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How to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe from Hackers

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Once open-source software becomes the most widely used content management system on the Internet, it will undoubtedly also become a target for hackers.

WordPress, an open-source platform, powers over 18.9 percent of all websites, which amounts to more than 74 million sites total.

The platform has received quite a bit of negative attention recently for its security vulnerabilities. If the proper steps are taken, however, WordPress can be just as safe as other CMS systems.

Has Your Site Already Been Hacked?

Sucuri, a website security and malware protection site, provides a site check utility that scans your site to ensure it has no publicly visible signs of malicious activity.

Also, set your site up on Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools) as it will notify you of a website breach. You can visit the hacked site information page to learn more about Google’s process for marking sites as malicious.

Once you know your site’s status, there are several steps you can take to ensure it is as secure as possible.

Update, Update, Update.

Update WordPress Core, Plugins and Themes.

Hardening Your Hosting Server Protects WordPress Files & Others

  • Set correct file permissions
  • Private hosting is preferred
  • Use a strong User Name and Password
  • Use Security plugins like Wordfence and Bulletproof Security

Read full article…

How to Rank Higher on Google in 2015

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Google continually makes changes to the way its search engine analyzes and ranks websites and individual pages. But, unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter way to please its algorithm.

The good news, however, is there are proven ways to provide what it wants so you can rank higher and for the long term.

It’s more important than ever that you produce consistent quality content and make that content be topic (and keyword) focused in order to rank at the top of Google search results.

Here are five ways you can move with the advancing trends of Google’s search engine into 2015 and beyond.

1. Focus on content topics (not just keywords) and user experience

2. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

3. Use the “Disavow Tool” offered by Google (carefully)

4. Keep building links (and build them at a ‘natural’ pace)

5. Lastly, make your content share-able.

Read full article…

How to become a successful travel and adventure photographer

Mountain Lion chasing after Bear Cub

Rock Climbing | Off Width Outlaw | Pamela Shanti Pack

This is absolutely crazy…

Radical Website Redesign or Incremental Change?

by Hoa Loranger

Site redesigns often require a tremendous amount of coordination and resources. Sometimes, a redesign project can be a purely visual reskinning of the entire site, with new styles, layouts, and treatments. Other times, serious taxonomy, information architecture, content, or usability issues are being addressed.

Usually Choose Incremental Changes Over a Major Overhaul

Drastic website changes are jarring for users and risky for business. The cost and effort of getting an entire organization and senior stakeholders to agree on the new website is enormous.

Never make radical changes when minimal adjustments will suffice. Too many websites undergo a major overhaul unnecessarily. While legitimate reasons exist for engaging in a redesign, the reality is that many problems you need to solve are isolated and can be fixed with smaller, incremental approaches.

Sometimes a Major Overhaul Is Best

Below are some reasons for taking the plunge:

  • The gains from making incremental changes are miniscule or nonexistent
  • The technology is severely outdated, making critical changes impossible
  • Architecturally the site is a tangled mess
  • Severely low conversion rates site-wide

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5 Tips to Get Donations on Nonprofit and Charity Websites

by by Nielsen Norman Group  

Our usability tests of nonprofit and charity websites show that people have high expectations of nonprofit and charity websites — which some sites don’t meet. Users have specific questions, and if sites do not address these questions, they have little desire or motivation to find the answers. Once users decide to donate, a clear call to action and a simplified donation process keeps them on the right track.

To get donations, follow these 5 guidelines:

1. Clearly Explain What the Organization Does

2. Disclose How Donations are Used

Those (users) who couldn’t find the information were aggravated and thought the organization was inefficient or trying to bury those details.

3. Display Third Party Endorsements

An organization’s reputation and legitimacy is another important piece of information users needed to know before making a donation. In our study, people often used the following information to decide whether or not a nonprofit or charity was worthy of their donation:

  • watchdog ratings
  • high profile endorsements
  • testimonials
  • name recognition
  • number of years in operation

4. Provide a Noticeable and Clear Link to Donate

5. Streamline the Donation Process

Creating a seamless donation process will increase the odds of getting users to complete the process.

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Ballet Dancer Sergei Polunin Simply Slays Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’

Just amazing!

The Fold Manifesto: Why the Page Fold Still Matters

by Amy Schade

Summary: What appears at the top of the page vs. what’s hidden will always influence the user experience—regardless of screen size. The average difference in how users treat info above vs. below the fold is 84%.

Screen sizes are constantly shifting and designs can respond to these sizes, rather than fit to a constant size. So when clients, designers, developers, or marketers talk about content “above the fold”—a term borrowed from print-newspaper terminology and used as a way to reference what is visible on the webpage without scrolling —does it make sense anymore?

Yes. The fold still exists and still applies. Even though the exact location of the fold will differ between devices, it exists for every single user on every single screen. From a technical standpoint, the fold for the most common device sizes can be determined by looking at web traffic and at device and browser statistics.  A responsive design may have 2, 3, 4, or more different folds, specific to the devices and screen sizes that the design was optimized for. Each target device has its own fold to consider.

But more than a measurement, the fold is a concept. The fold matters because what appears at the top of your page matters. Users do scroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough. What is visible on the page without requiring any action is what encourages us to scroll. This is true on any size screen, be it mobile, tablet, or desktop: anything that’s hidden and that the user must uncover will only be seen if the user deems it worth the hassle.

The following heatmap aggregates all the sites in our study (excluding search engines and search pages). Content below the fold does gather some looks, but not nearly as much as the content above the fold.

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FAQs Still Deliver Great Value

by Susan Farrell

Summary: A usable website FAQ can improve products, services, information, and user experience as part of your knowledge management process.