WordPress Web Security

Recently a client of mine called in a panic. His website had been hacked, AND he had a malware infection on his website, AND he had been blacklisted.  Not a good situation!  Not only was it an extremely disturbing situation for him personally and professionally, but all of the web clientele he had carefully built up over the years were also in jeopardy should they manage somehow to get in contact with his infected site.

Web security is a huge issue. Forbes magazine recently ran an article listing huge cyber-security breaches in 5 well know firms. This website repels at least 500 attempted user logins every day. Your website should be well protected against this kind of attack. Because the havoc that can ensue, should such an attack be successful, is not something you want to deal with.

There are many excellent articles on WordPress Website Security. Here is one at copyblogger and another one at WordPress codex itself. Here at Penner Web Design, I have just implemented a new Website Security Service, which will severely cut the chances that a hacker can get into your website. I hope you will take advantage of this extremely valuable service!

(Oh, and in case your wondering, my friend had not subscribed to my Website Security Service.)

Customizing a WordPress Theme

WordPress is an amazing tool. It allows you to choose from thousands of themes, both free and premium. If you’re not too picky, you’ll find a theme that is perfect for you and your business. What is not easy about WordPress, is doing a custom theme. If you have a design that you made in photoshop, it’s not an easy thing to make WordPress play nice with it. So you have two choices.

  1. Spend 6 months learning the ins and outs of the wordpress system, learning CSS, html, javascript and php. If you know those things, it should be a piece of make.
  2. Or you can Contact me and I’ll help you get a quote for what you need.

I can take pretty much any psd and make it into a custom wordpress theme. Prices vary, but you’re looking at anywhere from $500 – $1000 (as of December, 2011) to create a custom theme from your photoshop design. If I see your design, and talk with you on the phone, I can give you a firm price. And I’ll get it done in record time.

New Favorite WordPress Plugin, “Post Content Shortcodes”

I was showing a client her new site. She was loving it. Everything was going very smoothly. I showed her how to update pages, create pages, edit the menu – she was in love. Everything was going splendidly. I was happy, and more importantly, my client was happy. Then came a bombshell.

“I need my site to say the same thing on a lot of different pages, and I don’t want to have to edit 6 pages that say the same thing. where do I edit that content?”

My heart sank. In my head I was thinking “I have no idea… and I told you at the beginning that wordpress doesn’t do that.” But I maintained my composure and told her I would look into it – knowing full well that this would take hours and hours of research on how to do something that I’ve never done before. She said she needed to be able to edit a page in one place and have it change across multiple pages across her site. Not possible, at least that’s what I thought.

Little did I know, but there is a beautiful plugin called “Post Content Shortcodes“. Once installed, all you need to do is create a post or page with the content that you need repeated throughout the site. Then you paste a short piece of code wherever you want that content to show up.

So if you have your store hours in 25 different places througout your site (and it’s not in the header or footer), think about how annoying it would be to change them all. It would probably take you an hour just to change your hours of operation. With Post Content Shortcodes, it will take you 30 seconds to change it in 25 places. Brilliant. I’ll definitely be using this again.

How to Update a Page in WordPress

Go to your login page: http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
You should come to a page that has this login screen:


Enter your username and password.

Click on Pages in the left hand column of your WordPress admin area.


You will be taken to a listing of all the pages in the website. You may need to page through to find the one you are looking for. When you find the page you want to update, click on it. From here you can do most everything you need to do. Use the formatting tools to change the size of the font and to make other changes, just like using microsoft word.

To Make a Link, Highlight the text you want to make a link. Click on the link button at the top (it looks like a chain link). A box will pop up. If you are linking to an external page, enter the address in the URL box. If you are linking to another page on the website, select that page from the list. Press Add Link.

When you are ready to publish, you’ll want to find the Publish box on the top right side of your page. Choose the Update button.


It’s as easy as that.

Still having problems? Give me a call and I can help you out. 919-724-4417.

Or if you’re having larger problems: request a quote

Maybe you are the type of person that would rather read a guide book?  Check out this WordPress for Beginners book on Amazon.


My Current Favorite WordPress Plugin

The beautiful thing about WordPress is the plugins. And my current favourite is “Advanced Most Recent Posts Mod”. If you remember from my home page, at the very bottom is an area that displays my most recent post. Shown here ↓

This area is actually a widget (I created a fifth footer widget area that allowed me to do this).

WordPress already has a most recent posts widget, but it is very limited in it’s functionality. What advanced most recent posts mod allows you to do is specify EXACTLY what you want displayed. I am able to choose how many words you need, or even how many letters. The customization is fantastic. Take a look at the developers website for more info: http://kaileylampert.com/

What I am also excited about is the fact that this plugin allows me to put more text on my home page and have it automatically updated every time I write a new post. So, for example, if I write a post about WordPress and Raleigh and want those key words on the home page, this plugin allows me to do that. In this case, it will help with WordPress, not necessarily Raleigh