Ask Wordfence Episode 3: Should You Hide Your WordPress Login Page?
In today’s episode of Ask Wordfence, I answer a common question we receive from customers: Should I hide my WordPress login page?
You’ll discover why this is a bad idea and see other techniques that you can use to better secure your WordPress login system. You’ll also learn what the most dangerous threats targeting WordPress sites are and how to protect against them.
You can view the full episode below or on YouTube. I also recommend that you subscribe to our YouTube channel to get updated when we release new episodes.
Would be nice if you included the text, some of us don't actually like watching videos for information as crazy as that sounds. The text of the video would be nice.
I've gotten quite a few comments about this, so I'm going to reply here because I'd like your input on this video series we're running and if it is worthwhile continuing.
It takes significantly more work to produce a video like this. It is also comes with unique workflow challenges for my team. e.g. The editing process is a pain because I have to render and then upload before my colleagues Andie and Dan can edit/advise/suggest changes. Which may involve more editing and another render and upload.
So basically it's a lot of work and a bit of a pain.
We did a transcript for the first video and it was a lot of work. So we decided to not add to what is already a significant workload by leaving the transcripts out.
I haven't received much positive feedback regarding the videos.
I have received a LOT of comments from people who prefer to read instead of watching a video.
So I'm considering scrapping the series unless I hear otherwise because my customers are telling me they want to read. It would free up time we can spend producing more text content and developing our product.
Let me know if anyone else has additional feedback I should take into account before I make a decision about this.
Maybe run a test and see what the results are - do a blog version and a video version of the next episode. Have a link for each in the email you send out and track where everyone goes.
Complaints in the comments section don't necessarily represent your entire audience. Find out for sure and react accordingly.
We do AB test much on the site. But the long term ROI is very hard to measure when it comes to video vs text or even the impact of one text post vs another. There is offline or other non-trackable activity we can't factor in.
Now if you would only post my comment about the video content itself, my life would complete! Lol
I personally love the video format. I would rather listen to a video or podcast than read a post for content like this.
Having said that, I run a YouTube channel myself and understand the time commitment involved in posting videos. Y'all are putting a lot of effort into production and it looks great. However, I would rather see lower production value and more videos.
When content is good, and your's is, the production value can be lower. Forget the greenscreen and TV thing next to you. Just shoot the video with a nice background in a bright room and get good audio.
In the end, if it takes more effort then you have time for, stop doing it.
I love this feedback.
Anyone else think we should get rid of the fancy green screen, bright lights, lav mic, audio sync and color correction? Does this mean I can stop wearing stage makeup?!?!
I really like the idea of going minimalist and focusing on great content, even if there are a few extra 'umms' that I don't edit out.
Anyone else want this?
Really like this new approach as long text posts put me off.
As much as a video is nice, I would say that an audio only would work best for you and for us. Less work for yourselves and it's easier to listen to the information whilst doing other things.
Short podcasts work very well, Paul Jarvis is a good example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sunday-dispatches/id1037145052?mt=2
Keep on with the great work! :)
I agree with having the text only, I really don't have time to watch videos. I'm a fast reader and prefer to scan quickly for the key points.
I also would prefer text only. I have been a regular reader of your blog and really like the way important information is shared on this site.
Plus text only makes it really easy to open any referenced link and see additional info quickly.
Thanks and Best Regards
I agree with Eric. As I watched, I was thinking "he should lose the green screen and fancy stuff and just record right from his webcam". You have great content and that is where the value is. You would still look great sitting at your desk, and totally appropriate for the content.
I think the video format is good. The powerpoint slides on the side are helpful for those who are more text driven. I find that while reading it as text, my attention would wane towards the end. With the video it kept me engaged longer. That said, a shorter video might be better, maybe a 3 to 4 minutes tops.
As far as streamlining the collaboration from your team, would it be possible to upload a rehearsal video from your phone and get their feedback before you do the final recording? or even get direct feedback on a rehearsal while on skype or hangouts?
I just subscribed and look forward to more.
Thanks Mayda. All good input. Much appreciated.
We've received a lot of other comments. Just want everyone to know that, while I may not have thanked you personally, all comments have been very much appreciated.
yes, I second what Eric said. You only need to maintain the sound quality and the quality and relevance of the content, you already have those so the production frills aren't really needed as much as when someone is merely advertising their product and trying to make it look as if they have something worthwhile to say when really they don't.
You also might consider audio.
I'd have to look at the video again, but I don't recall any graphics that added information. You'd save a lot of production time by going to audio.
You'll probably get similar response, as who knows, you might even get more.
(But I sill like the idea of live Q&A on video)
I agree. Scrap the videos. Save your time and ours.
We would much rather that you return to your excellent, concise well thought out posts with some relevant hyperlinks.
I recently came across a suggestion to manage the transcription of videos:
a. Use Dragon Speaking to transcribe the text
b. Hire someone via Fivr (I wouldn't recommend Fivr personally) to transcribe the text
Either way, keep doing what you're doing.
You could also let Youtube transcribe it.
I agree with Rob - I'd rather read.
In text form I can scan and extract what I need. I'm not looking for entertainment and don't want preamble. Your title asks 'Should You Hide Your Wordpress Login Page?'. I want to know yes/no and a couple of reasons.
I always prefer to read when searching for a piece of information. I can scan faster.
I prefer videos when learning how to do something that requires vision - eg learning how to pluck a bass guitar string, or audio - learning how to rasp your voice when singing blues.
Mark, you probably have an atypical audience. Dare I mention the word 'geek'? I'm on the spectrum and I'll bet a fair proportion of your other readers are too. We're interested in logic and utility, and a video is inefficient in this case. In fact, I haven't bothered to watch this video even though I'd have scanned the blog post. The intro said 'You’ll discover why this is a bad idea'. That's all I need to know.
