The importance of social media in the modern world cannot be underemphasized and you know that but, why do I keep emphasizing that it’s important? Well, because knowing social media and understanding the impact that social media can have on your website, are two different things. Social media is a major tool that can aid in the success of your website tremendously if used properly.

I’ve been with WordPress website for some years, and the moment I started social streaming, revenues from my site has increased tremendously. But this is not difficult as it may sound since all you need is to install a plugin and activate it. With this plugin, you’ll be able to display all your social media accounts activities on your WordPress site. In this article, I’m going to introduce you the powerful WordPress Social Board plugin and take you through key steps to install it successfully.

The flexibility that comes with this plugin is incredible. You can display your social media stream in six different formats including wall, timeline, carousel, rotating feed, sticky feed and ajax tabbed feed. It can support more than 13 social networks and comes with more than 30 different feed options. Imagine a platform that allows your visitors to share your posts on the Google, Facebook, or Twitter from your website? A plugin that enables visitors to re-tweet, comment or favourites the tweeter posts? Well, that’s what this plugin does to your website. This is How you go about it:

To start with, you must download the plugin on your Personal Computer (PC). This is very easy since all you need is to browse to the plugin page. After the downloading is done, it will appear as a zip file which when opened, you’ll find another zip file WordPress-social-board-*.zip inside the package that is the original file for the plugin.

Install the downloaded plugin on the WordPress website

Here are the 4 major steps on how to go about it:

1. Go to your admin panel. Click on Plugins then click Add New button.

2. Then click on the Upload Plugin button.

3. Click on Activate Plugin after link to complete the installation of the plugin.

With the plugin successfully installed, the next step is to create your Social Board. Here I’ll explain how to create a Facebook wall as the example:

i. Browse to the WordPress admin dashboard.

ii. Go to the Social Board >> Add New Board and fill out the provided form that comes.

 

iii. Go to the Social Board and then click the Manage Board link.

iv. Copy the short-code that is marked with a red circle in the following screenshot.

v. Browse to WordPress admin dashboard >> Pages >> Add New Page

vi. Paste the copied shortcode into the created page or put it in a post instead and you’re done.

 

7. Your social wall is ready now for use. All that remains is going to click on the View Page button to see the created page, and you’re finished.

New hardware bugs have been reported which affects processors designed by Intel, AMD and ARM. This flaw was reported by Google’s Project Zero and is already being termed as one of the worst CPU bugs ever found.

Named as ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’, these vulnerabilities allow malicious programs to read data from other programs. These issue affects everyone who uses any modern computing device. You might be a WordPress site owner or a casual browser of websites, this issue can harm you. For example, you have a browser tab accessing a malicious site, this tab can access data from the password manager installed on the browser or cookies from other tabs. Similarly if you have a WordPress site hosted with webhosts that have multiple sites sharing same hardware, your site is susceptible to data theft. This means irrespective of whether you are on shared or managed hosting, you are in equally bad situation.

Am I affected as a Website owner?

As of now, most certainly, you are already affected by the bug. The data theft can include passwords, ssl keys, and other sensitive information.

What should I do as a WordPress site owner?

There are four popular ways of hosting a WordPress site:

Shared Hosting – GoDaddy, Bluehost, SiteGround etc.

On shared hosting, there are many sites running alongside many others in very close proximity on a server. These servers have certain level of protection ensuring the safety of one site from another. This wall between sites is sufficient under normal operation, but can be breached. Since all website instances are running on the same machine, this vulnerability can allow a malicious site to illegally access to data of other sites.

The webhosts in this case are responsible for deploying the patches to the underlying system. You should follow up with your webhosts to ensure that they have a plan for this.

Managed WordPress Hosting – WP Engine, Pantheon, etc

Managed WordPress hosting is traditionally considered a better and more secure option than shared hosting. Most of the popular Managed WordPress Hosting providers host the sites on the big cloud platforms such as AWS, Digital Ocean, Google cloud etc. Managed hosting dramatically reduces the risk of one site being able to afflict another site on the same server, however this case is different as Meltdown and Spectre are hardware bugs. If you are hosted on a dedicated container, multiple containers might be running on same machine. This puts you on same risk as a site hosted on shared hosting.

Many cloud platforms have already fixed their underlying platforms. Some others have also laid out a plan for the same too. The managed webhosts will also need to apply patches to their own systems too.

Cloud Hosting – Digital Ocean, AWS etc

A few of us run our sites by directly renting virtual servers from cloud hosting platforms. These cloud platforms allow multiple customers to share a physical server. The customer can install their own operating system and then manage the entire stack on top of this giving them complete flexibility. However since the underlying server is common, it is possible for a bad actor to exploit this vulnerability.

As mentioned in previous sections, the major cloud services are quickly patching their platforms. However since you are responsible for maintaining your own virtual server, you should update your OS as soon as possible.

Dedicated servers

Hosting of privately owned and maintained server is not a popular option given its complexity and cost. However if you happen to do so, you are at minimal risk from this bug, though we would still advice to keep your OS updated.

Can I know if my site is under attack?

Unfortunately it’s unlikely to know if you are getting attacked. These are hardware bugs that can lead to data theft without leaving any traces in traditional log files. The attack is independent of the operating system, and it does not rely on any software vulnerabilities (wordpress core, plugin/themes). These bugs work on personal computers, mobile devices and in the cloud. Depending on the hosting provider’s infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from you and your visitors.

