My blog has a problem. Or rather it had a problem but I’m making some big improvements to it to make it perform better. For many years, my site has suffered from slow performance. Much of that is my fault though. I tend to overload WordPress with lots of plugins. Plugins are bad, but they are in many ways, quite addictive. There are so many innovative features and functions that you can add to your blog using them that people often suffer from plugin-bloat. And having too many plugins will slow the responsiveness of your site way down. As I said, this is bad, particularly in the eyes of Google who measures how quickly your site responds in its ranking algorithms. So, in order to combat these performance problems, I recently turned to a performance-enhancing cocktail to make my site a bit more performance optimized: MaxCDN, Nginx, CloudFlare and WordPress caching.
Just to set some expectations here, this article is NOT a how-to post on any of these items. It is more of an outline of some things that you can do to optimize your site. If I were to walk through step-by-step of each and every item, you would either be bored to tears or have to scroll endlessly through a 10,000+ word article. There are many how-to articles out there on how your can configure each of the items that I mention below. But, from my perspective, what I view as critical is actually implementing one or all of my recommendations.
The topics that I’m covering are:
- Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Moving from Apache to Nginx as your web server
- Utilizing CloudFlare
- Enabling a WordPress caching plugin
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If you are a blogger, probably one of the worst things that can happen to you apart from writer’s block is having your blog crash or the server that it is on get corrupted in some way. Technology is imperfect and Murphy’s Law always manages to find us one way or another. If suddenly all of your writing and your site were to disappear, how quickly would you be able to recover? Hours? Days? Weeks? Ever? Seriously, think about this for a second. Unless you are handwriting things or saving copies of each and every blog post, you probably would have a lot of trouble recovering your work. And most of us who manage a WordPress blog tend to highly customize our installs with custom themes and plugins, not to mention have comments on all of our articles. Do you have all of that backed up?
For the past few years, I have been doing manual backups of both my WordPress server files and my WordPress database. There are a few nice database backup plugins that automatically create backups for you, but you still have to download those backups and store them somewhere. That takes time and bandwidth. And since I tended to back up my blog files about 1-3 times a month, I have my computer clogged up with those various versions (which I do delete periodically). Wouldn’t it be nice if there were services that did this for you? There actually are, and I tested out one recently called blogVault (note: affiliate link) and I couldn’t be happier with the results. But, I wasn’t about to put my blog backups in the hands of just anyone. Before I did, I had a bunch of questions that I asked the founder, Akshat Choudhary which you can see below. After that, you can view my walk-through and review of blogVault (which is now currently backing up HighTechDad.com)
Interview with blogVault Founder
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