HOW TO KEEP YOUR WEBSITE SECURE

HOW TO KEEP YOUR WEBSITE SECURE

 

Today I’m back with a new blog post about your WordPress website. Or blog. Whatever you want to call it.

In the past year we have received quite a handful of email from our clients concerning their website security and particulary how to keep their site secure.

We always respond back with this: “There are a few very simple things you can do to keep your website secure, much of which is just good practice as you build your blogging routine.”

But in all honesty this is true – there is nothing you can really do to guarantee your site is completely and totally secure, it is just an ongoing process.

There are a few things you can incorporate in your blogging routine to keep your WordPress sire secure:

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KEEP EVERYTHING UP TO DATE

As a rule of thumb when dealing with WordPress, templates, child themes, plugins etc. the best thing to do regularly is to keep them updated.

The best order to do these things are:

1. Update your plugins

2. Update your themes

3. Update WordPress

 

CHOOSE THE BEST HOSTING YOU CAN AFFORD

There are so many websites that offer you a side to side comparison of all of the hosting companies out there.  Security vulnerabilities often come from the host itself so you should choose a hosting company that has a tream in place that will take care of your issues in a timely manner.

I only use SiteGround because when I first started doing web design I didn’t knew anything about installing ANYTHING. They helped me with EVERYTHING and they even directed me to some really useful links that I still keep in my bookmarks folder.

BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE

It is always a good idea to take regular bakups of your site. I learned that the hard way. I use this plugin for my regular backups for my website and also for my clients.

DON’T USE ADMIN AS YOUR USERNAME

This I’ve seen so many times. Whenever I work with a client, I always ask for permission to change their main username for their WordPress site.

Never use admin or any other easily guessable name for that matter.

If you are a bit more experienced with WordPress there are plenty of plugins that you can install that will change your login URL from the basic “yourwebsite.com/wp-admin” to whatever secret URL you want (e.g. yourwebsite.com/my-secret-login-url)

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD REGULARY

This one is the easiest one you can incorporate in your WordPress maintenance routine.

Make sure that each time you change it you use a good mixture of special characters, numbers and regular characters.

I had one client who wanted his password changed every single Monday morning. No exceptions 🙂

DELETE ANY THEMES YOU ARE NOT ACTIVELY USING

When installing new themes for your WordPress site, make sure the other ones that you don’t use are deleted or at least kept updated every time you get an update notification.

If you use a Divi child theme, don’t delete the DIVI template/theme. Even though is not “active” doesn’t mean it is not being used.

DELETE ANY PLUGINS YOU ARE NOT ACTIVELY USING

Same principal applies to plugins as well.

Plugins can create all sorts of issues if you are not actively updating them. One good rule of thumb is to remove (deactivate & delete) all of those plugins that you are not using.

You can always install it bak later if you ever need them, but good practice is to delete the ones that you are not using at the moment.

ONLY DOWNLOAD FROM KNOWN SOURCES

Whenever I need to download a plugin I always look at how many times the plugin has been downloaded, when it was last updated and if that particular plugin is compatible with the lastest version of WordPress.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE DELETING SPAMMY COMMENTS

Comments are one way for hackers to attach bad scripts into your website. Always delete those or marke them as SPAM. There are several plugins available for WordPress that are really good at filtering out spam comments. One of them is spam destroyer.

You can easily make these 9 things as a regular routine for your WordPress website.

There is no need to fear losing all of that hard work you have spent building your site.

If it seems overwhelming at the beginning, start with 2 things the first week and move up each week.

Talk soon,

Natalie

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

WHY WORDPRESS IS THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG

WHY WORDPRESS IS THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG

This month I received several emails asking me about why I have chosen WordPress as my go-to platform for blogging and digital shop.

I emailed back saying how I wanted to choose Squarespace in the first place but found it to be too expensive at that time for me and so the next best thing was WordPress.

why wordpress is the right platform for your blog

I have worked on many websites, many different blogs, many shops and online stores, and I will tell you why I remained faithful to this platform:

WordPress is the most Affordable.

I had to start with this one as this is the most asked question I get over email and twitter DMs.

You can easily setup your WordPress website with a budget of $100 or less. My personal recommendation is purchasing your domain through SiteGround (around $12-$15 depending on the domain name), hosting through the same company SiteGround (around $3.45 a month for shared WordPress hosting + you will get a FREE domain name renewal every year if you renew your hosting plan with them), and blog theme ($29 – $79 from the Shop).

