You’re setting up your own website? Fantastic, the wide audience is ready to be reached, and the list of potential clients is getting longer and longer. However, in order to be successful, your website has to be functional and visually appealing. A good idea alone is not enough if its implementation is not on a certain level. To make your website functional and useful, things like WordPress themes and plugins have to be utilized.
Choosing the right theme is very important, but it’s often not an easy decision to make. You can choose between plenty of free themes, but when you include the premium ones into the mix, things get even more engaging.
Don’t dismiss the premium themes just because you have to throw in a few bucks – they often have whole crews working on them and can really boost your website and make people want to visit them again and again.
Fortunately, there are specialized places where you can easily obtain premium themes and learn all about them, so invest a bit of time and do this simple research before your website takes off.
Plugins play an equally important role, if not even more so. Many of them have actually become indispensable to any website that’s looking to make a name for itself and are indispensable when it comes to creating any kind of strategy too. Therefore, you would do well to have those ready to go when your website launches.
These must-have WordPress plugins really set the tone for the overall impression you leave on a visitor and make your life a whole lot easier, and some can even help your website work better and faster.
Add WP Reset to the concoction
Yes, indeed – the community of people working on all sorts of plugins and themes is absolutely massive and very active. Because of that, you are more than likely to come across something (more like many things, to be honest) that will spark your interest and seem to be a good fit for your website. Like any responsible website owner, you will want to test them out, which means you will have to install them and see how you perform.
This is where a potential problem arises because not all plugins work equally well and not all affect your website in the same way. Maybe there’s a glitch in some of them since they are often created as a passion project. Or maybe you realize that you have too many of them and want to wipe the slate clean and start anew with assembling your array of plugins and themes. Instead of manually having to check every single plugin and fix whatever needs to be fixed the long way, WP Reset allows you to get back to the starting point with a single click.
Where that starting point is depends on you – you can choose the “nuclear” option to wipe absolutely everything or just get back to the point when everything worked perfectly for you. This is done through snapshots which record the status of your website before anything new is added, so WP Reset functions as a perfect safety net for whenever something goes wrong. You can actually save these snapshots on places like Google Drive or Dropbox so that you’re even more certain nothing can go wrong.
Set up a website in a flash
But this plugin works both ways. Not only can you delete things with a click, but you can also reverse the process and install them in a heartbeat.All users also have the option of creating lists of their favorite themes and plugins so that when they’re starting out with a new website they can simply click on a button and have everything they’ve previously used to appear almost instantly there too. Think of the time you can save this way if you have or are planning on having multiple websites!
You can see how this can be useful, right? As a matter of fact, this is a fantastic tool for people who are overseeing and maintaining websites professionally – webmasters, web-developers, that sort of thing – although it’s also simple enough for anyone who’s just getting started with optimizing their site and adding new functions there, too.
Mind the images
To further diminish any risk of malfunction or simply to allow your website to breathe easier and run faster, here’s one more tip – be mindful of the images. You don’t want some huge pictures taking up precious loading time or being uploaded in the wrong format. Don’t you just hate when something like that happens and the mistake is so simple that you don’t see it and instead go digging through the code which may end up causing more damage than benefits to your website?
To solve this, though, you don’t have to look for a premium plugin or even pay for anything. ResizeMyImage will help you optimize the image you want to upload however you want, and you can actually get quite a few good tips from them on their blog. In just a few clicks, you’ll have the perfect visualization for your website.
Making changes and adjustments to your website is an inevitable part of the process. Those tasks can truly be delightful considering the progress that you can make, but it does take a lot of caution since a few wrong buttons clicked can cause severe damage.
That’s why it’s always necessary to have a few handy helpers by your side that will always watch your back and ensure that your website remains safe and sound.
Now it’s your move – work your magic and let the experiments begin!
How To Spot If Your Website Is Hit By Malicious Redirect Malware
Have you found that your WordPress has started redirecting to another website recently? In most cases, this means that your visitors are being redirected to obscene or spam websites and this is the result of being hacked. If this has happened to your website, then it is absolutely crucial that you fix it immediately.
How to spot if your website has been affected
If you have noticed this happening on your website, then this is, unfortunately, a result of your website being hacked. If this has happened, then it is vital that you try your best to solve this issue immediately and take back control of your website.
If you are pressed for time and need to also clean up your website, then there are some automated malware removals which can do this, but in order to stop this from happening again in the future, you need to understand what has happened and why.
The security of your website is important and particularly more so if it is hosted on WordPress. This is because WordPress is a popular hosting choice for many websites, with around 35% of all worldwide websites being hosted on there, so is a popular choice for hackers. According to a recent study, 90% of all WordPress websites have been infected with malware.
