We live in a digital world. Just look at where you’re reading this article right now—without that phone, tablet, or laptop in front of you, this content would never reach you. The best way to learn anything nowadays? Online classes—they’re cheap (or completely free), and you can take them anytime, anywhere, and in any fashion you prefer. See, the future isn’t so bad after all. To get you started, here are 13 courses you can take—starting today—to boost your digital knowledge (and even add some bullet points to your resume!).
You don’t need to cough up to give your small business the edge when it comes to visual content marketing. In the age of content marketing, high quality images are becoming increasingly important. But for many small business owners, taking top-notch photos, or even paying someone else to take them, is too costly. One alternative is to find beautiful images that can be used without a fee – and that’s where the numerous online collections of free images come in. We’ve rounded up 21 places to find free images to give your business’s marketing an edge.
Did you know that Skype has a share button? We didn’t either until a reader asked us for a tutorial on how to add the Skype share button in WordPress. Skype is one of the most popular communication apps in the world. In this article, we will show you how to easily add a Skype share button in WordPress. First thing you need to do is install and activate Skype share plugin (see our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress plugin).
It might be easier to say what this guide isn’t, rather than what it is. It isn’t an in depth look at every single function available within the WordPress dashboard. Nor is it a guide to help you develop or modify WordPress themes. My aim is to create a simple WordPress manual that will help you to get an overall understanding of how you use the various features within the WordPress Dashboard to keep your site or blog updated. If you’re looking for more in-depth knowledge, there are heaps of articles in the WordPress Codex that go into more detail. This is great if you want to get really involved in developing your own WordPress theme or modifying your site with plugins, but it can be a bit daunting for those users who just want a simple guide to using the Content Management side of WordPress or just need to update their site pages every so often.
We all know how important it is to keep in touch with clients on a regular basis to nurture and retain them to keep buying from you. put up your hand if you are guilty of starting a weekly newsletter, all with good intentions to keep writing and publishing only to struggle to get the first one out and have it fall by the wayside at issue two or three.
Let’s face it, who has 3 to 5 or more hours a month to sit down and dream up good content to write on a regular basis? Running the businesses and working with clients gets in the way and no one I know (let alone me) wants to spend a Sunday tapping out well written prose to send to clients to keep in touch, possibly with a touch of guilt at putting aside an activity which is so important.
This lead me to find an easier way to create a regular newsletter in less than 30 minutes a week. Don’t believe me? Then, try this and tell me I’m wrong.
Set Up The Tools And Process For The Weekly Newsletter
It is a prerequisite to have a WordPress website. You can probably hack these steps for other website and newsletter platforms, but WordPress has some inbuilt features and plugins that make the process so simple and effortless.
- Install and configure Newsletter Plugin
- Create an email capture form on website with the Newsletter Plugin
- Install and configure Quick Redirects Plugin
- From your dashboard go to “Tools”and drag the “Press This” link to your Bookmarks in your browser
- Set up content curation methods to receive content published from other sources that you can potentially use in your newsletter AND is high quality and of real value to your subscribers. NOTE: Do not use content from your direct competitors! After all you don’t want to be sending your hard won customers across town. The articles should be related to your industry and your customers interests.
- Set up a unique email address or inbox rules to receive this content. This prevents the articles and news getting lost in your day to day mail.
- Schedule a 30 minute time slot once a week (or 6 minutes a day) to skim through the articles and content you have received and using the process below, select the best ones for your newsletter.
Once you have set the system up on your WordPress Website you are ready to go.
Creating Your Weekly Newsletter
- Using “Press This” bookmark create posts from articles you and your clients may be interested in
- Add a “Featured Image”, ideally from the original article
- Check the excerpt text and format if required
- Add “Categories” and “Tags”
- Set the Quick Page/Post Redirect Link URL to the source URL of the article
- Tick “Make Redirect Active”
- Tick “Open in a new window” if you want the visitor to keep your website open
- Set “Type of Redirect” to “301 Permanent”
- Schedule the publish date in advance so that you publish an article each day before the newsletter is due
Helpful Apps To Get Your Weekly Newsletter Content Automatically
- Google Alerts
- Social Media Posts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Subscribe to Newsletters and RSS Feeds
Let us know how you go with your newsletter. If you have any improvements, comments or catches leave a comment below. This process is so simple to implement and you also can have a weekly newsletter with a very small amount of effort.