With less than $100, you have a beautiful, responsive website for your blog or business.

Each year, you will have to renew your domain and hosting – $50-60, but your blog theme is a one-time purchase (and there are also free options).

Search Engine Friendly.

I cannot stress this enough: WordPress is great for SEO. You have the option (it is kind of mandatory too) to install the YOAST plugin who helps you with everything you need to setup the SEO for every blog post/product you are putting live on your website.

You don’t have to be a SEO expert, Yoast will guide through everything.

One click Install, Easy to Manage and Easy to Update.

This one was one of the most important things for me when I first started designing. I had no idea what CMSs were, I had no plans on ever learning to code (oh how life changes sometimes) – all I wanted was a one click install platform that allowed me to create and play around with options.

WordPress did just that for me.

Most hosting companies offer their clients one-click installs. Nothing is being downloaded to your computer. You get to setup a username and password and you have a very customizable dashboard right at your fingertips.

Open-source anyone?

When I first googled “wordpress vs. [insert any other platform here]” I read a lot of comments about this platform being an open-source CMS. I had no idea what that was. And I’m sure most of us didn’t knew about this term when we first started building our first websites.

Open-source means that there are thousands of WordPress developers all around the world working day and night to improve the system. And none of what they do costs you a penny. Free security and feature updates, every quarter? You bet. Can you say that about your CMS provider? (text credit goes to mooveagency.com)

My favorite: Highly Customizable.

WordPress is popular because it meets the demand of many users with its flexible framework to allow designers and developers to create and modify layouts and applications.

Remember no. 3 in the list? How I said I did not plan on ever learning to code? 🙂

The WordPress community is so great and filled with infinite information ready to be absorbed by anyone wanting to know and apply more to their own website.

This community has thought me so much! I remember bookmarking and saving every single piece of information I could find so I would never lose anything if the internet suddenly went armageddon on us (I lived under a rock for quite awhile so don’t judge) and started applying different customizations to my then lifestyle blog.

Even today, I create affordable and highly customizable WordPress templates for my clients because WordPress created this space for me to learn, grow and develop something that I now call my business.

Talk soon!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

MOODBOARD | AUMONERIE FRENCH RIVIERA

MOODBOARD | AUMONERIE FRENCH RIVIERA

Hello everyone, hope you had an amazing start of the year!

My 2017 is crazy busy at the moment, I am currently working on 4 projects so I know I have been MIA for awhile now.

I hope I can manage to get back on track and start writing and sharing my work and my work process with you on a weekly basis. I’m not making any promises though 🙂 

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Today’s #MoodboardMonday is all about french chateau style. I am currently working on an amazing project for 2 clients. Sabine, from Avalon Events Organisation and John (visit his website here) who is an amazing architect from LA and a sweet, down-to-earth human being – we are putting together a website for John’s house in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, South Of France. 

He wants to rent the house to beautiful couples who want to enjoy their time together in a secluded and intimate village; a village with such history, such beauty… I am just going to add some photos here so you can look for yourself.

The website is 90% finished, we still need to add specific details, more content and more amazing photos.

But I do have to mention that this process is a special one because John and Sabine have such an incredible and distinct sense of style. They know exactly what they want and I’m here just to help them execute it.

If you asked me to describe my dream client, I would show you a picture of their sweet faces!

Stay tunes for updates on the logo design process and final website reveal!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

I am so excited about the new shop launching here soon at NataliesBox.com.

And before I start adding new products to the shop, I invite you all to take a look at a new DIVI child theme I created. Did I say it is FREE?  Well yes it is! 

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To be honest, I am more creative than technical so it took me a while to figure out how to export and write the PDF instruction file for this child theme (shhh…. watched a lot of youtube tutorials 🙂 )

But the theme is finally here and can now take 2 days off from the computer!

Anyway, here is the link to the DEMO SITE hope you like it. I wanted to name this first child theme after my first child – Ana – clever right? I wanted to keep the layouts as simple and clean as I possibly could so whoever downloads it, can play around with it, and add in their personality and character. Every layout, button and element is meticulously styled. With beautiful white space and elegant typography, all from Google fonts.

Feel free to look around, download it and play around with it!

