Monday, 29 February 2016

Basic Security Tips for WordPress Beginners

Welcome to WordPress.

You are now a part of a sprawling community of WordPress users, developers, and geeks. And your website is one of 16 million others currently powered by WordPress.

You already know about user-friendliness, the vast variety, and utter control you get to exercise over your WordPress website. But it’s not all fun and games until you learn how to keep it safe.

WordPress is as secure as you make it. So let’s harden your defenses against common attacks.

1. Back Ups

These are necessary for maintenance, security, and just general peace of mind.

A backup is your safety net in times when a) your website crashes, b) you lock yourself out, and c) you get hacked.

All you need to do is install a trustworthy backup plugin and use it to create scheduled backups of your website. Try one like Backup Buddy (premium, has good auto restore features), BackUpWordPress (free), WordPress Backup to Dropbox (mostly free, great for creating and storing site wide + database backups on cloud), and SaaS like VaultPress, UpdraftPlus, et al.

Tip: Create a backup schedule that coincides with your general maintenance schedule. Essentially, anytime you upgrade something on your website, your backup should save it. 

2. Download from Trusted sources only

Most WordPress websites are open to attack through theme and plugin vulnerabilities.

Make sure you download absolutely nothing from sources that reek of malicious activity: typically websites offering premium goods for free are major culprits. A few bucks saved now will come back to give you grief later.

Trusted sources like the official WordPress repositories (for themes and plugins) are safe, along with large marketplaces like Envato (ThemeForest and CodeCanyon), iThemes, StudioPress, etc.

Tip: Exercise the same caution before hiring a custom WordPress development services provider.

3. Strong Passwords and Admin username

It may sound harsh, but if you’re too lazy to change the default username and couldn’t be bothered to use a strong password, you deserve to get hacked. At this point you’re practically inviting attackers.

Long, strong passwords are your first line of defense against ‘standard’ brute force attacks. The length and complexity exponentially increases the time it would take to crack your password. Mix up random letters in upper and lower cases with numbers and characters.

Also change the default username (“admin”, are you kidding me?) to something less obvious.

Tip: Set up a new account and assign admin role to that, and delete the previous “admin” username account. It’s one of the simplest ways.

4. Security Plugins
Oh, now we’re talking.

Security plugins are your website’s personal anti-virus systems, in that they will whet your website and exterminate any malicious bits left behind by potential attackers. This is essential: WordFence (The best and largely free plugin with exhaustive features for site security, login, two factor authentication, etc.)

There are more options (like Login Lockdown, iThemes Security, etc.) but WordFence has enough features to do all their jobs on its own.

Tip: Feature packed plugins fulfill more requirements, and make it easy to keep your plugin-count under tight control. This is good for both security and performance.

5. Update Consistently

Most good Plugins and themes, and the WordPress core itself, roll out updates on a regular basis. Your job is to update to the latest version.

You may have noticed that within a few weeks of every major platform update (last one was 4.4 Clifford), you will get minor version release notices (last one was 4.4.2). These are fixes for security vulnerabilities.  Themes and plugins also keep pace with the updates for error-free performance and more tightly-knit security.

So update. Consistently.


Once you have set up a routine for maintenance and security, you can progress to advanced tactics to harden WordPress by checking out even more security tips and this complete checklist.

It’s a war out there. Do your part by keeping your wits around you, and be safe.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Everything You Need to Know While Picking a Responsive WordPress Theme

The rapid use of different mobile devices for browsing internet influences web designers and webmasters to create mobile-friendly websites. With the use of a responsive WordPress theme, you can design or optimize your business website for different mobile devices and viewports. These themes are cross-browser compatible and offers lots of customization options to improve the usability of your site.
However, with such an extensive range of options, it becomes quite challenging to make an intelligent decision on what to consider while picking a good responsive theme – free or premium.
To make your work simpler, we bring you some of the useful tips you need to consider while picking out the most suitable and powerful responsive theme for your site.

1. Decide what resolutions are supported and obviously how
If you are new into the web design world, let me tell you that responsive designs utilize Media Queries to reformat the design of a site when the screen resolution is under a particular number of pixels. For instance, a site’s design might restructure for the mobile device when it encounters the screen size is 480x or below.
You can make a use of Resizer tool in your browser to automatically put your PC browser window to test common device sizes. With this tool, you can test the desired responsive theme before making any final call.

