A website is your home on the internet. It is also your online store front. People who visit our site are attracted to some of the bright and shiny things that are on our pages. Yet there are also Portions of your site that are not seen by a single person unless they look at the source and wonder, “How did they do that?” Often many WordPress plugins are not so much visible as they are being evident because of their particular task. There are several plugins that almost required installs and then there are those that are needed in a case by case basis.
Advanced Image Styles – There was a time that WordPress had a few advanced features when it came to styling of your images you placed in your blog post. A few updates ago Automatic took that feature out and thanks to Dave Jackson mentioning the same problem on School of Podcasting. I use this plugin for one reason I can add a buffer space around one side of my image or around all four sides of an image. Custom CSS attributes and link attributes can be set for each individual image.
Akismet – The Spam buster! If you have a WordPress blog then you have spam. Spammers know what file on your site, they need to hit to send out poorly worded, misspelt, links to questionable websites. A great way to keep these bot comments from seeing the light if the day is to use the Akismet plugin. There is no downloading needed. This Plug in comes installed already by Automatic. All you have to do is activate it and get an API key over at the Akismet website. You can use this for one email address for free. It is worth paying for. This plugin will drive the amount of time spent double checking a comment that sounds kind of fishy by instantly knowing if it is fishy and removing it.
Blubrry PowerPress – At first there was PodPress and the developer of this plugin gave up and just left it to fend for itself. Shortly after a WordPress update, The Plugin was mortally wounded and dying. This could have been the end of this once great plugin. Yet, it was found by Blubrry was revived and improved. To the point that it is now the most popular podcasting plugin in the WordPress Plugin repository! HAZAA! Yea the story of PowerPress is just about that epic, and is improving with each update.
In all seriousness this plug in is does all you could need to be able to submit your podcast feed to iTunes. PowerPress adds the needed iTunes tags to a podcast specific feed so your RSS feed doesn’t get too big with all of the non-podcast blog posts you my add to your site. This plugin also give you a player to place in your show notes post to help people discovering your site to be able to listen and enjoy your content.
CryptX – You want it to be easy for your fans to be able to contact you. Yet, you also don’t want your inbox full of Canadian drug spam. So how do you keep your email address visible while at the same time not opening up to the spambots? CryptX is that solution. Though the magic of their programing. You can type out your real email address and bots will only see garbled gunk. So your audience may see email@example.com but you will not get extra notices that there are Hot Russian Brides looking for you. Which honestly who believe that?
Google Analytics by Yoast – Setting up Google analytics can be a little daunting if you do not know how to navigate the editor in WordPress. Where should you put your Analytics code? This plug in does all the hard work for you. Just enter your analytics id, which is the UA-XXXXXXXXXX code and then if the desire hit you and you don’t want to show up in your own analytics you can set it so that Admins do not register on your analytics.
Google Analytics Dashboard – another little plugin by Yoast and this adds the Analytics graph to your admin dashboard. Simple and sweet
JM Twitter Cards – Twitter has a great feature called twitter cards and this plugin helps you get your twitter card all setup so that they work the way they need to. You still have to setup everything that is needed to be set up on Twitters side but all the settings that you have to do one your side are handled by this plugin. You can validate that all is good or if there is a problem. It will add the required rules for Twitters bots to the Robots.txt file. It even has deep linking for your iPhone, iPad, and android apps.
Little Hippo (Makes your BIG job small) – One of the most over looked SEO elements are your images. Often there may be a title but it is not long enough or the Alt tag was forgotten. Little Hippo will help you correct these little SEO problems in one centralized area. If your description is a little short. You will get a notice. The first time you set it up you may be there for a while because you didn’t realize how many elements were forgotten. Well at least I was
Pretty Link Lite – This isn’t just for podcasters and redirecting to your podcast episode. This valuable redirection plugin helps in anytime you need to redirect a URL to a different location, whether it is on your site or to a different site. Pretty Link is invaluable
Use Google Libraries – There are lots of JS files on your WordPress site. And having to download these files each time can take a while. For your listener it may seem like an eternity. Each download also takes up valuable resources on your host. The best way to fix the problem is allow someone else host the common JS files. And why not just let the largest website in the world with the best Content Distribution Network send out those files? That is the Google Libraries and this plugin will help shave a few seconds off of your site.
