Kevin Wood – HostGator Blog Web Hosting and Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:01:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 151369968 5 Best WordPress Security Plugins Mon, 17 Sep 2018 19:59:52 +0000 The post 5 Best WordPress Security Plugins appeared first on HostGator Blog.

If you’re wondering, “Do I need a WordPress security plugin?” The answer is yes. WordPress is the most popular CMS...

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If you’re wondering, “Do I need a WordPress security plugin?” The answer is yes. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. That popularity also makes it a popular choice for hackers.

Now, WordPress has regular updates to patch any new and existing security holes. But, security as a whole is a reactive process. Patches are only issued once a security vulnerability is known.

At its core, WordPress is incredibly secure. But the massive ecosystem of plugins and WordPress themes makes it more vulnerable to security holes.

To protect your WordPress website against these security risks, it’s always a good idea to use a WordPress security plugin. Below we look at five of the best WordPress security plugins and highlight both free and paid options.

best WordPress hosting

Why You Need a WordPress Security Plugin

WordPress has some pretty solid security measures in place, but if you’re looking to take that security even further you’ll want to utilize a security plugin.

By using a WordPress security plugin, you’ll get access to additional features that WordPress doesn’t have right out of the box, including:

  • Site, file, and malware scanning
  • Protection from brute force attacks
  • Regular security scans, monitoring, notifications
  • Site firewalls
  • Overall security hardening

Sure, you can get by without having these in place, but why would you risk it? Sadly, a lot of site owners don’t think about security for their WordPress website until it’s too late.

Once your WordPres site has been compromised, there’s not a lot you can do besides notify your visitors and try to clean up the mess. If only there was something you could’ve done to prevent this.

Good news: there is. It’s using a WordPress security plugin.


The Best WordPress Security Plugins

For anything related to WordPress you’ll find dozens of popular plugins to install. Going through every plugin yourself can be tedious, which is why we created this list.

Below you’ll find five of the top WordPress security plugins that are both free and paid that help to protect your site against security vulnerabilities.


1. All In One WP Security & Firewall

all in one security

All In One WP Security & Firewall is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. It’s very easy to use and you can configure this plugin pretty easily, even if you don’t have any tech skills.

It’s equipped with a unique grading system, so you can see which areas of your WordPress site are protected, and what you need to improve upon. Since it’s visually based it’s easy to see and correct any areas of your site that might be weak.

The main ways this plugin will improve your security are by protecting against blue force login attempts, securing your user accounts, creating a website firewall, protecting your WordPress databases, and even allowing you to blacklist certain sites or IP addresses.

Plus, it has a built-in security scanner so you’ll know that your site is always protected against hackers.

All In One WP Security & Firewall is a completely free plugin that you can download here. You also won’t run into any annoying upsells, or having to upgrade to unlock more features.


2. iThemes Security

ithemes security plugin

iThemes security is a feature-packed WordPress security plugin. It’s available as both a free and paid plugin for WordPress sites. The paid version will unlock more detailed security measures.

The free version has some decent features, but if you really want to protect your site, you’ll want to consider the pro version. It will not only unlock some stellar security features but it’s also affordable, at only $80 per year.

The Pro version does a lot to enhance security, like providing strong password protection, backing up and securing your databases, protecting against brute force attacks, moving your login page, adding two-factor authentication, and a lot more.

Plus, you’ll get regular website monitoring and dedicated professional support.

You can download and give the free version of the plugin a test drive, or upgrade to the pro version here.


3. Wordfence Security

wordfence security plugin

WordFence Security is one of the top free WordPress security plugins on the market. It excels in protecting your site from brute force attacks, real-time security monitoring, login page protection, and IP blacklisting. Plus, it adds a firewall to your site.

WordFence also has an extensive database of offending websites and IP addresses, which are atomically blocked from accessing your site.

The premium version of the plugin is equipped with additional features to take your security to new heights. That includes real-time threat protection, an improved firewall, two-factor authentication, geographic protection, dedicated support, improved spam protection, and more.

You can download the free version of Wordfence here, or you can opt to purchase the premium version.  


4. Sucuri Security

sucuri wordpress plugin

The Sucuri Security plugin is created by a team of WordPress security experts. This plugin is entirely free and will help both will regular site monitoring, and strengthen your existing levels of security.

Once you install the plugin it will automatically scan your site to look for any infected files or known sources of security weakness. You can then restore or repair your site to ensure it’s in good working condition.

Beyond this initial scan and clean up this plugin will provide you with regular website monitoring and malware scanning. Plus, it will strengthen your existing security protocols to ensure that your site is protected against the biggest threats and vulnerabilities lurking online.

You can install this plugin for free here. There’s also an option to opt for a premium version of this plugin, which will add a website firewall and more security features to your site.


5. SecuPress


SecuPress is a relatively new addition to the WordPress security space. However, it’s seen very rapid growth. There are both free and premium versions of this plugin available.

One of the strongest features of SecuPress is its intuitive UI, which makes it incredibly easy to setup and use. Not only that it’s equipped with a built-in security scanner, which will scan your site for six main points of vulnerability.

If any points of weakness are revealed during this scan, then the plugin will actually fix them at the click of a button. Overall, this is a very solid and easy to use security plugin.

The premium version of the plugin will give you additional features like anti-spam protection, automated website backups in case a restore is needed, and automated website scans.

You can download the free version of the plugin here, or pick up the Pro version for $59.


Closing Thoughts

Website security is complex. It’s continually evolving, and what kept your site secure a year ago probably won’t do the trick today.

Instead of trying to understand all the security threats out there, the better course of action is taking the necessary steps to protect your site, and letting the experts handle and understand the risks they’re protecting you from.

All of the plugins above are great choices when it comes to protecting your website. If you have a smaller site and don’t get a ton of traffic, then you can probably get away with a free WordPress security plugin. But, as your site grows it’s probably a good idea to upgrade to one of the paid options above and look into implementing a website security checker.

Improve the security of your site without having to lift a finger. Upgrade to managed WordPress hosting now, and our WordPress experts monitor your site for threats and take care of security for you, so you never have to worry. 

Improve the security of your site without having to lift a finger. Upgrade to managed WordPress hosting now, and our WordPress experts monitor your site for threats and take care of security for you, so you never have to worry.

With your site’s security taken care of you can focus on the important things, running your online business, and growing your traffic.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin Wed, 12 Sep 2018 19:59:18 +0000 The post How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin appeared first on HostGator Blog.

Ranking in the search engines can be a powerful way to grow your site. By using a WordPress hosting plan...

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Ranking in the search engines can be a powerful way to grow your site. By using a WordPress hosting plan you’re already giving yourself a head start, as it’s pretty well optimized.

However, if you want to take your onsite search engine optimization even further, then you’ll want to use an SEO plugin for WordPress.

Part of on-page SEO success is adhering to best practices to help your WordPress website rank. This includes optimizing your pages and other content the right way. The other aspect is offsite SEO, which involves things like building strong and relevant backlinks to your site.

This post will focus on the first part of that equation, optimizing your site’s content for relevant keywords to help you rank.

Luckily, this process can be simplified by using a WordPress SEO plugin.

Below you’ll learn why you’ll want to use a WordPress SEO plugin, which plugins for WordPress are worth using, and finally, how to install a WordPress SEO plugin on your site.

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Why You Need a WordPress SEO Plugin

As we mentioned, choosing WordPress as your CMS already puts you ahead in the SEO game.

But, optimizing your WordPress site the right way still takes time and skill. So, if you don’t want to spend months learning the ins and outs of on-page SEO, you can rely on an SEO plugin for WordPress to guide the way.

There are dozens of little tweaks you’ll need to make to properly optimize your siteBy using an SEO plugin you’ll save time and make your life a lot easier.

Plus, if you want to rank in the search engines, then there are a lot of other, offsite SEO tasks you’ll need to be doing. Spending all your time on onsite SEO just doesn’t make sense.

With the help of an SEO plugin you’ll be able to quickly optimize your content, so you can focus on the quality of your content, and other offsite factors that’ll really help your WordPress website rank.


Which WordPress SEO Plugin Should You Choose?

Hopefully, by now, you understand why using a WordPress SEO plugin is essential. Now, it’s time to choose the best SEO plugin for your site.

There are dozens of different SEO plugins for WordPress you can use. However, instead of diving into every plugin here, we’ll focus on the best one you can use: Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO is one of the most useful and comprehensive SEO plugins for WordPress on the market. Plus, it’s entirely free.

With Yoast, you’ll get access to features like:

  • Post title and meta optimization
  • Keyword analysis and expert SEO recommendations
  • XML sitemap creation and integration
  • Taxonomy creation
  • Google Webmaster Tools validation
  • And more!

It’s a feature-packed free plugin that will actually educate you about SEO-friendly practices as you spend time optimizing your site and your content.


How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin

Below you’ll learn how to install and configure Yoast SEO on your WordPress blog or site.

For the sake of this tutorial, we’re assuming you already have WordPress installed on your site.

If you don’t then follow this tutorial and do that first. For those who are already rocking WordPress, let’s dive in!


1. Install and Activate the Plugin

First, you’ll need to install and activate the Yoast plugin to make your site more SEO friendly. To do this navigate to Plugins>Add New on your sidebar.

Next, search for Yoast SEO and install the free plugin that looks like the one below.

yoast seo

Now, click ‘Activate’ and the Yoast plugin will be installed on your site.

With the plugin installed it’s time to start configuring the settings. You’ll probably notice that there are a ton of different settings you can play around with.

Instead of focusing on every aspect of the tool, we’ll only focus on tweaking the settings that are most relevant towards improving your rankings.

With that being said, click on the new ‘SEO’ tab on the left-hand sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. This will open up Yoast SEO.


2. Using the Configuration Wizard

The easiest way to set up WordPress Yoast SEO is by using the configuration wizard. Click on the link that looks like the picture below to get started.

yoast generalSelect Your Environment.

The first step is easy. Click the box that says ‘Option A’. Unless you’re building a site that isn’t quite ready to launch to the world.

yoast environment

Select Your Site Type

Next, you’ll select the type of site that best matches your site.

yoast site type

Choose Company or Person.

Next, you’ll choose whether this site will represent a person or a company. This will help when ranking and displaying your site in the Google Knowledge Graph. If you choose ‘Company’ you can also add your logo during this step.

yoast company

Add Your Social Profiles.

If you have any existing social media profiles, then you’ll want to enter those URLs now. This will help the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin provide more details about your site to Google. You don’t have to enter every single profile you have, just the ones you use most often and are actually related to your website.

yoast social profiles

Select How You Want Your Site to Appear in the Search Engines.

Now, you’ll decide if you want both your posts and pages to show up in the search engines. You’ll probably want to leave these default settings and allow the search engines to index your entire site.

yoast search engine visibility

Determine Authorship.

If you’re going to be the only author for your blog, then you’ll want to select ‘No’. This will help you avoid any duplicate content issues that can reflect negatively on your rankings.

However, if you will have multiple authors on your site then choose ’Yes’. This will create individual archive pages, so people can access posts written solely by that author.

yoast multiple authors

Integrate Google Search Console.

Google Search Tool is a valuable tool that will provide you with relevant search information about your site. To configure this you’ll need to have an existing Google Search Console profile.

If you don’t have it set up already, then this post will show you how to do it.

You can always set this up later if you don’t want to go through the process at this time. It isn’t necessary for the proper functioning of Yoast SEO.

yoast google search console

Choose Your Title Settings.

Your title is the main headline that will appear in the search results. Here you’ll choose your website name and the separator you want to use.

yoast title settings

There are a few more sections to click through, which will ask you to sign up for their newsletter and upgrade to the premium version of Yoast. However, you don’t have to do either of these if you don’t want to.

Just keep clicking through until you get to the ‘Success!’ page.

Congratulations! You’ve now properly configured the Yoast WordPress plugin for your site.


Optimizing Your Pages and Posts

One of the coolest features of the Yoast plugin is how easy it is to optimize your pages and posts.

To do this open up one of your existing posts or pages. Towards the bottom of the page (underneath your content), you’ll see a box labeled Yoast SEO.

yoast post setup

Here you can change your title, meta description, URL, and enter your focus keyword. Then, you’ll get a score and recommendations for how you can improve that score based on search engine optimization best practices.

For every page and post on your site, you should aim for ‘Green’, which means that your content is properly optimized for your chosen keyword.