If you need a hand to set it up, sing out and we’ll be more than happy to assist.
WordCamp Auckland 2017 Presentation
If you are unfortunate to experience a hacked WordPress site, while annoying, it can be fixed. We have fixed hundreds of hacked websites since 2008 and have developed this checklist to clean up and secure against future malicious intrusions.
This does require knowledge of MySQL, PHP and the WordPress code environment. If you are unsure of any of the steps, there are plenty of articles and videos if you search. Many will be technical so you may need help along the way if you get stuck. Feel free to reach out if you do need assistance.
Step 1. Preparation
- Put the website into ‘maintenance mode’ (optional but prevents people and search engines visiting and experencing undesirable activity)
- Take a complete backup of the website and database (IMPORTANT: Do this before doing anything so you have a point to revert back to if something goes terribly wrong)
- Create a copy of the site to perform the cleanup
- Scan the website to identify infected files and directories
- Scan the content to identify malware, viruses, bad links, and vulnerabilities
- Check logs for information about access and malicious activity
Step 2. Clean Files and Directories
- Remove Unused Themes and Plugins
- Scan Uploads Directory for foreign code
- Check and clean wp-config.php
- Check and clean .htaccess file
- Check and remove foreign files and directories
- Delete Infected Plugins and install clean versions
- Delete Infected Theme (if not customised) and install a clean version
- If Theme has been customised, clean up infections
- Delete WordPress Core and Install a clean version
Step 3. Clean Database
- Scan Database for infection and clean
- Remove Spam Comments
- Remove Post and Page Revisions (to prevent to accidentally reintroducing malicious content)
- Remove suspicious links
- Remove suspicious content
Step 4. Secure
- Change database Prefix
- Set file permissions to 755
- Set Directory Permissions to 644
- Create blank Index files to prevent contents of directories being accessible via browser
- Reset Salt Keys
- Remove ‘admin’ username
- Check User Roles and remove access for suspicious users
Step 5. Plugins (Install and Configure)
- WP Hashcash
- Jetpack and Activate Protect and Monitor Modules
Step 6. Completion
- Remove the infected live site
- Replace with the cleaned version
- Take a complete backup of clean site
- Optimise Database
Step 7. Ongoing Maintenance and Security
- Regular Backups of Website and Database stored securely away from the hosting server
- Keep WordPress up to date as each version is released
- Keep Plugins and Themes up to date as each version is released
- Delete Spam comments
- Keep Passwords strong and secure (Ideally use an application like LastPass.com to generate and securely store login details)
- Monitor and scan regularly for suspicious activity
- If you notice anything suspicious, take action to identify and resolve immediately
Need Help To Fix A Hacked WordPress Website
If you just want to get you website up and running again, or don’t have the time or technical know how to do it yourself, contact us and we will get you up and running again. This can normally be sorted out with a turnaround of a business day. If it is urgent we can down tools and get your website fixed in a few hours depending on the size of the site and the extent of the hacking.
You will need to provide:
- Administrator Access to the WordPress Website
- Hosting cPanel or Control Panel (with FTP and PHPMyAdmin)
- Fresh copies of Premium Themes and Plugins or login details to obtain clean versions
Ongoing WordPress Maintentance & Support
“Prevention is better than cure” – a cliche but so true online. Enquire about the Maintenance Plans available to keep your website safe, secure, backed up and optimised. If your website should be compromised you will be fully operational again in a matter of minutes rather than days. We look after and maintain WordPress sites for a number of clients directly, and for other web design and development agencies.