SEO Articles

How do You Develop a Content Style Guide?

How do You Develop a Content Style Guide?

Do you have multiple writers writing for your website? Or are you a writer yourself working on different projects like website copy, emails, newsletters and more?

The way you write matters when it comes to expressing yourself before your audience. That is why you need to know precisely what governs your style of writing.

For every brand, consistency in style, grammar, tone, and punctuation are essential tools to make your content enjoyable and engaging. All this can only be achieved if you have a content style guide – and stick with it.

Content style guide creates uniformity besides allowing your content to entice the reader. So, how do you develop a compelling style guide? Read on to find the right answers.

The Importance of Style Guide

A content style guide describes a set of organized rules that you need to follow for your copywriting.

Such rules will help you when creating website content like social media posts, blog articles, email content, eBooks, webpages and any form of online writing.  

i)It Promotes Consistency

At this age of information technology, people are getting smarter each day. This is to say that if your brand is not consistent, they will easily notice. 

For instance, if you create compelling and engaging content on one platform but submit substandard content on another, they may not recognize your brand. Therefore, you need to maintain consistency to allow your audience to easily identify your brand.

When you think about Apple’s copywriting, what comes to your mind?

It’s usually attention-grabbing, descriptive, but also sounds crisp and professional.

It’s only possible for me to describe their copywriting style because it has been consistently not only for all of its marketing efforts, but also throughout the years.

Stay consistent, and your clients will remember you better.

ii)It Gives Priority to Your Audience

The idea behind content style guides is to enable you to communicate more effectively with your audiences. What you include in your style should meet their needs and expectations in every content you create. 

Let’s look at Apple again as an example, they are a tech company and offers products with a premium price tag. Now, how can they wow the crowd and make them overlook the hefty price tag?

Copywriting wise, Apple always make sure to dash out the specs of their products in an easily consumable way, and turn it into a wow factor.

They know those willing to drop big bucks are expecting the get the best. And through their copywriting, they make sure to promise you the best.

This is the reason why your content must be relevant to their behaviors, interests, and activities. In other words, your style guide should give priority to your audiences’ needs in a more impactful way.

iii) It Encourages Good Practice

The first step in creating the best content for your target audience is to carry out a thorough research on the subject matter. 

A good content style guide is created with its purpose in mind.

Your brand, business goals, audience, and close competitors will influence your content style guide as well. This means that you should strive to get more insight into what you are trying to present to your audience. 

Apply what kind of knowledge you have acquired such as discovery sessions, stakeholder interviews, and content audits. All these give you a good starting point.

iv) It Creates Good Content

The content style guide is all about how you communicate with others. This is important, especially when creating a brand for a particular audience.

Despite the style guide being a practical resource, it is also a commitment to creating relevant content. So punctuation, formatting, and grammar should determine the quality of your work

Luckily, the content style guide helps you to keep all this in check. Other elements such as trends, personality and brand values come in later to make your content even better.

Steps to Creating a Style Guide

Here are the steps to follow:

i)Express Your Personality in Three Words

Look out for three important words that describe your personality. Also, make sure to add an explanation of what the three words mean. 

For example, a single word can have several meanings to different people. By providing the meaning of each word, you will help your audience to understand your message better.

Are you young, ambitious, and friendly? Or are you traditional, precise, and details oriented? 

With this firmly in mind, it can greatly change your brand’s image through copywriting.

ii) Find Out What Makes You Stand Out in the Crowd

In this step, you should only focus on relevant information about what gives you an edge over others.

Don’t dwell so much on controversial content in a bid to capture the attention of your audience. Just go straight to the point and state clearly what makes you or your brand unique from your competitors.

For example, TOMS is a footwear brand, but they are also known for their eco-friendly and charitable approach. Because they made sure that everyone knows about that.

Be like TOMS.

TOMS’ copywriting and marketing as a whole focuses heavily on their environmental-friendly, and charity activities. Which is what sets them apart from so many other footwear brands. 

iii)Pay Attention to Your Audience

You need to know what your audience could be thinking when reading your content. This helps you create something that will stand out to them more, and thus closer to their heart.

They might be used to their usual brands but still looking for better options. Take advantage of their situation and pay attention to what they want, can you offer a better price? Or perfects round the clock customer support? Highlight those to turn a visitor into a customer.

Also useful, is to find out as much as you can about how they communicate. 

Take advantage of their situation and pay attention to what they want. Find out as much as you can about how they communicate. 

Ask yourself if their form of communication is formal, casual or humorous. Once you have this information at the back of your mind, you will find it easy to create content that your new audience will like.

iv) Don’t Force Engagement with Your Audience

The next step in developing good content is engaging your audience. Let your tone be their guiding principle when reading through your work. 

But don’t let them feel that you are forcing engagement with them. Just relax and let everything else fall in place.

Things To Consider When Creating Your Content Style Guide

i) Choose Your External Style Book

Several established manuals for external style books do exist out there. Each of them can give you a solid foundation when creating your content. No wonder most companies use one of the following external style books to creating high-quality content:

The Chicago ManualAP StylebookYahoo Style Guide

ii) Grammar and Punctuation

After picking your external stylebook, the next task is to use the set the rules on grammar and punctuation.

With punctuation and grammar, you must take into account any common issues arising while creating content, capitalizing names, titles and many more. Also, you must know when and when not to apply abbreviations, Oxford comma and certain terms you are likely to use so often. 

Or when it’s ok to not follow the grammar and punctuation rules from the style guide.

There exist a whole debate over should there be a comma after the word “and”. This is something you should make clear when creating a content style guide.

iii)Style and Tone

Consider the following situations:

Whether to use passive or active voice.Writing in first, second or third person.How to handle legal language and jargon.

These details can really make or break the consistency of copywriting styles across your different platforms and copies, so do not leave them out.

iv) Your audience’s persona

Is your potential audience professionals? Are they baby boomers? Or are they stay-at-home moms? You should make it known in the content style guide who you are writing for, so you can write to them better.

Creating a detailed audience persona can help your copywriters to craft out more precise copies that can strike a chord with your readers. Building that much needed connection.

Developing personas of your potential customers and choosing which of them to address for each piece of content, can greatly help in creating higher quality content. (image source)

v) Types of Content

Content is available in all types but only a few are right for your audience.

In this regard, your content style guide must take outline and enlist only the most relevant content that can best showcase your brand while highly reachable for your targeted audience.

Focus more on decision making while keeping your target audience in mind. Examples of content that you may use include videos, audiobooks, podcasts, images, infographic and blog articles.

