All about installing and Configuring WordPress

WordPress is perhaps the best free, open-source blogging script, provided with the ultimate flexibility of using your own server and domain name, without the compulsion to display any credits/links.

WordPress is the most widely used blogging software, powering more than 70 million blogs.

All right Sparky, let’s install WordPress

It must be installed on a web hosting server. For the fastest possible install, I recommend using paid hosting as you simply click on a button (usually in CPanel->Fantastico) to get it running.
The above is the easy way of installing WordPress and having a blog ready in 5 minutes.
If you like to install your blog manually (which is recommended for experienced users), follow the simple steps:
  1. Get domain name and hosting
    Hosting providers can be easily found from the website’s recommended list. Most hosting providers will give away a free domain, or you can buy one from, godaddy, bigrock, etc.
  2. Access the cPanel or other management utility on your hosting account.
  3. Create MySQL database
    • Click on MySQL Databases, click Create New Database (name it anything you like, note it down)
    • Create a new user and assign all permissions to this user on the previous database. Note the name of user as well.
  4. Access the file manager or use FTP.
    • Download the latest wordpress installation zip from
    • Upload it to your server through the file manager.
    • Unzip it in the directory “public_html”, or if you are more experienced and know what you are doing, chose any directory you like.
    • IF you used FTP, you’ll need to upload the unzipped files.
  5. Go to http://your-domain/ or if you chose a custom directory while extracting, go to that path.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.
    • When asked for MySQL database name and user name, enter what you noted earlier.
    • For MySQL server, enter localhost (this will work in 99.9% cases. If not ask your hosting company for this)
    • Choose the admin accounts username and password.
    • DO NOT CHOOSE “admin” as the username (this makes it easiest to hack into your blog)
    • Choose a title for your blog, a description, a valid email, and make sure to tick on make my blog visible on search engines (obviously, if you intend to do so)
  7. Go to the settings menu and make sure all settings are according to your preferences.
    • Create a Backup User User With Administrative Privilege
      Though not necessary, it is recommended to create a new user so that just in case someone thinking himself to be smart tries to compromise your blog, you can gain it again.
    • Change Blog Title & Tag Line (if you didn’t do this earlier)
      Your blog is not “just another wordpress blog”. Make it unique and give it a nice title and tag line, so that people visit it more than a single time. To do that go to Settings -> General and update the information there.
    • Disable Option For Anyone To Register
      Unless you want people to register and spam your site, you do not require this feature, go to Settings –> General and uncheck the checkbox next to “Anyone Can Register” and save it.
      If you want to make an interactive blog, with comments, and don’t want to moderate loads of spam, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using disqus commenting system (don’t worry, it’s all free and takes seconds to setup. Just search for disqus in Plugins->add New->Search)
    • Setup your Timezone, Date & Time Format
      On the general settings page, setup the timezone for your country and change the date & time format that you’re most comfortable with (I like dd/mm/yyyy).
    • Configure Writing  Settings
      Go to Options –> Writing and configure how you want the write panel to display, and also other options related to converting content and correcting improper HTML in the post to be XHTML valid (recommended if you have a habit of copying html content from other websites).
    • Remote Publishing
      If you plan to publish posts from a client like word or any other external editor, you will have to enable remote publishing, without which you will not be able to publish using a external tool or device.
      If you want to blog using email, you can also set that up on this page.
    • Add Ping Servers
      Whenever you publish a new post, people will not have dreams of you posting it. Luckily, WordPress allows bloggers to automatically ping loads of services whenever you publish a post.
      In the Settings –> Writing options page you can enter a list of Update services WordPress needs to ping when you write a new post.

