Terry Culkin System Management, Web Development and Online Security https://www.terryculkin.com Create Secure Websites and Networks Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:19:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 Easy Ways to Backup a WordPress Website https://www.terryculkin.com/easy-backup-wordpress-website/ https://www.terryculkin.com/easy-backup-wordpress-website/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 19:02:28 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1697 The first line of a secure WordPress website is to be prepared. Backing up your website offsite (meaning not only on your web host) will guarantee if something happens you can recover your business website quickly. You are protecting your online business success by automating your backups. Everyone who is running a business online needs […]

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The first line of a secure WordPress website is to be prepared. Backing up your website offsite (meaning not only on your web host) will guarantee5 Easy Ways to Backup a WordPress Website if something happens you can recover your business website quickly. You are protecting your online business success by automating your backups.
Everyone who is running a business online needs an offsite automatic backup solution. Backing up your data hourly or daily.

I have setup many systems for clients and here are the top five solutions. I will start with my preference, Cloud-based solutions then Free plugins that have basic features.  Everyone who has a website needs to backup!

1. Manage WP (starting $2 per Website)
2. CodeGuard (Starting $5 per Website)
3. VaultPress (Starting $5 per Website)
4. BackWPup (Starting Free)
5. UPdraftplus (Starting Free

Cloud Based Backup Services:

I prefer Cloud Services, this way you don’t need your own cloud accounts for the backup storage. Everything is done for you. Manage WP & CodeGuard both have Free Trials which I recommend trying the backup solution to make sure it works with your web host and doesn’t conflict with other plugins.

Manage WP – $2+/m Backup and much moremwp_square_logo

Manage WP is more than just backing up your website. I use this for managing and updating all my clients and my WordPress websites. This tool is perfect for anyone who has more than one WordPress website including test sites and membership sites. Sometimes we have multiple WordPress installs on one server, all of these websites need to be updated and backed up. Manage WP does all this.
The FREE version doesn’t come with backing up. On average it’s about $2 a month per website for backing up. Cheapest cloud solution. It’s new Orion version is launching and has Offsite automatic cloud backup solution on their Amazon AWS servers. Meaning it backs your site up multiple times a day, and you have an infinite amount of backups.
A perfect solution since you don’t have to worry about running out of space on your own Google Drive or Dropbox account.

CodeGuard – $5+/m Cloud-based automatic backupcodeguard-logo

 

This is a subscription based service starting at $5 a month per website. They work with many different platforms not only WordPress. They have single click restore, daily site changing monitor, reporting and more. All data is on their secure servers making it easier for you. 90 day archiving and an option for an infinite archive.
Very easy to use. They also have plans for multiple websites which is great for designers or developers.

VaultPress – $5+/m – Cloud Based Automatic Backup from the WordPress makersvp-designrazor.net_2

Easy to use Cloud based backup. VaultPress starts at $5 for basic backup including 30-day archive.
Single click restore. My only issue with VaultPress is many of the advanced features are costly per month. Other plugins do similar things fro free. However, the tools are perfect for non-tech bloggers.

Backup Plugins:

I’ve only picked two that I use and like. These are great because you can try them out for FREE. Each one has advantages. Please install and test these plugins on your website since every host is different

BackWPup – Starts FREE – Great plugin for Dropbox and AWSbackwpup
You need something to backup quickly to your Dropbox then this is it. It works good and for Dropbox and AWS it’s FREE. The Pro Version allows more control and more places to backup.
If you’re just starting out and already have a Dropbox or AWS account, this is a good way to start. You choose how many backups it keeps on your own DropBox so make sure you have enough space o. If you say three backups, then it’s only keeping the last three backups. On the above cloud base solutions, you are automatically backed up daily and archived for 30 days or more.

One great feature is it can backup when the website is updated. It’s incredibly easy to backup and restore your website.
UPdraftplus – Starts Free – Backing up to Dropbox and Google Drive.UpdraftPlusLogo
A great free backup plugin that is Free. The Pro version has some great add-ons if you need them. It isn’t as easy as other backup programs but gives some great options.This uses your cloud accounts or you can use Updraft’s Cloud based service.

Summary of different ways to backup a WordPress Website

There is no reason not to have WordPress Website Backup solution in place. It’s needed. If your web host has a problem and you want to move to another, you will be happy you have your website data ready to upload to a new server. This is your business, and you need to be prepared for everything! Having an offsite solution is a huge part of securing your WordPress Website.

Action Steps: if you don’t have a backup solution look at the above suggestions. If your non-technical and need a time-saving solution then look into the Cloud solutions. If you are on more of a budget crunch, then look at the Backup Plugins. Either way, there is no excuse not to have an offsite backup of your business website.
If you need help contact Terry through my website or social media. Be happy to help. What backup solution do you use or have you tried? Let me know in the comments.

