This post provides links to some articles I found last week. The posts might be interesting in various fields of expertise, for either system administrators or developers (DevOps). Topics include: web security, WordPress performance, jQuery, ASP.NET MVC caching, partial trust, view state MAC, and fixing IIS website hangs.

Various technical and non-technical articles on development, WordPress performance, security, IIS or what might be interesting

WordPress Performance: From A to Z

What’s the most important thing to WordPress users next to security? PERFORMANCE! Having a fast site doesn’t just make your users happy, it improves your search rankings and site value. There are so many opinions, tutorials, and services out there that claim to be WordPress optimization silver bullets; it’s difficult for site owners to navigate the performance ecosystem.

That’s exactly why (mt) partners and WordPress technology experts, Copyblogger, have devoted themselves to developing WordPress solutions like Synthesis and the Genesis framework. Most recently, they teamed up with W3 EDGE–creators of the highly popular W3-Total Cache plugin–to publish an in-depth white paper focused on bringing out the “truth” about how to achieve performance. From choosing an edge-caching service, to why origin optimization should be your first priority, you will find (almost) everything you need to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right performance solutions.

(mt) Media Temple: WordPress Performance: From A to Z

Caching versioned static files with ASP.NET MVC and IIS7

Correctly caching a website’s content will improve the load time of pages. There’s no sense in making a web browser download the same stylesheets and images repeatedly. In fact, we want to avoid the web browser even doing tentative “if not modified” requests. These all add up to extra HTTP connection overhead.

This article will show you how to configure IIS7 and use ASP.NET MVC to make sure your static files are always cached correctly.

aboutcode.net: Caching versioned static files with ASP.NET MVC and IIS7

Understanding (and testing for) view state MAC in ASP.NET web forms

Remember view state? For that matter, do you even remember web forms?! I kid because although MVC is the new hotness in the world of building ASP.NET websites, web forms remains the predominant framework due to both the very long tail of sites already built on it and the prevalence of developers with skills in this area who haven’t made the transition to MVC (indeed some people argue that they can happily cohabit, but that’s another discussion for another day).

[…]
But there’s one thing about view state that I suspect many people don’t know and even if they’ve messed with it before, may not understand the consequences: MAC. This is actually a very important feature of view state and misusing it can not only leave you vulnerable now but you may very well find it becomes a breaking change in future versions of ASP.NET. Let me explain what it is, why you need it and how to test whether it’s been disabled on a site.

Troyhunt.com: Understanding (and testing for) view state MAC in ASP.NET web forms

Gist: Learn how to encrypt your ASP.NET ViewState (Dutch article “ASP.NET: ViewState versleuteling” @Vevida.com)

Fix IIS website hangs and slow loads

All of a sudden, your website appears to have stopped working. Pages are taking forever to load. Your website is experiencing a hang!

Hangs are fairly common for production applications, and can be incredibly frustrating to troubleshoot. The main reason for this are:

  • They may be happening only sometimes and can be hard to catch.
  • They can be caused by complex and interrelated factors that can be difficult to isolate.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can systematically isolate and diagnose most hangs in production. You’ll need basic knowledge of Microsoft troubleshooting tools, and time.

LeanSentry: Fix IIS website hangs and slow loads

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook 2013

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook 2013

Build a Guided Registration Form With jQuery and Progression.js

Signup forms are all too common when building new web applications or social networks. Traction from user signups can really boost your own self-confidence about a project when it comes to launching a new website. But what can you do to help improve the signup experience and hopefully gain more interested users?

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a guided registration form, offering tips to users as they fill out each field. I have included some of my own custom jQuery along with a plugin called Progression.js. This is a powerful tool which offers a step-by-step tooltip using hints to direct users along the way. Feel free to download a copy of my source code and check out the live sample demo below.

design shack: Build a Guided Registration Form With jQuery and Progression.js

ASP.NET Partial Trust does not guarantee application isolation

ASP.NET lets administrators host applications in partial trust modes such as medium trust. It also allows for the configuration of custom partial trust levels through custom policy files.

We previously described ASP.NET partial trust as a mechanism for enforcing application isolation in a shared hosting environment in which multiple applications that have different trust levels are hosted on the same web server. We are updating our guidance about this to reflect that running an ASP.NET page framework application in partial trust does not guarantee complete isolation from other applications that are running in the same process or on the same computer.

Configuring ASP.NET page framework applications to run in separate low-privileged processes (by using individual application pools) is the recommended procedure to make sure of isolation from other ASP.NET page framework applications on the same web server. The following section provides details about how to configure applications for isolation. We are updating our other documentation to reflect the change in policy that is outlined in this article.

ASP.NET Partial Trust does not guarantee application isolation

Connect to a MySQL Database Using ASP.NET MySql.Data.MySqlClient

The following C# ASP.NET script tests MySQL database connectivity with MySql.Data (MySQL Connector/NET). It makes  MySQL connection, execute one query and print the results on the screen.

As a bonus, the article explains how to set up your web.config file for a proper MySql.Data configuration, and an easy to use test script.

Connect to a MySQL Database Using ASP.NET

Bonus: MySQL Connector/ODBC C# test script.

Prioritize visible content

Reducing the size of the above-the-fold content
Websites that seem very fast and crisp to load are often just as large as slow websites, they have just prioritized above the fold content so that the site appears to load very fast.

Google loves webpages that show content to their users quickly and this article will provide some guidance on how to make it happen on your webpages. If you are getting the “prioritize visible content” error on the Google pagespeed tool, this will help you fix it.

feedthebot: Prioritize visible content

Installing and running node.js applications within IIS on Windows

Installing and running node.js applications within IIS on Windows

How to install the nodejs Ghost blogging software on Azure Websites

Scott Hanselman – How to install the nodejs Ghost blogging software on Azure Websites