Some Great Free Software And Services For Web Entrepreneurs

The great thing about making money for you is that it’s so easy these days. Thankfully, the web has made it much easier for an entrepreneur to launch all kinds of online businesses whether that means running a website, selling a video game, making an e-book or providing some kind of service (or doing all of those things).

Some Great Free Software And Services For Web Entrepreneurs

There is so much in place for people to use and the great news is that some of it are even free. Here we will look at some free software and some free services you can use to start making money online and to get creative.

GiMP:

GiMP

Ever looked at some of the amazing things people create in Photoshop and wish you could afford I yourself and do the same? Well good on you for not just downloading it illegally… Still, though, there’s no need to fret and no reason you shouldn’t join in the creative process. Just download GiMP and what you have there is an almost-as-good piece of editing software completely for free.

Download GiMP

Musagi:

Musagi

For the budding games creators among you, there is one big challenge. Sure you can program the levels and you can make the images in the paint if necessary… but where will you source the music and sound effects? Well fear no more – Musagi is here which is a highly useful tool for creating your own chiptune soundtracks and sound effects that sound like they came straight from a classic SNES or Mega drive game. It’s a hobbyist project I believe so don’t expect a highly polished product and prepare to throw things at your computer occasionally – but still as a free tool, you can’t complain.

Download Musagi

Shapeways:

Shapeways

Shapeways is a genius service that allows budding inventors to create their own 3D projects by just uploading a CAD file and then sell those to paying customers. What’s so smart about this is that it’s ‘Print on Demand’ meaning that you don’t need to pay for a whole bunch of them up front and there’s no cost to you until you make a sale. In other words, you are guaranteed to make a profit (as long as you sell just one…).

Shapeways

LuLu:

LuLu

If you were impressed with Shapeways but aren’t quite adept at making your own CAD files, then you can use LuLu to do the same thing with book publishing. This way you can make your own novels and textbooks and you’ll only pay for the printing costs when they actually sell.

LuLu

Kickstarter:

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is an entrepreneur’s dream and can help you to find funding for almost any project you can think of – whether it’s putting on a concert or building a watch. All you need to do is to upload your idea and from here you can then get the interest of investors willing to put money into your project. Of course, you give a cut of the money you raise to Kickstarter, and you will need to offer the investors something in return for their capital – but it’s free to upload your projects and you millions have been raised as funding.

KickStarter

Gaining An Edge On The Competition Through Effective Marketing

Gaining An Edge On The Competition Through Effective Marketing

In business, you are always looking for the competitive edge over your competition. That basically becomes one of your primary goals and top priorities day in and day out.  Just as in any competitive sport, you are always searching for a way to gain the edge over your opponent so that you achieve the victory and force them to experience defeat because of your efforts.

The Core Element of Effective Marketing

Marketing has always been integral to the ability of a business to grow and maintain profitability.  Even though there are many other factors that play significant roles in the overall success of all businesses, effective marketing is located directly within the core of all of those other important elements.

The Core Element of Effective Marketing

Because of the current trend leaning towards online searches to find businesses for purchases and investments, more businesses have turned their attention to online marketing to get the results they are looking for.  When looking for the most effective marketing techniques, you can look towards mobile (SMS) marketing, direct mail marketing or an SEO marketing agency to get the results you are looking for.

Individually, each of these techniques can provide you with a limited range of benefits and positive growth.  However, once you have been able to master all of them and are able to effectively implement them within your own business plan, you will truly be able to see the power of effective marketing as your business will be able to grow and perform at its maximum level of potential on a consistent basis.

Mobile Marketing Techniques

Mobile Marketing Techniques

Do you remember a time before cell phones were invented?  For the people that can remember those days, they truly do seem to be distant memories that are fading away into the dark corners of our mind.   The revolutionary smartphone was able to drastically change the world of cell phones and has truly opened a whole new world to marketing gurus. The ability to use mass SMS messages to a long client call list allows you to instantly reach a market that tends to read messages within 5 minutes of the time they are received. This makes it the fastest and least expensive marketing techniques as long as you have a list of numbers.

Where Direct Mail Marketing Left Off, an SEO Marketing Agency Picks Up

Direct Mail Marketing

Appealing to your clientele on a personal level is exactly what direct mail marketing is all about. Many businesses still use physical as well as email marketing programs to get the results they are looking for.  However, direct mail marketing is no longer the most effective and most efficient approach to take when it comes to getting the job done right the first time around.

