Top 10 PHP CMS Platforms For Developers in 2020

Choosing the best PHP CMS for the job could be the most important stage of web development. Here are some of the most popular platforms on the market at the moment. What you require from your apps will largely be the determiner of which PHP CMS you end up settling on because some are more suited to creating a simple dynamic website while others are inherently better at being the building blocks for an eCommerce store that’s packed with functionality for thousands of items. It’s not every developer that wants to write HTML and CSS to create web pages anymore. More and more would prefer to have much of the legwork done for them because time is money! If you’re one of those that want to get things done faster then you need to choose the right tool for the job, and luckily there are many different PHP-based content management systems available choose from. Here are TOP 10:

These CMS platforms make traditional development work a lot less of a chore for the developer. Dynamic web sites can swell up to include thousands of pages, and when they do it’s much easier to manage the process with the best PHP CMS platform as it can streamline development work in clever ways.

WordPress

WordPress has risen to become one of the best known and most widely used open-source PHP CMSs. It can accommodate lots of apps and is flexible enough to handle a wide range of different user scenarios. It’s as good at providing the foundation for a basic blog as it is a large e-commerce store, and you only have to look to the 75 million currently active websites that rely on it for confirmation of how universally popular it is.

Since WordPress is an open-source platform, it’s benefited from the ongoing attention of thousands of developers. This is one of the biggest reasons for its rapid evolution and why it’s turned into the preferred choice of many web app developers. It offers the widest selection of additional widgets, themes, and plug-ins, and it can be readily tailored and turned to almost any end.

It also ships with a suite of integrated SEO tools to optimize search engine visibility, and that’s one of the reasons why developers rate it so very highly.

Details

  • WordPress accounts for 76.4% of the CMS market
  • It supports over 68 languages
  • Plug-ins have been downloaded 1.48 billion times
  • WordPress powers many government websites around the world

Pros

Cons

  • Themes and plugins can require annoyingly frequent updates
  • Open source can mean ‘more open to hackers’
  • Customization requires a deep level of understanding

Joomla

Joomla is another one of the best PHP CMS platforms and it’s garnered a reputation for being good for portfolio and blogging websites. It may sit somewhat in the shadow of WordPress, but it still comes with enough high-quality features to create effective blogs and dynamic websites. It meshes well with a few versions of SQL, which means database integration should not be a problem.

This PHP CMS can integrate the site with its hosting provider in just one click and makes the creation of responsive websites a breeze. Its multitude of available designs and extensions make it easy to add extra features to any web apps that you may be designing. As one of the best PHP CMS platforms, Joomla has proved to be popular among big names that include eBay, Barnes & Noble, IKEA, and many others.

Details

  • 6% of all websites rely on Joomla
  • 2 million sites and counting
  • One of the top three CMSs which offer free plug-ins and themes
  • Supports over 64 languages

Pros

Cons

  • Not as SEO enabled as some PHP CMSs
  • Difficult for non-developers to add custom designs
  • Not many modules for sale
  • Some plug-ins not completely compatible without modification

Drupal

Drupal is one of the best PHP CMS platforms on the market. It’s open-source and well-suited to eCommerce stores, beginning its life initially as a message board but then evolving into one of the most popular PHP based content management systems. Drupal makes it easy for developers to build enhanced online stores thanks to its rich feature set. It’s ideal for developing modern apps which is one of the reasons why many developers are drawn to it.

While WordPress functionality can be extended further with plugins, Drupal refers to its add-ons as modules, although it already comes with many features and options. Top companies like NBC, Harvard University, Tesla, Princess Cruises, and MTV UK rely on Drupal for their web operations. It also benefits from active community support.

Details

  • Drupal has around a million users
  • It’s available in over 90 languages
  • Many American government websites are Drupal-powered
  • Acquia spent half a million dollars to accelerate the migration of Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8
  • Drupal powers around 1 million websites

Pros

  • The platform can be greatly expanded upon
  • Frequent patches and updates enhance platform security
  • Drupal is well-suited to eCommerce
  • Best PHP CMS for websites with lots of traffic

Cons

  • Hard to understand for non-developers
  • Not well suited to blogs or other publications
  • Installing custom modules is not easy

OctoberCMS

OctoberCMS is a free, open-source PHP CMS that a great many company websites have been built on. The CMS is flexible, simple, and ready to deliver retina-ready websites and apps.

OctoberCMS is a self-hosted open-source PHP CMS and you can install it on your hosting service if you want to. It integrates well with third-party apps and features more than 700+ plugins and themes. It has a large and supportive community.

Details

  • Own community
  • Ecosystem of plugins & themes
  • Based on Laravel framework

Pros

  • Open source and free
  • Versatile and extendable
  • Many and varied themes and plugins

Cons

  • Requires developer input to customize
  • Fewer users than WordPress

Opencart

Opencart is another of the PHP based content management systems that are ideally suited to the creation of eCommerce websites. It’s open-source so PHP developers can easily add their own updates, and for users, it’s not hard to get to grips with thanks to its intuitive UI. The platform caters to a great many languages and offers unlimited product categories for the biggest inventories out there. Opencart is a well-featured PHP CMS that gives plenty of scope to developers while keen to create comprehensively featured online stores.

Details

  • Opencart allows more than 20 ways to pay
  • 12k+ extensions on offer
  • Powers 790k+ websites
  • 95k+ forum members

Pros

  • Easy to set up and get started
  • Free themes in abundance
  • Thousands of available modules and extensions
  • Makes it easy to set up sites in different managers

Cons

  • Some technical knowledge needed for customization
  • Not very SEO-friendly
  • Bogs down when web traffic spikes
  • No event system so users can’t set up tasks from within modules

ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine is one of the best PHP based content management systems for sites that need to handle large amounts of content. It is an excellent PHP based CMS with an architecture that can be modified with custom scripts to introduce additional functions.

