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Importance of Maintenance

Importance of Website Maintenance

If you have a WordPress website, then you’re guaranteed WordPress Version updates/upgrades and WordPress Plugin updates/upgrades.
If you ask, people may tell you that your website will continue to run fine without updating. Please don’t be misled. If the updates weren’t important to your site, they would never be published.
Plugin’s are designed by different individuals. These designers work on their own schedule and updates can be random. WordPress sites are built, using multiple plugins, with individual updates popping up at any time.

I charge a flat monthly fee for WordPress updates/maintenance for your Website.
When you hire my services, you have the assurance your website is kept updated and the confidence your site is secure.
The fact that security fixes are tied to upgrades can be both confusing and annoying, but it is a policy that is here to stay for the foreseeable future.(and not just for WordPress CMS)

Why should you update your site? Here are just a few reasons:

One massive and certain problem with not updating is that software always contains security vulnerabilities. So once they’re discovered, it’s easy for a malicious hacker to exploit them.
There are five main reasons for keeping every aspect of your WordPress site up to date, which are:

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Bug fixes
  • Compatibility
  • Features

Each of these is important for different reasons, but it can be argued that security is the most important of all.  If you don’t have your website and plugins updated, you’re vulnerable to security problems.
(You have heard or seen these Bank Phishing Websites? Those are often hosted on unsuspecting real WordPress or Joomla Site in a Sub Directory WITHOUT the Website Owner being aware of it, UNTIL the hosting Company shuts down the Website due to Complaints.)

One of the reasons that WordPress is increasingly becoming the target of security attacks is because it’s so big. A CMS that powers up to a quarter of the internet will doubtless attract the attention of anyone wanting to insert malicious code, take sites down or steal data.

Updates aren’t just for security. Often they’ll improve the performance of WordPress itself, or of a plugin or theme.  A reason for Minor WordPress Releases is to fix bugs.

Major releases tend to be very stable and bug-free thanks to the meticulous development cycle and the legions of people helping with testing, but sometimes a bug will slip through the net, and a minor release will come out to fix it.

Plugins and themes are the same: Make sure to have them updated, in case they fix bugs that could be affecting your site.

After a major WordPress release, a lot of plugins will get an update to ensure compatibility with the new version, or to make use of new features.Occasionally, you might find that an update to WordPress or to a plugin results in compatibility problems with another plugin, which is why it’s important to back up the website before updating.

Keeping your site up-to-date also gives you access to new features. Plugins can do this, too. This means that keeping things up-to-date gives you access to the latest goodies.

Keeping your installation up-to-date is an important part of managing any WordPress site. It will ensure that your site performs as efficiently as possible and more importantly, it will keep on top of bug fixes and security patches. It’s one of the most effective methods for enhancing security, especially when teamed with the use of strong passwords.

Yoast Security Vulnerability Found

yoast-seo

Our security partner WordFence has found a vulnerability in the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin version 3.2.4. Please verify your Yoast SEO Version in your WP Admin Back-end if you are using WP and Yoast. The Latest Secure Version is 3.2.5.

If you are using Yoast, and not one of our clients on a monthly maintenance plan, we encourage you to upgrade to version 3.2.5 immediately.

Web Application Firewall Setup (WP)

What IS the Wordfence Web Application Firewall?

The Web Application Firewall stops you from getting hacked by identifying malicious traffic, blocking attackers before they can access your website. Powered by the Threat Defense Feed, it is automatically updated with new firewall rules that protect you from the latest threats. Even if you are running a vulnerable plugin or theme, Wordfence will protect you from being hacked by blocking attacks based on known and constantly updated attack patterns.
Wordfence protects you from new and emerging threats

The Wordfence Forensic Lab is constantly adding new firewall rules to the Threat Defense

Setup Process

When the Wordfence Web Application Firewall is first installed, at the top of WordPress admin pages, you will see “To make your site as secure as possible, take a moment to setup the Wordfence Web Application Firewall.”

When you click the “Click here to configure” button, the setup page will detect the server configuration for your site. You should not need to change this option, but you can, if you know that your server configuration is not detected correctly. Click the Continue button.

The next page may recommend downloading one or more files (.htaccess and .user.ini) for backup purposes, in case your host does not support this setup. You can upload the backup files to your site if there are any problems. Once you have downloaded the files, you can click Continue to complete the setup.

On some hosts, you may have to wait up to 5 minutes, for the change to take effect.