SEO Marketing

The SEO marketing agency has emerged as the new frontrunner for gaining the highest ROI of any other marketing strategy. This is because all traffic generated from the work of an SEO marketing agency is invested in what your business has to offer. All your website needs to do at this point is to convince the client that your business is a better fit than the competition.

When using any of these techniques for marketing and by trusting in the expertise of an SEO marketing agency, you will definitely be able to gain a competitive edge. When using these marketing agencies to give you the assistance that you need, you will get an even better edge.

Five Things To Look For In A Shopping Cart

Shopping Cart

Five Things To Look For In A Shopping Cart

I’m a reformed shopaholic, and I’d be embarrassed to have to account for all the money I’ve spent online in the past 15 years.   I think that makes me a bit of an expert on what makes a great shopping cart.  An online store is only as good as its shopping cart.  A website may be super attractive and slick, but it must also provide customers with a hassle-free, and safe experience.  I have, on many occasions, switched to a different shopping site because I was annoyed by a hard to navigate shopping cart.  I won’t go into online security because that should be a given.  Here are five things that make or break a shopping experience from the viewpoint of a consumer.

1.  Large Thumbnail Images

Large Thumbnail Images

When I get close to checking out, I like to see exactly what is in my cart.  A clear image of the product, with a description, price, and quantity should be visible.

2.  Editing Should Be Simple

Editing Should Be Simple

I want to be able to click on the thumbnail image and change the size, color or quantity easily.  There should be an Update button so that I can refresh the shopping cart after I’ve made any changes.  I don’t want to have to search for little circular arrow icons.  QuickLook cart editing is a great feature because it allows customers to make changes to items without really leaving the shopping cart.

3.  Availability And Backorders

Availability And Backorders

Please don’t let me continue with my purchase if the product is unavailable.  Just recently I ordered an adorable set of earphones for my toddler from ToysRUs.  In the shopping cart I could see an image of what I wanted but what arrived was completely different.  I called in and reported the problem.  The customer service rep told me that it is their policy to sub something else in when the product is out of stock.  I was irate, but they made their sale in the end because the headphones I ordered were not being restocked so I chose to keep the ones that arrived.  However, I won’t be shopping on their site any longer.

4. Shipping Calculator

Shipping Calculator

It is great when I can see the shipping charges before I have to start filling out all the billing fields.  Often there is an incentive to spend a little more to get free shipping, and it’s nice to see that before getting knee deep in the checkout process.  I like it when there is a “Continue Shopping” link on every page so that I can go back and make changes without losing everything I have entered into the billing and shipping fields.  It is a real joy when I return to those pages and the fields are still populated with my data.

5. Wishlist

Wishlist

In the past, I was much more of an impulsive shopper.  Now my budget simply doesn’t allow it.  My version of window shopping is to put things in my cart and then come back to it several times before I make a decision.  It’s nice when there is an option to save items in a wishlist for later.  For example, on Amazon, I always have several items “saved for later” and with one click I can add them back into my cart.  I do this because occasionally I am about to place an order and need to add just one more thing to get free shipping.  Rather than randomly go shopping for something, I can select an item I was already planning to buy.

When Domain Name Leasing Makes Sense

When Domain Name Leasing Makes Sense

One of the biggest challenges in setting up an online business is finding a decent .com domain at an affordable price. Even the good niche and keyword match domain with .net, .biz, and .info extensions are mostly spoken for. Businesses are left with 3 options: buy a less than desirable domain name, come up with the money to buy a good, expensive domain name or lease a good domain name. While there currently isn’t a third party platform to simplify the process of seeking out domain sellers interested in leasing, one is underway and should be available later this year. In the meantime, the option of leasing is something you might want to take the initiative to do with your domain or if you are buying, speak to a domain broker who can find domain sellers interested in leasing to you.

Why Would the Seller Lease?

Why Would the Seller Lease

If the seller is not currently doing anything with the domain and even if it is being monetized with CPC ads, the income potential for leasing the domain far outweighs other monetization models, short of building the domain out into a website. While the seller is waiting around for the 2 million dollar bid, he could be earning tens of thousands of dollars a year by leasing the domain.

Why Would the Buyer Lease?

The advantage to the lessee is the opportunity to utilize a valuable domain without coming up with a large payment up front, capitalize on the direct type-in traffic for its keywords, be in a better position to brand the domain and possibly work out an arrangement with the seller to apply lease payments towards the purchase.

Why Would the Buyer Lease

There is no loss to the seller either way: he earns money whether or not he sells the domain and can bide his time until a buyer comes along. Over several years, he might even earn more income than the sale price of the domain would have brought in. In fact, most domain sellers would do this year round if presented with the opportunity. It truly presents the domain owner with the potential to earn the most amount of money with the least amount of effort. Should the lessee invest the time building backlinks and branding the domain through various marketing efforts, those efforts will only serve to increase the value of the domain.

As much as the new gTLDs are being touted as low-cost opportunities for businesses, the biggest obstacle for any business to overcome at this time is the fact that the public is used to .com domains. Right now and in the near future, .com is assumed, type into the address bar and more valuable than any lesser extension. Any time a new extension is made available, there’s initial excitement and domain buyers grab them up, but many extensions have just fallen flat and predictions become nothing more than myths.

Until such time that the newer gTLDs become commonly recognized and memorable, the near future holds more potential for the growth of domain leasing, especially in a bad economy that inhibits buyers from being able to offer domain sellers top dollar for their premium domain names and sellers aren’t moving their domains in domain name auctions.

Unmanaged Hosting Versus Fully Managed Dedicated Hosting

Unmanaged Accounts

Unmanaged web hosting accounts typically provide hardware support only (mostly with shared hosting). The provider shall replace failed components, maintain the network, reboot servers and keep the lights on. There is no software support. The host may not even give the control panel provision. The owner has to set up a system from scratch. This makes the webmasters take care of the implementation of security patches, fix issues and maintain the server.

Unmanaged web hosting accounts

The main benefit of an unmanaged web host account is total control. The client is the sole administrator of the website. He/she can virtually do anything he wants. He/she may install different operating systems or different control panels. Unmanaged accounts are also cheaper since the host is not required to provide support. Thus, it saves on support personnel and the client on hosting fees.

Managed Dedicated Web Hosting Accounts

Managed Dedicated Web Hosting Accounts

Most of the web hosting accounts that can be bought are managed. That means the website owner or client does not have a root access to the server. Responsible for all the software maintenance is the web host provider. The host’s responsibility includes running the operating system, control panel, and other pre-installed applications. The managed web hosting offers service and support for almost everything. Most managed solutions have automated backup features and some server monitoring.  This could be an extra expense if you don’t know how to manage a server (depending on the hosting company).

Choosing Between the Two Accounts

To choose which account to purchase, between a managed account or the unmanaged, one has to consider the needs of the website. Plus, what the host providers offer. If one wants to pick a good provider and has great expectations, a managed account might be better. On the other hand, unmanaged accounts may also offer more support and service than most think. It is good to ask the features they offer and do some research first.

Choosing Between the Two Accounts

If there are in-house technical people, then an unmanaged hosting may suffice as the technical part shall be done by them. However, the technical personnel needs to be experts. Unmanaged web hosts do offer some technical service for the asking, and sometimes for some extra fees. That means the technical service is only paid when needed and used. Many unmanaged web host clients can vouch for good technical services they received from their web hosts during times when they needed them.

Webmasters’ Preference

Webmasters’ Preference

As time passes by, the need for more features from the web host services increases. Web hosts offering managed fully dedicated hosting accounts have to cope up with the increasing number of more-demanding customers. Clients just keep on needing more features. Host companies are also competing with each other to offer more features and even cheaper services. Some decided to offer unmanaged accounts to give their clients more control of their websites. For the webmasters, most of them prefer managed solutions. Managed solutions require less work and less technical expertise. In a managed solution, one does not need to be comfortable with the technicalities of running the website as the host takes care of that.

Summary

Summary

The difference between a managed account and an unmanaged one is total control and technical support. If one got a mission with critical needs but do not have in-house technical stuff, the managed account is a good choice. It can even be more cost-effective than hiring technical staff. If the needs are just basic, and there are some personnel to do the technical staff, then a cheaper unmanaged account can be a good choice.

Can You Run An Online Business While Keeping Your Full Time Job?

In a struggling economy like what we have today, it seems natural and sensible for anyone to try to have two jobs. It is a sad reality that even the seemingly stable jobs out there are not enough for someone to have the means to support a family and live a comfortable life. With the advent of the internet, numerous money-making opportunities have opened up for everyone where they can run an online business. As a matter of fact, even those who have yet to earn a college degree can find a way to earn money online.

Run An Online Business While Keeping Your Full Time Job

What’s really great about running a business online is that you get to have the chance to explore a lot of business opportunities without having to invest a lot of money, which you normally have to do in a brick-and-mortar type of business. For those who are just starting their online businesses, it is always recommended to keep their full-time jobs until they can really see the potential of succeeding in this new venture. While it may seem that juggling part-time and full-time jobs is impossible, there are a few things you can do to make this task possible and manageable.

Use Your Time Efficiently

If you are looking for a way to avoid getting burnt out while at the same time maximizing your time, you should start to develop a routine through which you should handle your online business. You should make up your mind as to whether you had better spend time working on your web-based business before you start with your full-time job or perhaps after you have completed your full-time work.

Use Your Time Efficiently

Typically, it is a better idea to schedule online hours before getting on your normal day at work. This is particularly suitable for those who are usually exhausted at the end of their work day. You can then use your weekends to catch up with all the details of your online business, and perhaps communicate with your professional SEO service. But of course, you have to be careful not to spend too much of your time on weekends so that your personal relationships will not be affected.

Don’t Take Your Fulltime Job for Granted

Don’t Take Your Fulltime Job for Granted

It is understandable that you are very excited about your new business, but this should not be a reason for you to neglect your full-time job. Keep in mind that your full-time job is what provides the biggest portion of your income, thus, it must remain your priority. You have to be careful about doing some stuff for your online business while you are at work. Employers don’t usually approve of this, and you wouldn’t want to do something that may jeopardize your full-time job.

Maximize Your Lunch Time

Maximize Your Lunch Time

If you are handling your online business alone, you have to see to it that you are available during the day. Of course, your customers won’t have any idea that this is just your part time job. And so, you had better make use of your lunch hour to answer emails, process orders and work on certain projects that need to be done immediately. Look for a coffee bar or a restaurant where you can use the internet. Although this time is certainly limited, this would be enough to help you stay on top of your online business.

Make the Most of the Technology

Make the Most of the Technology

To make things easier for you in running your online business, you should learn how to maximize what the internet has to offer. For instance, you may have the emails in your website forwarded to your phone, so you can easily check it on your lunch break or whenever you are free. You may even keep up with other internet marketers’ actions by setting up internet alerts. This way, you will be aware when there are positive or negative comments about your online business.

Get Someone to Help You

There is no doubt that running a business online is demanding. Time will surely come when you feel that you cannot keep up with all the work that needs to be done on your business. This could be good as it means your business is growing. However, this will all take too much of your time and energy. At first, you can try to get some help from your family or friends. But you want to have someone who will constantly be there to assist you, it would be wise if you hire an employee instead.

Get Someone to Help You

These days, with the fast and continuous booming of the internet marketing industry, there are more people offering special services online. It is also easy to find professional internet marketing companies today. The biggest benefit you can gain from hiring them is the expertise they have and you can use. Typically, such companies or individuals are well rounded and very familiar with internet marketing businesses. Thus, they would know what it takes to make a business like yours successful.

Basic Things to Do And Retain Your Rankings

It takes a lot of hard work to get a good search engine ranking. A lot of time, effort and patience go into making your website stand out among thousands, if not millions, of other websites trying for a similar ranking. However, retaining those rankings is just as hard. While you stay put thinking you’ve won the race and have made it to the top, many other business and website owners are still struggling to overtake that position.

Basic Things to Do And Retain Your Rankings

Google undoubtedly reigns supreme in search engines right now. Google ranks each page on a scale of PR0 to PR10, the higher the better. Search engine rankings are a constant struggle and the only way to get to the top and stay there is by not looking for shortcuts. Many people try to trick search engines in order to get better rankings. The downside to that is that with every new policy or filter upgrades, your website will risk getting caught or penalized.

Here are some basic ways to retain those rankings.

