How To Choose SEO Plug-ins For WordPress

WordPress is one of the most widely used website creation tools out there. One of the reasons why it is so popular is the vast amount of plug-ins that you can use to enhance your website or the backend functions. When creating any website, you need to consider your content and how it will affect your SEO strategy. To help you sort out your SEO, there are many different WordPress plug-ins that you can choose from. The problem comes in choosing only one and to do this you need to ensure that there are certain features and that the plug-in is user-friendly.

Is The Plug-in User-Friendly?

There is no point in installing a plug-in if you are going to have a hard time using it. This is why you need to see if it is user-friendly before you look at anything else. One of the ways to determine this is to look at the screenshots that plug-in creator’s supply. These screenshots will generally show you a number of different areas of the plug-in and you can then determine if it looks easy to use or not.

However, for most plug-ins, you will have to wait until you have installed it to see if it is user-friendly. Fortunately, you can easily disable and delete the plug-in if you find it too cumbersome or hard to use. Most SEO plug-ins are actually very user-friendly as they are aimed at helping you and not confusing you.

When Was The Plug-in Last Updated?

SEO is constantly changing and you need to use an SEO plug-in that is up to date. Before you install the plug-in, you need to check when it was last updated. If the plug-in has not been updated in years, it will be out of date and will not help you meet current SEO standards. The best SEO plug-ins will be constantly updated and will not go more than a few months with an update, if that long.

When you are looking at when last the plug-in was updated, you should also check if it is compatible with your version of WordPress. WordPress is always updating to ensure that you get the best platform for your website. If you are on the latest version of WordPress, the SEO plug-in may not be tested yet, but you are able to find out the last version that it is compatible with. The last version should be the version of WordPress directly preceding the one that you are using.

Helps You Target Keywords

One of the features that your SEO plug-in needs to have is the ability to help you target keywords. Most SEO plug-ins will let you state what your keyword for the content is and then tell you what the density of the keyword is. This is important because high keyword density is often penalized by the search engines.

The plug-in should not only look at the written content on your page when helping you with keywords. The alt text for your images should also be considered and the plug-in should offer analytics on this.

Generating XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are something that a lot of people overlook because they are focused on the actual content on their pages. However, XML sitemaps can help the search engines crawl your website and index your pages. It is recommended that you use an SEO plug-in that is able to generate these sitemaps for you.

It is also recommended that the plug-in is able to modify robot.txt files. These are basically instructions for the search bots which will tell them what pages to look at and what to ignore. Most people will not need to use these files, but it is handy to have a plug-in that can help you with this.

 

Today’s digitalized era has made it easier than ever for all kinds of businesses to have an online presence. According to a research, eight in ten Americans prefer shopping online. That is almost 79% of U.S. consumers, as compared to a meagre 22% back in 2000.

This is why, it is a good time to start an online store and spread your wings further if you already haven’t. Having a digital presence for your brand can help you reach out to more people, equating to even more sales and revenue for your business.

The first step towards building an online store, however, is to decide the type of platform that would suit the nature of your business the best. One of the most common and user-friendly options is WordPress. Many e-commerce businesses are using WordPress to reach out to their customers. It is a highly customizable platform that suits almost every business owner’s needs. It is also light on the pocket and according to a recent survey, around 10% of the ecommerce stores today are using WordPress to build their website.

Once you are up and running on WordPress, the next task is to install relevant plugins that can make your e-store even more efficient. The website is going to represent your business, so you want it to be flawless to give the right impression to your customers. There are countless options to choose from to create a beautiful and functional online store.

With more than 40,000 plugins to choose on WordPress, it can be a tad bit overwhelming to select the one that will suit your business. In this article, we are going to share 7 of our favorite ecommerce WordPress plugins that will not only make your life easier, but will also make sure that lots of cash flows in.

1- WP e-Commerce

A popular choice among e-commerce website builders, WP e-commerce is one of the leading e-commerce solutions that makes it easy for you to run your e-store. It is a free plugin which features a variety of coupon codes, discounts and free shipping options, single-page checkout, integration with all major e-commerce payment options and much more.

You can always upgrade the plug-in to make it even more dynamic and add more features to it like extra payment gateways, slider carousels and additional shipping options. It is undoubtedly a must-have plugin for all e-commerce websites.