There are a lot of different types of content, choose the ones most suited for your business and can reach to the most potential clients. (image source)

vi)Formatting

Do you want first-line indent? How long should a paragraph be? Are long-winded sentences ok?

You should set some rules on formating to make sure all contents’ formating are uninformed and you do not spend precious time deleting spaces, or combining paragraphs.

Final Thought

When it comes to creating content, you need to adopt a guideline that governs your style.

The content style guide should be created meticulously, with all details and situations considered, in order to guide you throughout your work, helping you to come up with engaging and compelling content for your target audience.

I hope this piece has been helpful to help you in creating a content style guide for you and your copywriters so you can pump out more content that is consistent in quality, add points to your branding effort, and helps you connect better with your clients.

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SEO Checklist: Optimizing Your Website For Higher Ranking

A must-have checklist for every SEO practitioner.
Discover more than 10 proven ways to get ranked on search engines
Get higher rank and more traffic to your website with these methods
18 hidden tips provided to help you get on the road to your SEO success

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Related posts in WordPress: make sure to suggest the best

Related posts in WordPress: make sure to suggest the best

Showing related posts below your post are a great way to keep visitors on your website. That’s why lots of site owners already use related posts to reduce the number of visitors that leave their site after reading an article. You could say that a related posts section is the glue that binds posts together. But how do you make sure your related posts make sense? And how should you add them? In this article, I’ll tell you all about it!

Why you should suggest related posts

There are several reasons to suggest other posts to your audience. First of all, you’d like to keep your audience on your site, read more of your content, get to know your brand better. Maybe, in the end, people will even subscribe to your newsletter or order your products. So, in the first place, you’re adding these links to other posts for your readers. As a bonus, search engines follow links too! And if you link topically related content on your site, search engines will have a better understanding of what your site is about. This helps them connect the right pages to the search terms people use in search engines.

Read more: Internal linking for SEO: why and how »

How to find related posts

If you have less than 100 articles on your site, it’s probably doable to remember most of them. Especially if you’ve written them yourself. But if you have a bigger site with lots of articles, written by multiple authors, remembering everything becomes quite the challenge. Luckily, you can use your internal search to find related posts or you can use Google to search on your site. Nowadays this is super easy; just type your site’s URL and Google will propose to search content particularly on your site.

If you’re on WordPress, you can also use Yoast SEO Premium, as it will find and suggest related content on the right-hand side of your editing screen. With Yoast SEO Premium 14.7, we’ve released a completely revised version of this internal linking tool, making it faster and smarter. When you use our plugin, you’ll see 5 suggestions of posts, pages, tags, or categories to link to while editing your content:

Internal linking suggestions in Yoast SEO

The labels on the right side of the suggestions show you what kind of post type it is (for example, a post or tag page). Just pick the ones that make sense to your readers, as almost no-one will click on unrelated content (unless it’s by accident).

Cornerstone content

Your best, most complete, high-quality articles are called your cornerstone articles. These articles deserve special treatment when adding related posts to your text. As they are your best content, people will want to read them and you want search engines to rank them high. Therefore you should always link from topically related posts to the cornerstone post on that topic. With Yoast SEO you can mark these posts as cornerstone content and they will show up on top of the internal linking suggestions. That way you won’t forget to link to them where it’s important to do so!

Anchor text and inline links

In addition to linking to your cornerstones, there are some other best practices when linking to other posts on your site. For instance, you should make sure you use relevant, on-topic, anchor texts. When you place a link in the actual text of your page, as opposed to a related post section below your post, it’s surrounded by relevant content. Therefore, these links hold more value for Google than that separate section at the bottom of your article. Also, that section might be cluttered with social share buttons, a bio, and your newsletter subscription. This makes it just that tad bit less useful for Google.

Do add a read more section!

So, should you add related posts at the end of your post? Please do! You can do this complementary to the posts you’ve linked in your copy. You could, for instance, select that one cornerstone everyone should read, or another article related closely to the post people just read.

Of course, you can do this manually, but using a plugin can save you lots of time. If you have Yoast SEO Premium, you can use our Related Links block to add all 5 of the internal linking suggestions in one go! You can do this by clicking on the plus sign in the WordPress Block editor and searching for Yoast. Of course, you can customize which links will be in the block, so make sure to check them! As you know your audience and what they will want to read best. Check out how the Related Links block works here:

Useful right? We added this feature to our plugin with our recent 14.8 release! But that’s not all. Because we have another type of block that you can use while linking to related posts. Or two actually.

Meet the subpages and siblings block

The subpages block, which is a block that lists (and links) to the child pages of the current page. And the siblings block, which lists and links the siblings of your current page. And as always, make sure to check whether it fits into your page, as you know this best. This video shows you what these look like:

Both the related links block and subpages and siblings block are features of our Yoast SEO Premium plugin. Be sure to check it out if you’re interested in adding relevant links to your posts using a plugin!

Interested in some related posts?

That’s it for this article! But while writing this, the Internal Linking tool suggested I add a link to another article. So, let’s just use that one in case you want to read more about Internal linking: why and how? See? It works kind of perfectly.

The post Related posts in WordPress: make sure to suggest the best appeared first on Yoast.

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Overcoming Webmaster Depression

This year is a rather easy year to be depressed. 😉

COVID-19, fearmongering media, polarized hyper-charged social media, mass unemployment, lockdowns that killed exercise routines and social connections, loss of hope / purpose / meaning, a guy who stuck a gun in the belly area of a pregnant woman overdosing on fentanyl shortly after he passed counterfeit currency, that broader background being utterly ignored so outrage could fuel widespread rioting with a man in dreadlocks kicking a man sitting in the street unconscious & other bonus random drive by shootings where actual heroes are murdered at random, cities being burned down, communist anarchy, social “justice” movements founded on the idiotic idea of improving society by ripping apart the family unit, etc.

This post is not a suicide letter, but an ode to reality of accepting today for what it is. 😀

pic.twitter.com/OWBHGa5eKR— Zero Gravity Media (@zerogravityhxp) August 12, 2020

Last year was the first year where I managed an office with a bunch of employees in it. When the office opened my email inbox had under 2,000 emails built up in it over a 16 year period of working on the web. Far from inbox zero, I am now above 20,000. I think in a Bill Gates interview about a half year ago I smiled after hearing his sort of EGT was how his email inbox was doing. I timed that office opening almost perfectly for COVID-19 so I could have all the stress and cost associated with training a team, setting up a ton of computers, creating workflow, … and then none of the benefits as the office would get shut down shortly after things began to operate smoothly. 😀

By the end of last year a was a bit (err…lot) on the fat side from working too much, too much stress, and exercising too little. My weight and the length of my fuse are reciprocals.

