Learning how to protect your WordPress website from hackers is easily done.

An excess of 70% of WordPress users are currently vulnerable to hacker attacks, according to statistics

Being the most used content manager in the world, it is quite common that you receive attacks from hackers, brute force, and robots. If you have all the options marked by default, you could have a security problem that leaves you without a website or that includes malicious code. Look to see which of these actions you can do to be much more protected.

Table of Contents 

Why Is Keeping Your WP Website Secure Important

There are millions of websites that face severe attacks from annoying people who apparently have nothing better to do with their time than spread misery far and wide: hackers. You don't want to wake up one day and see that your well set up site is no longer yours, right?

Still in doubt about the importance of talking about WordPress security?

Everyone wants to prevent hacking on WordPress. Recovering can take some time and intense effort. Toughen up your WordPress with these WordPress security tips, so that horrible fate doesn't happen to you. Yes, it will take some time and continuous effort to avoid WordPress hacking.

Common WordPress Security Issues and Vulnerabilities

There are many types of attacks, but we will name the best-known cases.

Why Choosing the Right WordPress Hosting is Important

It will do little good to have a bulletproof WordPress website if the server where you have it hosted is a strainer. A hosting service must provide security elements at the server level. It must be the first line of defense.

Use a professional hosting provider

Check the characteristics of the hosting service that you are going to hire for your website and make sure that security is one of their priorities.

Operating system

We recommend Linux versus Windows. Both platforms have security problems and tend to be attacked by malicious users; however, Linux continues to have a certain advantage thanks to the developer community it has. Linux is not without risks but, so far, it is capable of solving security problems much more quickly and efficiently than Windows.

Is your hosting up to date on security?

Here are some of the measures that you should consider in a shared hosting service.

Secure WordPress Website With SSL

One of the most overlooked ways to strengthen your WordPress security is to install an SSL certificate and run your site through HTTPS. It helps encrypt any information that your visitors may import to your sites, such as personal information or bank details. It keeps everything encrypted and private. A big mistake is that if you don't accept credit cards, then you don't need SSL.

When you install the SSL Certificate, your website will use HTTPS, which means that you will get a familiar padlock icon in front of the URL, indicating that you have a secure connection. In the past, it was only used by e-commerce sites, but now SSL certificates have become an industry standard. As a bonus, Google has now started favouring websites that have a secure website, helping it rank higher. 

DIY Website Security Tips & Tricks To Protect Against Hackers

Do not use the wp_ prefix for the database

From the first moment of WordPress installation, you have to specify a series of information that you have to enter in order for WordPress to communicate with the database.

Most of this information is provided by your hosting providers, such as the name of the database, its username, and password. But there is a decision to make: decide the prefix of the tables that will be created for WordPress.

By default, this display is offered prefix wp_so that your tables will be such as wp_options, wp_comments, wp_posts, etc.

Of course, this is something every hacker knows, and it's free information that we give to any potential attacker, who knows that if you don't do a secure install, the WordPress tables - which are standard - will have those full names if you don't change the prefix.

The first place you should start is secure WordPress install even before, in this step: change the prefix for the default tables ( wp_) for another of your choice, for example, wptabla_or X1jM_or whatever you want. The important thing is not how long or complicated it is, but at least do not leave the default prefix.

Do not use the admin user to access WordPress

Another decision that we have to make during the installation of WordPress is the name of the first user to access the administration of our website, a user who by default will have full management permissions.

For years WordPress has offered a default username, which of course you shouldn't use. When choosing the name of your first user to access WordPress, do not choose those common names, such as admin, Admin, root, etc., since they are the first ones that a hacker who wants to take possession of will check.

Always use the latest version of WordPress

If there is something dangerous, it is to network with obsolete or insufficiently updated software. Hackers tend to mainly attack sites with older, outdated versions, as they tend to be more vulnerable by not incorporating sufficient protection into known attack types.

Fortunately, WordPress offers an automatic update system, both for the WordPress core itself and for plugins and themes.

By default, you will not have to worry about WordPress security and maintenance updates, as it does them without your intervention. It will simply notify you when it has been updated. 