How do hackers cause a website to redirect?
There are a few tricks which hackers use in order to get access to your website. Some of the most common ways are:
- Adding themselves as a ghost admin onto your website
- Changing the homepage URL
- Adding malicious malware onto your WordPress database and files
In most cases, visitors will find that there are being redirected to another website before they land on the homepage of your website. The tricky thing about these kinds of hacks is that they can lie unnoticed and dormant on your website and unless it is bought to your attention, you might be hacked for quite some time.
If you have noticed that your website is redirecting, then you need to rectify it immediately, Redirects can have hugely damaging impacts on your website and your visitors and can lead to very severe repercussions.
Why you should worry about malicious redirects?
A malware hack which causes redirects can lead to severe and sometimes irreversible damage to your website for a number of reasons.
Your SEO will be affected
It is no easy task to get your website ranking on search engines and can take a lot of time and effort. Once your website is hacked in this way, hackers will then use your SEO efforts to cause even further damage.
Your traffic will drop as your visitors are redirected to malicious sites and hackers can place links inside your website, meaning that if a visitor was to click on it, they’ll be redirected. A malware hack can cause Google to penalise your site for bad backlinks, and recovering your SEO can take months.
Google may blacklist your website
Google prioritises the safety and experience of users above all else. If your website is putting users at risk, then Google may well blacklist your website. Visitors who try to visit your website will be shown a warning sign from Google informing them that the website is at risk, or they will be blocked from entering the website.
Your brand image will be affected
One of the worst parts of being hacked is that your brand image, which you have worked so hard to build, can be shattered in a moments notice. In the majority of cases, customers who see that a website has been hacked are very unlikely to return.
How to clean and detect malicious redirects
Your website is redirecting because of the infected codes which the hackers have added. To remove these redirects, you need to find where the malware and code has been hidden and remove it. But, the issue with this is that this could be hidden anywhere, from your database, “.htaccess” file or even discreetly hidden in your uploads. You can scan your website, either by using a security plugin or by manual search, to find the malicious code.
During a manual website scan, you may find yourself looking for known patterns of code which are often used in a malicious way. Should you find a snippet of this code, then it can be easily removed, but the problem with this method is that it will only ever match a known pattern. This part of the code can be used in a number of different patterns and can be a relatively tedious process.
Another way that you can search for malicious code is to search for known keywords which are commonly used within malicious code, such as “base64_decode” and “eval”. One of the drawbacks when using this method is that, like manual scanning, you can find that these keywords can be used to form legitimate code. A lot of plugins, especially on WordPress, so searching for these isn’t a foolproof plan.
Matching plugin files
Another way that you can search for malicious redirects on your website is by matching the plugins you have used. Make a list of the different ones installed on your website and then download the same plugins again from the repository. Then you can match the two to look for any differences to spot where the code is hidden. This is a highly effective, but time-consuming, way to search for and identify malware. There are a number of versions of plugins and not all of these are available for public use, so modifications may have been made.
In an ideal world, you should use a trusted security plugin to scan your site and files for malware and this should then deal with the additional task of cleaning your website too.
Protecting your website from future malicious redirects
By simply just locating where the malware is on your website and cleaning up the site, you are not protecting your website against any future malicious hacking attempts. It is vital that you take security measures for your website seriously so that it is protected from future hacks and attacks. There are many recommended security measures across all CMS’, which means that website owners can implement some of, if not all, of those recommended.
Manually implementing these measures onto your website may take some form of expertise, especially if you are not too sure as to what you are searching for. You can use some of the WordPress security plugins and features as a first measure to protect and fix your website and then get a professional to look into it further.
This is particularly important if you work with other businesses and websites who’s information may also be vulnerable or if you are an investor. Ideally, you should always carry out technical due diligence in these cases – remember that bad technology and practises will guarantee failure.
Moving on from your website being hacked in this way can be quite a stressful and time-consuming period, especially if your website is your means of income. You should ensure that the modification of the primary files on your website are disabled so that you can prevent any future hackers from inserting malicious files and code onto your site again. This should be done as part of your website’s best practices and security hardening steps.
If your web host suspended your account following your website being hacked and removed your website, then you can get in touch with the support team and explain the situation to them. You can send them screenshots along with any other important information which they may require. They can verify your website and, once they have the information which is needed, they will un-suspend your account.
