Complete guide for maintaining, optimising WordPress websites for optimum performance, maximum speed for loading webpages, maximum security for preventing website hacking & highjacking by intruders

Introduction

 
I have been using WordPress for almost more than 5 years now.

 
I will explain in below post step by step procedure to harden, secure & optimise WordPress for best performance & security.

 
So First thing first,

 

Introduction to WordPress

 
What is WordPress: WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web at more than 60 million websites.

 
As we know of today WordPress is offered in two different formats, One is managed & hosted by team at WordPress.com & second as self hosted by user using downloadable installable package available at WordPress.org.

 

Difference between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

 
Following things really differentiate WordPress.com and WordPress.org from each other

 
1st Difference
WordPress.com: User provides the content & website is managed by team at WordPress.com
WordPress.org: Content provided by User & Managed by User itself

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How to Leverage browser caching to improve webpage load time performance & speed

Introduction

 
To enable browser caching you need to set expiry dates on certain types of files.

 
Find your .htaccess file in the root of your domain. You can edit the htaccess file with notepad or any text editor.

 
In this file we will set our caching parameters to tell the browser what types of files to cache over period of time so that page loading time improves by avoiding or keeping certain files & using browser cache from history.

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How to fix WordPress.com Jetpack error called Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack: site_inaccessible. Error Details: The Jetpack server was unable to communicate with your site [HTTP 404]. Ask your web host if they allow connections from WordPress.com

As we know WordPress community exist on wordpress.com & wordpress.org

 
WordPress.org is downloadable CMS (Content Management System) distribution for self hosted used by web designers & web developers.

 
Being CMS lead developer Automattic want’s it’s wordpress.com experience available to it’s wordpress.org users. So they developed plugin like JetPack for WordPress self hosted websites.

 
JetPack Error Description: Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack: site_inaccessible
Error Details: The Jetpack server was unable to communicate with your site [HTTP 404]. Ask your web host if they allow connections from WordPress.com. If you need further assistance, contact Jetpack Support: http://jetpack.me/support/

 
Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack- site_inaccessible Error Details- The Jetpack server was unable to communicate with your site HTTP 404

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How to fix error ‘Safari can’t open page – because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy.’

Safari can’t open page - because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy

 
This happens to most of WordPress blogs when you sign in to your website’s Admin (wp-admin) page & whenever you try to navigate to different page or open a new page this error get displayed every time you do it.

 
Error: Safari can’t open page – because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy. Wait for a few minutes, and then try again.

 
Here is how to fix this,

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Increasing page views per visit (session) ratio by sticky top navigation bar, here is how to create sticky navigation bar that becomes fixed to the top after scrolling

It is well known tried & tested method to have sticky navigation bar at top when you have responsive website design & layout.

 
A fixed navigation bar at top helps mobile user or desktop website user to have fixed area where he can find navigation icons & links through which he can browse & navigate current website. Having fixed navigation bar at top helps webmaster to increase page views i.e. it helps webmaster to increase page views per visits ratio.

 
Yes, it occupies space at top but helps user to have navigation links handy whenever he want to browse the website. Space constraints only refer to mobile devices with small screen size.

 
Following is the code which help you to have fixed navigation bar. Copy paste following css code in your style.css

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Twitter Follow button is not loading or it is taking indefinite time to load, Here it is how to fix this with easy solution?

To increase user interaction, web traffic & user sharing we all add Twitter Follow button to encourage user to follow the WebMaster on twitter to get future updates about new blog articles through Tweets on Twitter.

 
But few day back I found out that my website was facing problems due to single Twitter follow widget in sidebar it was taking 1 minute or more load it increased my page load time by 40 seconds on average.

 
So what I did was simple,

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How to fix WordPress Automatic Update Error called ‘[function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in’ & another error called ‘Fatal error: require() [function.require]: Failed opening required’, ‘(include_path=’.:/usr/local/php-5.3.27/share/pear’)’.

When WordPress.Org releases new update to it’s WordPress standalone CMS (Content Management System) for that you may have set your website to get your installation updated automatically or you may like to do it your self at your preferred time. What ever case may be.

 
But because of server load on part of your web host you may get error something like this with screwed up blank website with following error printed on screen:

 

Warning: require(/nfs/domains/your-domain-name.com/html/wp-includes/session.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /nfs/domains/your-domain-name.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 122

Fatal error: require() [function.require]: Failed opening required '/nfs/domains/your-domain-name.com/html/wp-includes/session.php' (include_path='.:/usr/local/php-5.3.27/share/pear') in /nfs/domains/your-domain-name.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 122

 

Real cause of above errors:

 
Above mentioned errors are generated because of interrupted WordPress updates mostly because of heavy load on your web host’s online server. As update fails all files mismatch with consistent version number so some old source files remains as it is & only remaining few get updated with new version. So it is problem of source code version consistency.

 
How to fix this:

 
Error 01: [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in

 
Error 02: Fatal error: require() [function.require]: Failed opening required & (include_path=’.:/usr/local/php-5.3.27/share/pear’)

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What is Online Advertising Page CTR (click through rate), CPC (cost per click) and Page RPM (page revenue per thousand impressions) really means?

In todays online advertising age being online publisher or advertiser you always come across jargons or terms like CTR, CPC, & Page RPM.

 
Actually all above mentioned terms helps you understand metrics that you want know before you can finalise & execute ‘Online Advertising’ campaigns. It also helps advertiser to make sound decisions on choosing right publisher & on other hand it helps publisher to know where his blog is heading or is his design decisions are right or wrongs? Ad positions & placements are right or wrong or he should tweak his website to increase CTR, CPC & Page RPM respectively.

 
So here are detail information about:

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How to fix ‘Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content’ error on Google PageSpeed for your WordPress Website

Here is how you may want to tune up your WordPress website performance i.e. how much time it takes to download your website from server to your visitors’ computer, mobile or tablet.

 
In era of responsive design we tend to embed more than one Javascript or CSS files such as bootstrap css & js file bundles.

 
And if you have integrated third party advertising in your website then vendor like Google they add their own javascript file through their AdSense ad code that you can’t control.

 
But here is simple way out of this problem.

 

Important Note: Compressing, Minifying or Deferring Files may have adverse effect on functionality of website because of dependencies so first do following steps on your local server if everything looks to be working fine then you can update same files on Live servers. Just for safety & security purposes.

 

Here is example:

 
When you ‘Analyse’ your website on Google PageSpeed you get warning something like this:

 
Your page has 4 blocking script resources and 8 blocking CSS resources. This causes a delay in rendering your page.
None of the above-the-fold content on your page could be rendered without waiting for the following resources to load. Try to defer or asynchronously load blocking resources, or inline the critical portions of those resources directly in the HTML.

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How to change opacity or transparency of Background Color in CSS without affecting text, images or other web properties

There are instances when you think that would be great idea if you can able to change opacity of background color of div without affecting text, image & other web properties present inside same div of HTML & CSS.

 
Yes, that is possible… Here is the Answer:

 
What you normally do is specify background color in CSS using hex i.e. Hexadecimal values like this:

 

.navbar {background-color: #ffffff;}

 
But if you use rgba to specify background color in CSS you can utilise it’s feature called Alpha i.e. RGBA is short form for Red – Green – Blue – Alpha

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