Since my recent move to WordPress I’ve been crawling the web looking for useful WordPress tips and ticks. Below are my essentials for anyone using WordPress:
The LoginBlock will prevent bots from continuously trying different combinations to crack your account. This is very similar to how Windows works if you’re in a domain environment.
Every failed login attempt is recorded, along with the timestamp of the attempt and the IP address of the user. If a user tries (and fails) to log in too many times within a certain time period, the system then blocks any login requests coming from that IP range until the lock-out is released. The lock-out period defaults to 1 hour, although that can be changed within the admin panel. The number of retires and the time period that they occur within in order to trigger a lock-out are also configurable from the admin section, and admins do have the ability to release an IP block manually (assuming of course that they haven’t locked themselves out ).
Secure WordPress’s Folders
Prevent readers from browsing your WordPress files and folders by adding the following line to the .htaccess file on the main WordPress installation folder:
Options All -Indexes
Save Space – Turn off WordPress 2.6 Post Revision
WordPress 2.6 introduces post revisions allowing to save and access all the previous versions of a document.
This feature is mainly useful for blogs with multiple authors who work on the same blog post (editor corrections etc.) but its pretty useless to most blogs out there and unnecessarily increases the databases size.
To disable post revisions add the following line to wp-config.php:
add_filter( 'pre_comment_content', 'wp_specialchars' );
Change the Default Image Upload Folder
The default installation settings store your uploaded files under the wp-content/uploads folder.
As you can see in the picture above, you can change the uploads folder to any folder, and even use a subdomain to serve files.
This has several advantages:
- File URLs become relatively smaller
- When using a subdomain, the files URL is independent to their actual location on the server. You can easily move them or even host them on a service like Amazon’s S3 (if your traffic will grow) without changing the URLs in your posts.
- The WordPress installation folder becomes small and manageable.
Promote Your Blog\Be Sticky
Conversation is what makes a blog interesting, it also gives readers a reason to come back to your blog.
The following tips will help you make your blog a little bit more sticky to the readers:
Allow Readers to Subscribe to Comments
When an occasional reader makes a comment on your blog, chances are he’ll never remember to go back and check for responses. If he does, it will only be through a short period of time.
Subscribing to comments helps the conversation flow, which is what blogging is all about. People are genuinely interested in knowing what others think of their comment and this feature saves them time having to manually check for new responses.
Subscribe to Comments is probably the most important plugin you can install on your WordPress. It adds a check-box below the comment form on each post, and when checked by a commenter, they then receive an email update as soon as someone adds a new comment after theirs.
Support Social Bookmarking
OpenID is a win-win for blog comments.For the comment author, it means less information to type. For the blog owner it means that comments have a real identity behind them. Simply install the WP-OpenID plugin and you’ll get support both for OpenID comments and for OpenID WordPress login.
Be Mobile Friendly
With the introduction of SmartPhone, and especially the iPhone, more people are now browsing for content using their mobile devices.
When browsing from a mobile device users expect a simple listing of blog posts in a reverse chronological order. If they’d like to read a post, they can click on the title and get a mobile friendly version of the post.
The easiest way to support mobile devices is to use Google Reader.
Google Reader generates an excellent mobile view of your RSS feed without any effort. All you have to do is append your feed address to the following URL and your mobile blog is ready:
For example here’s how it renders DeveloperZen’s feed (http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/http%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2Ferankampf):
You can call this link “Mobile View” and place it at the top of your blog design so mobile phone users will notice it instantly and switch to the mobile view. Alternatively you can map it to a subdomain like m.yourblog.com and points mobile users there.
I’m using WpTouch to support iPhone devices (its good for most mobile devices, not just the iPhone). Its easy to install and configure and looks absolutely great..
Optimize for Search Engines
The SEO All in One plugin lets you easily optimize your your titles, meta tags and headers rather than being limited to WordPress’s defaults.
Tracking your blog’s statistics lies at the core of any well thought out marketing campaign for your blog. Why jump back and forth between Google Analytics, FeedBurner and various other tools when you can simply put the summary data in your WordPress administration dashboard?
- WordPress Reports – This plugin gathers and displays data from Google Analytics and Feedburner to display a comprehensive report of what’s been happening on your blog for the last 7 days. It also comes with a Most Active Content allowing you to display your top content on the sidebar. Since it gathers information from Google Analytics and FeedBurner it doesn’t add tracking codes to your client code and increase server load.
- StatPress is a real-time plugin dedicated to the management of statistics about blog visits. It collects information about visitors, spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers etc. and displays live and up-to-date information in the administration dashboard. It also comes with a StatPress Top Posts widget.
Sneak Preview – Nuconomy Blog Stats
We’ve been working very hard here at Nuconomy on a plugin for WordPress and WordPress MU. It’ll soon be public but for now here’s a sneak preview: