Library

Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) Plugin for Added WordPress Security

The Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) plugin is one way to boost site security and reduce spam. It adds a very simple to use reCAPTCHA checkbox to all forms (or some forms as you see fit). Installation and setup is very easy, and the options are straight-forward. I especially like that you can add this feature to the login page and the comments forms. Plus, you can exclude logged in users by role – even custom roles!

Google reCAPTCHA Plugin Options

The premium options you can buy into are nice to have, but are not necessary to make the plug-in work like a champ on basic sites.

You can get the plugin on WordPress.org to install manually or search “Google reCAPTCHA” through your WordPress [Add New] plugin screen. The plugin is by BestWebSoft.

Update 6/27/16:
So, I’m not overly fond of the latest update. It includes an updated menu (BWS Panel) that is moved to the top complete with an over-large icon that messes up the flow of the admin menu. The “improved” menu screen would probably be great if I subscribed to their services and used other plugins, but I just want the one free-version for now. I don’t appreciate this particular type of in-your-face up-selling. If you don’t mind all of the extra baggage and/or you intend to “go pro,” then this is still a great plugin to use. As of today, pro membership (access to all their plugins) is $40/month and $17.95/year for the one plugin.

A great-so-far alternative is the GNA Google reCAPTCHA.

Limit WordPress Revisions

This little method right here is something I employ on all my WordPress websites. There are plug-ins that can do this for you, but it is such a simple code edit that there’s no real reason to have an extra plug-in for it.

If you want to see how many revisions you have for your posts/pages, go to the editor for one post/page. If revisions are not displayed under the text editor, then select the appropriate check box from the “Screen Options” drop-down in the upper-right of the WordPress Dashboard.

By default there is no limit on the amount of revisions so any limit you impose is going to help keep your WordPress database more efficient. We’ll be using the WP_POST_REVISIONS setting in our wp-config.php file to accomplish this.

In this example we’re going to set our max amount of revisions per page or post to 3. So in total there will be 4 entries in the database per page or post, 1 for the original itself, and then the 3 latest revisions.

Step 1. Login to your cPanel.
Step 2. Access the cPanel File Manager Code Editor and navigate to your wp-config.php file.
Step 3. Enter in the following code towards the top of the wp-config.php file:

/*
 @package WordPress
 */

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

After that click on Save Changes at the top-right.

I use FTP to get, edit, and put the wp-config.php file. Use whatever works for you. That block of code is the important bit.

Excerpts from: Limit or disable WordPress revisions – InMotion Hosting

Title and NoFollow for Links in WordPress

Basics

You can easily insert title and nofollow information into each link manually via the WordPress Text editor. It goes something like this:

<a title="ADDITIONAL LINK INFORMATION" href="URL" rel="nofollow">
EDIT LINK TEXT</a>

Plugin

If you like using the WYSIWYG editor and all the tools that come with it, then you’ll love how this plugin modifies the link settings modal.

Title and NoFollow Link Settings

Here is part of the write up from WPBeginner:

Often SEO experts recommend that you use rel=”nofollow” attribute on external links. This attribute tells search engines that they can crawl these links, but you don’t want to pass away any link authority to these websites…

Adding Title and NoFollow Fields in Insert Link Popup

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Title and Nofollow For Links plugin. It works out of the box, and there are no settings for you to configure.

Simply edit or create a new WordPress post and then click on the insert link button in the post editor. The insert link popup will appear, and you will notice the restored Title field and a checkbox to add the nofollow attribute to the link.

 

Link Title

I wondered at what the Title attribute actually does, and I got mixed results from my research. Some say it assists with SEO. Others say the majors search players don’t give the text in the title attribute much weight, and it doesn’t matter.

Some say it assists with accessibility, but others say screen readers don’t use it. An article titled “I thought title text improved accessibility. I was wrong.” actually makes that case fairly convincingly.

For me, I will not be using the Title attribute.

NoFollow

Links be default are “follow” links, which means search engines count your link to a particular website as a boost for that website in the search rankings. NoFollow means the link to a particular website will not be counted by search engines. This WordStream article defines these types of links very well, if you are interested in more reading.

The article quoted above mentions giving away “link authority” and it is further explained by the author in his comments that you would want to protect your site’s search rankings by adding NoFollow when linking to sites that you may not trust so much. Basically, if you boost too many sites that are “junk” your site’s rankings start hurting.

I will likely use NoFollow, but only sparingly.

Happy Linking!

Updated: 5/8/2016

CleanTalk

My Review*

CleanTalk is a premium cloud-based anti-spam plug-in for your WordPress website. One giant plus is that it blocks nearly all of the spam without the use of captcha or other “prove you are human” mechanisms.

