This is My WordPress Point of View

  • A WordPress Point of View: Security
    WordPress Security

I am by no means an expert on WordPress or web development in general, but I have dabbled for quite a while and have stumbled onto some things that might be of interest.

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cPanel and the greedy, treacherous betrayal

cPanel is easily the king of the hill when it comes to web hosting control panels. It is, in a word, awesome. It gives me an intuitive interface to simplify the process of managing my site. cPanel had its origin in the late 1990s. With ongoing improvements it became the default hosting control panel of choice early in the millennium, and remains so today. But likely not tomorrow.

cPanel and the greedy, treacherous betrayal

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Text to Speech

I launched my first website way back at the dawn of the millennium. It features public domain literature. From the start, it cried out for text-to-speech capability, but I could find no practical solution. I could have recorded my reading of each page in an audio file, but that would have been way too time consuming and storage-intensive (at the time, disk space was dear).

text to voice

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.htaccess impact on site speed

I’m a big fan of the 6G firewall, from Jeff Starr of Perishable Press. It lives in my .htaccess file, and does a great job of protecting my site against a wide variety of malicious requests, bad bots, spam referrers, and other attacks. It adds 76 lines to my .htaccess file, some of them filled with long regular expressions. WordPress and Litespeed Cache also add chunks to my .htaccess file. And, .htaccess being exceptionally flexible and useful, I add other stuff as well.

htaccess impact on site speed

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Robots dot text

Robots dot text (robots.txt) is a really interesting, conflicted, frequently disrespected – but useful – little file. Its intended purpose is to give me control of how bots visit my site. Depending on the bot though, my robots dot text directives might be obeyed, ignored, partially obeyed, and/or interpreted in different ways.
robots dot text

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Website speed tests – Part 2

Awhile back I bemoaned the very inconsistent results I get from online website speed checkers. Not just inconsistency from checker to checker, but also from the same checker at different times. I test-drove a few of the checkers and …

In summary, results are all over the damn place. My site’s speed grade is A, B+, B, or C. Load time is less than or second, or over 4 seconds. Also, there seems to be no correlation between grade and actual speed. Pingdom gives me a ‘C’ with less than a second load time, Uptrends gives me an ‘A’ with a 4.4 second load time.

Furthermore, if I use the same 10 checkers again, I will get different – sometimes wildly divergent – results from the same checker at different times.

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Prank contact form emails

My first website, byGosh.comlaunched at the dawn of the millennium – features public domain literature. It includes all the classic stories for kids. I rewrote parts of many kid’s stories to remove the violence. Red Riding Hood is rescued by her grandmother who chases the wolf away with a broom, Jack returns the harp and lets the giant climb back up before cutting down the beanstalk, none of the three little pigs get eaten – even the wolf lives happily ever after, and so on.

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Optimizing the WP task scheduler

Certain WP tasks need to be executed in the future, either one time or on an ongoing basis. These tasks include things like publishing a scheduled post  (one-time) and checking for WP, plugin, and theme updates (ongoing). WordPress includes a built-in component called wp-cron.php that triggers execution of these scheduled tasks. But not always when I would want or expect it. It runs on every page or post load. This works fine on a site with a regular stream of moderate traffic.  But …

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CloudFlare Canaries

CloudFlare is awesome – in many ways. Not the least of which is their support for Internet freedom. Twice a year, CF issues a Transparency Report, with the opening statement …

An essential part of earning and maintaining the trust of our customers is being transparent about the requests we receive from law enforcement and other governmental entities. To this end, Cloudflare publishes semi-annual updates to our Transparency Report on the requests we have received to disclose information about our customers.

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WordPress Lives!

Any question of the demise, or even decline, of WP due to the inexplicably clumsy imposition of the block editor has been resoundingly answered with a thunderous “nope”. WP continues to thrive. In fact, WP just passed a huge milestone – it now powers over one-third of the web!  From about 13% in January 2011, WP use has grown steadily to 33.4% to start 2019. Non-CMS share of the web has correspondingly plummeted, from over 75% in January 2011 to less than 50% today.

The trends appear intractable, so much so that I will make a foolishly reckless prediction – WP web share will surpass non-CMS before the end of calendar year 2019, U.S. Pacific time.

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