If for some reason Yoast WordPress SEO plugin isn’t the right one for you, then spend some time finding an SEO plugin that works better for you. The installation process will be the same as the first few steps above.


Start Optimizing Your On-Site SEO

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to install a WordPress SEO plugin on your site and set it up the right way. Finally, it’s important to note that your host can actually have an influence on your rankings, so make sure you choose a quality hosting environment.

If you have any more questions about how to install a WordPress SEO plugin, please contact us at HostGator today!

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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Is WordPress Right for Your Business? Wed, 12 Sep 2018 19:00:34 +0000 The post Is WordPress Right for Your Business? appeared first on HostGator Blog.

You’re here because you’re trying to decide if WordPress is the right tool to build your business website. It’s a...

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You’re here because you’re trying to decide if WordPress is the right tool to build your business website.

It’s a common concern to have, after all, there are dozens of different website builders, platforms, and content management systems to choose from. And you want what’s best for your business.

WordPress currently powers around 30% of the internet. This might not seem like a lot, but when compared to the hundreds of different ways people can build a website, it’s pretty impressive.

Is WordPress good for a business website? The short answer is yes.

Below we’ll go into greater depth behind that answer. You’ll learn what WordPress is, why it’s a great choice for your business, and finally, we’ll highlight a few themes that will be perfect for your new business website.

best WordPress hosting

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system. At its core, a content management system will allow you to build your site, and create, edit, and manage content all without knowing how to code.

It originally started as a blogging platform, but since it’s early days WordPress has gone on to power some of the largest sites in the world, like BBC America, The New Yorker, and Tech Crunch.

With WordPress for business, you build your business website with themes, add new features with plugins, and use the built-in key features to create and manage your content.


Why WordPress is a Great Choice for Your Business

When you’re choosing a platform to support your business, you have different needs than someone who’s just building out a simple site for personal use.

As a business owner, your website needs to offer you flexibility and control. It should be easy to use, and the platform should scale to meet the growing demands of your business.

As you’ll soon learn below, WordPress does all of these things and more.


1. WordPress Is Affordable

As a business owner, you probably want to cut costs whenever possible. Now, you don’t want to sacrifice quality, but you’re probably looking for the best possible deal.

Luckily, WordPress satisfies those requirements.

Right out of the box, the CMS is completely free and open source. Your only investments will be in your domain name and WordPress hosting plans, and whether you decide to use a free WordPress theme or a premium theme to build out your site.

You will have some initial upfront costs, but the lower ongoing costs will make it a better investment for years to come.


2. WordPress Is Infinitely Flexible

With WordPress, you can build any kind of site you desire, from advanced eCommerce sites to thousand page content machines, and every kind of site in between.

You not only have thousands of different theme options to choose from, but you also have a  massive marketplace of the most popular WordPress plugins you can choose from to add more features to your site.

The near-infinite flexibility of WordPress is part of the reason it’s so popular. No matter what kind of business site you want to build, WordPress can help you build it.


3. WordPress Is Easy to Use

One of the reasons behind the widespread adoption of WordPress is that it’s very easy to use.

Plus you’ll have infinitely more control over the end result of your site, and you’ll always have complete ownership over your data.

There are a wide range of WordPress tutorials out there that will help you do everything you need to get started, such as installing WordPress on your site, building out your theme, installing plugins, and even troubleshooting different issues.


4. WordPress Has a Large Online Community

If you run into any issues with your site there’s always a large community you can lean on. You’ll find a wealth of support materials from your theme and plugin providers, and everything else you need is just a Google search away.

Since WordPress is so popular, a dedicated and genuinely helpful community has sprung up. There are dozens of blogs and sites dedicated entirely to teaching you the ins and outs of WordPress and helping you overcome any issues you might run into.


5. WordPress Can Grow With You

WordPress powers everything from small blogs, all the way up to some of the largest websites online, like Thought Catalog, CNN, the New York Post, and more. What explains this varied demand?

First, it has endless customization options. 

Second, it’s built to scale and manage even the largest websites that have thousands of posts and get millions of visitors per month.

Another bonus? No major upgrades are required to meet this growth. You’ll have everything you need to scale your website right from the very beginning.


6. WordPress Is Secure

As a business owner, your site needs to be secure. Getting your site hacked, or having a security breach can lead to a loss of trust in the eyes of your visitors. In some cases, their personal data can even become comprised, which can be difficult to recover from.

Almost every system is vulnerable to hacking. Since WordPress is such a popular platform it’s more likely to be the subject of an attack. Securing your website will protect your WordPress site against many different types of cybersecurity threats.

But, this also means you have even more people working to prevent those attacks and create patches when any security vulnerabilities might arise.

You have an extensive set of security plugin options you can install to greatly improve the security of your site. You also have the ability to choose a WordPress managed host, which will take your site security to ultimate heights.


7. You Have Control Over Your Data

WordPress is open source, and you’ll be self-hosting your own website. This means that you own everything regarding your website: your files, content, media, and even where you want to host your site.

That means you can effectively pack up and bring your site elsewhere whenever you’d like.

Using closed systems like Squarespace means that you’re never in full ownership of your site. It is possible to migrate away from platforms like that, but you’ll typically have to leave a lot of your site behind – and spend time building a new site from scratch.

Just like all business owners, you want to know who’s in control of your site’s data, and you want that person to be you.


Top WordPress Themes for Business

Hopefully, by now, you have a greater understanding of why you should choose WordPress for your new business website.

The next challenge you’ll face is choosing the right WordPress themes for your business.

Here are five of the best WordPress business themes we’ve come across for business owners:


1. Divi

divi theme

Divi is a very clean, mobile responsive, and flexible theme. You can effectively use this theme to build any kind of website you desire.

It’s built on a drag and drop builder, so all your site’s customization is just handled by dragging, dropping, and rearranging certain content blocks.

There are also dozens of pre-built page layout options, so you don’t have to create every single page from scratch.


2.Digital Pro

digital pro theme

Digital Pro is a great eCommerce business theme that sits on top of the Genesis framework. It’s very clean and elegant and packed with features.

You’ll be able to easily customize your eCommerce site through the customization panel, adding text, changing color schemes, responsive layout options, and a lot more.

Like most theme options in the StudioPress library, this makes use of a lot of whitespace and offers clean typography. The end result provides your visitors with a very comfortable browsing experience.


3. Navy

navy theme

Navy is a clean and versatile theme. It emphasizes large images along with clear and bold typography to help get your message across.

If you’re a cutting-edge company or want to give off a sleek and professional appearance, then this theme is a great choice.

Once you install the theme you’ll have the option of choosing between one of 12 different homepage templates, as well as a variety of templates for the rest of your site content. 

Plus, there’s a drag and drop builder built-in, so you can easily rearrange your pages to give them a unique look.


4. Corporate

corporate theme

Corporate will give your eCommerce site a very sleek and professional appearance. It offers you a very clean and spacious mobile responsive design so you can put the focus on your words and business.

This theme works great for companies who also have a physical business, as you’ll be able to integrate your phone number, team page, and address.

It even includes cool features like an animated experience display (to highlight your skills), pricing tables, the parallax scaling effect, and more.


5. Foundry

foundry theme

Foundry offers a cutting-edge and minimalist theme for businesses that want a responsive design for mobile devices. This theme presents you with a simple display, while still offering you all the customization options you require.

It’s equipped with 25 different concepts that are designed for specific niches or e-commerce business verticals. Each of these essentially acts as a skin on top of the existing theme.

Since it’s bundled with Visual Composer, you can drag and drop your way to building out your site.

It’s a great theme for businesses that want to project their message loud and clear.


WordPress: The Right Choice for Your Business Site

Hopefully, you see now that choosing WordPress to build your new business site is basically a no-brainer. Its flexibility, affordability, scalability, and ease of use are just a few of the reasons it should be your top choice.

Build your WordPress business website today.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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How To Copyright Your WordPress Blog Wed, 12 Sep 2018 18:45:40 +0000 The post How To Copyright Your WordPress Blog appeared first on HostGator Blog.

You’re probably already familiar with copyrights. You’ll generally find them at the bottom of most websites and apps. Still, if...

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The post How To Copyright Your WordPress Blog appeared first on HostGator Blog.

You’re probably already familiar with copyrights. You’ll generally find them at the bottom of most websites and apps. Still, if you don’t have any experience creating or using copyrights, then the process might seem a little confusing., and you may be wondering how to copyright a blog.

Without a copyright, you leave your WordPress blog open to online thieves who might try and use your content as their own.

Luckily, securing your WordPress blog with a copyright doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult.

There are multiple methods to employ a copyright, which we’ll get into below. Keep reading to learn what a website copyright is, how to copyright a blog, and finally, the different types of copyrights you can use to protect your WordPress blog.

best WordPress hosting

Why Should I Use a Website Copyright?

Here’s something that may surprise you: once you launch your WordPress blog or a website, it’s automatically granted with a copyright.

This built-in copyright means people need to ask for your permission to use your content unless it’s properly attributed back to you. Unfortunately, while this seems like your work is done, it’s not. Some people will still end up misusing your original work.

Your best course of action is to take the necessary steps to properly copyright and protect your content. It might seem time-consuming, but there’s nothing worse than finding your blog content (word for word), on another site.

Plus, copyrighting your website gives you a distinct advantage. With a copyright, you have tangible proof of ownership over your site’s content. This allows you to more easily enforce legal action if something does happen with your content.

Taking the proper copyright steps now will give you greater legal ground and an improved sense of protection against people who might scrape your site’s content and original images.


What Kind of Content Does a Copyright Protect?

Before you get too excited, know that you won’t be able to copyright every single aspect of your WordPress site. You can copyright any originally created content, including images that you’ve created yourself and any blogs you’ve written.

Unfortunately, this protection won’t extend to the way your site looks, and sometimes even your domain name (more on this below). This is simply due to the fact that, with the rise of the internet, most copyright law is pretty old. With technology moving as fast as it does, it’s hard for copyright laws to move fast enough to keep up and protect every aspect of your intellectual property.

Generally, the following elements of your WordPress site will be protected by copyright law:

  • Any original written content across your site
  • Any original code (that you have ownership too)
  • Photographs that you’ve taken yourself
  • Original artwork or images
  • Any embedded video content that you’ve created

Since you have a WordPress site there are other elements that fall into more of a grey area, like your themes and plugins, or any user-generated content like comments.

There is a possibility that your entire site could be copyrighted, but you’d have to be able to prove that every single aspect of your site is indeed original, from your codebase to your content and images to even the layout of your site.


How to Copyright Your WordPress Blog

As you’ll learn below there are multiple methods you can employ to copyright your WordPress blog, along with protecting your content to avoid any copyright infringment of your original work.

Each of the steps below will add further protection to your website. You don’t have to implement every single one of them, but most are pretty simple and will greatly improve your copyright protection. By following these suggestions, you’ll be able to learn how to copyright your blog and keep your content protected.


1. Add a Copyright Notice to Your Site

When you install a WordPress theme you’ll probably notice a copyright symbol at the bottom of your blog. Almost all themes are equipped with a copyright notice. For example, here’s the copyright on the bottom of the HostGator blog, which uses WordPress hosting:

wordpress copyright

You’ll be able to change this to the name of your own blog within the blog theme settings, or by adjusting the footer itself.

You can keep your copyright message simple. All you’ll really need is the copyright symbol, the date when your website was created or the current year, and your name or company name.

Changing your copyright notice should be your first line of defense.


2. Add a Terms of Use Page

Hopefully, adding the traditional copyright notice to your blog will be enough to ward off most people. But, if you want to take an extra step of protection and spell out the use and misuse of your content in greater detail, then creating and adding a Terms of Use page to your site is a great idea.

Even though these pages might seem technical in nature, there are a variety of tools that can help you generate these pages rather quickly.

For starters, you have online tools like Termsfeed and Formswift. With these you’ll enter some basic information and terms of service page will automatically be generated. Then, you just copy and paste this into a new page on your WordPress site called Terms of Service. Usually, you’ll want to place a link to this page in your footer, next to your copyright notice (just like we did at HostGator).

The other option is to use a WordPress plugin. One of the simplest is called Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This plugin will autogenerate any necessary terms of service and privacy policy pages. You can then embed these pages into your site through the use of a shortcode. There’s also a premium version of this plugin which will offer you additional copyright protection, and things like maintaining GDPR compliance.


