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Despite being the most used software for websites on the internet, WordPress does have some common issues that many users deal with. These problems scare WordPress users (and potential WordPress users) into believing that it is not a good solution. However, this is far from the truth. Like any system, WordPress is not perfect. The problems that are commonly encountered include performance issues, security concerns, updates, and migration. Each of these problems can be mitigated with proper planning and management. We will discuss each issue and then provide solutions and suggestions in the following article.
One of the biggest complaints about WordPress is its performance. Quite often, users load up numerous plugins and then use media on the website that does not match the hosting server’s capabilities. This is normally an issue caused by expectations without the proper consideration of the resources being used to host the website. For example, InMotion Hosting is a hosting company based in the United States. Some users from China or India may have expectations of high performing sites for their local customers. While this can be done with proper optimization of media like graphics and video, it should not be expected when there is considerable latency due to the geographic distances. Another example would be using a lower end subscription with a host and then expecting it to perform under high traffic conditions. If you are anticipating or experiencing high traffic volume, then you may need to consider a more high-powered solution for your website needs. Planning and realistic expectations should always go hand-in-hand.
InMotion Hosting provides WordPress Hosting solutions that are devised for WordPress performance. To learn more about how it is optimized, check out the WordPress Stack Optimization Guide: Tuning for VPS & Dedicated Servers. There are also guides on caching and optimizing images that will help improve your site’s performance regardless of its size and traffic volume. Good performance relies on planning, constant monitoring, and carrying out regular maintenance practices for any type of website.
Another common problem with WordPress is security. Part of the problem with being one of the most used website software on the internet is that it becomes a common target. The main areas of attack for WordPress are its login, plugins, and database. As a result of these attack vectors, its performance is also a malware target. Brute force attacks on logins have often forced hosting services to limit logins during such an attack. This causes many unprepared users considerable frustration in accessing their accounts. Vulnerable plugins and customized code are often not locked down making it easy for hackers to introduce malware to infiltrate the site. This can also result in database injections that can lead to the destruction of data. As a result of these issues, performance is also affected. While your site may seem lightweight and quick, an attack on its security may cause it to bog down and become slow to respond.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to harden the security for your WordPress website. You can use plugins, best practices, and third-party services to help protect your users and your website assets. For example, if you want to protect your WordPress logins, then you can use the information provided in Preventing Brute Force Attacks on the WordPress Login without having to purchase or install a plugin. We also recommend using Two-factor Authentication with your hosting account logins. For more information on securing WordPress, see 10 Ways to Secure WordPress.
You should only use plugins that are actively maintained and vetted. It’s always good to read the feedback on a plugin to make sure that people are not reporting on security issues or vulnerabilities. Also, try to keep your plugins to a minimum. If you’re using many plugins, then you are risking possible vulnerabilities if you don’t keep up with maintenance on each installation that you make to your WordPress site.
Third-party security solutions can be great investments if you have worked them into your website budget. You may consider Sucuri. They will monitor your site and also help you recover your site should it be hacked. Jetpack Professional subscription also includes security services through Vaultpress. They will actively monitor and backup your installation to give you peace of mind for any situation. Backup plans should always be part of your security planning. This provides insurance if security fails. Another great backup solution is the Total Upkeep plugin. Like Jetpack, it’s free, though there are also premium features that can be included with a purchased license.
A common adage in the United States is, “If ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This is far from the truth when it comes to updates in WordPress. Many users often ignore update notifications and this can be a serious security issue if left unmanaged. You should always pay attention to the update notifications for your WordPress site. The main reason is that some of these updates may be addressing a security threat. While it can be frustrating having to deal with constant updates, you should also consider it a sign that the software is being constantly monitored and improved. You may consider services or plugins that automatically update your site, but you should always pay close attention to update notifications, regardless of the software that you use.
Hosting a website may require that you move or migrate from one hosting server to another. With old HTML websites, it was a simple process of gathering all of the files and then simply uploading them to the new location. However, with WordPress, you need to consider both the required files and the database. This often makes the migration process painful for many users.
InMotion Hosting provides several articles that relate to migrating your WordPress site. There are also several plugins that you may use including the Total Upkeep or the All-in-One Backup. A little planning and the use of these tools or even InMotion’s services will make migrating from another hosting service as painless as possible.
WordPress can provide challenges as a website application, but there are many solutions available at no cost. A little planning and following best practices will help alleviate these possible headaches and make it a pleasant and rewarding website solution for you and your customers.
For more step-by-step tutorials and informative articles, please see our WordPress Product Guide.