Any newly added content becomes visible to the customer straight away. ExpressionEngine is versatile enough that when it creates pages, it does so by pulling content from the database and then formatting it so that every user gets the best available view for their device. This dynamic approach to content generation makes it very flexible.

Pros

  • Custom edit forms are available. You can navigate and fill them out easily
  • HTML agnostic template system
  • Preview window the cheque work before saving changes
  • Integrated SEO for content
  • Excellent security

Cons

  • Some content boxes in certain templates don’t expand, making navigation and editing difficult
  • Poor developer network support
  • Fewer 3rd party add-ons and plugins

PyroCMS

PyroCMS is one of the best PHP CMSs and it’s powered by the Laravel framework. Popularity has been growing thanks to its intuitive backend design and lightweight modular architecture. Was designed to be simple, flexible, easy to learn, and easy to understand. PyroCMS’s modular design gives developers plenty of scope to bring together the right components to suit any given project.

Pros

  • Versatile PHP CMS can be adapted to any project
  • Readily accommodates third-party APIs and apps
  • Easy to install and learn

Magento

Magento was designed with eCommerce applications in mind, and it’s now the preferred platform for building innovative online stores. Brands such as Ford, Nike, Foxconnect, and many others rely on Magento’s extremely capable eCommerce features to power their sites. The major advantage of using Magento is that it’s tailor-made for designing rich and varied online shopping experiences for customers.

Another part of Magento’s appeal is its great emphasis on security. It uses hashing algorithms for maximum security password management and has additional defenses to defend apps from attackers. Also, Magento benefits from an active developer community which frequently contributes with numerous updates and patches. With Magento 2 the platform has benefited from a variety of enhancements to further strengthen its position as one of the best PHP-based content management systems for online retail.

Pros

  • The platform is feature-rich enough to power modern eCommerce stores
  • Magento is very accessible
  • The community regularly develops plug-ins and extensions
  • The platform is very scalable and can accommodate big apps

Cons

  • The premium and enterprise versions are pricey
  • Slightly slower to load than other platforms
  • Only works with dedicated hosting
  • Product support is quite pricey

Craft CMS

Craft is one of the more recent PHP-based content management systems but its low user account shouldn’t put you off though because it’s tailored towards pleasing developers. If you’re a user that may be a point against it, but from a developer’s point of view it’s easy to work with.

Craft gives users the scope to create their own front ends, or at least it does in principle because doing so requires a knowledge of HTML and CSS. Despite that, it offers a clean backend, so it’s relatively easy for content editors to easily find their desired features and publish content frequently.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Commercial features
  • Developer-centric
  • Highly functional
  • Performs well
  • Effective security

Cons

  • Pricey
  • More for advanced users
  • Not so many plugins
  • Not open source

TYPO3

TYPO3 is one of the best PHP CMS platforms available. It works on various operating systems including Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, and OS/2. It’s best suited to powering the portals and eCommerce platforms of large companies and it’s supported by a sizeable community for ongoing support and discussion.

Content and code are handled separately which makes TYPO3 a very flexible proposition for users. With support for over 50 languages and integrated localization built-in, it will fit in with users no matter where they may be in the world. Installation can be completed in just a few steps.

Pros

  • Sizeable community
  • Flexible with lots of functions
  • Enterprise-level

Cons

  • Hard to configure
  • Entry-level training is hard to find

Next Level Ops Podcast: Solving the Most Common WordPress Problems with Lucas Radke

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the eighth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe and Product Wizard Lucas Radke talk about common WordPress problems and what hosting providers and users can do about them.

In This Episode: Noisy Neighbors, Fixing WordPress Problems, and What Hosting Providers Can Do

What are the most common WordPress problems for hosting providers? In what domains do common WordPress problems fall for most users? How much does WordPress itself mitigate these problems and what can hosting providers and users do? In this episode, Joe and Lucas discuss the three main areas under which WordPress problems usually fall — performance, updates, and security. You can have noisy neighbors when an environment is shared by too many users, impacting your website’s performance. 

Frequent updates are also often a pain point as non-updated plugins and themes can lead to security issues. Hosting providers should ideally provide solutions for this, otherwise it can lead to backdoors that compromise websites. For instance, tools such as Smart Updates for Plesk WordPress Toolkit analyzes WordPress updates and identifies and performs changes without breaking the production site. It also notifies users of any potentially critical updates. 

It’s essential for users to be proactive about potential issues from their side, especially non-savvy tech users. What can users do to ensure that they are taking the right precautions? The first thing is to make sure that they use a trusted web hoster who provides them with a secure hosting environment. Recently, WordPress has also had an increasing emphasis on security and recommends some basic security protections. For example, to make sure that access is limited, keeping backups, regular updates, and installing plugins and themes from trusted sources. For WordPress, security is about risk reduction.

“The great and terrible thing about WordPress is the amount of freedom you have. The freedom to set up whatever website you want considerably cheaply. But also the freedom to cause problems for either yourself, your client or your hosting provider,” says Joe, “Because if you’re on a shared host and your website is compromised, then it’s possible that other websites are compromised as well.”

