Categories & Tags in WordPress

Categories & Tags are used to keep your content organized. 

Categories & Tags are used to keep your content organized.  Categories allow you to organize your posts into one or more topics or groups of related articles.  Making it easy for your Users to find the content they are looking for. Categories are used for the main topics on your website. Try to look at them as like a storage bin.

Categories are hierarchical, they are able to have subcategories to sort out posts. Tags are used to further fine-tune categories and are broken down into specific niches.  Try to think of tags as dividers you put in those bins to better sort the contents.

Images showing WordPress tags & categories

Let’s say you are building a website about drums. You have things like drum sticks, skins/drum heads, a sizzle cymbal, tuning keys, ride cymbal, splash cymbal, cymbal stands, throne, crash cymbals, foot pedals, snare drum stand, drum rug, bass drum, toms, floor toms, snare, acrylic drum shield, and hi-hats.

You would have one category and call it “Drum Set” and put the ride cymbal, splash cymbal, crash cymbals, bass drum, sizzle cymbal, toms, china cymbals, floor toms, snare and hi-hats under it.

Then a sub category called “Accessories” and you could have drumsticks, skins/drum heads, tuning keys, cymbal stands, throne, foot pedals, acrylic drum shield, snare drum stand, drum rug.

We have several different cymbals. The different types are: ride, splash, hi-hat, crash, sizzle and china. For these we would use tags instead of creating another subcategory. The reason for not creating a subcategory is because it would only have one thing in it, because it’s so niche.

If we really wanted too, we could create another subcategory for cymbals and then list all the different cymbals as tags.  That’s really not necessary but it is all about how you want to organize everything.

There are two ways of creating categories and tags

 First, login to your WordPress Dashboard. Once you are logged in, from your dashboard hover your cursor over posts on the side panel. In the flyout you will see “All Posts”, “Add New”, “Categories” and “Tags”.  Click on “Categories”.

From the Categories panel you can add, edit or delete Categories. I already went in here and created some Categories. To create a Category enter in a name. You will see the slug field below it. A slug is the web address for the Category. You can leave it blank and WordPress will enter one in for you.  If you decide you want to add one yourself, it should only contain letters, numbers, hyphens and all in lowercase. You can also add a Category Description.  Then click the Add New Category button to add your Category.

You can even add sub categories. Just enter the name, the slug if you are  going to name it yourself. Then, in the parent directory drop-down select a category to use as the parent directory.  Click the Add New Category button. Keep in mind when you add new posts and assign them to a Subcategory they will automatically be added to its Parent Category.

To manage categories, just hover your cursor over the Category and you can edit, quick edit, delete or view it.  When clicking on “edit” it will take you to the settings page where you can edit the name, slug, parent and description.  Click the update button once you are through making your changes.

The “quick edit” will allow you to edit the name and slug without going directly to the settings page. When you are done click the “Update Category” button.

When you click the delete link, it will trigger a popup asking you if you are sure you want to permanently delete this Category. Click OK to follow through, otherwise you can cancel it.

When you click the “view” link, it will take you to the category archive page. This page will list all articles filed under this category. When viewing a category you can edit it by clicking the “Edit Category” on the quick access toolbar at the top of the page.

If we go back into Categories, you will see the Bulk Action menu, it allows you to do a mass delete. Just check off the Categories you would like to delete. Select “delete” from the bulk action drop down menu and click Apply.  

If you have a long list and need to find a category. A quick way is by using the “Search Feature” at the top right.

The second way of creating Categories and Tags is by going to the Categories and Tags panel when creating or editing a post.  In the panel you can view a list of all the categories or you can choose from a handy list of most used Categories.

Hand cupping a WordPress Logo of the "W"

To add a new Category. Make sure you have the “All Categories” tab selected then click on the text link “Add New Category”

Then enter in a name. IF this is going to be a subcategory make sure you select a Parent from the Parent Category drop down menu. Then click the “Add New Category” button.

To add new Tags, go down to the Tags Panel and start adding Tags you would like to add to your Post.  If you are entering more than one Tag at a time make, sure you separate each word with a comma. Click the Add button to add them. Your post will now be Tagged with the keywords you have entered.

Just like with Categories, clicking on a Tag will take a user to an archive page showing all posts filed under that particular tag.  The quick access bar can be used to make a quick edit of that tag if it is needed.

You can also edit tags by hovering your cursor over Post in the left hand side menu and then click on tags in the flyout.  At the top of the tag subpanel is the Tag Cloud which will show all the tags you are using and the most popular ones will be in a larger font.

Tags can be created like Categories by entering in a name, slug, and description. When you hover over a Tag it will also bring up the options to Edit, Quick Edit, Delete and View.  You can also delete multiple Tags by using the bulk action menu.

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube. 

Thanks for reading!

Drew & the WebStop.net Crew

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WordPress Dashboard Settings

 

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube.

GENERAL

You can get to the General Section by hovering your cursor over Settings and then clicking on General in the flyout.

If you watched video#2 in this WordPress Tutorials for Beginners series. The video covered installing WordPress and setting up a database. I had stated in the installation process that we could leave the title and tagline as is because we would take care of it later on. Well, now is the time I was talking about. We can set the Title and Tagline for your website. The Title would be the name of your business and your business tagline or slogan. If you do not have anything set right now, that’s okay, you can always come back to this.  

Next we have the Address URL and Site Address URL.There are a few things you can do with these, if you know what you are doing. We are going to leave them because it would be very easy to mess up your site with only a minor change done here.

The email address is the same email address you entered during the installation process. Make sure it’s valid and you have total access to it. All your WordPress related stuff is going to go to that email address.

For “Membership” you can just leave it for now if you want. Chances are if you want to add some sort of membership feature you will use a plugin. That plugin will be used instead of that. But if you want to let people make comments on your posts, it’s a good idea to make them register first. Such as, collecting their email address for a mailing list.  In that case, you would want to check off the “Membership” box.

The “New User Default Role” I would leave it to as a “Subscriber”. It limits what a User can do on your website. For instance, if you decided to check the Membership box now to allow comments on your posts. A Subscriber can only view the dashboard, edit their profile, and comment on posts. It is the most limited role. You can always change a Users role by going into their profile and changing their role to whatever you want it to be, later on.  To change a Users role, go to Users on the side panel.

You can change the language and that defaults to English.

The easiest way to set the time zone is by selecting a city. I am near Boston but they so not list that, so I could use Detroit or New York.  I will use Detroit. Next, you can select a format for how you would like the date and time to look. I think I will leave the default settings, along with what day, the week starts on.

Click “Save Changes” and you are done with the General Section.

WRITING

Next under the Settings section is “Writing” We have not defined a category yet, so for “Default Post Category” we will just leave it for now.  This will be covered in a later video when we go over Categories & Tags. Categories are used to group Posts. After you create your categories, and decide which one you will be using the most, you can come back here and set the default. The same applies for the “Default Post Format”.  

For “Post Via Email” WordPress has been saying they are going to remove this feature, so this can be left alone.  In fact, it has already been deprecated we are just waiting for its removal.

“Update Services” works like this: every time you publish or update a post, by default, WordPress notifies Pingomatic. In turn,  Pingomatic notifies several other services, letting them know that you have new content, and to come check it out. The purpose of this is to generate more traffic.  

