Who’s Viewed Your Profile is one of the most popular destinations on LinkedIn – after all, we all secretly love to see who’s been checking us out. For many savvy professionals, Who’s Viewed Your Profile is more than just a glimpse of who looked at your profile, it’s a rich treasure chest filled with customized insights designed to help you build your professional brand, generate new opportunities, and manage your network.
Today we’re introducing a new feature as part of Who’s Viewed Your Profile to help you see where you stack up relative to those in your network. With the new “How You Rank” tool, you can now see where you stack up to others in your network with profile views. Take a look at the top profiles in your network to gain inspiration for changes you can make to your own profile, or content you can share to increase views to your profile and drive opportunities for advancement. Or, take a look at the suggestions LinkedIn offers on the right-hand side of the page for ways you can begin increasing views to your profile immediately. You can click here to see your rank and get personalized recommendations on how to lift your visibility.
Whether you’re a job seeker or a student, there are many ways to take advantage of the insights available through Who’s Viewed Your Profile, here are some tips to get you started:
For job seekers: Recruiters at some companies receive hundreds of applicants for a single position. If you’ve submitted a resume or LinkedIn Profile already, try taking a look at the profile of the recruiter managing the position. If they see you’ve looked at their profile, they’re more likely to look at yours. Nearly 80% of candidates today are found through networking – so if you notice a recruiter at a company you’re interested in has viewed your profile, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
For consultants and business owners: Professionals come to your LinkedIn profile from all over the web, but rich data insights such as the keywords that led people to your profile, can help you determine how to effectively position yourself to attract new business and make valuable new connections. You can now also use the “How You Rank” tab to better understand who in your network can help increase visibility for your business.
For students and new graduates: Students in search of their first job or trying to thoughtfully build their network can use Who’s Viewed Your Profile to attract the attention of recruiters or connect with potential mentors. Find alumni that have graduated from your school, view their profile or reach out and say hello. If you notice someone viewed your profile from an industry you’re interested in joining, don’t be afraid to reach out, introduce yourself and see what words of wisdom they may have for someone just starting out. Learn the best practices for crafting a rich Profile by browsing the most-viewed Members in your network in the “How You Rank” tab.
For sales professionals: Curiosity leads many of us to view the profiles of those professionals that have viewed us. Sales professionals that use that knowledge to their advantage treat Who’s Viewed Your Profile as a way to generate warm leads. If someone has viewed your profile, and you share commonalities – it’s a great icebreaker for a potential new business opportunity.
We know that no two professionals are alike and by seeing how you rank relative to your professional peers, we believe you’ll have the added information and incentive to help you put your best foot forward on LinkedIn.
Most system administrators are not only concerned with improving IT capabilities, but also how to best transition to a new environment. “How do I get my app, website, database or development environment onto a new infrastructure, with the least amount of hassle?”
Every day, Rackspace assists our customers with hundreds of migrations‑from websites, to applications, to databases. Here are some of our key best practices for a successful migration.
1. Gather Performance Statistics
Improving performance is one reason to migrate, and if you don’t have a clear picture of the server resources currently being utilized, you run the risk of post-migration performance issues.
Gather performance statistics for physical servers or hypervisors – you’ll need CPU usage, memory usage, network throughput, and disk input/output. Make sure you gather at least six months of data so you can identify peak usage requirements and trending data. Project your needs for the next year and build in a performance buffer. For instance, if your performance stats indicate average usage will increase by 50 percent over the next year, and peak usage demand spikes two times over average usage, you will want to build in a performance multiple of at least three times in order to comfortably handle performance needs.
2. Identify Opportunities to Virtualize
Virtualization can save money and reduce complexity by more efficiently using hardware. Our statistics indicate that a physical server costs between two and 10 times more than a server as a VM. Do you have servers with low resource requirements, are under-utilized, or have workloads running on aging hardware? These might be candidates for virtualization.
