Change your admin username in WordPress

Change your admin username in WordPress

One of the first security tips I can provide is to change your admin username in WordPress. One of the ways people break into WordPress, is by a brute force attack. Once you know the username of the administrator, you take a large dictionary file of words, and try every possible combination as the password for that user until you get it right. You don't have to try this manually, there are programs that do automated, and very rapidly. On most computers and systems, the default administrator is either "admin" or "root", the case of WordPress, it is admin. I recommend you take a few minutes and go into your Dashboard -> Users -> Add New and create two new accounts. Make one an editor account, this is the only you'll typically use from now on. Also add a new account, but instead of giving it editor privileges, choose "Administrator" as the role. Once you verified you can login to both of them with the appropriate permissions, delete the "admin" account. (Bulk actions -> Delete -> Apply)

If your WordPress themes says which editor approved each post, you'll want to go into Posts -> All Posts and check any post that says admin. Then go to Bulk Action -> Edit and change the Author option to the new editor and choose update.

You'll also want to ask yourself, "How strong is my password?"

Google releases a new tool to disavow links

Today Google released a new tool to disavow links to help resolve negative search engine optimisation (SEO) results.This follows Microsoft's Bing search engine who released a similar tool back in June. Most website owners can safely ignore this warning, unless you're aware of bad links to your site you really would like to disassociate from. Previously Google just ignored them, but with their new "Penguin Update", they now rank such links as negative. As such, this forced them to offer a tool to webmasters to clearly identify the unwanted links. Think about this tool as the ability to tell search engines which web sites you don't trust that are linking to you, and that you're aware they have a much lower page rank than yours does. If you've never received a warning from Google about bad links or spam links, you can probably ignore this. If you've received such a message in the past, go straight to the tool which is now active in Webmaster tools

If you're looking to work on your SEO, SEOMoz has a useful post on 17 types of link spam to avoid, before someone adds you to their disavow links tool. 

 

Would a free website help you get off the ground?

Through my regular attendance at events like Ideas Meetings, ASC and IdeaWave, I know that a lot of people have ideas for a product or business they'd like to launch.  However, they often cite finances as a barrier to entry and of course getting a website started for a new product does entail a financial commitment.  As many of you know, I volunteer more than I work and I prioritize on giving back to the community; as such, I'm excited to announce One Day Website will begin giving away one free website per month.  Not just a One Day Website, but the Custom Tailored package, including wo hours of graphic design,and two hours of copy writing or editing of your existing content.

To be eligible, send an email to [email protected] with 200-400 words on why we should choose you out of the other applications. Tell us what sets your idea apart and why you think your product or business could be successful; we want to hear your personal story in your own words to help create the best website to help your vision become a reality.  Special consideration will be given to products or ideas that will serve to benefit the community as well as you individually.  By submitting an application, we can use your submission in any promotional materials we choose. We will include one year of hosting, but after that, you'll be responsible for the yearly hosting fee.  Please refer to the Details page for a full explanation of benefits, terms and conditions included with the initial yearly package.

In the spirit of fostering a cycle of community giving, we hope that when you make your first $1000, you pay us back the $499 so that we can continue to help others.  Submt your entry today – we're excited to see what you can come up with and how we can help spread the word!

 

What is a WordPress CMS?

If you're looking to create a website and you're not a techy, you're probably not yet that familiar with hypertext markup language (HTML) or cascading style sheets (CSS). Instead, you're likely looking for a content management system or CMS. A CMS allows you to edit all of your pages from one central place. They also allow for a collaborative website, if you have other family or staff you'd like to help you edit your website. You can think of a CMS like having two websites. The first is the CMS, which you need to login to, the second is the public website that everyone sees. As soon as you save a change in the CMS, it automatically appears.

Here at One Day Website, we use the Wordpress CMS. It's also the easiest to learn, and the most popular. By using WordPress, you'll get their popular Dashboard, where you can create a new webpage, or blog post, in seconds, without any knowledge of HTML or CSS, it looks more like a Wordprocessor instead.

Add new page

If you have an old or outdated website, we can convert it to a WordPress template. This means it will look the same to your website visitors, but now that it will be using WordPress CMS, you can easily update any of the pages or blog posts at your convenience. And if you find yourself with writers block, don't hesitate to use our professional copy writers, who can write the content for your website as well, with a focus on your target audience and search engine optimization.

Trying the Responsive Web Design friendly Soliloquy slider

A couple things we've been working on are responsiveness, and customer satisfaction. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the application of building your website(s) with the idea they may be viewed on various devices, be it a cell phone, tablet or desktop computer. For example, if this post is difficult to navigate or read in your current viewer, please let me know. It should resize as your display does. 

Is your WordPress theme responsive? Have you tried to view it on a smart phone or using a text only browser like lynx?

Social driver has posted what they feel are the 20 best responsive websites of 2012.

I was really excited to get rid of the HTML table on the portfolio page, and try a slider, but finding an easy to use responsive slider that doesn't require a third party interaction took a little research. This brought me to the free Soliloquy slider for WordPress. See the slider in action with a rotating dozen of our portfolio examples on our portfolio website examples page.

If you install and activate the plugin, you'll see "Soliloquy" under Settings in your Dashboard. I went to "Add new" and entered a slider called "Featured clients".

