Industry Buzz

WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

WordPress.org News -

Here it is! Named “Adderley” in honor of Nat Adderley, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard. Say hello to more and better. More ways to make your pages come alive. With easier ways to get it all done and looking better than ever—and boosts in speed you can feel. Welcome to WordPress 5.4 Every major release adds more to the block editor. More ways to make posts and pages come alive with your best images. More ways to bring your visitors in, and keep them engaged, with the richness of embedded media from the web’s top services. More ways to make your vision real, and put blocks in the perfect place—even if a particular kind of block is new to you. More efficient processes. And more speed everywhere, so as you build sections or galleries, or just type in a line of prose, you can feel how much faster your work flows. Two new blocks. And better blocks overall. Two brand-new blocks: Social Icons and Buttons make adding interactive features fast and easy.New ways with color: Gradients in the Buttons and Cover block, toolbar access to color options in Rich Text blocks, and for the first time, color options in the Group and Columns blocks.Guess a whole lot less! Version 5.4 streamlines the whole process for placing and replacing multimedia in every block. Now it works the same way in almost every block!And if you’ve ever thought your image in the Media+Text block should link to something else—perhaps a picture of a brochure should download that brochure as a document? Well, now it can. Cleaner UI, clearer navigation—and easier tabbing! Clearer block navigation with block breadcrumbs. And easier selection once you get there.For when you need to navigate with the keyboard, better tabbing and focus. Plus, you can tab over to the sidebar of nearly any block.Speed! 14% faster loading of the editor, 51% faster time-to-type!Tips are gone. In their place, a Welcome Guide window you can bring up when you need it—and only when you need it—again and again.Know at a glance whether you’re in a block’s Edit or Navigation mode. Or, if you have restricted vision, your screen reader will tell you which mode you’re in. Of course, if you want to work with the very latest tools and features, install the Gutenberg plugin. You’ll get to be the first to use new and exciting features in the block editor before anyone else has seen them! Your fundamental right: privacy 5.4 helps with a variety of privacy issues around the world. So when users and stakeholders ask about regulatory compliance, or how your team handles user data, the answers should be a lot easier to get right. Take a look: Now personal data exports include users session information and users location data from the community events widget. Plus, a table of contents!See progress as you process export and erasure requests through the privacy tools.Plus, little enhancements throughout give the privacy tools a little cleaner look. Your eyes will thank you! Just for developers Add custom fields to menu items—natively Two new actions let you add custom fields to menu items—without a plugin and without writing custom walkers. On the Menus admin screen, wp_nav_menu_item_custom_fields fires just before the move buttons of a nav menu item in the menu editor. In the Customizer, wp_nav_menu_item_custom_fields_customize_template fires at the end of the menu-items form-fields template. Check your code and see where these new actions can replace your custom code, and if you’re concerned about duplication, add a check for the WordPress version. Blocks! Simpler styling, new APIs and embeds Radically simpler block styling. Negative margins and default padding are gone! Now you can style blocks the way you need them. And, a refactor got rid of four redundant wrapper divs.If you build plugins, now you can register collections of your blocks by namespace across categories—a great way to get more brand visibility.Let users do more with two new APIs: block variations and gradients.In embeds, now the block editor supports TikTok—and CollegeHumor is gone. There’s lots more for developers to love in WordPress 5.4. To discover more and learn how to make these changes shine on your sites, themes, plugins and more, check the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide. The Squad This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald. They were enthusiastically supported by a release squad: Editor Tech: Jorge Filipe Costa (@jorgefelipecosta)Editor Design: Mark Uraine (@mapk)Core Tech: Sergey Biryukov (@sergeybiryukov)Design: Tammie Lister (@karmatosed)Docs Coordinator: JB Audras (@audrasjb)Docs & Comms Wrangler: Mary Baum (@marybaum) The squad was joined throughout the release cycle by 552 generous volunteer contributors who collectively worked on 361 tickets on Trac and 1226 pull requests on GitHub. Put on a Nat Adderley playlist, click that update button (or download it directly), and check the profiles of the fine folks that helped: 0v3rth3d4wn, 123host, 1naveengiri, @dd32, Aaron Jorbin, Abhijit Rakas, abrightclearweb, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, adamboro, Addie, adnan.limdi, Aezaz Shaikh, Aftab Ali Muni, Aki Björklund, Akib, Akira Tachibana, akshayar, Alain Schlesser, Albert Juhé Lluveras, Alex Concha, Alex Mills, AlexHolsgrove, alexischenal, alextran, alishankhan, allancole, Allen Snook, alpipego, Amir Seljubac, Amit Dudhat, Amol Vhankalas, Amr Gawish, Amy Kamala, Anantajit JG, Anders Norén, Andrés, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Tarantini, andreaitm, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Dixon, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Serong, Andrew Wilder, Andrey Savchenko, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Andy Peatling, Angelika Reisiger, Ankit Panchal, Anthony Burchell, Anthony Ledesma, apedog, Apermo, apieschel, Aravind Ajith, archon810, arenddeboer, Ari Stathopoulos, Arslan Ahmed, ashokrd2013, Ataur R, Ate Up With Motor, autotutorial, Ayesh Karunaratne, BackuPs, bahia0019, Bappi, Bart Czyz, Ben Greeley, benedictsinger, Benjamin Intal, bibliofille, bilgilabs, Birgir Erlendsson, Birgit Pauli-Haack, BMO, Boga86, Boone Gorges, Brad Markle, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, Cameron Voell, Carolina Nymark, ceyhun0, Chetan Prajapati, Chetan Satasiya, Chintesh Prajapati, Chip Snyder, Chris Klosowski, Chris Trynkiewicz (Sukces Strony), Chris Van Patten, Christian Sabo, Christiana Mohr, clayisland, Copons, Corey McKrill, crdunst, Csaba (LittleBigThings), Dademaru, Damián Suárez, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, daniloercoli, Darren Ethier (nerrad), darrenlambert, Dave Mackey, Dave Smith, daveslaughter, DaveWP196, David Artiss, David Binovec, David Herrera, David Ryan, David Shanske, David Stone, Debabrata Karfa, dekervit, Delowar Hossain, Denis Yanchevskiy, Dhaval kasavala, dhurlburtusa, Dilip Bheda, dingo-d, dipeshkakadiya, djp424, dominic_ks, Dominik Schilling, Dotan Cohen, dphiffer, dragosh635, Drew Jaynes, eclev91, ecotechie, eden159, Edi Amin, edmundcwm, Eduardo Toledo, Ella van Durpe, Ellen Bauer, Emil E, Enrique Piqueras, Enrique Sánchez, equin0x80, erikkroes, Estela Rueda, Fabian, Fabian Kägy, Fahim Murshed, Faisal Alvi, Felipe Elia, Felipe Santos, Felix Arntz, Fernando Souza, fervillz, fgiannar, flaviozavan, Florian TIAR, Fotis Pastrakis, Frank Martin, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Gaurang Dabhi, George Stephanis, geriux, Girish Panchal, Gleb Kemarsky, Glenn, Goto Hayato, grafruessel, Greg Rickaby, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, Grzegorz.Janoszka, Gustavo Bordoni, gwwar, hamedmoodi, hAmpzter, happiryu, Hareesh Pillai, Harry Milatz, Haz, helgatheviking, Henry Holtgeerts, Himani Lotia, Hubert Kubiak, i3anaan, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ianatkins, ianmjones, IdeaBox Creations, Ihtisham Zahoor, intimez, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isabel Brison, ispreview, Jake Spurlock, Jakub Binda, James Huff, James Koster, James Nylen, jameslnewell, Janki Moradiya, Jarret, Jasper van der Meer, jaydeep23290, jdy68, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jean-David Daviet, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Ong, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey Carandang, jeichorn, Jenil Kanani, Jenny Wong, jepperask, Jer Clarke, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Herve, Jeroen Rotty, Jerry Jones, Jessica Lyschik, Jip Moors, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, johnwatkins0, Jon, Jon Quach, Jon Surrell, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Goldford, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joonas Vanhatapio, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Josepha Haden, JoshuaWold, Joy, jqz, jsnajdr, Juanfra Aldasoro, Julian Weiland, julian.kimmig, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, Junko Nukaga, jurgen, justdaiv, Justin Ahinon, K. Adam White, kaggdesign, KalpShit Akabari, Kantari Samy, Kaspars, Kelly