5Tips To Optimize And Make Your Blog A Rockin Rockstar!
There are few things in life that are free and ultra-useful, and WordPress blogging software is definitely one of those things. Not only is it free, but, it’s just the easiest and most productive way to build a website or blog.
One of the biggest perks of WordPress is the fact that anyone who is new to building websites can use it right out of the box. But, there are some tweaks involved that can truly make your blog a rockstar! Please read on to learn some of the most important optimization tips and user guides for this great free blogging platform.
The versatility of WordPress is amazing due to the vast amount of plugins that helps to customize blogs in so many different ways. Everything from SEO plugins that optimize blogs for the search engines to a wide variety of posting, design and security plugins. Make sure to browse the plugins page at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ to find everything you need for your site.
WordPress Security Tips
Security is another critical concern for any websites and especially blogs because they can be especially vulnerable to hackers. Here are the best ways to secure your WordPress site.
Malware on your site will get you deindexed in Google and your site will be blacklisted from the search engine. While they give you a chance to fix it, often you might not know it’s there until it’s too late. And, even once you do notice, Google is not too quick to check and restore sites.
To prevent Malware on your site, which is usually uploaded by a hacker you must have security at the server end where you site is hosted.
Site Lock is one such service. It is not free, but, the fee is a small price to pay for the piece of mind and security it lends to your precious piece of Internet real estate.
Prevent Hacker/Malicious Access
Login Lockdown is a great fee plugin that blocks malicious hacking login attempts to WordPress after so many wrong tries, as set in Admin settings.
So, if someone tries to login into your site and misses either user name or password X (as set by you) amount of times their IP address will be locked out for a certain amount of time, also, as set by you.
The plugin will also send email alerts for blocked IP’s to your admin email.
Sometimes themes and plugins use what is called the TimThumb file as part of their product, which, if outdated is an open door to hackers.
Always make sure that if you do have this file as part of a theme or plugin that it is updated at all times.
Here is the where the developer of TimThumb keeps the most current version and it is updated regularly: http://timthumb.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/timthumb.php.
WordPress Loading & Speed Tips
Site speed is one of the most important ranking factors in the Google search engine, and more important is the fact that slow loading sites typically lose visitors who don’t want to wait around for your site to load. This is why it is critical to optimize blog speed and this can be done in a number of ways.
The best way to improve side speed is to serve cached files to visitors and no plugin does it better than W3 Total Cache (http://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/).
It offers several settings, include Page Cache, Browser Cache, database cache, several minify settings to compact JS and CSS and more.
Using a CDN to route traffic can dramatically improve site speed for even the largest of site. Cloudflare is free and offers several settings to increase site speed significantly.
Whether you choose the Basic Optimization or the Full Optimization setting you will see a significant speed difference in the loading of all your pages.
W3 Total Cache and Cloudflare are compatible and compliment each other and many bloggers use them together on their WordPress sites. Learn more about Cloudflare at: https://www.cloudflare.com.
Images can often be detrimental to WordPress blog speed because they are large files that bloat the site and cause lag times in page speed.
Optimizing any images uploaded to posts and pages is essential and can easily be done with WP Smush.it (http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/), a free plugin that automatically reduces the size of and optimizes images that are uploaded to WordPress.
Database Optimization Tips
Another crucial aspect of making WordPress load fast and keeping it healthy is with regular database maintenance and settings. To this end it’s important to go to your hosting account and clean overhead on the database on a regular basis.
1. Access PhpMyAdmin from your Cpanel’s main page
3. Click on the database (little icon next to the name)
You’re done, the table is now optimized and cleaned!
Limit Stored Post Revisions
By default WordPress saves each and every post revision that is done on the site. Over time this causes an incredible amount of unnecessary bloat to the database with thousands of revisions stored without any benefit. Here is how to set a limit to the revisions being saved.
1. Go To Cpanel in your hosting account
2. Select File Manager from main Cpanel menu
3. Select the Root folder of the site you want to set revision limits for
4. Find Wp-Config file and click edit from the top menu of the File Manager
5. Just below where it says:
* @package WordPress */
Paste this code:
//Limit WP revisions. Value can be any positive integer number. //Create a maximum of 2 revisions, plus one for auto-save. define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);
Where it says WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3, you can set the number to anything you want, it should be at least 2, 3 works well.
That’s it, enjoy a cleaner database for years to come!
Blog Comment Spam
WordPress blogs are especially susceptible to spam comments because it is the backlink venue of choice for spammers who want to flood your site with useless comments full of their links.
To prevent these comments from appearing on your site there are two useful plugins, Akismet and also Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin.
By the way, you can also set your comment settings in WordPress to manual approval, this way you can hand check each and every comment that is submitted to your site and approve those you want manually.
Akismet works on autopilot from a constantly updated database of known spammers, it also filters comments that have links, which is a typical identifier of a spammer.
Akismet places comments it deems to be Spam into the Spam folder that can be accessed from the Comments interface in WordPress admin and it allows you to go through and approve any mistakes manually.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
This plugin is unique and often works better than Akismet. While Akismet works by filtering comments, GASP actually prevents automated comments from being published on your site.
Using both of these spam blocker plugins together works great to prevent mass spamming of your blog, which is essential to keep it clean and reputable. It also saves a lot of time in having to go in and check and moderate comments on a regular basis should you not want to have to manually approve and check all comments.