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Updates, redesign and launch of WPO Premium

In the last few months, our dev team has grown to 11 coders and we’ve been working solidly behind the scenes, adding a whole host of new features to make our products better and to make you, our lovely customers, happier.   

UpdraftCentral Makeover

We’ve been dramatically renovating UpdraftCentral with three major improvements coming soon!

  • Tags, which makes your remotely-managed websites easier to organize, categorize and thus locate when you need them; and
  • Analytics, which allows you to run useful analytics on your website data, giving you an instant overview of their KPIs.
  • The design is undergoing a major overhaul so that it’s even sleeker, smarter and more intuitive.

UpdraftCentral is now easier than ever to setup from UpdraftPlus settings with the new wizard.  So if you haven’t tried it yet and have a few sites you manage, try it today!

UpdraftPlus Backups to Multiple Accounts

In response to your feedback, we’re currently working on allowing you to upload your UpdraftPlus backups to multiple cloud accounts at the same time.

At present, you can back up to multiple different platforms at once (for example, GoogleDrive and Dropbox) but very soon, you’ll also be able to back up to multiple accounts within those platforms too (for example, two accounts within GoogleDrive or Dropbox).

WP-Optimize Premium

We can barely believe that it’s been almost a year since we acquired WP-Optimize! On the anniversary of the takeover, we’ll be launching our best-ever Premium version of the plugin. This will give you all kinds of extra benefits such as:  

  • Multisite support
  • Remove unwanted images
  • Sophisticated scheduling & logging systems
  • Optimize individual tables

Watch this space!

Keyy’s Milestone

We’re proud to announce that this login plugin has now exceeded the 1000+ website milestone.

Since we launched it in the summer, we’ve been working hard to ensure that this savvy little beast is truly working at its full potential and we’re pleased with how successfully it makes logins both incredibly secure and almost unbelievably quick and easy.

A glance through the latest WP ratings shows that our customers feel the same way. One review wishes he “could use keyy to login to everything online!”.  Another describes it as “a solid replacement to Clef, stable, no issues, secure, and made by a great team.”

Thank you again for choosing UpdraftPlus to back you up!


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3 Rock Solid Ways to Boost Your WordPress Blog Performance

You’ve created a wonderfully designed WordPress page. But as good as it may look and feel, if it’s sluggish and takes too long to load, you can kiss your conversions goodbye and say hello to higher bounce rates.

In a world where the average consumer is busier, savvier, more demanding and less patient than ever, site performance really matters – a lot. According to Google research, more than half of all mobile site visits are abandoned if a page takes more than just three seconds to load:

Image source: DoubleClick by Google, “The need for mobile speed” report

Faster pages, on the other hand, see better conversion rates, longer engagement and generate more revenue for their owners:

Image source: DoubleClick by Google, “The need for mobile speed” report

Every element of your website takes up space and memory, all of which increase your upload time and decrease your page speed. The more memory you use, the more sluggish your website is likely to be.

For WordPress site owners in particular, this represents a real challenge.  WordPress sites are built on a basic shell, which is modified by choosing a layout template and then adding in various plugins. Each extra element means extra database queries and additional HTTP requests, every one of which slows down your page speed and diminishes a website’s performance.

Most of us might not even notice these tiny, incremental decreases in speed when we view our own websites, but even fractions of a second can add up, especially for mobile viewers. And considering that just one second can make the difference between an engagement and a bounce, improving the page speed is critical.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to reduce database space and speed up the loading time of your WP site, none of which require technical knowledge or coding skills.

We’ve come up with three ways to improve your WordPress blog’s performance speed and optimize its performance without compromising on design:

Remove Unnecessary Assets

When building a WordPress site, you’ll invariably end up with things you thought you might use, but later discover that you don’t really need; like that picture you had to add three times to get the sizing right, or that extra template you loaded but then changed your mind about. All of these extras can add up, so it’s important to do a bit of cleaning up:

  1. Start by going through your media library with a fine-tooth comb, removing any image files, videos, audio clips or other media files that you no longer need. If you have a huge library to go through, consider using a media cleaner plugin to make the job quick and easy.

