Secure Your WordPress Website From Hackers

Being hacked is what every website owner dreads to even think about.  However safe and secure you think your site might be, taking those extra steps to make sure your site remains up to date with the latest plugins and security features can go a long way to keeping those unwanted nasties out.

There are certain things to consider and actions that can be taken to help secure your website.

The Strength of Your Password
The most vulnerable area of a website is the front door key. A password will allow people in due to the simplicity (easy for hackers to guess) or shut people out due the complexity of a password.  Brute force attacks and guessing are commonly used to break and enter into a site. Make your password unique adding a combination and variation of upper case, lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

If you easily forget passwords think of something that has meaning to you and if you can’t think of anything WordPress has a password generator that gives out unique and secure passwords.

Use Name – Use Your Email
Using your email instead of a user name is easy to remember.

Consider using a two-factor authentication
in April 2013 WordPress introduced two-factor authentication for added security. There are many plugins available to help secure the login process. Make sure you keep your mobile phone handy and remember the email address you used to sign in with.

Do Regular WordPress Backups
Regular backups can help restore your site to a latest version should something go wrong with it. Having a Dropbox account or another external storage account for these is a good idea.

Keep your plugins up to date
Regularly updating your plugins at a 2 week interval will keep your site running smoothly. Note: Plugins which haven’t been updated by the creator for over six months may have become obsolete. They may have also been hacked so I recommend not downloading those while also making sure that the new plugins you download are also compatible with your version of WP.

Use a Security Plugin with a Firewall and Malware Detection Scanner
Securing your site in this way is the most important of all.  A firewall protects against hackers and brute force attacks by protecting from vulnerabilities on your site.

Disable comments on your site for less spam.
There’s a plugin called just that, ‘Disable Comments.’ which I use on all my websites with the exception of my blog website.

By Sandra Ciminelli – ACT Websites

Quotes From Leading Business Entrepreneurs

A collection of some of my favourite quotes from leading entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers past and present to encourage those in business who aren’t afraid to dream big.

Steve Jobs – Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Primary investor and CEO of Pixar Founder and CEO of NeXT

steve jobs

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying that we done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

Pat Robertson – Founder & Chairman of CBN

pat robertson

“The most important virtue is humility, to have a servant’s heart, to listen to what people are saying, and to be empathetic to employees. I think that pride and arrogance are killers.”

Colonel Sanders – KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

colonel sanders

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping-stone to something better.”

Tyler Perry – Tyler Perry Studios

tyler perry

“Don’t wait for someone to green light your project, build your own intersection.”

John D. Rockerfeller – Founder Of the Standard Oil Company

john d rockerfeller

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

George Foreman  – Founder of George Foreman Enterprises & Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

george foreman

“The world is full of people who want to play it safe, people who have tremendous potential but never use it. Somewhere deep inside them, they know that they could do more in life, be more, and have more — if only they were willing to take a few risks.”

 

Want to Start Blogging But Don’t Know How?

There are literally millions of bloggers online telling their story, sharing news and writing about just about any given subject known to man.  Yet during its humble beginnings, there was nothing compelling me to write, much less publish my work online.  Today I’m sold on blogging for personal use and for business marketing. As a social media coordinator the value of marketing is well known to me.  However, I fell in love with the whole concept of communicating ideas online for building others up. There are some truly extraordinary blogs out there in cyberspace on just about any given topic by really talented writers. But don’t let that scare you off.  Your blog can stand out!

When I started blogging

If I’m going to be completely honest, the idea of other’s reading my blogs was really intimidating, knowing my work needed loads of improvement. But I didn’t let that excuse stop me. With practice my confidence has grown and the secret for getting better at it was simple! Keep writing, keep learning and keep growing.  The only thing we need to be afraid of is not giving it a go which is like quitting before we even begin.  Remaining stagnant is even more frightening to me. The only option left was to get started because blogging is also a great way to learn how to better express ourselves.

