A little Sucuri review

Founders of Sucuri

Daniel and Toni, founders of Sucuri

After using Sucuri for more than three months I have found that time is here to write my very own Sucuri review, based on my experience from using their security services for this time.

My original reason for visiting the Sucuri website and signing up for their services was that I had experienced a series of attacks of different WordPress sites that I work with and administer, and the amount of time and energy used trying to fix these problems, in addition to fees that I had to pay to the different hosting services for retrieving old backups of my sites, told me that I need to find a solution that will take the weight of my shoulders if there should be any future attacks to any of my sites. I therefore signed up for a Sucuri account where I could register 15 different websites, meaning that Sucuri would monitor these websites, and if there should be anyone hacking any of the sites, adding some PHP code or placing some malware somewhere, then Sucuri will not only monitor and discover, but also clean up afterwards. That was my original goal, and this is where the Sucuri review starts.

My first impression of Sucuri

As soon as I signed up I immediately signed up for an account where I could add ten sites (and then added five more after some days). It was easy to use the control panel and to add sites, and adding the so called SSH protection was also easy, just uploading a file to the public folder using FTP and then Sucuri would discover it and the protection was one (very similar to authenticating a website for Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools). After adding a site it takes an hour or two, and then they will scan the site for the first time. Upon adding my sites everything was fine, but already during the first scan Sucuri found some malware on one of my sites (that I did not know of so far).

How does Sucuri remove malware and fix hacked websites?

Sucuri reviewAs you discover that you have a website that has been infected (maybe because you received a warning from Sucuri), then you need to make a removal request. This can easily be done using the Sucuri dashboard, and you will need to give them the name of your FTP server, a username and a password for this to work. At first I was a bit insecure about giving away so confidential information to a complete stranger, but because of the nice Sucuri reviews I had read elsewhere online, I thought that these guys needs to be proffesional and they will for sure not spoil their good name and fame by doing bad stuff at my website. And I was true… There was no problems then, and it has never been problems giving away FTP information later.

A few minutes after opening the case I received an eail that someone is looking into the case and that I can expect more information within a few hours. A few hours later I received a new message that the malware had been removed and that the site was now error free.

Since then I have used Sucuri about 10 times I guess to remove malware and injected PHP code from sites. Some of the hacking attempts have been more advanced, meaning that at most it took 24 hours for a matter to be solved, but it was solved and the website was up and running throughout the entire process.

Sucuri fixing the complicated problems

How webhosts relate to malware and hacked WordPress sites differ. Some hosts tells you to fix the problem, if not, they will have to shut down your site. Other hosts shut down your site and take it offline from the moment they discover the problem, and I have quite some sites hosted on servers with the latter kind of hosts. In such cases it is very important to fix the problems as soon as possible, because a site that is offline will of course harm those coming to your site looking for information or out there to buy your services, and if your site is offline for a long enough amount of times, it may also harm your Google Rankings. During this period I had some sites yet not registered at Sucuri.net, but when my host found them to be sending spam emails, they immediately took them offline. Desperate for a quick solution, and not willing to pay a lot to my webhost for restoring an old backup of the site, I quickly added the hacked site to my Sucuri panel and at once create a malware report on the site. Again, it only took hours before the matter was fixed and I could tell my host that the problem had been removed, and that they could reopen my site again. In this way I did not really have to pay anything extra for this, only my yearly fee subscription to Sucuri!

What about Sucuri firewall?

To be honest, I have not tried it yet, and I have not felt the need for it. At least Sucuri has fixed all my problems so far without me having the firewall installed and paying quite a lot of money for it monthly, but if I should need it in the future or be convinced of the fact that I actually need it, then I will for sure write more about it here in the Sucuri review, but I believe that for most webmasters out there it is not very important to add the firewall, at least not in the start.

Sucuri review conclusion

Sucuri full refund policyAfter using Sucuri on 15 websites for about three months I am really satisfied and happy about the investment. All in all this costed me 400USD (since I signed up they have raised the prices quite a lot), but based on all the time I have saved already on having Sucuri clean infected sites and also the fact that they have found and removed malware quickly from sites, hindering them from going offline and me suffering from that, I am absolutely sure that it was a good investment for me. If you are insecure they do have a thirty day full refund policy, in case you should be unhappy with the product.

If you want to try Sucuri yourself, visit the Sucuri website for more information on prices and information on the product.