WordPress SEO – Maximize your SEO and get tips and hints on how your SEO is working with a particular keyword. For each post
WP-DBManager – Back your database up and clean it up with this plugin
Append Link on Copy – There are website scrapers like Buzzfeed that will just take portions of your site and repurpose it for their needs. This will help credit your work for your site.
As Heard On – If you are often interviewed this is a great way to pay back the favor and show people other shows you have been on. This plug in is created by Dustin Hartzler of your Website engineer podcast
Better Click To Tweet – Great plug in for adding a clickable link for people to tweet a little quote from your
Better Writing – Having people being able to understand what they are reading is always a good thing. This plugin puts a widget on the sidebar of the post you are righting and lets you know if you are writing is being understood by using Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test. It produces a little dial that grades your post as you go.
Broken Link Checker – Sites come and go and broken links are bad for your SEO. It is good to have a process tell you if a link is good or bad so you can correct the problem quickly before Google sees it and reacts. This Plugin will email you a notice of any broken links found
Jetpack – yes a bit of a resource hog but there are a couple of good plugins in this one plugin the protect and Spelling and grammar checker are the reasons I use this plugin
Revision Control – WordPress backs up your revisions and can, after a while get a little unwieldy Revision control fixes this with the ability to lock revisions to how ever many you want.
My Shortcodes – Shortcodes are great when you figure out how easy they are. They make repeated entries like the Review the show action at the bottom of this page. Is a shortcode.
Official StatCounter Plugin – I like to have a secondary view of what my site is doing many times I will be able to get extra info or come to understand information a little better be suing a second analytics program I have chosen to use StatCounter small and as through as Google Analytics
PopupAlly – I was not one for popups for a long time but I have come to understand the power they have. As you may have noticed the pop up that shows on the site when you go to a particular page. Or when you try to leave. This is the results of this plug in. It ties into the Mailchimp and Awebber nicely
Related Posts – SEO wise you want links to your content. And this plugin links to content that is related to your posts. Now the reason that it is not in the recommended list is that it give suggested links in you post to sites outside of website.
Simple Share Buttons Adder – Social sharing is needed in today’s websites and this plug in is simple as it claims.
Smart Youtube PRO – I like this plugin because of the options it provides
Social Media Feather – Allows for links to your social media sites to be displayed at the top and bottom of your posts
Starbox – the Author Box for Humans – Microdata is needed also for SEO and Starbox adds the needed microdata to your posts for your author information.
Swiftype Search – custom search feature and allows for analytics as to what people are searching to be reviewed so you can cater to your audience’s needs
WordPress Editorial Calendar – When are you wanting that post to be published? This plugin gives you a calendar view of all posts and when they are going live. So you are able to choose what post should be released. By using an easy drag and drop feature.
Sites to use
What WP theme is that? – Often used to find out what plugin is being used on a site.
Google Webmaster Tools – helps with different problems you may be facing on your website
Google Analytics – This is a must have the information that is given is invaluable.
You home is your castle or that is how the saying goes. Your podcast has a home also it is called your website. your website is very important and as all things digital can be over run by people with too much time on their hand and misdirected motivation. These people are commonly referred to as Hackers. They may not attack your site directly but they are always looking for new sites that they can access for black hat means be it their own affiliate programs or so they can install malicious software onto your visitors computers.
The tactics these people use are sometimes amazing in execution, and results they are able to achieve border on Genius. Yet still their tactics are harmful and destructive by way of stealing viewers and/or money from your pocket. There is no way to 100% protect yourself from being the target of a hack but there are steps that can be done to keep yourself from being the easy low hanging fruit which is what hackers go after more often.
So how do you protect yourself
Update! Update! Update!
Update your WordPress
WordPress just updated to version 4.2 Powell and this update fixes a lot of “under the hood” bug fixes. This often means security fixes along with fixes to annoying problems. Updating your whole site is as easy as clicking the “Update Now” button. Though some people don’t like updating their sites because it could “Break” a plug-in or a whole site if the plugin is a part of a theme.
