WordPress Security – The Best Approach

The WordPress security settings are somewhat complicated. So the best practice is to use an in-depth vulnerability scanning and a WordPress vulnerability scanner together. This will allow you to get an idea of what needs to be fixed in your WordPress installation.

Wordpress security

If you have already created a WordPress website, you should certainly read up on how to set up the WordPress security. There are several great guides available online, which will walk you through the process and show you step by step exactly how to install and use WordPress.

Why do you need to consider security tightly ?

One thing that you need to know about WordPress is that it is something that is going to cost you money for, but the pay off is worth it. I am not saying that you should try to pirate all of your content for free, but you do need to be aware of where it is coming from.

When a visitor visits your site, it is very important that they should feel safe about leaving their information on your site. You want to make sure that they know that they can send you any feedback, and even questions. This can take some time and cost you money.

The good news is that WordPress has a great feature that allows you to post a comment, post a blog entry, and even edit a blog entry. You can also manage blog posts, news, and events. All of this can be done from the admin section of your site.

If you use a WordPress security plugin, you can take full advantage of all the features that WordPress has to offer. It will also prevent you from getting hacked as well.

Do it before it’s too late !

You can get your WordPress security working just by clicking a button. You will also find that most of the plugins that are available are free.

The plugins that are used to protect WordPress are there to help you run your site better. It is not an overnight job, but most of the security features of your WordPress site will be working by the time you are done with this process. It is definitely worth your time to get all the security features working and also check for new updates regularly.

While you are creating your security plugin, remember that you also need to keep the updates. Most people do not realize that these updates come from the original developers, and you really do not want to go to the developers asking them to update a plugin because you didn’t know about them.

The best WordPress security Plugins

Now, when it comes to WordPress security, you do need to be very careful about what you install and what you don’t. The best approach is to create a security plugin for your site, and then use it.

Most of the plugins will have something in common, and that is that they are free and will work with most, if not all, plugins that you download. There is no need to spend money on anything that you don’t need, and if you do use a paid plugin, you will also find that you get a lot of great features.

I think that the best approach for setting up a WordPress security is to get a plugin that works with most plugins you have. Then use it for the rest of your sites, and check for updates regularly.

I personally use Wordfence as I believe it has some of the best detection features out there. Make sure to use their PRO plan as their detection rate is significantly higher than the FREE version. Use my PROMO link and get a discount as well !

Final Words

Don’t forget to checkout our tutorial on WordPress Caching ! Caching and security are the foundation of a great WordPress website

Cache Plugins For WordPress

What is the Cache Plugin for WordPress? It is a small utility that, when used, will create a cache. That is, it will store certain data in a central location on your WordPress site, so that your users can come back to it later and get an accurate view of the content that you have stored for them. This is all done without them knowing they are even using it!

Cache Plugin WordPress

This may sound like a good thing, but it is important to be aware that this isn’t an automatic process, it’s not something that is built into the WordPress system. You have to do a little bit of work in order to build a cache in WordPress.

Setup the plugin

The first thing you need to do is make a change to the settings file for your blog. Inside that directory, there is a directory called ‘cache’. By default, this directory is empty, which means that any files that are cached by WordPress will remain there unless you tell them otherwise.

If you look at this directory, you will see several directories that contain various options for WordPress. The first one that you should take a look at is the one named ‘plugins’. Within that directory, you will find a number of plugins that will work with caching.

Once you find these plugins, you want to open them up and look at their settings and read their descriptions to find out how you can use them to increase the performance of your WordPress blog. Make sure you install the ones that seem to benefit you the most, and that they don’t interfere with any other functions that you might have installed.

Now that you know which plugins you have installed, you will need to install the ones that will work best for your WordPress blog. While some of these plugins will offer a number of functions, some of them will only work in one particular way. For example, the normal cache plugin will work by taking the contents of your posts and placing them into a database.

If you’ve done anything with your WordPress blog at all, then you have probably made use of the word ‘posts’ in one way or another. That means that you’ve placed a post in the database in order to use the normal cache. The information is then passed along as posts are added and removed from the database.

Enjoy the speed !

To be able to use this cache in WordPress, you need to find out what files need to be passed to the cache. You can do this by opening the ‘Files’ tab and clicking on the ‘Add Files’ button. Once that has been done, look for the posts that you want to add to the cache and make sure that they are tagged accordingly.