But in the end it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis:
- Will your videos gain you enough new clients to justify the production time, energy and costs.
- Will your videos be ignored by potential new clients who would have read your blog? (I'm in this camp. I will always choose a good blog post over a video.)
My 2 cents... I prefer the text version 90% of the time, for one simple reason. Time is precious to me and I can read about 4 times faster than someone can talk. Its only when its a topic that requires video or graphic images for providing some precise info (ie hard to describe in text), that I will go to the video version.
I'm totally a fan of reading rather than videos. I was actually looking for an option to read the article (when I first got the email) and reluctantly clicked through to the video simply because that is the only option that I had.
Hi Mark, I will add my voice to those who prefer to read rather than watch. No matter how concise content is in a video, by definition, there is a lot of stuff that is repeat, previously established knowledge, etc. I am a very fast reader, and far prefer being able to scan until getting to the meat of the issue, or new information. I do health related podcasts, and depending on my market and subject, my best responses are for more general topics of interest, podcasts give better results. For more technical or pointed information Aimé de at the professional audience, written is by far preferred. Hope this helps :)
Hate videos. For a variety of reasons, but they are a PAIN if the information touches on web sites and links - which you have to then write down -
you have to find a place/way to listen without disturbing everyone,
they don't always stream smoothly, or at all,
playing videos EATS UP battery life
frequently require you to backup and watch again, because not everyone on a video is necessarily easy to understand.
Text with images/illustrations is just easier to follow, and if written well, almost as fast.
Good. It is easier and faster to read through and skip to relevant parts of text. The video is not required and if it is stopping you from posting more good articles then why even have these videos? Searching text content is also easier on your website than trying to find the right video. Congratulations however on your wonderful Wordfence product and service.
I pretty much never watch a video or listen to an audio. I simply don't have the time to sit for that length of time to access information that I could access in a fraction of the time if provided in writing - I can read A LOT faster than anyone can speak (and still be understood).
So, I would much prefer if you save yourself the effort of producing video and provide the info in writing instead. Please.
I do read everything you write with great appreciation.
Please count me as another vote for transcripts..
Count me as another vote for text instead of video. Most of the time, if I see a video, I don't even click on it. It takes too long to watch when I can skim text in a few minutes. I only have so much time in a day! :)
Why not do a podcast with a text transcript. Videos are really a wast of time. I can read what I need and usually faster than the video takes to get to it
I'm always really short of time, so I would be very glad to have text. I can skim read to see if I should read more carefully MUCH faster than starting to watch a video. I am only one voice, but to be brutally honest I am probably not going to even start to watch any videos except on very rare occasions when the title makes it clear that the content is very specific to my situation. If both etxt and video were available, I think I would still use the text.
I really like the videos! They're conversational and present otherwise-complex information in a format that makes it easy for laypeople and WF fans to digest.
I think a reason some say they like to read is because we've become accustomed to captions when browsing social media at work (guilty). That way, we can mute our audio but still be able to "interact" and grasp what you're saying, making it seem like we're reading. Therefore, I agree that you probably don't need a transcript, or fancy backgrounds–just easy, peasy chats and captions (computer-generated captions that you only have to review rather than write from scratch work, too).
Your blog posts are awesome and also make some concepts easier to grasp. But I appreciate being able to take in various media, and at times even having eye contact with the author–almost like I'm in a class, which is why I enjoyed this short video.
Keep up the great work w/your posts, videos, and of course, Wordfence.
I prefer reading. Since I live in a rural area, trying to download a video is basically impossible. I was very interested in this info but I can't watch the video so I can't get the info.
While the video is nice to watch, I now have to rewind, and rewatch to catch everything while taking notes. This takes up 10 minutes of my time rather than being able to just make a printout of the information so I can apply it quickly. I appreciate the effort it takes to make a video, I would really suggest a video AND a written blog post. Reach everyone this way.!
rev.com , they'll transcribe the video for you quickly and accurately at a good price...I use them all the time :)
Subtitles might be an option for those who want to read... Click on the Cog when hovering on the video and select Subtitles CC (I have an option of Auto Generated)
My vote is to keep the videos (under 3 minutes would be great)
and a transcript in Bullet list
Thanks. I think the automatically generated subtitle quality isn't that great. I may have suggested them in the past but I don't anymore because it's quite bad.
For me (who also prefers to read, it is much faster than having to listen to a video - when in doubt, I rather just give up on that information altogether), subtitles would not be a good alternative. I would still be forced to take the time and watch the subtibles in the same time it takes to watch the video - that would make no sense to me. It is not only about liking to read, it is that I read much quicker than I can watch a video.
Exactly my point too!
I do not like videos, (and @Les, I am a younger person ;) )
It takes too much time. And it feel it interrups me from my work flow; I have to pause my music, I actually have to watch the whole video to get the info I need etc. When there is text I can skim over the important parts (while still listening to my music) and get a very good idea of what it is about and I can read certain parts more thorough if I need to.
100% in agreement! I avoid all websites that use video like the plague. Videos should be reserved for the extremely very few cases where visualization of something moving is required.
Something very important and you want to refer to it? Forget video, life is way too short.
I didn't watch this video, and skipped straight to comments. Hopefully whatever it covered isn't very important.
We are on a metered connection, NOT unlimited so I do not watch any videos (youtube, etc).
We do not listen to streaming music, watch movies, don't even look at massive uncompressed images on WP sites.
text is king for us.
