Easyapache-4 News!!!

EasyApache 4 was introduced in cPanel & WHM version 11.52 and has grown into a stable  product. As of version 58 EasyApache 4 is out of BETA, and is the default for any new cPanel installation.

Why EasyApache 4  I want to tell you :

  • Building with EasyApache 4 is Fast

    No need to full recompile of Apache and PHP for adding new module. With EasyApache 4 deliver Apache, PHP, and our supported PHP modules as RPMs, which means that adding a new module takes seconds.

  • Updates are  Automatic  with EasyApache 4

    Since EasyApache 4 is all RPM based, the operating system automatically takes care of updates for you

  •   PHP7 Support included in EasyApache 4

PHP7 will only be available for cPanel & WHM customers as part of EasyApache 4.             cPanel  already considering adding PHP 7.1, which just entered its third Alpha.

  • Multiple versions of PHP supported :EasyApache 4

    With cPanel & WHM version 58, We are  adding the ability to mange multiple PHP versions from WHM.

  • Easy to switch to EasyApache 4

    Switching  on easyapache4 is easy to do using our simple command-line script, and the conversion process requires no additional work from you

  • All  EasyApache RPMs are open source and available on github! Advanced users who want to customize the EasyApache 4 RPMs provided by cPanel can do so with ease!

 

So Get Set Go!!!!!

Hardening WordPress Security

WordPress is the most popular blogging and CMS system on the Internet which makes it a favorite target for hackers. Having a WordPress site means that you have to take some extra efforts in order to protect your and your visitors data hence hardening your WordPress deployment is mandatory.

We know from experience that having your site hacked is not fun. That’s why, here at WebHostingWorld, we take security very seriously.
In line with our serious approach to security, our products are carefully optimized to be as secure as possible. There are, however, still a handful of potential security risks, when running a website, that we have no control over. You, the website owner, need to pay attention to these potential security risks, in order to keep your website safe.

With that in mind, here are few things you can do to improve your WordPress security.

1. Update all the things

It is really important to keep your core WordPress files and all of your plugins, themes updated to their latest versions. Every new release of WordPress contains patches and fixes that address real or potential vulnerabilities. If you don’t keep your website updated with the latest version of WordPress, you could be leaving yourself open to attacks.

Many hackers will intentionally target older versions of WordPress with known security issues, so keep an eye on your Dashboard notification area and don’t ignore those ‘Please update now’ messages.

update

Don’t ignore this!

The latest version of WordPress is always available on official WordPress site. Official release is not available from other websites or resources, thus, NEVER update WordPress from third party resources. Also, you can easily update WordPress from Admin Dashboard directly

updatingwp

WordPress update

It is strongly recommended to update your plugins and themes to the latest versions too, as a bug in one of these can affect your whole installation. You can update both plugins and themes via Admin Dashboard > choose Plugins or Themes menu and click ‘Update now’ near the necessary plugin or theme:

updatingplugins

plugins update

updatingthemes

themes update

NOTE: it is recommended to create backups of your WordPress files and database before applying any changes.

2. Strengthen up those passwords

You will be surprised to know that there are thousands of people that use phrases like “password” or “123456” for their admin login details. Needles to say, such passwords can be easily guessed and they are on the top of the list of any dictionary attack.

The goal with your password is to make it hard for other people to guess and hard for a brute force attack to succeed. Many automatic password generators are available that can be used to create secure passwords.

https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator/

Things to avoid when choosing a password:

  • Any permutation of your own real name, username, company name, or name of your website.
  • A word from a dictionary, in any language.
  • A short password.
  • Any numeric-only or alphabetic-only password (a mixture of both is best)

3. Don’t use the “admin” username

The default WordPress login is ‘admin’ and most hackers know that. It should be changed to custom one with a strong password which include upper/lower keys, numbers and symbols. If you’re installing a new WordPress site, you will be asked for username during the WordPress installation process.

installing WordPress

installing WordPress


If you have already installed WordPress you can still change username.The easiest way to change your WordPress username is by creating a new user with your desired username and with the administrator user role. You will need to use a different email address than the one used by the old account.

