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Blog Website Redesign – Perform A Website Redesign

The Real Benefits Of A Website Redesign

When was the last time you performed a website redesign? If your website hasn’t been redesigned in a few years, the website may look out of date. Let us provide helpful advice on website redesign topics and how you can tell if your website is outdated.

A website redesign is a topic lots of web designers have with customers. Not an easy topic, but one that must be discussed eventually. An outdated website can affect the bottom line. For example, an obsolete site can deter customers from performing a conversion. A conversion can consist of a phone call to the business or filling out a form for the business to collect leads. Outdated websites can be harmful to a business. For example, a customer will not do business with an outdated website period. Let’s discuss aspects about a website redesign and how you can benefit from a new fresh coat of paint.

Website Redesign Cost

The first question we receive is how much does a web redesign cost? The answer is, it depends. For instance, a redesign cost will vary depending on the type of redesign you want. Will the website incorporate new features? Do you want the website to be responsive to mobile devices? Are we going to upgrade the website’s hosting? These are some of the questions to get the customer thinking about the new design.

The first phase of the redesign is to evaluate the current site. For instance, go through the existing website and keep a list of features you like and don’t like. Determine what is presently working in terms of conversions. Eliminate the aspects of the website that aren’t working or you don’t like. If you have Google Analytics installed – the software will be a helpful tool to determine how your audience interacts with the website.

In short, a redesign is a collaborative effort with the web designer and customer. Both participants will need to strategize on how to make the website’s redesign optimal for conversions and engaging for customers.

Why A Website Redesign Can Help Generate Revenue

An outdated website will hurt the bottom line. A study performed by Kissmetrics suggests a design improvement can help increase revenue. For example, if an existing website is poorly designed there’s a good chance customers are not able to find the content they’re looking for. If a customer cannot find the content she’s looking for, chances are the visitor will leave the website and head to a competitors website. A new design can assist with customer engagement. For instance, a website that is easy to use will help customers find the product or service she is looking for.

Picture an outdated website. How do you feel when on a website that appears old? For example, would you feel comfortable performing a transaction on a website that looks outdated? Chances are a visitor will not purchase or perform any actions on an old site. A website who’s design appears outdated deters visitors from making a purchase or interacting with the site. Especially, if the website doesn’t provide some form of a secure check out process.

As you can imagine, a website that looks and feels clunky cannot help but deter customers. An outdated website is likely to have a bad user experience, therefore, losing a visitor or worse, lose a customer who’s ready to purchase.

Focus On A Redesign That Converts Customers

Designing a website to look pretty and have cool features is a nice touch. The real focus of a redesign is to place the customer on a journey and have them perform a specific action. For instance, a customer journey will consist of guiding them to contact you on the phone, fill out a web form, or request a quote. The goal is to have the customer perform an action that helps a business generate money. Not an easy task, but certainly attainable.

A conversion can consist of any specific action a customer performs. For example, a conversion can be a customer filling out a form, instructing the customer to call the business, or download a PDF for more information. All websites need to set goals of what the customer should perform.

The web designer can assist coming up with creative ways on how to successfully convert the customer’s target audience.

People Discussing WordPress Website Management

Best Practices For WordPress Management

Managing a WordPress site is no small feat. Website owners have to stay up to date with the latest vulnerabilities that can attack a website. WordPress is a highly targeted system according to Sucuri, a well-respected website security firm. There are a lot of best practices for managing a WordPress site, that can help prevent individuals from accessing the website. What are these and how can a business implement these best practices? We will discuss three baseline best practices and what you need to do in order to keep your website safe and up to today’s security standards.

1. Keep Plugins Updated

The first golden rule is to keep all plugins up to date. An approach we take with customers is to have two separate websites, one will be the public facing website and the other will be the development website. Why do we incorporate two different websites? Simple, all change requests are made on the development server in order for the customer to view. We can test if a WordPress plugin breaks the site on an update or causes other components to dysfunction. Once the customer and developer have deemed all components on the site work as expected, we can move on to the quality assurance and review phase. From here, the customer will review the website, with all of the plugin updates, and verify all components are in perfect harmony. Performing the plugin updates on the beta website can be an excellent method to verify all content on the website is displayed correctly, forms are working accordingly, and no issues are occurring after the plugin update. Keeping the plugins up to date is a great WordPress management tip, which helps prevent possible attacks through an outdated plugin. There have been vulnerabilities found within plugins that have been reported throughout the WordPress community. As soon as a plugin update is available, make sure you do so. Maintain all plugins to ensure your website is secured the highest level.

