Blogging as a service!


by Hostmaster

New blogging service available via WordPress

We have been working hard on provisioning a new optional service to allow our users to host their own blog on NOMAGIC.

WordPress Blogging icon Using the hugely popular Free and Open Source (FOSS) content management system (CMS) WordPress, users are now able to create a blog on demand.

We tailored our solution to offer you as much leeway as possible on your blog, while not compromising security and good practices. To achieve that, we used a variety of FOSS plugins that get activated on bootstrap with default values so that you can start writing and organising your blog right away with powerful tools.

Among the plugins activated during install, you will be provided with:

  • an anti-spam
  • a Search Engine Optimiser (SEO)
  • an automatic on-upload picture resizer
  • an Open Street Map (OSM) integration tool

Enforcing privacy

We went the extra mile to look for a way to deliver blog instances that ship with rich features while preserving users and visitors’ privacy.

  • During installation, our WordPress instances are stripped of references to Google Fonti API and Gravatar, two external services that are not essential to WordPress and allow those providers to track your visitors.
  • All plugins installed have been set up with options that do not infringe on visitors’ privacy.

Power-users

Our users can authenticate using their usual credentials to access the administration section as a power user. The power user you will be entitled with has access to almost everything and can freely install/activate/deactivate/remove plugins and themes on their WordPress instance.

However please note that for security purpose and optimisation, some minor limitations1 are in place.

Great power comes with great responsibility

The service is offered as an optional service that will be activated on-demand. While we are happy to provide this new service, NOMAGIC shall not be the point of escalation for setting up new plugins/themes or anything else related to the use of WordPress.

We recommand keeping the provided plugins activated, however as seen earlier users will be able to deactivate any plugins. Be very careful as some of the plugins are required to let you connect and access to advanced settings. If in doubt, please contact us before deactivating a plugin that was initially activated.

A word of caution

As you may know, WordPress comes with thousands of plugins and themes available. The license model and quality of those can vary greatly, and many plugin result in external connections being made to third parties. This profusion of plugins and can be overwhelming at first, so our advice is to exercise extreme caution and thorough research before installing any new theme or plugin.

A poorly written/maintained theme or plugin usually results in security breach. As such, any website suspected of being compromised will be deactivated by NOMAGIC.

As a general rule of thumb we recommend the following:

  1. always look at the review of a plugin, as well as the current state of support and the license it comes with.
  2. while a FOSS licensed plugin or theme is not a guarantee of quality, anything other than Free and Open Source Software should not be trusted
  3. do a quick online search on the plugin to have a quick feel on its reputation. This might lead you to install a similar plugin with better reviews or more fitting to your needs
  4. avoid the plugins of the type “one plugin to rule them all”. They usually result in a lot of additionnal code and unecessary load time of your Web pages, directly impacting your visitors’ browsing experience.
  5. less is more. While you can experiment plugins and themes to your heart’s content, do not forget that any plugin comes with extra code that add up to the time required to compute your Web pages. Keeping only a few simple, light and trusted plugins is best for performances and security. Incidentally, it will also result in easier management.

That said, all new instance will come with automatic updates for WordPress and the initial plugins shipped. Furthermore, each instance is individual and we use separate user at the application level to reinforce security.

Only one question remains: what are you going to talk about on your shiny blog?


[1] a power-user cannot/should not edit a plugin’s code nor change the settings of the Imsanity plugin (resizes any image to a maximum of 1920 pixels length to optimise storage space consumption).

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