Blogging for a hobby

  1. Select your blog platform – You can create a free blog site at WordPress.com where they also provide support forums. there are many others that you can also try.
  2. Register a domain name – You might want to register a unique domain name for your blog which is the same as a website internet address for your blog site.  E.g. www.yourdomain.com 
  3. Choose a Web Host – Many out there to choose from.  Once you set up a wordpress site there will be options on offer.

Blogging for business or hobby

  • Topic – decide on what you want to write about.  Read plenty and research the topic of your choice.
  • Introduction – The introduction is no bigger than a 4 to 5 line paragraph explaining what you will be discussing in your blog.
  • Body – The body of your blog contains all the information you want to share pertaining to that topic.  Elaborate on your introduction covering everything youv’e mentioned in your paragraph.
  • Ending – The ending of your blog should go something like this:
    1. Sum up key messages
    2. Add a call to action
    3. Add a ‘Sources’ title with the name of Author, pages and hyperlinks to your resources.
    4. Ask a question or use quotes.
    5. Use social media share buttons.

Important Tips

  • Use relevant images that will create interest.
  • When I start typing my ideas out the first copy is always saved as a draft that I can come back to and work on.
  • Having a little note pad around helps me record ideas as they pop into my head.
  • Always ask permission formally by email before you reblog or use another person’s material and wait for their reply. Cite authors and link back to their sites and give credit where credit is due.  Especially if the work is not your own and if you’re quoting someone.
  • Think of an engaging heading for your blog.
  • Add external links to help back up your story.
  • Consider using a video
  • Post your blog on social media.

I hope this helps you get started with your blog.  Enjoy!
To further help your writing skills consider taking a creative writing course.

Sandra Ciminelli.

If you’re after help with your personal blog or need a professional business blog ACT Websites can help. Contact Sandra on 0413 305 967 or email sandra@actwebsites.com.au to find out more about my business blogging services.

Who Do I Call First When My Website Is Down?

Lets face it, from time to time a website will crash.  It’s technology after all.  As business owners we can become panicked about losing clients and money by not knowing who to call.  In that panic quite often the new website owner will contact their web designer. However, here’s what to do to save time, frustration and money.

1.What do you do when that help isn’t available immediately?

Call your web host tech support.  Good web host services will usually have 24/7 support available.   Some problems may be able to be resolved over the phone for free by their tech support team. It might very well be a hosting or server problem.  So check that out first.

When there’s a problem with the website most people will call their webmaster.  The web master will investigate and then call the web host if needed.   This costs the business owner money.  Save money by calling your host first as mentioned above.

Note: We don’t all have time or knowledge to be resolving issues over the phone with the web host, in such cases hiring a webmaster’s help will be the better option.  Consider a monthly website maintenance plan to keep your website running smoothly with backups, updates, link check etc.

2. The Webmaster

Things happen when you least expect them, during and outside of business hours.  The webmaster’s flexibility will ultimately be their best asset.  However, they aren’t always available after hours and this calls for understanding and a backup plan on the part of the client.

What to do when something goes wrong.

  1. Check to see if your website is up and running on another device or computer.
  2. Write down any error messages or codes you receive.
  3. Contact your web host tech support team to notify them that you can’t access your website.  The number can be found on their website.
  4. Contact the webmaster if the tech support can’t help.
  5. Tell the webmaster what tech support has said.
  6. Permissions need to have already been set in place with the web host to allow the webmaster to contact your tech support if need be.
  7. Your Webmaster will need your website login details, web hosting login details and also have access to the back end of the site by being added as a user with admin rights on the WordPress website.  The web host can send this information to the webmaster at your written request.

Note: Notify the webmaster when they’ll be out of town so that they can monitor your website while you’re way.  Very important for keeping up with necessary plugin updates while you’re away.

Regular maintenance, plugin updates and backups are important to keep your website healthy.

By Sandra Ciminelli – ACT Websites.

TOO BUSY TO MANAGE YOUR OWN SITE?  Enquire here about a our monthly Website Maintenance plan.

Making The Most Out Of Life

It’s funny how self discipline changes the way we think. When I was younger I loved going out with my friends to the early hours of the morning. Life was exciting and I was on a journey of self discovery.

