How to avoid non-secure sign on your website.

Having a secured website is important to companies. In September 2016, Google announced that they will be rolling out a few changes. This includes labeling websites without SSL Certificates as ‘non-secure’– especially for web pages that collect credit card information and passwords. They have started labeling some websites during the roll out of Chrome Browser version 56. So how do you avoid these non-secure sign on your website.

Why should you avoid non-secure sign on your website.

Google has been urging website owners to install SSL Certificates and convert their sites to HTTPS. Secure Socket Layer or SSL helps to get the site secured by encrypting the data as it travels from the browser to the server.  This ensures that users can browse and enter their private information without it being compromised by cyber hackers.

When a website is labeled as non-secured in the address bar, it means that the data travels through unsecured network connection. Chances are, cyberhackers can obtain the data and modify it. Google has stepped up its web security campaign by having the Chrome browsers show the ‘Not Secure’ label when users enter any type of data on an HTTP web page, even in Incognito mode. This includes any text entered in the search box. This browser notification alerts visitors that their data may not be totally secure; which may cause some visitors to leave their sessions early.

You need to install an SSL Certificate to your website and convert your pages to HTTPS to avoid getting your site marked as non-secure. Now that Google is marking non-HTTPS sites as “not secure”, websites with an SSL certificate installed will get the benefit of being marked as “secure” in Chrome browsers. Google previously announced that converting your site as an HTTPS site would boost your search engine ranking factor. HTTPS can also help provide some protection against bad actors in the ad ecosystem. This means that Ad that route you to an HTTP website cannot show on an HTTPS site.

In a nutshell, having an SSL certificate will secure the data being transmitted from the browser towards the server. This will also help remove bad ads and improve SEO.

What is WooCommerce and how to use it?

If you stumbled across this post, chances are, you already have an existing WordPress site. If you want to start selling products online, WooCommerce may well be your best option. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin made by Automattic, the corporate arm of WordPress and was launched in 2011. The plugin adds an E-commerce functionality to your WordPress site along with its additional features available as an extension in just a few clicks.

WooCommerce provides basic store functionalities right out the box. The plugin can be installed from the plugin repository or straight from your WordPress dashboard. And just like WordPress, WooCommerce is free, open source and has a strong development team behind it. More importantly, it’s easy for beginners to use.

Here are some of the WooCommerce features:

  • Sell any kind of products you like: physical, digital or even affiliate
  • Add unlimited products and images
  • Add categories, tags and attributes – including size or color – to any product to make them easier to find and search
  • Show product ratings and reviews on product pages, including a ‘Verified Owner’ label
  • Customize store location with currency, language and measurement units
  • Product sorting and filtering lets customers sort products by popularity, newness, rating, price or attribute
  • Embed products and checkout on any page
  • Geo-location auto-detects customers’ addresses to simplify shipping and tax calculations
  • Choose how you’d like to process payments: use popular providers such as Stripe and PayPal, credit cards, Direct Bank Transfer, checks or Cash on Delivery
  • Choose shipping options and restrict options based on customer location
  • Manage orders and customers with one-click refunds, customer accounts, and guest checkout

Installation and setup

The installation is simple and will only take a few clicks in your WordPress dashboard. The inbuilt Setup Wizard will walk you through the basic configurations to get your store up and running. The Setup Wizard will allow you to setup the vital steps and highlights the important options.

Setting up

To add WooCommerce to your WordPress site from your dashboard head to Plugins → Add New and search “WooCommerce” to locate the WooCommerce plugin. Click Install Now then Activate. You’ll then immediately see the WooCommerce Setup Wizard. You would need to fill in the relevant data for your store. After the activation, you will see that the plugin has added a couple of options and menus once you head back to the WordPress Dashboard.

Usage

After doing the initial setup, the first thing to do is to add some products. Those are the things you will be selling. To add the products, go to Products → Add New and you’ll be forwarded to the product page. It’s like adding posts or pages, but specifically for WooCommerce products. You will need to fill in the product name, description, product data, and the relevant images. If it’s your first time adding a product, WooCommerce will provide some helpful prompts telling you a little about each section.

Once you’ve added in all your information, hit publish and you have your first product available on your site. Of course, you will need to also setup the payment gateway unless you are giving the product away for free. WooCommerce comes with a couple of payment gateways built in, including PayPal. There are other options, such as check and payment on deliver too. If you want to setup credit card payment, you may add other plugins for credit card payment such as Stripe. You’ll find your payment gateway options under WooCommerce → Settings → Checkout. Choose either PayPal or Stripe and use the check box to enable your gateway of choice. Then follow the instructions to sign up for relevant accounts and connect them to WooCommerce. With your payment set up, you’re able to start selling!

