Category Archives: WordPress

Why is Security from Cyber Attack SO Important – How to Protect your Computer, Email and Website

Is Security from Cyber Attack Important?

In my case security from cyber attack is very important as in the past four years I lost two of my websites to hacking and last week I almost lost the entire content in my hard drive. A proper website can take months or even years to create – this means much time and money.

Many of us have heard cases of friends whose websites were hacked and their clients were receiving invoices from the hackers.

Once someone hacks your email he/ she has access to your mailing lists and in some cases to all your computer files as well.

Whenever a hosting company tells you that they will back-up your website – take that statement with a pinch of salt. Yahoo, my hosting company at the time was unable to recover my websites. Also, the back-up I had, was not effective. I will mention about an incredibly effective backup plugin later in this article.

Protect your Computer

  • Protect your computer from Malware. There are various reputable brands, Malwarebytes being one of the most popular. If you opt for the free version ensure that you do a weekly scan.
  • Anti-virus: Again there are a couple of good brands Kaspersky being one of the best. A great feature of Kaspersky is the fact that it shows you if a website is not safe to visit. My friend Niren Singh is using AVG Premium and he is very happy with their service.
  • Use an USB Flash Drive or some other easy, reliable storage solution. Install Cobian backup and have all your computer’s content transferred to your flash drive (or other reliable storage device) automatically and do this regularly.

Protect your email

  • Activate ‘two-step verification’ for your email account. What this means is that additionally to entering the password you must tap on your smartphone to access your email on your computer.
  • Change your password regularly. A note from my friend Andrew Gibb:  “I’ve learnt that long passwords are strong passwords, that special characters (like: !@#+-_ etc), numbers and mixed case (UpPeR and LoWeR) are important but not as important as longer passwords. Remember if you think that you’re going to forget a password, write it down and store it in a safe place – it’s not often that crooks steal physical documents”.

Protect your WordPress Website

  • Ensure you have a website that starts with https://. If your website starts with ‘http://’ change to ‘https:// immediately!
  • On a weekly basis go to your ‘installed plugins’ and update any plugin that needs updating – this takes a few seconds to do.
  • Install and enable a good security plugin. There are various including: ‘WordFence’ and ‘All In One WP Security and Firewall
  • Install and enable ‘VaultPress’ – the best back-up plugin there is (it only costs US$5/ month) and you will sleep easy. This plugin backs up your entire website every 24 hours and should your website be hacked you can restore your entire website at a touch of a button.

Your Developer/ Local IT Store

Keeping your computer, email and website safe is something you can do yourself. Additionally, keep a friendly relationship with your Developer or the Technical person at your local IT store as they are well-equipped to assist you in an emergency.

 

The Importance of Having a Good Hosting Company

This is what happens if your website does not load:

  1. your visitors won’t be able to access your site (not good w.r.t. customer service…).
  2. you won’t be able to access your Admin Area and therefore you won’t be able to do any work on your site.
  3. if you are running Campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest, other – visitors clicking on your Ads will be directed to a page that shows: “Page Not Found – Internal Servor Error”.. believe me, your customers won’t be impressed.
  4. Google bot will try and crawl your site but cannot find your pages. Result? Google down-ranks your site on Google search. Very bad for your SEO!!

WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com was down for 10 hours yesterday. Talk about someone about to get a nervous breakdown…

My website http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/ is hosted by https://www.bluehost.com .  My “hobby” website https://fitandfunnow.com is hosted by WordPress.com.

I have received good service from both hosting companies and so it was with great surprise (and shock!) that I saw that my one website was not loading yesterday.

After a few online chats to Bluehost and getting nowhere I contacted Bluehost’s Head Office in the United States. They said that the server needed upgrading and that I would have to authorise upgrade from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 which I did and the website was subsequently uploaded to the internet. Why request authorization? just do it…

Fortunately no such issues with WordPress.com hosting!!

Why am I writing this post? To let you know the incredible importance of having a “good” company host your website. You don’t want your website to be down… EVER!

Which companies would I recommend?

Internationally  https://wordpress.com or  https://www.hetzner.com and in South Africa https://hetzner.co.za/

Should you have a Developer and should your Developer host your website for you, then hopefully your website is in competent hands and you should be experiencing no issues.

One more note: should your site be the free version of WordPress.com then you have nothing to worry about as WordPress.com will be the host of your free website. And should you one day upgrade from the free plan to a paid (premium) plan, I would recommend your stay with WordPress.com hosting.

At times, what is expensive today is going to save you much time and money later on.

Compress your PNG/JPG Files by up to 80% and Retain Full Transparency

I received the following email from Nur:

Hello there ,

Thank you for telling me about this WordPress plug-in to compress my pictures.

But then I discovered that adding plug-ins to my site itself causes the site speed to go down, which kinda ruins the purpose. So that is why I decided to look around for a free online tool.

After some exploring, I wanted to suggest it as an alternative to the plug in:

https://www.websiteplanet.com/webtools/imagecompressor/

This is a free online tool that allows you to compress pictures that are up to 50 MB in size both in jpeg and in png format! So maybe sharing it with your users can help them too.