If you have have tried Sucuri yourself, why not share your thoughts and experience writing a comment!

How to find and remove malware on my WordPress site?

Find and remove malwareThere is nothing giving you a bad start to a day as an email from your hosting company telling you that your website has been infiltrated with malware, and they have already taken it offline, or if not they will have to take action against your site within shortly if nothing happens. There you are with no clue what to do, and afraid of loosing income or customers, because your site is punished and hacked.

I have personally experienced 5-6 website of mine being hacking in 2014 and normally my hosting companies simply shut down the websites because they said thousands of spam emails were sent out every minute while the site was offline. As a very minor tech junkie I do have some insight in PHP coding and so, but not at all enough to look through PHP code and other files to look for code injected by hackers from where to do all kinds of ugly and creepy things on or through my website. In this little blog post I will therefore simply tell what I have done personally to find and remove malware on my WordPress sites.

How to find and remove malware on my WordPress site?

I have in some cases been able to remove the malware on my WordPress all by myself, but I must admit that in most cases I have simply left the job to the professionals. When I could remove the malware myself, this is what I did.

  1. I asked my host to identify the hacked/infiltrated files on my server. I then deleted those files, and replaced them with new versions directly downloaded on new (if a plugin has been hacked, then I deleted the plugin, and downloaded a new version of the plugin from WordPress website).
  2. I downloaded all files to my computer and ran a scan with my virus scanner. A few times I actually found something, but in most cases my virus scanner did not detect anything, even though several files where infiltrated with malware.

And this was about what I could do in my own power. If this was not enough, then I found out that I would simply give it on to professionals. Who are those professionals? Those are the guys who helped me get rid of the problem, and who at the same time takes care of me in the future and immediately removes the problem whenever some new suspicious attack should take place on my WordPress site.

Who are those professional guys who removes malware from my WordPress site?

Remove malware from WordPress siteI read around on blogs all across the Internet and in general I found one name that showed up over and over again. That was Sucuri. This is a brilliant service, something I now can say based on my personal experience. As you sign up they will monitor your website 24×7, and if there should be any malware detected, code injections or other hacking attempts, they will remove it for free and make sure that your site remains safe and healthy. If the hacking attempt has already taken place you can just sign up for their services, add your site and at once create a case on your website telling that you have received a warning about malware being found on your site, and then they will start the job normally between 2-3 hours. And once they have cleaned it they will keep watching and taking care of your site further on into the future, for as long as you keep your subscription active.

To visit the Sucuri website, click here.

Save money with Sucui
If you are earning money with your website, then you know that hacking attempts and forced offline status harms business and income. Sucuri will help you make sure that your website stays online 24×7, and that you will not lose money in case of a future hacking attempt.

How to remove a Twitter account from HootSuite?

HootSuiteI am a frequent user of HootSuite, but recently I faced a little challenge as I tried to remove one of my social media account, as I had reached the max amount of 50 Social Media account, but somehow I had a little challenge removing the Twitter accounts. How can that be done?

The reason that it was a bit harder to remove the HootSuite allowed Twitter accounts was the fact that Google+ and Facebook accounts can simply be added or removed as you log in to give access to any other Facebook or Google+ account on HootSuite. With Twitter it works in a different way, because every single Twitter account is related to a different account, meaning that you can not gain access to several Twitter accounts with one username and password. So, how can I remove a Twitter account from HootSuite easily?

It is really easy, and the key is to go to the menu on the left and click on your name on the top. Once you have clicked your name you will see an overview of all accounts connected to your account, and if you click on any of them you will quickly see the “Remove” button, and thus you can remove all or only one Twitter account from your HootSuite account easily..

Hope this have helped you. If you want to know more about how to use HootSuite, read the following article. It is a perfect tool if you want to schedule posts to social media accounts, and in fact HootSuite knows better than you when a post is most likely to get the attention of other users, so in that way you can make sure that even more people get to see and hear what is on your heart as you post to social media using HootSuite.

 

“You have been locked out due to too many invalid login attempts” – What to do?

iThemes SecurityRecently I had a problem using iThemes Security, because I got the following error message whenever I tried to login: “You have been locked out due to too many invalid login attempts. ithemes security.” I read around on the Internet looking for a solution, but did not really find one. Do you face the same problem?

