Business in Geelong

Geelong can’t seem to take a trick lately , with Target now announcing over 200 staff will be losing their jobs. This is only a matter of a couple of weeks after Ford made a similar announcement while Shell and Alcoa are also indicating job losses. Things don’t look good for the people of Geelong. Not only are the people that lose their jobs affected, but there is a wider snowball effect too.

As a web developer who spends a lot of time with businesses in Geelong and surrounding areas, I find that the resilience of people is great. When one door closes, another door opens. There appears to have been an increase in businesses in Geelong, and often these are small start up businesses operated out of home. People are great at diversifying, and the old Australian attitude of ‘having a go’.

Keith Fagg, the Geelong Mayor, was on the ABC news last night saying that Geelong economy is diverse and that there is a strong medium to small business sector. He then goes on to say that SME in Geelong is very active and entrepreneurial. So true Keith.

Starting a business in Geelong, or anywhere for that matter, can be done on a small budget. A custom built website, for example, could cost you as low as under $1,000. A great start to promoting your business or services online. Of course there is social media that offers marketing for FREE – a great tool for tapping into your social networks and using word of mouth.

Being in business also allows you to grow. You may start with a small customer base from your home office, but as your business builds, you may look at opening a store or office in Geelong. Promoting your business with a professional looking logo and branding is very important. It is worth doing it right first up, even if your cash flow is initially slow. Shop around for quotes, as the price and quality for a logo can vary.

Once you have your website, logo, social media accounts and any print media, you are all set. There are some great resources offered, such as free webinars, by the City of Greater Geelong and other enterprises. Another option is to find a someone who is currently in business in Geelong to ask for some advice about operating a business – it just might be for you.

Guest Post - How to Protect Your WordPress Blog?

WordPress security warning

On April 13th, the WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg warned all WordPress users to reset their user name, if they were still using the ‘admin’ name from registration. This is due to recent large scale brute-force attacks against WordPress sites. If you don’t know what a “brute-force attack” is, this means a systematic attempt to enter your site, by trying one password after another. Sometimes its done manually, but more often with software.

Do I need to protect my WordPress site?

The survey website W3Techs reports that almost a fifth of the entire world’s websites, or in other words, about 64 million of them, use WordPress. Because of large-scale attacks, all WordPress users are wise to protect their sites with increased security measures. This is easy and can save you a lot of tears in the long run. Here are several essential tips and tricks, plus a few useful plugins, to ensure the safety of your blog.

1. Passwords

Don’t use the auto-generated password given to you by WordPress. Change it instead to the strongest possible password you can come up with. Although the WordPress-generated password is quite strong, their ftp/cPanel password is medium strength at best. It’s better just to create a strong password of your own. A strong password is long, and it contains Capital Letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols – preferably as randomly as possible.

Image Source: Salvatore Vuono, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Computers_g62-Password_p28974.html

2. Updates

Every time a new WordPress version comes out, they reveal information about previous security bugs and vulnerabilities. By updating your WordPress site, you can make sure that you are protected against known security bugs. And obviously, for this reason, don’t make your WordPress Version visible to others!

3. Backups

Always back up your WordPress Database and WordPress files. If emergency strikes, you’ll still have your blog.

4. Uploads

Only ever upload authentic themes, plugins and scripts, because there are plenty of uploads designed to damage sites. Items downloaded from sharing sites, and warez and torrent files are the most dangerous. The may look like themes or plugins, but can seriously harm your site when you upload them.

5. ‘wp-admin’ Directory

Limit access to a handful of IP addresses, like your laptop, PC, mobile device and work computer, by using a .htaccess file in the ‘wp-admin’ directory.

6. Plugins

If your IP addresses are not static, use a plugin to protect your site. There are plenty of these around. Here are just a few:

  • Ask Apache Password Protect - It protects your plugins, ‘wp-admin’ directory, wp-content and so on.The Login Lockdown Plugin protects against brute force attack where someone is trying to decrypt your password by systematically trying every possible password.
  • Stealth Login – With this plugin you can create custom URL addresses for login, registering and also to logout.
  • Login Lockdown – If someone tries to login to your admin panel many times in a row, this plugin will lock attempts for a period of time.
  • Limit Login Attempts – This plugin blocks aninternet address from repeatedly trying to enter, so it makes brute force attacksextremely difficult or even impossible.
  • Bad Behavior – This aptly named plugin helps fight spammers. Prevent spam messages appearing on your blog and also limit access to your blog so that spammers cannot even read it.

7. Hide Login Error Messages

When error login messages come up after a failed attempt to login, they can easily give hackers clues to whether they are getting a password right or not. Therefore, it is a good idea to hide your error messages. To do this, put the following code in functions.php, as suggested in the WordPress help section forums:

add_filter(‘login_errors’,create_function(‘$a’, “return null;”));

8. Protect your plugins directory

It’s good to protect your WordPress plugins directory too. If you go to your wp-content/plugins/, you’ll see the plugins you are using. Some plugins are weaker and more easily attacked. Block access to them by usinga .htaccess file or uploading a blank ‘index.html’ file to that directory.

Image Source: foto76, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Internet_g170-Login_With_Username_And_Password_p130144.html

Author–Bio:

Entrepreneur and enabler, Tuhin Ghosh has been pursuing his dream of enabling business and catalyzing growth mainly in the education industry. He is the Co -Founder of PrepGenie, a test prep provider that offers exam preparation courses for GAMSAT, PCAT, HPAT, UMAT and UKCAT to aspiring medical students globally.

Thinking Outside Of The Square

One of the best things about my business, is that I get to work with other business owners who are just as passionate. I love that I can be involved in helping promote products or services, and especially those new businesses that are about to be launched. I get great satisfaction from seeing one of my logos splashed about on billboards or vehicles or shop fronts. It really is great to be involved.

At each enquiry from prospective clients, I can hear the enthusiasm radiating from them. Sometimes it can be a new product launch like www.babyweights.com.au or a new idea like www.minigarb.com.au. Each business is just as important as the next, and I endeavour to invest as much energy into each one.

Clients give a lot of trust in me to come up with products that truly represent their business. Sometimes this is hard to gauge which is why all my clients are given the chance to comment along the way. There are so many different variations out there, and sometimes it comes down to personal choice. For example, a logo can be any colour, shape, size, dimension, image, etc, so there are so many combinations. That is why we offer a few various concepts and then an opportunity to modify their preferred choice. A logo can be so important for branding, so it is vital to get it right.

The same can be said for a website. Again there are so many different options, and we also need to consider functionality and ensure it is user friendly. This can be quite a hard task, and we realise that each business is different, so our websites are all custom built. The client is always given the opportunity to comment, and changes can be made along the way.

Relationships are formed, and it is exciting to see businesses prosper. One of the best parts about Wonderful Websites is that we can be part of the journey.

The Disappointments Of Online Shopping

I turned 40 last week, and actually, it doesn’t feel as bad as I had thought. I clearly remember when my own parents celebrated their 40th birthday’s and thinking that they were a bunch of old people acting silly. Now that is me!

My husband and I are only a month apart and we had a joint birthday party that was fancy dress. The theme was ‘International’. I spent a good part of my childhood competing in Highland Dancing, so Scottish was the choice of costume for me.
Of course, Scotland is a long way away from Australia, so thank goodness for online shopping. I found a great site online that offered traditional costumes at a really affordable price. I went ahead and ordered my husband and I kilts, hats, ties and even bagpipes.

The excitement was building as our party approached. On the Monday before the party, I started to wonder whether our costumes would arrive. After all the UK is a long way away. Shopping on line sure can be convenient, but I perhaps should have taken into consideration the Christmas rush. It appeared that the posties were flat out to make Christmas deliveries on time, but not 12th January deliveries. I had ordered my things on 14th December, and thought I had ample time. Unfortunately our package didn’t arrive until two days after the party. I now have some brand new outfits that I will probably never get the opportunity to use!