How can I fix it?

Sadly there is not much you can do at the moment. This bug affects almost everyone. Operating System vendors have already started rolling out fixes but these are stopgap patches and costs performance. Meltdown patch is supposed to take 5 to 30% toll on CPU performance, whereas Spectre is not likely to be fixed any time soon.

Whom should I contact for help?

Major hosting companies have already started deploying patches. As a site owner check with your hosting provider about the status of their system. Ask them to deploy fixes immediately if they haven’t already. Check with them what these fixes mean to you as an end user. Will it affect the site performance? Will these effects be visible to your end users?

But what are these attacks anyway?

Project Zero revealed the bug as:

We have discovered that CPU data cache timing can be abused to efficiently leak information out of mis-speculated execution, leading to (at worst) arbitrary virtual memory read vulnerabilities across local security boundaries in various contexts.

The above statement summarises the exploits made by Meltdown and Spectre. They are example of side-channel attack.

Currently it’s difficult to predict the damage caused by these bugs. Many major companies like Amazon, Google and AMD have released statements assuring their users their latest software versions are safe. Many other giants like Apple have not commented yet. Watchout this space for more updates.

Hope this clarifies most of your doubts.

WooCommerce currently offers only one default flat rate shipping method. Practically, having a single shipping method can never solve the issues for you and your customers if you own an online store. Having multiple shipping methods, as per your requirements, can provide your business with an opportunity to grab more customers, by making the shopping and shipping easy for them.

This article will explain the need for advanced methods for shipping, which flat rate shipping features your plugin should have, and how to configure those features to work in your store.

Why Every Online Store needs Advanced Flat Rate Shipping?

If you are an online business owner, you must have to ship products to your customers on daily basis. What if you are willing to give a shipping discount for a certain time period, or to certain users, or on a product only?

If you don’t use any of the Advanced Flat Rate Shipping method plugins, doing it through WooCommerce will become impossible. The right plugin can help you accurately calculate the total shipping charges as per your store’s requirements. So, it makes the things easy for business owners & their buyers.

To maintain your business’s stability and sustain in the ever-changing market, versatility is a must thing. By doing this, you will be able to serve your customers better. With more customization capabilities, your store can provide better and flexible services, just as the buyers want.

If interested in knowing more about why advanced flat rate shipping can help you, check out this video:

                                                 

Which Features to Look for in an Advanced Custom Shipping Plugin?

It is required to have a feature-loaded plugin to boost your e-business’s sell. To help you choose the one, we’ve jotted down the best-advanced custom shipping features, which your plugin should have. If you already know what you need, you can jump to the next section to learn how to set up these shipping rules for your store. The features or rules, your plugin should support are:

Location-based shipping rules

If you are having branches in multiple cities, countries, states, regions or serving some specific locality, your online store should allow your customers to choose the location, from where they are buying. Once they select the location, the shopping page should show the shipping amount, applicable to that area. In case, you are looking to expand your online business, this feature will be needed to integrate into your shop, now or then.

A Good plugin should offer the location-based categorization as per:

-> Country
-> State
-> Postal Code
-> Zone (Which could be custom, As made by the owner)

Product based shipping rules

 

It is impractical to ship an LCD TV and some clothing products at the same price.  You will have to bear severe losses if you’ll ship all products at the same rate. With normal WooCommerce shipping rules, you cannot customize the price as per product or its category, but with an advanced plugin – you can do it. Here are the metrics, which can be used as the basis of categorization:

-> Product Name
-> Product Category
-> Product SKU
-> Product Tags (which could be added to you, to create custom groups of diverse products)

User-Based Shipping Rules

Giving special treatment to your users keeps them engaged. But will you be able to do it with the one-size-fits-all approach? Obviously, no! But when your flat rate shipping method could help you handle it differently, the problem is almost solved. For that, look for the followings before downloading a plugin:

  • User

If there is a shipping rule, which needs to be applied to a particular user, your plugin should allow you do that.

  • User role

The method for applying different shipping charges on the basis of types of user, like merchants, gold card users, platinum card users, new user, normal buyer, etc.

Cart-based shipping rules

The shipping charges heavily depend on the quantity or number of products being shipped. By reducing the shipping charges after the certain amount of products or cost, you can motivate your users to buy a bit more. Hence, look for a plugin which lets you automate the shipping discount as per your buyer’s cart. The criteria could be:

->Cart total
(Let’s say, a person is buying products worth $5k, why not give some discount to cherish him?)

– Quantity of products being purchased
       – Weight (In some cases)
       – Coupon (For some campaign or festival offers or sales)
       – Shipping Class – The business owners should be allowed to create their flat rate shipping method based on shipping class like if your customer needs a product urgently (within 24-hour delivery)or he needs it in next 2 days or within a week, the rate may vary.

Schedule-based shipping rules

Sometimes, you want to imply an offer for certain time period. For example, if you are shipping free during Christmas only, your plugin should be capable of implementing it ahead of the time. So, always buy a Plugin, which lets you enable or expire the offers for specific dates.

