Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the important topics for every blogger to keep in mind. Most bloggers struggle to get more traffic to their blog from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing.  WordPress is one of the most powerful open source content management system (CMS) that helps you to create a website or a blog. Many of the blogs now-a-days are created using WordPress because it is easy to update your posts in WordPress site and it is extremely famous, truly capable and adaptable for many bloggers and WordPress plugin community provides many SEO plugins for the WordPress users to fulfill their SEO needs so that you can increase the traffic from the search engines. Below you will find top 10 SEO plugins for WordPress that you can use to make your blog SEO friendly.

1. All in one SEO Pack

all in one seo pack

All in one SEO Pack is one of the most popular and commonly used plugin by the bloggers with more that 14 million downloads. Many SEO professionals use or recommend this plugin because it includes many great features. It helps you to avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blog and even generates meta tags and optimizes titles for search engines automatically. Some of the key features of All in one SEO pack are mentioned below

  • This plugin supports Google Analytics
  • It also supports Custom Post Types
  • Advanced Canonical URLs for your posts
  • Fine tune Page Navigational Links
  • Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality
  • ONLY plugin to provide SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites

2. HeadSpace2 SEO

headspace2SEO

HeadSpace2 is another WordPress Seo Plugin that controls almost every aspect of your sites meta data including advanced tagging and it also allows you to add Google analytics to WordPress website. With this plugin you can manage all page titles, meta-data, meta-descriptions, keywords and tags at one place. Some of the key features of this plugin are

  • You can configure meta-data for all posts and pages.
  • You can define tags, with suggested keywords
  • It also allows you to add Google section targeting
  • You can also Configure first-time visitor messages
  • You can Follow on archive, category, page, tag, and comment links
  • You can also define additional CSS and JavaScript files

3. Google XML Sitemaps

google XML sitemap

This plugin will help you to generate an XML sitemap that will help the search engines like (google,Bing.Yahoo,Ask) to make better index of your blog.When you have a structured sitemap,  search engines will find much easier to crawl and retrieve it more efficiently.The best part of this plugin is when you create a new blog post it will automatically notify to all the major search engines.

4. WordPress SEO by Yoast

wordpress seo by yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast is extremely easy to use SEO plugin so that new bloggers can easily understand. This plugin includes with snippet preview and page analysis functionality  which helps you to optimize your pages,images and meta tags. It helps you create better titles and even you can block duplicate pages from search bots. This plugin will also help you to create fully customize breadcrumbs so that users can navigate from one page to another page easily.

5. SEO Friendly Images

seo friendly images

This plugin will help you to add alt and titles attributes to images automatically so that you can improve images search traffic for your blog. With this SEO friendly images plugin it will automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. ALT attribute will tell search engines about the image description  and TITLE attribute is a tooltip text displayed when the mouse is over the image

6. Automatic SEO links

automatic-seo-links-new-link

With this Automatic SEO Links plugin it will automatically link to this plugin and will replace all matches in the posts of your weblog.It also allows you to set the title, target and rel for each link.This plugin also changes the words in plain text, if it finds a word in a link, title, header.

7. 404 SEO plugin

404-seo

This plugin will replace Page Not Found(404) error with suggestions of the related links on your site with the help of  the words in the URL.With this plugin you can have full control on dead links and redirects .

8.Nofollow Case by Case

nofollow by case by case

Nofollow case by case allows you to where to add or remove nofollow attributes for the comment links. It also helps you to open the comment links in a new window.In case if you are not configured it automatically puts nofollow attributes from all your comment links and comment author links.

9.SEO Rank Reporter

seo rank report

This SEO Rank Reporter plugin will track google ranking based on your keywords that you enter and displays user friendly graph so that you can understand easily and make necessary changes to improve traffic. Below you can find main features of this plugin.

  • Add keywords to the reporter and let the reporter track your website’s (or other websites’) ranking changes.
  • View a historical graph of rankings.
  • Visually compare how your website is ranking compared to competitors.
  • Watch how traffic fluctuates based on ranking changes.

10.SEO Ultimate

seo ultimate

SEO Ultimate is an all in one plugin where you can manage all your title tags, nofollow, meta tags, Open Graph, slugs, canonical, autolinks, 404 errors etc. In this plugin all the modules are managed individually so that you can disable the module which you don’t want.The main features of this plugin are

  • Title Tag Rewriter
  • Meta Description Editor
  • Deeplink Juggernaut
  • Open Graph Integrator
  • Author Highlighter

There are many other plugins in WordPress which can be used for SEO purpose. We have shared only top 10 SEO plugins. If you want to know more about WordPress Plugins or any particular one, please contact me by commenting on this blog post. If you find this informative, consider sharing with others.

