During the installation process, WordPress creates two default login URLs. I’m sure you’re already familiar with at least one of these, but the two are:
This happens during every WordPress installation. Given that these repetitive login URLs are a potential security risk (more on this later!), it’s somewhat surprising that WordPress doesn’t give users the option to create a custom login URL, don’t you think?
Well, even if WordPress doesn’t allow you to customize the login URL by default, it is perfectly possible to do so. If you’ve ever wondered how to change the default URLs, read on, as I’m about to show you!
Why Should I Change the WordPress Login URL?
Before we begin, though, let’s take a look at three reasons why you might want to create a custom login URL.
1. Protect Against Brute Force Attacks
Security is undoubtedly the main reason for webmasters to change their login page – changing login URL protects against the most common type of website security breach, a brute force attack.
Now, brute force attacks involve exhaustive “guessing” of login credentials until the correct combination is found. This means a brute force attack needs to crack three variables to succeed:
- Username – don’t choose something obvious, like “admin.”
- Password – again, avoid the obvious and go for a complex password.
- Your login URL – the gateway to the WordPress dashboard.
In other words, when you continue to use the default login URLs, wp-admin and wp-login, you leave yourself more vulnerable – a hacker only needs your username and password to access your site. When you change your login URL, you are making the bad guys work significantly harder.
It’s also worth pointing out that, even if an attacker can’t correctly crack your login credentials, they can still use a lot of bandwidth in their attempts. Moving your login page combats this problem.
2. Hides WordPress Vulnerabilities
Despite powering one-third of the internet, the WordPress platform isn’t perfect. Like any software, WordPress is never 100% immune from bugs and vulnerabilities.
On one hand, the size of the WordPress community means we have lots of good people working hard to fix any problems. On the other, and largely because of the number of websites covering WordPress news, any security vulnerability gets a lot of press. When news of a known vulnerability breaks, the malicious hackers instantly know where your defences are potentially weak.
By changing your login URL, you’re protecting yourself against a tell-tale sign that your site uses WordPress, thus distancing yourself from any known problems. This alone won’t keep you safe, of course, but it’s an easy place to start.
3. Rebrand the Entire Login Screen
If you run a WordPress-powered membership website, your visitors/customers probably access your content via the login screen. When they’ve paid good money for access, the default login screen is, well, somewhat underwhelming, right?
The same applies to the login URL – non-WordPress users might also be confused why you’ve gone for wp-admin or wp-login in your URL. It’s not a huge problem, but the devil is in the details, right?
To solve this problem, many webmasters prefer to switch the default login screen for something more aesthetically pleasing. Hence, they design a custom WordPress login page, complete with a brand new URL.
How to Change the WordPress Login URL
With the motivations covered, now it’s time for the practical stuff: In this section, I’m going to walk you through the necessary steps required to customize the WordPress login URL.
As you’ve probably guessed, this can be achieved with the help of a plugin. There are a number of plugins up to the task, including:
Today, I’ll be demonstrating how to use the latter: WPS Hide Login. The plugin is super-lightweight, so it won’t slow your website down.
The plugin doesn’t delete the default URLs; it simply makes them inaccessible. Instead, users will access the WordPress admin via your newly created URLs. This is advantageous as, should you wish to delete the plugin, your website will return to its former state with the default URLs.
Let’s start by installing the plugin. From the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New > search for ‘WPS Hide Login.’
It should be the first plugin returned. When you’ve found it, click Install Now > Activate Plugin.
A quick word of warning: as soon as you hit Activate, the plugin will block access to the default login URLs – wp-admin and wp-login. The plugin will change the login URL by default to www.example.com/login. Remember this in case you get locked out. And, as soon as you’ve changed the login to your preferred URL, make sure you take note of it. You will not be able to access your website the standard way.
That warning might sound scary, but it’s just precautionary. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone getting locked out of their website! Fortunately, the plugin is really easy to use.
The next (and final) step is to navigate to Settings > General. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and you should see a WPS Hide Login section. In the blank field, write your desired WordPress login URL. Then, hit Save Changes.
Hey, presto! Now, when I attempt to access the default login URLs, my access is denied. Instead, I see this:
But when I try to visit my chosen login URL, I see the familiar old login screen. And that took, how long to configure? All of 30 seconds?
It’s also worth pointing out that your new login URL can cause problems if you’re using a caching plugin. To solve this problem, the plugin developer states that you should “add the slug of the new login URL to the list of pages not to cache.” This isn’t necessary for WP Rocket users, as the two plugins are already fully compatible.
Want More Security?
It’s worth noting that simply changing your login URL won’t improve your website’s security. It just makes your site harder for the bad guys to detect.
If you want a plugin with lots of impressive security-enhancing features and functionalities up its sleeve – as well as the ability to customize the WordPress login URL – look no further than iThemes Security Lite.
