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10 WordPress Security Tips To Keep Your Website Safe And Sound

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keeping wordpress secure

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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Kevin is a full-time digital marketer and business coach. As a retired marine, he devotes his time helping business owners succeed online.

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4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog

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If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.

From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.

4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast

Post videos

Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.

Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.

Research your audience in great detail

To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.

The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.

The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.

Get more influential persons involved

Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.

A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media.  The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.

However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.

Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.

However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.

Post engaging graphics

Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.

Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.

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Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018

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Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.

Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.

As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:

  • Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
  • Do more research than competitor sites have done.
  • Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template. 
  • Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.

One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.

In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.

Social Media Marketing

Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.

Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.

Search Engine Optimization

Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.

Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.

Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.

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What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?

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10:15 PM on a Sunday night.

After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.

I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.

Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.

I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.

I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.

My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.

Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.

A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:

Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.

Brilliant!

He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.

Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence

I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.

If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.

Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.

Check out his Instagram account.

His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.

Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.

Be Patient

Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.

You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.

Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.

Go the extra blogging mile.

Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.

 

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