Better Computer Performance – 9 Free Or Inexpensive Fixes

Poor computer performance by your Windows-based machine can sneak up on you gradually. You may find its performance deteriorating increasingly until one day you realize you must fix it or buy a new one. Signs of poor performance can include applications running very slowly, programs closing or freezing up suddenly, and a generally slower response time to OS (operating system)-related commands. I have compiled 9 fixes for you here that you can leverage right now to greatly improve your computer’s performance.

Fix #1: Download and run MS Pack 2:

Every operating system requires patches and upgrades by its maker from time-to-time, with Microsoft XP being no exception. While Pack 2 was released in 2002, some people with older systems are still not running it: make sure your computer is. You can download it FREE from Microsoft’s Web site.

Fix #2: Run the Disk Cleanup utility:

Your computer likely has a number of unused and unneeded files that take up valuable space on your hard drive and slow performance. Run your FREE, built-in Disk Cleanup utility to automatically remove these files. Find it by going to: Start | Programs | Accessories | System | Disk Cleanup and following the prompts.

Fix #3: Defragment your hard drive:

Over time, your computer will store files in an increasingly inefficient manner on your hard drive, affecting file retrieval times and other performance factors. To fix this, you need to defragment your hard disk drive. To do this for FREE, just go to: Start | Programs | Accessories | System | Disk Defragmenter. First, highlight the drive you want to clean up (e.g., C drive) and choose Analyze. Once complete, choose Defragment. Note that the defragmentation process could take up to an hour or more, so do this during a time when you can step away from your computer.

Fix #4: Run an anti-virus tool:

Computer viruses are malicious programs that drastically affect your computer’s performance, either all at once or insidiously over time. You can stop a virus attack by installing and running anti-virus software which performs regular scans, locates the offending viruses and quarantines them.

Fix #5: Clean your registry:

Your computer’s registry is a tool that most non-computer specialists never see but which is vitally important to computer operations. Your registry stores settings and options for your hardware, operating system, and other software. Unfortunately, given its fundamental role in the performance of your system, your registry is often the target of attack or infection. To thoroughly and automatically clean your registry, run a regular registry scan using a registry cleaning tool. I recommend RegCure, which recently found 1,626 problems with my registry (ugh!), is cheap and easy to use.

Fix #6: Run anti-spyware software:

Spyware is computer software that installs itself in your computer and performs a number of unwanted functions, including monitoring your computer usage and interfere with your control.

It represents a real threat and has become a significant problem in recent years. Fortunately, fixes are easy to find and include a number of free and inexpensive anti-spyware programs. Try SpyBot Search & Destroy. Get it FREE online.

Fix #7: Increase your computer’s memory:

Today’s applications require more and more memory (RAM) to run. If your computer is more than two years old or if you selected the minimal memory upon purchase, you might benefit from adding another 1 GB or more to your computer. Check online or at your local computer dealer for pricing.

Fix #8: Clean your hard drive:

More comprehensive than the Disk Utility tool introduced above, cleaning your hard drive with professional cleaning software is a great way to improve performance. Try CCleaner for FREE by doing an online search.

Fix #9: As a last resort, re-format your hard drive:

If after trying all of the above items and your computer still performs poorly, a last resort is to completely reformat your hard drive. Warning: proceed with caution since this action will erase your entire hard drive, including your operating system (OS)! If you decide to take this route, consult an online tutorial for how-to steps. At minimum, remember two things: be sure to back up all of your files and applications and retain a copy of your OS on CD so that you can re-install it later.

Using WordPress As A Content Management System Or CMS

There has been talk about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible.

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I have to stress that the default WordPress software is intended to be a blogging tool, so if you’re trying to make it work like a different type of content management tool you’ll have to use the correct plugins (enhancements) and have the a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, lets explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.

1) WordPress as An Article Directory

To make WordPress work as an article directory, you’ll need a special plugin, and a source for the articles. MyArticleMarketer.com is the perfect tool for this, as the articles there are usually human-approved. They also encourage free distribution of their articles to other article sites.

After you have set-up the WordPress plugin, you need to sign-up for Article Marketer’s distribution list. By filling in their form and specifying the categories (or choose all categories), you automatically qualify to receive all old and new articles that are submitted to MyArticleMarketer.com

However, with WordPress as an article directory, you’ll only be able to receive syndicated articles. Authors won’t be able to sign-up or create an account directly with you. It’s also against MyArticleMarketer.com’s terms or service to encourage authors to sign-up directly with you.

2) WordPress as a Membership Site

You can set-up a free or paid membership site using WordPress. All it takes is a few simple plugins to get the job done. Once you’ve installed the plugins, members will need to login to your site in order to view the content. You can also place a login form in your WordPress theme files to make it easy for users to lo in and out of your membership site.

However, the plugins only create a simple membership system, so if you’re looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you’d probably want to sign-up with a professional membership system like AmemberPro.net and use their available plugins to ingrate with WordPress.

At the time of writing, AmemberPro.net has available plugins for a reasonable cost and these will be installed by their support team, so you don’t have to worry about the technical setbacks.

3) WordPress as a Classified Ads System

WordPress can work like any other classifieds website too. Users can sign-up on your site and place classifieds in the form of new blog posts. They can even set expiry dates for their ads and specify listings or “wanted” ads.

However, you will need to create all the necessary categories and even create a sign-up information page to teach your users how to place ads. The upside of using WordPress as a classifieds site is that you can also use tagging tactics to get traffic from social bookmarking sites and sites like Technorati.com

4) WordPress as an Audio / Video Training Site

Using the membership plugins mentioned above or AmemberPro.net’s WordPress compatibility plugins, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add the “Podpress” plugin which takes care of all audio and video elements on your website.

You will be able to display and stream MP3 audio or FLV video using their built-in players. The Podpress plugin is really robust and also allows you to specify setting on iTunes, so you can make this commercially and available to the entire iPod / iTunes community.

As you can see by now, there’s a whole lot of possibilities when it comes to using WordPress to the extreme.

I’ve created an entire video training system to help newbies and advanced marketers alike master WordPress. Yet, every day brings new possibilities to using WordPress as a complex CMS instead of the modest blogging tool it was designed to be!

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