Note: The above images are copyrighted to the owners of the respective plugins developers.

Now install 300+ scripts (WordPress, Joomla, Megento, Drupal) with one click using unlimited web hosting plans starting from $2.95/Per Month

Guest Blogging is the most effective way to increase your site’s traffic, popular way to link building and to reach new audience.  Many online businesses try various methods like Adwords campaigns, Social Media Campaigns, etc but the most easiest and result oriented way by which popularity can be gained and can do wonders for SEO (i.e. Guest Blogging) is often ignored, even if people post guest blogs then they don’t follow the proper strategy, most people often commit mistakes here like choosing site with low traffic, selecting/posting in irrelevant sites and posting low quality posts.

Does Guest Blogging Works?

Most people (due to lack of knowledge) thinks that guest blogging is just a waste of time and it doesn’t benefit them. If you are one of them then you are going in a wrong direction and missing something great in the blogging field. Most bloggers submit their best posts to guest blogs instead of posting this on their own blog, I know its surprising, but its true.

Benefits of Guest Blogging:

Increases Traffic: 

Guest Blogging brings new visitors to your site. It is not a back linking tactics which anyone can do easily instead it requires very hard work and if your post is submitted in a reputed blog then

increases traffic

you can get around 500 – 1000 visitors by just a single post. By guest blogging, your site will get more targeted traffic when compared to organic or social media traffic. My average bounce rate for organic traffic  was 71% with the average time spend of 20 seconds where as average bounce rate for the visitors coming through guest posts is 19% and the average time spent on my blog is 5 minutes.

More Email/Newsletter Subscribers:

Emails

If users like your post then definitely they would like to read all your posts. Therefore, guest blogging not only brings traffic but it also increases your newsletter subscribers.

Good Relationship with Other Bloggers:

maintain relationship with fellow bloggers

It is very crucial for the people in the blogging field to maintain good relationship with the fellow bloggers in order to get benefited. It increases your chances to get good referrals and besides potential sales, you may come across several bloggers, industry experts, etc. This will also increase your future guest posting opportunities. If you build relationship with bloggers then you will get lots of support from them, you will find a reason to motivate yourself, they will share interested information related to your niche and they will try to solve your website’s problems.

It Improves Writing Skills:

You might be thinking why should I write  “guest posts” to improve my writing skills though I can improve by writing on my own blog. Research says that many famous bloggers have improved their writing skills by posting guest blogs. The reason is you take your own blog for granted and post as you write but when it comes to guest posts you immediately start paying

improves writing skills

attention towards your writing and will proof read your content because it doesn’t matter how informative your post is or how much expert you are in a particular field if the visitors cannot understand your posts. Therefore, you will start proof reading your content before posting which will be benefited to you in long term.

Social Media Popularity:

You have to be famous among Social Media users, but how? To be popular on social media sites your posts must get large numbers of Facebook likes, twitter followers, Google plus likes, etc. If visitors on guest blogs like your posts then surely they will share your posts which will pull up your reach and surely your site will get popular on social media too.

Steps for Effective Guest Blogging

Get Ready before you start:

To get best results out of guest posts one must take certain points into consideration because if a guest post is accepted in a reputed blog then surely traffic boosts up but to convert those new visitors into regular readers we have to concentrate on some basic protocols which is necessary in order to convert your new visitors to regular ones.  New users will notice design before they look into text and if they find it poor and disorganized then they will directly leave your site without reading the content. Therefore, design is important and apart from design work on tag lines, header and  make best usage of colors.

Write in Relevant Blogs:

Always try to write in blogs of your niche like if you deal in web hosting then you have to find recognized blogs under this topic like you can write for hosting, seo, online marketing,etc.  Once a blog is selected write quality content and always remember that you are an authorized blogger and your post should be problem solving. It will rise the opportunity to get your post accepted and once it is published you will surely get targeted traffic to your blog.

Research about Guest Blogging Site:

Analyze guest blogging site on various factors like:

Active Visitors: Selecting a site with good active member count will help you to get more social recognition through shares on social networking sites and referrals.

research your host

Page Rank: Choose a site with a high page rank because Google rates page rank between 0 to 10 where 10 is highest page rank.

Alexa Rank: It is calculated based on website’s performance in the last 3 months. They calculate rankings based on estimated average daily unique visitors to the site and the estimated number of pageviews on the site.

Get Familiar:

Blog owners get plenty of requests from bloggers to write guest post, they cannot allow everyone to write a post, you can maintain good relationship with them and get your posts accepted. To get noticed, comment on their articles, like their quality posts, raise questions if you have, reply to the comments, give suggestions,etc. If you do so, admin will notice you and accept your guest blog posts whenever you want to write a post.

Make your offer interesting:

If you are interested to write in a particular blog, then you must include the following details in your request to get accepted as a guest blogger.

  • Why have you chosen that particular blog?
  • Who are you and your blogging experience?
  • What topic are you going to post?
  • How will it be benefited to the users?

If you answer the above questions then blog owner will get convinced and give you an opportunity to post in his/her blog.

Don’t be Impatient:

Owners/admins of renowned blogs take time to respond. Just few comments and social media shares are not going to work in all scenarios. If the admin don’t reply your first mail then politely remind him after few days, but don’t lose your patience as it takes few weeks to reply.

Write According to the Blog:

Try to get as much knowledge as you can about the blog you are writing for in order to write an adequate post and also to get your post accepted. Following are the few things that should be kept in mind before writing guest blog post.

Research: You should have complete knowledge about the topic you are writing, try to give something extra to grab readers attention towards you.

Slow and Steady wins the Race: Always remember that you are not just writing a guest post instead your article will reflect your personality and business. Take your own time to write, cover all important points and consolidate what you write.

Manage Word Count: Every blog follow their rules for word count, to write adequate post for a particular blog research about that blog and check what is the usual word count and write similar size posts.

Check Your Post: It doesn’t matter how many posts you have posted, always proof-read your post before submitting. Readers don’t like posts with spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes or if it is unstructured. Give more stress on proof reading because your post might got rejected even after giving useful info if it is messy.

Share Useful information: Users visit blogs to find out solution to their problems, they don’t want their time to be wasted, always write solutions pertaining to the issues and share useful and interesting stuff.

Never Focus Too Much on Self – Promotion:

Few new bies  try to make much out of their guest posts and due to this they concentrate on self promotion rather than providing quality content. It might lead to rejection of your posts, focus on quality of the content your submit to other’s blog, you need not worry about traffic because if your post is accepted then you will get targeted traffic from the link posted.

Your Job is Not Yet Over:

If your first guest post is accepted then it doesn’t mean that you have done your job instead your work has just started, you have to get involved into several other things to get succeeded into blogsphere. Make sure you follow the below points:

Share Your Guest Post:

If your post is published then do share it on your social profiles and your blog. This will bring instant traffic to your guest post and its the best way to impress blog owner and also to get a chance to publish more posts on his blog.

Be Interactive:

communicate

Your active contribution in comment section is must, always be ready to answer questions by the reader, give explanation if someone criticizes or disagree to some of your points and reply to the suggestions. If you do follow this then you will get fame in no time, it will also drag traffic to your own blog and if you interact and provide answer to the questions of the readers then you will be recognized as expert blogger of your niche.

Be Ready with more posts:

After successful submission of guest post, be ready with more posts for submitting in guest blogs as well as on your own blogs because if readers come to your blog then they should find enough posts on your blog which drags them to your blog regularly, if you don’t have sufficient content then you might lose visitors. When traffic increases post regularly on your blog and make your blog more interactive. If users find something new and informative regularly then they will definitely visit your site.

This is all about “Best Way to do Effective Guest Blogging”, please do drop your comments, questions and suggestions in the below section. If you like this post, please consider sharing it with others.

Recently we published a wonderful article about the website security as “Top 10 best ways to Secure your website“. We received a lot of appreciations on that and a lot of people asked us to make it in to a single image like an infographic and here we go. We made an infographic on how to secure your website today, you can even embed this Inforgraphic in your websites or share with others..

Find the Embed code below..