Another massive risk that you take with shopping online is being assured you get what you ordered. There is more room for error that the wrong thing will be dispatched compared to physically picking up an object and taking it to a cash register.

Here are some important tips for online stores:
– Products need to be clearly displayed on the website with excellent search facilities
– Photos need to accurately display the product with no false advertising
– Clearly identify shipping policies, terms and conditions, refund policy and contact details
– Make sure you display contact details including a physical address, email & phone number
– Best to have categories for your product for ease of finding what you are looking for
– Great to have ‘Best Sellers’ and/or ‘Sale Items’ – everyone loves a bargain
– Ensure your checkout process is quick and painless!

In case you are concerned about our outfits for the party, don’t worry! I contacted a lovely lady at a local Scottish Dance Group and she bought around some of her families traditional costumes.

My husband and I were fully kitted out, and the party was a success – we did look like old people acting silly!

2 Great Bloggers

I am always looking at other websites and blogs with a purpose of keeping up to date with new trends and what’s happening in the online world. I love to share some of this knowledge with my clients by producing high quality work at all times.

There are a couple of blogs (a part from my own of course!) that I constantly return to, as they not only provide a wealth of information, but are extremely well written. They are both relevant and entertaining and I suggest that your visit their site for a quick read, and perhaps subscribe to their newsletter to keep informed.


            


     http://goinswriter.com/                      http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

Six Things To Think Of When Updating Your Website

Is your website in need of an update. As your business grows and changes, it can be tempting to give it a total overhaul. The temptation to update my own site is high, especially as I am always learning new ideas and improved functionality. But there are certain things that you should first consider.

1. Good Analytics May be Affected

This will be the case if you are adding and removing pages on your site. For example, if you had a page called yourdomain.com.au/about and now changed the title of your page so that is yourdomain.com.au/about-us Google will see it as a new page. Even if the actual content remains the same.

2. Ensure Your Permalinks Are Maintained

As above, when you change the titles of your web pages, this affects not only Google Analytics, but also any links within your site. It is possible to change the actual name of your page, but keep the permalink the same. For example, you could have the page named About Us, but have the permalink as yourdomain.com.au/about Contact us for further information.

3. Will It Enhance Usability

Is it just visual changes that you are hoping for. Things such as images/logos/backgrounds can easily be amended. It is amazing what can be achieved in a matter of minutes. These changes shouldn’t have a major impact on your site – other than making it more visually appealling!

4. Be Aware Of Any Links On Other Sites

Your website may be referenced on other websites. Make sure you are aware of any of these links, and notify the web administrator of any changes to your site.

5. Browser Compatibility Needs To Be Checked

Once your site is updated, make sure it is tested across all browsers. Unfortunately they don’t all respond the same and what might look and work well on one Browser may not be supported on another!

6. Ensure Down Time Is Minimised

Finally, when updating your website, try to minimise the time that your site is offline. You can either:

  • Build your updated site on a hidden folder and migrate across once it is completed, or
  • Add an ‘Under Construction’ page while you make your changes.




Good luck,
Shelley Gross
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When Did It Change From Being A Geek To Being Tech-Savvy?

I recently purchased some software that enable me to do some pretty funky things online. I will be able to technically build sci-fi or animated movies just like Pixar, with maybe a little less allocated budget!

While learning what the software is capable of, I admit that I was loving every second. A few years ago liking something like Adobe After Effects could be seen as ‘geeky’. This stereotype seems to have been made redundant as geeks have become the norm. With smart phones, tablets and tablets being

Here are some links for what sort of things I am learning about. Geeky?? Check for yourself.

http://www.video2brain.com/en/lessons/basic-workflow-and-terminology-overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7TtW-mJJLs

I hope to post some of my own projects right here on my website, so keep watching this space. Or join our mailing list to keep up to date on this and other wonderful projects.