Families join forces to raise money to detect brain cancer early

Families affected by childhood cancer joined forces to launch a new fundraising campaign celebrating 20 years of the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC).

 

The University of Nottingham’s annual fundraising campaign Life Cycle will this year focus on raising more money for research into the deadly form of cancer.

 

To launch the £500,000 appeal, which this year will involve a ‘superhero stroll’, children at different stages in their treatment and their families, as well as families who have lost loved-ones to the disease, came together on International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day along with University experts, surgeons and students.

 

University Sports teams, who have launched a partnership with the appeal, were also on hand to give the children fitness challenges as well as sports demonstrations.

 

The CBTRC has been at the forefront of examining and removing childhood brain tumours since the 1980s.

 

Parents who understand the benefits of the work include Neenu Minhas, 45, and her husband Raman, 45.

 

The family moved from Leicester to Nottingham to be nearer to the centre after their son Aiden was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive tumour when he was only two years old.

 

Aiden was always an active child until the couple realised that he was becoming more restless and was suffering from sickness. He was rushed to hospital where a scan found an aggressive tumour. Luckily it was removed, but Aiden is still undergoing treatment after doctors discovered two new lesions.

 

Raman said: “We were extremely lucky that Aiden’s tumour is an area of special interest for Professor Richard Grundy who is always willing to look beyond what is conventional and look at other options to choose a treatment protocol based on best current data.

 

“We are grateful every single day for what Mr Macarthur and Professor Grundy at the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre have done for our family.”

 

The most common cancer killer in children

 

At the launch Aiden was reunited with his surgeon Donald Macarthur, honorary clinical associate professor in neurosurgery at CBTRC.

 

Mr Macarthur said: “The centre was founded 20 years ago and now has a number of distinct but overlapping research groups with a very large number of staff. We have been very successful in driving down the time to diagnosis of children’s brain tumours through a programme over the past five years called Headsmart and we’re beginning to develop enhanced understanding of how we can treat children more safely and more effectively.

 

"If you can pick up a child’s tumour when it’s smaller it’s far more likely that I as a surgeon will be able to remove it and being able to completely remove a tumour makes a difference to the chances of curing that child of the brain tumour. Children who present later with brain tumour are more likely to have symptoms and signs due to damage of the brain and the nature of the nervous system is that you cannot reverse the damage once it’s happened.

 

"Sadly, although brain tumours are the commonest cancer killer in children they currently attract less than one per cent of national cancer research budget so they make the biggest impact in the children’s cancer world yet receive a very small amount.

 

“We’re at a very exciting time for brain tumour research and we are very pleased to have this support from The University of Nottingham through Life Cycle 7.”

 

State of the art, breaking news, here where we live

 

Steve Mills, 66, and Cheryl, 61, of Ruddington, were at the event after their granddaughter, Eloise, 12 also a patient of Mr Macarthur, was diagnosed with a tumour when she was four.

 

Steve said: “When Eloise first went for her operation we were very upset and scared that we might lose her as we didn’t realise her tumour was benign at the time.

 

“The university does far more research than just brain tumour research for example some of the research being done in lighting up solid cancers that will be able to tell us immediately whether a woman has got breast cancer without having to do a scan. It’s all state of the art, breaking news and it’s being developed here where we live - we’ve always lived in Nottingham and this shows why Nottingham is one of the best universities you can go to."

 

And families of those who weren't so lucky were also on hand to add their support to the campaign. Halim Mjeshtri, 37, of Leicester, has raised nearly £50,000 for the research centre after his four-year-old son Alfi died from an aggressive tumour.

 

He said: "It was too late for Alfi and he passed away. He turned four-years-old in hospital when we found out what was wrong with him.

 

"We have raised money ourselves for the research centre for the last five years. We went through some difficulties when coming to terms with it and why we didn't have a chance. We were told that what Alfi had is very rare and there is not much research on it.

 

"It is not just about raising money, it is also about awareness, because the earlier you find it, it will be treated before it grows too big."

 

Each month, more than 45 parents in the UK are told their child has a brain tumour. Almost 40 per cent of children diagnosed with ependymoma do not survive and of those that do, two thirds are left with major disabilities.

Researchers at the CBTRC are trying to change that and their world-leading research is working to understand what causes ependymomas to develop.

 

This would be a major breakthrough that could lead to screening tests to detect brain cancer early, and safer, more effective treatments that don’t have the long-term side effects that many patients suffer.

 

 

 

17 Quick Ways to Prevent WordPress Hacking: the essential WordPress Security Issues checklist

 

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or How to resolve common WordPress Security issues 

There may be a lot of content management systems around, but none of them can hold a candle to WordPress. Hey, 16.2 million sites as of November 5, 2015 should give you an idea just how vastly superior and beloved this system is. WordPress security and actionable tips to prevent WordPress hacking though - still has a way to go. However, we want to help you secure your WordPress website from the get go - preventention is better than cure, so make sure you action these tips to prevent WordPress hacking.

