How to Prepare my Website for the GDPR

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that is about to go into effect on May 25th. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from my Website Maintenance members about it recently, so I thought I would send out​​ a general FAQ for GDPR (holy acronyms). FWD to any fellow Website owners. Disclaimer: I’m a Web Designer, not a lawyer. ​​I’m basing most of this advice off of guides I’ve read online. You could find this same advice with a Google search. It shouldn’t be taken as legal advice or a comprehensive guide to the GDPR. Does GDPR affect me if I don’t live in Europe?​​ If you do business or collect data from anyone in the UK or EU, this affects you.​​​ When does it go into effect? May 25th, 2018. Will “Brexit” affect the way Britain implements the GDPR? When Britain splits from the EU, they … Read More

How to know if your WordPress site has been hacked.

Sky StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

I’ve shared stories in the past about clients who came to me with Websites that were hacked and they didn’t even know it. So how does one know? First of all, you are never too small to have your WordPress site hacked. The first step is to just look at the site. Is it up and functioning? Check. Many times when a Website is hacked, the home-page immediately goes down and is left blank or replaced with a hacker’s page. The next step is to Google your site. Sometimes a Website that has been hacked will be found out by Google before it’s found out by a “normal” person. If you see any weird characters in your site description or Google says “This site may be hacked,” then there’s a chance you’ve been hacked. Next, be sure to install a security plug-in and run a malware scan. This will search … Read More

How are most WordPress websites hacked?

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According to WP Template, 51% of WordPress Sites that get hacked were done so via an insecure theme or vulnerable plug-in. Keeping your themes, plug-ins, and WordPress itself up-to-date is the #1 thing you can do to secure your WordPress site, by far – and it’s clear by the numbers why that is. When a plug-in updates, it is usually for two reasons: To add new features, and to improve security. As technology advances and hackers get more sophisticated, plug-in and theme authors as well as WordPress have to stay ever-vigilant and secure their “code.” If their code is insecure, so is your Website. So essentially, when you fail to update your Website, you are allowing the potential for hackers to force their way in through insecure code.  When you see the little orange “update” button in WordPress, click it. You should update anything there as soon as possible – … Read More

Let’s Go Phishing – How a thoughtless click almost costed an event planner her Website.

Sky StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

I recently received a frantic text from a client who was sure she had messed up. She received an Email on her way out the door, supposedly from her Web host. It told her in rather-official looking (at first glance) language that they had received a request to cancel her Email account, and that if she didn’t want this to happen in 3 hours she needed to click the link. Urgency took over – she was on her way out the door, didn’t want her primary Email to be cancelled, and it looked like the Email had come from her Website or host. She clicked the link, and then after thinking about it for a while, changed her hosting password and gave me a call. Luckily, she caught her hasty mistake in time and nothing else came of it. She forwarded me the Email, and sure enough – had she … Read More

Why would someone hack a “small” Website?

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Take this lesson: You are never too small to be hacked. In fact, the smaller you are, the easier a target you appear to be for hackers who have various motivations. Think of a wild savannah cat, like a lion, chasing a gazelle. Who does the lion usually focus their attention on? That’s right, the scrawny little guy with a broken leg. It’s kind of a gruesome picture, but that’s how many of these hackers view these small Websites. They’re easy-pickings because small business owners oftentimes just don’t know how to protect themselves, and they’re too busy wearing a billion hats sometimes to notice. You’re that gazelle with a broken leg. I told the story in a recent blog post of a client who came to me with a site that was already hacked and she didn’t even realize it. Over the next several weeks I am going to be … Read More

How to EASILY write blog posts that visitors actually care about:

Sky StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

As promised last week when we talked about the #1 way to get the right people to visit your site , I’m going to give you a quick tip for coming up with 10-20 blog post topics that will be super easy to write: First, come up with a list of 10 “Frequently Asked” Questions. These are the questions you get all the time from prospects and customers. Then, come up with a list of 10 “Should have Asked” Questions. These are the questions that people should be asking someone like you, but they don’t because they don’t know any better. For example, many people don’t ask me what platform I build with when I’m creating a new Website, because they just don’t know any better. The answer is WordPress, by the way, but there are specific reasons for that choice that I let my clients know when I bring it … Read More

How to get the right people to visit your Website

Sky StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

Once you’ve identified your avatar and updated your “About” page to be more about the ideal client , it’s time to actually get them there.  Google changes their algorithm quite often. There’s no telling what will be valuable and what won’t in the future or even tomorrow. One thing that will never change: Google is looking to give searchers information that is recent and relevant. The solution? Blog posts. I’ll posts are sometimes a pain in the butt. I myself struggle with the motivation to write them. Next week, I’m going to give you a quick easy tip for coming up with 10-20 blog post topics that will be super easy to write: How to EASILY write blog posts that visitors actually care about: For a complete list of questions to ask about your ideal client so that you know what kind of language to use in your blogs, download my free … Read More

Who your “About” page is really about.

Sky StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

Across the Internet, there’s one mistake I see most often on business Websites: The “About Us” page is about the wrong person! Your “About” page is NOT: An opportunity to go into the lengthy history of your organization. An opportunity to vomit meaningless (to the client) credentials and certifications. An opportunity to talk about yourself ad nauseam. So what should your “About” page do? Your about page should present your STORY in a way that is emotional, relatable, and RELEVANT to your ideal avatar (How to build your ideal avatar). Too many times, “About” pages read like encyclopedia entries. No emotion…all successes, no failures… People relate to your failures more than they do your successes. They want to know that you’re “just like them” in some ways but that you’ve made it through whatever problems they are experiencing and are helping others solve the same problems. For example, I have … Read More

Targeting: WHO you sell to is more important than WHAT you sell

Sky StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

February is the Month of the Avatar, and throughout the month I will be writing several posts related to identifying your ideal target client and attracting them to your Website. Keep this phrase in your mind: The WHO is more important than the WHAT. So who do you want to work with? When I ask my clients this question, I ask them to imagine their favorite client. This could be someone they’re working with currently, someone they would like to work with, or a combination of things…the important thing is that you can “imagine” this person in your head. I even have them give their avatar a “name” so that it’s easier to speak about them. Once you’ve created this image in your head, it’s time to ask yourself some questions about them, which can be broken into two categories:  Demographics: Age (range is fine) Location Gender Income Profession Psychographics: … Read More

Error: uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini

Sky StoverWordpress Basics2 Comments

Error: uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini. Difficulty: 3/5 (If you feel comfortable modifying files via FTP or cPanel, you’ll be able to do this. If you’d prefer me to handle it for you, this is something I handle for members on my membership programs.) This is a common error that occurs when the default settings for “maximum upload size” on your hosting solution are set too low and you try to upload something. For example, if you are trying to upload a 3 MB plug-in but your maximum file-size is set to 2 MB, it won’t let you upload it. It’s the same way for images, though you shouldn’t be uploading images that large to your server (for site-speed sake, PLEASE resize your images before uploading them). This is an easy fix that took just a few minutes, but it can be a little intimidating if you’ve never … Read More