I’m honored to bring this news to you today. It was written by one of my talented online friends – Jan Kearney.
I was introduced to her expertise through the Social Media Mastermind Facebook group. And, let me tell you, this girl knows her stuff when it comes to WordPress or Google local business!
When we consider how many blogs are functional across the web, a gal like Jan is a prize package when you call upon her expertise.
Today, she enlightens us on the importance of installing WordPress, properly! Read what she shares, but more importantly, walk away with knowledge that will truly benefit your business.
Over to Jan…
By Jan Kearney
WordPress is an amazing platform. I recommend it to my clients, I use it daily myself. I’m not alone in thinking WordPress is wonderful. 17.6% of all sites on the web run on WordPress.
That is a lot of sites!
With such popularity, there are hazards – especially if you choose a one-click method of installing WordPress.
Unscrupulous people who want to use your site to their advantage target simple installs of WordPress. They want to use your site for anything from diverting your readers to their porn or prescription sites to malicious code harvesting personal details to placing ads on your site and more.
You do not need to be a large business or have a lot of traffic to be a suitable target. Bots looking for specific easy vulnerabilities do most of this targeting automatically.
The problem is not WordPress.
The problem is YOU (yes, you) allow it to happen.
I did too.
Then one day I woke up to every single site I owned redirecting to sites I needn’t have seen first thing in a morning. It was not a pretty sight, I can tell you!
It is not a mess you want to untangle either. What I learned the hard way was once one of my sites had been compromised, it was a simple job to bounce to the next site and then the next with the same vulnerabilities and sequential database names on shared hosting.
There is no such thing as 100% safe online, regardless of what platform you use. Spend less than an hour installing WordPress with a few safeguards and you can save days of heartache, lost readers, lost buyers and lost money in the bank.
I compare installing WordPress to owning a car. Picture the scene…
You have just driven into town. You park your car with the doors unlocked, your GPS and music system on show and gone to dinner. Would you expect your car to be still there when you returned? You might be lucky and nothing happens.
Lock the doors and remove obvious target items. Now you reduce the risk.
Lock the doors, put on an alarm, immobilizer and wheel lock, remove your valuable items and you reduce the risk further.
While you cannot totally protect your car against someone determined to get in, you can reduce the possibility of opportunist thieves taking advantage.
Your WordPress installation is just the same. By using a 1-click install and not taking some further precautions, you are leaving your site unlocked and all your valuables on show.
Top 5 Things to Consider When Installing WordPress
1. Choose A Good Host
In an ideal world, everyone would have dedicated hosting designed specifically for WordPress. In reality, budgets don’t always stretch that far.
Choose a host that knows WordPress. Nothing is worse when things go wrong than dealing with customer support who just say, “It’s a WordPress problem, there’s nothing we can do.”
Unfortunately, you often will not find out how good a host is until something goes wrong. Do ask around.
If you are sticking with shared hosting, choose a Linux server and make sure that it meets the minimum requirements for running WordPress.
2. Install WordPress Manually
Installing WordPress manually is not as difficult or as time consuming as it sounds. I know one-click is super quick, but you lack control. It is the simple and often missed things people trying to access your site target most.
It is like locking up the front of your house and leaving the back door wide open. Most of the time you will be fine, then along comes someone looking for open back doors…
WordPress have their Famous Five Minute Install instructions. (http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress) Honestly, if you have never done it before it will take a little longer than five minutes. If you want the instructions with pictures, my Kindle guide has that covered.
Once you have manually installed WordPress you will know that your database has a good name and secure password, your data table prefixes are not the standard wp_ and your cookies have been well and truly salted. Between this and point 3, you have made your WordPress installation more secure than most out there.
3. Kill the Admin
Never, ever use Admin as your log in name. Those bots are scouring the web for easy access WordPress sites…
You have just given them 50% of the info they need to get in. Discovering the password is hardly a hurdle.
4. Choose a Good Theme and Plugins
I am not a free theme snob. There are some great themes and plugins available via your WordPress dashboard. Do be selective though. Install a theme and plugins that are maintained and
When purchasing themes or plugins choose renowned developers. From experience, that means avoiding those tempting WSOs. Often they are not kept up to date despite promises of free updates.
Do not leave themes and plugins sitting around. If they are not active – remove them.
5. WordPress Needs Maintenance
If you want a website that you can set and forget, installing WordPress is not for you. In fact, it’s not a great idea having a website if you are not planning to maintain it.
WordPress releases major updates roughly twice per year and minor updates more regularly. Your themes and plugins will need updating too.
There are many other steps you can take to make WordPress more secure. No one can guarantee your site will not be compromised. Following these five tips when installing WordPress will ensure your site is not an easy target for opportunists.
About the Author
Jan Kearney helps small business owners get to grips with the web and be found online. She shares this knowledge with you over on her blog at www.mylocalbusinessonline.co.uk
It’s your turn. Did you install WordPress manually or with Fantastico? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Thanks for reading!
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