Every website owner should bear in mind that having a website and presence online which can store valuable user data and information is a big responsibility and one which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Data is a hugely valuable commodity these days and is what hackers are looking for when they carry out these attempts on websites. Take time investing in your website’s security and ensure that you have reliable backups and effective security measures in place to make sure that your website is fully working.
Submitted by guest author: Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many business and technology publications. With a wide range of knowledge in the sectors, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field, taking particular interest in Northern tech brands.. Having worked with a number of different businesses, Natalie is now a freelance writer looking to specialize in the sector. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.
The Difference Between Internal And External Hosting?
To create a website successfully that has high volumes of conversion and increase website traffic, having a secure web hosting provider is paramount either for an organisation or an individual. But, the different types of web hosting will depend on the type of website that is being created.
A large, corporate business website will differ from that of a small independently owned site, and so will the size and power of their website hosting needs. It is this point where many get confused as to what type of hosting is best for them to ensure the smooth running of the website once it has been built.
Because of this, in this article we will be focusing specifically on two different types of web hosting, internal and external hosting, helping to give you a clear understanding on which website will need these and the reasons as to why.
Internal Web Hosting- What is It?
Internal, as based on the name, is a form of website hosting done in house, within the business place or offices and operated by the company. Because of the independent nature of this form of web hosting, the business will have to cover all parts of the job. Helping to ensure that the website continually runs and can be successfully used by anyone around the world. Surprisingly, it is not only about having an internal IT department, the business must have specific assets such as hardware, servers, and the correct softwares for internal hosting, with each alone being on the pricey side.
The types of things that the business will need to cover include:
- Site costs
- Technical support
- High-quality system security
- Device maintenance
- Database control of information
Benefits Of Internal Web Hosting
By hosting the website in house, the business can see quite a variety of benefits, that would not be available if done differently.
Complete Site Ownership
Firstly, through an internal web hosting, the business has full control over access to the website, and everything in between this process. From the back end to all configurations, these can be chosen easily by the business, and directed in the exact way they wish. The website can be accessed and controlled 24/7, so if a new idea arises or an issue decided to spark, it can be changed quickly with no real downtime faced that could harm the traffic and potential popularity of the website.
No Additional 3rd Party Fees
When hosting internally, there is no need to waste money, that would usually be spent on third-party or management, for something as simple as a phone call. Through internal hosting, the business pays for exactly what is needed, and nothing more, where they can usually get caught up in a handful of unnecessary charges if hosting outside of the business place.
Keeps Internal Data, Internal
Another benefit of hosting a website internally is the promise that everything is kept in the house. From decision-making to background data implemented into the site, nothing has to leave the building, decreasing the chance of any fraudulent activity happening.
This way, the business can hold the decision to how high they would like their site security to be, giving them the confidence to control as they wish, without any worry of outsiders getting into the system.
External Web Hosting
External web hosting is slightly different from internal, quite clearly being its opposition. External web hosting is done by a third-party source, outside of the office, providing a business with the service needed to run a website successfully, without the hassle of having to do it themselves.
Benefits Of External Web Hosting
External website hosting is the preferred method for many, due to its simplicity, price and usual good deals on offer open to new businesses joining the service. When hosting externally, the business has no need to purchase extensive IT devices, or even a team to take control of the website, which can take a huge toll on company accounts, each costing a large sum within itself.
All of the external web hosting services will come with a technical support team at hand, 24/7, to aid their clients when the website begins facing some running troubles. In some cases, problems may never arise if the hosting service is continually up to date with client site checks. But if they were to arise, the support team is on hand to fix the issues as quickly as possible.
Unlike internal hosting, when hosting with a third party business, the service is usually brought within plan sizes. This will allocate the business site with a specific amount of data, network, and overall quality of the service given towards a website, depending on how well the business is wanting it to run.
If in time the business grows, and they need to adapt the size of the site, or the running speed and data sizes, they can simply upgrade the package to get more benefits out of the external hosting service, with a little extra charge.
Each different types of web hosting have some distinctive differences that need to be chosen accordingly to what the business place can handle.
That of a slightly large business place may decide to host the site themselves to have complete control over their brand, with a size large enough to bring a quality web team into the mix to run the IT department. But, a slightly smaller business just starting out may choose the simpler route of external hosting, to ensure the smooth running of their website in the early stages of the company, without any additional performance worries.
Highlighting the many differences, the choice of external hosting may seem more appealing, due to its simplicity by taking away an element of stress that some business places just cannot afford to obtain. However, for those with the money to spare, a quality rackmount server will allow businesses to host a team and department to run and maintain the website for themselves.
Hopefully, we have answered any questions that you may have about the differences between internal and external hosting, however for those questions not yet answered, comment below.
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