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Showing posts with label Wordpress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wordpress. Show all posts

Securing WordPress:Adjustments For Safer Blog

Wordpress Security Pad Lock

All-in-all WordPress is a fairly secure platform, especially if it’s hosted with a reliable hosting provider like AHosting, but it’s also hugely popular, and that means it’s in the interest of hackers and data thieves to focus a lot of their energies on finding ways to hack it. There are a number of things a WordPress user can do to secure their installation which will significantly hamper anyone who attempts to break in. 

Practice Password Hygiene


This should come as second nature to anyone remotely familiar with security, but, unfortunately, many people who should know better fail to enforce good password practices. WordPress is pretty good with regard to passwords. They are hashed, so, should you suffer a database breach, it is theoretically impossible for hackers to retrieve the password. Unless you choose a password like ‘pa55word’ or ‘jim’. Simple dictionary-based passwords can be retrieved, even if they are hashed. In fact, because of the large numbers of password database thefts recently, hackers have a huge sample of the sort of passwords people choose. However fiendishly convoluted your password is, if you thought it up yourself, it’s probably too weak, so the best solution is to use a password manager likeLastpass to create a sufficiently long and random one for you. This is particularly important if you have multiple WordPress sites, because then you’ll need multiple long random passwords (because, of course, you aren’t using the same password on all your sites, are you?). 

Use HTTPS to Secure Your Logins


Once you have a secure password, it’s better not to send it over WiFi networks and the Internet without encrypting it. Setting up HTTPS on your logins means that all login sessions are going to be encrypted, so the shady looking guy sat on the next table over in Starbucks can’t steal it while you’re logging in. There are two ways to do this depending on whether you have an SSL certificate or not. 

With an SSL Certificate

This is the easiest option. You need to add a line in your wp-config.php file that reads:

define('FORCE_SSL_LOGIN', true);

You can also choose to force encryption on all admin sessions, check out this guide for more details.

Without an SSL Certificate

This is slightly more tricky,and it’s probably better if you buy an SSL certificate. But if you’re happy without, then you’ll need the Https SSL free plugin. WPMU.org have recently published a great guide to setting the plugin up and how it works, so head on over there for more details.

Get Your Plugins From the Official Repositories


Hackers love to get their malicious code into the pristine innards of other people’s applications. They love it particularly when site owners do it for them by installing plugins that they found at ‘Bob’s Legit Plugin Parlour’. If you have the expertise, read the code of all the plugins you install to find out what they will be doing. If you aren’t a programmer then make sure you get your plugins from verified sources like the WordPress.org repositories

Change File Permissions


This is one of those occasions where you have to balance security and convenience. Some of the ease of use of WordPress -- uploading files, for example -- depends on having various files and folders writable. But that can introduce some security vulnerabilities, especially if you are using shared hosting, where other users have access to the drives your files are on. Take a look at this guide to hardening WordPress to see one way you can organize file permissions more securely. That guide also contains many other useful pieces of advice.

Keep Your Software Stack Updated


All complex software has vulnerabilities; it’s just a matter of whether anyone knows about them yet. Hackers are very intelligent, and given sufficient time they will figure out those vulnerabilities and use them to gain access. Developers and security researchers are also extremely smart, and when they find vulnerabilities, they report them and the software is fixed. If you fail to keep the software on your server up-to-date, the hackers will have found the vulnerabilities but you won’t have installed the fixes. It’s crucial that you keep your software as up-to-date as possible. 

If you follow the above advice, your WordPress installation should remain secure. If you’ve any WordPress security tips you’d like to share, feel free to contribute to the comments. 