Dwan, Kennith Nichol, Kevin Hagerty, Kharis Sulistiyono, Khushbu Modi, killerbishop, kinjaldalwadi, kitchin, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, kkarpieszuk, Knut Sparhell, KokkieH, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Krystyna, kubiq, kuflievskiy, Kukhyeon Heo, kyliesabra, Laken Hafner, leandroalonso, leogermani, lgrev01, linuxologos, lisota, Lorenzo Fracassi, luisherranz, luisrivera, lukaswaudentio, Lukasz Jasinski, Luke Cavanagh, Lydia Wodarek, M A Vinoth Kumar, maciejmackowiak, Mahesh Waghmare, Manzoor Wani, marcelo2605, Marcio Zebedeu, MarcoZ, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Dědič, Marius Jensen, Marius84, Mark Jaquith, Mark Marzeotti, Mark Uraine, Martin Stehle, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, Mat Gargano, Mat Lipe, Mathieu Viet, Matt Keys, Matt van Andel, mattchowning, Matthew Kevins, mattnyeus, maxme, mayanksonawat, mbrailer, Mehidi Hassan, Mel Choyce-Dwan, mensmaximus, Michael Arestad, Michael Ecklund, Michael Panaga, Michelle Schulp, miette49, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Torres, mihdan, Miina Sikk, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Hansen, Mike Schinkel [WPLib Box project lead], Mike Schroder, mikejdent, Mikko Saari, Milan Patel, Milan Petrovic, mimi, mircoraffinetti, mjnewman, mlbrgl, Morgan Estes, Morteza Geransayeh, mppfeiffer, mryoga, mtias, Muhammad Usama Masood, mujuonly, Mukesh Panchal, Nadir Seghir, nagoke, Nahid Ferdous Mohit, Nate Finch, Nazmul Ahsan, nekomajin, NextScripts, Nick Daugherty, Nick Halsey, Nicklas Sundberg, Nicky Lim, nicolad, Nicolas Juen, nicole2292, Niels Lange, nikhilgupte, nilamacharya, noahtallen, noyle, nsubugak, oakesjosh, oldenburg, Omar Alshaker, Otto Kekäläinen, Ov3rfly, page-carbajal, pagewidth, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Casier, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Kevin, Paul Schreiber, pcarvalho, Pedro Mendonça, perrywagle, Peter Wilson, Philip Jackson, Pierre Gordon, Pierre Lannoy, pikamander2, Prashant Singh, Pratik Jain, Presskopp, Priyanka Behera, Raam Dev, Rachel Cherry, Rachel Peter, ragnarokatz, Rami Yushuvaev, raoulunger, razamalik, Remco Tolsma, rephotsirch, rheinardkorf, Riad Benguella, Ricard Torres, Rich Tabor, rimadoshi, Rinku Y, Rob Cutmore, rob006, Robert Anderson, Roi Conde, Roland Murg, Rostislav Wolný, Roy Tanck, Russell Heimlich, Ryan, Ryan Fredlund, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Ryo, Sébastien SERRE, sablednah, Sampat Viral, Samuel Wood (Otto), SamuelFernandez, Sander, santilinwp, Sathiyamoorthy V, Schuhwerk, Scott Reilly, Scott Taylor, scruffian, scvleon, Sebastian Pisula, Sergey Biryukov, Sergio de Falco, sergiomdgomes, sgastard, sgoen, Shaharia Azam, Shannon Smith, shariqkhan2012, Shawntelle Coker, sheparddw, Shital Marakana, Shizumi Yoshiaki, simonjanin, sinatrateam, sirreal, skorasaurus, smerriman, socalchristina, Soren Wrede, spenserhale, sproutchris, squarecandy, starvoters1, SteelWagstaff, steevithak, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, steffanhalv, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Dufresne, Steve Grunwell, stevenlinx, Stiofan, straightvisions GmbH, stroona.com, Subrata Mal, Subrata Sarkar, Sultan Nasir Uddin, swapnild, Sybre Waaijer, Sérgio Estêvão, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takeshi Furusato, Tammie Lister, Tanvirul Haque, TBschen, tdlewis77, Tellyworth, Thamaraiselvam, thefarlilacfield, ThemeZee, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, timon33, Timothée Brosille, Timothy Jacobs, Tkama, tmanoilov, tmatsuur, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Tom Greer, Tom J Nowell, tommix, Toni Viemerö, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, tristangemus, tristanleboss, tsuyoring, Tung Du, Udit Desai, Ulrich, upadalavipul, Utsav tilava, Vaishali Panchal, Valentin Bora, varunshanbhag, Veminom, Vinita Tandulkar, virgodesign, Vlad. S., vortfu, waleedt93, WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, websupporter, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, William Patton, wpgurudev, WPMarmite, wptoolsdev, xedinunknown-1, yale01, Yannicki, Yordan Soares, Yui, zachflauaus, Zack Tollman, Zebulan Stanphill, Zee, and zsusag. Many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts! Finally, thanks to all the community translators who worked on WordPress 5.4. Their efforts bring WordPress fully translated to 46 languages at release time, with more on the way. If you want to learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.

