Category Archives: Blog

Keeping Your WordPress Website Safe From Hackers

Safety concept: Painted blue text Website Security on Digital Paper background with Binary CodeWordPress is the most used content management system (CMS) with over 74.6 million websites in the world based off of some type of WordPress theme or platform. This is a stunning number of websites, but the fact that people with virtually no technical skills can easily create and set up a website that looks good and functions great makes it popular, as does the fact that there are YouTube videos that teach virtually every single thing you can do with a website. However, this also means that it makes it easy for hackers and predators to go after WordPress (WP) websites. We will go over some tips to keep hackers out and to keep your website safe.

Never Use Default Settings

This should be obvious. Never keep your username and password on the default settings and this includes the name “admin.” You need to create new usernames and new passwords. This not only goes for the WordPress workstation but also your hosting account.

Always Update Your Current Themes And Plug-ins

Be sure to keep the theme and plug-ins that you use up to date. Many upgrades and updates are security based so not updating is just asking for trouble.

Have A Very Secure Password

You need secure passwords and the longer the better. In fact a very long password from a favorite song lyric crammed together as one word like “ShegrewupinanIndianatown” is a great password because it is so long that hacking software struggles to have any chance of cracking it. You want to add capital letters, a few symbols and a number or two, but very long passwords are best.

  • Extremely long passwords are much better than short
  • Passwords need to include letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Use different passwords for your hosting account log-in and your WordPress log-in

Set Up Different Levels Of Access For Contributors

If you have contributors, be sure to give them unique usernames and different passwords. You can allow them to log in as editors or authors. In fact, it can even be a good idea to post under a different level of access for all your posts and only log in with Administrator privileges for updating the site.

Look At Security Options From Your Hosting Company

Hosting companies offer a variety of additional security options to help fight off any hacking attempts. You should take a look at what the options are and what type of security is offered.

Use Security Plug-ins

There are both free and premium plug-ins to add a layer of security to your WordPress site. Login Lockdown is a great plug-in because after so many times of trying to log-in, the user will be locked out of any more attempts for a certain amount of time.

Backup Your Site

You should have periodic backups of your site just in case you do get hacked. You can backup to when before you got hacked so that you don’t lose anything of value. Updraft Plus is a good free plug-in and if you upgrade to the premium version, you get a few added benefits but it’s not necessary.

There are more ways to add extra security to your site by going into your .htaccess file and adding certain bits of code. If you are experienced with editing your files, a quick search in Google can get you this information. Unless you know what you are doing, you should never attempt to edit the files in your public html folder.

These steps can help anyone make sure their WordPress websites are virtually hacker resistant. The more of these steps you follow, the safer your site will be!

Dori O’Neill is in the business of helping individuals and business owners achieve success through proper business practices and reputation management. He maintains offices throughout the world and has lived in Canada, United States, Japan and Hong Kong. If you need more leads for your business, visit today.

How To Run A Successful Non-Profit Website With WordPress

wordpress-logo-imageI am involved in a non-profit promoting science and as such, I’ve been through the whole process of setting up, running and updating an NGO website. We tried working with a specialized agency and then found out that this money can be spent better elsewhere and we could just run the site ourselves, using only WordPress and some basic skills.

The main reason I’m biased to using WordPress for non-profit work is simple – the platform gives you all the flexibility you need for free and the investment in time to work on the site may even not be that significant, as using WordPress is so easy to learn on a basic level. Even the open philosophy of WordPress aligns nicely with the non-profit sector.

Just to give you a couple of examples, here are some of the most important aspects of using your website in order to promote your non-profit work – and how some themes help you with that.

Show off your main info concisely


You have little time to convince visitors they should care about your cause – and I’ve found the easiest way to do that is give them a couple of points to focus on. The Bhinneka theme has a great distinctive layout for such short points – be it your main causes or the ways in which people can help your organization.

