Optimize your server for high traffic WordPress installation

If you run a high traffic WordPress installation you will want to optimize WordPress and your server to run as efficiently as possible. This article gives a general overview of the avenues to pursue. It’s not a detailed technical explanation of each aspect.

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The optimization techniques available to you will depend on your hosting setup. This article is divided into categories according to hosting type.

1) Shared Hosting :

This is the most common type of hosting. Your site will be hosted on a server along with many others. The hosting company manages the web server for you, so you have very little control over server settings and so on. The areas most relevant to this type of hosting are :

  • Caching : WordPress caching is the fastest way to improve performance. Plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache can be easily installed and will cache your WordPress posts and pages as static files. These static files are then served to users, reducing the processing load on the server. This can improve performance several hundred times over for fairly static pages.
  • WordPress Performance : The first and easiest way to improve WordPress performance is plugins. Deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins. Try selectively disabling plugins to measure server performance. Is one of your plugins significantly affecting your site’s performance?
    Then you can look at optimizing plugins. Are plugins coded inefficiently? Do they repeat unnecessary database queries? WordPress has its own caching system, so generally speaking, using functions like get_option(), update_option() and so on will be faster than writing SQL.

2) Virtual / Dedicated Server :

In this hosting scenario you have control over your own server. The server might be a dedicated piece of hardware or one of many virtual servers sharing the same physical hardware. The key thing is, you have control over the server settings. In addition to the areas above Caching and WordPress performance, you can follow the below techniques to optimize your server :

  • Server Optimization :

    DNS: If you host your DNS on external servers this will reduce the load on your primary web server. It’s a simple change, but it will offload some traffic and cpu load.

    Web Server: Your web server can be configured to increase performance. There are a range of techniques from web server caching to setting cache headers to reduce load per visitor. Search for your specific web server optimizations (for example, search for “apache optimization” for more info).

    PHP: There are various PHP accelerators available which can dramatically improve performance of your PHP files. This will apply to all PHP files, not just your WordPress installation. Search for PHP optimization for more information, f.e. APC.

    MySQL: MySQL optimization is a black art in itself. A few simple changes to the query cache settings can have a dramatic effect on WordPress performance because WordPress repeats a lot of queries on every request. Search for mysql optimization for more.

  • Offloading :

    Static Content : Any static files can be offloaded to another server. For example, any static images, JavaScript or CSS files can be moved to a different server. This is a common technique in very high performance systems (Google, Flickr, YouTube, etc) but can also be helpful for smaller sites where a single server is struggling. Also, moving this content onto different hostnames can lay the groundwork for multiple servers in the future.Some web servers are optimized to serve static files and can do so far more efficiently than more complex web servers like Apache, for example publicfile or lighttpd.

    Multiple Hostnames : There can also be user improvements by splitting static files between multiple hostnames. Most browser will only make 2 simultaneous requests to a server, so if you page requires 16 files they will be requested 2 at a time. If you spread that between 4 host names they will be requested 8 at a time. This can reduce page loading times for the user, but it can increase server load by creating more simultaneous requests. Also, known is “pipelining” can often saturate the visitor’s internet connection if overused.

    Offloading images is the easiest and simplest place to start. All images files could be evenly split between three hostnames (assets1.yoursite.com, assets2.yoursite.com, assets3.yoursite.com for example). As traffic grows, these hostnames could be moved to your own server. Note: Avoid picking a hostname at random as this will affect browser caching and result in more traffic and may also create excessive DNS lookups which do carry a performance penalty.

    Likewise any static JavaScript and CSS files can be offloaded to separate hostnames or servers.

Source : http://codex.wordpress.org

10 things you can do with Joomla

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Joomla is one the most popular content management systems in the world, used by over 20 million sites, being the most popular content management system it has lots of things to offer and here we would share some of the things we can do with Joomla. You can get started with Joomla by installing it through Softaculous right away.

1. Ads & Affiliates
Every user creates a website to market its business and for over seas communication, in this type of economy any type of income is appreciated. Joomla helps its user by integrating many ads and affiliates by just selecting the code and pasting it in your Joomla website where you want it.

2. Page Editor
Installing extension to your Joomla installation can add several features in the original editor such as background color, fonts, better multimedia control and many more. This lets you style your text by accessing it from the text editor itself.

3. Mobile Joomla
You always want to edit your website on the go Joomla offers variety of extension where you can edit your website on phone with this feature you can manage your website right from your mobile phone.

4. E-commerce
Creating an online shopping portal or an auction site is very easy. You can create an e-commerce site where you can sell products, auction things online and accept donation from your users.

5. Communication
You always want your website to communicate with your customers/user for feedback or help if required, your Joomla installation can offer almost every type of communication like live chat, forums, live support, video conference and many more.

6. Social Networking
Most people nowadays use social networks to publicize their ideas and to bring in new visitors to their sites, so social media is an easy way for people to connect to you and is becoming a “must have” for most sites. Joomla allows you to integrate such social networking on your website which bounds to attract more users.

7. Photo Albums
A Joomla website can be converted to a gallery with photos being displayed online though using a photo & image extension.

8. Platforms for Modules
It is a bit difficult to add a custom javascript, php, html etc to a Joomla website but there are many extension available which integrate any script with the Joomla website very easily with this type of feature you can easily add a script or create a custom form on your Joomla installation.

9. Financial
With a simple module or plugin you can add all the financial features to your installation like simple calculator to stock quotes from currency converter to mortgage calculator.

10. Feedback
The most important part of any website or business is feedback you have to take your users feedback to improve your product or website your would like take feedback in may forms like survey, polls, suggestion and many more with Joomla you can integrate all those features into your Joomla installation.

How to make your WordPress installation Secure

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WordPress is one of the most popular blog today. As it is the most popular application there are numerous hackers who are honing their skills to make it to the big leagues.

WordPress is pretty secure and they provide frequent updates but we can make the installation more secure by following some simple steps :

1. The most easiest way is to be updated with WordPress

WordPress provides security updates immediately if a loop hole is detected, so being updated with WordPress will help you to be more secure. It hardly takes a minute to update WordPress with Softaculous.

2. Generic admin username

Most users make a mistake by continuing with the default username for the administrator account ie is admin. Its a common username and every hacker would know that. Choose a username other than admin you can use your name i.e. john as your username. You can choose the username on the install form.

3. Choose a Strong Password

Using a simple password is a bad idea. Use a password that is more secure to let the hackers stay away from you. Use a combination of alphabets, numbers and special characters.

4. Secure permissions to the config file

The wp-config.php file contains all the configuration and settings of WordPress, exposing this file to hackers is a very big threat to your blog they could easily inject malware into your blog or delete the content on your blog. The solution for this is to revoke the permission to the config file. The WordPress config file is wp-config.php  which located in the root directory of your installation. Change the permission to something safe like 0600 if suPHP is enabled on your server. You can ask your host to confirm which permission is suitable on your server.

5. Backup regularly

Backing up your installation is very important because if your installation is hacked you can restore your installation from the backup. You should always take a back up of your database and files, it is recommended to take a weekly backup of your data there are several plugins that will do it for you or you can use Softaculous to backup and restore your installation.

6. Plugins

Make a point to update the plugins when there is an update available. It is always a good idea to be updated. Also, if you are not using a specific plugin, delete it.