Pingdom: A Resource for Testing Website Speed

The speed with which a page loads is very important! If a page loads too slowly, users simply leave. Also search engines often include page speed as a factor in ranking sites. Speed matters! There are many tools available to help evaluate the speed of a website. One that I often use is pingdom.com. ┬áThis … Read more

Security and Convenience

“Security and convenience are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to choosing a memorable password, and we are sometimes our own worst enemies.” Rebecca Mileham

Preventing WordPress Attacks

Recently a number of my WordPress based sites suffered an attack. Although I spent quite a bit of time attempting to clean the sites, I ended up deleting and rebuilding them (thank goodness for data-only backups!). As a result, I also explored ways to prevent this from happening again. There are MANY MANY steps to … Read more

Recovering from a WordPress Infection

Recently I noticed that many of my wordpress based web sites (including this one) were running very slowly. I also noticed that my hosting company was limiting my CPU cycles (their way of balancing load). To increase speed, I installed a highly-rated caching program, which generated tons of errors. At first I blamed the plugin…then … Read more

WordPress Security

As many of you know, my primary research interest is Information Systems security. Recently I’ve read a number of articles discussing security within WordPress. Here are links to a few of those articles. What do these have in common? Lots! Every article I’ve seen will stress the importance of NOT using the default admin account! … Read more

Cloud Storage: A Comparison

Cloud Storage Earlier, I mentioned a desire to compare cloud storage services. Since the time of that writing, I’ve come across numerous articles comparing various services. Rather than repeating what has already been said, I’ll simply list a number of good cloud storage services and links to a few articles comparing these services. Dropbox Dropbox … Read more

Creating a Background Image

Adding a full size background image to a website can be difficult, given the variety of browsers currently in use. However, Fuel Your Creativity recently posted an excellent article explaining how to go about this, using two very different approaches. I highly recommend reading the full article for details.

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The Importance of Backups

The Importance of Backups

A few years ago I received a frantic email from a friend. At the time, he was a doctoral student finishing his dissertation (an original contribution to human knowledge–in most programs this is the final paper required for a doctorate). Unfortunately the hard drive in his computer crashed. He had no backup copies, and was desperate for help. Eventually, he had to send the hard drive to a recovery company. The company did recover the lost files–but the bill was easily over a thousand dollars!

All devices fail. MAKE BACKUPS! No one wants to redo their work. My friend could have spared himself a lot of grief had he simply maintained reasonable backup copies of his work. However, just having copies does not guarantee safety.

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Should You Pay For Themes and Plugins, or Just Use Free Ones?

What’s the deal?

People like WordPress for many reasons, including ease of use. Often, the large number of themes and plugins available are given as reasons also.

Recently a number of authors have begun debating the benefits of premium themes and plugins as opposed to the free ones. There are lots of good arguments on both sides. Rather than repeating what others have said, this post will simply summarize the arguments.

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