*FREE download only available until November 30, 2016 as part of the Cyber Monday week deals.

VIEW ANNA THEME

DEMO PAGE

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

MOODBOARD | ROYAL AESTHETIC CLINIC

MOODBOARD | ROYAL AESTHETIC CLINIC

I am currently working on 5 different projects. This is just one of them. The color inspiration for this particular project is just so “down to earth”.

In the next month I will be working for a plastic surgery clinic in Dubai – the clinic is called Royal Aesthetics Clinic and the colors we came up with are perfect for their online visual identity.

royal-aesthetics-clinic-moodboard | color inspiration boards designed by nataliesbox.com

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG

Guide To Creating A Landing Page Before Your Blog Launch!

You can find hundreds and hundreds of different tutorials on how to install WordPress and different themes (I’ve written one post about it here). The reality is that you likely will launch your blog on the same day that you set it up. Believe me!

Once you have decided to START A BLOG and setup a site, it is only right and appropriate to want to set up a coming soon page at first. A coming soon page allows you to generate interest about your blog before you actually decide or plan to launch, get comfortable with the WordPress dashboard (play around with buttons and options), setup your static pages, and build up a number of posts before you launch. I recommend that new blogs launch with between 4-5 posts per week.

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG | Guide To Creating A Landing Page Before Your Blog Launch | nataliesbox.com

In order to create and set up a coming soon landing page for your blog, you will need the following:

 

  1. DESIGN ELEMENTS
    Blog Logo: Recommended → no bigger than 600 pixels wide
    Brand Colors: You will need a color for the background, for the text, and for your internal and external links
    Fonts: I usually recommned to start with standard fonts like Arial or Arial Black
    Background Photo: this particular element is optional but if you decide to add a background photo this should be 2000 pixels wide.
  2. CONTENT
    Text promoting your new blog
    Relevant Social Media and Sign-up links

How To Create A Coming Soon Landing Page

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard, go to PLUGINS → ADD NEW.
  2. Enter “COMING SOON” into the Keyword Search box (located in the right part of your plugin page). Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd plugin should come up first. You can now select INSTALL NOW. Follow the steps to install and activate this plugin.
  3. Once the plugin is activated, go to SETTINGS → COMING SOON PAGE & MAINTENANCE MODE.
  4. Under GENERAL section, the default setting is DISABLED. To activate the Coming Soon Page, select ENABLE COMING SOON MODE. 
  5. Under PAGE SETTINGS section, enter in your LOGO, HEADLINE, and MESSAGE. The message is the same visual/text editor as in your posts and pages. You can enter in images, format text, and add your styling.
  6. Under HEADER section, you will enter your FAVICON, SEO TITLE, SEO META DESCRIPTION, GOOGLE ANALYTICS CODE (click here for a tutorial on how to install Google Analytics on your blog).
  7. Once you have entered in all this content, select SAVE ALL CHANGES. You have now just entered all the content for your landing page; it’s time to make it beautiful!
  8. Go to the DESIGN tab. You will see four different sections – BACKGROUND, CONTENT, TEXT, and TEMPLATE.
  9. Under BACKGROUND section, you can enter either a background color or a background image. If you use a photo, make sure to check RESPONSIVE BACKGROUND. This feature will allow the image to be the full size of the browser on each device.
  10. Under the CONTENT section, you can change how wide it is. With this generic template, I recommend that you do no bigger than 720 pixels wide. It is tough for your reader to read paragraph text that is larger than 720 pixels wide on a desktop. I typically leave this as the default – which is 600 pixels.
  11. Under the TEXT section, you can customize the colors as well as the font.
  12. Under the TEMPLATE section, you can enter any CUSTOM CSS that you want to the project. I typically add a few different things, but if you are not familiar with CSS, you would just ignore this section.
  13. When you have made all of your design changes, select SAVE ALL CHANGES. You can then preview your layout in the LIVE PREVIEW tab.
  14. The ADVANCED TAB section is where you can put scripts and custom HTML. I very rarely use this part.
     

If you are a brand or business who will have a landing page up for a couple of months, you might be interested in the PRO VERSION. I have never used the pro version because I never had to actually. I have found that I am able to customize the landing page to my clients’ needs with just the free version.

If you need help with anything please let me know in the comments or by email. I would be happy to help you.

Until next time, 

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Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com