If you do decide to go full youtube channel I am afraid I will not be tuning in :(
I was hoping to find some useful information on this blog post but only found links to bandwidth hog videos which I cannot view.
I will continue to drop in, hoping that I can gain some insight.
It is pretty easy to get the transcript from YouTube (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9611397/how-to-extract-closed-caption-transcript-from-youtube-video), and although it is not completely accurate always, it does a very good job.
On this I am not sure I agree. I was getting so many attempts to my sites that it was causing instability. When I hid the login it dramatically reduced the problem.
I do use WF premium on all sites and am glad I do.
Wut? I got thousands and thousands of hits to wp admin before in created an obfuscated login page. Now? Zero.
Any chance of running transcripts on these posts?
Thanks for the advice about the login URL thing.
I've been using a plugin to help me hide the login address patting myself on the back thinking I was being so smart. Hiding the login is a teeny-tiny bandaid making people BELIEVE they have protection when they may not.
As you say, using Wordfence with it's tough to beat firewall, using a difficult to guess admin name, and creating an unhackable password is the best place to start.
I think I already commented on this issue: why cannot you provide a transcript? There are us who'd rather read than watch the epizode, is it that difficult to type down few pages of text?
I really prefer to read this sort of thing as text and images. I hate videos. Sigh. Am I the only one?
If I've used a security plugin to 'hide' the login page, is there any way to put it back the way it was?
You should contact the vendor who makes the plugin you used to change it.
Please don't scrap the series, it's useful information and we're a grateful audience. However, writing takes far less time than recording for youtube, and the post Andie/Dan re-write will be even easier than edit/re-render/re-upload. :-)
LOL. Thanks. We have a really great workflow for blog posts. But then we have generated hundreds (thousands?) of them over the past 5+ years.
Per Mark Maunder's feedback request - I'd much rather have a text blog of stuff like this, not a video.
Wow! The comments prior to mine are really interesting as I not only prefer video but stats show the rest of the world does too (74% of all online content will be video by 2019, etc). This is going to be a bumpy next 5 years or so for those who only like to read text
Thanks Dan. That's helpful. So far we have 2 fans. Perhaps the cyber security demographic prefers text. Any more?
It may be true that the cyber security demographic prefers it, but is that your demographic? I know that sounds like a dumb question. But really? Is the majority of your plugin users people who geek out on CS or are they the average designer or business owner who wants to learn more?
So you've got 15 people here who are complaining about having to listen to the article and how it's too slow. First off, you can listen to it at 2x speed by tapping "shift + ." during playback. Second, you have 446 people on YouTube who have hit the red subscribe button because they want more content in video form.
I've spent the better part of the last two years digging into YouTube and how to successfully build a brand there. Y'all have a HUGE opportunity to bring in new clients.
Below is a list of keywords, that pertain to this video, that people are typing into the YouTube search bar right now. I didn't spend a lot of time coming up with the list but I check and every one has a decent amount of traffic. People want this content via video. By the way, use these as tags in YouTube for this video. it will really boost your search ranking.
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Thanks for the input Eric.
Correlation does not imply causation. Just because 74% of all online content will be video (source? measurement method?) does not imply that's what 74% of people prefer. It could just mean that people are hopping on the video bandwagon because of sourceless statistics that are thrown about rather casually.
FWIW, I don't mind a podcast, but I really prefer reading something. Most videos are simply someone talking. Unless I explicitly need to be shown something, a video is not always the optimal way to present information.
I must admit I have the same bias. I prefer reading because I can move at my own pace and skip around. Video has always been horribly linear for me. (And I'm a voracious podcast consumer - Risky Business by Pat Gray being my favorite)
Having said that, I actually started watching youtube a lot in the past few years, but for something very specific. When I need to do something complex like clean a carburetor, align a satellite dish, set up a weight balancing hitch, fix my mountain bike gears (all real examples), I've used youtube and it's been wonderful.
So perhaps what's happening here (again, thinking out loud) is that I'm taking a blog post and talking it at you. Instead perhaps video is best for content where it's more show, than tell? In other words, if I actually have a reason to use video because I need to show you something like a screen cast, then we should be using video. Otherwise text may make more sense.
Replying to myself just to add this comment: I'm actually looking for an excuse to use the live streaming feature that youtube has. You guys tweet questions in real-time and I'll live stream the answers. Could be clumsy or it might work amazingly well, but either way, that would definitely be fun!!
Live would be awesome! Do it! :)
Sounds like fun.
That said, in general I would much rather read than watch (even being one of the younger people).
Livecast Q&A would be something I'd be interested in.
I think your audience would skew more to professionals than it might for videos that folks can access 24/7
Sad that younger people's reading skills are so poor. I don't hire anyone like that in my infosec practice.
First of all I would like to thank you (and your team) for Wordfence. I use it in all my installations but I believe you must give Wordfence users the option to hide the WordPress login page.
Thanks Nikolas. Will take your feedback into account.
I Agree with Nikolas. I too believe you must give Wordfence users the option to hide the WordPress login page. You can always disable it by default and put a 'use with caution' behind it. Personally after hiding the login page I saw it effectively reducing the number of attacks and thus less serverload on several sites. It worked the same way like a form that was exploited once before (because it had no captcha) ended up being attacked by numerous other IP's that somehow knew there was a possible entrance.
Yes - I support very strongly to present this kind of information as text with images/graphs. I guess most people interested in running a secure website prefer text: You read faster, take in the information more reliable.
Thank you for your effort!
Have never had any issues with hiding my login page to be honest. Would rather leave this hidden for now unless I reach any specific problems.
We had our entire website content stolen with a previous business we were running because I was not using secure FTP.