Image source: Theme Fusion

  1. Remove any unused plugins. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to reduce the size of your database and speed up your site performance, according to Jenni MicKinnon at WPMUdev. Rather than just deactivating them (which basically turns them off but leaves them in the database), it’s worth going through and deleting them properly:

Image source: WPMUdev

  1. Next, remove any unused templates. If, like most people, you built your own WordPress site, you probably tried a few (or many) different templates before settling on your final design. And all of those templates remain in your site’s database, hogging space and slowing things down. Get rid of them by clicking on Appearance > Themes then click on Theme Details for the theme(s) you want to remove. Then click on Delete in the bottom right corner.

One word of warning though – be careful not to delete the default WordPress theme, Twenty Fourteen:

Image source: Connected Systems

“The reason is,” explains Rich Plakas from Connected Systems, “if one of the other 3rd party themes gets corrupted, either from a bad update or from you modifying theme files, you will experience the ‘WordPress White Screen of Death.’ Leaving the default theme gives you an easy way to get the site running again.”

  1. Finally, delete all unnecessary HTML and extra code. If you have a pretty good understanding of how site coding works, there are a number of plugins you can use to clean up your code. But as Joe Foley of WPMUdev warns, “only those who know what they’re doing with HTML should use these plugins. Otherwise you may permanently change things you didn’t want to change.”

Keep your WordPress blog Updated … and Secure

Updating may seem like a small thing, but it’s one of the most overlooked elements of site performance on any WordPress site. Like a smartphone, it requires these regular updates to ensure its operating system and applications stay up-to-speed and offer the latest features.

WordPress automatically pushes out updates on a regular basis. Each update provides new features and mends underlying security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too; check in on your Dashboard frequently, and be sure to update whenever prompted. Failure to do so may make your website slow, unreliable and vulnerable to security breaches.

Image source: Theme Fuse

Keep in mind that WordPress is notoriously vulnerable to security problems. Relying on the WordPress updates alone are not really enough to keep you protected in the event of a crash, hack or other system melt-down.

To give you an idea of how big a problem this really is, check out WPScan’s vulnerability database, which lists real-time reports of current vulnerabilities in the WordPress core code, plugins and themes. As you can see from the 9,000+ vulnerabilities in the screenshot below, an unprotected site is at constant risk:

Image source: WPScan screenshot, taken September 27, 2017

With that kind of risk exposure, many experts recommend using a WordPress backup plugin that can protect you from hackers, server crashes, bad plugins, and even user errors. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to easily restore your site to full working order.

Adopt a CDN

When optimizing for speed, it’s important to consider the distance your potential viewers are from your server. If you have a global audience with visitors coming from anywhere in the world, you’ll probably want to install a Content Delivery Network or CDN.

“Basically, it’s a bunch of highly optimized servers all across the world, with a bit of unique logic worked into them: you’ll always hit the server that’s closest to you,” explains Joost de Valk , the founder of Yoast and a go-to source for site optimization and SEO. “This leads to huge performance improvements for sites that have visitors from all across the world.”

Basically, CDNs are used to prevent the issue of latency, which is an irritating delay that happens from the point when you request to load a web page to the point where the content appears onscreen. Latency, as you may have guessed, slows site loading speed down and has an adverse impact on site performance.

Image source: WP Beginner

Installing a CDN on your WordPress site will help to ensure that it continues to perform well and load quickly, keeping visitors happy, wherever they happen to be. You can find CDN plugins on; or, check with your hosting provider. Many of them provide CDNs at no or minimal costs.

Good site performance begins with cleaning out your assets, keeping your software updated, and using a good CDN for fast delivery. Once you get these basics down, you will be on your way to maintaining a high quality user experience and building a long-lasting relationship with your audience.