Bonus Tip: Not only is keeping WordPress plugins updated necessary, the same goes for WordPress themes and the WordPress core system.

2. Install A Backup Solution

Backups, backups, backups. How many times have you heard to backup your data? If you have been working with computers the one tip most professionals continuously communicate is back up your data. Same goes for a WordPress website. Backup is an essential component of a website and without a proper plan in place, the day a website crashes can cause a five alarm fire for all parties involved. With the proper tools and services implemented into the website, an effective backup solution will help alleviate any data lost on the website. A plugin we highly recommend for customers is VaultPress. Excellent plugin for backing up and restoring website data. Learn more about VaultPress in a previous blog post we discussed the plugin in more detail. To put it simply, VaultPress is a simple click of a button and the previous day’s site will be populate on the existing site. It really is that simple. Unfortunately, there are many different vulnerabilities found on a weekly, if not daily, basis that have yet to be discovered or announced to the public. The saying goes, better to be safe than sorry, and with backups this is absolutely true. If you are looking for a free alternative, UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is an efficient alternative for a free plugin.

Bonus Tip: A backup solution can help with making sure the site is backed up on scheduled basis and saved to services like Dropbox or Amazon Storage services.

3. Secure Logins

Malicious hackers look for are weak security logins and virtual back doors that remain open. A tip is have long passwords, more than 12 characters, mixed with numbers, letters, an special characters. This makes the hackers job more frustrating into attempting to gain access to your website. There are many ways of preventing hackers from gaining access to the WordPress back end, but we will discuss one of our favorite methods. Implementing two-step verification is a great way to deter hackers. The benefit of two-step verification comes from the name, there are two-steps required in order to log into the WordPress dashboard. The WordPress admins or users types in the password associated with the WordPress site, which is followed by a code that is texted to the mobile device attached to the user’s profile. Six Revisions has an in-depth explanation on how to setup two-step verification. The main purpose of two-step verification is to prevent anonymous individuals from successfully guessing the password to the WordPress site or using brute force to log in. Even though the process is an extra 20 seconds, having the piece of mind knowing there is an additional step that prevents access from strangers will help WordPress admins and website owners sleep well at night.

Bonus Tip: We touched on having a complex password. Be sure to incorporate a 12 characters or more password with a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Recap

  • Keep all plugins updated and then test with the copy of the website known as a development or beta site.
  • Implement a backup solution to protect website data. This will come in handy when the time comes, hopefully never though.
  • Two-step login verification is another method to deter hackers from gaining access to the website.

We’d love to hear what other WordPress individuals like to use when managing a WordPress site. Let’s have a discussion in the comments section below!

WordPress SSL Lock

WordPress SSL: The Importance Of A Secure Website

A secure website has become mandatory for all websites. For example, Google announced back in September, starting January 2017, Google Chrome will inform visitors if a website is sporting an insecure connection. An example of providing a secure website is implementing a SSL certificate. A SSL certificate (secure socket layer) is a type of security technology used to establish an encrypted link between a server, browser and the end user. We will focus on why a SSL certificate, specifically for WordPress, is important.

WordPress SSL – When Should You Use SSL?

 

WordPress SSL - HTTPS Results On Google Page 1 (2 Years)
Source – Moz

As mentioned above, Google announced websites that are insecure will inform website visitors of an insecure connection. We forgot to mention an insecure website will be ranked lower in the search results page. For instance, all secure websites are ranking higher than non-secure websites since the announcement. The real question is when do you implement a SSL certificate? The answer is always. For one, a secure website encrypts all user data. Meaning, no personal information is easily accessible. A visitor will fill in a form and the data will be encrypted. Second, if customers are entering credit card information, it is best to encrypt the credit card numbers. Encrypting the credit card details will make the numbers unreadable. Both for humans and computers. Lastly, a WordPress SSL website will help rank a website higher in the search results page. A small business needs every competitive edge.

 

What Does a WordPress SSL Protected Site Look Like?

For instance, when do you know you’re on a secure website? There are a couple of signals that can identity whether a website is secure or not. For example, when browsing a website on Google Chrome, there’s a green padlock with the text Secure. These two items are indicators of a secure website.