I have since learned my lesson, and now ONLY use secure FTP, and run my sites only https (despite it being slower).
Filezilla is a very convenient way for most folks to access their website files, but unscrupulous scoundrels can easily intercept unsecured FTP sessions with something called 'sniffers.'
Luckily the website in question had the protection of a trademarked business name, so I was able to get the fake website (with all our material) taken down.
Can you believe it; the guy responsible (an SEO professional) even offered to sell the website back to me!
A episode warning of unsecured FTP sessions would be good Mark.
On the video thing; I also prefer to read, but then I'm the wrong side of 60.
I can read a transcript much faster than watching a video - and skip over stuff that to me is not important.
Your videos are good because they are fairly short and to the point.
And younger people do prefer to watch videos.
So who is lazier; young people or old farts?
Don't know, but both the printed page and video are definitely here to stay.
Technical information is best presented in written form.
Video is certainly best for any entertainment component.
The decision of whether to use printed page or video for your material, will often come down to simply which ranks the best in Google.
I strongly prefer text too - I prefer to read rather than watch video anyway, plus I work in a fairly open office so noisy tabs get muted and closed! If the headline interests me but only a video's available, I'll Google and read about it elsewhere, which I'm sure isn't what you want to achieve. ;)
I'm also one of those who likes to have a text-based version. I often read tech articles when I'm traveling with public transportation which is mostly underground. While I have data access on most stations, in between I have nothing. A text version would still work; a video not so much.
No matter the format, thanks for publishing security-related content related to WordPress.
I much prefer reading to watching a video. I tend to get sidetracked with the videos and end up missing to good stuff. Reading is much faster and for me definitely preferred.
I'm giving another 'thumbs down' to video posts, particularly on technical subjects such as yours. I clicked the link in your email to read, and I'm afraid this piece of valuable information almost passed me by. I just couldn't be bothered to watch - I would rather have read, had there been writing to read. Still, I was drawn to the comments so I did watch after reading about the trouble you took over making it - it would have been unkind not to.
On the subject of login credentials, I don't think you mentioned deleting the first created user? I usually create several fictional users making one of them the admin before deleting the original one. This gets rid of ID#1 and leaves the hacker targeting IDs with no clue to the real admin. Am I over the top?
Back to reading -
With the written word one can skim, pause and mull over. Then take notes, go back to points not quite grasped and so on, and on. You can even follow a thought, expand, apply and return to the text at will.
Save yourself and your team the pain of making videos, at least as a regular thing. The world and his brother tells us that everyone wants videos. I know there's a case for providing video for those who have difficulty reading but...
Now I must go off and try to make a video for my own site - groan.
That's partly for Google whose bosses think that everyone is 9 years old.
LOL. Thanks Christina. Good luck with that video. :-)
I love your plugin but I have to say I think this is bad advice. It would be better to say that it is less useful than a firewall, but to say that it is a "bad idea" in the video intro I think is misleading. It's definitely true that the majority of attacks come from plugin vulnerabilities, but brute force is still a very common attack. Changing the administrator login url is quick, easy and effective at blocking these attacks. Both of these things can be true.
As for whether or not you should include videos, I think if all the posts are like this the answer is no, because you are just looking into the camera and talking. Being able to see your face is adding nothing of value. If you had some kind of motion graphics or screen captured examples, or were showing graphical data on the screen then the video would actually have some use. But when you are just looking at the camera and talking I might as well be reading a blog post.
Also the CGI background with the green screen is a bit hokey. Just sit in front of your computer and film with your computer in the background. More genuine.
Keep up the good work guys.
In the event that you do hear otherwise... Scrap it. I'm one of those people who log out and it's a pain to log in when my cell is already in my hand and I just have to read the blog.
I don't need to waste Earth's resources by watching the blog on a wide screen tv or my computer. I actually groaned when I saw the YouTube option.
I won't watch a video - my preference is a written blog. I can read faster than speech so I just get impatient with video format for information posts.
Hi Mark. I for one really enjoy your videos. I'm one of those types that learns much faster when I watch someone talk about it than reading some dry text. I'd much prefer a video to a blog post but having links to topics referenced in the video can be helpful when I need more info.
Just wanted you to know how much your work on the videos is appreciated.
WordFence is a terrific product. Keep up the great work.
Re the text/video argument - while I prefer text (being on a limited bandwidth mobile broadband account, and time poor) there are lots who like to consume video. Sorry but you need both these days and provide alternatives for your audience :) Perhaps instead of a transcript, you could do a text bullet-point outline of the main ideas.
I watched this video because I was interested in your reasoning why I should NOT use the hide login type plugin. You didn't convince me on that as one look at my log files will show hundreds (if not thousands) of people attempting to login to the default page, when they have absolutely NO REASON to be there in the first place, other than to try to get into WP.
Now they simply get 404'd and I'm extremely happy with that as they will move on and annoy someone else!
The rest of your video is essentially an upsell to WF Premium... so the question you probably need to answer to determine whether they are useful or otherwise, is who are you targeting with these videos (as Eric asked above)?
Cheers and thanks for a great product! It has certainly made using WP a lot safer!
I agree that text is MUCH more preferable to a video. I hate watching videos for news or anything I find very interesting. I really wanted to read this and will not watch the video.
I would not even continue reading the blog if it turned to all video presentations.
You all are the best at what you do. Your blog was already perfect.
I prefer to read stuff like this - thank you for a great plugin which I use on all my sites.
Hi Mark. I use your plugin, and am thoroughly impressed with your content marketing strategy. Your emails and blogs are timely and easy to consume. Today I watched a video for the first time, and while it was well done, I’d be just as happy to see you create your video content less formally. It’s the information that sells me on your expertise and value, not the production itself. Go check out Miles Beckler on YouTube as well. He’s got some savvy advice on making video much easier. Well done!!!
