Greg’s SEO Articles

Secure WordPress from Hackers

According to WP White Security, more than 70% of WordPress websites are vulnerable to a hack attack! But don’t worry – it’s easier to deal with than you think!

INSTALL WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGINS

Never is it a bad idea to find the security plugin that works for you! “WP All-in-One Security” is the one we use and recommend to clients because it has Brute-Force Protection, a File-Change Scanner, a Firewall, and much more! It even has a “Security Strength Meter” to show now secure you can make your site!

USE STRONG CREDENTIALS

Just create a password (even the one that can be auto-generated by WordPress) that’s at least 12 characters in length and doesn’t just use letters (regardless of capitals or lowercase) or numbers.

KEEP A CONSTANT WEBSITE BACKUP

This is a must-have regardless what happens! Use “BackWPUp” and have it run a backup at the very least once a month!

SCAN YOUR SITE FOR MALWARE

Plugins make it possible to scan your WordPress site for malicious code using a scanner like “Anti-Malware from GOTMLS.NET” – get it for free and scan your site immediately!

LIMIT YOUR LOGIN ATTEMPTS

“All-in-One WP Security” can do this too, so make sure to limit the number of attempted logins so a hacker can’t get in after a number of failed tries to break in!

CREATE A NEW ADMIN IF “ADMIN” IS YOUR USERNAME

Hackers will use the username “admin” because it’s the most commonly used username in WordPress. Make a new one with administrator rights and delete the old one so they can’t get in!

USE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

“All-in-One WP Security” does this too by adding a CAPTCHA, but you can even send you a verification code by cell-phone! This makes it much harder for a potential hacker to get into your site!

KEEP WORDPRESS UP TO DATE

This is easily done without you pressing a single button by adding this to your wp-config.php:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );
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WordPress Security Checklist

We have discussed security on our blog at lenghth, but it can’t be stressed enough; do yourself a favor and check these must-do’s to keep your WordPress site secure!

USE SECURE HOSTING

First and foremost is secure hosting – don’t go for the cheapest package you can find; that’ll make it too easy for your site to be attacked and therefore make your hosting needs become a frustration.

HIDE WORDPRESS IDENTIFIERS

This means you have to make sure you hide anything that shows your site is that of WordPress. A perfect example is the “wp-admin” login page, which can be changed using security plugins like “All-in-One WP Security”. The ‘created on WordPress’ tagline is one you should remove ASAP as well.

INSTALL A SECURITY PLUGIN

This cannot be stressed enough because it makes security and management thereof so much easier. One way to find a plugin that suits your needs is Google search “WordPress security plugins for [INSERT INDUSTRY TAG HERE] websites”. For example, if your website is eCommerce-intensive, you can search “WordPress security plugins for eCommerce websites”, and as such might need more robust platform than just a free plugin can do.

The afore-mentioned “WP All-in-One Security” and “WordFence” are both prime examples of free yet secure options for most websites.

KEEP PASSWORDS SECURE

This is obvious but make a password that barely anyone would be able to guess. You do have to keep it in a safe place, though, so one free tool – “BitWarden” – manages all your passwords via “Master Password”.

PROTECT INPUT FIELDS

What we mean by this is, you should make sure everything such as your contact forms have a Captcha system, or some way to prove that such form submissions are not by robots in any way. This even includes your login page, where a security plugin (even a free one) can place a Captcha there so brute force attacks against your website become much more difficult.

GENERATE BACKUPS

This may seem obvious but this is a simple mistake to make and yet perhaps the most costly. A free plugin – “BackWPUp” – can take care of this for you right away and even can be scheduled to run entire backups of your site/s.

STAY UP-TO-DATE

Whether you see a WordPress version, theme or plugin that says it needs updating, do as soon as you can if not right away. It will go a long way towards keeping your site secure.

In fact, There is a way to do this automatically without pressing any buttons! Put this code at the bottom of your “wp-config.php” file:

         define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true ); 

Then, put this code at the bottom of your activated theme’s “functions.php” file:

         add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
         add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' ); 
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Multilingual Plugins for WordPress

By sticking to just one language on your website you’re limiting your sales from around the world. As people find new ways to communicate instantly, you’re more and more likely to communicate with people whose first language isn’t English. You’ll be able to reach far more people by translating text into their language. Here are 4 plugins we recommend:

POLYLANG

With this plugin you can add as many languages as you need to every page or post that you’re working on. Although it doesn’t do the translation for you, it does make it very easy to scale your content for multilingual purposes – you don’t have to have multiple websites with different languages, because a user logging onto your site merely has to select a language of their choice.

LOCO TRANSLATE

This plugin does more than just translate posts – it uses the readily available variety of languages WordPress has and does the translation from there. It is $5.95 monthly but you can translate 2,000 words for free.

WORDPRESS MULTINGUAL PLUGIN (WPML)

This plugin lets you automatically or even manually translate your content. More than 40 languages are available for auto-translation. It will cost $29 for “Standard” and $79 for “Advanced” but it has a solid reputation.

