WordPress Security Presentation

The first ever WordCamp Charleston was held this past Saturday to a sellout crowd, and it was a huge success. Everyone involved did a great job, and there was a diverse and interesting group of attendees. It was so fun actually that I can’t wait for the next one. Too bad I can’t make it up to WordCamp Asheville.

Anyway, I promised I would put up the slides of my talk on WordPress security, and here they are. Of course there was a lot of talking that went along with these, so there may be gaps in what does and doesn’t make sense. All of the talks at WordCamp were captured on video however, and they should be up at WordCamp.TV soon. I will let you know as soon as that happens.

Oh, and if you found this presentation interesting, you should also check out my friend Jared Smith’s presentation on WordPress Peak Performance. His slide deck is available on his site. Trust me, he is the guru of this stuff.

So, enjoy the pointers on securing and backing up your WordPress site and, as always, if you have any questions just give me a shout!

Building Blocks of Better Blogs

This is the presentation I gave at the Type-A Mommy Bloggers conference in Asheville, NC, last month. Unfortunately I only had about 45 minutes as I would have loved to have gone into a lot more detail. Additionally, the conversations around these issues with those who attended the session were fantastic. So, please don’t hesitate to leave comments and ask further questions. And always feel free to email me.

Also, the presentation got a little garbled in places when it uploaded to SlideShare. So, here is a link to the PDF of the full Building Blocks of Better Blogs presentation. Enjoy!

3-2-1 Backup!

I got another message today from someone who has lost files due to hardware malfunction. That makes the sixth person in the last two weeks. Seems that as fast as I can get people using proper backup, other people’s machines are failing.

To that end, let’s review the 3-2-1 backup strategy.  This, at least, should be followed for all of your important files and documents. And by important I mean anything you care at all about losing.

Let's Backup!3 – Your important files should exist in three different places. This could be your computer, your spouses computer, an external drive, a burned DVD, a remote backup, a friend’s house, whatever. Just three distinct copies of the files.
2 – Those files should be on at least two different types of media. Media can be hard drive, DVD, memory card or stick, or even original paper or film.
1 – At least one of those copies should be maintained off-site. That is away from the site of the original. Preferably in a different city or state. Think about common natural disasters. Off-site should be out of reach of those natural disasters.

An external hard drive is excellent for one of your backups. Time Machine on the Mac makes this a no-brainer, and there are some good software packages for Windows, such as Acronis True Image. Drive space has come way down in price, and an external drive is easy to pickup and take with you in case of emergency. An external drive such as the Western Digital Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard DriveWD Passport Portable Hard Drive for Backup is a great choice. Western Digital drives are solid and dependable and they have a good company backing them up. Now is not the time to try to find the cheapest thing you can – unless you want to regret that decision later when there is a failure.

Continue reading “3-2-1 Backup!”

Q & A: Windows 7 Upgrade

Question: Windows 7 is available to those who bought a new computer recently. How about the older computers? Do we buy them separately or are they available through our existing software?

windows7_versionsAnswer: Windows 7 can indeed be purchased as an upgrade for older computers. The exact price will depend on which version you choose, but should be approximately $100. The two most important considerations to keep in mind are 1) will your computer run Windows 7 adequately and 2) what will be involved in the upgrade?

If your computer was purchased within the last 3 or 4 years or is currently running Windows Vista, you should be good to go. If it was purchased earlier than that, you will want to visit the Windows 7 Upgrade adviser at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx to download a small test program that will determine if your machine is Windows 7 capable.

No matter what the age of your machine, if you are currently running Windows XP and want to upgrade to Windows 7, you will have to perform what is called a “clean install.” That means that your hard drive will be totally wiped out and all software will have to be reinstalled. Therefor, before you do that, you want to make sure you have all of your original software media, the registration information, and a good backup of all your personal data. Actually, no matter what upgrade route you decide on or even if you aren’t doing an upgrade, you should have a good backup!

Note: This is part of a column that originally appeared in The Daniel Island News in the weekly issue for November 18, 2009.

Managing Your Digital Life

I just thought I would pass along to all of you a great new website dedicated to the way all live now. The Managing Your Digital Life Podcast & Blog is a great destination for information on how to deal with all the electronic stuff you accumulate during your daily life. The folks there, like Scott Bourne and Andy Ihnatko, answer questions like: What sort of hard drive should I buy? How do I create a backup plan? What’s the difference between backup and archive?

They will provide tips, tricks, news and reviews relevant to the most up-to-date storage, backup and archiving systems. The goal is to help you take care of, manage, access and safely store/backup all your precious homework assignments, videos, photos, databases, music files and more.

Managing Your Digital Life is a highly recommended site, so check them out!