How to import your Zoom Webinars into WordPress as custom content

Hello! Now, more than ever, companies businesses and individuals are leveraging web based collaborative tools like Zoom. Whether it be for company meetings, training sessions or sales seminars, the idea is to use video conferencing technology to replace in-person interactions. Zoom has emerged as a leading player, being positioned favourably at the right point in time to offer reliable video conferencing services for a variety of uses. One of the more common requests as web development agency, is to integrate the ability to “import” Zoom webinars for a business into their website. What once may have been an Eventbrite integration has now transitioned to a remote model of interaction. At Shift8, we have created a WordPress plugin to pull Zoom webinar events into WordPress as custom content. This can then be manipulated by your theme or a custom post grid perhaps. Why would you want to import Zoom Webinar’s into […]

How to scale your WordPress site for enterprise level redundancy

Hello! It often becomes a requirement for certain levels of clients to ensure service level agreements for uptime and redundancy are kept. What does this mean? Well we want to ensure that a particular site can withstand a single point of failure, which usually means we would need to expand the services across multiple endpoints. This is not a new requirement and usually is not something one would consider for small or even medium sized businesses because the costs essentially skyrocket because at this level of redundancy you need someone to design the infrastructure, roll it out, manage it, monitor it and then you need infrastructure resources such as multiple servers , load balancers and similar services to ensure this type of redundancy is kept. The purpose of this post is to walk you through, in technical terms, how to roll out a WordPress site using industry standard best practices, […]

How to bulk update all WordPress pages or posts

Hello! Sometimes its necessary to perform mass or automated actions against your WordPress content. Reasons for this can vary, but in our scenario there was a bug in a plugin relating to translated content via WPML where afte a fix / plugin update was applied, resolving the content errors was as simple as re-saving an existing post (with no changes). Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but what if your site has over 1,000 pages or posts? Doing those one at a time , or even via the “Quick edit” method can be tedious and resource-taxing (both in-person and server resources!). Alternatively, what if you needed to update a byline in the post content, or standardize a title format for your posts? The reasons can vary again ,but I thought it might be helpful to include an automated process using a method called “bootstrapping” WordPress. What this really means is […]

How to optimize and speed up your WordPress site

Hello! What a topic : how speed up your WordPress site. There are so many elements and factors that contribute to site speed, it is my intention to cover each area that contributes or affects overall site speed, specifically with a WordPress site. Being the most popular CMS in the world means that all sorts of people are using WordPress for all sorts of reasons. Having a fast performing site has been proven to improve things like overall sales with e-commerce as well as bounce rates with end-users visiting your site. People tend to not have patience to wait around for websites to load these days, and Google has recognized that and will prioritize sites organically that render faster than others. This is a tricky endeavour because some of the issues that may be contributing to underlying slowness may be pointing you in the wrong direction in terms of a […]

How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

How to sanitize and reset all WordPress user accounts with linux shell scripting and wp-cli

Hello! There are several key best practices insofar as how to deal with security intrusions, including but not limited to restoring from backups on a clean server. In this article, I will be going over how to create an automated shell script that completes the following actions across multiple WordPress sites on your linux server : 1. Sanitize user and group permissions 2. Sanitize WordPress core admin and include files 3. Update WordPress Core 4. Update All installed plugins 5. Iterate through all WordPress user accounts and reset the passwords The above actions can be implemented as part of a broader security policy when dealing with shared hosting environments where you are hosting multiple WordPress sites. I will touch on each of the above items including the shell script snippets that are required to implement each. At the bottom of this article I will share the entirety of the shell […]

Free CDN for your WordPress site

  Install our Free WordPress CDN plugin by Register on our CDN dashboard and then install our wordpress pluginHello! Site speed has, for quite a while now, been a significant factor towards expectation of user experience as well as for things like organic Google ranking. When a website is slow to load, the end user is more likely to abandon the effort and Google is more likely to rank that site lower in the organic rankings. There is an entire industry (arguably overlapping niche market industries) dedicated to alleviating this problem among websites. For websites that are hopeful of being accessible across a more globalized marketplace, their website must be fast to any end user around the world. What is a content delivery network Like the name suggests, a content delivery network delivers the content from your site from a server that is geographically closer to the user who is […]

How to block your WordPress site from being scanned by WPScan with Nginx

Hello! First and foremost, why would you want to block WPScan from probing your site? Well we all know that security through obscurity is a bad practice. That said the risks of malicious activity on your site is undoubtedly heightened through many points of information disclosure that is freely available to parse and organize to make an accurate security risk assessment of your WordPress site. This type of information is easily attainable through automated scanners like WPScan. Tools like this scan for version tags in readme files, file size fingerprints and meta tags to determine not only the version of WordPress you are running but the version of each of the plugins you have installed. Why is information disclosure bad? Some would argue its not bad. Others would also point out that a 0-day WordPress core or plugin vulnerability could mean that minutes and hours of circumvention or lowered risk […]

How to cache queries to admin-ajax.php in WordPress to improve performance

Hello! Working with wordpress for a while now, we noticed that many actions, whether administrative in nature or building a WordPress query on the front end, are dependent on the built-in admin-ajax.php or WordPress AJAX API. Since many 3rd party plugins depend on this Ajax API to dynamically push and pull data, it is unfortunately a common occurrence to have the performance of a site impacted when many AJAX API calls are happening. One of the tell tale signs of admin-ajax.php performance issues can be seen when inspecting the network connections of rendering a particular page on your WordPress site. If you filter “admin-ajax.php” in your network tab of the developer console in your browser, you should see clearly the admin-ajax.php POST that may be taking too long. In our experience, some post grid plugins that make it easy to render a grid of posts on your page heavily rely […]

How to protect WordPress media files and only allow the users who uploaded them to view

Hello! In the past we have written about how to protect your WordPress media files. In the past exercises we utilized a strategy to set a session cookie with encrypted details that can be read and validated at the http service (i.e. nginx) as well as application (php/wordpress) level. Since then we have refined this process to be much more secure, flexible and efficient. We have abandoned the cookie validation process for verifying the request before serving it and replaced it with a slightly more complicated but much more secure method. First before getting into the details, why would we want to protect WordPress media files? Well the answer depends on what sort of site you have and what you are trying to do, obviously. In our scenario, which isn’t necessarily unique, we have end-users that register for an account in order to check out of a Woocommerce store. We […]