Check Compatibility and Speed

WooCommerce 3.0 is out already. Make sure that the plugin, you are downloading, is compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. It will keep your website stay fast, dynamic and user-friendly,

Handling the Comparisons Using Operators with Flat Rate Shipping

To implement all the above-discussed categorization rules, advanced custom shipping depends on the conditional operators, which are:

-> Less than (<=)
-> Greater than (>=)
-> Between(0-10)
– >Not Equal to ( != )

Wondering how your store can have all these features and how to make them work?

Here’s a quick tutorial to help you out with configuring different type of shipping rules and setting up the free shipping method. First, download the Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin and follow the steps along:

Implementing Free Shipping Rules for Your Online Store:

Now questions arrive, why that?

Free shipping motivates your customer to shop more. If it is increasing your sales by 30% and reducing the shipping revenue by 10%, you are still in 20% profit. But changing the price of every product of your online store is highly time-consuming. So, it is always better to do it with a plugin.

How to set up advanced free shipping in WooCommerce?

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you just have to follow the simple steps:

  • Create a rule or method:

  • Let’s say we named the method as ‘Free Shipping’. Set the Shipping Charge to 0.

How to set Conditions for Free Shipping?

You can easily add rules to the free shipping campaign, just by following this step:

  • Scroll a bit and set the shipping rules, when this free shipping method should be applied. Though you can choose any measure of buying to let the users avail free shipping, we are doing it for one ‘shipping zone’ in this demo.

You can add as many rules as you want to add.

How to Create Custom Zones in WooCommerce?

If you are willing to apply some shipping rules to only a few states of your country, or to a few cities, it is simple. You can create custom zones to solve the purpose. Follow the procedure to do it:

  • Navigate to ‘Add Shipping Zones’ in ‘Manage Shipping Zones’ section.

  • Give your zone a name. We’ve added all EU Zone, which forms a group of European Countries.

  • Save the changes and choose the Zone name in later operations to apply rules to your created custom zone. You’ll be able to see this custom zone in the ‘Manage Shipping Zones’ section.

For example: if a business owner wants to apply the shipping charges $50 for EU Zone (as a custom zone), it can be done as shown in the image [below]. After that, create flat rate shipping and set a condition on the custom zone.

Implementing Flat Rate Shipping Charges as per cart subtotal:

There are many occasions when you want to give discounts on big purchases. To show your gratitude towards the customer and make their shopping experience better, it is an ethical thing which can promote your user’s count. To do it, Advanced Flat Rate Shipping comes in handy.

For example, if a business owner wants to apply the shipping charges as a flat rate cost of $5 for a cart subtotal below $100, $2 for a cart subtotal below $250 & free shipping for a cart subtotal above $250, it is possible and easy using WooCommerce plugin for advanced custom shipping. You can set up shipping charges based on customer’s cart subtotal.

How to configure Flat Rate shipping method, based on Cart Subtotal in WooCommerce?

Learn it through the screenshot, we’ve added for you:

  1. In the plugin, click on ‘Shipping Method Configuration’.
  2. Create a method, named ‘Cart subtotal based shipping’. Here, we’ve fixed a rate of $24.
  3. By clicking on ‘Add rules’, you can set a particular cost for your shipping method. In our example, all the orders below $200 will have an added shipping charge of $24. You can add multiple rules, which, when matched, this subtotal-based configuration will work.
  4. Select ‘Save Changes’ to make the setting work.

What to do when more than one shipping methods are applicable to a Purchase Session?

Consider this:

You have a customer, with a platinum card, shopping over $5000 and from location Sweden. You’ve set the rules like:

-> Apply $50 discount on Shipping Charges for Platinum Card User.
-> Over $5000, the flat rate shipping charge is $5.
-> Free Shipping for the Customers in Sweden.

All-in-all, you are trying to confuse the code badly. To handle such situation, eCommerce store owners can change the ‘Master Settings’ of Advanced Flat Rate Shipping method For WooCommerce plugin.

Without needing to write or tweak the code, you can resolve this clash. You can pick among the following options to imply the best method for your buyers:

-> Apply Highest – To apply the highest shipping charges.

-> Force All Shipping Methods – It sums up all the shipping charges, applied on the cart of a particular user.

-> Apply Smallest – Make the buyer pay least shipping charges.

-> Allow Customer Choose – By using this, you are authorizing the user to pick the best offer, applicable to his purchase.

Let’s give you one example to explain how to do this:

How to set highest flat rate shipping in WooCommerce?

Here’s the guide to use ‘apply highest’ flat rate method on your WooCommerce website:

-> Select ‘Manage Shipping Methods’ in the plugin.

-> Now, select Master setting & a dropdown will be open.

-> Choose ‘Apply highest’ from the drop-down.

-> Click on ‘Save Master Settings’.

In a similar way, you can choose ‘force all’, ‘apply minimum’, and other types of flat rate shipping in WooCommerce too.

Timely discounts, free shipping implications, special rules and more – Shipping variation is always required. So, every e-commerce store owner should integrate the advanced custom shipping with its store to enhance the user experience deploy the shipping changes as the shop demands. Download the plugin to do it in the easiest way.