Solutions to Error Messages and Setup Issues

SiteGround and other hosts without .user.ini support

If the “Click here to configure” button still appears after completing setup and waiting about 5 minutes, your host may not use the typical configuration files, such as .user.ini.

On SiteGround other other similar hosts that use cPanel:

  1. After attempting the installation, click the “Click here to configure” button again
  2. Look at the line that says something like: auto_prepend_file = ‘/home/username/public_html/wordfence-waf.php’
  3. Copy the “path” that appears between the quotes – yours will be different. In this example: /home/username/public_html/wordfence-waf.php
  4. Go to your site’s cPanel, and click the PHP Variables Manager icon
  5. Click the link that says “public_html”
  6. Enter “auto_prepend_file” as the variable name, and paste the path that you copied
  7. Turn on the checkbox “Apply changes to all sub-directories” and click Save

If the site will not load properly, check the path you pasted to be sure there are no extra letters, quotes, slashes, etc. in the PHP Variables Manager. If it still will not work, you can try deleting the path and saving the settings, to return the site to its previous state and try again.

Using php.ini with multiple sites on a single hosting account

If you have multiple sites on a single hosting account and need to use php.ini like in the cases above, you may need to add a similar php.ini file for each additional site, in each site’s subdirectory. In this case, you may also need to add code like this in each additional site’s .htaccess file, to tell PHP which php.ini file to use:

SetEnv PHPRC /home/user/public_html/sitename/php.ini

You will need to adjust the path for your site and the site’s directory name, before adding this to the .htaccess file. If the subdirectory site’s .htaccess file already has a similar line, this change may not be needed.

Note: Some hosts may require PHPRC to show the path without “php.ini” at the end.

Other security plugins

Some security plugins can change permissions of files and directories. If you have a security plugin that does that, you can temporarily turn off those options, run the firewall setup, then re-enable those options. When these features are enabled, you may see the messages in the Error messages section.

Error messages

If you see error messages about file permissions, check if you have another security plugin that changes permissions, and temporarily set the files or directories to be writable. If you have previously set file permissions manually, make sure that the web server user can write to these files or directories temporarily.

This only needs to be done during the initial firewall setup process, so you can re-enable other security measures after setup is complete.

Possible error messages include:

  • We were unable to create the wordfence-waf.php file in the root of the WordPress installation
  • This means that new files cannot be written to the main folder of your site
  • We were unable to make changes to the .htaccess file.
  • Check to make sure that the .htaccess file can be written by the web server user, and then try the process again
  • We were unable to make changes to the .user.ini file.
  • Some server configurations need this file in addition to .htaccess
  • Some hosts may use a different filename
  • If you don’t already have the file mentioned in the message, make sure the main folder of the site is writable

Each of these issues can be solved by temporarily disabling permissions changes made by other security plugins, or by manually adjusting permissions.

Other installation issues

If you have other security measures that prevent the necessary files from being updated, or if you have manually set file permissions, you can set up the firewall manually. When you click the “Click here to configure” button, follow the directions at the bottom of the page below the Alternate Method heading.

Depending on your server configuration, you may be prompted to create wordfence-waf.php, and edit or create .htaccess or .user.ini files in the site’s main directory.

Still need help?

If you cannot complete the setup and the steps above do not help, you can contact me, or order a paid customization.

I increased Search Engine Visibility by …%

Search Engines are a way of life and your ability to be viewed will impact your business and sales. So how can you improve your ranking and better compete with the competition? Here are 10 easy ways to improve your site’s visibility and make an immediate impact:

Action 1: Search Engine Verification

First, you need to see if your site is properly interacting with Google, Yahoo and Bing by verifying your site and sitemaps and monitor statistics. Register with Google Webmaster Tools, create an account and upload code to your server for Google to spider. Then create a XML sitemap for all your pages and upload it to your Webmaster Tools account. Then you will be able to monitor pages indexed by Google, indexing errors, what keywords are being found, quantity of incoming links, broken links and much more.Contact me if you need help with this.

Action 2: Identify Your Primary Keywords

It’s good to analyze your keywords and what your customers are actually using to search you. Create a list of all imaginable keywords, ask for additional ones from colleagues, family and friends. You should have a list of at least 50 keywords / phrases. Then run them through a keyword research tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword Tool and select the ones that generate the most number of searches per day.

Action 3: Keyword Rich Content

Now integrate them into your page content. Do not repeat the keywords more than 3 or 4 times on a page. Next, rewrite your page titles, tags and headings with the new keywords. When you create new pages, seed the keywords into your file names.