Finally, one of the quickest and easiest ways to maintain a website that runs at optimum efficiency is to download WP-Optimize, a plugin that automates the otherwise technical and time-consuming task of cleaning up your WordPress database by removing old revisions, spam and trash. It’s designed with a load of useful features such as automatic weekly cleanups, the retention of a certain number of weeks of old data, database table stats to show how much space can be cleared, the enabling/ disabling of trackbacks and comments for published posts, and restricted access for Administrators only. Owned and run by UpdraftPlus, this plugin has a solid half-a-million strong user base, and a host of new Premium features in the pipeline.

Article written by Dvora Goldstein, professional blogger and content marketer.


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Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers

By Cathy Tibbles
– Guest post –

Have you ever looked at the cobwebs building up in a dark corner somewhere and wondered where, on earth, they came from? And don’t tell me it’s a spider, because you can’t see a spider!  But you know it was there cause the proof is in the gifts left behind!

Every so often, a blogger will come to us, with a sneaking suspicion that something’s wrong with the site: things are slower than before, there are notices in the dashboard, other people talk about things they’re not familiar with, like SSL and caching. There is no malware, there are no ‘spiders’ per se, but things just don’t work like they should.

Friends, I have your maintenance checklists today – just for you – the blogger. And you’ll be happy to learn its far easier than your real life cob-web cleaning checklist.

Let’s start with the seasonal checklist – if this stuff is kept up to date, you won’t have a problem going forward.

Seasonal Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers:

I recommend you do this 3-4 times per year.

check backups, make one extra just before going through the list
check antivirus software on all computers with access to your dashboard
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
change admin passwords
delete all administrators that don’t need access
check caching is installed and configured if necessary
check SEO plugin & settings
run virus scan using
 run speed check with
Google Analytics:
working properly
Google Search Console:
check messages and/or errors
check sitemap is submitted & error free
Host Company:
check your current account storage against the amount in your package
check the error logs
get a mani – pedi

Monthly Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers:

create extra backup before proceeding
download backup to your hard drive
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
check database optimization plugin is working correctly (we recommend WP Optimize)
check image optimization plugin is working correctly (we recommend short pixel)
check for broken links in Google Search Console – crawl tab & fix them
check for spam and delete
test contact form
get a latte

Weekly Maintenance:

if upgrades needed, then check backup is working
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
check Google Analytics to make sure referrals are still coming from Social Media (nothing’s wrong)
check Google Analytics to be sure you catch a spike in any SEO performance and capitalize on it
check that any scheduled posts went out
answer any comments
have a cupcake

Daily Maintenance (or on Publish days):

check the last backup did not have errors
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress if necessary
check that all images have alt tags & titles
check for no-follow tags if you are compensated for links
pour yourself a glass of wine

I know this seems like a lot – but save yourself the money and headache that goes into troubleshooting an issue that could have been prevented!  These checklists are only laborious the first couple of times, after that you’ll get a feel for the areas that you need to check, and when. As long as the site is backed up and upgraded, you really can’t go wrong!

If you have any questions, or want someone to run through the Seasonal list for you, feel free to contact the friendly girlfriends at WP Barista!

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WP-Optimize passes 600k installs, announces new features

Our team confirmed today that WP-Optimize has passed the 600k install milestone.  This is the first major milestone since UpdraftPlus acquired the plugin from Ruhani Rabin at the end of 2016.

We’ve already released a lot of internal improvements and bug fixes in the last few months.  We’ve also been busy preparing a number of new Premium features, such as multisite support, the ability to optimise individual tables as well as InnoDB – these should be released in the coming weeks.

In the long term, we’re looking at optimising images and all aspects of a website – not just the database.

We’re thoroughly enjoying the challenge and a big thank you to all our users!

If you’re an UpdraftPlus customer who’s not yet using WP-Optimize – please do download and check it out today.  It’s a great piece of software: 


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UpdraftPlus confirms it has acquired WP-Optimize

UpdraftPlus, the world’s most popular backup plugin, has today confirmed it has acquired WP-Optimize, a plugin for cleaning up WordPress databases.

The takeover will bring together a user base of well over 1 million WordPress sites, making it one of the largest WordPress companies in Europe, something that excites both David Anderson, founder and lead developer of UpdraftPlus, and Ruhani Rabin who created WP-Optimize.

The acquisition underlines UpdraftPlus’s strategy to build an ecosystem of backend plugins that can be managed by their remote control product called UpdraftCentral to rival ManageWP, WPRemote and Calypso.

WP-Optimize is a popular and highly-rated free plugin that runs automatic clean-ups on WordPress databases so that they run at maximum efficiency without the need for manual requests.

It was founded 8 years ago out of Rabin’s desire to simplify the process of WordPress optimization. From experience, he understood the importance of removing redundant data in order to keep databases clean and efficient. He also found this process tedious, time-consuming and technical, and so he developed a plugin that would make things simple, quick and automated. And so WP-Optimize was born.

Although initially developed for personal use, Rabin quickly recognised its wider potential and made WP-Optimize available as a free download: “It ended up being a much bigger project that I imagined; when I connected with other people, I was suddenly opened up to a world of new challenges. I was encouraged to constantly improve the software’s functionality and compatibility, as well as the support information available.”

WP-Optimize worked well; users rated it highly, and its popularity spread. Today, it’s used on over half a million websites, something Rabin finds “inspiring, thrilling and at the same time, terrifying.” Rabin felt a huge responsibility not just to maintain the plugin and deliver a high level of support, but also to keep up the creative innovation. It was too much for just one man, and a lack of time and resources meant Rabin was unable to carry out his many ambitions for WP-Optimize’s expansion.

David Anderson was once in the same position. UpdraftPlus’ popularity took him by surprise, and he built a team around him out of the realisation that it would require more than ‘curiosity and a hobbyist’s obsession’ to drive the plugin forward.  Since then it has become the most installed British WordPress plugin.  He feels this same team could also benefit WP-Optimize, speeding up its pace of development and giving it a ‘new breathe of life’.

UpdraftPlus wasn’t the first to show interest in acquisition; over the years, Rabin had received offers from various companies and individuals. However, selling to them didn’t feel right: “For me, WP-Optimize’s legacy was of prime importance. I didn’t set it up to make money, but to help out as many people as possible.” With UpdraftPlus, Rabin felt differently. He had known UpdraftPlus from the beginning, and he admired and the fact that, “even though they are business-driven, they still have a great freemium ecosystem.”

UpdraftPlus had just what Rabin was looking for: “a group of people who were enthusiastic and driven to take on this product and evolve it to the next level.” Rabin trusted that WP-Optimize would be a perfect fit within the Updraft Plus family of products.

From Anderson’s perspective, acquiring this ‘solid back-end plugin’ makes perfect sense, as it gives UpdraftPlus users an easy, trusted option for optimization, which is as vital as backing up. Anderson says, “Although we see a lot of revolution on the outside, the WordPress core has been stable for a long time, and as such, there will always be a need for database optimization in order for sites to run efficiently.”

UpdraftPlus has just released a new version of WP-Optimize, which has already had ‘a complete re-factoring of the plugin’s internals, to lay a solid foundation for future improvements.’ Although it looks the same outwardly, it’s been modernised and solidified, although this is only the beginning. Anderson is excited by the opportunities to further develop WPO so that it makes websites ‘even leaner and faster’. In addition, he wants to add full multisite support, a premium version with additional features, and the capacity for users to control it remotely through UpdraftCentral. Rabin will remain involved, taking on an advisory role in this development.

The UpdraftPlus team is thrilled to have WP-Optimize on board- and it doesn’t rule out further acquisitions in the future. Anderson says, “we have a great and growing team, a lot of experience in the internals of WordPress and also a lot of users who trust and depend on us. There’s plenty of opportunity for us to expand.”


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