After almost sixty million downloads of WordPress 4.7, WordPress 4.7.4, a maintenance release, has become available. The release contains 47 maintenance fixes and enhancements. Among them is an incompatibility between the upcoming Chrome version and the visual editor, inconsistencies in media handling, and further improvements to the REST API.
Another great year for WordPress can be seen summarised in Matt Mullenwegs Slideshare (below). Some great statistics in the growth and success of WordPress including the fact that 23% of the web now runs WordPress.
If you want any help or advice on WordPress please contact us.
One of the best things about WordPress is being able to add more functionality to your website often by plugins. There are many 1000’s of options to add more stuff to your website from pretty sliding graphics to adding your social media buttons and content.
As well as enhancing your website you can also look to improve other systems in your business by integrating them into your website. There are many different systems you could integrate into WordPress but in this blogpost I am looking at integrating to your Customer Database or CRM which stands for Customer Relationship Management.
A CRM for many businesses should be their central system where they focus on the most important things in their business – their customers and prospects. CRM’s can hold all of the important details of your customers and prospects. As your website is the online front door and shop window of your business it can make sense that it should be closely linked to the back office systems. As customers and prospects walk through your online front door it would be great if you could collect contact details and information and that the details are then put in a system where they can be followed up.
A business’s website can get many visits every day but often no information is being collected. Even when there is data collected this is sometimes not a seamless process and information is not entered into a your back office systems automatically.
Whatever CRM system you use, and there are many, you should be able to collect information from your website and have it automatically update the details in the CRM system. This may require some integration software in the middle but if your CRM can not be integrated with your website you may need to look at a new website or a new CRM (or both).
For this example I am going to use a WordPress website and integrate it to Capsule CRM. Capsule is a popular and affordable web-based CRM application for SMEs (Small and Medium sized businesses). There are many ways we could integrate but I am going to use a form to collect information and then pass that date to the CRM.
The first thing we need to do is create a form that we can easily collect the required information on our website. I am going to use Wufoo forms as it offers both integration to WordPress and Capsule CRM.
As an example below is a one of the forms from my website which not only can collect contact information but also asks some Interest preference infomation
The Wufoo form is connected to the Capsule CRM system so as soon as website form is completed by a visitor the details are entered into the Capsule system. You can then follow up using your usual sales process or action depending on the visitors information.
If you would like any assistance integrating your CRM to your website or have any queries on any aspect of WordPress or CRM systems please contact us we are always happy to discuss.
Not a request I get often but there can be many reasons why you might want Google to ignore a website. One reason can be that a site is in a development stage and you may not want the content indexed by Google so it does not show up in a Google (or other search engine) search.
There is a file called robots.txt on everyones web server that can contain instructions to tell search engines to ignore your site but this can be difficult to access unless you are techie. For WordPress users there is a much simpler solution as there is a setting available to tell search engines to ignore your site.
The position of this setting has changed over the versions but in the latest version, WordPress 4.0, you can find the setting in Settings>> Reading >> Search engine visibilty (see screenshot below)
Once you untick this setting then normal, search engine service, will resume.
It’s great when you have written that blog post and can see it in all of its glory with it’s 100’s of words. But sometimes you may not want to show all of the content and just show some ‘teaser’ content. This is where the read more link comes in.
The read more link is a great feature of the WordPress editor. It allows you to just show the beginning of a post on the summary or blog page and a link to to the full article on it’s on page.
This can be great for teasers but also can make the summary page a lot neater especially of you are using a magazine style summary.
To a read more link from the WordPress Visual Editor place your cursor where you want the break to be and click the button highlighted below
If you use the WordPress Text editor instead of the visual editor (as I do) you just need to click the ‘more button’
or you can just type
You can see the read more link put to good effect of the Evonomie blog below
Joomla 1.5, the open source contact management system, has been around since 2008 and has been very popular with web designers. There are now many thousands of Joomla sites running with the majority using version 1.5 but if you are still running this version (current version 1.5.26) it has been announced that support for Joomla 1.5 will stop in April 2012. Below we have quickly summarised some questions you may be asking:
What does Joomla end of support mean?