 

How to Prevent WordPress Hacking - Wordpress Security

Those millions of sites, however, also face serious attacks from annoying little sods who apparently, have nothing better to do with their time but spread misery far and wide: Hackers. It’s not uncommon to wake up one morning to find your beautifully assembled website waxing poetic about herbal enlargement pills or some cause in middle-east. Empathy is short lived when it’s your personal space they’re defacing with stupid quotes. Screaming incoherently is the first course of action you will take when your site is hosting full-page ads and redirects to shadier aspects of ‘pharma’ companies.

 

If you’re terrified, you’re justified. Everybody wants to prevent WordPress hacking. Recovering can take some intense time and effort. So harden your WordPress with these WordPress security best practices, lest that horrible fate befalls you. And yes, it’ll take some time and continuous effort to avoid WordPress hacking.

 

Don't like to get your hands dirty with code? Try iThemes security and let it do the dirty work.

 

If you don't want to go through a lot of messing of files, enabling of different plugins, and lots of other things you don't really go - we also have the easy way out for you. iThemes Security is the best WordPress security plugin to secure and protect your WordPress site.

 

Send me WordPress Security checklist

 

Not interested in WP plugins just yet? Read on!

 

We’ll work up to some code work, but first, let’s take care of the basics of WordPress security issues. Starting with:

 

1. Preventing WordPress hacking starts with your workstation

This is the first and most easily overlooked: your computer. You should always keep your system free of malware and viruses, especially if you’re accessing the internet with it (which you are, of course). Workstation security is even more essential when you are conducting transactions and have a website, because all it takes is a keylogger to knock out the most hardened of WordPress websites. A keylogger will read all your usernames and passwords and send them to hackers - which of course is going to create a whole host of issues and problems for your.

 

Stay safe and regularly update your OS, software, and browsers on your computer. Use a good anti-virus service. Keep your eyes peeled for any vulnerability on your system and remove it before it becomes a massive pain.

 

2. Stay protected from the latest security threats with WordPress Updates

Secure WordPress through it's updates

Every time a software package gets updated, it does so in the midst of a wave of excitement. You are excited because, hey, new features! Hackers are excited because Security and Maintenance Release notes. This is because, unfortunately, each WordPress update brings along with it a number of WordPress security vulnerabilities.

 

WordPress is no different. With every new update we get additional features and upgrades, along with a page listing the security flaws in previous version and their fixes. That page is practically a cheat-sheet for hackers everywhere. Should you fail to update in time, those security flaws will be the bane of your existence. And if your site gets hacked, it will be no-one’s fault but your own. 

 

So don’t give lazier hackers a chance to wriggle in. Install the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released. If you’re afraid it will mess up your carefully crafted website (it’s been known to happen), create a backup before you update. This will resolve any WordPress security issues which existed in the previous version - and goes a very very long way to prevent wordpress hacking.

 

Want your WordPress to get updated automatically? Check out InMotion for your hosting - they have excellent WordPress specific features so you can update WordPress automatically as soon as they are out. We're on InMotion, and we love it!

 

3. Prevent WordPress hacking: Make sure that your Hosting Server is secure

Did you know that by 2013, an approximate 41% WordPress websites were hacked through server vulnerabilities?

 

This rather alarming fact is true because a majority of WordPress sites/blogs are hosted on shared servers. Basically, if one site on a shared server gets infected, every other site is at risk, regardless of how secure the site/blog is otherwise. You’ll get hacked through no fault of your own.

 

Thought exercise: Have you ever been inside a soup kitchen? Can you picture one and imagine what happens in there? If you’re one of those lucky enough to have escaped that travesty, I’ll give you a taster (pun intended). Think of everything that has ever happened since the kitchen came into existence, spills and breaks, leaks and splashes. In a soup kitchen server, those things are never gone. They become a part of the kitchen.

 

Now imagine the same happening to your site. A server which scoffs at maintenance has devolved into a soup kitchen already. Unused files, data, sites, and more pile up until they become a security threat to current sites.

 

So choose a reliable and secure host. VPS and managed hosting minimizes chances of breaches and are excellent for e-commerce sites. If shared hosting is enough for you, check out their security before subscribing for space on them. Make sure to check their maintenance schedule. This is another step which should be on your priority list if you want to prevent WordPress hacking.

 

4. Use Network Security to prevent password and data interception

Over an unsecure connection, data can be intercepted and you can be hacked before being able to say “unencrypted”.

 

This is why you should focus on secure network connections and encryptions: server side, client side, and all the sides. Find a host that allows SFTP/SSH encryption to protect your data and information from malicious intercepts.

 

5. Prevent WordPress hacking through complex passwords

Complex Passwords for improved security

Essential WordPress security tip: create a secure password and don't reuse passwords

 

Our next step on how to protect WordPress from hackers talks about a much cliched topic - passwords.

 

A startling number of people think long, complicated passwords are overrated and will prefer something shorter and easier to remember; a fact hackers know and take advantage of.

 

There is no other way to put this: a good strong password comprised of letters, numbers, and any other valid characters will actually go a long way to protect your WordPress blog. Brute force algorithm works endlessly, yes. But the more number of characters there are in your password, the longer it takes to crack it. And I mean exponentially longer.

 

Recommended Reading: 10 WordPress security tips for your website

 

Any personal details, or a password based on them, will be easy to crack. Don’t use single words (regardless of length), letters-only, or numbers-only passwords either. What you’re trying to do is break the known patterns to make hacking difficult, if not impossible.