Actually, I like both! This video was very good and right to the point, as is also the case with your text reports.
Thanks, Mark and team, for putting the time in to produce this episode on video. It has made me aware that provided we have a good security system (such as Wordfence) we don't need to worry about hiding the login. I've had many brute force attacks on a couple of my sites, but always make sure that I have had unique user names, strong passwords, etc. I love the 2 factor authentication with WF Premium.
Regarding video vs written content, here's my feedback. I prefer written content over video. I can digest the key points quicker by reading - with video there is often a lot of filler (especially when the key points are laid out in a slide, as you have done). With this video, I ended up scanning through for when the slides changes, had a look and quick read through the next slide, then scanned/fast forwarded to the next. So all the effort that goes into producing and editing the video (and I know how much there is, because I also produce videos AND written transcripts) seems wasted. One way around it could be for you/your team, to write the script first, and then use the script to read from for the video (auto prompter style).
It is very rare I will watch a video as I don't have time to spend 5 minutes watching a video, when it takes me about a minute to scan text and pick up what I need to know. I guess, though, it depends on the learning level the viewer/reader is at, and how much they need to be sold/convinced on the message in the content.
Also, it is important to note that we all have different systems and learning styles (such as visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, etc), and so producing the content in different formats allows people to choose what works best for them, rather than having one format forced on them that isn't suited to them. As a content producer, then, it comes down to you choosing/analysing what format is preferred by the majority of your audience and delivering predominantly in that format, OR producing it in audio/video and written.
As for 'predictions' on what we'll prefer in the future, I cite the ebook vs print book scenario - I'm a non-fiction book publisher, and we were told years ago that everyone would prefer ebooks and the print book was dying, yet currently the ebook is struggling as people (even the younger, tech-savvy generations) still prefer print books in the non-fiction genre. It's impossible trying to learn anything from a technical book downloaded to your Kindle, wouldn't you agree? Same with video, in my opinion.
As Wordfence has, until recent times (as far as I'm aware of), produced most of the content in written format, I would suspect that you have 'trained' the majority of your audience into expecting and preferring written format with video/audio supporting it when you choose to add that feature in. If you want to deliver your information solely in video, it may take some time to retrain us older generations (including Gen-Xers like me) - assuming we are willing to be retrained, when there is so much else overwhelming us in the fast changing technology world.
Thanks for your feedback Deb!
It seems most of the comments are regarding the video presentation as opposed to the subject "Should You Hide Your WordPress Login Page" .. so I'll go with the flow (though I do have an alternate opinion about the blog subject)
I think if you're going to include Youtube advertising and potentially monetize, you could benefit in that way for so much of your great work, and in that respect may want to continue with the videos - IF you find it is worth your while -
However my personal preference is to simply read it. (and you could still incorporate advertising if you decided to.)
Just my .02
+1 for preferring to read. I can read it anywhere. I can't watch the video anywhere. :)
First, thanks for your wonderful product, Mark and all the work you and your group do.
As to the Video vs text, I am much like Les and others in that I prefer straight information (just a talking head for example), in a blog or post. What I do like and use YouTube for is where seeing a screenshots, or an object that is being repaired or installed is needed to get the job done or learn the process.
Hi Mark and team,
I really think that your videos are great. We have the whole day to read and move around, but when it comes to watch something really important, a video is essential. The benefit is that you could use the screen to make people to visualize the content. And an important factor here: you put your face to the product, honesty that not everyone has. We all are very grateful for the time and effort you invest to produce these visuals. Well done!!
Thanks for wonderful sharing and knowledge. For video style, perhaps you need to consider sitting down in more relaxed condition rather thanstanding and seems not relaxed. That will affect the psychology of your viewer. All the best and keep the good work.
Hey Mark, I'm a reader and scanner. Hope I haven't missed this point if it's already been made: Recently there was a massive attack directed at wp-login which forced my shared host to lock down access 2 all WP sites. After 2 days and panicked users (it's a scheduling app site) only one thing worked: Changing the name of wp-login!
I take your points but thet's what got us up.
Anyway I'm a big fan of wordfence and so appreciate the model. I can't yet afford the upgrade do you take donations?
cheers and thanks
Lots of bad hosts out there. They should have blocked IPs making multiple requests to wp-login. Not moved wp-login for everyone.
Hi Mark and crew in yesterday, from Australia (12 hrs ahead of you). Thanks for your continued support. Really great. If the topic is an ad for Wordfence, you're mostly talking to the converted here I would think. Videos are great for visual topics but todays (well, yesterday's for you still in Wednesday) seemed a little overkill other than a quick comment about going pro. Showing a coding sequence and alike may be good visually and worth the time. If it could just as simply be said in a few words of text, type it. Does each days report need to be the same format! (?)
We have a few sites we tend, some are visitor-login based, others just for the owner. We used to get multitudes of people trying to log in especially to admin, owner, administrator and alike but this disappeared when we changed the login. Can such a circumstance justify changing the login address. We are converted and do run Wordfence, of course. Thanks.
My web sites, Wordpress and none are under constant WP login guess attacks. I use Wordfence on all Wordpress sites. I also have a server wide apache basic auth restriction on any WP login URLs. This is sort of like two factor, but the major point is the resource hogging PHP is never invoked on login guesses saving a staggering amount of processor on my virtual servers.
Another vote here for reading over video. Interesting to see so many other people feel the same way - it is such a marketing truism that most people LOVE videos that I thought for sure I was the only exception.