A dedicated security plugin like this offers comprehensive all-round protection, which gives you some much-needed peace of mind. And, as one of the best all-in-one security plugins around, I can recommend downloading iThemes Security for a multitude of reasons – you can also consider upgrading to the premium version if you want even more features.
If you wish to change the WordPress login URL using iThemes Security, here is a quick tutorial. (Because of all the extra security features, this plugin is “heavier” than our first plugin, meaning speed-conscious webmasters might prefer to use the WPS Hide Login plugin. As such, I have presented it as an alternative, rather than the only option.)
As with before, let’s start by installing and activating the plugin.
iThemes Security is a far more advanced plugin than WPS Hide Login. Changing the URL is just as easy, but it requires you to sift through a lot more settings to get there. Navigate to the newly created menu item, Security > Settings. Next scroll down to the Hide Login Area section, around two-thirds of the way down the screen. To speed things up, the drop-down go to menu on the right of the screen allows you to quick-jump there.
Check the Enable the hide backend feature box to expand the section. In the Login Slug field, write your new custom login URL. You should also leave the Enable Theme Compatibility box checked – it does exactly as the name implies! Finally, click the blue Save All Changes button.
Again, remember to note down your new login URL, as you will no longer be able to use the old ones.
That concludes today’s tutorial. If you’ve ever wondered how to customize the login URL, well, now you know! Best of all, using the plugins featured in today’s post, you’ll find the process to be quick, easy, and painless. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments section below, and we’ll do our best to help!
7 Reasons Why Its Important to Have a Niche
A niche is a focused, targetable segment of the market. You are a specialist providing a product or service that focuses on the specific needs of an identified client group, which cannot or are not being addressed in such detail by the dominant providers in your industry.
But it is important to understand that there is, in fact, a difference between your identified niche and your target market.
Your target market is a specific identifiable group of people you work with, e.g. women in the city, technology start-ups, creative agency owners, small and medium businesses in a particular revenue range.
Your niche is the service you specialise in offering to your target market.
For example, standing desks are aimed at professionals who work in front of a computer for long periods of time. This is a well-defined niche.
Here are 7 reasons why it is important to have a niche:
To avoid spreading yourself too thin
Instead of the risk of spreading yourself too thin in saying that ‘everyone’ is your potential client, niche marketing will help you to focus on a specific grouping of people, and particularly on what their needs and wants are.
You will unlikely to be able to serve everybody, so it is important to focus on what you do best and aim it at a specific group of people who will likely buy what you offer.
It is important to find out what is important to them, what blogs they read, their beliefs and attitudes, who the main influencers in that network are.
Having these insights means that you can develop products or services specifically aimed at this group, based on your thorough knowledge and understanding of what they are interested in.
It’s easier to identify and target potential clients and partners to work with
As the pool of people that exists for a niche is smaller than its mainstream equivalent, it will be easier to identify potential clients and partners to work with, as you can be much more targeted and laser-focused with your marketing efforts.
It’s easier to become an expert and well known in your niche
Niching means it will be much easier for others to understand ‘what you do’ and ‘for whom’, which will make it easier to position you as an expert in your field. As this group is more targeted and of a smaller size, you can rapidly become well known within this group of people.
Your profile and overall visibility will increase within this group. It is a small world after all!
More and better referrals
Since it will be easier for others to understand what you do and for whom, it, in turn, becomes much easier for them to refer more and better quality clients to you that fit the profile of your ideal client, as you have built up trust, credibility, visibility, and it is very clear as to what your specialism is.
The more unique you are, the less competition you will have
There will be less competition, as you will provide the specific services or create the specific products for the specific people you are seeking to help in a specific way that meets their needs. The BIG advantage of becoming more unique is that usually it can’t be easily replicated by your competition!
Marketing becomes much easier
Effective niche marketing should really help with your marketing, positioning and branding as you will attract the ‘right people’ much more easily and quickly. People with similar interests tend to behave and are attracted to similar things. This means that many of your clients will do all the hard work for you as they will refer you more and more because your profile, credibility and influence are readily apparent within your tribe.
More repeat business
As you are able to provide an increasingly better service or product, based on your specific client’s needs, it is likely that you will get more repeat business – people will come back for more, and as an added benefit will often start spending more with you as your relationship grows with them.
How to Increase the Loading Speed of Your Website
Imagine this: your e-commerce site is losing visitors on Black Friday or the recent record-setting Cyber Monday – traditionally the two biggest shopping days of the year.
What’s worse is that this situation is totally unnecessary. You could have kept those visitors if you had just reduced your website’s load time.
By neglecting something so important, you are losing a significant amount of money and will continue to lose revenue until you tackle this problem.
Why Speed Matters
Speed matters first because it is one aspect of an efficient, high-functioning website. Nowadays, when most people access the Internet on the go from mobile devices, site speed has become especially important.