Then, click on the ‘Save’ button to place the files on your blog. The files are now saved and you can them by opening the Files tab again and clicking on the ‘Open’ button.

The next step that you have to do is to go to the ‘Plugins’ tab and locate the cache plugin for WordPress. Click on it and add the files to your installation.

Finally, you will need to find out what the default settings are for the plugin. Click on the ‘Settings’ link and select the ‘Default Settings’ tab. At the top of the page, you will notice the option for ‘Do Not Use Automatically’.

If you want the cache plugin for WordPress to work, then you need to make sure that this option is enabled. You also need to ensure that you set it up so that you can view the contents of the cache files in a way that doesn’t require the PHP interpreter to run.

Which Plugin are you using? Share with us in the comments below !

Flash is Deprecated: What You Need to Know

flash deprecated

Flash is one of the many flash content and application technologies that will become obsolete in a short while. There are many reasons why this is the case, such as the changing way people use the internet and the development of flash-free alternatives to various software applications that utilize the technology.

This will be an effect that can last for quite some time and will slowly decrease the current level of complexity and easiness that users are encountering when using the technology. For example, many applications used for games on mobile devices will not have any issue supporting a reduced version of flash. Another example would be in some instances, older versions of Microsoft’s internet explorer will support the technology without the need for the full version.

The use of Flash has been affected by several years of evolving technology that has influenced the applications, functionality and layouts of its users. This has placed more of a burden on websites to adapt to current situations as opposed to having a continued method of attracting users to interact with their pages. If you’re currently running a website that relies on the use of Flash, you should make the effort to adapt the site to the current state of technology.

One way to accomplish this is by creating new solutions that will provide you with the opportunity to make your current pages more interactive, while allowing you to continue to run the Flash content that you have been creating. Many sites have only just begun to realize the potential that Flash has to offer, and it is still relatively unknown to many users. As the technology continues to develop and become better, it will be up to webmasters to adapt their websites to this change. It is important to note that if you are unable to produce something new, you may want to consider creating a version of your site that can be updated whenever the necessary technology changes occur.

One of the more notable issues that has been impacting Flash is the impact that it has had on the overall performance of web pages that contain it. The fact that Flash content has become so popular has resulted in developers having to resort to utilizing technology that was designed for smaller websites instead of larger ones. This in turn has been causing the general performance levels of many websites to fall significantly. By developing your site in a manner that can provide optimal performance, it is possible to improve its overall appearance and user experience.

When you begin to see the signs of Flash deprecation on a frequent basis, it is time to take some action to update your existing site to allow it to continue to operate smoothly. This means that you should always be in a position to identify the causes of Flash deprecation on a daily basis and implement solutions to counter these trends as soon as possible. If you want to increase the chance that your site will remain active as long as possible, then it is recommended that you focus on developing different solutions for Flash that will work well with your current design and layout.

The Flash technology used to create many of the applications that you are familiar with, such as audio, video and image streaming, requires a considerable amount of resources to operate effectively. This results in the need to reduce the number of animations that the technology is used for, as well as the effects that they use. In some cases, these animation capabilities have been removed completely, which will result in a lower amount of impact on the overall functionality of your website.

It is also important to keep in mind that the number of unique features that you are able to add to your website may decrease. If you continue to add new features that rely on Flash technology, you may find that the basic functions that you are using to attract visitors will begin to be affected. In the event that you do not want to lose any of the technology capabilities that you have acquired, you may want to consider expanding the functionality of your website to be as light as possible.

Certain web directories are making the attempt to prevent flash-deprecated technology from being used on their servers. However, you can ensure that the functionality will continue to be available on your server by upgrading or moving to a different directory. While there is no guarantee that you will not encounter any problems in the future, it is certainly possible that you will not need to worry about the possibility of Flash deprecation.

In order to ensure that you create the proper web presence, you will need to pay close attention to the technologies that are used to create a site. Many developers who have been using Flash extensively in their websites have found that their websites were not gaining as much traffic as they had hoped, even though their pages were optimized. The fact that flash-deprecated technology can negatively impact the overall appearance of a website has led many users to make the decision to abandon their sites.

Preloading Content Using AS3

While most smaller Flash projects do not really need a preloader due to the today’s Internet speed, it is still good practice to always include a preloader in all your Flash projects. In this brief tutorial, I will demonstrate how to preload your Flash assets using AS3.

