Avoid WordPress site hacks. This can happen to you.

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This is an important, not fun and too important to skim over.

Fixing a site that has been hacked is nasty business. I have had to scour sites to clear them of code that was inserted in the pages to redirect the viewer to other sites. I’ve also worked with a client that has been the target of multiple hack attempts because he writes books with controversial subject matter. These things are large, time consuming headaches.

All sites have vulnerabilities. Because WordPress is the most popular content management tool in use, I’m addressing WordPress issues, but no matter how you build your site, you should educate yourself to security matters. When a site is hacked it can take many hours of work to fix and alleviate malicious files. Fortunately, many of these issues can be avoided with a little upfront work. These security precautions can take mere minutes to implement and will save you a lot of headaches and money down the road.

Update WordPress software
WordPress releases a new version of its software every few months. Many of these software updates address known security issues and improve overall site safety. Updating your software takes about 3 minutes.

Always keep your themes and plugins up to date
Good theme and plugin developers will occasionally release updates that add new features as well as address compatibility and security concerns. Install and update these as they are released.

Use hard-to-guess usernames and passwords
Only use strong passwords for your hosting, WordPress login, and FTP accounts. Passwords should include numbers, letters (lower and upper case) and special symbols. Don’t use your name or any part of your site’s name in your passwords, or ‘admin’ as a username.

Install security software
There are several WordPress products designed to limit login attempts, and alert you to security breaches. I like WordFence, but there are many great plugins out there.

Backup your site.
Keep multiple backups of your files. I like BackupBuddy. Your host company may also provide this service. In a worst case scenario, you can reinstall files without losing content.

There are a variety of other precautions you may want to take, depending upon your traffic, budget and other risk factors. Visit the WordPress codex for more.

I encourage you to take an hour this week and do a security checkup!

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What happened to July? B-side goals for August

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Oh how time flys when you are having fun. By the time I was ready to post my goals for July, the month was about over. And as you can see, I am not doing much better for August. Truth is I have been busy, with both work and play. I have enjoyed summer break with my boys, but am now transitioning to back-to-school mode. I have also been super busy and am working with some new, amazing clients. So although some of my other goals are going a bit slow, they are going. When last we spoke, this was my plan.

June Goals July also!!
Push to grow my social presence
Double my newsletter subscribers
Work on my book.

I would say each is chugging along with progress on all fronts. Subscriber list is slow, but steady.

Goals for August
Get e-book to editor

Yep, that’s it guys. One singular goal to focus on, cause now I need to dig in and just finish the thing.

What are your goals for the month?

Do It-Yourself or Invest in a Pro? A Quick Guide for Entrepreneurs

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When it comes to investing in your business, do you have a bottomless purse and endless resources? Neither do I. Every day, I have to make hard decisions as to which services and products I should invest in and what I can handle myself. One of the most critical skills an entrepreneur can possess is being able to make this determination. These decisions can vary greatly depending on your skill set, time, and where you are in your business. Here’s my two cents on evaluating where to spend your money and when to go the do-it-yourself route.

Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a high-quality photo is worth even more. Photos can sell your work and paint a clear picture of what you do.

Hire a Pro:

  • Hire a professional for high-quality headshots or product photos. Nothing can sell you or your product like a great photo. Professional photographers have specific skills, better equipment and lighting, and access to make-up artists and stylists should you want to use them. They can also touch up photos so that you look your best. Professional photographers will also produce stunning results for food and product photography, which is often tricky to shoot.

DIY:

  • Invest in a good camera, lights, and possibly photo classes if you constantly need to take photos of your products or images for blog posts.
  • Purchase stock photography when you need professional-quality images at an affordable price. These can be used as needed for blog post images and print materials.
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