Keep Doing What You Were Doing

Keep Doing What You Were Doing

Clearly you were doing things the right way to get a good ranking. So while you may take a break, don’t end up believing that the struggle is over. If you hired a company to boost your SEO then make sure to keep them around. Keeping your website updated is one of the most important factors of a good and sustaining search engine ranking. What is relevant for search engines today may not be relevant tomorrow. So keep on updating new material or the latest news about your products and services.

Content

Content

Not enough emphasis can be given on content. It is the key to successful SEO and regular traffic. Keep updating informative and engaging content on your website. Another good way is to write keyword rich articles for other high ranking PR sites. This will divert traffic to your own website.

However be sure to not force keywords in, or use them in abundance as that can get your website penalized for spamming. Focus on one keyword for each page of your website, or even use the same keyword on a number of different pages, as it will get more pages in search engine results.  This strategy, however, will limit the number of keywords for your website.

Links

Links

Links are a tricky business. They can easily make or break a website. Bad neighborhood, as Google calls it, is a term used to define websites that try to increase their website’s ranking through “dirty tricks”. Having your website linked back to a bad neighborhood can, in turn, jeopardize your own ranking. So keep a constant check to make sure that your website is only backlinked to authentic and original websites.

Also, be sure that the pages that you have linked to have not been penalized. One good way to do that is by installing Google Toolbar. It shows page ranks through color codes, use a link only if it appears green or if necessary then silver on the toolbar.

In the end, just don’t over obsess, your objective should be to provide a website that is informative and useful as that is the only way to build trust and get loyal visitors and recommendations.

Budget tips for Start-up Company

Budget tips for Start-up Company

Startup companies require an accurate budget since this helps to focus business goals as well as create stability and accountability. An entrepreneur can opt to draw a weekly, monthly or annual budget. Startups should make at least one annual budget that projects sales revenue and expenses. Any startup company without a solid budget is highly likely to spend more than it is earning which is likely to result in insolvency. The following are some of the budget tips for Start-up Company:

Create a spreadsheet

Create a spreadsheet

Prior to starting up a company, it is important to create a spreadsheet so as to make an estimate to the total amount and percentage that should be allocated for raw materials and other costs. Factor other things such as taxes, rent, and insurance .It is also wise to contact suppliers that you intend to deal with in future before you proceed.

Consider outsourcing

Consider outsourcing

When you are starting out it is important to take extra care to decide which tasks you need to outsource. It is considered unwise to pay someone else for services that you can do on your own since this means incurring extra expenses that your business may not afford.

Check industry standards

Check industry standards

Entrepreneurs should understand that not all businesses are alike though there may be similarities. Wise entrepreneurs conduct some basic research so as to gather enough information about the industry. Perusing data from the local libraries, speaking with fellow business owners as well as checking out websites which have information related to your venture will be beneficial. The information gathered will go a long way in assisting you to figure out the percentage of the revenue that is likely to be expected from the startup.

Seek to cut costs

Seek to cut costs

This is one of the budget tips for a start-up company that smart entrepreneurs have at their fingertips. Sometimes things are going to be tight and revenues will be low which means that you have to source for funds from somewhere else in order to pay off certain expenses. It might be important to cut costs such as going slow on items that can be controlled to a particular extent. Alternatively, you can opt to delay making some purchases until the start of a new billing cycle. Taking advantage of favorable terms offered by suppliers and creditors can also be highly beneficial. Thoughtful maneuvering here and there is likely to offer the entrepreneur some much-needed breathing space as well as room for expansion.

Factor in some slack

Factor in some slack

It is important to note that although you have done estimates on the business and the projected rate of revenue growth as well as expenses, remember that not all factors remain constant. Certain expenses and costs can be controlled or fixed however these are simple estimates and they are not set in stone. Factoring in some slack ensures that you put some money away before considering taking on new employees or expanding the business.

Conduct periodic reviews of your venture

Conduct periodic reviews of your venture

Most companies draft an annual budget however startups owners should do that more often. Many business owners find that they have to plan for a few months since new ventures can be quite volatile and unexpected expenses are likely to throw off revenue projections. Breaking up your budget to fit in a specific month or two may work better as well as making monthly budgets easier to project. As you go you will be able to spot real changes and make appropriate budgetary revisions accordingly as you compare the monthly estimates with actual funds received and spent.

Be ready to shop around for new services or suppliers

shop around for new services or suppliers

This is another crucial budget tips for Start-up Company that can save you a lot of money. Shopping around for new suppliers as well as saving money on services being performed for your business is important in the long run. This can be carried out in various stages such as when making purchases, setting up a monthly or annual budget or during periodic estimate reviews.You can calculate your startup costs using a startup budget worksheet like this one that lists

Budgeting may be a tough process but it is essential for any business owner who intends to succeed in what they do. Budgets help in forecasting both present and future revenues as well as expenses. The goal of the above budget tips for a start-up company is to ensure that there are enough funds readily available to keep business growing, running smoothly and dealing with competition effectively. Budgeting also helps to establish a solid base for the company so as to guarantee success.

Boost Productivity With Google’s Easter Eggs!

If you think Google’s just a world dominating search engine then you’re pretty much spot on. The brains behind its working, however, also have a sense of humor and offer plenty of hidden tricks to surprise the uninitiated and shock regulars. You can use these Easter Eggs through.

Boost Productivity With Google’s Easter Eggs

Here is a list of the very best examples or “Easter Eggs”, as they’re known; use them wisely during your lunch break, or message links to friends providing a momentary jolt through the working day! To have a look at them simply type the phrases in the headlines below into Google search and enjoy the carnage.

Do a barrel roll

Do a barrel roll

This is the best way to introduce the tricks and flicks of Google! Type this phrase into the search bar and you’re in for a surprise. The phrase, if you’re wondering, comes from Nintendo’s 1997 video game Lylat Wars.

Google Pac-Man

Google Pac-Man

If you’d like a go at the classic arcade game during a lunch break then this is for you!

Zerg Rush

Zerg Rush

This is a game, of sorts, which is triggered when you type the above phrase into Google. You have to fend off an army of Google “o”s which rains down on your search results. They destroy everything in their path, but you can kill them by clicking with your cursor. Try and build up a big score!

Google Gravity

Google Gravity

Mr. Doob’s Google Gravity is a tool which sees gravity fail the Google user. All of your searches will come crashing down on one another, and you can even (via your mouse) launch bits of the searches across the screen! Great fun.

Let Me Google That For You

Let Me Google That For You

If you’ve ever been annoyed by someone on a computer asking you ridiculous questions, send them this handy link that will display how silly they’re being. It will display the simplicity of Google in action. Educational and humiliating all at once.

Epic Google – For When You Feel Excessive

Epic Google

Epic Google is an excellent prank involving the use of a normal Google search and transforming it into a huge search engine of shocking proportions. When you arrive on the page the search buttons and the logo slowly balloon in size and continue to get bigger as you type in your search query. At this point it’s time to panic; the Zombie Apocalypse awaits!

Weenie Google – When You’re Feeling Inadequate

Weenie Google

Epic Google has a little sibling called Weenie Google. Once the page fully loads you can see Weenie Google’s logo become gradually smaller while you’re trying to search the “I’m Feeling Inadequate” Google database.

A Romantic Gesture

A Romantic Gesture

If you have a crush and you are too scared to tell them then why not terrify them to their core with this Easter egg? One Google search can reveal a hidden surprise that is a great way to tell someone how you feel. When the person Googles the long phrase “sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5″ a romantic heart appears on the screen.

Interplanetary Reporting

Interplanetary Reporting

Clearly Google can self-referentially mock; the Interplanetary Reporting tool pokes fun at their search engines Analytics software. Access it to keeps tabs on human and extraterrestrial users who on a different planet.

Gmail Tap

Gmail Tap

Gmail Tap lets mobile phone users navigate the screen with only two buttons, a dot, and a dash, and replaces the normal keyboard option. You can use the series of dots and dashes to create a binary language only other geeks would know. Still, it would be fun to create personalised codes between friends; “..” could mean “lunch in 10 minutes”.

Chrome Multitask

Chrome Multitask

Multitask lets you browse the web with multiple cursors at the same time. The website theorises people can use both their hands to juggle activities online, and therefore Chrome Multitask can increase your productivity. Get to it!

8 bits Google Maps

8 bits Google Maps

If you’ve ever played Legend of Zelda, you would love this Google prank! It converts the Google Maps homage design to replicate the Nintendo 8 bit graphic version of the video game’s world.