Key Takeaways

  • What are some of the actions hosting providers can take to fix common WordPress issues? Hosting providers are responsible for how well the site performs. Users may expect high performance without paying the price for it. Many users install plugins to help with the performance or security of their website. The hosting provider has to make sure that plugins are updated and to make sure that there are no open doors for hackers. It’s also essential that hosting providers have a properly trained support team, specialized in solving WordPress issues.
  • What can users do to minimize some frequent WordPress problems? Being proactive is very important for users. Along with being informed about what’s happening in the community from a security perspective. Which plugins are having potential issues? What are some of the security issues coming up in the WordPress community? Trying to get the information that helps users reduce security risks should be a priority, especially for non-tech savvy users.
  • To what extent does WordPress mitigate these problems? WordPress has had a recently increased security focus. It’s forcing stronger passwords; it’s verifying email addresses; it has a site Health Checker and Troubleshooter performing checks on users’ WordPress installations; and other criteria for running WordPress sites securely.
  • Which plugins can mitigate some of the issues? iThemes Security is a useful plugin. Smart Updates for Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit has some cool features. WordPress Toolkit checks for updates for plugins, themes, and core. It can automatically perform updates if you choose to do so. Smart Updates makes sure that the proper changes are identified and implemented without breaking the live site.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more about WordPress hosting, check out this Next Level Ops episode. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Lucas Radke

Lucas is a Product Manager at Plesk.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Discovering the Plesk WordPress Toolkit: Behind the Scenes

It goes without saying that WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world today. In fact, 37,8% of all websites use WordPress as a CMS. And considering that in 2020 there are over 1.7 billion active websites globally, almost 40% is quite an impressive figure (right?) That said, it’s no wonder why WordPress also dominates application installations in Plesk, such as our beloved WordPress Toolkit.

Additionally, this month we’re celebrating Plesk WordPress Toolkit has reached more than 1,600,000 WordPress websites throughout all Plesk versions and platforms. And we’re proud to say that for us, this milestone is huge. But, of course, this doesn’t end here. We’re looking forward to increasing this number and continuing its development by addressing our users’ needs. So, if these numbers have stumped you, read the rest of the article for more interesting facts.

Biggest WordPress Toolkit Feature Releases in 2020

Plesk WordPress Toolkit is one of our most treasured products. It might be because its all-in-one solution handles all WordPress installations from one single dashboard. And because it simplifies your daily workload and makes your life as a WordPress user much easier. While making sure your site is updated and protected against cyber threats. We understand – we love it too!

Whereas other abnormalities are still striking in 2020, our super team behind the WordPress Toolkit strives to deliver an enhanced product on every release. Let’s remember the major updates since the beginning of this year:

Developing WordPress Toolkit for cPanel

Whilst 2019 releases were mainly focused on radical improvements to our premium Smart Updates, 2020 has been the year for developing WordPress Toolkit for cPanel. In fact, we had a very good start with this ambitious project. And by the 4.8 release, we had made WordPress Toolkit on cPanel almost feature complete. Nonetheless, we still need to be patient before WordPress Toolkit for cPanel is available for the public. But we can assure you that the finish line is closer every day.

CLI for Smart Updates

After adding CLI for existing features such as cloning and data copy early this year – find out more here, the time for Smart Updates arrived. In WordPress Toolkit 4.8 we added the first part of Smart Updates CLI, allowing hosters to enable and disable Smart Updates on a site.

Website URL Update

One of the frequent cases our partners encounter is the migration of websites to their servers by customers. WordPress stores the website URL in its database – and sometimes, in the configuration file. Therefore, such migrations require some manual tinkering to make the website work as usual. To help users, we added the ability to perform this action with a couple of clicks straight from the WordPress Toolkit user interface. This feature is called “Update Site URL.”

Disable wp-cron.php Execution

To facilitate the ability to disable wp-cron.php, we added a one-click switch on each website’s card. Turning the switch on will automatically create a scheduled task that runs wp-cron.php every 30 minutes. And it will also disable the default wp-cron execution by adding a specific line to wp-config.php file. Pretty useful indeed.

Default WordPress Installation Language

Finally, in 2020 we also delivered this quite handy functionality. Now, server administrators can open global WordPress Toolkit settings and choose a language that should be selected for all WordPress installations on the server by default. Users installing WordPress can choose a different language if they want, obviously.

Did You Know? – The Team Behind It All

All these great achievements wouldn’t have been possible without our technical team. And to recognize their hard work and commitment throughout these years, we want to dedicate some time to them. So, let us introduce you to Andrey Kugaevsky, Product Manager at Plesk – aka the WordPress Paladin. Even though we’re sure you’ve probably heard Andrey before in one of our official Next Level Ops Podcast or read one of his articles in our blog.

Andrey and his team sweat their work out to make WordPress Toolkit the star of the show. With that in mind, we’re inviting you to meet the team behind our beloved product. Let’s hit the play button:

Your Feedback is Also Essential

And of course, our technical team wouldn’t be able to achieve such great achievements if it wasn’t because of our users’ contributions. There are different ways you can use your voice and help Andrey and his team to make the WordPress Toolkit even better. Our Program Managers are in permanent contact with support teams for gathering information before choosing a new product feature for implementation. And for some top features, they test hypotheses on-site or create surveys and send them to customers for review.

If you have feedback on WordPress Toolkit or ideas on how to improve it, making it more useful to you and your clients, you can check out this article to find out more about how to contribute.

Get Started with Our Current Offers

Now that you know a little bit more about what’s going on behind closed doors, you may want to give Plesk WordPress Toolkit a try. Currently, we’re offering 6 months free for WordPress Toolkit on a yearly subscription, including remote management for agencies. Additional details about these offers can be found here.

Or if you’re already familiar with our product and your curiosity got you this far, why don’t you tell us your experience with Plesk? You can let us know in the comments below. We’re all ears!

Announcing Plesk WordPress Toolkit 4.8 Release

Plesk WordPress Toolkit 4.8 is the fourth major WordPress Toolkit update in 2020. In this release, we focused on several customer-requested features. Including Smart Updates CLI, new notifications for outdated plugins, choosing the default WordPress installation language, and more. Read on to learn what’s new in this release.

Find out more about Plesk WordPress Toolkit

Choosing the Default WordPress Installation Language

When users install WordPress via WordPress Toolkit, there’s some magic happening behind the scenes. In particular, we are selecting default WordPress language based on the language of the user who is getting this WordPress installation. So, for example, if my Plesk is switched to Italian when I install WordPress, it will offer Italian as the default WordPress language. If the server admin is using Plesk in English and installs WordPress for a user whose Plesk is in German, the default WordPress language selected on the installation form will be German.

