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11 Amazing Facts About PHP Every Developer Should Know!
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Tips to Hire the Best PHP Development Company
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What to Expect From Joomla’s Next Big Update?
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Which Is Better for a Small-Medium Business Commerce Website: WordPress or Joomla?
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Drupal, Joomla or WordPress? Which CMS Is the Most Secure?
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WordPress Vs. Drupal: Which Content Management System Is Right For You?
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Is Your WordPress Site Vulnerable?
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How to Secure Your Website Using WordPress Plugins
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How to Optimize the Speed of Your WordPress Website
10
Must have WordPress Plugins for Marketers

A popular server-side scripting and general-purpose programming language today, PHP, was originally created by a Danish-Canadian programmer named Rasmus Lerdorf. Although the stable release of PHP only happened on April 12, 2017, it has been around for twenty-one years, as it was first developed in 1994.

There are many benefits that  PHP offer. The PHP code can easily be embedded into HTML5 markup or HTML. PHP codes can be integrated with a wide range of web frameworks, web content management systems (CMS) and web template systems. The PHP interpreter is powered by the Zend Engine, an open-source platform. If you ask a programmer or webmaster, they will probably tell you that they already have the basic knowledge and understanding of this popular language. But there are some facts about PHP that haven’t been revealed to most programmers and webmasters. Here are 11 of the lesser known facts about PHP.

  • It Was Not Developed to Be a Programming Language

As was mentioned in the beginning of the article, PHP was first introduced in 1995. It was developed by Lerdorf to manage his own personal website. He was trying to create a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to work with web forms at the time he was developing PHP. Lerdorf made the surprise revelation when he had an idea to write a programming language while he was developing PHP. He took the next logical step.

  • PHP Has Not Always Been a Recursive Acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor

When PHP was developed, it was an acronym for Personal Home Page. It was initially known as PHP/FI, which stood for Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter.

  • Initial Use of PHP Transformed

PHP was originally used to build simple, yet dynamic web applications and to communicate with databases. It also helped in bug reporting and in improving the codes. It was only later that the language, as well as the meaning of PHP, evolved.

  • PHP Developed Further and Found Its Base

Although it is a very widely used programming language now, it was not until 1997 that PHP became “Hypertext Preprocessor”. Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans rewrote the original software component (parser) forming the base for PHP 3, which went to be publicly tested and then officially launched in June 1998.

  • The Core of PHP Was Rewritten and Powered by Zend Engine

The core of PHP was rewritten by Suraski and Gutmans. Zend Engine was produced in 1999. The new and changed PHP was then released in May 2000, powered by Zend Engine 1.0. PHP 4 continued to develop until the version 4.4.9. Since the release of that version, there haven’t been any more updates.

  • PHP Mascot

If you thought mascots are only for sports teams, think again, as many programming languages like PHP, Java, etc., have their own mascots. PHP has a big blue elephant as its mascot. The name given to the PHP mascot has been strategically modified to elePHPant.

  • More Than 5 Million Developers

Although the actual number of PHP developers in the world is not clear, Zend recently estimated that there are more than 5 million PHP Developers.

  • PHP is Not Distributed under the General Public Licenses

PHP is available for free, but there are certain restrictions. These restrictions prevent it from being distributed under the General public license. For example, if a product is created from PHP, it will need permission from the PHP group to contain PHP in their names.

  • More Than 244 Million Websites Use PHP

If Netcraft’s web survey from 2013 is correct, there are 244 million websites, approximately,  that are running PHP. This number must have grown since 2013, which suggests that, right now, there are more than 244 million websites that use PHP.

  • PHP for the Next Generation

With PHP 7, PHP is ready for the next generation. The performance of PHP was improved through refactoring, which was initially named as PHP Next Generation (phone). It was authored by Xinchen Hui, Nikita Popov, and Dmitry Stogov.

  • Big Brands and Popular Sites Use PHP

Some of the largest online brands, such as Facebook, Flickr, Yahoo, ProProfs, Technorati, Digg, and Friendster are all powered by PHP. Popular sites like Wikipedia.org, WordPress.org, Weibo.com, Twitter.com, Qq.Com, Taobao.com, etc., are using PHP.

These are some of the amazing facts about PHP. Over the years, PHP has developed and become what it is today. The language has grown to meet the needs of developers and webmasters using it today. This evolution makes it clear why PHP is so prominent in the industry.

A widely used programming language, PHP allows you to develop dynamic web pages as well as applications. With PHP, you get to create websites that are not only superb but also interactive. Developers and end users across the world consider it as one of the best programming languages, as it is easy to learn and use. You can create a variety of web applications with PHP. This platform is used by developers from all around the world. There are many PHP development companies that offer services with competitive pricing. All you have to do is to hire the one that you think is the best.

These days, almost all businesses have got a website, making it all the more important for you to create a website of your own and hire dedicated PHP developers. PHP is a scripting language which is used from the end of the server, with the help of which, web development par excellénce can be done. It enables developers to create complex, large, secure and robust websites as well as web apps for both small and large companies. Here are a few top tips to hire a good web development company using PHP:

  • Profile

In this age of digitization, people take the help of the internet if they need to know anything. This is exactly what you need to do here. Search for PHP companies on the internet and you will get a pool of results. Check the sites of the companies that you find in the search results. Check their portfolios very well and see if they have a history of doing the kind of work previously that you need to be done. Judge them thoroughly in terms of knowledge, skills, and experience. You may shortlist the companies according to that.

  • Testimonials

Testimonials play a very important role in knowing about the company. Check the websites of the companies that you have shortlisted to see what the feedback is about the company, as given by previous customers. If you see that they have said good things about the company, then you can go with it. But if you see that they have said negative things about the company then don’t hire them. Testimonials are a great way to know about the reputation of the company.

  • Practical Experience

After shortlisting the companies according to their portfolios and testimonials, it’s time that you should physically go to those companies and have a face to face chat with their professionals. Ask them everything that you need to know. And don’t forget to ask how much experience they have. Experience is one of the most important things that is needed in a good PHP development company. Make sure that the company you choose has abundant experience in working in the field of web development in PHP. The more experience the company has, the more good work will be done with the required expertise. Don’t choose the company if it does not have the long period of good working experience in PHP development.

  • Communication ability

Whatever the project, communication between the developer and the client is very important. If you cannot communicate with your PHP developer properly, then the final outcome will not be satisfactory. Meet your developer face to face and tell them what you want. When they have a good understanding of what you actually want, it will be easy for them to do the work exactly how you want. In case you cannot meet your developer in person, you don’t need to worry, as there are various tools such as Gtalk, Facebook, and Skype that you can make use of. This way, a successful project can be created.

  • Time

Time is very important in this case. You should make sure that the PHP development company that you choose is able to deliver your work within your given deadline. Tell them your requirement and when you want it. Ask them if they can deliver the work within the given time. If their answer is yes, then you can take that company into consideration and discuss further.

Thus armed with the knowledge of what to look for in order to hire a PHP web development company, it’s time that you keep the points mentioned about in mind and choose a company that suits your needs the most.  

Joomla is an open source content management system that is available for free. It borrows its name from the Swahili word “jumla”, roughly translated to “as a whole”. First released in August 2005, it is now considered to be the second most used CMS in the world. It has been downloaded over 78 million times, according to their website information.

Joomla 3.7 is the latest release on the Joomla conveyor belt. The stable release is slated for April 25th. Right now, the prototype version of Joomla is available to help developers get acquainted with the new settings.

Joomla 3.7 promises a host of new features and will also fix persistent problems plaguing older versions. The highlight of this release is the new custom fields feature. The significant improvements are discussed below in a detailed manner.

  • Custom fields: While creating articles, users, and contracts, it is now possible  to use extra fields including text fields, radio buttons, and numerous other field types
  • Multilingual Associations Component – This allows Joomla to enter its contents in multiple languages. Translation of any content is now easily possible from one unified interface.
  • Improved Workflow – Creation of categories, articles and menu items can be done in one step using the menu manager.
  • Backend Menu Manager – Administrator menus can be managed just like the front end operations. Different configurations can be created for each of the backend user groups.
  • TinyMCE – TinyMCE includes new buttons to easily add links and contacts.
  • Easier Extension Maintenance – It can prevent unwanted or accidental uninstalling of needed extensions.
  • User Experience – Global settings are displayed and back-end templates are flatter, thereby increasing user productivity. The website claims that more than seven hundred improvements and modifications have been done, most of them too minute to examine. Other changes are more noticeable, for example, the ISIS back end template has been modified.

Previous versions of Joomla have aided small business owners to build websites in an easy and hassle free manner. Joomla is less costly, and hence, is used by businesses that cannot allocate huge sums of money to invest. Joomla offers a very short development cycle that can be really advantageous to some businesses. In fact, it is a bit faster than most of its competitors, namely WordPress.  It offers both flexibility and control to the website owner and is absolutely imperative for being stable and secure.

There was also a talk of a new URL router being introduced, but recent press releases have suggested otherwise.

Joomla’s clients include Harvard University, IHOP, and MTV, among others.  As it is capable of carrying out varied tasks, ranging from corporate website development to blogs and social networks, it is the second most used open source solution in the world.  Previous versions have won accolades, such as the PACKT Open Source Content Management System Award.

So, you might be asking yourself, why to use Joomla in the first place. The reasons are summarized below.

  • It’s available for free. This is in part due to the non-corporate origins of the software.
  • Thousands of plugin extensions and templates are available online, thus making the job easier.
  • One of its most important strengths is its usability. Its versatile nature allows both inexperienced and experienced web designers to operate it.
  • It’s not just another platform, rather, it is a collection of tools that make it versatile enough to connect visitors to data through a number of ways.
  • It has an extensive set of integrated technologies that allow site managers and developers to innovate well beyond their initial projection.