2- Hummingbird

If your website takes forever to load, chances are that your customer will leave. According to a recent study, an average visitor will not even wait for 8 seconds for the website to load. In addition, Google recommends that a trusted website should load within 2 seconds, otherwise your search result rankings will suffer. This is why, it is crucial to speed up your website.

One of the best ways to do this is to use caching. Hummingbird is an app that jumps to your rescue and will take care of this aspect. It is an easy to use plugin that scans and analyzes your website. Once this is done, your website will be scored according to its current speed. A couple of clicks can resolve any issue if the need arises.

Hummingbird does not only do page caching; It also minifies, compresses and merges so that your visitors can experience the best version of your website. It is a paid plugin but worth all the money. You can try Hummingbird for free with a 14-day trial, and watch your website soar as fast as a hummingbird (pun intended).

3- Defender

Being the most popular choice for creating websites, WordPress is also an easy target for hackers. This is why, you should be prepared for it beforehand. Thus, it is important to tighten your website security from time to time and Defender is an excellent plugin that will help you to do this and more.

Defender is a plugin that searches your website for vulnerabilities and updates you whenever there is one. You can patch them up instantly by a single click. You can also schedule clean up sessions and stop worrying about threats.

You can try Defender for free with a 14-day trial and then buy the full version if you like it.

4- Google Analytics+

While running an e-commerce business, it is important to track your visitors and their visiting patterns. Google Analytics is an excellent plugin that gives you the opportunity to work on the areas that your website might be lagging behind in.

All the information, including track visits, page views, bounce rate, average visit duration and referrers, is presented directly on your admin dashboard. You can also analyze your customers’ shopping behaviors based on demographic and interests by enabling the advanced settings.

It is a great plugin that helps you keep track of all the important statistics of your website and the best part is that it has an easy user-interface.

Read More: https://www.besttechie.com/7-ecommerce-wordpress-plugins-make-online-store-better/

 

 

Tips for Protecting Your Website from Hackers that Use SEO Keywords for Spreading Malware

There’s a growing trend for hackers to spread their malware by infecting websites that rank well in the search engines for certain keywords, and using those SEO keywords to get lots of visitors who will then become victims of ‘drive by downloads’.

If you want to protect your website from those hackers, then you will need to be proactive with your security. Many websites are breached not because a hacker specifically targeted them, but simply because they were vulnerable – the hackers get a list of websites that rank well for given keywords, then use software to see if those websites are vulnerable to generalised attacks. If they find a site that is vulnerable, then they’ll ‘break in’ and infect it with their malware.

WordPress and Magento are two of the most popular platforms for business websites – they are used for blogs and content sites, and for online stores. Because they are so popular, they get a lot of attention from malicious developers and users, who know that if they can find a security hole they can exploit it for financial gain – or just for fun. WordPress, in particular, is quite an ‘open’ platform in that anyone can just develop plug-ins and themes for it and distribute them without them having to undergo extensive checks. This means that there are a lot of plug-ins out there that are not well written, and that are riddled with potential holes for hackers to exploit.

If you run WordPress, Magento – or any other online content management system or store platform for that matter – then you should look at ways of securing it. For WordPress, that means installing plug-ins to block repeated failed login attempts, renaming the admin account, and keeping the main WordPress up to date, as well as keeping plug-ins up to date as well and removing any plug-ins and themes that you are not using. You should also delete the installation directory once you are satisfied that the installation was successful.

The same goes for Magento. It’s important that you remove the installation directory, change the admin path, and rename all the users to something hard to guess. Keep the platform itself patched up to date, and keep all your extensions patched as well. This will go a long way towards ensuring that the platform runs well and is secure.

If your site does get hacked, the first that you know of it might be when a malware warning pops up when you visit the site, or when you see a warning against it in the search engines. If that happens, your first priority should be removing the malware, then fixing the exploit that caused it. Once your site is clean – and not likely to be immediately re-infected – then you can look at telling the search engines that it’s fixed and asking them to remove the warnings against your site.