Preloading in AS3 is a more streamlined process due to the new & improved event handling structure that AS3 brings to the table. You have more control over what gets preloaded and when it gets preloaded.

How to Preload with AS3

Like most things in Flash, there are many ways to preload your content into your Flash projects. How you create your preloading animation will be totally up to you. In this example, I will be dynamically resizing a preloader’s fill based on the progress percentage of the content being loaded. It is a simple way to demonstrate a preloading action.

Code used in example

//Define a loader
var imageLoader:Loader;

function loadThisImage(url:String):void {
 //Show Preloader
 preloader.visible=true;
 imageLoader=new Loader();
 imageLoader.load(new URLRequest(url));
 //Add a listener to update the preloader on the image's progress
 imageLoader.contentLoaderInfo.addEventListener(ProgressEvent.PROGRESS,imageLoading);
 //Adding a listener that will update the preloader once the image has been loaded
 imageLoader.contentLoaderInfo.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE,imageLoaded);
}

function imageLoaded(evt:Event):void {
 // Load Image by adding it to the display list
 imageLoaderClip.addChild(imageLoader);
 // Hide Preloader
 preloader.visible=false;
}

function imageLoading(evt:ProgressEvent):void {
 // Get the current download progress
 var loaded:Number=evt.bytesLoaded/evt.bytesTotal;
 // Send progress info to "preloader" movie clip
 updateProgress(loaded);
}

function updateProgress(value:Number) {
 preloader.progress.width=value*preloader.bar.width;
}

//Loading the image defined in the parameter
loadThisImage("image-loaded-large.jpg");


As you noticed this example loads an image, but you can very well use it to load you main SWF content or even multiple images. By creating multiple loaders, you can then define the asset in which you choose to load.  This will allow you more control over your content being loaded.

As you can see,  preloading content using AS3 is actually pretty easy.  Have fun migrating over into AS3!

Download Source

I hope this helps in your migration over into  AS3.  If there is something in particular you want to add or see with the Moving From AS2 to AS3 series, feel free to contact me via the contact page.

20+ Ways to Extend Your Flash Workspace With JSFL Extensions

The JavaScript Flash API or JSFL lets you write scripts to perform several actions within the Flash environment. The possibilities of using JSFL are endless allowing you to create custom commands, tools, timeline effects, behaviors, etc.

Over the years, many JSFL extensions have surfaced within the Flash community. Below are a collection of 20+ JSFL extensions ranging from audio/lip syncing to tween management to Git/Svn version control. Enjoy!

If you have either developed or know of an awesome JSFL extension that I missed from this list, feel leaving a comment below. Thanks and enjoy!

Automatically Enter at the Desired Frame with FrameAim

This adds a panel that enters the selected graphic at the currently displayed frame. By default, Flash just opens the Graphic to its first frame, regardless of what’s being shown on the main stage. No more!

Auto Flash Class Panel

Class and package names are generated form your library folder structure. With one simple click your library is ready for export.

Citrus Engine Panels

A flash extension to create easily CitrusEngine’s objects.

Ease Caddy

The EaseCaddy panel allows you to store your custom eases and re-apply them. You can save your eases to a file and send them to someone else.

Easy Palette

Easy Palette is a color management system that gives the user a friendlier and more useful way to manage custom palettes by allowing them to name colors to speed identification, save and load custom palettes.

Extend to Longest Layer

Very simple but annoyance-saving command which extends all layers in the timeline to the length of the longest layer. Great if you find yourself pasting audio into a bunch of nested symbols.

FrameSync

This is a handy-dandy animation plug-in similar to Animonger’s AnimSlider, except that it uses frame labels and requires no other setup.

Git Version Control Panel for Flash

Commit FLAs to your Git repo from within Flash.

Icon Publisher

Icon Publisher is a Flash extension panel for publish your icon in different sizes in one click.

LabelJumper

This adds the Next Label, Previous Label, and Goto Label commands which allow you to quickly jump to keyframes with specific labels.

MotionBlur

The MotionBlur Flash extension takes a (new) motion tween, analyzes the movement, and creates a motion blur.

MotionSketch

MotionSketch inserts a command to record a drawing in real-time and create a tween based on that drawing.

Multi Swap

Multi Swap allows you to swap multiple symbols at once, and allows swapping symbols across multiple frames.

NewerAnimClip

This is an extended version of Dave Wolfe’s NewAnimClip which takes care of all the legwork. Just select a section of frames in your timeline, run the command, and that animation will be symbolized in the exact correct place. Basically a fully automated “Pringle”.

