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NetTuts.com:
How to Use New Relic With PHP & WordPress
April 15, 2014 @ 11:43:04

The NetTuts.com Code blog has posted the second part of their series showing how to use the New Relic monitoring service in various kinds of web applications. In the previous article they looked at using it in a Ruby application, but in this new post it's all about PHP.

Today, we will look at how to monitor a PHP application using New Relic. More specifically, we will set up a basic WordPress installation and get some performance data about it, in the New Relic dashboards. [...] With the PHP version of the agent, the environment is a lot more important, as the agent is installed and lives on the box where the application will be deployed, rather than being part of any particular app.

They use an EC2 instance for their example, but the steps can be applied on other systems. They help you get the needed software installed, validate they're correctly configured and do a basic setup of WordPress. Next up is the steps to install the New Relic "newrelic-php5" software and get it fully installed. They also include the updates you'll need to make to your Apache configuration to configure the New Relic instance and how to keep the agent up to date.

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newrelic wordpress tutorial configure install

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-use-new-relic-with-php-wordpress--cms-20465

Dougal Campbell:
mysql vs mysqli in WordPress
March 07, 2014 @ 10:59:52

In his latest post Dougal Campbell shares his findings from a bug he was having with a plugin in WordPress. It revolved around the use of mysql or mysqli and errors being thrown to his logs.

The plugin had previously worked fine (it generates a sidebar widget), and I wasn't actively working on my site, so I wasn't really sure when it had quit working. In the course of debugging the problem, I discovered that the plugin was throwing warnings in my PHP error log regarding the mysql_real_escape_string() function. As a quick fix, I simply replaced all of those calls with WordPress' esc_sql() function. Voila, problem fixed.

He was interested in why this worked, though, and went digging in the code. As it turns out, the WordPress code tries to determine which mysql extension you have support for. As it turns out, his installation fit the "mysqli profile" so the "mysql_real_escape_string" wasn't available. To the WordPress users out there, he suggests esc_sql or $wpdb->prepare() instead.

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mysql mysqli wordpress escape string extmysql

Link: http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2014/03/06/mysql-vs-mysqli-wordpress

Johannes Schlüter:
On rumors of "PHP dropping MySQL"
February 24, 2014 @ 13:44:21

There's been some rumors floating around about the possibility of PHP's MySQL support going away in upcoming versions of the language. In his latest post Johannes Schlüter tries to bring a bit of clarity to these rumors and what's actually being removed.

Over the last few days different people asked me for comments about PHP dropping MySQL support. These questions confused me, but meanwhile I figured out where these rumors come from and what they mean. The simple facts are: No, PHP is not dropping MySQL support and we, Oracle's MySQL team, continue working with the PHP community.

He suggests that the confusion might have come from the recent changes to "soft deprecate" the oldest ext/mysql functionality and warn users against using it in their applications. He talks about the history of MySQL support in PHP and one project that removing it could adversely effect (WordPress).

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mysql support remove rumor extmysql deprecate wordpress

Link: http://schlueters.de/blog/archives/177-On-rumors-of-PHP-dropping-MySQL.html

SitePoint Web Blog:
Is Ghost Really a WordPress Killer?
November 13, 2013 @ 11:19:32

The WordPress platform has become one of the de-facto standards when it comes to blogging and content management sites. In this new post, though, SitePoint wonders if a new competitor in the market is enough to unseat WordPress from its high ranking - Ghost.

When someone mentions the term blogging platform your mind likely brings up thoughts of WordPress, or maybe Blogger.com. It did, didn't it? While those two platforms have clearly carved out a respectable slice of the world's blogging population, there remains a void left unfilled. This gap in platforms was largely created by the incredible popularity and growth of the blogging world itself. [...] This new entrant goes by the stealthy moniker Ghost. A fitting name really, given it's unapologetic focus on no­frills web publishing.

They go through this new tool, spotlighting some of the features it offers and the extensibility it offers (complete with screenshots). While Ghost is a Node application (unlike its PHP counterpart) it's still relatively easy to get up and running. They do admit, however, that the title of the article is a bit inflammatory. Ghost and WordPress have different target audiences and widely different feature sets, but in the blogging realm, Ghost provides an interesting alternative.

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ghost wordpress blog overview tour simple

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/ghost-really-wordpress-killer/

SitePoint Web Blog:
Building Amazing Presentations with WImpress
September 17, 2013 @ 11:57:06

On SitePoint's Web blog today there's a post from Rakhitha Nimesh showing you how to create presentations with WImpress, the second part of their series on using the impress.js Javascript library (part one is here).

In the first part, we learned how to integrate impress.js into WordPress, for creating dynamic presentations with CSS transitions and transformations. impress.js is becoming one of the most popular JavaScript libraries in Github. [...] In this tutorial, we are going to look at the possibilities of enhancing the default features of impress.js while building an interactive presentation with WImpress.

They walk you through the creation of a simple presentation, complete with all the code you'll need. They show how to create the "options" page and add it to the WordPress site structure. The process allows you to specify text and a background image reusing some of the built-in WordPress functionality. They've also included some examples of the results for three different levels of a presentation - a simple single slide, adding "second level" steps and building a cube.

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impressjs wimpress tutorial presentation wordpress

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/building-amazing-presentations-wimpress/

The Nerdery:
Why Most Stories About WordPress Security Are Wrong
September 12, 2013 @ 09:18:55

On The Nerdery's blog today there's a new post suggesting that most of the reports of WordPress' insecurity are wrong and they're going to set the record straight.