Helping health organizations make COVID-19 information more accessible

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Health organizations are busier than ever providing information to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. To better assist them, Google has created a best practices article to guide health organizations to make COVID-19 information more accessible on Search. We’ve also created a new technical support group for eligible health organizations.Best practices for search visibilityBy default, Google tries to show the most relevant, authoritative information in response to any search. This process is more effective when content owners help Google understand their content in appropriate ways.To better guide health-related organizations in this process (known as SEO, for "search engine optimization"), we have produced a new help center article with some important best practices, with emphasis on health information sites, including:How to help users access your content on the goThe importance of good page content and titlesWays to check how your site appears for coronavirus-related queriesHow to analyze the top coronavirus related user queriesHow to add structured data for FAQ contentNew support group for health organizationsIn addition to our best practices help page, health organizations can take part in our new technical support group that's focused on helping health organizations who publish COVID-19 information with Search related questions.We’ll be approving requests for access on a case-by-case basis. At first we’ll be accepting only domains under national health ministries and US state level agencies. We'll inform of future expansions here in this blog post, and on our Twitter account. You’ll need to register using either an email under those domains (e.g. name@health.gov) or have access to the website Search Console account.Fill this form to request access to the COVID-19 Google Search group The group was created to respond to the current needs of health organizations, and we intend to deprecate the group as soon as COVID-19 is no longer considered a Public Health Emergency by WHO or some similar deescalation is widely in place.Everyone is welcome to use our existing webmaster help forum, and if you have any questions or comments, please let us know on Twitter.Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Search Advocate & Ofir Roval, Search Console Lead PM

