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Wordpress in 2015WordPress in 2015 has had it’s up’s and downs.   I know!  There still one more month,  but much has happened this year with WordPress.

Just last week a report came out that said that 25% of all websites on the internet are now powered by WordPress making WordPress the most used website platform on the market.

But with that has come some problems, with most any popular software,  it has become the target of hacking.

Last year, around February,  one of the site we manage became compromised.  The weakness, as in most cases, was one of the plugins.  A Trojan horse was introduced within the site that slowly started  creating malicious code one file at a time.  It wasn’t until May that the site started to have issues.  At first,  we didn’t know what was the problem,  so we used an older back-up that seemed to fix the problem.  The problem was,  the Trojan horse had just infected the site with that back-up,  so the cycle repeated.

In August the site went down this time.  I was able to get it restarted with an older back-up, but we started to look deeper when we spotted the malicious coding.  We installed a plugin called “Wordfence”.

Wordfence is an incredible plugin.  When we first installed it,  it located all the files with maleicious code and we were able to prompt it to update that page with a clean file that was not infected from the most recent WordPress,  or if it was a plugin or theme file,  we could use an older back up that had not been infected.   With a little work, we were able to fix all the files without loosing any data!!

Wordfence will also inform you when someone  logs into your admin area or makes several failed login attempts.  You can also then block those ip addresses so they no longer have access to your website.  With the paid version, you can also block you site by country.

At the beginning of 2015,  we were pretty lax about what kind of security we placed on our websites, but now we use 3 primary plugins to target unwanted visitors to our sites.

  • Wordfence – Which we have talked at length about.
  • Bulletproof,  which does a great job of locking down your htaccess files and much more.
  • Lastly, either Anti-Spam by CleanTalk which a paid plugin and very effective to eliminating spam or any variety of free spam protection plugins

Homer Facts built by GTL Web Design and HostingWe created Homer Facts for the Homer Prevention Project in Homer Alaska in the Spring of 2014. If you have been to the movies, or bought a cup of coffee at one our our local coffee shops, you have most likely seen the promotions for what they are doing.

Homer Facts is a basic information  web site built to show the data assembled by the Homer Prevention Project.  There’s nothing fancy about this site,  it’s basic 5 page website with a contact form.  We re-created the header image using a supplied photo and using Photoshop filters we created this watercolor simile.

We also created the 3 buttons on the cover as a 2nd navigation to link to the 3 primary pages within the site.

As part of the Homer Facts website we also created a Facebook page for the site and added a link on the web site. Lastly we resized the Homer Prevention Project Logo and created a link to the Homer Prevention Project.

Happy New Year!

We at GTL Web Design and Hosting wish everyone a Happy New Year!!

Thank you to all of our customers that we have worked with over the years and look forward to building new relationships as we continue to build our customers new websites.

Marali's Art - E-commerce - GTL Web DesignMarali’s Art e-commerce website built by GTL Web Design and Hosting in Homer Alaska for on of our talented local artist Marali Sergent-Smith. You can also find her art on display in the Bunnell Street Gallery

Marali’s Art is an e-commerce website using woo-commerce plugin and a couple of woo-commerce add-on plugins for shipping and graphics.  We started with image rollover on the front page, but later changed moved the image changer to a sub page created content and a few images for the front page.  This did a couple of things.  It created more content and faster loading times, both an important part of search engine ranking.

Marali’s Art e-commerce website actually started in December of 2013 and was finished in early February.  It was a joy to work with Marali on her web site, she was always Johnny on the spot with the images and content needed to build her site.

The site is mobile friendly and has a blog and contact page as well.  A right-click plug-in installed to prevent viewers from right-clicking and saving the images,  even though this isn’t a full proof way of preventing image theft, it does slow it down.