Category: Productivity

wp-buffs-wordpress-security-hacks

WP Buffs and WordPress Security Hacks

So the other day I was browsing around the web and visited one of our partner company's website - WP Buffs and noticed something interesting.

WP Buffs by the way are a team of WordPress techies who provide support services for people running WordPress websites. That is nothing new as quite a few of these companies have been popping up recently but it was specifically this screenshot below that got me interested because I have not seen other companies in the space do this before.

Two things I noticed

  1. First it is very rare to get access to plugins that would normally cost you a yearly fee.
  2. One of the plugins they give you is iThemes Security Pro

That second point got me interested because WordPress and the security around it has been such a contentious issue for so long.

The amount of websites that have been hacked (primarily because of bad plugin management) is astronomical and embarrassing to say the least.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see WP Buffs giving this plugin for free to their clients when signing up. They also include the excellent WP Rocket and WP Smush Pro for improving WordPress page load times.

But for this article I want to focus on iThemes Security and what it means for you.

Let's talk about iThemes Security Pro

When you first install iThemes Security you are presented with a wizard that runs a number of best practice settings for your site security. You literally press a button and 10 seconds later your WordPress site has become a whole lot more secure. 

It really was that easy - 

After you have done that this is the dashboard you see. Click image for larger version.

And here are the pro options (You get Pro from WP Buffs)

One thing I like about the pro options of this plugin is 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) - when you have this enabled it literally does make your WordPress website like Fort Knox as the WP Buffs say. You will need an app like Google Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator (what I use) for this to work.

And when it detects something abnormal like logging in from a different location you will get an email looking like this.

ithemes-2FA-email

Bear in mind every time you give access to your website to someone else like a Web developer etc they will have to go through this process - If you have a permanent member of staff who needs access to your website it makes more sense for them to have their own login email where they would get this verification email sent to.

I only say this as I am currently testing out new employees and it can be a little frustrating to have to give them the code every time they want to do some work. But that will soon change if they get the job right.


But for me the most amazing thing about having this plugin happened soon after installing.

Literally within hours I had my first security incident!

I kid you not!

I received an email address to the admin email of my WordPress website which had the following subject line.

[imdiscountcodes.com] Site Lockout Notification

This immediately got me worried, wondering what the heck just happened and if I had lost access to my own website. Turns out it may have been more sinister and encouraging at the same time - somebody I don't know being locked out.

This is what the message looked like.

ithemes-security-site-lockout-warning

That IP address - someone in Paris!!! Or more likely someone pretending to be in Paris with IP manipulation. 

Not long after this warning (a day) I got another warning where someone had been locked out.

Safe to say I was very happy that somebody who kept trying to login to my website (maybe with some password cracker) was eventually locked out!

I am sitting on about day two now after the last site lockout so rest assured I'm not getting these messages everyday, which would be very concerning. 

These are just my initial thoughts after a few days of using iThemes Security but I will definitely update this post if anything else suspicious starts to happen.

Do you use iThemes Security? What has your experience been like?

And if you are interested in having this for your own website I would recommend using the WP Buffs service to get you started. We have some great bonuses for you if you do decide to sign up.


WP Buffs

wp-buffs-review-discount-coupon

Isn't it time your WordPress website was managed by true WordPress experts?

From as little as $40 per month you can get started with WP Buffs + make sure to claim one of our exclusive bonus packs if you do. Find out more about this WP Buffs Promotion.


Scrivener review

Scrivener Review

Scrivener is a tool for writers of any kind, from novelists to translators. Instead of just writing in the traditional linear way most word processors are designed for, Scrivener makes the whole process as simple and organic as you always wished it would be. You don’t have to place every single piece of text in the specific order it will be when your work is finished. Instead, you can just write in any order, composing different sections as they come to you.

You can use it for projects of any size, but its features make it especially useful for long projects that take weeks and even months to finish, those where you are not completely sure where everything goes until you are almost done. You’ll be able to rearrange chapters with a simple drag-and-drop action, view your research as you write or just verify changes by comparing different versions of your manuscript.

Scrivener Main features
  • You can plan out the outline of your work before you start writing. It doesn’t matter if you change your mind half way through; it’s not difficult to restructure your document.
  • Just like a word processor. Once you start using it you’ll feel right at home, you can do everything you did with your old word processor and more.
  • Navigate with ease. Add icons to your document’s sections so you can locate them when looking at the outline.
  • Focus on the writing. It comes with ready-to-use tools that will take your worries out of the formatting and into the writing, where it should be. There are templates for different styles of writing, from fiction to non-fiction.  
  • Use only what you need. Scrivener’s user interface is fully customizable. Everything from the color of the font, the screen mode or the tools that are visible, you can set the environment to show only what you really need.
  • Never overwrite a section by accident again. You can take a snapshot of your work as it is before starting a revision. Then, you can go back to the old version or check both side by side to verify the changes.