  • To add a new user on your WordPress site, simply click on Users » Add New and fill out the form.

add-new-user-wordpress

  • Add a new user with Administrator role, make sure you use a strong password.
  • Now you need to logout and then login with the new user account you just created.
  • Go to the Users section and click on the Delete link under your old username

    delete-user-wp

    add user

While deleting your old user, WordPress will ask what you want to do with their content. Make sure that you click on Attribute all content to:’ option and then select the new user you just created. Click on the ‘Confirm Deletion’ button to delete the old user account.

attribute-content-newuser

delete user

That’s all you have successfully changed your WordPress username

4. Protect your WordPress Admin Area

Keeping “wp-admin” folder protected adds an extra layer of protection. Whoever attempts to access files or directory after “wp-admin” will be prompt to login.

Protecting your “wp-admin” folder with login and password can be done in several ways:

4.1. WordPress plugin

Using the WordPress AskApache Password Protect plugin.

4.2. cPanel

You can set protection easily on any folder via cPanel’s Password Protect Directories

  •  Go to cPanel > Security > Password Protect Directories to access a list of your site’s folders:
Password Protect Directories

Password Protect Directories

  • Choose the directory you wish to protect and click on it
Password Protect Directories

Password Protect Directories

Put a tick on Password protect this directory and name your protected directory, insert the username and password and click on Add or Modify the Authorized User button to save your changes:

4.3. .htaccess + htpasswd

Creating a password-protected folder can also be done easily by setting the folders you want to protect inside .htaccess and users allowed to access inside .htpasswd.

The best you can do is to get our home IP address (you can use a site like whatismyip.com for that) and add these lines to the .htaccess file in your WordPress admin folder replacing xx.xxx.xxx.xxx with your IP address.

<Files wp-login.php>
order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from xx.xxx.xxx.xxx
</Files>
In case you want to allow access to multiple computers (like your office, home PC, laptop, etc.), simply add another Allow from xx.xxx.xxx.xxx statement on a new line.

5. Securing wp-config.php

It is very important to protect wp-config.php file and wp-admin folder since they are more susceptible for hacker attack.

Move wp-config.php outside of the web directory (eg. one directory up). WordPress knows to look for the file in other directories if it can’t find it in the web directory.

The trouble is, if a hacker managed to gain access to your admin panel, they could also edit your files that way, and execute whatever code they wanted to.

So it’s a good idea to disable this method of file editing, by adding the following to your wp-config.php file. You can put this in that file (at the very top) to deny access to anyone surfing for it:

<files wp-config.php>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</files>

The WordPress Dashboard by default allows administrators to edit PHP files, such as plugin and theme files. This is often the first tool an attacker will use if able to login, since it allows code execution. WordPress has a constant to disable editing from Dashboard. Placing this line in wp-config.php is equivalent to removing the ‘edit_themes’, ‘edit_plugins’ and ‘edit_files’ capabilities of all users:

define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’,true);

6.Changing database prefix

Your website might be at stake if you are using the predictable wp_ prefixes in your database.

This one can be difficult to do but it is the absolute most critical.  By default, WordPress prefixes all its database tables “wp_”.  Changing the table prefix to a random string makes it difficult if not impossible for a hacker to execute remote SQL injection attacks.

If you haven’t installed WordPress yet, then during installation you can change the table prefix to the random string you generated previously.  Make sure you add an underscore ( _ )  after the string so your tables are easier to read.

changing table prefix

changing table prefix

If you have already installed WordPress you can still change database prefix in two ways: either manually or using a special plugin.

  • For manual database prefix change, go to cPanel > phpMyAdmin menu > choose the necessary database from the left side > click on SQL option above.

