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Drupal, Joomla or WordPress? Which CMS Is the Most Secure?
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Is Your WordPress Site Vulnerable?
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How to Choose the Best Theme for Your WordPress Website
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5 WordPress themes that entrepreneurs must know

Drupal, Joomla or WordPress? Which CMS Is the Most Secure?

When you are thinking of building your own website, the first step is to choose the right road for development. A PHP-based Content Management System (CMS) not only offers an easier development but also ensures better maintenance. A PHP CMS allows website owners to manage the content on their website without having to rely on a developer for everything. Once the website is set up it is easy to log in and makes any required changes using the functions of the system.

The three most popular PHP CMS that come to mind while you consider building a website is Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. Although all three of them offer a wide variety of useful features, the security feature is one of prime concern and one that website owners really want. In this post, three most popular PHP CMS will be compared on the basis of the security level each system offers. If you are confused about choices like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress – and you don’t know which one is the most secure system for building your website, you will be able to come to a conclusion by the end of this post.

Drupal

Drupal has always proved that it is very serious when it comes to security.  The secure framework of Drupal is designed to handle the gravest of internet vulnerabilities. Tough security has the stability to prevent the website from crumbling under vulnerable circumstances. The security of Drupal is so strong that many leading brands, corporations, and even governments rely on Drupal to build critical applications and websites.

Being one of the biggest developer communities across the globe, Drupal ensures a faster response to any issues supported by a dedicated security team and efficient service provider system. Robust coding standards and a diligent process of community code review also help in preventing many security issues. Here are some features that make Drupal the undeniable winner when it comes to cybersecurity.

  • User Access Control

Drupal offers Granular User Access Control which allows the administrator to have complete control over who can access their website. The power to allow someone to see or modify the website lies with the administrator.  They can create a role for the user and provide permission for the specific purpose.

  • Access

If you are worried about the safety of your login passwords, you should not. This is because passwords for Drupal accounts are encrypted well before they are stored in their database. Drupal supports a wide range of password policies like complex, minimum length, expiration, etc. Standard authentication practices in the Industry, which include 2-Factor Authentication and SSL, are also supported by Drupal. Single Sign-on systems including LDAP, SAML, OpenID, and Shibboleth are combined with Drupal in its production applications.

  • Database Encryption

You can configure Drupal for strong database encryption required for a high-security project. In case you don’t want to encrypt the entire database, Drupal allows you to do so at a very granular level. This is helpful if you want to protect specific information.

  • Brute Force Detection

Drupal security is strong enough to detect and provide protection against the brute-force attacks on passwords.  This is done by limiting the login attempts from a single IP address over a definite period of time. The administrative interface can view all the failed attempts. You can also use Drupal configuration to ban individual IP’s and range of addresses.

  • Malicious Data Entry

Drupal’s API ensures that every data entered into the database is validated and scrubbed well. CSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) attacks are prevented as tokens are injected into forms when they are generated.

  • Reduction of DoS Attacks

Denial of Service attacks is reduced due to the extensible cache layer that is preconfigured with CSS caches, javascript, and basic page. Performance technologies like Redis, Memcache, etc can be deeply integrated with the system. The individual components are cached effectively. A common feature is a granular expiry. A multi-layered cache framework is suitable for a website that receives high traffic.

Apart from the above-mentioned security frameworks, Drupal security features address all of the OWASP top ten security risks. A dedicated security team ensures doesn’t just fix security problems, but also explains the vulnerabilities by publishing advisories.

WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular PHP CMS. It has a security team that consists of security researchers and lead developers. Potential vulnerabilities can be signaled to the security team which is acknowledged upon receipt. Further, plans to solve the issues are outlined after the vulnerability is verified and severity is determined.

WordPress offers Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top 10 lists addressing. The top ten lists are prioritized together with the estimates of exploitability and detectability. The APIs that WordPress offers helps in strengthening the core system. Protection against unauthorized injections and password, along with the safety of user-supplied, data is offered. A direct object reference is provided and also prevents unauthorized requests through its access control system. With security configurations limited to a single authorized administrator, configuration errors are minimized. Just like Drupal, account passwords are salted and hashed to ensure the safety of sensitive data. WordPress provides protection against CSRF threats.

Joomla

Joomla offers a wide range of security extensions that helps in providing protection against attacks. Joomla is a fast growing content management system. There are many steps that you must take to protect your Joomla site. Joomla advises its users to secure their websites by gaining experience and getting help from those who are experienced.

You can conclude from this comparison that Drupal does take solid care of the security of its users. Although Joomla and WordPress are serious about security as well, Drupal is suitable for the websites that require tough security. This is the reason that many government websites trust Drupal for website development. The system updates help to provide better protection, so make sure you keep your PHP CMS updated. Joomla and WordPress use commercial plugins that are known to be insecure. Drupal’s dedicated team of security ensures better security.

Is Your WordPress Site Vulnerable?

