How to Combine Logs and Monitoring to Optimize WordPress Administration

Careful and consistent administration of a WordPress website can not only help you keep visitors and users happy, but ultimately more of them. However, many WordPress website owners are not in charge of managing WordPress websites.

With the focus elsewhere (mainly on running the business), they tend to find this activity as a black box that can take valuable time away from the main business. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Logging and monitoring are two main easy-to-use tools that can help you ensure a healthy website with minimal effort.

WordPress monitoring and activity logs are two sides of the same coin when it comes to website health. There are a few commonalities; however, they are not the same. If you’re looking to improve your WordPress uptime while ensuring a healthy system, you need to have both.

What are activity logs?

WordPress activity logs are a chronological and textual representation of everything that happens on the back-end of your website. In a nutshell, they tell you what kind of activity is going on at any given time. WordPress doesn’t collect this data out of the box, but plugins like WP Activity Log make it a breeze for anyone.

What data is collected?

Activity logs only have the value of the data they collect. The activities recorded will largely depend on the plugin, as different plugins may collect different types of data. Some plugins collect all kinds of data under the sun. Others, on the other hand, are more specialized and gather only a subset of the potential data.

Either way, you can expect the activity log plugin to collect user data, such as logins, logouts, posts, and edits, as well as system data, such as plug-in activity, file changes, and updates. Some activity log plugins may also collect data about other plugins, like user activity on WooCommerce storesto help you keep an eye on the processes essential to your business.

Key Benefits of WordPress Activity Logging

Administrators and professional developers have relied on logs since the earliest systems to help them troubleshoot problems. Logs provide a window into otherwise hidden processes, making it much easier to understand what is really going on. Thanks to WordPress activity log plugins, you don’t have to be a seasoned pro to enjoy the benefits of logging.

When using plugins such as WP Activity Log, you don’t have to worry about log files or locations. Everything is accessible via a dashboard directly from the admin console, which allows this plugin to have a short learning curve. Once configured and operational, you can expect:

Increased security

Website violations are not always obvious and can take a very long time to appear. Hackers are usually very good at hiding their tracks, which makes it difficult to detect activity without logging in place. By having a system through which you can consistently browse logs, you can reduce the possibility of undiscovered hacks. Moreover, you can even take preventive measures if you see suspicious behavior when the logs are part of your WordPress website security strategy.

Activity logs include information about failed and successful logins, changes to posts, fields, user accounts, and anything else you might need to know. If someone is trying to brute force an account or has hacked into an account and then made changes, the logs will reflect that.

Easier troubleshooting

Sometimes things break. With multiple technologies and services required to run a website, it’s not something any of us have full control over. However, things over which we have control can be much easier to troubleshoot and fix when we can figure out what went wrong.

Activity logs can provide useful, even crucial, information about what happened on our WordPress site before something went wrong. This can reduce the frustrations that tend to follow problems with no apparent cause, helping WordPress admins get their website back up and running in no time.

User Management

Whether your WordPress has one user account or 100, having an audit log of all changes made is essential. Audit trails can help ensure that you can maintain the integrity of your website. We’ve all heard a story or two about unauthorized modifications, developers mistakenly changing database connection details while troubleshooting a problem, or maliciously changing bank details to divert payments to their accounts. All of this can be thwarted with log auditing.

For those running a WooCommerce e-commerce site, WP Activity Log can also help you track a number of activities, including changes to products, store, orders, payment gateways, and a number of other things. ‘others. For more information on this, refer to WooCommerce Store and Product Activity Logs..

What is Website Monitoring?

Monitoring is closely related to logging, with a few key differences. Rather than being text-based, it tends to be more visual. Monitoring uses charts and graphs to help you get real-time insight into important information such as availability and performance.

What is monitored?

Just like activity log plugins, different monitoring plugins and services can monitor specific things. Uptime and latency are two of the most watched elements of a WordPress website. More advanced services and plugins, such as WP umbrellaalso monitor additional data points such as PHP errors.

Main benefits of monitoring

Monitoring helps owners and administrators monitor the health and performance of different systems, from small websites to space shuttles. If you own or have ever driven a car, it undoubtedly includes a fuel gauge – it’s a form of monitoring!

Like worrying about taking a long trip if the car doesn’t have a fuel gauge, monitoring a WordPress website is essential to owning one.

Faster response to downtime

Whether you have a full-fledged online store or a blog, a quick response to any outages your website might encounter is essential. A fast and fast WordPress site can help you keep your visitors happy and engaged. It can be quite difficult to troubleshoot issues if you don’t know they’re happening, which makes monitoring a lot easier.

Improve SEO

Websites that have slow response times or experience repeated outages are likely to be penalized by search engines. The area of ​​SEO that deals with server performance is called technical SEO. WordPress monitoring is one of the easiest ways to get the data you need to help you excel in this area.

Discover errors faster

WordPress is easy to use and manage. Even so, it relies on an infrastructure that can be quite complex for a non-technical person. Apart from the actual server and web server, there is PHP, cache, and many other things that can go wrong affecting the performance and usability of the website.

Key Benefits of Combining Logging and Monitoring

Activity logging and monitoring are valuable tools on their own and, as noted above, have many benefits. However, when used together, they can help do so much more.

Improve the visitor experience

Most websites depend on visitors, with the visitor’s experience being a critical contributor to a website’s success. If you experience slowdowns or service interruptions, monitoring will help you quantify them, while logs will help you troubleshoot them.

Improve your MTTR (Mean Time To Recovery)

While monitoring lets you know the site is down, activity logs can help you figure out why. The comprehensive data set you have when you use monitoring and logging can help you resolve issues faster. In turn, this can help you reduce downtime and improve your average recovery time.

Comply with regulations

Depending on the jurisdictions you serve and the type of website you run, you may need to comply with different regulations, including PCI/DSS and GDPR.

Maintain Accountability

Maintaining accountability, whether it’s making sure your hosting provider meets their SLA (service level agreement) or auditing user access and content management, can save you lots of trouble. Activity logs and monitoring work hand in hand to give you a holistic view of the entire ecosystem, allowing you to direct your efforts in the most beneficial way possible.

Supercharged WordPress Administration: Next Steps

Most of the problems we face as WordPress admins can be avoided with the constant maintenance of our websites. As every website is different, there is no magic formula that you can use to ensure that your website always performs well. Instead, you need to find what works best for you, including searching for plugins and comparing them to find the one that’s right for you.

Both WordPress Security and performance are critical contributors to the success of any WordPress website. These two factors contribute to a better visitor experience and improve SEO, compliance and growth, among others. Taking care of the basics may not always be high on our priority list, but what we build on top of it will face unnecessary risk unless we have the basics right.

The post office How to Combine Logs and Monitoring to Optimize WordPress Administration appeared first on WP White Security.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of WP White Security written by Joel Farrugia. Read the original post at:

Esther L. Gunn