Screen Shot of Soliloquy Screen Shot of Soliloquy

In there I added a dozen screen shots of client websites (you can use any pictures you wish), made sure I entered ALT tags for the vision impaired, and finally added URL links in case people click on the image, they can be brought to the actual website. You can then take the shortcode they provide and paste it into any page or post, and that's it. Let me know if you have any issues!

Even lower prices, and new features; we’re one year old!

To celebrate our one year anniversary, I'm excited to announce some lower prices, as well as some new features. For our first year, we've been offering a single plan, at $399. This is when some of our competitors charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the same service, and we have you up and running in one day. Instead of moving closer to our competitors, we're making it even easier to choose us; our introductory website package is now only $299!

Thanks to your continued support, we've hired a graphic designer, as well as a copy writer/editor to help you with your content. You can hire either at our standard service rate. We've found that most people using our introductory package want some graphic design and/or copy help, so we're introducing today, two new packages. The Custom Tailored package is the traditional package, as well as 2 hours of graphic design, as well as 2 hours of copy writing or editing, for only $499! We're quite confident no one can compete with us any longer. And just in case you've got a little more budget, for $899 we'll provide you our Business One Day Wesbite which offers yet another 2 hours of graphic design, and 2 hours of copy help, as well as set you up with website analytics! With 8 hours of labour, and the analytics and SEO install, that makes your website setup and hosting effectively free!

For more information, check out our new Compare Plans page. Contact us if you'd like more information. 

 

 

Add Meta Description tags for everything

If you authored websites with HTML in the past you probably remember meta keywords tags; these have effectively been rendered useless, as so many people used keywords that weren't applicable to their site to gain traffic that would have otherwise gone to their competitors. Because of this, Google no longer uses meta keyword tags in web ranking; however, they do still utilize "description" meta tags for results snippets as described in this article.  

It should be obvious by now that you can add a description for every page as well as post in WordPress, and these are really handy as Google will often pick them up to use under your links. One of the often neglected areas in WordPress where site owners forget to add meta description is categories and tags. In your Dashboard, you should be able to find each of them under the Posts sub-heading. Once there, choose edit and use the description field to describe it as best you can. There's a lot of space you can use there, so don't waste it. Some themes don't use this field, so when you save the description for the first time, see if you can find it on the website. Even if you can't see it anywhere, don't feel you've wasted your time; search engine web crawlers will pay attention to every word you use.! From WordPress SEO by Yoast, "The meta description is under 120 characters, however up to 156 characters are available. The available space is shorter than the usual 155 characters because Google will also include the publication date in the snippet."

Spending a little time to add a description to every page, post, category and tag is just one more place you can make it easier for potential customers to find you.

 

Making the conversion process less intrusive

Many site content providers have been told they need to make customer conversion a priority, but at what cost? For example, many people are annoyed when they go to a website for the first time and get a popup that prevents them from reading the content on the page. Instead of converting your potential customer, it's a lot more likely they will be inclined to not return again due to the annoyance.

How can this be resolved?  Well, if your goal is to get your visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, with some added programming you could create a subscription prompt when a visitor makes their fifth visit to your site.  This has a higher likelihood of a successful conversation because of the demonstrated interest in your site with repeat visits.  You may also consider something less intrusive than a popup in the middle of your website over the content; perhaps something that noticeably appears in one the widgets along your side columns.

For example, our main conversion goal is for non-techies to sign up for our $399 One Day Website package, so we promote this offer on our front page, as well as on the sidebar of most of our pages. Our secondary goal is to have people sign up for a monthly newsletter, where we offer special services and discounts that we don't publish on the website. There is a subscribe option on the lower sidebar of most of our pages.  It's not intrusive and doesn't take away from the visitors ability to view the content in any way.  

Should you use Twitter to promote your website?

Any self-described social media expert will tell you that you have to be on Twitter, but do you really? That's something you should evaluate. Are your potential customers active on social media, and if they are, are you likely to to convert them via your social media marketing?

For example, at One Day Website, our target marget is non-techies who are looking to set up a website fast and cost-effectively. We've determined these potential clients are online, and some on Twitter, but they are not power users and are simply there to check things out. As such, most of our marketing resources are focused on in-person forums and meetings. 

We do recognize that there is some opportunity for conversion through social media, so we do have an active Twitter account where we promote our blog articles and ask our followers what topics they'd like us to write more about. We employ this strategy because the Twitter followers that are most important to us are those who are prospective clients looking to learn more, or existing clients who want to make the most out of time and money they've already put in to their new website.

Things to decide for your business: 

  • Is your target market on Twitter?
  • What is the short and long term goals of your Twitter presence? (are you offering support? promotions?)
  • Is your audience primarily savvy web users who will expect timely Twitter posts and responses?  If so, do you have the resources to manage an active Twitter account?

Increasing your font selection

Thanks to Janice M for reminding us that we don't have to stay limited with the default fonts provided in WordPress. If you want have ~400 new fonts to select from, give Google Fonts a try. 

In your WordPress Dashboard go to "Plugins -> Add New" and search for "google fonts".  Choose Install Now, and then "Activate plugin". 

Now when you click on Settings on your WordPress Dashboard, you will see a Google Fonts option.