WordPress is a very popular and free open source Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. As per W3Techs Web Technology Surveys, 58.5% of all the websites having low traffic uses WordPress as their Content Management System (CMS).
Recently, a major vulnerability was discovered which could have resulted in a mass compromise of a majority of WordPress websites (27.2% of the entire WWW). This vulnerability was reported by Wordfence which regularly looks for security vulnerabilities in the third party plugins and themes that are used by WordPress community including examining WordPress core and related wordpress.org systems.
Every WordPress website makes a request to the WordPress API Servers (api.wordpress.org) once an hour to check for the plugin, theme or WordPress core updates. By default, the auto-update in WordPress is enabled and following are the type of automatic background updates available:
Core updates
Plugin updates
Theme updates
Translation file updates

If this server is compromised, hackers can supply their own URL to download and install software to WordPress websites automatically and thus providing a way to mass-compromise through the auto-update mechanism. Furthermore, as WordPress do not provide any signature verification of the software being installed and will always trust any URL or any package supplied by api.wordpress.org, there is always a high possibility of this type of compromise.

The vulnerability discovered was a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability and it was found in an open-source PHP Webhook which Github uses to contact api.wordpress.org. The main purpose of this webhook is to allow WordPress core developers to sync their codes to http://wordpress.org SVN repository and use Github as their source code repository. When a change is committed to Github, it reaches out and contacts this webhook to activate a process of pulling down the latest codes added to Github. Now the main issue with this webhook was that it allows developers to supply their own hashing algorithm to verify that the code updates are authorized. There are a lot of non-cryptographically secure hashing algorithms like crc32, adler32 which are just fast checksums, generates a 32-bit hash, specially designed for catching data transmission errors only and do not provide any cryptographic security at all. Out of these, when adler32 (which is weak for short messages) is used in combination with PHP’s hash_hmac function, it severely limits the number of possible hashes and creates significant non-uniformity in hash space. This ultimately results in the creation of a weak hashing algorithm which can be tested with randomly generated keys to reducing the number of guesses and requests. Also, the hackers can use it as a brute force attack on the webhook without even triggering the WordPress’s security systems.

Although this vulnerability was quickly fixed by the WordPress team, api.wordpress.org still remains the single point of failure (SPOF) when distributing WordPress core, plugins, and theme updates and there can be more vulnerabilities which are yet to be discovered.

So, now the important question is “Should we completely disable the automatic update until a more secure system is deployed by WordPress?”. This is not at all recommended and the default auto-update feature should be always kept enabled because if there is a new severe vulnerability in WordPress core or a theme or plugin, you will benefit from an auto-update fix which will be pushed out of WordPress.

How to Choose the Best Theme for Your WordPress Website

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WordPress has a mind-boggling collection of themes. Some of these themes are free to use while others are premium and need you to pay for downloading them. Given that the source is open, you can customize the theme you download to match the particular requirements of your business. Added to that is the amazing number of plugins that you can download and install. With innumerable options to choose from, it’s understandable that you may not know where to begin. A simple solution is to list the important criteria and take it from there. Here are some of the most important features a good theme must absolutely have.

Browser Supportive

The theme you choose should make it simple for users to access irrespective of the particular browser they’re using. For instance, they could be using Bing, Google, Firefox, Yahoo, Internet Explorer, Safari, or any other. Take care that the theme is compatible with universal browsers.

Responsiveness

Whether a smart SEO strategy or simple common sense, considering that more and more users opt to surf the internet using mobile devices, you need a theme that adapts to any device. It could be a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or a desktop computer. To test if a theme works on all gadgets, resize the screen of your browser. The page should automatically adjust to display all the elements. That’s a clear indicator that the theme will work well on any sized screen.

User Support

Should you choose a free theme, find out before hand if the developer offers support. In case there are issues with the theme, you’ll need support to sort through them or you could end up having to hire a technician for help. Premium themes not only come with developer support, but they’re likely to have community support also. Each time you face a problem, you’ll only have to type the question into the search bar of your browser. Instantly, you’ll get access to many different sites, forums, and community pages directing you on how to fix the issue. Perhaps, the best advantage of a premium theme is that you’ll receive updates on the upgrades available. By downloading them, you can keep your website up to date with the latest happenings on the internet.

Simplicity

WordPress themes can have complicated designs with lots of different functionalities, layouts, images, videos, and animations. While it is tempting to get the flashiest of themes, focus on the user experience. Customers landing on your site should find it easy to navigate and locate the information they are looking for, quickly and seamlessly. Make sure the page has enough white space and is free of clutter. The simpler you keep the site, the more user-friendly it will be. This is why; you must take care to choose a simple theme that has only the most essential functionalities that support your business.

Optimization for Search Engines

In a time when good SEO is absolutely vital for the success of your business, your website must have the ideal coding. Bad coding can affect how your site performs with search engines. Since most entrepreneurs don’t know how to sort through coding to check for flaws, a better option is to choose a theme from a reliable source. Keep in mind that premium theme developers inform you beforehand whether or not the theme is compatible with search engines. Make your choice accordingly.

Originality

When you opt for free to use themes, you might have to deal with the possibility that lots of other people have also opted to use the same theme. This factor could take away from the exclusivity factor and make your website look similar to many others. If having a unique design is important to you, choose a premium theme that fewer people are likely to opt for.

