Category Archives: WordPress

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CominginWordPressincludesfeaturesthatrequirehoststosupportHTTPS

Coming in 2017 includes features that require WordPress SSL HTTPS

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WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg announced that soon, new WordPress versions of the WordPress CMS would include features that would require hosts to support WordPress SSL HTTPS.

If you do not have SSL on your WordPress Website, now is the time.

SSL is simply an encrypted, secure link, between your browser and the server. Once upon a time, SSL was difficult to set up, oftentimes expensive, and usually slow. Today’s updated browsers make it much faster and easier to set up an SSL certificate, and many hosting companies offer these at a much more affordable cost. WordPress SSL sites will be able to use secure content, advanced features and forms only avaliable to WordPress with a valid SSL Certificate. On top of that, Google has begun using SSL readiness as a search engine ranking factor, and will start to flag unencrypted sites in Google Chrome.

No WordPress SSL Certificate (or PHP7)?  What does this mean for you ?

wordpress sslIn the early part of 2017, WordPress plans on only promoting hosting partners that provide SSL certificates by default in their accounts. Once some time passes, they will begin to assess which features, including API authentication, would benefit the most from this service. The end result will be only enabling them once the SSL is there.

Looking ahead, WordPress SSL and updated PHP versions will be something to be on the lookout for. PHP7 may end up the new default for all new WordPress accounts in the new year, as well. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

Need hosting that meets all the future requirements right now?

Westgate Hosting Can Help

At Westgate WEBS Hosting and Free Domains, we provide reliable WordPress CMS hosting packages, SSL Certifictas starting at $22 a year, PHP7,  with a ninety-nine point nine percent server uptime guarantee and an outstanding 24x7x365 customer service. Our hosting packages feature the intuitive Hepsia hosting Control Panel, which is equipped with free-of-charge tools. We also offer more than fifty universal and country-specific TLDs at affordable prices, as well as a free-of-cost Domain Manager plan.

According to w3techs.com WordPress is used by 27.2% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 58.5%. The chart below lists the top four CMS (Content Management Systems) and their share of the market.

December 2016 Market share for the major content management systems for websites

  • December 2015
  • December 2016

Westgate WEBS

Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201
United States (US)
Phone: 413-347-9561
Email: info@westgatewebs.com

 


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Live Help live customer service free program

Live Help – Live Customer Service On Your Website Free

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When I first started building websites, I found very few websites with Live Help / Customer Service online. The ones that did have it seemed light years ahead of the others. Now, online stores or companies that provide any type of service need a live customer service.

Just think of the sites you visit, it is that one extra opportunity to turn visitors into a customers.

Evey website that has Live Help, and puts their customer service online, puts the customers at ease and encourages sales by having an instant solution for any issues. No wait time after sending out an email. If the site’s staff is busy helping another customer, there’s always a convenient form to fill out for any questions or issues.

Based on data of global research study from Ovum, the report tells consumers’ growing dissatisfaction with their digital experiences and reveals contact center investments to help achieve your business goals and win the hearts and minds of today’s connected customers.

Key findings including:

82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand following a bad experience

50% of customers are frustrated with automated response systems, and 43% are dissatisfied with the amount of time it takes to reach a representative

62% of consumers believe it takes 5+ interactions before they resolve their issue, whereas 54% of contact center managers think it only takes 1-2 interactions

If customers knew they could get a resolution on the first attempt, 78% would choose a channel other than a phone call

Today, the Live Help industry is booming.

Some Live Help platforms cost upwards of thousands of dollars a year depending on the features and how many operators you want to add. This used to leave all the smaller business behind – that is no longer the case.

After trying many of the “paid” live customer service programs, I found one that not only has over 95% of the features of the Live Help Big Guys but… it is FREE. tawk.to is a free messaging app that lets you monitor and chat with visitors on your website or from a free customizable page. We use and LOVE it on our pages, and it is the only live customer service program that we recommend to our clients!

Yes, I said free, and here are some great details about what you can do with it:

Rich in Professional Live Help Live Customer Service Features and still 100% FREE  forever!

All the premium features you would expect, just without the price tag! There is no ‘premium’ version, just one version for everyone, with nothing to pay. Ever.

Custom Live Help Widget

Modify the Size, Colors, Position and Content of the visitor widget to suit your website.

You can even customize the widget to suit your language!

Chat History

View a complete history of every chat you and your team have had. Your transcripts are stored indefinitely and you can delete them at any time. If your visitor returns, the last visit or chat can also be reviewed.

Automated Triggers

Automated Triggers allow you to set automated messages based on multiple conditions, like time, visiting a specific page, or performing a certain action, etc.  We recently set a trigger on a client’s website to show when a visitor went to the FAQ or HELP pages.

Shortcuts

Save time by answering frequently asked visitor questions with shortcuts. Shortcuts are a major time saver, and they allow you to share recommended messages or answers with new members of your team.