Update the installed plugins

WordPress is safe, and it is normal that it is because there is a large community that takes care of its maintenance, development, and growth, but the same does not happen with plugins.

As much as a plugin is used, many times behind there is a single programmer who, for obvious reasons, does not have the resources or the time necessary to always have his plugin up to date.

It is for this reason that the main route of entry for attacks on a WordPress installation is mostly through non-updated plugins.

WordPress offers us a system of notification and automatic updates of the installed plugins, so when you see that some need to be updated, do not think about it.

If you do not use plugins from the official directory, WordPress may not automatically identify if updates are available. In that case, you should be aware of the developer's website.

Make backup copies

If there is a fixed rule in security, it does not matter what measures you apply, there will always be a new vulnerability for which we are not protected, we will always be one step behind malicious attacks. So, in the event of a disaster, the only thing that can save us from the eventual loss of all our content is having backup copies.

Verify that your web hosting provider has full automatic backups. In addition, install a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus, which allows you to schedule different backup tasks, being able to save your copies on another server, send them by email, or even automate their saving in Cloud services such as DropBox, Amazon S3 or Google Drive, among others.

Limit access attempts

Most of the current attacks against WordPress sites are carried out through massive attempts to access through the login screen, so it is essential to protect internal access to your WordPress.

For this, we can apply different security measures:

  1. Disable user registration, thus preventing malicious users from taking advantage of possible vulnerabilities to obtain extra permissions on your installation and the possibility of making changes to it.
  2. Add a human verification system like reCaptcha, which prevents unwanted access from automated machines that try to gain access to your site.
  3. Install a plugin to avoid massive access attempts such as Limit login attempts, the Protect module of JetPack or utilities of this type of most security plugins, so that they block these types of attacks.

Install a security plugin

Many of the protection measures that we can apply to our WordPress installation are included in plugins specialized in securing WordPress.

Most of them contain settings to avoid brute force attacks, code injections, and modifications of system files, including warning systems so that you are informed of any possible attack in progress.

The most recommended are the following:

Prevent access for sploggers

If you allow user registration on your WordPress, you must protect yourself against sploggers, users who register massively on websites to try to access its settings, add spam comments, or even inject malware.

The definitive solution for this type of user is, of course, not to activate the user registry (WordPress default behavior). If you have registration enabled for loyalty or marketing reasons, you should install a plugin to detect and eliminate this threat. The best used to be WangGuard, but it closed down so here are the best alternatives.

Protect yourself from spam

One of the usual tasks of any administrator of a content manager, such as WordPress, is to control spam in the comments. First, it is a source of distractions and unwanted links on comment forms. Second, some hackers use these forms to inject code that could compromise the security of your WordPress installation.

For this, we should apply different strategies:

  1. Add a Captcha human verification system using Really Simple CAPTCHA plugins.
  2. Activate a spam checking plugin like Akismet or AntiSpam Bee.
  3. Protect forms from injecting special characters.

In short, are you 100% safe from hackers?

If you follow our recommendations, you have a minimal 0.00001% chance that there is a small uncorrected security issue. It is impossible to keep your site 100% free of hackers. What you can do is make it more complicated for vulnerabilities with proper maintenance. If you’re short on time to learn how to execute these website security tips, WP Expert offers an excellent WordPress website maintenance service.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a staple for WordPress blogs. Did you know that there are over 4.4 million blogs posted a day?

Your blog will be hidden amongst the other blogs in no time! SEO can improve your blogs visibility, but it requires your time to understand SEO and to put it into practice. Don’t worry, we’ll give you important SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blogs!

WordPress provides a user-friendly platform for bloggers to use. It is the industry leader; 34.6% of websites are made using WordPress and has a content management system market share of 61.4%. All the basics of SEO are covered within WordPress and it lets users to easily navigate.

Before we begin, take a look at our SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners blog as it will provide you with a general understanding of SEO.

1. Create Keywords

Keywords are what gets your blog at the top of the list in a Google search. For each article create a keyword strategy and enforce it to maximize the SEO for blogs. There are many platforms out there that provide you with predictive metrics and identify high-impact suggestions. We suggest MozTextmetricsAhrefsKwfinder, and Google Keyword Planner as tools to find the best keywords.

