How to Secure Your WordPress Site

Why You Need to Secure Your WordPress Site

Imagine this: a small, flying robot is moving through a well-to-do neighborhood, checking for open windows and unlocked doors, testing each lock with every known key at its disposal. When it gains entry, it plants a small device that will enable its owner to re-enter at will, and then moves on. Kind of creepy, huh?

A similar scenario is going on non-stop. The “neighborhood” is the internet, and the “robot” is a little piece of software known as a bot. It travels all over the internet looking for vulnerabilities in web applications and testing logins with every known login and password known to man. When it manages to submit the right combination, it gains illegal entry and proceeds to do its dirty work.

I can tell you from personal experience, it gives you a very sick feeling to realize that someone has broken into your website and used it for their own means–and even locked you out of it! It used to be hacking into a site was done by a human, and the target was usually a very high profile website. No more. Now the hacking is automated and the target is the next site the bot happens to come across, and that site could easily be yours. Here’s what you need to do to protect yourself. [click to continue…]


Free Report: SEO Basics

SEO Copywriting ReportI’ve been using the Scribe SEO plugin for a while now, and I’m a bit embarrassed that I haven’t shared it with you sooner. It works hand-in-glove with The Thesis Theme for WordPress or with the All-in-One SEO plugin and helps you improve the search engine optimization of the blog post you’re currently working on or have already written.

How Scribe Works

You enter your optimized title and description into the fields created by Thesis or the program of your choice, click a button, and Scribe analyzes your writing for search engine optimization and makes suggestions on how to improve it. After you’ve made your changes, you click on the button again to see if you did indeed improve it.

How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines

Scribe includes a tab that outlines the basic principles of search engine optimization (SEO), which I always felt was valuable in and of itself. But what motivated me to finally tell you about Scribe is that Brian Clark, known as Copyblogger and one of the partners behind Scribe SEO LLC, has written a free, 28-page report that he calls “the most comprehensive guide to the entire SEO copywriting process I’ve ever seen given away for free.” I’ve certainly read a lot of what he writes in this report elsewhere, but never so much information in one place, and never organized so clearly. As Brian tells it, “the report basically spends 24 pages educating people on the entire SEO copywriting picture. The report then moves into why and how Scribe was developed, [and] how Scribe makes on-page SEO simple.” [click to continue…]

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31 Days to a Better Blog-Special Deal

31 Days to a Better BlogDarren Rowse, on his Problogger blog, created a series called 31 Days to a Better Blog. The response to that was so enthusiastic that he turned it into an e-book. (That’s a book in pdf format that you download and read with Adobe Acrobat or other pdf reader.) The e-book is in a workbook type format, so you can print out each page and write your notes on it. You will have plenty of notes to write, as his teaching is clear and helps you brainstorm new ideas for posts.

Bonuses available for a limited time

The e-book sells for $19.95, but Darren has thrown in 3 bonuses as way to encourage you to get the new year off to a good start in your blog.
The bonuses are:

  • A report by the name of 9 Things to Do to Get Your Blog On Track for the New Year – essentially it is a 9 day extension of the 31 Day workbook. It contains 9 extra tasks, particularly designed for the new year. (I personally found this very helpful.)
  • 55 minute podcast with Leo Babauta from – this podcast is rich with tips on how Leo has launched his blogs and leveraged them to sell successful e-books and a best selling book.
  • 45 minute podcast interview with Neil Patel from – another practical podcast with Neil on how to drive traffic to blogs as well as tips on personal branding, SEO and more.

The extra content is a bit under 2 hours of audio and an extra 9 days of teaching and exercises – it is a content rich bonus offer on top of the existing 1 hour Question and Answer podcast that he’s already been offering.

The bonus offers are only available when you order the book by 11pm Eastern time on Monday, January 18, 2010. (If you order the book through my blog I will get a modest commission.) Click here to view more details! The e-book comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you get it and it’s not everything you hoped it would be, you can get your money back. It seems to me you don’t have anything to lose.


How to Be Transparent: Complying with the FTC Disclosure Regs

The new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising took a lot of my fellow garden bloggers by surprise. Because I’ve been following the career of my friend Jenn Fowler as she’s gone from frugal blogger to Walmart Mom to social media consultant, I know that many bloggers in other niches started discussing these issues much earlier, fueled by the FTC’s announcement that they were considering revising the guides with online media in mind. [click to continue…]


How to Find a Good WordPress Blog Design

Recently I was asked if I knew “anyone who is good at designing a website/blog.” I thought I’d share my thoughts with all my readers.

Good Design for Free

I know of a few designers, but paying someone is not your only option. There are many free designs, called themes, out there for WordPress. Some of these can be found from within the WordPress admin interface, and others can be searched for. The ones that you can access through the admin interface have been screened for viruses and meet certain requirements for functionality, so they are your best bet in the free category. You can often easily customize such themes with header art, also available either free, or for a price. [click to continue…]