Save Your Site! A Guide To Backing Up WordPress

I’ve written a free ebook called Save Your Site! A Guide To Backing Up WordPress, which was inspired by an email from a client called Rob who was confused over the options for backing up his site.

To get this guide you can subscribe to my newsletter below, or to the right, or if you’re reading this via RSS please click here to go to the Subscribe page. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber you will receive an email with the link in very soon, don’t worry, you won’t miss out!

The guide includes:
Save Your Site!

Why Backup WordPress?

Why do you even need to backup WordPress? Problems like all your blog posts disappearing might be a good reason!

What Do I Need to Backup?

What exactly do you need to backup in order to ensure that you can restore your entire site if you have to.

How Do I Backup?

Here I go through the main options available for backing up, including free and paid-for plugins. I also mention the pros and cons of each method.

Comparison Table

Finally there is a brief comparison table of the options I’ve covered and what they do and do not do.

So please subscribe below or here. Remember current subscribers will automatically get sent a link to this eBook, so no need to sign up again.

I would love to here your feedback and/or questions, so please let me know.

Simple Squeeze Pages

Squeeze pages, or name squeeze pages, or even landing pages to some, are simple pages that attempt to do nothing but get a visitor to perform a certain action. Usually this is to sign up for a free report, or click on a call to action button.

You can see a good example at my Income Blogging Guide page. This uses the Squeeze Theme from Unique Blog Designs (and converts fantastically by the way!), but what if you don’t what to change the entire theme of your blog and want to create a squeeze page on your current site? This is where the Squeeze Plugin comes in.

Rather than explain in text, I’ve created a short video of me using the tool for the first time. As usual, demo’ing a product I’ve never used before has mixed results….

So while my design isn’t great (I could sort that out in a few minutes), the ease of use is fantastic.
Why do all the smartest marketers create squeeze pages on their site?

1. Squeeze pages are the most effective way to build a list of targeted customers.

2. It’s a great way to provide free or special offers to those who matter most.

3. Squeeze pages are proven to convert as well or better than any other form of info collection.

4. The list that you build is full of people who want to buy what you’re selling.

5. You’ll make more money!

This is great news because everyone knows building an email list is the #1 thing to do for ANY website. Squeeze Plugin will allow you to build powerful squeeze pages on any website running WordPress, you can buy here for $97, but you can use a 15% coupon code for you: B7E77 I’m not sure how long the coupon lasts but it’s valid now.

I would recommend creating a new page template for the Page you wish to use for the plugin, that not only removes the sidebar like the template that comes with the plugin, but one that removes the navigation bar and any footer links or widgets. Besides that Squeeze Plugin will make things much easier.

10 Plugins To Harden WordPress

Those in the WordPress world understand that security is a key concern of any online application, and that includes with WordPress. After all, the majority of updates released by the WordPress team involve hardening – or securing – the WordPress platform against continuous ingenious attacks and vulnerabilities that are discovered.

No site is ever safe from being hacked, like in the real world, if someone really wants to break in they can, it’s just a matter of making yourself a much harder target so it’s not worthwhile.

You should check out the following ten plugins to harden WordPress to defend your blog.