Apparently, either this logic doesn’t work all the time (although we weren’t able to conclusively confirm this). Or some people simply want to use a very specific language by default in all cases. The request from several customers was heard loud and clear. So we delivered this functionality in WordPress Toolkit 4.8. Now server administrators can open global WordPress Toolkit settings and choose a language that should be selected for all WordPress installations on the server by default. Users installing WordPress can choose a different language if they want, obviously.

Let’s take a closer look:

To return the old behavior which selected the language automatically, simply choose the “Same as user language” option (it’s right on top of the list of languages). Oh, and if you’re wondering what’s “Deutch (Österreich)” on the screenshot above, and why you can’t find this language in Plesk, here’s the answer: we’re taking the list of languages from WordPress itself. And it’s bigger than the list of languages supported by Plesk.

Adding CLI for Smart Updates

We’re slowly but surely adding CLI for existing features. And this time it’s Smart Updates feature that gets some love. WordPress Toolkit 4.8 adds the first part of Smart Updates CLI, allowing hosters to enable and disable Smart Updates on a particular site. The second part of Smart Updates CLI will come later. And it will include the ability to fetch Smart Update procedure status and confirm or reject the update.

Here’s the brief usage info for the current CLI command:

plesk ext wp-toolkit --smart-update

    -instance-id INSTANCE_ID|-main-domain-id DOMAIN_ID -path PATH

    [-format raw|json]

Arguments:

instance-id: WordPress installation ID

main-domain-id: Main domain ID

path: The relative path from the domain's document root directory. Example: /subdirectory

format: Outputs the data in a particular format. By default, all data is shown in the raw format. Supported formats: json, raw

Inability to Update Paid Plugins or Themes Notification

You probably remember that in WordPress Toolkit 4.7 we added support for updates of paid plugins and themes. Announcing this change, I’ve mentioned a disclaimer. It’s about WordPress Toolkit not letting users know about certain plugins & themes requiring a license for automatic updates. Starting with WordPress Toolking 4.8, users will be notified about this. That’s if WordPress Toolkit can’t update a plugin or theme and we suspect that it’s because its license is missing.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to notify users about this before the update. So we had to settle for the post-factum message.

Our Research

We’re always researching various things when working on a release. But these activities are never mentioned outside the team for some reason. And I figured it’s time to have a quick glimpse into our investigations. 

Here are some of the more interesting things we looked into:

  • Which issues prevent us from properly supporting CloudLinux on both Plesk and cPanel (spoiler: mostly panel-related things).
  • What is the performance impact of running Smart Updates on dozens of sites simultaneously (spoiler: could be worse).
  • Whether WordPress Toolkit is compatible with the so-called “Must-Use” plugins (spoiler: not really).

We’ll continue our research efforts in WordPress Toolkit 4.9. And I will continue keeping you in the loop.

What’s On the Future

We fixed several customer-reported bugs in WordPress Toolkit 4.8. And we improved product reliability in several places. Our bug-fixing activities will continue in WordPress Toolkit 4.9, alongside with internal improvements. 

During the 4.8 release, we also made WordPress Toolkit on cPanel almost feature-complete. Adding the Data Copy feature, enabling the rest of the security checkers, and so on. We still have quite a lot of things to do before WordPress Toolkit for cPanel is available for the general public. But the finish line is getting closer every day. Besides cPanel stuff, bugfixes, and improvements, WordPress Toolkit 4.9 will also include a couple of customer features. We’re looking at candidates right now. And I think our Uservoice voters should be quite happy with our choices. 

Thank you for reading up to here. And thanks to the whole team for their hard work. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to improve our beloved WordPress Toolkit. See you next time!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the fifth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to Andrey Kugaevskiy, Plesk’s WordPress Paladin. Andrey tells us what to consider when setting up or looking for Managed WordPress Hosting.

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More - Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

How well do you know your hosting? Is your website, blog or e-commerce store secure and up to date? Do you get all the support you need? According to Andrey, choosing the right Managed WordPress Hosting is not a bed of roses. It’s, in fact, quite a tricky decision. 

For Andrey, hosters that specialize in WordPress take the pole position. Because every fast, modern, and secure Ferrari has a super-qualified team behind it. “A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about – like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application”, says Andrey. 

Thank you master Andrey for your wise words. We’ll make sure our listeners follow your piece of advice when picking their Managed WordPress Hosting.

“A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about - like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application.”

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research beforehand: When choosing your hoster, make sure you spot the WordPress connoisseur. Having knowledgeable staff that can support you and your site, makes all the difference.
  • Know your resources and competence: Look at how many visitors you’ll have. There’s a big tech stack running on the hardware (Web, MySQL, PHP, Cache, security). And security is in a weird place right now between totally locked down and unusable, and more free-flowing and open. It’s a question of your knowledge, flexibility, and control.
  • Let your hoster take care of you: Managed WordPress Hosting should care about security issues and good performance. Outdated plugins are a common security problem. It’s important to keep your site up to date. And learn how to optimize your site for better results.
  • WordPress is here to stay: WordPress is growing extremely fast. So, it’s pretty clear that all hosts should have some kind of WordPress support. And most importantly, a bunch of experts. Hosts that don’t do anything for support, could face being left behind.

Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. You can listen to our previous episodes here and here. Or if you want to simplify the way you manage your website, you can also take a peek at our WordPress Toolkit. We’ll be back soon with the next installment!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

How to Clear WordPress Cache

Clear WordPress Cache

Enabling caching is one of the most effective ways of boosting the performance of a WordPress website. Maintaining adequate security is probably a close second, but we definitely recommend enabling caching as one of your top priorities. But what does that mean exactly, what happens when you clear WordPress cache and is this something that you can do for yourself?

This guide is here to explain why you would want to clear WordPress cache on your WordPress sites, and it will also show you the various ways of purging or deleting the cache from inside and outside your WordPress installation.

The Idea Behind WordPress Caching

So, this is how a web page is loaded – somebody finds a link to your website. It could be through search engine results, somebody else’s website, social media or in an email. They click that link and are taken to your WordPress site. This generates an HTTPS request asking your web server to assemble and deliver all the files that your browser needs to load the website. The more images, files, and scripts it needs to throw together to build the site, the longer the HTTPS request takes to complete. If the person is patient while all this happens, they will soon be treated to a pristine view of your website.

Things are a little different when WordPress website caching is enabled. Here’s what that process looks like – someone finds a link to your website. They click that link and are taken to your WordPress site, this generates an HTTPS request that’s sent to your web server. The server can tell that there haven’t been any changes to the website content since the last time someone visited. The server sends a static copy of the website to the person’s browser window. Every visit to the site will be handled this way until either the page content changes or the cache expires and gets automatically purged.

So, as you can see, caching avoids making the server jump through hoops unnecessarily. When your business relies on capturing more leads via your website it’s essential to have quicker page loading times. These days, if people don’t get what they want within a couple of seconds then they will go elsewhere, so your page needs to load faster than that, and WordPress caching can help you achieve it. There are also times when you’re going to need a WordPress cache cleanup on your websites for other reasons though.

Reasons For Clearing the Cache on WordPress Websites

Website caching is used to give visitors to your site the best possible experience. A static saved copy of your site sent to each new visitor takes a lot less processing power to achieve, so they get the pages they want faster.

But that raises the question: why speed up content delivery to your site visitors if that content is nothing new?

The value of your website is that it brings worthwhile and compelling content to visitors, and if you aren’t updating your offerings on a regular basis then why should they bother coming back?

So, let’s take a look at some of the different ways that caching might mistakenly hinder new content delivery and why learning to do a WordPress cache cleanup manually is in your best interests.

Design Tweaks

Your website is really no different than any other piece of marketing collateral. Things like product details and contact information can change at a moment’s notice, and if you decide to rebrand then the website needs to change to reflect that. Your WordPress website is as dynamic and ever-changing as your business needs to be if it wants to remain successful.

Let’s say you’ve done all of that but you can’t see any of the changes on the website. Chances are that the caching mechanism hasn’t caught up with the changes yet.

New Content

Websites need to be regularly renewed with a steady procession of valuable and relevant content. Blog posts, white papers, and a million and one other pieces of digital real estate are constantly appearing to attract new visitors and keep old ones coming back. The more this happens, the more the search engines notice. Google, for one, is particularly enthusiastic about websites that regularly update and grow their content (as long as its high-quality stuff, that is).

But, if your web server is hanging on to the cached version of a particular page or it isn’t showing your new content to visitors, Google’s bots won’t even know that it’s there. This is an issue that sometimes occurs when your content is going into widgetized parts of the website.

Theme and Plugin Updates

One good reason for manually doing a WordPress cache cleanup is related to WordPress updates. In particular, every time there is a theme or plugin update, you need to do a WordPress cache cleanup to make sure that any changes you’ve made to the files, code or the way the website looks are reflected when the next HTTPS request comes along.

Database Changes

If you are using a managed WordPress hosting solution for your website, this is something to be aware of. If you migrate a website or database files change for any reason, chances are you are going to need to clear WordPress cache so that visitors aren’t bothered by error pages or an out of date version of your website.

Images Hosted Externally

Here’s another reason why a WordPress cache cleanup on your websites might be a good idea.

When using a WordPress plugin for image optimization, the server might carry on sending older uncompressed versions of them. To make sure that the server gets the images that the plugin has compressed, clear your cache following optimization.

Conclusion

When these changes to your website happen, your caching mechanisms need to pick up on the fact they have, and when they do, the WordPress cache will be cleared and the web server will handle the next HTTPS request using the updated content and deliver it to the browser.

Of course, that’s how things should work in practice, but the reality of how the software handles things is that it isn’t always smart enough to realize that an image with an identical file name but a different color product has been changed. It’s exactly this kind of thing that makes it essential for us to know how to do a WordPress cache cleanup on our websites.

How To Do a WordPress Cache Cleanup

The WordPress Codex has a page entitled “I Make Changes and Nothing Happens”. When people are new to WordPress, this is the kind of thing that you will often hear them say, because they don’t always remember that they need to click on “Update” or “Publish” after they’ve made their changes.

As we’ve seen there are lots of occasions when it is desirable to do a manual WordPress cache clear on a website so that the updates become visible.

Because caching can be used both inside and outside of WordPress there are several ways to purge its cache manually. If the website isn’t showing your changes and you know that it definitely isn’t a case of user error within WordPress here’s what to do.

How to Clear Your Browser Cache

You can only clear the browser cache of your own machine. Here’s how to do that in Chrome. Select the WordPress cache for your site using the Settings or History tabs. Once you’ve done that, go to the “Clear Browsing Data” section. This section will let you clear browsing data for cached files and images and delete the cache from every website in your browsing history. If you just want to clear your own website go back to Settings and go to Content Settings, click on ‘Cookies’ and expand ‘See all cookies and site data’. Perform the search of your website and clear it.

WordPress Cache Cleanup Using Cache Plugins

Let’s take a look at how to locate the WordPress cache cleanup option in case of various plugins usage.

WP Super Cache

This plugin is a lot less complicated. The downside to that is that you don’t have as much control over which cached data is cleared though. Despite that, it’s a breeze to use from these three locations – “Easy” and  “Contents” tabs, as well as “Admin” toolbar.

W3 Total Cache

Find the Performance menu and look for the plugin “Settings”. Scroll down the page and make a note of the individual caching settings. When enabled, you’ll be given two choices to clear WordPress cache.