Why You Should ONLY Load jQuery from Google Libraries

HostGator Blog -

The post Why You Should ONLY Load jQuery from Google Libraries appeared first on HostGator Blog. You probably already know that it’s better to load static files from a Content Distribution Network (CDN). JavaScript, CSS, and image files fall into this category. However, there’s another step beyond a CDN – hosted libraries. These hosted libraries are high speed, geographically distributed servers that serve as content distribution networks for popular, open source Javascript libraries. You can call on these well-known JavaScript libraries and add them to your site with a small bit of code. There are many well known hosted libraries – the two most famous being Google and CDNJS. It might seem like a good idea to serve all your JavaScript files from these libraries, but that might not be a generally good idea. In this article, I’ll show you that the most important use-case for using them is jQuery. And that too ONLY from Google’s network. Buy Hostgator Plans with an In-Built CDN Both hosted libraries and CDNs share the same goals. They serve your content from servers located geographically close to users at very high speeds. But not all web hosting plans include a dedicated CDN. For example, Hostgator’s optimized WordPress packages use the SiteLock CDN network, but not the shared hosting plans, which rely on Cloudflare. Here’s the Hostgator coupon list to help you find the best deal! However, there are a few differences between hosted public libraries and traditional CDNs. DNS Resolution Some CDNs like Cloudflare use a “reverse proxy” setup. What this means is that your static files will be served over your site’s URL like this: https://www.yoursite.com/jquery.js, instead of this: https://yoursite.somecdnnetwork.com/jquery.js This has an important side effect. It means that for the first URL, the browser won’t have to perform an additional DNS lookup to retrieve the file jquery.js. The second URL however, is hosted on a different domain name compared to your own site, so there is an added lag while the browser gets the IP address for the new domain. Ideally, we want to reduce the number of DNS lookups as much as possible. Internal testing has convinced me that in most cases, the additional DNS lookup isn’t worth it. Therefore, I prefer CDNs that function on a reverse proxy model like Cloudflare instead of traditional networks that change the static file URLs. However, public libraries are by definition hosted on an external URL. Google’s URLs start with “ajax.googleapis.com” and CDNJS URLs are “cdnjs.cloudflare.com”. This means that unless the browser has already cached the response from another site, there will always be an additional DNS lookup. This makes public libraries very tricky to use, compared to reverse proxy CDNs, or just hosting the files on your own server. Globally Distributed Networks Comparison Not all CDNs are built the same. While most try and do a fairly decent job of spreading out their servers across the globe, there are some locations that are chronically underserved. Africa is one glaring example. None of the well-known retail CDNs that I’ve tested, serve the African subcontinent well enough. They usually have just one location in Johannesburg and that’s it. However, publicly hosted libraries like Google and CDNJS have a much stronger network than most CDNs. CDNJS now uses Cloudflare’s network, which means it has a very strong presence across the globe with multiple server locations for any given area. Bottom line: Large public JavaScript libraries are faster than ordinary CDN networks. Not All JavaScript is Equally Important – jQuery is Unique jQuery holds a distinguished position amongst JavaScript libraries. Currently, almost 75% of all websites use it as shown here: It’s also quite large compared to the other external JavaScript files on your site. So if you had to choose one JavaScript library to speed up, it would undoubtedly by jQuery. jQuery is Usually Render-Blocking I’d written earlier on the Hostgator blog about how to optimize your site for speed. There we see that you should “defer” or “async” all your JavaScript so that it doesn’t block your site from rendering. Unfortunately, jQuery is referenced often by both external and inline scripts. This means that generally speaking, you should keep jQuery loaded in the header, and this slows down your page rendering. If you ignore my advice and load jQuery via “defer” or “async”, your site will break one day, and you won’t know why. Just trust me on this. I would love to defer the loading of jQuery, but it’s just too unstable to do so. For this reason, I want to use every means possible to speed up the delivery of jQuery. And for that, publicly hosted libraries are the best. This is true for two reasons. Public Libraries Are Ideal for Browser Caching Perhaps the biggest difference between a traditional CDN network and a public library, is that the former is accessed by only your website, and the latter is accessed by thousands – even millions – of people. Browsers typically cache the JavaScript they receive for differing periods of time – even up to a year! The idea is that if it sees the same URL again, it doesn’t need to download it again. It can simply use its cached copy and bypass the process entirely. This is the absolute best-case scenario for us. Ideally, the visitor’s browser will already have jQuery cached in its memory and thus solve our render-blocking problems in one go. But for this, we need to use well-known public libraries that everyone else is using. A private CDN will not bring the same caching and performance benefits. This is one huge advantage in favor of public hosted libraries. The Same Goes for DNS Lookups Browsers cache not just files, but also DNS lookups. So if millions of people are using a certain public library, the chances are that an average user will already have the DNS entry in their browser, and thus avoid the lookup altogether. This sidesteps the penalty of DNS lookups. But again – it will only work with a public hosted library where everyone uses the same URL. Not a traditional CDN. Which Public Library is the Best? To test this, I downloaded a simple program that probes the cached files in a variety of browsers. I searched for the two most well-known CDNs in today’s market – Google and CDNJS. Here are the results for Google’s library: And here are the results for CDNJS: As you can see, both Google and CDNJS files are cached in my browser from one site or the other. So from a DNS resolution point of view, both Google and CDNJS are on par. Both public libraries are likely to have been used, and they’re both spared the penalty of a DNS lookup. But Google Wins for jQuery But look at the results more closely. Out of the two, you can see that CDNJS has only one version of jQuery cached – 2.2.4. Whereas Google’s library has 11 of them! So unless your website uses JavaScript version 2.2.4, the Google library will be far better for you than CDNJS. This is because for one reason or another, more people use Google’s libraries to download jQuery than any other file. I don’t know why this is the case, but that’s just the way it is. WordPress Doesn’t Use the Latest jQuery Version At the time of this writing, WordPress still uses jQuery version 1.12.4. This is for compatibility, since a lot of plugins rely on the older versions and they don’t want to break them. Looking at the screenshots above, you can see that only Google’s library has served jQuery version 1.12.4. If I were to use CDNJS as my source, most browsers wouldn’t have it in their cache and would need to download it. So it’s not enough for a hosted library to serve jQuery. They need to be popular with a lot of different versions of jQuery, to maximize the chances that any particular version will be in a random browser’s cache. Using Google’s Library to Server jQuery on WordPress The procedure will be different for each software framework. But if you want to use Google’s library for jQuery with WordPress, paste the following code into your theme’s functions.php file. function load_google_jquery () {         if (is_admin()) {                 return;         }         global $wp_scripts;         if (isset($wp_scripts->registered[‘jquery’]->ver)) {                 $ver = $wp_scripts->registered[‘jquery’]->ver;                 $ver = str_replace(“-wp”, “”, $ver);         } else {                 $ver = ‘1.12.4’;         }         wp_deregister_script(‘jquery’);         wp_register_script(‘jquery’, “//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/$ver/jquery.min.js”, false, $ver); } add_action(‘init’, ‘load_google_jquery’); This code checks the version of jQuery that WordPress is using, and then constructs the URL for use with Google’s library. Moral of the Story: Google is Best for jQuery I have nothing against CDNJS. In fact, I prefer them from a philosophical point of view since they’re FOSS, and partner with Cloudflare – another company I like. But numbers are numbers, and technology doesn’t allow for sentimentality. In the contest for which library is better to serve jQuery, Google comes out head and shoulders above the competition. And as we’ve seen above, jQuery is the one JavaScript library that shouldn’t be deferred or asynced. And so using Google libraries is a no-brainer. For the remaining JavaScript files, it doesn’t matter that much since they don’t block your page. But pay special attention to jQuery – it can make or break your page speed times! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Guide Your Employees to Post More on Social Media

Social Media Examiner -

Want your employees to share more about your business on social media? Wondering how best to guide their social media posts? In this article, you’ll discover how to develop guidelines to help employees post more on social media and find examples of types of posts employees can model. #1: Create Clear Social Media Guidelines for […] The post How to Guide Your Employees to Post More on Social Media appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Webinar: Retention is the New Growth

WP Engine -

Driving organic traffic to your website is a critical part of your digital marketing strategy, and SEO remains a major focus for doing just that. But SEO is getting harder, additional strategies like paid search are becoming more expensive, and making an impact on social seems like a never-ending—and costly—challenge. Now more than ever, it’s… The post Webinar: Retention is the New Growth appeared first on WP Engine.