 

Create a password which is easy to remember but hard to guess to prevent WordPress hacking - if your blog is about WordPress security, make it something like pressmyWORDSand5ecurit!$

 

6. WordPress Security through isolation: Keep your WordPress Databases Secure and isolated

Your database knows everything that has ever happened on your site. It’s a veritable well of information and that makes it damn near irresistible to hackers.

 

Automated codes for SQL injections can be run to hack into WordPress databases with relative ease. If you are running multiple sites/blogs from a single server (and database), all your sites are at risk.

 

As the code resource puts it, it’s best to use individual databases for each blog/site and give them to be managed by separate users. You can also revoke all database privileges except data read and data write from users who will only work with posting/ uploading data and installing plugins. It is not recommended though, due to schema change privileges required in major updates.

 

You should also rename your database (by changing its prefix) to misdirect the hackers aiming their attacks on it. Although this does not prevent WordPress hacking per se, it makes sure that if any databases are compromised, the hackers can't hope to the next WordPress installation.

 

7. Hide WordPress login and admin name

Next on how to secure WordPress from hackers concerns the WP Administration.

 

Leaving WordPress defaults untouched is practically asking for trouble.

 

It is laughably simple to find your site’s admin name if you don’t actively hide it. All a hacker needs is to add ?author=1 after your URL and the person/member who shows up is most likely the admin. Imagine how easy it would be for the hackers to use brute force once they find the admin’s username. How can you prevent WordPress hacking if you are leaving so much information available, make exploitation easier?

 

Solution to prevent WordPress hacking: Hide all usernames with this code in functions.php file:

 

add_action(‘template_redirect’, ‘bwp_template_redirect’);

 

function bwp_template_redirect()

 

{

 

  if (is_author())

 

  {

 

    wp_redirect( home_url() ); exit;

 

  }

 

}

 

Your WordPress login page is also easy to access, and not just for you. I can simply add wp-admin or wp-login.php after your homepage URL, fill the username I learned from ?author=1 and sip mint juleps while the algorithm cracks your password.

 

Use the age old technique of ‘smoke-and-mirrors’ and change your login page URL to make the hackers’ job that much difficult. WordPress security plugins like Stealth Login will even do it for you - and once again, doing this simple step will go a bery long way in preventing WordPress hacking.

 

Not sure whether you can deal with all this?

 

Need some help? Have a look at iThemes Security Pro - one plugin and your WordPress is safe. Guaranteed.

 

8. Prevent WordPress hacking through security plugins and tricks to protect wp-admin

Your wp-admin is a seat of authority. The login page and admin directory are available to all: including those with malicious intent. To protect it and prevent WordPress hacking, you’ll need to work just a bit harder.

 

A strong password, a different administrator account (with a username that’s anything but ‘admin’), and using Stealth Login plugin to rename your WordPress login links will make definetely help to prevent hacking.

 

You can also strengthen the guard around admin with WordPress security plugins like:

 

Limit Login Attempts

With a bit of code coupled with unlimited login attempts, any hacker will eventually break in. You can restrict the amount of liberty anyone is allowed to take with admin login page using Limit Login Attempts. It will limit number of login attempts for each IP address, including your own (with auth cookies).

 

SSL - this encrypts your communications

Use the power of Private SSL to secure admin login, area, posts, and more. This enables encryption on your login sessions, meaning the password is difficult to intercept. You'll need to get an SSL Certificate and get it installed on your hosting server. InMotion offer SSL certificates for free on their hosting plans - so if you still haven't maybe it's time to switch to InMotion to get your SSL too.

 

Once you have confirmed with your hosting provider that you have Shared SSL and then paste this code in wp-config.php:

 

define(’FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);

 

Acunetix Secure WordPress

This plugin is a superb security solution in general, but some key features make it even better. First of all, it runs a WordPress security scan. It also pays close attention to preventive measures so you actually prevent WordPress hacking from happening in the first place. To protect admin area, it will remove error information from the login page.

 

That may not sound like much, but the error message actually helps hackers find out if they had gotten anything right. Removing the message (hint) takes away that advantage. If you want to avoid WordPress hacking, get at least some of these plugins set up.

 

Top Tip: Advanced WordPress Security

 

The rest of the tips requiring tinkering with your WordPress installations, which brings along some risk. If you'd rather not tinker around with your installation, you might want to hire a WordPress developer to help you out.

 

9. Prevent WordPress hacking through wp-includes security

Let’s get this straight: wp-includes is the core. It should be left alone, even by you. And by no means should it be left accessible to potential hackers.

 

So prevent any malicious persons/ bots from sending unwanted scripts straight to the heart of your WordPress to prevent hacking. Add this before #BEGIN WordPress in your .htaccess file:

 

# Block the include-only files.

 

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

 

RewriteEngine On

 

RewriteBase /

 

RewriteRule ^wp-admin/includes/ - [F,L]

 

RewriteRule !^wp-includes/ - [S=3]

 

RewriteRule ^wp-includes/[^/]+\.php$ - [F,L]

 

RewriteRule ^wp-includes/js/tinymce/langs/.+\.php - [F,L]

 

RewriteRule ^wp-includes/theme-compat/ - [F,L]

 

</IfModule>

 

# BEGIN WordPress

 

 

 

Note that you’ll have to omit the third RewriteRule if you want the code to work on Multisite.