Add news and promote your events


In order to build a community around your cause, you’ll have to share news often and give timely information about the events and activities your organization takes part in. The Benevolence theme gives you a clean and clear view of latest news and events – when a visitor can have all the information at one glance, you have more leverage to show just how interesting your work is.

Let the countdown begin


There’s nothing better than a timer or a progress bar (or both!) to convey the urgency of your cause. People react to such visual stimuli much better than to any amount of explanatory text. So, if there’s an event you’re organizing, slap a timer on the page. Or maybe you have a goal and you want to show off the progress you and your supporters are making? Then a progress bar will be a great option. You can see a great example of these in the Aid Reform theme.

Link to your other on-line channels


Surely, your on-line presence isn’t limited to the website alone. For example, our organization promotes its events primarily through Facebook and Twitter, so it’s important for us to let website visitors know where to find us. Using social media widgets then is a great idea – I don’t mean only beautiful links to your other channels, like the ones you can see in the Birch theme, but also using your social media content as part of the website. Flickr widgets are a great example how your photos can live on two places at once.

Include a clear call-to-action


If there’s one thing you need to tell your visitors, it should be spoken loud and clear. A notice box is the best thing you can do to highlight your call to action. Many themes, like Aid Charity, include a custom notice box with many options like frequency capping for regular visitors or controlling how long does a message stay closed for after being hidden by a particular visitor. Design isn’t the only thing, though – you should work hard on your call-to-action copy in order to attract attention and inspire action.

Make it visual


A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Then why are there so many NGO websites that have tons of text and only a couple of small visuals? I never know what those organizations are thinking, but I do suppose the main restriction for many would be the difficulty to redesign their sites according to the new visual trends. Well, here comes the beauty of WordPress – you can easily change your whole website design and make it sleeker and more visual. The Fundit theme is a great example how you can leverage visuals to explain your cause. The best thing would be to use images directly related to your projects – e.g. event photos, on-the-site pictures and so on.

The non-profit field is hard work and many organizations simply can’t make it in the long run. It is important to use your time and resources wisely – with WordPress you’ll save time and developer costs, while also being able to show off your cause and win supporters online.

The Genesis Framework – The Only One You’ll Ever Need


I’ve been researching themes for a while now and I’ve never been as awestruck as when I first met the Genesis framework. Here I’ll give you some pointers as to why Genesis is the best thing since sliced bread!

First, let’s get one thing out of the way – why do we call it “a framework”? Well, let’s use a visual metaphor. If we see WordPress as the core of the site, the engine that the site runs on, Genesis is the main set of nuts and bolts that get the thing moving. Then you will use child themes to change the outside of the product – your design and layout. You will put a child theme on top of the parent Genesis theme – the parent theme is where all the main updates happen, while you can keep the changes you’ve made to the child theme independent. This is an option quite a few themes have, but what makes Genesis different is the huge amount of child themes you can use. As Genesis is really popular, it also has a great community and knowledgeable support – so there are a lot of developers that build upon the framework and give us, regular users, a lot of freedom and flexibility.

One of the core features that sets Genesis apart is its use of code “hooks”. Most other themes give you some customization options and widgets and going from there, there isn’t much you can do in terms of placing specific elements on the website. Genesis uses “hooks” that you can use to place elements in your site. So if you want to place an element before your footer, it’s as simple as using the hook “genesis_before_footer”. You see, now you can easily decide where to put the author bio or social media sharing buttons, without coding extensively or wasting time with plugins that don’t always work as expected. There’s a great guide on hooks that I highly recommend over at Genesis Tutorials – it shows just how many placement options you now have. You will have much more control over your website.

Hooks also help clean up the theme code so that it loads much faster and isn’t bloated. Usually, including customization options in the theme you use actually creates unnecessary files in the theme for layout and color options and may bloat up your database – Genesis helps with that and makes your site super lean and clean.

