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How to Secure Your WordPress Site PDF Print Email
Friday, 17 February 2012 09:33

Do you host your site on WordPress? Many millions of peopleSecure a Wordpress Site! and organizations do, because it’s
really easy to use, open source (read: free, heavily supported and well-documented) and can be customized to look pretty much any way you want.

But for a hacker with just a bit of skill, it’s not too difficult to worm their way into an unprotected WordPress site and cause all kinds of trouble! I just spent most of my Thanksgiving weekend cleaning up a site that was hacked about 3 weeks ago. I thought it was all cleaned out…but it wasn’t, and the database was totally corrupted and malicious scripts were putting out phishing information on the site (like asking for peoples’ credit card numbers, paypal logins, etc.). This is a HUGE problem!

Of course, all sites–no matter how they are built–are vulnerable in some ways. Just like our homes. But we can do simple things to protect our homes, like install a burglar alarm, lock our doors and windows, and not leave a key under the mat.

We can do simple things to protect our WordPress sites, too. And luckily there are SOME programmers out there who are using their powers for good instead of evil, and they’ve written some great (free) WordPress plugins that you can use to protect your Internet real estate.

Take a few minutes and install these plugins on your site, activate them and go through the steps they outline. It will take 20 minutes or so, and will save you a world of hurt if your site is ever hacked.

One really important tip that this doesn’t cover–Make SURE that in WordPress, you NEVER use the “admin” login. In fact, just delete it (make sure you have some other account with administrative privileges created first, of course!). What hackers use to break into your site is a program that repeatedly guesses random combinations of letters and numbers until they lock onto your password. So if you are using “admin” as your user name–the default WordPress user name–then they already know half the combination to access your site!

It goes without saying to make sure your password is as complex as possible–more than 8 characters, containing letters, numbers and symbols, as well as capital and lower-case letters.

So here is that list of a few critical steps you should take to protect your WordPress site. (caveat: this only works on a self-hosted wordpress site. if your site is hosted on wordpress.com (if your URL is something like yoursite.wordpress.com) then you can’t install these plugins.)

Create a new administrator user with a new login name. Delete the default “admin” user.

Use random gibberish passwords of at least 12 characters. Here’s a helpful random gibberish password generator.

Install and activate the Login Lockdown plugin.

Install, activate, and run the Secure WordPress plugin.

Install, activate, and run the WP Security Scan plugin. Run its File Permissions check, and change your folder permissions accordingly.

If you are creating a new website, install, activate, and run theMaintenance Mode plugin to create a landing page and “cloak” the work in progress.

Also, be sure to keep your WordPress install and  your plugins updated to their most recent version at all times. Usually the updates to the system and to plugins are to address new security vulnerabilities. Hackers are always developing new ways to attack, so the WordPress developers must respond with enhanced security.

I assure you that now you don't scare about WordPress security, now sleep much and think your site is more secured and protected.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2012 09:41
 
12 Benefits Of Having A Website
Some of the goals that can be achieved by launching a website include the following:

1. Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible Than Print Advertising
The Internet is extremely different from print advertising in that space is cheap, your advertisement is accessible for a longer period of time, the content can be changed without having to ask someone to do it for you (if you use a content management system) and you can potentially reach a wider audience.

This is not to say that you should not use other forms of advertising at all   You can use it to entice people to visit your website and find out about your company and potentially open two-way communication between the potential customer and a sales person.

2. Market Expansion
The Internet has allowed businesses to break through the geographical barriers and become accessible, virtually, from any country in the world by a potential customer that has Internet access.

3. Diversify Revenue Streams
A website is not just a medium for representation of your company, it is a form of media from which everybody can acquire information. You can use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses.

A recent trend has risen where businesses feature their very own directory of complimentary services, where the visitor can search for information on a business that will enhance the use of your service. The business sells complimentary businesses a listing in their directory.

A good example is a catering company featuring a directory with businesses such as event co-coordinators, electronic equipment rental companies, etc.

4. 24 7 365
No more turning customers away when its time to close shop, putting up a note saying  closed for public holiday , or leaving an irritating message on your answering service specifying your trading hours   tell them to visit your website for information they are looking for. 

5. Offer Convenience
It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the Internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for or ask someone for information on a product. Also, a potential customer won t have to judge a call centre agent to determine whether he/she has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale.

The potential customer can visit your website whenever they like in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the  real world .
Your website is a self-service medium   for example, instead of having to wait in a long cue to pay your TV License, you can now do it electronically through the TV License website.

6. Add Value and Satisfaction
By offering convenience, a point of reference and that touch of individualized customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction.

Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can  entertain  your customers. This will also help them remember you better.

7. Standardize Sales Performance
By looking at which approached / pitches have worked in the past and those which have not, you can produce the ultimate pitch and use it with your website, so that you use it on every customer. No more training of sales people and waiting for them to get a feel for your line of trade.

8. Improve credibility
A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you are about and why you deserve their trust and confidence. In fact, many people use the internet for pre-purchase research so that they can determine for themselves whether a particular supplier or brand is worthy of their patronage, and won t take them for a ride.
The Internet also allows for Viral Marketing   where your website visitors spread positive word-of-mouth about your business - your customers do your marketing!

9. Promote your  Brick  n  Mortar  Presence
Getting lost trying to find a place can be frustrating for a potential customer. You can publish what they call a  dummy map  on your website, which shows directions and landmarks graphically, and the potential customer can print it out when looking for your  Brick  n  Mortar  premises.

You might advertise a promotion on your website encouraging the visitor to visit your  Brick  n  Mortar  premises (e.g..  At a branch near you! ).
Also, if you recently moved to a new location, you will have to wait for the next 'phone directory to come out before people figure out where you currently are. Because a website is flexible   you can change the content as you like   you can change you contact details instantly and lower the risk of losing customers when moving to a new location.

10. Growth Opportunity
A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors to, to show them what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.

11. Two-Way Communicative Marketing
Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach. 

12. Cheap Market Research
You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.

Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.

 
The importance of Google and social media for the...

I was recently interviewed by ENT Today about the need for medical practices to optimize their websites to be found in Google search and to take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to communicate with patients. If you run a doctor’s office, find out how you can attract more patients and serve them more efficiently. Read the article here.

 
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