What can you do if you face the same problem? I read different solutions to the problem, and one solution was to create a new user in WordPress and transfer all written posts and articles to that user, and then delete the old one. In that way the problem could be solved. However, it did not do it for me. There are some general problems, for example the fact that I could not login to create a new user, because I always got this error message.

Login attempts

What an annoying error message!

Solve the problem in PhpMyAdmin

You can for example disable all plugins using PhpMyAdmin, and in that way you will be able to log in to your WordPress Dashboard again, and if you want to do so, search for the following pressing the “SQL” button in PhpMyAdmin:

SELECT * FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘active_plugins';

Press edit on the result and delete what is in the search result. It will probably look something like this: a:3:{i:0;s:19:”akismet/akismet.php”}

Once this is disabled you can do the necessary changes in the dashboard, create a new user and delete the old one. This is one sort of solution.

Solve the problem with FTP

Another way to fix the problem is to connect to your server using FTP. Go to the Wp-Content/plugins folder and rename WP Better Security folder to something else. This will disable the plugin and log in will work again. If you are fed up with the plugin, simply delete it!

Since I ran iThemes Security on a multisite, meaning it actually was on lots of WordPress sites simultaneously, it was not just to change the user. I tried quite some stuff, but whenever I activated iThemes Security again, I was at once locked out of the system. That is why I in the end deleted the entire thing and installed another WordPress Security plugin named Wordfence.

That was my solution to the problem. This might not have helped you a bit at all, but if it has, I am happy about it!

How to import WordPress posts and images to new server?

export wordpress imagesHave you ever had a WordPress site, only to find out that you want to move the entire site to a new webserver. You can then of course use the Export and Import tool found in WordPress to do so, and it works great. There is only a slight problem, and that is the image files.

Because, as you do a post export and import to a new server, you import the posts with all the original data, meaning that the image links will all remain pointing in the direction of the old server. So, if you delete all files on the old server, and the entire website closes down, then all those links and images will suddenly stop to work, and that is a catastrophe. So, how can you easily and simply export your old WordPress site, import it to your new WordPress installation, and then make sure all images are moved to the new server and all image links are updated? Big question, huh?

Import WordPress installation with image files

Unfortunately there is no super easy way of doing this, but the first step is of course to export your data from the former WordPress installation to the new installation. After you have done so you open your new WordPress installation and import the data with attachments.

And now comes to funny part. Use a FTP manager to download all image files from the /wp-content/uploads/ directory. Download all files and then upload them in the /wp-content/uploads directory on the new server.

The last part is then to update all links, and this can best be done using the search and replace tool. Download the plugin and do first a search for the address of your former website address. Let us say that the former address was www.getitgoing.com and the address of your new site it www.iamstrongandhealthy.com. Now you simply tell the plugin to change all occasions of getitgoing.com in your database to iamstrongandhealty.com. It is worth doing a database backup before doing this, because if you type something wrong it can hurt you a lot, and it can be very hard to fix it. So do a backup first, and after that change the address using Search and Replace.

Search and Replace - WordPress image import

After these steps you are ready to go, and you have successfully export and imported your WordPress site, including with images and with updated image URLs.

Have this article helped you? Have you got any questions? Please write a comment and let me know!

ICanLocalize review

ICanLocalizeRecently we had some translation work that needed to be done related to some online projects, and looking for a place to get the translations done we bumped into ICanLocalize. Now a while down the road we are ready to write this review based on our experiences using ICanLocalize. Is ICanLocalize a good option if you have translation work that needs to be done?

ICanLocalize is a part of OnTheGoSystems, the group behind the popular WPML plugin for WordPress, a great tool if you want your WordPress site made available online in several languages. We are fans of the WPML plugin, but is the ICanLocalize service as good as the plugin?

ICanLocalize – our experience

On the day we registered for ICanLocalize we immediately created two projects that we wanted to translate to Finnish and Dutch (from English). We create the project and made them public, and within 30 minutes we had offers from one/one translator who wanted to do the translation. The minimum price is 0,09USD per word at ICanLocalize, and we offered almost exactly that. In the system we checked up on reviews made by earlier clients of the translators, and based on those we accepted both translators and gave them the job. They both had a 48 hours deadline (which we added to the project). The translator we used to get the document translated to Dutch (1000 words) had the translation done within 6 hours and the Finnish translator did the job within 24 hours. It is possible for a 50% higher price to add the “professional review” function to the translation,, meaning that another translator will review the job done by the first translator before you get the final work, but we skipped that in both cases.