  1. Login Lockdown: when someone attempts to access restricted areas of your blog by logging in, Login Lockdown records the attempt and its associated IP address. If multiple failed login attempts are detected that come from a group of similar addresses, Login Lockdown will deny further attempts from those addresses. This is an important tool that can protect your blog from dreaded brute force password attacks.
  2. WordPress File Monitor: check the files that run WordPress for anything that has been changed, deleted, or added. When an event has been detected, the plugin sends an email alert to a user-defined address. This plugin can be vital to bloggers defending themselves against SQL injection.
  3. Bot Block: harden your WordPress installation by preventing multiple registrations from the same IP address. It also compares new registrations with blacklisted IP addresses to make sure no known troublemakers are signing up. This is an effective tool in the fight against automated WordPress user registrations.
    Even better, if there is no reason for you to allow user registrations, prevent this by going to Settings > General and under Membership unchecking the box that says “Anyone can register”.
  4. Admin Renamer Extended: everyone knows what the default administrative user name for WordPress is. That give hackers half the information they need to access your site. This plugin will change your administrator user names including the default admin and any other admin logins that have been created. It checks the validity of user names, user names that are unfilled, and for user names that already are present in the system. Keep attackers off guard by making them have to guess your admin usernames.
  5. HTTPS for WordPress: a plugin that forces users to login over secure connections. By sending authentication information over SSL, login information is encrypted between a user’s browser and the Web host. This eliminates the risk of interception associated with unsecured logins. This is an essential tool that will help prevent login credentials for your site from being compromised, however can be difficult to configure and is not always compatible with your web server or the latest version of WordPress, so be careful!
  6. WordPress Security Scan: finds vulnerable areas of your blog and recommends specific actions to take to harden it. Because there is so much involved in security, this is a great tool to help make sure you don’t miss anything.
  7. AskApache Password Protect: protects important folders like wp-admin, wp-include, and wp-content, guarding against automated and manual attacks against your WordPress blog.
  8. WordPress Exploit Scanner: this plugin will look through all the code in your posts, comments, and plugins looking for something suspicious. Often attacks on WordPress enter through these three paths, so take the time to guard against exploits by installing this plugin. Don’t worry about the plugin making any mistakes either because it relies on the blogger to take any necessary action.
  9. The WP-Scanner: scans for weaknesses within your WordPress installation, checks to make sure you have changed your table prefixes (you did, didn’t you?) and a variety of other important steps that need to be taken to harden your blog.
  10. Stealth Login: create unique URLs that are used when logging in and out of your blog. This plugin can also be used to keep registered users from logging in using the wp-login.php file. By making it difficult for attackers to find your login page, you have just made your blog more secure.

Finally you may want to check your wp-config.php file has file permissions of 644 and not higher – this has been the cause of the latest “security scare”.

This was a guest post by Tom Walker who is the lead editor of the CreativeCloud blog, which he runs on behalf of a leading supplier of franking machine ink based in the UK. Old school print ads, book art and modern print design are among the topics he most enjoys writing about.

If you’d like to write a guest post for Blog Tech Guy, get in touch here.

Blog Tech Check Plugin Released

The first version of my new free plugin, Blog Tech Check. It’s available from WordPress.org now.

It will check if certain conditions are met by your WordPress install, such as if specific plugins are installed, the permalink structure is not default, etc. In the current version, the following checks are made:

– If user called “admin” is present
– Permalink settings are not the default
– Folder permissions are correct

Certain plugins installed and active:
– WP DB Backup
– XML Sitemap
– All in One SEO
– Subscribe to Comments
– Akismet

The plugin will suggest corrective actions to the user with on how to rectify any tested conditions which do not pass.

screenshot-2

Some checks are not successful, with help messages.

Not all failed checks are a big problem, some are just recommended.

More details can be found on the plugins page, or you can download it from WordPress.org.

WordPress 2.6 Plugin Issues

Just a quick note to those of you wanting to upgrade to WordPress 2.6. From my testing and reading there are a few issues with some popular plugins not working.

The first is the Google Analytics plugin. You will need to install the latest version, then on the Google Analytics option page you will need to click Reset all settings at the bottom, and then re-enter your UA number and select the options you require. If you use the robots meta plugin and RSS Footer plugin from the same author you will need to do a similar thing.

Secondly the Unique Blog Designs Block Ad plugin does not currently work. A fix will be available very shortly so just hang on a few days if you use this plugin and want to upgrade.

Third, another popular plugin, Popularity Contest, has issues. A fix can be found here.

Look here for a further list of plugins that don’t work with WordPress 2.6.

Please let me know if you would like to upgrade and have any of these plugins installed.

How To Add Google Analytics To Your Blog

Another question I get frequently is how to add Google Analytics to a WordPress blog. The good news is that it’s incredibly easy.

1. Download the Google Analytics plugin.
2. Upload the plugin via FTP and activate it in you WordPress Dashboard plugins menu.
3. Go to Google Analytics and sign up/in. Add your new website, and get the tracking code.
4. Back in WordPress, go to the Google Analytics plugin options page (under Plugins) and enter the UA-XXXXXX number that appears in your tracking code. There are some other options that you can configure and read about on the plugin homepage.

What’s the benefit of using this plugin over adding the tracking code to your theme?
a) It is set not to track admin users – when you’re logged in the code won’t appear, and you won’t be tracked, potentially skewing the results.
b) If you change theme you won’t need to remember to add the code again.
c) No need to edit any html/php files.

Below is a Google-made introduction to Google Analytics, it’s an excellent overview and a good way to spend 10 minutes of your time. If you can’t see this video, click here. As always if you have any further questions, please let me know.