To Your Tech Success,
-Terry

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Create a Faster and Secure Website with CloudFlare https://www.terryculkin.com/create-faster-secure-website-cloudflare/ https://www.terryculkin.com/create-faster-secure-website-cloudflare/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 21:23:07 +0000 https://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1689 Hackers, malware, and spam! Oh, My!  It’s hard to manage an online business, and everywhere you go you hear all the horror stories of Internet Security.  How do you protect yourself? How do you protect your business website? First, I always tell my clients to make sure you have a good automatic backup.  Next, secure […]

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Hackers, malware, and spam! Oh, My!  It’s hard to manage an online business, and everywhere you go you hear all the horror stories of Internet Security.  How do you protect yourself? How do you protect your business website?

First, I always tell my clients to make sure you have a good automatic backup.  Next, secure your website from the first point of entrance.Create a Faster and Secure Website with CloudFlare

This is where CloudFlare helps Secure Websites.

Instead of installing a plugin or something on your server, CloudFlare protects you before anyone steps inside.  It’s like having a doorman announcing everyone!

CloudFlare protects and accelerates websites that are part of its community.  All web traffic is routed through their system after you register and configure your website with CloudFlare.

CloudFlare also speeds up your website.  Sounds too good to be true?

Well, CloudFlare is only part of having a secure website.  There are other things that you need to do to keep those monsters out.  But let’s start with before anyone ever steps foot on our website.

You need to create a FREE account at CloudFlare.com.  Then change your DNS with your register or web host.  CloudFlare has excellent support documents on how you to do this.  Following the instructions and CloudFlare will clone your current settings.   It may take a couple of hours to a full day before the changes take place.  You can come back to CloudFlare to see when they are up and running.

 

Setting up CloudFlare to speed up and your secure website:

  1. Create a Free account by going to http://www.cloudflare.com and click on Sign Up.
  2. Enter your email and a secure password. (Using an alias is a good idea if you are going to have other people help you manage your accounts. )
  3. Enter your websites Domain name (example.com, etc) and click Begin Scan:cloudflare scan website
  4. When the scan is complete, you will see the copied records. You can choose to enable subdomains that need protection as well.cloudflare-dns
  5. Select a plan that works for your business. I recommend to start with the FREE version first and see if you need to upgrade later on.
  6. Now you will see the nameservers you are assigned. Write these down. You will need to change these at your register or web hosting company. I prefer to change this at the where you registered the website.  This way if I wanted to switch a website off a hosting company I could do it in an hour.
  7. After you make the needed changes with your registrar or hosting company, you may have to wait up to 72 hours. Your website will not experience any downtime.  You may need to come back to CloudFlare to check the status. When you login to CloudFlare click on the website that you are working with and click on Overview.  It should say ‘Active on CloudFlare.’

Once configured you have many options in CloudFlare.

Out of the box a secure website. CloudFlare protects your site against known bad networks and browsers.  These hackers never even step foot on your website.  Hackers won’t even know what hosting company or any server details you are using because everything will be going to CloudFlare first.

There are more advanced things that you can do on CloudFlare, but be careful.  While this tool works great, changing settings could also down your website or create issues.  For example, if you enable caching, realize that changes you make on your website may not be seen online.  You may want to read some of the help or google some of the settings before experimenting. Keep a log of the changes you have made, so you can change them back if needed.

I trust all my clients and my sites with CloudFlare, and it’s a great tool to protect your online business.  Try it out and see how it works for you. Any questions comment below or reach out to me on social media. Welcome to your secure website!

To Your Tech Success,

-Terry

 

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5 Cloud Based Creative Tools to Share Large Files https://www.terryculkin.com/5-cloud-based-creative-tools-to-share-large-files/ https://www.terryculkin.com/5-cloud-based-creative-tools-to-share-large-files/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:04:28 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1644 Have you ever tried to send a large file to someone? Or a lot of files. What went wrong? Was it slow? Did they get them? Did your email client give you a hard time! Let’s face it if you are sending large or many files you may run into some issues. So if you […]

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Have you ever tried to send a large file to someone? Or a lot of files. What went wrong?5 Cloud Based Creative Tools to Share

Was it slow?

Did they get them?

Did your email client give you a hard time!

Let’s face it if you are sending large or many files you may run into some issues.

So if you need to send large or many files don’t email the files. Email the person a link to the files. Seriously it is much easier and you probably have the ability already!

Many people do this and it is not the right way. I still get videos from my sister that she sent through email.

Many people will just do what they are use to and take a large file and dump it into their email. But here are some other solutions.

