8 Actions You Can Take Today to Protect Your WordPress Site

Ithemes security plug in that I offer for sites that I maintain has written a terrific article that includes the 8 Actions You Can Take Today to Protect Your WordPress Site.

I am including the list here. For the full article go to: 5 Common WordPress Security Issues.

1. Use a strong password.

2. Install a WordPress security plugin.

3. Enable WordPress two-factor authentication.

4. Keep your WordPress site updated.

5. Set up proper permissions on your server.

6. Run scheduled malware scans.

7. Have a reliable WordPress backup plan.

8. Activate WordPress Brute Force Protection.

As part of the security maintenance plan that Virtual Freedom offers these eight actions are done for you. For those who choose to maintain their own site, either go to the full article or follow what we have chosen as the best options for our clients.

  1. Strong passwords help keep your site secure. We all love choosing ones that are easy to remember, but often that means they are easy for hackers to figure out. The best suggestion out there is to choose 3 five or more letter words, add at least one number,one capital letter and one symbol. This can make it easy to remember and hard for a hacker to make sense of it.

marriage9Blues%sorta  is an example. Or use the options to generate a random sequence.

2.  There are a variety of plugins for WordPress. We have chosen ithemes with the BackupBuddy added.  This decision was made after reading reviews and trying others. We believe it is a strong choice and offer the Pro version as part of the security package.

3. Two factor authentication often means that before you can log in a security code is texted or phoned to you. In some cases you have to answer a pre-set security question. You have probably had this happen for other sites. We can add this with ithemes, but find for most of our clients it is rather cumbersome. If you do not have a commerce site or hold sensitive information a captcha may be all you need. This is your choice.

4. Keep your site updated!! Not doing this opens up the door to malware. If you are maintaining your own site. Check the dashboard routinely for updates. When there are updates you will see a number at the top of the page. And along the column there will be numbers next to the what needs an update. Updates appear randomly so check often. For plugins, themes, and the basic WordPress database its self. If you need help let us know.

5. Your server can lock you out or let others in. Set up permissions as to who can access your site.

6. Malware is like a virus. It can corrupt your site or it can hide and infect those who click on your site. It can be expensive to have it removed. The best thing is to set up regular scans.

7. Backup your site on a regular basis. Be sure to backup before you run an update.  This will ensure that if something goes wrong and you loose data, that you can restore it. Your server may have a backup option. We use BackupBuddy.

8. Brute Force is when someone (hacker) tries to break into your site. The often have computers that attempt to discover your username and password. Often usernames are easy to discover. The default used to be Admin. At this point all that is needed is your password.  Brute Force protection only allows a certain number of tries before locking them out. You can also choose to block various IP addresses or in some cases choose to block countries.

Contact Keridak if there are any questions. or 303-887-6477

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Should I Have a Free Offer?

Every business needs to get the word out. There are multiple marketing devices but with the internet one of the most common is offering a free item or trial period. So, should I have a free offer; you ask? Well, here are some reason to offer freebies.

Why this works is that research has shown that even at a penny customers think about the purchase. If it is free they tend to not consider cost, obviously. They also feel a sense of getting a bargain. Many times people will go out of their way for free items.  Consider the stores that offer a free gift when you stop in. You might not consider stopping if it wasn’t that you are getting something free. Even better if you know that you what you are getting.

Have you ever sat through a sales talk just to get the free gift at the end of the spiel? If you have done this more than once you really understand the allure. Often there are multiple possible free gifts.  Rarely does one receive the  big costly gift. I’ve walked out with suitcases, a phone and once a contraption I never figured out. Still each time a mailer arrives I think that I might get the vacation and wouldn’t it be worth an hour of my time.

The word coined for these free items is freemium. If you have a small business or one just skirting by; you are probably thinking what can I afford to give? Should I have a Free offer?

And why?

If your business offers a membership or subscription, offering a free trial is one why to entice new people to try your service.

Offering an e-book, how to video or other online item, is generally free to you or low cost. Send out the offer to all of your customers and ask them to share.  Use social media to post the offer often, have it on your website. Giving something away persuades new customers to visit your site/facebook page, etc.  The more they see your brand the more comfortable they feel.

When they receive something of value to them, for free, it gives a greater sense of comfort. People shop in places they feel comfortable with. They want value for their dollar and they want to feel good about their purchases.

Next article: What Can I Give Away to Attract Clients?

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How do I use QR Codes to Market my Business?

OSCqrcode.17731762Do you wonder what these nifty little graphics are?  They are called a QR Code.  With 70% of clients using smart phones it is a good idea to add one to your printed materials and signage.  They take a client directly to an URL – page on your website.  You can use it for a special event , your home page, facebook page, etc.