Use the keywords in titles and header tags to boost your SEO value and engage readers in your content. Header tags, such as H2 and H3, instantly make it more readable and serve as visual cues. Many readers skim blogs and focus more on the portion that is captured by the heading that interests them. This doesn’t only count for readers, but as well as search engines. Google scans your blog for content relevant to the searched words and looks at the header tags to understand what the content is about.

That is why it is crucial to make it easier for Google to find the words. The header tags don’t necessarily improve your SEO ranking but provide SEO value. The header tags are an important part of your SEO as they help Google find the keywords. This method of optimization should be always be done!

2. Quality Content

After conducting target audience research, you will be able to garner content that targets them. Don’t underestimate the quality of content as it can improve your ranking on Google search. Pay attention to grammar, structure, and error-free writing.

Have troubles with creating quality content? There are tools to help you. Besides providing keyword input, Textmetrics can help you with quality content. The platform contains a set of algorithms that are able to interpret wording and suggest changes while writing a text.

3. Alter default Permalink structure

The default structure for permalink (URL) is not SEO-friendly as it does not contain any keywords. It is very easy to change your default setting.

How to change your default permalink:

Make sure that you use a URL that includes keywords from your article to optimize your blogs. It should look something like this: https://example.com/your-post-titel.

4. Add Meta tags

Meta descriptions show up under your site name on search engines. These sentences are one to three sentences long and hook in the reader. Simply put, meta descriptions should tell your audience why they should click on your blog and read it. Adding meta tags will enhance your SEO and visibility and will encourage readers to visit your blog.

5. Build Links

Add links to your blog to enhance the likelihood of your post being at the top of search engines. Research has proven that the more links, external and internal, influences your SEO. External links to other sites is very important, but also internal links will improve the visibility of your other blogs. Don’t forget to include your social accounts on your blog and encourage readers to interact with your social media accounts and on your blog.

6. Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a map of your website that allows users and search engine crawlers to understand the structure of your website and easily navigate. It’s a list of URLs that you want to have public to help search engines index your site. WordPress dives into the topic and explains how to create a responsive sitemap in a matter of seconds.

By implementing our top 6 SEO strategies into your blog is vital to see a difference. Its importance is only growing more as more and more blogs come out every day. Don’t let your blog get mixed with the other ones, let it shine and be seen by readers. It’s a necessity that all bloggers need to follow in 2019.

Got questions about our SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blog? Contact us.  

As an entrepreneur it can be incredibly tough to manage a healthy work-life balance. It’s a constant struggle between dedicating time to your business or to your family and friends or to yourself.

Many entrepreneurs find themselves attempting to figure out how they should spend more time and energy: on their business or life. Yet, the fact is that it’s doable to have both. You just need to accept that to maintain a work-life balance you can’t do it all.

Even in the land where they are known for their work-life balance, the number of people not going to work due to stress is increasing. Sweden’s notorious culture of relaxed work hours and parental leave is what we strive to have in Canada. However, according to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, “more than 20% of sickness benefit cases across all age groups” are due to clinical burnout. No matter where you live, what you do, or who you are; it’s important to balance your work-life to maintain a happy healthy life.

I did some field research and asked entrepreneurs about their work-life balance, many didn’t hesitate to tell me they struggled with it all the time. After collecting their answers, I picked out the top tips and tools to manage a work-life balance that they’d share with other entrepreneurs.

Tip 1: Time Management

It’s important to keep track of how many hours you are spending on your business. One of the entrepreneurs I spoke to uses CAATO Time Tracker to organize and time how long they spend on grant writing, emails, finances, meetings, and much more. The app allows you to look back and reflect on if the time you spent was necessary and worthwhile. Being able to see how many hours are put into your business allows you to re-evaluate.

In addition to keeping count of work hours, it’s helpful to use the Pomodoro Technique. This technique allows you to be fully present in your work when you work and to be rewarded with a break. Set a timer for 45 minutes to focus on your tasks, and once that time is up, go outside for a break, have a snack, or anything else. This simple technique allows you to be 100% there when you are working and in the long run allows you to spend more quality time with your friends and family. It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed when you are working, but the Pomodoro Technique can assist in your work-life balance.