E.G. – Instead of typing “Hello, welcome to our website, how can we help?” you could create a shortcut that is simply /hello

Multiple Agents

live help free full featured plugin for wordpresstawk.to is an agent-centric application, as opposed to company-centric. What this means, is that every agent is an administrator of their own account and can be invited to share multiple different ‘sites’ or ‘pages’.

You can add an unlimited number of agents!

Aliases

You can have multiple aliases, so you can answer each chat with whichever name you like. Each alias can also have its own profile picture, work title, etc.

Manage Multiple Sites

Add multiple different widgets to as many websites as you like, so you can track where all your chats are coming from. Log into one dashboard, and answer on behalf of many different sites.

tawk.to is an Agent-Centric application, so every agent has their own account and can share ‘sites’ with one another. Sites have their own customization settings and can have an unlimited number of customizable widgets.

Visitor Monitoring

Track and monitor the visitors on your website in real time, watch as they navigate from page to page within your site. Gain key insights into visitor behavior, and track their geographic location, return visits, and much, much more.

The Best Products Are Free

The web’s biggest companies, and arguably the best products, are almost always free.

From Facebook to Google, Twitter and Instagram – free does not mean cheap.

tawk.to is jam-packed with all the features you need to provide winning customer support – it is lightning fast, reliable and scalable. If you already use live chat on your site, there really is no reason to keep paying per agent!

tawk.to is FREE, they do have add-ons that you could pay for, but the free program has more features than most paid programs costing hundreds of dollars a year.  You can get the plugin that fits your page today at http://tawk.to

If you need help installing it, setting it up, chat icon graphics, training, we would be glad to help. Check out our installation, setup services for this great program! 


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A Few Simple Tricks to Protect Your WordPress Sites

A Few Simple Tricks to Protect Your WordPress Sites

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Here are a few very simple tricks to protect your WordPress site(s) in view of the recent massive brute-force global attacks.

Limit the access to the wp-admin directory by IP address:

If you are the only person who needs to log into your admin area and if you have a static IP address, you can deny access to the wp-admin folder to everyone but yourself via an .htaccess file.

Create a file called .htaccess using a plain text editor or simply edit the existing one (if any) and add:
# Block access to wp-admin.
order deny,allow
allow from (x.x.x.x)
deny from all

Here (x.x.x.x) is your IP address. You can add multiple IP addresses by adding the line: allow from x.x.x.x in accordance with the number of IPs you wish to whitelist.

Limit the access to the wp-login.php file by IP address:

You can also limit the access to your wp-login.php file inside your wp-admin/ area via an .htaccess file.

Create a file called .htaccess or simply edit the existing one (if any) in the /wp-admin folder and add:

Order allow,deny
Allow from (x.x.x.x)
Deny from all

Here (x.x.x.x) is your IP address. You can add multiple IP addresses by adding the line: allow from x.x.x.x in accordance with the number of IPs you wish to whitelist.

If you don’t know your IP you can either type into Google What is my IP address? or visit http://whatismyipaddress.com

Update your robots.txt file:

Add the following lines in your robots.txt file or create a file named robots.txt with the following content:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin
Disallow: /wp-login.php
Disallow: /administrator

This will essentially block search engines from indexing these URLs, as brute-force attackers generate lists of such URLs (intitle: Log In and inurl: wp-login) namely with the help of the major search engines.

This method is more of a long-term prevention, as it will take a few months for the search engines to update this information, but it should make brute-force attempts disappear for good.

Westgate WEBS


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We fix compromised WordPress websites

Help with a compromised WordPress website

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One of the many calls we get is for help with a compromised WordPress website. Even though WordPress is a very secure content management system, many website owners tend not to be pro-active in taking the security of the site to the next level. First and foremost, by not using Admin as your main username, or using a less-than secure password. If you use your password for more than one login, it is not secure (that statement is a discussion we will be posting shortly.)

The next step in pro-active security is the ability to scan your site for issues, holes and viruses. One plugin that we install on all our client sites is GOTMLS Anti-Malware. GOTMLS Anti-Malware is a WordPress plugin that can be used to scan and remove viruses, threats and other malicious things that may be present in your WordPress website. Some of its important features include a customized scan, complete scan, quick scan, automatic removal of known threats, among many others. You can register the plugin for free at GOTMLS. If you are not into “phone home” scripts, avoid this plugin, as it uses the “phone home” feature to check for updates. [Get it here]

The GOTMLS Anti-Malware plugin can now scan your WordPress Core files and compare them with the installation source code available from wordpress.org. This new integrity check could be very helpful for finding new threats hidden in WP Core file. There may be lots reasons, other than malicious threats, for Core files to differ from the original source, so this is an optional fix that requires you to check the box next to each file you want to restore. If a “Known Threat” is found in these files it will still come up as an automatic fix, but if not, you can now optionally revert any of these modified Core files to the original code.

How did I get hacked in the first place?
First, don’t take the attack personally. Lots of hackers routinely run automated scripts that crawl the internet looking for easy targets. Your site probably got hacked because you are, unknowingly, an easy target. This might be because you are running an older version of WordPress, or have installed a Plugin or Theme with a backdoor or known security vulnerability. However, the most common type of infection I see is cross-contamination. This can happen when your site is on a shared server with other exploitable sites that got infected. In most shared hosting environments, it’s possible for hackers to use one infected site to infect other sites on the same server, sometimes even if the sites are on different accounts.

