Latest News & Industry Articles.


Securing WordPress has become a major challenge, it is certainly true that WordPress’s success is it’s Achilles heel. As new bugs/hacks are discovered, hackers, spammers and the like are quick to pounce on these opportunities to infect blogs with rubbish content and junky backlinks. Securing your WordPress based site is a crucial step to keeping your site online, your traffic flowing to it and protecting that all important Google ranking. (Google will penalise you for link to spam.)

Keep WordPress updated
Simple yet extremely effective. Updating WordPress is usually really simple. The WordPress guys have made it as simple as possible, there is an auto upgrade function built into WordPress, which makes it ultra simple. A word of caution, if you have hacked the WordPress code, your task just got massively harder. So my advice –> don’t. Keep it simple.

WordPress plugins
Definitely keep these updated. WordPress plugins do have security flaws from time to time. Rather keep them updated, again via a simple upgrade in your plugins manager.

Secure WordPress
There are some nifty plugins that can help you secure WordPress that are easy to install and work like a charm. Secure WordPress plugin

Secure your passwords
For heaven’s sake, why did you make that password for your admin user ‘password’ when you reset it? This is the easiest trick in the book, its called a brute force attack and a cracker will simply keep testing your admin or other users passwords, its just a matter of time. Make sure you use long passwords with multiple characters. Then install this: Login lockdown plugin.

Remove the WordPress version string in your theme
This prevents hackers seeing which version of WordPress you are running. This makes it harder for them to determine where they should start attacking your site. This and other smaller but very useful tweaks can be done easily by installing the WP-Security-Scan plugin.

Server Security – Intelligent blocking
This is harder to achieve if you don’t actually own or manage the server. Modsecurity is a great plugin for the apache web server and there are specific rules that can be added to your apache config to protect it even further. ModSecurity is a module for open source web servers, like apache, that acts like a detector & firewall. It works by providing protection from a wide range of typical attacks against web applications on a web server (like WordPress). For RSAWEB Hosting customers, speak to us for help around this.

For top-class WordPress Web Hosting go and check out RSAWEB. Anything from a small WordPress site to  super-large WordPress sites are catered for.

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Amazon Kindle Unboxing

November 06, 2009

Today, to my amazement a shiny new Amazon Kindle arrived on my desk. While not totally unexpected as I had ordered it online last week, I was expecting customs to give me a call first. Resisting the urge to tear open the packaging, I took a few photo’s of the beautifully packaged e-book reader for your enjoyment. Below are the first photo’s of Amazons little wonder taken at my desk.

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Broadband Price Cuts!

October 26, 2009

Breaking News: RSAWEB ADSL users are receiving big price cuts.

Recent developments in the South African broadband landscape have empowered us to pass on significant broadband savings to our customers. It’s about time.

With immediate effect, we are pleased to announce price cuts on our Super, Premium and Ultra DSL products. Selected packages have been discounted by as much as 60%, which will bring much needed relief to broadband consumers.

Go check out our new broadband pricing structure today.

Existing DSL customers will be billed according to our new pricing starting from next month’s (November) billing cycle.

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WordPress plugins can add awesome functionality to your blog without writing a single line of ‘code’. In this tutorial, we discuss which plugins we find useful and which ones we think can add value to your website.

To find and install any of these plugins, login to your wordpress admin panel and go to ‘Plugins’ and ‘Add New’, type in the plugin name below and click ‘Install’ – you may need to configure the plugin thereafter, most of the time this is done in the admin panel.

Gravatars are a great way to bring interactivity to the comments section of your posts. The Gravatars plugin gives your comments personalisation. The Gravatar service is one that users upload a photo once and it will be retrieved if they comment on your site or other sites and the photo will be displayed. Many of your visitors may already have a Gravatar. It’s a simple easy way to identify users and a great way for you to have a profile picture that interacts with your users when you comment.

Google XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps assist search engines by making content easier to find, by generating an XML sitemap that all major search engines can view. Sitemaps give your site additional visibility that other competing websites probably won’t have. Every time you create a new post or page, the sitemap is generated and Google is notified of your new page. This is definitely a must have.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the de facto standard now for evaluating your website’s traffic. This essential tool shows you all sorts of data. Learning to interpret it can take your website from good to great. Installing this plugin means you don’t have to go and fiddle the code manually to add Google Analytics tracking code into your theme.