In the past I used to harness negative energy into a form of rage to fuel drive, but now that I am over 40 I find it much harder to live that way. I’ve already had a number of near death experiences (including one when my wife was pregnant with our only child) and think at some point living that rage-drive way is just shitty. Just say no to endless rage.

So when it was obvious this year was largely going to be dog crap, I started to look internally instead of externally & figured it made more sense to improve health & mood than to fight the gravity of the global depression we are currently living through.

Exogenous Shocks

When things change out of nowhere they can end up dramatically changing the social and economic order.

Many such changes are utterly arbitrary and orthogonal to the concepts of fairness, justice, human decency, etc.

Some parties are politically connected & shielded from actual market forces.

As a self-employed person living overseas I am certainly not one of those protected parties. That said, my family and the people who work for me look to me and hope I can help shield them from some of the crap reality served up this year.

As a rule, when exogenous shocks happen those who are not politically connected get screwed hardest.

Smaller firms tend to under-perform larger firms: “As the earnings season draws to a close, companies within the Russell 2000 stock index — the small-cap benchmark — have reported an aggregate loss of $1.1bn, compared to profits of almost $18bn a year earlier, according to data provider FactSet. Meantime, the much bigger companies within the benchmark S&P 500 index have posted a 34 per cent aggregate drop in earnings, to $233bn.”

Poorer people are more likely to lose their jobs.

Emerging markets tend to get hit harder than developed markets. Which only adds to the powder keg of instability as the food price inflation tied to falling incomes makes many people rather desperate.

etc.

As people get desperate violence increases & many governments get overthrown.

Central banks printing cash to prop up the financial markets only increases the divide further.

Congratulations @federalreserve pic.twitter.com/8HxhLH9il5— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) August 17, 2020

That increased income & wealth inequality makes “the system” only feel that much more fraudulent, which in turn acts as a powder keg to fuel more arbitrary misdirected violence.

Tesla now has a $340 billion market capitalization. They remain unprofitable outside of harvesting tax credits.

Beyond fueling increased violence, the sky high numbers for FOMO stocks also lead some people to feel like they are failures for only slightly succeeding or just getting by.

Others pile in to trashy cryptocurrencies in an attempt to catch up where they only further compound their losses.

Waiting Things Out

It is worth noting many of the jobs that are gone are gone for good.

We may very well be facing a global depression:

“The pandemic has created a massive economic contraction that will be followed by a financial crisis in many parts of the globe, as nonperforming corporate loans accumulate alongside bankruptcies. Sovereign defaults in the developing world are also poised to spike. This crisis will follow a path similar to the one the last crisis took, except worse, commensurate with the scale and scope of the collapse in global economic activity. And the crisis will hit lower-income households and countries harder than their wealthier counterparts. … In all of the worst financial crises since the mid-nineteenth century, it took an average of eight years for per capita GDP to return to the pre-crisis level. (The median was seven years.) … The last time all engines failed was in the Great Depression; the collapse this time will be similarly abrupt and steep.”

If you can’t afford to feed your family of course you have to solve that problem first. But if you are not absolutely financially desperate then this can be a good year to win in ways other than finances & only worry about money after other things are in a better place.

This is a good year to find meaning through various types of self-improvement and doing lots of small & kind things for the people around you. Yesterday was a good day to buy your wife flowers. So is today. Tomorrow is a good day to buy a friend a surprise gift.

One of the best books you can read about developing positive personal habits is Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. It is 8 years old now but it is still a great read.

Pushing for broad structural changes in a crisis through ideology which removes ordinary feedback loops often ends up creating only further injustice with the campaign “hero” looking like their polar opposite. Ideology pushed hard enough wraps around to the other side.

When things are absolutely screwed the world over it is better to focus on improving yourself and your family rather than promoting arbitrary extrajudicial justice and burning things down further.

Here are the steps I took to improve a good bit so far this year.

Coronavirus Lockdowns

When I saw a video of a guy walking down the street in Wuhan cough blood and fall over dead I immediately ordered facemasks for everyone in my extended family. I also bought facemasks and gloves into the office for workers. As it turns out gloves were largely a non-winner because using them is more likely to spread virus and bacteria, but the intent was good.

Cygnus recommended taking the supplement quercetin & so did Dr. Zev, so I do that.

Our government does not want us to treat covid early. If I get covid and no hcq access-I would take IMMEDIATELY quercetin 500mg three times a day for 7 days and elemental zinc 50mg one a day for 7 days, and z-pack. Every American home should have quercetin and zinc.— Dr. Zev Zelenko (@zev_dr) August 16, 2020

When lockdowns were announced I hoarded months worth of baby formula so I know my daughter would be ok & bought her a couple birthday presents in case the lockdowns were extended repeatedly. They were, so that worked out ok.

When lockdowns ended I bought a ton of different toys for my daughter so I could share them with her and make up for the limited outside contact for the time being. I also brought my lead graphic & web designer a dual monitor computer to his house to improve his efficiency.

Any day where there is not a lockdown I try to make the most of it knowing another couple months or quarter year can disappear arbitrarily.

Making the most out of the day for me often means doing something positive on the health front & meaning front right away. Things like getting food for my daughter or going for a walk are big wins early in the day as we tend to slow down and get tired as the day drags on.

Health / Fitness

Early in the year when I could use the gym I was walking at a brisk pace for about an hour a day while reading books and listening to podcasts.

After gyms were forced to be closed I started walking outside. Initially this was often to get groceries or various baby supplies, though I continued to walk daily even when there wasn’t a real direct need just to keep mood up with all the ridiculous crap going on in the world. I used to think the Philippines was way too hot when I had to drive everywhere, but even if it is hot as hell it isn’t bad to be out in the sun and heat so long as you are only walking especially if the walk has a purpose which helps your loved ones in some way.

Walking regularly with nothing else going on can be boring as hell, of course, so to offset the boredom I bring my iPhone and have some Airpod Pro earbuds with their killer noise canceling features. When nobody is near me I sometimes pull down my face mask and jog or sprint for a while to add variety to the day. I also sometimes make people’s ears bleed by singing along in an effort to share the joy of whatever I am listening to. 😀

There are many awesome acoustic songs on YouTube. Revisiting unheard versions of songs you liked a long time ago can make the lyrics more powerful.

Some of the spoken-word song introductions are quite powerful: “everyone wants you to forget you are gonna die, because if they convince you your not gonna die you waste your time doing what they want you to do. Spend money on what they’re selling. … one day I’m gonna die, but before then I’m gonna live, live, live, the way I want to live and I hope you do too.”