3. Inventory Your Physical and Virtual Assets
Determine the specific assets, architecture, and size of the infrastructure for migration by taking inventory of your current assets. Failing to take everything into account could result in additional costs and time to get your environment up to capability.
For physical servers, note the server model, operating system or hypervisor used, number of CPUs and cores, amount of RAM, amount of storage in use, and storage configuration.
For virtual environments, gather operating system, number of virtual CPUs, amount of RAM, and amount of storage assigned. Be sure to also identify which hypervisor the virtual machine is assigned to so you can allocate the right amount of resources to each VM.
4. Categorize Your Servers by Business Need
Match the right server environment to the workload you are migrating. This will provide you with the best capabilities for the job, without over-paying for what you need. Identify which servers provide business critical, business impacting, and non-critical functions so you can segment these into different environments based on the specific requirements (such as high availability for business critical workloads).
5. Define the One Overall Goal of the Migration
Identifying the main goal of your migration will help you decide what is really necessary, and what is nice to have. Improving application availability, reducing cost, upgrading operating system, or gaining operating system support are all examples of migration goals.
6. Record Your Bandwidth Utilization
Your end users will expect an equal, if not better performance level post-migration, so you need to ensure that you’ll maintain the same level of network performance. Monitor your current bandwidth utilization and identify whether WAN connectivity is sufficient, both in terms of throughput and latency. WAN circuits may need to be expanded to sustain current public traffic plus the added load of accessing remote applications.
7. Identify Aging or Obsolete Software
Is it time to upgrade to a newer version of your operating system? If you want better capabilities and performance, it might be. Hardware and operating systems usually need more resources to manage as they age. Security vulnerabilities can become more frequent. The bottom line is your total cost of ownership (TCO) tends to sharply increase with age, while the return on investment (ROI) decreases. Migration can lower the TCO and raise your ROI.
If you do upgrade, verify your application’s compatibility with the newer OS. For example, organizations are moving from Windows Server 2003 as it approaches end of life (read this blog post for more). Some older apps will require an update to run on Windows Server 2008 or 2012.
8. Determine New Technologies Available
Can you leverage cloud or SaaS applications to take the place of your existing app? This could be an opportunity to fundamentally change your infrastructure for the better.
For example, some of our email customers initially want to migrate Exchange Server into a hosted environment. After further exploration, some have instead moved into a Hosted Exchange environment and offloaded the ongoing management to Rackspace.
9. Think Long Term (and then Longer Term)
The last thing you want is to outgrow your environment a year after migration. Consider the long-term TCO when making purchasing decisions. Less expensive choices today can end up costing more down the road if you have to change environments often.
The key is to build into your infrastructure for both scale and flexibility capabilities so you can handle unexpected demands. Consider options like Managed Hosting with paths for future growth.
So Now What?
Rackspace provides both DIY and supported resources for migrations.
Reference Architecture Tool - Plug in your Windows requirements and this tool will provide you with a customized infrastructure reference architecture. Go to the tool.
Download the Rackspace Cloud Assessment Tool - For Windows migrations, use the Rackspace Cloud Assessment to help you determine your requirements
Rackspace Migration Services - Rackspace provides complimentary migrations for simple like-to-like migrations and comprehensive support for complex migrations. Go to the Rackspace Migration page for more information.
Writer and superdad Jerry Mahoney chats with us about his new book based on his popular blog, Mommy Man, and his experiences blogging on WordPress.com.
Editor’s note: This post is brought to you by Shoeboxed, the fastest way to turn a pile of paper receipts into digital data for effortless expense reporting and bookkeeping.
As a small business owner, it can be difficult to determine what’s making your business thrive and what’s holding you back. You’ve probably asked yourself:
Why are my customers buying one product, and not another?
Why aren’t we attracting more leads online?
What could I be doing differently to make more money each month?
