Speed Up Your WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes can be more faster than you think let’s see how !!?

A few months ago, I ran an experiment to see how much faster I could make one of my websites in less than two hours of work. After installing a handful of WordPress plugins and fixing a few simple errors, I had improved the website’s loading speed from 1.61 seconds to 583 milliseconds. That’s a 70.39% improvement, without having made any visual changes to the website.

According to a 2009 Akamai study, 47% of visitors expect a page to load in under 2 seconds, and 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Since this study, no shortage of case studies have confirmed that loading time affects sales.

In 2006, Amazon reported that a 100-millisecond increase in page speed translated to a 1% increase in its revenue. Just a few years later, Google announced in a blog post that its algorithm takes page speed into account when ranking websites.

So, how can you speed up your WordPress website?

Below are twelve quick fixes that will dramatically improve your website’s loading time, including:

  • identifying which plugins are slowing down your website;
  • automatically compressing Web pages, images, JavaScript and CSS files;
  • keeping your website’s database clean;
  • setting up browser caching the right way.

Lay The Foundation

When your house is sinking into the ground, you don’t polish the windows — you fix the foundations. The same goes for your website. If it’s hosted on a sluggish server or has a bloated theme, quick fixes won’t help. You’ll need to fix the foundation.

So, let’s start with what makes for a good foundation and how to set ourselves up for a website that runs at lightening speed.

CHOOSE A GOOD HOST

Your Web hosting company and hosting package have a huge impact on the speed of your website, among many other important performance-related things. I used to be sucked in by the allure of free or cheap hosting, but with the wisdom of hindsight, I’ve learned that hosting isn’t an area to skimp on.

To put this into perspective, two of my clients have similar websites but very different hosting providers. One uses WPEngine (an excellent hosting company), and the other hosts their website on a cheap shared server.

The DNS response time (i.e. the time it takes for the browser to connect to the hosting server) of the client using WPEngine is 7 milliseconds. The client using the cheap shared hosting has a DNS response time of 250 milliseconds.

If you want your website to run quickly, start with a good hosting company and package.

CHOOSE A GOOD THEME

Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes are created equal. While some are extremely fast and well coded, others are bloated with hundreds of bells and whistles under the pretence of being “versatile and customizable.”

A few years ago, Julian Fernandes of Synthesis ran an interesting case study in which he updated his theme from WordPress’ default to the Genesis framework, monitoring page speed. He noticed that just by changing the theme to Genesis, his loading time improved from 630 to 172 milliseconds.

When you choose a theme, check the page speed of the theme’s demo, using a tool such as Pingdom, to see how quickly it runs with nothing added to it. This should give you an idea of how well coded it is.

USE A CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK

I recently started using a content delivery network (CDN) for one of my websites and noticed a 55% reduction in bandwidth usage and a huge improvement in page-loading speed.

A CDN hosts your files across a huge network of servers around the world. If a user from Argentina visits your website, then they would download files from the server closest to them geographically. Because your bandwidth is spread across so many different servers, the load on any single server is reduced.

Setting up a CDN can take a few hours, but it’s usually one of the quickest ways to dramatically improve page-loading speed.

12 Quick Fixes To Speed Up WordPress

Now that our foundation is solid, we can begin fine-tuning our website.

A good way to start speeding up a website is to look at what can be removed. More often than not, a website is slow not because of what it lacks but because of what it already has.

1. IDENTIFY PLUGINS THAT ARE SLOWING YOU DOWN

P3 is one of my favourite diagnostic plugins because it shows you the impact of your other plugins on page-loading time. This makes it easy to spot any plugins that are slowing down your website.

A common culprit is social-sharing plugins, most of which bloat page-loading times and can easily be replaced by embedding social buttons into the theme’s source code.

Once you’re aware of which plugins are slowing down your website, you can make an informed decision about whether to keep them, replace them or remove them entirely.

2. COMPRESS YOUR WEBSITE

When you compress a file on your computer as a ZIP file, the total size of the file is reduced, making it both easier and faster to send to someone. Gzip works in exactly the same way but with your Web page files.

Once installed, Gzip automatically compresses your website’s files as ZIP files, saving bandwidth and speeding up page-loading times. When a user visits your website, their browser will automatically unzip the files and show their contents. This method of transmitting content from the server to the browser is far more efficient and saves a lot of time.

There is virtually no downside to installing Gzip, and the increase in speed can be quite dramatic. As we can see in the screenshot above, MusicLawContracts.com goes from 68 KB to only 13 KB with Gzip installed.

for more : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/06/25/how-to-speed-up-your-wordpress-website/

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Create A Twitter Widget

How To Create A Twitter Widget for your WordPress Themes . Twitter needs no introduction.Wordpress Themes It has become the way to reach audiences for some people and companies and a place to hang out for others. Placing a Twitter feed on one’s website has almost become compulsory. Embedding a feed isn’t all that difficult if you are comfortable with Twitter’s default widget, but making your own will enable you to blend it into your website seamlessly.Wordpress Themes

photodune-4052663-twitter-on-keyboard-xs

The Result

The result of our effort will be a WordPress widget that can be placed in a widgetized sidebar. It will display the user’s details on top and the latest few items from the user’s feed. You can see it in action in our Musico theme, although the screenshot below says it all.Wordpress Themes

finished_widget

About The Twitter Terms Of Service

Because this is a custom widget, you control what and how elements are displayed. Make sure to read Twitter’s “Developer Display Requirements” to find out what you need to display. I will be breaking some of the rules for simplicity’s sake, but bolting on stuff will be a trivial matter once you’ve finished this article.Wordpress Themes

Note that conforming to the requirements is a must. If you do not, you run the risk of your ID being banned which means that your widget will not display any tweets.