 

10. Protect your wp-config for improved WordPress security

This is one of the WordPress security issues that is a bit controversial. Not everybody agrees with doing this.

 

Whether or not you actually move wp-config.php outside the root folder, there’s no denying that a bit of tweaking the code in this file can help harden security and prevent WordPress hacking.

 

Not sure whether you can handle all of this security stuff? There's one WordPress security plugin to rule them all. 

 

Start with disabling editing PHP files from dashboard, which is where the attacker will concentrate after hacking through an access point. Add this to wp-config.php

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

 

$table_prefix is placed before all your database tables. You can prevent SQL injection based attacks by changing its value from the default wp_.

$table_prefix = 'r235_';

 

Move wp-content directory from its default position with this

define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/blog/wp-content' );

 

define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', 'http://example/blog/wp-content');

 

define( 'WP_PLUGIN_DIR', $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/blog/wp-content/plugins');

 

define( 'WP_PLUGIN_URL', 'http://example/blog/wp-content/plugins');

 

Now if you’re not a developer, you don’t have much use of error logs. You can keep them from being accessible with this:

 

error_reporting = 4339

 

display_errors = Off

 

display_startup_errors = Off

 

log_errors = On

 

error_log = /home/example.com/logs/php_error.log

 

log_errors_max_len = 1024

 

ignore_repeated_errors = On

 

ignore_repeated_source = Off

 

html_errors = Off

 

You can find more details on configuring error logging (and how to hide logs from public), but you don’t really need to delve that deep.

 

 

 

11. Backup your WordPress site (just in case)

Wordpress Backup

This is the safety net. A backup is one of the first things you’ll need to restore your site if you do get hacked.

 

Backup your site at least as frequently as you run maintenance or update it. There’s no excuse to be lax in this department, not when there are some quite thorough services and plugins that will run automated backups for you. There is VaultPress, UpdraftPlus, WP-DB-Backup, BackupBuddy, etc.

 

Recommended Reading: Native vs plugin - WordPress backup using different methods

 

Create a schedule and let the plugin do the rest. Some of these plugins come with easy restore options. Check to ensure that the plugin is backing up entire site, including all databases and directories. All though this does not prevent WordPress hacking, it gives you peace of mind of restoring your site if the unthinkable happens.

 

12. Use trusted sources only for downloads

If you are running on a tight budget (and even if you aren’t), you might be tempted by the option of getting all the features and functionalities of premium plugins/themes for free. In short: pirated goods.

 

You can't prevent WordPress hacking if you are downloading premium stuff from ill-reputed or unauthorized sources - they will come back to punch you in the heart. They are ill-reputed because they will fill those legit ‘premium’ plugins/themes with malware and let the stupid folks do the rest. A hidden backdoor will be all they need to convert your brand’s online appearance into a giant poster for enlargement pills - or even worse, malware. Your site will quickly get blacklisted, even from search engines and browsers if it contains malware. You'll need much more than WordPress security to fix these problems.

 

This is a known and very popluar tactic of hackers. Pirated themes and plugins are riddled with backdoors and malware. This is one of the easiest WordPress security issues to resolve really  away from.

 

Remember: Pirated stuff? Don’t bother.

 

You’re good with WordPress Themes and Plugins directories, so try sticking to those. You can also trust sources like Envato Market (Theme Forest, Code Canyon), Elegant Themes, etc.

 

13. Secure your WordPress by looking like a Pro

A rookie is easier to hack. At least, that’s what most hackers think (not incorrectly). Even the Bible says: Abstain from all appearances of being an amateur; even, and especially if you are one.

 

Change all defaults: posts, comments, usernames, directory names, etc. It’s easier when you’re setting up. If you already have WordPress up and running, go to Settings > Miscellaneous (in your Admin controls) to change directory names. This will be another step in your drive to prevent WordPress hacking and make hacking your site much more difficult.

 

To hide which version of WordPress you’re on, remember to delete /wp-admin/install.php and wp-admin/upgrade.php. Take it a step further and remove meta generator tag (“”) from wp-content/your_theme_name/header.php. You should also remove version detail from RSS feed.

 

To do this, open wp-includes/general-template.php. Around line 1860 you’ll find this:

 

function the_generator ( $args) {

 

echo apply_filters('the_generator', get_ the_generator($args), $ args). "\n";

 

}

 

Add a hash before ‘echo’ command and you’re golden.

 

function the_generator ( $args ) {

 

#echo apply_filters('the_generator', get_ the_generator ($args), $type). "\n";

 

}

 

14. Strong WordPress Security requires correct File permissions

The rule of thumb is 755 for directories and 644 for files. Although, this varies depending upon server and the type of file in question - in most cases, you should work very well with these permissions. It would be best to ask your host to check, or if you've got direct access, you can do this yourself.