Here are 7 creative tools to send large files:

  1. Drop BoxMy favorite –For me Drop Box is the easiest creative tool. Install the app on your computer. Place your files in your DopBox folder. Then, right-click the file you want to send and click on ‘Copy DropBox Link’. Next paste that link in an email to a friend. If you are sharing a lot of files you can create a shared folder.
  2. Google Drive – Whether you have Google Drive installed on your computer or using the web version it is easy to share. And since many people have Gmail, you already have Google Drive! Log into the Drive’s website, click on the NEW button. Select upload. Once the large file is uploaded, click on the share box. Put in the emails and you are done! I have shared many things from videos to massive projects this way.
  3. Box – Pretty much the same as DropBox when it comes to functionality. The plus is you get more space for free.
  4. MediaFire – Lots of FREE space is always good. Plus it’s social features, allowing you to invite friends from social networks to view or edit your files is a sure plus. Great for collaborating on projects.
  5. WeTransfer.com – This is great. You add a file up to 2GB and put your email, your friends email and a message. Works great and is probably the easiest to use.
  6. Justcloud.com – This is a great Cloud Storage backup site. While backing up you are able to share files with friends. Again this one has a large amount of FREE space.
  7. Amazon Cloud Drive – This is another easy Cloud storage. To share files, simply upload your files and click on the link. You can copy the link to your clipboard and paste it in an email or send it through email. It’s now unlimited storage! Great for all those digital files we have.

These creative tools allow a couple of things. First you can access the files from anywhere. You can also send the same file to many people. Let’s say you have a video that five clients need to see. The video is 400MB! Using one of the above methods will let you easily share this file.

You can also take it down whenever you want. This means after a week of having the file up you can delete the sharing ability of the file. This comes in handy when working on projects through stages.

Of course, more Cloud applications are out there. New ones are born every minute. Most online storage allows sharing large files. Apple and Microsoft have their applications as well, but I find they are only useful for their own devices.

Using Cloud Applications to store and share files is a must today. It is much easier then sending many versions of a file through email. This one thing may save you and your business a ton of time. Try one or a couple of the above today and let me know in the comments ‘how these are working for your business?’

To Your Tech Success,

Terry

 

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6 Mistakes On Your Small Business Website https://www.terryculkin.com/6-mistakes-small-business-website/ https://www.terryculkin.com/6-mistakes-small-business-website/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 21:32:06 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1609 Is your website marketing your small business? Reviewing many websites I have found 6 missing elements that hurt your business. A website is not a light fixture. You just don’t flip the switch. You need virtual items that people expect. A website is your businesses Store Window. If you had a broken table with dust on […]

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6 mistakes on your Small business website

Is your website marketing your small business? Reviewing many websites I have found 6 missing elements that hurt your business. A website is not a light fixture. You just don’t flip the switch.

You need virtual items that people expect. A website is your businesses Store Window. If you had a broken table with dust on it for ten years, how many people will enter your store? Your website is how people find your divine business gifts. It’s your virtual retail store.

Right now open a web browser tab with your website. When I talk about a certain area of your website make sure you have something similar. Write some notes out that will help you create or update that area.

Let’s Start improving your small business website!!

(   ) Are you on your Small Business Website

A picture is worth a thousand words and many business owners don’t have themselves on any page of their website. To build trust, you need a friendly face for your company.

Huge successful companies also want customers to connect with it’s top professionals.  Tim Cook, Apple CEO has a picture and bio on Apple website. (https://www.apple.com/pr/bios/tim-cook.html).

It has been proven that a picture of the owner or founder of a company on the front page or an about page of the website helps establish trust. People do not buy products or services, they buy the knowledge of experts. It’s important customers see who they are buying from or working with.

(   ) Mission Statement

Make sure you tell people what your business does right away. Bloggers make sure you have the exact things you write about right up front. People do not wait around.

If you own a bakery make sure you tell your customers what you’re known for. “Best CupCakes in Town.”

If you don’t tell people what you’re an expert at then they will know!  Spread the word and yell it at the top of your lungs.

(   ) Where’s that Contact info?

Make it easy for people to contact you. Give multiple ways of contacting you with a phone number, email and social media. Have them on every page even if it’s on the footer.

If you have a restaurant or a brick and motor business make sure your phone number and contact info is on every page and up top. Top right side is usually a good place for this.

(   ) Every page in the address bar readable

Okay, so this is a little technical but very overlooked. The URL is the website name and the web page together. We take the Apple link above with Tim Cook’s bio that is a URL. As you notice with that URL you can read it and know that its’ Apple Bio Tim Cook.

This is called a Perm Link or alias for many content management software like WordPress. You need to have it look like that and not a number or look like ?p=104

If your website address isn’t easy to read search engines can’t find your content. Also, it will be harder for people to share or know what you are talking about.  Believe it or not having words in the URL makes your website likeable.

(   ) Working Social Media and LINK IT

I find a website that I enjoy and want to follow them on Twitter or Facebook.  Right?  NOPE!  I look on the small business website for social media links. NOTHING! This business just lost me.  I will not sign up for the newsletter.  The website gets lost in the deep digital ocean.

Millions of potential customers behave the same way. Social media is your second chance. Make sure you have at least two major social media profiles linked and active. They could be:

  • Youtube
  • FaceBook (make sure you have a business page, not your profile)
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google +
  • Instagram

If you don’t include social media on your website then you aren’t building a community. It is important to spread your voice in many ways.

Business die because they listened to an expert telling them people leaving their page for social media is bad. I have also seen people attract millions of visitors with social media. Some companies do not need to link out to social media.  I personally find that it is needed in today’s curious world.