Pingomatic is the only service listed in the box here but you can potentially list many more. There are a ton of these services out there. The more you list, the more traffic you could potentially get. However, there is a down side.  When you are editing your posts you can easily click that update button many times in a 20 minute time span. The next thing you know your site gets blacklisted because you are now labeled as a Ping Spammer.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this. The easiest way for you would be to use a plugin like WordPress Ping Optimizer.  Once it’s installed, you will have nothing to worry about.

Make sure you click “Save Changes” and you are done for the Writing Section.   

READING

There are only a few settings in the Reading Section but they are important to know. To show you how the “Front Page Displays” feature works, I went ahead and created a few pages since we already deleted the sample page.      

This feature lets us change the look of our front page also referred as the cover, index and home page. It defaults to the Posts Front Page that will show your most recent posts. We also have the option of making it a Static Front Page.  

The difference between the two is a Posts Front Page will have the traditional look of a Blog, with posts listed in reverse chronological order.

A Static Front Page is modeled after the traditional HTML page that is fixed.

The page will include content and sometimes may include posts.

In the drop down section we can select what page we want to use for the Static Front Page and the Posts Front Page. For WebStop.net I use “Home” as my Static Front Page and “Blog” as my Posts Front Page.

For the “Blog pages show at most” feature, it defaults to 10 but you can change it to whatever you want.  The more posts you have on a single page the more it can slow it down. Especially, if they are long posts that include images and video. If that is the case, you might want to only show 5 per page.

The next two features are for your built-in RSS feeds. Various RSS feeds are built into every WordPress website/blog. RSS is short for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”.

“Syndication feeds show the most recent” feature, also defaults to showing 10 articles and “For each article in a feed, show” feature, you can display the full article or part of the article with a link to see the rest of it.

Finally, we have “Search engine visibility”. The only time you would check this box is when you are creating your website. You do not want the engines crawling your website until you have everything put together and your ready. With that said, checking off that box does not guarantee that your site will not get crawled. The engines will do whatever they want too.

Make sure you click “Save Changes” and you are all set for the Reading Section.

DISCUSSION

In the Discussions Settings you can control trackbacks, pingbacks, use of avatars, email notifications, and incoming and outgoing comments.

To Start, for the first section we have the DEFAULT ARTICLE SETTINGS.  These settings can be overridden for individual articles/posts. If you have linked to other blogs from your posts and you want to try and notify them of that link, then you want to check the box for “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article ”.  If you want your visitors to leave comments then check this box.

The second box “Allow link notifications from other blogs (via pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles ” If other blogs have linked to you and you want to allow them to let you know they have linked to your site from their blogs, then check the box.

“Allow people to post comments on new articles”. If you want to allow people to post comments make sure the box for this setting is checked.

To change the settings for individual posts, go to posts, and then click the post you want to make the changes too. In our case, we only have the sample post.

Then in the upper right hand corner under “SCREEN OPTIONS” Check off the box for “Discussion”.

Now below the post you will see “Allow comments” and “Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page” notice the boxes are checked off by default in the DISCUSSIONS SETTINGS.  If we want to make any changes to this specific post from the default settings we can just uncheck them here under the post.

Next, in the “OTHER COMMENT SETTINGS” SECTION, for “Comment author must fill out name and email”. Check this box if you want your visitors to have to give their name and email in order to make comments on your site.  This is a good idea for building up a mailing list. I would check it.

For “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”  I would leave this unchecked. Along with “Automatically close comments on articles older than 14 days”.     

“Enable threaded (nested) comments 5 levels deep” I would check this box.

The “Break comments into pages with 50 top level comments per page, and last page displayed by default” Leave that one unchecked.

And finally “Comments should be displayed with the (change it to) newer comments at the top of the page”. Keep in mind these are my preferences but you can change them to whatever you would like.

In the “EMAIL ME WHENEVER” SECTION:

“Anyone posts a comment” and “A comment is held for moderation” are both checked by default and I would leave them that way.

“BEFORE A COMMENT APPEARS” SECTION:

For “Comment must be manually approved” and “Comment author must have a previously  approved comment” check both of these boxes as well.

Under “COMMENT MODERATION”

This will help you weed out possible Spam if the comment contains a certain number of links that you can set the threshold, and it defaults to 2 as you can see.

Or if it contains certain words or IP addresses that you can enter in the box. If you enter any, its only one IP or email per line.  Be very careful when entering in words as they might match other words as well.

This will automatically trigger that comment to be held for moderation.  No matter what you have set up in the settings above.

COMMENT BLACKLIST

It takes your spam protection another step further. Again using words, ip addresses as triggers along with names, URLs and email addresses. Whatever you enter in this box it will automatically get sent to spam and there is no moderation.   

AVATARS

You can choose to display Avatars if you want. Next to the comments of the people who left that comment.  You can also allow or disallow Avatar images based on a ratings system. Anyone who does not have an Avatar associated with their email address you can assign one.

As always, do not forget to click the “Save Changes” button if you have made any changes.

MEDIA

Getting started with the Media Section we are able to make adjustments to the max image sizes that WordPress creates every time we upload a new image to the Media Library. WordPress will also take that image and create several other images of various sizes. They are used when WordPress needs to resize your images.  For instance, if someone is viewing your website on an tablet or a mobile phone.

You will want to leave the “Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions” checked. They have three sizes that is created, the thumbnail, medium and large sizes. You can change the sizes from the default settings you see here.

Leave the box checked here so you can have anything that’s uploaded to the Media Library organized by month and year-based folders.

PERMALINKS

The final section under settings on the sidebar is Permalinks. Click on permalinks. A Permalink is just a link that links to a specific post or page.

A permalink is the URL or web address you see for any post, page or other content on your site such as images. The Permalink name refers to a “permanent link”. A permalink will include your domain name such as http://www.yourdomain.com After your domain, it will be followed by a forward slash, then possibly the name of your post, page, a category, date and so on. You could have just about anything.

As you can see there are various options and combinations to choose from. You can even customize your own. You know the old saying “less is more”, well, the same applies to Permalinks. You want your Permalinks User Friendly and Search Engine Friendly. That is why selecting Post Name below is the best option. You are now all set with Permalinks.

Make sure sure you click the “Save Changes” button.

Don’t forget to check out our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Drew & the WebStop.net Crew

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Your WordPress Dashboard

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube.

Today we are going to go over the WordPress Dashboard. To login to your WordPress Dashboard, enter in your website followed by wp dash admin (http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin) into your browser’s address window.  Remember, if you forget your password you can always click the “Lost your password” link.

Once you are logged into your WordPress Dashboard you will see an overview of your websites back-end.

The first box you may see at the top depending on when you are watching this, will feature the new Gutenberg editor that is coming with WordPress 5.0. This will become the default editor from 5.0 on.

They give you the option here of downloading the Gutenberg plugin and taking it for a test drive. If you’re not sure how compatible your current themes and plugins might be with it or your just not comfortable with it yet, that’s okay. You can install the plugin for Classic Editor and use it for as long as you want.