That said, there are times when a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words. Don't know how often that situation would come up for Wordfence topics, but if it did, I would welcome the most suitable medium for the job.
Personal pref is reading.
Video is the future as per Google, so you should do both!
Just make sure you write the article first, then use it as a script.
Not recording a video, then writing the article.
Since some schools are already starting to dumb down our kids by not even teaching them hand writing, it's only a matter of time before the art of reading will be lost, too! People won't know what to do with all those instruction manuals filling up cupboards in every house.
Keep reading alive!!!
Just ask a kid to use a street directory to get somewhere...I'll give you 5 seconds before the whinging starts.
As per the content of this episode, I use a plugin to hide my login url, and I like it. Like you say in the vid, it only makes it a "little bit harder". Well, that "little bit" is enough for them to move on IMO.
WF is a super service though.
I'm using both, just to test.
Many security pros will probably agree that hiding the login page is more or less useless and can become a major problem. However, they rarely describe HOW to protect the login page.
We use a cookie that is set if you visit a virtual page (it's a .htaccess rule). This page will forward you to the standard login page. If yo don't visit the virtual page you will see a 403 server error. After the first visit the cookie is set as long as the browser is open.
This method does not mix up the WP structure and ist for most of our installations not confusing for the users. On the other hand, it decreases effectively brute-force attacks. While these attacks might not be very successful, they produce server stress.
It's a whole other ball game to just hide the login in a, say, subfolder. This will not prevent brute force attacks reaching the server and might cause severe problems in regards of other plugins, themes etc. But this in not what I am talking about.
Any comments on this cookie method would be very much appreciated, since I might be completely wrong about that.
I'm sitting at pizza store waiting for my order so checking emails on phone. Clicked yours and scrolled down below video to see if I could read it instead as people are around but I see it's only a video.
I vote for reading rather than watching your blog posts. Way quicker to scan content and re-read stuff as needed. Videos aren't as easy to skip ahead without thinking going to miss something, and rewinding to hear something again is a pain.
I love motorcycle review videos, etc but tech stuff I prefer to read. Plus can copy and paste info into an email to other staff when I share one of your blog posts. Can't do that with a video unless there's a description. Save your effort in creating great content we can read, or just make your videos simple.
Don't need fancy to get point across. Keep up great work :-)
P.S. trying to comment on your blog post from a phone is a real pain, as have to scroll down forever to get to bottom in a post is as popular as this one. Please move comment form area above the existing comments, thanks.
Just post the text, and then use a machine learning program to automatically generate the talking head and video effects to go with it for those that have all day to spend watching videos!
(Thanks for the great blog, BTW)
Why can't you just publish the post? I do not want to watch a video. Some of us can still read, you know.
Mark, I would vote for the text version. The videos are excellent but there are times when I need to go back to something maybe a week or two later. often times longer. I can recall reading something that I thought was useful but not quite ready for at that time, Later I need that info. With text, I can do a search on a general topic and scan my way through a dozen or so articles in time it would take me to watch one video to find the very short clip I am looking for.
I like a video for educational purposes I can find it more relaxing although I do often get distracted and miss something. However, for reference purposes text makes it so much easier to find that one piece of essential info.
Most of your articles are great for our education and building awareness. However, for example, you recently published a list of plugs that were still vulnerable. I read it with great interest but was not using any of them at the time the article was published so not entirely useful. However, two weeks later I get approached by a client to do some work on his website. How would I find that list if it was only available on video? A website search would only be able to find the headings, not the content.
Once again thanks for all the work you and your team put out for us.
Interesting example. Thanks Ron.
I believe both video and text has its value. When you need to visually explain something, video is great. But where there is an advise or opinion, text is better.
People who are on your blog first place, are those people who like to read. So, a pole here would lead the result in favor of reading. However, a pole on some other place may lead a different result.
Considering usage of video in upcoming 4-5years. You are in a unique position. There are no cyber security channels to compete with. You can be in a very strong position in 1-2years. I would suggest, streamline your workflow. remove bells and whistles, your content is great.
Best of Luck
I much prefer the text version. It allows me to absorb the info much quicker than if I have to wait for the video to get to the point...
First of all, thanks for your plugin, that is one of the most important ones i use myself and recommend to everyone with a wordpress site.
In regards to your arguments, i'd say hiding the login page is not a real solution for attacks but in addition with your plugin, it can reduce brute force attacks and access to this one well known page everyone has as default by wp install. The rest of the site should of course be secured through your plugin and other measures, because everyone should be aware there are always multiple ways to be hacked.
In regards to the video format, i'd recommend to skip it and to focus on text only. Given that your audience consist not only from english native speakers, its easier to understand written text and not spoken words. Also i can read it from anywhere once loaded and doesn't eat my data volume. That is something preferred not only by me but also from the majority i speak with.
How about just an audio podcast and the text? Sounds like the text is created first anyway in that scenario, so little extra overhead to provide both options at once.
But personally, I prefer to read - especially over breakfast (at my computer - what a nerd, LOL!)
Firstly, I'd vote for text over video for this, any time. We use videos for training and demonstrating how to do something. Where the intention is to provide a report or info, there's no advantage in seeing someone standing a delivering the message. Like others, a text blog entry makes it easier to scan, read and skip.
I disagree about renaming the WP login address. Before we did that, we had multiple sites being brute-force attacked. Blocking the IPs were ineffective as they were all random and spoofed. We saw up to hit-rates of 40-50 per second at worst, raising the memory requirements of WP and (in worst cases) a server crash as either memory or MySQL resources were exhausted. We've not had one brute force attack since we changed the login page to a random address on all the WP sites we host for customers.