(   ) Where’s the Blog

A blog is the heart of your small business website. New blog posts create the same attraction as an updated storefront window. Keeping the energy moving and attracting people and expanding your business. Posting blogs posts on social media and other websites attract new customers.

No one wants the same boring look! Update your website with fresh exciting stories.

A blog is the core of content marketing. If you spend 4 hours a month posting 4 stories for your small business website a month. In one year, you created 52 entrances to your website. Your small business website has grown. Google and other search engines will see your business is still in business.

If you pass a store in town with a dusty storefront display that hasn’t changed since Clinton are you going to walk inside? Your small business website sends messages just like a store you pass in town.

Blog weekly and amaze the world with your magic.

Always Room For Website Improvement

Your website is fluid. It changes with your business like a store window or retail store. The best websites tell the world how your business helps! Gives your audience a personal gift.

Think of your website as an 1800’s general store. Where you talk and tell stories to your customers. Some customer’s buy and some stop in for the company.

Look at your website with the above checklist.

What can you improve? Comment below on what areas of your website will you be working on. What areas need a little more work?

To your tech success,

Terry

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5 Free Ways To Increase Website Traffic Today https://www.terryculkin.com/5-free-ways-incerase-website-traffic-today/ https://www.terryculkin.com/5-free-ways-incerase-website-traffic-today/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:01:56 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1577 We all want more.  When you are running an online business or any business that has a website, you want more people to see your website.  Here are 5 quick ways to Increase website Traffic today!  The great thing about them, they’re FREE! 1 – BlogLovin – Follow blogs and post your own. Bloglovin allows […]

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We all want more.  When you are running an online business or any business that has a website, you want more people to see your website.  Here are 5 quick ways to Increase website Traffic today!  The great thing about them, they’re FREE!

1 – BlogLovin – Follow blogs and post your own.

Bloglovin allows you to find new blogs and content quickly.  You can also add your own blog to the pile.  It’s a great way to get out there! Take a look and follow my blog with Bloglovin – You can get more website traffic after you get some followers.  Make sure you connect with people in your industry.

2. Triberr Community – Make new Blog friends.

Remember if you post things on the web for your business you are a blogger.  Blogging is one of the best and easiest ways to market your business.  Triberr helps you connect with other bloggers and website trafficbusinesses.  It’s a great way to get out there.  Again, this is a community so the more you participate with comments and social media, the more others will comment and share your blog posts and in the end will increase your website traffic.

3. Social Media – YES! We all know about this one.

Twitter & Facebook are a must for getting out there.  To increase traffic with them, you have to be posting at least 10 times a day.  Keep the posts with links to your website down to 1 or 2, out of the 10 or more posts.  Help people out and talk about other people. Being social online is not talking about yourself all the time.  If you are, then you’re that annoying guy at the party who constantly talks about how good he is!  You don’t want to be that guy.

4. Comment On Other Websites

Truly great way to get out there and get some website traffic is to comment on websites.  Google your industry with blog at the end of it and find the top bloggers in your industry. Pick five bloggers.  For the next two weeks, try to make at least one comment a day on one of their websites.  Mix it around and don’t comment every day on one website.  If they or someone responds, respond back!  The more you talk, the more exposure you will get. Talk online like you would with your friends.  If you are shy about commenting, then comment below and pop-your-commenting-cherry.  I will reply and welcome you to the wonderful world of commenting. Places I love to comment on are tweakyourbiz.com, Problogger and Copyblogger.  These are websites that talk about what I love!  Find your neck of the woods.

5. Join Other Communities for More Website Traffic

Communities and forums are the best ways to get traffic.  Start searching for ones in your industry.  I sometimes post my articles at BizSugar.  I also participate and comment on others there as well.  When you are part of a community you need to communicate and be social with other members.  If you find something you like, comment and tell that person.  Google your industry and add online community or forum to the end.  For example, try to find lists by searching for “top real estate online communities.”

How  Do You Quickly Increase Your Website Traffic?

These are five free ways that I increase my website traffic.  How do you increase your website traffic?  Let’s get the conversation started.  Plus you could be increasing your traffic by commenting here!

What happens when people get to your website?  Take a look at my services and see how I can help your website smile today!

To Your Tech Success,

Terry

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How to Run Your Online Business Like Mickey Mouse? https://www.terryculkin.com/run-your-online-business-mickey-mouse/ https://www.terryculkin.com/run-your-online-business-mickey-mouse/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:28:54 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1533 My sons love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  They can watch this show for hours, if we let them.  Occasionally when I’m not writing or find myself needing a break, I will watch a couple of minutes.  All parents do!  It’s our form of downtime. Looking at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it’s run like a business.  Mickey is […]

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My sons love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  They can watch this show for hours, if we let them.  Occasionally when I’m not writing or find myself needing a break, I will watch a couple of minutes.  All parents do!  It’s our form of downtime.

Looking at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it’s run like a business.  Mickey is the President, CEO and Founder.  He’s the Boss. He’s got his own little team Mickey Mouse Online Businessof helpers. Mickey outsources.  Yes he does.  He has his friends (Free Labor!), handy helpers and Toodles.  Let’s not forget his mentor, Professor Von Drake.

The truth is this how successful businesses work.  The writers of the show are using what works for people and showing our kids successful ways of a busy mouse-preneur.

The only way to get ahead is to outsource your tasks. Here is the issue – we all have the same amount of time in the day. Not saying outsource everything, hello, I’m on my laptop on a bus writing this right now.  I’m also not telling you to outsource to people either.  The funny thing is you can find applications to save you time. Mickey outsources to mechanical hands.

Here are some different ways of outsourcing your tasks like Mickey Mouse:

Cloud Applications

I use to write up each of my own invoices on excel and manage my clients through spreadsheets.  I know many people that still do this.  It’s hours of work!  I use FreshBooks now and have saved thousands of wasted minutes a year.  Your time is money and to be efficient, you must save time, to save money and eventually make more! This is how many people are successful with their online business today!

Another example of saving time is with Social Media Mangers like Hoot Suite or Sprout Social.

Also I was just turned onto a great app to create graphics instead of using Photoshop. Instead of paying someone or spending hours on Photoshop, I can create quick graphics for my social media in a matter of minutes with Picmonkey.com.

To save time and be able to do more things in the day start using Cloud applications that you can access on your computer or smartphone from anywhere.

Outsource to Virtual Assistants

Yes we all want to hang on to everything we do for online business. But if you don’t have a large enough budget to hire a full-time person for certain tasks, it doesn’t mean you or current employees still need to do it.  If someone on your staff is making $25 an hour and you have them do something that’s not their strongest talent, it takes them 5 hours a week to do it.  You may find someone on eLance or other VA related websites that can do the same task each week in 2 hours that are experts! You pay them $30 an hour.  That’s $60 a week you are paying more for a task and free up your employee to do more of what they are the expert in.  Since they are an expert the work is superior and you can focus more on your core business.

This could be anything from Social Media management, website updating, Internet marketing, bookkeeping, PR, graphic design and more.

 

Hire someone to build or maintain your website

I teach people how to build and maintain their own website, but its time consuming and hard. You can find a VA or a company to do this for you.  I should mention I also do this for many small businesses (Check out ‘Work With Terry’)

It’s important to know that when you have a website, you need to update and maintain the backend (Software!!) and the frontend (CONTENT!!).  You can outsource both, but if you are not technical get some help with the backend part first.

Get up and dance!

Now at the end of the show they all get up and dance. Why are you siting down?  You just learned that you need to run a business like Mickey Mouse.  Get up and dance!  Enjoy the free time.  Go get a drink and celebrate!

How do your outsource your online business work? What have you been doing for a long time that you now have something or someone else doing?  What and how will you be like Mickey Mouse and outsource now? Let’s get the conversation started.

To Your Tech Success,

-Terry

 

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7 Must Have WordPress Plugins for your Business Website https://www.terryculkin.com/7-must-wordpress-plugins-business-website/ https://www.terryculkin.com/7-must-wordpress-plugins-business-website/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:25:40 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1465 WordPress is king. Currently 20% of websites out there are using WordPress.  Meaning it is easy to get help and by far the most popular way to build a website.  It’s easy to update your website once you learn it. WordPress has great core features that can help get your website started quickly. It’s also […]

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WordPress is king. Currently 20% of websites out there are using WordPress.  Meaning it is easy to get help and by far the most popular way to build a website.  It’s easy to update your website once you learn it.

WordPress has great core features that can help get your website started quickly. It’s also very easy to quickly add more functionality with Plugins.  In your dashboard, on the left essential wordpress pluginsside, click on the Plugins link where you can see which plugins you have.  Up top you can click on New and Add plugins.  Just use the search and you can install them right from the web.  It’s that easy!

The following are the plugins that I put on every website I work with.  These WordPress plugins are essential on every website. I personally have installed these on websites I have built. You may need other plugins which will depend on what your website needs to do for your business.

#1 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

Akismet – No one likes spam.  Spam on comments could kill your website.  Make sure you have the right comment settings in WordPress setup. (In Settings go to Discussion. You probably want to approve the person first if they never commented on your site.)  Askismet is easy to setup but is a paid service.  This is the top spam filter that most people use. There are other spam plugins like : AntispamBee

#2 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

JetPack – Cloud based tools that enhance WordPress. Makes life easier!!  You will need to have a WordPress.com account.  Follow the procedures for this when activating this plugin.   Some tools in JetPack include:

  • a short code for YouTube and other media sites, which mean you just put in the URL of the video and it automatically embeds it! Cool! JetPack also has some really nice
  • Photo galleries.
  • There is a lot more and I will be covering this plugin in more detail soon. Stay tuned!

#3 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

WordFence Or iThemes security  –Either is essentially needed for security! This will let you sleep better at night knowing you took the proper measures to secure your business online. Both strengthen your WordPress based website giving it a firewall, blocking some brut force attacks on your website.  Also logs all the people who come to your website and try to login to your website.  You will also get notified when updates are available for your website, so you can patch them quickly. Try either one and see which works for you.  I have used WordFence more but I have iTheme Security on some websites.

#4 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

WP SEO – This is needed to properly get your website into search engines. Follow these simple rules from the plugin and your website will be ready for basic Search Engine Optimization.  When editing your post you will see how your website looks in Google.  Simply add the keyword that you want the search engine to use for this blog post and you will see how well your post is optimized for this keyword.

#5 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

Goolge XML sitemaps – WP SEO does have this feature, however I’ve had issues with that one.  I would recommend using this sitemaps program.  This will build a file on your website that helps the search engines list your pages.  This small file becomes a directory listing of every page on your website.  This makes it easier for the search engines to index your website and increases visibility in the search engines like Google.  It’s extremely important to have this XML sitemap file.

#6 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

underConstruction – Quickly turn your site down for testing and quick updates.  This is very useful when you’re first starting out or for a test site.  I always have a test site for my clients as well as myself.   All the test sites use this plugin so no one but logged in users can see the website.

This is also great for major updates or an event launch. Turns your website OFF!

#7 WordPress Plugin For Your Business Website

Contact Form 7 – A really simple way to have a contact form on your website.  This plugin will allow you to create and customize contact forms quickly.  All websites should use a contact form.  It’s been a proven way for people to reach you easily.

Your website needs to have an easy way for people to reach you quickly!  Web forms makes this happen. Contact Form 7 allows multiple forms and is the best free Forms plugin.

Those are the must have WordPress plugins for your business website.

Depending on the website, other plugins are just as important. I have left out backup plugins since there are many different ways to do this.  There are also many paid plugins that will help your website and online marketing needs.

I hope you enjoyed these plugins.  Take action now.  If you are not using any of the above plugins, click on the links and install them on your WordPress website today.  Comment below if you think there are other essential WordPress plugins. Let’s get the conversation started.  What WordPress Plugin above do you think is the most Important for your business?

P.S. I took out Premium plugins that need to be purchased from this list.  These are plugins that ALL business websites should have installed.

To your tech success,

Terry

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The Hidden Google Search Tools That Save Time https://www.terryculkin.com/hidden-google-search-tools-save-time/ https://www.terryculkin.com/hidden-google-search-tools-save-time/#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:07:37 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1450 Google is the almighty solution to find anything.  I previously talked about 3 Secret Advanced Google Search Tips to Find What You Want. Now lets talk about one Google search feature that few people use but it’s a lifesaver. When you Search Google, you don’t always get what you’re looking for.  Let’s face it most […]

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Google is the almighty solution to find anything.  I previously talked about 3 Secret Advanced Google Search Tips to Find What You Want. Now lets talk about one Google search feature that few people use but it’s a lifesaver.Google Search Tools

When you Search Google, you don’t always get what you’re looking for.  Let’s face it most of us don’t even go past the first page of results.  To find what you are looking for, you need to use Google’s advanced search features to dig deeper.
Google is about popularity.  This is popularity from a mathematical formula.  While the formula works great, we don’t always need what’s popular.  One major flaw is when results are outdated. I search a lot about software and this becomes an issue.

Did you know you could change the date of your search?  You can search and change the time frame of the search.  You can see what is new in your search.

Do a Google search.  Let’s look up – best business apps.  This is a general search.  Now Google has a list of links under the search bar.

Google advance search tools

You will see different types of searches here like News, Shopping, Images and more.   On the end you should see Search tools.  Click on Search Tools and a new menu will pop-up.  You will get – Any TimeAll Results and your location below the other menu.

Google Search Tool turns back time

any-time Google advance search tools

Clicking on Any Time will give you a drop down menu referring to the past.  You will see 24 hours, past week, month and so on.  This means that you can select the age of the information you are looking for. Remember Google is a current popularity contest.  What is popular right now! This dropdown is great for:

  • Filtering out old articles and look for newer ones.
  • Seeing what in your industry or search is trending. Type in your industry for example ‘Internet Business’
  •  From Custom Range you can select a time frame for your search. Try searching for ‘Obama’ and change the range from: 10/4/2008 to: 11/4/2008 and see what results you get.

How to stop Google from modifying your search

Did you know that Google changes your search for you?  This means that when you search for something:

  • It checks and even changes spelling
  • Personalizes from location
  • Personalizes it from sites you have visited
  • If you have Google + and singed in, it uses influencers on Google +
  • Searches words with the same root like ‘Finding’ when you searched for ‘find’.
  • Finding similar results for example in our search ‘business apps’ would brings up IOS Apps
  • Searches synonyms of the search, which are more popular than the words you used.

To stop Google from modify your search Click All Results from the Search Tools and select Verbatim.  This will take away all Google’s search modifiers and give you the raw search.  In some cases this will help your search. Try it now.

Location, Location, Location

The last Search Tool is your location.  You can change your location.  Location searching is great when you are looking for local businesses or events.  Search for Pizza in the search bar and you will see local pizza restaurants come up on the top.  You will notice that they are using your current location.  Why change your search location:

  • Let’s say you are going to travel somewhere, you can alter this location to the place you are about to visit.
  • Your checking how people in another location see your company.
  • Seeing what you see from other towns and cities for certain products and services.

Other Search Tools

If you are in different areas on Google search, like images, you will get different search tools.  We’ll cover images searching another time.

Try this now.  Do a Google search.  Go to Search Tools.  Select a time frame – for example 24 hours.  You will see only results from the past 24 hours.

Let’s talk about it.  How does this search tip help you? Are you using these search tricks to find what you are looking for?  Comment below and let’s get the conversation started.

 

To your Tech Success,

Terry

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The Secret to Look Smarter Than Einstein in Business https://www.terryculkin.com/secret-look-smarter-than-einstein-business/ https://www.terryculkin.com/secret-look-smarter-than-einstein-business/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:00:36 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1440 Einstein is seen as the smartest guy who ever lived.  Why? What made him so smart? Many people have studied him and his brain to try to discover the magic formula.  There has been a ton of books on this subject.  How can you be smarter than Einstein? Business leaders need to be Tech-Savvy smart […]

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Einstein is seen as the smartest guy who ever lived.  Why? What made him so smart? Many people have studied him and his brain to try to discover the magic formula.  There has been a ton of books on this subject.  How can you be smarter than Einstein? Business leaders need to be Tech-Savvy smart in today’s technology driven economy.

Smarter than EinsteinOne book I have read many times gives a simple explanation. It’s called ‘The Einstein Factor: A Proven New Method for Increasing Your Intelligence’. It basically told the story of Young Albert Einstein writing everything down.  He would take a small notebook with him and write ideas down as they came to him. The book gives great tricks to increase your intelligence.

This is called re-enforcement.  It has been a proven technique to increase brainpower. We all have ideas and thoughts that flow through our brain daily.  You probably had a couple of hundred thoughts whiz by since the start of this article.

Now to look smarter in business is as simple as writing everything down that you see.  Wow! Great concept.  How in the heck can anyone do that?

Let’s think about it.  We are talking about your business right now.  Let’s say you do a Google search on the best WordPress hosting company.  And you come across five or six websites.  Some are the actual companies and others are people talking about the companies.

What do you do?

  • Read them all?
  • Print them out for later.
  • Get distracted and forget about them?

There’s an App for that! Evernote.

I will tell you what I do.  I save every single website. I save them and put keywords on them – WordPress, hosting, website, Biz.  Now I do this by using a great program called Evernote.  If you are not using Evernote or another note taking program you are letting great ideas slip by you.  It is impossible to remember everything.

Now I have a web clipper on my browser.  So I just click on the Evernote Elephant icon and put some tags about the page.  It’s that easy!

Now when I’m out of my office I can access this on my phone. I can access this online at anytime.  I can even share a notebook with a client or co-worker.  This is great for brainstorming or researching new ideas.

How does this make you smarter than Einstein?

Knowledge is power.  Einstein knew things that others may have of thought of but never re-enforced them by writing them down. Being smarter then someone else is a myth.  Being smarter than Einstein can’t be tested and doesn’t even matter. We all know things better than anyone else.  But if you are able to find things quicker than anyone else, you will impress them.  This is one way to give the illusion of being smarter than Einstein.

Let’s say two months from now a business friend and you are talking and they say they are looking for a WordPress hosting company.  You tell them you found five great article on this and you’ll send them to him. Now all you have to do is go into Evernote, look up the tags and copy the websites to an email.  Shouldn’t take more then 5 minutes.

Wow.  This guy knows everything!

Looking smart in today’s business world, is being smart.  We are smart because we use the tools that save us time.  We are able to get more done.

Tech Savvy Business Action steps.

Use Evernote. If you don’t have an account sign up for a free one. Download Evernote to your Mac or Windows Computer. Install the web clipper. Tag some websites and put some notes in it. It’s a great tool to make you look smarter.

Let’s get the conversation going.  What online tools do you use to look smarter than Einstein? Do you use Evernote?  Do you use another Note Taking Tool?

Doing this above action step has made you more Tech Savvy in your business. Being Tech Savvy is that easy.  Sign up here to get weekly doses of Tech Savvy Biz advice to take your Business to new levels.

To Your Tech Success,

Terry

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Beware of Heartbleed Security Threat on Your Business https://www.terryculkin.com/beware-heartbleed-security-threat-business/ https://www.terryculkin.com/beware-heartbleed-security-threat-business/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 03:44:39 +0000 http://www.www.terryculkin.com/?p=1429 As you may have heard, there has been a huge security threat.  This is a very big issue in the world of online transactions.  Even if your business doesn’t sell anything online it doesn’t matter.  This issue has to do with everything that is secure.  It’s every time you log into a website. This is […]

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As you may have heard, there has been a huge security threat.  This is a very big issue in the world of online transactions.  Even if your business doesn’t sell anything online it doesn’t matter.  This issue has to do with everything that is secure.  It’s every time you log into a website. This is considered the biggest cyber security threat in history!

Many websites you use that have personal and business information may have been infected. You as a business owner must take the necessary steps needed to protect yourself and your business.

Explanation of SSL & TLS

heartbleed cyber security threatFirst off, SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer.  That didn’t help anyone much now did it?  It is what encrypts all your data through the Internet. That means no one except for the intending parties can understand the data.  It’s that little lock you’ve been told to look for when you enter your credit card information.  It’s the https:// websites.  The security experts realized that there is a security leak with the software that is being used called Open SSL.  This technical issue has actually been in the open for a while. But only reported on recently.

Don’t Panic

First don’t panic and think this is the end of the world.  It isn’t.  There has been and will always be cyber security threats.  It’s a part of life online and our dependence on computers. Second you must know all the websites you login in with. This is something that I help my clients and I can not stress enough.  Have a list of all the websites you login.

Mashable has a great list of businesses that were infected and if they  fixed the issue.

How this makes your  business unsecure

You need to have a list of all the services you have a username and password for.  This is especially needed if these are primary business applications.  For example, if you are using PayPal or any other payment process company.  These are services that customers are using and they represent your company.

My security product, which is coming out soon, will go into detail on how to manage these issues better.  However for the time being, let’s just start with what you’ve done in the past couple of days. More importantly ask yourself what primary business applications your customers use on your behalf?   Write down the websites that you login.

Just the name of the site and URL will do.  For example Facebook – www.facebook.com.

How to protect Yourself Now from security threats

Think of the websites that are most important to your business.  Like: twitter.com, facebook.com, amazon, paypal and any others you always are logging into.

Make a list.  Start with these but the list should be any website where you put your username (or email) and a password.   Take a look at my post on organizing website logins.

Now scan the website from that list  here using there SSL scanner.  This site will give you a grade of the websites SSL certification.  Again that is how secure the website really is.  Also it will say in plain English whether it is affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability.  I would say be careful of any website that scores a C and below.  B’s and A’s are fine.  More importantly right now mark sure it says:

This server is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed attack. (Experimental)

If any of those sites come back that they aren’t fixed, don’t login in to them.  Again do not login!  Contact the companies support line and ask when it will be fixed.  Even ask them on Twitter and Facebook if that’s easier for you.  It’s important to wait until the site is fixed.

Start by resetting your passwords now.  Reset your passwords for all your websites.  I have done the same.  Remember if the site isn’t fixed, don’t reset that password yet. Don’t login. Only reset your password on websites that the above scanner says is not vulnerable.

Also create a secure password.  Make sure it is 12 or more characters, letters,  at least one upper case letter , lower case letter and number.  Refer to my create a secure password post to create a secure password easily.  To make a password unique you can add the first letter of the website to a core password.  So if you password is mysecurepassword, then your facebook password would be mysecurepassword-f or mysecurepasswordf.  Of course do not use that password if it’s not secure. Read my secure password post for more password security help.

Who is affected by Heartbleed?

Chances are somewhere a site that you use has been vulnerable to this issue.  OpenSSL is used in 66% of all websites.  However the piece that has the issue of Hearbleed is estimated to have affected as much as 17% of secure websites.  That’s over 500,000 websites!  I’m not putting this post up to scare you.  If you want to be scared look at all the top media websites.  Let’s talk about protecting and making sure your data is safe.

The True Issue of Problems Like HeartBleed

The issue is if someone got your username and password from one website, they can use it on other websites that you are using the same data.  This has nothing to do with you having a secure password.  You could follow all the best practices to stay safe online and still have an issue with the Heartbleed threat.

I have recently gotten a lot more fake emails from friends and have heard of many people’s Facebook and twitter accounts being hacked.  No one can prove this has anything to do with Heartbleed but it could be related.  It’s good to follow the basics which my upcoming security product will cover.  I have made a Security section on my blog to help you which has security related posts.

There is no true way to be 100% secure.  However, you must be aware of these issues.  Your business needs the online world and all the applications and services that save you time and money.  There will always be cyber security threats.  When something like this happens, it tends to make people more fearful of using online applications.  That is understandable.  Like everything else in life, you are responsible for you.  Like many other Technologists out there, I am here to help.  It can be a scary world if you are not Tech Savvy.  Realize that I am here to help you get more Tech Savvy and run your business better.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me through my contact page, twitter or Facebook.  Look forward connecting with you and help you become more tech savvy.

Very important! Right now you need to do the above action step’s.  Check the sites that you use, starting with the most vital to your company.  Check all the sites if possible. Reset your password (take a look at my creating a secure password post) and remember to have a website login list of all the websites you have created a username and password for.

To your Tech Success!

Terry

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