Securing Wordpress

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Security, Wordpress

wordpress-security

Security is a big issue these days, not only in the real world but also in the online world. Unfortunately, some people have nothing better to do than hack other peoples websites and blogs. I for one am a victim of such an attack. So, what can we do to avoid spam attacks and website exploits? Locking down your website/blog is the answer. Here are the things I’ve done so far to harden up my blog:

1. Upgrade to the latest Wordpress Version- Holes and exploits are always being discovered in Wordpress so it is wise to have the latest version with the exploits patched up.

2. Use a complicated password and change it often- Hackers will sometime attempt to do a brute force attack to gain your log in details to exploit your blog. Changing your password regularly can avoid such attacks. To further stop this kind of attack, install the Login LockDown plugin for Wordpress, which will block an IP address after attempting to login to your blog within 5 minutes.

3. Set correct file and folder permissions- Setting file and directory permissions is important as you don’t want to give access to unauthorized people. Chmod values should be: 755 for directories, 644 for plugins and core WP PHP files, and 666 for my active theme files. Tutorial.

4. WordPress Exploit Scanner- This plugin will search for any suspicious activity on your server. Good too to run occasionally.

5. Make regular backups- The more regular the better, because if something does come up, you’ll be able to restore your blog within minutes. I now backup my blog every couple of days. Make it a habit.

So far I haven’t been compromised using the above steps, and am hoping for it to stay that way :D . If you have any suggestions or questions, just leave a comment.

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How to Backup your WordPress Database

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: How To, Wordpress

Considering what happened on this incident , I think it's fitting to write up a tutorial on how to backup your wordpress Database. There are a couple of ways to backup your database, I'm going to show you how to do it using WordPress Database Backup Plugin .

  1.  Extract wp-db-backup.php, upload it into /wp-content/plugins/ and activate it under the Plugins menu.
  2. Click the Manage menu in your WordPress admin area.
  3. Click the Backup sub-menu.
  4. The plugin will look for other tables in the same database. You may elect to include other tables in the backup.                     
    ** NOTE **
    Including other tables in your backup may substantially increase the
    size of the backup file!
  5. Select how you’d like the backup to be delivered:                                                                                                                                                                     Save to server :
  6. this will create a file in /wp-content/backup-*/ for you to retrieve later                                                                                                                                                                            Download to your computer :
  7. this will send the backup file to your browser to be downloaded                                                                                                                                                                 Email :
  8. this will email the backup file to the address you specify
  9. Click “Backup!” and your database backup will be delivered to you.

    When having the database backup emailed or sent to your browser for immediate download, the backup file will be deleted from the server when the transfer is finished. Only if you select delivery method “Save to server” will the backup file remain on your server.

Easy as 1,2,3! I encourage you all to backup your database regularly, otherwise you'll have a lot of work to do to get everything back to normal again. Trust me ;) .  

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MyBlogLog Widget – Reward Your Visitors

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Wordpress

If you had not noticed, I’ve just recently added the MyBlogLog Recent Readers Widget. I had neglected adding this widget since starting as I did not think it was important. I’ve changed my mind now. Enabling this widget exposes the reader’s website/blog in the little avatar, to the rest of the visitors. I think it’s the least I can do to give something back to you as a loyal reader.

In the near future, I’m going to be posting my second youtube video. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one, so stay tuned ;) .

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Increase Alexa Rank

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Web Design, Wordpress

Did you know you can increase your Alexa Rank quite easily? I don’t know how the Alexa algorithm works, but many people have reported great success of increasing their rank by installing the Alexa widget on their website or blog. Before I had installed this widget, I was rank 3,569,506. The next day i dropped 300,000 places closer to 1! This is something you should defiantly tryout as it doesn’t cost you a cent. Leave a comment and tell us your results with the Alexa widget.

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Fight Spam with Spam Free

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Wordpress

This morning, I woke up and logged in to check the daily stats of my blog . I got quite a surprise when I saw this:

Spam

Previously, I had been getting a few spam comments, but nothing this major. It was time to bring out the big guns. I’d read Akismet did a pretty good job, however, I was having trouble getting it to work. I then discovered another plugin called WP-SpamFree (original isn’t it?). The description is as follows, “Powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes contact form.” Just the thing I needed.

I followed the simple instructions to install it and had it up and running within minutes. It actually requires no configuration to get working, which I found delightful. WP-SpamFree doesn’t use captcha to verify comments, it uses a mix of javascript and cookies to stop spam bots. Because 99% of spam bots can’t read javascript, adding cookies aswell reinforces it as almost 100% of spam bots can’t read both javascript and cookies.

So, if you are having spam problems with your WordPress blog, or want to be pro-active, I suggest you download WP-SpamFree today.

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10 Ways To Increase RSS Subscribers

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Wordpress

If you’re someone that owns a blog or website, you’ll know that subscribers are the lifeblood of your site. Why? Because these loyal subscribers take interest in your writing’s which keeps them coming back. This brings the issue of “How do I get more people to subscribe”?

1. Write quality content.
You’ve probably figured out by now that quality content is the key to lot of things on your blog or website. If you’re copying and pasting articles that have been written up a thousand times, no one wants to read them. Be original and add your perspective to the write-up.

