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WordPress 3.0.4 Released, Critical Security Update

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WordPress Logo ImageConsider this proof security doesn’t take a holiday.

Yesterday Automattic announced the release of WordPress 3.0.4, and it is considered both a critical and a mandatory upgrade.

According to the announcement, a security flaw was found in KSES, the system WordPress uses to sanitize the content of posts and other HTML submissions. It would enable an attacker to add code to the WordPress site, possibly enabling it to launch client-side code on those who visit it.

Given the severity of the problem, it’s been advised that all WordPress users update immediately. Those who host their blogs at WordPress.com are updated automatically.

If you are running 3.0.3 or earlier, it is crucial that you update your site today, the process takes only a few seconds and could help keep your site and your visitors much safer.

How to Upgrade

Upgrading your WordPress installation should be simple. If you have a recent version of WordPress, you will be notified via a bar at the top of your administration area.

From there, simply click the “Update Now” link and follow the direction. Your update should complete within a few moments.

If you need to upgrade manually, you can read these instructions on the WordPress.org site and perform it via FTP.

No matter which way you do the update, please make a backup of your database or ensure that you have a recent one at the ready. Though issues with WordPress upgrades are rare, they can happen so it is best to be ready.

All in all, the process should only take a few seconds per site but it is critical that you update all WordPress-based sites that you run. Even having one vulnerable site attacked can cause problems for the others on your server.

The Nature of the Vulnerability

Very little information has been released about the nature of the vulnerability and what it could mean. On that subject, the official announcement only says:

Version 3.0.4 of WordPress, available immediately through the update page in your dashboard or for download here, is a very important update to apply to your sites as soon as possible because it fixes a core security bug in our HTML sanitation library, called KSES. I would rate this release as “critical.”

The Codex entry adds the following:

“Fix XSS vulnerabilities in the KSES library: Don’t be case sensitive to attribute names. Handle padded entities when checking for bad protocols. Normalize entities before checking for bad protocols in esc_url().”

Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability, or XSS, are particularly nasty in that they allow others to inject code on your site and, in many cases, add content that can attack other visitors.

It is clear from other reports that the vulnerability fixed in 3.0.4 has already been used, has been seen en masse by some hosts and at least closely mirrors hacks that affected earlier versions of WordPress or may simply be a case of sites not updating WordPress since 2.8.4.

The key symptom of the hack that is circulating is trouble logging into the administration area. However, if your site has been compromised, recovery is difficult at best as the malicious code is included in almost every single page of your site. Simply re-installing WordPress will NOT help.

The best thing you can do, according to experts, is backup your database and start with a totally clean install (hopefully of WordPress 3.0.4).

If you haven’t been hit, this is, most clearly, not an update to miss. It’s a very nasty exploit and it may be spreading fairly quickly. As such, it makes sense to guard yourself now rather than later.

Bottom Line

Many, if not most, WordPress security updates don’t have a significant real-world impact. Most deal with very specific situations, often with users who already have limited access to your site, and don’t readily apply to the majority of bloggers. While updates are still advised, they are less than crucial.

However, this update is not one of those. It is a very real, very significant security exploit and one that may already be in use to compromise sites.

In short, if you haven’t installed this update, you need to do so as soon as possible. It may be the holidays, but this particularly nasty vulnerability could very easily wreck your new year.

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The Importance of Backing up Your WordPress Site (Tips for 2018)

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As WordPress is known as the most popular and convenient content management system for building online presences ranging from one-page online portfolio to high profile business websites around the globe, the significance of backing up a WordPress website cannot be underestimated due to a lot of logical reasons.

A professional WordPress developer always know how important it is to have a reliable backup of WordPress website but a beginner may come to know after learning the lesson hard way. Hence, if you are smart web developer you will definitely take on the habit of backing up your website from commencement.

Below are the most common reasons why backing up your WordPress site is so important that will entice you to back it up without wasting a single precious moment.

Bad things always take place

Being human, we all make mistakes and it is one of the obvious truths. Same things can also happen to your WordPress website in terms of clicking the wrong button, deleting a vital file from folder, and your site will be out of order.

Majority of people also believe that hosting provider can get the things done right on behalf of the site owner but it is also probable that they won’t have the latest copy of website content or files. That’s why, you should always sign up with a reliable agency for back up like 10web as they are providing steadfast WordPress backup services to thousands of satisfied clients.

Hackers are always ready to hack your sites

They can hack your WordPress website either to steal confidential data like credit card numbers or to ruin your online presence. So you should always be ready to deal with such situation by backing up your WordPress site on a regular basis.

As your website is live, chances are always there that it may become compromised but you will be able to get your all vital data back quickly in form of a most recent backup.

Blunders while updating

Website updating doesn’t always go well as planned and it is one of the reasons to back up your WordPress site often especially before installing updates.

Since a well developed and functional websites have a lot of components to perform various tasks, like plugins, themes, and most importantly back-end programming, a single corrupt update to any of these components can take the entire website offline, but having a regular backup can help you get things on right track easily.

Malware and Viruses

You can add hazardous malware and viruses to your WordPress site accidentally by installing nulled WordPress themes or plugins, which can cause an abnormal destruction for your website.
In such situation, having absolute backup files means that you will get things right as soon as possible even without seeking help from an expert developer.

Worriless blogging

It can be one of the major reasons why backing up your WordPress site is vital. By using reliable WordPress backup services; you will be able to perform various blogging tasks without any worry of getting something important deleted and not coming back.

Computers crash all the time

You are not safe if you are keeping backup files on your desktop computer because computers crash all the time and you may get all your backup files lost.

As the hard drives become unreadable, all your efforts of backing up your wordpress site could fade away in moments. Cloud WordPress backup is always recommended by experts in order to prevent troubles in days to come.

Blog content is totally safe

The content of a blog is a precious thing for every blogger even more than money and backing up it on regular basis is the only want to keep it in safe hands.

You will definitely not want to get your quality blog content into trash, or in hands of a hacker. That’s why, WordPress site backup is highly recommended to get all your blog contents back hurriedly right after an unwanted occurrence.

WordPress site backup enables you to take risks

A great thing about having reliable WordPress backup is that it enables you to take risks for your website or blog in a good and safe way. Risks you take with your website or blog (after backing your site up) may bring some amazing transformations to your online presence.

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3 Online Form Questions to Ask for Effective Feedback

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Reviews and feedback are the two factors of importance concerning the analysis of your website. You might count on statistics that show you where your visitors came from, what they view, and what they buy, but there’s nothing like sincere feedback from a real person – it’s more accurate than anything else.

One of the best ways to gather and collect this kind of feedback is using online forms. Design and placement of these forms might vary and it’s up to you to decide, but the key to quantitative success is asking the right questions.

All kinds of information that comes from a customer or visitor might come in handy for your business and website, but there are 5 questions that will help you get the best benefit out of online forms.

General Opinion About Overall Page Experience

This type of question might seem very simple and generic at first, but it is the first and main one you should consider. It is like the sum up of all website experiences in general: design, user experience, and all other factors depending on your business sphere. There are many ways you could ask this simple question, for example, “How do you like our website?”, “How would you rank your experience on our website?”, “Do you like our new website?”. And there can also be a few ways for your visitor to answer: try to make it as visual and simplified as possible.

Also, always consider the mobile version of your website and use the opportunities of a touch screen, swiping and tapping. Be creative – use smiley faces, thumbs up, stars, a slide bar or even design special icons that represent your brand.

Recommendations For Friend and Business Partners

You probably know how important is your reputation when it comes to the opinion of your customer or a customer-to-be. Marketing and sales strategy takes a big part of a successful business plan, but so does the opinion of your visitor. You’d be surprised what a big part of clients come through recommendations. Therefore a bad anti-recommendation can cost a fortune too. To avoid things like these from happening, the smart thing to do is to learn why a visitor would or wouldn’t recommend you to a “friend”. This is a perfect strategy that can help prevent bad user experience.

The best way to evaluate this rating is by using numbers – you might hear that this rating is also called NPS – Net Promoter Score. Focus on your actual customer rather than random visitors – this way you will be sure that you are receiving an objective feedback. To create online html forms like this one, you can find great free tools.

The Ease and Difficulty Of Reaching the Main Goal

Each visitor that comes to your website has a goal – either it’s just learning about what your company is offering, either it’s the final purchase of a product or service. Therefore it is crucial to measure the user experience for all these factors – did your customer reach the goal and did he encounter any obstacles in the process? This might also concern the part of payment – was it easy and non time-consuming for your customer?

Take note, that this is a very important part for the further development of your website – many elements on your website might seem fine to you, but be completely inconvenient and nonfunctional for your customer. An online form of this type should consist of at least two or three different questions: first, you need to ask if the person managed to reach the goal at all, second – what were the obstacles or elements that prevented your visitor to reach the goal? If you’d like and think it’s useful, you can add some additional questions regarding the reasons for the visit to your website or additional comments.

