Vinyl Directory – A GeoDirectory Based Website

posted in: Websites | 0

Vinyl Directory is a new website designed to showcase vinyl record shops and to enable the promotion of record fairs and events worldwide. It was created as an experiment to explore the possibilities of the GeoDirectory plugin system, and to see discover whether it is ‘The Best Directory Plugin for WordPress’.

Vinyl Directory Features

Features included on the site include:

  • The website features the ability for record store owners and record fair owners to list their stores or events.
  • Adsense integration. The website features numerous ads provided by Google to enable ad revenue through visitor clicks.
  • A premium upgrade feature. Record store owners can pay £1 per month to have their store listed as a premium store, and to feature website and social media links on their page.
  • Countries can have their own custom URL’s, enabling separate sites per location.
  • Import listing from other sites. Record store listings can quickly be pulled from Yelp, enabling the site owner to quickly populate their directory site.
  • Claim Listings: Store owners can easily claim their listing on the site and then add their own images and descriptions, enhancing their promotion possibilities and SEO.


GeoDirectory: Does it work?

Unlike most other systems on WordPress, such as Appthemes Vantage or Listify, GeoDirectory works as a series of plugins / addons rather than as features created as part of a theme. This allows you just utilise the features that you require, thereby limiting the load on your site. Addons can be purchased separately or purchased as a package.

I chose GeoDirectory specifically as I wanted to enable events as well as store listings. Appthemes Vantage used to allow this with an earlier version of theme but unfortunately this functionality has been abandoned with its latest version. The new version of Vantage does look good, and functions well so it’s a shame they dropped this feature.

The website is built upon the GeoDirectory Framework Theme, which gives you the basics of a directory site to get you up and running. A lot of CSS customisation was required to give the site a sleeker look and feel.

Overall, GeoDirectory was successful, there are a few things I would like to see differently, mostly involving design customisation via the backend, but overall it does a great job. There’s a fair amount of customisation required to get the system working as you would like but with perseverance it gets you there. I would also have liked better integration of ads into the system. Although some ads were inserted into widget areas, further work was required to get ads into the system into specific places as required.

WordPress Tip #6 – Build a Wall

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

There’s bad people out there, people who will try and takeover your site. You need something to protect you, to keep potential threats at bay. That’s where Wordfence steps in…

Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

Wordfence features a firewall and malware scanner to protect your WordPresssite . Wordfence uses with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it to keep your website safe. You can also utilise Wordfence to limit login attempts as well as enforcing strong passwords.

Other plugins are available, checkout iTheme Security, Securi Security or Shield Security

WordPress Tip #5 – Prevent Comment Spam

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

Discussion Settings

WordPress is now used for much more than a blog. Themes are setup to utilise the post functionality in many ways. Bots exist which will bombard your site with spam links. You can blog these by default by unchecking the following:

Settings > Discussion > Allow people to post comments on new articles

Register Your Akismet Plugin

You will most likely have Akismet installed as part of you WordPress installation. Ensure that this plugin is activated and your API key is registered. It’s free if it’s for personal use so get your site spam protected right away!

Akismet Anti-Spam

WordPress Tip #4 – Backup Your Site!

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

It’s important to backup your site. You may find that something goes drastically wrong with your site and you need to restore your site. You may find there’s security issues, you may have been hacked. There’s many reasons why you may need to rollback your site.

Install a backup plugin such as UpdraftPlus (other plugins are available, but this one has my personal seal of approval, it’s saved my skin a few times, especially when using some complex plugins together:

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

It’s really easy to use, in a nutshell you:

  • Install it through your admin panel.
  • Activate it.
  • Do an initial backup (you can choose to keep this backup indefinitely so you can always roll back to it.)
  • You can choose whether to back up manually, or whether to automate the backups. I have an e-commerce site I run that requires a daily backup, other static sites may only need a weekly backup.
  • Choose a backup schedule (you can choose to backup content/files separately from your database).
  • For extra security you can backup remotely to Dropbox / Google Drive / AWS in addition to FTP backup.
  • That’s it.

I’ve used backup files from Updraft to restore to a brand new installation before with complete success. If you haven’t got backup software on your site, do it today!

WordPress Tip #3 – Cookie Banner

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

If you own a website in the EU, or if your website is aimed at citizens in the EU, you need to compile with the law. If not you may risk enforcement action, and potentially fines.

So what is a cookie?

No it’s not some tasty morsel containing chocolate chips, these are small data files stored in a users browser that contain information about the users visit for use by the site. Since an EU directive in 2011 your users now have the right to deny use of these cookies to protect their privacy. Although most cookies are harmless and unobtrusive, some people use sneaky, bad, evil cookies that track you all over the internet.

What do you need to do?

  1. You need to ascertain what cookies are on your site. You need to know what data you collect.
  2. You should tell your visitors how you use these cookies (via your privacy statement).
  3. The customers consent should be obtained.

WordPress cookie consent plugins

Here’s a small selection of cookie consent plug-ins you may wish to use. Install one via your dashboard and check the settings, make sure it links to your Privacy page and you’re set:

UK Cookie Consent by Catapult Themes:

UK Cookie Consent

Cookiebot | GDPR Compliant Cookie Consent and Notice by Cybot A/S:

Cookiebot | GDPR Compliant Cookie Consent and Notice

GDPR Cookie Consent by WebToffee:

GDPR Cookie Consent




WordPress Tip #2 – Don’t Publish Posts As Admin

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

You username is public, it is part of your posts and pages. Making your admin data known helps bots find you, and can lead to increased brute force attempts on your site.

If you publish your admin username everywhere it makes it easier for your site to be hacked. It makes sense to have multiple WordPress accounts.

  • Administrator – Do your site maintenance at this level.
  • Editor – you can do most of what is needed at this level, including publishing posts and pages. An editor can create and maintain categories, tags, posts and pages.

If you’re creating a site for somebody else, they probably do not need more than Editor level to do most jobs. It is most secure to keep it this way. As a bonus, they won’t accidentally break all of your hard work too!

If you’ve already created posts at Admin level you can access your posts page and reassign the author.

Visit the WordPress Codex for a complete breakdown of user roles and capabilities.

It’s a dangerous world out there, STAY SAFE!

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WordPress Tip #1 – Change Your Admin Username

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

If your admin username is ‘admin’, change it. Even better, don’t have ‘admin’ as your admin name from the start.

Straightaway this will add a layer of security to your site. Bots and scripts will then have to discover your username before they begin to guess your password. Brute force attempts at accessing your site will have less chance of success. Using the steps below,  add a new WordPress admin user, and delete your old admin one…

Before you make any changes to your site, BACK UP! 

  1. Go to Users > Add New
  2. Create new user details. Use this tool to create a secure username.
  3. Select Administrator as role. Click Add New User to create.
  4. Logout.
  5. Login as your new user.
  6. Visit Users
  7. Delete your old admin account. Ensure you attribute any existing posts to a user with ‘author’ or ‘editor’ access.
  8. Your old admin user has now been deleted, and you should be left with a new administrator user, and old posts attributed to a another user with limited site access.
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