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Here’s Your B2B Multichannel Full-Funnel Strategy In 5 Simple Steps

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This 5 step guide shows marketers how to unlock the benefits of an effective B2B full-funnel marketing with multichannel strategy & tactics.

As a business-to-business (B2B) marketer, you need a well-structured B2B multichannel funnel strategy.

This will help you attract new customers, generate leads, and land sales.

Without a full-funnel marketing approach, you can kiss your efficacy at brand awareness, lead generation, and sales revenue goodbye.

The B2B marketing funnel involves a multichannel funnel strategy in four stages.

The first three focus on acquiring a new customer, and the final retention stage focuses on customer loyalty.

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU): This is mostly focused on brand awareness and prospect generation.
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU): This consideration phase is primarily focused on lead generation.
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): This is where the deal is closed and moves on to the sales team.
  • Customer retention: This phase focuses on keeping existing customers happy, generating repeat business, and working with referrals.

What’s Unique About The B2B Funnel?

The sales funnel is not new information to you, nor is it unique to your marketing team.

Most digital marketing professionals use some version of full-funnel marketing as part of their sales and marketing efforts.

However, unlike most B2C companies, the B2B sales cycle is often much longer than your consumer-facing counterpart and typically requires a more refined approach.

B2B companies often have to nurture their prospects for many more months than B2C companies before they become paying customers.

They also have a different decision-making process for B2C consumers.

Unlike B2C customers, the B2B buyer is searching for a solution that solves an organizational problem, such as profit, productivity, and competitiveness.

After passing through several internal processes and sign-offs, a group usually makes the final purchase decision or approval process.

B2B buyers tend to use greater logic, fact-based reasoning, and in-depth research than B2C buyers before landing on a purchase decision.

For this reason, a well-devised marketing funnel that guides the buyer along the sales journey is of massive importance for B2B marketers who want to succeed.

So, what’s the problem?

Tunnel (Not Funnel) Vision

Growth marketers are under tremendous pressure to meet deadlines, sweat budgets, hit targets, and make isolated campaigns work.

Performance marketing, after all, demands performance.

The pressure for conversion ROI for each siloed campaign means marketers may lose sight of how their potential prospects move through the “invisible” B2B marketing funnel (awareness, consideration, and acquisition).

Blind Spots

Additionally, I often find there’s a lack of effort in understanding who the ideal customer is and keeping them uppermost in mind in all marketing activities.

Perhaps it is an oversight or assumption that everyone knows.

However, in the mad rush to sell and generate leads, not enough thought is given to creating content, messaging, and UX focused on the unique buying motivation and decision-making process of potential customers.

As a result, there are missed opportunities in the digital marketing strategy.

Firstly, there are gaps in creating awareness and consideration (top of the funnel) via focused and informative content marketing.

Also, you may be forgetting that marketing qualified leads could be targeted by remarketing.

Remarketing or retargeting audiences can create greater brand awareness and intent-based marketing efforts that support the sales funnel stages.

Busywork

Despite a marketing and sales team’s activity, expense, and well-meaning effort, there is often a total absence of a strategic, optimized B2B marketing funnel.

Rather, only expensive campaigns are in place to drive acquisition towards lead conversion.

Consequently, minimal to no data indicates how customers found the product or services on offer.

Neither are there insights into how the company can focus on replicating this desired outcome through the best-performing channels, and how to decrease budget and effort on channels that don’t.

The Challenges Of Modern B2B Marketers

It’s not because we don’t know about the marketing funnel.

In fact, most B2B marketers are aware that they should be active on as many digital channels as possible, as often as possible.

They also know that messaging needs to be wonderfully personalized based on each buyer’s unique persona and stage of the funnel.

Messaging should also be consistent across all channels without being too invasive. Plus, the pressure is on to do all this while still remaining competitive, brilliant, and within budget.

So how do you do this? It is not possible unless you have a game plan.

Here’s How To Succeed With A Full-funnel B2B Marketing Strategy

If you do the marketing in a B2B business, you need a fully-integrated marketing funnel.

If you hope to attract new leads, nurture these over the lengthy sales cycle, and ultimately convert them into paying customers.

B2B marketers can “unleash” the full potential of demand generation initiatives by implementing a solid B2B marketing and multi-channel funnel strategy.

This is because full-funnel marketing aims to give prospects a seamless experience at each stage of the customer journey.

This makes it easier to guide them toward the desired positive outcome at every stage of the funnel, and eventually convert them into paying customers.

Where do you start?

1. Focus On Identifying And Championing Your Ideal Customer

When I ask a company who their target market is, they say “everyone” or “all businesses in America.”

To which I say, “not possible,” unless you have an infinite budget and unlimited resources. No, you need to be specific.

What Unique Problem Do You Solve?