I have often heard the remark "WordPress is insecure!" My response is "Where did you hear that?" and "When did you hear that?" [...] WordPress core is, in fact, very secure, just as secure as any other Content Management System, just as secure as any other software suite or Operating System. Security issues most often arise from administrators and users. In other words, you are the weakest link.

They suggest that between the high-profile nature of WordPress and the constant (sometimes wrongful) warning being put out there about its security, people perpetuate the message sometimes unknowingly. Besides the human element being the largest risk, they also point out a few others including issues around shared hosting and the availability of easy-to-find tools to exploit flaws. They talk about a brief history of the WP core security and how they define the real security of a product - how quickly it responds to security issues. They also include a few suggestions for you to help harden your own WP installation.

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wordpress security risk history wrong story advice

Link: http://blog.nerdery.com/2013/09/why-wordpress-security-stories-are-wrong/

Smartbridge.com:
Rapid Website Development The Case for LAMP and WordPress (Part 1)
August 05, 2013 @ 10:14:06

Smartbridge.com has posted the first part of a series of articles looking at rapid development with WordPress and the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).

As more and more people around the world have access to computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, these users are getting connected to the internet, ready to jump into the virtual world of unlimited and unrestrained information. Websites today are the most popular tool to deliver this vast information to an ever increasing audience. Let's talk about choices when it comes to rapidly developing custom non-enterprise websites.

He starts by eliminating some of the language alternatives off the bat because of either their lack of quality CMSes or complexity. He then moves on to Open Source options, focusing in on PHP for its low learning curve and popularity. There's a brief comparison of Drupal and WordPress, but it's pretty high level. He's saving the good parts of WordPress for the next part of the series.

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rapid development wordpress lamp drupal compare

Link: http://www.smartbridge.com/blog/rapid-website-development-the-case-for-lamp-and-wordpress-part-1/

PHPClasses.org:
7 Reasons Why WordPress Made PHP Popular, not PHP Frameworks
July 31, 2013 @ 10:11:23

On PHPClasses.org today there's a new post from Manuel Lemos suggesting that one of the main reasons why PHP is popular is because of WordPress, not the frameworks that have been built with it.

Recently the Tiobe Index of published an update of their programming language index on which they claim PHP has been raising in popularity due to Zend Framework 2 but they do not justify why. Read this article to learn about an opinion why this claim is unfounded and PHP popularity has more to do with WordPress than with PHP at one language may be more popular than PHP Frameworks.

In the post he talks some about the TIOBE index, how it ranks popularity and where PHP currently sits on the list. He then lists out seven reasons why he thinks that WordPress made PHP as popular as it is including:

  • WordPress is the Most Popular PHP Application
  • WordPress alone is much more popular than any PHP framework
  • The Extensible WordPress plugin ecosystem
  • Non-Programmers develop in PHP just because of WordPress

He also suggests that the popularity of WordPress stems from it solving a more pragmatic problem than PHP frameworks

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wordpress framework popularity opinion tiobe index

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/215-7-Reasons-Why-WordPress-Made-PHP-Popular-not-PHP-Frameworks.html

Dougal Campbell:
WordPress 10th Anniversary Blogging Project
May 02, 2013 @ 10:22:48

Dougal Campbell has a new post to his site with his own contribution to the "WordPress 10th Anniversary Blogging Project" - a remembrance of his history with the tool and where/when he first started using it.

The official 10th anniversary of the release of WordPress is May 27, 2013. It has been an amazing 10 years, during which WordPress evolved from a simple blogware to a very full-featured CMS (Content Management System), used to power some of the biggest and most popular web sites on the internet. All over the world, people are planning celebrations. As much as I like a good party, I thought this would also be a good time to celebrate WordPress by actually using WordPress - for blogging.

He talks some about when he got started with WordPress (2003) and what's happened since. He suggests that others follow suit and use the "#wp10" hashtag on Twitter to share their own posts.

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wordpress tenth anniversary blog project history

Link: http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2013/05/01/wordpress-10th-anniversary-blogging-project

Systems Architect Blog:
Apache2 vs Nginx for PHP application
March 29, 2013 @ 10:41:38

On the Systems Architect blog there's a recent post from Lukasz Kujawa about comparing Apache2 and Nginx for PHP applications, specifically when using the PHP-FPM module. His tests are based on the results from three different application types - a large Zend Framework 1 app, a small PHP script and a WordPress installation.

If you've ever been trying to squeeze more out of hardware you must have come across Nginx (engine x). Nginx usually appears in context of PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) and APC (Alternative PHP Cache). This setup is often pitched to be the ultimate combo for a web server but what that really means? How much faster a PHP application is going to be on a different web server? I had to check it and the answer as often is - that depends.

He ran the tests on an Amazone EC2 instance and optimized the server to ensure that there was a little interference as possible. The used the Zend Optimizer Plus opcode cache and PHP 5.4 and set the logs to go to memory instead of disk. Graphs included in the post show the results of the benchmarking of each application, with the differences (in most cases) not being that wide of a gap.

There isn't big difference between Apache2 and Nginx in PHP context. Yes, Nginx can be much faster when delivering static content but it won't speed up PHP execution. Running a PHP script seams to be so CPU challenging task that it completely eclipse any gain from a web server.
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apache2 nginx performance benchmark zendframework1 wordpress native



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