In hope I helped back,

Nur

Editor’s note: Nur, I briefly went over the website and it seems to be effective. Thanks for sharing this with us.

10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!

If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.

In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more products to their cart using a specific tool: product tables.

WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.

Source: 10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

Bed and Breakfast Themes – 20+ WordPress Themes to Showcase Bed & Breakfasts

Bed and breakfast themes are niche WordPress themes available for the hotel and lodging industry. They’re designed to showcase a single location as is typical with B&Bs, so they need to be powerful and well-designed yet minimalist enough to not be too bloated with features intended for large hotel chains.

This post features a collection of over 20 bed and breakfast themes available for WordPress. These themes are more than capable of showcasing B&Bs effectively through the styles and features they offer. Let’s go over what exactly a bed and breakfast is and what features you should look for before we get into the list.

Read the article: Bed and Breakfast Themes – 20+ WordPress Themes to Showcase Bed & Breakfasts

5 Reasons You Might Want to Switch WordPress Hosting Providers

It can be tempting to think any working web host will provide you with a top-notch experience, but that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. No two hosting providers are the same, and performance can vary wildly between different hosts. All that means that even if you’re feeling happy with your WordPress host (and definitely if you’re not!), you might not necessarily be getting the best service possible. And that’s why it’s important to look at some metrics that indicate when it’s time to switch WordPress hosting providers.

The good news is that moving to a new hosting service isn’t as difficult as it sounds. So even if you’re ambivalent about your current host, we encourage you to consider these metrics because there’s a decent chance you might be able to improve your site’s hosting situation without much hassle or money.

Because of how important metrics like uptime and page load times are to your site’s success, every little improvement counts. For that reason, whether you’re happy with your current host or not, we’re going to walk you through five reasons you might want to switch WordPress hosting providers and explain what makes each important. Let’s get started!

Read full article: 5 Reasons You Might Want to Switch WordPress Hosting Providers

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.

But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.

Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.

People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.

This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.

WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

Source: WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes — The WordPress.com Blog

44 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

Starting a blog for the first time is an amazing, yet intimidating experience.

Thinking that people are actually going to read – and even share – something you wrote. It’s unlike any other feeling I can describe.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Starting a blog is hard work, and there are a lot of pitfalls along the way. Especially if it’s your first time. So many pitfalls, in fact, that we’ve come up with a full list of 44 things we wish we knew before starting our first blogs. That way, you don’t have to make these mistakes yourself!

But who are “we” exactly, right? Well, this post is a group effort. It features three bloggers chipping in and sharing their best advice on the topic.

So grab a coffee and get cozy, we’re about to review everything we’ve learned in the past 5+ years. Enjoy!

Read full article: 44 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

New ‘Contact Form’ Experience on Jetpack 5.2

Introduction: Contact Form – Jetpack 5.2

Jetpack 5.2 brings you a brand new Contact Form experience, a better explanation of recommended features, and several performance improvements.

New Contact Form

Jetpack’s Contact Form for WordPress is one of our most popular free features. And with good reason: it’s the simplest and most effective way of enabling your readers to get in touch with you be it for praise, complaints, requests or suggestions.

And now we’ve made it much simpler and faster to use.

[Click on a screenshot to enlarge it]

New 'Contact Form' Experience on Jetpack 5.2

The next time you add a contact form to a page on your site you will see a new visual interface right inside the editor instead of a popup. Enjoy a full editing experience including adding and customizing fields and labels, re-ordering them by dragging, and easily setting email subject lines and recipients.

To edit, simply click on the form itself, and hit the “edit” icon. You can edit or remove the existing fields, or add new ones by going to the bottom of the form and clicking “add field.”

screen shot of new jetpack contact form - Contact Form - Jetpack 5.2

Click on the contact form and then the “Edit” icon in order to add new, change the order of, or delete fields in your form.

 

Simply drag and drop your fields to organize their order the way you want them. Click “Update Form” at the bottom when you’re done to save your changes.

screen shot of new jetpack contact form - Contact Form - Jetpack 5.2

Click “Add Field” at the bottom of your new contact form to add new fields. Click “Update Form” to save your changes.

Recommended Features

When you install Jetpack on a new site, Jetpack recommends activating certain popular features that are most valued by users.

Jetpack has now improved this experience to better showcase and explain what the features and how they benefit your WordPress site.

Performance Improvements

Jetpack has also streamlined and reduced weight (file size) of the plugin as well as fixed bugs and introduced enhancements for stability. All these are under the hood ensuring a smoother Jetpack functioning with each version.

Full Changelog and Thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release and if you have feedback please get in touch as always.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade your current version today and Jetpack know what you think.

Jetpack thanks contributors to this release:

Alexandru Bucur, Anthony, Artur Piszek, Ben Lowery, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donncha Ó Caoimh, Drew Butler, Elio Rivero, Eric Binnion, Filipe Varela, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Arestad, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mohammad Jangda, Payton Swick, Richard Muscat, Rob Landers, Stephen Edgar, Thomas Guillot.