You might provide several products and services, but knowing what you are best at – and why your customers choose you – will help signify your position in the marketplace.

Look In Your CRM System

Identify the customer that brings in the most value, has the least amount of support queries, and is the most loyal. Now, find a few more like that and try to identify any similarities they share.

  • Are they in the same industry?
  • How many employees do they have?
  • Where are they geographically located?
  • Through which channel did they become prospects and customers, etc.?

Identify what makes them an ideal customer and you will know how to attract more like them.

Outline Their Pain Points And Champion How Your Product Can Solve Their Challenges

If you can highlight how your solutions can help them do what they do better, you will have the apex of your messaging.

2. X Marks The Spot

Answer this: What do you want your ideal customer to do at the end of their journey?

Alright, now work your way backward from that action.

From start to finish, there is a clearly mapped out journey.

There are also clearly defined “if-then” scenarios and catch nets at drop-off points.

This will ensure you get the most return on B2B marketing. It is very seldom that a cold lead turns into a hot sale right away.

  • While you map out your B2B marketing funnel from awareness to consideration to conversion – consider all touchpoints, channels, email nurturing, and conversion criteria.
  • Consider the brand values and what the experience should feel like for your customer. Most marketers sell a product or service. The best marketers guide their customers through bespoke experiences.
  • Use digital measurement tools such as Google Analytics to know which channel is your best current acquisition channel.
  • Review your social analytics to know which channel is your ideal prospects’ preferred watering hole.
  • Analyze this data and your CRM insights to understand better how your customer prefers to engage with you online.

3. Compare Like For Like

Do competitor analysis on those brands that share your ideal customer niche. Find out what they are doing well, what opportunities and gaps exist, and how you can compete.

Use the Facebook Ads library to see what they are doing.

Use Google search to see what ads they are using, what keywords they are targeting, and what their landing pages look like.

While this is only a glimpse into their own unique customer journey – as we have no clarity into what happens after lead generation – this will help you generate ideas and stay relevant. Inspiration is often the fruit of imitation!

4. Create B2B Sales Funnel Catch-net Content

Now that you know your target customer, what your competitors are doing, and have mapped out a unique B2B marketing journey, it’s time to create content focusing on multi-channel tactics that encourage the desired action in each stage.

Awareness

Content that brings you onto the radar of your B2B prospect needs to be available on multiple digital channels.

For example, an SEO-optimized blog on your website that answers a common challenge in their industry.

Gated whitepapers, research pieces, or long-form articles.

Paid search targeting awareness TOFU keywords, and custom-intent Google Display that follows them around online for a few weeks.

Facebook and Instagram ads drive traffic to the website, and organic social posts drive engagement on these channels.

Anything that introduces your brand or solutions to the audience and just lets them know you exist.

Consideration

Create consideration content for those who want to know more about your service or product and what it can do to help them solve their challenges.

These are more educational and feature-oriented pieces, such as case studies and product information.

Use pricing and USP keywords in your Google search campaigns and remarketing for Google Display.

Create short-funnel lead gen ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Post consideration pieces, prices, and feature-rich posts for organic sharing.

Send personalized drip campaigns over the next few weeks that validate why they can trust you as the guide to solve their problem and help them reach their objective.

Acquisition

Finally, create relevant acquisition content for those further down the marketing funnel.

This would include targeting keywords with commercial intent on Google Ads.

You could deploy remarketing campaigns to your consideration audiences on Google Display and social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

This could also include sending promotional emails to your database.

Remember to use your channels to build long-lasting relationships that could potentially foster further opportunities.

5. Measure What Matters

Great! You’ve come this far. Now let’s consider how you can keep improving.

The best way to do this is to put measures in place that allow you to measure.

By measuring each phase of the funnel, you will see what works and what doesn’t.

This is not a time for “gut feeling” and instinct in your marketing team and sales team.

Rather, the inbuilt analytics in digital marketing channels and campaigns should enable you to try out simple experiments in your B2B marketing channel mix.

This way, you will learn why your audience engages with certain types of content or campaigns along the marketing funnel, why potential customers convert or abandon the journey, and in which marketing campaign it happened.

Iterate, be brave, be bold, and be agile.

Conclusion

The landscape of B2B marketing has changed.

This is because the B2B buyer is evolving.

Research-based, info-laden, and regulation-driven, the only way to reach this tech-savvy target audience is through deploying full-funnel B2B marketing strategies and tactics.

Kick off your game plan with a keen understanding of your target audience.

Delve into your existing customers and replicate their characteristics.

Then carefully map out each stage of the marketing funnel, which channels to use, and what content to create to gain the desired outcome.

Finally, start setting the pace and refining your strategy through diligent measurements and analytics.

Here’s to great success with your B2B marketing funnel and outstanding B2B multi-channel funnel strategies that work!