You can find the answers to these questions (and more) in these six common small business money mistakes that most entrepreneurs don’t even know they’re making:
1. Charging too little
Many small business owners make the mistake of charging too little for their products and services, thus missing out on hundreds, even thousand, of dollars each month. Unless your brand is known for being “dirt cheap” and your goal is to appeal to the largest common denominator of customers, raise your prices.
The psychology of sales states that people will automatically perceive your brand to be of a higher quality, simply because it costs more. You’ll then attract the type of customers who aren’t afraid to spend money to get what they want, and boost your revenues in the process.
2. Using archaic accounting methods
Keeping track of your books using hard copy spreadsheets and receipts wastes hours of your time — hours that could be spent increasing your cash flow!
Use a receipt scanning service to go paperless and get organized. With a service like Shoeboxed, you can digitize all of your data and store your information in a secure online account. From there, you can create expense reports, share financial information with your tax professional, and never waste another second scrounging for a lost receipt.
3. Not outsourcing
Many small business owners refuse to outsource because they believe they can’t afford it. However, wearing too many hats and working too hard is a surefire way to waste money through wasted time and poor productivity.
Instead of spending eight hours designing a graphic, hire a freelance designer to do it in one hour. The nominal cost paid to the freelancer is more than worth it because it gets you back to running your business (and making money!).
4. Failing to make quarterly tax payments
Be sure you’re setting aside 15 to 20 percent of everything you make for taxes. Many small business owners either don’t do this at all, or end up dipping into their tax savings to pay for business expenses.
By paying quarterly taxes, you’ll protect yourself from hefty IRS fines and interest rates come tax time.
5. Forgetting about your business credit
Your credit as a business is separate from your personal credit, and needs to be cultivated from the get-go. Open a small business credit card and checking account, and look into taking out a small business loan. Strong credit will save you money on future business purchases and give you perks like lower interest rates.
6. Skipping out on insurance
Like outsourcing, purchasing insurance can feel like spending money on something you don’t need. But insuring every aspect of your business — from your employees’ health to your office space — will protect you from enormous payouts in the event of an emergency.
The post It doesn’t grow on trees, you know appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
Hosts have a unique advantage when it comes to small businesses as they are very often the first place new businesses turn to get set up. Hosts could offer much more to help their small business customers grow, and in doing so small businesses could actually have a partner in the host they choose who will be able to guide them through the growing pains onto a better path to success.
1&1 recently launched three new Web apps for its popular website building solution, MyWebsite. Web apps allow users to design an attractive website by implementing functionality from hundreds of third party applications and websites. In this article we will briefly explain the newest elements. Please note that in order for most Web apps to function properly, you may need an account with each third-party service.
The new Web apps available for customers of 1&1 MyWebsite:
EventBrite: This app offers a simple way to display and promote events on your website and throughout the Internet. With the Eventbrite widget, MyWebsite customers can share events on their website with additional features such as ticket forms, calendars, and a countdown clock.
BandsInTown: This online service is a top-rated concert discovery tool providing users with information about upcoming events and music. By integrating the Bandsintown Web app, MyWebsite customers can promote their music and keep website visitors up-to-date about upcoming events.
goQR.me: goQR.me is one of the leading websites for QR codes and QR code marketing. With the Web app, MyWebsite customers can create QR codes for various data or social network profiles, and embed them as an image file on their website.
These are simply three new additions to the already extensive library of Web apps available for 1&1 MyWebsite. To learn more about what is available, visit the 1&1 website for more information.
In our Early Theme Adopters series, we focus on bloggers creating great-looking sites with the most recent additions to our Theme Showcase. Today, let’s visit some of the sites that are already using Tonal, a versatile, minimalist theme.