Source:

Jetpack 5.2: New Contact Form Experience

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4 Ways to Use Social Media SEO to Improve Your Search Engine Visibility 

A very useful article by Elegant Themes’ Dan Virgillito :

Did you know: 571 new sites are made and 70 new domains are registered on the internet within a minute? And that’s just counting a minute. You don’t even want to contemplate the average number of websites created within a year. Generally speaking, the competition for high search engine visibility is fiercer than ever. Even for established websites it’s a tough ask. That is where overlooked tactics like social media seo can give you a competitive edge.

On the whole, social signals / links don’t have a direct impact on the search engine rank of a website. They’re easy to manipulate, which is why search engines don’t give them a lot of importance. Yet, social media benefits search engine rank in unexpected ways.

Specifically, social media seo works in the following ways:

  • Webpages that gain social traction are indexed faster in search engines. The catch is that audience sharing the content must be active and earned.
  • The likelihood of other websites linking to your content increases when it gets shared and promoted on social media. Links are a major driver for search engine rank.
  • A strong presence on social media could boost brand awareness and positive reputation. The more popular your website, the more it will be searched for.

Point in fact, social media seo interaction certainly influences search engine visibility.

But it requires more than just creating a social media profile. Here are 4 tips to help you benefit from social media seo.

1. Fill Your Social Media Profiles with Relevant Information

Include as much relevant information as possible about your website while filling out your social media profiles. Most importantly, include the name and URL of your site, as well as the keywords you want to rank for in the description and the updates you post.

So when people share and engage with your social media updates, they’ll basically aid your brand awareness efforts. For instance, Dom & Tom Inc included important information about its blog post in the update it shared on its Facebook page, leveraging social media seo.

optimizing profiles for social media seo

Source: Facebook

The SEO title of the post is mentioned in the description. This will also get passed around when social media audiences share this update and tag their peers in the comments section.

Potentially, it could result in searches like “things to keep in mind when building apps for kids Dom & Tom” or “Dom & Tom tips for building kids apps,” bringing an indirect increase in Dom & Tom’s search engine visibility.

2. Striking Up Conversations Is an Integral Part of Social Media SEO

Undoubtedly, social media provides an easy way to start a conversation with your target audience to offer value and address pain points . Launch inquiries, post useful tips, start a general discussion and reply to the audiences’ comments with helpful tips.

Then, engage people in the conversation directly. Such engagements are key to creating and retaining an interactive community. Social media seo would encourage your existing customers to return while helping you develop authority for potential ones. Not to mention, a satisfied audience would be willing to spread the word about your company.

For instance, WordPress.com engages its Facebook audience by answering their queries in the comments section.

social media engagement and seo

Source: Facebook

When implementing this tactic, you can also capitalize on the immediacy of response, which 72% of customers listed as critical. Fast response will increase the willingness of people to recommend or praise your brand on social media.

Indirectly, it will result in SEO gains when someone mentions your name on their blog as a helpful resource.

3. Partner with Social Media Influencers

By and large, social media influencers can multiply the visibility of your social media content. Though increased readership won’t directly boost your search engine rank, you’ll create a gateway to more links in the future through this social media seo tactic.

For instance, if an influencer with 5 times bigger following than what your social media efforts can muster shares your content, it would be a boon for your visibility as the influencer’s audience start Googling you up. As a result, your published pieces will have better value after syndication.

Therefore, start connecting with relevant influencers to build a cycle in which they promote your content and talk about your brand. For instance, Kissmetrics partnered with Jeff Bullas and Ann Handley, two of the most respected content marketers, for a webinar.

social media seo influencers

Source: Facebook

The update was shared on social media. Both influencers also informed their audiences about the collaboration. On the whole, it resulted in increased brand awareness for the Kissmetrics brand.

Note: In such influencer-based collaborations, you’re likely to earn nofollow links from the influencers’ social media pages and dofollow links from their websites when they mention your name.

4. Create & Push Captivating Content

Eventually, social media seo comes down to developing compelling content and experiences that your audience will love to discuss and share. Ensure that your video, infographic, visual, text, etc. is unique and in line with the social experience.

Once your content sees some engagement, push it via social media advertising to create a healthy buzz. The incoming traffic will likely result in increased engagement, which could result in more external links. Actually, it’s quite rare to see a highly linked-to page with no social media shares. You can even use hashtags for better reach.

Check out the content shared by Blugraphic on its Facebook page.

Shareworthy content is essential for scial media SEO benefits

Source: Facebook

In one of the posts, they’ve made an album for Giraffey Free Uppercase Condensed Typeface. Other updates include videos and animations in actions. This is the kind of captivating content that social media audiences love to see and share.

Final Thoughts

While standard SEO practices continue to be the first preference when it comes to increasing search engine visibility, it seems that social media seo is fundamental for building authority. Therefore, put some effort into optimizing your social media profiles, connect with the right influencers, and post quality updates on each social media network. You will be surprised to see the ROI these endeavors bring overtime.

Source: 4 Ways to Use Social Media SEO to Improve Your Search Engine Visibility | Elegant Themes Blog

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