Removing malware is an involved process that takes some technical knowledge – and in some cases the vulnerability is something that only the web host can fix, not an end user. So, for this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a web developer to look at your site for you – or a security expert. It can be quite expensive to fix these issues, so try to prevent them from happening in the first place! Following best practices from day one is much easier than trying to fix the issues with your site after an infection has cropped up, and takes less knowledge too.

 

The security protocol used to protect the vast majority of wifi connections has been broken, potentially exposing wireless internet traffic to malicious eavesdroppers and attacks, according to the researcher who discovered the weakness.

Mathy Vanhoef, a security expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, discovered the weakness in the wireless security protocol WPA2, and published details of the flaw on Monday morning.

“Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted,” Vanhoef’s report said. “This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and so on.

Vanhoef emphasised that the attack works against all modern protected wifi networks. Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. For example, an attacker might be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites.”

The vulnerability affects a number of operating systems and devices, the report said, including Android, Linux, Apple, Windows, OpenBSD, MediaTek, Linksys and others.

“If your device supports wifi, it is most likely affected,” Vanhoef wrote. “In general, any data or information that the victim transmits can be decrypted … Additionally, depending on the device being used and the network setup, it is also possible to decrypt data sent towards the victim (e.g. the content of a website).”

Vanhoef gave the weakness the codename Krack, short for Key Reinstallation AttaCK.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre said in a statement it was examining the vulnerability. “Research has been published today into potential global weaknesses to wifi systems. The attacker would have to be physically close to the target and the potential weaknesses would not compromise connections to secure websites, such as banking services or online shopping.

“We are examining the research and will be providing guidance if required. Internet security is a key NCSC priority and we continuously update our advice on issues such as wifi safety, device management and browser security.”

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (Cert) issued a warning on Sunday in response to the vulnerability.

“The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection and others,” the alert says, detailing a number of potential attacks. It adds that, since the vulnerability is in the protocol itself, rather than any specific device or software, “most or all correct implementations of the standard will be affected”.

The development is significant because the compromised security protocol is the most secure in general use to encrypt wifi connections. Older security standards have been broken in the past, but on those occasions a successor was available and in widespread use.

Crucially, the attack is unlikely to affect the security of information sent over the network that is protected in addition to the standard WPA2 encryption. This means connections to secure websites are still safe, as are other encrypted connections such as virtual private networks (VPN) and SSH communications.

However, insecure connections to websites – those which do not display a padlock icon in the address bar, indicating their support for HTTPS – should be considered public, and viewable to any other user on the network, until the vulnerability is fixed.

Equally, home internet connections will remain difficult to fully secure for quite some time. Many wireless routers are infrequently if ever updated, meaning that they will continue to communicate in an insecure manner. However, Vanhoef says, if the fix is installed on a phone or computer, that device will still be able to communicate with an insecure router. That means even users with an unpatched router should still fix as many devices as they can, to ensure security on other networks.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/16/wpa2-wifi-security-vulnerable-hacking-us-government-warns

 

Making the most of your WordPress blog

Everyone has a blog these days or so it seems and in order to keep your customers up to date with what you are doing, industry news and anything else you wish to share, having a purpose built blogging site is important. WordPress is one of the popular platforms on which to build your blogging site and as it is so easy to use, is one that anyone can use successfully. It is easy to add text, embed video, pictures and infographics. There are lots of free tools that you can use to enhance your blog and of course, it can be shared on social media. You can employ a number SEO strategies to get your WordPress blog found by the search engines.

What You’re In For

With all the hype around cloud computing and no-configuration-required hosted services, you don’t hear about the joys of running great software on your own server very much. The fact is, if you’re just a casual user who doesn’t know if you’ll stick to blogging over the long haul, or if you don’t want to spend a little time maintaining WordPress, you should sign up for a hosted blog at WordPress.com or Blogger or TypePad. (Also, this tutorial is not for you.)

But if you’re willing to keep WordPress updated religiously, you get access to a whole world of WP plug-ins that add features to your site, the opportunity to create and tweak custom WordPress themes, and a huge sense of accomplishment. In the most recent version of WordPress, keeping your installation up-to-date is a matter of clicking a link when you get notified to do so.

Everything you need to know about installing WordPress is right here. Got it up and running? Let’s get to customizing.

