You’ve learned about effective design and functionality in this three-part series on WordPress magazine theme design. This post, the last one in the series, focuses on the most important aspect – Security and Optimization.
Follow these basic and essential tips to create a theme that’s totally secure and well optimized.
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) and powers around 17% of websites across the globe. As WordPress is an easy-to-use and open source system, security is an inherent problem area. With a number of sites using WordPress increasing by the day, the risk of hacking, malicious attacks and other security threats rises substantially.
Security is important, whether it is about keeping your physical items safe or protecting your digital data. Why should you turn lax when it comes to developing a secure WordPress theme?
Use this checklist while creating your WordPress theme:
- Always sanitize the input, as you never know what a user will input. To lower this risk, sanitize the input every time.
- Escape the output data whether it comes from third party sites or your own database. Make sure that the output data is clean and valid.
- To protect the URLs from malicious attacks, use Nonce. Nonce or Number used ONCE is a special token made up of numbers and letters. This token is used to identify the person doing a specific operation such as submission of a form, deletion of a post, etc.
- Protect your theme from SQL Injection.
- To reduce security threats, develop your theme by keeping ‘debugging mode’ ON. Debugging mode makes all Deprecated notices, warnings and fatal errors visible. This helps you solve potential problems and protect your theme.
A slowing loading site is the biggest audience killer in the competitive digital, especially brands and publishers who market their services through their online platforms. Once you have created your theme, your main goal is to ensure that sites using the theme load quickly and run efficiently. Whether it’s for a large WordPress installation or a small blog, your theme shouldn’t lag, as website owners will lose their readers. Site speed is equally important in search engine rankings and Google is known to use site speeds as a criterion in search ranking of websites.
Some of these Optimization tips include:
- Ensure your theme is compatible with latest WordPress version. This reduces security risk and makes the site load faster.
- Outdated plugins increase the risk of malicious attacks. Keep your plugins updated to provide a secure theme.
- Reduce the number of plugins used, as too many plugins can slow down WordPress sites. Plugins may use external resources, which causes greater delay by relying on external servers. Replicate the plugin functionality within the code, if possible.
- Poor hosting sites are another reason for a slow loading WordPress theme. Avoid shared hosting and move your site to a host with servers solely dedicated to hosting WordPress-based sites.
- Keep your database optimized to reduce overhead. Reduce number of queries, if possible, as it can slow down the site.
- Lazyload images as this will load the images above the fold. As the user scrolls down, it will load other images. This reduces the number of images to be loaded on initial pages which helps in speeding up the site. Make sure to optimize image files. Choose the correct format (JPG/PNG/GIF) for the type of image.
Keep these security and optimization points in mind while creating your next theme. Are you interested in gathering more information on theme optimization and security? Stay tuned for future blogs which will discuss these two topics in greater detail.
Have you been following these steps for developing a secure and optimized WordPress theme?
Do you have additional tips that can help secure and optimize a magazine theme?
Share these tips and your thoughts on our series in the comments.