 

For directories:

 

find /path/to/your/wordpress/install/ -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

 

For files:

 

find /path/to/your/wordpress/install/ -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

 

15. WordPress Security sins: Never ever set file permissions to 777 (not even temporarily)

If you are serious about wanting to prevent WordPress hacking - NEVER set file/directory permission to 777 unless you want to give complete control over it to everyone, including hackers. There is a very dangerous tendency amongst beginners to set file permissions to 777, "because it's easy", or "because we'll fix it later", or "because I'll change it later". This is extremely dangerous - 777 means anybody who wants can change the contents of that file. With those permissions set, your website is an open house. Once they have access to one file, rest assured it is very easy to jump to other files or install backdoors and other nasty stuff to your site.

 

WordPress codex gives you a complete guide to file permissions: how to change them and the recommended permissions for some files. You need to balance security with functionality, so start low and gradually increase permissions till you get it right. The right file permissions will surely help avoid WordPress hacking. Again, this is one of easier WordPress security issues to prevent, you just need to be aware of it.

 

16. Allow access to WP admin and login to your IP only through IP filtering

A very simple, elegant way to restrict access to login page and admin area is through IP filtering. All you need to do is add this code to .htaccess:

 

<Files wp-login.php>

Order Deny, Allow

Deny from All

Allow from [Add your IP address (es) here]

</Files>

 

Now that works only for static IPs, but you can do the same for dynamic IPs with this:

 

<Files wp-login.php>

Order Deny, Allow

Deny from All

Allow from [Add your domain name here]

</Files>

 

To restrict access to wp-admin directory, add this to .htaccess:

 

<FilesMatch ".*">

Order Deny, Allow

Deny from All

Allow from [Add your IP address (es) here]

</FilesMatch>

 

By domain name:

 

<FilesMatch ".*">

Order Deny, Allow

Deny from All

Allow from [Add your domain name here]

</FilesMatch>

 

Source: blog.Sucuri.net

 

17. WordPress Security Plugins to Prevent WordPress hacking

Although we don't tend to advocate the use of many plugins, when it comes to WordPress security plugins, there are some which you really might want to install to increase the security of your site.

 

Wordress Security Plugins

iThemes Security Pro - Listen, many of the above actions are a bit technical no doubt about that. We get that. If you are not technically inclined, we have the solution for you. iThemes Security is the best WordPress security plugin to secure and protect your WordPress site.

Two-Step Authentication

Google Authenticator and Duo Two-Factor Authentication are great choices for adding an extra layer of protection on your login page. An authorization code will be sent to your email/ mobile, without which the user/hacker will not be able to log in.

 

Block Bad Queries

Is there anything better than a nice BBQ? This plugin will block URI strings containing eval( base 64 and other suspiciously long request strings.

 

Theme Authenticity Checker

Check your theme for malware and hidden backdoors with this plugin before someone exploits those weaknesses in an otherwise secure site/blog.

 

Antivirus Plugins

This one is a no-brainer. Conduct frequent site scans and eradicate them before they take hold. Plugins/ services like Codeguard, Sucuri, Wordfence, etc. Previously mentioned Acunetix Secure WordPress is another good one. Exploit Scanner will check your site inside out for malicious code too.

 

The Essential Checklist to full WordPress Security - YouTube version

 

Thanks to Webucator, a provider of WordPress training, we've got this checklist created as a video.

 

 

 

Bottom Line

If you’re confused, just go for a managed hosting solution and let someone else handle it for you.

 

This is just the beginning. As WordPress continues to evolve, so will the hackers and their attempts to infiltrate your site and chuck you out. Stay one step ahead by learning more about your friendly CMS and keeping up with updates and your stay on top of wordpress security - this will for sure ensure you prevent WordPress hacking.

 

Stay secure.

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How to find (GREAT) WordPress Developers for Hire: 10 Things You Need to Know

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...TOP TIPs for finding good WordPress developers for hire

As a WordPress blogger, you might have a habit of doing everything by yourself; whether it is writing the blog posts, tweaking your theme or creating a landing page. It is totally justifiable as there are a lot of tutorials out there, which would help you to do those things by yourself. However, you can offload work if you find WordPress developers for hire.

When you’re not absolutely sure about what you’re doing, or if you are getting very busy with your own work, a risk free method is always to hire a WordPress developer who knows WordPress inside-out.

The beauty of working on WordPress platform is that whenever you need a helping hand from a hired WordPress developer, it is quite easy to find and hire them based on your budget and your job specifications without any hassle. There are literally thousands of expert WordPress developers for hire.

In this post, we’ll explain how to find a WordPress experts and the necessary steps you should take to hire them for your next WordPress development project. 

 

WordPress Developers for hire

TOP Essential TIP

Finding a good WordPress developer for hire is not something which comes very easy. Unless you use a good screening site such as Toptal below, finding a good developer will take time. This is because besides great developers, you’re going to find people who don’t have the necessary skills, scammers and others who are going to be a waste of your time.

When finding a WordPress developer for hire, first give them a very small job. Something which is not very high profile, not urgent and something which you know how it should be done.

With this first job, you can gauge the functionality, expertise, communication, timeliness, budgets and in general develop a good relationship with the WordPress developer that you want to hire for future projects.

If you start hiring WordPress developers without your own screening process, get prepared for a few miserable failures.

Hiring WordPress developers: a horror story

Before we actually start discussing how to find WordPress developers for hire - we want to tell you a short story. It's not nice. We really hope you don't go through anything like this.

We first tried hiring developers on Fiverr. We set our project and budget. Not a cheap one mind you, we went for a small plugin development project.

The first candidate we chose made a complete hash of things. Untested pages, broken and missing functionality. We dumped them and tried again. Same story, only this time, they were not responsive and they wanted payment outside of Fiverr (NEVER accept that). Then the work never materialized. 

Recovering our money was a huge hassle. We had to perform Credit Card chargebacks, and give proof that the work never materialized. The time we lost messing around with this was huge.

Our clients were NOT amused. We were already starting to get discouraged and were really starting to wonder where we could hire WordPress developers.

We then switched to another freelancing company. Same freaking story. We went through dozens of failed attempts of hiring WordPress developers. Suffice to say we learnt our lesson the hard way. Today we go through a rigorous process of vetting developers - it takes a lot of time and iterations and the results are not guaranteed.

We've also mostly abandoned these dirt cheap directories of cowboys, newbies and plain old clueless developers.

Finding WordPress developers for Hire

There are many ways to find WordPress developers for hire who can meet your requirements. Let’s look at a few of them.

Today, we only employ pre-vetted developers. To do that we go directly to the horse's mouth. Toptal - our favorite marketplace for developers employs the top 3% of talent only. Candidates they send you have been thoroughly tested before they are accepted as freelancers. We do strongly recommend that you start your search for a developer at Toptal

And that's why our #1 place to hire WordPress developer is:

  1. Toptal - hire the top 3% of freelance WordPress developers

WordPress developers for hire at toptal

Toptal is one of the best choices if you’re looking to hire top WordPress developers around the world. In order to identify the best talents, they’ve developed a rigorous screening process and don’t accept anyone who applies as a freelancer.  They claim that out of thousands of applications, only fewer than 3% are accepted and everyone who is accepted is a senior developer or designer.

Is hiring from Toptal a right choice for you?

If you’re looking to hire WordPress developer for part-time, your budget must be $1000-$1600+/week. Another thing to be noted is that Toptal is not available for every country. Click here to know if Toptal is available for your country.

You can hire WordPress developers on Toptal here.

2. Google search tricks for hiring WordPress developer

Using Google search is one of the best ways when it comes to finding a freelancer or an agency that are specialized in WordPress. Once you find their websites, all you need to do is to look at their portfolio, testimonials and start talking about your assignments.

With that said, for finding a WordPress expert if you used a generic search query on Google like “hire WordPress developer”, or “wordpress developer for hire” most likely it won’t cut much ice. You might be expecting the result that contains relevant websites of freelancers and WordPress agencies. In reality, you would end up with search results that include blog posts on the topic “hire a WordPress developer” or bidding sites that are successfully ranked well on such keywords.

Google search for hiring WordPress developers

Having said that, how would you effectively use Google to find a freelance WordPress developer for hire of services through their blog or website?

Instead of doing a generic search, enhance your search query by using Google search operators like ‘inurl’ and ‘site’.

For example, if I were you, here’s how I would be searching for a freelance WordPress developer for hire on Google who is currently available:

inurl:"hire me" wordpress developer -site:wordpress.org

Google search with syntax to find WordPress developers for hire

The above search query will restrict the results to the pages that contain the word “hire me” in the URL. In addition, it also avoids showing any pages from wordpress.org. These are more likely to find good results with WordPress developers for hire.

You are free to make any changes on your search query as per your requirement. The basic idea here is to find a huge list of freelancer websites, so you can compare their services easily and hire the right WordPress developer who meets your requirements.

Job boards with WordPress Developers for hire

Job boards are great places to find freelance WordPress developers for hire. The best thing is that unlike Google search, you don’t need to spend time on searching and contacting them individually, instead the WordPress programmers for hire will contact you, which can help you save significant amounts of time.  All you need to do is to list your job on these job board sites and compare between the proposals you receive from the applicants.

Below is a list of popular job boards where you can find WordPress programmers for hire.

3: WPMU Dev - WordPress Development jobs

Unlike Smashing Jobs, it is specifically targeted to WordPress related jobs. With the job board being dedicated, you’re going to find plenty of WordPress developers for hire. WPMUDEV, is one of the biggest companies around WordPress, so you would expect to having both WordPress users and WordPress developers to congregate around the site. To make easier for everybody to find WordPress developers for hire, the guys at WPMUDEV actually have a Job Board where you can post your job. 

Again, since anybody can apply for your job, you'll have to do the vetting of the hired WP developers yourself.

wpmudev job board for WordPress developers

4: Smashing Jobs

As it is integrated with award-winning Smashing Magazine, it is one of the best ways to find creative professionals including WordPress developers and programmers for hire. The job board is very busy, and posting a job here requires commitment from your side. Infact posting a freelance job entails a fee of $75, whilst a fulltime job has a fee of $225.

In reality, you should treat this as a normal hiring process - with interviews and assessing of skills as necessary.