In upcoming posts and videos I will be going over both the Classic and Gutenberg editors. Then it will be up you to as to which one you want to use.

WordPress logo with a computer screen and Gutenberg Editor

The Welcome box below has some links to get you started if you wanted to mess around with it. You could write a blog post, add a page, view your site from the front end, manage your widgets or menus, turn comments off or on, or learn more in general about getting started. We will go over of all this and more in future videos.  This video is meant for just an overview.

The next box down is “At a Glance” where you can see your totals for Posts, Pages and Comments.  It also tells you which version of WordPress you are currently using and the Theme you have installed and activated.

The next “Activity” box gives you a little more information about your posts and comments. It shows the status of your comments and the most recent one.  You also have options, as to what type of action you would like to take on those comments.

The “Quick Draft” can be great for jotting down post ideas or anything else. When you save it, it saves as a post draft.  The “WordPress News and Events” tells you the latest on what’s happening around WordPress. These boxes can be moved around anyway you like them. They can be added or removed by using the the “Screen Options” tab at the top.

Each of these boxes are called widgets.

There are many plugins that will install dashboard widgets as part of their features. For instance, if you install a plugin for Google Analytics you will see a widget here on the dashboard from that.

On the top right hand side of the dashboard, with your cursor, highlight the “Howdy, your login”. That will bring up a drop-menu with some text links.  There is “Your Login”, “edit My Profile” and “Log Out”. Your Login and edit My Profile go to the same place. Click either one and it will take you to your profile page.

Your Profile Page contains information about you and your account, along with some personal preferences related to using WordPress. Some of those options are changing your password, turning on keyboard shortcuts, changing the color scheme of your WordPress administration screen, and turning off the WYSIWYG which is short for “What You See Is What You Get” (Visual) editor. If you want, you can even hide the Toolbar from the front end of your site. Keep in mind it cannot be disabled on the admin screens.

Images of the WordPress Dashboard & Widgets

You can choose the language you would like to use while using the  WordPress administration screen. This will not affect the language the site visitors see.

Your username can’t ever be changed. But you can use the other fields to enter in a nickname or your real name. You can also change which name to display on your posts.

It is possible to log out of other devices, like your phone or a public computer, by clicking the Log Out Everywhere Else button. All of the Required fields are indicated and the rest are optional. Your Profile information will only be displayed if your theme is set up that way.

Always remember to click the Update Profile button when you are finished. You can check out more tutorials at our YouTube Channel. 

Have a Great Day!

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

 

 

 

 

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Clean & Tidy Up WordPress

There is text that reads"WordPress Maintenance & Security". The are three hands with one holding a screwdriver, another holding a wrench and the third holding a drill. They are all pointing to a WordPress logo.

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube.

When you start looking around your WordPress installation your going to see that it came installed with placeholders like a sample post and comment with that sample post. The same applies for a pages and so on. All of these default placeholders should be cleaned out.  It is good to see examples, especially if you are new to WordPress. But they do take up space and clutter up your WordPress instance.

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

Just put /wp-admin or wp-login at the end of your domain. Then enter it into your browser’s address window and hit enter on your keypad.  It’s always a good idea to do a backup before making any changes to your WordPress Installation

Once you are logged in you’ll automatically come to this page. We will talk more about this page in the next video…  Let’s first check out that sample post by clicking on Posts, then All Posts. We will simply trash that sample post. Along with deleting that post we will also remove the comment associated with it.

If you wanted to delete the comment individually,  select the Comment, and under bulk actions click on “move to trash” or if you hover your cursor over the actual comment, you have these options here where you can trash it as well. We’ll just do the deletion of the sample post along with the comment.

We will do the same thing with our sample page. Click on Pages then All Pages, select the page, then “move to trash” click “Apply” and it’s gone.

Next, we will go to themes by clicking on Appearance then Themes. This is where are default themes are installed. Since we’re only going to be able to use one theme at a time, there’s no reason to have all these in here. Some people will have as much as 20 or 30 different themes installed on their site. There is nothing wrong with that but you are adding a lot extra bloat. That bloat will slow everything down, and you definitely do not want that.

I think sticking to two themes installed is the way to go.

Remember, these themes will need to be updated from time to time. The more themes you have, the more updates you will have to do. You will always need one extra theme that you can default too in case your main theme has problems. Sure, you could always download that extra theme just when you need it. But it makes it more convenient having it already in there. Using one of these WordPress default themes as your backup is ideal.They are lightweight and will not use up much space.

Let’s go ahead and delete one of these themes. If you hover your cursor over any of the themes you will see there is no delete option. Just click on a theme and you will see down to the right a button to delete the theme. Click it and now you have cleaned out your themes.  

We will do the same thing with plugins. Click Plugins on the Side Bar. You should see two plugins in here: Hello Dolly and Akismet. We will delete both of them. I have an upcoming video that will go over plugins in detail.  

The last thing we will clean out are some files from our WordPress installation.

To access those files, the easiest way is through your control. I am using Inmotion Hosting and they call it the Account Management Panel, it’s the same thing. Depending on who you have hosting your website they may call it something a little bit different.

Once you login to your account look for cPanel and click on it. This should look familiar from a prior video. Then under Files look for the File Manager and click on it. This will take you to you to your root directory which is the highest level of your files hierarchy. Then click on your root directory.

A database in the cloud being swept by a broom.

Your root directory will most likely be named something like public_html, www or just have your website address on the folder. Look for a file named license.txt. Select it by left clicking then click delete at the top.  Typically before doing anything changes like this we would do a backup first. Since we are just getting things setup that can wait for now.

There is a file called readme.html, go ahead and delete that. The next file we want is wp-config-sample.php, and delete that one as well. Then double click on the wp-admin folder. Look for for the file install-helper.php and install.php and delete both of the them. We have installed WordPress so they are not needed anymore.

Next, we are going to add some code to your wp-config.php file

Look for your wp-config.php file. Left click, then right click and select “edit” to open it up.

Copy the code I have added below:

                                      /* Delete Trash Every 3 Days */

                                          define(‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 3);

 

                                      /* Saved Revisions in Seconds */

                                          define(‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 120);

 

                                      /* How Many Revisions are Kept */

                                           define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5);

I want you to carefully paste that code above the wp debug code in your  wp-config file like so. Just make sure it is above “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.” Any code you may add in the future also need to be above that line.

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false);

/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

That’s it, make sure you click the save button at the top. You can now close the page.

WordPress makes good use of their post revisions feature. It gives you the ability to undo changes to your posts and pages. This is done by reverting back to the previous version or an autosaved copy. This setting can be disabled or changed.  

The code autosaves in seconds. So, we have it set for 120 seconds which is two minutes. It can be set to whatever time span you want, just change the number.

/* Saved Revisions in Seconds*/

define(‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 120);

There may be articles on your site that have several post revisions, depending on how much time you spent on them. By default, it is set for unlimited and that will quickly add bloat to your site. You can limit the number of revisions per post. We have it set for 5 which seems to be a good safe number. Again, you can change that to any number you want.

/* How many revisions are kept */

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5);

Finally,  the code with Empty Trash Days. This controls the number of days before WordPress permanently deletes pages, posts, comments, and attachments from the trash bin. We have it set to 3 to kept it from building up.

define( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 3 ); // 3 days

There you have it, a little house cleaning with WordPress. Thanks for reading and you can check out our videos on YouTube for more tips. 

