 2 weeks, but is still expected for public release by April 29th! The release was pushed back to allow beta testers more time to find and report bugs in WP 3.6 core. As far as new features go,  no more new features or functions will get added after March 27. At this point the beta will be released for developer testing.

What to Expect in WP 3.6

These are some of the possible new features we may see in WP 3.6

wordpress 3.6 iconPost formats UI: Post formats UI in WordPress 3.6 will change. The UI (User Interface) itself will be revised to help users better understand a particular post format.

Several sources of inspiration will be worked in, in particular CF Post Formats by Alex King, wordpress.com UI and the famous Tumblr interface. What we can expect from WordPress 3.6 (webdesignerdepot.com)

How will this affect us? If the changes to the media manager are anything to go by, the change will not be good for those of us using WordPress for a website CMS. We can probably expect another dumbed-down interface (which hopefully WYSIWYG editor developers will be on top of before this version is released).

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Don’t Update to WordPress 3.5

WordPress 3.5 Causes Problems – Don’t Update

wordpress 3.5 bug cartoon imageBe very careful before updating to WordPress 3.5, it may break vital systems. A number of plugins and themes are partly or totally incompatible with WordPress 3.5 at this time. If you have advanced features and commercial themes wait until you are certain these are fully WP3.5 compliant before upgrading, or you could lose these functions, and lose business as a result.

If you are starting a new blog or website WordPress 3.5 is fine… If your existing blog uses a default WordPress theme like TwentyEleven, TentyTwelve or TwentyTen, and only default or 3.5 proven plugins, then probably it’s OK to update. If you have extended functions on the front end, be wary, be very wary!

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WordPress 3.5 Image Manager

New Image Manager for WordPress 3.5

The new WordPress 3.5 image manager makes a change. First seen on WordPress.com (except for those of us who used the beta versions of WP 3.5 on test setups).

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this new image manager at first. It looks good, and the thumbnails are a decent size – and they resize when re-sizing the browser window. It’s easy to use too. But initially there seemed something was missing – the image URL, or link to the image. (I should have looked closer – or worn my specs!)

Having got used to the image URL in the link field, from the earlier image manager, I was looking for “http” etc, right clicking the thumbnails and everything else possible, and not finding the link… Then finally, staring me in the face – well almost – tucked away in the bottom right hand corner is the link manager – you need to scroll the overlay.

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Cache Pre-load Impact on Performance

Cache Pre-load Improves Google Page Load

Using a cache pre-load system can improve Google crawl page load speed substantially as clearly shown in the infographic below. Google considers page load in it’s SERP algorithm as an indicator of site quality: Where two similar ranked sites exist, the site with faster load speed will usually get better SERP than a slower site. With this in mind surely it’s a good idea to make the effort to improve page load speed as much as possible.

Page load speed can be improved in a number of ways;  moving the site to a better hosting service, optimising the site technically, including getting rid of unnecessary plugins, keeping image size as small as possible, and using an effective caching system are some of the things we can do.

No matter how well all the other technical aspects are improved, caching the site, and especially pre-loading the cache, will make a big difference to page load speed.

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