Genesis is created with HTML 5 mark-up and microdata – this facilitates your SEO work and will help your positioning. explains to search engines what your content contains, which helps your SEO efforts. The framework has built-in SEO options and is optimized for use together with the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, giving you a bit of an SEO head-start on other bloggers.

The multitude of Genesis child themes is important to highlight – the main point here, as already explained, is that you will only make changes to the child theme without altering the parent Genesis code. This is how you achieve a lot of visual freedom and a level of control. Whether you’re looking for a more romantic feel with Lovely or a classic look with Avett, you will be able to choose your own favorite out of many child theme options and use it easily.

So, here are some of the reasons we love Genesis framework – just give it a try and you’ll see for yourself! Don’t have the time to build or manage your new website, or maybe design and coding is not for you? Try out our partners at WP Support Center to custom design and maintain your WordPress website.

How to Run Multiple WordPress Sites From One Database

Database network image

The Problem: Running Multiple Sites From One WordPress Database

My company had a wordpress site running woocommerce with several thousand products. While having a site with so many products was great, we thought there would be a lot of opportunity in creating niche-specific sites surrounding subsets of our products.We determined that the most ideal situation would be to have one centralized database of products that fed all of the sites. This way, we could keep all of our products synced and avoid having to update multiple sites with the same content.

The catch was that the only thing we wanted synced was the products and their attached images and taxonomies (categories, tags, and attributes). We wanted each site to have it’s own theme, it’s own pages, and it’s own posts. This was important because, as we all know, the search engine gods do not like duplicate content so to be most effective, we needed to make sure that each site would indeed contain some unique content as well as a unique look.

And so our search began.

The Solution: Syncing Posts Across WordPress Sites

We eventually found a solution that is working wonderfully for us, but we also realize that what works for us doesn’t always work for others, so we’ve included a few other things that we tried and a few things we didn’t get around to trying that might better suit your needs.

Our solution was to use the ThreeWP Broadcast plugin by Edward Plainview.This plugin requires a multisite installation of wordpress, but allows us to sync any custom post types across multiple sites. We chose it over other solutions for a few reasons:

  • The plugin can keep posts in sync meaning that when a post is edited on the parent site, the post on the child site is updated as well. This applies to post content, post statuses, post taxonomies, and any custom fields.
  • There are some great add-ons that can be purchased for only $100 (which we did) that extend the functionality of the plugin the best of which allow users to bulk-add posts to a site or to multiple sites as well as a queue feature that places all post syncs into a queue and processes them automatically. Both of these are a huge necessity for anyone trying to sync more than just a few posts or products across more than just a few sites.
  • It allows us to not have to sync all fields. If there are custom fields we don’t want to sync (Yoast SEO data for example), we can block those custom fields from transferring to the child sites.
  • Edward is great to work with. With the questions we did have about the plugin, Edward usually got back to us the same day and was incredibly helpful in answering our questions.

This plugin works for us, and we use it now on two multsite installations. While it requires a lot of computing power, it was really the only solution that we found that met our needs of syncing products across multiple sites.

Theme of the Day – Quora by FabThemes

Today’s theme of the day is Quora by FabThemes! This is a completely FREE WordPress theme that has a simple yet elegant, minimalist design. It’s layout doesn’t allow for much flare or clutter which is perfect for anyone wanting a blog that focuses on the content and not on ads or other distractions.

In fact, I like this theme so much, I decided to use it for my personal blog, so I can highly recommend this theme.


Quora by FabThemes


Get Theme | View Demo

Theme of the Day – Jobify by Astoudify

Jobify is based on the amazing WPJobManager plugin by Mike Jolley. Having gotten to spend quite a bit of time with this plugin over the past few months, we can highly recommend it for anyone wanting to start a job board site using WordPress.

The Jobify theme takes this plugin a step further by providing a beautiful, stylish design making it perfect for anyone who wants to use the WP Job Manager plugin. So perfect in fact, that it makes our theme of the day 🙂

Jobify Screenshot



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Ideas Theme By AppThemes: A Review

Ideas Theme

Check out the Ideas theme here!

The Ideas theme by AppThemes – not to be confused with the theme of the same name by Themeforest author Imaginem, is a versatile WordPress theme that can be used to gather consumer feedback to better develop your products and ideas. The Ideas theme allows for customers to suggest and then vote on ideas around your products or services. Ideas is easy to set up and use which makes it an excellent addition to any business wanting to gather customer feedback from an audience.

There are many applications for the Ideas theme that can benefit a wealth of company niches, for example: a video game company can utilize the theme as a means for gamers to share tips and tricks for a trending video game. WordPress theme developers could utilize the Ideas theme as a means to gather feedback on features to add or bugs to address with upcoming updates on a current theme. On a more simple note, the Ideas theme could be used as a means to gather customer feedback for future product line suggestions which would allow a company to expand their product offerings by catering to “in demand” product ideas. As you can see, the applications of the Ideas theme are endless!

Ideas Theme Features

The Ideas theme is built with productivity in mind. Utilizing an efficient layout, Ideas offers a feedback system in which customers can not only tell you what they think about existing products and suggest other products, but they can also vote on concepts submitted by other customers too. Here are some features worth highlighting:

● The Ideas theme allows moderation of all submitted concepts to ensure full user control of the site while also still providing the opportunity for customer interaction.
● AJAX and jQuery implementation mean that votes for approved ideas are updated instantly without a page refresh which makes for a great user experience – something which is especially important when trying to gather feedback
● Extended user profiles allow for back-end and front-end viewing of detailed voting activity for each user. This allows you to keep track of productive contributors to your website as well as to link directly to those who contribute the most successful concepts based on customer feedback.
● The Ideas theme offers an API which allows developers to build on to the theme itself to customize its functionality. This means that should you ever want to build your own app based on your site, the app will easily be able to communicate with your site using the API. This opens up a whole new way for you to expand your website to mobile users and expand your customer base.

Pro’s of the Ideas Theme

● Ideas submitted via the Ideas theme can be filtered and sorted easily by votes and responses on the front-end of a site while they can be filtered by author, date, category and status in the admin dashboard. This makes searching through and organizing customer ideas fast and easy so that you can quickly find the most popular submissions made to your site and act on them.
● The Ideas theme is a responsive theme that supports a touch swipe slideshow feature and utilizes retina display images. These two features open up your website to mobile users who make up a significant portion of web surfers these days.
● Ideas offers a variety of submission formats to accommodate various types of idea submission, these include support for YouTube content, Vimeo content, Photowall and Slideshow options. This is an important aspect in terms of the theme’s versatility because it allows for users to submit ideas based on a variety of media formats which will in turn allow you to diversify the products and services that your business can offer.
● The Ideas theme offers a transferable license to purchasers. This makes it easy for web developers to utilize the theme in design projects and transfer the license to the theme after the project is complete. Additionally, if your business is sold or taken over by another individual, a transferable license means that there will be no fees involved in the license transfer as is often the case with other themes.
● Ideas offers a translation ready platform which makes it particularly appealing for those who are looking to reach out to a multilingual or global audience. With a built in language translation for numerous languages, you are able to offer a multi-lingual website without the expense of having your website professionally translated. Being able to reach multi-lingual audiences means expanding your company’s reach as well as taking on culturally diverse user submissions!

