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Alex on March 5th, 2015

The best reason to avoid doing a spring clean is that it might take over and hold you hostage…or something. Here I am weeks after I thought I'd do a Spring Clean of my blogs / online business…still Spring Cleaning or…something.

I did want to do a very thorough job and for me that could mean years of research, heh heh! So I guess I better set some kind of limit.

Handy Dandy Limit

And even before I set my limit down for the entire Universe aka 5,000 spam bots and 1.5 people to see I reach for a caveat. This does feel a little like foraging for a Selfie Stick but whatever.

Caveat Begins

"When you don't know what to do, do nothing", Matt Kahn.

Caveat Ends

Super duper caveat eh?

I could wax lyrical about my caveat but let's get the Limit onto the page…The limit is to get the hell going by March 21st, the Spring Equinox with all its ancient symbolism of Stonehenge and cosmology and maybe a few Druids too.

The thing is I keep finding stuff. Stuff that will impact on my blog. Just yesterday Google Hangout guy John Mueller told us to nofollow our footer links ( go on check my footer links, I'll wait!)  – so today I did just that.

Now I can flop on the sofa with an air of exhaustion and a job well done and all that.

And Categories, O Lord don't mention them. I feel settled on a bunch of Categories and then I think just which Category would this post go under or that post and I am all undone and several more days of staring at whiteboards ensue.

Anyhow that will be history come the Equinox.

And since we're in the Chinese Year of the Sheep now the fact that the Equinox ushers us into Aries seems about right!

Enjoy your Spring Cleaning eh?

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Alex on February 18th, 2015

Crocuses are showing their beautiful sunny petals and there's more light and longer days here. So I turn to not just Spring cleaning but a radical replanning of all my online businesses. The biggest part of that is to get all my blogs in order – looking at content, themes and plugins.

The easiest part of this is probably the plugins so I'll be posting quite a few short posts on considerations about plugins.

On the one hand I love plugins and on the other – the more you have the more updating, tweaking and potentially security hassles you have too!

The first decision is to look at improving WordPress itself – its rather horrible and Spartan text editor. I got to hate Tiny MCE years ago on another software – not even WordPress so the first thing I usually do if I can is to replace it.

For this blog I chose "CKEditor". To me it looks a million times better and is easier and more functional.

Next is to check the security plugins.

The very first consideration is to install a backup plugin. Just like hard drive failure is not a possibility but a certainty hacking is a certainty too. Since a blog can be easily reinstalled then the possession of at least a database backup can be easily scheduled once a week and the backup stored in your hosting space, your hard drive or drop. A simple solution I have used for years is the WP DB Backup by Austin Matzko.

After that the simplest level of protection is a login protector such as Login Lockdown. It comes with some options but the default settings are OK. I tweak them to allow a small number of failed logins and a lockout period that is longer than the default.

There are of course many types of hack – the login is the most direct. More complex hacks need a more more complex plugin such as Bad Behavior. by Michael Hampton.

Finally we get to top level security plugins and I'll write about those on my "newbie" blog.

 

 

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