Tip 2: Delegate / Outsource Tasks

Ask yourself, “is it worth my time and skills to do this task?” If you are hesitating with your answer, you should consider delegating the task to someone else or outsourcing it by hiring someone to do it. For example, maybe you need to do the accounting for your business and because it isn’t your background it takes a long time and energy to get it done. Instead of using your valuable time, think about hiring someone and using your time to maintain the work-life balance. It might cost you money, but it you will save your sanity by avoiding unnecessary stress. Use this spare time to surround yourself by things and people that centre you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Tip 3: Unplug

Technology makes us accessible 24/7. Especially if you work with technology and rely on it. Frederic at WP Expert relates as he needs to be available if issues were to occur.

“I find it is not always easy to manage the work-life balance when you are running a web agency with clients on WordPress maintenance plans. You need to fix issues when they arise and it can be at nights, weekend... I try not to work more than 8h a day, sometime below especially during the summer where I am trying to spend quality time with my family.”  - Frederic from WP Expert

Unplugging can help you rejuvenate and let go of the stress that was pilling up. Make quality time and turn your phone on silent. Unplugging doesn’t mean that you need to be offline for a couple of days, it can easily just be an hour as you are eating dinner with your family, going for an evening walk and leaving your phone at home, or silencing your phone when you are at your kids piano lessons. By not reacting to the notifications from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. Resilient people will have the psychological strength to maintain a low stress life.

I hope these tips from entrepreneurs can help your life-work balance! Try it out for a while, see what works and what doesn’t work, and let us know!

I am always fascinated on how DIVI is powerful. Recently, I came across free music on Wistia website and it gave me the idea to create a page with DIVI music player. I was looking at a creative way to embed the music and an easy way to download the file.

And Voila! Here is the result - Free Music collection DIVI layout on the side!

For all DIVI lovers, you can download the free DIVI layout here: WP Expert - Free Music Collection layout (5363 downloads)

To Install this DIVI layout, just create a new page, edit with DIVI builder and import the layout. 

Here is all the album songs:

Songs From the Vault
Songs From the Vault (5204 downloads)

The Let 'Em In Sessions
The Let 'Em In Sessions (5185 downloads)

The Sidecar Sessions
The Sidecar Sessions (5148 downloads)

Before you go, did you check our other free DIVI tutorials and resources? No?
Check them here

Enjoy!

The How-to DIVI serie is an archive of all good articles/tutorials I found on DIVI and that I tested and used it. Today in the serie, a nice tutorial from DIVI lovers.

DIVI Lovers created a nice tutorial to create a DIVI Opt-in form that can be fit anywhere on your home page. Anias did a really good job on explaining how to implement the form with 1, 2 or 3 fields. She made it completely responsive. Check it out! They also offers nice DIVI layouts.

Read the DIVI tutorial here: https://divilover.com/slim-divi-optin-form-module-layout/.

PDF version (just in case the article disappear from the internet): Slim Divi Optin Form Module Layout (5106 downloads)

If you are a beginner with WordPress and you see the dashboard for the first time, I definitely recommend you to watch this series of How To from WordPress.tv. More video is added every week.

Good Luck!

Help and tutorials for beginner and expert alike: http://wordpress.tv/category/how-to/

Google Plus was initially viewed as something of a failure by the social networking community. So far, it hasn’t proven to be the Facebook killer that everyone hoped it would be. Its user-base is nowhere near as expansive as Zuckerberg’s behemoth. But Google Plus has one major advantage: it’s made by the people behind the most popular search engine on the web.

So before you groan over being advised to use yet another social network, think about the significance of a social network designed by Google. Google’s products have traditionally had many layers of interaction, and Google Plus is no different. Several aspects of Google Plus makes it an idea social network for those who would like to increase their SEO footprint.

Social Media Has an Increasing Impact on SEO

Social media in general is rapidly becoming a bastion for future SEO development. This year, Searchmetrics published a report claiming that seven of the top eight factors that correlate with a high search engine rank are social network-related – what are called “social signals.”