The difference with this board is also that you won't just for WordPress developers for hire. This job board is open to all types of web designers and developers, so finding WordPress developers will require some sifting.

smashing jobs board to hire WordPress developers

 

5. WP Hired

This job board is not just a section of any popular website. WP Hired is a dedicated job board website for WordPress services. That makes it another excellent place to hire a WordPress developer. If you just have a quick job, you should be able to post this on the free plan, which allows you to post 1 job which stays up for 1 week. If you want your jobs to stay up for longer, and increase the chances of getting more respondents, you might want to go for one of the paid plans, which start from $39.99.

Of course, you are going to have to make your own selection here. The WordPress developers you hire here can be anyone who is able to upload a resume, so you'll have to go through your own selection process.

WPHired - a job board / website specifically for hiring WordPress developers

Outsourcing sites for hiring WordPress developers

Another way to find WordPress developers for hire for your next development project is using a bidding site or an outsourcing site. Best of all, this approach is one of the easiest ways to find and hire a WordPress developer or programmer.

Let’s look at a few outsourcing websites below including bidding sites and service marketplaces.

6. Codeable.io

Codeable claims to be the best outsourcing platform that are targeted specifically to WordPress. You can fulfill almost any kind of WordPress related jobs. This site is 100% dedicated to WordPress services outsourcing.

Like Toptal, Codeable actually vet their applicants and only allow the top 2% of applicants submitted to join their ranks. This is of course a sure way of knowing that any WordPress developers you hire here are going to be at the top of the game.

Again, an excellent place to find WordPress developers for hire. You don't really post your job here, you tell them what you need and you'll get a quotation and then the development process kicks off from there.

codeable for outsourcing WordPress development

7. Upwork.com

Upwork is a brand new bidding site launched by integrating popular freelancing platforms Elance and Odesk. All you need to do is to create an account on Upwork, list your job and accept bidding by freelancers. Once again, WordPress developers for hire will contact you, make an offer, show you their work and experience and then you select which offer you prefer.

Just like other freelancing sites where no vetting is done during the application process, you'll need to screen the developers your hire. We've had good and bad experiences hiring from Upwork, so make sure you start slowly with any developers you hire and ramp up as you assess the quality of the developers.

Fees for development work are agreed beforehand, but you are typically able to determine the budget. Of course, if you set a budget which is too low, you are probably not going to get much quality. You'll need to engage with the developers and negotiate as necessary many times.

This wouldn't be one of our primary recommendations, despite it's popularity.

upwork 

8. Envato Studio

Envato Studio is a marketplace for small services where you can outsource your WordPress related jobs to WordPress professionals. What makes Envato different from a bidding site is that instead of listing your job and asking freelancers to bid on it you can handpick them based on the services they offer. Again, if you want to hire WordPress developers, you can hang around and ask around for a while and then take your pick.

Although this may seem attractive initially, you're still going to do some homework to make sure the WordPress developer you hire has the skillset you are looking for. You are going to find plenty of developers who are going to cut prices to get jobs and you should gauge their quality before going for any important WordPress development jobs.

envato studio for finding WordPress developers for hire

 

There are plenty of other places where you can engage WordPress developers, especially if you are looking to work freelance.

9. Create a great project brief before hiring WP developers

So far we’ve seen different websites where you can meet WordPress developers for hire.

Now it’s the time to write down the project brief, so you can communicate with your clients effectively. For instance, if you’re looking to hire a WordPress expert to build a customized WordPress theme or plugin from the ground up, here are a few things to consider while writing a project brief.

 

  • Explain the frontend and backend features (development)
  • The look and feel of your theme or plugin (design)
  • Resources/ examples: Show examples of your competitors’ websites or websites for inspiration
  • Milestones: you'll need to decide a number of milestones for development. You'll want to monitor progress and milestones are the best way to have an agreed point where you can decide whether development work on your WordPress job is on track
  • Payments: this is of course something which is very important both for the hirer and the hiree. Some sites will actually have an escrow facility which will protect both of you. If this isn't in place, you should agree in writing how things are going to work.
  • Deadline: for sure you need to have an end date for when your WordPress developer for hire is to submit their work. You should also agree what happens if the deadline is missed, to make sure that development stays on track
  • Communication: like with any other job, communication is critical to the success or failure of any project. Agree beforehand how you will communite, whether it's by email, chat, messenger, Skype or what have you. If you are in different timezones this is especially important, because their day might be your night and you will have a turnaround time of about a day. Set expectations on both sides to make sure you don't get disappointed
  • Output and deliverables: if you are developing a plugin or theme for reselling, you need to agree what is going to be part of the job or not. You are more than likely going to need designs, copy, documentation and plenty of other outputs. Agree on what makes part of the job and what is outside of the scope of this WordPress job.
  • Intellectual property: if you are hiring a WordPress developer, especially on a freelance basis, who is going to own the Intellectual Property of the developed end product.
  • Decide whether you want to implement auto-update or not
  • What will happen if some bugs are discovered after you've agreed that the job has been completed
  • How would you resolve any security vulnerabilities which might be discovered
  • You'll probably want to keep on developing your project, so it would be great if you agree beforehand how updates would happen

The above points will give you some basic idea about how the project brief should be. The more things you agree before your actual hire a WordPress developer, the better and the less likely that there will be a conflict later on in the project.

In fact, the quality of your deliverable heavily relies on the project brief you create. Make sure you explained everything in the brief, so it avoids any disappointment down the track.