4 Ways to Stay Cybersecure When You Start Working from Home

HostGator Blog -

The post 4 Ways to Stay Cybersecure When You Start Working from Home appeared first on HostGator Blog. Are you one of the millions of workers who’ve suddenly gone from days at the office to working at home because of the coronavirus outbreak? Working from home takes some adjustment, especially on short notice. And one of the most important adjustments is thinking differently about cybersecurity at home.  When you work in an office, your company’s IT people focus on keeping hackers out of the system. When you work at home, it’s your responsibility, too.  That’s because hackers are exploiting the rapid shift to remote work by targeting employees with malware and phishing attacks. Often, they’re doing it by impersonating health officials and setting up fake websites that say they provide news about covid-19. Ugh. It’s a lot to deal with all at once. But taking these four steps can protect your company—and your livelihood—while everyone hunkers down at home. 1. Got a company-issued laptop or phone? Keep it safe If you’re lucky enough to have tech tools provided by your employer, protect them from data thieves. Here are three keys to locking hackers out of your company-issued gear. Store your company laptop and phone securely when you’re not using them. Thieves will break into cars to steal electronics, and sometimes those robberies lead to data breaches that cost companies their reputation, customers and fines or settlements. Use your company tech only for work. Save the social media and personal emails for your own phone and computer. Why? There’s a world of phishing websites, social media scams and email phishing fraud related to the covid-19 pandemic.  If you accidentally click on one of those traps, you could end up with malware on your company device—and in your company’s network. Worst case scenario, ransomware locks up your company’s databases until your employer pays up or shuts down.  Don’t install any new software or apps on work devices without company approval. Every new application comes with vulnerabilities, a responsibility to keep them updated and the risk of installing something corrupted. Stick with what your company wants you to use.   2. Connect to work securely Ideally, your company will have a virtual private network (VPN) that you must use to log in to your work email and files. If so, you’ve got a secure, encrypted connection to work, and no one can see the data you’re sending and receiving.  If your company has a VPN but you don’t have to use it to log in, use it anyway. Yes, it will likely slow down your connection, but it will cover any gaps in your home internet security (which we’ll look at in a bit). If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network for work, yikes. You’re putting your company’s data at risk—including things like your email ID and password—unless you use a VPN.  Check your cybersecurity setup at home. Many of us are relaxed about cybersecurity at home because we don’t think cyberthieves go for small targets. However, thanks to the magic of the internet, hackers can search online for vulnerable IP addresses and go after them from anywhere.  Stepping up your home internet security makes your personal information safer. And when you work from home, it protects your company, too. Here’s what to check: 1. Do you have malware protection on your devices? This is important whether you’re using a company-issued computer or your own. Regular scans and firewall protection can keep viruses and other crud off your computer and phone, where they could otherwise find their way into your employer’s system. 2. Do you keep your operating systems, apps and programs up to date? It’s true—Windows and Android updates can take longer than you’d like when you’re busy with work. But when a security update announces itself, the time to install it is now.  That’s because by the time the company sends that security update out, hackers know about it, too—and they’re busy looking for machines that aren’t updated yet so they can break into them. (Unpatched software is how the Equifax hack happened.) 3. Is your home Wi-Fi network password strong and unique? A strong, unique password will keep snoops and opportunists out of your home network—and out of your work at home. Especially if you live in a crowded area where plenty of people nearby can see your network when they search for Wi-Fi, you need a good password.  Strong means your password is at least 8 characters long, with a random mix of letters, numbers and characters. Unique means you only use that password for your home Wi-Fi network, not for any other accounts like email and social media. That’s because if someone guesses your Wi-Fi password, they could then also get into those other accounts. 4. Can anyone with an internet connection log in to your home internet gateway? You might be surprised. Even if you’ve created a strong home Wi-Fi password, you should still check your internet hardware.  That’s because your router may have arrived with default login credentials of “admin/admin.” Those are weak, but who’s going to get close enough to your router to mess with it? Anybody who cares to look it up. Hackers can search for IP addresses with default router login credentials, log in and take over—all from the comfort of wherever they happen to be.  If that happens, attackers can see everything that happens on your network. That means they can easily steal your work email login information and then go on to hack your employer. Here’s a basic walk-through of how to change the password on your router and other network hardware. 3. Step up your password security Strong and unique passwords aren’t just for your home Wi-Fi network. Ideally, you would use a unique password for every single account you have and use a password manager to keep track of them all. But at the very least, you need strong, unique passwords for your work email and other work-related accounts, plus your personal email, social media, banking and utility accounts.  When you use a different password for each account, it prevents hackers from using a stolen password of yours like a skeleton key to unlock your other accounts. And that can keep criminals out of your company data as well as your personal information. 4. Watch out for phishing  There’s so much malware out there right now related to the coronavirus. Scammers are going after people in their inbox with fake cures and offers of “new information” designed to trick victims into giving up their email or Office365 login information.  Other coronavirus scams are dumping ransomware into health care providers’ systems at the worst possible time. And still others are tricking workers into paying fake invoices related in some way to the coronavirus outbreak. What can you do? Practice good email hygiene.  Check the sender’s email address (not just the sender’s name) before clicking on links or attachments in an email, especially if you didn’t expect to receive it. Scammers often impersonate company owners or executives to trick employees into making funds transfers.Verify unusual or urgent email requests from others in the company by phone, video or chat before you act. Scammers know that creating a sense of urgency can cause people to rush into actions they wouldn’t otherwise take. Don’t click on any links, attachments or pop-up boxes if you’re not certain who sent them and why. You could end up with malware or stolen login credentials.Be careful about visiting unfamiliar websites, especially if you’re looking for covid-19 information. A lot of malicious websites with “coronavirus” in the domain name have cropped up in recent weeks, designed to steal visitor information or spread malware.Report suspected phishing emails to your company’s IT people. You may not be the only employee who’s getting them. So that’s the basics of cybersecurity for the new remote worker: Protect your company-issued devices, connect securely, use strong and unique passwords and watch out for phishing. By following these steps, you can protect your company and everyone who works for it.  Run a small business? Read our checklist for securing your employees’ remote workspaces. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Choose the Right Facebook Attribution Model