First Step: Create A Twitter App

Before writing any code, we’ll have to get our hands on a Twitter app or, more appropriately, Twitter API credentials. The process is explained in a video that I made:

In case you prefer reading to watching a video, here are the basic steps:

  1. Log into Twitter’s developers section.
  2. Go to “My Applications,” and click “Create a new application.”
  3. Fill out the required fields, accept the rules of the road, and then click on the “Create your Twitter application” button. You will not need a callback URL for this app, so feel free to leave it blank.
  4. Once the app has been created, click the “Create my access token” button.
  5. You’re done! You will need the following data later on:
    • consumer key,
    • consumer secret,
    • access token,
    • access token secret.
    • WordPress Themes

Add Our App’s Details

To add some options to our theme quickly, we’ll be using the theme customizer, introduced in WordPress 3.4. Smashing Magazine has an exhaustive article on it, if you’re interested to learn more. For now, we’ll just add the bare necessities.

 

Adding the code above to your theme’s functions.php file will generate a link to the customizer in the “Appearance” section of the admin area. To add some options, we’ll need to create a class. Add a file named MyCustomizer.class.php.

 

from : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/06/27/create-twitter-widget/

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Google Two-Factor Authentication

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

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:

However, I prefer to use a two-factor authentication method that requires a code from my phone to complete the login process. Google’s Authenticator has been gaining ground as a mobile app for providing secure codes. In fact, you may already have the Google Authenticator app on your phone, as a number of web services are now integrating with it, including cloud file store provider Dropbox, cloud hosting provider Digital Ocean, and name service provider Gandi.net.

And, fortunately, there is a simple WordPress plugin by Henrik Schack that integrates with Google 2fa; it’s also called Google Authenticator. Installing and using this plugin is quite easy—and the security benefit is significant.

Google Authenticator WordPress Plugin by Henrik Schacks

This tutorial will walk you through setting up the Google Authenticator WordPress plugin for your own sites.

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to install a new plugin and search for Google Authenticator, and click Install Now:

Install the Google Authenticator Plugin

Then, click Activate Plugin:

Activate the plugin

From the dashboard, click Users > Your Profile and scroll down to the Google Authenticator settings:

Google Authenticator Plugin Settings

Click on the checkbox for Active. Modify the description so that you will recognize the site on your Google Authenticator mobile app and show the QR code.

Note that the plugin works for multiple users—and each user has the choice of enabling it for themselves.

From your mobile Google Authenticator App, click the upper right pen (for editing). Click the plus sign at the bottom for adding a site. Choose to scan the barcode and point your camera at the QR code. The process is quite fast.

Add Your WordPress Site to Mobile Google Authenticator App

Log out of your WordPress site and you should see the additional field for Google Authenticator on your login screen!

WordPress Login with Google Authenticator Two Factor Authentication

To log in, enter your username and password as usual, but visit your Google Authenticator mobile app to get the additional code for logging in. The codes are time-critical and expire every few minutes.

Retrieve your mobile authenticator code to login

Congratulations, you’ve successfully implemented two-factor authentication on your WordPress site.

In writing this tutorial, I was accidentally logged out of my site before I had registered my site with the mobile app. I couldn’t log back in—but luckily, there is a simple solution listed on the plugin support page.

I just had to log in via SSH to my server and change the name of the plugin folder temporarily. Then, I logged back into WordPress, reset the plugin folder name, added my site on my mobile app, and I was good to go.

Another way to do this is through the database using a tool such as PHPMyAdminand these queries. If you’re not self-hosting, you may need to request help from your hosting company.

I hope you’ve found this useful; now go secure your WordPress sites.

Please post any comments, corrections or additional ideas below. You can browse my other Tuts+ tutorials on my author page or follow me on Twitter @reifman.

 

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

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WordPress:Categories VS Tags

For many new users of the WordPress platform, defining the difference between these two can be a little bit difficult at first. Thankfully, understanding how they are different is not as hard as it may seem so let’s break it down.

 

Back in November, I touched on the differences between posts and pages in WordPress. To continue that line of thought, this article will continue that series of learning WordPress basics by touching on the differences between Categories and Tags.

Categories Vs. Tags

For many new users of the WordPress platform, defining the difference between these two can be a little bit difficult at first. Thankfully, understanding how they are different is not as hard as it may seem so let’s break it down.