Queasy Tools Panel

Queasy Tools is a new set of quick and easy tools for Flash designers and animators. This panel provides the fastest way to create tweened animation with easing in Flash.

Search and Replace

This will search for and replace text in the names of Library items. You can search all Library items or only the selected items.

SmartMouth

SmartMouth is a Flash extension that automatically analyzes vocal audio tracks and adds mouth shapes. Your Flash Timeline remains 100% editable, leaving you in full control of your animation.

StructureCreator

Flash extension panel for creating website project structure

Subversion Panel for Flash

Commit Flash documents and related files to your Subversion repo right from within Flash.

Swap Instance for Duplicate Symbol

This extension adds a command that will take a selected symbol instance, create a new duplicate in the library, and swap the selected symbol for the newly created duplicate.

Sync To Timeline

This adds a command which syncs a selected symbol to the timeline, regardless of if they’re isolated on their own layers. Really useful for re-timing nested animation.

3D Rotate EZ

3D Rotate EZ is a Flash Panel using which you can create 360 degree object or 3D product rotation, called also ObjectVR.

As you can see, there are a lot of plugins available to play around and those are only the main ones. Feel free to let us know in contact if I missed any !

FluidHTML: A Markup Language That Generates Flash Content

“FluidHtml is a text-based markup language (like HTML) that lets you dynamically generate Flash  content. This is an extraordinarily powerful idea.  It means that anyone can build highly animated websites, ads, media players and 3D animations quickly and easily.”

FluidHTML looks to be an innovative concept and may address current issues related to Flash content on the web.  However, I believe web designers/developers who currently use HTML/CSS might find this much more attractive than Flash designers/developers.

I really like the concept of offering an extensible API and opening it up to developers, but is this going to be a viable markup language 5 years from now or is it just a phase.  As ActionScript libraries that support browser-like functionality improve and as Google and Yahoo’s search engine’s begin to recognize the text within Flash files, does FluidHTML really fix anything that isn’t already steadily improving.

I believe FluidHTML does have potential however, I am not sure if Flash designers/developers will buy into the concept.  Check out the introductory video below on FluidHTML.  I’d love to hear how you guys feel about FluidHTML after viewing the video.  Would you consider using it?

Wave Goodbye to Adobe Wave

As of April 15th, 2011, Adobe Wave is being discontinued. Adobe Wave was a desktop alert and notification software gets the information you care about right to your desktop. When a friend posts a status update or there’s new content on your favorite site, be the first to know. With Twitter being the ultimate Buzz word, this product really had no chance.

Adobe Pass for TV Everywhere

Adobe announces the Adobe Pass service, a new authentication solution that enables pay TV subscribers to easily access premium content from virtually any Internet-connected device. Leveraging the Flash Platform and HTML5, Adobe Pass allows pay TV providers and content owners alike to deliver a wider range of content on more platforms – including Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Google TV – and ensure a high-quality, secure user experience.

Promoted by the broadcast and cable industry as TV Everywhere, Adobe Pass makes it possible for pay TV providers to authenticate their paying subscribers online and provide them with the anytime, anywhere content experiences that audiences crave, taking TV Everywhere from concept to reality.

Wow…this opens the door for so many partnerships.  Good News!

Video: Flex on the iPad

Check out this video showing a sample Flex application running on the iPad. This Mobile Trader application shows chart manipulation and drill-downs using touch events, real time market data updates (in lists and charts), as well as video-conferencing (with your financial advisor) and screen synchronization between clients (“simulations” and “what-ifs” collaboration use cases).

Convert Adobe Flash FLA files into HTML

I know I am little bit late on this topic but for those that don’t know of Wallaby. 🙂 “Wallaby” is the codename for an experimental technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Flash files into HTML. This allows you to reuse and extend the reach of your content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes. Once these files are converted to HTML, you can edit them with an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, or by hand if desired. You can view the output in one of the supported browsers or on an iOS device.

12+ Awesome Implementations of HTML5/Flash Video Players

There has been such a great deal of debate about Flash versus HTML5.  While the pros and cons of each is typically black and white, when it comes to video playback on the web leveraging the two provides a more robust user experience.

Whether  you want Flash for a uniform desktop experience but need to support the iPad? No problem. Standards junkie and only want HTML5? That’s cool too.