Have a Great Day!

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

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Setting Up WordPress & Your MySQL Database

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube.

Today I am going to show how to easily download WordPress and set up a database. But first get a Pen or Pencil and piece of paper.
After you have signed up for a hosting plan you should have been sent the details for logging into your control panel. All control panels provided by hosting companies are relatively similar. Today I will be using a control panel from Inmotion Hosting.

You can get to your control panel through Inmotion Hosting go to their home page and then click on the Amp Login. Make sure you bookmark this page so next time you can go directly to it.  I will be providing a link to this page in the comments section down below.
As you can see I have my credentials saved. Then there is the check box with “I am not a robot”. You might end up having to answer a question or two by clicking on some pictures first.

Once you are logged in look for the cPanel then click on it. Then on the next page under Databases look for MySQL Databases and click on  that. Once inside look for “Create New Database”.

Enter whatever name you want to use for your database.

MySQL Database Logo with a Dolphin
I would keep it short and only one word. If you decide to use additional words you just need to make sure you use an underscore in between them, you can not have any spaces.

I’m going to use the name databeta As an example. I will break it up into two words: data underscore beta (data_beta). Now make sure you write down your database name before continuing. Then click the “Create Database button”. That’s it, you have just created a database.  Click the “Go Back” link to return to the page.

Now you need to Create a User and Assign it to that Database.  Scroll down and look for “Add New User” and fill in the fields/boxes.  Again, no spaces and keep it short and sweet. I am going to use super_user and that’s super underscore user (super_user). Notice, there is a “Password Generator” button for creating a new password if you would like.  But it’s up to you, you can use whatever you want. Once you have filled everything in click the “Create User” button. Then Click the “Go Back” link to return to the page.

We are going to assign your new User to your Database.

Look for the “Add the User to Database” section. Select the User and your Database. It may have defaulted to them for you already. Either way, once they are selected click the “Add” button.  On the following page make sure you check off the box at the top that reads “All Privileges” then scroll down and click the “Make Changes” button.

From here, Go to the top of the page and click the “Home” tab. On the following page under Software look for the “Softaculous Apps Installer” icon on the page and click on it.

On the next page, hover your cursor over the big WordPress image and then click on the red install button.
On the following page at the top under “Software Setup”. To the right, for “Choose Protocol”, the dropdown will show are variety of options. Inmotion Hosting does give you a free SSL certificate if you signed up with them. You will eventually want to have them set that up for you. For now, select http://www.

Next on down is “Choose Domain”. Select your domain from the drop down menu.  For “In Directory” leave that blank.
Under “Site Settings”;  “Site Name” and “Site Description” you can leave those alone for now. In a later video I will show you how you can change that from inside your WordPress Dashboard. Leave Enable Multisite (WPMU) unchecked.
WordPress Logo with Cpanel Logo

Under “Account Admin” choose a Admin Username and Password.

(do not use Admin and Password) You will want to write them down. Select an email address for the admin. Make sure the email address is working because you will need it.
There is a “choose your language” to select what language you want, but it defaults to English.

Then finally under “Select Plugin(s)”. Make sure everything is unchecked. Then click the “Install” button.  It may take a few minutes but when it’s through installing you will see something like the following text on the screen.

Congratulations, the software was installed successfully

WordPress has been successfully installed at : https://yourwebsite.com
Administrative URL :
Click the Administrative URL link above.

If for some reason it does not work then open another browser window and copy and paste that in and hit enter. It should automatically log you into your WordPress Dashboard. From inside your WordPress Dashboard: I want you too take your cursor and hover over the right upper tab on the page where it shows“Howdy, (your login) “ Click the “Log Out” link. This will bring you to the login screen where it may or may not have saved your login and password.  If not, you have it written down. This is where you will login to your WordPress Dashboard. Make sure you bookmark this page now in your browser, so you’ll have it saved.

You are now all set up!

Check out the video for this post along with others at out YouTube Channel.

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

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Getting Started with WordPress

This post is from our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on YouTube.

In this post I am going to guide you through how to use WordPress from the beginning. WordPress was born in 2003 and has never looked back since. It’s been gaining popularity with each flip of the calendar year. It’s an open source, blogging and Content Management System, CMS for short. Open source, meaning, its free and maintained by developers from around the world.

It is written in the programming languages of PHP which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and MySQL. Out of all of the software of its kind, WordPress is often referred to as being the most flexible and powerful.  

PHP Logo with elephant

WordPress comes in two flavours, WordPress.org, which is what we will be working with, and WordPress.com. With WorPress.org you can download a copy of WordPress and use it on your own self hosted website. Getting your WordPress site live on the internet involves purchasing a domain name, a hosting plan/server space and installing WordPress on that server. With WordPress.org you have total control over it.

On the other hand, with WordPress.com there is nothing to download. You simply signup and you have an instant blog/website. Since WordPress.com is hosted, you have to play by their rules. To make it a little more clearer. When you build a website, in order for everyone to see it on the internet, it needs to be hosted. WordPress.org allows you to host your copy of WordPress with any host you want too.  

If you sign up for WordPress.com you have to use their hosting. Sure, it sounds nice not having to deal with the technical stuff. But the setup for a website using WordPress.org is not that difficult. Regardless if you are a techy or not.

Here are some reasons why you should not use WordPress.com:

Your url/web address will have WordPress.com on the end of it. Do you really want that for a personal blog or business website? You can have WordPress.com removed but it will cost you a yearly fee.

You cannot upload themes to WordPress.com. Your options are to select one of their themes, and there is only a couple hundred to choose from. Some of them are premium and you have to pay extra for those. You are sharing those themes with thousands of other people.  Chances are you will want to make some changes to it and that will cost you again.

Plugins can’t be uploaded, which severely limits what you can do with your website. WordPress.com is simply not extendable.

Here are some of the reasons why most people choose WordPress.org over WordPress.com

To say you can customize WordPress to do pretty much anything you want it to do, is an understatement. The repository holds over 50 thousand plugins that can extend WordPress in any direction you want.  

SEO Friendly – SEO is short for (Search Engine Optimization)

WordPress’s consistency is not just with their updates but also with their  the code. A website built with WordPress will have the edge over other websites. Clean and consistent code goes a long way with Google when they index your website. You can fully customize your website for SEO. You have total control of which pages and posts you want to be indexed in the search engines.  

Multi-colored stacked blocks with the letters "SEO" then the word "Friendly" next to the blocks.

It’s Cost Effective

When WordPress says it free, it is really free. There are no surprises down the road when you really get into working on your website. You can build complete professional looking websites with no out of pocket money. Some of the plugins and themes do charge for upgrades but many people are perfectly happy sticking with the free resources for building websites.

You Can Do Updates Anywhere, Anytime

All websites need some type of ongoing maintenance and WordPress is no different. The great thing is you can update your plugins, theme and core from anywhere in the World! That’s as long as you have a internet connection of course.

WordPress has a Ready to Go Feed

All WordPress websites automatically come with with feeds. When you make a new post entry, it will automatically get sent to your RSS feed. This makes it easy for others to syndicate your content across the web.

