5 tips to secure your WordPress Blog & avoid downtime

5 tips to secure your WordPress Blog & avoid downtime

There are millions of WordPress blogs around the world and if you host WordPress yourself you will know that there is often some maintenance to be done. But many people don’t know and therefore when things go wrong on their blog they are surprised to find out that there were things they could have done to prevent the downtime.

1) WordPress Plugins

Your hosted WordPress installation will have some plugins installed and from time to time these will be patched, improved and in some cases be given security improvements. You will know if an update is due on your WordPress plugins as a circle with a number will appear after the Plugins section on the left hand column of your WordPress Dashboard. Simply click into the Plugins section, select the plugins for upgrade and hit the Upgrade button. It is a straight forward process which is worth checking for every few days.

2) WordPress Installation Updates

Occasionally WordPress itself will be upgraded, at the time of writing this post version 3.4.2 of WordPress is the latest stable release. You will know if an upgrade for WordPress is available as it will be highlighted across the Top of your WordPress Dashboard. This Notification should not be ignored as it usually gives security improvements plus new features. The Upgrade process may include a database backup advisory so if you don’t backup your wordpress databases you should and there are some excellent plugins which allow you to do this.

3) Framework Updates

If you use purchased or 3rd party WordPress Themes, these may come with a Theme Framework. These framework updates are sometimes overlooked and people don’t even know they are there. Most often if you click Appearance -> Themes you may see an extra dropdown for Update Framework…this may also appear further down the Dashboard left column under Theme Options. you should always know what theme you are working with so that you don’t inadvertently delete or change settings for the theme – also if you are on twitter / the web you may see notifications or alerts for certain themes saying that updates are available for potential security loopholes etc.

4) Permissions

This is one of the biggest problems on sites which have been attacked or hacked – people don’t set the correct permissions on files and folders. Setting permissions using chmod 777 which is read, write and execute for everyone is one way of asking for trouble. Its like leaving your backdoor open and wondering why you got robbed. There are plenty of tutorials online which explain file permissions and correctly set permissions allow WordPress and you (as the web admin) access, but no-one else.

5) Table naming and Admin usernames

One other way of protecting WordPress is when installing the system to avoid calling your tables wp_ and also by not allocating admin as the username but by choosing something else. This helps avoid attacks on known tables / usernames.

Conclusion

Hopefully these tips will help you maintain a safer installation of the worlds best Blogging software.

Website Traffic – 2011’s Site Traffic in Review

Website Traffic – 2011’s Site Traffic in Review

Looking back at the year that was on my website, 2011 was the year Google Panda visited my site, Twitter and Facebook had an impact on search and website traffic, and an overall increase of 21% on traffic from 2010.

2011 looks like hitting 690,000 unique visitors and 1.8 Million Page Views.

20 The Most Popular Pages on the site

1. Piano Chord Shapes : 198,647  pageviews
2. 420 Chords – ChordMap : 152,515 pageviews
3. Guitar Chords :  51,751 pageviews
4. Learn To Read Music : 50,402 pageviews
5. Easy Music Transposer : 42,333 pageviews
6. Queen Album List / Discography : 34,164 pageviews
7. Chordmap Italiano : 33,584 pageviews
8. Learn Types of Music Notes : 32,594 pageviews
9. How to Transpose : 32,199 pageviews
10. Shanes Queen Site Homepage : 31,194 pageviews
11. Guitar Chord Bm : 27,729 pageviews
12. Guitar Chord List : 27,131 pageviews
13. Piano Chord C Major : 24,666 pageviews
14. Bohemian Rhapsody Chords : 24,075 pageviews
15. How to Fix and iPhone / iPod Touch, with a Frozen Safari App : 23,121 pageviews
16. Homepage :  20,130 pageviews
17. Guitar Chord of Bb Maj 19,159 pageviews
18. Piano Chord of C  : 16,702 pageviews
19. Piano Chord Variations in C :  14,552 pageviews
20. Piano Chords in Spanish : 13,443 pageviews

Top 10 Pages on the Blog

1. How to Fix and iPhone / iPod Touch, with a Frozen Safari App : 23,121 views
2. Flight Radar Vs Plane Finder iPhone Apps : 8,615 views
3. Blog Homepage : 1,683 views
4. Fix an iPhone or iPod Touch which Won’t Start : 1,570 views
5. iPhone 4 expected in Ireland in Early June : 762 views
6. Irish Language – What a Waste of Time  : 642 views
7. Top 5 Things to Do in Singapore : 592 views
8. UFO Spotted over Copacabana Beach : 572 views
9. Goalkeeper Saves Penalty and Celebrates as Ball Rolls in to Goal : 548 views
10. NDrive – iPhone Sat Nav App : 360 views

Google Panda Update Visited the Site

Google Panda is a change to the Google’s search results ranking algorithm.This change reportedly affected the rankings of almost 12 percent of all search results, my site was affected in October with traffic dropping by about 60%. Below is the output from Google Analytics which shows the dramatic drop in traffic during that time – thankfully traffic was come back up towards normal levels.

ShaneMcDonald.org Website Traffic 2011

Launch of Shane McDonald PhotoBlog

Launch of Shane McDonald PhotoBlog

I have just launched a PhotoBlog, I decided that although I use Flickr and Picasa for storing photos, I wanted something extra for displaying photos and discussing everything to do with Photography.

The link is www.shanemcdonald.me

 

ShaneMcDonald.me PhotoBlog

ShaneMcDonald.me PhotoBlog (screenshot)

Is it PhotoBlog or Photo Blog?

When doing my research I was curious to the naming – is it “Photo Blog” or “PhotoBlog”. Using Google Insights for Search and Google Trends I was able to see which was most used.

It turns out that PhotoBlog is a growing search term which is 2 or 3 times more popular than “Photo Blog”.

If you are doing SEO work and you have a photoblog then this information might be useful …

Hope you enjoy my site – still only a few posts on it but I hope to have at least 15 posts by the end of the year,

WordPress 3.0 is available ! Update now !

WordPress 3.0 is now available for download with tons of exiting new features.

Watch the video from WordPress below on what has been added in the new WordPress release.

A Brief rundown on the features of WordPress 3.0 include New menus, new designs, better posting, nice default wordpress template called Twenty Ten, customistion of the Twenty Ten template, creation of short links, bulk plugin upgrades, huge revamp of the WordPress API, and much more.

You can get the full list of what’s changed in WordPress 3.0 at http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_3.0

WordPress 3.0 is available for download from http://wordpress.org/download/ or you can upgrade WordPress to version 3.0 automatically from your control panel dashboard.

Happy Blogging!

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