“Empty cache” is used if the settings stay the same, but you want to delete the cached data for that specific option. “Save Settings & Purge Caches” allows you to save a new caching configuration and purge the present cache at the same time. You can also purge all data and cached content from your website instantly with the admin toolbar “Performance” menu

 

 

Clearing WordPress Cache When You’re Using Managed WordPress Hosting

Caching is something that should also happen server-side. It’s a bit of a different way to do it from the usual WordPress website approach because you’re also looking at things like PHP caching, MySQL caching, object caching, and so on. Website caching only copies the content and files within your WordPress site. When WordPress cache cleaning doesn’t help, or if you just want to make sure that you covered all the bases, then clearing the server-side cache too is the way to go.

With managed WordPress hosting, various hosts frequently allow users to purge their own cache.  Your web hosting company should be able to tell you whether you are allowed to purge a server-side cache, but even if they won’t let you access it directly, they may still be able to deal with the problem for you.

Clearing WordPress Cache On CDN Level

content delivery network (CDN) adds an extra layer of caching to WordPress websites. CDNs have copies of websites all over the world in their data centers. This is so that they can send a version of your website that is geographically closest to someone. This means your visitors get to see your site more quickly than they otherwise would, which is exactly what you want.

To clear your CDN cache, you’ll need to login to its platform. Most popular platforms ( e.g. KeyCDN and CloudFlare ) provide user-friendly interface to initiate this process in few clicks.

KeyCDN

Keycdn is a content delivery network with long history which is powering a huge number of sites across the web. To clear the cache, you need to login, click “Zones” and choose the zone you need. Use “Manage” drop down list to choose Purge by Tag / Purge Url / Purge.

CloudFlare

You should login to your account, select the website of your interest and click “Caching” button. Choose “Purge Everything” or “Purge Individual Files, Purge By Tag” for Enterprise plan.

Clearing WordPress Cache Using the Command Line

Lastly, let’s take a look at what we need to do to clear WordPress cache via the command line. As it says here, this is so you can flush the object cache in your database. When you’re ready, run this in your WordPress command line:

$ wp cache flush
Success: The cache was flushed.

This will refresh all of the content you’ve added or the design elements that you’ve changed so that where they’ve been cached as fragments or objects your visitors will see the most up-to-date version, just as you intended.

Conclusion

Caching helps make your WordPress website work at its best, but sometimes you need to clear out all that cached information so that your visitors see your most recent content. Think of it as digital spring cleaning that can help make your business more successful. We hope that this guide helps you to keep your site in tiptop shape.

How Beebyte Became a Leading Swedish WordPress Hosting Provider

There are two options when choosing a hosting service provider: pay a huge amount of money to a very large provider and sacrifice control and service. Or work with a company like Beebyte, a smaller provider, and get high performance, flexibility, and great customer service. All at a highly competitive rate. 

Beebyte has been a Plesk partner for a year and a half now. It offers a unique and custom-built control panel for virtual servers, VPS, and shared hosting. Recently, we’ve decided to celebrate Beebyte’s journey to success by talking about the business and its partnership with Plesk.

Discover Plesk Partner Program

The Start of Beebyte and its WordPress Solution

Beeybyte Visual

Like many Plesk partners, Beebyte has a small but dedicated team. However, it started with just two people – Niclas Alvebratt and Simon Ekstrand, running everything—including 24/7 support. Having used it on other projects, they have always been Plesk-friendly. Knowing there was a good market for it in Sweden, where the business is based, they decided to set up a small hosting business under the name Beebyte.

Thanks to their previous experience and network, Beebyte got off to a flying start. Knowing that Plesk helps entrepreneurs get started with small business, setting up a business with Plesk was a no-brainer.

After some time and gaining a certain volume of customers, Beebyte grew to a four-person team and started using Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit. Both Plesk and Beebyte attended WordCamp Nijmeijin in 2019. Earlier Beebyte had attended WordCamp Stockholm and WordCamp Norrköping and gained a good reputation within the Swedish WordPress community.

Beebyte now offers Shared WordPress hosting as one of its main, high-performance solutions. With the help of its solutions, the PHP code is processed faster and visitors get a better experience with a faster page. In Beebyte’s web host, there are smart features for WordPress management such as staging and copying sites, installing and updating free SSL certificates. You can also secure installation with Beebyte’s WordPress security tools and manage updates directly from the web host’s control panel (based on Plesk). Additionally, Beebyte delivers its in-house developed monitoring engine and great customer service within a single pane of administration for both end-users and resellers.

How does Beebyte use Plesk?

Beebyte Dashboard

Beebyte has over a decade of experience on both Windows and Linux platforms. It offers high availability, 100% SSD-based servers and shared hosting. With all services delivered from its state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly data centers in Sweden. As well as senior consultancy services at very competitive rates.

One of the ways Beebyte uses Plesk is to help reduce the number of customer support tickets. Since using Plesk, the tickets have drastically decreased, because a ticket based on the platform can be solved super-fast. On the technical side, Beebyte has a secure, solid platform – but non-tech-savvy customers may struggle. However, with Plesk, the company can resolve everything quite fast.

It also uses Plesk with an automated reseller program, where their customers can resell their full-service catalog. Customers can also add their own branding, and handle payments in a very flexible way. You can find more info on the Beebyte and Plesk combined offering here.

What has Beebyte achieved since Plesk?

Today, Beebyte is at the top when it comes to WordPress and e-commerce hosting in Sweden. Regardless of whether it’s shared hosting, VPS, or multi-server load-balanced solutions. Thanks to its success, Beebyte can focus on delivering new features to all its users. Such as the Iris monitoring tool that combines with Plesk and is neatly integrated into its user portal.

Beebyte is also committed to running a sustainable business that is part of a greater whole. For example, every month it gives employees one day off to engage in social work in a local area, such as helping the homeless or night patrolling. Driven by the belief that a healthy conscience goes hand in hand with a profitable business. 

In line with this approach, the founders also support the Free Software Foundation and the Tor network to help communities in countries with authoritarian regimes with high censorship and privacy concerns.

