3 Common WordPress Problems and how to fix them

WordPress is one of the most used content managers on the Internet. Without a doubt, it is an exceptional tool that allows both expert users and those who are a little more novice in computing to be able to take charge of the administration of a website.

However, on a day-to-day basis with this powerful CMS there are also setbacks and at Cipsa we have decided to make a compilation of 3 common problems with WordPress and the possible solutions that you can use to help solve them.

Problem #1: Security Vulnerabilities

Security vulnerabilities can become a nightmare for WP administrators. Without going any further, in August 2014 the alarms went off because a vulnerability was detected that used XML to kill websites in a few minutes. The solution was immediate: before it became public knowledge, WordPress corrected this problem with an update. However, if you are part of the users who resist updates because the process seems a bit cumbersome, your WP-based website could be affected in the future.

What can be done to avoid security vulnerabilities in WordPress?

Some small, relatively easy-to-implement changes that can help prevent security attacks include:

  • Change frequently (at least once a month) the password to access the ftp server and the WordPress Administrator.
  • Always use uppercase, lowercase and mixed numbers for passwords . Although the saying goes that size does not matter when it comes to passwords, the longer the better.
  • Keep the WP updated with the latest version . Don’t forget to always backup all your data before updates. Here is a  link that will help you in the data backup process.
  • Keeping the themes you use updated is also a mandatory task when it comes to avoiding vulnerabilities. Also, if your theme is a bit old and uses the Timthumb thumbnail generator, make sure that the Web Shot function is disabled, since there is a vulnerability in this function that causes an XSS attack and with only this detail it is already neutralized.
  • Delete the readme.html file and be careful what you share from WordPress . The readme.html file provides the version used on the website and is installed by default.
  • Plugins up to date . Plugins can be very useful, but for the same reason that you need to keep your WP version up-to-date, you don’t want to leave a plugin update undone.

Problem #2: WordPress Site Loading Speed

One of the factors that Google uses for its positioning is the loading speed of a website. However, as a website grows in content and plugins, the loading time normally increases inevitably . This increase becomes a problem with WP that you can try to solve by adopting these measures:

  • Reduce the weight of your images . The most common way to do this is with Photoshop’s option to save the image “for web”. The weight of the image is automatically reduced without hardly noticing its quality. If you don’t have access to Photoshop you can use, for example, an online resource like http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer/ . With this online resource you only have to upload the image or its url and you will get several versions of different qualities and weights so that you can use the one you need.
  • If you are the only editor of your wordpress, you may want to disable the option to save post revisions , since in the long run these revisions make the web page heavier. To do this, edit the config.php file . and add the following code:
define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

You could also define a number instead of “false”, this number being the maximum number of revisions that would be saved for each post. Do not forget that once the change is operational if you have chosen not to save any copies of the reviews, it is better that you write your contents in a word processor and not directly in the entries on the web. Since once this code has been implemented, if you had any errors, it could be more difficult to recover what was written as you cannot have automatic copies. In addition to the option to decide how many revisions you want to keep, there is also the option to delete existing old revisions by running PHPMyAdmin:

DELETE a,b,c FROM wp_post a
LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON (a.ID = b.object_id
LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON (a.ID = c.post_id)
WHERE a.post_type = ‘revision’;

Remember! Before making any changes to your WP it is essential to ALWAYS make backup copies

  •  Make sure to optimize your databases . By optimizing the databases, in addition to a considerable increase in speed, you will free up server space that you can use for other things. To do this DB optimization you can opt for two different systems: Either with an automatic plugin such as WP Optimize , or by following these simple steps: From your PHPMyAdmin database, select the DBs you want to optimize. Then, mark them all and click on “optimize table”
  • If you are experiencing an exaggerated increase in the loading speed of your website, you can try deactivating the plugins one by one . In this way, if one of them is responsible, you can locate it and permanently deactivate it.

Problem #3: Getting your wordpress back after a plugin install

Let’s say you have installed a plugin and the result is not what you expected. Sometimes it can happen that after installing a plugin you find that you can no longer access your administration panel. Calm down! Everything has a solution.

To solve this unpleasant problem try to access the server through ftp. Now you just have to select the suspected disaster plugin and rename it. This usually solves the problem. If you could not access either through the administration panel or by ftp, you can always enter phpMyAdmin with the username and password that the hosting company provided you with when you contracted your domain. From there it enters the database and looks for “active_plugins” which is found inside “wp-options”. From this space you will be able to deactivate the suspicious plugin.

We hope that these tips on problems with WordPress have been useful to you.

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