Whenever I exercise I usually have caffeine as well. I view it a bit like a band aid or kick start, but I try to only use it either explicitly when walking or when intensely focusing on work.

If my back hurts from sitting at the chair too long that is a cue to get up and take a break even if it is a short one to go play with my daughter.

Sometimes I will walk two or three times throughout the day to break up the monotony.

Most my exercise is walking or jogging, but occasionally I will do a few push ups or sit ups.

In a world of gloom it is hard to look in the mirror and see a steaming pile of garbage which is not well maintained and feel good about yourself.

You know what sacrifices you have made and what the costs were, but it is easy to go down the path of resentment if outcomes are subpar and beyond your control in the short term.

If you don’t feel alive you aren’t. 😀

It’s a lifeless life, with no fixed address to give
But you’re not mine to die for anymore
so I must live

Diet

I try to eat salad, Indian food, quiche, nuts, beef jerky, and all sorts of other foods where carbohydrates are sort of only incidental and are not core to the dish.

Anything that looks/smells/feels/sounds like sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, derivatives thereof, etc. I consider to be poison / systemic inflammation / weight gain and try to skip it.

I also consider drinking calories to be a disaster as the glycemic index on things like a soda are through the roof.

If you are fat and eat a lot of carbs you are repeatedly spiking your blood sugar, then it crashes, then you are hungry again. This habit & addictive cycle works on some of the same neural pathways that hardcore drugs do.

Sometimes I still do eat a bit of peanut butter or chocolate or frozen chocolate dipped in peanut butter, though I try not to use it meal replacement style very often & try not to be “full jar now empty” Aaron. Three tips on that front are to eat peanut butter using a chop stick so you eat it slower, eat small pieces of chocolate, and freeze the chocolate before eating so it takes a while to chew and you realize just how much you are eating. 😀

When I wake I often wait at least 4 or 5 hours before eating my first meal. In some cases I stretch that out to 6 or 8.

Communicating

I know a lot of people are in a bad state this year, so I try to offset that at least slightly by overcommunicating.

I send my mom pictures or videos of my daughter every day as she told me those help her sleep better at night and her watch even shows her blood pressure is lower and she feels much more well rested the next morning. I have bought my daughter a ton of extra clothes to wear just so my mom gets a bit more variety in the pictures and my daughter will have a ton of memories to sort through when she is older.

Our daughter has quite a bit of energy so sometimes she makes communicating with my wife hard. Sometimes we have better luck texting back and forth if something is urgent and then discuss it in more detail over email or when our daughter is taking a nap.

A lot of people around me have recently went through hardships beyond the financial uncertainties many are facing.

Our web designer’s mom had a heart attack then got COVID-19 but I think she is ok now.
Our lead writer had a friend younger than I who after going to the hospital with COVID-19.
Our lead programmer’s parents recently had their house broken into with some of their sentimental jewelry stolen & he is the glue guy for the whole family.
One of my buddies recently broke up with his long time girlfriend.

I am sure there are a lot more similar stories that I have not been told yet. So as a rule of thumb I sort of consider that if people have historically been good its ok to give them more leeway this year & be extra kind.

Mental Health

One of the cheapest & easiest wins in terms of quality of life is setting your grounding from a perspective of feeling lucky so that you are appreciative & try to be a better version of yourself. Episode 504 of This American Life shares an inspiring story about Emir Kamenica.

“These stories we tell about ourselves, they’re almost like our infrastructure, like railroads or highways. We can build them almost any way we want to. But once they’re in place, this whole inner landscape grows up around them.

So maybe the point here is that you should be careful about how you tell your story, or at least conscious of it. Because once you’ve told it, once you’ve built the highway, it’s just very hard to move it. Even if your story is about an angel who came out of nowhere and saved your life, even then, not even the angel herself can change it.” – Michael Lewis

I generally am not a fan of taking prescription drugs to solve symptoms of larger underlying problems as in many cases those can cause additional bonus problems. I get that some people need various drugs to get by and survive, though outside of caffeine I typically try not to drink much or do much of anything else that can add more instability or create more bonus issues.

The above said, I think my baseline mood (especially if I am not in great health) tends to be a bit darker than average.

The early web was quite cool and you could do things like email Tim Berners-Lee and get a response, or someone would read your site and see you mentioned Carl Sagan and shoot you an email like this one:

I wrote the first modern book on depression in 1980. It was the first book to present depression as a biochemical disease, rather than a ‘mental’ illness (whatever that is). And, I was the one who introduced Carl Sagan to television as a local TV personality in L. A., Carl was a good family friend who came to watch a taping of my PBS show, he got really intense when he realized what a medium for communication TV was, and I introduced him to the GM of the station, that’s how he got to TV. He was more of a scientist than an actor, I coached him on TV persona. He was a very intense person, and did not have a big ego; he was always open to new information, whether it came from experiences or ideas. He would have loved living now.

To solve both depression and weight gain problems, try an over-the-counter nutrient called 5HTP. The Walmarts here sell the least expensive and best pills. Take about nine a day for about nine days, you will notice you haven’t felt the urge to eat all day and you don’t have as much depression symptoms; the griffonia seed from which 5HTP is made increases serotonin in the brain.

Then a follow up after I asked about the FDA ban of L-Tryptophan:

Now something gets clearer! When tryotophan was banned because of one supposedly contaminated batch, I used every tiny bit of influence I had as a journalist, talked to every politician I could get in touch with. It was like going up against a brick wall. I wrote articles, did everything, could not understand at all why the nutrient was being banned for one bad batch in Japan and why resistance to overturning the ban was so solid. I even tried to obtain the animal version, and was told it ‘wasn’t the same,’ yet according to a chemical analysis, it was. Now I understand….

My book is “Depression, How to Recognize It, Cure It and Grow From It, Prentice Hall hardback, Simon Schuster paperback.

She also mentioned

Depression research is such big business that I feel they don’t want to find a real cure. The way the research should have gone is to study the chemical makeup of depression, then match the medication effect to different brain hormones (as well as cortisol-though it’s not a biogenic amine, it’s a definite precursor), and find accurate ways of testing which hormone or combination thereof is/are out of balance, so the correct medication can be prescribed right off the bat. So, if it’s a seratonin imbalance, the doc gives one medication, if it’s monomaine oxadase, the patient gets another, and so on. Prosac is like a huge blanket device, rather than an accurate laser beam going to the exact place it is needed.

Depression research really hasn’t progressed that much in the last 20 years, imho.

I know a big part of my improved mood was from taking 5-HTP along with Vitamin B & Vitamin C just before bed. When I take those I can fall asleep a bit quicker, sleep about an hour less, wake up feeling more refreshed, and am less hungry the following morning. If I had to guess, I would say the 5-hydroxytryptophan contributed to my recent 40 pound weight loss more than anything else did.