Since we know some guys in the Netherlands we sent them the translation made to Dutch to make them take a look at it, and their response was that is was a good and solid translation. At the moment we have had no way of controlling the Finnish translation, but hopefully that will run with the same quality!

ICanLocalize – negatives

We were very satisfied with the translations, but there are still some negatives to ICanLocalize. The biggest problem, that almost scared us away before we even started… the messy language at the ICanLocalize site. It is a disaster that a site dealing with translations should be that messy, but it is. Some examples:

1) As we create a new project we often end up at a site where the language is 100% in German. This does not happen all the time, but very often.
ICanLocalize review2) As we created a new project and added our information there suddenly came some Spanish sentences into the translation

These were just some minor bugs, but they were annoying in the start and almost scare us away. As we now try to recall such errors they sometimes show up, but not always. So, be prepared, but hopefully these errors will be gone by the time you register and try ICanLocalize yourself.

ICanLocalize – positives

  • There are lots of things we like about this service. It is quick and it is personal, as you can personally write messages and communicate with your translator. You can publish a translation project and choose from translators applying to your project, meaning that you can pick the one you believe to be the best. If you have once found a translator you like you can make him a favorite and send future projects directly to the translator, making them your permanent translator in the future (very useful if you are satisfied).
  • Another advantage is that it is quick. Since you communicate directly with the translator and set a time limit as you create a project, you will not have to wait for weeks for the project to be published and started, but if you are in a hurry, you can release a project and set the translation deadline in 24 hours. Only translators willing to do the job in such a hurry will apply, and you will get the job done.
  • The review function is also very useful, making sure that if you are in need of a great translation of high quality and without typos and grammar mistakes, this will guarantee that.
  • Let us not forget… ICanLocalize is cheap compared to large translations offices. You can do most translations at a price of 0,09USD per word, which is an amazing price. Most translation companies have normal rates, and if you are in a hurry they add some heavy costs to get the translation done even faster. Here you set the price and the translators run to you to get the job done!

ICanLocalize review conclusion

ICanLocalize is a solid product which will help you get the translation work done easily. They also have functions making it possible to directly translate from within WordPress, meaning that you do not even have to really visit their site. There are lots of options and ways in which this can be done, so just read more on the ICanLocalize site if you want some more high tech translation, instead of the typical Word-document translation.

ICanLocalize website

Check this out for yourself and if you have thoughts on ICanLocalize or an experience that you would like to share, write a comment!

 

How to translate documents and websites easily online in a cheap way?

Do you have a website, a product, an application or something else that you would like to translate to another language? A new language, a translation, can be what opens up a whole new world and a new country to you and your business, so it can greatly influence your business income. But, where can I translate documents and websites easily online in a cheap way?

Translating websites and documents easily and cheap

Get your documents and websites translated easily and in a cheap way online!

There are several options, but a very good option that works good is a service named ICanLocalize. It was made by the team creating the WPML, a great tool for creating multilingual WordPress sites. We have tested the service ourselves, and it works fine and as we tried to translate about 1000 words to two different languages we had both translation delivered within less than 48 hours and the price was about 100 USD per translation. That is quite a competitive price, especially considering the speed on the translation. We skipped this with our translations, but there is an option which will make your text reviewed as well, before you have it delivered back to you. If you have a document that needs to be 100% perfect, the review part can be very useful!

ICanLocalizeThere are more than 40 languages to which you can translate documents using this service, so it is very easy and quick to get your project translated to tens of languages. You also have the chance to review translators, and only translators with good reviews are allowed to actually translate inside the system.

If you want to visit the site and check this out for yourself, then visit ICanLocalize, register (for free) and check out if you like the system. You should of course be prepared that it takes some minutes to get a grip on the page and the system, especially since there seems to be some troubles with the languages of the menus and buttons, but once you get a grip on it, it is easy to use, even though you will often meet both German and Spanish words and menus in the English version of the site.

 

Your Sitemap is HTML error in Google Webmaster Tools

Recently I had a problem occurring which really annoyed me. I used Yoast SEO plugin on several websites and used the plugin to create my sitemaps. It worked perfectly on a lot of sites, but then suddenly I got the error message “Your Sitemap is HTML.”

