I’ve been a huge fan of WordPress for years. In fact, I’ve been using the CMS over 12 years now. Every once and a while it’s inevitable that you’ll run into issues running WordPress. With the code revisions and plugin development it’s impossible not to. However, with following list of WordPress tips and plugins I will help your blog run smoother and provide your viewers with a better viewing experience.
I recently started the task of making WordPress run more efficiently and lighter. Every once and a while it’s imperative to make an agonizing appraisal of installed plugins and decide do they stay or do they go? Here’s a serious list of things to try if your bandwidth begins to spike.
WordPress Tips to Make your Blog Run Better
There are quite a few things you can do to to make WordPress run more effectively. Over time, you’ll need to perform maintenance on your blog. As code changes so do the need for updating your site. It’s the nature of the beast. Here’s a solid place to begin.
- Install WP Super Cache: First and foremost you should be running the wp-supercache plugin. IMHO this should be a core part of the WordPress platform, but until it is you’ll have to install this one yourself. This plug-in creates an html file out of served pages that is much smaller than it’s php doppelgänger.
- Remove Heavy plug-ins: Some of the plug-ins are written for WP while value adding are often heavy draws. One of the ways to find some of your heavier plug-ins is with the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler. This program will help pinpoint bandwidth intensive plug-ins. One of the things that make plug-ins heavy is the number of queries made to your database. This article here will help you determine how many queries are being run every time someone accesses a page on your website.
- Delete old SQL prefixes: Over time your sql database will start to accumulate more and more unused sql tables. You may uninstall a plug-in while it’s table info is still saved in your database. By logging into phpMyAdmin and removing old plug-in prefixes you can speed and streamline your database performance.
- Remove large files: This one is a no-brainer, but sometimes when you’re too close to the problem it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Make sure there aren’t any outside sites serving a large media file from your server. If you really must serve up video create your own to be hosted on Youtube or track something down. Chances are whatever you are looking for is already there.
- Use phpMyAdmin to optimize your database: Log in to phpMyAdmin, select all the tables, then, “repair”, and, “optimize”.
WordPress Tips to Make Your Blog Run Safer
To assign a new WordPress username, login to your control panel and create a new user. Then set this profile as an administrator. For this user provide a password that is harder to crack than your birthday date or local address. Make sure your password contains both upper and lower case letters. Be sure to include alphanumeric characters as well as qwerty symbols. It may be hard to remember, but it’s also harder to crack. It’s also not a bad idea to update this information every so often.
- Keep your WordPress version up to date: Aside from compatibility issues WP releases are filled with new security fixes. As WordPress is constantly evolving so are the ways it is exploited. In an effort to stay ahead of the hackers always try to keep the most up to date version of WordPress running for the best possible security coverage.
- Disallow Access to WP Core Files With .htaccess: It’s a good idea to keep curious bots out of parts of your site such as wp-admin, wp-content, etc. This can be done with your .htaccess file by banning access to these directories. Get more info about manually altering your .htaccess file here. Or give the AskApache Password Protect plugin for WordPress here.
- Update your login information: Never use, “admin”, as your login username. WordPress sets this by default. So do many other CMS’s and scripts out of the box.
- WP-Optimize: This plugin helps point out redundancy within your SQL tables. It also keeps track of bogus spam comments and holds them in a cue before they are ok’ed or not by you. This plugin has saved me a lot of headache.
WordPress Tips to Make your Blog More Secure
Once again security over time is an issue. Once exploits rear their ugly heads you need a plan to cut them off at the pass. The following plugins are good standard practice if you should find your web site compromised by deviants.
- Akismet Spam Protection: Akismet is a spam filtering prgram that runs off an API that scans over 50,000 possible exploits a day. This is one of those plugins that I think should be part of the core WordPress install. It is a bit heavy, but well worth the load.
- Really Simple CAPTCHA: A CAPTCHA for your comment system to prevent unwanted spam. Prevent automated spam by bots and most important naughty peoples. It’s really simple and secure.
- WP-Spamfree: An extremely powerful anti-spam plug-in that virtually eliminates comment spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes spam-free contact form feature as well.
Bonus Tip Free Handy Web Tools
- Page Load Test from Pingdom: This free tool will tell you which parts of your site are running slower than others.
- Website Grader: provides a decent report of where your website needs the most help.