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Change Text Select Highlight Color On WP And Blog

If you're a blogger you will know how to copy and paste and the process of highlighting text or code to copy.Regular readers that have followed our tutorials will have copied code from our posts many times.Now, when you highlight text or code you will note by default the background color changes to blue while the text color changes to white.This is of course to give you a visible idea of the text you are selecting.Internet Toolbox
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So the default when you highlight text is for the background to turn blue and the text white, but did you know you can change those colors ? In fact I changed the style of text select on Spice Up Your Bloga few years ago and while I presume many of you may have noticed it, it was just last week someone Emailed me asking how I did it.In fact it just takes a small snippet of Css easily added to your blog to achieve the effect you can see an example of in the image below.
Example Of Default Blue Style And Style Changed To Red

I know it's a small change in the overall look of your blog but when set to match the color scheme of your site it is a neat feature.So if you too want to change the text select color of your blog to any color you choose we have tutorials for both Wordpress and Blogger Users.You can select text in this post to see how it is a different color (#990000) or check out the demo below with a rd style.
Change Text Select Style On Wordpress


1) In Your Wordpress Dashboard Click 'Apperance' > 'Widgets' > Add A text Widget to your sidebar and paste in the code as shown in the video below :
Code :


::selection {color: white;background-color: red;}::-moz-selection {color: white;
background-color: red;}<a href="http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/">Tips For Bloggers</a>

Step 2) Save the gadget and your done.

Notes - Change The Colors (In Bold) To Suit Your Blog.

Change Text Select Style On Blogger


Step 1) In The New Blogger Dashboard Click The Drop Down For Your Blog > Choose Layout > Click Add A Gadget > Choose HTML/Javascript > Paste In The Code as shown in the video below :

Code : 

::selection {color: white;background-color: red;}::-moz-selection {color: white;
background-color: red;}<a href="http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/">Tips For Bloggers</a>

Step 2) Save the gadget and your done.


Notes - Change The Colors (In Bold) To Suit Your Blog.

source:spiceupyourblog.com

New Wordpress Themes

Gadgetry Wordpress Theme

Another technology theme this time with the demo set up as a gadget blog.But this them could be used for any blog niche with it's slick three column design.

Gadgetry Wordpress Theme



Bello - Basic Wordpress Theme

Their is not too much to say about this theme we wanted to add a basic theme to the list and this is it.A three column layout that puts the focus on content.

Basic Wordpress Theme



Pinboard Gallery Theme

Pinboard is a great theme with the main post area in a Pinterest style.A good theme for photography or design blogs to showcase your work.

Pinboard Gallery Theme



Caja Pinboard Style Theme

Caja is another gallery theme with a Pinterest style design.It looks fantastic and once again will be loved by Photo bloggers.

Pinboard Style Theme


Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Wordpress Themes Latest

Xena - Online Store Wordpress Theme


Want to use Wordpress for your online store ? Then this could be the theme for you.Easy to set up with your products and shopping cart a good option if you want a free theme for your store.

Online Store Wordpress Theme




 Simple N' Bright Wordpress Theme

Everything you need to know about this theme is in the title.A great colorful design with a large slideshow and lots of options.

Simple N' Bright Wordpress Theme




Koresponsive - Magazine Theme

This is a magazine style theme with lost of features including a featured image slider, social icons and fixed jump break.

Koresponsive - Magazine Theme




 Daily Post Wordpress Theme

Daily Post is a unique professional theme.With a left sidebar hugged by social icons and large slideshow the design really stands out.

Daily Post Wordpress Theme




Fanwood Wordpress Theme


The first thing we notice about Fanwood is it's very yellow ! But the black posting area really adds a nice contrast.The default layout is two column with a right sidebar but there are options to change the layout and features.

Fanwood Wordpress Theme






Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Wordpress Themes 2013

In July last year we looked at the Best new free Wordpress themes of 2012.As with all our WP theme collections that was a very popular post and since then there have been some more amazing free themes released.So today we have listed the best free Wordpress themes from the later part of 2012 and start of 2013.If your Wordpress blog needs a face lift for 2013 or indeed if you are launching a new site there will surely be a theme for you in our list of 25 !

25 Wordpress Themes For 2013


The themes are not numbered in order of quality rather in order of how we located them during the research for the post.

