How to block an entire country from your website

October 17th, 2014

If you own a website or a blog, you know the awesome feeling when you get good traffic. This blog title might get you to ask a question, why in the world will anyone want to block an entire country from their website. Well you’ll be surprised to know that there are many out there who are actually blocking particular countries from their website. Some are targeting their website to specific countries and don’t want traffic from other countries to better manage their server resources while others just don’t want to deal with certain countries for their known spammers or hackers crowd[E.g. China accounts for nearly 41% of the total cyber attacks that were made around the world]

If you’re looking to block an entire country from your website then you’re in luck. We’re going to share the steps on how you can block countries from your website using your .htaccess file.

How to block a country from your website using the .htaccess file

 

1] First you  need to find the list of IPs for the country that you need to block. To find this, visit http://www.ip2location.com/free/visitor-blocker. Select the country that you wish to block and then choose the output format as Apache .htaccess deny and then download the file.

2] Now log into your cPanel

3] Click on File Manager and then select the Web Root radio button. You need to ensure that SHOW HIDDEN FILES is checked. Then click on GO to access the files.

4] Here you need to look for .htaccess file. Once you’ve located it, right click on the file and click on Edit.

5] Once you’re in the .htaccess editor, simply copy the code from the file that you downloaded in Step 1 and paste the code here. Click on Save to ensure the code is saved in the file. [Note: Selecting popular countries can result into thousand lines in block code]

That’s it, now any visitor from the IP range that you’ve added in the .htaccess file will not be able to access your website. We recommend that you take extra precaution while trying these steps.

Have any questions? Feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll answer your questions.

5 step Formula to build a SEO friendly Blog Post

October 8th, 2014

Writing awesome blog posts day in and day out can be a real challenge. What’s even more difficult is to make every blog post as SEO friendly as possible. Fortunately we have a formula that helps us build SEO friendly blog posts. We’re going to share this 5 step formula with you however it’s a formula you’ll need to build on. Think of it as we helping by pointing you in the right direction but how you make it to the finish line only depends on you. Let’s take a look at the formula.

1] Post Title: Picking a cool title for your blog post is a must these days but keywords are still very important. Your target keyword will allow search engines to find your article and that cannot be avoided. If you can build a title with the keyword in the beginning then it’s going to work wonders to improve your SEO quotient.

2] Keyword: Back in the days, SEO depended on keyword density in your article, more the better. But times have changed and search engines have become clever enough to indentify who’s gaming the system. You now need to focus on original content and if you’re writing around a certain keyword then the whole “How much keywords should I add” issue, will take care by itself.

3] ADD H1 tag to your subtitles: If you’ve noticed, some of the websites that make it to the top of the Search engine rankings will always have H1 tags for their subtitles. Well it doesn’t stop there; one needs to ensure that keywords need to be added to make it really effective. This gives Google spiders that crawl your page, an easier view to indentify the content and place it appropriately in the search ranking results. This takes planning since you need to take your title and the overall content into account while working on this.

4] Images: An image can say a thousand words. If you’re unable to put across a point or trying to make heavy content more readable, then images are going to be a life saver. Though images can add load to your website, optimizing them can reduce that impact. Also if the image alt tag has been correctly set along with a keyword, then you’re giving search engines an easier way to find you. Yes we know images are tough to get but we recommend this awesome online tool called Canva that will help you create awesome images in no time :-)

5] Content: If you’ve been hearing too much of this then we’re sorry to say it again but ‘Content is King’.  No matter how much of efforts you put in, it all boils down to this. Original and value add content is what makes it to the top of the search engines these days. Your blog post needs to be interesting and at the same time be informative. The latest trend in effective content delivery is ‘Story telling’. If you can put your point across in the form of a story then you have a blockbuster of a blog post that’s bound to get you good traffic. How can you come with great content over and over again? Read, research and ask questions around your field of interest and you will find your topics to write about.

We hope this formula comes handy while creating your SEO friendly blog posts. It’s going to be tough initially but we’re sure, practice will make you an expert :-)

How to speed up your WordPress Website

September 26th, 2014

WordPress is a pretty awesome Content Management System and we can say this with conviction because our blog runs on the very same platform. The only complain that we have with WordPress is, by default it’s very slow to load.

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Page load time is become so important today that you can find your website at the bottom of search engine results, if your page isn’t quick to load. People don’t appreciate slow loading websites and you can easily lose most of your visitors for a few extra milliseconds of page load time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to change it. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can use to speed up your WordPress Website. Let’s take a look.

1] Use a good Theme/FrameWork: If you’re building your WordPress website by using a theme or framework as a base, then you need to ensure that you have the best one. Look out for themes or frameworks that are simple and have a clean code. If the core of your website functions smoothly then the effect of it will definitely show in your website’s performance. We recommend ‘Thesis Theme Framework’ for your WordPress website but there are many similar options available that you can choose from.

2] Use a caching plugin: Caching can improve the load times of your website considerably. It ‘s a process where parts of your website are saved on the visitor’s browser so that it only needs to be loaded once instead of every time a visitor lands on your website. This works brilliantly for your regular visitors. We recommend W3 Total Cache plugin, which will help you achieve the caching capabilities on your website.

3] Optimize images: Images are a very important part of content and that’s one reason why you will find many websites with images. This can add considerable amount of load to the website resulting in pathetic page load times. Optimizing all images without losing quality is possible but to do this manually for each and every image is going to be a real task. Fortunately you can use a plugin called WP Smush.it that can automatically optimize all the images on your website. The plugin performs this magic of optimizing images by stripping the unused colors from indexed images and metadata from Jpegs.

4] Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): If you’ve never heard what CDN does, it takes all your static files like images, Css, etc on your website and makes it available to users through a server closer to them. This ensures that your visitors around the world will be able to load your website in the quickest possible time. Most CDN services are available for a price but if you’re short on budget, we recommend using CloudFlare.

5] Invest in good hosting: Don’t look for the best price, rather look for great quality. Hosting plays an important role to ensure your website is always up. Free hosting may look attractive but a regularly offline website is going to drive your traffic away. Also Shared hosting might be a good alternative to start off with but as your site grows it’s advisable to move to better types of hosting like VPS hosting. This will ensure that you can entertain more traffic on your website without the fear of your website slowing down or crashing.

We hope these tips work wonders and makes your website snappier. We would love to hear some of your secrets on how you speed up your WordPress website, so feel free to leave a comment below.

WordPress Security: Change Admin Username

September 7th, 2014

Whenever you’re setting up your WordPress website, the default username is always admin. In the excitement of getting started we ignore making any changes to the username and complete the installation. Unfortunately, this makes it easier for a Hacker to run a brute force attack as he now only needs to work on finding the password to get to your website’s admin dashboard. If you’ve committed this innocent mistake then it’s time to rectify it for the safety of your own WordPress website.

How to change WordPress ADMIN username

  • First you need to login to your website’s admin dashboard.
  • Hover over Users [left hand menu] and click on Add New.
  • You will need to fill in all the fields that include username, email, first name; last name, password etc [Choose a good username and a strong password]. Before clicking on Add New User don’t forget to change the role to Administrator.
  • You will now find the new user created in the Users section. You’ll then need to logout from the admin dashboard.
  • Now login again into your Admin dashboard with the new username and password.
  • Click on Users on the left the hand Menu and then click on Delete just below the old admin user. *We recommend taking a backup of your WordPress Website before you delete the old admin user*
  • You will now be taken to a screen where you will need to attribute all posts of the old user to the new one that you just created. Ensure you check the radio button Attribute all posts to and then select the new username from the dropdown Then click on Confirm deletion button. [If you don’t do this correctly, all posts that were attributed to the old username will be lost.]
  • You will now see that the old user has been deleted.

That’s how simple it is to fortify your WordPress security from a Brute force attack. Hackers will now have a tough time trying to guess the username and the password of your website.

Must have plugins for a new WordPress Website

August 23rd, 2014

You’ve probably heard this a zillion times “WordPress is the most popular and used Content Management System”.  There are many factors that play a vital role in the success of WordPress and one of them has got to be the thousands of plugins that are freely available. Although having so many plugins is a good thing, deciding which ones to use for your first ever WordPress website is going to be a bit intimidating. But we’ve got you covered with this list of must have plugins for your website.

1] BackUpWordPress [Backup] – When you’re site breaks due to a bad code or a hacker attack, the one thing that will save you from starting all over again is a backup of your website. BackUpWordPress plugin is a simple plugin which can help you take backups of your website. You can schedule and also exclude files and folders from your backups. You also get an option to send your backup file to your email which is a welcome feature. If you’re not sure how to take a manual backup of your WordPress website then this plugin is what you’ll need.

2] WordPress SEO by Yoast [SEO] – Optimizing your WordPress website for search engines is not an easy task. There are loads of things involved when it comes to SEO and getting them all right is going can be a daunting task. Fortunately, you can use WordPress SEO by Yoast for all your SEO needs. This plugin combines all required settings under one roof making it easier to manage your SEO efforts. We loved the simplicity of this tool and the way each and every setting is explained with warning notifications.

3] BulletProof Security [Security] – Security has always been a major concern with WordPress websites. If you don’t take adequate measures to fortify the security, your WordPress website is going to take a beating for it. You can safeguard your website with the BulletProof Security plugin which just needs one click to setup. This plugin modifies the .htaccess file of your website, which probably is one of the best ways to secure a WordPress website. The plugin can also take backups of your website and display a under maintenance page when you’re working on a major upate on your website. You’re website is also safeguarded from Bruteforce attacks thanks to the Login Security & Monitoring Website Security features included within the plugin.

4] Akismet [Comment Spam] – No sooner you launch your WordPress website, you’ll notice that your website’s hit with loads of spam comments. If you want to avoid comment spam, simply install Akismet plugin and you’re good to go.

5] Share This [Social] – Most of the new WordPress themes come along with social media buttons for sharing. In case if your theme doesn’t include it, you can use the plugin Share This to add this functionality to your website. Social sharing buttons gives your website visitors an easy medium to share your content. This gets you more visibility and hence installing this plugin is definitely a good idea.

These five plugins will give you a head start with your new WordPress website. You can explore more plugins as and when you need it. Just a tip, always update all plugins and delete unwanted ones to avoid any potential issues.

Do you know of any other awesome WordPress plugins that we’ve missed? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.