Here you need to run RENAME SQL queries on tables in your WordPress database:

RENAME table `wp_commentmeta` TO `newprefix_commentmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_comments` TO `newprefix_comments`;
RENAME table `wp_links` TO `newprefix_links`;
RENAME table `wp_options` TO `newprefix_options`;
RENAME table `wp_postmeta` TO `newprefix_postmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_posts` TO `newprefix_posts`;
RENAME table `wp_terms` TO `newprefix_terms`;
RENAME table `wp_term_relationships` TO `newprefix_term_relationships`;
RENAME table `wp_term_taxonomy` TO `newprefix_term_taxonomy`;
RENAME table `wp_usermeta` TO `newprefix_usermeta`;
RENAME table `wp_users` TO `newprefix_users`;

*where newprefix_ should be replaced with new database prefix you wish to have instead of wp_, then click Go:

changing table prefix1

sql query

  • Once done, you will see the new database prefix has been applied to your WordPress database:
table_prefix

table prefix

  • After that you will need to search the options table for any other fields that is using wp_ as a prefix in order to replace them. It is necessary to run the following query in the same way:
SELECT * FROM `newprefix_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE ‘%wp_%’
options table

options table

  • Then click Go and you will get the result as on the screenshot below:
table prefix

table prefix

  • Here you will need to go one by one to change these lines and replace the old database prefix with the new one. Once done, we need to search the usermeta for all fields that is using wp_ as a prefix with the help of this SQL query:

SELECT * FROM `newprefix_usermeta` WHERE `meta_key` LIKE ‘%wp_%’
sql query

sql query

  • After that click Go and the following results will appear:
changing database prefix

changing database prefix

Number of entries may vary on how many plugins you are using and such. Here you need to change everything that has wp_ to the new prefix as well.

  • Once done, make sure to update your wp-config.php file with new database prefix:
changing database prefix in wp-config.php

changing database prefix in wp-config.php

Also, you can change database prefix using special plugins, like Change DB prefix or Change table prefix.

7. Plugins For Better Security

7.1. WP DB Backup

WP DB Backup is an easy to use plugin which lets you backup your core WordPress database tables just by a few clicks. Besides it is so easy, it
has also been one of the most used plugin to secure your WP-powered website.

7.2. WP Security Scan

With this plugin, scanning your WordPress-powered site will be a simple task. It finds the vulnerabilities in your site and offer useful tips on removing them.

7.3. User Locker

If you want to avoid brute-force hacking your site, then the User Locker plugin is right for you. It works on the same system as Login
Lockdown, however, it’s a 5-stars rated WP plugin which has a great fame among its users. With this plugin, scanning your WordPress-powered site will be a simple task. It finds the vulnerabilities in your site and offer useful tips on
removing them.

8. Keeping the backups

Back up your data regularly, including your MySQL databases. A sound backup strategy could include keeping a set of regularly-timed snapshots of your entire WordPress installation (including WordPress core files and your database) in a trusted location.

The following is a very simple version of how to use phpMyAdmin to back up your WordPress database.

  • 1. Click on Databases in your phpMyAdmin panel. (It may not be necessary to do this, depending on your version of phpMyAdmin)
database backup

database backup

  • You may have several databases. Click the one that holds your WordPress data, the database you created when you installed WordPress.
  • Below is a picture of the default tables in the Structure view tab. You may have more tables — this would happen if you have any statistics plugins or anti-spam plugins.
database structure

database structure

  • Click Export. There are two methods to export, Quick and Custom; if you choose Custom, follow these steps:

1.1. Select all the tables.
1.2. In the Output section check Save output to a file and select None for Compression. (If your database is very large use a compression method)
1.3. Select SQL from the Format drop-down menu.
1.4. Check “Add DROP TABLE”: this can be useful for over-writing an existing database.
1.5. Check “IF NOT EXISTS”: this prevents errors during restores if the tables are already there.
1.6. Click Go. The data will now be saved into your computer.

Keep these files safe, copied and stored in separate places on separate media.

The tips provided above do not guarantee 100% secure of your WordPress website, however, they drastically decrease chances of getting hacked. We sincerely hope this article helped you enough in securing your online business and becoming a trouble-free and happy customer.

Changing The WordPress Site URL

Your WordPress.com blog address is what people use to access your blog. An example of a WordPress.com blog address is example.wordpress.com. This document explains how you can change the example part of the address to something else.