First, thanks for your post. Text. I read this kind of stuff at the end of the work day, most of the time in bed. I rarely watch videos. Instructional videos are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I can read faster than any video can deliver information. If you're going to do video, offer a transcript.
Definitely prefer reading text for situations like this - I can scan through the opening blurb and work out whether it's relevant, and then find/research/act on whatever points you raise.
Otherwise there's 20 seconds of "Welcome to our video" type of stuff that we have to wait for - important from a videography point of view (you don't just smash straight into the content, you've got to say who you are) but a reader who knows who you are will be able to just skip that first paragraph if it was text.
Next 90 seconds were where the content was (for me, anyway - already a Wordfence user) and everything after that was stuff I already knew.
Also agree that video is something you can't watch everywhere or anytime, whereas I can read a blog post anywhere I can read an email.
As an instructional designer with a background in marketing, I find this conversation very interesting. It is known that with higher education and expertise, people want quick bulleted facts and less fluff. But if you just write a blog post, will they be interested enough to engage? YouTube IS important for marketing these days. Also wondering if people would be happier if you made one minute videos with just the facts, then posted the script underneath. If I were you I'd try doing the next video just showing your slides with a quick live introduction of you at the end. As simple as "This is Mark from Wordfence. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and I'll see you next time." Film it once and add it to the end of all your videos.
I use the login redirect thing on about three sites and, like others here, the attempts at brute force attacks on those sites were eradicated. That doesn't preclude doing the suggested defenses mentioned here, but rather in addition to.
The metaphor I would use is that it is better not to be in front of a gun being fired than to be shot at with armor on and hope that the bullet doesn't get through.
The plugin I use did no harm to the Wordpress installations I added it to, although I suppose that could be a possibility depending on the theme and other plugins that may be installed - so far, so good for me.
I multitask, because of that I love video. Not because I'm watching it, but because I can be doing another task while listening.
However, as some have said and I will just add a little to it.
1) I make videos as well and hate doing it. I have found that having a script to read from helps to eliminate many of of twisted tongue dialog and reduce many of the typical hesitation remarks while thinking.
2) I only use video to show how to do something or have an A/B scenario. This particular topic has already been covered on Wordfence. I did not take the time to go through your blog history so it may have only been covered in the comment section. I love to read the comments most of the time because something not mentioned in the original post may have been asked and answered.
3) Green screen, don't bother with it unless you are using it for the opening dialog. But a white sheet would be fine and you may add text animation to one side. This is only about a 1 minute clip.
4) Most of your Wordfence users do not need video, so unless you are creating videos to get advertise your product to new users.
5) I know from first hand experience that creating a short 5 or 10 minute video can take hours of editing time. It took me about 10 or 12 hours to edit and prepare a 20 minute video. So for you and your team I would only make video if you are showing a demonstration.
I like the idea of having a podcast or open discussion live stream. I've seen this done many times very well. It would not take as much time for the podcast although there would still be come audio editing. I'm not certain about the open discussion live stream I have never done that.
One question that I have not been able to come up with a firm answer to because I don't really see the security that is offered but I would love to hear an answer about is how your security is better than another. I will not name names, but Wordfence uses a lot of database resources. I don't remember exactly but I believe there were 12 or 14 tables occupied by Wordfence. Another security program only had 3 tables and I've watched a couple of videos saying that Wordfence uses too many system resources.
I would love to read about or to see a comparison video between Wordfence and a couple of other security programs. That would be a real treat coming from someone that knows the importance of security but doesn't want to slow their site speed down because of constant request to the database.
Thanks for your feedback Larry. Wordfence is actually extremely fast. We don't even use the database in our firewall code. It executes before the WP code and it doesn't even establish a DB connection. Other code has been massively optimized over the years, especially the scan code. Plenty about that on our blog. Number of tables is no indication of computational load. We are also the only WP plugin to offer a true web application firewall that is updated in real-time and deeply integrated and designed specifically for WordPress. Don't look anywhere else. Wordfence is simply the best available protection for WP.
I like the video and listen to it as I work on something else.
Perhaps you can get the transcript from Youtube. When you add a close caption they create a full transcript, you can download as a text file. Most of the time it is pretty accurate.
So I'm going to jump on the anti-video bandwagon, and I'm a millennial (though barely). I much, much prefer reading, and I'm interested to know why you advise against hiding the login page. I do this through my security software on all of my Joomla sites (though only for admin login, since that's separate from front-end), and it makes a difference.
In terms of written word vs video, I've actually got a program in place that blocks social media, including YouTube, during my working hours. Helps boost productivity if I can't fall down a Twitter or Quora rabbit hole. And in general, if a video has a transcript, I'll watch it on silent and just read the transcript. Another issue I have with video--though I can't say it's a problem for this one since I can't watch it right now--is that sometimes people just aren't great speakers. That matters and can detract from the material.
I also prefer reading over video.
Reading can be done anywhere, and can be skim-read to then decide if it's relevant/worth-reading, plus you are not dictated-to as to how much time you will invest
I never watch videos (not this sort anyway!)
I made it a habit to not listen to podcasts or watch instructional vids anymore, unless I really can't find any written info. In general, I experience 75% of each vid as a waste of time (didn't watch yours though). Even when I just need 5% of all info I have to sit through the whole thing. For most podcasts it's even worse. I hope that people keep on writing!
For this type of content, I strongly prefer text over video. As other mentions above (including yourself), text can be quickly scanned and can be consumed anywhere.
If you continue making videos, I'd be happy to see you losing the greenscreen. No need to spend time on that extra production overhead.
Keep up the good work. I appreciate how much you & your colleagues are doing to keep WP sites safe + inform the community.
As Mr. Spock might say, "fascinating" ... I took the extraordinary step of reading all the comments and I'm surprised at the number of respondents who prefer text to video. Now that I'm in my 60s I read less and watch more, especially on my iPhone, which is where most of my YouTube usage occurs.
Bottom line: I was glad when you started this series because it finally put a face and a personality on Wordfence. I hope you will continue to produce them. The production values you already have in place say, "this is important: pay attention!" Don't abandon them. The videos are short and to the point. For those who prefer to read/scan, a text summary created from the PowerPoint slides would be nice ... a full transcript is unnecessary, in my opinion.
I also think you should expand your vision for your YouTube Channel. YouTube is cluttered with geeky types trying to explain stuff in geek-speak in long-winded videos that are time wasters. I know because as a "newbie" I've wasted many hours there when I was desperate for answers.
My first question is, "who are you and why should I trust you?" If you produced a short, shameless promo video (10-15 minutes) about:
1) who you are and how you got into the internet security biz,
2) the new-every-day challenges of internet security,
3) how you developed Wordfence and Gravityscan as solutions to those dangers, and 4) introducing your team and the extraordinary work your team does when a site is hacked ... you'd have a whole new clientele eager to make use of what you and your team have to offer.
You could include links below the video to some of the extensive recent blog posts for us geeky types who are fascinated by the sleuthing process and the people involved. They're documented proof-positive of your integrity and your competence. People are desperate for time-effective and cost-effective solutions, and you have them.
How I know: I was contacted last March by a near-by user who I'd never met whose WordPress site had been hacked ... she had a significant amount of content and was using the site for business, but she'd never heard of Wordfence (hard to believe) and didn't have any security plugins installed. She installed Wordfence but that didn't fix all of the problems so I encouraged her to contact your team for cleanup. All of this was by phone and I never heard the outcome.
Wordfence has a large user base but its still only a small percentage of the number of WordPress sites on the web. Geeky types produce some incredible products but are usually lousy marketers. There are many site owners out there who don't know you exist and it's time to "toot your own horn." Hire an internet marketing consultant that you trust who can help you with this.
I'm sorry, Mark because you were looking for less work, and this will be more work. But DO IT and then prepare to expand your team. You new clients will thank you!
Hey Mark, While I Join the chorus that prefers reading over video, having done exactly this sort of production/platform/lead gen in volume for the last 5 years... our experience is always "do both!"
I agree with the many who said, slim down on the production efforts and just get your valuable info out there sans editing. People will still love it. If you use a script, you have your transcript (which your probably know, you can upload to youtube as a transcript to replace their shitty generated version).
If you want to just go off the cuff, then rev.com will do decent transcripts for $1 a minute. You'll still need to edit for a blog post or for mistakes, but it's a lot less work.
Youtube and written blog posts both provide value and reach different learning modalities, audiences. Strong recommend to do quicker easier videos and provide written as well.
Thanks Mark, I wasn't aware of rev.com. Awesome!
Videos don't do it for me, I'm a reader! Can you write slowly because I don't read very fast :-) Love (reading) the blogs.
I vote for reading for the same reasons mentioned above, AND most especially because I am a visual learner - if I see it, I remember it. My second learning style is kinesthetically. This leaves auditory as my least effective learning style.
Thank you for all you do! I appreciate you and the entire WF Team! *tips hat*
1 more vote for text. A few people have touched on the reason, but I will expound.
Video is great ... for entertainment and for DIY how-to videos.
BUT for important factual information, and that is exactly what you are presenting, text is far superior. Why? For copying key parts (which will vary from reader to reader) to one's own reference system. Ever try to retrieve a single important fact from a video? Agonizing.
Furthermore, people will forget new facts quickly. The only scientifically proven antedote is called Spaced Repetition, which means seeing the material on many occasions over a long period of time. With video, that is not even remotely feasible.
I am a Premium member and appreciate your great work.
Prefer text based....but having watched the video it was very informative and straight to the point
One thing which isn't mentioned above is that when you move the login page and change the location of the content folder, it's a little harder for drive-by hackers to recognize your site as WordPress. Agreed, there are other ways to tell.
Yes, security by obscurity. But considering the size of the hacking problem, any effort which reduces the attack surface can be the one that saves you.
Is this all about text or video and not the topic? Anyway, for those who are interested: I've just got the answer from the hosting company. They confirm that you you can prevent server stress if you hide the login page from brute-force attacks. That does not mean that your installation is more secure. However, the attacks will not reach the PHP/database level. They will instead be blocked very early (.htaccess > server). Seems pretty good to me. This is not a solution vor everyone. For sites where non-admin users can register or shop logins it might not be the best idea to hide the login page.
Though you mention the importance of changing the default login username from "admin," I am surprised that you didn't mention using the WordPress nickname feature to hide that username from being publicly published every time an admin user creates a blog post (or, if they are using Gravatar, posts a comment to someone else's blog).
Also surprised you didn't stress more the importance of creating a username that is not easily guessable. The vast majority of my clients are strongly inclined to make their username a variation of their name, website name, address, or something else that is on their site or is publicly available. I have quite a battle convincing them that this is unwise - until we install Wordfence, that is, and they can see the who is trying to log in to their site, and the usernames they are trying. Then it gets easier :)
One approach that you might consider would be to first write the text then use headings (already in the text) as an outline (for example by auto-generating a table of contents) to make the video. I think you can just do the video without bothering with all the special work. I prefer text possibly with occasional code snips or screen cuts when needed for clarity. Someone whose learning style is audio or tactile rather than visual could disagree with me.