But site speed also matters because people’s attention spans are getting increasingly shorter. Data shows that almost half of all internet users expect website pages to load in less than two seconds. If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, 40% of users will move on. And speed matters to Google.
Ever since the introduction of Google’s Mobile-First Index, site speed is Google’s official ranking factor. This means slow load time means decreased rankings, hence poor site visibility.
Site speed has a huge effect on usability and conversions. If people are leaving because your site is too slow, they are not converting.
No wonder many companies are focusing on improving site speed nowadays. Pathwwway, a product design and development growth-oriented company, names load time any business’s top priority.
For these reasons, web developers say that increasing site speed is “an essential skill for any website owner.”
Here’s an extensive list of strategies for speeding up WordPress (WP) websites in particular.
Evaluate Your Site
First, you should objectively test the speed of your site. To do so, you can use GTmetrix or Pingdom, both of which provide a detailed analysis of what (if anything) is causing your site to lag.
These tools measure if your site is too slow and you can also use them to continually monitor its performance. Remember that your goal should be for your pages to load in under two seconds. Faster than that is even better.
Have a Good Foundation
Make sure that you have a good hosting provider. Most likely your best bet is to opt for a virtual private server (VPS).
Shared hosting will slow you down too much, and a dedicated server probably has more power than you need and is too expensive.
You should also consider managed WordPress hosting created especially for WP sites. With managed hosting, you won’t have to be responsible for the technical aspects of your site.
Keep this same mentality when selecting your theme.
Choose one that only has what you need, keeping it as lightweight as possible. One strategy is to opt for a minimal theme and then add plug-ins to add additional functionality.
You might also consider utilizing a content delivery network (CDN).
The closer a server is to a user, the faster the loading time will be. A CDN takes your static files and distributes them on various servers across the world so that your site is closer to people than it would have been otherwise.
There are even solutions that will allow you to host parts of your site through a CDN. Some CDN resources you can check out are:
- Amazon Cloudfront
- Jetpack (a plugin)
- WOT Cache
Updates and Maintenance
It should go without saying that you should keep all of the elements of your site as up to date as possible.
This includes everything from HTML and PHP to your theme and plug-ins.
Your hosting provider is responsible for your site’s primary updates, but you should still keep an eye on them.
The more up to date your technology is, the more secure your site will be and the more efficiently it will run.
Clean up your database as it gets bloated with data you aren’t actually using. You should eliminate anything you aren’t using (plug-ins, widgets, etc.).
Other Tactics for Decreasing Loading Time
Speeding up your site is about enabling it to do as little as possible. With this principle in mind, consider doing the following:
- Don’t host videos on your site – auto-embed them
- Compress your images and your website files
- Reduce server requests (e.g., limit how many posts you show on each page, break comments and posts into pages, implement lazy loading for images)
- Allow caching, WP Rocket is a great WP Caching plugin.
- Concatenate files (i.e., combine them into one larger file)
- Minify files
- Limit what you can (such as post revisions, buttons, and widgets)
- Deactivate pingbacks and trackbacks
- Include an expires header in your static resources (this determines the length of time a visitor’s browser caches content)
- Optimize CSS delivery
- Prioritize above the fold content
Use a Web Design Platform Made for Site Speed
If your current content management system or theme is giving you a bad time, speed-wise, switch as soon as possible. Don’t try to fix or adjust. Use a website builder that gets it.
Duda is a solid example of an agency-friendly website building platform built from the ground up to minimize load times. Duda CTO Amir Glatt even published a detailed article describing what they have done to get Duda’s infrastructure as aligned as possible with Google’s best practices for page speed, achieving better scores than Wix, Weebly and even the mighty WordPress.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
It’s old news that people are using mobile more and more for all of their online activities. Not only does your site need to load quickly but it also needs to load quickly on smartphones. Because of the widespread use of mobile, Google has released Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is “a whole new way of creating web pages and effectively changes the mobile web.”
AMP is open-source software designed to boost loading speeds on mobile devices. Even before AMP, Google took steps to favour mobile-friendly sites. So the better your site’s mobile-friendliness, the better it’s ranking.
Test, Audit, Fix
Testing, monitoring and auditing how your site performs should be done on a continuous basis. Your site might be generating errors any minute due to redesign, new features, new sections/products being added, seasonal traffic spikes, suddenly social media success, etc.
Serpstat is an advanced SEO platform that can help with auditing your website and alerting you of errors on a regular basis. It will break loading speed issues into two groups for you to easily prioritize:
- High priority
- Middle priority
It will also provide explanations for each item they are checking for you to better understand any issue and easily delegate the task to a non-SEO team member.
Everyone Benefits from Fast Loading Speed
No matter what area of life we’re talking about, people appreciate having experiences that are orderly, seamless, and fast.
Optimizing your site for speed will set you ahead of the majority of websites on the internet. The result will be that you lose fewer visitors and increase your revenue.
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