WORD PRESS BLOG DISASTERS AND HOW TO KEEP THEM FROM HAPPENING TO YOU

 What if you woke up tomorrow and your blog was gone? Not down for maintenance, not down because of a hosting issue, just gone. What if all of your photos, posts, comments, designs, and customization just disappeared?

Or what if your blog was still intact but it was littered with popup ads or blocked by Google for hosting malware? Do you want your blog to be a home for online dating ads and ugly viruses that screw up people’s computers? Yeah, didn’t think so.

I’ve had clients come to me in absolute panic with issues just like the ones above. Luckily in every case, I’ve been able to repair the issues (knock on wood), but I’d love to spare you the stress (and money spent on Rolaids and professional help) by giving you a guide to protecting your blog from even the worst of blog disasters.

CREATE A BACKUP PLAN

Did you even know you’re supposed to be backing up your WP site?

In the same way, you meticulously back up the important files on your computer (you do right?) you should be backing up your website. Even your web host can have servers crash and lose your files. They should have backup plans of their own, but I’m not one to leave the safety of my hard work to chance. Usually, they won’t take any responsibility for what you’ve lost either.

Most WP backup plugins only backup your database. That’s great for keeping a copy of your posts, comments, and pages, but it won’t back up your theme with its customizations, any uploads like documents and photos, or any sidebar content.

The Bei Fen Plugin will backup your entire WP site. The only downside is that the entire backup is still stored at your host. It’s still a smart plugin to use to make sure everything on your site gets taken care of. Set the plugin to run once a week and have it replace the old backup. If you don’t choose to have it replace your old backup the amount of space you take up on your WebHost will get really big. It’s also a good idea to have the backup run at times when you aren’t going to have peak traffic. For most sites, the middle of the night works well.

The WP Backup plugin is smart to use to backup your database only on a more frequent basis. You can set the plugin to email you your backups. I have mine set to backup daily. You can either create a special email account just for your backups or store all the backups together in an email folder.

KEEP YOUR SITE CLEAN OF MALWARE AND HACKER ADS

Did you know that WP saves every post revision you ever make forever? Basically any time you make a change to a post the previous version is saved to your database. It’s a nice feature if your browser unexpectedly crashes before you save a draft, but what good are the revisions after you’ve published your post or page? Those revisions can quickly add up and make your site clunky and slow.

The WP-Optimize plugin cleans up all of your post revisions and gets rid of all your spam comments. Not only will it free up space but will help your site run more quickly and smoothly. Run the optimization about once a week for best results.

The importance of keeping your site clean of malware, ads, and popups from hackers can’t be overstated. I know if my computer were to get messed up from your site I wouldn’t be back until I was sure it was safe again. Also, Google immediately blocks any sites tis suspects are hosting malware and we don’t want that.

The best thing I’ve found for keeping my sites clean of malware is a service called Sucuri. They monitor your website or blog 24/7 and prevent any unauthorized changes from happening. If by chance a hacker is still able to infiltrate your site they will clean up the mess for you.

The service does cost $90 for a year or $10 per month if you pay monthly, but it’s a very smart investment. If you had to pay a professional to clean up your site after it’s been hacked you’d more than likely be billed hourly which could easily end up exceeding the $90 fee you pay to Sucuri. Plus, think of all the extra sleep you’ll get knowing that your blog is being watched over day and night.

KEEP YOUR SITE SECURE

Every password can be cracked if hackers want to access your site badly enough. Granted it will probably take forever considering your using a secure password, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, hackers generally have way too much time on their hands.

The Login Lockdown plugin allows you to set the number of login attempts that are allowed before someone is locked out. That way you can keep hackers from being able to continuously try to break your password. Of course, the best way to protect your password from being cracked is to avoid using “kittens” or “hamburger.” Secure passwords are always important with any type of website.

The Stealth Login plugin allows you to hide your WP login page so that even if a hacker were to discover your password, they’d have a hard time finding the login page itself. Basically, you could change http://yourblog.com/wp-admin to http://yourblog.com/mysupersecretdashboardloginpage The plugin also blocks direct access to the login.php file. It’s just another good way to thwart any hacking attempts.

Putting this all into practice on your WordPress site or blog will keep some ugly things from happening and will save you lots of headaches and stress. If you’d like more details on any of these plugins go ahead and leave your questions in the comments and we’ll get back to you.

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