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Don’t Let Your WordPress Site Go Post-Apocalyptic: Lessons to Learn From Fallout 4


Don’t Let Your WordPress Site Go Post-Apocalyptic: Lessons to Learn From Fallout 4

If the game-lovers in your life dropped off the face of the earth in November, there’s a good reason. Fallout 4 was released. The hotly anticipated game sees players emerging from a Vault yet again to fight mutants and complete quests that reveal probably the franchise’s best story yet. But because you have a lot of free will in the game, you can sometimes make choices that aren’t good for you. Choices that could come back to haunt you.

And honestly, the same goes for building a site with WordPress. You have a lot of services and tools to choose from; a lot of settings to configure. If you choose poorly, you stand to see your hard work turn to dust and the landscape of your site become as barren as a post-nuclear wasteland.

With that in mind, I’ve put together four ways you can prevent your WordPress site from going post-apocalyptic.

Suit Up

One of the coolest features of the new Fallout game is the ability to collect chunky pieces of metal as you wander through the Commonwealth and construct your own power armor. You get to walk around like an impromptu Iron Man and it’s pretty sweet. You have a lot of choices about which pieces you collect, and therefore, what abilities your armor has. Need better aim? Grab the Targeting HUD upgrade. Need to be discreet? Opt for Stealth Boy. Or you can just take your chances and skip the armor altogether. You’ll move faster (and won’t sink in bodies of water) but you definitely run a greater risk of injury.

You have a similar range of options when selecting a WordPress security and backup plan for your website. Some just allow you to backup the site’s database while other offer full site backups and restoration options. Some provide full security coverage and remediation while others just provide alerts. What level of protection you choose depends on your budget and needs but going without a security and backup plan altogether is risky business. A few good free plugin options include:

And some great premium options are:

Being in the Right Vault is Everything

In the game, you don’t have much control over which bunker to which you’re assigned. And where you’re placed largely determines you’re fate. Will you be irradiated, for instance? Left without food? Cryogenically frozen? The list goes on. In WordPress land, you definitely have more control over your fate. When it comes to the kind of protection you choose for your site, you can’t leave it up to a whim. Otherwise, you could get stuck in the “what happens when we take all your food and lock you up with a bunch of other hungry people” vault. And we all know how well that turns out.

Instead, choose security that meets the needs of your site and you, too. If you don’t have a lot of time to manually configure things, don’t opt for a security plan that requires a lot of maintenance. If you have custom requirements, don’t pick a one-size-fits-all solution. You get the idea.

Be Careful With Who You Trust

In Fallout 4, you have the option of bringing along companions with you. Some choose to bring a dog around with them, which can certainly be helpful when things start to get hairy. Or, maybe Nick Valentine, the fedora-wearing Synth who stepped right out of a hard-boiled detective film is more your style? Regardless, it’s important to choose a companion who you can trust and who contributes in some way to your in-game goals. Each companion brings something different to the table (Valentine is great at hacking terminals, while Dog meat is about as loyal as they come).

When setting up a WordPress site, you have to carefully consider to whom you will give Dashboard access and what level of user permissions are required for them to complete their assigned tasks. Obviously, you want to keep user permissions at the lowest setting possible. Someone who is just going to write a one-off post for your site should be labeled a “Contributor” while someone who will be updating plugins and settings needs Administrator access. The fewer people who have site access, the better for overall site security.

Don’t Overburden Yourself

While it’s tempting to pick up every item you find in the game, you really can’t. Thanks to something called encumbrance, there’s a rigid weight limit to what you can and can’t carry. So, you probably don’t need forty-three brooms. But you might need a roll of duct tape and a pipe. And you’ll definitely need components to build power armor. And you need ammo, too. But it can be hard to manage the weight of what you’re carrying and suss out wants vs. needs. So, you have prioritize.

The same goes for picking plugins for your site. I know there are tons of super awesome, must-download-right-now plugins out there but you can’t possibly use them all on your site. If you did, you’d open yourself up to a greater risk of security breaches, first of all. And second, you’d significantly slow down your site. That leads to worsened user experience and crawler experience, leading to reduced site rank and conversions. The latest nifty plugin isn’t worth all that now, is it?

Your best bet is to make a list of the features you absolutely need for your site, find the best plugin solutions to deliver those needs, and ditch the rest. You’re better off for it, trust me.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What are some other things you can do to prevent your WordPress site from going post-apocalyptic? Please share your ideas below!

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Szabi Kisded

Hey there, I'm Szabi. At 30 years old, I quit my IT job and started my own business and became a full time WordPress plugin developer, blogger and stay-at-home dad. Here I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Read more

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