Update your Themes
With your site many plugin’s will either start updating their plugins before the release of a WordPress update. while others will update after the release if they are not privy to the pre-release. When you see these updates available update that theme. Many times the theme update will have the updated plugin and also repair security holes
Update your Plugins
WordPress plugins are nothing more that side programs that run in your WordPress environment. Much like how your browser runs on your Windows or iOS machine. Windows is the Operating system and your browser is a plugin. Your word processing software is a plugin. and you will get notices that these programs need to be updated from time to time.
Much like your programs you want and need to update your plugins. And update it as often as you can.Wordpress makes it easy to update and with the 4.2 update you are able to just go to your Plugins page and click on the plugin that needs the update and you will not even have to leave that page.
Remove all unused plugins
Many times you will find a different plugin that you want to try out and you find that it is better than the old plugin and so you start to have a Plugin graveyard of unused plugins. These plugins though are not being used still can provide a security hole for hackers to get in.
Back it up!
Back up your whole website and the Database. There are times that a hacker that is able to find his way into website. Will make a small change to a file in your WordPress site. This is his backdoor so when you fix the problem he is still able to get in. This spare piece of code can be anywhere. in your WordPress site. So, If you have a backup you can restore all of your files in one easy movement.
You also want to backup your database hackers love to remove that data when they hijack your site. So to keep you from losing all of your hard work, keep your database backed up once a week or No later than once a month.
Check for malware
There are several plugins that will help you check to see if you have malware
Securi Security – The Sucuri WordPress Security plugin is a security tool set for security integrity monitoring, malware detection and security hardening
Security Fence – does an inital scan that helps find any malware by referencing the core WordPress code.
Sucuri – https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/
ThreatSign – http://quttera.com/
Google Webmaster Tools is great for finding out if you are connected to a site that is causing your site to be red sites. or You are getting a “This site May Harm Your Computer” To find out just look in the “Security Issues” menu and if you have any malware that has been detected by Google it will be listed here for you to know what needs to be corrected.
Other tips you might want to use when securing your website.
Remove the Hello World blog entry and the default comment.
Remove the Admin username hackers look at this and see someone who is making it easy and has probably chosen an easy password. to make your site even tougher use Two factor authentication.
How to tell if your site has been hacked
The visible effects
Your page goes to a different site.
Your site is just different
Google Webmaster tools has a security section that will let you know what is causing your site to red sited or have the warning on the search result
your traffic stops
you start getting emails
Helpful plugins to use.
Wordfence – Great security plugin that also helps speed your site up.
BruteProtect – was actually acquired by Automatic and is not apart of Jetpack
Ways to protect your site
have a strong password the longer and more complex the better Use symbols numbers and letters. I heard there is one guy who uses his cars VIN number. A good suggestion could be an email address but not the email address you use for your site you might make up a Gmail or Yahoo address.
If there is more than one person with access to the backside of the WordPress site don’t make them admin unless you really trust them. If it is someone who is helping fix something in WordPress and then need admin access create their own login name and password and as soon as they are done remove their access. Some for if someone is leaves the group. Remove their access to the backside of the site asap.
Don’t install pirated premium plugins. almost every single one is going to have some malware code slipped into the plugin.
Podcasts.com you may of hear about this new “Free” site that is run by Emerge.com which apparently like to buy Descriptive name websites. like
and So I looked and I don’t know where they are getting this feed but they are pulling an old version of my cover art. But I decided to find out some simple questions
- With everything being free. How do you make money to be able to afford keeping the site up and running?
- I am not seeing anyway to get the direct download link to my MP3 files. How do I get to my files so that I can link them to my site? If there is no direct link for download then technically the show is not a podcast.
- Do you have stats?
- If I decide I want to leave to go to a paid service do you allow for me to redirect the feed?
- You seem to of grabbed an old version of my cover art and so how do I get the new updated version of the cover art up in its place?
Now the one item that I am finding a little odd is I remember signing up but I don’t remember adding this podcast to their line up. Because I was looking at maybe experimenting with this service. Then again if this service is just adding sites on its own I am not going to be too happy that is happening and reminds me of a service last year or so that thought podcasters should be kissing their backsides for putting them into their directory.
Then this post came out
My Podcast is at Podcasts.com – Without My Permission not good at all that they are doing this. I found my other podcast Finding Bryan listed here too and I know I didn’t add it. At the moment I am not going to spaz to much about it. WHY NOT! because I don’t know how they are making money once I see them leveraging my show to make money for them then, I will have some cross words.
