Tag Archives: wordpress

Simple Methods of Adding SSL to Your WordPress Website

SSL WORDPRESS

People choose SSL mostly because it provides more secure information and gives more benefits, especially from a user’s perspective, as any information they share with your site via a form, shopping cart, etc. is encrypted – it is safe from the third party. However, few web developers that know the very same principles also apply to site administrators.

In fact, running the WordPress admin in https also brings huge benefit, since you can secure all the sensitive information you input daily inside of WordPress. All of this information needs protection; therefore, it is essential for every WordPress website out there to renew the certificate in every three months.

If you are in a tight budget, you can opt on the market for low-cost certificates that do the job nicely in most cases. Remember that ecommerce sites might be better off with higher level certificates that offer features like identity validation which allows customer to know you better.

This makes us have no reason for not giving a little time and money to understand and apply an SSL certificate. So, if you are committed to integrating SSL with a WordPress installation, now it’s time to discover the ways.

HTTPS Your WordPress

Before, we setup WordPress to utilize an HTTPS connection; you have to make sure that you already have an SSL certificate installed on your server. Actually, it is quite simple to setup WordPress to utilize an https connection, as follows:

  • Back up the site
  • Change the Site URL
  • Ensure all internal links and attachments use https
  • Run the WordPress admin in https
  • Automatically forward http requests to https

Change the Site URL

First, navigate over to settings > General inside the WordPress administration area since you’ll want to change the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from ‘http://www.yourdomain.com’ to ‘https://www.yourdomain.com’. Scroll down to the bottom and save the changes when you’re done and then, WordPress will automatically log you out. If you want to log back, you can use the newly-secured URL.

Make Sure All Internal Links/Attachments Use HTTPS

Even though you change the URL, image or attachment URL throughout WordPress, it will not suddenly switch your website into HTTPS. In order to discover ways to change the URL site, you can conduct a search and replace area of your database. One thing for sure, you need to back up your site to prevent anything from going wrong.

Nowadays, you can find many searches and replace plugins available for WordPress, but you can give a try to Velvet Blues Update URLs, as it can be an effective solution. Furthermore, this plugin only touches the areas of the database that need changes, so you will not mistakenly change the right thing. In fact, you can update URLs to get started once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, head over to tools > Update URLs to get started.

Don’t worry as using plugin is as simple as adding the old and new URLs for your site. All you need to do is make sure that all the settings look are correct then click “Update URLs Now” when you’re ready and let the plugin take care of the rest. You’ll see a report on the screen that says how many URLs are changed and where the plugin found them, once the URLs have been replaced.

Run the WordPress Admin in HTTPS

In order to ensure that there will be HTTPS in the WordPress back end, you should grab the latest version of your site’s wp-config.php file and add the following line just above “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */”:


Now, you can save and upload the file to your server.

Automatically Forward http Requests to Https

The last step is to make sure that you only use https URLs for your site. First, you need to download the latest copy of your site’s .htaccess file and add the following just underneath the line “RewriteEngine On”:

Then save and upload the file to your server. You can try and enter an http URL for your site in a browser to test it. If you do it right, it should automatically forward you to the https version. Bear in mind that every server has been set up differently, so you should find other ways to make this work. Feel free to contact your web host for suggestions.

Troubleshooting a ‘Broken’ Lock

Discover if there are any broken padlock icons in your browser’s address bar and/or mixed content warnings. If you find any, then something is trying to load in from an http address. Usually, it is caused by a script or other outside resource being called from your site’s theme or CSS. As a solution, you can refresh the page and see if that clears up the issue.

If the problem is still going on, you can visit “Why No Padlock?” and input your URL that you want to analyze. The site will scan and analyze it for you.

Conclusion

Keeping user’s information private is an important thing, especially if you are doing a business in digital world. By seeing the green padlock in your site’s address, users will think that your business takes their personal information seriously. This will surely increase their trust and interest to buy something from you or even fill out a simple contact form.

All About WordPress’ Protection: How Secure is WordPress?

Is-WordPress-Secure

As one of the most used websites in the world, WordPress has mostly been trusted by people for many purposes; however, many web developers are still wondering about whether or not WordPress is secure, since it surely has its flaws too. It is definitely not only the WordPress team’s responsibility to protect the underlying core of WordPress, but the responsibility also ultimately falls on your shoulders too.

Since WordPress is generally discussed online, consequently, the weaknesses of the platform are widely known. This is why hackers can easily target WordPress websites. Therefore, it is important to learn about how secure a WordPress is. Let’s figure out the explanation below.

What You Need to Know About the WordPress Project and Security

Below are things that you may need to know, regarding the WordPress Project and what they are doing to maintain the security of the core.

The WordPress Security Team

The WordPress security team is responsible for identifying security risks in the core. Aside from that, they are also good at reviewing potential issues with the third-party-submitted themes or plugins and then making recommendations on how they can harden their tools or patch known breaches. They also work on their own to identify and resolve issues, even though they may need some other experts in the field sometimes.