If you are interested in original article by Alex Macura, you can find it here

6 Website Design Mistakes That Hurt Your Business and Brand

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In today’s highly competitive environment, it is unrealistic to conduct business without considering the prospects of using the Internet as a sales channel. A website, pages on social networks, and various types of online advertising have become integral parts of marketing campaigns. An online platform can serve as a basis for building a reputation, a full-fledged business card of a company (all information is collected in one place), a resource for attracting customers, a permanent advertising channel, a place for direct interaction with a consumer audience, and more. But for your site to work successfully and benefit you, you need to avoid some mistakes when creating it.

Inappropriate Design

Even before clicking on a link leading to your site, users already have some ideas of its design based on the business area. Therefore, it is very important that the overall appearance of the platform meets the expectations of potential customers and matches their vision of the services your business offers. For example, if a company organizes children’s parties, the palette color, as small customers can say, on the site should be bright and colorful rather than austere and monochrome. So, a nice way to achieve harmony in your design would be to look into сolor names and hex codes which are structurally delivered by some designing apps like VistaCreate. A designer needs to develop analytical, critical thinking that will help create a product beneficial for the customer.

Keep in mind navigation. While a horizontal navigation bar is best placed at the top, a vertical menu is expected to sit on the left. Since most attention is drawn to elements located at the beginning and the end, place all important information at the top of a page, and let your contact details be the last item.

Forgotten Branding

Website branding is a powerful tool to help you promote your business on the Internet. It is aimed at creating a brand identity in the online market and forming brand awareness among users. As there is fierce competition between businesses on the Web, a company should strive to emphasize its uniqueness and stand out among other representatives of the industry. You need to carefully think through a combination of various corporate identity elements to build a brand design. Adding details like a logo, slogan, and corporate colors helps users remember your company and find you faster.

Poor Quality of Information

This paragraph applies to all information provided on a site. Firstly and most importantly, a site owner must immediately change inactive contact details, hours of operation, and other information related to the business’ activity so that customers can easily get in touch with the company. You also need to constantly add fresh and informative content to your site to maintain the credibility of your web resource and increase its ranking in search results. The publications can include blog posts, breaking news, corporate events, product launches, etc. The content should not contain spelling or grammatical mistakes, and it should be useful and valuable to users. It is best to update the content on your site at least once a month.

Bad Visual Materials

The visual component of a web resource adds charm, attracts the attention of users, and works as an additional advertisement for products. All visual materials you upload to your site must be consistent with its content and checked for quality. It is recommended to stick to one style throughout the visuals. Of course, you can use a few bright and even unusual accents, but they should fit into the overall design and not confuse users. For instance, a product article might include images and videos in different sizes since it is necessary to show several properties of one product.

Source

No SEO

Your site may look perfect, and the content may be interesting and relevant, but it can be difficult for the customer to find it on the Web without SEO. Actually, you need to start working on search engine optimization even before publishing some content. Keep in mind that promotion goes far beyond keywords, although they are essential, especially those with a long tail.

Lack of Mobile Optimization

Every day, more and more people prefer looking for products and services via portable devices. If your platform is not optimized for smartphones and tablets, you are depriving yourself of half of the potential customers (or maybe more, depending on your business). In addition, a mobile-unfriendly website hurts SEO. The best option is a responsive design, which allows automatically adjusting your site to display on any screen size. Thus, the user will be able to learn more about your products and services and become your client in a couple of seconds.

Final Thoughts

Never underestimate the power of the Internet. Finding specialists in a particular industry can be quite problematic, and therefore, thanks to the World Wide Web, you can establish yourself as a real professional who will be of interest to people from different countries. After analyzing your target audience, you should take into account the possibility of cooperation with foreigners, so it would be nice to provide your site in other languages.

If you are interested of original article you can find it here

The 5 Best Resources for Web Design Inspiration

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If you’re a web designer or just appreciate website designs, here are the five best resources you can use to find inspiration.

There are more websites available on the internet than any one person could ever search through. But if you’re a web designer by trade or just someone who enjoys it as a hobby, then you no doubt want to see the best of the best.

Fortunately, there are better ways than just browsing the internet and hoping that you stumble across something fantastic. Here are some of the best websites to inspire your web design journey.

1. Web Design Inspiration

First up on this list comes Web Design Inspiration, a website which does pretty much exactly what you might expect from its title. It’s a website full of inspiration for web design.

Web Design Inspiration’s landing page features a huge list of different web design ideas for you to use as inspiration. Each image links you to a different website that has been hand-chosen for being outstanding in one respect or another. These are the types of websites that impress your clients.

If you click on the title of the link, you’ll find yourself on a page with extra information about the website, instead. This will give you information about the predominant colors that the website features, the styles, types, industries, CMS, programming languages used, and more.