Now you have your hosting and domain name set up. You have your equipment ordered and it is on its way. So, this week we are going to talk about getting your site setup and running. For a podcast, you need a couple things to get the show on the road. You need a Content Management System (CMS), and a way to let people and directories know that you have a new episode out. It may sound scary and be getting more technical than you are comfortable with but just stay strong and remember Discomfort is your mind telling you that you are learning. So Just grind through it I know you can. So,When you are ready…
First things first and you have to have a place to enter the show notes and make your website look good for your visitors. This is your home after all, and you want to show off a little bit. So you need a Content Management system or CMS. Easy easy easy Now don’t get worries I am purposely using the big technical word just so you will know it if it comes up again. The best CMS to use is a Blog, and the blogging software I recommend is WordPress. There are eight reason to use WordPress
It is Free
For being one of the most used pieces of blogging software WordPress is also perfectly priced. It is Free and that is it. Free! You can not get any less expensive than that. Talk about a bang for your buck! This is an incredible platform. The versatility of WordPress is astounding many main stream sites use WordPress as their platform. Like who?
- Wall Street Journal
- Readers Digest
- Bill Cosby
- MSNBC TV
- BBC America
- The Rolling Stones
These are a mere scant of a fraction of the sites that utilize this CMS. Don’t think because it is a free open sourced piece of software that it is buggy or not worth your time because if these guys use it then why not you?
Easy to use
WordPress is one of the easiest blogging software to use everything is laid out in front of you when you are logged in you can tell where your posts are, your pages, and all of the other bits of information you will need as you become more familiar with WordPress. When you are entering text you will see that the most common items are available to format you show notes to the way you would like. When I say easy I mean easy. The ease of use is one of the reasons I switched from Joomla to WordPress. And the ease is from installation to putting up your different posts.
when you are setting up your site, you always want to keep SEO in mind. SEO is making your site easy for a Search Engine to read. Word press starts out of the box pretty easy for a search engine to see and understand but when you add a simple plugin like SEO by Yoast or All in one SEO and all of a sudden the mystery of SEO is lifted just enough for you to understand. Thes plugins point out different SEO points that help you get better rankings on Google Yahoo and Bing.
If you are using WordPress and going to podcast then the plugin you will want to use is Power press. This little plugin is your secret sauce. PowerPress is created by Raw Voice a podcast group that is helping podcasting become more mainstream. PowerPress helps your podcast become iTunes complaint pretty much automatically There are some settings you have to make but they are pretty much self explanatory and easy to understand. You are
Plugins for WordPress are the little subprograms you can install on WordPress to customize your site without having to know any coding. As the saying goes there is an App for that, there is an Plugin for that. These plug ins will do everything from behind the scenes stuff to shopping carts. You want it there is a good chance you will find it. If not you can sometimes find a person who will be able to create one for the right price.
These are the clothes you site wears. You can all of those sites look so differently while still using the same underlining software. Themes can be free bit if you want more customized layout you can pay for one or design it yourself. There are programs like Artisteer that can help you get a basic layout with some pretty good customizations. If Artisteer is too rich for the pocket book then you can look for a theme from places like Studio Press or ThemeForest. And if these are to high then you can look at the themes available for free on the WordPress site. You are likely to find something that you will like.
Control Over the Site
You can add many more plugins you your site when you use the full self hosted WordPress software. If you try to use any other place like Blogger or WordPress.com your themes are limited, and you are not able to place any plugin you see fit. These are very limited.
This community of programmers website designers and other users of WordPress come together to make a great support group. If your new or you were one of the first WordPress adopters there is someone here who can and will help you out with what ever problem you are running into. If it is a particular plug in that is causing you angst then don’t sweat too bad. The plugin have their own support groups too.
You can use any of a vast assortment of different options to post your podcast up. You could create your own or use a CMS like Joomla or WordPress. WordPress is by far the easiest to use and with WordPress being used by so many big name sites it stands to reason that it is safe and dependable. The Plugins are numerous as are the themes. Find what you like and use PowerPress and you will have the ideal foundation for your podcast success.