Cost Factor

Cost is always the underlying factor to keep in mind when choosing the theme for your website. Premium themes can cost you anywhere from $50 to $200. Figure out the expense you’re willing to take on for creating your site and choose the right theme accordingly. Keep in mind that many premium themes have a lot of features and functionalities that you may not use anyway. Besides, they come with a range of customizations that you might find difficult to understand. Try and create a balance between the cost and the features that you absolutely need.

Speedy Loading

Here’s another case for simplicity. The more features you add in such as large images, videos, animations, etc., the longer your website will take to load. This is why, it makes sense to choose a theme that has a simple design that loads quickly and the user can access without too much waiting time. Further, keep in mind that search engines are more likely to pick up sites that will load quickly to streamline the user experience. You can even test to see how long a particular theme will take to load. Many apps on the internet allow you to test them. Enter the URL of the demo version of the theme into the app. It will show you the time taken and the number of HTTP requests made.

Social Media Compatibility

This feature is self-explanatory. You absolutely need your website to have the necessary buttons for users to use to share the interesting information they find on your site. One of the most useful plugins you can find is one that creates a social media sharing bar and places it beside the content the users are reading. As the readers scroll down, the bar follows making it possible for them to share the page without reaching the end. Social media compatibility is also essential because you need readers to like the pages and you want to encourage comments, engagement, and interaction.

Security Factor

In a time when hackers work with advanced data breaching tools to get into websites, you cannot do enough to secure your site. Choose a theme that comes with automatic security features and get a few plugins to reinforce it. If you’re not sure which are the most effective ones, you can always check online for what other users have to say about the plugins they have downloaded and used.

Check Reviews

While on the subject of reviews, the best way to gauge whether a particular theme is the right one for you is to check the reviews. Read about what other users have to say about their experiences with using a particular theme and the success they have had with it. Study the downsides they talk about and see if you can overcome them on your own or with the minimum of technical support. Here’s another tip. Look for the administration dashboard of a theme in the demo version that the developer provides. See if you can customize it to meet your requirements before making your choice.

These are some of the very basic factors to keep in mind when choosing the best theme for your WordPress site. Whether you choose a free to use theme or buy one, its success ultimately depends on how you use it to provide your customers with a great browsing experience.

5 WordPress themes that entrepreneurs must know

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If you are an entrepreneur starting up your own business, chances are that you end up wearing more than one hat every day; mostly because you are working with a small but dedicated team who do not have strict job roles, but have an ingrained drive to work towards realizing organizational goals.

As someone heading the team it doesn’t hurt for you to know a thing or two about everything that helps shape your business better. One of those things is website creation. Choosing the right website for a start-up is extremely important. Your website is one of the first experiences that your customers have of you, and thus choosing the best design becomes an absolute necessity.

WordPress is often the CMS of choice for small businesses.  One of the reasons for that is WordPress proving opportunities to try out different looks by using paid and free themes. These themes are scalable and allow room for your business to grow.

Over the years we have designed and developed WordPress websites for several small businesses, and have come to love some of the themes dearly. These themes have never disappointed us, and have always satisfied our customers with how their websites have turned. Here’s our list of the top 7 WordPress themes for small businesses according to us:

1. Akal

It’s a creative, clean and powerful theme which is especially flexible due to loads of options and room for customization.

AKAL

 

Below are some of its features at a glance:

  • Woocommerce Ready
  • Multiple Headers
  • SEO Friendly
  • Parallax Bradslider
  • Multilanguage Ready
  • Visual Composer for WordPress

2. Proguards

It’s a theme with a minimalist design that allows you to create many layouts.

lOCAL seo

Below are some its features at a glance:

  • Boxed and Wide pages layouts
  • Different Header Styles
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: FireFox, Safari, Chrome, IE9+
  • Visual Composer
  • Sliders: Swiper Slider, Revolution Slider
3. Jupiter

A flexible, multipurpose website that enables us to build any type of website with WordPress.

sOCIABLE

Below are some of its features at a glance:

  • Large number of prebuilt templates
  • Visual Composer Page builder tool
  • Many header styles
  • Full e-commerce support
  • New Types of Parallax Scrolling
4. Parallels

It’s another multipurpose WordPress theme for agencies, studios, online stores and many other types of businesses.

BLUESKY

Below are some of its features at a glance:

  • Fully responsive
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
  • Parallax and video backgrounds
  • Pre-made layouts
  • Fully customizable
5. Avada

It’s a theme with powerful options & tools, unlimited designs, responsive framework and amazing support.

DOWN

Below are some its features at a glance:

  • Responsive Site Layout and Width
  • Fusion Builder Shortcodes
  • Multilanguage Support
  • Over 50 Design Elements
  • One click Demo

If you are reading this article, chances are that you have been doing up some reading on WordPress themes on the internet. Are you looking to revamp your site? Or are you new to this, and are looking to know about what theme would help you make a great website? Whatever your queries are, talk to us at www.capitalnumbers.com/contact_us.php

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