They are free. Here are a few places to get one:
*** these are for your information – let us know how they work for you.  II has not tried them specifically.

There are 40 versions of  QR Codes. It can be read from any angle -360.  You can choose color, size and in some cases embed a letter or logo.  Since they are free and easy to generate they become a fantastic marketing tool.  Customers upload a scanner into their smart phones. Most have this app. They hold it up to the QR Code and the url that you linked to your code appears on their cell phone.

Great way to utilize space or to give those who scan an extra gift or insight.  When you do the latter you create engagement. Engaged customers are more likely to by!

You can read about the history at and much more by the inventor Denso Wave.

QR Codes are contributing to making a variety of our activities both at home and at work convenient. It can be used in our daily life not only for printed matters such as fliers and name cards but also as a payment system. It can also be used for various business purposes at factories and in logistics operations. Since QR Codes are now used in such a wide variety of ways, they have now become an indispensable tool in our lives. This high functionality on a par with our way of living and its design quality are valued publicly, and in 2012 it was awarded a Good Design Award, an award from a design promotion initiative sponsored by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, a public interest incorporated foundation.

How do I use QR Codes to Market my Business?

Most intuitive businesses will choose to use QR Codes for print material or signage. But be aware that they are quickly going to overtake the Standard Bar Code for other uses.

A QR Code can be quickly scanned at an event to bring people to your website, a lead page or a contest.

If you have a sign in your window add a QR code for people to find out more about your business.

Adding them to your website is unnecessary, since a link is simpler.

Share how you use them!

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Directory Listings – Why They Are Important

FindEt Flyer

Directory Listings are the myriad of online sites that work as online phone books.  They collect listings of businesses and store them in categories with the key words.  Often these sort by location.  When a consumer enters a search such as best pancakes in Freedom Nebraska.  The search engines frequently show the names of local businesses. The happy consumer clicks to find out the details.

Here it is rarely the actual site of the business. Instead they find they are on a directory listing.

Your business is in the directory listings. Right now, as you read.

The listing opens with your business name but it also has other options for the consumer to choose from.  If your directory listing profile is complete then you can rest assured that the information is correct.  A complete profile is more enticing to the consumer. It usually features a picture or several. It gives your hours and contact information. It also has a clickable link to your website.

If you have not gone to the directory site and added your complete information then there is a good chance that things are wrong or missing.  It is in your best interest to make sure that your profile is up to date on every directory listing.

There may be as many as 50 Directory Listings.  Popular ones are Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Local, and Yahoo. Finding them.  You can hire Virtual Freedom™ to manually go to each – verify the information, complete it. Go to our Directory Listings page for  more information.

Who needs to worry about directory listings?

Local businesses – restaurants, shops, practioners, and anyone that has a physical address with hours.  This is extremely important! Local businesses need to be accessed easily.

Virtual businesses can use a mailing address. It becomes a little difficult to keep the occasional visitor from trying to locate you. A few listing directories allow  a business to say by appointment only.
To best understand this use the dex knows search below for your place of business.  Now think of 30- 50 online directory listings all pointing at your business. Do you want the information correct -YES. 

We can do the work of checking listings for you, correcting profiles and adding pictures.

For those in Intuitive Fields, Massage, Natural Medicine, Holistic, or other Energetic Theraputic Fields. Look to join  FindET.US (lead in information) / EnergeticTherapies.Biz (Directory)

Dex is one of the leading Yellow Pages publishers. Dex publishes the AT&T Real Yellow Pages in Illinois and NW Indiana, the EMBARQ™ Yellow Pages, and the Dex® Yellow Pages (as the official publisher of Qwest®).
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11 Reasons to Invest in a Business App

  1. Push Notifications Keep You In Touch  — Our mobile apps let you stay in touch with your customers all the time using push notifications. These are alerts that pop up on their phone telling them about a special or making a comment or send a personal message.
  2. 24 Hour Access to You — Your business closes at 6pm, but with an App your clients can contact you at any time and schedule an appointment, check your services or order!
  3. Streaming Media — You can create videos and then upload them to YouTube to be viewed.   With your App the videos can be directly viewed and shared!
  4. One Stop — Look at any group and see how many people are on their phones. All of your specials, information and more will be directly linked to your App.
  5. Direct Link Between Your Business and Your Customers–  Customers can message you directly or with the tap of a button call.
  6. Integration of your App with your Website, Social Media and other Marketing. Including a QR code for easy mobile access. Customers just point and they are at your mobile app.
  7. Increased Sales  — More customers! More Money! Grow your revenue.
  8. Multi Platforms —Apps that will run on the iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems. They will also be able to download them through the Apple Store or Google Play. So everyone can download your business’s App.
  9.  10. & 11.

Mobile Stats

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