1. Log in to WordPress admin panel Settings > General.
2. Update WordPress Address (URL) line and Site Address (URL) lines and save the changes:

general_settings

general settings

3. You will also need to re-generate the permalinks to make sure they have the new URL in  Settings> Permalinks.
So if you had Post name, you need to switch to “Default” for instance, save the changes and then revert everything back:

permalink_settings

permalink settings

If  Dashboard  is not opening or not letting you in for some reason, you may perform the changes directly in MySQL database.

The instruction below will guide you on how to change WordPress website URL usingphpMyAdmin in cPanel.

1. Login to your cPanel and navigate to phpMyAdmin menu:

phpmyadmin

phpmyadmin

2. Choose the database which is being used for your WordPress blog and click on it.

If you are not sure what exactly database you need, check it in wp-config.php file which is located in the document root – in our case it is /public_html/wp/:

wp-congif.php

wp-congif.php

3. Click on wp-options table and edit siteurl and home fields:

wp_options_table

wp-options table

That’s it!

Learn about robots.txt file

The robots exclusion protocol (REP), or robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct robots (typically search engine robots) how to crawl and index pages on their website.
Robots.txt is a text (not html) file you put on your site to tell search robots which pages you would like them not to visit. Robots.txt is by no
means mandatory for search engines but generally search engines obey what they are asked not to do. It is important to clarify that robots.txt
is not a way from preventing search engines from crawling your site (i.e. it is not a firewall, or a kind of password protection) and the fact that
you put a robots.txt file is something like putting a note “Please, do not enter” on an unlocked door – e.g. you cannot prevent thieves from
coming in but the good guys will not open to door and enter. That is why we say that if you have really sensitive data, it is too naïve to
rely on robots.txt to protect it from being indexed and displayed in search results.

robots.txt

When a search engine crawls (visits) your website, the first thing it looks for is your robots.txt file. This file tells search engines what they should and should not index (save and make available as search results to the public). It also may indicate the location of your XML sitemap.

Google’s official stance on the robots.txt file

Robots.txt file consists of lines which contain two fields: line with a user-agent name (search engine crawlers) and one or several lines starting
with the directive

  • How to create a robots.txt file

You will need to create it in the top-level directory of your web server.

When a robot looks for the “/robots.txt” file for URL, it strips the path component from the URL (everything from the first single slash), and puts “/robots.txt” in its place.

For example, for “http://www.example.com/shop/index.html, it will remove the “/shop/index.html“, and replace it with “/robots.txt“, and will end up with “http://www.example.com/robots.txt”.

So, as a web site owner you need to put it in the right place on your web server for that resulting URL to work. Usually that is the same place where you put your web site’s main “index.html” welcome page. Where exactly that is, and how to put the file there, depends on your web server software.

Remember to use all lower case for the filename: “robots.txt“, not “Robots.TXT.

You can simply create a blank file and name it robots.txt. This will reduce site errors and allow all search engines to rank anything they want.

Here’s a simple robots.txt file:

User-agent: *
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/
Disallow: /

1. The first line explains which agent (crawler) the rule applies to. In this case, User-agent: * means the rule applies to every crawler.

2. The subsequent lines set what paths can (or cannot) be indexed. Allow: /wp-content/uploads/allows crawling through your uploads folder (images) and Disallow: / means no file or page should be indexed aside from what’s been allowed previously. You can have multiple rules for a given crawler.

3. The rules for different crawlers can be listed in sequence, in the same file.

  • Examples of usage

robots-allow-all

Prevent the whole site from indexation by all web crawlers:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Allow all web crawlers to index the whole site:

  User-agent: *
Disallow:


Prevent only several directories from indexation:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/


Prevent site’s indexation by a specific web crawler:

User-agent: Bot1
Disallow: /

  • Robots.txt for WordPress
NetDNA-Blog-RobotsTxt-R11
Running WordPress, you want search engines to crawl and index your posts and pages, but not your core WP files and directories. You also want to make sure that feeds and trackbacks aren’t included in the search results. It’s also good practice to declare a sitemap. So in case you didn’t create yet a real robots.txt, create one with any text editor and upload it to the root directory of your server via FTP.
Blocking main WordPress Directories
There are 3 standard directories in every WordPress installation – wp-content, wp-admin, wp-includes that don’t need to be indexed.