 

WordPress SSL - Secure Padlock HTTPS URL

 

When browsing a non-secure website, you can see there’s an i within a circle. For example, when you click on the i circle icon, you’ll be greeted with a pop up box. The box reads “Your connection to this site is not secure.” Knowing the difference will help you determine which site is secure vs. non-secure.

 

WordPress SSL - Insecure connection notice

 

How To Install A SSL Certificate

Knowledge is power and we’ll help you install a SSL certificate onto your WordPress website. For this example, we’ll be using SiteGround as our web host. First, perform a backup of the website. Second, store the backup somewhere easily accessible in case of emergency. Third, we’ll be using the Let’s Encrypt certificate. Lastly, be sure you have all login credentials for WordPress and web host handy.

Log into your cPanel account. Under the Security section, find the Let’s Encrypt icon. Click on the Let’s Encrypt logo.

WordPress SSL - Let's Encrypt Icon

You will land on the Let’s Encrypt SSL overview. From here, you will toggle on HTTPS Enforce. Issuing the SSL certificate is the first step in making your website work properly over HTTPS.

https://www.siteground.com/img/knox/tutorials/uploaded_images/images/letsencrypt/cert3.jpg

Once the HTTPS Enforce has been toggled on, head over to your .htaccess file and add the following code. This will force an HTTPS connection on your website. Replace https://yourdomain.com with your actual domain name.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

If your website is in a subfolder, use this code instead:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} folder
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://yourdomain.com/folder/$1 [R=301,L]

 

There may be additional steps required to perform, such as making all of the images secure, securing third party code snippets like Google Analytics or any other element of the website.

Conclusion

A secure website is a must. For example, any type of website should have a SSL certificate. A secure website ensure numerous benefits. First of all, Google and other search engines are ranking secure websites higher in the search results page. Also, a secure website encrypts customer data. Lastly, we presented a tutorial on how to add a certificate. Good luck and let’s chat in the comments if you run into any issues!

how to change your permalink structure

How To Change WordPress Permalinks

At WP By Hand, we recommend websites choose the correct WordPress permalinks for their website.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss which WordPress permalink structure you should be using and how to make the change on the back end.

What Are WordPress Permalinks?

Permalinks, permanent links, are the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives. For example, a permalink looks like this: http://www.domain.com/about-us. The About Us part in the domain name is the permalink. A clean structured domain with permalinks helps with a businesses search engine optimization (SEO). The easier the URL is to read for humans and search engines. The better chance your website will rank on the search results page. We will not dive deep into SEO, but feel free to read an excellent post on WordPress SEO. In short, using permalinks for a website is a must!

 

What Type Of Permalinks Should You Use?

There are a variety of WordPress permalinks to choose from. For instance, a news website should use the permalinks that include the dates. This particular permalink is called day and name. News sites are publishing stories on a daily basis. Having the date for news articles is helpful for current events. Another example of a permalink is the post name. This particular permalink should be used for brochure and eCommerce websites. We will take the concept a step further. Due to eCommerce websites that sell products, having the post name option is optimal. The post name provides a clean URL structure similar to the example we provided in the first paragraph. The product page has a better chance of ranking well in the search results with a clean URL.

 

Changing WordPress Permalink Setting

Head over to the Settings – Permalinks section in order to change the structure. You will choose which WordPress permalink setting is right for you website. Once you decide on the setting, scroll down to the bottom and click on Save Settings. A word to the wise. If your website has been live for awhile and you are looking to update the permalinks. Be sure to redirect the old permalinks to the new permalinks. Here is a helpful redirect tool from the folks over at Yoast SEO.

 

wordpress permalinks common settings
WordPress Permalinks

 

The redirect tool will allow you to place all of the redirects in the .htaccess file. The .htaccess file may be hidden within your root directory. For instance, you will need to contact your web hosting provider or show hidden files in your FTP client if the file is not present. Once you have finished all of the redirects. Head over to the .htaccess file, open with a text editor, and begin to add the redirects. If the redirects don’t appear to be working, contact the web host provider for more assistance.

Why A WordPress Website Is Awesome For Small Business

WordPress Websites Are Becoming the Norm For Small Businesses.

What exactly is a WordPress website? Wikipedia defines WordPress as a free and open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL. In non-geeky terms, WordPress is a website platform that comes equipped with a content management system (CMS). A CMS allows website owners to update content, publish blog posts, and control every aspect of the website. The platform provides non-savvy programmers the ability to add functionality to their website without knowing code.