Some of these themes may have free and paid versions so look for the free download link.Click the title of each theme below to check out the demo and download.Enjoy !

1) BonePress Wordpress Theme

Bonepress is a two column theme with a left sidebar.Available in four colors with a responsive design.

BonePress Wordpress Theme



2) Grid - Responsive Wordpress Theme

Grid is a premium style theme using the latest design techniques.The home page features a grid design with auto load on scroll similar to what you see on Pinterest.A fantastic design for photo or design related blogs.

Responsive Wordpress Theme



3) Leon Wordpress Theme

Leon is a magazine style Wordpress theme with a dark color scheme.Posts on the home page are displayed in three columns with a post thumbnail and read more.


Leon Wordpress Theme




4) Mixfolio Gallery Theme

Mixfolio is a bright Wordpress theme with a minimal gallery design.On the home page posts are displayed in three columns by the main post or featured image.The post pages have a separate two column design.

Mixfolio Gallery Theme



5) Respo Wordpress Theme

Respo is a bright two column theme for Wordpress.The design is responsive so will look great on all devices.

Respo Wordpress Theme



6) Frank - Minimal Wordpress Theme

This theme was built to load fast and focus on content.A bright white color scheme with a two column design.

Frank - Minimal Wordpress Theme


Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Battle Of CMS Heavy-Weights

When preparing to launch a website, one of the main questions one will ask – Which content management system should I use?

There are various Content Management System (CMS) options available for new website; but the most well-known names today are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! All these 3 CMS are open-source software formats, free to download and use, as well as easy to customize. Each has a broad range of add-ons, themes, plug-ins, templates and extensions. Each CMS has their own loyal user following. And of course, all 3 CMS have their share of pros and cons.

Let’s try and better understand them and see which is the best choice for you in 2013.

WordPress

When WordPress began, it was a simple and smart blogging tool. With its growing range of themes, plug-ins and widgets, it has become a complete CMS tool, used for many websites. Compared to other CMS platforms, not much technical expertise is required to use WordPress.

Even a novice can manage a simple site setup using WordPress in a short time. Numerous themes and add-ons help you enhance and personalize your website, even if you’re not too familiar with Coding and Web development. With several WordPress communities and forums online, if you ever need support, you can rest assured that you will have it.
WordPress is the least secure CMS and many WordPress sites have been infected with spam. Being the most popular, it is comparatively easier to hack. WordPress fixes and patches get released often, so many issues are found in WordPress due to them.

Popular examples of sites using WordPress interface are The New York Times Blog, PlayStation Blog, NASA Ames Research Center, Mashable, etc.

Drupal

Drupal is a powerful tool, and known as the most developer-friendly CMS that is used for complex, advanced sites. It requires expertise and experience to operate. In the past when using the old complex format, Drupal developers were personally hand-coding every element of any website.

The new Drupal 7 is more user-friendly, with updated enhancements that make it simpler for developers. However, Drupal can’t beat WordPress in user-friendliness overall. This CMS framework is managed by a large group of Drupal developers to improve the Drupal platform.

Drupal is used for versatile sites that require complex content to be carefully organized, and also for community platform sites with multiple users. Being the most secure CMS of all, with the least hacks or exploits, Drupal was chosen by The White House for its website, a grand privilege indeed.


Joomla!

“Joomla!” is a Swahili word, meaning “all together” and is a CMS that powers various websites. Joomla! is the mid-level CMS, between the developer-oriented Drupal and user-friendly WordPress. It caters to everyone – novices, end-users, technical experts, designers and developers. Joomla! boasts of a big online community. With a simple installation and setup, Joomla needs a small investment and slight effort to start.

With each upgrade, Joomla! displays steady improvement in its features, with a long way to go. Handling a very large website with Joomla! does get confusing. From the point of today’s developers, Joomla! is not the 1st choice for CMS.