Advanced Filters allows you to filters for any post type you have or plan to create. With this plugin you get a nice admin area page where you can create your filters, select the type of filter and enter filtering values. For example, for size, you can enter values like 80cm-100cm etc. The good thing about this plugin is that is part of a mini “platform” plugin – Sortable. So you get all the options of the parent plugin plus the filters. Therefore you can select (via shortcode attribute) what type of theme to use, how the posts will be sorted or what type of views to use.

 

Advantage of Using Premium Plugin

What’s the thing that every plugin lacks and Sortable Advanced Filters has? Here are some of the advantages I have noticed:

●Part of the CodeCanyon community – This platform has high standards of adding new plugins to their platform
●Support – Every premium plugin offers support, which means that the creator is actually interested in offering support and would be quicker to respond to queries
●Part of a larger platform – With the Sortable plugin you can specify what type of interface you actually desire and it is specific to your website
●FIltering options – you can choose slider as well as another normal type of filters, and configure them to work as you like

Installation of Advanced Filters

Here is the trick – as this is a child plugin of Sortable, you will first need to install the parent plugin, or even better it’s free sibling – Sortable Lite. That way you get to use any Sortable addon, with paying like $9 on average per addon and get the parent plugin free.

You can follow these guidelines to install it:

1. Download and install Sortable or Sortable Lite plugin
2. Purchase and download sortable-advanced-filters.zip file from CodeCanyon
3. In the WordPress, back-end go in Plugins > Add New (http://site.com/wp-admin/plugin-install.php) and Select Upload
4. Upload and activate the plugin
5. Click on the Sortable > Filters menu item
6. Create a shortcode from the generator
7. Paste [sortable] in some of your pages/posts to display Sortable posts loop

How to Use

Open the Filters page in the WP Admin > Sortable > Filters area. Click on the Add New Filter button and a popup like this should appear:

Here are some of the fields you need to enter:

– Order number: This needs to be a NUMBER that would order the position of the filter item in the filters sidebar, starting from 1 – 100
– Post type: Select any post type you need this filter
– Filter name: Enter the name that will appear as title for the filter item in the sidebar (example, Sizes, Price etc)
– Filter type: Check Boxes is the default view (multiple selections shows on/off filters and single selection shows the normal checkboxes), Sliders are perfect for numeric values, Dropdowns are simple selection dropdown.
– Multiple selections: Allow multiple selection or disable it and allow only single selection

Editing Filter Values

All filters that you enter for a particular post type are available in the post edit page for that particular post type for you to select the value for that post. For example, if you create a Price filter you can set the price in a meta box appearing just below the post WYSIWYG editor.

.

After you select your value and select that filter on the front side it will show you that post as belonging to a particular filter value.

At BlogVault, we’re always looking for ways to improve your conversion rates and make your website more reliable. Today, we’ve been testing the popular WooCommerce Product Table plugin, which claims to increase your sales by displaying e-commerce products in new and better ways.

What is WooCommerce Product Table?

WooCommerce Product Table is the bestselling plugin from UK WordPress agency Barn2 Media. Released just over a year ago, it’s popular with many types of the online store including takeaway restaurant order systems, WooCommerce wholesale stores, large product directories, electronics stores needing to display extra product data, and catalogue sites needing a quick order form. The plugin works by listing the products from any WooCommerce store in a table view. It creates the tables manually using the products already on your WordPress website – so there’s no manual data entry. Customers can search and filter to find products more easily, view extra product data, choose variations and quickly add to the cart directly from the product table. The promo video explains what the plugin does and who it’s for

But is it any good?

Who needs WooCommerce product tables?

When you first hear about WooCommerce Product Table, it’s easy to think of it as quite a niche plugin. However, when you read through all the tutorials, you find out that it’s used on a huge variety of WooCommerce sites. For example, it’s popular for creating a takeaway restaurant order form, as you can add a table for each section of your menu and allow one-page ordering. It’s one of the most popular WooCommerce wholesale plugins because it lists products in a quick bulk order form. Surprisingly, it’s even popular for creating a WooCommerce audio or video gallery, because you can embed music and video players directly in the product table. I suppose the main thing these websites have in common is that they need more control over how their products are presented, with more products on each page. So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – it’s all about what will best sell your products.

Range of features

A good WooCommerce table plugin needs to be flexible. The whole point is to list products in new ways that will increase your conversion rates, so it’s essential that you can control details such as which data to include in the table. Fortunately, WooCommerce Product Table comes with over 60 options. You can control everything from which columns to include and how many rows to show on each page, to whether or not to show the add to cart buttons and the quantity selector. You can also choose how customers can interact with the table and find products. For example, by showing and hiding the search box and filters.

Ease of use

With over 60 options, I was worried that there would be a steep learning curve. I soon learned that WooCommerce Product Table has been cleverly designed to allow you to create tables very easily. There’s a plugin settings page which lets you set defaults for the most popular settings (but not all 60 of them!). These defaults will automatically be used in all your product tables. There are also settings for styling the product table so you can make it match the rest of your site.

To add a product table, you just click the ‘Insert product table’ icon which the plugin adds to the WordPress toolbar. This will insert a simple shortcode to create a product table with all your defaults. If you want more fine-grained control, then you can edit the shortcode using any of the options. I tested this by creating tables that list products from a specific category only, although you can also show products based on details such as their date, tags, or even custom field values. This means that you can use the product tables to achieve quite complicated requirements, if this is what you want. But if you just want to create a simple table listing WooCommerce products, then this is very easy and just takes a couple of minutes.

