HOW TO: Keep WordPress Blogs Malware Free

WordCamp L.A.

And I just sat through a session on WordPress Themes, which might sound like a dull topic, cause frankly it is. But that didn’t stop Sé Reed from making her session engaging, entertaining and adorable.

Maybe it’s because of her riff on famous Shakespearean lines for introducing key concepts. The name of the session was “What’s in a theme?” Maybe it’s cause she said that if WordPress were a cupcake, style.css would be the icing and index.php would be the cake. Or maybe it was her sense of humor.  But the end result was educational content with a healthy dose of common sense.

It’s a good time for me to be at Wordcamp.  I’m moving my WordPress blog to a subdomain of my corporate website, updating to the current version, improving my site map and some other stuff with some help from the folks at Semper Fi Web Design. I’ll let you know how that goes later.  But enough about me.

Beyond keeping your WordPress up to date, these are 3 things Sé Reed recommended you do to steer clear of trouble:

  • If you want a free theme, download it at WordPress.org .  Do not Google “free wordpress themes” cause 8 of top ten results are malware invested themes infested with pesky backlinks.  A good source for vetted themes is Smashing Pumpkins Magazine.
  • Install a plug-in like Sucuri to help you maintain visibility over breaches as they transpire, so you don’t wind up finding you were blacklisted without knowing it.
  • Consider avoiding frameworks like Genesis, Thesis, Themedy and Woo Themes because they limit the resources you can leverage to maintain you blog.  If you do use a theme, avoid themes that have built in plug-ins. Go with a theme that focuses on delivering the presentation layer, and use plug-ins for adding functionality.  This way, you minimize the possibility of obsolescence by broadening your future prospects.

Thanks Sé Reed for the tips. Off to lunch now to network for a WordPress designer/developer to help me build a new online social media training site.  Writing an overview post about the event for the Wordcamp L.A. blog a little later.