    • Setup Reading Options
By default WordPress will show the latest posts on the home page, however you can also show a static page instead of it (recommended if blog is your home page), to change this go to Settings –> Reading and change the default page that should be shown when someone visits your website/blog.
You can also change the number of posts that will be displayed on each page of your blog and the number of posts that should be shown in the RSS feeds.
You can also set whether to show full or partial content in feeds, I suggest you keep it as partial content. (as full content is easy to be scraped by content scrapers)
    • Commenting, Trackbacks, Pinging & More
Whenever you write a new post for your blog, your post may include a link to another site. WordPress provides you with an option to automatically notify the other blog in the form of a trackback or pingback.
Similarly, other blogs may link to you and decide to notify your bolg. In this case WordPress has the ability to provide to send you trackbacks & pingbacks.
If you do not want this functionality,  you can go to Settings –> Discussions and disable it.
You can also customize if you want to allow other users to comment on your posts, the criteria for allowing users to comment on your posts and so on.
The avatars displayed for  commentators/you can also be changed on this page.
    • Setup Media Options For Images
      Whenever you upload a image to your blog, WordPress will re-size and display it accordingly, if you want to change the size of the thumbnails you can go to Settings –> Media.
    • Permalinks
      It is a wonder full feature of WordPress  it allows users to setup how the URL for your blog posts should look like. Optimized permalinks settings are really good for SEO.
      In addition to the available templates, you can also setup custom permalinks by using tags. An exhaustive list can be found on
  1. That’s it. Go to Posts->Add new and get rollin!  (You may want to remove the sample post and sample page wordpress includes for testing)

Top 15 Open Source/Free Security/Hacking Tools

1. Nmap
Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free and open source (license) utility for network discovery and security auditing. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap homepage.

2. Wireshark
Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer. It lets you capture and interactively browse the traffic running on a computer network. Wireshark homepage.

3. Metasploit Community edition
Metasploit Community Edition simplifies network discovery and vulnerability verification for specific exploits, increasing the effectiveness of vulnerability scanners. This helps prioritize remediation and eliminate false positives, providing true security risk intelligence. Metasploit community edition homepage.

4. Nikto2
Nikto is an Open Source (GPL) web server scanner which performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 6400 potentially dangerous files/CGIs, checks for outdated versions of over 1200 servers, and version specific problems on over 270 servers. It also checks for server configuration items such as the presence of multiple index files, HTTP server options, and will attempt to identify installed web servers and software. Nikto2 homepage.

5. John the Ripper
John the Ripper is a fast password cracker, currently available for many flavors of Unix, Windows, DOS, BeOS, and OpenVMS. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. Besides several crypt(3) password hash types most commonly found on various Unix systems, supported out of the box are Windows LM hashes, plus lots of other hashes and ciphers in the community-enhanced version. John the Ripper homepage.

6. ettercap
Ettercap is a comprehensive suite for man in the middle attacks. It features sniffing of live connections, content filtering on the fly and many other interesting tricks. It supports active and passive dissection of many protocols and includes many features for network and host analysis. ettercap homepage.

7. NexPose Community edition

The Nexpose Community Edition is a free, single-user vulnerability management solution. Nexpose Community Edition is powered by the same scan engine as Nexpose Enterprise and offers many of the same features. Nexpose homepage.

8. Ncat
Ncat is a feature-packed networking utility which reads and writes data across networks from the command line. Ncat was written for the Nmap Project as a much-improved reimplementation of the venerable Netcat. It uses both TCP and UDP for communication and is designed to be a reliable back-end tool to instantly provide network connectivity to other applications and users. Ncat will not only work with IPv4 and IPv6 but provides the user with a virtually limitless number of potential uses. ncat homepage.

9. Kismet

Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. Kismet will work with any wireless card which supports raw monitoring (rfmon) mode, and (with appropriate hardware) can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, and 802.11n traffic. Kismet also supports plugins which allow sniffing other media such as DECT. kismet homepage.

10. w3af
w3af is a Web Application Attack and Audit Framework. The project’s goal is to create a framework to find and exploit web application vulnerabilities that is easy to use and extend. w3af homepage.

11. hping
hping is a command-line oriented TCP/IP packet assembler/analyzer. The interface is inspired to the ping(8) unix command, but hping isn’t only able to send ICMP echo requests. It supports TCP, UDP, ICMP and RAW-IP protocols, has a traceroute mode, the ability to send files between a covered channel, and many other features. hping homepage.

12. burpsuite
Burp Suite is an integrated platform for performing security testing of web applications. Its various tools work seamlessly together to support the entire testing process, from initial mapping and analysis of an application’s attack surface, through to finding and exploiting security vulnerabilities. BurpSuite homepage.

