Many of my Facebook friends have taken the “Ten-Year Challenge” where they post a picture of themselves from ten years ago alongside a current picture. Well, I have a different kind of “Ten-Year Challenge” and it works to
I have been developing website solutions for Ten Years now. Admittedly, the look of my own website hasn’t been updated (much) in those ten years. That will change soon as I update the theme and layout to be more modern and responsive.
So let me ask: When was the last time you updated your website? Have you ever updated your website? How well and how often is your website maintained?
My clients receive software updates to their WordPress websites as often as several times a day. This protects them against bugs and vulnerabilities. Updates need to be installed as often as possible because no one wants their website hacked to redirect their visitors to someone else’s website or to display nefarious content uploaded by someone else!
So here’s my “Ten-Year Challenge”. It’s very simple: For a limited time, take advantage of my company’s Ten Year Anniversary Celebration with a special 10% discount on my services.
What services do I offer? That’s a GREAT QUESTION!
I don’t sell websites. I offer affordable, custom website solutions for small organizations like churches, non-profits, and small businesses. I use the most popular Content Management System, WordPress, which powers almost one-third of the websites on the Internet.
This means that I don’t just create a WordPress website and hand it off to my clients, wishing them “good luck” as they go their merry way to try to figure out how to manage their website on their own. I want my clients to know that their website is actively monitored, backed up and protected from hackers. That makes for great peace-of-mind!
Your website is one of the first impressions your prospects have of your organization. Don’t gamble with your organization’s website!
Contact me for a free website evaluation! Let me take a look and make suggestions for updating and maintaining your WordPress website. And take advantage of this limited-time “Ten-Year Challenge” at a 10% discount!
WordPress 5.0 was released on December 6 and an update has already rolled out. A second is scheduled to be released on December 19.
Ok, so why so many updates in such a short time?
WordPress 5.01 was released on December 13. It was a security update to patch some recently-discovered vulnerabilities. These are some pretty significant vulnerabilities, so please check your website to see what version you’re running and update accordingly.
The upcoming update (WordPress 5.02) will bring some performance improvements.
We continue to keep a watch on what’s up in the WordPress world. And our clients’ are protected from vulnerabilities.
How about you? Are you running the latest version of WordPress on your website or blog? Give us a shout! We’d love to take a look at your website and let you know if we find anything that needs updating.
And we’ll do it for FREE!
This is a much-anticipated major update and it includes several enhancements, most notably a new visual editor called Gutenberg. The release date has been very fluid with the date pushed out a little more and a little more as developers worked to fix the reported software bugs. For instance, the update was supposed to be released the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but because of the holiday, it was pushed out further. Many people were expecting Automattic (the company that develops WordPress) to push the release date into January.
However, I was very surprised to read yesterday that WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg will be released tomorrow, perhaps in a lead up to this week’s keynote address at WordCamp US by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.
Because this is a major update and the perceived issues with client confusion regarding Gutenberg, many developers will postpone the update until the New Year. Others are allowing their clients’ websites to update tomorrow, but without the Gutenberg Editor enabled.
automatically rolling out all of my clients’ websites at once, I have
backed up everything on your website and I will manually install the
update on each website over the next few days, individually ensuring
that the update runs smoothly.
For those of you who do not log into your website to update the content, all of this is just academic. But for those of you who do update your own content, Gutenberg will take some getting used to.
For this reason, I will install the WordPress update without initially enabling Gutenberg. Unless you advise me otherwise, I will plan to enable the new editor in January. But before that, I’ll email some links to some introductory videos so you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
Note: You do have the option to not install the Gutenberg Editor. I believe that Automattic is planning to continue to support the Classic Editor “for many years to come“. Please let me know if you do not want Gutenberg installed. However, I recommend that you try the new Editor at some point. After getting past the learning curve, I think you’ll find an easier editing experience.
I’m sorry to have taken so much of your time. I will keep you updated on the WordPress 5.0 rollout.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
In the meantime, here is a good preview of Gutenberg.
verb (used without object)
- to try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, usually a financial institution, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one. (Source: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/phishing)
Steve Dotto has identified another phishing scam. In it, they attempt to lure you into clicking a link to cancel a payment to PayPal. Pretty sneaky!
Be careful before you click. Watch the video for more information.
Evidently Facebook uses our phone number to more effectively target advertising to us!
Two days ago, I suggested that you check out Steve Dotto’s video on using Google Authenticator for Facebook. Well… Steve added a follow-up video that you should watch!
Well, by now, you are probably aware of the latest breach of Facebook that affects 50 MILLION users.
Yes, it’s time to update your security on that Social Media platform, regardless of whether or not you were notified that you were affected.
Steve Dotto released a really good video a couple of days ago that discusses this breach what to do about it. He suggests changing your password and setting up 2-Factor Authentication. I wholeheartedly agree! And when you change your password PLEASE don’t use a password you have ever used on any other service or form.
There are some really good tools that will generate a “strong” password for you; you only need to have a way to retrieve the password the next time you log in. The tool I use is LastPass. Yes, LastPass has had its own security issues, but because passwords stored in LastPass are encrypted – and the way they are encrypted – no one’s passwords have been stolen. LastPass is one of the best options for managing passwords.
So watch Steve Dotto’s video and change your password!
For more information about the breach, please check out CNet’s report.
Are you hesitating to build your organization’s website on WordPress because you don’t think it’s secure enough or it’s too lightweight?
Think again! Here are some heavy-hitters that are using WordPress for their organization’s websites.
Security? How about the US White House!
Give us a shout and let us design a custom WordPress solution for your organization!
You may have wondered why some website addresses start with “http” and some begin with “https”. The short answer is that websites that begin with https encrypt the information between the website visitor and the computer that’s hosting the website. Web browsers (Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) are beginning to flag the http websites with “This website is not secure” warnings in either the address bar or in place of the web page.
Beginning this July, with the rollout of version 68 of Google’s Chrome Browser, Google will list *all* websites still using http as “Not Secure”. Websites that still use http will still be online, but visitors will have to acknowledge that the website they want to visit isn’t “safe” before they’re allowed to access the website. Nobody wants their website to not be “safe”, am I right?
Many web hosts charge from a few dollars to several hundreds of dollars a year for the security certificates (SSL/TLS) that make the encryption possible. Since many websites are not heavy e-commerce websites that processes thousands of dollars every month, not all websites need the guarantees offered by the more expensive certificates.
Note: Some of you are already configured with a security certificate. To find out if you’re affected, just go to your website and look at the address bar. If you have a Green Lock icon and/or https://, you already have https configured for your website.
Note: For more information about security certificates, please see https://security.googleblog.com/2018/02/a-secure-web-is-here-to-stay.html)
Note: This is another “service after the sale” that we will not bill for our current clients. However, if we incur additional costs for the certificates, I will have to pass those costs along to you.
In somewhat related news, on May 25, the European Union will begin enforcing the General Data Protocol Regulation (GDPR). The goal of the GDPR is to protect the privacy of residents of the European Union. That’s good, right? So what does that mean for a small organization operating in the United States… like yours?
According to the GDPR, any company (regardless of national origin) that processes data of EU residents must implement measures to protect privacy *by default*. As it applies to you and me, if your website requests any information from website visitors (including tracking analytics and Contact Forms), they must be alerted to how that information will be used and how long the data will be retained. Even if you don’t serve EU residents directly, if your website is visited by a European resident, you are affected by this new law.
I have been looking into the issue and will put measures in place before May 25 to make sure that we’re in compliance. Note: I am not charging my clients for this “service after the sale”.
Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation or contact your attorney for more information about how the GDPR affects your organization.
Several sources reported yesterday that WordPress runs on a whopping 30% of the top 10 Million most popular websites on the entire Internet. Also, WordPress currently powers 60.2% of those websites that run a Contact Management System (CMS). One of the sources notes that my alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill has recently moved its website to WordPress!
This means several things:
- WordPress has a very high brand recognition.
- WordPress is powerful enough to run some of the most popular websites.
- WordPress is secure enough to run some of the most popular websites.
- WordPress continues to grow in popularity.
This is great news! It’s also chilling news. Why?
Just as we have seen with Microsoft Windows over the years, being the “800lb gorilla” means that a lot of hackers are going to take aim at discovering and exploiting vulnerabilities. And just because WordPress is powerful and secure enough to run some of the most popular websites doesn’t mean that all of those WordPress installations are as secure as they can by, including running the most recent version. And there’s the rub.
Plugins and Themes are the most vulnerable vector for malware attacks. The WordPress Core is secure… very secure… at least the most recent version is. And that is true with every new version of WordPress. Automattic, the company that writes and maintains the WordPress Core pushes out minor updates of the Core files very quickly whenever a new vulnerability is discovered in the WordPress Core. So long as the website administrator has enabled automatic updating, the website will be secured when the update rolls out. That was until the February 5, 2018 release of WordPress 4.93. The day after 4.93 was released, 4.94 was released that fixed a “serious bug” in 4.93 that disabled automatic updates.
But if your WordPress website administrator hasn’t run the 4.94 update, your website will never be automatically updated! Never.
Unfortunately, many people who have written Plugins and Themes are not as diligent with their updates as Automoattic is; some developers have completely abandoned their Plugins or Themes, either because they aren’t around anymore, they aren’t writing code anymore, or they don’t care anymore. If there is any exploitable code in the Plugin or Theme, all a hacker needs to do is find the website and load it with malware.
“But why would anyone want to hack my website?” I can tell you that many of my websites — even those that have very few visitors every month — are probed for vulnerabilities more often than they receive legitimate visitors! I have witnessed this nafarious probing increase a great deal in the past few weeks on all of the websites that I maintain.
Unless you have a static HTML “business card” webite that very rarely has changes, you need to step up to the WordPress platform! WordPress allows you to make your own content changes, letting you keep more of you money since you don’t have to call a “web guy” and pay him/her anytime you need to make content updates. Please contact me! Let me save you some serious money!
If your website is already running on WordPress and you don’t know if you’re running the most recent version of the WordPress Core, Plugins, or Themes, please contact me! Your WordPress website may already be infected with Malware!
Let me take a FREE quick look “under the hood”. If I find something, it may need a quick fix, and for a small fee ($30) for the small fix, you’ll be on your way (and I’ll even install some security measures to protect your website in the future!). If it’s more involved and needs a larger fix, we’ll need to talk for a few minutes about how much (or little!) I’ll need for the larger fix. I also offer WordPress Maintenance packages that keeps things updated for an entire year. Contact me if you’re interested!
WordPress is now powering 30% of the web. How high will it go?