It’s Fully Extendable

This is where WordPress really shines. If you want to add new features to your website, not a problem! Trying to build an e-commerce website using regular building methods is no walk in the park. WordPress makes it a piece of cake. You will have your storefront up and running in no time. Do you want to do email marketing?  When visitors come to your site you want to collect their information to build up a marketing list. Then sometime in the near future send out an email blast letting them know of a new promotion. AGAIN, no sweat, WordPress can tackle that.

Working with Social Media

Integrating social networks into your website could not be any easier. No logins are needed and your visitors can share and let their friends know about your content with just the click of a mouse. Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. You can be connected to any social network.

Locked Down Security

For the record, WordPress is VERY secure. For one, WordPress has a target on its back because it powers 30% of the internet. That is to be expected. The reason why you hear about all the attacks and security breaches has to do with the plugins and themes. There are thousands of developers who create them. Not all of them use best coding practices. This leaves openings for hackers to get in.

A lock locking a chain around a computer keyboard

It’s Just Plain Easy

I have already used the words easier, easy, no sweat. Are you starting to get the picture? Extending WordPress with Plugins, Themes, then adding new pages and posts, images, audio files and more…it’s just easy. If you can put on a pair of shoes and walk across the street, then you can use WordPress.  

WordPress powers over 30% of the Internet. That’s 80 plus million websites. Some of the big companies like National Geographic, Mashable and the New York Times use WordPress. It’s not just for news and blogs.  WordPress can be used for anything. They have consistently put out new releases year after year. You know with that kind of established stability it will not be exiting the CMS world anytime soon.

WordPress is in a constant evolution alongside with their slogan “Code is Poetry”.  Apparently, millions of others are feeling the same way. One of the greatest things about WordPress is you do not have to know even a single line of code to make beautiful professional looking websites or blogs.

Getting Set Up with a Domain & Hosting

In order to have a website you need a domain name. The domain name is what you type in to a browser’s address window when go to visit a website.

As an example, you would type in: https://www.yourwebsite.com. A domain name is how anyone on the Internet can access your website.  

Once you have your domain you have an address where your website will reside. To get it online, you need to have your website occupy some server space.  This is where the hosting comes in. Basically, you are paying for server space for your website which in turn will put your website online/the internet. Remember, as your site grows and gets more popular you will eventually need more server space. But that can be a good problem to have.  

The most convenient way to get a domain name is through the hosting company you sign up with. You can also buy and register your domain name before signing up for a hosting account.  For instance, you could go to register.com and purchase a domain. Personally, I think it is easier to get your hosting and domain at the same time. That way you can avoid having to transfer your domain if you buy it prior to signing up for hosting.  Some companies will charge you a fee to transfer a domain.

I have used Inmotion Hosting for years and also purchased my domains through them. Their customer service is top notch and its 24/7 so you can  always get a hold of them if you need help. I have never had a problem that they could not help me resolve. They are WordPress friendly meaning they have specific packages designed just for WordPress. They are always running some type of special.

Here is the link to Inmotion Hosting so you can check them out: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/home-l

Once you sign up for hosting the next step is to download WordPress and get your database set up. I show you how to that in the next post/video.

You can check out the video for this post along with others at our YouTube Channel.

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

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White Label – Outsourced WordPress Support Services

We see text that reads"White Label Services WordPress"

White Label – Outsourced WordPress Support Services for You

Are you a marketing agency or a WordPress Freelancer? Maybe you are a business owner? No matter what place you occupy in the WordPress world, we bet our Outsource White Label Services could be of use to you. We do all the work, it’s your brand, and you make money at the same time!

It’s no secret if you have any experience with the WordPress platform, operating a WordPress website can chew up a lot of time. You need the experience and knowledge to troubleshoot tech-errors, and resolve them in a sufficient amount of time. A WordPress website is not simply a “you build it and your done” senrio. It needs 24/7 monitoring to keep it safe and secure. Monitoring is only one of several tasks to keep your website healthy, up-to-date, and functioning for the long term.

We make it easy to outsource and white label your WordPress Maintenance Services. The same applies if your business does not currently offer Maintenance services but would like to offer them to your clients. It could be very lucrative for your business to offer these services.
Remember, they would be considered your services right down to the labeling and branding. While we quietly stay in the background, giving your clients, quality affordable service. Any praise is passed on to you.

We Give Your Clients More

Our Plans and Services will give your clients more for their money. The following is a break down of our Plans and Services.

Your Services

Fix WordPress Errors – We can fix any WordPress error that comes across the screen. Any errors your clients may be seeing, no worries, it will be fixed efficiently. For instance, they may see no errors and just a white screen. Otherwise, known as the “White Screen of Death”. As ominous as it may sound, it can be fixed like all the others. We will bring the website back to life.

WordPress Malware Removal – If a website is attacked by Malware we will go in and cleanse the website of the Malware. Then remove any residual effects from it. Most importantly, track the path of how the Malware got into the website in the first place. Finally, patch the vulnerability so nothing else gets through there again. We will also take a look at your current clients security measures and advise on how to make it even more secure.

Your Plans

The Essentials Plan covers the basics of WordPress Maintenance to keep a website updated, backed-up with security and up-time monitoring 24/7. When any plugins are updated and if they cause errors, we fix it. No extra charge, its included. No more worries, your website will be in good hands.

  • CORE, PLUGIN & THEME UPDATES
  • CLOUD BACK-UPS FOR EXTRA SECURITY
  • ANY UPDATE ERRORS – WE FIX FOR FREE!
  • TICKET, EMAIL, CHAT & PHONE SUPPORT
  • DETAILED REPORTS
  • CHECK FOR VULNERABILITIES
  • UP-TIME MONITORING 24/7

The Safeguard Plan includes the Essentials Plan PLUS it adds more layers of security to help protect a website from hackers. Nothing is ever 100% safe but we still shoot for it.

  • INCLUDES THE ESSENTIALS PLAN PLUS: 
  • CLOUD BACK-UPS DAILY/WEEKLY
  • CHECK BROKEN LINKS & FIX SECURITY ANALYSIS
  • OPTIMIZE & SECURE DATABASE
  • FIREWALL PROTECTION
  • SQL-INJECTIONS PROTECTION
  • BRUTE FORCE PROTECTION
  • SPAM FILTER
  • SSL SUPPORT
  • SECURITY SCANS

The Velocity Plan is the most popular plan. We will supercharge a website for speed. We show the before and after tests. Velocity includes BOTH the Essentials & Safeguard Plans:

  • INCLUDES THE ESSENTIALS & SAFEGUARD PLAN PLUS: 
  • REDUCE HTTP REQUESTS
  • ENABLE GZIP
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) if applicable
  • MINIFY JS & CSS
  • ELIMINATE RENDER-BLOCKING
  • LAZY LOAD IMAGES
  • COMPRESS IMAGES

You can see that we offer more than most companies for the money. Especially, when it comes to our Velocity Plan. Feel free to charge your clients whatever you want. As you will see, our pricing for what we are offering is very competitive. We can give you a discount if you feel it will be needed with your pricing structure. We want you to be happy with your profits you are making.

