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Why we use WordPress for Websites

WordPress Website Design Caboolture Morayfield

 

There are many reasons we use WordPress for the basis of our Web Designs.  First and foremost for me it’s because WordPress is by far and away the easiest to learn and understand.

But here is a detailed list of the reasons and advantages to using WordPress:

  • It’s FREE and Open Source – Being an Open Source Project, WordPress is completely free to use, forever!!!. Being Open Source means that there are people around the world continuously contributing to the project and improving it with extra features and improved security.
  • An Abundant Array of Plug-in’s – If you need to add a particular function to your WordPress website, you can almost guarantee that there is a Plug-in available to do it.  There are Plug-in’s for SEO, Contact Forms, Buttons, eCommerce, Photo Galleries, Guestbooks and Forums, Social Networking and the list is endless.  By and large, the majority of plug-in’s that you would want to use are also free, with Plug-in developers offering “paid for” versions which add some extra features, or support for a fee.
  • User Friendly CMS – In my opinion, WordPress has to be the easiest and most flexible Content Management System (CMS) around.  I have used others, but WordPress is very intuitive and there is a wealth of information and help forums online if you get stuck.
  • Themes let you “Style” the look – The way your WordPress website looks, feels and behaves is determined by the Theme used.  So if you get sick of the look, or just feel like a change, you can achieve this by simply uploading a new Theme, activating it, and hey presto, there you have it.  Of course it isn’t quite as easy as that because the reality is that some content may not suit the new styling, but there is nothing that is overly difficult to overcome.
  • Your website can grow with you – Your WordPress website can grow with you and you can easily upgrade it with new features and security. You can change your Theme at any time without the need to re-do your whole website. Plug-in’s can be added for enhanced functionality (add e-commerce if your business grows, a photo gallery, conatct forms, etc.).  WordPress is used by millions of websites, so it won’t be going away in a hurry.
  • Good for SEO – Over the years I’ve used various SEO plugins including All-In-One SEO, WordPress SEO by Yoast, and Google XML Sitemaps.  But even without these plugins, the simple structure of WordPress, the permalinks, and the easy linking in WordPress is Google friendly. I even heard a statement directly from the horse’s mouth Matt Cutts (the head of Google’s “Web Spam Team”) when he spoke at WordCamp San Fransisco 2009 where he said, “WordPress is a great choice” and went on to say how much “WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues“.  Don’t believe me, see for yourself below.

 

CMS Websites at risk from Hackers

Content Management Systems (CMS) websites like WordPress have long been a target for Hackers.

CMS systems like WordPress are popular because they are free and Open Source, and very flexible to such an extent that just about anybody can create a Website, or Blog, or eCommerce website with relative ease.

The problem is that a lot of website owners either fail to keep their CMS and plug-in’s up to date.

New versions of the platform and plug-in’s are regularly released, not just to improve functionality, but to plug security holes.

This is why Hackers love to target CMS websites.  It’s because they know there is a high chance of discovering an unpatched website.

Even if you do keep the platform and plug-in’s up to date, you must also do a few other things.

Here is a checklist:

  • Use a strong Password – You must not use easy to guess and simple passwords.  Never use “Password” as your password for example.  Also avoid using dictionary words, pets names, family members names etc.  Use Upper and Lower case letters in combination with numbers and keyboard characters like @#$%^&* if possible.  If you find it difficult, try substituting some letters with characters or numbers.  For example MyPassword2013 could become [email protected]
  • Use a good Security Plug-in – My favourite Security Plug-in is Better WordPress Security.  Among the things it does is:
    • Change the urls for WordPress dashboard including login, admin, and more
    • Rename “admin” account
    • Change the ID on the user with ID 1
    • Change the WordPress database table prefix
    • Change wp-content path
    • Ban troublesome bots and other hosts
    • Ban troublesome user agents
    • Prevent brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts
    • Enforce strong passwords for all accounts of a configurable minimum role
    • Detect and block numerous attacks to your filesystem and database
  • Add CAPTCHA to your User Log-in – I like to use another Plug-in called SI-CAPTCHA Anti-Spam.  Not only does it add CAPTCHA to your Log-in, but to WordPress forms for comments, registration, and lost passwords too.

It may sound daunting, but if you have your website hosted and maintained by Spotty Dog Computer Services, all the updates are included in our Monthly Maintenance Fee.  And as an added bonus, if a Hacker does manage to compromise your website, we make regular backups so we can restore your website if it all turns pear shaped :-)