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Top 10 Best WordPress Magazine Themes For Free

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Until a few years ago when writing for a magazine you had to think of a number of things like an image to accompany the article, whether the page will be of a single color, two colors or a four colored one or many other design aspects. But with a digital magic wand and the power of blogging, the life of a writer has changed.

Right from an annual report to any fashion magazine, everything can be now published on the web easily. And these things are getting easier day by day. With plenty of features, you can now create your own magazine website and that too for free.

Go through any magazine style themes on WordPress and will give you a headstart with your online magazine.

Free WordPress Magazine Themes for awesome online magazines

iRibbon – Free Vintage Retro WordPress Theme

With this theme, you can have a fully responsive website which can be made available on all the devices. It has a vintage style design which provides a sort of nostalgia with the display of full-width background images.it is a translation ready theme which supports 18 different languages. It is a retro style theme with lots of customization and typography options available to make use of.

Islemag – Modern WordPress Theme For Magazines

This is an excellent theme for an online magazine. You can have ad banners of big and small sizes with which you can monetize your site. This is a responsive theme which suits to all devices including mobile, tablets, Ipads, etc. You can all add a carousel slider; this catchy slider which smoothly runs through your magazine gives a nice overview of your work. It is a colorful and interesting yet easy and free theme to go for.

Hueman – Popular Magazine WordPress Theme

It is a highly engaging theme that works well on mobile screen. With this theme, there are some free add on plugins with which one can customize their site. You can have featured story on the slider and lead the viewer towards popular posts. Header and footer ad options are available which can be used for monetizing the magazine. Besides all these features, this theme also provides two or three column layout options as well. This is a great choice for any innovative and enthusiastic writer, blogger or a publisher.

Blox – Versatile WordPress Theme Suitable For All Websites

This is one the best magazine style to pot for. It is a fully responsive theme so it can be used on all the devices. It has a unique feature of drag and drop, with which you can drag and drop the required elements on the layout. With this feature, one can keep the site customized and creative. The theme is translation ready for multilingual appeal. The theme also provides the customization of header, footer, and menu.

Color Mag – Magazine WordPress Theme

This theme is a perfect option for any newspaper or a magazine. It is a flexible theme in terms of availability of custom settings for background, color, header, and menus. With these customized options, you can display different sections of the magazine and featured images and can be shown with the remarkable or latest articles. Any visitor can enjoy this site, as it showcases variety with simplicity. With ad banners, companies can contact you for advertisements, and you can start earning as quickly as you can.

MH Magazine Lite – Professional WordPress Theme For Magazines

This is an amazing magazine theme as compared to all others. It can be used for both newspaper and magazine. With this responsive theme you can reach your audience in multiples. One can include any number of topics or subtopics and spread the dynamic news about all of them. Other features like availability and ease of customization, changes in column number or being translation ready are all present with this theme. So, it is a must have option for any and everybody in search of online magazine style theme.

Fine – Modern Free WordPress Blog Theme

This theme is useful for the writers, creative artists like bloggers for creating a beautiful online magazine. This theme is created with a strong, responsive model, and it looks good on any device. There are lots of options available for you to make changes like a full-width image, color, header footer controls, layout designs, etc. This theme comes with the feature of drag and drops elements, and slider option as well.

Poseidon – Free Magazine WordPress Theme

It is a clean and a neat theme. In this theme, all sections are arranged in a sophisticated manner. Any viewer can search for the required information or news very easily. Theme displays high-resolution image as a header, and there are few popular or important posts which are worth spending time for. Logo, color, layout, and menu can be customized as per requirement. Thus, it’s a responsive and simple to apply the theme for any online magazine.

SuperMag – The Ultimate Magazine Theme

This is a perfect magazine style which is suitable to display news of various nature. The theme can be customized for a logo, color, background, and menus. There is an option available for featured sections, blogs which attract the viewer attention. This theme has a strong coding support. This super mag is the super choice for a blogger, publisher or a writer to display their work. Also, It is a flexible theme available on all devices.

Rowling – A Magical Magazine Theme For WordPress

It is a simple and clean theme for the online magazine. This theme combines few good fonts for better effect. This is a flexible theme so that it can be made available on all devices. It is an elegant design that has a lot of white space and simple layout. One can customize the header, footer options, customize the logo and menus. This is also a translation ready theme with options of variable column numbers available.

In addition to the themes above, be sure to check out these other WordPress themes that have been featured on Blogging Tips.

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