Using WordPress for Building Niche Websites

Wordpress LogoIf you are into building niche websites, then you are probably already thinking about using WordPress to build those websites.

Great idea!

What is it such a good idea?

First, using WordPress to build niche websites is a fantastic idea because WordPress allows you to quickly (and I mean quickly) deploy a website in minutes not hours or days.  And there are so many themes available for the look and feel that can make your website look like you spent a lot of money on a designer.  And WordPress has many many plugins for functionality, so that it do what you want it to do.

And lastly using WordPress for building niche websites allows you to quickly add content, whether that be text, audio, video, YouTube, curated content, or more. And just as quickly change or update that content.

And tracking conversions and adjusting and adding pages to improve conversions, is dead brain simple with WordPress. Click Here to see my Case Study on Improving Conversions.

Have you noticed that I am freely using the word “quickly”?

Using WordPress as a strategy in your niche website business to quickly go from idea to launch to production to getting traffic and converting that traffic to leads or sales, is a very wise decision.

However, use caution when using WordPress as a platform to build a website.

I am going to share with you some gotchas that you must consider and build into your niche website building strategy.

WordPress Security

Or lack of it.  Wordpress out of the box sucks at any real security. Two really bad things that typical installs do is to create a default user name of “admin” and create a mysql database table with the default prefix name of _wp.

Why is this bad?

Because hackers try to get access to your website in a number of ways, and they already know that many websites have a user login name of “admin”.  And that is half the battle of getting access.  Then all they have to do is guess the password and they are in.  This is automated process and repeats on and on…

And hackers and spammers try to get access to your WordPress database by injecting sql code… and they again know the default WordPress database name is _wp, so they are halfway there.

There are three simple solutions.

First, do a manual install of WordPress and create a unique WordPress admin user login name, and a unique WordPress database name. Or secondly, do the quick install (typically using Fantastico from cPanel) and then first thing install the plugin Better WP Security, and then change both default admin user name and database name. Or thirdly, and this is my favorite, use a backup software to clone and copy a functional, security hardened WordPress install to your new hosting account.

Updating WordPress

WordPress is a program, a php script that resides on your web host’s server.  And like most software, requires frequent updates.

Not only does the WordPress core require updates, but so do the plugins, and themes.  What happens if you don’t update your WordPress site on a regular basis and install updates?  See lack of WordPress security issues in the paragraph above…

You must regularly update your WordPress website.

Failure to do so will increase the likelyhood of having your website compromised by hackers. A WordPress website is not a “set it and forget it” website.

What Must I Do?

Three choices.

First, log into the website and check for updates.  If you have many websites, set a schedule and monthly log into your website and check for updates.

Secondly, use a service such as ManageWP plugin which allows you the ability from a single dashboard, check on status of all of your WordPress websites, perform backups, update plugins and WordPress core, and more!  ManageWP is highly recommended if you have more than a handful of websites.

And your third option is to use a hosting service such as WPEngine.com that automatically updates WordPress and the plugins.

The Last Gotcha – WordPress Backups

And the last important gotcha that people get got with, is that they neglect using an automated tool to backup their WordPress website.

If you are making money from your niche WordPress website, then it is really important to be able to restore your website in a few minutes or so if the website ever becomes compromised by hackers, or goes down because of of conflicts between plugins, or if your hosting company screws up…

You have got to have backup software running on your website, making complete backups to a folder on your website, and to an off-server website location like Amazon S3 services, or Dropbox, or Google Drive, or something!

You have GOT to have an automated backup program.  Like yesterday.

Three WordPress backup solutions that I actually own and use are BackupCreator, WPTwin, and BackupBuddy.

All three are great.  All three work wonderfully, and have different strengths and weaknesses.

Summary

So in summary, WordPress is a fantastic tool for quickly creating websites.  But there are three gotchas that you have to consider and take action on are security, updates, and backups.

And there are some great tools you can use to make your life easier online and keeping you doing what you do best – building great WordPress websites.

And again here is a list of these WordPress tools I use and recommend:

  • Better WP Security plugin
  • Wordfence
  • BackupCreator
  • WPTwin

Tell me what you think and how I can help you build niche websites with WordPress.

Mike Darling

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