It’s been a few months since I wrote an article on WordPress plugins. I know you are all as nosey as me and like to know what others are using and how they can improve your WordPress website. So here are five of my newest discoveries and the ones I am using on a regular basis across all my own websites and on some client sites.
Limit Login Attempts
I installed this plugin very recently due to the attacks on WordPress websites which are going on at the moment. As well as changing all my passwords, deleting the admin user on my website I installed this plugin. What it does is limit the number of times someone can try to login to your website.
Limit the number of login attempts possible both through normal login as well as using auth cookies.
By default WordPress allows unlimited login attempts either through the login page or by sending special cookies. This allows passwords (or hashes) to be brute-force cracked with relative ease.
Limit Login Attempts blocks an Internet address from making further attempts after a specified limit on retries is reached, making a brute-force attack difficult or impossible.
Since I installed this a couple of weeks ago I have had an awful lot of activity showing within this plugin, bots are trying to login, usually using the username ‘admin’ or ‘username’. After they get the password wrong 3 times the plugin locks them out, you can customise the amount of time they are locked out for.
Here is a screenshot of the stats for this website:
I would highly recommend installing this plugin or something similar, especially because of the brute force attack on WordPress websites going on right now.
WangGuard I came across by mistake really, I’d never heard of it before. On one of my other websites I have a forum, and I was getting lots of spam registrations. I thought there must be a way to stop these, so I started the search. This plugin is great, and all spam registrations have now stopped completely! If you allow people to register on your WordPress website then this plugin is great. I have recently installed it on a client site and her spam registrations have vanished.
What is WangGuard?
WangGuard is a service born out of the need to control Sploggers or spam users.
What are Sploggers or spam users?
Sploggers or spam users are those individuals that through manual or automated means, register in all sorts of communities, blog networks, forums, etc… in an attempt to create links to their own sites and advertise their own products.
Here is a screenshot of the dashboard stats for one of my websites:
It’s taken me a long time to install this plugin, the reason is I didn’t feel that it could improve what I already have on my website, supposedly giving you lots of features which blogs hosted on WordPress.com already have. Well how wrong was I? I think Jetpack is fab and still haven’t explored all the extra things I can now do on my websites/blogs. The main one I have been using is the stats, it’s very clear and I can easily see what pages/posts are being viewed most, and also what keywords people are using to get to my websites.
Jetpack isn’t just about stats though, look at all these features:
I found this recently when a client asked if I could create some fancy social media icons for her. There are many plugins around which let you add your social media networks as buttons on your website, usually in the sidebar.
With the free version you get 20 themes to choose from, plenty of choice if you ask me.
I am using this plugin on this website, I’ve not yet installed it on my other websites but plan to in the future because there is a good choice. There are plenty of extra features if you purchase the premium plugin for a one-off price of $24.49.
Digg Digg is now owned by the guys at Buffer, but this isn’t why I’ve installed it. I like the look of the sharing buttons down the side of the websites I have seen it on. It moves as you move down the page, which means it’s always there ready for someone to click on to share your article. It’s fully customisable, which means you can have a couple of buttons or as many as you like. I have chosen the social networks I use the most, but also did some research on what social networks were referring a lot of traffic to my website.
Digg Digg is free and offers much more sharing possibilities than some of the other sharing widgets I have used in the past.
So that’s my five fantastic WordPress plugins I am loving at the moment… Do you use any of these plugins, what do you think?
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