Joomla! supports E-commerce, social networking and community platforms, like Social media networks for MTV, Harvard University and iHOP.

So which CMS is best for you ?


There’s no definite answer here; it depends on the primary objectives of your website, technical proficiency, financial budget and long-term goals for your business.

For a simple blog or non-technical client, WordPress is ideal since it’s a flexible platform and is friendly for non-developers. If you are creating a complex or large site that needs lots of customization, Drupal would be the best choice. For any site with an average size, or in the learning curve, Joomla! is perfect. If security of your site is quite important, in the case of e-Commerce websites for instance, Drupal or Joomla! are preferred options.

When it finally comes down to it, choosing the CMS for your website depends on your personal tastes and the specific needs of your business.

source:spiceupyourblog.com

Wordpress Plugins Improve Blog Content

Wouldn't it be nice if running a blog was easy? You could just hop on and feel inspired immediately, knocking out posts and having everything work out smoothly with limited stress and effort. We could all have blogs and fit it into our regular lives like a glove. Then enjoy all the benefits of having a successful site with tons of readers enjoying the content provided.

The sad truth of the matter is that this is never the case. It is a great deal of work to run a blog, and it takes a lot of time. Which is why so many people burn out before they really get started, unable to work it into their busy schedules despite the dream of owning a successful social hub.

If you want to know the trick to a good blog, it is weighing high quality content with productivity. You have to be able to remain consistent, without compromising the helpfulness of what you post. A balancing act that can be hard to maintain. Unless you have a few tools to assist you, that are designed to bring out the best in you.

There are many Wordpress Plugins out there, especially now that blogs have become so prevalent as sources for official news and content. But these three are definitely the best I have found.

MyBlogGuest Wordpress Plugin

(http://myblogguest.com/blog/guest-blogging-wordpress-plugin/)


This is the tool I use most often, as guest blogging is a big part of refreshing my reader pool. Having someone else write for your blog not only generates visibility by connecting your blog with another, but it gives you a break when you need it most. Or gives you a chance to bulk up your amount of content quickly and efficiently.

You can get an immediate boost to your productivity by using someone elses post. But this plugin goes a step beyond that by making it easy to find content without any stress. You just install it via your MBG account. Then from your dashboard, you can search their article gallery, contact the writer to make an offer, then publish the post all from the same feature. It even adds on the writer's byline, and allows you to alert them when it is up.

Very quick, simple and painless. Just the way I like it.

Zemanta Wordpress Plugin

(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/zemanta/)


This is another great way to find blog posts, though for referencing and linking. Improve SEO without effort by connecting to higher blog authorities, increase your chances of having your posts linked and quoted, get related images that are there for sharing, and more.

I have only just recently started using this service, but I like it so far. The interface is intuitive and simple, the posts they have in their database are helpful, and I have been seeing a lot more linking and traffic since adding in my own.

One thing I will say is that it isn't an automatic service. You do have to spend some time for it to benefit you properly, but it is worth it. Plus, it definitely cuts down on the time and effort you would normally spend tracking down posts and communicating with the writer's to find out if you can quote their content.

Photodropper Wordpress Plugin

(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/photo-dropper/)


I hate skimming through a billion stock and royalty free photos trying to find a good one for a post. Usually I give up after awhile and just select something vaguely related, which is always a disappointment when I know I could have possibly found something that fit it perfectly.

This plugin makes it easier to find the perfect picture and post it to your blog from your dashboard. It has hundreds of millions of available photos (literally), and all creative commons licensed for general use. Some are OK for commercial, others aren't. So be sure to check before you publish.

I have found some unbelievable images that normally I never would have come across with this program.

Conclusion

You might have to put work in to running a blog. But now you can be more productive about it, which is a real blessing for the average busy writer. Just check out the three plugins above, and you will be zooming through in no time.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Billion Wordpress Spam Comments Date

77,430,232,104- That’s the number of spam comments prevented by Akismet to date. Unbelievable but true! Are you wondering how many of these were directed towards your blog? If yes, then it’s time to quit thinking and start acting!

