WordPress Medic Podcast Episode #2
It’s episode #2 of the WordPress Medic Podcast and my special guests on this show are Sean Conklin & Randy Sandberg from beAutomated Custom WordPress Plugins Developers. I will be discussing some top tools for making your WordPress Site Development a breeze….. It’s all coming your way next on WordPress Medic Podcast
WordPress Medic Podcast Can also be found at WPMedic.ca
WordPress Medic Podcast can be found on Stitcher Radio Click here to Download app or listen online Now.
WordPress Medic Podcast can be found on the iTunes Store here.
Join me on WordPress Plugins from A to Z Podcast find it at http://WPPluginsAtoZ.com where my co host Marcus Couch and myself discuss WordPress Plugins. .
Also since I love to rant about lots of things have lots opinions instead of making this a platform for that I have another show called Kritter Escapes at http://KritterEscapes.com
Dont forget to head over to Social media camp Victoria @ http://socialmediacamp.ca/ and support me by commenting on my posts as linked below or even retweet them as it is a contest.
Would you like to be part of this show? Head over to http://WPMedic.ca and leave a speak pipe or a question and I’ll Feature you here also if you would like to be on the show just let me know and we an arrange to get you on it.
World of WordPress News and other interesting WordPress related posts:
WordPress Remote Exploit – W3 Total Cache — it seems that Jason over at seclists.org has published an exploit about W3Total cache this is no small affair if you use W3 total cache and many do this is a must read. http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2012/Dec/242
2012 Was the Year WordPress Grew Up
WordPress Community As I ponder this last year one thing stands out more than anything else. The year of 2012 will be know as the year WordPress grew up. WordPress didn't just become a big kid, it became a major player in the world of website design.
/ Audio Clips / Interviews
This week I have for you an interview with Sean Conklin & Randy Sandberg from beAutomated Custom WordPress Plugins Developers. With some tips on choosing a good WordPress plugin developer and other great information about WordPress plugins.
**WordPress Discussion & Tips by John**
5 WordPress Tools that make WordPress Site Development a breeze.
WordPress Site Development can be very easy or very difficult depending on your specific needs for a website. Many people climb onboard with the idea that all is simple and for the most part it is but there are things that can make your WordPress project simple and easy.
The majority of web sites I am asked to create for clients are for promoting their small business and have varying needs but some items come up time and time again. Here is a short list of tools to make your job or creating a WordPress website easy.
Start with the need for WordPress hosting listen to my podcast on this here for details on this needed detail.
Then you will need a theme for your website that reflects your business, you can of course use the built in WordPress 2012, 2011 or 2010 themes but as these are pretty basis many business need something that will help them stand out. You can of course hire a developer but if you are wanting to do it yourself you might try this great tool.
Artisteer – This tool is a great program you can download here that will allow you to create a unique WordPress theme in a great what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor. All you need to use this tool is a little time some graphics and an idea. If you do not have an idea they have about 40 you can choose from to get started and then you modify what they offer.
· Generate cool Web design ideas.
· Adjust generated designs to create great looking Web and Blog templates.
· Create perfectly correct, validated HTML and CSS that conform to Web standards.
· You don't need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML and other Web technologies to create great looking designs, including images and buttons.
· If you are a Web designer, generate ideas, prototypes and quick Websites for your clients and friends.
· Choose and use many included design elements, from backgrounds to photo objects and buttons.
· Automatically solve problems with image aliasing, Web browser compatibility and other details requiring time and knowledge.
· Learn how to create professional HTML and CSS code.
· Save money on WordPress Themes and Web design templates.
Download the demo for Artisteer here.
Contact forms are a staple of every WordPress Site Development and are the #1 way your visitors will contact you. There are several solutions for contact forms for WordPress from the free to the paid. The top two solutions for this space are the free plugin:
Contact Forms 7 and offers:
· It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well.
· In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, file uploading, etc.
And while this is a great program it has limitation on what it can do and many times I have seen client’s needs grow quickly beyond Contact Forms 7 so I always recommend starting with the best form plugins which is highly expandable and integrates into many areas of a website.
You can get Contact Forms 7 here
Gravity Forms (not free)
Now although this is a premium plugin it is worth every penny if you even have the notion that one day you might want more than just a contact form for your website, here are the features offered by Gravity forms:
· Visual Form Editor – make creation a breeze
· Multi-Page Forms – span across several pages to collect detailed info
· Order Forms – all visitors to order now integrates with PayPal and other payment processers.
· Conditional Fields – if this happens then show that
· Form Settings – customize settings
· Limit Entries – great for contest entries with limited number say 100
· Advanced Fields
· Schedule Forms – show from this day to that
· Post Fields – allow visitor to create content simple and easy.
· and more…
You can get Gravity forms here.
A newsletter is probably the best way to stay in touch with your visitors and clients and again there are many ways you can go about setting up to do a newsletter two of the best ways I have found to do this are using the following plugins.
Easy Automatic Newsletter Lite What this plugin does for you is to take all of your posts and tweets if you like consolidate them and then send them out as a nicely formatted newsletter each month so once configured you just let it run. It has a widget for you sidebar to allow collection of subscribers to the list and everything is handled locally.
You can get Easy Automatic Newsletter here
Now if you would like more flexibility you can opt for the plugin service combination such as this one.
Benchmark Email Lite
- Control up to 5 separate Benchmark Email accounts.
- Build your list of subscribers with a custom signup form widget or shortcode.