Secure Your Website:

Secure your Website

Embed Code:

<a href="http://www.hostdepartment.com/blog/2013/06/06/top-10-ways-to-secure-your-website/" ><img src="http://www.hostdepartment.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/securewebsite.png" alt="How to Secure your Website" width="800" /></a></br><a href="http://www.hostdepartment.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/securewebsite.png" >How to Secure your Website</a> via <a href="http://www.hostdepartment.com" >Host Department</a>

Do not try modifying the image or any other link texts, it is a copyrighted material of Host Department. You should publish the code as it is.. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

One day, on a fine morning you woke up and want to see your website and suddenly you see a danger signal alarming that your website has been compromised. For a webmaster it will be the worst nightmare, do you have any such experiences? if so, who do you blame for this?. Security becomes one of the most essential part of the website management these days, as there are plenty of ways your website can get affected with any type of hacking, spamming or hijacking attacks. As a Host Department customer, you may be well protected over servers and network side, but are you really protected from your insides? That is the real question here.. how to secure your website internally?.

You may use the strongest locker in the world to protect your wealth, but what is the use if you left the doors open?. The same thing applies to your website too, we host thousands of websites and rarely receive few of such comprised website complaints. What do we do in such cases?, first we try to understand where is the loop hole and let me tell you something here, it is most of the time an application with an outdated version or some files which have full permissions (777) (read, write, execute), that means you are giving an open invitation to the hackers to compromise your website.We often try to warn our customers to update their CMSs or their blog applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc but they ignore it and which ultimately results in to this kind of hacking attacks. Recently in a press release Joomla announced that they deprecated all the 1.x.x versions of Joomla. See this below note from their website..

Joomla! 1.0.x, 1.5.x, 1.7.x – these versions have been deprecated for a very long time and is no longer supported in any way, but there are still websites using it (shame on you!).  Generally denoted by a red stripe across the top of the page, you will find the version number at the bottom of the page.

But still there are lot of Joomla users who are using the same old versions, then how to rock solid your website security?, please read this below instructions to tighten your website security.

10 Ways to Secure your Website:

Step #1: Secure your Directory and File Permissions:

This is one of the most common cause for easily getting compromised, in lot of cases CMS type applications needs 777 permissions to execute few tasks. There is nothing wrong if you want to give full access temporarily but if you leave that file or folder with full permissions for a long time, that means that directory or file can be accessible and writable world wide by anyone. In such cases it is very easy for hackers to compromise and infect your pages. So, what is the solution?. What are the recommended file and folder permissions..?

777 permissions indicates Owner, Group and Public permissions respectively.

Directory Permissions

Recommended Folder and File Permissions:

Recommended directory permissions: 755 (rwx,rx,rx)

Recommended file permissions: 644 (rw,r,r).

Make sure that you always have these permissions assigned to the folders and files in your website, this is one of the important step to protect your website from malicious attacks.

Step #2: Use Strong FTP Passwords:

This is one of the most common blunder of the webmasters, they always use simple passwords for their FTP login, this is one of the worst mistake which can lead to some big problems. To avoid this always use secure passwords.

Secure Passwords

A strong password does NOT, in any way, use your personal information, such as name, phone number, Social Security number, birth date, address or names of anyone you know. You can make use of some great online tools to generate strong passwords, like Random password generator etc. You can also check the strengths of your present passwords using some tools like Microsoft password strength checker or password meter etc.

Also please make sure that you change your password in every week or at least in a month.

Step #3: Keep your Applications up to date:

Open source applications occupied a major part on the websites designing and development, these days a lot of people are hosting the open source CMS applications. We too encourage you to host them, but if you don’t keep them up to date, that means definitely you are in trouble. Several times we try to warn you guys on this, but most of the time webmasters ignore this.

We often try to send you email alerts about these security issues of using the old version of applications, but in mots of the cases customers ignore. We request you to keep your application up to date, there are thousands of people working on the open source projects to keep them up to date and make them secure, then why don’t you benefit out of those free and secure updates?.

Step #4: Secure your pages with SSL Certificate:

Do you have any eCommerce type website?, then do you know that having an SSL certificate for your SSL store is one of the most important thing to protect your customers valuable data and your reputation as well. Even if you have just a page which provide logins for your customers or members, then it is recommended to have an SSL certificate. This will ensure that all the information on your pages over the internet will be encrypted and almost impossible to read by any hackers.

Do you know that Host Department provides cheap SSL certificates?, our certificates starts from $11.95/month.

