Dealing with security issues and producing excellent content are just two of the responsibilities website owners can expect to regularly exercise.
Just recently, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax put millions of Americans’ data at risk after the agency’s database was targeted and penetrated by hackers.
The perpetrators gained access to the credit information of 143 million Americans. The compromised data included, birthdays, addresses, driver’s license and social security numbers.
Thankfully, people who are just on the brink of starting a blog are somehow safe from attacks of this magnitude.
Highlight on somehow, because regardless of how small or big a technology or system is, there’s always a chance that it could be targeted by hackers and their ilk.
The following are security tips you can apply on your WordPress account to keep it safe from attacks.
1. Limit plugins to only the essentials
This is important not just for security purposes but for speed and performance as well.
One misconception some new bloggers have is that the more plugins you have, the better. However, that’s one mistake that needs to be nipped in the bud.
Stacking up on an excessive number of unnecessary plugins will slow your site down significantly. If your site can work well without a specific plugin, skip it. You can also search for plugins that mark off a few things on your must-have list for your WordPress blog or website.
Choose only the plugins that fit what you need the most from the WP plugin directory. Leave the ones that you don’t need alone.
Remember: the fewer plugins you have, the fewer possibilities hackers can access your data.
2. Say no to bootleg plugins
Although pirated premiums can be tempting, resist! Any cracked software almost always has some kind of hidden, sinister caveat, and plugins are no exception to the rule.
You don’t want to learn that lesson the hard way and realize that scrimping on the few bucks you should have legally paid for your plugin wasn’t worth it only after spending hundreds of dollars fixing your website after it crashes or gets hacked.
One way to help your fellow bloggers is to keep them informed, so make sure to share this juicy and useful piece of info to other bloggers that you know.
3. Choose the best Hosting you can get your hands on
A WP White Security report says that 41% of WordPress site hackings were due to a security failure on the hosting end.
That’s why you don’t want to economize on this vital aspect of your website. Choose the best web host that you can afford. Do your research and go over forums and reviews before making your choice.
It’s a sad fact of life that the things we cheaply get will usually not be able to give us what we need. When it comes to picking the best hosting service, choosing a pricey one that is well-received by users is definitely a worthwhile investment.
4. Quit using “Admin” as your admin username
A lot of warnings and a lot of care has been implemented to prevent people from using easy-to-guess passwords. Surprisingly though, “Admin” is still the most commonly-used administrator username across many sites including WordPress.
This is one of the first things hackers usually try to exploit. Why not make their job a bit harder for them? Here’s what you can do:
First, create a new user with administrator privileges.
Use a username that will be harder for outsiders to guess, preferably with capital letters and numbers
Next, delete the “admin” user.
No need to worry about any posts or pages you may have made using the username “admin”. Upon trying to delete, WordPress will prompt you to choose between deleting all content owned by the user to be deleted or transferring them to a different user. Transfer content to you newly-created user and proceed with the username deletion.
5. Use a stronger password
Speaking of passwords, like I mentioned in the previous item, make yours not so easy to guess. As a rule of thumb, Yoast suggests CLU (Complex, long and unique). In other words, use a long, complicated password that other people are less likely to use.
As much as trust and honesty between nationalities build stronger cultural competence, so do stronger passwords strengthen the integrity of your website.
6. Limit the number of login attempts
There are plugins that you can use to impose a three-strike rule for logins to your WordPress account from a particular IP address.
WP Limit Login Attempts and iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) are two examples of high-rated security plugins that enforce sturdy login policies on your WordPress account and protect you against Brute Force attacks.
7. Keep everything 100% up-to-date
Keeping your WordPress core itself updated is essential, but that’s not all. A recent Sucuri.net study shows that a huge percentage of website hacks are caused not only by out-of-date WordPress cores but also by plugins rendered vulnerable because they have not been kept updated.
This problem can be solved by setting both your WordPress core as well as all plugins and themes to update automatically. That way, regardless of how busy you are, your website remains safe in these specific aspects.
8. Set your login URL to something other than the default
Most WordPress login links are set to either www.websitename.com/wp-admin or www.websitename.com/wp-login.php by default. Unfortunately, this exposes your site to risks of brute force attacks.
Brute force attacks being typically automated, customizing your website’s login URL makes it harder for such attacks to penetrate your site.
Plugins are available to make this job easier for you.
8. Make sure your computer is squeaky-clean and in tip-top shape, too
There are some instances where hackers can get access to your website due to security issues on the computer you are using. That’s why, first of all, I recommend using only your own computer when accessing WordPress, especially when making important changes.
For one thing, it’s easier to keep your own personal computer up-to-date. Plus, you can have your choice of antivirus to keep all manner of malware, spyware and other insidious programs from getting into it.