We’ve gathered a list of the top free and premium HTML5/Flash video players that provide an all in one solution to video playback on the web regardless of the device.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

1- SublimeVideo

SublimeVideo Player

SublimeVideo Player gives your site universal playback of your videos on any browser or device. SublimeVideo maximizes the use of HTML5 in the latest browsers, while providing full support for legacy browsers with automatic Flash fallback. SublimeVideo offers free and premium options.

2 – MediaElement.js

MediaElement.js Video Player

A free HTML5 audio or video player with Flash and Silverlight shims that mimics the HTML5 MediaElement API, enabling a consistent UI in all browsers.

3 – Video.js

Video.js Video Player

A lighweight/free and open sourced video player with a forced fallback to Flash even when there is an unsupported source.

4 – OSMF Edge Media Player

OSMF Edge Media Player

A premium video player based on the robust Open Source Media Framework which grants out of the box support for multiple media types, including video, audio, images, and SWF files. It is an all-in-one solution for your streaming needs and is ready to be deployed to any kind of project.

5 – Video / YouTube / Vimeo Gallery V2

Video / YouTube / Vimeo Gallery V2

A premium mini gallery for your videos. It allows you display YouTube videos and videos from your server in the same container. It can also be used as a portfolio or a video showcase.

6 – HTML5 Blue Video Gallery

HTML5 Blue Video Gallery

A premium HTML5 gallery uses the latest HTML5 techniques. For example, it uses HTML5 LocalStorage to remember the last volume you had before you exit and sets back that volume when you come back.

All the player graphics are driven by XML so you can change anything very easy.

7 – HTML5 Video

HTML5 Video Player

Using an HTML5 Javascript Library, your videos can be played back on the latest mobile devices and even on older browsers that require Flash.

8 – JW Player for Flash & HTML5

JW Player for Flash & HTML5

An evolved video player with a standardized approach to handling Flash & HTML5 support.

9 – FlareVideo

FlareVideo

FlareVideo is a free/open sourced HTML5 video player with a Flash fallback and an easy CSS/HTML/JS customization and theming.

10 – Video Player With Circular Scrubbing

Video Player With Circular Scrubbing

A premium Flash/HTML5 video player with a HTML5 Fallback video player and built atop of a solid foundation.

11 – Tejas HTML5 Video Player

Tejas HTML5 Video Player

A premium HTML5 video player that is built on jQuery and utilizes the very powerful ThemeRoller system for rendering its user interface.

12 – Projekktor

Projekktor

A free HTML5 video player that supports pre and postroll ads, true fullscreen, Flash fallback, and YouTube HTML5.

Flash vs. HTML5

If you’re curious as to which method of bringing people content is going to win out of the two, it’s worth having a look at this list. Flash, while on 99% of computers, lacks some advantages that HTML5 boasts. So which should you go for?

1) Performance

Flash is an extremely powerful tool if you know how to use it right. It loads quickly, is able to give the user access to games, animations, interactive charts, banner adverts – the possibilities are huge. But HTML5 boasts the same capabilities, so what puts Flash ahead? Primarily, ActionScript 3.0, which accelerates code execution by ten times what it was before. However, HTML5 does perform noticeably better on Mac and Linux computers, as Flash tends to overheat OSX machines due to excessive CPU usage.

2) Market presence

You cannot, and likely will not for many years, beat the presence of Flash on the average computer. It has a 99% install base, whereas HTML5 would be lucky to see 10% of that figure. The availability of Flash is a big deal – if you went to the o2 site and they had HTML5 running rather than Flash, chances are that most people would see that as one step too far away from usability, and that’s a big deal. But as HTML5 spreads, both may eventually be as common as each other.

3) Different Browsers

This is really where HTML5 falls flat on its face – it doesn’t run the same in all browsers, and Flash does. That’s a huge flaw in a market where someone could be using anything from IE to Firefox to Chrome, and you’ll struggle to justify the extra effort it takes to “localise” HTML5 content compared to building something in Flash that will work flawlessly in all browsers. However, it is worth noting that iOS devices still don’t support Flash, and likely never will, so be careful if you’ve got mobile browsing in mind.

These are just a few examples, but it’s clear that bar OSX and Linux performance, Flash will continue to outperform its rival for many years to come. But is it worth looking into HTML5? If you’re developing content tuned towards the iOS crowd, of course, but outside them, stick with Flash.