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NetTuts.com:
Using HHVM With WordPress
March 31, 2015 @ 12:11:03

On the NetTuts.com site today they've posted a new tutorial showing you how you can use WordPress with HHVM now that they're 100% compatible.

Over the past few months HHVM has taken the PHP community by storm. Since WordPress 3.9 was released, HHVM is now 100% compatible with WordPress.

Unfortunately, HHVM is not quite ready for use in production in self-hosted environments. In my experience, HHVM crashes about once per day, which makes it not viable for a site where high availability is important. Recently, WP Engine has released project Mercury which seamlessly allows HHVM to gracefully fail by falling back to PHP 5.5 when it fails. In this article, we're going to install HHVM on an Ubuntu server running the latest LTS release, 14.04.

They walk you through the full process including:

  • installing MySQL
  • Installing Nginx
  • Installing HHVM
  • Setting up and configuring them all to play nicely with WordPress

It's a pretty short article and doesn't get into the specifics of the WordPress setup steps past ensuring it's working with HHVM but it does give a good starting place.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/using-hhvm-with-wordpress--cms-21596

Coen Jacobs:
Updating PHP is everyone's responsibility
March 11, 2015 @ 10:06:46

In his latest post Coen Jacons suggests that updating PHP is everyone's responsibility - that keeping the PHP installation on your systems up to date is important for everyone, not just the system administrators.

The number one remark I heard when I launched WPupdatePHP, is that users shouldn't be bothered with this. In an ideal world, this is true, but in reality this isn't going to stand for long. [...] I know the WordPress core team is working really hard to get webhosting companies to update their PHP versions and I agree up to a certain level that this is the best way. It's not the only way though. [...] This will help lower the percentage of PHP 5.2 and 5.3 users out there. There still will be people on older PHP versions who are caught out and without them knowing what is going on, nothing will change for them.

He talks about the efforts the WordPress core team is doing to try to convince hosting providers to update, but points out that while WordPress aims to run on those old versions, staying on them is a mistake. He also mentions that an effort like this is a constant thing, always changing as the PHP versions released change. He ends the post with a "call to arms" for users out there, encouraging them to get talking to their hosting provider and get those PHP versions updated.

Don't understand me wrong, I like what WordPress is doing to get these requirements bumped, but I think it's not enough. I disagree on the fact that users shouldn't be involved in this. It's easy enough for users to request their hosting platform to be upgraded. If their request isn't heard, they should find a better webhosting company. [...] It's been long enough, I choose to act now.
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Link: http://coenjacobs.me/updating-php-everyones-responsibility/

Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
February 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we'll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

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Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

NetTuts.com:
Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress
February 23, 2015 @ 09:54:06

On the NetTuts.com site today they've posted the first part of their "Speeding Up WordPress" series - Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress. In this start to the series, they show you how to use two methods to speed up your WordPress installation: using caching and database optimization.

One of the most popular talking points in the WordPress community is speeding up WordPress and optimizing web pages. I don't think there is a WordPress blog without an "X Tips to Speed Up WordPress" article. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing. But we need better articles about this topic instead of dull plugin round-ups. This may look like yet another "tips for speeding up WordPress" tutorial, but in this three-part series, we're going to go through every aspect of optimizing and speeding up your WordPress website.

They start with caching and show how do both client and server-side caching using techniques both inside and outside of WordPress itself. They also link to two plugins to help with the server-side handling. Following the caching talk they look at optimizing the database. They point you towards the WP-Optimize plugin as the best way to squeeze the most performance from your database (without breaking how WordPress works).

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-plugins-to-speed-up-wordpress--cms-22055

NetTuts.com:
When You're Hacked in WordPress Staying Safe Later On
February 20, 2015 @ 14:19:00

NetTuts.com has posted the second part in their "When You're Hacked - WordPress" tutorial series today with this new article showing you how to stay safe once you've recovered from the initial attack.

n the first part of this series, we went through what to do when your website gets hacked. In this second part, we're going to learn about staying safe and being able to act quickly when another unpleasant incident happens.

They start by answering the overarching question everyone wants to know about WordPress (as it relates to security) - "is it safe?" They follow this with some recommendations to help keep your install safe including:

  • Staying Up to Date
  • Using Safe Plugins & Themes
  • Using a Security-Related WordPress Plugin

Check out the rest of the article for the full list and a quick summary of each, some with links to the actual tools and plugins to help you protect your installation.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/when-youre-hacked-in-wordpress-staying-safe-later-on--cms-22748

NetTuts.com:
When You're Hacked in WordPress Dealing With a Hacked WordPress Site
February 19, 2015 @ 10:50:30

On the NetTuts.com site today there's a new tutorial showing you what you can do when your WordPress site is hacked.