I then saved the Sitemap settings in the Yoast SEO plugin and resubmitted it, but nothing helped. Even more annoying was the fact that as I visited the Sitemap itself using the link from the Google Webmasters tool it worked perfectly, but still – Google Webmasters tool did not want to accept my perfect and beautifully working sitemap. Do you have a similar problem?

How I got rid of “Your Sitemap is HTML”

Your Sitemap is HTMLThere are several things that can be done to fix this, but in this article I will simply share what was the error in my case and what I did to get rid of the “Your Sitemap is HTML” error. As you might know it is smart to use a cache plugin on your WordPress site, to make sure that the data is sent on to the viewers as soon as possible. I used a plugin named Quick Cache and that was what caused the problems for me. I therefore deactivated the Quick Cache plugin and then I went to the SEO settings and the Sitemap settings and saved them again. Now I entered Google Webmasters tool and resubmitted my sitemap. And guess what, no more error message, just the fact that it was working and everything perfect. And, since it worked, I activated the Quick Cache plugin again and now it is all just fine.

That was the solution for me. Maybe it will work for you, or maybe it will not, but at least it is worth a try if you have a cache plugin that might cause you some problems and make Webmaster Tools not accept your sitemap.

How to get Google Analytics statistics sent to your emailaddress?

It can be time demanding to always visit the Google Analytics website to get fresh statistics. It can therefore be time saving to get those statistics sent regularly to your email address with the latest and most important numbers. But, how to you get Google Analytics statistics sent to your email address?

It is quite easy to get statistics from Google Analytics sent to your email address. The most important now is that you login to your Google Analytics account and we will take it step to step from there.

Google Analytics statistics sent to your email address

When you are inside the Google Analytics panel you should start by going to Admin (upper right corner). You will now see several options in the panel, and one of those is Reporting. By default you will arrive to the “Audience” option. Let us say that you want to get the Audience Overview statistics sent to your email address by default once a week. To do that take a look just below the menu bar, and there you will see “Email.”

Audience Overview statistics to my email from Google Analytics

Once you click a window will popup where you can ask for the statistics to be sent to your email address, and you can set options on how often you want it to come, on what day of the week you want it to come and of course to what email address it should arrive.

If you want to get some other statistics sent to your email from Google Analytics, then visit the site you are interested in and ask for an email with those statistics.

Customizing a Google Analytics email report

If you want a different report sent to your email than what the standard reports provided by Google Analaytics offer, you can visit the Customization area (next to Reporting in the menu bar.) There you can go ahead and create a new custom report with your requested information and statistics found in it.

Setting up a custom report will require some insight and some time, because you need to understand all the different data and opportunities in it.

Good luck and enjoy getting your Google Analytics statistics sent to your email address regularly.

How to change certain text on your entire WordPress site?

Not long ago I had a big renovation to do on one of my WordPress sites. Imagine you have a sites with tons of pages and posts, and all of them have a link pointing in the wrong direction. You can of course redirect the link, but since you loose some SEO using Redirect 301, the best is if you can make sure the link point in the right direction from minute 1.

Bulk changing links in WordPress

I had hundreds of links pointing to the following address (just example):

http://test.testdrive.com/

Now, I wanted to change all those links to point to the following address:

http://www.testpoint.com/

I could of course manually change the link at every single page, but that would be a nightmare and take way to much time. So, what did I do to fix the problem?

Bulk changing of links in WordPress

How to change lots of links with one move in WordPress

Bulk changing WordPress text

To fix the problem I used a free WordPress plugin named Search and Replace. It is a very little plugin, though with great power, in fact it can be a bit dangerous if you do some mistakes. But, it is powerful and it gave me a solution which made the entire operation of changing all those link addresses in less than 30 seconds. So, to use this plugin you need to download it and activate it. You can later find it under Tools in WordPress. Take a look at the instructions, and first search for the text you would like to change. If you have done that, and you get it confirmed that it finds the text, then you can go for the big step: Search and Replace.

I made a backup of my WordPress database before doing this, just to make sure that a disaster would not take place in case I made a mistake, or something should happen. I never needed to use that backup, but it felt safe having it in the background.

That was it! It saved me lots of time and also around 50USD, as I almost bought another plugin that was more complicated, but that would still do the work. However, the search and replace plugin turned out to be much more efficient, easy to use and cheaper. So, check it out if you have the same challenge that I had.

Did you like this article? Find out how to use a locker to lock certain content, only to be revealed upon social sharing!