Documentation and support

These days, nearly all premium plugins come with documentation and support – but some companies do this better than others! When you buy WooCommerce Product Table, you receive a helpful ‘Getting Started’ email. This contains step-by-step instructions and links to the documentation. The plugin has a very detailed knowledgebase – probably the most in-depth I’ve seen. This covers everything from basic setup instructions to documentation on all the options and troubleshooting tips. There are lots of animations and video tutorials showing the plugin in use. The plugin comes with a year’s support from the team at Barn2 Media. This support is provided from within the UK – a refreshing change compared to some plugin companies! The plugin reviews are exceptionally positive. Nearly all of them mention the speed and quality of the support.

Like most plugin companies these days, your license is renewed annually. You need to pay each year to keep receiving plugin updates and support. Barn2 Media release regular updates, including major new features every few months. This means that it’s in your interest to renew each year. If you don’t renew, the plugin will keep working but you won’t get any more new versions or support.

Does it really increase conversion rates?

The company behind WooCommerce Product Table say that it helps to increase your sales. They’ve even published an article about how to use products tables to increase your conversion rates. I think there are a few reasons why WooCommerce tables can boost conversions in your store:

  • Customers can see more products at once, so they don’t waste time scrolling through lots of pages.
  • The search, sort and filters in WooCommerce Product Table help customers find your products more quickly. This means they won’t get fed up and look elsewhere.
  • You can show more relevant information about your products, such as attributes, custom fields, custom taxonomies etc. This will help customers to see that the product meets their needs. They don’t have to spend time clicking through to the product detail page.
  • Customers can select lots of products at once and use the ‘Add Selected to Cart’ button, instead of having to add each item individually.

These things will inevitably help to increase conversions by providing the better user experience. However, the plugin won’t help all types of store, so it’s worth thinking about whether product tables are a better way to display your products. If product tables are for you, then I’d recommend spending some time reading through the knowledgebase. This is the best way to figure out the best combination of options based on your specific needs. As with anything, the more time you spend setting up your products tables, the better the results will be.

Does it work with BlogVault?

Another important question to ask in a plugin review is whether it works with BlogVault. This is important because you need BlogVault for essential tasks such as backing up and restoring your website, creating staging sites, and website migrations. The good news is that like most plugins WooCommerce Product Table works perfectly with BlogVault. If you use the migration tool then your products and WooCommerce tables will migrate across nicely, with no extra work from you. It backs up your product tables along with the rest of your website. So no problems there!

Conclusion

There are a few other WooCommerce table plugins available, but none that offer the same combination of features, flexibility and support. WooCommerce Product Table is a quality plugin from a reputable UK-based WordPress company. You can buy it safely and feel confident that you can get all the information and support you need to create conversion-boosting product tables.

 

The best way I can describe the feeling a lot of people have about moving their business to the cloud is the way the hero feels in “Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom”. On his final leg of the quest to find the Holy Grail, our bullwhip-wielding protagonist has to take a step into what looks like thin air to cross a bottomless chasm to reach his final destination. Turns out the way forward is there, he just couldn’t see it until he was on it.

Trusting in something you cannot see to gain access to something amazing is a pretty appropriate description of what it means to take your business into the cloud.

Nerve-wracking? Absolutely.

Worth it? Absolutely.

Before we get deeper into your potential move to the cloud, let’s talk about one reason not to make the move: Because the competition is doing it.

Just like your mother always told you about jumping off that proverbial bridge, don’t let peer pressure be your reason to move to the cloud. Think of how many companies have regretted buying one of those inflatable dancing things or a digital billboard you can see from 50 miles away just because the guys across the street did it first. Decisions as big as moving your business processes to a cloud environment shouldn’t be made likely.

Let’s unpack some warning signs that can let you know that a move is necessary as well as the benefits that will result from engaging a cloud-service provider (CSP).