Action 4: Unique Title and Meta Tags

Variety is good, so do not have the same Meta tags on each page. Vary them per page with new and unique Title and Meta descriptors that mirrors the actual page content. Again, seed them with your new and improved keywords.

 

Action 5: Install and Monitor Analytics

Statistics are the proof of any website’s ability to perform. Install Google Analytics immediately! It’s free and it will provide you with stats on web traffic and great marketing information. You will be able to monitor how visitors are interacting with your site, what pages they visit most, time spent on site, etc. You can then adjust your site to improve its performance.

Action 6: Be Fresh

That doesn’t mean to be rude. New content keeps the search engines returning to your site. By adding fresh content, you are telling the search engine spiders and your customers that you have lots to offer and it is an active and vibrant site worth visiting. And remember to seed the content with those new and improved keywords.

Action 7: Check Internal Links

Linking will significantly affect your search results. Make sure you check all you internal linking so there is nothing broken. Also check how you are linking between your own site pages affects page rank. Again, keywords in link structure are important. Change “click here” to “read more about xyz widget”. Google recognizes the relevance of a keyword-rich link to the content on the linking page.

Action 8: Utilize the Social Media

Social Media will help promote your site and bring in active links / visitors. Start utilizing the social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Whenever you make a blog post, a product announcement, special promotion or publish a newsletter, cross-post your social network. You’ll get more traffic and more incoming links, and more search engine juice.

Action 9: Get Connected

External links are extremely important and will affect your site’s ranking on search engines. The more incoming links to your site the more valued by search engines. They view you as an authority site if you have garnered a significant number of external links. Of course these external links must be quality as well and not spam from link farms.

Action 10: Site Speed

Another critical factor to improve search engine visibility is making sure your site loads quickly, thereby improving its performance. Google can has tools such as Page Speed that can help you diagnose and fix speed issues. A slow loading site will definitely affect Page Rank and number of page views.Test your Speed AND Mobile Friendliness here

Timeline for Results

Continue to be active because your site is a living, breathing entity at least as the search world views it. Continue to work and improve your site by adding new content, monitor your site’s performance, and be willing to put the time into changing or adding to it. Use your webmaster tools and analytics programs regularly.

By following these 10 Action Steps you should see results in 2 months. Why not start today!

If you do not have the patience or technical know-how please contact me and I can assist or advise.

Benefits of a MailChimp Account

What is MailChimp and how does it work?

MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service. It helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results.

Is MailChimp Free to Use?

MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan allows you to send 12,000 total emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers. This means you could send six times to 2,000 subscribers or 10 times to 1,200 subscribers at a time. However, you can only send up to 2,000 total e-mails in a 24-hour period.

How to really use MailChimp to grow your Brand(or Email List)

Some of the features below come with the forever free account (for under 2,000 subscribers) and some are features of a paid account. I will mark which is which below.

11 Features and Benefits of MailChimp

I am not going to explain how to use the awesome themes that you can start with or how you can make templates of your own out of your designs to save you time when you send out emails, but rather focus on the features I don’t think people use enough.

RSS to Email

Totally FREE.
It is NOT a new concept to offer readers the option to subscribe to get all your blog posts via email, however, some software makes it difficult to set up, and some software delivers the emails in a less-than-attractive way.

I started my RSS-to-email list after a friend and blogreader asked for a way to get my posts via email. She doesn’t use Feedly or Bloglovin’, and she wanted to make sure not to miss a post. Instead of trying to add her to my old, ugly system, I decided to see if MailChimp had an option. Here is how to:

  1. Create a new list (ex: Posts via Email).
  2. Click “Create Campaign” from the Dashboard.
  3. Choose “RSS-Driven Campaign.” As in the image below.
  4. Put in your RSS feed URL. If you want to combine multiple RSS feeds into your emails (as in: you have more than one blog), combine your feeds with ChimpFeedr. P.S. Most WordPress blogs have a feed URL of http://yourdomainhere.com/feed.
  5. Select the frequency you want your emails to send (daily/weekly/monthly), the days of the week you want them to go out on, and the time of day you want them to send.
  6. Choose the list you created (on the next screen) as the list your blog posts will be sent to.
  7. Name your campaign (internally–only you will see this), then decide the “Email subject” your recipients will see, along with other details such as your “from name.”
  8. Choose a MailChimp theme, select a template, go with a basic layout, or code your own design to control how the RSS emails will appear.
  9. Design your email as normal, but make sure to include the “RSS Items” block in your email so that your most recent posts will be placed in the email. As in the second image below.
  10. Preview your email and launch your campaign. P.S. Here’s some more info. directly from MailChimp on how to set up RSS to email: Tutorial time. P.P.S. If you’re using WordPress, you can change whether your emails and people’s RSS readers show your full post or just a snippet by going to Settings >> Reading and choosing Full Text or Summary. As in the third picture below.

mailchimp-rss-to-email

mailchimp-rss-to-email01
mailchimp-rss-to-email02

Chimpadeedoo

Another FREE feature.
This is an app for your Android or Apple tablet that lets you collect email addresses for your list even when you’re not online–they’ll simply be imported when you’re back online. The app is handy for those of us with physical locations to use in shop/coffee shop/boutique/office, but it’s also handy for those of us who host workshops, classes, and other events where people may want to sign up for our lists.

You can even customize the appearance of the signup screen. “Use one of our custom background themes, or add your own background and logo. Pick your font and button style, write your own copy, and connect the form to any MailChimp list.”

So, whether at a workshop or at your business, if you want to offer people a discount or some cool content for signing up for your very attractive, custom-designed list, you can capture the signups on-site and hand over the discount/item immediately. Hello, awesome.

Geolocation

More FREE features.
When your subscribers open your emails, MailChimp tracks their geographic location. So not only can you check out your lists and see how many people are reading your emails from France or from California, but you can also target specific locations with certain emails or offers. When it comes time for you to host your first seminar in your city or state, you’ll be able to just email a segment of your email list that is in the same city/state (and surrounding states if you wish). Or when you want to talk news or coupons that only relate to a certain location of your business, you can email only those people.

Delivery by Time Zone

Available with a paid account.
When I send out an email at 11 a.m. Austin, Texas time, my friend gets it at 5 p.m. in London, and my other friend gets the email at 1 a.m. in her local time in Western Australia. This is not optimal. Instead, I can create my email and select to send it at 8 a.m. in every single time zone. One recipient friend opens it at 8:01 a.m. in London, and the other recipient friend opens it at 8:01 a.m. in Bunbury.

You can also choose to do “send time optimization,” which allows MailChimp to select the best time (based on locations + habits) to deliver your email.

Design for Really Smart People Who are Design Challenged

FREE Feature.
A picture is worth a 1000 words. You can add images, buttons, social media links, custom code, and dividers to your emails with just a click, drag + drop.

mailchimp-designoptions

Collabable (as in Collaboration or Client Management)

This is FREE as well.
You want to manage social media and emails for clients? Set yourself up as an admin and give them management, authorship, or viewer access so they can see what you create before it’s sent. Or have them set up the account and add in access for you so you can create cool designs and fancy wording before the campaign goes live.

Or use collaboration to work with other people in your own small business and split some of the email duties.

Automation

Available with a paid account.
Do you want to automatically send an email and coupon out to your customers+friends on their birthdays? Or perhaps an email on the anniversary of them joining your list? You can set these automatic emails up quite easily.

Do you want to sell or offer a free email course that is automatically delivered on a schedule you set? Or a series of emails that is scheduled based on when your recipient opened the last email in the series or clicked on a certain link?
Maybe you want to send an email with certain resources right after someone signs up for your list? Or, maybe you are feeling the option to send a follow-up email to someone who opens an email from you and clicks through to a specific URL on your site (like a sales page, or a particular blog post). All of these things are possible with Automation.
mailchimp-automation

A/B Testing

FREE!
You have two email subject lines in mind, but are not sure whether people will want to see your name or your shop name in the “from:” field . . . or you want to figure out whether people like getting your emails in the morning or during the afternoon hours to help reinvigorate them . . . do an A/B Test.

You can send your two options to 40% of your total audience (20% and 20%) and then, based on which email performs better, MailChimp will deliver that email to the rest of your list (the other 60%).
<h3?Social Pro

This is a PAID add-on, starting at $1/month, for brands with paid accounts.
Find out which subscribers are on which social networks with Social Pro. Want to target just people who are on Twitter with a special offer or request? Only want to email your Facebook users with your 30 best Facebook tips?

You can even figure out who your most active email friends are on social media and just target them. There’s lots to do, depending on how specific you want to get.

Amazing Amount of Guidance

FREE!
MailChimp has an abnormally large amount of DIY, tutorial, and help files available.

Inbox Inspection

Available with a paid account.
Different email clients and apps (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo!, Android, Apple Mail, Thunderbird) interpret the code of your fancy HTML emails differently. This means your email may look different to some of your recipients. With Inbox Inspection, MailChimp takes your readers’ 10 most popular clients and allows you to preview exactly how your email will look.

