If you’re conversant with WordPress, then you will know that just about anybody can lay their hands on a WordPress package and start using it immediately. However, some people succeed more than others. At this point you may be tempted to think, maybe the successful ones have a deep knowledge of programming or design, but you will be grossly mistaken. What makes a successful WordPress publisher is far more universal that a degree in computer science.

There are some indispensable attributes you must possess as an online publisher, if you want to record truly remarkable success. Obviously, I can’t cover everything in this article, so I will highlight just 2:

Have a Giving Attitude

Everyone establishing an online presence will at some point want to get some revenue in return and this is justified (after-all you did pay to set up the site). The mistake some fresh bloggers or site owners make is that they seek to monetize their site the very instant they launch it.

Come on! You want to teach me how to make money with my blog and you want me to pay $50 to buy some eBook, without even giving me priceless tips to show you know what you’re doing? That just never works!

When starting out as a site owner, seek to give to your readers and customers, give them useful content that will trigger a “thank you” from them. Eventually, they will become paying customers because they trust your ability to deliver.

Understand What You’re Doing

Many people start a blog just because they read a post that says “how I made $10,000 with my blog in a month”. What these guys fail to understand is that the fella that wrote that inspiring article is already good at what he does.

To truly succeed in your chosen niche in the online community, you must be good at what you do. Your subscribers should be able to ask you questions and get accurate answers. When your service is truly top-notch, then you will spend less time advertising yourself, your customers will do the major part of the work.

People out there are looking for expertise and are willing to pay any price to get it. So, before launching fully into that “world conquering idea” of yours, it wouldn’t hurt to undergo relevant training and extensive study to ensure that when you eventually emerge, your content indeed has “content”. 

Is Your Website Ready To Go Live?

Too many people see their websites fail because they launch too soon. They are too eager to get started and, in doing so, miss important details. The internet is unforgiving, unfortunately, so if you do make a mistake, it is likely that you won’t recover from it again. You must understand, whether you are a website developer or website owner, that there are a number of steps you must go through and this is supported by a number of checklists. Additionally, you have to have common marketing sense, which will tell you whether or not you really are ready to launch and go live. So what are some of the things you need to do before you take the plunge?

Have a Scope and a Deadline

This is actually a step that you need to complete even before you started building your website. You need to know exactly what the scope of your website is and you have to have an idea of when you want it to be live and operational. With that, you should set a two week grace period, which should start when you complete your testing.

“The start of this 2 week period should be your internal deadline for being ready to go live. Having this date and sticking to it, is very important, as it gives you the chance to put the new system live early internally or for certain parties in a production environment, without the pressure of the whole Internet.”

This two-week period is your soft live period. It is the time when everything should work properly, as you have already tested it, but if something does go wrong, it isn’t the end of the world and there is time and expertise available to fix it. Two weeks is also sufficient time to do this in a stress-free manner, rather than having to rush things.

Test It on All Browsers

You would be surprised at how many web designers only test their new websites in a single browser. There are many different browsers out there, including mobile browsers, and you have to be sure that the site works properly across all of them. Even if there is just a single browser that doesn’t support your website, you have the potential of missing out on a great number of visitors and, therefore, income. Luckily, there are tools available to help you achieve this.

“One tool that will help with this process is Browser Stack. This web application allows you to remotely connect to various virtual systems running a wide variety of browsers.”

What you also need to do is link this information to your analytics. It is likely that your website will not work perfectly in every single browser that exists. What you will have to choose, therefore, is which browsers you will focus on, which is going to be the browsers that your customers are most likely to use. Analytics can tell you this, although only if you already have an older website that you can compare it to. The other option would be to get your website live and then start using your analytics to decide which browser you are going to focus on to fix problems at a later date.

Have a Checklist

No project has ever been completed successfully without a checklist, or if they have, this was by pure luck. There are numerous checklists available online that you can use in order to prepare yourself for your launch date. One of the easiest is setup (which is where you start to populate your draft site), backup (you should always have a backup of your final version, in case something goes horribly wrong), export (this is where your site actually goes online), verify (check and check again), and launch.

However, most would agree that there is far more to it, and you should have a checklist that goes from the very beginning to the very end. As such, the first step on your checklist should be choosing your domain.

“Extensions like “.design,” “.guru,” and other more fitting domain extensions will only help you create a domain people will not only remember, but is the perfect fit for your business. Grab a few more domains, all of which can redirect people who sort of remember your name, and don’t forget to pick one that will localize your SEO.”