2. Use SubscribeRemind or something similar.
Subscribe remind is a small plugin for WordPress that inserts a snippet of text at the bottom of every article you write, reminding people to subscribe to your feed. Once again, this will be most effective if you have quality content.

3. Post everyday.
Ask yourself, why should readers subscribe? Generally, it’s because they like your content and don’t want to miss out on any of the action. So posting everyday keeps your readers on their toes and if they haven’t subscribed already, they should.

4. Use the orange RSS button.
The orange RSS button has become universally recognized as the button to subscribe. There are other fancy colours, but the orange colour is easy to recognize. The goal is to make subscribing to your feed as easy as possible, so keep it simple.

5. Allow your readers to subscribe by email.
Not everyone has newsfeed reader, so adding the ability to subscribe by email is very important. On my blog, I use Feedburner because of its simplicity and which also allows me to add the option of permitting visitors to subscribe by email.

6. Offer unique content to subscribers.
Something like an eBook or a report would fit this point. This gives the user another incentive to subscribe and as long as the eBook or report is worthwhile, you should see an increase in subscriber numbers.

7. Invite commenters to subscribe.
Whilst you don’t have anyway of telling if a commenter has subscribed, you should thank him/her for the comment and invite him/her to subscribe to your blog.Why? Because they have shown interest in the article you have written and hopefully will want to come back for more.

8. Submit your blog’s RSS feed to RSS directories.
Adding your RSS feed to directories will give you more exposure to the World Wide Web. If you Google “RSS directory list”, you should find plenty of places to submit your RSS feed.

9. Link to your RSS feed in your email signature or forum signature.
Instead of having just your website or blog in your signature, add your RSS feed link in there too. Some users prefer to go straight to the content without having to visit your site first.

10. Run a competition.
Running a competition can boost your subscriber count by a lot. However, after the competition ends, those subscribers tend disappear. But you may strike lucky and find that these new subscribers like your content and decide to stay. Also, competitions spread very quickly around the net so it’s defiantly worth a shot.

The above points should indefinitely increase your RSS subscribers. Remember, keep it simple, and whatever you do, give it time to work. ;)

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Learn About Your Vistitors

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Web Design, Wordpress

If you’re website owner, you know it’s important to have visitors, and with the right information, you can improve your visitor statistics. These statistics can tell you a lot of things, such as the number of unique visitors you’ve had, where they come from, what they look at, and the time they spend visiting. Chances are you’ve got a nice stat counter from your web hosting provider; if you haven’t, I’ll show you how to add one for free.

You may think that because you don’t sell any products, you don’t need to log stats. This is untrue. For example, my blog provides tutorials and tips for PC’s. With statistic information, I can see which tip or tutorial is popular, and then use that to my advantage by providing more tips or tutorials on that topic.

So how do log these statistics? What you need is a visitor tracking service. The service operates by giving you a code to stick on your website so that they can track the information for you. The service that I recommend is StatCounter. The service is free for small websites and the depth of data recorded is very good. Everything is set out well and is easy-to-read. With this service enable, you’ll be able to see what popular and what’s not, therefore able to provide better content.

If you’re using interested in obtaining statistics, here’s how to add a counter to your site:

1. Visit www.statcounter.com and click ‘Register Now’ to open a free account and create a project for your current site.
2. Configure the specifications for your counter. You may wish to set the counter invisible or otherwise choose another option. StatCounter will provide you the code you need to copy and paste into the body area of every page on your website. Edit the files and re-upload them.
3. To view the statistics for your Website, visit www.statcounter.com and log in. Click the ‘My Projects’ link and click the project for the Web site to track. You’ll see a summary page with current visitor numbers – you can select other dates if desired and choose other stats from the list down the left of the screen.

If you’re using Wordpress like me, follow the previous steps until you get to the part of setting the counter invisible. Instead of pasting in a code to your Web site, StatCounter have provided a plugin for you to use:

1. Click here to Download a zipped version of the StatCounter Wordpress Plugin
2. Unzip this file and upload the enclosed PHP file “StatCounter-Wordpress-Plugin.php” into your “wp-content/plugins” folder
3. Go to your Plugin screen in your WordPress admin console
4. Fill out the details, as per the instructions.
5. Switch the plugin over to Enabled.

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Remove Subscribe Remind From Homepage

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Wordpress

I was editing my blog today and testing out a new plugin for me called Subscribe Remind. It automatically adds a small insert of text kindly reminding the user to subscribe to your blog. However, whilst it did add the supplied text to each post, it could be seen on every individual post on the homepage. Scrolling through your homepage with the same line of text every couple of lines did not look very professional at all. To fix it, a small change to the code was needed.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Open up subscribe-remind.php in your text editor.

2. Find the line ” if ( !is_feed() && !is_page() ) ” and add ” && !is_home() ” (without the quote) so that it looks like this:

if ( !is_feed() && !is_page() && !is_home() )

3. Save the file and reupload it to your /wp-content/plugins/subscribe-remind directory.
4. Refresh the homepage and that’s it!

Hope this tip was helpful. Let me know.

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