How can I stop this from happening again?
There is no sure way to protect your site from every kind of hack attempt. That said, don’t be an easy target. Some basic security steps should include: hardening your password, keeping all your sites up-to-date, and running regular scans with Anti-Malware software – like GOTMLS.NET

Why should I register the GOTMLS Anti-Malware WordPress plugin?
First, it’s only a donation to the programmer of $29, and if you register on GOTMLS.NET you will have access to download definitions of New Threats and added features – like automatic removal of “Known Threats,” and patches for specific security issues (like old versions of timthumb and brute-force attacks on wp-login.php.) Otherwise, as this plugin only scans for “Potential Threats” on your site, it would then be up to you to identify the good from the bad, and remove them accordingly (or hire someone like Westgate WEBS to take care of it for you!)

Would you like us to install the GOTMLS Anti-Malware WordPress plugin for you, configure it and run your first scan?  We would be glad to! [Click Here]


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SliderRevolution Whiteboard

Slider Revolution

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One of the questions we get asked the most tends to be about sliders. You know that fancy top screen that scrolls beautiful images with information and links that keep visitors visually entertained, while providing important information and links? Well, that is what a slider should do.

After years of working with the many hundreds of professional sliders, we found that Slider Revolution is perhaps the ONLY choice for not only sliders, but also a massive amount of site content that can not be matched.

When it comes to sliders, 90% of the free versions just fall short, or will not have all the features you are looking for.  Slider Revolution, at only $19, is not only the best buy, but so feature packed that you will be amazed at what you can do. The newest version includes the famous White Board feature, which everyone loves, and visitors will watch and find impressive. There are companies out there that offer White Board Graphic services for $100s of dollars! This is included!

We have given this WordPress Plugin a 5 Star Review and continue to use it on many of our client sites. If you are looking for a great responsive slider that wont break the bank, this is the one we recommend.

If you need help installing it, or setting it up, remember that this is what we do! Give us a call today and let’s get started. Just let us know you want to have Slider Revolution on your site, and we will include it in your development plan for free!

WestgateWEBS and WestgateHosting

Some of the hundreds of great features in Slider Revolution:

Front Page Designer
Slider Revolution is not only for “Sliders”. You can now build a beautiful one-page web presence with absolutely no coding knowledge required. To get you started fast, we included a ton of pre-made examples that come with all assets included!

Create Beautiful One-Page Websites
Lots of Examples included
Works Great on any Device (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile)
No Coding Knowledge necessary!

Drag & Drop Visual Slider Building
Building sliders has never been easier! Even though Slider Revolution is sporting an impressive number of options, even beginners will manage to create beautiful presentations with our new, more intuitive workflow.

Text, Image, Video, Shortcode, HTML Content Layers
Complete Graphical User Interface
Custom Slide Content for different Devices
Full Control over Styles, Animations, Transitions

Fully Responsive Solution
We make sure that Slider Revolution looks great and is intuitive to use on every device, be it desktop computers, tablets or smartphones.

Works on Desktops, Notebooks, Tablets & Smartphones
Optimised for Android & Apple Devices
Custom Slide Content for different Devices
Fallback Options for Mobile Devices

True Multi-Media Content
We want Slider Revolution to integrate into your website as seamlessly as possible. Why not show any content with it? Visit

Regular Image Display with Bulk Upload
HTML5, YouTube & Vimeo Video Support
Popular Social Media Content Stream
WordPress Post & Custom Posts

Navigation Designer
You get tons of navigation styles for bullets, arrows, tabs & thumbnails with Revolution Slider. The kicker is that you can now easily modify or create your own sets of navigation elements!

Arrows, Bullet, Tab, Thumbnail Navigation
Lots of “Ready to Use” Styles included
Markup and Style Builder with Preview
Export your own Navigation Sets!

We take Security Seriously!
Our Slider Revolution WordPress Plugin was audited by professional researchers at morxploit.com to make sure that it’s no threat to the security of your WordPress website.

100% Secure WordPress Plugin
New Update Notifications via the Backend
Constantly Maintained ThemePunch Quality

Optimized Performance
Good looks aren’t everything, so we made sure that Slider Revolution also loads lightning fast!

Loaded core file size automatically scales with used features
Intelligent Lazy Loading options
SEO Optimization
Monitor and optimize all aspects of your sliders
Advanced Debugging Options

Plugin Version / CompatibilityPlugin Version / Compatibility

Version 5.3.0 StarPath release Date 20.10.2016
Wordpress 4.x Ready
jQuery 1.7.x – jQuery 1.10.x and jQuery 2.+ Compatible

Visit Theme Forest and Search for Slider Revolution ( and to see some of the fantastic add-ons) to get this amazing plugin for your WordPress site today! You will not be disappointed!