Why is a WordPress website becoming so popular? The simplicity of the platform is the main reason. We’ll explain why small business owners are running, not walking, to WordPress.

Small Business Are Embracing WordPress Websites

WordPress is a growing behemoth in the web space. Venture Beat states 25% of all websites on the Internet are run by WordPress. Therefore, one out of four websites is running the WordPress software. Think about that for one second. One of out four websites are using WordPress for their website. Websites like eCommerce, brochure, insurance, and so forth are using WordPress to power their business’ website.

Any size business, small, medium, or enterprise size, are using WordPress for their company needs. For example, the Rolling Stones are using WordPress for their website. WordPress websites are thriving because small businesses are adopting the platform at a rapid pace. For instance, when building a WordPress website, a CMS is provided with the software. A website owner can add photos to the home page. Update text on the about us page. Even add a contact form to the contact page. All in one click. The control a small business owner has over their website is limitless.

The easy to use back end system provides website owners the tools needed to make edits themselves. As a result, small business owners can become their own webmasters. Ideally, a business owner can manage all of the content. However, we’d recommend having a professional handle the web tasks on your behalf. We explain in a blog post why its best to outsource WordPress support.

 

WordPress Website Adoption Rates Are High & Rising

WordPress websites are becoming popular among different types of websites. Everything, from websites that provide general information about their business to a full-fledged online store. Because WordPress has become so popular, many web designers have dedicated their skill set to WordPress exclusively. Hence, the WordPress platform is a popular choice among small business who can collaborate with small business web design firms. What truly separates the platform from others is the community. The WordPress community is a helpful bunch. For example, the WordPress.org website has a section dedicated to free support. Any member of the community can sign up to ask WordPress related questions. There’s a good chance a member of the forum will answer the question. Being helpful is a trait all WordPress advocates possess.

As the adoption rate for WordPress grows, so will the cost-savings for small business. Let me explain. If the WordPress platform was inclusive and not used by many websites, the development rates sky rocket to $250 / hour. An expense that a small business may not be able to endure. However, since WordPress is so popular, a small business has more options to choose from.

 

Giant Ecosystem Of Plugins

Small business websites can benefit from WordPress plugins. A WordPress plugin is a piece of software containing specific features that add to a WordPress website. Due to business owners not knowing how to code, plugins become helpful in this instance. Small business owners are looking for one click and efficient solutions. Plugins are just that. Small pieces of software that provide a function and no programming needed.

WordPress Plugins are the foundation of the platform. A WordPress plugin is installed within the dashboard. Most all WordPress websites have some sort of plugin installed. For example, a popular contact form plugin Contact Form 7 is a free contact form that website owners can use. The plugin provides the ability for website owners to capture leads or answer any questions a customer has.

Plugins are a helpful way of adding functionality to a WordPress website. Unfortunately, some plugins are abandoned by WordPress developers. Here’s a helpful tip, avoid unsupported plugins. Ensure a plugin is updated on a consistent basis. As a result, a plugin will need to be assessed prior to installing into your WordPress website.

 

WordPress Themes – Many To Choose From

Small business owners may not have the funds to pay for a custom website. For example, custom websites can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $50,000. Not an ideal expense for a small business. WordPress and other 3rd party designers have built pre-made themes designed specifically for the platform. Pre-made themes can help prevent the cost of hiring a graphic designer to create a website.

When purchasing pre-made themes, make sure the developer provides support. A lot of pre-made themes on the market sell to customers without support provided. A WordPress theme without support is not ideal. Because if a WordPress theme is not updated consistently, there is a good chance the website can be hacked. In short, it is extremely important to keep a theme updated. A non-updated theme could cause trouble down the road.

Most of all, consumers are unaware of unnecessary features that are provided when purchasing a pre-made theme. For example, lots of pre-made themes come equipped with bloated plugins. Unnecessary, plugins that drag the website down. Therefore, it is best practice to perform due diligence prior to purchasing a pre-made theme.

 

WordPress For The Win

We hope we provided ample information to help business owners make an informed decision when developing a website. There is no such thing as the perfect platform, but we think a WordPress  website can help a small business bottom line.

How To Add An Image

Adding an image to WordPress is easy peasy lemon squeezy. We’ll walk you through every step of adding an image through the WordPress admin.

