Purple sprouting broccoli planting was underway when I got the dreaded email!

Preparing the ground

I was happily planting out that delicious and delicate vegetable.  The sun was shining and the soil prepared, plenty of horse manure and the plants sturdy in their seedpots..

My husband was preparing to put some netting over the tiny plants. Last year the poor little things were eaten up in days and that was the end of that. I was ready with the hose to give them that great start that would allow us to reap the rewards later on. Preparation and protection all in place.

What has that to do with my online efforts?

I went inside for a coffee-break and quickly checked my emails – there it was “Malware Detected On Your (Hosting) Account…”

Oh my! A site I hadn’t done anything with for ages was hacked – and seconds later another email made that two sites in one day!

Was I troubled? Was I phased?
Not much, ’cause you see, I had Most things in place to recover from disaster on those two websites.

Ok I would have to spend a little time, but I wouldn’t lose all the content so lovingly added back in the day. I had most of the Preparation and protection in place.

I bet you’d like to know what was done – and what I had neglected to do…

My backups were up to date and I knew I could just clone them if necessary.
I have a great hosting provider that lets me know if they detect anything suspicious and isolates the offending files immediately. OK that sometimes that breaks the site, but better that than affect or infect my visitors.

But – there were some things I had not done…

WordPress core was out of date and wasn’t updating automatically.
Some plugins were out of date which can present a security risk.
I hadn’t installed what I should have in order to stop the sites being hacked in the first place. A security plugin.

So take it from me, any site, however small and invisible can be a target for the baddies.
One of the things you Must do is to Prepare and Protect your wordpress site – Right From the Start.

It’s worth the effort, and if you have several websites there are solutions to help you both at the start and ongoing.
These are some minimum methods that can help you:

  1. Use a webhost that will alert you to problems. I use Site5
  2.  Always keep several backups of your site. One that can clone it at each stage of development – and a regular database backup will take care of ongoing posts.
  3. Implement your Spam reducing software – if you have nothing else, at least use Askimet which comes free with your wordpress installaton.
  4. Install a security plugin.

This one is free and easy enough to implement the standard settings:
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

Nowadays I always install a security plugin on my websites but those two sites were made before I developed the habit. I completely forgot to install anything like that.

Keep WordPress, Plugins and Themes Up to Date

I also have a great software that logs in to my sites and updates them from just one place. It does a whole lot more too but you can read about that on their page…

WP Pipeline
This is an affiliate link and I will get a commission if you buy it.

As it happens the hacks weren’t serious and I knew which files to replace. It wasn’t long before I was back outdoors attending to my vegetable patch.

You might be interested in more tips. If so,

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About The Author

Julie Ashti

Julie Ashti explores working from home and finds products and tools that help with Marketing on the internet. I work from where-ever I happen to be, and if you are wanting to do the same you can discover how to get there with me.


  • Kathy Plitt

    Reply Reply November 30, 2015

    Hello Julie: Thank you for that valuable tip on security. I shudder to think of all of my hard work being lost. I want to also thank you for your free download the “better-wp-security” file. I appreciate your sharing.

    Warm Regards,

    • Julie Ashti

      Reply Reply March 12, 2016

      Hello Katz, Thank you very much for reading my post and your comment.
      We all have so much to learn and do and losing the hours and days of work is so disheartening. I hate to think of anyone going through that horrid experience.
      I certainly must learn to be on the ball as far as comments are concerned! Big apologies for my very tardy reply!
      Keeping up to date with comments, perhaps, should be the subject of a new post.

      I have visited your blog and noticed it has been a while since you posted. I know from my own experience that life and events get in the way of our online efforts but your stated determination is inspiring – do keep it up, it will pay off in the end.

      I must also take my own advice there…

    • Julie Ashti

      Reply Reply March 12, 2016

      I have visited your blog again Katz, and see that you appear to have added security – well done!

      There is just one area where you may have been just a little over-zealous – your comment settings!
      You have it set so that a visitor must log in to leave a comment.
      Oh dear – you really don’t want that if you want to get comments!
      You probably don’t need people to register on your blog at all and especially not to make it a requirement before they can even comment.

      Here is my suggestion:
      Go to Settings > Discussion
      UNtick ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’
      Tick ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment’

      This means that new commentors will still have to be manually approved by you before they are live, and you can just delete any spam comments, but if you have previously approved the visitor they will be able to quickly comment again.

      Naturally, this requires a little more work but is well worth it. You can visit the person’s website (if they have one) to check they are genuine before approving them.
      This gives you the opportuntity to comment on one of their posts too – helping both the commentor and you to establish yourselves as helpful and interactive as well as providing backlinks to your sites.

      I hope this helps:)

  • Jeff Wilschut

    Reply Reply February 13, 2016

    This is needed information for me as I am starting out on my online journey. So much to cover, but the topic of this post can not be understated. To lose all the work I have already put in would be traumatic to say the least.

    Thanks for the post and by the way I like your post layout. Nice and clean with quality graphics.

  • Julie Ashti

    Reply Reply March 12, 2016

    Hello Jeff and thanks for dropping by and for your compliments regarding the graphics. I hope you have set up your security by now:)

    I have visited your blog and can see that you already have plenty of good hard work to protect.

    Just one thing – Your website link goes to an index of your site. I have edited it so that it goes to your blog.

    May I respectfully suggest you put at least one intro page in the root of your domain?
    This could be a simple introduction about your site with a link to your blog. You could even give it a simple ‘lead page’ element by adding your sign-up form.

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