Anyhow, I would not recommend 5-HTP for anyone who is on SSRIs, MAO inhibitors, or many other drug classes (talk to your doctor first, etc.). But I figured a lot of people feel like crap this year so I should mention it has worked well for me.

Before writing this blog post I also recommended it to a few other people.

Our lead content writer was down after her friend died & I recommended it to her. She said she felt a difference the very next day.

Our backend developer took some after I told him about it and said his personal doom loop he was going through was better within 2 days.

I do not think it is a magic cure-all or would work for everyone, but if you are a bit down combining a bit of 5-HTP with exercise, healthy diet, sleep, etc. can help you improve your worldview and outlook a bit to get through the challenging times we are going through.

My only complaint (glass is always at least half empty :D) would be that as I have discarded that sort of rage cycle I find it easier to be distracted and harder to focus on work. If you love what you do focus comes automatic, but if you don’t then you do sometimes have to trick yourself a bit into being productive if you literally could be retired for life. But I suppose most people would say that is an absurd “problem” to complain about.

My only solution to the above is watching MJ on MJ. 😀

I’m going to tweet this & pin it to my page so I can watch it every single day

When MJ talks about winning & leadership has a price, he’s talking about sacrificing a part of who you are for all that your team can become.

A Championship Standard!! pic.twitter.com/IbK95jFTVY— Jaycob Ammerman (@Jammer2233) May 13, 2020

Ending on a Positive Note

Destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation
And earthquakes are to a girl’s guitar, they’re just another good vibration
And tidal waves couldn’t save the world from Californication

If you are reading this blog post you are almost certainly involved in some part of web development, content production, internet marketing and/or e-commerce.

Ultimately as the world is reshaped you will benefit as long as you get through the current period as literally *everything* is moving online.

This chart on e-commerce continues to amaze me. pic.twitter.com/zW4EwKHW1N— David Schawel (@DavidSchawel) August 17, 2020

Given that the big platform monopolies are now getting the PR black eyes they deserve for their locked down ecosystems there is a good chance the web will be a much better place in the next half-decade.

The number of people rushing to become their own bosses is at a record level. Many will fail, but many will innovate and create new markets as they have no choice but to succeed. As more things move online, attention merchant platforms keep breaking culture into smaller and smaller chunks to fuel increasingly distorted views of reality that cater toward confirmation bias and rage.

At some point people will tire of the feed-based never-ending stream and want things they can complete. The growth of Neflix and their streaming competitors reflects the desire for something longer and more in-depth.

Some of legacy print media brands with high cost structures are now recycled selling marked-up garbage in parallel markets.

The combination of these trends will drive an increased appreciation for authenticity & the desire for human connection.

Long ago my original SEO mentor stated:

This is what I think, SEO is all about emotions, all about human interaction. People, search engineers even, try and force it into a numbers box. Numbers, math and formulas are for people not smart enough to think in concepts.

I think the best brands, the best sites have a large portion of their founders personality in them. Never be afraid to be yourself, after all there are 1/2 billion people on the www, not all of them have to agree with you. Concentrate on the ones that share your views, concentrate on making their experience the very best it can be, the rest forget them.

Or to put it another way, the best sites say – this is what we do, this is how we do it, if you don’t like it go somewhere else.

Ultimately though I think it comes down to desire and the will to win.

He later sold his business for a life changing sum, so unlike his favorite football club, I guess he had the will to win. The question remains if he will purchase the football club and “fix” them. 😀

Categories: articles

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Tips for Effective SEO Project Management

Tips for Effective SEO Project Management

Project management and SEO, what do they have to do with each other? Isn’t SEO just about some geeky technical magic that will get your site more traffic? 

SEO is a relatively young field, which has grown significantly in the last 5-6 years. Most of the people I know who are not very familiar with the industry, just refer to it as “that SEO thing” and how can I blame them? Therefore, project management might not be seen as a main element when thinking about SEO. In reality, whoever works in SEO will know that project management is actually a large and crucial part of our daily job. 

This post comprises a series of tips and suggestions for effective SEO project management, with a stronger perspective on the agency side of things, based on our long experience in the digital marketing space.

Don’t miss the downloadable project kick-off checklist to help you get started on an SEO project with one of your clients! A comprehensive guide that covers a spectrum of SEO (and non-SEO) questions, which we find extremely useful when starting on a project.

Let’s get to it with some simple FAQs.

What is SEO Project Management?

It is simply, project management that involves any SEO work. We refer to it as any day-to-day practice that involves planning, executing, monitoring, and finalising the work of our SEO team to accomplish a specific goal within a specific timeframe. 

Why does Project Management matter in SEO?

Without project management, it would be impossible to develop a functional relationship with clients. Effective project management provides a series of invaluable benefits for your SEO team, from a stress and health perspective, to a communication and expectation management point of view. Furthermore, it creates a deeper relationship with your clients.

What is the difference between SEO Account Management and Project Management?

Differently from project management, SEO Account Management focuses on the overall success of a certain SEO account, rather than just a specific project. While the outcome of project management is determined by a defined target, successful account management relates to a successful relationship with the client.

In reality, there is a very fine line between the two and this post covers some elements of account management as well. At the end of the day, we like to think that project management is about getting things done.

What skills are needed for Project Management?

It boils down to three core skills:

Communication skills: Having the ability to communicate clearly and concisely with team members and clients is key to successful project management. 

Organizational skills: Organization is at the centre of every project management activity: planning and monitoring tasks, while coordinating people.

Time Management skills: Every project has a timeframe: working within that time frame is crucial for a project to be successful. 

#1 Project management is an SEO skill

The success of an SEO strategy is not limited to your ability to execute tactics. It’s also dictated by your ability to manage projects, people, clients, and external factors. As your strategies become more complex, learning how to manage a project is invaluable. A successful project manager handles expectations (internal and external), puts out fires and work to get buy-in on ideas.

#2 Have a plan

SEO strategies can be very complicated and involve a lot of stakeholders, between team members, clients and other third parties. Here at Distilled, we do our best to evaluate what a project looks like, before getting to it: it all boils down to having a clear plan of action. 

This process can normally be broken down into the following components.

Project Kickoff

This is the initial face-to-face or call with the client. This is the meeting that “kick-starts” the project (or relationship as a whole) and aims to cover an exhaustive list of topics in order to have a much better understanding of what should be delivered and how value can be provided.

Goals and expectations are discussed and often defined here, followed up by a series of emails to confirm what agreed upon. 

