Are Your WordPress Plugins Safe?

wp safety

Here at Honeycomb Design Studio my husband and I are frequently helping clients who have had their sites crash or become infected with malware due to WordPress Plugins they are using. To save you some heartache, I thought it might be a good idea to share the things that we tell our clients.

These guidelines are not completely foolproof, but they are a good place to start when choosing which WordPress Plugins to install on your WordPress self-hosted site.

1) Only install plugins from the WordPress Plugin repository.

WordPress Plugins

2) Only use WordPress Plugins that are compatible with your current version of WP. (which should also be kept up to date)

Your WordPress version can be found at the very bottom of your dashboard.

wordpressplugintut

The specific details about compatibility, for each plugin, are located right below the red download button.

WP Plugin Compatibility

 4) Always check the details.

WP Plugin Details

  • Do you have the required version?
  • How long ago was it updated?

5) Always check the star rating.

wp plugin star rating

  • What kind of star rating does the plugin have?

6) Always check for known issues.

WP Known plugin issues

  • Are there support issues that are unresolved?

7) Do a Google search to see what people are saying about the plugin.

WP Plugin Praise

  • Are there many complaints about this plugin?
  • Are people praising the plugin?

8) Keep your plugins up to date.

The most important thing that I can tell you is to keep your plugins up to date. Do you see the little circle with the “1″ inside of it beside the “Updates” and beside the “Plugins” menu items? Those are telling you that something needs to be updated. It is important for you to keep your plugins up to date all the time.

wp plugin updates

9) Discard any plugins that you are not using or that are deactivated.

It is very important to discard any plugins that you are not using or that you have deactivated. If you have a plugin that you like, but you don’t need it right now, start a list and then get rid of it.

Take a few moments and check your plugins.
Do you have any additional advice to share?

Checking Progress and Setting Goals

stats

How can you check your stats and analyze your site?

Basic ways to measure stats:

WordPress Plugins:

Other ways to measure progress:

Compete against yourself

Are you always comparing your stats with those of your neighbors? Are you looking over your fence into their yard and measuring how big their flowers are growing? I think it’s time that we all go get our own yardsticks as this post suggests. Set your own goals and compete against yourself.

Set goals you can actually reach

Something that is really important to me about setting goals is that they are SMART GOALS. We can’t set goals for things we have no control over.

I remember many years ago when I was working with a direct sales company selling skincare products, they would encourage us to set a goal for how much money we wanted to earn. I always found this frustrating because I have no control over other people’s wallets. I can’t control what you spend or how much of my product you buy, BUT there are many things that I can control.

  • I can control how many appointment calls I make.
  • I can control how many appointments I book.
  • I can control how many business cards I hand out.
  • I can control how many people I approach at the grocery store (or anywhere).
  • I can control what giveaways or prizes I offer.

These same ideas about goal setting can be applied to blogging and social media. You may not be able to control how many people follow your blog, but you can control how you take care of and promote your blog.

What types of goals can you set?

So think about the following ideas as possible goals, as opposed to being glued to the stats. If you focus on the things that you can do, you will avoid being paralyzed by the feelings of inadequacy and of not measuring up.

Your numbers don’t define you. A small blog can be just as successful as a large one, sometimes even more. It’s not all about the numbers.

Obviously these are just examples and you will have to choose the things that are right for you and your SMART GOALS, but hopefully this will give you a step in right direction.

  1. Write one blog post each day.
  2. Respond to comments on your blog each day.
  3. Comment on ten blog posts each day.
  4. Respond to ten people on twitter each day.
  5. Share ten things on twitter each day.
  6. Find ten original posts to pin on pinterest each day.
  7. Find ten bloggers and comment on their blog posts and promote their content each day for a month.
  8. Ask a question on facebook each day this week.
  9. Contact five companies each day for sponsorship.
  10. Write five guest posts this month.
  11. Make a list of bloggers who are going through a rough time and find ways to encourage them.
  12. Participate in one forum each day for a week.

As you can see there are many different types of goals you can set for yourself and your blog. If you set reachable goals and are consistent with working towards them, your stats will go up over time.

Have you been spending too much time looking in your neighbor’s garden and not enough time tending your own?
Write a list of  SMART goals that you can work towards. 

Are you too busy looking over the fence?

covet

Your neighbor has a pretty blog. Your neighbor has excellent photos and witty content. Your neighbor has lots of followers. Your neighbor is part of the “in” crowd. Your neighbor…

STOP

Stop worrying about your neighbor’s blog. God has different purposes for them than He has for you. He has specific people that your blog is meant to reach and you are meant to build relationships with. Don’t go running down someone else’s path because you might end up at the wrong destination.

Focus instead on the things you do well and on the things that make you an original. What unique skills or talents can you bring to your blog and the social media circle that you are part of? What message does God have for your blogging platform to deliver?

START

Start thinking about what you can give back. How can you encourage? How can you help? How can you be a blessing? What one thing can you do to help something else today?

If you work your blog and social media consistently everyday, you will make great progress over time.

Have you struggled with blog envy?
How are you giving back to other bloggers?

Has Blogging Tired You Out?

 

tired blogging

Are you tired from all of your hard work blogging? Do you need a little break? Here are some ideas to help you create simple content that  will give you a little time left over for a cat nap.

  1. Do a photo post.
  2. Write several posts all about the same topic to save time.
  3. Do a list post.
  4. Write your favorite recipe.
  5. Create a quote graphic as your post.
  6. Create a scripture graphic as your post.
  7. Gather links on a specific topic and write a link-list post.
  8. Write a list of your favorite books (or books about a specific topic).
  9. Skip a day (your blog will still be there tomorrow).
  10. Ask for guest posters.

If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments.