Nexcess Blog

Magento Releases New Patch Bundle To Address Multiple Security Vulnerabilities

May 22, 2015 0 Comments

Magento has released a bundle of patches that fix several vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities addressed by the patch can be exploited by attackers to disclose confidential information and execute code remotely.

The bundle (SUPEE-5994) can be downloaded here and should be applied as soon as possible by users of Magento Community Edition and Magento Enterprise Edition.

It is important to note that the SUPEE-5994 Patch Bundle does not address the ShopLift vulnerability, which was fixed with the patch SUPEE-5344. Magento users should ensure that both sets of patches are applied to their Magento stores or they could be at risk of an RCE (remote code execution) attack.

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Posted in: Nexcess, Security

The Easiest Way To Add Free Images To Your WordPress Blog

Free ImagesUsing compelling, attention-grabbing images with WordPress and social media posts is one of the best ways to increase engagement and drive traffic. But licensing images isn’t cheap — if you publish frequently and use a stock image service like Getty Images or ShutterStock, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars a month on images. If you’re running a small business blog or personal blog, it’s really not worth the investment.

But You Can’t Just Take Any Image

Some bloggers choose the less than noble route of Googling for an image that suits their purpose and using whichever one takes their fancy, and while a few don’t understand the implications of this, anyone writing professionally for the web should have a solid grounding in copyright law. It’s quite simply illegal to take a photographer’s work and use it in ways that don’t conform to the licence under which the photographer published the image. The chances of getting caught are minute, but it does happen and it can expose you and your clients to both legal action and public shaming.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Backing Up Your WordPress Database The Right Way

May 20, 2015 0 Comments

Backing UpOne of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve had when advising people about WordPress was with a friend of mine who had spent weeks setting up her site, writing content, and posting images, only to lose everything just as she was about to launch because she mistyped a command on her VPS’s command line.

Of course, it’s sad to lose all that work, but what made it worse is that she had thought she was doing everything right — she had a backup plan, and every couple of days would use FTP to copy the contents of her site from the server onto her home machine.

Unfortunately, what she copied was just the WordPress installation along with her themes and plugins. She didn’t copy was the database, which is where most of the content lives. Her backup was great if she wanted to resurrect a theme, but no use at all for recreating her posts and pages. It’s an expensive mistake to make, and I’ve seen it happen more than once.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Attracting Traffic Is Only Half The Struggle For Business Site Owners

May 18, 2015 0 Comments

Attracting TrafficNo business has a bottomless pot of money to spend on their online presence. What money they do have has to be spent in the right place. Site owners face competing demands: hosting, SEO, content, design, advertising, social media promotion, and so on. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many businesses split the pot in the wrong way; they focus on bringing people to their site, and yet they invest very little in creating a positive experience for the visitors they do attract. They spend on search engine optimization, and ignore conversion rate optimization.

Construed very broadly, conversion rate optimization can be considered the optimization of everything about a site that encourages a visitor to carry out a particular action, which can include buying something, clicking through to the next article, sharing on social media, or signing up from a newsletter, among many other potential conversion goals.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Adding JavaScript To Your WordPress Site The Right Way

May 15, 2015 0 Comments

JavaScriptIf you have a basic familiarity with web development, you’ll know that if you want to add a JavaScript or JQuery script to your site, the best way is to insert the < script > tags into the head section of the pages (or at the bottom of the body section, in some cases). The most obvious way to achieve this in a WordPress theme is using the wp_head hook. You can create a function that echoes the < script > tags and runs when the wp_head hook is triggered. This method is quite often used by theme and plugin developers.

However, if you simply inject scripts into the header, WordPress has no idea the code is there, and so it can’t handle conflicts and dependencies properly. WordPress ships with a number of JS libraries, including JQuery, and they’re loaded only when required as a dependency to a properly registered script. Because WordPress sites are usually loaded with plugins and a theme, each of which is likely to want to include code on the page, the CMS provides a mechanism for properly managing script loading.

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Posted in: Nexcess

The Secret Of High-Converting Calls To Action

May 13, 2015 0 Comments

Call To ActionCalls to action are the pointy end of the conversion optimization process. They’re the make or break element that can mean the difference between a sale or signup and a “maybe not.” Your website is a machine for creating sales and conversions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blog, a eCommerce store, or a lead generation site, calls to action are an essential part of making the visitor do something that goes beyond passive content consumption and browsing.

Calls to action are, for the most part, common sense, which is why it’s surprising that so many websites either don’t include them at all or do them badly. In this article, I’d like to take a look at a few tips to turn turgid CTAs into the razor’s edge of an effective conversion machine.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Twitter Quick Promote Ads Are Useful For Expanding eCommerce Reach

May 11, 2015 0 Comments

Quick PromoteThere are two schools of thought when it comes to promoting social media shares. Firstly, businesses can promote posts that don’t appear to be doing very well in the hope of giving them a boost so that they gain momentum. Secondly, they can promote shares that already appear popular with their users so that they are seen by a wider variety of people that just those in their immediate network.

I’m a fan of the second approach. The people who choose to follow a business have already expressed an interest in its products or brand. If a Tweet isn’t doing very well among that group, the chances of it appealing to a wider audience are slim. My inclination is to write-off badly performing social media posts as duds. Throwing away money that could better be spent on proven content is a non-optimal approach.

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Posted in: Nexcess

CoSchedule: A Closer Look At WordPress Editorial Workflow Management

May 8, 2015 0 Comments

CoScheduleThe best thing I ever did for my blogging career was to start using an editorial calendar. Before that, I had notes everywhere, most of which ended up going nowhere; I didn’t maintain a consistent publishing schedule; and I’d frequently sit down at the beginning of every day with no idea what I was going to write about (a deadly situation for a chronic procrastinator).

Editorial calendars allowed me to plan my publishing schedule, co-ordinate with other writers and editors, see where each piece of content was is its lifecycle, develop consistent writing practices, and hit my deadlines. In short, it allowed me to externalize management and planning, so that I didn’t have to rely on my memory.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Magento Imagine 2015 Slide Decks Are Online

May 7, 2015 0 Comments

Magento Imagine 2015Another Magento Imagine has come and gone, but the excitement surrounding Magento 2 will last all year. We were honored to have the opportunity to once again be a presenting sponsor at the greatest eCommerce conference around. The entire Nexcess team was in esteemed company among so many talented and knowledgeable members of the Magento community in Las Vegas. It was amazing to catch up with all our friends and partners, both at our booth during the days and for a drink in the evenings. And the presentations. Top notch as usual. And we’re not just saying that because we had a few opportunities to get on stage :)

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Posted in: Magento

April’s Best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento Content from Around the Web

May 4, 2015 0 Comments

RoundupSince our last roundup, there’s been a lot of news in the Magento, ExpressionEngine, and WordPress communities. We had a great time at Magento’s Imagine Commerce event in Las Vegas, and we look forward to the continued progress of Magento 2. However, all the news wasn’t good, as the Shoplift vulnerability made its way to the forefront. If you haven’t downloaded the patch yet, do so now. WordPress also had its own security issues this month, and on the heels of the WordPress 4.2 “Powell” release, you’ll already need to download WordPress 4.2.1. Joining in on the fun, ExpressionEngine made their own security release in April. So without further ado, here’s the rest of the best from April 2015. If you’re looking for the same great content on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know if we missed anything important in the comment section. Read more

Posted in: Monthly Roundups