Cheap SSL Certificates

Step #5: Protect your .htaccess file:

.htaccess file is one of the most important yet most powerful file, which can control the behavior of your website and posses the power to even redirect your entire website to a different one. This type of attacks becomes more popular these days, in this attack a malicious hacker will inject a redirection code to a malicious website. Then, how to protect your htaccess file?, it is simple, as I said earlier do not assign full permissions to your htaccess file or you can write this below piece of code in your htaccess file which do not let any others access your htaccess file.

<Files ~ “^.*.([Hh][Tt][Aa])”>
order allow,deny
deny from all
satisfy all
</Files>

The above code will protect your htaccess file from being accessed by others and will not let hackers inject any malicious code.

Step #6: Keep your home or office PC Secure:

You may ask that how keeping your system safe will protect your web pages?, in a recent survey it is disclosed that 30 to 40% of the malicious files are uploaded by the webmasters themselves, even our experience teaches the same. If your system is infected with the virus then obviously the next job of that virus to make sure that it will inject the malicious code in your web pages while you are trying to upload them or send your login credentials to the remote hacker so he can take care of the rest.

So always keep your PC clean and scan it daily with an updated antivirus program. Check for any unusual behavior before uploading yous files.

Step #7: Use Secure Passwords for your Emails IDs:

Email IDs getting compromised because of the weak passwords is one of the fastest raising issues in the hacking and spamming era. Once a hacker can manage to guess your password using the brute-force attack, he will simply start sending bulk mails to the various emails in the same server or even outsiders. Ultimately your mail server IP get black listed and you couldn’t able to send and receive emails, again you need to request for the delisting from the blacklist.

Emails

To avoid this kind of issues, it is recommended to use secure and strong passwords for your emails IDs. In our personal experience we have seen plenty of such cases, we often used send alerts on your email about the weak password usage, please do not ignore that and change your password to a secure one.

Step #8: Secure your Private and Admin areas with IP restrictions:

It is always recommended to secure your private areas with IP restrictions or at least with an SSL encryption. IP restriction is a bit way advanced yet effective method to stop the unauthorized personnel to access a particular area of your website. If you have a static IP at your home or office PC, it is recommend to set IP restrictions with .htaccess rule, so only your home or office PC can only access that particular area.

Here is an example htaccess code to IP restrict the access to a particular location.

# ALLOW USER BY IP
<Limit GET POST>
order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from 1.2.3.4
</Limit>

The above code restrict all other users from accessing a particular area except that allowed IP (ex: 1.2.3.4). You can replace that IP address with yours and place that htaccess in the folder which you want to restrict from public access.

Step #9: Change your database table prefix:

If you have a dynamic website with back-end database support, then it is recommended to use a different table prefix than a default one comes with your application. Also if you have a raw tables without any prefixes then it is important to add a prefix which hard to guess, this will ensure that no one can able to guess what is your database username, so there is no point of hacking the password.

Database Tables

We also recommend you to please use strong passwords for your database users, do not use same password for all the users. Make sure that each of your password is unique and absolutely strong.

Step #10: Try to have your own virtual private server:

Having your own virtual private server (VPS) is always an added advantage, you can define your own rules and you will have your own server with the choice of your own OS like Windows VPS and Linux VPS. This will enable additional layer of security and make all your data placed in your own server. This may not be a security measure, but worth trying. Because you will get a lot of advantages like writing your own rules installing all type of security applications etc.

Do you know that Host Department offer cheapest VPS hosting with free Plesk panel?, so you can manage most of your tasks using a powerful panel.

I hope you learned few important tips about your website security today, please do drop your comments, questions and suggestions in the comments section below, also if you like this post please consider sharing it with others.

We have launched our affiliate program which enables you to earn by sharing our products on your website, your social networking pages, etc. Get a massive flat 30% commission on each sale. This is actually a relaunch, our earlier version of the affiliate system is buggy and couldn’t able to track the conversions properly.

At that time we have retired that system and now we are introducing a lot  more better and sophisticated affiliate system with accurate conversion tracking and this time we increased our commission rates as well from 25% to 30%. We request all the old affiliate users to delete your old affiliate tracking code and get your new code after login in to the affiliate system. There is another great news for the webmasters as now all our affiliate links are absolutely search engine friendly URLs. Yes, that is true, new URLs will look like /12451.html etc.Web Hosting Affiliate Program

The affiliate who has pending commissions in their accounts, please read this carefully.

After verifying all the earlier pending commissions we found that all of those pending commissions are fake and never exists. So we have cleaned and cancelled those pending commissions and launched our new powerful affiliate system after a thorough verification and tests.

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