3. Register Your Copyright

You automatically have copyright protection for any content you create. But, if you want to bring legal action, then you’ll need to individually copyright each blog post.

To do this you’ll need to submit and file an application with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can submit your registration for multiple blog posts at once through the copyright office.

If you have a very active blog, then you’ll probably want to do this a couple times per year. It will cost money, but for blogs earning you money, the expense is minimal for the protection it affords.


4. Protect Your WordPress Site Content

One great way to protect your content is to make it impossible to actually copy it. You might have seen this before when you try to right click on a website and you’re unable to actually copy it. Typically, this is because they’re using a WordPress plugin that actually stops this action.

You have a few different ways to do this, which protect any visual content, along with any written content. If you’re using your own artwork or photography, then you’ll probably want to implement both.


Protecting Your Blog Images

If you’re uploading original images or artwork to the web, then it’s highly recommended to add a watermark. The most effective way to do this is to add it within your preferred image editing software.

There are plugins and online tools you can use, but usually, this will result in a less clean image. A small watermark can go a long way.

That way if anyone does try to steal your original images you’ll have the watermark to prove it. Plus, having watermarked photos and artwork makes it less likely for people to steal them in the first place.

The other thing you’ll want to protect against is called image hotlinking. This not only means that someone else is using your image, but they’re also using your server resources. When someone hotlines your image, they embed the image using a link to the original file (on your server), then when their page is loaded it uses your server resources to load the image.

To prevent image hotlinking you’ll want to use an additional plugin or tool. If you use a CDN like Cloudflare, then you can simply enable hotlinking protection. Otherwise, you can use a WordPress security plugin like All In One WP Security and Firewall, which has the ability to turn on hotlink protection.


Protecting Your Blog Content

Protecting your written content can be a little bit more difficult. If you’re concerned about privacy and the unauthorized use of your content, then you can always install a WordPress plugin that will prevent visitors from copy and pasting your site’s content.

The ability to highlight and right-click on any content will be completely blocked. This isn’t always the best course of action, as you might want to make it easy for readers to copy and share your content on social media. But, if it becomes a problem, then it’s a good option to have.

There are a few plugins you can use to accomplish this, but the most common are WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click and Prevent Content Theft. With either of these plugins, just activate,  install, and your content will be protected by copyright laws.


Protecting Against Scrapers

Scrapers are the bane of existence for a lot of website owners. You’ve worked hard to create a great piece of content, only to find your entire post copy and pasted to another website. Typically, these websites are based upon bots that scrape content from popular sites, hoping to piggyback on the success of this popular content.

This content is usually stolen from your RSS feed. One of the best ways to protect against this is to use the built-in feature of Yoast SEO. With this plugin, you’ll be able to add a phrase to your content that says something like, “This content originally appeared on [your blog name]”. This helps to prove your content ownership before you take any further action.

yoast seo rss settings for wordpress

5. Trademark the Name of Your Blog

If your blog continues to grow in popularity, then you might want to consider trademarking the name of your blog. A copyright will protect your the content on yoru blog, while a trademark will protect the name of your blog.

By creating a trademark for your blog name you’ll protect your name against anyone who decides to create a website with a similar name. However, it might be difficult for your blog name to be accepted if it’s already too similar to an existing name. This works best for large blogs that have been built under a unique name.

Still, it might be a course of action worth pursuing. If so, you can file an application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is a lengthy process, but one that might be worthwhile for large blogs.


6. Send a Simple Cease and Desist for Infringing Content

Maybe you’ve already found that some website is using your content or your original images without your permission. This tends to happen pretty frequently, whether it’s by accident or on purpose.

The first step you can take is sending a simple email, letting the site owner know about the use of your protected content, and how you’d like them to take it down. Usually, this simple nudge will be enough.

If you find that they don’t respond, or don’t take down the content, then you can take the next step of drafting a cease and desist letter for copyright infringment. You may hire a lawyer to draft up the document for you, or you can use a free online tool like Wonder.Legal or Rocket Lawyer to create a simple letter.

Just know that a letter coming from a lawyer will probably carry more weight than the one you’ve drafted up yourself.

If this doesn’t work, then you can always take an additional (more formal) step and utilize the DMCA, which we get into next.