- Send test emails of your blog post before deciding on the final send.
- Easily send or schedule a formatted email version of your blog posts.
- View live reports of opened, bounced, unsubscribed, forwarded, and unopened email as well as clicked links.
From Blog to Email: Available as an easy-to-integrate widget, this signup form allows subscribers to sign up for email versions of your blog posts with just their email address. You can further customize the signup form with 27 additional fields (e.g., First Name, Last Name, Address, Phone, etc.). If a user signs up and they're already a subscriber, the widget automatically updates the person's data in your email list.
You can get Benchmark Email Lite here.
You will need an account at Benchmark Email which you can get here. While this is a paid service they do offer a 30 day free trial to see if it is for you.
Now an important part of any computer system is backing up the data you have and your WordPress site is no different. There are many ways you can back up your website and most hosting providers offer a manual way to perform this backup but we all know if you can automate it then you should. Here are a couple of great ways to automate the process.
The main plugin I recommend is BackWPup which is a free one you can get here
BackWPup offers the following:
- Database Backup
- WordPress XML Export
- Optimize Database
- Check\Repair Database
- File Backup
- Backups in zip, tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2 format
- Store backup to Folder
- Store backup to FTP Server
- Store backup to Amazon S3
- Store backup to Google Storage
- Store backup to Microsoft Azure (Blob)
- Store backup to RackSpaceCloud
- Store backup to Dropbox
- Store backup to SugarSync
- Send Log/Backup by Email
- Multisite Support only as Network Admin
With the ability to store to multiple offsite in the cloud system you can make a backup you will always be able to find.
You can get BackWPup here
If you want a bit more suck as the ability to move a site then you might consider backup Buddy
This premium plugin offers the following:
· Back up non-WordPress tables
· Have tables stored in your database that aren’t created or stored by WordPress? No problem. BackupBuddy can back up, restore and move those too.
· Directory Exclusion
· Choose which directories you don't want to include in your backup.
· Offsite Backups
· Automatically send your backups off-site to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, an FTP server, or your email. You can send backups to one destination or multiple destinations for added protection.
· Manage how many backups you want to store
· You can manage how many backups to keep in each location, so you don't accidentally use too much storage space by keeping old backups.
And Easy Restore and Migration functions:
· No Need to Install WordPress
· If you have a full backup, BackupBuddy will handle reinstalling WordPress for you. Just enter your new database credentials, and you're back in business.
· 2-File Restore
· All you need to restore is our import script and your backup zip file.
· Restore Just Your Database
· You can choose to restore just your database from an earlier database-only backup if a WordPress configuration change makes your site unstable.
· Move your backed up site to another server right from your WordPress dashboard (in normal compatible server environments). Or move to another installation directory or URL on the same server. It's great for quickly creating a site copy to test a new plugin or theme.
· Manual Migration
· The importbuddy.php script can be used to manually move a site too. The same way you did in previous versions of BackupBuddy.
· URLs & Paths
· BackupBuddy handles all the URL and path changes for you when you move to a new domain or subdirectory. No need to do a big find and replace. BackupBuddy also handles migrating serialized (encoded) data.
You can get Backup Buddy here
Security for your WordPress Website
Now as you would never install a copy of Windows without installing antivirus on it you should never install WordPress without placing some basic security in place before you go live. The following two plugins should always be installed during your WordPress Site Development.
This plugins runs regular scans on all your files and check content for malicious URL and code and informs you via email of any issues. It also includes a firewall so you can slowdown abusers or even block them from your site. You can set it to lock out attempts at brute force hacking it will hide some WordPress errors that help hackers get in. and more.
· Scans core files, themes and plugins against WordPress.org repository versions to check their integrity.
· WordPress Multi-Site (or WordPress MU in the older parlance) compatible.
· Wordfence Security for multi-site also scans all posts and comments across all blogs from one admin panel.
· Premium users can also block countries and schedule scans for specific times and a higher frequency.
· See how files have changed. Optionally repair changed files that are security threats.
· Scans for signatures of over 44,000 known malware variants that are known security threats.
· Scans for many known backdoors including C99, R57, RootShell, Crystal Shell, Matamu, Cybershell, W4cking, Sniper, Predator, Jackal, Phantasma, GFS, Dive, Dx and many many more.
· Continuously scans for malware and phishing URL's including all URL's on the Google Safe Browsing List in all your comments, posts and files that are security threats.
· And more get it here
You can get WordFence here.
WordPress File Monitor Plus
This plugin monitors you site for all files changes and then notifies you via email. It can be set to scan your site hourly, twice a day or once a day. It tells you when a new files is added when a file changes and will help you stop a problem before it get started.
- Monitors file system for added/deleted/changed files
- Sends email when a change is detected
- Administration area alert to notify you of changes in case email is not received
- Ability to monitor files for changes based on file hash, time stamp and/or file size
- Ability to exclude files and directories from scan (for instance if you use a caching system that stores its files within the monitored zone)
- Site URL included in notification email in case plugin is in use on multiple sites
- Ability to run the file checking via an external cron so not to slow down visits to your website and to give greater flexibility over scheduling
- Ability to set file extension to be ignored or only scanned.
- Multisite support.
You can get WordPress File Monitor Plus here
That rounds out the top five things for most every WordPress website if you want to hear more about these items I have done a complete podcast on these items going into more details on their usage. The Podcast is located at WPMedic.ca check it out.
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What’s coming in future podcasts:
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