Google Analytics Dashboard

This nifty dashboard plugin shows you your visitor statistics on your WordPress admin dashboard. This gives you a quick overview to how many visitors you are receiving and other interesting stats without having to login to Google Analytics.

WordPress Caching with Hypercache
Caching can give your users a much faster webpage load time. It allows the server that your WordPress site is installed on to do less work. We have typically seen on busy WordPress sites of drops of up to 80% CPU utilisation on busy servers because caching was not installed, this can make a massive difference to your end users as the page will load significantly faster and their experience will be significantly improved.

Don’t use WP-Cache, but rather WP-Super-Cache or Hyper cache, both are excellent. Hyper cache is easier to install and disrupts existing WordPress sites less.

Akismet Antispam
This antispam plugin works wonders for spammers trying to post rubbish in your comments section. You will need to get a WordPress API key – very simple, its free and all you need to do is  insert it into the settings of the Akismet plugin in WordPress. Don’t worry, you can do all this via the WordPress Admin panel.

WordPress Database Backup
A simple plugin that backs up your valuable website. Once installed, you can backup your websites database and download it via FTP from an RSAWEB Web Hosting or get it emailed to an address (not always guaranteed to work due to the large potential size) actually a backup happens whenever you do anything major. It’s always better to be safe.

All in One SEO Pack
This enables your website to have proper ‘Title’ tags – this makes Google like your site more, its more descriptive (see the blue bar at the top of the window? That’s the ‘title bar’) and its essential to have good Search Engine Optimisation.

Subscribe to comments
Also a definite for websites/blogs that want to allow comments on articles. This allows a user to leave a comment and get notified of a reply. Eliminating the need for them to return to check the page to see if someone has replied. A definite must.

We regularly use these plugins and there are many different variants of some of these plugins. They will greatly improve your ability to manage your WordPress site and make it more appealing to the end user. All the plugins above can be installed directly from the WordPress Admin interface by going to ‘Plugins’ and ‘Add New’ and then searching for the name as they appear above.

How is your wordpress experience going? Post a comment about it and tell us which plugins you like. What other plugins do you want to see mentioned in this list?

For WordPress Web Hosting check us out.

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World Class WordPress Themes

October 15, 2009


Themes allow you to easily extend your WordPress based website or blog and make it look good. The advantages of using a pre-built theme are endless, some of which being time and cost. Choose a theme, upload it, tweak it a bit and you’re ready to roll.

Theme providers like Woothemes and OboxDesign allow you download pre-built themes at a superlow cost and they even allow you to reuse them. Doing design for a traditional website can cost you thousands, but using a pre-built theme will either cost you nothing or for the more sexier themes anything from $30-$100. The three themes below are examples of wordpress templates.

Key points to consider before choosing a theme:

  1. Layout – people are using fairly standard layouts to navigating the web, look at the templates, they work. Dont go for anything outlandish, your users wont wont be able to navigate your site
  2. Flash – websites built exclusively in flash are a disaster. Google and Bing will never find you. What’s the point of building a site if nobody can find it? That’s like having a postal address without a post code.
  3. Clutter – don’t load every wordpress widget you can find, make sure the menu structure works nicely, only use ones that are essential.

Installing your custom template:

    1. Get your theme (pay or not) and download it to your computer. It usually comes as a zip file (that’s fine)
    2. Login to your WordPress Admin
    3. Go to “Appearance” and “Add new themes” (red marker 1)


    1. Click the ‘Upload’ button (marker 2)
    2. Click ‘Browse’ and find your theme file (where you downloaded it to)
    3. Click ‘Install Now’
    4. If you are asked, please enter the FTP connection info and the hostname is your websites name eg. www.blognow.co.za (your FTP account details that came with your hosting account – For RSAWEB Customers –> you can get them from the webhosting section in the MyRSAWEB Control Panel)


    1. It may take 2-3 minutes to complete. Then click ‘Activate’


    1. Your theme is now installed! Check it out by going to your website. The www.Blognow.co.za demo looks like this:


  1. Go and test out the new theme, add some content!

Look out for the next in the series of the “RSAWEB WordPress Tutorial Series 101” – you can follow us on Twitter or signup to receive emails when a new release is announced

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Creating your first website or blog using WordPress can be quite a daunting task. Most people have in the past chosen to fully outsource their website and most probably still need to. Websites have evolved and many more people are launching their own personal and business blogs. WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging tools that can now easily be installed on your web hosting using the WordPress auto-installer we have developed in our MyRSAWeb control panel.