 

In addition, we’ll provide step by step instructions uploading an image to your WordPress website. Adding an image to a WordPress page or post can augment the page’s appearance. The content is broken up into sections on the page rather than one long section of text. Images compliment the page’s message for the reader, which allow the user to scan the web page more quickly. In this tutorial, how to add an image to WordPress, we’ll provide steps with screenshots you can perform in order to add an image.

The first step is to log into the WordPress admin. The WordPress admin area is accessed by typing in the website’s domain name followed by /wp-admin or wp-login.php. If the domain name followed by either one of the directories provided does not display the login page please contact your web developer.

 

WordPress Login

Once you log in, you’ll be on the WordPress Admin area. Let’s head to the Media menu item on the left hand side. Click on Add New. Here you’ll be on the Upload New Media page. You will have two options when adding an image. The first option is to drag the image from your desktop and onto the dotted square area. The other option is to click on the Select Files button within the dotted square area. A window will pop up asking you to pick an image from the desktop.

 

wordpress-login-page
WordPress Login Screen

 

 

wordpress-dashboard
WordPress Dashboard

 

 

Add An Image

Below is a screenshot of what the page looks like when you click on Add New. As a WordPress admin you have the option of controlling what images to add to the website. You will have the ability to add large, medium, or small images. Before you add an image, you’ll want to make sure the image is compressed to the smallest size possible. An image that is compressed and optimized for a website will load faster. Search engines will thank you when images are optimized for websites by helping you rank better in the search results page. Don’t forget about mobile websites. An optimized image for desktop and mobile is a win win for the website owner.

 

 

Upload New Media WordPress Page
Add New Media

 

 

WordPress Media Library

The WordPress Media library consists of images, videos, audio, and files that you can use in your page or blog post. The WordPress admin can access the Media Library by clicking on the Library menu item. In the Media Library page you will have the ability to edit the image. Simply click on the image and an Attachment Details module will pop up. We highly recommend including a title and alt text for the image. Including an alt text description specifies an alternate text for an image, in case the image cannot be displayed. Search engines recommend websites to include alt text for every image on the website.

 

 

WordPress Media Library
WordPress Media Library

 

 

blog-how-to-add-image-attachment-details
Attachment Details Overview

 

 

How To Add An Image To A Page Or Blog Post

This next step will show you how to add an image to a Page or Blog Post. For this example, we’ll demonstrate how to add an image to a Page on your WordPress website. You’ve already uploaded the image to the Media Library. From here will insert the image into the page. Within any page click on the Add Media button located in the top portion of the website editor. Once you click on the Add Media button, you’ll find yourself in a recognizable place. An insert media module will display on top of the existing page. From here, you will notice all of the images you have uploaded are in one location. Pretty neat huh! Select an image to add to the page. Include the alt text in the Attachment Display Settings for search engine optimization purposes. Voila! Image has been added.

 

 

blog-how-to-add-an-image-to-wordpress-insert-media
Insert Media Module

 

 

Congratulations!

Now that you have mastered adding an image to WordPress you are ready for prime time. Head over to your WordPress website and give this tutorial a try! Start by drafting a blog post for your business and add images to each section of the post. Separate the content out by adding images to each section. By adding images to the blog post, you are breaking up the content into sections. Therefore, helping readers scan the post quickly for their desired content. If you have any questions, let’s chat in the comments section below!

How To Add A Blog Post To WordPress

How To Add A Blog Post To WordPress

Let’s Discuss How To Add A Blog Post To A WordPress Website.

We’re starting a new series of blog posts helping WordPress users by providing detailed tutorials with screenshots. These tutorials will be guides into performing everyday WordPress tasks that website admins perform on a regular basis. In this first tutorial, we’ll focus on adding a blog post to a WordPress website. The tutorial is specific to self-hosted WordPress websites. You may be able to use the advice we presented for WordPress.com. Let’s begin on how to add a blog post onto the back end of the website.

WordPress Admin Login

Before you publish any content, you’ll need to log into the back end of the WordPress website. To do so, simply type in the website’s domain name, followed by /wp-admin/. The /wp-admin/ will work for most WordPress websites. If the website does not redirect you’ll have to contact your web developer for the login page. The web browser will work its magic and place you on the WordPress login page.

 

WordPress Login Page Screenshot
Click Image To See Larger

 

WordPress Dashboard

Once you have successfully logged in, you’ll be in the WordPress Dashboard. From here click on the Posts link located in the left hand side menu. We highlighted the area in a blue box for visual reference.

