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Best Practices for WordPress


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Best practices for WordPress when building/maintaining high traffic websites.

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Best Practices for WordPress

  1. 1. Best Practices for WordPress
  2. 2. Who Am I? • My name is Taylor Lovett • Director of Web Engineering at 10up • WordPress plugin creator and core contributor • Open source community member @tlovett12
  3. 3. 10up is hiring! @tlovett12
  4. 4.
  5. 5. C A C H I N G
  6. 6. Redis as a Persistent Object Cache • WP lets you drop in a custom object cache. • Redis lets you store things in memory for fast read/writes • Redis offers built in failover features that make it easier to scale than Memcached
  7. 7. Page Caching • Page caching is the act of caching entire rendered HTML pages. • Pages can be stored in the object cache avoiding database queries entirely
  8. 8. Fragment Caching • All output involving a database read on the front end should be fragment cached aside from the main WP query. • For example, generated HTML from a feature post carousel should be cached since it uses a WP_Query
  9. 9. Remote Calls • Remote blocking calls can be a huge performance bottleneck • Cache remote calls as long as possible • Utilize non-blocking remote requests wherever possible
  10. 10. Prime Cache Asynchronously • Don’t make the user wait for a cache to be primed. • Re-prime after invalidation • Cleverly prime cached data asynchronously (cron, non-blocking AJAX, etc.)
  11. 11. admin-ajax.php • Admin-ajax.php is for admin use only. It is not cached as aggressively as the front end. Page caching will not work.
  12. 12. Off the Shelf Caching Plugins • Can be difficult to install and even more difficult to remove. • Created for the general public and often bloated with features. • Keep it simple.
  13. 13. D ATA B A S E R E A D S A N D W R I T E S
  14. 14. Avoid Front End Writes • Database writes are slow • Avoid race conditions • Page caching makes them unreliable. • If you really need to write data on the front end, use AJAX.
  15. 15. Understand WP_Query Parameters • 'no_found_rows' => true: Tells WordPress not to pass SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS to the database query. • 'update_post_meta_cache' => false: useful when post meta will not be utilized. • 'update_post_term_cache' => false: useful when taxonomy terms will not be utilized. • 'fields' => 'ids': useful when only the post IDs are needed (less typical). Avoids lots of extra preparation.
  16. 16. Understand WP Query Parameters • ‘posts_per_page’ => ‘…’: Sets the query limit to something other than -1 • ‘post__not_in’: Tells MySQL to run a NOT IN query which is inherently slow. Try to avoid.
  17. 17. Understand WP Query Parameters new WP_Query( array( 'no_found_rows' => true, 'fields' => 'ids', 'update_post_meta_cache' => false, 'update_post_term_cache' => false, 'posts_per_page' => 100, ) );
  18. 18. Autoloading Options • update_option() and add_option() take a 3rd parameter $autoload. • If you don’t need an option on every request, specify false for $autoload.
  19. 19. S E A R C H
  20. 20. Elasticsearch/ElasticPress • If you receive a lot of search traffic, use Elasticsearch and ElasticPress. • Search queries can be very taxing on MySQL
  21. 21. B R O W S E R P E R F O R M A N C E
  22. 22. Use a CDN • CDN’s enable you to serve static assets from servers closer to your visitors while reducing load on your web server(s). • CDN recommendation is very unique to each project.
  23. 23. Reduce the Number and Size of HTTP Requests • Minify JS and CSS files • Concatenate JS and CSS files • Optimize images • HTTP 2?
  24. 24. M A I N TA I N A B I L I T Y A N D S TA B I L I T Y
  25. 25. Maintainable Code Improves Stability • Easily maintainable and extendible code bases are less susceptible to bugs. • Bugs in maintainable code are solved quicker • New features are more easily created in maintainable code. • Happy engineers are more productive (often overlooked).
  26. 26. Modern PHP Design Patterns • WordPress core is backwards compatible with PHP 5.2.4. • Your project does not need to be constrained by incredibly outdated software • Namespaces, traits, composer, etc.
  27. 27. Don’t Obsess Over MVC PHP • MVC (model, view, and controller) is a great pattern in many situations. • WordPress is inherently not object oriented. We find that forcing MVC with tools like Twig ultimately leads to more confusing code that is harder to maintain.
  28. 28. Modern JS Design Patterns • CommonJS • ES6-7 • Write modular code with tools like Webpack and Browserify • React
  29. 29. Feature Plugins • Group distinct pieces of functionality into plugins as much as possible. • This separation simplifies deployments and enables you to reuse functionality on other projects. • Opt-in to functionality through usage of hooks
  30. 30. Documentation • Properly documented code is more quickly fixed and iterated upon • Make documentation a part of your code review process • PHP Documentation Standards: practices/inline-documentation-standards/php/ • JS Documentation Standards: practices/inline-documentation-standards/javascript/