Communication as we know it is being disrupted. It lives at the center of our universe and has driven our lives both B2B and B2C to a simple common existence sometimes referred to as Peer to Peer (P2P). Social, mobile, big data and cloud have changed our lives, changed the way we communicate and will continue to revolutionize the business enterprise of the future.read more
Do you post images on social media? Would you like to create attractive images to share? When creating images for social media, quality makes a difference. In this article we’ll share tools and resources to create professional and engaging social media images that you can use on multiple platforms. Why Create Images for Social Media? [...]This post 15 Resources to Create Images for Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Do you use Twitter to market your product or service? Do you want to focus your marketing to reach specific Twitter users with Twitter ads? Twitter tailored audiences let you target people based on previous engagement with your website or content. In this article you’ll discover how tailored audiences can put your Twitter ads in [...]This post How to Use Twitter Tailored Audiences first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Welcome to the latest in our social media fast facts series, where we examine social networks, local influencers and popular brands around the world. In this month’s installment, we’ll be looking at the social media in Japan. According to Comscore, Japan’s online audience is older than the global average.read more
We all know, what ‘visitors’ mean to every website owner. If you are a beginner in the arena of website building, you probably must be craving for more eyeballs for your website. That’s when most of us turn to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Don’t worry; if you’re new to it, we’ve got this two post guide to help you understand the basics of SEO.
SEO for Beginners – (Part 1)
SEO for Beginners – (Part 2)
For our SEO gurus in the making, we’ve compiled a list of top 5 free SEO tools that should help BIG time
1] Google Analytics: If you ask anyone with SEO experience about their no.1 tool, you would probably get to hear about Google Analytics most of the time. Google Analytics gives you data that helps you understand your visitors and how they interact with your website. The reports that are provided via this tool are so extensive that it can help you make regular improvements to your website. Here are the key reports that you can use
Real Time: Gives you a real time view of what’s happening on your website.
Audience: Get a report of age, gender, location, language and browser type of the visitor.
Acquisition: Use this to find the source of your visitors (social, ads, organic, direct, etc)
Behavior: Find out your top pages on your website and other user behavior on your website’s pages
Conversions: Want to find out how your newsletter sign ups, sales etc are working out, then this report will be of great help. Ecommerce websites just love this section of the reports.
2] Google Webmaster Tools: Unless you are one of the lucky few who are blessed with type in traffic, you should see most of the traffic come by from popular search engines and most likely Google. This means you will need to understand how Google is treating your website. The Google Webmaster Tools is a medium for Google to communicate with you about your website. Malware on your website, Google crawl errors, website not indexed on Google are just a few things that you can find using this tool.
3] Google Adwords Keyword Planner: True SEO experts will agree with us when we say that all SEO campaigns should begin with keyword research. Built for paid search advertising campaigns, the Google Adwords Keyword Planner is also very handy for your SEO efforts. Use this tool to identify keyword that get most searches on Google and then plan your SEO activities around such keywords.
4] GTmetrix: One of the newest and most important factors for ranking higher in the search engine rankings is Page Speed. Don’t think of it is as just bonus points as a slow loading website is not something that anyone will tolerate these days. This tool will run a speed test for any page and give you a very comprehensive report of where it stands and what elements are causing it to slow down. You can also find out the Page speed and Yslow Grade of your website using this tool.
5] SEO Book: This website has several useful SEO tools that you will need at some stage of your SEO efforts. You just need to create a free account with them and you have access to their tools. Some of them are important tools like Keyword Density Analyzer, Link Suggestion Tool (Suggests keywords to search for to find relevant link sources), Spider Test Tool (View your web page like a search engine spider), Keyword List Cleaner etc. This website is truly worth saving as a bookmark.
So there you have it, five really worthy tools that will support your SEO efforts for your website. Give them a test drive and let us know how it went by dropping a comment below.
Unlike in 1981, thanks to the internet, sentiment — both positive and negative — can go somewhere. Whether or not you participate, the Internet doesn’t go away. But if you do decide to become a “social business” — be prepared. There are dorks. Everywhere.read more
Jill Abramson’s firing from The New York Times has triggered a palpable fear sensed in social media among women about sexism in the workplace. Predictably, equality, equal pay and gender parity are hot trending issues in our NetBase social tracker. Notably, however, the narrative has gone beyond both Sulzberger’s crass dismissal of Abramson and equal pay.read more
Don’t be seduced by the dark side of social media audience metrics. Don’t fixate on the number of followers and page likes you have—the vanity statistics. If you want a social media audience that helps you more effectively advocate for your cause, focus on building an audience of the key influencers that matter most to you.read more
Social media is changing the way consumers interact with brands. It’s not enough to broadcast your message anymore, you need to be able to establish trust, your place in their day to day lives. How does your brand help and improve your consumer’s world? What ways can your business contribute? read more
As we all know, distribution is a key aspect of having content read, or at least mentioned in some way, to help it find an audience. It was interesting to watch as my article went through a large network. This is an analysis of what I observed over the 72hrs after it was published. read more
Identifying with an established company in your startup’s industry is a perfect way to absorb their expertise and social know-how, creating value for newer companies that may not know where to start. Here are a few ways startups can emulate the success larger brands are having on social.read more
When many users think of WordPress, they think of it as a content management system. While it is indeed that, it is also so much more. To me, it is now a lifestyle, an extraordinary community that is unsurpassed by any other, and a common goal to make the internet a better place. During a WordCamp, nobody is judged based on their financial situation, the size of their company, or how popular they are. Everyone only pays attention to one thing about you; how much you love WordPress. Developers talk with beginner users, and hosts even converse with each other to drum up friendly competition. Seeing so many different people from various backgrounds certainly pushed me further into the WordPress community and showed me that it is much more than a product, but a living, breathing ecosystem.
As I had a later flight that was further delayed, I was a bit later than everyone else to the party. Although when I landed, I was able to contact Rami Abraham of Maintainn where we immediately decided to meet for some food and drinks. He suggested a destination and we immediately headed toward the Wynnwood area of Miami. Upon arrival, I was greeted by many well-known names such as Shayne Sanderson of Maintainn, and Brad Williams of WebDevStudios with open arms. Although they are quite well known, and I am much lesser known by the community, it amazed me that such big names would be just as accepting of me as they would any of their peers.
Although we had never spoken outside of channels such as Twitter or a Google Hangout here and there, I was completely accepted. Thousands of miles away with people I had never met in person before, I felt as if I was at home.
On Friday, we made our way over to the Beginners’ Workshop where we wanted to get a good feel of the new users that we may be hosting. While I was unable to learn anything specifically about WordPress, I did gain a significant amount of information about the users. Sometimes, when you get so involved in the development side of things, the basics become lost and you forget what the average user goes through on a daily basis. It was great to chat with a few new WordPress users and see their everyday struggles whether it be with their hosting provider, or maybe just a simple plugin that they can’t see to quite figure out.
Day 1 – Usability, Development, and Design
Saturday was the first day of sessions for WordCamp Miami. Immediately as I walked in the door, I knew this is where I belonged. There was an immediate sense of overwhelming knowledge, but not in an intimidating way. It was a very humble, helpful environment that my brain loved to feed off of. Even hearing a conversation going on a few feet away is as intriguing as they come. Although I could not attend every one of the presentations as there were several going on at the same time, nor would I be able to describe each one on this post, here are a few that made notable impressions on me:
“Responsify All The Things!” by Tracy Rotton
Being that I am a terrible designer, but interested in honing my skills on the front end of things, I decided to attend Tracy Rotton’s talk on Responsive design. Although I am already a bit versed in how responsive design works and the theory behind it, in practice, my skills are extremely limited. I this talk, Tracy went over a bit of the basics for those who aren’t quite as familiar, then jumped straight into some life-saving techniques to help both the novice and advanced designer become a design powerhouse.
Progressive JPEGs were also discussed in which to the naked eye, appear exactly the same as lesser compressed images but with a much smaller file size. This will save users on bandwidth and I/O usage on the server and also allows a much quicker page loading experience for the user. Previously, I had been using various other methods for my images, but after seeing her example on using progressive JPEGs instead, I don’t think my methods will ever be the same.
Tracy brought up a good point that I think all of us in the room thought of as a “why didn’t I think of that?” moment which was that other elements may be placed within <a> tags such as divs. When there are several items on the page aligned within boxes including things like text and images, many times users will have some trouble clicking on a specific link within that box. Why not make that entire box clickable? This can be done by placing the entire div within the same <a> tag so that even a user with the fattest of fingers can click it on their tiny iPhone screen.
Overall, Tracy Rotton taught me why responsive design is more important than ever, that it will never go away, and how to provide a better experience to all users with some simple tips and tricks that make a huge impact.
If you’re interested in taking a look at the slides from Tracy’s presentation, you may view her slides on GitHub.
“Real WordPress Security – Kill The Noise” by Dre Armeda
Dre Armeda of Sucuri made some excellent points on how users can better protect their WordPress sites with just a few simple steps. This was targeted more at basic users and reenforced that the WordPress users is the first line of defense against attacks.
In this presentation, Dre mentions things like using a stronger password, and keeping everything up to date. At InMotion, the #1 cause of compromised sites are simply because the user either had a weak password, or they were running a vulnerable piece of software in which the issue could have been easily fixed by simply updating their software to the most recent version which closes those security flaws. Of course, there are also other tools that can help further protect your site such as Sucuri CloudProxy which runs between the attacker and the web server.
If you’re interested in seeing more about this presentation, you may find Dre’s slides on SlideShare.
“Playing Nicely With Other Plugins” by Pippin Williamson
If you use any WordPress plugins, you have probably used something by Pippin Williamson. As with any plugins, it is bound to break at some point when introduced to some other plugins. In Pippin’s presentation, he discussed how plugin developers can better suit both their clients, and other plugins that may interact with theirs.
The biggest point that Pippin made was that plugin developers should be nice to other plugin developers. Whether this means fixing their own code to interact with another plugin properly, or by fixing the other plugin’s code, they still share a common client base and they should interact accordingly to ensure that everyone has a great experience. Many times, plugin developers will place blame on others for their plugins causing issues when installed alongside others, but in that instance, nobody really really benefits from the experience. By resolving the conflicts between the plugins, plugin developers can ensure a happier experience for both their users, and other plugin developers.
Not only did Pippin discuss how a plugin developer can resolve issues after the release of a plugin when they see a conflict, but how they can proactively avoid issues within the development process such as using better classes and IDs within the CSS, checking to see if various libraries are already loaded before loading them, and various other things that can avoid your plugin overriding another plugin, or vice versa.
One thing that greatly stood out to me in this presentation was developers arbitrarily changing actions and filters within their plugins. I have personally seen this before and can certainly be an issue for any developer that is using those actions or filters. Pippin gave an example of this in which he simply adjusted a typo in a hook which directly affected one of the users that was using that hook (with the typo), so when that user updated the plugin, it caused significant issues on the site. This issue can be easily avoided by keeping that previous action or filter, as well as the correction both in the plugin for an extended period of time so that users are not suddenly affected by the change and have time to appropriately update their code.
If you’re interested in seeing more about this presentation, you can view Pippin’s slides on SlideShare.
“WordPress Podcasting: The Panel”
Jeff Chandler – WordPress Weekly
Brad Williams – DradCast
Dre Armeda – DradCast
Suzette Franck – WP Unicorn Project
Matt Medeiros – Matt Report
Pippin Williamson – Apply Filters
Brad Touesnard – Apply Filters
This panel about WordPress podcasting included several individuals who are well known in the WordPress community for podcasting. Having a panel like this allowed a better look into the podcasting world and how/why they do what they do.
I enjoyed hearing that most of these guys (and girl) do not solely do their podcasts for the money itself and do it simply to provide great information to the WordPress community. It certainly helped the reenforce that WordPress is about community first and monetary gain second, although most of us still make a living from WordPress. The consensus of the group seemed to be to have fun and do what you enjoy, and the monetary gain will follow.
A ton of questions came from the crowd about how to get started and promote your podcast in which the general response was to just jump into it and provide excellent content that people enjoy. Whether you want to talk about the development side of things like Pippin Williamson and Brad Touesnard do on Apply Filters, or you want to focus more in the business side of things like Matt Medeiros does on The Matt Report, there is plenty of room to gather various content that can greatly affect the WordPress community in a positive way.
The Networking Party
After the first day of great presentations, we had an opportunity to have a great time networking with various like-minded professionals in a great atmosphere. This took place at Finnegan’s River in Miami and provided the perfect setting to relax at the bar or a table by the water to connect and talk about anything that came to our minds.
I met with Suzette from MediaTemple in which we shared our common goals in assisting with the WordPress community in any way we can. I was quite excited that she shared my same excitement about WordPress from a hosting standpoint in which we were able to bounce ideas back and forth to better both of our WordPress customer base to make the WordPress hosting experience a much better experience, regardless of hosting choices. Having common goals like this within competitors is certainly a great way to make all WordPress hosting solutions a much better place.
Jeff Chandler and Sarah Gooding were also both there from WPTavern in which it was a great time to catch up with them and have an overall great experience. Having spoken to Jeff almost every weekend co-hosting our WordPress After Hours Google Hangout, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet in person and share our ideas and experiences with WordPress. Although I speak to Sarah much less, I enjoyed meeting her and her husband and had a terrific time making jokes and enjoying the atmosphere. We also got a chance to get goofy in a photo booth for some lasting memories with the WPTavern crew.
Towards the end of the night, I had some great conversations with Chris Wiegman from iThemes Security, previously Better WP Security. We discussed everything WordPress security, their bugs in a previous release right after he sold to iThemes, and ways that everyone can make a better push to providing simplistic security options for all WordPress users. There has been a lot of confusion about Better WP Security getting bought by iThemes and the impression that I have received from Chris is that it has only become better since the acquisition. With more time and money being allotted to development and user experience, iThemes Security certainly has only growth ahead of them.
Day 2 – The Business of WordPress
Day 2 was all about business in WordPress. The biggest impact that was made was by Chris Lema. He opened his presentation with a story about walking into a supermarket and buying peanut butter which we can all relate to. I couldn’t even begin to explain it nearly as well as he did, but I’ll post a video here when available. The opening alone was jaw-dropping and there wasn’t a single eye that wasn’t staring intently at him the entire time. Chris certainly knows how to speak to a crowd.
Throughout Chris’ presentation, there was a lot of emphasis on why many WordPress developers and designers fail to succeed to the levels that they desire in which it all boils down to confidence in what you are doing. If you’re a designer, don’t try to do the whole package; Just be extremely good at design. If you attempt to do the whole package, you are devaluing your primary skill. Just find what you are really good at, and be the best in your industry. For example, Chris discussed that if you don’t know what to charge, don’t just throw a number out there. Find out the client’s budget and decide if it will work for you. This same point further leads to giving clients “ballpark” estimates. At that point, you don’t know exactly what it will entail so you can’t accurately decide on a price. Learn the client’s exact needs or you will run the risk of devaluing yourself.
Another great point that Chris made (out of many, many incredible points) was that clients should always have options so that they can better suit their needs. If you provide them with a single option, they only have the opportunity to say “yes” or “no”, but if you present them with multiple options, they will almost always say “yes”. For example, if we only provided our customers with a single option for hosting, that one option may not suit their needs, but offering many different hosting options allows us to better suit the needs of many individuals.
Of course, nothing can compare to seeing his presentation live, and it certainly was the best in my opinion, but if you want to see more about it, check out Chris Lema’s slides from WordCamp Miami on SlideShare.
The Experience of a Lifetime
Overall, I had the experience of a lifetime. Not only was it my first WordCamp, but it was an incredible one. With 770 attendees, including many big names in WordPress, there was never a boring moment. Connections were made that will take me deep into the future, and memories that will last a lifetime. I made new friends, and connected with old ones in which this experience was unsurpassed by anything I have previously done. It was truly an incredible experience and I was to thank InMotion Hosting for sending me there, all of the organizers and volunteers who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into this WordCamp, and all of those sponsors that provided the funding for such an amazing event. They affected so many lives, including mine, and I could not even begin to express my gratitude to to everyone involved to the extent in which they deserve. I’ll see you next year, Miami.
Hosting a WordPress site is easy, but efficiently hosting a WordPress site is the hard part. Sure, you could easily just install WordPress, install a theme that looks good, maybe install a few plugins, and leave it there, but efficiently hosting and maintaining a WordPress site can be more difficult.
If you want to get the most of of WordPress, and keep system resources, costs, and your visitors’ page load times low, you will need to build and maintain that site as efficiently as possible. In this post, we will show you some ways to ensure that your WordPress site is running in top shape at all times.
Keep your WordPress installation updated at all times
WordPress, just like any other widely used and open source content management system is subject to bugs and security flaws. The majority of issues that I see on a daily basis are simply due to out of date WordPress installations.
WordPress now includes the ability to automatically update itself for any maintenance releases. While this does not apply to major releases such as 3.9 to 4.0, it will update your site automatically for minor and maintenance releases such as security issues.
Clean out those themes and plugins
Often, users will simply deactivate plugins and themes instead of fully removing them. Although deactivated, the files are still there and can lead to various bugs and security issues.
When not using a plugin or theme, be sure to fully remove it. You can always reinstall it if you find a need for it in the future.
Avoid bloated themes and plugins
Many users will go for a single plugin that does everything but the problem with that is that there are a lot of other options within the plugin or theme that they will never use. Avoid plugins or themes that are an “all in one” solution and instead of going for something that does everything. For example, if you just need to display a small Twitter widget, go for a widget that does just that, not something that includes various other things such as extra share buttons in your post or an entire page of Twitter posts. While those elements are not being shown, the code itself will usually use more system resources.
Some themes and plugins may also be poorly coded in which they will use up more resources than necessary. Although they may be attractive, there is most likely a theme or plugin that will look just as good, but use half the resources of a poorly coded theme. A good starting point in this would be to only purchase themes from reputable sources.
More and more caching
Caching can be critical in improving the performance of your site. Caching simply allows dynamic elements to be run a single time and then serve static elements to all of the users allowing for less system resources, and a quicker page load time for all visitors.
Plugins such as W3 Total Cache can easily configure caching for you with just a few simple clicks.
Use a CDN for all static content
A CDN will allow you to serve your static files from various locations depending on your visitor which will allow much quicker page load times. Aside from the user’s perspective, your server will also be able to offload those resources to another service that is specifically tuned to do exactly that, allowing a lower effect on server resources.
Services such as MaxCDN are able to cheaply boost the performance of your site, and are very easy to set up within plugins such as W3 Total Cache.
Make regular backups
Ensure that you always have backups ready to go if anything were to happen to your site. If something happened to cause you to lose all of your data, or you made a change that completely breaks your site, you will have a backup ready to go.
Most users don’t understand the need for backups until they need them, so proactively make backups when changes are made, as well as incremental backups every week, month, year, etc. Several plugins such as BackUpWordPress will be able to easily back up your WordPress site with just a couple clicks.
In addition to making regular backups, be sure that you are also storing them off of the server. Many times when a user is compromised, it will also affect the backups as well. Storing the backups in a location such as Google Drive or Dropbox will ensure that your backups are always readily available.
Maintain like a madman
Of course, once you have everything set up, be sure to continuously maintain your site at all times. Even if the site is a purely informational site that isn’t updated much, keep checking up on it to ensure that everything is running smoothly often. Sometimes you may notice a small issue that if discovered early, can drastically affect whether that small issue turns into a big one later down the road.
Running a website is much more than simply tossing it up and leaving it there. Treat it like a pet that continuously needs love and care.