This is super handy because Web Design Inspiration also lets you filter by a wide range of different categories. You can use most of the tags above to filter, so if you’re looking for inspiration for an interesting way to make use of a green color scheme, Web Design Inspiration is a great way to do that.

If you use WordPress, you can also find an entire section dedicated to WordPress themes and sites that help you work on WordPress as well. You can search through any of these the same way you can any of the main page inspiration.

Next up on this list is Best Website Gallery. Best Website Gallery is a great resource to discover new and impressive websites on a regular basis.

Best Website Gallery is, at its heart, a visual bookmark collection for the creator. Luckily for you, it’s made entirely public and is incredibly accessible.

Sites that are impressive to Best Website Gallery’s creator are picked and added as he discovers them, and users can then vote on the design of the site on a one to ten scale.

You can view more details about each site in-depth, and each link even includes an impressive number of different screenshots if the website ever goes down or changes for whatever reason.

The filtering system here is really impressive as well. It looks gorgeous, for one, but is also incredibly intuitive and easy to use. You can filter by website color, CMS, style, or framework here. Mix and matching is also possible if you’re looking for something really specific.

3. CSS-Tricks

Now, if you thought that long lists of websites were the only way to get inspiration, then you’re sorely mistaken. CSS-Tricks is a blog dedicated to different web design elements, namely CSS, a staple of just about all responsive web design.

All you need to do with CSS-Tricks is scroll down to look through the various articles. There’s a section dedicated to articles that are popular this month if you’re looking for something in particular, but that’s not the only way to browse.

You can look for videos that CSS-Tricks posts to their website and to YouTube, or sort by the various guides that are available. You can even search up the CSS-Tricks almanac, which should help to explain just about any CSS property that you could imagine.

What’s great here is the variety. You might see one article talking about a certain effect that you had never thought about before, and once you see what’s written, realize is much easier to achieve than you had ever thought.

4. Webdesigner Depot

Next up on this list, we have Webdesigner Depot. If you’re looking for more general design tips or don’t personally touch much CSS yourself, then this blog is probably the better resource for you.

Webdesigner Depot is a blog dedicated to all aspects of web designing such as workflow, UI concepts, news, and more. If it relates to just about web development tool used by professionals, it’ll be here.

Important posts appear near the top of the website, and below that, you’ll find the section dedicated to popular posts.

There’s an impressive amount of variety here in the types of articles that you’ll find. Quizzes and polls can serve to keep you entertained, while informative posts about UI and UX are abundant.

If you adore the website, you can even subscribe to a newsletter to make sure that you’re updated whenever new articles go out, and you can even get access to various freebies. If you’re looking for new fonts, icons, and more, then this is a great resource to have.

5. Reddit

Finally, we have Reddit. Not the entire site, but rather two Subreddits that are incredibly useful. Firstly, there’s r/web_design.

r/web_design is a great subreddit for anyone who is interested in web design. It features interesting concepts, new ideas, and plenty of other users showcasing their cool designs.

Secondly, we have r/webdev, which as you might have guessed has a larger focus on the development side of webpage creation. Despite this, r/webdev has a lot of useful resources regardless of how much development you actually do.

The great thing about these Subreddits isn’t just that you’ll find things that you would never see anywhere else on the internet, but also that you yourself can participate.

If you ever have any questions about a project or concept that you’re struggling to execute, you can go to the Subreddit for feedback or help. This is an invaluable resource for any of you who work freelance.

Take Your Web Design to the Next Level

As you can see, web design inspiration is only ever a couple of clicks away. Hopefully, with this article, you’ve found something that really speaks to you and some new ideas for your next website.

If you’re just a hobbyist or hoping to evolve your skills even further, there’s no need to stop with just inspiration, however. You can always learn more in the world of web design or development, and knowledge can be your most powerful weapon.

If you are interested in original article by Jack Ryan you can find it here

WHAT-IS-WEB-DESIGN

Web Design Inspiration for Any Business

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Making your website stand out is crucial in today’s highly competitive and saturated market. You need to ensure that your site not only looks good but also loads quickly and works smoothly on all devices.

It’s essential to keep an eye on current trends in web design. This way, you can efficiently market your business and make it appealing to your customers at every touchpoint.

There are plenty of inspirational sources on the internet to help fuel your creativity. The following list highlights some of the best sources of Web Design Inspiration on the internet today.

Great UI/UX Design

UI and UX design elements can inspire designers to design more attractive and practical user interfaces, which then create great websites that showcase both design and user interaction.

A website with a great layout may feel out-dated when using poor-quality stock images or simple interactions. Therefore, look beyond what you see on screen and think about how it affects users in real life.

If you’re new to UI/UX or need help improving your site’s layout, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Apple, Dropbox, and Twitter are some stellar websites you can visit for motivation.