  31. 31. Wrapping Wrappers • WordPress has a very rich, easy to use API with ways to create posts, send HTTP requests, create metaboxes, etc. • Creating wrappers around these core APIs more often than not just results in a layer of confusing code and another library to memorize.
  32. 32. Write Tests • PHPUnit for PHP • Core unit testing framework and WP Mock - • Mocha for JavaScript • Tests improve quality and stability through identification of issues. Decrease regression
  33. 33. S E C U R I T Y
  34. 34. Clean Input • Validate/sanitize data being inserted into the database to strip anything harmful.
  35. 35. Clean Input if ( ! empty( $_POST['option'] ) ) {
 update_post_meta( $post_id, 'option_key', true ); } else { delete_post_meta( $post_id, 'option_key' ); } update_post_meta( $post_id, 'key_name', sanitize_text_field( $_POST['description'] ) );
  36. 36. Secure Output • Escape data that is printed to the screen • Escape data as late as possible • Check out the esc_* functions in the codex.
  37. 37. Secure Output <section> <?php echo esc_html( get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'key_name', true ) ); ?> </section> <section class="<?php echo esc_attr( get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'key_name', true ) ); ?>"> ... </section>
  38. 38. innerHTML and jQuery Selectors • Don’t insert arbitrary data into innerHTML or jQuery selectors.
  39. 39. innerHTML and jQuery Selectors document.getElementsByClassName( 'class-name' ) [0].innerText = textString; var node = document.createElement( 'div' ); node.innerText = textString; document.getElementsByClassName( 'class-name' ) [0].appendChild( node ); jQuery( '.class-name-' + parseInt( index ) );
  40. 40. Nonces • Ensure intent of important actions (database modifications) by associating them with a nonce • wp_create_nonce(), wp_verify_nonce(), wp_nonce_field()
  41. 41. Nonces <form> <?php wp_nonce_field( 'prefix-form-action', 'nonce_field' ); ?> ... </form> if ( empty( $_POST['nonce_field'] || wp_verify_nonce( $_POST['nonce_field'], 'prefix- form-action' ) { return false; }
  42. 42. Limit Login Attempts • Limit max number of login attempts to prevent password guessing.
  43. 43. Require Strong Passwords • Weak passwords are one of the most common ways attackers exploit websites. • Require your users create strong passwords. There are a few great plugins that do this automatically.
  44. 44. T H I R D PA RT Y C O D E
  45. 45. Review Every Line of Code Over 40,000 community plugins • Plugins reviewed before submission • Plugin revisions not reviewed • Review guidelines not geared for high traffic
  46. 46. Review Every Line of Code Thousands of community themes • More stringent review guidelines than plugins • Review guidelines not geared for high traffic • Performance not measured
  47. 47. Understand Your Librarys • jQuery, Underscores, etc. are helpful tools but should not be used blindly. There is no substitute for a solid understand of JavaScript. • Encouraging engineers to understand the libraries they are using will improve overall code quality and decrease bugs.
  48. 48. T E A M S
  49. 49. Workflows • Keeping track of code history with version control is critical. • Mandate workflow at the start of project to keep everyone on the same page. • Use descriptive commit messages • Gitflow: branching-model/
  50. 50. Internal Code Reviews • Code reviews help ensure performance, security, maintainability, and scalability • Engineers improve skills by reviewing and receiving reviews.
  51. 51. Q U E S T I O N S ? @ T L O V E T T 1 2 TAY L O R . L O V E T T @ 1 0 U P. C O M TAY L O R L O V E T T. C O M