The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Updates to my site

A quick change of themes, I was getting less and less happy with bhost, that is not to say its a bad theme, just I wasn’t happy with how it looked, I am now using baskerville. One of the things this new theme allowed me to do was stop using the wp-tiles plug-in which was looking a little long in the tooth.

I have had https working for a while, and that has been nice, I have logging on the server castrated (if you don’t store it, it can not be demanded).

Cloud Flare and Edge CDN.

Cloud Flare

I use Cloud Flare (free plans) as my DNS and to give me some edge caching, however that causes problems with TOR, (Windows/Mac/Linux, iPhone, Onion Browser) on Tor with cloudflare in default configuration on Tor with cloud flare in default configuration

The method of dealing with this is to adjust Firewall Access Rules on the cloud flare ‘Firewall’ panel of the dashboard,

Cloudflare Access Rules
Add a rule here

Cloud Flare uses the two-letter code ‘T1’ for Tor, so you want to type something like:

Cloudflare Access Rules Text
The Access rule to add to get all Tor endpoints whitelisted.

I have chosen to whitelist Tor on all sites that I use Cloud Flare with, the rule then appears as follows:

The new rule
The new rule

The advantages of using Cloud Flare is it saves me about 13% of my server load, and about 25% of all media is served by them rather than me, (it also gives me IPv6 for free), They also give me good access to https (TLS v1.3), the settings I have changed on my Crypto tab are:

Encrypt communication to and from your website using SSL.
Encrypt communication to and from your website using SSL.
Automatic HTTPS Rewrites
Automatic HTTPS Rewrites

I also use Cloud flare to help speed up my site

Auto Minify
Auto Minify – Reduce the file size of source code on your website.
Mobile Acceleration
Enable Accelerated Mobile Links, This is a new setting that I have just found as its in Beta, lets see if it helps 😀
Rocket Load
Rocket Load – Improve load time for pages that include JavaScript. I am not sure what this does, but it doesn’t seem to break anything

Caching Settings are as follows:

Always Online
This setting causes Cloud Flare to serve a static copy of your site if the server is offline, again its a why not?

On the Network page I have added IPv6 compatibility (I said you won it for free).

IPv6 support and gateway.
IPv6 support and gateway.

From the Apps page I turn on Google Analytics, (Google Webmaster tools is done as TXT record)

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

WordPress JetPack

For a long long time I didn’t like the idea of using Jetpack as I didn’t like the idea of sending Data to Automattic, however since I have Cloudflare in the loop, Google for Analytics, it doesn’t really matter, the settings I have turned on in Jetpack are:

  • Engagement
    • Site Stats
    • Sharing
    • Related Posts
    • Likes
    • Subscriptions
    • Sitemaps
    • Enhanced Distribution
  • Security
    • Protect
  • Appearance
    • Tiled Galleries (tick ‘Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic’)
    • Photon
    • Carousel
  • Writing
    • Shortcode Embeds
    • Markdown
    • Beautiful Maths

Photon is:

Photon is an image acceleration and editing service for sites hosted on or on Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers

Revisions in WordPress

I don’t need too many revisions of posts, sometimes I manage to get to at least a dozen so lets cull them too, you need to edit your wp-config.php in the WordPress install folder:
define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 300); // number in seconds
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

This code will not automagically wipe out all the revisions across the site, however you can use wp-optimize to clean the database.


I installed Autoptimize to reduce the size of the HTML code, Optimise JS and CSS, this plugin caches the compressed output, makes the CSS and JS all one file, as well as stripping the white space out of generated HTML.

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