Have you been struck down with a virus this winter? Maybe you took yourself to bed with a hot water bottle and large packet of paracetamols. It really knocks the stuffing out of you for weeks. Well it’s the same with your computer which, as we all know, is also susceptible to viruses. Just like you it will benefit from a regular dose of medicine.
No doubt you keep an eye on your comments, traffic stats and the like…….but when was the last time you carried out a thorough check of your blog? As a reminder of the various actions you need to take, I have compiled this checklist.
WordPress is constantly introducing updates, so do ensure you have downloaded the latest version, as some of these updates improve the security of your blog. Plugins and themes should also be updated.
Before upgrading, you should backup, as your content may become corrupted whilst installing a new plugin. The simplest way to carry out a backup is to go to cpanel and click on the backup icon which you will find under ‘Files’.
Nothing is more infuriating than coming across a broken link when you are reading a blog…..so make sure your reader is not confronted with a ‘Page Not Found’ screen or a ‘404’ as it is known. Broken links are detected very rapidly using a dedicated tool such as Broken Link Check
Keep Your Content Fresh
The worst possible sin in blogging is promoting an offer which closed several months ago. At the very least amend the graphic by adding a ‘Sorry, Now Closed’ stamp.
Double Check Your Menu
Strange things can happen…..even though you haven’t touched your menu, it sometimes has a mind of its own and sends the reader to the wrong place. It’s worth spending a few seconds checking your menus and sub-menus to ensure your reader can navigate quickly to the correct page……people soon lose patience and move on to another sit.
You can easily develop ‘sidebar blindness’ if your blog has been running for a long time. Every post has a date when it was published, which immediately highlights how fresh the content is and how often you are posting new material. Just updating your copy, or adding a new post, will rejuvenate your blog.
Passwords and Username
As hackers become more and more sophisticated it is worth reviewing your WordPress password. It should be at least 12 to 16 characters long with a mix of letters and numbers with the odd hyphen, question mark….thrown in.
If you are concerned about forgetting your password you can use a password management form such as Roboform. Never, ever use ‘admin’ as your WordPress username, as hackers will use this username to launch brute force login attacks.
Viruses and Scanning
If you are running a WordPress site without security then your site is either getting hacked right now or you’ve already been hacked. Of course there are host of companies offering security protection….the market leaders probably being Norton and McAfee, although I use AVG who have always served me well.
However basic housekeeping can prevent a buildup of problems. The most obvious is to run a scan every 7 days and fix any errors before they become too serious.
I have recently installed software called Blog Defender, which provides excellent security. The installation procedure is described in a series of short videos. I would highly recommend this software, which gives you peace of mind. Are you going to risk losing everything for the sake of a few dollars? Take action now.
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