Overnight you should not see much change but the most important issue is when will security updates stop. There may be other issues as well such as support for Joomla themes and plugins. It is understandable that people working in the Joomla community can not keep designing and looking after old versions of Joomla and need for to concentrate on the new version?
When will security updates for Joomla 1.5 stop?
It has been announced that security patches will stop in September 2012. At this point if a security vunerability is found in Joomla, meaning that your web site could be easily attacked, then Joomla would not look to issue an update or patch to make it secure.
Can I easily upgrade to the latest version of Joomla (currently)?
Now this is the big question, version 1.6 and the following released versions up to the current version 2.5 are a significant change to the older 1.5. Effectivly meaning that new Joomla is a completely new content managemnet system so it is unlikely that the theme you are using and any plugins will work with the newer versions. For simple sites migration to the new Joomla may not be too complex or costly but other sites may take a fair bit of work essentially having to create a new site in a new version.
What options do I have?
The main options would probably break down to these 3:
- Do nothing – not a great option and one that could lead to an increased risk of your website being attacked and taken down
- Migrate to the new version of Joomla – Evaulate the migration and plan to go ahead either yourself or with a Joomla professional
- Look to migrate to another content management system (both WordPress and Drupal can be excellent solution depending on your requirements)
If upgrading is going to be a significant task for you (or your web designer) then it may be worth looking at whether it would be worth changing to a different content management system. If you have had your website for a few years this could be a great catalyst to ask what you want from your website and whether Joomla is the right CMS for you going forward. As much as your requirements many have changed or not over the last few years the functionaily of the mentioned Content Management Systems have also changed. Back in 2008 WordPress was a very competent system for blogs but now can also handle full websites easily.
What should I do?
Take action before it’s too late. Decide what is the best option for you and put a plan in place to have this sorted well before the September 2012. Web projects can often tun late for many reasons so with a deadline like this allowing additional time is essential.
If you would like any advise on which content management system might be right for you, especially if you are using Joomla 1.5 please contact us.
QR (Quick Response) Codes are starting to be seen in a lot more places as businesses realise the power of the Mobile Web (using mobile tagging) or probably the power of the ‘smart phone’ and how their owners like to use them. QR codes are just 2 dimensional bar codes that can be translated (using the correct software) to text and or numbers.
There are many uses for QR codes but in the mobile world urls or even phone numbers can be quickly passed into a smart phone. Many newer phones now come with QR Code support built in but there are also apps available like Red Laser for iPhone and Barcode Scanner for Android.
With their eye catching, Sinclair ZX81 style, graphics QR codes soon attract smart phone users wanting to get information/links into their phones quickly and easily. As well as many uses in the physical world from:
there are also many uses for them online on both websites and blogs. QR codes are very popular to link to installing new applications on smart phones but they can also be used to link to any web page or phone number. If you are using a WordPress blog there are many plugins that make it easier to put QR codes on to your blog. Below is a list of just a few of the QR plugins available (taken from my delicious bookmarks). This site is currently using ‘QR Code Widget’ from the list below which produces a QR code for the URL of the page that your on.
It’s worth remembering that if you are passing any links, via QR codes, to a mobile device then its worth making those pages mobile friendly, This site is currently using WordPress Mobile Pack to ensure the best view on a mobile device.
Easily insert QR codes anywhere in your blog, with Widget, Shortcode and a PHP function.
With twitHut.com’s free Twitter QR Code Signatures WordPress widget, you can now have a show-off of your Twitter latest tweet or Twitter URL in QR Code form.
Create QR codes for your WordPress posts and pages
QR Code generator for your blog with Widget support
A plugin that creates a simple sidebar widget that allows users to create URL, Message, and Contact Information QR-codes. It utilizes Google API
Use QR Codes (Google API or QR Code Lib) anywhere in your blog, as a Widget, Shortcode, Tooltip or with a PHP function.
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