WordPress has become increasingly popular over the years and while its core is small, it’s one of the most resource hog CMS around. There are hundreds of plugins created by users throughout the globe that can be utilized within WordPress to boost its functions. I have list 5 of my favorite plugins that I used to increase speed and provide protection. Of course if more speed or security is needed, the VPS or server itself should be looked at. For this article, we will focus on the plugins listed below as it’s easy to install by any users. Let me also say that implementing these plugins may increase page load and decrease server resource usage. Again I’d like to express the importance of a good host and server platform. I use Syncrohost for all my web hosting.
Here are the 5 that I encourage others to use:
This plugin works wonders. I’m not quite sure exactly how it works in the backend but it does a great job of blocking brute force attacks (blocking unsuccessful login attempts). See the picture below of the site Fashionphotoz.com. It’s blocked over 1100 attacks to date and counting. If your server was once fast and with the same amount of traffic, your website has slowed down, it could be because of attacks. Install BruteProtect and check to see if your load has reduced (through cPanel). I’ve notice that high amount of attacks will kill your resources and boggle down your website load speed.
2. Revision Control
It’s good to know that WordPress comes with auto-save and it keep all revisions to each post. If a revision to a post needed to be examined just simply edit the post in WordPress and presto, it’s listed on the right column. While it’s nice to have this feature, it actually bloats the database and slows it down when php had to parse the data. This Revision Control plugin limits the number of revisions to keep. This will minimize data parsing and increase webpage performance. I personally set mine to keep two post and page revisions only. Anything more just takes waste database space.
3. Optimize Database after Deleting revisions
This plugin is great for fixing databases. After many data revisions, data inserts and changings, the database may need to be fixed, repaired and/or optimize. This plugin does it all. It cleans up your database and shows the “before” and “after” of the database size. You’ll also notice a bump in performance if your database really needed the cleanup. Best of all, you can set it on autopilot to have it clean your database weekly (or at an interval to your desire).
4. W3 total Cache
This is a must have for all WordPress sites. It’s packed with so many features. To be honest I don’t even use all of its features (because some require paid services). It a performance booster for those sites with high traffic. Here are some key features it includes: Minify, Page Cached, Database Cache, Object Cache, and more. Go install it now.
5. WP Smuch.it
This utility is great for decreasing image size and stripping off meta data that is tied to the picture. It’s does a great job of decreasing an image size sometimes up to 40% from what I’ve seen. It doesn’t matter if you already have pictures on your site, once installed, you can run the command to optimize all pictures including previously uploaded one. The cool thing is that it will list each picture along with the original size and the final optimized size. Smush.it functions by sending the picture to yahoo to have it striped and compressed, then sends it back to the website to be saved. All this running in the background while the user wait however you have to run it during off peak hours has the site will be down during this optimization process. Lastly keep in mind that this plugin only works on pictures under 1Mb in size. It will automatically skip anything larger. This limitation is not from the plugin, but yahoo.
There you go. My 5 picks for WordPress that should help the average user secure and increase his WordPress ownership experience. Please leave a comment below.