How WordPress identifies Security Risks

There are several ways that are used by the security risks to identify and resolute process work.

  • An issue can be identified by anyone. It can be someone from the security team or from outside of the team. For non-project members, you can communicate these detected issues by emailing security @wordpress.org.
  • A report is logged and the security team acknowledges receipt of it.
  • To verify that the threat is valid, team members need to work together on a walled-off and private server.
  • Then, they can track, test, and repair any security flaws detected.
  • After that, the security patch then gets added to the next minor WordPress release.
  • If you have a mild problem, WordPress will notify you within the WordPress dashboard whenever an automatic release occurs.
  • On the other hand, the release will go out immediately and WordPress.org will announce it on the News page of the website in more urgent issues.

Even though WordPress doesn’t always announce these security patches immediately, they will always take immediate action to resolve problems.

A Note about Automatic Updates

WordPress is able to push minor updates automatically to all websites, since version 3.7. In this way, the WordPress security team can get urgent patches out as timely as possible without having to wait for users to accept and make the update on each of their websites.

However, as a WordPress user, you can opt out of these automatic core updates. In fact, if this happens to you, please keep in mind that this may put your site at additional risk, especially when you don’t have time to monitor all your sites all the time for the latest and greatest update.

WordPress Plugins and Themes Security

Even though it may sound impossible to manage the  tens of thousands of plugins and themes out there, at least WordPress can keep a close eye on them to ensure nothing seriously insecure slips through the cracks.

When a security issue is detected, the WordPress Project is the team, responsible for working with developers. However, before that, there is a team of volunteers assigned to review each and every theme or plugin submitted to WordPress. This team is specially formed to work with developers and ensure that best practices are followed.

Nevertheless, there will always be security vulnerabilities found and that’s why we need security team to step in to:

  • Provide documentation for WordPress developers on plugin and theme development and security best practices.
  • Monitor plugins and themes for potential security flaws. Any issues detected will then be brought to the attention of the developer.
  • Remove harmful plugins or themes from the directory if the developers are unresponsive or uncooperative.

Later, when those security patches are available, WordPress will then notify its users via the WordPress admin.

OWASP’s Top 10

With the purpose of protecting organizations from software and programs that could potentially do harm, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Foundation was created back in 2001. What you may be surprised to learn is that the WordPress Project aims to abide by OWASP’s Top at all times.

Below are the top 10 list comprised by the OWASP of known and very serious security risks. By using the list, the WordPress security team uses those trends to define their own top 10 list of ways to defend the core. Basically, their goal is to protect the core from the following risks:

  1. User account management abuse
  2. Unauthenticated access requests to the WordPress admin
  3. Unwanted or unauthorized redirects
  4. Exposing users’ private data
  5. Requests for access to direct object reference
  6. Server misconfiguration
  7. Unauthorized code injection
  8. Cross-site scripting from unauthorized users
  9. Cross-site request forgeries whereby hackers misuse WordPress nonces
  10. Corrupted third-party plugins, themes, frameworks, libraries, etc.

Summary

Knowing that there is a dedicated team working that keeps the WordPress core secure at all times will surely let WordPress users feel at ease. Still, we have to do what we can do to secure it from every angle, since no matter how good the WordPress Project is at monitoring and securing the platform, hackers will find a way in.

Customizing the Error Page for Deactivated or Archived WordPress Sites

When someone visits a site by default, that means they are deactivated, then they will see a pretty dull default screen, informing that the site has been suspended. However, the problem comes when you want to customize, or add some custom content. Therefore, as a solution, this article will show you the exact way to do that. Below are some of the ways:

Suspending Sites in Your Network – the Options

Many web developers may think that terminology around deleting and suspending sites in a network is very confusing, since it’s not clear what each one means and sometimes when you do one, the system will tell you that you’ve done another.

Below is a recap on the options for removing sites from your network.

Here’s a detail of the Multisite Sites screen, which you access by going to My Sites>Network Admin>Sites:

You can find four options for removing the site:

  • When your users signup for a site, you can deactivate reverse the activation step users. However, it can be reactivated any time, since it doesn’t permanently delete the site. Besides, both the front end and the site admin screens aren’t accessible.
  • It is important to mark a site as being archived to prevent other users from accessing it. The admin screens can be accessed but not the front end. Besides, you can archive a site easily at any time and it hasn’t been removed.
  • Once your site gets spam, your site will be marked as spam, not deleted. To make it available again, you can decide whether to unmark it as spam or delete it.
  • Delete the site, but be careful when deleting the site because you have to make sure that you are ready to delete it.

The Default Screen for Suspended Sites

When your site is removed, WordPress will show a default screen. Below are scenarios that you will see.

Deactivated Sites

Visitors can see a default screen if a site is deactivated and someone other than the (logged in) network admin visits it.