GOOGLE LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR

Last but not least is the Google Language Translator. Not only is it free, but Google Translate has become substantially more accurate, and it can support over 100 languages!

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Best Social Media WordPress Plugins

WordPress has so many plugins to choose from, but which are the right ones to boost your social media presence?

MONARCH

Developed by Elegant Themes back in 2014, it has become very popular because it can:
. Display a floating sidebar
. Customize the position of your social sharing buttons
. Create attractive, user-friendly interfaces
. Appeal to mobile as well as desktop users
. Determine when your pop-ups will appear to your visitors
. Track statistics

There is one caveat: it is $89 per year to use.

EASY SOCIAL SHARE BUTTONS

This plugin’s major advantage is that it provides an easy-to-use interface, but doesn’t slow down your site. Here’s just a handful of features:
. over 40 social networks supported
. 30 built-in templates
. built-in email subscription services
. shareable quotes in your blog posts
. 50 social network buttons, 50 templates, 28 display locations, and 25 animations
. compatibility with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads

You can also analyze and optimize your social activity using this plugin.

MASHSHARE

This is a plugin inspired by the social buttons on Mashable.com, has a freemium plan (most of its features are freemium in the first place), but the paid version does offer Google Analytics Integration, Mashshare Page Views, a Sticky ShareBar, VideoPost Popup, or Short URLs Integration.

SOCIAL WARFARE

This relatively new plugin makes your posts more attractive and easily shareable by providing:
. shareable quotes within your blog posts.
. uploading of your images directly to Pinterest.
. more than 5,000 style combinations, helping you customize your interfaces.
. shareable Twitter cards to encourage users to read the quote and share it on their social channels.
. shortcodes that let you insert the social sharing buttons wherever you need.

It is $29 yearly but there is a 45-day money-back guarantee.

REVIVE OLD POST AND REVIVE NETWORK

These two plugins were built by Revive Social. “Revive Old Post” automatically shares your older content on your social network, whereas “Revive Network” tracks quality and relevant resources from online resources and republishes them on your social networks.

Probably the only disadvantage of these plugins is pricing: “Revive Old Posts” is between $85 and $338, while “Revive Network” costs between $55 and $450.

FLOW-FLOW SOCIAL STREAM

This plugin combines and streams social feeds from multiple platforms. It’s free for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and then costs $36 to stream from YouTube, Tumblr, SoundCloud, Dribbble, and many more.

SOCIAL PUG

This plugin lets you add round, rectangular, or circular share buttons. They also can be placed above or below your site’s content, or as a floating sidebar.

The free version supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, whereas the pro version at $29 offers 11 more networks to choose from.

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How to Protect WordPress from Security Issues

WordPress has become extremely popular because of its versatility, but that does mean that it can be susceptible to hacks. There are, however, plenty of ways to avoid the likeliness of this to occur:

. Use a strong password to avoid Brute-Force attacks
. Use a reputed hosting provider where websites are isolated
. Always keep your WordPress and plugins up to date
. Use security plugins like intrusion detectors (most security plugins are able to check for this)
. Remove all the old data and unnecessary backups
. Remove all sensitive temporary files
. Set automatic settings to log out idle users (most security plugins can do this too)
. Setup an SSL which will authenticate your website and safeguard your users’ data
. Give the admin and password rights to only trusted individuals
. Change the password regularly
. You can also safeguard the websites through the database
. Backup your website regularly
. Keep a strong password for your SQL database too
. Keep an eye on audit logs

WordPress is great for beginners but they must be aware of any potential security issues. All sorts of plugins and even software for cPanel (available only through your hosting account) are available to accomplish the above solutions.

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Things to Keep in Mind when Choosing WordPress Plugins to Use

Before you pick a plugin to use on your website, you do have to make sure they’ll work well on your website. Here are a few recommendations to do just that.

1. AVERAGE RATINGS

Arguably the easiest way to check if a plugin will work on your website is to see its average rating – the more positive the ratings, the more reliable it is. We suggest choosing a plugin no fewer than an average 4 stars. Also check the reviews from there to see what users have to say.

2. NUMBER OF ACTIVE INSTALLATIONS

WordPress plugins show how many active installations it has – this can show you overall reliability of said plugin. Just stay with those that have at least 10,000 active installations so you know how reliable it really is.

3. COMPARE PLUGINS WITH OTHER ONES

WordPress has plenty of plugins with similar if not the same functionality, but one might work better than the other. Just try out multiple plugins to see which one works best for your website.

4. ANALYZE PLUGIN SCREENSHOTS (if any are available)

Plugin screenshots give you an idea of what it’s going to be like to activate it on your website, so you’ll want to go over those to see what works best to your preferences.

5. READ FAQ SECTIONS

Most plugins have a section for frequently asked questions, so you’ll want to read that to see if there’s been any trouble with the plugin in question.

6. TEST YOUR PLUGIN

Plugins could slow down your website or hamper its performance in one way, shape or form, so you have to make sure the plugin works with your site properly. Fortunately it’s not a difficult task: after activating your new plugin, simply see if your website acts up afterward.

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