Monthly Archives: August 2014

How to Safely Move a WordPress Site

This will technically work with most single-server applications (if you don’t know the difference then you’re probably on a single-server set up), not just WordPress, but as WordPress is pretty popular I’ll talk through that instead.

Moving to a new host can be a little unnerving.  If all goes well your visitors would never know, but on the flip side it can all go terribly wrong very quickly, and there is a lot that can go a miss.  This is a step-by-step guide on how to move your WordPress website from one host to another with no downtime.

Before we begin I’ll assume you have your two hosting environments ready.  Your original hosting environment (we’ll call that environment A) and your new hosting environment (environment B).

1.  Begin downloading a copy of your site via FTP.  Download all the files to somewhere safe on your computer.

2.  Upload these files…

YASP – Yet Another Stats Plugin

I recently launched a plugin for WordPress, called YASP (Yet Another Stats Plugin).

YASP is pretty simple, as it was more of an experiment for me, allowing me to play with the Dashboard API of WordPress. YASP simply adds a widget to your admin dashboard that shows some useful statistics about your site.

The plugin is a more advanced version of the “At A Glance” widget that ships with WordPress, which shows the number of posts and comments you have.

Here’s a list of the stats that YASP displays:

Number of posts Number of pages Number of x (where x is a custom post type, so if you have ‘Books’ and ‘Movies’ as defined custom post types, YASP will show ‘4 Books’, ‘8 Movies’) Number of pingbacks Number of trackbacks Number of approved comments Number of unapproved comments Number of active plugins Number of active categories (an ‘active’ category is…

Securing WordPress

Contrary to some belief WordPress itself is very secure. Vulnerabilities are introduced by poorly written or malicious themes or plugins that users install.

I have compiled a list of extra steps you can take to harden your WordPress installation.

Stay Updated

WordPress has updates on a near daily basis. If a security vulnerability is ever found it is usually patched within hours and pushed out to the millions of WordPress installations around the globe. But, if you don’t accept automatic updates, or don’t manually update often, then you will be left vulnerable.

It doesn’t just go for WordPress itself. Plugins, especially the more popular ones, are updated often, and can often have security vulnerabilites of their own. Keep them updated!

Be conservative with plugins

Plugins are great, they extend the functionality of your website in just a few clicks. But is that all they do? Plugins can become vulnerable, especially…

The Correct Size for a WordPress Theme Screenshot is 880×660

I see misinformation on this far too often.

The WordPress screenshot is shown at 387×290.  But, the recommended size is 880×660.  This information is freely available on the WordPress Codex.

Why 880×660?  Because certain devices have high pixel density displays (HiDPI) which, in a nutshell, will show more pixels in the same space to provide a crisper image.  By making your WordPress theme screenshot 880×660 you are allowing for these high pixel density displays.

Web Dev Weekly – Well received

Back in March I launched Web Dev Weekly, a weekly email newsletter that tries to combine the week’s latest news and releases from the industry.  I find the newsletter itself quite easy to write as I check industry news websites and articles regularly, so it is simply a case of making a note of the best articles and creating a small write up on them.

I was initially surprised at the interest Web Dev Weekly got, especially on Twitter, and subscribers came in their hundreds.

Getting subscribers is actually quite easy if you don’t care about the quality of them, but I do.  I would much rather have a few hundred people who genuinely find my newsletter interesting and want to read it than hundreds of thousands of people who never open it, or even worse, mark it as spam.

The Figures

My newsletter is sent out using…