Categories are meant to be used for a broad topic area and help define what your blog is about whereas Tags are used to zero in on something specific within that category.

Here are some examples of how this works:

  • WordPress Themes = Category (a broad topic of discussion)
  • Best Magazine Themes For WordPress, Top Themes For SEO, Common Mistakes in WordPress Themes = Tags (something more specific but that relates to the Category at hand)
  • Blogging = Category
  • Make Money Blogging, Blogging for Money, Work from Home Blogging = Tags

Pretty simple to understand when you think about it, but understanding what they are and using them the right way is a little bit different.

How To Use Categories and Tags Correctly

It’s pretty easy to come up with a vast variety of Categories and Tags for your site and blog posts, but just because you can think of 50 for each doesn’t mean you should use them all. Why not? Well, there are a few reasons.

Categories and Tags have two main purposes: (1) helping with SEO, and (2) helping your users easily find the content on your site.

SEO is important for every site, and Tags and Categories play a part in that. As mentioned earlier, Categories are used to define what your site is about, and most blogs tend to narrow in a single niche (WordPress Tips, Marketing, and SEO are some examples of this.) If you have 50 Categories, it would be harder to define your niche to Google and other search engines; therefore, less is more in this case.

Tags are another great way to boost SEO as they are usually keywords that someone might enter into a Search Engine in order to help them find your post. However, targeting a massive about of keywords by using a ton of tags isn’t going to do you much good. On the other hand, it probably won’t hurt, but it can lead to potential hazards.

Using Tags that sort of relate to your post instead of ones that directly relate to it can bring in the wrong crowd and increase your bounce rate — a major bummer. And if your goal is landing on the first page of a search engine like Google, then not doing keyword research to help you find low competition keywords could make that goal harder to reach.

The other side of the Category/Tag coin is your viewers. If you have around 5-8 main Categories on your site, then finding content that relates to their topic of interest is going to be much easier and thus boost your users’ experience on your site.

Wrapping It Up

In short, using Categories and Tags is important, but don’t go overboard with them. Selecting a few main Categories is usually best, so start with a few broad topics and go from there.

Tags are another area that shouldn’t be ignored, but they also have their place. Only use tags and keywords that directly relate to your content at hand, and try to target a few meaningful tags/keywords that can help concentrate your SEO efforts. Remember that Google is a lady with refined taste and she has no more forbearance for those who try to squeeze in where they don’t fit.

photo credit via photopin cc

 

 

from : http://www.wpeka.com/wordpress-basics-categories-versus-tags.html

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Best Permalink Structure

 

You have to change you timezone, the tagline, your user profile information, and much more.

Perhaps one that setting that needs to change but that has stumped quite a few is the Permalink setting. You are given quite a few options there, but which one is the best to use?

What Is A Permalink?

To those new to the realms of the online world, the word Permalink likely doesn’t make any sense, but it’s not that complicated.

A Permalink is like the exact address to a specific page on your website. For example:

http://yourwebsite.com/ would bring someone to the Homepage of your site whereas,http://yourwebsite.com/blog/ would bring them to your the blog page on your site. Those are pretty straightforward permalink structures, but when it comes to posts on your site, the permalink structure may look a little bit different.

Permalink Options in WordPress

WordPress gives users a few options when choosing a permalink structure:

  • Default
  • Day and Name | Uses the year, month, and the day along with your post title in the link.
  • Month and Name | Uses year and month along with the post title in the link.
  • Numeric | Uses a number as part of the link.
  • Post Name | Simply uses the title of your post in the link.
  • Custom Structure | Allows you to set up your own link structure to reflect something closer to what you’d like.

As you can guess, many WordPress installs have the Default setting automatically put in place, but it’s not one you want to leave as is.

Which Permalink Structure is Best?

In this case, there is no single answer, though some may have strong feelings about one structure over another. What I can tell you is that you shouldn’t use the Default option. So which one should you use?

Post Name

This is the one that many people like to choose as their permalink structure. This option is nice for both Search Engines and your viewers as the link is very easy to understand because it uses the post title. Since Search Engines can read this plain as day many people like to say that it has SEO benefits.

If you decide to go with this one, you’d be just fine.

Day and Name; Month and Name

These two options are pretty similar, however, the Day and Name option will make your permalink a bit longer than the Month and Name option. This isn’t exactly a bad thing so you can choose one over the other and be all set.

There are some hidden benefits to using these structures. Besides creating these “Pretty Links” that flirt rather well with Google, they also help keep a site from breaking if your site publishes multiple posts every day (Day and Name is best for news type sites with daily/hourly updates). If you publish quite a few posts every week, the Month and Name option would likely be your best option.

Wrapping It Up

As far as SEO is concerned, one structure doesn’t seem to do any good over another. Although Post Name is a nice and simple option, I’d opt for either the Day and Name or Month and Name option just to keep things going smoothly. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try out the Custom Structure option like some popular blogs use.

If you want more in-depth coverage of Permalinks, be sure to check out this post byKevin Muldoon.

 

 

from :http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creating-child-themes-for-your-wordpress-theme-framework–cms-21933

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