Dedicated Server Tips

Sorry for the lack of interesting posts over the past few weeks.. Our new dedicated server has really kept me busy, and I thought I would share some of my newfound knowledge with you.

1) Do you really need all those plugins running on your WordPress blog?

It turns out that one of the reasons our server was crashing was because 100s of httpd processes were being randomly spawned by a renegade plugin (bad coded, I suspect).. And while it might not cause a problem on smaller sites, it really caused havoc on our largest site! We disabled the plugins in question, and life is good.. And we don’t really miss the functionality that the old plugin provided!

2) Keep up-to-date with the latest versions of your plugins..

With the constant WordPress updates, you need to make sure that you’re running the latest version of the plugins, or else things won’t work.. I was naively relying on WP’s new plugin notification system, but found that many plugins (like Dagon Design’s Form Mailer) didn’t show that version 5.5 was out, even though I was still running 5.33.

Additionally, older versions of PodPress just would not work with WP 2.6+. An absolute nightmare, considering even the latest version (8.8) has some major issues with WP 2.6, and the author is over a month behind on the elusive v8.9 that is supposed to fix this.

3) Keep up-to-date on WordPress updates!

Don’t leave yourself wide open to known exploits.. WordPress has a history of security issues, but the WP team is pretty good on updating their software to keep you protected. Unfortunately, many people get lazy and don’t update to the latest and greatest. Big mistake – What’s worse, the 5 minutes it takes to update, or the hours and hours you’ll spend fixing the mess caused by hackers?

4) Install a firewall ASAP!

As I mentioned in a previous post, a firewall is essential.. And it’s better to get your firewall setup on your own terms, rather than in the midst of a DDOS attack! Trust me.. 🙂


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