WordPress while primarily designed as blogging software can be used to build far more than a standard blog. We often see our clients hosting incredibly elaborate websites that have been built on WordPress. The Content Management System at the core of the software allows you to easily update website content and embed rich media like videos and photo’s easily via a web interface.

You can install wordpress manually or  you can signup for a business web hosting package with RSAWEB and install WordPress automatically from the MyRSAWEB control panel. This makes creating your site ultra simple without having to FTP or manually edit settings in random files. For the inexperienced user, we recommend this option to get you started.

How to install WordPress with RSAWEB:

    1. Order a Linux Business Hosting package
    2. Wait for the confirmation email from RSAWEB
    3. Login to the www.myrsaweb.co.za control panel
    4. Go to “Webhosting Services” and click on your new website
    5. Click ‘WordPress’, fill in the details and click ‘Install’
    6. Your site should be up and running! Go and check it out http://www.yoursitename.co.za – dont worry it probably wont look like much until you  enter in some content.


    1. Now go to http://www.yoursitename.co.za/wp-admin/ and login. You will see the control panel (like below)


  1. Create some new ‘Posts’ and ‘Pages’ and see what it looks like on your site.
  2. Thats it! You now have a wordpress website up and running!

You will probably not be happy with the look of the site as its the basic WordPress default template. WordPress can be themed and skinned to your hearts content to get your website to look the way you want it. The next article in this series will tackle the design aspects of WordPress and help you make your website look amazing without the need for advanced design skills!

Manual WordPress Install
Installing WordPress manually can be a challenge and should only be attempted by those with a understanding of basic web development. If you want to do attempt the manual install yourself  this article will help.

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WordPress is an easy to use website management system and also happens to be one of the most popular blogging platforms available out there.

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing WordPress, how to set up your own blog, as well as posting our thoughts and advice on how to get the most out of WordPress on a budget. Whether creating a large, high volume WordPress site or your average smaller site, the following tutorials will definitely assist you.

Topics include:

  1. Setup – How to setup your first website/blog using WordPress
  2. Design – Easy ways to make your WordPress site look world class with themes
  3. Plugins – Pimp your wordpress website with plugins
  4. WordPress Security – securing your site
  5. Make a success out of your website

This series should put you on the right path to building a successful website and possibly even a sustainable business. WordPress isn’t for everyone, and although RSAWEB uses an alternative, Joomla for our main site due to the finer control it provides, our blog is a WordPress designed site.

That said WordPress is an awesome tool and always worth using.

Please let us know if you would like to see any further topics and subscribe to our twitter feed at http://twitter.com/RSAWEB to receive updates about any new posts. Click on the ‘Get Updates’ and ‘Get Tweets’ icons on the right to follow this series. RSAWEB offers WordPress Hosting with any Linux Business or larger package as an “Easy Install” option.

Website tutorial
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It’s easy to take for granted how far mobile phone technology has come in such a short space of time. Once a simple communication device, the mobile handset has evolved into a serious business/communications tool that most would feel completely lost without.

RSAWEB TV chats to gadget guru Noel Ross-Gillespie about the progression of mobile technology – the past, present and future.

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The whole world is talking about home-grown movie phenomenon District 9. I’m sure you’re just as eager to go see it as we are. Just so happens we’re giving away 15 tickets for opening night next week Friday at Cavendish Classic, Cape Town!

All you have to do to stand a chance of winning one of these tickets is become a fan on our RSAWEB Facebook Fan Page. (to become a fan, all you need to do is login to Facebook, go the RSAWEB Fan Page, and click on the button at the top of the page that says ‘become a fan’)

The winners will be announced next week.

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White Wall Web
has just launched an exciting new home-grown Twitter application called Twitsumé, which allows Twitter users to capture and share their résumés with the world and immediate Twitter networks.

RSAWEB TV caught up with Peter Flynn, MD of White Wall Web to chat about this new innovation:

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