Are you using responsive web design?

Are you using responsive web design?

We're often asked by customers if we do websites for the ipad, iphone, tablet or mobiles phones. This is a great question, as the majority of website traffic over the last few years has rapidly shifted from desktop PCs to mobile clients. The challenge is that every week there is a new gadget that everyone gets, and you don't want to have to build a completely new website every time that happens. 

This is where responsive web design (RWD) comes in. Instead of building your website to look good only at specific dimensions, RWD will automatically resize all of your content and optimizing it for the display of the website visitor. Your website will be reformatted for each individual viewer! 

If you want to check out a few responsive web design options for your website, head to your WordPress Dashboard:

Dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes and then click the "Install Themes" tab at the top. Search for "responsive" in the search box, and you'll see a huge list of responsive themes to choose from. You can click "Preview" on any theme, to get a good idea of how your website will look before any customization.

A few of my current favourites, worth checking out are "Responsive", "Catch Box" and "Pagelines". 

If you find one you like, simply click "Install Now". It will download and install the theme for you. Once it's installed, you can click "Live Preview" to see how it will look with your content. If you like what you see, simply click "Activate"! That's it! If you're not happy, continue your search until you find one you like. 

Once you've found a theme you like, go back to the Dashboard: 

Dashbaord -> Appearance

and go through each of the items under Appearance, as these are all your custom settings for your new theme. Enjoy!

 

 

Remove WordPress Version Numbers

Every time you login to your WordPress Dashboard, you should install any updates it says are available (Dashboard -> Updates). There are automated programs that look for older, exploitable versions of WordPress for them to hack, so you want to make discovering the version number of your WordPress as difficult to find as possible. When on your website, if you right click and choose "View Source" you'll notice some code that says:

<meta content="WordPress 3.4.2" name="generator" />

Go into Appearance -> Editor and look for functions.php. Add the following code before the ?> ending:

// remove version number from head & feed
function disable_version() {
    return '';
}
add_filter('the_generator', 'disable_version');
remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');

now save changes, and reload the page. When you View Source now, it should now be gone.

Change your WordPress table prefix

This post is a bit more advanced, but important. One of the most common ways an intruder gets into your system is through what is called an SQL injection. In order to combat this, the most effective initial step you can take is to rename your WordPress table prefix. There are two ways to do this; find a plugin that does it, or more advanced if you have database access, is to make the changes yourself.

If you're just installing WordPress, open the wp-config.php and change $table_prefix = 'wp_';

to $table_prefix = 'wp_hg143g7_';

Replacing hg143g7 with any combination of letters and numbers you wish. Now install WordPress, and all is well.

If you have WordPress already installed, backup your website and database before you follow the next steps. Expect a few minutes of downtime while you make these changes.

I've not tested this plugin, but there is a change table prefix plugin you can use. Run it once, then you can delete the plugin. done.

The more advanced manual option:

  • Change $table_prefix in wp-config.php as I suggested above.
  • Change the table names in phpMyAdmin, or using SQL:
RENAME table `wp_commentmeta` TO `wp_hg143g7_commentmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_comments` TO `wp_hg143g7_comments`;
RENAME table `wp_links` TO `wp_hg143g7_links`;
RENAME table `wp_options` TO `wp_hg143g7_options`;
RENAME table `wp_postmeta` TO `wp_hg143g7_postmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_posts` TO `wp_hg143g7_posts`;
RENAME table `wp_terms` TO `wp_hg143g7_terms`;
RENAME table `wp_term_relationships` TO `wp_hg143g7_term_relationships`;
RENAME table `wp_term_taxonomy` TO `wp_hg143g7_term_taxonomy`;
RENAME table `wp_usermeta` TO `wp_hg143g7_usermeta`;
RENAME table `wp_users` TO `wp_hg143g7_users`;

If there are other tables that start with wp_ from plugins etc, change them as well. Now search the options table:

SELECT * FROM `wp_hg143g7_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE '%wp_%'

rename any results with wp_ to the new prefix. Now search usermeta for the same thing:

SELECT * FROM `wp_hg143g7_usermeta` WHERE `meta_key` LIKE '%wp_%'

At this point any tables starting with wp_ should have the new wp_hg143g7_ prefix.

Modifying your WordPress screen options in the Dashboard

One of the options in WordPress you may not yet know about is your screen options. When in your Dashboard, look to the top right underneath your name, there should be two pull down menu options; Screen Options and Help. When you click on the Screen Options tab, you should see something like this:

 

Wordpress Screen Options WordPress screen options in the Dashboard

As you try the various options, you'll see them be added or removed in real time. You'll notice different options if you do this in the main Dashboard area, vs being "Add New" posts or "Add New" page, so try the screen options in each of these. Here is how it will look under "Add New" posts for example: 

Post screen options Post screen options

 

You can see the options are different, and as you click on add or delete, you should see the option be removed from your screen. If you don't see any windows being removed or added, you may have to scroll down if you have a lot going on — on your screen. For example, I'm using a plugin called WordPress SEO by Yoast that is quite large. I don't see the Discussion widget get added or removed unless I scroll beneath the WordPress SEO window. 

We now offer unlimited long distance phone service in North America

The only requirement to qualify for this service is that you have a broadband internet connection with low latency for our unlimited long distance phone service. You can test this by going to SpeedTest.net and click "Begin test". Under Ping you should see a number under 100ms, and under download it should be a number larger than 1Mbps. If you meet this criteria, you're ready to start the transition!

Most important to know is that we're using your internet for this connection, and as such 9-1-1 does not work with geo-location. You should use a cellular telephone in an emergency. 

We'll mail you your new VoIP hardware, fully configured for you. Plug one end into your internet router, and the other into your telephone, and you're done! You now have unlimited long distance in North America! If you regularly call other regions, please contact us for pricing. For your first year, the cost is $25/month, and after that you'll be charged $20/month, paid annually. Choose from any area code in Canada or the United States. 

If you'd like to keep your existing telephone number, no problem! It will take approximately one month to transfer your current telephone number to us, and this way your friends and family won't know anything changed.

You can sign up right now on our Other Services page!

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!