Next, you have to know your audience. Think about who you are trying to reach, which browsers they use, when they go online and more. Then, you have to get everybody on board to work together as a team. The next point on your checklist should be about content creation. What content do you want to be on your site on your go live day, who will create it and how often will it be updated? Once you have completed each step on this checklist, you will be ready for the simpler checklist of actually going live.

Focus Groups

Building a website is a lot of work and you have to focus on many intricate and minute details. However, although this is hard work, it is not impossible to complete. A lot of it is down to common sense and ensuring you don’t rush through any of the processes. You need to see a website as a physical product. Just as with a physical product, you wouldn’t release it until you know it has passed quality assurance tests. Hence, a final tip is to have your site tested by an external person before it goes live.

Indeed, working with focus groups is a great way to ensure you have a website that is ready to go live. A recommendation is to make a focus group that includes people from your target demographics, but also of industry experts and other web designers and web developers. The information this will provide you is absolutely invaluable, because it will look not only at whether or not your website functions properly, but also whether or not people actually like it.

A Few Tips To Guarantee Your Online Security

More and more people depend on the internet nowadays. Indeed, it is almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t spend at least some of their time online every day. Some spend hours on the internet for their work, others use it to research their school work, some simply use the internet to be social. Either way, the internet is a way for people to connect to each other and to information through a variety of devices. It is hugely important that each of these devices is protected properly, and that all your personal information is also properly protected from malware and other attacks.

Through research, we know that people do not think enough about their online security, particularly if they are on a mobile device. In some cases, this is a form of ignorance because they simply do not know how important their online security is. The reality is, however, that if your personal information is compromised, others are able to use your identity to get up to all sorts of things. You must be proactive when it comes to your personal online security and you must make efforts yourself. Luckily, this isn’t something that is too difficult to do. It is about educating yourself, after which you can use the internet without being afraid of getting personally attacked.

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First of all, you need to get the basics right. You must update your operating system and all the software on your device. Your security software is the most important in all this. Through updated patches, software developers are able to address new security concerns, which appear on an almost daily basis. This is why it is so important to update your software at all times. You also need to pay attention to the things you do online, particularly on platforms you use often. Do not indiscriminately click on links, as these may direct you to a malicious websites. This is why you need to have the right privacy settings, a good antivirus program, and a firewall installed.

Secondly, all your online accounts should have strong passwords that are also completely unique. This will prevent you from becoming the victim of hacks and brute force attacks. Every account you have should have a unique password that includes letters, symbols and numbers and you should make sure that it has at least eight characters.

Finally, a lot of people disable some of their security features in order to have a quicker browsing experience. This is a terrible idea. There are numerous other ways to speed up your internet connection without compromising your security, and you should always turn to these first. Hopefully, these tips will help to keep you safe online, regardless of why you use the internet.


Installing Secure WordPress Plugins On Your Blog

One of the things that makes WordPress great is the fact that it offers plugins. These are absolutely essential to make your blog run the way you want it to. In other words, running a WordPress blog without any plugins would be all but impossible. Since they are also free, the benefits just keep on coming. However, there are a few disadvantages to using plugins as well and you need to be aware of these. The biggest issue you have to think about is whether or not the plugin is actually safe. A lot of people assume that everything on WordPress is safe and install them without ever looking into the source. You must think about the security of anything you put on your website or on your blog. Although most plugins have been created to make sure you can be more productive and efficient, there are some out there that will cause significant problems for you.

So how do you make sure your plugin is safe? Considering there are well over 100,000 plugins, and that many of these are made by different developers, it can be quite overwhelming to find something good. There are jQuery sliders, contact form creators, SEO plugins and more. Unfortunately, some of these have security exploits that you have to be aware of. Of course, WordPress does its best to stop these from being available on their site, but some slip through the net. These can be absolutely riddled with various types of malware, causing untold problems for the security of your blog.

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So, you need to be aware of how you can find out whether or not your plugin is safe. Unfortunately, there is no quick check that you can run to figure this out. After all, WordPress would do that themselves if there were. What you need is one of the better WordPress Monitors. These will look at every element of a plugin you have installed, looking at whether or not there are potential vulnerabilities contained within them. What the best Monitors do is look for malicious code contained in a plug in. Malicious code is commonly referred to as web malware or regular malware. These can include worms, viruses, rootkits, trojans and more. What a hacker will do is place a piece of malware on a website, and they do this for various reasons. For instance, they may want to redirect your traffic to their own websites whenever someone clicks on a link. These types of practices could make Google blacklist you, which means no one will be able to find you anymore. Others do it simply for fun, or to get hold of your – or your customers’ – personal details. Regardless, with a good WordPress Monitor, you can avoid this.