In closing, we feel that Joomla 3.7 is the most anticipated version of the software for good reason. It offers a variety of abilities not explored before by others of its type. Corporate website portals, intranet and extranet connections, school or church websites, and even personal family homepages can be developed using this software. With this release, Joomla promises path breaking innovations that will drive the web development industry forward. The new improvements have further solidified this claim. Joomla 3.7 looks to be the most comprehensive development platform and can be considered a “complete package”.

As a vast majority of shoppers initiate a search online before making a purchase, it has become very important for small businesses to have an online presence. With a website and little bit of online marketing, small businesses stand a fair chance to compete against the bigger businesses. Many small businesses have understood the importance of having an online presence and have already started building a website to act as their face online.

But small businesses face many struggles when it comes to building a website. The most common struggle is choosing the right content management system (CMS). While there is a wide number of CMS’s available, most of them require a deep knowledge of coding or hiring and maintaining a team to manage the coding work. Being a small business, budgets are limited, making it necessary to avoid such a large investment.  Thus, these smaller businesses look for an easy to use and PHP ready CMS, an affordable alternative.

There are two popular PHP CMS frameworks that come to mind while looking for a flexible and easy to use CMS. While both WordPress and Joomla are designed to deliver high-quality performance,  there are many distinctions between the two. Here is a complete analysis of both WordPress and Joomla to help you choose the one that works for you.

Reasons to Choose WordPress

There is a reason that WordPress dominates the market and is currently being used as the site builder for 60.4% of websites on the internet. Having been designed to make blogging easy and accessible, WordPress is true to its main objective. This PHP content management system supports you through every process. It is search engine friendly and makes link management and tagging seem like child’s play. Here are some more pros of WordPress:

  • Easy To Use

WordPress is very easy to use and has a very simple interface. You will not face any difficulty in publishing your content or handling any other aspect of your business website. This CMS is a result of continuous improvement efforts.

  • Strong Community

WordPress has a very strong, as well as large, community of designers, users, and developers. This large community ensures that you get the support that you need and want, avoiding unnecessary interruptions while waiting for assistance.  You can hire WordPress developer to help you with any issues you may run into. WordPress ensures you have everything you require to build a good website.

  • Installation and Content Publishing

WordPress is a PHP ready CMS and you can use it to build your site without any knowledge of coding. It is easy to install, as the installation only requires just a single click. Setting up a website using WordPress is very easy and quick. The flexibility and convenience in publishing content are one of the most treasured advantages of using WordPress. The importance of this feature cannot be overemphasized, especially with the importance that is placed on content these days. With an interface similar to that of a word processor, WordPress makes publishing content a piece of cake. You can publish content without having knowledge of CSS, HTML, or others.

Apart from being extremely easy to use and having a friendly interface, WordPress offers a broad range of themes. Plugins help enhance the functionality of WordPress and are easy to install and use. WordPress has a highly responsive design and has a default SEO optimization.

Reasons to Choose Joomla

Joomla is also a PHP ready content management system that allows small business owners to build websites in a hassle-free and easy manner. There are many amenities that are offered by Joomla that has made it one of the most popular CMS’s available today. Joomla, like WordPress, offers cost effectiveness. Cost is one of the most important factors for small businesses as they might not be able to allocate huge capital for website development. Joomla, like WordPress, is a CMS that is not only easy to use but has all the features that one needs to build a decent website.

Joomla offers one of the shortest time development cycles which is more or less the same as WordPress. Joomla is a little faster. The quality of the website created is incredible with the added and necessary benefits of being stable and secure. Joomla also offers flexibility and control to the website builders.

Bottom Line

WordPress is a remarkable CMS. They continue to update their system, always looking to enhance the user experience. Although Joomla is similar to WordPress in many features and in functionality, it falls behind in matching the WordPress standards. With WordPress, content management and publishing is hassle free and so easy that it can be handled by a beginner. In conclusion, for small businesses looking to build their online presence, WordPress is an excellent and wise choice.

When you are thinking of building your own website, the first step is to choose the right road for development. A PHP-based Content Management System (CMS) not only offers an easier development but also ensures better maintenance. A PHP CMS allows website owners to manage the content on their website without having to rely on a developer for everything. Once the website is set up it is easy to log in and makes any required changes using the functions of the system.

The three most popular PHP CMS that come to mind while you consider building a website is Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. Although all three of them offer a wide variety of useful features, the security feature is one of prime concern and one that website owners really want. In this post, three most popular PHP CMS will be compared on the basis of the security level each system offers. If you are confused about choices like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress – and you don’t know which one is the most secure system for building your website, you will be able to come to a conclusion by the end of this post.

Drupal

Drupal has always proved that it is very serious when it comes to security.  The secure framework of Drupal is designed to handle the gravest of internet vulnerabilities. Tough security has the stability to prevent the website from crumbling under vulnerable circumstances. The security of Drupal is so strong that many leading brands, corporations, and even governments rely on Drupal to build critical applications and websites.

Being one of the biggest developer communities across the globe, Drupal ensures a faster response to any issues supported by a dedicated security team and efficient service provider system. Robust coding standards and a diligent process of community code review also help in preventing many security issues. Here are some features that make Drupal the undeniable winner when it comes to cybersecurity.

  • User Access Control

Drupal offers Granular User Access Control which allows the administrator to have complete control over who can access their website. The power to allow someone to see or modify the website lies with the administrator.  They can create a role for the user and provide permission for the specific purpose.

  • Access

If you are worried about the safety of your login passwords, you should not. This is because passwords for Drupal accounts are encrypted well before they are stored in their database. Drupal supports a wide range of password policies like complex, minimum length, expiration, etc. Standard authentication practices in the Industry, which include 2-Factor Authentication and SSL, are also supported by Drupal. Single Sign-on systems including LDAP, SAML, OpenID, and Shibboleth are combined with Drupal in its production applications.

  • Database Encryption

You can configure Drupal for strong database encryption required for a high-security project. In case you don’t want to encrypt the entire database, Drupal allows you to do so at a very granular level. This is helpful if you want to protect specific information.

  • Brute Force Detection

Drupal security is strong enough to detect and provide protection against the brute-force attacks on passwords.  This is done by limiting the login attempts from a single IP address over a definite period of time. The administrative interface can view all the failed attempts. You can also use Drupal configuration to ban individual IP’s and range of addresses.

  • Malicious Data Entry

Drupal’s API ensures that every data entered into the database is validated and scrubbed well. CSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) attacks are prevented as tokens are injected into forms when they are generated.

  • Reduction of DoS Attacks

Denial of Service attacks is reduced due to the extensible cache layer that is preconfigured with CSS caches, javascript, and basic page. Performance technologies like Redis, Memcache, etc can be deeply integrated with the system. The individual components are cached effectively. A common feature is a granular expiry. A multi-layered cache framework is suitable for a website that receives high traffic.

Apart from the above-mentioned security frameworks, Drupal security features address all of the OWASP top ten security risks. A dedicated security team ensures doesn’t just fix security problems, but also explains the vulnerabilities by publishing advisories.

WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular PHP CMS. It has a security team that consists of security researchers and lead developers. Potential vulnerabilities can be signaled to the security team which is acknowledged upon receipt. Further, plans to solve the issues are outlined after the vulnerability is verified and severity is determined.

WordPress offers Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top 10 lists addressing. The top ten lists are prioritized together with the estimates of exploitability and detectability. The APIs that WordPress offers helps in strengthening the core system. Protection against unauthorized injections and password, along with the safety of user-supplied, data is offered. A direct object reference is provided and also prevents unauthorized requests through its access control system. With security configurations limited to a single authorized administrator, configuration errors are minimized. Just like Drupal, account passwords are salted and hashed to ensure the safety of sensitive data. WordPress provides protection against CSRF threats.

Joomla

Joomla offers a wide range of security extensions that helps in providing protection against attacks. Joomla is a fast growing content management system. There are many steps that you must take to protect your Joomla site. Joomla advises its users to secure their websites by gaining experience and getting help from those who are experienced.

You can conclude from this comparison that Drupal does take solid care of the security of its users. Although Joomla and WordPress are serious about security as well, Drupal is suitable for the websites that require tough security. This is the reason that many government websites trust Drupal for website development. The system updates help to provide better protection, so make sure you keep your PHP CMS updated. Joomla and WordPress use commercial plugins that are known to be insecure. Drupal’s dedicated team of security ensures better security.

If you are building a website or a blog, the most crucial decision that you make is choosing a content management system. As we know, content is king in the digital world. Thus, content creation and modification are prime factors in making your website or blog a success. A content management system offers many advantages like control over content publishing, visibility and supporting multiple users. Content management systems, or CMS, are extremely beneficial,  especially because they need very little to no prior experience in programming. Consequently, performing administrative tasks is made easier.

Out of all the CMS platforms offering a wide array of features, WordPress and Drupal are powerful platforms. The ease with which they provide their users with customization and content updating processes makes both WordPress and Drupal popular and widely used platforms. If you are out there searching for the right CMS platform for yourself and are confused about which one of the top two you should choose, then keep reading!

WordPress

Although it started as a blogging platform, WordPress has come a long way and become a full-blown site framework.  It is powered by AJAX, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and plenty of plugins, widgets, and themes. You have access to help from skilled developers in WordPress for theme customization, complex builds and setups and installation. The developers will ensure that your site is always installed with the latest updates. There are many advanced custom plug-ins available if you choose WordPress. Walt Disney Co., the LinkedIn blog, TechCrunch and BBC America are some of the popular sites that are powered by WordPress.

Drupal

Drupal refers to itself as a “content management framework” and is a very powerful CMS platform. It allows the user to launch, scale and manage websites and applications.  Drupal is the perfect fit for ambitious and larger projects. Powered by PHP, it requires no programming experience to set-up functionalities at lower levels. There are some extended features that include blogging, contact forums, forums and other types of community-style features. These features are an elaboration of Drupal’s core package but need the assistance of Drupal developers.  The Economist, Weather.com, some of the US government’s websites and NFL team’s websites are some sites that are powered by Drupal.

WordPress Vs. Drupal

Although there are many similarities between WordPress and Drupal in terms of features, responsiveness, SEO, and APIs, they do have certain differences which you need to consider.

Complex build

WordPress is easier to learn and use, while Drupal, on the other hand, is complex and might take longer to get used to. This complex build of Drupal makes it perfect for larger level projects.

Updates

WordPress updates are released every few months and the code is easily upgradable. The upgrade takes place in the background and that can be a useful feature if you are not a developer. WordPress plugins do not need frequent updates.

Drupal makes comprehensive updates and might be labor intensive as they are not code based. You will have to redesign your website for a particular update. This can be difficult if you are not a developer.

Security of plugins

Drupal is famous for its security which can be a valuable feature for enterprises or government sites. On the other hand, security is offered by a third party in WordPress, and your site is vulnerable to hacking attacks if you do not update regularly.

Make a List and Ask Some Questions

Before you finalize a platform, you need to make a list of your needs. If you are clear about what you want, making a decision will be easier.  Ask yourself the following questions:

What Kind of Website or Application are You Building?

Think how you want your site to perform. Is your site going to be a complex site with many pages and will it be getting a high volume of traffic? This will help you to decide which one of the two websites will suit your needs.

Budget

This is one of the crucial factors as well. The budget may vary, and the development of the site on Drupal can be more expensive than with WordPress.

Users, Templates, and Security

You must think how many users will access the site. Users need user permission and WordPress allows adding users with standard roles and permissions. When you are choosing a CMS you must ask yourself how many different templates you might need to match the different types of content you might have on your site. If your site is more complex and you need different templates, Drupal’s robust features might be suitable for you. Security is an important aspect that you will have to consider, especially, if your website is an enterprise level website.

In conclusion, WordPress is technically easier and Drupal, though more complex, offers amazing features. You can choose which CMS platform to use based on the needs of your project.

WordPress is a very popular and free open source Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. As per W3Techs Web Technology Surveys, 58.5% of all the websites having low traffic uses WordPress as their Content Management System (CMS).
Recently, a major vulnerability was discovered which could have resulted in a mass compromise of a majority of WordPress websites (27.2% of the entire WWW). This vulnerability was reported by Wordfence which regularly looks for security vulnerabilities in the third party plugins and themes that are used by WordPress community including examining WordPress core and related wordpress.org systems.
Every WordPress website makes a request to the WordPress API Servers (api.wordpress.org) once an hour to check for the plugin, theme or WordPress core updates. By default, the auto-update in WordPress is enabled and following are the type of automatic background updates available:
Core updates
Plugin updates
Theme updates
Translation file updates

If this server is compromised, hackers can supply their own URL to download and install software to WordPress websites automatically and thus providing a way to mass-compromise through the auto-update mechanism. Furthermore, as WordPress do not provide any signature verification of the software being installed and will always trust any URL or any package supplied by api.wordpress.org, there is always a high possibility of this type of compromise.

The vulnerability discovered was a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability and it was found in an open-source PHP Webhook which Github uses to contact api.wordpress.org. The main purpose of this webhook is to allow WordPress core developers to sync their codes to http://wordpress.org SVN repository and use Github as their source code repository. When a change is committed to Github, it reaches out and contacts this webhook to activate a process of pulling down the latest codes added to Github. Now the main issue with this webhook was that it allows developers to supply their own hashing algorithm to verify that the code updates are authorized. There are a lot of non-cryptographically secure hashing algorithms like crc32, adler32 which are just fast checksums, generates a 32-bit hash, specially designed for catching data transmission errors only and do not provide any cryptographic security at all. Out of these, when adler32 (which is weak for short messages) is used in combination with PHP’s hash_hmac function, it severely limits the number of possible hashes and creates significant non-uniformity in hash space. This ultimately results in the creation of a weak hashing algorithm which can be tested with randomly generated keys to reducing the number of guesses and requests. Also, the hackers can use it as a brute force attack on the webhook without even triggering the WordPress’s security systems.

Although this vulnerability was quickly fixed by the WordPress team, api.wordpress.org still remains the single point of failure (SPOF) when distributing WordPress core, plugins, and theme updates and there can be more vulnerabilities which are yet to be discovered.

So, now the important question is “Should we completely disable the automatic update until a more secure system is deployed by WordPress?”. This is not at all recommended and the default auto-update feature should be always kept enabled because if there is a new severe vulnerability in WordPress core or a theme or plugin, you will benefit from an auto-update fix which will be pushed out of WordPress.

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Like any other content management system or CMS, WordPress websites are also vulnerable to cyber attacks, data breaches, and hacking. However, the good news is that WordPress takes this issue very seriously. Not only does it constantly strive to fortify its software, but it develops new plugins regularly to help you secure your website. This is why; each time you receive a notification from WordPress saying that there are new updates available, make sure you download and upgrade your website to keep it protected. You can also choose to set up automatic upgrades. Here are a few other pointers to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your WordPress site.

Restrict the Number of Plugins and Customizations

Considering that WordPress has a mind boggling selection of plugins and add-ons, you might want to add as many as you can to your website. However, the more plugins you have, the more vulnerable is your website. Hackers can access your admin and personal information by way of the plugins you’ve got installed. This is why; it is essential that you install only those plugins that you absolutely need and delete the others. In addition to posing a security threat, too many plugins also result in longer loading times.

Update Your Plugins Regularly

Aside from updates to your WordPress site, you’ll also receive notifications of the updates for your plugins. Make sure you update them since each upgrade is designed to make your site more secure. Like automatic upgrades for your website, you can also set up automated upgrades for the plugins. Check for the plugins you’re not using and remove them. Remember that simply deactivating a plugin is not enough. You must make sure to delete it. The logic behind this point is simple. If you’re not using a plugin, you’re not likely to bother upgrading it. And, each outdated tool presents a serious security risk.

Verify the Sources Carefully

When choosing the plugins for your website, whether free for use or paid for, make sure you download them only from reputable sources like Themeforest, WordPress or any others. Plugins from such sources are likely to be carefully scanned before they are added to the Plugin Directory or Theme Directory. You can be assured that they are safe to use and that you’ll receive the necessary updates to keep them protected. You might find certain sites that allow you to download premium plugins free of cost. Be wary of such sites since they can have malicious code that can corrupt your website. In addition, you might not be able to secure these plugins.

Choose Secure Passwords

Select a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are difficult for hackers to decipher. You also have the option of creating strong passwords using tools like the Strong Password Generator or Norton Password Generator. Make note of the chosen password in a safe place, preferably in writing where you can refer to it if you need to. Change the password from time to time to stay one step ahead of data breaching tools.

In case you have writers and other users working on your WordPress site, have them also change their passwords regularly. A better bet is to restrict the number of users that have access to your site and give out passwords to trusted personnel only. You also have the option of allowing them a limited number of accesses to complete the task you assign to them.

Protect Yourself From Brute Force Attacks

Hackers use a strategy called brute force to get into your website. They try to login repeatedly until they crack the password. To protect yourself, you can install a plugin that identifies the IP address being used to login to your website. It limits the number of times the user can try to login within a fixed time period. Another very useful tool to protect your site from such attacks is to add a two-step authentication code. Users will need to add not just the password but also the authentication code that is sent to their phone via SMS.

Create Backups for Your Website

Set up a backing up schedule and create a saved version of your website regularly. In case your site is compromised, you always have the option of reverting to the saved version. You have the option of installing a plugin that can automatically takes care of this task for you. You’ll only have to hit the hit the restore button to have your website back up and running.

Install Scanners for WordPress

You might have scanners on your computer to check for viruses and malware. You can now find security scanners online that check your WordPress site, its core files, themes, and plugins for malware and malicious code. Install this plugin to keep your website protected.

Record Activity on Your Dashboard

While WordPress records all activity on your website in a log, you have the option of getting a more efficient plugin to track your dashboard. In addition to tracking what the users on your website are doing, you can also spot the actions of hackers, if any. Many a time, certain files and plugins you install can change other files and how they perform. If case a file causes errors on your website, you can use this plugin to pinpoint the exact cause of the break and fix the problem. You can also find the source of any malware entering your site.

Change Your Login Page

Once you have your website running, you can install a security plugin that changes the name or location of your login page. No amount of automated brute force attacks aimed at deciphering your password can be successful. You can use this plugin to hide your WordPress Admin page and the important plugins you’ve installed.

These are some of the most important plugins you can use to secure your website. However, to get additional protection, you can make use of tools like installing a firewall and hiding the names of the authors that post on your site. You must also choose a hosting platform that can give you the best protection possible including keeping your website segregated from the others it may be hosting. As a final precaution, make sure you keep your computer upgraded with the newest software and operating systems that are better equipped to deal with security breaches.

 

 

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Given the fast pace at which the world today operates, you need a website that loads quickly and allows users to search through it seamlessly for the products, services, and information they need. Any delays in the loading time and they are very likely to move on other sites that load faster. You not only lose visitors, but you also lose potential customers. Take care that slow loading sites don’t rank very well with search engines either. Considering all these factors, it is absolutely imperative that you enhance the loading capability of your website. By using a few very handy plugins, you can make that happen. Here’s how.

