The Importance of Updating WordPress

WordPress is easily one of the most used content management systems. It’s easy installation and management makes it perfect for a beginner website, while the unlimited plug-ins make it usable for even the most experienced webmaster. Content management systems and plugins will occasionally roll out updates to improve security or functionality. Though the frequency of them may get tiring, they serve many useful purposes.

Security Updates

Because WordPress is so widely used, it makes sense that website attackers will continually search for exploits to gain access to websites using the CMS. Updated to plugins and the content management system will ensure that security and functionality are at peak performance. New security exploits are being discovered all the time, therefore it is important to follow through with every update.

Speed Increases

WordPress developers are constant retooling the content management system to fine tune it for speed increases. By adapting the coding of program, bugs are eradicated and plugins are able to work more efficiently. Updating WordPress regularly can ensure websites are achieving the best possible speed they can.

Unlock New Features

New features and plugins are being created for WordPress constantly. In order to use these cutting edge plugins, the newest version of WordPress will need to be installed in most cases to avoid compatibility issues. Not updating your CMS can make it harder to install helpful resources and plugins that can benefit visitors or make website redesigns a nightmare. Many WordPress users rely on a webmaster to perform content management system or plugin updates to keep their site running at its full potential. In order to ensure no issues are run into during an update this is most often the best solution. When WordPress updates are installed improperly websites can lose certain functionality, or worse completely crash.

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Critical WordPress Security Holes Patched by Update 4.6.1

WordPress recently encouraged webmasters to update their CMS packages to avoid the problems found with newly discovered vulnerability exploits. The company put out a security advisory with the latest version of the content management system warning webmasters of the potential threat.

WordPress, 4.6.1 contains an update to patch a cross-site scripting vulnerability and a path traversal security flaw, both grave security threats. An attacker can utilize these exploits to perform a wide variety of malice-based actions. Potential problems can include stealing session tokens and determining login credentials.

However, the most dangerous problem faced with these security threats is the ability of an attacker to remotely execute malicious code. These problems came from the discovery for attackers to take advantage of a scripting vulnerability related to image filenames on a WordPress site to utilize malicious JavaScript code.

This problem was discovered by SumOfPwn researcher Cengiz Han. The path transversal vulnerability, discovered by WordPress itself, was attributed to the upgrade package uploader. These problems are no longer an issue with WordPress version 4.6.1, but any versions that haven’t been updated are still vulnerable to this attack method. It is recommended that if you have no upgrade the content management system within your website that you do so immediately. The longer webmasters wait, the longer the website is at risk.

The newest version of WordPress also patched 15 different bugs that users were experiencing. These bugs included server setup problems for email, image thumbnail behaviors and infinite loop errors with plugin installations. For information on bugs that were specifically fixed see the release notes and list of changes. If you are worried about the vulnerability of your website, please contact your webmaster. If the updates or content management are installed incorrectly, the site may become unusable! The webmaster should be able to identify the WordPress version currently being used and update it as necessary.


The Value of Google Plus for Businesses

Google Plus, or Google+, is one of the best opportunities for small businesses to connect with potential customers. With several changes in functionality and significant user growth since its inception, Google+ has become pivotal in successful growth at local levels.

Since Google spearheads this platform, Google Plus can deliver unprecedented SEO impacts and increase website traffic with a little bit of effort on the business’ behalf. Anyone who has performed a search for local services through Google is probably already familiar with the listings that appear at the top of the search results.

These results utilize Google+ listings to give individuals various options in the immediate area. The top results will always have completed profiles, showing map listings, contact info, websites and social media links. This helps smaller businesses be easily discoverable! Google Plus can also have an incredible impact on organic rankings within Google search results.

When Google+ members follow a business, any recent posts that are relevant to their search will become visible in the top search results. This can be extremely beneficial with SEO based blog posts that link back to a primary website to fuel organic traffic. One of the best additions to a Google+ account is the availability for customers to leave reviews. If a company is customer service oriented, great reviews can make a business shine.

Recent studies have shown that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. For this reason, it’s important to strive to keep reviews positive. Reviews can’t be edited or deleted unless they are irrelevant or have content that is against Google policies, so reviews have the ability to make or break a business.

If you are struggling to get your business seen, Skynet Solutions can help you use cutting edge SEO practices to ensure the best possible Search Engine Ranking. You can fill out our contact form to get started today. You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn!


Utilizing Video in Small Business Marketing

Video is a powerful medium for showing complex information in an easily digestible format. With the implementation of a video marketing strategy, potential customers will be more apt to show interest in a small business or the products and services they offer.

In recent years, video has become a prominent source of information dissemination in the social media age, particularly with the millennial generation. Recent research from a variety of sources has found many different positives to having video within a diversified advertising and marketing plan.

The Forrester Research Group stated that “video is fifty-three times more likely than text pages to appear on the first page of a search engine”. Recent YouTube data has also shown that the platform reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds in America than any U.S. cable network with its free to use service.

Hiring a production company will always take the stress out of creating a video for a marketing campaign, however, it isn’t always necessary. YouTube recently announced a new free app called “YouTube Director” which allows small business owners to create, edit and add music to their own custom advertising videos.

This advancement makes it easy to spend the money that would have went towards video production on things like promoting the completed video through an AdWords campaign. When creating a video for an advertising or marketing campaign there are a few simple rules to maintain effectiveness.

Ensuring videos are short and to the point will make editing easier, while ensuring the video is easily taken in. With any advertising or marketing campaign, adding a call to action to encourage customers to use your products and services is essential. When the video is finished, checked for accuracy and edited to the businesses liking, it’s time to start promoting it.

The easiest, free ways to promote a new video will be through email, social media, personal websites and YouTube. Video can also be a perfect addition to online campaigns where visual elements shine!

If you are struggling with your social media content and outreach strategies, Skynet Solutions can help you succeed in this growing medium. You can fill out our contact form to get started today. You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn!