Website security and performance

WordPress SecurityBe faster and more secure than your competition.

 First of all. establishing multiple layers of security is part of the build process for a WordPress site.  Mitigating risk requires ongoing monitoring of alerts and a good backup/recovery scheme.   Good performance is an ongoing effort which improves the user experience.  To be sure, no one wants to spend time on a slow website.

UNIX Server Hosting

UNIX is the most secure web hosting operating system.  It is important to mitigate risk by working with a good hosting company to help ensure the  UNIX Virtual Private Server server is secure.  VPS is more secure that shared hosting.   This includes AutoSSL, firewall, and brute force login protections, malware scans, etc.  Google considers the use of SSL to be important for ranking.   cPanel offers a number of security tips.

Because NGINX is run on the server, it has advantages over WordPress plugins as good performance tool.  For example, it can help with the performance of the ADMIN user interface performance.

UNIX-based hosting is more stable, performs faster and more compatible than Windows-based hosting.   WordPress works well on UNIX servers.

Website performanceFor many sites it is appropriate to add an additional layer of security with the performance of a Content Delivery Network(CDN).     The benefits of increased control over security outweigh the small monthly cost.

WordPress Security

Configuring WordPress  in a secure way does not impact those using the site.   This can accomplished by the use of a plugin such as Defender or iThemes Security Pro. These tools provide regular malware scans with security related alerts.

Many are not aware that bots identify WordPress sites to attempt hundreds of logins a day using common user names and passwords.  When configured properly such attempts can be greatly reduced.

Strong user passwords and appropriate user role assignments is basic.   Using a two factor login is one of the best security features.

Backups are essential.   Regular cPanel full backups provide a way to fully recover a website.  The SnapShot  plugin takes backups on an automated scheduled basis.

Also important is to keep the software current.  This means updating WordPress and plugins on a regular basis.  

Performance is an ongoing effort

Caching your content improves site load times.  A CDN caches the site to improve end user performance especially when delivering large amounts of data such as images.   Furthermore, Rocket is a good WordPress cache plugin.

While there are a number of tools to objectively measure website performance, they each provide different results.   As a result, you will want to track historical performance trends separately for each tool.   Building a history of such measurements helps identify and avoid changes that cause  slow performance.  Consequently, you can measure the before and after impact of changes such as the addition of NGINX.  Automatically compressing images added to the Media Library helps improve performance.  SMUSH is an example of a plugin that helps automate media image compression.

Caching may not improve the performance the first time a page is visited.  It will help when the user goes to a second page to the extent that content such as an image was cashed when the landing page was first visited.  Using WebPageTest can help measure such effects.  

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