Social Media Examiner -

Are you struggling to track the impact of your Facebook ads? Wondering which Facebook attribution model to use? In this article, you’ll discover seven different Facebook ad attribution models to assess your campaigns’ performance. About Facebook Attribution Models The Facebook attribution tool gives you insights into your customers’ purchasing journey and the roles of different […] The post How to Choose the Right Facebook Attribution Model appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Social Media Use Surges: How Marketers Should Respond

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore what global spikes in social media usage mean for marketing strategies and LinkedIn’s new conversation ads format […] The post Social Media Use Surges: How Marketers Should Respond appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

WordPress 5.4 RC5

WordPress.org News -

The fifth release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is live! WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to land on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time! You can test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate in two ways: Try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies” option)Or download the release candidate here (zip). For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post. Plugin and Theme Developers Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. The priority in testing is compatibility. If you find issues, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure them out before the final release. The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide is also out! It’s your source for details on all the major changes. How to Help Do you speak a language besides English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Tools of the Trade: Supporting your cPanel

cPanel Blog -

As a customer and partner, you have multiple ways to receive our help and support at any time, from anywhere. You have the power in your hands to obtain the knowledge and expertise necessary for your business to continue successfully without interruption. cPanel & WHM is a robust assortment of tools with a variety of applications for their use. These tools are widely used and adopted, and there are a lot of resources available. That means ...

Forget Slowing Down: It’s Time to Accelerate Your Digital Business

WP Engine -

As we all grapple with uncertainty and adapt to a changed marketplace, one thing remains clear: your business can’t afford to slow down.  Restaurants are moving quickly to establish online ordering and delivery services, gyms and yoga studios are racing to post online at-home workouts, and conferences and events that haven’t been canceled are going… The post Forget Slowing Down: It’s Time to Accelerate Your Digital Business appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Improve Your Online Store Navigation for a Better Customer Experience

