How to: Scaling WordPress Servers & Deploys from Mark Jaquith

Ever wanted to learn how Auttomatic is handling & scaling the massive installation of 25 Million+ blogs? And, how they deploy code updates and fixes across 3 data centers and 1000s of servers?

Check out the video below from WordCamp San Francisco (WordCampSF) 2011 and watch the talk of Mark Jaquith (WordPress core developer).

Please let me know in the comments below if you know of other great posts, videos, or, resources about scaling and deployment of WordPress. Thank you!

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How to: Install WordPress in a sub folder

Wordpress folder
Are you hosting WordPress yourself?

A great new feature is that you’re now able to keep the WordPress core folders and files in a separate sub folder.

The core files are all the WordPress installation files which you never touch or alter. All the other files which you upload, plug-ins, themes and configuration files are kept apart. This helps greatly to reduce the “unclean” mix of files of your installation. And, reduces the risk of deleting files which you should stay away from (the core WordPress installation files).

Another very helpful aspect of this feature is the ability to soft launch / beta test a new WordPress blog in a less prominent way (e.g. ) and than move it to the main location with the simple procedure below.

To reiterate: You can apply this in two ways, either by starting in a sub directory and than move the blog to the main URL/directory or you did set up your blog under the main URL/directory and want to move the core WordPress files into its own sub directory.

Below you’ll find the complete description from the WordPress codex about giving WordPress its own directory:

  1. Create the new location for the core WordPress files to be stored (we will use /wordpress in our examples). (On linux, use mkdir wordpress from your www directory. You’ll probably want to use “chown apache:apache” on the wordpress directory you created.)
  2. Go to the General panel.
  3. In the box for WordPress address (URL): change the address to the new location of your main WordPress core files. Example:
  4. In the box for Blog address (URL): change the address to the root directory’s URL. Example:
  5. Click Save Changes. (Do not worry about the error message and do not try to see your blog at this point! You will probably get a message about file not found.)
  6. Move your WordPress core files to the new location (WordPress address).
  7. Copy the index.php and .htaccess files from the WordPress directory into the root directory of your site (Blog address). The .htaccess file is invisible, so you may have to set your FTP client to show hidden files. If you are not using pretty permalinks, then you may not have a .htaccess file.
  8. Open your root directory’s index.php file in a text editor
  9. Change the following and save the file. Change the line that says:
    to the following, using your directory name for the WordPress core files:
  10. Login to the new location. It might now be
  11. If you have set up Permalinks, go to the Permalinks panel and update your Permalink structure. WordPress will automatically update your .htaccess file if it has the appropriate file permissions. If WordPress can’t write to your .htaccess file, it will display the new rewrite rules to you, which you should manually copy into your .htaccess file (in the same directory as the main index.php file.)

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I’ll help you to get this set up and working. Thanks!

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How to: Harden WordPress – Great Presentation on Security

Wordpress securityI found a great presentation about WordPress security which shows some great ways to harden your WordPress installation. This is very important if your’re hosting you own version of WordPress.

In this presentation you’ll find out about:

  • How to do regular database backups
  • Changing your administrator account user name
  • How to change your security keys: ensure better encryption of your sessions
  • Always update WordPress and all of your plugins
  • How to create strong passwords
  • Folder & file permissions
  • How to remove the WordPress version number from your html source
  • Enable SSL Login & admin access
  • Limit access to specific IPs
  • Change the Wordpess database table prefix
  • Userful Security Plugins

Wanted to share it with everyone. Enjoy!

Protecting WordPress from the Inside Out

View more presentations from Syed Balkhi.
Another great resource about WordPress security you can find here on the WordPress codex page about hardening WordPress.

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How to change: WordPress autosave and post revisions

Wordpress LogoWordPress has a built in autosave feature that automatically saves when you’re editing a post. A big disadvantage is the default frequency at which it saves your posts, every minute is kinda often. So, if you use the WP editor to write your posts than you save quiet often and it might interrupt your editing.

What I usually do is to change this default value to something like every 5 minutes. You can alter the autosave behaviour by adding this define to your wp-config.php (interval is in seconds, 300 = 5min):

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 300);

Even a higher value of 10 or 15min might make sense if you write longer posts and don’t want to end up with so many “autosaves” of your current draft…

Another feature which is pretty new is post revisions. You find them as one of the boxes below your post editor on the write panel. If these post revisions go unmanaged, they might significantly increase the size of your database.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 10);

This define is telling WP to only keep 3 revisions. If you save the 4th revision, the first one is purged off.

It is also possible to disabled post revisions altogether, by using the following define:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

Another way to solve this is to use a plugin, like:

Post Revision Control

By using this plugin you also get a very granular way to control the number of revision per post & page. Just in case if you think you need more / less revisions than your new default setting.

Hope this helps! Let us know what other useful defines you usually add to your configuration of WordPress. Thanks!

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