 

WordPress Dashboard Screenshot
Click Image To See Larger

 

WordPress Post – Add New

Here’s where you click on Add New button. Located in the top area of the web page next to the title Posts.

 

WordPress Add New Button Screenshot
Click Image To See Larger

 

WordPress Post Page Editor

Tada! You have landed on the WordPress Post editor. From here you’ll need to add a title, a custom permalink, the text content for the blog, and many other aspects to complete a blog post. We’ll provide details about each number on the screenshot to better equip you for a blog post.

 

WordPress Blog Post Screenshot Add A Blog Post
Click Image To See Larger

 

Filling In A WordPress Blog Post

Each number correlates with a field in the screenshot above. See below explanation for each number in the screenshot.

  1. Post Title is the headline the user will see on search engines and the website. Make sure to add a relevant title that represents the blog’s post.
  2. When editing a WordPress post permalink, keep the URL concise with the title for the blog post. Good for search engine optimization purposes.
  3. When creating or editing a WordPress blog post, you can easily add images at any time using the WordPress Media Uploader tool. Simply upload the image by clicking on the Add Media button.
  4. The large white space area is for the blog post. As a publisher, you will need to add images, text, and incorporate headers to break up the post. A Microsoft Word document has the same tools as the WordPress editor.
  5. Posts are entries that display the content written by the author. The author can save a draft as the blog post is being written or publish a blog post when the blog is completed.
  6. A Post Format is used by a WordPress theme to customize the presentation of a blog post. Each theme will have it’s own interpretation of a Post Format.
  7. Categories provide a helpful way to group related posts together, and to quickly tell readers what a post is about.
  8. Tags are similar to categories, but are generally used to describe your post in more detail.
  9. The Featured Image is up to the theme’s discretion. However, most themes add the image to the header of the blog post.
small biz for wordpress rocks!

Small Business Embrace WordPress

More and more small business websites are jumping on the WordPress bandwagon. We’re hear to explain why.

WordPress is becoming a behemoth of a platform. Of all the content management systems. WordPress accounts for 68% of the market share. To break it down, two out of three websites are using WordPress software. For a platform that is criticized for being insecure. The statistic is telling a different story. We’ll explain why small business owners are choosing WordPress for their website.

So Why WordPress?

WordPress accounts for nearly 25% of all websites on the internet. Yes you read that statistic correctly. The platform started out mostly for blogging. Over the years, WordPress has built a powerful content management system. Oh and the system itself is open source. Meaning the system is free for anybody to use. Let’s discuss why WordPress has become the website platform choice for small business.

Besides the fact that WordPress is a free platform, why are small business owners using WordPress? One of the main reasons is the simplicity of the website’s back end. WordPress provides website owners the ability to control content on the website. The owner can edit text, add imagery, or publish a blog post in a matter of clicks. Empowering small business owners with the ability to control specific aspects of the website is an invaluable feature. The platform is scalable for any size business. WordPress sites range from mom and pop shops to corporate sites like the Walt Disney company. If a conglomerate the size of the Walt Disney company is using WordPress, we’d say it is more than acceptable for small businesses.

There are numerous features that can help a WordPress website grow. Features like plugins add enhancements to the existing website. Plugins range from contact forms, security, website backups, and so much more. We discussed WordPress plugins in another blog post. Highly recommend reading the blog post to obtain a better understanding of how WordPress plugins work.

WordPress is undeniably one of the top website platforms. We highly recommend the system for any size business. Small business can enhance the company’s digital footprint by being on WordPress.

Search Engine Friendliness

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for any business. Being found on the first page of any search engine results page provides a competitive advantage. We won’t dive too deep into SEO, but the short version goes like this. The WordPress platform comes optimized for search engines right out of the box. All links, the platforms code, and website URLs are optimized for search engines. If you really want to take the website to the next level. You can find a plugin that can help enhance the website’s search optimization. One of the most famous plugins for optimizing a WordPress website is Yoast SEO. The plugin can be configured to optimize numerous aspects of the site. For starters, a web page can be targeted with a specified keyword. The keyword is then scored with a specific color. The color red indicates the page is not optimized, while green translates to being perfectly optimized. The plugin is robust with numerous features. Even with the plugin not being installed, WordPress itself is optimized for the initial stages.

A lot of the SEO technical aspects of the website are already taken care of. The source code on the back end is optimized. WordPress themes are programmed to be search friendly. Good plugins are programmed to integrate nicely with WordPress and search engines. The point we are communicating is WordPress itself is a search friendly platform. The platform allows a small business to enhance the current website.