9. Backup your site fully and regularly
The one thing more important than keeping your WordPress updated is doing regular backups of your site data.
Problems and issues are part and parcel of owning a website. Sooner or later something will happen. Backing up your account constantly ensures that you save yourself from the humongous amount of combined headache and heartbreak involved in starting over from total scratch.
Regular backups also make handling blog problems an easier task. It helps you get to the root of the problem by being able to track your actions leading to a certain crash or trouble.
Most of these are already mentioned in WordPress’ list of security tips. However, I do hope I was able to give fresh insights that you can use to help keep your website safe.
The main function of these security tips is not to eliminate all threats to your WordPress account. Rather, it is to reduce them. Why, you ask? Because as long as any system stands, hackers will always try to tear them down.
That’s why you, as a WordPress user, must also be forever vigilant in protecting your website from such attacks.
Every Blogger Walks a Different Path
Neil Patel walks a different path than I. I walk a different blogging path than you. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two bloggers walk the same exact path. We take different routes. Different journeys require different strategies, detours, tactics and strategies. Neil walked an SEO-rich path. I do not. I chose a prolific, SEO-free path. No one mimics a fellow blogger perfectly because no two humans have the same experience. We succeed by differentiating. Never believe you need to walk the same path as some blogging pro to succeed. Of course, doing so proves fruitless because no two bloggers walk the same blogging journey. Never try to do the impossible. Stop believing you need to do the same things top bloggers do to succeed like top bloggers. I broke many traditional blogging rules to circle the globe as a pro blogger. Of course I created a blogging course, eBooks and audio books. Content? Check. Connections? Check. I honored fundamentals to succeed but never tried mimicking the same journey as any top blogger.
Walk your blogging path. Take your blogging journey. Your blogging path separates you from the herd. My travel stories and blogging lessons make me different from any blogger. Ditto for you. We all have different experiences to call upon for becoming a successful blogger. Respect your uniqueness. Find your blogging flow. I do not enjoy doing SEO to drive Google traffic. Why would I force a blogging journey trough some strategy I disliked working? I should just work a job if I did something for money versus working for passion. Of course, I never took a path like Neil Patel because I do not enjoy SEO-optimizing posts. I succeeded through another strategy. Never believe you need to walk the same path as pros to become successful as pros. New bloggers swing and miss daily by believing success is writing 4,000 word, SEO-optimized posts dominating competitive keywords on Google. Are you nuts? Neil Patel dominates competitive keywords on Google after 10,000 plus hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. You have 5 or 10 hours or maybe 100 hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. You have another 10,000 hours of blogging work to do before being skilled, creative and connected enough to dominate page 1 of Google for 1 – let alone 20 – competitive keywords.
But you may dislike SEO all together. Take a different blogging path. Find tactics resonant with you. Perhaps building bonds with bloggers and creating helpful content feels fun to you. Take that route. But know your path differs from any blogging path because we each fly solo and learn different lessons for specific parts of our blogging journey. No two bloggers walk in the same blogging shoes. No two bloggers walk the same blogging path. Two bloggers may walk similar blogging journeys. Bloggers sometimes walk similar blogging paths. But nobody walks identical paths because bloggers have different experiences to learn from during our blogging journey.
Respect your path. Honor your progression. Accept how you blog in the perfect place, at the perfect time, now. Do not resist your blogging path. Everything brought you here to this point now. Accepting your present state of blogging growth reduces resistance to future growth. Surrender serves as a powerful concept. Be completely at peace with your blogging growth now. Hug your progress. Walk your blogging path. Of course, note wins. Celebrate success. Avoid comparing yourself to bloggers. Bloggers experience different situations to benefit from different circumstances. We all have different lessons to learn on our respective blogging journeys. Honor this truth. Cultivate peace of mind. Position yourself to succeed. Walk your one-of-a-kind blogging path to experience your greatest success.
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Hobbies Change for Habits to Change
Over a decade ago, I woke up, watched TV, grabbed breakfast, hit the gym for bodybuilding and returned home to watch a DVD movie. At 2:30 PM I prepared for work. I drove to my security guard job. By 10:30 PM on most nights I drove home. Evening movie. Sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat the following day. I worked a security guard job. My hobbies consisted of lifting weights and watching TV. But my hobbies and habits changed the moment I became a blogger. Morning breakfast vanished. I stopped going to the time-consuming gym. Watching movies every day? Fat chance. My bodybuilding workout and movie hobbies had to change for me to begin the habits of meditating, doing yoga and expanding my awareness daily. Hobbies change before habits change.