Spam commenting is at an upsurge. At the time of writing, 52,453,722 spam comments had already been detected for the day! It is the easiest way for attackers to compromise with the security of your
Wordpress blog. So, what do you do? Akismet will obviously do its job, but as a blogger how will you decipher between ‘ham’ and ‘spam’? Let us help you. Enlisted below are some ways to give spammers the boot.


Know What’s Worth Taking A Gander:

It is best to halt spammers as soon as they strike! Identifying spam comments is easy. Such comments are often filled with misspellings, promotional links and meaningless phrases. Further, keep a track of comments which have nothing to do with the topic in question. For instance, if you have published a post regarding the oldest existing collection of watches and people are commenting about the presidential elections, then it is a red alert!

Put Some Barricades:

Older posts top the hit list of spammers. Observing this trend, it is best to close the comments on such posts. This is a calculative move. While you don’t ban conversations altogether, you promote appropriate and timely discussions. Moreover, a handful of Wordpress tools allow you to block certain terms which are frequently used by spammers.

Limit Link Usage:

As you restrict the amount of links which can be inserted in a particular comment, you considerably cut down on the amount of spam comments coming in. Here’s how to go about it- sign into your Wordpress account, go to the Settings segment and adjust the settings in a way that only one link is allowed per comment. Doing so, WP notifies you every time a user posts a comment which has higher number of links than the permitted limit.

User Registration Should be Paramount:

Ask users to register on your site or blog before commenting. This is a tried and tested way of preventing spam comments. If you are worried that legitimate users may get annoyed while filling up the long registration form, then adding a short note is the best thing to do. Let the note explain your users that you only permit comments from registered users because you are tired of the spam comments appearing again and again on your blog.

Comments Should Be Subject to Approval:

If you don’t get thousands of comments on your blog, then this is the best way to deal with spammers. Approving every comment before it appears in public might sound painstaking, but if you prefer hands on method, there’s nothing better than this one. Moreover, you have the option of adding a tweak to your blog which makes every comment subject to approval from a moderator. Both these tactics are definitely time consuming, but are worthwhile when it comes to robbing a spammer of his gratification!

Keeping Wordpress spammers at bay isn’t a lost battle, especially if you implement the aforementioned techniques gradually and determine which one works the best for you.

source:spiceupyourblog.com

Guide Comments On Blog And WordPress

It's been a week since Google launched the new Google Plus commenting system for blogger.In this post we will look at how to use Google+ Comments on Wordpress, Bloggger and the custom blogger templates.

With Google Plus trying to compete in the social network scene with Facebook it's no surprise like Facebook they launched their own comment system.The question for us bloggers and publishers will be "Should We Use Google Plus Comments ?".


The thing that first struck me was the fact once implemented only people with Google plus accounts would be able to comment on your blog.With the current
blogger treaded comments blogger treaded or indeed Discus and Intense debate readers had a number of options as to how they wanted to comment.I think the real let down with Google+ comments is the lack of an option for people that don't have a G+ account to comment either as anonymous or with name and email.

So the other comment systems defiantly have the advantage of choice but that is just one aspect.Google plus comments do look great, are lightweight and Google+ is a fast growing network.


If you think Google+ comments is for you below we have information on how to add them to Blogger and Wordpress.



Add Google+ Comments To Your Blog


Using G+ Comments On Blogger


Adding Google Plus comments to standard Blogger templates is very straight forward.Simply click the drop down menu for your blog and tick the "Use Google+ Comments on this blog" box.Remember all previous comments on your blog if you used the standard Blogger comments will be imported.