It is helpful to have a clear list of points and questions you want to cover in a kickoff meeting: I always prefer to come prepared, so I put together a list of questions that we tend to cover for all our projects.

Keen to see what that looks like? 

Our project management template contains an extremely comprehensive list of SEO and Digital Marketing questions we normally ask during a kick-off meeting, which help us get an exhaustive picture on a project / client.

Pro tip: use a collaborative document to keep track of meeting/call notes, from the very first kick-off; it will come handy when you need it to trace back what was discussed in the past. This could be internal (shared among your team only) or external (shared with the client) depending on the relationship and objectives.

Regular catch-ups: internal and external

Depending on what works for you, regular catch-ups can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

The formula that works for me, as an SEO consultant, is to have a mix of monthly and weekly catch ups – this would look something like this: 

During the first week of the month, I would have an internal catch up with the team to discuss briefs, potential challenges and define internal deadlines;

The above is followed by a weekly catch up, either a team meeting or individual meetings to discuss recent work, obstacles and share a general update on everyone’s schedules and progress;

Once a week, I would arrange a client call / face-to-face meeting to share a general update, discuss the status of our work and discuss any questions they might have come up in between calls;

Once every quarter, I would arrange a face-to-face meeting to recap what was done in that quarter, discuss strategy and future of the account.

At the end of the project, I would organise a slide deck to present to the client (and any involved third-parties) which looks back at work delivered and breaks down the main findings and actions.

This is an iterative process that allows a project to be adapted to changing demands. It would be nice to walk into a project with a complete and accurate set of requirements for a project, but that rarely ever happens. 

Regular catch-ups allow you to have a good understanding of the overall picture, no matter what changes or delays affect your project, so to react accordingly.

#3 Use the Right Tools for the Job 

Having the right tools to manage your project is key, but there is no need for a complicated system. Before providing a list of tools and suggestions, it is important to clarify something: proposing change and effective ways of working is part of our job, but ultimately it is worth considering the tools that your client is comfortable with/already uses.

They will see you as an extension of their business, and it will be easier to impact change.

These are some of the tools we use at Distilled to manage projects.

Tracking time

We use a custom-built internal software; however, other great tools to track time are the following: Toggl, Hour, Harvest–  they all have a free version with their own limitations.

Sharing documents & files

Google Drive is extremely effective (and free!) to do the job – most of our work is now just on the drive: from Google Docs to Sheets, its offering makes it very easy to share any piece of work with others.

What are the main alternatives to Google Drive we recommend? Dropbox is an excellent tool, and extremely easy to use with its desktop application; OneDrive by Microsoft is not bad either, in case you prefer to work with the Office package.

Pro tip: Due to some client limitations to access any of the major tools above, I recently came across Airtable which can work like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organise any projects you might be working on.

Communication 

For internal communications, Slack has really revolutionized the market: its highly organised structure makes internal communications so efficient that you will never want to use anything else. Forget your messy inbox, conversations in Slack happen in dedicated spaces called channels.

For external communications, Google’s offering is still very powerful: Gmail & Google Hangouts constitute a great option. As for video conference tools, Zoom seems to have separated itself from the competition, even if a lot of our clients still use Skype.

Should you go back to your client and propose a new communication tool? Maybe – what works for me is to normally prioritize whatever ways of working / platforms the client is more comfortable with, and then potentially suggest alternatives if there is a need / opportunity.

Pro tip: We also use Slack as an external communications tool with some clients, as it has replaced emails in many ways.

Project management platform

I am a bit biased: Trello’s clean and simple interface is a no brainer (my colleague Chris talks about Trello in his post here). Its system of boards, lists and cards allow individuals and teams to monitor a project and collaborate in an effective manner.

I like to use boards for different work areas – this could look like the below, where I separate my technical SEO projects from content, analytics or CRO tasks.

There are hundreds of alternatives to Trello, I personally recommend checking out the following: Monday.com, TeamWork, ProofHub.

What about when working with developers? 

It is part of our job to effectively communicate with devs and help them “get things done”. Jira is a major project management tool, used by a lot of our clients. Basecamp, Asana & Youtrack are some other popular software I came across over the last few years.

#4 Teamwork is key

The outcome of a project highly depends on teamwork: learning how to work successfully in a team is no joke. Every project is different, so is every team.

From briefing to quality assurance, even tasks that seem simple can vary broadly depending on the people you work with. Learning how to work with your colleague determines how likely your project is to be successful.

It may take a while, but leveraging individuals’ strengths and weaknesses will make the difference. Balancing talent is something every project manager should work towards.

How to assess team members’ strengths & weaknesses

Let’s be clear: there is no magical way to get this right straight away, it takes time to develop team chemistry and assess an individual’s skillsets.

Some useful ways I came across over the years are the following:

Ask for feedback from others: you can get an idea by checking in from people who they have worked with before;

Frameworks can help: models such as the t-shaped model can be very valuable when evaluating people’s know-how;

Listen, observe and simply ask: getting people to work on something that they are genuinely interested in / good at is likely to impact the quality of the final output.

Appreciate your team members’ work

We try our best to create a culture of feedback: this allows our team members to work and progress in a much peaceful environment and in a faster manner.

Part of this philosophy includes being very vocal about work appreciation: taking the time to appreciate someone’s job, either privately or publicly, is something that goes a long way. A tool that comes really handy for this purpose is 15Five: it is a “continuous performance management suite that allows you to coach your employees as fast as you sprint.”

Managees spend about 15 minutes a week answering a series of questions which focus on personal productivity and team-wide morale. On the other hand managers spend circa 5 minutes to go through all responses, which trigger real conversations that translate into improved comms and overall ways of working. It is a great way to evaluate weekly performance reviews and get a sense of the company’s morale. Furthermore, the tool can be integrated with Slack, using a dedicated channel for public praises:

#5 Knowledge sharing within the team

I am a big advocate of knowledge sharing: both internal and external. For all my projects, I encourage my team to share findings, deliverables and news regularly in order to maximise the team potential and optimise our work.

Creating a culture of knowledge sharing is something that goes beyond project management per se, but it can really help daily work and different challenges, whatever they might be. One of the most beneficial tactics we use is a centralised location for our deliverables – we take advantage of Google Drive to create folders where to store documents, broken down by topic.

What about knowledge sharing with the client? 

That is important too! I like to update my clients with digital marketing news which I think could be relevant for the project we are working on, even if they are not strictly-SEO related.

#6  Offer value to the client

There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

 As SEOs, we set high standards and KPIs for our clients – these can sometimes be quite ambitious when starting to manage a project.