7. Use the DMCA

Even though copyright laws haven’t been updated in a while to reflect current internet standards there is a new copyright law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Essentially, this gives you right to issue a takedown notice to any website that’s passing off your original content as their own.

The DMCA was introduced back in the early 1990’s. It has a lot of moving parts, but the takedown notice will probably be most useful to you.

Typically, you’ll end up using this to your advantage when a website scraper has scraped your content and posted it on their website, claiming it’s their own. You’ll find this all over the web.

When this occurs you might have difficulty finding out who actually owns the website. If you run into this issue, then you can use Whois Lookup, to find out who owns the site, or even where the website is hosted.

You can also reach out to the web host who is hosting the website and let them know about the issue. In most cases, the host will end up removing the infringing site, as they don’t want to be hosting stolen content. Finding out who the domain owner is and understanding how Whois works can be extremely helpful should you run into this situation.


Protect Your WordPress Blog with a Copyright

Hopefully, you have a better idea of what it takes to copyright your WordPress blog. If you’ve run into copyright issues in the past, or want to prevent future headaches, then implementing the above steps is worth the time.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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Why Should You Use a Website Builder? Wed, 29 Aug 2018 21:00:59 +0000 The post Why Should You Use a Website Builder? appeared first on HostGator Blog.

Why Should You Use a Website Builder? Building a website doesn’t have to be intimidating. In the past, if you...

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The post Why Should You Use a Website Builder? appeared first on HostGator Blog.

Why Should You Use a Website Builder?

Building a website doesn’t have to be intimidating. In the past, if you wanted a website you’d have to pay upfront for a website developer. Although this still might be the case for some kinds of projects, it’s not true for most website owner’s needs.

Luckily, with the introduction of website builders, the process of getting your site online couldn’t be easier, not to mention speedy.

Below you’ll learn what a website builder is and why you’ll want to use one for your next website.

HostGator Website Builder

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a tool that lets you build a beautiful and functional website without any coding or design knowledge. The only skill you need to have is the ability to click and move a mouse around a screen.

Instead of having to code a website from scratch, or construct a template from a prebuilt design you’re relying on the pre-existing features of the website builder.

The templates that website builders use have been designed and coded by web design experts, so the site you create will be up to the latest web design standards.

If you want to create a professional-looking website, but don’t have any existing web design knowledge, then a website builder is the tool you need.


Why Website Builders Are Awesome

Web builders make building a website as simple as possible. Below we cover some of the biggest reasons you’ll want to consider using a website builder for your next, or first, website.


1. No Development Experience Required

If you’ve thought about building a website in the past, but got held up with all the technical steps, then using a website builder is the solution you’ve been looking for. Website builders not only get rid of the need to know how to code, but you can also avoid other technical tasks too.

For instance, most website builders also take care of your hosting, nameservers, and domain name registration for you.


2. Drag and Drop Building

One of the most useful features of a website builder is the drag and drop functionality. With this, all you have to do is literally drag and drop elements of your site until you’re satisfied with the final product.

This gives you complete control over the design and layout of your site. Plus, this way of building a site lets you create a site incredibly quickly too.


3. Easy to Make Changes

Beyond building out your site making changes is also a breeze. Instead of having to change the CSS or HTML files to adjust how things look you can simply tweak the settings to your liking.

You’ll be able to change things like your color scheme, font choice, insert images, delete sections, and a lot more, all at the click of a button.


4. Bundled Website Management Tools

Simply building out your site and publishing it online isn’t enough. Luckily, a website builder won’t leave you high and dry at this stage of your online journey.

Most website builders are also equipped with tools like site statistics and reporting integration, a website email address, eCommerce integration, along with marketing tools to help you get the most out of your new site.


5. Very Speedy Website Building Process

Finally, website builders are lean and mean. Imagine going from not having a website to having a finished site live on the internet in a handful of hours, maybe even sooner.

With a website builder, this can be a reality. It’ll be hard for you to find an easier and faster way to get your first website online, all with zero development skills or technical know-how required.

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how a website builder can make it dead simple to build out your new website.


Time to Use a Website Builder

If you’re looking for a website builder that makes building a website almost too easy, then check out the HostGator web builder. With hundreds of themes and an intuitive drag and drop builder, it couldn’t be simpler.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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