The very first thing you need to do is to change your password.
“What?!? I’ve had this password forever, it’s my birthday so I don’t forget it“
Never use your birthday or anniversary or any other important date for a password. Is your birthday on Facebook? There’s one strike, Do you celebrate your anniversary by posting couple selfies at a fabulous restaurant? Strike Two. Your child’s name or their birthday celebrations? I’m sure that is never mentioned on Facebook or Instagram. Strike three…you’re hacked!
You wouldn’t believe the information that we put out into the wide open web. There are your passwords and it took me less than 3 seconds! See what I mean! You need to make your passwords harder than that if you want to stay safe. I suggest a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Yes, all of it and it will be damn near impossible to figure out. Something like: PurpleRo5es# That is a good password.
Once you’ve sorted that all out you need a place to keep them. I use a Google Chrome Extension called “LastPass” it’s amazing. It saves my passwords and my clients can share theirs with me in one place. It’s free too! BUT that’s not all I do. I have a plastic recipe box. You know the kind that holds index cards perfectly? I write each one on its own index card and then I have tabs to organize them alphabetically. Saves me TONS of time and keep your passwords safe.
Before you do ANYTHING on your website, make any changes, add anything new, or even delete anything you should always BACKUP YOUR SITE!!!!! I cannot stress this enough and still I hear it all the time. “I don’t think I’ve ever backed up my site…followed by a little giggle” The next question is, “how much will it cost to fix it?”
The next thing on the list is a good security plugin. I like two WordFence Security or Sucuri Security plugin. I always used Sucuri, but recently they have done away with the on site malware scan feature. You have to use remote malware scanners which are a minor inconvenience. WordFence as far as I know still has their scanning features intact.
Spam, we all hate it, but it’s like taxes and death. It’s going to happen A LOT, but a good spam plugin should do the trick. Akismet which was created by JetPack and now comes with WordPress out of the box and its the best I’ve seen. I’ve been using it since the beginning and I’ve never had a problem with spam. Neither have any of the sites I manage. Get rid of CAPTCHA, please!
Are you a theme or plugin hoarder?
Do you pick out new themes and plugins like you’re shopping for the latest bag or the cutest pair of shoes? Then you install them thinking I’ll start using this when I get (INSERT ONE OF A MILLION THINGS) finished. So they sit there deactivated piling up on each other collecting dust or becoming obsolete.
This is one of the WORST things that you can do! You should NEVER keep a deactivated theme or plugin lying around on your site. A theme is like a door, and a plugin is like a window and when they are just sitting there unused and neglected it creates the perfect opportunity the walk right in like they own the place.
If you must keep them go to TOOLS>>EXPORT and save them to a .zip file on your computer or storage database. Then when you want to use them again: For the plugins, you would go to “ADD NEW” and then at the top it says “UPLOAD“. Find the file on your computer and upload it. It’s really that simple and it is hands down the best way to keep your website safe.
This just one of the services that I offer with my NO WORRY MAINTENANCE PLAN. When I go into a site the very first thing I do is run a backup. Then I update any themes, plugins, or WordPress that need updating. I erase any unused themes and plugins and then I delete any SPAM in the spam folder. I check each site for broken links and make a note.
I always install and configure the WordFence or Sucuri Security plugin (unless the client already has their own security plugin). I update WordPress, themes, and plugins. I also run a malware scan and I check the site speed and THEN I optimize it before visiting the site and visually giving it the once over to make sure things like share buttons and newsletters sign ups are working properly.
I do this twice a month on the first and the fifteenth. You get all of this protection for only $119 a year that breaks down to only $8.25 a month! I am having a giveaway where I am giving away a ONE-YEAR NO WORRY MAINTENANCE PLAN to one lucky winner! You can go HERE to sign up for the giveaway. I’ll be awarding it on March 1st so you better hurry!
If you are interested in the blogger maintenance pkg you can find more information about it HERE! I also do Blogger to WordPress migrations, blog setup & design, and offer technical V.A. services. Don’t know what a V.A. does check out my post HERE! Email me at Rena@theblogging911, Find me on Facebook HERE and Pinterest HERE!
UPDATE: Here is a great article by Softpedia.com concerning a problem with a certain plugin that comes with a back door. It was caught by Sucuri a great security plugin which I also recommend. This article here. If you have deactivated plugins and themes I really recommend that you delete them.
#wordpress is my wine