2. Consider the content hierarchy
If your site’s content doesn’t fit at mobile screen sizes, then you can simply drop it out from your site. For instance, widgets and sidebars of a website are usually hidden at smaller screen sizes and they won’t appear on a scrollable page.
It might be okay for your purposes, but identifying what is hidden, and what is re-designed as your window size becomes smaller.
However, with the use of good responsive theme, you will easily handle your sidebars and also create flexible widget areas for your site. With content reformatted for smaller screens, you need to consider the content hierarchy to make sure that the order in which it arrives is suitable for how you propose to showcase your site rather then moving down the content on the scrolling page.
3. Know how menus are managed
The width of your navigation area can be affected by several items and the length of your navigation labels. In fact, it can affect the look of your navigation bar on different devices. If you can’t handle your navigation bar, then your nav might split in odd places on small mobile devices.
But you can choose the best responsive theme that uses the compelling navigation system. When the desktop version uses a traditional link bar, then this changes to a tappable menu while reformats for small screen devices.
You can also make a use of custom WordPress theme development at HireWPGeeks to ensure a more accessible and usable design for your site.

4. Advertisement on your website

Some of the ads serving systems do not optimize the ad content for different devices. And this creates conflicting issues with a responsive design. In fact, ads are dealt with JS tags and iFrames, and it can cause formatting issues badly.
If you want to serve ads, try to work out on a strategy of how you will either turn on/off advertisement at multiple sizes, or you can also provide alternative ads only for mobile visitors.

5. Video handling
Videos play a vital role in encouraging potential visitors towards your site. But it can create issues with the responsive design because of the nature of embedding. If you want to optimize the size of your videos for multiple devices, then you need to employ the special HTML markup correctly.
Note: if you don’t find a video in the theme’s demo, you can ask the author for any provisions made in your responsive theme to handle video content.

These are some of the useful tips that will help you create a mobile-friendly design for your website.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How Switching your Website to WordPress can Benefits you

Undoubtedly, WordPress is the most promising software used for building and customizing company websites, service-based sites, professional and personal blogs and even e-commerce stores. This content management system has gained a lot of popularity because it’s advanced and user-friendly features including the extensive range of themes and plugins.
With the help of WordPress themes and plugins, you can customize the look and feel of your site according to your needs. And the best part of using WordPress is that you don’t need to a technical expert. Yes, you heard it right. You can edit your site, without getting your hands dirty in coding. And this is the main reason why businesses are switching their traditional sites with WordPress.
Here, in this post, we will discuss the five advantages of switching your site to WordPress.

1. WordPress is Manageable
It is super-easy to create, edit and delete the content on WordPress sites. WordPress also keeps their back-end upgraded so you don’t need to take stress on the part of a site’s safety and security.
You can install the plugins and themes into your sites without any technical knowledge and also tweak the design within a few clicks. In fact, you can easily update your installed themes to the newer coding standards just after creating a solid foundation.

2. WordPress is Accessible
This content management system allows you to add, edit and publish content on the site anywhere, anytime with an internet connection.
It means you access your site and upload the content even from your mobile devices. Isn’t it incredible!

3. Search Engine friendly
There is a false myth that WordPress is a search engine optimized content management system.
Of course, it is a search engine friendly tool, but still you need to optimize your site manually to get best possible results. And with the help of SEO plugins like SEO by Yoast, you can optimize the content of your site for search engines quickly and efficiently.
Note: WordPress offers a super-easy framework which makes it simple for Google to crawl your site on SERPs.

4. WordPress is fully Customizable
Customize or tweak the design of your WordPress site/blog with beautiful and fully responsive themes. WordPress offers myriads of free and paid themes that you can use to create a customized site. You can change the design, color, size and overall appearance of your site within a few clicks.
Well, you can also hire the WordPress customization expert that can help you in creating more advanced, more reliable and more professional website in a short time period.

5. Easy to learn CMS
Now you don’t need to be a technical expert for creating a professional looking WordPress website. You don’t even need to learn any programming languages like JavaScript, CSS, PHP, and HTML.
In fact, you can also watch tutorial videos on how to set up a first business site on WordPress? Or other related tutorials to gather some basic knowledge about this CMS.
With the guidance of video tutorials, you can create and develop anything from a business site to well-developed online store, without getting your hands dirty in codes.

WordPress as a content management system makes it simple to set up a fully-functional and intuitive website, without any coding. Plus, it offers countless benefits that you won’t find in any other CMS software. And that is the reason why people are converting their HTML sites into WordPress.