Become a Plesk Partner

WordPress Community Insights You May Not Know About

WordPress Community Insights You May Not Know - Plesk

Each year, seasoned WordPress developers, agency owners, WebPro experts and beginner users come together at WordCamps. From around the world, we connect, learn, and celebrate all things WordPress. WordCamps have grown from the one held by Matt Mullenweg in 2006, San Francisco – to hundreds all over the globe. Each with their own flavour, speakers, sessions, and communities. It’s only natural that we want to get more WordPress Community Insights.

As we create many WordPress-related products, we’re proudly involved in the community that makes WordPress and make regular appearances at WordCamps. We support WordCamps both with sponsorship and by showing up with a booth, speakers, games, special offers, raffles, and interviews. In November 2019, we attended WordCamp US and joined the thousands of other WP enthusiasts and experts. Celebrating and evolving the thriving WordPress ecosystem, hosting educational and engaging games and raffles with special prizes.

In exchange for the grand prize (that any techy would love), we took the opportunity to gather answers to a few burning questions for the WP community. We collated the responses from over one hundred respondents in the infographic you see below. Now we’re going to dive into these findings in a bit more detail and discuss a few patterns and trends we noticed.

Community Insights from WordCamp US 2019

WordPress is such a diverse and flexible platform that it’s used daily by a million different people in a million different ways. To be exact, there’s over 75 million people using WordPress in over 50 different languages. Powering over 172 million websites (around a third of the entire web). And those numbers are still growing.

So who are the WordPress Community?

From our survey of WordCamp attendees, we discovered that, as you would expect, most of them are developers — nearly half at 42%. The rest are a diverse bunch of bloggers, graphic designers, agency owners, marketers, SEOs, freelancers, security researchers, software developers. There are also prospective dev students or small business owners who are newbies to the WordPress world.

As you can see, there’s a real mix of people using WordPress for everything. From personal projects and their own career development to running businesses and supporting client projects. This is reflected in the reasons as to why people were attending WordCamp US.

Most of the respondents were at the event for both personal and professional reasons. With overall the biggest attraction being the opportunity to network, make connections, and simply have interesting conversations with like-minded people.

Of course, some people were there because they were running a session or because they simply wanted the free swag. But even so, they may have been meeting up with someone they met online or were otherwise benefiting from the strong WP community. Similarly, when we asked what they hope to take away from the weekend, respondents mostly mentioned making new friends, contacts and connections.

Other top takeaways included new knowledge/learning, feedback, contributing to the community and learning new solutions for current WP challenges. Many also want to improve accessibility of websites, or get a clearer idea of hosting options and new features out there. And, of course, grab some swag while they’re at it.

How The Community Uses WordPress

When you get a bunch of WP aficionados together in the same place, you can’t not ask them about their experiences with WordPress and the tools they’re currently using. Starting at the top with hosting options, over a third of people (39%) preferred Managed WordPress Hosting, with Cloud and Shared Hosting following at 17%.

In line with these results is what they voted as the most important factors when working with WordPress. Speed and performance took the crown with nearly two-thirds of the vote. While 45% were happy enough to have WordPress work well. However, 44% also wanted stability, and 36% were looking for a user-friendly design.

With over 50,000 plugins available, the WordPress plugins marketplace is booming. Many look to WordCamp for insights into plugins to announce development of their latest ground-breaking product. Maybe even to improve the efficiency of their sites, or simply discover what’s out there.

Interestingly, SEO plugins like Yoast are the most-used WordPress tools, with 55% of respondents using them over others. Second were analytics tools with 37%, security tools at 31%, and page builders, CSS and email marketing plugins coming up the rear.

This shows a clear focus of WP users to quantify and boost their site performance in search engine results pages (SERPs) as much as possible.

Doing Our Bit For The WordPress Community

To finish off the survey, we asked the WordCamp US attendees a few more questions, including if they had any WP-related goals, and if so, what they were. The results revealed that WordCamps have a feel of being about socialising and educating people. However, they’re also pivotal for those serious about pushing their business goals forward.

Some of the respondents’ top WordPress-related goals were:

  • making their products known to the world
  • growing their WordPress client base
  • becoming web developers
  • blogging more consistently
  • building non-profit websites
  • Building awesome sites in general
  • teaching more
  • Increasing their traffic and scaling
  • Getting all the clients and dominating the world

To help fellow members of the WordPress community to achieve these goals, we’ve built a variety of WordPress tools like the Plesk WordPress Toolkit. The WP Toolkit is a single interface for easily installing, configuring, and managing WordPress, jam-packed with features.

We asked the community if they thought the Plesk Toolkit would benefit their work. Nearly half of respondents chose “yes”, with just under a quarter choosing “I think so.” A few of the things that are holding people back included the price. Some were also not sure if it would integrate well. And a few would not go for it, simply because they don’t like change.

Looking Ahead to The Next WordCamp

Go for the speakers, the opportunities, the insights, the lego prizes, swag – or all of the above. Attending a WordCamp is a great way to meet awesome people and stay in touch with everything WordPress.

There has been over 700 WordCamps in 70 cities around the world to date. We plan to attend more in 2020 to continue supporting the WP community and development of the incredible open source platform. Starting with WordCamp Asia in February. To find a WordCamp near you, or even set up your own, visit WordCamp central.

Will you be attending WordCamp Asia in February 2020? What content would you like to see us cover from the event?

Did You Know Plesk is Now on Udemy?

Plesk is Now on Udemy - Free Courses Released - Plesk

Over 10,000 students have already enrolled in our Plesk University courses. And with the announcement of our new cloud hosting course series, we’re expecting that number to rise much, much higher. The Plesk Udemy courses cover how to set up your own cloud server with Plesk. Then how to deploy or move a WordPress or other website across five major cloud providers.