If you are interested and would like to discuss this further, please let us know. We look forward to working with you!

Drew & the WebStop.net Crew

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WordPress Speed Optimization

The speed of a website is paramount. Due to changes implemented by Google, WordPress Speed Optimization is now more important than ever. According to Google, they have used page speed as an SEO (search engine optimization) factor for desktop searches for a while now. Google has made it apparent that they will be using page speed as a page ranking factor. This will be for mobile searches, and the launch is set for mid-summer 2018. This update is slated to be called Speed Update.

Your website may have good content but loads slow, it still may rank well. But that does not mean your users will stick around? If your page is chugging along trying to load, after a couple of chugs your visitors will most likely be looking to move on.

When it’s all said done, be it 200 or 2000 ranking signals Google implements, it all comes down to the “User Experience”. It’s no big surprise that site speed will entice and keep visitors on your website longer. But it can also increase your SEO juice. On the other hand, it can also be a detriment to your website. Slow page loads will deter those visitors, resulting in lost revenue, and your SEO taking a dive. These are some of the applications that we use for WordPress Speed Optimization.

When a web page is cached, a copy is made of that with its contents, and stored temporarily. This would hold true for any page you visit. The second time you visit those pages, the cached copies are served up instead retrieving the original pages again. Caching will improve your visitors experience by increasing the speed of your page loads.

Minification removes things like whitespace, comments, and semicolons that are not required.

It removes all characters that are not needed from your code. This will result in size reduction. This can significantly improve your page load times. Minification will additionally bundle your files, creating one file. This will trim down the number of requests to your web server.

Surprisingly, the code in the file stays perfectly valid but you would have a difficult time trying to read it. Minification is usually only done for JS and CSS.

Two hands holding a spring in between.

Image compression will make your images and page load faster. Compression will not cut down the image size. It takes the data that makes up the image, then compresses it to a smaller size. Compressing your images will strip any bulky information, reducing file size, without losing the image quality.

You see how a CDN works across the world. This a server and it shows the computers connected to it.

A CDN is a “Content Delivery Network”. The CDN is a network of servers located across the world. By using a CDN, it will reduce the area between your website visitors and your server. The CDN will save a cached copy of its content in multiple locations around the world. Each location contains a varied amount of caching servers. These servers are responsible for the content delivered to your website visitors within its range. These servers all work together to provide faster delivery of Internet content.

A picture showing a computer screen with the text that reads "Eliminate Render-Blocking

WordPress websites consist of a theme and plugins. Those files will usually contain some JavaScript and CSS. What happens is those scripts end up being heavy weights to your front end.

This can dramatically slow page load times. At the same time, block rendering on the page. Browsers will load any JavaScript and CSS before the HTML on the page. Slow internet connects will take longer for you to see the page. This process is known as render-blocking.

We can fix this by combining CSS & JavaScript in the head area.

This will decrease the amount of JavaScript and CSS files on a page. Reducing the amount of HTTP requests needed to render the page. When you combine your JavaScript files making one file, it will lower the load times for your pages. Ultimately resulting in faster page load speeds

A guy is sleeping and a snail smiles with the text above it reading "Lazy Loading". There is a stack on images to the right.

Lazy Loading Even after compressing your images they still can weigh heavy on your pages. The heavier your page is the longer the load time. This will undoubtedly affect your visitors. If your page does not load within seconds, your visitors will off to the next site. Let’s hope the “next site” it not your competition. Believe it or not this does happen more than you think.

To lazy load images, the images will load asynchronously. But that’s not until after your above-the-fold content is loaded first, and that’s only when they when they are seen in the browser’s viewport. If you only scroll a quarter of way down on a page. The images located at the bottom page will not be loaded.

WordPress logo with a zipper and "GZIP" next to it. Then to the right is a speedometer with the needle showing a high rate of speed.

By enabling GZIP compression it can significantly shrink your webpage size. The process takes chunks of data the makes it smaller. The great thing about GZIP is your data can easily be restored to its original size by un-zipping it. This is like ZIP when it comes to compressing files. This is a “lossless” process meaning it will shrink the file size/webpage without hurting the original quality when its restored. Most browsers do support GZIP compression for all HTTP requests.

To get the speed you need, check out our WebStop.net Speed Optimization Services. We will show the before and after test so you can see the difference.  We looking forward to working with you and speeding up your website.

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

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WordPress Malware Removal: Stay Vigilant!

A hand in the shadows in front of a screen filled with 0's and 1's. Two fingers are holding "Weak Password" Other words like Privacy and Identity Theft are scattered through out.

The last thing you want to be searching the Internet for is WordPress Malware Removal. Unfortunately, that is one of the cons of running a WordPress Website.

We are going to look at Malware and Security. Its effects on WordPress and some suggestions for staying safe. We will go over the top threats and the harm they can cause from their vindictive behavior.

Fighting Malware is something everyone must deal with no matter what platform your website is built on. The Malware landscape is immense. Staying vigilant with your security measures is key. That’s if you would like to avoid having to use a WordPress Malware Removal Service like ours?

As of Spring 2018, WordPress continues to grow occupying just over 30% of the Internet. That popularity has made WordPress websites big targets for hackers. Out of the 80 plus million WordPress websites on the Internet today. Only one-third are updated with the latest version. That leaves several millions of websites vulnerable. When it comes to hackers and their Malware, this is defiantly not a feast or famine situation. Every day is one big feast for them.

From blogs to RSS feeds to social media and everything in between.

WordPress is always in the forefront and the information presented is not always positive. Especially when comes to WordPress Security. As usual, some people only hear certain parts of a story and then run with it. Then the wrong impression gets circulated around that WordPress is not a secure Content Management System (CMS). On the contrary, WordPress is very stable and secure.

WordPress comes into security issues from people using it and adding to it. Adding to it, as in creating Themes and Plugins. The majority of WordPress website owners will not take care of their websites like they should. Thus, the comment from above “only one-third are updated to the latest version.”

The usual reasons for this are: “I am not sure how to update the core, let alone the themes and plugins.” When it’s actually very easy. Which brings us to the second reason: “What if I execute the updates and there’s a conflict or something breaks? I have no idea how to fix it?” Thinking it’s safer, and not execute any updates. Thirdly: “I do not have the time to keep up with the maintenance tasks like the updates.”

We see the WordPress logo with "Hacked!" in red across it.

By not completing the updates, you are giving hackers more entry points to get into your website. All websites require ongoing maintenance wither you do it yourself or hire a company like us to do it for you.

Plugins give you the ability to extend WordPress. Adding features without knowing how to program. Plugins are also the #1 entry point for hackers. Over half of WordPress hack attacks are via a plugin. There are currently over 50,000 to choose from. The openings for potential hackers are vast to say the least.

To keep yourself from being a hacked statistic, these tips will make your website more secure than not following them.

When you download a plugin look at the last time it was updated. Reputable developers will update their plugins quite often. If it has been over 6 months since the last update, you should be leery about that plugin. If you really want to use it, investigate and see if you can find out any more information. Anything that has not been updated in 8 months or longer, find another plugin to use. Chances are the plugin will never be updated again.

Keeping your WordPress Core updated is very important. But keeping up with your plugin updates is just as important. Theme’s need to be added to the list as well and are just as important. Again, you could always use one of our “WebStop.net Maintenance Plans.”

Updates are only one of several tasks you should consistently be doing for your website. These updates will usually include new features, performance enhancements, bug fixes and security patches. More times than not, the security patches are the result from a hacker(s) finding a vulnerability.

For each update that is not performed, another door is opened. Hackers are more than happy to walk right through those doors. At that point they can do whatever they want like hijacking your server resources and causing havoc by inserting some type of Malware.

Hackers will often use password guessing automated software that are often Bots. The internet-based company from Australia “Working Mouse” has a great to the point description:

“Bots are the software equivalents of robots: automated machines and automated bot software. What tasks they can attempt, let alone accomplish, is wide-ranging, and varies.”

The main function of this program is to methodically test all possible passwords and passphrases until they find the right one. They will use a variety of techniques and patterns using numbers, letters and keyboard symbols. These programs will commonly run continuously, 24 hours a day, entering one password right after another until they get the correct one.

There are thousands of Malware threats daily but there are some that are used quite often. We will give you a look at the most common types that affect the world today.

Malware comes in many different varieties and each one has their own malicious intent.

Malware is the parent name classification for Viruses, Worms, Ransomware, Adware, Rootkit, Spyware, Back Doors, Trojans, Malicious Bots and so on. Code written by hackers or Cyber Criminals specifically for vindictive intentions is “Malware”. It is also referred to as malicious software that targets computers and websites.

An image with Malware in the center. Several other square images with varies Malware-Virus names pointing to it.

Malware and a Virus are often referred to as one in the same. A Virus spreads just like a Human Virus. It infects computers and websites by digging into programs and files. A Virus may clone itself if it can hook onto something running in Windows. Those type of viruses can display advertisements to crashing your website or computer.

The Worm is like a Virus in that it is infectious. A Worm is a computer program that clones itself onto other computers, that it can reach across the internet. One of the main uses for a Worm is to infect large numbers of broadband-connected computers using remote-control software. Unlike a Virus, a Worm will not usually hook onto a Windows process. When a Worm clones itself, it will not target and infect files that are already on a computer.

Trojan malware will present itself one way but then turns out to be another. Trojans are considered one of the most dangerous types of malware out on the market today. It will disguise itself as legit software or a file.

Some Trojans are created to look like common software and will try and persuade you to install certain software on your computer. Once installed, a hacker will have access to your personal information like IP address, and passwords. Trojans are also used to install Keyloggers that will capture items like banking credentials, and credit card data. The hacker will either use it for their own gain or sell it to other cybercriminals.

Most of the Ransomware attacks are implemented by using Trojans.

(We talk more about Ransomware and Keyloggers a little further down on the page.) They will stick the harmful code inside some data that is looked at as harmless. Trojans primary target is to steal financial information.

The Drive-by Download malware is unfortunately something that many of us have experienced before. You are surfing the net and you bring up a page without clicking anything on the page. Opening the web page triggers the malware. Then that exposes a weakness in your browser that is now infecting your computer.

The pages that get infected could be any type of webpage. It does not matter what the content is, the size, or where it originated from. What happens is a hacker will inject the Drive-by Download malware inside the webpage. This is something you will never see or even know when it’s happening. Then it will scan your computer looking for any security vulnerabilities.

Adware is another malicious creation by hackers. That many of us, have unfortunately, experienced before. Adware displays those annoying unwanted ads on your screen. At the same time, it is collecting data from your browsing history, tracking the sites you have visited before. That information is then sent back to advertisers. From that point, you will begin to see advertisements showing up in your browser. The advertisements will be based on your information they tracked.

Two purple cartoon characters with the WordPress logo on their chests and the words to the side of them reading "What to do when your WordPress site gets hacked

The advertisements can come in different forms like with annoying intrusive popups.

It gets ridiculous when you try and click off one popup, then 5 more appear. Another technique is to redirect your searches to their websites and then try to collect data from you there.

Spyware is like Adware and it will collect your browsing information and send it to advertisers. Spyware is often not malicious. You will never know it’s there most of the time. Its purpose is to monitor and collect information on your computer. Unlike Adware, Spyware can collect bank account details, credit card information, logins and passwords.

Ransomware is just like it sounds. It will hold your computer hostage until you give them the payment they demand. For instance, you may try to login into your computer if you use a login and password. A screen will come up stating what they have done to your computer, and how you can restore it to normal again.

This is where they will demand some form of payment with instructions.

The preferred form of payment is the virtual currency of bitcoin. They like to use bitcoin because they can hide their identity. Depending on its creator Ransomware can work in different ways. They may choose to lock you out of your computer or not let you open a browser to surf the net or any other program on your computer. That’s until you pay the Ransom.

A Keylogger, also referred to a Keystroke, that will record every keystroke entry you make on your computer. This type of malware is sneaky like Spyware where you will not even know it’s being done. Just think about everything you type on your keyboard. All that information can be collected. Logins, passwords, answers to security questions, credit card details, banking information and more.

A Rootkit will give an unauthorized user access to computers. Because they operate in the lower levels of an operating system they are hard to detect. A Rootkit can remotely execute files, and even change the system configurations on a host machine. Once you have found a Rootkit on your computer they are very hard to remove. You are better off wiping your hard drive clean, then reinstalling everything else.

Phishing is not considered malware, but it is still a form of crime. The Phishing scam begins when you are either contacted by email, telephone or text message. The person that contacts you tries to act like a legitimate business or organization. The sole purpose is to get you to provide them with your private information. It could be anything like your social security number, bank account number, even passwords.

They might send an email trying to get you to click on a link.

They want you to think it’s your bank, so you will enter in your credentials. That link is part of their Phishing scam to collect your data information.

Last on our list, but not least as far as threatening and dangerous is the bot.net. The bot.net name is derived from putting together “robot” and “network”. Which totally makes sense because bot.nets are a network that has only one mission and that’s to commit cybercrime. The behind the scenes criminal hacker or “Black Hat” are at the controls. They have also picked up the nicknames of Botmaster or Botherder.

A futuristic bot holding a sign that reads "Malicious"

To build a robust bot.net, they will need as many infected online devices as possible under their control. The more they can have under their control the better. Kind of like the more dynamite you put in the hole, the bigger the blast. The more infected devices the bigger the impact they can impose. When the Botherder decides to attack they will command the devices to overload a website. The ultimate goal for them is to make a big enough impact that the website stops working or access is denied. This is known as a denial of service or DDoS.

When it comes to the Internet, hackers are continuously pursuing looking for vulnerabilities in websites they can exploit. From that point, it’s a matter of “when” and “where” they decide to go on the attack. A hacker will often have a garden variety of Malware to choose from in their toolbox. Depending on their objective, will determine which critter they will let loose out their box. You can be sure of one thing though, they are not delivering flowers or a piping hot pizza for you to enjoy.

“If you can protect yourself against plugin vulnerabilities and brute force attacks, you are accounting for over 70% of the problem.”  –Wordfence

Thanks for reading-

The WebStop Crew

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The WordPress White Screen of Death – Tackling WordPress Errors

The list below is a look at the most popular WordPress Errors that you could face.