Signs You Should Move to the Cloud

  1. You need real-time data: A generation ago, businesses made their future plans based on yearly, quarterly or monthly data. The idea of waiting 90 days to get results that will determine your strategy going forward falls somewhere between ludicrous and terrifying for most modern-day firms, but there are still plenty of companies doing just that because their systems can’t handle a shorter turnaround. If you want to take that quantum leap forward to being able to parse and interpret data as it’s being recorded, then the cloud and its ability to constantly monitor and instantly report on data is essential.
  2. You need 24/7/365 access to your business: The first time I checked my work email remotely, I felt like I had superpowers. Suddenly I had advanced warning about all the little problems people were emailing me after5 p.m. had come and gone. Putting your business in the cloud gives you access to every single thing you need no matter what time of day it is. And it’s not just for you, but for anyone you deem necessary to grant that access to, along with your customer base. If they’re placing orders in the middle of the night, the cloud’s fluidity is going to make sure every process necessary to get that order filled and shipped has happened by the time the office opens tomorrow morning. Being open all the time wipes out reputation killers like lost revenue, poor service and unhappy customers.
  3. Your company is spread across multiple offices or has a lot of employees who travel frequently.About five years ago I was working for a firm that was based I the UK but also had offices in Houston, Shanghai and a few other places. To access all the proper databases and software products for my job, I had to start my machine up and then log onto a virtual desktop based in London. On a good day, this process took 15-20 minutes; on a bad day, more like 40. Multiply that by 55 employees in one office and the daily, weekly and monthly time-sink where absolutely nothing was getting done is staggering. Bottom line is, your employees should not have to struggle to get access to the tools that they need to do their work. A cloud environment makes remote access just as easy as logging on from the CEO’s office, and everywhere in between.
  4. 4. You need room to grow.I’ve yet to encounter the business leader who says, “We’re a perfect size, let’s not change a thing!” Growing your business pre-cloud meant one of two things – either you were going to shove a bunch of extra work on your employees or you were going to have to go through a painful, expensive upgrade of your backroom systems that would probably take a long time and involve lots of physical migration of data. The cloud environment eliminates that stress almost entirely. Data migration can be done as close to automatically as possible and things like infrastructure and software are expanded to fit your expansion with the press of a button instead of the long process of finding new vendors to upgrade everything but the kitchen sink. And let’s be honest here: Sometimes your growth is in the opposite direction. A long-time customer goes out of business or there’s a downturn in the industry. Whatever the reason, sometimes you’re having to downsize your business instead of the other way around. The cloud works both ways and does so with efficiency and cost as the paramount requirements.
  5. You need to fix your fixed costs.So you’ve got your own servers, backups and databases on site. You contract with a local IT firm to keep everything humming along and have a tech come out every week to handle all the little bugs and quirks that pile up over the course of seven days in an office environment. But when your server suddenly crashes at 3 a.m., an employee accidentally uploads a virus to your system off a flash drive, you’re frantically calling the IT guy’s after-hours hotline and getting charged an arm and a leg to get things up and running again. The cloud environment is a 180-degree turnaround. You know what you’re paying upfront and the fixed cost is really fixed. You can even track it by the hour, the minute, and in some cases even the second.
  6. Your business is innovation. Running a website used to be so much simpler, right? You were ahead of the pack if you had a moving ticker above your masthead that you could update with news of a special offer with a few lines of HTML code. Online business moves a lot faster these days. If you’re finding your business breaking into new markets, seeing the power of using technology or realizing new ways to connect to your target audience, the cloud is the only way to keep your business agile and dynamic. If you have to reach out to vendors and physically install new software, infrastructure or business tools, it’s likely your competitors will beat you to the bunch, no matter how innovative your brain trust might be.

Are any of these situations scratching your business sense right where it itches? Even if you’re just the slightest bit interested in what the cloud can do for you, reach out to a cloud hosting provider of your choice to explore all your options. Security is a major concern for most businesses, so read up on cloud security as well.

BlogVault is one of the best WordPress backup and security solutions that has you covered in many aspects. You can protect your site in just a few clicks, and let the plugin work on the details while you take care of stuff that’s more important to you. It will keep backups of your site on daily basis, remove malware with one click and let you manage the entire site with ease. And that’s just the start.

But even in the rare cases where you will have to take care of the site on your own and maybe restore it to an earlier version, BlogVault got your back. Whether you want to fix a few things, change a theme, introduce a new feature or just test anything else, there’s a staging environment by BlogVault that will let you copy your entire site to a safe location hidden from the public eyes. So, instead of working on a live site, you get to mess things up in a staging environment.

But what happens when your site has already rendered some problems which you want to hide from your visitors? And what if you still haven’t created your site, but you have purchased the domain? In that case, instead of showing an empty page or site that’s not entirely ready, you can put your WordPress site under construction. By doing so, you can start working on your brand and even connect with people way before you have the site ready.

 

UnderConstructionPage plugin

 

With the UnderConstructionPage Plugin, you can create a coming soon or under construction page for any WordPress website you have. To be more precise, the plugin will create one for you after you tell it your preferences.

Instead of showing unfinished pages or letting your visitors know that you’re in problems, you can quite easily let them know that your site is under construction and not ready to be viewed. By generating an under construction or coming soon page, you can keep your dignity. Do you really want people to think that you’re incapable of handling a few problems? If you’re selling a product or service on that site, you can easily lose a customer if you don’t prepare everything on time.

As you can imagine, in situations where something goes wrong, you need to react quickly. So, building a page on your own or hiring a developer isn’t an option. That’s why we are going to show you how to create a maintenance page in WordPress in a matter of minutes.

Set up your maintenance page

After installing this free plugin, you’re one click away from having your site under construction. Even without changing settings, you can launch the under construction page just by turning on the mode from the main settings. If you’re really in a hurry to hide something embarrassing that happened on your live site, it’s advised to start the mode as quickly as you can.

But if you can spare a few minutes, the plugin will let you customize things to your likings.

Go through other tabs in the settings and select a theme. If you know some basic CSS, you can even modify any themes to match your site. UnderConstructionPage gets new update approximately two times per month, and each update brings a new theme. So you shouldn’t have any problems finding the one you really like. In about two weeks, you can expect the PRO version of the plugin that will let you use any of 300,000 images from Unsplash and even upload your own images. But more about that later.

Just an image without any content won’t do much. So, move to the Content tab and fill in the info about your page. Let people know what happened. Are you fixing an issue and expect to be back in a few hours? Are you still working on a new design? Do you know when your site is about to launch? You can, and should, write that down and show on the maintenance page that you’re building.