Scrivener Pros

  • They have just released the Mac version.
  • It doesn’t matter if you want to work on a one piece, long document or if you want to divide it into more manageable small pieces. Scrivener lets you do both, whichever works best for you.
  • Formatting your document is really easy. You can use the included options that combine font size and appearance changes with one single click or you can save a customized formatting option to be used later in other projects.
  • Scrivener comes with a corkboard where you can work on your main ideas and shuffle them around. Every section is attached to a card, so when you rearrange the flash cards you’re also changing the order of the sections in your document.
  • You can keep track of your progress by setting a target number of words or characters. You’ll see in real time how close you are to fulfilling those goals.
  • Although it’s a paid program, the prices are really low when you take into consideration all that it offers. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and, unlike any other piece of software out there, those days are not continuous calendar days. They only count the days you actually use the app.

Scrivener Cons

  • You have to pay separately for the iOS app. If you buy the Mac version and want to sync your work between devices, you’ll have to pay an extra USD 19.99.
  • Works well for solo projects but if you’re collaborating with someone else it will be tricky to keep up with everyone’s changes and annotations.


Scrivener - The Bottom Line

It was created by a group of writers and they took into consideration all the aspects of the creative process. They built it with fellow writers in mind. Writers have specific needs, especially those who work in long projects. For the average user a standard word processing program will do the trick, but writers need to look into their research as they’re working or maybe jump from a chapter to another because inspiration hit and they just have to write down this amazing idea before they lose it. That’s not an easy task when working on a linear document.

Scrivener comes with of lots of amazing features. For example, you can import images or even videos and change the format of your exported document to fit your editor’s requirements without affecting your original draft. As writing tools go, this is a really good one. It has Windows, Mac and iOS versions so it doesn’t matter what kind of device you have you’ll be able to use it.

If you’re a serious writer you should check it out, you’ll be amazed at what it can do. Plus as usual we have lined up a better deal for you.

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brain.fm review

Brain.fm Review

One thing I know about our community of bootstrappers here is that many of you have been incredibly interested in Brain.fm. So let's take a closer look at this innovative app designed by neuroscientists to stimulate your brain for maximum focus.

If you are looking for details on how to get the best deal you will find that below this article.

BRAIN.FM

There have been countless studies about the benefits of music for concentration and learning. You may have even heard of playing classical music to babies when they’re still in the womb to stimulate their cognitive development. Also, listening to certain genres of music is known to improve your performance when working on numeric subjects like mathematics. Brain.fm focuses on helping you improve your concentration and more. They have music that not only improves your focus, but that can also help you relax, meditate or get a good night’s sleep.

In 15 minutes or less their AI generated music can help you get the results you’re looking for. Developed with the help of neuroscientists, it took years of work and research to get a product that truly helps you be more productive by increasing your capacity to focus. Whether it is writing or finishing a report for work, you’ll experience how your productivity grows within 15 minutes of starting to listen to Brain.fm.

Its creators include musicians, engineers and scientist who have studied the effects of music on the brain. Brain.fm is the result of years of research in auditory neuroscience. This is not just a music streaming site; it’s based on actual science and the result of multiples studies on how certain wave lengths can affect the brain.

In addition to that, there’s a state-of-the-art AI behind every piece of music you’ll find in Brain.fm. Every one of them is unique and original, composed for a specific purpose in mind. Depending on if you want to focus or relax and also on how long you will listen, every beat will be in sync with your brain waves to help you achieve your goals.

Brain.fm Main features
  • All the music is fully original and AI generated. It’s specially designed to be in sync with your brain waves so it can produce the desired results.
  • There are compositions specifically designed to help you focus, meditate, relax or even sleep.
  • Everything is designed for a determined amount of time. You have to select for how long you’re going to be listening, anything from 30 minutes to indefinitely.
  • You can let the site generate a playlist for you or you can browse the compositions available and build one with your favorites.

Brain.fm Pros

  • Right now you can listen from any device with one of the supported web browsers or download the iOS app. There is an Android app in the works (almost ready, 20% more to go) and they’re also working on desktop apps.
  • They offer a free trial period so you can get a better idea of what it really is all about. You can then upgrade to a paid plan. If after a while you feel that you are not completely satisfied, you can cancel within 60 days of signing up and get a full refund.

Brain.fm Cons

Brain.fm - The Bottom Line

There are other web sites that offer a similar service as Brain.fm, but what sets this one apart is the science behind it. It’s not only that they base their service on scientific studies or some medical paper; they work alongside qualified specialists in auditory neuroscience. Instead of just compiling commercial music or hire human composers to create original pieces for them, the team at Brain.fm has developed an AI algorithm that comes up with hundreds of hours of music at a time. And not just any kind of music, these are pieces that are specifically aimed at increasing your focus, helping you relax or just providing a good night of energy-recharging sleep.

The music they offer is composed taking into account the brain waves it should sync to so you can get the results that you want. You’ll start noticing results within minutes of listening. You’ll finally sit and start working nonstop on that project that you have been putting off or that piece of writing that you have to deliver and haven’t been able to finish yet.

Having trouble falling to sleep after a particularly hard day at the office? Don’t worry, set the music to play for as long as you need it and just prepare to relax and get that repairing rest that you deserve.

You can try this service online for free.

They have a trial period that should be more than enough to decide if you want to get into a paid plan or not. Chances are you will like it and you will be subscribing after that trial period. So many satisfied customers can’t be wrong.

Appsumo deals

Lifetime Deal [ALERT]

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