WordPress Training & Maintenance Resources – February 28, 2015


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This month we look at topics like web application firewalls, page load speed, and WordPress training sites.

Why “Maintenance Monday”? These are both unexciting words on their own, but they are also very necessary parts of life. If you see them as “negative” words, just remember that two negatives make a positive. Or something like that.

If you have any questions or need help integrating any of these resources, please contact me.

Security

If you have basic or even more advanced security features built into your WordPress website (or if you subscribe to one of Steady Site’s WordPress maintenance plans) your website is covered. While no security option is completely bulletproof, you might find that your WordPress website is constantly under attack and needs more than basic security. A web application firewall might help to provide the extra layer of security you need. Here’s All You Need to Know About WordPress Website Firewalls.

If that’s not enough to make you think about a web application firewall, this article might. Although it might leave you scratching your head, wondering what the best password solution is, you will find some helpful information in the Comments section that follows the article.

One of the easy ways to secure your WordPress website is keeping your plugins updated. Old plugins may contain security loopholes that hackers could use to gain access to your site. Many common plugins and premium plugins stay up-to-date and notify you, but some just fade away without any notice, leaving it up to you to find an alternate solution – or worse: leave you vulnerable to hackers. This plugin checks for Plugins No Longer in WordPress.org Directory. It will even tell you which ones are still there, but have not been updated in over 2 years.

Performance

Website speed is important for both users and website owners, as this recent Wordcamp presentation observes. You want your visitors to have a great experience on your WordPress website and find valuable information quickly. Speed is important for you as an owner or manager because if visitors get tired of waiting, you might miss a sale or important page clicks.

Last month I referred to an article about caching plugins and one of those featured is a new plugin called WP Rocket. I am still getting familiar with this plugin, but so far I like the fresh approach. If you have been doing some reading about website caching and even testing out some of the popular plugins, you might find these 5 Speed Optimization Myths interesting. #1 Myth: don’t get bogged down with performance grades; focus on actual page load speed.

One of the easiest ways to optimize your WordPeress website’s performance is to optimize your images. Here are some tips for doing so.

Education

You probably know that integrating your WordPress website with your social media sites is important. But getting visitors to respond to your WordPress website content can be challenging. Here are 5 Quick Ways to Get More Facebook Likes Using WordPress. Note #1: OptinMonster, which I mentioned last month.

I’ve written before about online learning websites for graphics and marketing professionals, but this recent article covers some of the best online options specifically for learning WordPress. Whatever level you are at, you will find something to suit your learning style and needs. One thing I like about some of the WordPress specific online learning sites is they are not isolated environments; some, like WP 101, have integrated forums so you are actually learning in a very large classroom! Still, my favourite is lynda.com because of the quality of courses, and the variety beyond just WordPress.

As you grow your online business with your WordPress website, you need to find new ways to improve your efficiency. These “Must-Have Marketing Tools” will help you grow, whatever point you are at. Some are more costly, but if you are generating revenue, they more than pay for themselves.

That’s all for this month. If you have tried any of these tips, or if you have anything to add, please use the Comments section below.

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