Don’t choose to disallow the whole wp-content folder though, as it contains an ‘uploads’ subfolder with your site’s media files that you don’t want to be blocked. That’s why you need to proceed as follows:

User-Agent: *
# disallow all files in these directories
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/

  • Miscellaneous remarks
  • Don’t list all your files in the robots.txt file. Listing the files allows people to find files that you don’t want them to find.
  • Don’t block CSS, Javascript and other resource files by default. This prevents Google bot from properly rendering the page and understanding that your site is mobile-optimized
  • An incorrect robots.txt file can block Googlebot from indexing your page
  • Put your most specific directives first, and your more inclusive ones (with wildcards) last

Keep your Email out of the Spam Folder

You may find yourself often fighting the frustration of having your business emails getting classified as spam in your customer email boxes.

The fact is that about 80-90% of All email on the internet is spam. In spite of this, businesses anticipate increasing the number of email campaigns on the web.

Mail servers use many different techniques to filter spam. Spammers constantly adapt to these anti-spam measures, so administrators have to
continually modify server configurations to help reduce spam. As a result, there is no single thing you can do to ensure that all of your
outgoing messages are delivered successfully.

Nevertheless, there are still some things you can do to help improve the odds of successful delivery. Try the following techniques:

  • Check to make sure that your Email Authentication is enabled. This helps stop spam coming from your email address (even if you’re not
    sending any that you know of). One of the common tactics by spammers out there is to spoof email coming from your domain. This causes you
    to get blacklisted even though you’re not sending emails.

Create SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records and enable DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail).

  • Email Authentication is an effective set of anti-spoofing and anti-spamming tools available in cPanel:
Email Authentication

Email Authentication

It consists of two major components – SPF and DKIM records setup. In order to enable ones, follow the instructions below:

1.Click on Enable and the records will be added to the DNS zone of all hosted domains automatically:

spftdkim

spftdkim

NOTE: you may see the following warning about authoritative nameservers right after enabling

authoritative nameservers warning

authoritative nameservers warning

2. Allow some time to pass for the records to propagate and refresh the page afterwards.
The warnings should go away and DNS checks will be passed:

spftdkim enabled

spftdkim enabled

SPF record

The main idea of SPF record is that an owner of domain name publishes the information about IP addresses that are authorized to send mail from this domain name. The receiving server compares the information in the envelope sender address with the information published by domain name owner. If these details match then e-mail is delivered.

DKIM Record

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is another way of e-mail authentication. This method uses information about domain which is published by the domain owner. That information allows receiving server to verify if the e-mail message was sent by legal owner of that domain name.

  • Other networks mark my email as spam

If email networks, such as Google, Yahoo, or Outlook, mark your server’s email as SPAM, you must identify the reason and resolve the problem. If you have recently resolved an issue with spam on your server or you received a new IP address which previous sent spam, you will need to notify the remote network. You should take the time to review the bulk sender policy of large email networks.

Find the contact links for popular email networks below:

Gmail

Yahoo

Outlook

  • If possible, do not send HTML-only messages (send plain-text messages instead, or multi-part MIME messages with a text/plain component).
    If you do send HTML-only messages, make sure they use valid HTML markup.
  • Avoid using lots of exclamation marks (!) or dollar signs ($) in the message subject.
  • Send your customers a personal email message requesting that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails don’t get filtered
    into Spam. In this, I’m referring to a “personal” email as one that doesn’t include your marketing links or business advertisements or
    enhancements that may flag the email as something other than a personal email.
  • Pay attention to your links in your email
    Spam filters check the URLS that you are linking to. If you link to a domain that has a poor reputation you will be penalized. Additionally you
    should avoid linking to URL’s that contain folders with 1-2 characters (such as domain.com/e/something/ or domain.com/es/) as some filters
    will count that as a negative thing.
  • Remove inactive contacts
    Delete your old & inactive contacts. Contact engagement plays a big role in email delivery. By focusing on your active contacts you can
    increase your overall delivery.