Sites with Beautiful Layouts

Have you ever found yourself drooling over a website layout? Is there a particular site that attracts your attention with its clean and visually appealing layout? Browse design galleries to find layouts you like.

You may be inspired by color schemes, fonts, user interface designs, and animations. Responsive design has become a vital asset to the field of web design, since more of the population have been using their mobile phones to view websites rather than just viewing via their computers. If you’re still having trouble coming up with ideas for inspiration, consider checking out Editor X, an online web design tool for creating responsive sites without the need of technical skills.

Colorful Website Designs

Color is, hands down, one of our most powerful tools for web design. It’s also one of the most powerful tools for persuasion and communication.

People react more strongly and favorably to color than any other medium. It can inspire action, evoke emotion, and relay meaning in a way no other visual tool can. When designing your website, use vibrant website designs for inspiration.

Minimalist Website Designs

Whether you have a small or big business, sometimes simplicity is key. You don’t want your customers to spend hours learning to use your website. It should be intuitive and user-friendly, with as few moving parts as possible.

This concept is the central force of minimalist design. This design emphasizes high usability and ease of navigation by keeping your buttons and menus simple. They revolve around the idea that functionality takes precedence over visual appeal.

These sites will undoubtedly inspire you to keep things simple with clean lines, muted colors, subtle textures, and no irrelevant content or advertisements.

Amazing Photography Websites

From crisp, bright photographs to serene, moody landscapes and everything in between, a beautiful website is sure to impress. If you’re having trouble getting your point across with words alone, why not break out some gorgeous images?

A good sketch is better than a long speech. Check out websites with great photography and borrow a leaf when creating your own.

Stunning Parallax Sites

If you’re building a website and want to push things over the top, you can try parallax scrolling, an animation effect that simulates 3D depth. The movement of your website will look incredibly stunning if you use white text against a dark background.

Be sure to consider how much content can be displayed and how quickly it loads when considering which type of site to build. Also, look for adequate information on what it takes to create a parallax site.

E-Commerce Sites

If you’re building an e-commerce site, try to stick with a clean, straightforward interface. This can help your visitors find what they need quickly and easily.

When looking for inspiration, you should notice sites that include a pretty simple homepage that features unique products from sellers worldwide. Another strong draw is the simplicity of a site’s layout. Visitors can find what they’re looking for without being distracted by other options.

One Page Sites

One-page websites are beautiful, less sophisticated sites that are also a big trend. If you have a business that doesn’t require too much information from users or has fewer products or services to offer, you can try them.

An excellent example of such a platform is Coca-Cola’s website. It presents an instantly recognizable brand even by people who don’t drink soda regularly.

The Takeaway

A well-designed website is essential to attracting potential customers. Whether you have a small business or are thinking of a new startup, hundreds of sites showcase stunning web design examples. Use them as inspiration in your next web design project. And you’ll be surprised how you will wow your target audience in a short time.

If you are interested in original article by Stuart Gentle you can find it here

Top 15 Ways To Secure A WordPress Site

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Is your WordPress website secure?

Are your customers’ and visitors’ passwords, credit cards, and personal data safe from the increased amount of cyber security attacks?

Hackers are trying their hardest, and it’s up to you to secure your website even harder.

In this article, you will learn why security matters and what you can do to protect your WordPress website.

Why WordPress Security Matters

In the first half of 2021, there were more than 86 billion password attack attempts blocked, and it is estimated that there are an average of 30,000 new websites hacked every day.

Hackers and various types of malware are relentless in their attempts to gain access to websites and their sensitive data.

The result?

We are currently seeing an unprecedented amount of cyber security attacks.

This issue affects businesses of all sizes, including yours.

In fact, 43% of online attacks now are aimed at small businesses, and only 14% of those businesses are prepared to defend themselves.

Many hackers target large companies for a bigger payoff.

However, small and medium businesses provide an easier target for hackers, due to their lack of resources and security expertise.

Attacks are always unexpected. It’s hard to quickly recover from one if you are not actively staying on top of your WordPress security.

Thankfully, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your WordPress website.

Start With These Easy Security Basics

When setting up your WordPress site security, there are some basic things you can do to beef up your protection.

Here are some of the first things you should implement to help protect your website.

1. Implement SSL Certificates

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are an industry standard used by millions of websites to protect their online transactions with their customers.

Obtaining one should be one of the first steps you take to secure your website.

You can buy an SSL certificate, but most hosting providers offer them for free.

Next, use a plugin to force HTTPS redirection, which activates the encrypted connection.

This standard technology establishes an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client).

By adding this encrypted connection, you can ensure that all data passed between the two remains private and intrinsic.

2. Require & Use Strong Passwords

Along with obtaining an SSL certificate, one of the very first things you can do to protect your site is to use and require strong passwords for all your logins.