Inbox Inspection helps you cover your gluteus minimus and maximus by also checking for any words or phrases that are likely to trigger spam filters. MailChimp identifies the exact places that make you look spammy and gives you the option to change your email before sending it out and possibly being rejected by inboxes everywhere.

You can set up a FREE MailChimp Account here but if you do not have the time nor patience to do it then I can take care of the setup for a small fee.
Please note: The MailChimp Account is free, My Fee is for the time invested online.

Moving your old html site to WordPress

I can take your old website and port it over to the WordPress content management platform.(or Joomla CMS if preferred)

If your current site is a little past its best, moving it to WordPress can completely transform its effectiveness.

If your current website is more than a few years old, there’s a good chance that it’s out-of-date in terms of how it was built and how it functions. If it is not running as well as it could be it will potentially be under-performing in searches and you could be losing out on potential new business.

Moving your site to WordPress CMS will transform the way you use it and how well it performs.

I build sites that are fully editable by my customers via a password protected admin backend – from text and images to navigation and site structure, you’ll be able to take control over every element of your site without needing to call for help to get a word changed.

Add into this the ability to manage your own on-page search engine optimization with the excellent Yoast SEO Plugin and you’re all set to start winning new business through your site.

Get in touch if you want to move your site to WordPress or need more details.

Increase your Search Engine Visibility

Increase your Search Engine Visibility from as little as € 49.00 (once off)

your website visibilityI do NOT want to use the Term “Be first on Google” or “Guaranteed Nr 1 on Google” as I do not believe this can be guaranteed, but anybody’s Google Position or Visibility could certainly be improved with the right ‘White Hat’ Techniques.

There are many ways to achieve this without falling foul of Google’s Policy regarding Search Engine Optimization.
YOU know your Business Best!
Put yourself into your potential Customers Shoes and try to find out WHICH Words or Phrases they would use on Google, Bing or Yahoo to find YOU and YOUR WEBSITE
Keep in Mind that different Users will use different Keywords to find YOU (some might use the same word but spelled differently or use a hyphen or underscore between Words etc.
Ask your Friends and Family what THEY would GOOGLE for and you will get many different Answers.
The Keywords THEY use should be contained within your Website’s Text. You can also use one of the many free Keyword Research Tools online.
Do you want to improve YOUR Search Engine Ranking?
Please fill out this short form and I will give you a no obligation estimate of what CAN be done or achieved.
[si-contact-form form=’4′]
Please note that the final Cost depends on your Websites Architecture and some other Factors.FTP, Website Back End or Control Panel Login Details might be required to optimize your Website.

From Zero to Hero!

Sign up For the From Zero to Hero Campaign

The success of your Website is determined by how well it is ranked on the search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your ranking on all the search engines for you to have a prime spot on the organic search results (free listings). If your site enjoys first position on the first page of the search engine’s search result, you will enjoy endless exposure (FOR FREE).

Search Engine Optimization however does not have an immediate effect, especially if your website is not ranked well. Sometimes it can take days, weeks and even months depending on how well the websites of your competition are ranked.

That said,  and with trial and error experience we have developed a system which will give you immediate exposure; First Page Exposure!

Our “From Zero to Hero” package includes the following:

  • Immediate first page exposure on Google, Yahoo (optional) and Bing (optional)
    On some keywords on Google clients occupy up to 80% of the first page search results.
  • Your site is submitted to more than 200 indexes and search engines world wide
    This will increase your rankings on most search engines (inbound links)
  • SEO for your existing website (Optional)

We are also concentrating heavily on WEBSITE SPEED and MOBILE COMPATABILITY as those 2 Factors recently have become very important Ranking Factors.
Many of our clients who opted for the From Zero to Hero campaign have stopped all forms of print advertising. The From Zero to Hero campaign has become their main source of business.

The From Zero to Hero campaign is perfect for “Big Bang” approach advertising for ANY business in ANY industry. If you contact us now we can have your Website / Product listed on the first page of Google within days!

Accommodation / Tourism Industry
Want to raise your occupancy up to 80% or more? This campaign is perfect for travel agencies, guest houses, lodges, hotels and other services in the Hospitality Industry.

Furniture Removals / Transport Industry
We have various platforms and advertising options available to advertise your products / services for you to operate at maximum capacity.

The ones above are just two examples. This concept can be applied across all industries. We have statistics to prove this fact.

Contact us to find out more about how we can KICK START your business and literally take it to the next level.

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