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NEPA BlogCon 2013 - WordPress Customization & Security


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WordPress Customization & Security

Presented By: Joe Casabona and Phil Erb
Track: Technology
Session Format: Co-Presentation
Description: WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms used today and if you’re using it already, you already know its benefits – but let’s take things a step further. In this session, Joe and Phil will dive into how to customize your WordPress blog and theme so that it reflects your brand and serves up your content in the best ways possible, ways to make your WordPress blog more secure (and how to monitor it so that it stays that way!), and other techniques and technologies to make the most of this content management system.

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NEPA BlogCon 2013 - WordPress Customization & Security

  1. 1. Joe Casabona • Web Developer. Writer. Nerd*. – *Computer, Device, Star Wars • Yankee Fan • Responsive Design with WordPress – Out Dec 2013 – – Discount Code for 35% off: RWDWP site: | twitter: @jcasabona | email: slides/resources:
  2. 2. Phil Erb Twitter: @philerb Systems Admin & Programmer University of Scranton Co-Founder & Director of Technology Solve the Net Lover of WordPress
  3. 3. WordPress Theme Customization
  4. 4. Themes: A Primer • A WordPress Theme: – Provides control over the look and presentation of the material on your website. • The Codex! – Your best friend during development –
  5. 5. Important Files Tip: Don’t Modify the Core!
  6. 6. style.css • Includes Theme Definition /* Theme Name: Millennium Flights Theme URI: Description: A custom theme for Millennium Flights, Inc. Version: 1.0 Author: Joe Casabona Author URI: Tags: blue, white, two-column, flexible-width */ • Keep Common Classes in mine ( • RWD Tip: Put all CSS in One File
  7. 7. functions.php • Place misc PHP functions, code, and variables • Considered a “plugin” file for your theme • Remember “Separation of Concerns” – Themes should only effect display, not content or functionality • Uses: Actions, Filters, side-wide functions • RWD Tip: Use this file for server-side detection
  8. 8. index.php • The backbone of WordPress themes • Everything that doesn’t have its own template file will use index.php • Used to display a list of posts or content. • DO NOT remove The Loop from this page
  9. 9. header.php and footer.php • Template Files to use throughout the theme • get_header() and get_footer() • wp_head() and wp_footer()
  10. 10. The WordPress Hierarchy
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Template Files • Sophisticated Display Controls • Only required files: style.css and index.php • Custom templates down to the single post level • Example: Custom Post Type named“classes” single-classes.php  single.php  index.php
  13. 13. Page Templates • Naming Convention – page-no-sidebar.php <?php /* Template Name: No Sidebar */ ?>
  14. 14. The Loop
  15. 15. Defined • The Loop is used by WordPress to display each of your posts. Using the Loop, WordPress processes each of the posts to be displayed on the current page and formats them according to how they match specified criteria within the Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code placed in the Loop will be repeated on each post
  16. 16. Essentially… • The Loop has functions to: – Make sure that you have posts to display – Display those posts. <?php if (have_posts()) : ?> <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?> //print post information using template tags <?php endwhile; ?> <?php else : ?> print “No posts found.”; <?php endif; ?>
  17. 17. Template Tags • Functions in WordPress designed to print information about the Current Post • Some tags include: – the_title(), the_time(), the_content(), the_excerpt(), the_category(), the_tags(), the_permalink()
  18. 18. If time permits… Let’s Look at a Live Theme!
  19. 19. Securing Your WordPress Site
  20. 20. Source: - WordPress Core is Secure – Stop Telling People Otherwise
  21. 21. Yes … but … The code may be secure, but there are always things to improve
  22. 22. Backup ALL the Things My hosting provider does that, why should I?
  23. 23. How do I backup WordPress? Services – ValutPress Plugins – BackupBuddy – BackWPUp The good old fashioned way mysqldump -udbuser mydb > db.sql zip -r /webfolder/ db.sql
  24. 24. Backup Best Practices Create a backup schedule that makes sense for your site. Get an off-site copy Test your backups
  25. 25. Secure the Server To the extent that you can
  26. 26. Use strong passwords FTP, SSH, and control panels will get hackers access to your sites
  27. 27. Use SFTP instead of FTP, if possible
  28. 28. Understand file permissions “777” makes everything work … for other people too.
  29. 29. Install an SSL certificate
  30. 30. Securing Core
  31. 31. Secure the login process Wait, my password is sent over the Internet in plain text???
  32. 32. Don’t use “admin”
  33. 33. Stronger Authentication Use strong passwords Force Strong Passwords Limit the number of bad logins Login Lockdown Use multi-factor authentication Google Authetnicator Duo Two-Factor Authentication
  34. 34. Always use SSL encryption for login forms and personal info
  35. 35. No SSL? Passwords are Plain Text!
  36. 36. Only give users the access they need This includes YOU Don’t always run as admin
  37. 37. Don’t let your database be predictable Change the database table prefix
  38. 38. Plugins, Themes, and Updates
  39. 39. Only use trusted sources
  40. 40. DON’T Google “free WordPress themes” Only one of these is trustworthy Source: - Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes
  41. 41. Keep core, plugins, and themes up to date
  42. 42. Security Services, Plugins & Tools
  43. 43. Security Tools Sucuri Site scanner, monitoring, and security plugin Better WP Security Wordfence
  44. 44. Updates and Management ManageWP InfiniteWP WP Remote
  45. 45. Use a good hosting provider!
  46. 46. Keep Yourself Secure Too!
  47. 47. If your computer is hacked, your site could be next! Install OS and application updates Run antivirus software Use encrypted protocols (HTTPS, SFTP) Use strong passwords for everything
  48. 48. Keep your ear to the WordPress community The products and the issues are ever evolving.
  49. 49. Where to get the news Sucuri’s blog WP Updates Notifier plugin Check out more on the NEPAWP Resources page
  50. 50. Questions? Comments? Statements of Disgust?
  51. 51. References & Links • VaultPress • BackupBuddy • BackWPUp • Codex: Administration over SSL Administration_Over_SSL
  52. 52. References & Links • How to Change the WordPress Database • Login Lockdown • Force Strong Passwords • Google Authetnicator • Duo Two-Factor Authentication
  53. 53. References & Links • Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes • Sucuri • Better WP Security • Wordfence
  54. 54. References & Links • • WP Updates Notifier • Sucuri blog