This is also the place to connect with your audience. There are dozens of social media accounts you can link. Don’t forget to fill in the info with your email address and phone number if you want your visitors to be able to contact you directly from the landing page.

Tweak it in detail

After you have the basics ready, you should take a look at a few details that might help you. If you open the Access tab, you can control which users will see the under construction page, and which users will still get to use the normal site. For example, if you’re just fixing something on your live site, you probably want your administrators to be able to see your WordPress theme instead of the under construction page. So, select the group of users or specify them by names.

If you navigate back to the Main tab, you will be able to add Google Analytics tracking code. If you do so, the plugin will help you monitor your visitors even while you’re under construction.

Support

One of the amazing things about UnderConstructionPage is its support. Even though the plugin is free, you can contact the support team directly through the settings. Support agents at Web Factory will answer you as soon as possible and will help you with any issue or question you might have. This is something usually found in premium plugins only.

The improved version of UnderConstructionPage

In just about a week, UnderConstructionPage is about to get an improved, premium version. The free plugin is about to become a beast. In addition to all the features that go with the free version, you can expect:

·Versatile & User-friendly Drag&Drop

·Local Emails/Leads Storage

·Native MailChimp Support

·Universal 3rd Party Autoresponder Support

·Custom Private Access Links

·Conversion Tracking

·Track Referrals & Affiliate Links

·+300,000 Searchable Photos Library

·Built-in Analytics

·Custom Access & Page Rules

·Integrated Contact Form

·+100 Templates for Everything

·Extreme ease-of-use You Love

·Top-notch Quality & Continuous Updates

·Superior Support

Have your under construction page ready

Sooner or later, you will need an under construction page for your WordPress site. Even if you have launched your site years ago, you might need the maintenance page when things go wrong. While BlogVault can help you prevent problems with your WordPress site, UnderConstructionPage will help you to hide your site when there are problems.

Best WordPress backup plugin

Someone said there were moments in the Victorian era when the amount of flour from the bread dough was filled with chalk and additives so that after 18 hours of work “you were the more tired and depressed when you knew you poisoned the bread that your fellow will eat it”.

In our times in, WordPress era, we have great satisfaction when we start a project from scratch and, as we get close to completion and add new features, we realize that we will create a much better product than we originally thought.

That’s how it happened when a customer wanted a radio player with the option to just add a ShoutCast link and automatically show the current playing song title and artist name, artist image and history. We tried to install such a plug-in in our client WordPress theme but we did not find it on the market so we decided to create one.  The market needed a HERO!

How HERO Radio Player with History Was Build And What Are The Goodies

Initially, we created a ShoutCast Radio Player and after that, we thought it would be cool to add Icecast support. And then we said it would be even cooler to have Playlist History for IceCast too.

Next, it was really nice to add share buttons, 2 skins, multiple instances etc… We added a parameter to set the radio player in sticky version, another parameter to only show the play button.

Now HERO is the ultimate radio player with a history which will play ShoutCast and IceCast streams. The radio stream should be the MP3 type. It will also play AAC streams but only on browsers which support AAC. It can be used in websites which are responsive. It has an optional parameter to disable responsive behaviour in order to integrate it into non-responsive websites. It is compatible with IOS and Android operating systems.

For the player to get the current playing song and artist photo you just add the radio stream.

You can choose from the 2 available skins: black & white. From parameters you can create any colour scheme, having the possibility to integrate it in any design.

The player uses Last.FM API to display the photo of the current playing singer

HERO Radio Player will automatically get the history for Shoutcast streams. For IceCast streams it will generate the history as the radio plays. It has available a button to show or hide the history and the option to start the player with the history hidden.

You can share the radio player on Facebook and Twitter. You have at your disposal parameters to customize the shared title and description.

You can insert multiple radio players on your website or on the same page. Only one can be set to ‘sticky’.

When we create a product we have in mind a simple syntagma: “customer dedicated product”. That means we have to take into account from the beginning to put many (maybe too many) features in the pockets of the product.

That’s why Hero Radio Player has more parameters for you can set as visible or set as hidden: playlist, volume and share buttons. So there’s no need to tell you later (as a modern-pseudo-artist explains you) that where there is no button you will see it if you focus a bit.

Also we add over 30 options from where you can customize your player, including width, autoplay, colours and other parameters

Check Video Tutorial:

How to install and use the plugin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIQGk1EcMhg

Note for IOS & Android (restrictions imposed by Apple & Google):
The autoplay will not work because IOS (and Android) has disabled autoplay feature and it can’t be controlled from JS.

Hope you enjoyed the history of Hero – Shoutcast and Icecast Radio Player With History – WordPress Plugin.

11 Features of World Class WordPress Backup Plugin

Search better

Hello World!
We just wanted to let you know that we have some interesting updates lined up for you.After three months of hard work, your favourite WordPress backup plugin has incorporated the Advanced Search feature!

Still, haven’t found what you’re looking for?

The Advanced Search option allows you to enter more specific search criteria about the websites you are trying to find in order to refine your results. Depending on the system's configuration, you may not need to enter minimum search criteria but if you do enter criteria, you will receive better results.

Organise your websites, the smart way.