One of the worst things that can happen to your website just happened: It's been hacked. Somebody broke into your computer and got passwords, or your passwords were weak, or somebody exploited a security vulnerability caused by WordPress or your hosting provider, or something else happened that let a hacker hack your website...What do we do now? It's not the time to feel sorry for yourself, it's time to take action and bring back your website.

They start with a brief look at how a WordPress site might be hacked, not specific exploits, but topics and types of vulnerabilities. Following this they talk about thier recommended steps to do when the hack is discovered including:

  • Shut It Down NOW!
  • Contact Your Hosting Provider for Details
  • Find Out What Caused It and Take Action
  • Fix and Double-Check Everything and Go Live Again

Each step comes with a summary of the steps inside and even a "checklist" of things to verify before bringing the site back up.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/when-youre-hacked-in-wordpress-dealing-with-a-hacked-wordpress-site--cms-22747

NetTuts.com:
Installing and Using PHPMyAdmin with WordPress
January 06, 2015 @ 11:27:04

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial showing you how to get PHPMyAdmin and WordPress up and working together. They show how it can be used to aid in a low level kind of administration of the WordPress data not available through the WordPress interface.

PHPMyAdmin - or PMA - is an excellent free, open source web-based database client which can be used to interact more easily with MySQL and WordPress databases. I'll describe how to install it, secure it and some common scenarios with which it can assist you in WordPress administration.

They walk you through all the steps you'll need to get it up and running (and playing nicely together):

  • Installing PHPMyAdmin
  • Install apache2-utils to use htaccess/htpasswd
  • Change the Apache configuration's AllowOverride setting
  • Creating the database for the WordPress installation
  • Backing up the database

There's also some other helpful topics like doing a site migration, reset your administrator password and doing search and replace cross multiple records (posts).

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/installing-and-using-phpmyadmin-with-wordpress--cms-21944

NetTuts.com:
Using Google Two-Factor Authentication With WordPress
January 05, 2015 @ 13:38:39

NetTuts.com has a new tutorial for the WordPress users out there wanting to enhance the security of their application. In it they show you how to set up Google's two-factor authentication as a part of your standard login prompt.

Brute force login attacks targeting WordPress sites are quite common, such as in April 2013 when more than 90,000 sites were targeted. There are a handful of good ways to protect yourself against these attacks: choosing a strong administrator password and installing a plugin that guards against brute force logins, such All in One WP Security or BruteProtect Changing the default wp-admin url with a plugin such as HC Custom URL. However, I prefer to use a two-factor authentication method that requires a code from my phone to complete the login process.

Thanks to a handy WordPress plugin, adding in support is relatively easy. They walk you through the installation of the plugin, activation and how to set up your Google Authenticator (or similar) application on your mobile device via a scannable QR code.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-google-two-factor-authentication-with-wordpress--cms-22263

NetTuts.com:
Integrating Zendesk With WordPress
November 14, 2014 @ 11:31:41

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial posted today showing how to integrate Zenddesk with WordPress, making it easier to handle customer relationships directly from your WordPress applications.

Timely and efficient customer service is one of the core components of any successful business. With multiple customer touch points and interaction platforms like blogs, social networks, email etc., keeping track of what your customers are saying about your services is becoming harder by the day. For this reason, managing all your customer communication from a centralised platform has become a mandatory business requirement. Zendesk is one of the leading web based customer support and relationship management services with more than 40,000 companies as registered clients, including Shopify and Groupon.

They start with some of the benefits about using Zenddesk for those not familiar with the software (including email management, blog integration and live chat). From there they walk you through a few steps to get the integration up and running using the Zendesk WordPress plugin. They include screenshots of the setup and some of the configuration options you can use to customize the install.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/integrating-zendesk-with-wordpress--cms-21411

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Andrew Nacin
October 14, 2014 @ 11:15:55

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted their latest community interview where host Cal Evans talks with Andrew Nacin, one of the core contributors to WordPress.

They talk about Andrew's work on WordPress and how he got into the project (and core development). They also talk some about the history of WordPress and the work being done to track it all down. There's also a mention of the "Modern WordPress" talk and the evolution of WordPress through the years.

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by grabbing the mp3 directly and listening at your leisure. Be sure to subscribe to their feed to get the latest interviews as they're released.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/10/14/interview-with-andrew-nacin/


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