It might be tempting to use or reuse a familiar or easy-to-remember password, but doing so puts you, your users, and your website at risk.

Improving your password strength and security decreases your chances of being hacked.

The stronger your password, the less likely you are to be a victim of a cyberattack.

When creating a password, there are some general password best practices you should follow.

If you aren’t sure that you’re using a strong enough password, check the strength by using a free tool like this helpful Password Strength Checker.

3. Install A Security Plugin

WordPress plugins are a great way to quickly add useful features to your website, and there are several great security plugins available.

Installing a security plugin can add some extra layers of protection to your website without requiring much effort.

To get you started, check out this list of recommended WordPress security plugins.

  • Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall
  • iThemes Security
  • Jetpack – WP Security, Backup, Speed, & Growth

4. Keep WordPress Core Files Updated

Keeping your WordPress up to date at all times is critical to maintaining the security and stability of your site.

Every time a WordPress security vulnerability is reported, the core team starts working to release an update that fixes the issue.

If you aren’t updating your WordPress website, then you are likely using a version of WordPress that has known vulnerabilities.

As of 2021, there are an estimated 1.3 billion total websites on the web with more than 455 million of those sites using WordPress.

Because it is so popular, WordPress is a prime target for hackers, malicious code distributors, and data thieves.

Don’t leave yourself open to attack by using an old version of WordPress. Turn on auto-updates and forget about it.

If you would like an even easier way to handle updates, consider a Managed WordPress Hosting solution that has auto-updates built in.

5. Pay Attention To Themes & Plugins

Keeping WordPress updated ensures your core files are in check, but there are other areas where WordPress is vulnerable that core updates might not protect – such as your themes and plugins.

For starters, only install plugins and themes from trusted developers.

If a plugin or theme wasn’t developed by a credible source, you are probably safer not using it.

On top of that, make sure you update your WordPress plugins and themes.

Just like an outdated version of WordPress, using outdated plugins and themes makes your website more vulnerable to attack.

6. Run Frequent Backups

One way to protect your WordPress website is to always have a current backup of your site and important files.

The last thing you want is for something to happen to your site and you do not have a backup.

Backup your site, and do so often.

That way if something does happen to your website, you can quickly restore a previous version of it and get back up and running faster.

Intermediate Security Measures To Add More Protection

If you’ve completed all the basics but you still want to do more to protect your website, there are some more advanced steps you can take to bolster your security.

7. Never Use The “Admin” Username

Because “admin” is such a common username, it is easily guessed and makes it much easier for scammers to trick people into giving away their login credentials.

Never use the “admin” username.

Doing so makes you susceptible to brute force attacks and social engineering scams.

Much like having a strong password, using a unique username for your logins is a good idea because it makes it much harder for hackers to crack your login info.

If you are currently using the “admin” username, change your WordPress admin username.

8. Hide Your WP-Admin Login Page

By default, a majority of WordPress login pages can be accessed by adding “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php” to the end of a URL.

This makes it easy for hackers to start trying to break into your website.

Once a hacker or scammer has identified your login page, they can then attempt to guess your username and password in order to access your Admin Dashboard.

Hiding your WordPress login page is a good way to make you a less easy target.

Protect your login credentials by hiding the WordPress admin login page with a plugin like WPS Hide Login.

9. Disable XML-RPC

WordPress uses an implementation of the XML-RPC protocol to extend functionality to software clients.

This Remote Procedure Calling protocol allows commands to be run, with data returned formatted in XML.

Most users don’t need WordPress XML-RPC functionality, and it’s one of the most common vulnerabilities that opens users up for exploits.

That’s why it’s a good idea to disable it.

Thanks to the Wordfence Security plugin, it is really easy to do just that.

10. Harden wp-config.php File

Your WordPress wp-config.php file contains very sensitive information about your WordPress installation, including your WordPress security keys and the WordPress database connection details, which is exactly why you don’t want it to be easy to access.

You can “harden” your website by protecting your wp-config.php file via your .htaccess file.

This basically means you are giving your site some extra armor against hackers.

11. Run A Security Scanning Tool

Sometimes your WordPress website might have a vulnerability that you had no idea existed.

It’s wise to use tools that can find vulnerabilities and fix them for you.

The WPScan plugin scans for known vulnerabilities in WordPress core files, plugins, and themes.

The plugin also notifies you by email when new security vulnerabilities are found.

Strengthen Your Server-Side Security

By now, you have taken all the above measures to protect your website.

However, you may still want to know if there is more you can do to make it as secure as possible.

The remaining actions you can take to beef up your security will need to be done on the server-side of your website.

12. Look For A Hosting Company That Does This

When looking for a hosting company, you want to find one that is fast, reliable, secure, and will support you with great customer service.

That means they should have good, powerful resources, maintain an uptime of at least 99.5%, and use server-level security tactics.