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Improve Your Online Store Navigation for a Better Customer Experience appeared first on HostGator Blog. Want more customers to buy from you? Help them find what they’re looking for fast. Today’s customers expect a frustration-free experience when they search for products in online stores. Sixty-five percent of them say finding stuff fast is their top priority when buying online. But many stores—even those with websites that cost millions to build—aren’t giving shoppers what they want.  The solution? Better site navigation and product search tools. Before you yawn, consider what the Baymard Institute learned when it tested user experience with the product listings and filtering functions on 19 eCommerce websites: “Despite testing multimillion-dollar sites, more than 700 usability issues related to product lists, filtering and sorting, arose during testing.” That’s an average of 37 ways to frustrate customers on each of the sites they tested. And when customers get frustrated, they leave. Baymard’s testing found that eCommerce sites with “mediocre product list usability” had abandonment rates ranging from 67% to 90%.  However, sites that were just a little bit better at helping customers find what they wanted had much lower abandonment rates, ranging from 17% to 33%. This is good news for smaller online stores, because clearly, a huge budget doesn’t guarantee a good product search experience.  What do you need instead? A good understanding of how customers look for products in online stores now is the place to start. Then you’ll know if you need to reorganize your product categories and add new tools to your site.  How Online Shoppers Search on eCommerce Sites Today Back in the olden days of the internet, product lists, menus and category tabs were the primary ways to find specific items. This was fine on a desktop, and there was a novelty factor to online shopping that made it kind of fun to see how categories and lists were set up.  Lists and categories are still useful, but a store that only offers those navigation tools is going to lose customers. What changed? Smartphones, for one. Mobile screen sizes required an alternative to scrolling through sidebar lists and product filters. The other big change is that eCommerce companies like Amazon poured resources into developing new ways to search in their store, and customer expectations for speed and convenience have been rising ever since. Shoppers now expect easy mobile site navigation. And some would rather use a search bar, voice search or a virtual shop assistant to find what they want. Here’s a quick example of how many ways customers can search a store now. Every element at the top of Amazon’s mobile homepage offers a different way to search, including a “hamburger” menu icon to browse categories.an Alexa icon to tell the virtual assistant to find what you’re looking for.a cart icon to see what’s already in your basket and what you’ve saved for later.a search bar that uses text or voice input and offers autocomplete suggestions, even if you misspell a word.a camera/code scanner icon for image and code searches.tabs for browsing popular categories. Not every online store can offer all these options. But remember, even small improvements can keep more customers on your site. Let’s explore ways you can make your product search and navigation better.  Categories, Menus, Product Lists and Filters for Your Online Store The product category tabs on your desktop site should guide your customers toward your most popular items as well as to your top-level product categories.  For example, Nordstrom’s category tabs include designer collections, sale items and brands even though those could be included as subcategories within the women, men and kids categories. But customers who like specific designers and brands, plus those who love deals, are more likely to shop if they can go right to the good stuff from the homepage. The same principle applies to your category menus.  See how new markdowns are the top menu item for Sales subcategories? Nordstrom wants frequent bargain hunters to be able to check out fresh items fast. If you have a lot of products, filters can help shoppers narrow their choices to a manageable number, although many customers now like to get relevant results faster in the search bar, which we’ll talk about below.  eCommerce platforms include basic navigation functions that let you set up categories and filters. But to help your customers find things faster, you may want to add layered navigation.  For example, WooCommerce’s Ajax-Enabled, Enhanced Layered Navigation extension gives you granular filter options like color swatches and size selections. Ajax Layered Navigation for Magento 2 lets you include an “add to wishlist” function on your menus. It also updates pages as shoppers apply filters without reloading the entire page, so customers can see their filtered results faster.  Search Bars on eCommerce Sites Your store needs to have a search bar, but not just any search bar. WordPress offers one for its sites, but there are more feature-rich options available for eCommerce platforms.  Why upgrade from the built-in search function? Because customers say relevant results are the most important part of a store’s on-site search, according to a survey by Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights. A search tool designed for your eCommerce platform can show customers what they’re looking for in ways a basic search can’t–and make them more likely to buy. Features to look for in an on-site search tool are:  Autocomplete suggestions.Rich search results with product suggestions and thumbnail images.Compensation for misspellings.AI-driven personalized search results.  Magento 2 users may want to try Fast Simon’s free Instant Search +, which also automatically generates product filter options based on search queries. For WooCommerce users, the Advanced Woo Search Plugin from Illid offers similar features. Its pro version can display stock status in search results and lets shoppers add items to their cart from search results. Chatbot Assistants for Product Search A chatbot “shop assistant” can help your customers find the exact product they need from your store, or it can offer them options. For example, if you’re looking for a blue T-shirt, a good chatbot assistant can show you several options with links to their product pages. It can learn to recognize customers and their shopping preferences for more personalized service with each visit. For WooCommerce users, the AcoBot AI Chatbot plugin for WordPress is an option worth trying. WP-Chatbot for Facebook Messenger is another option that works with multiple eCommerce platforms.  As you test out different options for improving your site navigation and search, remember to track your conversion and abandonment rates, and listen to customer feedback, so you can see which changes deliver the best results.  Want to learn more about improving customer experience in your store? Check out our 10-step guide to website usability testing. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Creating Social Videos That Grow Strong Connections

Social Media Examiner -

Wondering how to use video to build stronger connections with your customers and prospects? Looking for a process to follow for your next video? To explore how to create emotional connections with video, I interview Matt Johnston on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Matt is a former journalist turned video marketing expert and founder of […] The post Creating Social Videos That Grow Strong Connections appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Resources to Help You Navigate the Challenges of Today's Job Market

LinkedIn Official Blog -

The global economy has been shaken by the COVID-19 outbreak, leading to an increase in people applying for unemployment. As companies from a wide-range of industries experience a decline in hiring, people looking for a job are coping with uncertainty, assessing options, and fine-tuning their career search strategies in the face of a tough job market.  To help make this easier, we’re providing a free learning path of 12 courses to help you navigate these challenging economic times. Whether... .

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