As a project manager, my job is to make sure the client is satisfied with our work, while doing my best to achieve the predefined SEO goals. This means sometimes I have to do things that aren’t optimal.

Transparency on your projects goes a long way. Trying really hard to sell clients on things they do not need, or simply saying yes to everything they ask for might not be the right strategy when looking to deliver the optimal value on a project.

#7 Know Your Tactics & Resources

Before you can come up with your tasks, you need to know the tactics required to meet project objectives and the resources you have available. SEO resources may include time, money, bandwidth, and talent.

Having a clear plan of the resources and tactics needed will make the difference. There is often a degree of estimation, as it is hard to exactly predict what obstacles your team will come across the way. The more experience in the field, the better your skills will be when finalising your plan.

Here at Distilled, we use a flexible approach for resource and tactics allocation, which can slightly vary from consultant to consultant.

Personally, I like to lean on the following:

Personal experience, based on similar projects – pretty self-explanatory. For instance: if I am planning a backlink audit for a site, I check how much time and the level of experience it was required to perform such an audit for a site of similar size and complexity.

Ask internally – if you need help, chances are someone in your team might have worked on a similar task at some point in their career. Ask for feedback, and gather as much info as you need to help you make a decision.

Check your knowledge-sharing database – having a centralized location where SEO deliverables are saved is very helpful, especially when you need to plan a task that was at some point done for another client / by another team. I like to use Google Drive for this purpose! Learn from your team members and apply the feedback.

Always allow a few hours extra – briefing and QAing are two very crucial parts of every task. Make sure to plan enough time to brief a task properly, and to review any last minute changes before you ship a piece of work. It’s better for you to spend a couple extra hours reviewing something than your client having to spend time spotting errors, which is a waste of their time.

This is a screenshot of how our Google Drive folder looks like:

Conclusion

Project management is a vital skill for today’s SEOs, despite how technical our industry might look from the outside. Hopefully, our tips can inspire a few tweaks in your daily work or at least start a conversation on some of the above subjects.

Here at Distilled, we are always curious to hear other people’s opinions on the topic, so please get in touch with us on Twitter to share your views!

If you interested in downloading our project kick-off Checklist, do it here

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15 Essential Steps to Secure WordPress Against Malware Attacks

15 Essential Steps to Secure WordPress Against Malware Attacks

Secure WordPress Against Malware Attacks is an essential part of a webmaster’s role. It’s your virtual property that you need to secure to ensure that it’s not vulnerable to attacks and exploitation. That said, there are many individuals who disregard security as a secondary concern. For businesses, regardless of whether they’re big or small, security is the exact opposite of that. You might be less inclined to focus on security because you don’t have time, or aren’t skillful enough to touch on a topic as complicated as security. It’s justified if you feel that way. If there’s one thing non-technical webmasters dread the most, it’s the “under-the-hood” settings of their website.

Let’s make one thing clear: WordPress security is very easy. In this short article, we aim to show you just that! By the end of this, you will have gained significant insights on security and will be ready to implement those insights on your own site.

WordPress Security: Why Does it Matter – Let’s look at some statistics so you can get a factual picture of why security matters.

According to Wp-WhiteSecurity, 73.2% of all WordPress installations are vulnerable to security breaches. Fortunately, with free tools, you can detect them.

Panda Security states that 81% of web attacks are due to insecure passwords, poor login and password combinations.
Smashing Magazine says that the four most commonly used WordPress exploits are Pharma Hacks, Malware redirects, password access, and backdoors.
WordFence states that 70% of your WordPress security can be accounted for if you’ve taken measures against securing your site against brute force attacks, and plugin vulnerabilities.

Also states that security matters because WordPress websites face approximately 91,000 attacks per minute with a 100,000 sites being hacked every day. Hackers don’t discriminate and are ready to pounce on the opportunity if they feel your site is vulnerable. To ensure its security, you need to be proactive in your steps in countering these hacks.

But what are the possible attacks you will encounter? Let’s take a look at the most common forms of attacks.

How Hackers Work Their Way into Your Website

The following are nine of the most common WordPress hacks that can damage your website.

Brute force attacks – Exploiting weak passwords, this attack aims to take full control of your site through automated scripts that try to guess the admin and password of your site.
Backdoors – Backdoors aim to gain access to your site at the server level. This attack can even damage other sites running on the server as well.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) – Injecting malicious code on your website, hackers attempt to break it by ruining the codebase (HTML, PHP, and CSS).
Malicious Redirects – A form of link spamming, this exploit redirects your website users to dodgy websites through changing the links within your site content.
Phishing – This one exploits your site to gain access to your personal information like credit cards, bank accounts, and other identities.
Malware Attacks – This is an umbrella term used to signify all the hacks that fall under the category of viruses, rootkits, spamming, and other intrusions.
DDoS Attacks – A well-coordinated attack that injects hack bots into a website. The quantity of the bots is so much that it overwhelms your site’s server, reduces performance, or brings it down entirely.
Defacement – Hackers gain access to your site to ruin the layout of your site by changing the HTML or CSS content of your site. Similar to XSS, but political in nature.
PHP Mailers – This one uses PHP (WordPress’ programming language) commands to take control of the mailing server to send phishing emails.

From all of this, it should be clear why WordPress security is important. While these attacks can harm any site, WordPress is a major target for the hackers since statistics show that 90% of all infected sites are running on WordPress.

Protecting Your Site from Hacks

The attacks we’ve mentioned above are the worst-case scenario of what can happen to your site. Fortunately, the ever-active WordPress community has made sure that you can deal with these hacks. Here are some of the steps you can take to protect your site from hacks.

1. Install a Powerful Security Plugin

The following are some of the plugins you can install on your WordPress to ensure security.

iThemes
All in One WP Security & Firewall
Shield Security
Wordfence

All of these plugins come equipped with a variety of different features that take your site’s security to the next level. Here is a short list of such features:

Firewall for WordPress
IP blacklisting and blocking
Malware scans
2FA (Two Factor Authentication)
Security alerts for emails
Security recommendations
…and more.

All of these plugins are easy to install and easy to set up. Even if you don’t have time or the skill, the configuration wizards of these plugins will ease you through the entire process.

2. Perform Malware Scans

If you’re seeing quick drops in traffic or some performance issues, then its recommended that you perform a quick site scan.

You can use online health check tools like Virustotal to check your site for any discrepancies.

If you see some problems take the necessary precautions to prevent it. Even if you don’t, it’s always beneficial to run a site check once in a while.

3. Invest in Secure Hosting

You should also protect yourself at the server level by choosing a host that promises the following features:

Regular backups
Malware scanners
Security against DDoS attacks
Latest OS, server software, and hardware
…and more.