On that list were Tweets, Facebook likes, Facebook shares and Pinterest pins. And topping out the list was Google +1s, beating out “Number of Backlinks.” That’s mighty impressive, and though we have to remember that these are correlations, not causations, it’s clear that Google Plus is something to look out for in the SEO space.

And most industry analysts believe that social signals will only become more important as the SEO industry evolves.

Google Plus is Google Search Friendly

There has been some speculation that Google favors Google Plus pages over others. Though it’s hard to substantiate this, it is clear that Google wants Google Plus to be a factor in searches.

If you’ve begun to see author’s pictures showing up next to articles in Google’s search engine, you’ve already experienced the benefits of Google Plus. Google is calling this “Google Plus authorship.” It’s a way to group all the content written by one person into a single Google Plus account. It’s pretty easy to set up and it allows users to find other content you’ve written quickly, a major plus for you. If you’d like to set one up, check out our quick tutorial(LINK TO HOW TO HERE).

But more important is that picture of your face beside the content you’ve written. So much of SEO is presenting content in ways that encourage clickthroughs, and this certainly meets that requirement. In fact, some estimates claim that simply having a Google Plus picture increases clicks by as much as 150%.

The Joys of Personalized Search

Google Plus is part of Google’s unified user platform, which means that what people like on Google Plus influences their searches. If someone likes your page on Google Plus, it’s theoretically more likely that your website will show up in their search results more often. Just like any social network, Google Plus allows people to like, follow, and add you to their circles. All of these things are likely to affect users’ search results down the line.

Remember when making a website was hard? Once upon a time, before you even thought about web development, you’d probably want to read three or four books on coding. And maybe take a course in web development. Heck, with all that in the way of a website, you’d probably end up just hiring someone!

But, like most areas of tech, web development has recently been undergoing something of a transition. Companies like SquareSpace have sprung up all over the place, promising easy website creation (for a small fee). It almost harkens back to the glory days of the internet, when Geo-Cities was pioneering easy, drag and drop web development.

But Geo-Cities is dead—killed by the march of internet progress. WordPress has emerged as its likely successor, but to see it as a Geo-Cities copy-cat would be a bit of a misunderstanding.

WordPress has a reputation of being “the website that teenagers use to blog about their feelings.” That’s Tubmlr, my friends! WordPress is actually a fairly flexible platform, and it’s growing in popularity. Something around 394 people use a WordPress website a month, most without knowing it. TED, CNN, the NFL and even the Ottawa Citizen all use WordPress as a backbone for their blogging system. More and more, it’s becoming clear that WordPress is a dominant force in web development.

So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that you have an excellent open-source development utility at your disposal, should you ever feel the need to start a website. But the popularity means something else. Like phone platforms, web development platforms are essentially as good as they are popular. More popularity means more “plugins,” a software add-on that adds functionality.

Plugins in WordPress are so plentiful and easy to come by that it almost seems like cheating. You can get plugins that create simple forms for your clients to fill out, emailing you the results of the forms on the fly. You can get plugins that monitor user activity, and even some that install ads that you can make money off.

Not to mention the hundreds, maybe thousands of free themes available. Themes basically take care of the nitty gritty aspects of web development. They allow you to outsource the look of the website to someone else. And if you want your website to have a unique flavour, most themes allow plenty of customization, so you can stick that photo of your cats in the background. Yeah! Cats!

But what really makes WordPress appealing is its ease of use. If you’ve ever used Outlook, or even Gmail, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how to use WordPress. It’s not exactly drag-and-drop (there’s really nothing to drag), but it’s almost easier than that. Creating a post in WordPress feels like sending an email. Granted, this is an email that potentially millions of people might read, but you get the idea.

The WordPress platform is actually very simple to install to a Linux web hosting account. However,

installation of the WordPress platform

will differ based on the options that are provided with your hosting account. For example, some hosting accounts will utilize the CPanel administrative application for managing your hosting account.

CPanel often includes software that will make installing WordPress, as well as other web platforms, simple and straightforward. Other web hosting companies may employ Plesk for the management of hosting accounts. Plesk, as with CPanel, provides options for easy installation for the WordPress platform.

Read the article: How to Install WordPress Through SSH, CPanel, Plesk, FTP or Github.

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