If a host can’t check those basic boxes, they are not worth your time or money.

One of the best things you can do to protect your site from the very get-go is to choose the right hosting company to host your WordPress website.

13. Use The Latest PHP Version

Like old versions of WordPress, outdated versions of PHP are no longer safe to use.

If you aren’t on the latest version of PHP, upgrade your PHP version to protect yourself from attack.

14. Host On A Fully-Isolated Server

Private cloud servers have a lot of advantages.

One of those advantages is that it ups your security.

All cloud environments require a strong combination of antivirus and firewall protection, but a private cloud runs on specific physical machines, making its physical security easier to ensure.

On top of security, a fully-isolated server has other perks such as very high uptime and easy integration of managed hosting.

Looking for the perfect cloud environment for your WordPress website?

Look no further.

With InMotion Hosting’s Managed WordPress Hosting you get server-to-server migrations, safer upgrading, on-the-fly security patching, and industry-leading speed all rolled into one.

15. Use A Web Application Firewall

One of the final things you can do to add extra security measures to your WordPress website is to use a web application firewall (WAF).

WAF is usually a cloud-based security system that offers another layer of protection around your site.

Think of it as a gateway for your site.

It blocks all hacking attempts and filters out other malicious types of traffic, like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks or spammers.

WAFs usually require monthly subscription fees, but adding one is worth the cost if you place a premium on your WordPress website security.

Make Sure Your Website & Business Is Safe & Secure

If your website is not secure, you could be leaving yourself open to a world of hurt.

Thankfully, securing a WordPress site doesn’t require too much technical knowledge as long as you have the right tools and hosting plan to fit your needs.

Instead of waiting to respond to threats once they happen, you should proactively secure your website to prevent security issues.

That way, if someone does target your website, you are prepared to mitigate the risk and go about your business as usual instead of scrambling to locate a recent backup.

Get WordPress Hosting that is secure and fully isolated with free SSL, dedicated IP address, free backups, automatic WordPress updates, DDoS protection, and WAF included.

If you are interested in original article you can find it here

wordpress-arturo

WordPress 6.0 ‘Arturo’ Is Here With Nearly 1,000 Changes

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WordPress 6.0, code named ‘Arturo,’ is rolling out with nearly a thousand improvements and new features.

WordPress 6.0, named ‘Arturo,’ is launched and ready to go. This update introduces nearly 1,000 updates and enhancements that make WordPress more intuitive to use for both developers and end users.

Several notable updates, which you can read more about in the following sections, include:

  • Faster website performance
  • Page creation patterns
  • Block locking
  • Stack & row variations
  • Global style variations
  • Ability to select text across multiple blocks

Some of the changes, like faster website performance, will be felt immediately. Others, like the brand new page creation patterns, are features for theme developers to roll out.

Every update to WordPress is named after a jazz artist. This version is named after the Grammy-winning jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill. He is associated with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

The official WordPress announcement explains:

“The latest version of the software takes full site editing one step further and looks to consolidate the ‘no code’ experience for site-building, expanding upon the existing customization tools, bringing new blocks, and focusing on the writing and design workflows.

An example of this is the new style switcher for block themes, one of the most anticipated features for the flexibility and creative opportunities it introduces without having to switch themes.

‘With thoughtful updates to the writing experience, building better block functionality, and adding a new intuitive style switcher, I’m really proud of the work that’s been done in this release to make a great site editing experience,’ says WordPress’ Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.”

WordPress 6.0 Is An Incremental Update

WordPress 6.0 is the culmination of the work of over 500 people in at least 58 countries, encompassing close to 1,000 improvements.

Ordinarily when a product undergoes a version change, like a new Android phone model, end users expect to see dramatic changes. That’s not really the case with WordPress version changes.

While this is a “dot 0” release, version 6.0 is best understood as part of a series of incremental improvements meant to preserve backwards compatibility while also introducing improvements.

WordPress 6.0 is a version number change but it’s not on the scale of a revamp. The publishing experience between versions 5.9 and 6 are improved.

According to the official WordPress announcement, there is no need to be wary of updating, encouraging all site owners to update now in order to enjoy the many benefits of this release.

“Site owners and administrators should upgrade to take full advantage of the many stability, performance, and usability enhancements today.

WordPress content creators will enjoy a suite of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences.”

A spokesperson from WordPress shared with Search Engine Journal:

“This release picks up right where 5.9 left off – focusing on bringing full site editing further into view and improving the overall experience of the block editor, wherever you might use it.

6.0 has a collection of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences shared by most WordPress users.

Of course, like all recent WordPress releases, this one includes performance enhancements, your typical stability improvements of the core code, and a lot of small improvements that enhance the site-building experience.”

WordPress Performance Improvements

WordPress 6.0 ships with performance improvements that will contribute to making WordPress faster for site visitors.

