What would you do if you lost your website? Or what if an update scrambled it and you could no longer access your site? Those very things happened to folks who contacted me this week for help. Sites going down happen a lot more than you think. It’s a whale of a lot cheaper to invest in prevention than to pay someone to attempt to repair or recover your site and find what caused the problem in the first place, not to mention having to rebuild it from scratch. Find out how to avoid these issues and what you can do if it happens to you.
Backup Backup Backup
I simply can’t stress this point enough. Without a solid backup that you know how to use properly, if you’re site goes haywire that’s it, game over. As a site owner, you’re primary responsibility is to protect your investment.
Backing up your site is not a place to scrimp. It HAS to be right or it’s useless.
Here’s a free report with every plugin and storage solution worth knowing about that will allow you to choose the best backup solution for your site. Download How to Backup Your WordPress Site. It’s a zero-obligation download.
Don’t have time to read a report and configure everything? Fine. Hire me to set your site up with the exact same backup solution I use on BlogAid.
There is no such thing as a bullet-proof site. You can do everything right and be the lucky first person that a hacker hits once they find a WordPress or plugin vulnerability. It takes a few folks reporting the problem before it’s fixed for everyone via an update.
You MUST backup your site on a regular basis.
Protect Your WordPress Login
Would you leave the doors and windows to your house wide open all the time? Of course not. Then why do you leave the front door of your site open to hackers? Here, read this Protect Your WordPress Website with a Strong Login and put your login to the test. The least secure of the ones I use would take 71,000 years to crack. See how yours measures up.
And, by all means, take a minute to install this one little plugin called Login Lockdown. It locks hackers out for about an hour after three failed attempts.
Update Update Update
You must keep WordPress, your themes, and your plugins up-to-date because each one of them is a potential security hole in your site. In fact, that’s what most of those updates fix, instead of adding new features.
Remember at the start of this post when I mentioned someone contacted me because they updated a plugin and their site went whack? Well, it only took us a few minutes to fix that problem and I’ll probably do a blog post or video on it soon.
Check Your Site for Other Security Holes
There are at least five major areas where hackers can enter your site. Some involve WordPress and related items, and some involve the files in your root directory and the way your database was set up. If you used a 1-click installation for WordPress, I can guarantee that your site can be hacked. Read WordPress 1-click Installation is not Secure.
Do you know what all of your plugins do? Do you know if any of them are in conflict with one another? Are they configured properly?
If you’re not absolutely positive that you have the answers to these questions, it’s likely you have at least one problem on your site that is either offering a security hole, or confusing the heck out of Google, or slowing down your site.
Get a Site Review and Evaluation
Get a 20-point Site Inspection and Tune Up for $25. It only takes half an hour and you’ll see every single thing I’m checking. I don’t need any passwords to do it either. That’s seriously cheap peace of mind to know how your site’s doing under the hood.
Remember me saying I helped someone fix that plugin scrambling problem? It was easy to fix, but it scared her silly because she knew she didn’t have her backup and everything squared away on her site. That’s when she got serious about wanting to know the health of her whole site and she signed up for the 2 hour inspection session that checks everything, including SEO. (Just click on the Schedule Now button and you’ll have a choice to do the 30 minute or 2 hour site review.)
Unfortunately for the other person who contacted me, the site was hosed and there was no choice but to start over from scratch. That kind of thing breaks my heart because it can be prevented. Don’t put it off. Rest assured that the database, root files, and WordPress are all installed securely now. (See Site Setup)
Plus, I want to be very clear that I don’t run a site support service for the general public. Both of the folks who contacted me are colleagues. I support my training clients fully because they’ve been through my WordPress classes and know how to stay out of trouble on their sites. Plus, they have solid themes and plugins. It’s all about prevention.
How’s Your Site?
Tell us about your site’s health and the measures you take to keep it happy and secure.