The WordPress Community

The community that powers WordPress is absolutely amazing. Most, if not all, members of the community are always willing to help. The WordPress community comprise of individuals who are passionate about the WordPress product. If you’ve ever come across the WordPress support forum on WordPress.org. You’ll see there are lots of individuals who try to help one another. No matter how big or small the issue, the community is willing to sacrifice their free time. We’ve adopted customers in the past and have converted customers over to WordPress. Why is this relevant? All WordPress developers, managers, and content coordinators are able to pick up where another company has left off. There are no shortage of individuals, entities, and organizations who work within WordPress.

The community extends beyond the forums. WordPress camps or WordCamps are organized throughout the world for WordPress community members to meet. These WordCamps consist of meetups discussing the future of WordPress. Discussions can consist of new features being implemented. What the future of WordPress holds. Simply a meet and greet with other WordPress advocates. The events take place throughout the year. The community is that large. If a WordPress developer were to leave you. There’s a good chance someone local to the business will be able to assist. Small business owners do not need to worry about finding a replacement.

Conclusion

We discussed why WordPress is such an awesome platform small businesses. How a WordPress website comes equipped with SEO best practices. The WordPress community are a loyal bunch of individuals. If you are not convinced by the article of why WordPress isn’t right for you. Let’s chat in the comments section to discuss your concerns. We have a strong feeling we can turn you into a WordPress advocate like us!

WordPress Security Tips

WordPress Security Tips For Businesses

WordPress security should be a high priority for all WordPress sites. Even though it may be an afterthought.

WordPress security has always been a hot topic for discussion. A lot of customers we interact with are concerned about WordPress vulnerabilities. We’re here to tell you that WordPress, like all other platforms, is not invincible. However, if you keep plugins, themes, and WordPress core up to date, you’re already winning half the battle. We’ll discuss some important tips for hardening a WordPress website. In addition, we’ll provide WordPress security plugins to help along the way.

Host Your Website With A Great Web Host

We’ve dealt with plenty of different hosting vendors. We don’t like saying this out loud, but some are lousy, while others are really top notch. When we perform an audit or a customer is having issues with the website. We always like to review the host the customer is on. Almost half of all websites that are comprised are due to their web host. What do we mean? A staggering 41% of hacked websites are through a security vulnerability found on their hosting platform. The statistic is astonishing! There are numerous steps you can take in order to help harden your website. For starters, always check with a web host if the company supports the latest PHP version. Chances are the answer is yes. Perform some due diligence and ask questions. Verify with the hosting company if a WordPress Firewall is included. A Firewall provides a layer of security in front of your website. Highly recommend you shop around to see what host suits your needs and budget.

Stronger Login Credentials

Don’t make an website attackers life easy by having a simplified password. Use a password that is hard to guess. There have been plenty of times when a customer is using a password that is oversimplified. We won’t embarrass any of our customers because we love them too much. A good rule of thumb is having a password with 12 – 14 characters in length. Throw in some special characters such as exclamation points, question marks, and asterisks. Don’t get cute and use numbers for letters. Everyone has caught on to that game. Add some numbers to the mix as well. The more complex the password the better. Even a random password generator can be used. There are numerous sites that can randomly generate passwords for you to use. Use the password generator and store the passwords in a secure place.

Back in the old days of WordPress, the default username “admin” was used to create the administrator for the WordPress site. Fast forward to the present, the administrator has the ability to create any username. We still see WordPress websites using “admin” as the primary administrator account. Stop! The problem with using “admin” is hackers already know this fact. You’ve already provided the directions to the house. All these attackers need to figure out is the password for the website. Chances are the hacker will figure it out. The best way to keep the WordPress login secure is to change the username to something unique. The more unique, the better you are off.

Remember strong login credentials are a must have. A hard to guess password, coupled with a unique username make a hackers life more difficult. If you really want to remain secure, you should change passwords on a scheduled basis. Practice safe security with complex passwords and unique usernames.

Limit Login Attempts

We stay with the login theme with another helpful tip. There are scripts and plugins that can help limit login attempts. We’ll discuss the plugin in detail. An excellent reviewed plugin that provides limit login attempts is Login Security Solution. The plugin provides many different amenities. Everything from limiting login attempts into a WordPress site to blocking brute force attacks attempting to login.  In a brute force attack, automated software is used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the value of the desired data. In our case, the attacker is attempting to guess the username and password to force themselves into the website’s back end. The Login Security Solution plugin has a setting that recognizes this type of attack. The software in the plugin shuts out the hacker without affecting real administrators. After multiple attempts of failure, the likelihood of the attacker moving on to an easier site increases. Another plugin that we’ll discuss in another blog post is WordFence. Quick overview, WordFence is a robust plugin that provides many WordPress security features. Including the limit login attempts. Install the Limit Login Attempts plugin. We know it will help in the long run.

Use Common Sense

When it comes to making sure the website is secured, use common sense. Don’t give out login credentials to strangers. Don’t ever add another administrator to your WordPress site. Do not give strangers FTP access. Be wary of people around you. Make sure no one is watching you enter your credentials into your website. If something doesn’t feel right, do not do it. Listen to your gut. Practice secure credential transfers with emailing the username and texting the password to the other party. This helps prevent your username and password being out on the internet. Using common sense can go a long way.

WordPress security is a concern website owners should be wary of. Having the website harden by a WordPress professional is something a businesses should consider. One WordPress security we didn’t discuss much was performing regular website backups. We actually have a blog post dedicated to WordPress backups. We highly recommend you read the post. Get caught up on the best practices for backing up. Find out what plugins we recommend for those backups. If you have any questions be sure to comment below and we’d be happy to answer!

5 Types Of WordPress Websites You Can Create

The WordPress website platform recently reached the 25% milestone! The 25% represents the amount of websites on the Internet that are using the platform to power a website. Think about that for a moment. One out of every four websites are WordPress based. Impressive! WordPress is one of the top platforms trusted by many types of industries. We thought it would be a good idea to present the types of website’s WordPress powers. Let’s discuss how individuals, businesses, and non-profit websites are using WordPress.

Blog or Personal WordPress Website

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Personal WordPress Theme

 

WordPress began as a blogging platform that many early adopters used. The platform was clean in design, simple to use, and open source. Fast forward to today, lots of individuals use WordPress to blog about themselves and categories that interest them. Everything under the sun can be blogged about. Topics like politics, music, family, travel, health, you name it and there’s someone, somewhere blogging about one of these subjects. The personal / blog website is the lowest common denominator of all WordPress websites built today.

Business WordPress Website

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X Theme Business WordPress Theme

Business based website’s have rapidly adopted WordPress as a platform to run the company website. Professionals ranging from lawyers, doctors, and real estate agents are using WordPress to augment the work the business has accomplished to present to their core audience. WordPress was built with small to medium businesses in mind. For example, WordPress comes with a standard content management system (CMS) that allows the business to manage all of the content on the website. We mentioned WordPress being open source (aka free) to the public. Any cost conscious business understands saving money. WordPress provides a business the ability to manage its own website with ease.

eCommerce WordPress Website

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eCommerce WordPress Theme

You’re thinking, WordPress can be an eCommerce site? The quick answer is yes! Back in May of this year, the folks at Automattic purchased the popular WooCommerce system. In a nutshell, WooCommerce is a plugin that turns a WordPress website into a powerhouse eCommerce website. The plugin provides the ability to have a product page, establish pricing for specific products, control the shipping cost and so much more. The plugin itself is extremely robust. With WooCommerce a WordPress website will become an eCommerce website within in minutes.

Non-Profits and Religious WordPress Websites

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Non-Profit WordPress Theme

Foundations, charities, and non-profits are using the WordPress platform to raise awareness for the organization’s main cause. The platform fits perfectly for these types of websites. As we mentioned above, the WordPress platform for self hosted websites is a free platform. With these types of organizations who are not generating revenue on a consistent basis, having a WordPress based site keeps the cost low. Lastly, there are plenty of designers and developers who have themes specifically targeted to these organizations.

Portfolio WordPress Websites

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Portfolio WordPress Theme

Photographers, web and graphic designers, and artists this category is suitable for you. Nothing speaks louder than displaying previous projects and seeing what the designer has accomplished. The portfolio site is the perfect way to display finished products for potential customers. In addition, providing an explanation of what entailed to complete the project gives customers an inside look into how the project was completed and what steps were taken in order to accomplish the final product.

As you have read, WordPress has become a monster of a website platform. Not only does the platform account for 25% of all websites on the Internet, but a WordPress website can be used for any type of site. Feel free to share some of your websites in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!