Archive for January, 2012

The must have WordPress Security Plugins

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Security of WordPress is always top of a bloggers mind. Every minute of every day a hacker will take over a WordPress blog, possibly destroying any data that they can see.  We have selected some great examples of free security plugins to protect your WordPress, that could also save you from thousands of hours of work being deleted by a hacker.

Bulletproof Security

Do you hate messing with your .htaccess or simply don’t know what you are doing and afraid of breaking your site? With Bulletproof Security you can improve and manage the security of your WordPress directly from your administrator dashboard, it’s that simple! Bulletproof security helps you protect against SQL Injection, Base64 and many more hacking attacks.

Login Locks

This plugin is very useful if you want to monitor failed log in attempts. Login Locks also offers a very useful emergency lock down option, at a click of a button. One handy little option this plugin comes with is the ability to automatically block known hacking IP addresses, as well as the ability to log out idle users.

TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner

More and more customers come to us each day asking for our help because their WordPress has been hacked due to an out-dated TimThumb file. With this handy little scanner you can scan your WordPress for any out-dated TimThumb files, with the results, the scanner will highlight any vulnerabilities and let you know exactly what you have to do.

Ultimate Security Checker

This plugin helps you to identify any security problems that you may have with your WordPress. The plugin will scan your WordPress blog for hundreds of known threats and then will show you a security grade based around the results of the scan. With those results and in case the scan does show any security threats, the plugin will tell you exactly what to do and to help you prevent the threat in the future.

Increasing Web Server Performance

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Our team has been evaluating alternative web server software, and software stacks to deliver better performance. Delivering increased performance, without having any negative side effects requires some effort. Some alternative web servers don’t fully support all of the features of Apache, or implement them in a different manner. Our goal is to deploy a system which is 100% compatible with your existing site.

As many are aware, we do have some servers running Litespeed Enterprise. Litespeed is an excellent product, and does deliver better performance than Apache. However, some customers do experience minor issues at times with how it handles .htaccess settings. Though, with the most recent release we haven’t had any new reports of that. Litespeed delivers both improved static content serving, and PHP.

We’ve also been evaluating a custom built stack, that consists of a modified Apache 2.2 server, running nginx as a reverse proxy in front of it. nginx is an extremely lightweight, high performance web server that is used by some of the largest sites in the world. It’s one of the fastest static content servers out there. By running it in a reverse proxy, we can utilize Apache on the back-end to process your PHP pages, while utilizing nginx to serve the static content or media files. This configuration allows Apache to focus on the dynamic work, and since it’s Apache, it’s 100% compatible with .htaccess settings. While nginx will do static content serving, which is the bulk of the web server traffic.

At this stage, our team hasn’t decided which route we’ll adopt. Both methods have their pros and cons. Stay tuned to find out what we decide.