If you want to take things further, then we would recommend you to select a managed WordPress host that takes care of your site at the server level. All in all, investing in a good hosting service can pay dividends in the future.

4. Set an Uncommon Login and a Strong Password

CLU, also known as Complex, Long, and Unique is the way to go with both your login credentials and passwords. Using symbols, capital letters, numbers, and more in your passwords will ensure safety from Brute Force attacks and others malicious hacks.

With usernames, don’t just rely on the regular old “admin”. It’s common and provides an easy gateway for hackers to access your site.

You can use a site like Passwords generator to help you come up with a good password.

5. Keep Your WordPress and Plugins Updated

Constant updates on your phone’s apps and software are a common occurrence. It’s there to help protect your apps and phone from security vulnerabilities.

Similar with WordPress, you need to constantly update your plugins and the WordPress versions (as soon as it comes out) to ensure top notch security.

6. Disable XML-RPC

XML-RPC itself isn’t harmful since it allows you to connect to web and mobile applications. However, it opens serious doors for hackers to penetrate your site.

In simple terms, hackers can exploit XML-RPC by using a call function that lets them fly under the radar without knowing the hacker has tried thousands of passwords and login combinations on your site.

iThemes security does a good job of protecting you against these brute force attacks. If you’re not using XML-RPC, then the security plugin can even remove its functionality entirely.

7. Use latest PHP version

The PHP version you’re using on your site is detrimental to your WordPress security. Similar to WordPress, PHP also regularly releases new versions that promise better WordPress security.

As of this writing, the latest PHP version being used is 7.4.5. If you haven’t already updated your PHP, do so right now.

Besides the obvious benefit of getting more security, you are also gaining significant benefits in terms of performance boosts.

We have a special PHP Upgrade service.  See details of this service at https://www.wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-php-7-compatibility-service

8.  Limit Access Control

The most vulnerable parts of your website are the index.php, functions.php, and wp-config.php files.

The wp-config file in particular is very vulnerable since it can facilitate a multitude of attacks on your site. To protect your files, you should ideally hide them, remove any controls for file-editing, change the database prefix (wp_), and restrict user access to PHP files.

The WordPress Codex has a detailed list of how you can keep your files secure, so be sure to check that out.

9. Eliminate Spam and Its Various Types

Spamming is a curse upon the internet. Spam comments, splogs (entire blogs of spam filled with questionable links), trackbacks, and pingbacks, are some of the varieties of spam on the internet.

Fortunately, preventing spam is easy with the help of built-in plugins like Akismet and WordFence.

10. Activate Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way to ensure the log-in security of your website. While it is a time-consuming process (access factor code from email), it is well worth the risk if you’re not sure about your site’s security.

WordFence is perhaps the best plugin for creating a two-factor authentication process on your site.

11. Hide your WordPress version

This is a rather small consideration, but if hackers know your WordPress version and find out that’s it’s not the latest one, they can perform a hack on it.

If it’s an older version and somehow you forgot to update it, then it gives hackers serious ground to hack your site.

12. Manage your WordPress user permissions

If you have multiple users on your sites like editors or developers, then it is recommended that you manage their user-roles correctly. Giving them full permissions will only increase your chances of a hack.

So, try to manage your user roles and their permissions correctly. Additionally, keep a check on the users to ensure that they are people you know. You can use a plugin like User Role Editor for that purpose.

13.Log Out Idle WordPress Users

Users who are logged in but aren’t active pose a crucial security risk. The site becomes prone to hijacking. Their session can be hacked, their passwords changed, and other account changes can be made.

To ensure that a user is locked out when he/she is inactive, you can use a plugin like Inactive Logout and configure the plugin to logout any users who are idle.

14. Limit Login Attempts

With the default WordPress installation, users can login to a site as many times as they want. This makes your site vulnerable to hacks since hackers can try an infinite number of login password combinations without the fear of being locked out or their IP blocked.

To limit login attempts, you can use a plugin like Login Lockdown to restrict the number of attempts a person can log in to your site.

15. Monitor your site security

Once you’ve finished with making your site secure, all you have to do is constantly monitor and keep active in blocking any threats that come your way. Plugins like WordFence can go a long way if you are proactive about your security.

The plugins can prove useful in blocking plenty of different attacks which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Brute Force Attacks
Lockouts
User roles, logins, and permissions
Version management (update alerts)

Additionally, you can view the Google Search Console for more information on your security and site performance.

Conclusion:

Even if you don’t have the skill or time, we hope that this article proved a good gateway to you in the world of WordPress security. If you’re a newbie looking to get your site developed with the latest security standards, then try hiring a competent WordPress developer to complete your project.

The post 15 Essential Steps to Secure WordPress Against Malware Attacks appeared first on WP Fix It.

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Introducing WordPress Take Action Today – WP TAT™

Introducing WordPress Take Action Today – WP TAT™

We just made taking action on your site easy as pie!

The web is jam packed with WordPress information and there is so much to filter through and implement on your site.  We decided to create an easy and simple way for you to TAKE ACTION each day on your WordPress site.

With great excitement, we would like to introduce a new segment of our blog called WP TAT or WordPress Take Action Today.  This will consist of us publishing very simple tasks that you can execute in a matter of minutes making your WordPress site better in many different areas.  These tasks will not require you to be a developer or have any advanced knowledge of WordPress.  They will be easy to do and powerful for the overall experience of your website.  New WP TAT™s will be published Mondays – Fridays.

Check out an example below of what a WP TAT™ might tell you what to take action on.

Audit Installed Themes – WP TAT™

Having installed themes on your site that you are not using can open your site up for security issues and take up server space. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. Follow the steps below to audit and remove un-used themes installed on your site.

Login to your site
Visit Appearance>Themes
Click on any inactive theme thumbnail to enlarge details
Click delete link in lower right hand corner
Repeat for each inactive theme

*If you are using a child theme, be sure you do not delete the parent theme.

So if you would like to get these delivered to your inbox as they are released, simply fill in the form below and you can start Taking Action Today on your site with WP TAT™.

Current Subscribers

Simply fill out the form below with your name and your email address and this will instantly subscribe you to our WP TAT™ campaign.

This way you will never miss a new post and never miss out on these valuable FREE tips to make your WordPress life better!

#mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; }
/* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block.
We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */

* indicates required

First Name *

Email Address *

(function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[1]=’FNAME’;ftypes[1]=’text’;fnames[0]=’EMAIL’;ftypes[0]=’email’;}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true);

The post Introducing WordPress Take Action Today – WP TAT™ appeared first on WP Fix It.

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