The first on the list is the infamous “WordPress White Screen of Death”. We will show you how you can combat the WordPress White Screen of Death, and bring your website back to life. That is, if you choose to tackle it yourself. We will get into that further down on the page.

Just as a quick note: if you do not see the WordPress Error you are looking for, it does not mean we do not fix it.

Simply, Submit a Ticket describing the error you are seeing and any other questions you may have:

Too many failed login attempts

Call to undefined function

Internal Server Error

“WordPress White Screen of Death”

WordPress is unable to send emails

Locked out of WordPress Dashboard

Update Failures

Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded

Folder Permissions

The page is not redirected properly

Connection timing out

Maintenance mode issues

WordPress Sidebar Below Content

Images not showing up or showing red “X”

Image upload problems

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Permalinks not working

Maximum execution time exceeded

Syntax Errors

404 errors for pages/posts

403 forbidden error-code

Error establishing database connection

“Are you sure you want to this? Please try again”

RSS issues like XML Parsing Errors

Reset the WordPress administrator password

If you do not already use WordPress, the platform has made it possible for millions of people to have websites. Be it for personal, business or fun. There is a ton of documentation out there and tutorials that make it possible to put together a website easily on your own.

The best part is somebody already did the heavy lifting for you.

Meaning, all those added features you want add to your website have already been created for you. Those features are in the form of Theme’s and Plugin’s. They give you the ability to do just about anything you want. Many of them are free to use.

At this point, pretty much the only cost to you is your time. To start, you will need hosting, but you can get that for just a few dollars a month. In fact, you can create and put a website online for free. Keep in mind that free hosting is usually loaded with advertisements and no guarantees when it comes to up-time (time online) or security.

There is one hosting company called GoogieHost and this is a very rare find. I was surprised when I came across Natha Mouni’s post on Quora.

This is what their free plan offers:

100 GB Bandwidth, 1 GB disk space, FREE Domain for Life, 99.95% Up time, Free SSL, Free cPanel, No Ads, No ID or Credit Card Required, Free Cloud Flare CDN, Free Website builder, 24/7 Free Support.

When it’s all said and done, nothing is ever free. But after reading the positive reviews it made me think that maybe it is legit. At least it’s worth trying out. I thought it was kind of funny when I found out the Premium Package was only one cent the first month, and then five dollars per month after that. At least it’s worth trying out if you need to get a website on the cheap.

Like any other technology you are bound to come across problems from time to time. WordPress is no different. There is a massive open source community that supports WordPress users. The WordPress platform occupies the internet with over 80 million websites. Given that volume, you know there have been quite a few internet searches on how to fix one problem or another with WordPress.

We are going to go over one of the more popular errors that users of WordPress come across.

As mentioned above, the ever popular “WordPress White Screen of Death” aka WSOD. Included below are ways to troubleshoot the WordPress White Screen of Death if it ever shows up on your screen. Perhaps that’s something you might not care to tackle or it’s just not your thing. If that’s the case, no big deal, there are many others who feel the same way. You can always use our Fix WordPress Errors service.

If you do feel like giving it a shot, the first thing you always need to do it make a backup. It goes without saying why you need to make a backup. Make sure the backup includes your entire website. That is the database, plugins, themes, uploads, everything. Most hosting companies will have the option to backup your site from your control panel or you could use a plugin like UpDraftPlus.

Next, you want to trace your last steps. Think about what you were doing when the error showed up. Along with that, what you were doing leading up to that. Where you changing any code like in your config or functions files? Did you recently configure or change the settings on a plugin?

If you have not experienced the White Screen of Death. The following screen shot is what it looks like:

The white part is just like the WordPress White White Screen of Death. We added a few thoughts that will often enter your mind when you see it for the first time.

It is as you might have guessed, a plain white screen of nothing. However, that is not always the case like with some browsers such as Chrome. The screen will be white but there will be a message that tells you something to the affect that the page is not working and is unable to handle the request. When you see this type of error it is a HTTP 500 error which is an internal server error.

To resolve the WSOD, the first step you want to take is go to your WordPress Dashboard Login (admin) in your browser – Enter in: yourwebsdminite.com/wp-admin and see how it looks. If it looks okay, then there is a good chance you have a defective plugin or theme.

From your admin/dashboard disable all your plugins. If this makes the WSOD disappear, then you know the problem is a plugin. From here it’s a matter of process by elimination until you find the bad plugin. Make sure you reload/refresh the page after each plugin is activated.

You may not always be able to access your WordPress user admin/dashboard. At that point you will need to access your plugins folder. You can use FTP or go in from your hosting Control Panel. You want to append “old” to the plugins folder name EX: plugins-old. Again, check your screen and see if the WSOD goes away. If it does, revert your plugins folder back to its original name. Now you will want to test each plugin one at a time. Rename each plugin folder until you find the trouble maker.

The same process applies when checking themes. When you start to test your theme make sure you have another one installed. Download one of the default themes if you only have one currently installed.

When you can access your dashboard/admin try changing your theme to a different one. If the WSOD goes away and you can see your website again, problem solved. If you can’t access your dashboard/admin the same process applies as you would do with the plugins.

The problems with plugins and themes are often the result of a bad update or from a conflict with other programs installed on your website. You could narrow it down to a plugin or theme having a conflict with each other. If that’s is the case, contact the developer of that plugin/theme.

Having the PHP low memory limits set with the default settings can sometimes bring on the WSOD.

You may also see errors referring to exhausted memory. Regardless if you see the WSOD or not it’s a good idea to crank up your memory. If you are seeing memory errors with your WSOD go to your wp-config.php file in your control panel and add the following line of code:

define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

If the above does not work, go to your .htaccess file and add:

php_value memory_limit 64M

When you work with code, mistakes will happen that do not always get caught right away. You may use the wrong syntax or mistype a wrong character in the wrong place. Mistakes like these can invoke the WSOD. This is when the backup you made will save you.

The are other ways to get to the bottom of the WSOD when other tactics are not working. You can enable debugging in your wp-config.php file. If it’s not there, you can add it and change ‘false’ to ‘true’.

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false);

Like so: define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

Make sure it is placed along with any other code you added above these comments ALWAYS.

/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

You can use wp_debug_log with wp_debug to save the error messages in the debug.log file. Add the following line of code in your wp-config.php file to turn on debug logging.

define(‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);

The debug error log can be found in your content folder. If you do not want the errors to show on the screen, add the following line of code with the other code you have added in your wp-config.php file.

define(‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false);

It all should look like this:

// Debugging is turned on

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

// This will log everything and place it in the wp-content/debug.log

define(‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);

// This makes the errors not show on the screen.

define(‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false);

By using this method to trouble shoot you will see an error message that tells you where the file is located and what line it is on. Using debugging on a live website is not recommended. The error messages can reveal details about your code, the paths and other information. However, debugging is necessary sometimes. Just make sure you turn it off as soon as you are done using it if you must use it on a live website.

Hopefully these tips will help you if you ever have to deal with the WordPress White Screen of Death. If you are not up for the challenge of trying to fix your website, Submit a Ticket and tell us what is happening so we can help.

Drew & The WebStop.net Crew

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