With WooCommerce, sky is the limit. There are over 450 extensions and counting which means that you can configure your shop in virtually limitless ways. You can install free and premium extensions from within the WooCommerce shop suited for the way how you would like your online store to go.

How to Boost SEO in WordPress

How to Boost SEO in WordPress

In the past, SEO wasn’t considered as important as it is in the modern days. With how Google search engine works now, SEO is a necessity for every website that wants to be noticed. However, this scene can be very competitive, so here are some guidelines on how to boost SEO in WordPress.

1. WordPress Blog

In setting up your new blog, you can use the ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site‘ feature of WordPress until you’re done with working on the structure of the blog and ready to launch it. This option disallows search engines (bots) to crawl your pages (handled from robots.txt).

2. Update default permalinks structure

By default, WordPress uses ‘?p=[id]‘ permalinks for posts and this is not search engine friendly. You’ll end up losing the opportunity to put a few important keywords in post permalinks if you don’t switch to a text-based permalink structure.  It is best to use the format “yourdomain.com/post-name”. However, it all depends on the structure that is more convenient for you.

3. Installing .xml sitemap plugin.

Installing an .xml sitemap plugin is useful for WordPress blogs. It provides engines like Google links to all the pages on your site in a sitemap, preferably in the .xml format, and helps them index your site content faster, in an easier way.

4. Install a SEO plugin.

One common SEO plugin used by many WordPress user is Yoast SEO. Installing a SEO plugin is a must as it can take good care of numerous SEO aspects of your blog automatically. Once installed, it is best to enable rel=”canonical” tag for pages on your blog. This helps search engines to determine the original source URLs of content on your blog and eliminates  duplicate content issues from WordPress sites.

How to speed up WordPress website?

How to speed up your WordPress website?

Nowadays, page loading speed is considered to be one of the most important aspect of a website. It is so important that Google search engine now ranks your website based on its loading speed. So how do you optimize the loading speed of your website?

Fortunately, there a lot of ways to go about it.

1. Using a caching plugin. This caching role in WordPress should never be underestimated as this improves the speed of your website and its performance. Some caching plugins that you can install are WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache and many more.

2. Optimizing images before uploading them. This will help you reduce the slowness of your website as the image will be optimized.

3. Optimize your pages specially your home page. You will have to remove unnecessary sharing widgets from the home page. Reduce the number of post per page and lastly show excerpts instead of full post.

4. Optimize your themes. Some themes may have a lot of animation that improves the aesthetic of your website. However, they will slow your website down due to the poorly optimized codes. Unless you are able to keep the page loading speed faster than the recommended speed. It is recommended that you keep to simple themes.

How to secure WordPress website

How do we make sure our WordPress website is secure? When do we secure it? This article will provide you with details about securing the WordPress website application.

Start securing with your WordPress login dashboard.

Firstly, to secure your WordPress website, you should remember to secure your login dashboard.

1. You will need to change the username if it is something like “admin”. This is because, this username is commonly used by millions of WordPress users and are prone to hackers. However, you can try changing it to unique usernames like your personal email address.

2. Set up a complex password. However, do not ever use a password that is connected to your website name. Instead, It is best to use password that has been generated from password generator applications.

3. Adding 2-factor authentication on the login page is also a good way of adding security to your website. This is because by having the user provides login details for two different components, this will help you secure your website as you will be asked for your security questions.

4. Renaming your login URL. As we all know that the login page can be accessed easily via /wp-login.php or /wp-admin next to your domain name. This way, you can customize your login URL to something like /mynewlogin.php or /mynewlogin.

Protecting the WordPress folders itself.

One of the default folders that requires security is called ‘wp-admin’, it should not be breached to avoid website issues. Therefore, you should use plugins like “AskApache Password Protect plugin” which will automatically create a file .htpasswd that encrypts the password and configures the security-enhanced file permissions.

Using SSL to seal your website and encrypt your data.

You should consider installing Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to secure the WordPress admin panel. This certificate ensures that data transfer between user and browsers is secure which will not let the hacker breach the connection.

Installing Plugins for security

Wordfence Security – This plugin is useful to protect and scan your website files at all times.

Database Entry

1. Like the WordPress username and password, your database information needs to be unique as well. Thus, when you set up your WordPress, try updating the table prefix to something different as the default wp_ is already prone to hackers.

2. Set a complex password to your database as well.

Update your website themes and plugin regularly.

Last but not least, developers need to update their themes and plugins timely manner. These updates are meant to fix the bugs and security patches. Fortunately, WordPress automatically rolls out the updates for user convenience while some plugins may need to update manually.