I installed and tested out the plug-in on this website, and it was pretty terrific. The plug-in was easy to install and setup. It did a great job and did not adversely affect my website.

There is a free trail period, and then the plug-in’s cloud service costs $8/year for one website. (They have pricing plans if you manage more than one website.) That price not only blocks spam comments, but also offers very detailed statistics. It’s pretty cool. 🙂

[Tweet “Easily block spam commenting on your website with the CleanTalk plug-in and service. “]

How to Get It

Within the WordPress dashboard, select Plugins > Add New, and then search for CleanTalk. Otherwise, you can download it from WordPress to install manually. Once installed, go through the super easy setup process to initiate your account and start blocking spam.

*These are not affiliate links, and I’m not otherwise being compensated for expressing my opinions.

 

What Pages are Popular on Your Site?

This is an instructional piece for finding your website’s most popular pages for the past 30 days utilizing Google Analytics.

#i: Log in, and get to your website’s Google Analytic’s dashboard.

#1: Select Behavior > Site Content > All Pages from the left-hand menu.

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

#2: In the upper-right of the screen, is a pull-down for the date range settings. The last 30 days is the default date range. However, you can select any number of different options from the Date Range drop-down.
#3: Click on the Apply button to update the results to any changes you made.

Set Date Range

#4: Below the graph, there’s click on “Page Title.” This option simply makes the table below easier to read.

Page Title Selection

#5: The default is to show 10 results. If you need to see more than that, select a larger number from the “Show rows:” drop-down. This option is on the bottom right of the results table.

Show More Results

#6: If you’re just looking to know, you’re done! If you need this information for reports and whatnot, make a selection from the Export menu at the top of the page.

Export Google Analytics

 

Case Sensitive Template Designation

When creating a child theme in WordPress, this codex is more than adequate to get rolling. However, I did run into one bump this go around. The name input for “Template:” is case sensitive.

This style.css header:

/*
 Theme Name:   Twenty Fifteen Child
 Theme URI:    http://example.com/twenty-fifteen-child/
 Description:  Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
 Author:       John Doe
 Author URI:   http://example.com
 Template:     twentyfifteen
 ...
*/

is not the same as:

/*
 Theme Name:   Twenty Fifteen Child
 Theme URI:    http://example.com/twenty-fifteen-child/
 Description:  Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
 Author:       John Doe
 Author URI:   http://example.com
 Template:     Twentyfifteen
 ...
*/

Now you know, and perhaps I can remember!

Store Locator Plus

I’m getting ready to install a plug-in that enables visitors to a client site to find what they are looking for. I was envisioning this to be a difficult process, but then I found this gem: http://tx.ag/ru7hjk

Initial Setup & Thoughts

I installed the theme without incident. I added in a few spots, set a few options, selected the “Big Map Rev 01” theme, and it’s ready to boogie with minimal tweaks.

It took me a moment to figure out that I needed to create a page in “full width” layout, and that the short-code needed was simply [ SLPLUS ] (no spaces). That wasn’t overly clear in the directions, but not hard to figure out either.

The admin panel is well laid out, easy to use, and has those fabulous question marks to pull out extra info for you when needed. I like it.

[Tweet “Find what your looking for with the Store Locator Plus (WP Plugin)”]

Little Blips

The styling of the theme has some oddities that need fixing, and the formatting of the address in the map bubble is very clumsy. Lastly, I don’t readily see where I can change the default radius to 10 miles instead of 200.
Read More

Importer Not Functioning

I have loads of posts, but the WordPress importer doesn’t like WordPress 3.9.1 in the slightest. Hopefully, they’ll resolve this soon. This importer has worked famously up until now. I tested a few other importers, and nothing is working with the file that WordPress exported (in WordPress format). Well, that’s a little frustrating.

[Tweet “The WordPress Importer plug-in is not working with WP 3.9.1 @WordPress”]

The plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-importer/

My post in their support forum:
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/upload-doesnt-happen

Update 6/25/14: There’s one response to my support forum post. At least I know I’m not the only one!

My next step is to turn on debugging. If that doesn’t result in any clues, then I’ll export the blog in a different format (CSV, perhaps) and try a different kind of importer. If THAT doesn’t work, I’ll just have to move the posts manually (ugh). Thankfully, this is a fairly unique circumstance at this point. However, I’m surprised that it isn’t easier to export and import to and from WordPress. It should be.

Update 7/17/14: I gave up on the WordPress Importer when I found this article: “Best 10 Free WordPress Plugins.” I installed the WP CSV plug-in on my old blog, and installed the Really Simple CSV Importer plug-in on this blog. That did the trick!

Now to clean things up a bit around here.