Initial configuration

The Beginner's Guide to Tricking Out Your WordPress Blog

The first thing you want to do on your WordPress blog is set up a new author with administrative access. Don’t use the default “admin” user to write your posts; create your custom username and give it admin privileges. Then, log out of WordPress and back in as your new username. For security reasons, some folks like to delete the admin user completely (as some WordPress attacks have used it to do bad things to your blog). Once you’ve got your administrative account working, add other authors to the list of users who might be posting to your blog. Click here to continue reading

5 basic tips to improve WordPress for SEO and user experience

27 WordPress SEO pluggins

 

Blogging for business

Most businesses have a blog these days, not only does it give them an opportunity to release company information but also share the lighter side of life. Blogging can be a great way of increasing traffic to your website and you can also use it for SEO purposes. It takes a bit of skill to write good quality blogs that attract the search engines but with a bit of practice, it can be done.

When you are blogging for business, be proactive in getting the most from your blogging efforts. If you blog strategically, your keywords will be a natural part of your writing. Adding a few of these SEO tactics will boost your search engine results – getting you more successes in your social media marketing strategy.

Here are 5 tactics to boost your blog SEO:

  • Target your content
  • Google Adwords
  • Link to other sites
  • Link to internal pages on your site
  • Use alt text 

1. Target your content

Use content themes, and know your target market. By writing about your business, product, industry and customer lifestyles you will be using the keywords your customers are searching for. This increases your search ranking without much additional thought.

2. Google AdWords

Use a keyword finder, such as the keyword tool in Google AdWords, to broaden your keyword scope. This can expand your vocabulary and vernacular.

5 Tips to Increase Blog SEO image XjdEleceiISn1C9qrkX2tmW81SsIYAyHnGRXswN6eQkqHEe6Gu14Smg3bJXF9T7xIhDjia9uo5Rh U54iuohxP 5QwCEEtu8v2VRXgFnOWbdokGkvFG4QSIg2

Be careful to integrate these words naturally. If your sentences seem too contrived, your customers will stop reading your posts.

Additionally, don’t overuse keywords. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by most search engines, and will produce negative results.

3. Link to other sites

Referencing other blog posts is great for SEO. Google seem to like this.

It can also help to create networking opportunities for your business. Linking to industry related blog posts can be developed into guest blogging opportunities, news leads or even new business partnerships.

Additionally, your readers will appreciate you sharing extra information with them. Click here to continue

Further information

Blogging for business: driving traffic to your blog

Blogging for SEO: a beginner’s guide to WordPress

WordPress could benefit your business

WordPress is a particularly useful site for releasing your blogs and articles. As we are often saying, it is so important to publish blogs and articles to improve your online presence and promote your business. You might wish to impart your knowledge or give advice on how to do something and using a platform such as WordPress is ideal. Not only is WordPress free to use but there is plenty of online assistance and a forum to help you if you require it. It is easy to manage, easy to upload content, images and video too. Take a look at these articles and see how WordPress could benefit your business.

WordPress is the leading blogging software. It has gained popularity because it was free, was well-designed and had a very active bunch of volunteers helping develop the package.

Rapidly it has become the most popular blogging package on the Internet. This has led to tens of thousands of developers producing thousands of plug-ins and themes, enhancing the package and the look of blogs in general.

Below are 10 reasons why you must use WordPress

1 – It is the most widely used blogging software around

WordPress is now the market leader in both blogging and content management, open source, free software packages.

Its popularity is growing and for the majority of bloggers it is the obvious choice to use.

2 – WordPress is free

Because of its popularity WordPress has a great deal of support in this has enabled it to develop fast. The package is now very sophisticated and has the appearance of a commercial product. The fact that it is free is a great bonus — and makes it a program that you can afford, no, it is a program that you cannot afford NOT to use Click here to continue

Further reading

How to use WordPress for business

Getting started with WordPress

Top 10 reasons to use WordPress for your website

 

Blogging can enhance your online presence

Blogging can be great fun and can really help publicise your website. There are many platforms where you can register and blog for free, so it needn’t cost you any money, just a bit off time. It is a good idea to allow guests to comment on your blogs. This can help you form good relationships with your visitors and even other bloggers which could be helpful in the future. Don’t necessarily reject those who disagree with you, remember you are conveying your point of view which may not be the same as someone elses.