New bloggers often struggle because newbies cling to old, worn out, failing hobbies like:
- watching TV for hours nightly
- mindlessly cruising the internet for hours nightly
- mindlessly gossiping on the phone or with family for hours nightly
These low-energy hobbies need to change pronto for you to develop fun, freeing, higher energy habits like meditating, doing yoga, blogging generously and engaging in some form of exercise. Picture those 4 hours you waste on watching TV each evening. How do you find time to engage in different habits? Change your hobbies. Out goes TV, or, TV just consumes 45 minutes per evening. Enter 20 minutes of meditating. Release some hobbies. Fill the time with different, empowering, freeing, sometimes uncomfortable habits. Imagine watching the idiot box for 3 hours nightly. 3 hours pass. Nothing profitable, productive or empowered happens watching the television. But for you to be a pro blogger you need to spend those 3 hours meditating for perhaps 10 minutes and blogging for the remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes. Change your hobbies to create space for changing habits. Changing habits accelerates, colors and influences hobby changes too. My hobbies went from watching TV to circling the globe on meditating more deeply, doing more yoga and spending more time in serious introspection. Life became more uncomfortable but far more fun and freeing as my hobbies and habits changed. I preferred to wander around Ubud, Bali versus watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My hobbies changed for the better. I respect how we all travel different paths but if your hobbies and habits never changed, you are either enlightened, and never needed to change your meditating and yoga habits, or you have been making fear-driven, comfortable, confining choices wasting your life.
I have yet to see a genuinely happy, peaceful, powerful, prospering person who watches more than 2-3 hours of TV every single night. People call TV the idiot box because television makes you an idiot. Mindless, bland, non-stimulating TV watching does nothing for your growth, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and overall abundance. Empowered bloggers cannot spend 5 seconds on idle, mindless, dingbat-style activities. Stop spending hours watching TV each evening. Start spending hours blogging and working on your abundance mindset. Buy a blogging eBook. Surround yourself with pro bloggers. Learn from these pros. Mimic their ways. Gain inspiration from their example. Fill time not with garbage but with goal-achieving, fun, freeing and sometimes scary blogging actions. First, the hobbies change. Gone goes watching TV, gossiping and wasting time on low energy actions. Habits change with the hobby vacuum being void. Begin meditating. Start doing yoga. Awareness-expanding activities unearth fears, nudge you toward love, amplify your generosity and accelerate your blogging success.
Contact Page: Yes or No?
Should you post a contact page on your blog?
In most cases, yes. In few cases, no. Let’s dive in.
For almost all bloggers, posting a contact page on your blog allows readers to contact you quickly and easily. Before traffic and business grows you need to connect with readers fast. Seamlessly connecting with you allows readers to grow your blogging traffic and profits. Picture a potential client with questions about your services. How quickly can the person ask questions and get answers to make an informed decision? Publish a clear, easy to see and easier to use contact page to give clients an easy way to get their questions answered. Clear clients who vibe with your services hire you. Making money online becomes easier if people connect with you quickly via contact pages.
But in a few cases, not posting a contact page actually grows your business. Incredibly busy bloggers with huge, engaged readerships need to cut down on spam and other non-relevant emails. Removing your contact page instantly cuts down on spammy submissions. Publish a contact page and you waste precious time sifting through emails littered with spam, unsolicited pitches and other time sucks. Even if you have not made millions yet, removing your contact page may be a springboard to greater success. Devote time and energy spent sifting through emails to guest posting, genuine blog commenting and promoting fellow bloggers on your blog. Leverage. Spend time intelligently. Reach bigger, targeted audiences by releasing time-wasting activities. Removing contact pages works for incredibly busy bloggers slowly being overrun by spam submissions sent via contact pages. Spend this saved time growing your blogging business through leveraging.
Trust Your Intuition
Intuitively, my gut told me to remove my contact page months ago. I became busier but noted a high ratio of spam submissions through the page. Lazy, non-targeting, struggling entrepreneurs mindlessly click on contact pages and send generic emails, wasting my time and their time. Removing my contact page instantly lowered these spammy submissions by 70% to 80%. Most people who email me now seem to be serious entrepreneurs. These people want to work for me. Gone are lazy bloggers and outreach specialists who wish not to do the legwork of finding my email addy on my About page. I want people to work a little bit to contact me. Of course, working a little bit proves individuals genuinely want to connect with you to discuss business, to ask questions or to simply connect. Build posture. Do you want lazy, mindless people to contact you? Or do you prefer serious, genuine people to contact you?
Ultimately, trust your intuition. I suggest most bloggers to publish contact pages because the majority wants to be easily reachable for increasing your blogging presence. But being busier after building your blogging business makes you think twice about allowing people to connect with you easily.
I wanted to add how even though I publish no contact page, people reach me easily via Twitter and Facebook. I respond to DMs on Twitter, I scan @replies and also respond to Messages on Facebook, including my Message Requests.
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