As as a young adult I soon learned that couldn’t function well for too long without adequate sleep.  My body and brain began shutting down to the point that my work performance took a nose dive. There was nobody to blame but myself because not being exhausted for work the next day was the one thing that I could control.

When I realised what was happening I put a plan into action that worked for me. Deciding to get into bed by a certain time every night and sticking to it was a self discipline that paid off in the long run by forming a good habit. However, it wasn’t that easy for me, but my perseverance and determination paid off. It was at that moment when I realised that making the most out of life meant using every good opportunity to build myself up.

Change Requires Effort

Wisdom can’t be proved unless someone practices it.  We can agree with it, but unless we do it ourselves it will have no effect on us what so ever.

Self discipline is vital to our lives because our natural talents can only point us in the direction we want to go, but, anything worth achieving in life takes hard work and commitment. It’s a choice.

Self Discipline – Knowing How

Most of us want to be the best we can be at any given thing we set our hearts to do. What I found through experience is that being focused alone wasn’t enough.  Clear thinking accompanied with realistic goals and a precise targeting plan of action gave me direction.  There were times where I found myself busy working harder not smarter without a plan or goal to focus on.  Not for the lack of willpower but being young I was definitely lacking self discipline.

The plan of action gave me the necessary steps needed to take to get me there.  Then I wrote down why this was important to me enabling my emotions to reconnect to the reasons behind what I was doing.

Know your motives.

Example Of the ‘Whys’

  1. I want to lose weight to feel good about myself.
  2. I need to lose weight for a healthier body and mind.
  3. By losing weight I will fit into the clothes I already have and love.

Watch Your Thought Life 

We live in a noisy world so it’s quite understandable that we can have noisy cluttered thinking. Sometimes things pop into our heads that are irrelevant to anything we are doing at the time.  I classify this as ‘brain junk’. We we can be distracted by entertaining these often useless and sometimes silly or intrusive thoughts, but do we really need to? I believe that, learning how to push unwanted thoughts out of our heads is a discipline we should all learn to master helping us to stay focused on the task at hand.  We can do this also by thinking and meditating on good thoughts with logic, wisdom and truth.

Manage Your Time

Don’t waste time on mundane things.  Use it wisely by being productive which may mean working, learning, reading or doing things that will benefit you.  Helping others is a good way to take the focus of yourself or your own problems that will make you feel good about yourself.

Eat Well

A well balanced diet keeps your brain and body healthy. When everything is functioning the way it should, so will you!  Don’t over eat and make sure you eat enough.  Our bodies need nourishment from healthy foods.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Stay hydrated for peak performance of your brain and body.  Furthermore your vital organs will thank you for it. Water hydrates your blood cells as well as the rest of your body.  Eliminate toxins out of your body by drinking plenty of water.

Gain Adequate Sleep

The recommended amount of sleep we should have per night is from 7-9 hours.  Sleep deprived brains and bodies can not function at their peak.

Take Part In Regular Exercise

Half an hour a day is all it takes to get your circulation moving.  As a result, it builds muscle and eliminates fat and toxins out of your body that will have a good effect on your brain.

Be On Time

No boss will appreciate tardiness.  Get to work 15 minutes before you’re due to start your shift. This will give you time to prepare for the day ahead and will reflect on your reliability.

Be A Dependable Team Player

Be someone people can depend on.   As a society we are a social network of people who for the most part depend on one another.  At work we are a network of employees who rely on one another to get our jobs done.  One person can let a whole team down so make sure you do your share.

Don’t Take Your Problems To Work

Leave those at home as most situations can certainly wait and won’t go anywhere.  If you have excessive worries then talk to someone about it in confidence.  Decide if you should let your supervisor know what you’re experiencing.

Learn To Say ‘No’

There are times at work when we can be overloaded with tasks that require us to work late.  Too much work and not enough rest can lead to burnout.  We need to know our own limits and be able say ‘no’ to the added stress.

Learn to say no to the demands of your social life that affect your health, your work and your family life.