Using G+ Comments On Custom Blogger Templates


Google+ comments may not work on all templates so if they are not working for you there is a snippet of code that can help :

Step 1.
In Your (New Design) Blogger Dashboard Click The Drop Down Menu For Your Blog > Choose Template > Then Edit Html > Now Proceed as shown in the video Below :

Step 2.
Find the following piece of code in your blogs Html : (Click Ctrl and F for a search bar to help find the code - How To Find Code In Blogger Template Template)
<div class='comments' id='comments'>

Step 3.
Copy and Paste the following code Directly Below / After <div class='comments' id='comments'>
<div class='cmt_iframe_holder' expr:data-href='data:post.canonicalUrl'expr:data-viewtype=' data:post.viewType'/>

Now save your template.Thanks to our friends at MBT for this code.

Using G+ Comments On Wordpress


While Google have not yet made G+ comments available for Wordpress there has been a plugin created.

Follow this link to download the
Google Plus Comments For Wordpress Plugin.

That's it for now although I'm sure there will be more updates and changes to the G+ comments over the coming months.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Wordpress Theme Customize Methods

Wordpress has become such a popular CMS that it's common to see "cookie cutter" websites that use the same theme. Fortunately, it's possible to dramatically alter the appearance of your Wordpress site through various customization methods.

The most common methods of customization include editing a
Wordpress theme's code, creating a child theme, using a theme mask and paying a custom designer. In this article we'll go through these options in more detail, along with the pros and cons of each.

Directly Editing a Theme's Code



It's possible to edit the code of a theme to alter colors, change the layout or add new images. This option requires a strong knowledge of web programming.

Pros


If you're comfortable editing HTML, PHP and CSS, and are able to design your own images in Photoshop or another image editing program, then manual editing provides the greatest control over your site's design.

Cons


The main downside to manually editing code is that it takes a lot of time and effort. Unless you're a skilled programmer, editing an existing theme's code can be frustrating. Changing the code of a theme can also make it difficult to update the theme in the future.

Another problem is that many premium themes use a framework. The Genesis framework by StudioPress is a popular example. While there are many advantages to using a framework, you need to really understand the framework structure to create a good theme.

Child Themes


A child theme inherits the functions of a parent theme but introduces a number of modifications. Child themes don't affect the underlying code of the parent theme.
Pros


Creating a child theme is similar to editing a theme's code directly, but you don't need to worry about breaking the parent theme. You can also update the parent theme whenever a new version is released, which is important for security.

Cons


Creating a child theme still requires a strong understanding of web programming. If you've never programmed before, be prepared to spend a lot of time learning before you're able to create a child theme. Programming a child theme is much simpler than coding a theme from scratch though.


Theme Masks


Masks are a relatively new option for customizing a premium Wordpress theme. As the name suggests, they add a "mask" layer on top of the existing theme. Masks usually contain interesting images, and change the appearance of the header, background and footer.
Pros


Adding a mask is one of the simplest way to customize a Wordpress site. Masks can be added with just a few clicks, and don't require any programming knowledge. If you want a new look without changing a theme's functions, a mask is one of the best options.

Masks don't change the underlying code of a premium theme. That means you can update the premium theme when a new version is released. Another advantage is that the content area of a theme isn't affected, making masks suitable for existing sites.
Cons


Compared to creating a child theme or editing a theme directly, masks provide far less flexibility. If you want to create a completely unique and custom design, masks probably aren't the best option.

Paying a Custom Designer

Paying a custom designer has a number of obvious downsides. If you have the budget, however, professional designers can create beautiful themes. A custom designer may be the only option if existing themes don't suit your site's subject or if you don't have the skills to design a theme yourself.
Pros


Professional custom designers have lots of experience designing Wordpress themes. Whether you need a few minor edits, or a completely overhauled premium theme, a custom designer should be able to complete the job using efficient code and best practices.

Cons


This is by far the most expensive method. Paying for a skilled designer can cost a lot of money, and future edits or changes also cost more. It can be time consuming trying to find a custom designer that's highly skilled, experienced in Wordpress and also charges a reasonable price.


Source:spiceupyourblog.com

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