Archived Sites and Sites Marked as spam

You’ll get a different screen notification, when you mark a site as spam or archived.

I know that the screens may be too basic and simple. Therefore there is not much information or explanation about what’s meant by ‘no longer available’ or ‘archived or suspended’.

Creating a Page for Deactivated Sites

Creating a new page for displaying when someone visits a deactivated site is quite straightforward. You simply create a new file called blog-deleted.php and put it in your network’s wp-content folder. This file will then be used to display a custom page instead of the default page.

Note that this is in the network’s wp-content.php folder and so the same file will be used for any sites in your network that are deactivated. In other words, you have to create something generic, rather than something specific to one site in your network.

To avoid your site from using theme or calling any plugins or additional files, the page you create has to stand alone. As a solution, you need to include any styling in that file or call an external stylesheet, which you would put in a styles folder in your wp-content folder.

Remember to include the <head> section and the opening and closing <body> tags as these won’t be coming in via your themes’ header or footer files.

You can try this by using a very simple file with all the styling included in it or with a completely blank file if you’d like or you can copy some of the content from your theme files. For example, use the copied contents of  theme’s header.php file and edit those down significantly, then manually add the rest of the markup.

Here’s the content of  <head> section:

<?php
              // file for displaying an error message on deleted sites
?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
<meta charset=”<?php bloginfo( ‘charset’ ); ?>” />
<title><?php
              /*
               * Print the <title> tag based on what is being viewed.
               */
              global $page, $paged;
              wp_title( ‘|’, true, ‘right’ );
              // Add the blog name.
              bloginfo( ‘name’ );
?></title>
<style>
              .content {
                             width:500px;
                             height:500px;
                             margin:0 auto;
                             background:#999;
                             position:absolute;
                             left:50%;
                             top:50%;
                             margin-left:-250px;
                             margin-top:-250px;
                             padding: 10px;
              }
              .content p {
                             position: relative;
                             top: 50%;
                             transform: translateY(-50%);
                             text-align: center;
                             font-size: 18px;
                             font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Verdana, sans-serif;
              }
              a:link,
              a:visited {
                             color: #fff;
                             text-decoration: underline;
              }
              a:hover,
              a:active {
                             color: #fff;
                             text-decoration: none;
              }
</style>
</head>

 

You can find some metadata and styling from the example above.

Now for the <body>:

<body <?php body_class(); ?>>
       <section class=”content”>
 
              <?php _e( ‘<p>This blog has been deleted, sorry! To create your own site, please visit <a href=”‘ . network_site_url() . ‘”>The Main Network Site</a>.’, ‘compass’ ); ?>
 
       </section>
</body>

 

The code above is just an element for the content, with a paragraph inside it and some text, which is translatable. If your network allows user sign-ups, you might need to include a link to the main site. If this site has been replaced, you might need to link to a different site or to a page on your main site explaining your policy for deleting sites, or wherever you want.

So, now the result will be like:

Isn’t it pretty? Now, you can add some different styling colors and maybe a headline. Furthermore, it is also possible to replace the default page for deleted sites and add anything you want to.

Creating a Page for Archived Sites

You can also create a custom page for sites which have been archived or marked as spam and you need to create another file also in your wp-content folder. This is called blog-suspended.php. file, but with a slightly different text. Here’s the code:

<?php
              // file for displaying an error message on deleted sites
?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
<meta charset=”<?php bloginfo( ‘charset’ ); ?>” />
<title><?php
              /*
               * Print the <title> tag based on what is being viewed.
               */
              global $page, $paged;
              wp_title( ‘|’, true, ‘right’ );
              // Add the blog name.
              bloginfo( ‘name’ );
?></title>
<style>
              .content {
                             width:500px;
                             height:500px;
                             margin:0 auto;
                             background:#999;
                             position:absolute;
                             left:50%;
                             top:50%;
                             margin-left:-250px;
                             margin-top:-250px;
                             padding: 10px;
              }
              .content p {
                             position: relative;
                             top: 50%;
                             transform: translateY(-50%);
                             text-align: center;
                             font-size: 18px;
                             font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Verdana, sans-serif;
              }
              a:link,
              a:visited {
                             color: #fff;
                             text-decoration: underline;
              }
              a:hover,
              a:active {
                             color: #fff;
                             text-decoration: none;
              }
</style>
</head>
<body <?php body_class(); ?>>
       <section class=”content”>
 
              <?php _e( ‘<p>This blog has been suspended, sorry! To create your own site, please visit <a href=”‘ . network_site_url() . ‘”>The Main Network Site</a>.’, ‘compass’ ); ?>
 
       </section>
</body>

 

The page below is what you will get when you visit an archived site:

 

By this, our visitor will get more information and a link to the main site which you can replace it with whatever you want.

Hopefully, by following the steps above, you can quickly and easily replace the default pages for archived, suspended or deleted sites. As a result, visitors will get more information from the default screens which will give them a link to your main site. This will prevent users from just leaving your network entirely.