Pick Out a Simple WordPress Theme

The more elaborate WordPress themes you choose, the longer they will take to load. That’s because they include many files and functions that are linked to each other. Check carefully and you’ll realize that they have features that you’re not using currently. A better option is to look for a theme with simplistic, but sophisticated coding that loads quickly. WordPress has certain criteria that theme developers must meet when they submit their themes for approval. One of them is great coding that allows the theme to load almost instantly.

Lower the Number of HTTP Requests

Websites that have a larger number of elements take longer to load. For instance, the scripts, stylesheets, images, Flash and other components on your website each have an individual HTTP request made for them. If you can lower the number of requests, you can increase the loading speed. Move the scripts to the bottom of the page and reduce them. Try including CSS in place of images and combine the many styling sheets into a single one. Using simple methods like these can improve how your site performs.

Consider Getting a Caching Plugin

A section of the computer or the cache is allocated for saving recent data that the owner has used. Without your knowing it, computers save and delete information out of this cache. You can install a caching plugin in your WordPress site and use this functionality to your advantage. This plugin allows computers to access the local cache and load the data out of it so your site does not need to reload fully every time the user visits it, thus reducing loading times. If you’re not quite sure how to use it, opt for the managed WordPress hosting service that takes care of the caching for you – DreamPress. It can host and organize your website for you and has many other features that help streamline its functioning.

Compress Your Files

When you’re trying to present high-quality content to your users, you end up creating large files that are typically over 100kb. Such files become slow to load because of their size. But, if you can compress them, you can reduce the bandwidth of the files that in turn, reduces the HTTP response time. Choose an effective internet tool to help you with this technique. For instance, Gzip, which is a great option given that 90% of the traffic on the internet moves through browsers that support this tool. It will interest you to know that using this strategy can lower the loading time of your website by up to 70%.

Check the Optimization of Your Images

Images make your page attractive and break up the wall of of text to make the content more user friendly. The trouble with them is that they are bulky and take long to download. A good option is to compress them to the right size without compromising on the resolution by using several online plugins. Make sure you optimize them on your computer before uploading them to your WordPress media gallery. Yet another tactic is to use a plugin that prevents those images from loading that are not yet visible on the page. As a result, the image comes into view only after the reader scrolls down to its position. In this way, the plugin eliminates the loading time of the sections of the page that the reader might choose not to view. Disable Unnecessary Pingbacks & Trackbacks Pingbacks and trackbacks were useful tools that helped you with notifications when an external blog created a link to your website. You’ll see them as comments that you can choose to approve and create a link of your own to that site. However, they can also be used by spammers to use your site to raise their own rankings and effectively lower your website’s loading time. Check the “Settings” tab and find the section, “Discussion.” You can turn them off here.

Working with Redirects

Redirects can lower your site’s loading times because of the extra HTTP requests they create. However, you need them to guide mobile users landing on your main page to the responsive version. You have two ways of ensuring that the redirect works without slowing down your website. You can use a HTTP redirect that sends mobile devices to an equivalent URL that has been created for such devices without any intermediary redirects. Or, you can include a markup like the <link rel=”alternate”> in your website pages. It will direct the Googlebot to find your mobile pages by identifying the mobile equivalent URL.

Test Your Speed Regularly

Despite taking the best steps to ensure the quick loading time of your website, you must make it a point to recheck from time to time. Choose from the many online tools and plugins that help you. For instance, you can use the PageSpeed Insights from Google. It evaluates your site and assigns it a grade from 1 to 100. You’ll also receive directions on how you can enhance your grade. Or, try the Plugin Performance Profiler, also called P3. It creates a pie chart so you can assess which of your plugins are taking longer to load. Accordingly, you can pick out the ones you absolutely need and remove the others. Using these many tools and plugins, you can take the necessary steps to optimize your website to shorten the loading times, streamline the browsing experience, and increase traffic on your website.

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One of the best content managing systems out there, WordPress offers users around 41,000 plugins. Seeing the amazing amount of features you can use, it is tempting to include as many as you can when developing your website. However, you must take care that installing too many plugins can slow the loading time of your site. If you want to offer your customers quicker loading times and better responsiveness, it is advisable that you pick and choose only the best of plugins that you absolutely need. Here are some of the must-have features you could opt for and what they can do for your website.

Just Writing

WordPress understands that writing takes concentration, but at the same time, the correct formatting can make the difference in how your site ranks on Google sites. Just Writing includes DFWM, acronym for Distraction-Free Writing Mode. Using this plugin, you won’t have to keep checking if you’re getting the formatting right. In addition, it helps by checking your spelling and styling paragraphs for posts that are easy to read and attractive to the eye.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/just-writing/

Jetpack

This neat little package includes many advanced features like mobile themes for compatibility with phones, tablets and other mobile devices, analytics, content tools, and so much more. Further, you have the option of selecting the tools that suit the specific needs of your business. Improve the presentation of your website by using this awesome plugin.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

Google XML Sitemaps

A great website is one that allows search engines like, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others to crawl through it and access the information you’ve posted without any snags. You can use the Google XML Sitemaps tool to index your blog and develop an XML sitemap. Each time you create a new post and publish fresh content, this plugin will inform search engines.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

