Sunday, May 27, 2018

Backup’s…How important are they?

Backup your site to the cloud
We recently had the opportunity to attend ‘Backup Before you Crackup’ at 2018 WordCamp St. Louis.  This presentation, given by Jarrett Gucci from WpFixIt.com, had some very good points that are common sense, but forgotten by many WordPress developers.  Some of the key notes from this presentation follow...

First and foremost, some reasons for Backups;

  • It saves you Money – Loss of your website for an extended time can really hurt your business and cause loss of revenue
  • It saves you Time – Many hours can be spent restoring and rebuilding a site that has been hacked.
  • It shows your Intellect – The ability to restore your website in a timely manner really shows that you have your ducks in a row and can take care of your clients.

We depend upon many digital devices that allow us to use the apps and systems that support our daily way of life. So we need to keep everything running and communicating.

Let’s Talks about a WordPress Backup Strategy…

  • Identify what is Important – Identify the key components of your website, app, or system that is important to keep it functioning.
  • Select a Backup Tool – Select one of the many tools available that will deliver the Backup you require to adequately restore your system.
  • Automate the Process – Automation is a key component for making a consistent and timely backup with human interference.

Who is responsible for backing-up your site?

  • You can put together a manual process for backup.
  • Have you Hosting Company backup your site.
  • You can hire a person to manage your site and backups.
  • You can install a WordPress Plugin for backup processing. There are many Free and Paid plugins available for backup of your site.
  • Jarrett Gucci recommends using UpdraftPlus.com (the Free Version). They offer the following features;
    • They have Auto 1 click Restore
    • They have Auto Backups Pre Update
    • They Backup Encrypted Databases

Events and other things that require a Backup

  • WordPress Core Updates
  • Theme Updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Plugin/Theme conflicts
  • Malicious files on server
  • User errors

What do you Backup on your WordPress site?

  • Database
  • Content
  • Or…backup your entire site

Last…but certainly not least…TEST YOUR BACKUP!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

GDPR Takes Effect on May 25

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in the European Union (EU) that aims to improve data protection and privacy for individuals.  GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018.

How does GDPR effect me and my business?
GDPR specifies rules for using information about a user.  It says you must have the user’s permission to use or save information about them.  You must disclose what information you are collecting, why you are collecting it, how long you intend to retain it, and who, if anyone, you are sharing it with.  Users have the right to request a copy of the data and may request that the data be deleted.  It also says that if the information you have stored, on a computer paper, or any medium, is hacked or stolen you must let your users know within 72 hours.

How do I know if the GDPR applies to me and my business:
GDPR applies in 3 cases:
1. If the user is based in the EU
2. If you or your business is based in the EU
3. If your data processor is in the EU.  This means that the service processing the data, for example, your web hosting service or any software you use to capture client information, is from a company based in the EU.

What are the penalties?
If you are found to be in breach of the rules you can be fined 20M euros or 4% of your global revenue.

Let us know if you have any questions about GDPR.

Wordpress’s New Editor: Gutenberg


Johannes Gutenberg
 (Public domain image in the US.)
A new version of Wordpress, version 5, will become available during the next few months.  An official release date has not been announced. Version 5 will include a new editor, called Gutenberg. This means that the way you update/create website pages and posts will change. Gutenberg is a little different from the current editor, but it's pretty intuitive.

You can find some introductory information about Gutenberg on YouTube and WordPress.org. (This has a Gutenberg live demo you can play with.)

Once your website converts to Wordpress 5, Gutenberg will be the default editor, but the "classic" editor will still be available for you to use.

If you want to try out Gutenberg you can currently install the Gutenberg plug-in on your Wordpress site. Or convert at a later date by installing the "classic" editor plug-in to avoid the conversion when Wordpress 5 is installed.

Gutenberg has a new function called "Convert to Blocks". At this time, unless you have received training with the Gutenberg process, we suggest you do not use this new functionality because it will change the layout of the web page you are editing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Turn Off Adobe Flash



About a year ago I disabled Adobe Flash on my browser.  At the time I was having problems with the product, it was causing my browser to lock-up, so in frustration I just turned it off.  To my surprise I started enjoying my internet experience a little more.   

The first thing I noticed was how many ads disappeared.  Any ad requiring flash was now displayed as a black rectangle.  The constant barrage of internet advertising became a little less annoying.  Also, by eliminating the need to load bulky flash modules, some web pages displayed faster.  But what I was really hoping to achieve did happen, my browser became more stable, it locked-up less frequently and just ran more smoothly. One additional factor that I had not considered was that by disabling Flash my PC became less vulnerable to Flash-based malware attacks.

Some people might ask, don’t you miss the flashy graphics and videos.  No, I do not.  Most animation is so poorly designed it is more annoying than interesting. I can still play the videos if I want to, but now it is my choice to make.

Most browsers have a setting to deactivate Flash, that still allows you the option to activate it in specific situations.   

On Firefox this option is called “Ask to Activate”.   “Ask to Activate” deactivates Flash, but allows you to turn on Flash for specific pages and your browser will remember to use Flash on these pages or you can turn Flash on for a page just for that one time.   Click TOOLS > ADD ONS > PLUGINS: Set Shockwave Flash to “Ask to Activate”.  Now whenever Firefox displays a page containing Flash a prompt will appear asking if you want to activate Flash.


For Internet Explorer the best way to turn off Flash is by turning on ActiveX Filtering. Since Flash uses ActiveX this allows you to control when Flash is invoked.   In the upper right corner of your browser click the gear icon > SAFETY > FILTERING ACTIVEX.   Now you'll see a circle with a line though it in the address field of your browser.  Just click this circle if you want to activate Flash on any web page.



Native Chrome does not provide the fine level of control over Flash like Firefox and IE.  The best way to control Flash on Chrome is by using an extension like FlashControl. The extensions are usually free from the Chrome Webstore.


Flash is not a bad product, but now you have the choice of when to use it.   Best of luck...