You can use words or symbols called search operators to filter your BlogVault advanced search results. You can also combine operators to filter your results even more.You can now organise your websites present within BlogVault. This categorisation can be done according to your selection of WordPress core versions, plugins, themes, their versions, users or even tags. You can then make changes to the selected websites accordingly.

Helps narrow user searches

Do you have fifty or so websites using BlogVault for backup and other related services? How are you going to update a plugin installed on a few websites only? Maybe you want to check out websites with a particular tag name. 

Streamline bulk actions for web sites

Ever wanted to perform a single action like updating existing plugin on many websites at once? Now you can!

Next Steps >>

Check out how to use Advanced Search from here
Try Advanced Search from the Dashboard Now.
You can always get in touch with us from here or also email us at support@blogvault.net

Introduction

The web hosting industry is incredibly competitive, so many hosting providers offer value-added services such as free backups to their customers free of cost as a means to differentiate themselves. And while some sort of a backup is better than no backup at all, it certainly doesn’t check all the boxes when it comes down to taking a complete, reliable backup of your WordPress website. So, do you really need to sign up for a premium backup solution if your hosting company already does regular backups? The short answer is: yes. And in this post, we’ll take a look at why you need a premium backup service for your site and what features it brings to the table. But before we begin, let’s take a look at the issues you can potentially run into if you go with web hosting backups.

The Problem With Web Hosting Backups

There are a number of different scenarios where you might find yourself needing a backup of your WordPress website. It may be because of a software-related issue during upgrades, host failures, or a simple case of human error. Whatever the case may be, when your site crashes, you need to restore a backed up version of it pronto. For this reason, it’s important that the backup solution provider you rely on is reputable, fast, and helps you restore your site from a backup. This, however, is not the case with the backup feature offered by web hosts. Here are some of the most common problems with web hosting backups:

  • Availability. Most web hosting companies offer free, automatic backups with their advanced hosting plans and charge a little extra for users on their basic plans. In addition to this, some of them will only backup your site automatically if it’s within their website size limit.
  • Coverage. WordPress websites consist of databases and files. It’s important to know exactly what your web hosting provider is backing up and whether or not you have access to it. This way, you’ll be prepared for when your site goes down.
  • Frequency. How often your site needs to be backed up varies from website to website. If your hosting provider takes a backup once every week then you could lose important data if your site crashes.
  • Storage. While web hosts claim to take regular backups of your site, not all of them store multiple versions of it. What’s more is that the backups they do store aren’t encrypted. This means that it’s entirely possible for your site’s backup to be tampered with in case of a security breach on your web host’s end.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at why you might be better off with a high-end backup service for your WordPress website and what features you can expect to get from it.

BlogVault Backups vs. Hosting Company Backups

Even if your WordPress web hosting provider offers free, regular backups, you might find that it isn’t enough when your website actually gets hacked or crashes. For starters, web hosts don’t offer auto restore functionality. What this means is that if (or should I say, when) your site crashes, you’re left on your own to restore it. For those of you who aren’t particularly technically inclined or simply don’t want to have to figure it out on the spot, you’re better off with a complete WordPress backup service – like BlogVault. Here’s why:

BlogVault Is Optimised for WordPress

Many web hosts that offer free backups will create a backup for you without taking its structure into consideration. As you probably already know, WordPress sites are very organized on the backend and consist of two parts: database and files. And because of this, a WordPress site isn’t like any other site even if your web hosting provider thinks so.
BlogVault is designed to create complete backups of WordPress websites specifically. What you get are optimised backups that have everything you need and nothing extra. This is made possible because of BlogVault’s incremental approach to taking backups. Behind the scenes, the backup service identifies any changes that have been made to your site since the last sync and only stores those. The great thing about BlogVault backups is that they’re smaller in size and much faster to restore than those taken by your web host.

BlogVault Lets You Auto Restore and Test Restore Your Site

If your WordPress website ever crashes or is deleted by hackers then BlogVault’s auto restore functionality can help you get it back up in no time. What it does is it basically restores your site’s most recent backup to its hosting server without any manual intervention from you, the website’s owner.
In addition to this, BlogVault also offers a test restore feature that enables users to pick out a backup of their site and load it onto BlogVault’s test server to make sure it’s working properly. This way, if you accidentally crash your site during development then you can revert back to a fully functional version of it without any hassle.

BlogVault Offers Multiple, Encrypted Backups Stored on Different Servers

A major problem with having your web hosting provider store your site’s backup is that you’re left with little to no options if your server crashes. This is especially true for websites that are hosted on shared hosting plans.With BlogVault, however, you can rest assured that your WordPress site’s backups are secure since multiple copies of a single backup are stored in different locations – independent of your site or the server it’s hosted on. BlogVault stores encrypted copies of your site’s backups on their own servers and on Amazon S3 servers.

Conclusion

Having a high-end backup solution in place for your WordPress website is fundamental. All you have to do is set it up and then you can stop worrying about losing your site’s data once and for all.

Let’s quickly recap why you should go with a premium backup solution as opposed to your web host’s backups:

  1. It is optimised for WordPress and keeps your backup files manageable.
  2. You’ll have the option to auto restore and test restore your site.
  3. You can rest assured that multiple, encrypted backups of your site are stored on different servers.

Are you ready to make the switch from hosting provider backups to all-inclusive BlogVault backups? We’d love to hear from you so let us know by commenting below!