There are improvements to how queries are executed against the database and also to how caches are managed.

This means fewer numbers and types of database calls resulting in greater efficiency that translates to faster performance.

New Features That End Users Will Love

Page Creation Patterns

One of the most important changes is the Page Creation Patterns feature.

Ordinarily, when creating a web page a publisher might start with a blank layout. Page creation patterns is a way to select from multiple layouts as a starting point.

The WordPress core itself won’t ship with the layouts, this is something that theme developers need to build into their themes.

Block Locking

Block Locking is a feature that prevents an end-user from accidentally deleting or moving an important block. The new feature is available through a block settings drop-down menu.

Andrew Wilder of the WordPress support company, NerdPress (@NerdPress) offered his opinion that while 6.0 ships with “tons” of improvements that end users will like, he believes that the page creation patterns feature is one that they will most appreciate.

Wilder said:

“For many of our clients, the Page Creation Patterns will be really helpful, especially once plugins are available to pre-built patterns that are specific to their content. That could be a huge time-saver!

I’m also glad to see the new Block Locking feature – right now it doesn’t let you lock changes to the block content, but it can stop you from accidentally moving or deleting a block.”

Stack & Row Variations

A useful addition is the ability to create dynamic flex-based containers by stacking blocks into a column or a row layout.

A flex-based container is so-called because it is flexible and automatically adjusts to viewport, shrinking for smaller mobile devices and expanding when necessary.

Multi-Select: Select Text Across Multiple Blocks

In the new blocked-based WordPress editors, creating a web page layout is done using what’s called blocks, building blocks, so to speak.

Blocks are like containers where content can be inserted. Content can be images, text, whatever.

An example of an incremental but exciting change in WordPress 6.0 is the ability to select text across multiple content blocks.

This allows a user to select the content within multiple blocks without selecting multiple blocks themselves. This gives publishers the ability to write and control content in an expected manner, contributing to a more intuitive writing experience.

Wilder of NerdPress tested this new feature ahead of time and is enthusiastic.

He says:

“I’m pretty excited about being able to select text across multiple blocks.

That sounds like a small detail, but it’s something that’s been frustrating for me at times — and these kinds of little details really add up to make a nicer, easier editing experience.”

Style Variations

Another exciting new feature is called Global Style Variations.

Style variations allows theme authors to provide their customers a way to easily change the look and feel of their website without having to edit CSS or HTML, dramatically speeding up the process of getting a website up and running.

This is a feature that is implemented on the WordPress theme developer side which improves the WordPress publishing experience for end users.

The WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal:

“The introduction of style variations in block themes allows theme authors to provide multiple options for folks to switch up the look and feel of a site all with a few clicks in a single theme.

This means you can quickly change things like font weights and default colors in a cohesive way without editing CSS.”

Noteworthy Changes For Developers

I asked the WordPress team what the most important changes that developers should know about.

They responded:

Accessibility Improvements To WordPress 6.0

There have been many improvements to WordPress accessibility which have been documented here.

Among the highlights are:

Aria-Related Accessibility Fixes To WordPress 6.0

RichText: Reverse disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.

Remove role attributes on SVGs meant for “decoration.”

This is how WordPress described changes to how media is handled in 6.0 for accessibility:

  • “Preserve attachment properties on cropping custom logo. This means that the alternative text, title, description, and caption of an image will migrate over to the cropped copy of the image after cropping.
  • Stop arrow keys switching media if URL focused.
  • Add a “Copy URL to clipboard” function to the list table view.
  • Set break-word on sample permalink so the full permalink will be visible on mobile devices in posts, media, and comments.
  • Remove target blank attribute from media uploader edit links.
  • Remove target=”_blank” from the link to change permalink structures and change link text to clarify link purpose.”

The official WordPress announcement states:

“Accessibility is an integral part of the WordPress mission of fostering an inclusive community and supporting users of all types around the world.

With this in mind, WordPress 6.0 includes more than 50 updates specifically focused on enhancing the accessibility of the platform. You can read about these updates and learn more about the accessibility initiatives that are ongoing.”

WordPress Full Site Editor Beta Label

Something that may be useful to consider about WordPress 6.0 is that the Full Site Editor (FSE) is still labeled as Beta.

WordPress 6.0 improves the editing experience for the end users by making the process of writing easier as well as making it easier to dream up unique website layouts without having to deal with code. But FSE is still considered as a Beta product.

The good news, according to what the WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal, is that the full site editor will see continued improvement.

The WordPress team shared:

“While 6.0 moves WordPress in the right direction, there’s more work to be done around creating a cohesive site editing experience, so if you’re waiting for full site editing to feel more intuitive, expect that to come in 6.1 and beyond.”

If you are interested in original article by Roger Montti, you can find it here