13. THC-Hydra
A very fast network logon cracker which support many different services.  hydra homepage.

14. sqlmap
sqlmap is an open source penetration testing tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws and taking over of database servers. It comes with a powerful detection engine, many niche features for the ultimate penetration tester and a broad range of switches lasting from database fingerprinting, over data fetching from the database, to accessing the underlying file system and executing commands on the operating system via out-of-band connections. sqlmap homepage.

15. webscarab
WebScarab has a large amount of functionality, and as such can be quite intimidating to the new user. But, for the simplest case, intercepting and modifying requests and responses between a browser and HTTP/S server, there is not a lot that needs to be learned. WebScarab homepage.

Learn to Create Websites - Online web tutorials

At SamSchools, you will learn how to make a website. We offer free tutorials in all web development technologies. SamSchools is optimized for learning, testing, and training. Examples might be simplified to improve reading and basic understanding. Tutorials, references, and examples are constantly reviewed to avoid errors.

With our "Try it Yourself" editor you can experiment with HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, and see the result in your browser.

Click the following link to educate yourself :

Happy Learning  :)

18 ways to educate yourself every day (because nerds are sexy)

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” - Henry Ford

At the start of this year I made a decision that I want to commit to myself to a pursuit of intellect. I’m already a bit of a nerd, so this wasn’t really an alien concept for me, however I quickly realized that in order for me to make educating myself a priority in my life – I would have to make it into a daily habit. Here is a list of some suggestions for small practices you could implement into your lifestyle. I would not expect anybody to do all of these things every single day, but you can choose a few, and keep your learning varied and fun! At first it may seem overwhelming, but after a few months of this you will reach a point where suddenly you feel like have access to so much more information and knowledge than you ever had before. Simple conversations and discussions with people become so much more interesting. Your brain becomes a very cool place to hang out!

Wow, I did not just say that.

1. Watch a TED talk every day.

“Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” These are the kind of bright ideas that I would like to fill my head with.

2. Read a random article of interest from every day.

They are quick, easy, informative, and give you a glimpse of a subject that you may decide to do more research on later!

A lovely reader recommended the podcasts “Stuff you should know” and “Stuff mom never told you” which can be found on the website.

3. Read for half an hour every day before bed.

This is such a monumental suggestion. The habit of reading for 30 minutes every day can really kick start your goal of “getting back into reading” and of course educating yourself as well. 30 minutes is not too hard to set aside at the end of the day. Just get yourself into bed 30 minutes earlier if you have to. If you read for 30 minutes every night you should be able to get through at least one book every two weeks. That’s 26 books a year (approximately). With this kind of reading rapport you are bound to make a sizable dent into your reading list.

4. Learn more about your job.

Focus more at work. Take the time to really understand why you do the things you do at work, instead of simply going through the motions. Even if this is a job you have been at for years, there is more to discover. Do some research on the company you work for, where did they come from? And what do they really do? There are great opportunities for growth and learning even in our sometimes boring 9-5 desk jobs. Although it may seem that you are just on the other end of a desk, your clients see you as an expert in your field. So make sure you are one!

5. Make learning something you do for “fun”.

Well, it should already be fun that you are taking the time to invest in yourself and learning more about your world – but you know how you could make it more fun? By getting other people involved (yay for them ;) ). You could watch documentaries with your partner or work on puzzles with your children, play trivial pursuit with your family, or discuss new and fresh topics with your friends.

6. Work on a puzzle every day.

This could be jigsaw puzzles, riddles, math puzzles etc. Anything that requires you to practice your mental acrobatics. You can buy simple “Train your brain” books from your local bookstore, that have a puzzle a day to make things really easy for you!

7. Read classics.

Something I try to force myself to do is to read books that are actually a little bit challenging – for the purpose of not only being “well read” but also having an opportunity to expand my vocabulary. Classics epitomize english language at it’s finest. I’m not saying they are always a joy to read, but boy do I feel proud of myself when I finish one.

8. Play for a few minutes every day.

Work on your vocabulary whilst simultaneously feeding the hungry! You may pass GO. You may collect $200. The great thing about playing this every day is that they tend to repeat words, so you really start getting used to remembering new words that you were not initially used to.

9. Learn a new word every day.

Most of the online dictionaries have a “Word a day” feature that you can subscribe to by e-mail, or simply check online. Learn a new word every day, and make it your intention to use that word 3 times in your day.

10. Watch Documentaries.

Watching documentaries has never been easier! You can watch them on TV, and even on youtube. Sometimes I just type in a subject I am interested in and then “part 1″ and see what I can find. It’s also fun to watch documentaries on things you have no prior knowledge or real interest in.

One of my commenters has recommended BBC documentaries (I agree), in particular Planet Earth, and Wild China. National geographic has some pretty spectacular documentaries too.

I recommend Zeitgeist (you can also watch it on youtube). My boyfriend showed me this documentary and I seriously watched the whole thing with my eyes wide and my mouth open. It was truly life enhancing.

11. Follow some interesting blogs.

Find some bloggers that inspire you and fill your mind with bright ideas and thoughts, and follow them. Another option is to subscribe to a magazine that really fascinates you.

12. Take a class.

What better way to affirm to yourself that you are educating yourself – than to take an actual class? Find a topic that you wouldn’t mind learning more about, and register!

13. Learn a new language.

Are there any languages that you have been interested in learning? Well, why not start now! Take a class, get private lessons, watch videos online – whatever it is, find time in your life to immerse yourself in this new pursuit!

14. Take up a new hobby / put more effort into your current hobby.

I think everybody should have a hobby. Something that you can really throw yourself into. That you do just for fun, that makes you happy, that improves some aspect of yourself, and something you can commit to. If you can’t think of one – create one. There are plenty of hobbies out there. Pick one. Picking them is easy. Staying committed is hard. And even though hobbies are “Fun”, a degree of commitment is required if you ever plan to see some kind of result. Create a schedule in your week to really commit to your new hobby – a certain number of times a week, a  couple of hours a day – it really is up to you. Learn all about your new hobby, both the theory and the application.

15. Try new recipes.

You could buy a new cook book, subscribe to a cookery magazine, or even browse the miracle that is the internet. To make this fun, you could have themes and goals each week, like “eating healthy”, raw food, desserts, smoothies, appetizers, main courses, salads, fruits etc.

16. Practice memory games.

It’s one thing to stuff your head with all this information, its something completely different to access this information again when you really want it. No genius is considered a genius if he can’t remember what it is that he knows. By working with your memory, you can work on your ability to keep your new knowledge available for you to retrieve it.

17. Read the headlines.

My parents read the headlines every day. My mom says that I shouldn’t leave the house without having some clue of what’s going on in the world. I haven’t really implemented this much in my life yet – sometimes I just feel like the news is just so overwhelming – I don’t even know where to start (Does anyone else feel like this?!). I guess that’s why she suggested to “READ THE HEADLINES”.

I don’t think there can be anything wrong with knowing a little bit about what’s going on in the world.

18. Whenever you are making a trip somewhere, or doing something new – take the time to learn a little bit about it.

If you are ever stuck for new things to learn, this is a great way to give you some ideas. Use your life as an inspiration. If you are planning on going to a new city for the long weekend – learn about it. If you meet a new friend who is a wine merchant, learn all about being a wine merchant.

At first, I sometimes felt like I was stuck for new things to learn – which to me now feels totally ridiculous because is there really anything I couldn’t learn more about? But over time, after implementing many of these techniques, I find that my brain automatically gives me new topics to learn about. It is just INTERESTING!

And one day you are going to be able to talk about these things in discussions, and in your own mind you are going to be thinking “Wow.”

I remember a couple of years ago I had read a LOT of information about blue-whale attacks, their anatomy, their physiology, and how they ingest and digest their prey. A few months later, lo and behold – a girl in my class randomly said “Hmm I wonder what happens if you got eaten by a blue whale…”

Ah, yes. My time had come.

Here are some other resources suggested by my readers and commenters:

19. Discover what you may stumble upon when you StumbleUpon!

I don’t know how I could forget this little goldmine. I use it all the time and I love it!

20. Wikipedia

You can browse random articles on wikipedia, or you could use it as a great starting point for your own private nerdy research in an area of your choice! Awesome.

21. Play

I have not used this yet. It was a suggestion from a reader, but it looks fun!

If you have any other suggestions, let me know.  :)