Ideas Settings

● Log-in and sign-up pages are themed so they don’t look out of place. This may seem like a simple touch, but for many consumers a personalized touch is what they require to feel comfortable when doing business with a company. Personalizing pages puts a face to the name rather than providing a generic referral from a cookie cutter webpage.
● The Ideas theme has been validated with WC3 coding rules which ensures that the theme will not quickly become obsolete since it utilizes the most up to date coding. This is important because it means that your website theme will be able to keep up with upcoming updates to WordPress as well as newly released plug-ins that you may decide to consider adding to your site in the future.
● Ideas supports shortcodes. Shortcodes allow you to easily expand your theme’s layout by adding things such as drop down menus, formatted columns, and other design elements.
● A comprehensive admin panel in the dashboard allows you to edit the Ideas theme settings without having to weed through lines of PHP code. This means quick changes can be implemented without worrying about the potential of PHP errors that can be common when editing premium themes using the original PHP files.
Con’s of the Ideas Theme

● The Ideas theme can be a little overwhelming which can result in impatience on your part (trust me, I know.) This can easily be remedied by reading through the provided documentation of the theme BEFORE you begin meddling with settings.
● The Ideas theme requires its own WordPress installation, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you are looking to incorporate it into an already existing site. Perhaps the easiest solution is to set up the site on a sub domain. For example If the use of a sub domain does not suit your needs I recommend taking a look at utilizing another theme of your choice and implementing the WP Idea Stream plug-in to enable idea submission for your consumers.
● Ideas offers fewer “frills” than other themes which is simply due to the fact that this theme was built for a very specific purpose whereas most themes are built to fit many different options. If you are looking for a more visually appealing website however, consider utilizing a sub-domain as mentioned above, so that your main website can be the face of your company while still having the Ideas theme for customer feedback.


The Ideas theme is a theme with a very specific use in that it is built with the sharing of ideas in mind. It incorporates functionality and interaction in to a platform that can be easily monitored and monetized for businesses in just about every niche. Whether you are looking to gather ideas for upcoming product lines, receive customer feedback on current product features (for example WordPress themes or plug-ins,) or even to create a forum where users can share suggestions and modifications based on their experiences with your products; the Ideas theme is perfect for improving sales by catering to consumers and encouraging exposure of your brand.

So, would I recommend the Ideas theme? Yes. It could serve as a wonderful bridge between consumers and companies by providing an interactive forum that does not require the monitoring of BBS message boards and avoids the anonymity and one way feedback of e-mail communication. The Ideas theme is one of the best solutions we’ve seen for gathering customer feedback that exists across any platform, WP or otherwise.

When it all comes down to it, Ideas theme by AppThemes provides you with audience polling that almost any company could benefit from. For a small fee, this theme now puts consumer polling in your hands. This theme is available from AppThemes for $99 for a standard license and $159 for a developer license. We recommend that you check it out!

Click Here to Check Out Ideas

Welcome to Press Castle (Beta)

At long last, we are incredibly pleased to announce the beta launch of this new site!

WordPress has grown by leaps and bounds over the past years. It has morphed from a simple blogging platform into a full fledged CMS that now powers nearly 20% of the entire internet. Supported by an ever growing community of developers and designers, there are now over 15,000 themes and over 30,000 plugins that have been created for WordPress as well as a large assortment of other tools ranging from drag and drop interfaces to code generators to WordPress-specific hosting platforms to 3rd party services that provide everything from security to marketing. was created as a repository for many of such WordPress happenings. We have searched the internet far and wide to find as many themes as we could, and we have plans to bring you fantastic collections of other WordPress awesomeness as we find it. For now, we’ve collected over 13,000 themes, categorized them, and are in the process of adding valuable filters based on things such as compatibility with WPMU, BuddyPress, and other popular plugins. Other filters include purchase options (is the theme part of a theme club or no? does the theme have recurring costs or no?) and the framework the site is built on (Bootstrap, Genesis, etc.). So far, we are very pleased with the results. We can proudly say that we have the largest and most up to date index of WordPress themes on the web and that we plan to keep it that way. We are constantly updating our site with new theme releases as well as removing any items that have been discontinued by their authors to ensure that our site stays up to date and relevant.

We are currently in beta as we add all of the bells and whistles that we hope will make this site an incredibly valuable resource to the community. At this time we are also looking for writers which you can read about here.

We appreciate you visiting our site and we would love to hear any feedback you have for us, good or bad. You can get in touch with us here.