Leadin

For good business, you’ll want that visitors landing on your website should convert into potential leads and then, customers. You can use Leadin to help you automatically track your visitor’s movement through the site. A great marketing tool, it can help you make the necessary changes in your website so you can make the surfing experience more streamlined and enjoyable. Once you have a conversion, the plugin records the contact details and visitor history for further use.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/leadin/

OptinMonster

As an entrepreneur looking to market your products and services, you’ll need to grow your email list quickly. This plugin offers you a range of self-styled templates that you can use to create optin forms, popups, sidebar forms, and slide-ins, among others. Perhaps, the best advantage of this plugin is that you can integrate it with email marketing providers like Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, AWeber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, and Active Campaign, to name a scarce few. Use them to make conversions out of the visitors on your site.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/optinmonster/

FD Word Statistics

When writing and publishing posts, you plan for them to reach a wide population demographic. Each time you write a post, you can use this plugin to evaluate the post and check how easy it is to read and understand. The FD Word Statistics includes the Flesch-Kincaid and Gunning Fog formulas to check the level of education your post will best appeal to. Use shorter sentences and simple phrases to appeal of readers of all ages and even those with language constraints.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/word-statistics-plugin/

W3 Total Cache

You’ll want that visitors landing on your site should have a streamlined experience and find what they’re looking for quickly. The W3 Total Cache improves how well your website performs by enhancing server performance, and lowering download times. It also provides CDN integration among other features.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/

Broken Link Checker

An important part of SEO is adding links in your posts so that readers can jump from one post to another and continue to find the information and related posts that interest them. The Broken Link Checker scans through your posts, and picks out the ineffective links. You’ll receive a notification as the plugin identifies the links that don’t work and lists them on a single page. You can edit the links on this page without having to manually check through every post and repair each link. Given that, broken links score low on the search engine rankings; this plugin makes a very valuable tool.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/

Yoast SEO

Every successful internet marketer is well aware of the importance of inserting the proper key phrases and keywords into their posts so that search engines can find them easily. Yoast helps you choose the optimum keywords before you begin writing content. It even directs you on the right placing like for example in the headings and the first few lines of the introduction. Make sure you write the perfect Meta Description and Meta Title with the help of this plugin. You can ensure that you’ll attract the right visitors to your website. In addition, Yoast also offers you API documents, RSS enhancements, XML sitemaps, Permalink cleanup, Breadcrumbs, and Robots Meta configuration, among other features.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

Google Analytics by Yoast

The Google Analytics by Yoast allows you to track how well your posts, blogs, and articles are performing on the search engine pages directly from WordPress. Marketers that conduct in-depth reporting find this plugin very useful thanks to the added data for error pages and search result pages.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/

Proofread Bot

Errors, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and even incorrect punctuation take away from the reader experience. Many writers assume that readers are not likely to notice typos and errors. However, errors reduce the quality of the posts and bring down the credibility of the site. The Proofread Bot helps by picking out the errors so you can correct them. Considering the importance of plagiarism-free content, this plugin runs your work through the proper checks so you can eliminate copied content before posting.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/proofread-bot/

Revive Old Post

By sharing your posts on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and many others, you can extend the reach of the posts to a wider audience. Once called Tweet Old Post, this plugin is extremely easy to use and allows you to manage the many accounts you have, set up posting dates in advance and use visual content. Once a piece of content is published, it automatically becomes visible on all your social media pages.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/tweet-old-post/

Title Experiments

An interesting title can instantly evoke curiosity in the mind of the readers and encourage them to read the content. In addition, a smart title must inform the reader about what information it contains without giving too much away. You can use Title Experiments to run the titles through instant A/B tests that will tell you which title is more effective and likely to have more clickthrough rates.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-experiments-free/

Akismet

While readers are free to read your posts and comment on them, you need to monitor the comments being posted. If you find misleading links and spam, it is important that you clear them right away. The Akismet plugin alerts you to such comments by automatically checking and identifying them for correctional action.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

Editorial Calendar

When you have multiple writers submitting posts for publishing, you need a tool to track the posts, check and make changes in the titles, manage drafts, and schedule publishing dates and times. The Editorial Calendar gives you a clear view of the posts by way of a drop-and-drop feature that can help you organize the content you wish to post.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

Click to Tweet

Each time readers come across an interesting piece of information such as a statistic, how-to tip, news item, or even, a quote, they’ll want to share it. If you can place a Click to Tweet box close by, readers can simply click on it and instantly, you raise the reach of your post. The Click to Tweet plugin allows you to do just that. The more readers you can engage and reach, the higher is the traffic on your website.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/click-to-tweet-by-todaymade/

These are some of the top plugins you can choose for your website. They are extremely useful to help you manage your website and do wonders to make the visitor experience streamlined and navigable. Use them to enhance the presentation power of your website and attract more visitors to it.

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