Google Go Ro

Google Go Ro

Rotary phones get the swipe here. If you’re too young to remember them, then check out this trick, where Google contemplate how mobile phones are becoming obsolete. After all, technology is cyclical! So Google offers a guide for people finds a localised rotary professional.

Google Tilt or Askew

Go to this website and search for the words “askew” or “tilt” “tilt” on a Chrome or Safari browser and the web browser automatically shifts to an angle when you receive your search results.

And finally…

Google updates and changes Easter Eggs all the time, so some will become obsolete fairly quickly. For instance, during the London Olympics, you could play numerous sporting events on the search engine. Sadly they’re now gone but keep an eye out for future one-offs by the company. They’re regular occurrences and help break up the more monotonous moments in your day.

WordPress Security Myths

WordPress Security Myths

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there today. It’s installed on millions of blogs and runs some of the most visited websites out there. But what about WordPress security? Since all the code is open source, surely people can reverse engineer it and find ways in? Websites are hacked all the time for various purposes and WordPress sites are no different. There’s a lot of talk about WordPress security out there and I’d like to clear some of that up.

Myth #1

WordPress Security Myths 1

WordPress Isn’t Secure Yes and no. WordPress is one of the most extensively tested blogging platforms out there, simply because it is used by so many people. Some of the brightest minds are working on the system. Leaks do occur however which is why the system is updated all the time. The most recent version of WordPress is always the most secure. Surprisingly few hacks have occurred on the latest version – so if your install of WordPress is behind the times, update it now! Updating WordPress is the easiest way to make it more secure.

Myth #2

WordPress Security Myths 2

Plugins Are Always Safe Actually plugins are usually the way that hackers gain access to a website. If you use plugins on your site, make sure they are in active development (i.e that they’re not old and unsupported) and are offered by reputable companies or plugin authors. Use as few plugins as you need to for your blog and delete (not just disable) any that you aren’t using. The more plugins, the more potential leaks you have.

Myth #3

WordPress Security Myths 3

My Site’s Too Small To Matter I fell into this trap. And you know what? Regardless of your site’s size, it’s a huge pain to have to fix a hacked site. Hackers will hack any site they can. Most attacks are automatic so your content doesn’t usually matter.

Myth #4

WordPress Security Myths 4

Backups Aren’t Required Some people fall into the trap of believing that because they have the latest version etc, they don’t need to worry about their site anymore. Wrong. Make regular backups of your website, because if it is hacked, your content is likely to be scrambled or deleted.

Myth #5

WordPress Security Myths 5

Passwords Aren’t Important Again, this is a mistake I made. I used to care a lot about my Facebook and email passwords way more than my websites which were earning me money! So I used simple passwords which were common across all installations. Bad idea. Your password for your WordPress blog needs to be strong – very strong.

Myth #6

WordPress Security Myths 6

You Can Just Use A Security Plugin There are plenty of security plugins out there that you can install. While they can help in some situations, they can also give a false sense of security. They’re not going lobe much help if a hacker gets into the server where your site is hosted, for example.

Myth #7

WordPress Security Myths 7

The Site Isn’t Live, So It’s Not At Risk If it’s on the internet – it can be hacked. If your site is on a shared hosting setup (like most installations) then it can be hacked. Take precautions, especially if you use the site for testing.

Myth #8

WordPress Security Myths 8

You Have to Be a Systems Manager to Protect Your Site No, you don’t. Simple things like the following can help dramatically: Use the bare minimum of plugins you need. Change your password to a random string of 8 characters or more. Don’t use public Wi-Fi or internet cafes. Don’t use the ‘admin’ profile – make a new one and delete the admin one. Make new FTP passwords.

Myth #9

WordPress Security Myths 9

It’s Obvious When A Site Is Hacked No it isn’t. I’ve done this as well. Sometimes your website just doesn’t response right.., so you check the themes, plugins etc and come to the conclusion it’s been hacked. But a lot of the time you’ll have no idea that it’s compromised. You might like to check your site from time to time from other computers to see that everything’s still working okay.

Myth #10

WordPress Security Myths 10

Hackers WILL Gain Access Again, not true. If you’ve done everything above you will stand a good chance of beating the hackers. Your site might not be completely secure (that’s impossible) but most people won’t experience being hacked. Be prepared, but don’t obsess over it.