1
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
2
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
3
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
4
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
5
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course

So far, we have DigitalOcean, Linode, Google Cloud, Hetzner Cloud, and Amazon Lightsail. Read on and we’ll explain exactly who the courses are for, what they contain, and ultimately, help you decide if they’re right for you.

Are Our Plesk Udemy Courses For You?

Shared hosting accounts can be incredibly convenient and cost-effective. That’s what makes them ideal for people and businesses with small websites, and equally small budgets. But for growing and large businesses who need things like performance and scalability, they can be incredibly limiting and slow.

Shared hosting means sharing all your server resources — bandwidth, disk, storage space — with many other websites on one single physical server. In contrast, cloud hosting is when your website is hosted on a physical server connected to multiple other servers joined in a cluster (or cloud).

Many people and businesses move to cloud hosting when they need better performance, security, reliability, and scalability. But as a new but increasingly popular option, some are hesitant to do so, believing the process is more difficult than it’s worth. The truth is setting up your own private virtual server is quick and easy. Not only that, but when using the right platform it can make WordPress hosting much simpler and help you offload many tedious and time-consuming tasks like deployment, maintenance, updates, and staging.

Can our five new Plesk Udemy courses help?

Our ‘Make WordPress Hosting Easy’ course series guides you through how you can do all the above and more using the Plesk hosting platform and your choice of five major cloud hosting providers.

All the videos within the courses are accessible and contain step by step instructions which you can follow even if you have minimal technical experience. They’re ideal for everyone from beginners who’re curious about website hosting to web professionals interested in moving from a shared hosting setup to a private virtual server in the cloud.

Five Reasons to Enrol in Our Udemy courses

Before getting into the details, you might be thinking what makes Udemy so special. After all, you could probably find all this information on various websites and forums if you really wanted to.

Well, Udemy is home to Plesk University: a free online training and certification resource that features a range of courses for learning all about Plesk and its extensions. You can find out more Plesk University here.

And so to give you a better idea why we love Udemy and these courses are so great, here are five reasons you may want to enrol today:

1. Up to 1 hour on-demand video

The courses include up to an hour of pre-recorded video lectures. Meaning no waiting around for the webinar of online course to start — you can watch them instantly, in whichever order you like, and all at your own pace.

2. Full lifetime access

Once you’ve completed the course you can go back and revise or re-watch the whole thing or specific lectures whenever you feel like it. There’s no cut-off time.

3. Access on mobile and TV

You can access the courses on desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV. All you need is the Udemy app, which can be easily download via your app store or the Udemy website.

4. Certificate of Completion

On completing the course, you’re awarded with a Certificate of Completion to acknowledge your achievement and for use in your professional portfolio.

5. It’s free!

Arguably the best reason to participate in one of our Udemy courses is that they cost absolutely nothing. You can even enrol to try a few lectures out and see if you like it — there’s zero commitment required.

The Five Free Udemy Courses

“A wonderful course for wordpress admins and web admins who make wordpress on a day-to-day basis.”

Mustafa Karrokhi, Course participant

Each of our courses is presented by university instructor and corporate trainer Chase Raz. Chase is a clear and engaging instructor with a decade of experience in teaching business and technology to a wide range of students.

The courses range in length from just over thirty minutes to an hour. Each includes everything you need to know to set up your private virtual server and deploy or move a website with Plesk, whilst also being short and concise enough to watch on the go or in between migrations.

One requirement  is that you have a basic understanding of concepts such as “website,” “IP address,” “firewall,” “server,” and “DNS”. And for some, a web browser and SSH terminal (e.g., PuTTY). Other than that, you’re ready to dive in.

Make WordPress Hosting Easy with Plesk on DigitalOcean

Learn how to set up your own DigitalOcean scalable virtual server, otherwise known as a droplet, in our web hosting course for DigitalOcean.

You’ll also learn how to use the Plesk Hosting stack on this droplet to power your WordPress and other websites. The course content includes a brief introduction, a bonus lecture on Plesk Obsidian, and sections on Deploying a DigitalOcean Droplet, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

In total, the course has 21 lectures that come to a run time of 41 minutes, and an impressive average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Simplifying WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Linode

In this course you’ll learn how to set up your own private server on Linode and deploy a new WordPress website or move your existing website to Linode quickly and easily.

You’ll also learn to master the WordPress Toolkit. The course consists of five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Plesk Server on Linode, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a brief conclusion. All in all, the course has 19 lectures and a total run time of just under 39 minutes.

WordPress Hosting Simplified with Plesk on Hetzner Cloud

Learn everything you need to know for setting up and running a website on very own Hetzner cloud server using Plesk, with our WordPress Hosting Made Easy course for Hetzner cloud.

Through the course’s 21 lectures, you’ll be guided by Chase through five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Linux Server on Hetzner Cloud, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a Conclusion.

You can complete the 4 out of 5 star rated free course in a little under 50 minutes — and access it at anytime once you’ve completed it.

Easy WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Google Cloud

On this course you will learn how to set up your own private server with a Compute Engine virtual machine running on Google Cloud Platform, otherwise known as Google Cloud or GCP.

You’ll also discover how to use the Plesk hosting stack on the virtual machine to power your WordPress and other websites. The course sections include: Introduction, Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Google Cloud Instance, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

The 20 lectures have a run-time of 45 minutes, an average rating of 4.1 out of 5, and over 4,000 students who have already enrolled.

Simpler WordPress Hosting: Plesk on Amazon Lightsail

On our final course for Amazon, learn how to setup your own private server on Amazon Lightsail using the Plesk hosting stack.

The course’s 21 lectures cover five main areas: Introduction and Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Lightsail Instance, Getting Started with Plesk Onyx, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and Conclusion. The course has a run-time of 36 minutes, over 4500 enrolled students, and an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.

Take Your Free Udemy Course Today

Ready to move from a slow and limited shared hosting account and set up your own lightning-fast cloud server?

Have questions? Drop them in the comments below.