If you plan to do this often, you might want to set a contract template so that each time you plan to hire a freelance WordPress developer, you'll just need to update the specific sections. This will make the hiring process shorter, whislt making sure you are covered from all aspects.

10. Brief-skill match

Once you write down the brief, you’ll need to figure out whether the hired WP developers can deliver what it takes to complete your project.

Reviews also go a long way towards showing whether the person should be hired as WordPress developer.

Users with excellent reviews, a long history and plenty of earnings are a good choice for hiring for your next WordPress job.

New users with little to no earnings, and a very short registration time are probably fraudsters or people who have earned bad reviews and had to close their previous accounts and create new ones.

Sometimes, there’ll be some mismatch between the requirements and their skill set. For example, not all developers can carry out the complete process of a theme creation. For a developer, it is far more likely to take a PSD file of the finalized design and create a working theme from it.

In such cases, you may want to find a designer and a developer separately. Remember, communication is the key here. No matter what expertise your client has, unless you communicate with them properly chances are you would end up with a half-finished product.

In addition, make sure you take a thorough look at their portfolio and figure out what kinds of websites they used to create, so you get an idea of their work.

Over to you

Have you ever hired a WordPress expert for your projects? What are the measures you take for due diligence? What are your favorite websites for meeting a WordPress expert? Tell us your good and bad experiences with finding WordPress developers for hire.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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How you drive your business’ success

For those of you who are thinking of becoming entrepreneurs, let us first establish what it means to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who takes initiative, and makes a leap in organizing and operating a business. Anyone is capable of becoming an entrepreneur! When you come up with new ideas, think outside of the box, and act on these innovations ideas, you are taking the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur.

 However, there is a big difference between wanting to become an entrepreneur, and succeeding as one. Let’s take a look at what characteristics make a successful entrepreneur.

Support

A successful entrepreneur has a strong support network. No entrepreneur does it on their own. This begins with the very conception of entrepreneurship! You need to be able to sell your idea to your family and friends first. They have the ability to poke holes in your ideas, ask questions you might not have the answers to, or tell you that they don’t have a clear idea of what it is your start-up business is trying to accomplish. After this initial pitch,  you will know you have more groundwork to complete. If you can sell them on your business model then you are ready to take the next step in presenting to future investors, business partners, and banks for financing.

Role Models & Advice:

As part of an entrepreneur’s support team, it is important have a role model who can act as a figure of influence and inspiration. Don’t go through the hardship of trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ when you can ask questions and learn from others who have made a similar journey. Becoming a successful entrepreneur means understanding what has made previous entrepreneurs successful and adopting those tactics. 

Business Mindset

What makes or breaks a start-up company can sometimes be the lack of a business mindset. Many entrepreneurs create start-ups because they are unemployed. They have ideas, but don’t have the motivation to keep it going. In order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to be driven and have the ability to think strategically and innovatively in order to move from a hobby to a business. Becoming a business owner requires you to stick to your vision and develop a strategy to acquire income and use this to grow your business. Document your processes, your milestones, and what you hope to achieve. Use this as a guide when you have questions on your innovative journey. That way, you will be equipped with the information to back up your statements.

High Risk Assessment

It is important to be able to understand risk and make educated, well informed decisions. As a start-up owner you need to be able to accept trials of uncertainty and be prepared for a multitude of outcomes. A general rule of thumb rings true in entrepreneurial circles: “Plan for the best, Prepare for the worst!”

Investment Capital

All businesses start with great expenditures. You must invest in your business in order for it to reach any potential in the market. Because of this, you need to make sure your company has the funds to outlive the beginning stages of business and either hit the threshold of breaking-even or gaining a positive net profit. The lack of money can prematurely close down a potentially successful business. For a savvy entrepreneur, make sure you plan out your expenses ahead of time and plan on having enough money to manage and run your company at a loss for the first few years. Spend wisely and carefully. Annotate how, with each expense, your company will grow and turn a profit.

As a budding entrepreneur, sometimes a lot of what you are looking at is cost.  Take advantage of FREE tools and resources to make your life easier. Below are 5 free tools and websites to help you start and manage your business.

Google Apps

Google provides free resources on a majority of their services including Google calendar, email, and contact directories; There are also file management, and marketing analytics data to be found in Google Analytics, and Google Drive.  Access and share your files from anywhere using ‘Google Docs.’ Analyze your marketing strategy, and plan content with keyword research with data using Google Analytics. See more here

Evernote

Evernote acts as an electronic notebook that can be synced and accessed from any device. Take notes, share notes, organize, and present your data. Always  keep your information available and accessible. See more here

Mint

A simple application that can help you manage your finances in an organized and efficient manner. Categorize your recurring costs and calculate your monthly, quarterly, and annual spending. See more here

Start Up Stash

This website can help you identify key stepping stones you will need as a start-up business. The website provides you with a “stash” of the industry leading resources to help you figure out your marketing, website, financial strategies and more! See more here

Code academy

Learn how to code and build an online presence for your website. Take things into your own hands and learn what it takes to update, fix, and debug your website or application’s code. This will help you with both the creation of your own website, as well as understanding the structure of websites that will influence marketing and competitor strategies. See more here

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