When you begin blogging, deal with one topic at a time. Don’t try to write about everything you want to say in one go, make it small bite sized pieces that people will enjoy reading and encourage them to come back for more. Blogging can be a very useful way to expand and enhance your presence online and if you enjoy writing and have plenty to discuss then you can do your own blogging. Your writing should be well thought out with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. Do not be tempted to use text speak or too much slang in your writing as this has been proven to turn people away. Write about things you are passionate about, keep the enthusiasm in your blogs. If you can include polls or surveys in your blogs, this can help engage visitors and increase traffic to your site. Include some keywords and key phrases into your blogs as these will help the spiders find your writings. If you can include pictures or images as well, these can enhance your visitors’ experience.

How to Grow Your Blog – A Really Good Resource

Just been altered to this excellent post about how to grow your blog, some 17 ways of making your blog really work for you being listed.

At SOM we have our own methods and in April will be launching both our new look site as well as our new Blogging package (so new we have yet to come up with a name!), but whatever, this article will help all who are interested in making a name for their blog.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/17-ways-to-grow-your-blog-from-top-bloggers

How-To: Setup Regular Backups & Secure WordPress

This blog was written by Cat M, a guest author from Axon IT on the EvoHosting blog. She certainly seems to know her stuff and it was that good that I just had to replicate it so that my readers could back up and secure their precious blogs too.

Cat – the author

Over the past few years, WordPress has evolved from much more than just a blogging platform.  While WordPress remains a popular out-of-the-box solution for bloggers, it is widely used as a customisable CMS for business websites, because it allows individuals to regularly update content and manage their site’s functionality.

However, as WordPress is a database-driven application, there are risks associated with the sensitive information stored in the website’s backend.  Should the data within this administration panel get into the wrong hands, there are multiple implications, which is why it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure maximum security.

Aside from the security precautions that can be retrofitted to a default WordPress install to enhance security (some of which will be covered below), data needs to be backed up regularly in the event of a security breach.   While many web hosts offer data protection with their business hosting solutions, it is still important to regularly backup your WordPress databases to a safe location.

Out of the many WordPress database plugins available, WP-DB-Backup is one of the most reliable and secure in terms of setting up regular database backups. WP-DB-Backup works to solve two backup issues: firstly, the ability to backup as and when required (either via a zipped file download, or straight to email); secondly, the ability to schedule backups at regular intervals,  including hourly, daily, and weekly.

In order to use WP-DB-Backup, you need to download the plugin and install it via your WordPress admin area.

Once you have downloaded and installed the plugin, you will find a “Backup” option under “Tools” in the WordPress Dashboard. The scheduled backup section can be found in the bottom half of the page. To configure this plugin, you need to do the following:

  1. First, choose how often you would like your automatic backup to occur. Ideally, you should backup your database daily, especially with large or busy websites.
  2. Secondly, select the tables from the right-hand side that you wish to backup. By default, the core WordPress tables will be backed up; if you want any of your additional plugins to be included in the backups, then you need to select them individually.
  3. Finally, enter the email address you want your backup to be sent to. If you want to backup your databases on a daily basis, then you may want to consider sending your backups to a Gmail account, as Gmail offers large store capacities.

Once you have completed the steps outlined above, simply click the “Schedule Backup” button.   The plugin will automatically begin to create a backup of your WordPress database based on your chosen settings.

These regular backups will provide you with external copies of your data in the event of data loss or corruption. Combined with the data protection and backups provided by your web host, WP-DB-Backup helps ensure you will have always have a recent copy of your WordPress site.

While regular backups are an imperative aspect of securing your website, you can further protect your WordPress site by doing the following:

  1. Install and activate the Login Lockdown WordPress plugin
  2. Install and activate the WP Security Scan plugin
  3. Where possible, ensure your database tables don’t begin with the prefix ‘wp_’
  4. Change the main administrative user account so the default username isn’t ‘admin’
  5. Ensure you are running the latest version of WordPress, and keep your plugins updated

A guest post on the EvoHosting blog by small business IT support specialist axon IT. Along with keeping your online data secured, all of your offline business data (including files, emails and invoices) can be automatically secured with a managed offsite data back-up solution.