How to EnhanceWordPress Security

February 17, 2020 in Cultivate, how to

WordPress powers about 30% of the market share of content management systems, which makes it a huge target for hacks. Though WordPress has a lot of security measures comparable to other content management systems, there are some threats caused by plugins, themes, users, and hosting. Hence it is necessary that WordPress developers must have a control on all these aspects. Here is a detailed guideline on how to approach WordPress security within your own limits as a developer.

How to Steer Your Site Management Practices towards Enhancing WordPress Security

Why hackers attack sites

Hackers might consider even a small WordPress site as an attractive target. Most hacks happen since a bot or botnet have compromised the site automatically. Bots are on a constant search or opportunities on the net to hack sites. They sneak in wherever there is a vulnerability in the defense system. Hackers search for ways to enter the server in order to be able to use the computing power of the server and turn it loose on some other purpose or target. Some of the reasons why hackers want your server are to send spam, attack other sites, steal resources, bump SEO scores of the site, and steal data.

Why do you need to care for security?

Besides for being able to thwart the vicious plans of the hackers, you must be vigilant to avoid security breaches so that you will not have the hassles of cleaning the site after an attack. For running a hacked WordPress once again, you will need to clean it up of all the bits of third-party code. You will have to comb through the entire code line and all folders uploaded to the server to ensure they are clean. Also, you will have to check if the unauthorized users have got the access. There is also the hassle of replacing all the passwords in WordPress, your database and on the server.

Though there are lots of resources available to clean up a WordPress site, always prevention is better than cure. Hacking affects your reputation and SEO rankings. So remember to follow these steps to tighten the security measures on your WordPress site.

Focus on the CIA Triad

We can describe the CIA triad as a basic framework meant for all the digital security projects. They stand for confidentiality, integrity, and availability. CIA contains a set of rules that can limit the access of information to the right people thereby ensuring that the information is reliable and accurate and that a trustworthy access to the information is guaranteed. Let us go through each of them in detail.

Confidentiality

Ensure that you have assigned the right roles to the users who have logged in and that their capabilities are under check. Give the bare minimum access every user will need. It is very essential to ensure that the administrator information is not leaked out for the use of wrong parties. Tighten the control to the admin area by carefully safeguarding the usernames and credentials. 

Integrity

Give only accurate information on the site and ensure that the interactions on your site are systematized. While accepting requests, make sure that the intents match the action. Before posting data, filter it in your code to remove malicious content.

Availability

Ensure your WordPress themes and plugins are up to date. Host them on a reliable WordPress host. Automate daily backups which will also ensure your site is always available to the public.

Blood Pressure Tracking made Simple

February 12, 2020 in Cultivate, IoT

About a Year ago ACM discovered a very simple way to report and track your blood pressure to your doctor. Yep, there’s an app for that, which we developed over the last few months. The Blood Pressure Diary mobile app complies with the recommendations of the World Healthcare Organization as well. It also supports Medical Deluxe Connected Blood Pressure Monitor UA-651BLE by A&D company. It provides an option to automatically obtain data from tonometer using a Bluetooth connection.

As we constantly refine the way the app delivers. This application features two vital functions. The first one is the accumulation of information on blood pressure measurement results. You can then email the results to your doctor or the application could help you to set up an optimum regimen of your medicine for the treatment of the heart and vessels.

Another important function is MONITORING. A disease such as hypertension is dangerous because it’s unnoticeable. For a long time, it disguises under usual weakness, lack of sleep, or fatigue until it reaches the cardiovascular center – your heart. When the disease is strong enough it will strike your heart, kidney or your brain. This disease is very tricky, but now you have a weapon to fight it – your personal blood pressure monitor.

Main features:

1) Accumulation of blood pressure measurement results
2) Monitoring of pressure to notify when it is necessary to consult the doctor
3) Sending data to your email
4) HealthKit Integration

Advantages:

1) Easy data input
2) Simple and user-friendly interface
3) Illustrative diagrams complying with recommendations of the World Healthcare Organization

Feedback is welcomed to hello@acultivatedmindset.com

WordPress Coupon Code Plugins For Online Stores You Will Admire

February 11, 2020 in Cultivate, how to

Coupon codes are the most popular and effective strategies to promote your online store, boost up sales, and reduce cart abandonment. When you have an e-commerce site, you can offer coupon codes and deals to make the users purchase at once. Usually, shopping sites introduce a coupon field on the cart page. This will motivate shoppers to enter the coupon code before purchasing as they want to save money. Hence this strategy can help take up the sales. At the same time, it is essential to display the coupon code prominently on your site if you wish to reduce cart abandonment. Here are a few excellent WordPress coupon code plugins for your e-commerce website.

WordPress Coupon Code Plugins For Online Stores You Will Admire

What to expect from coupon code plugins

Woocommerce comes with in-built coupon features. However, some third-party coupon code plugins let you gain access to some advanced coupon features like adding a gift card, popups to display the coupons, scroll bars, bulk generation of ticket coupons, and many others.

Coupon creator

Coupon Creator is widely used by several e-commerce sites. It is effortless to create a coupon on them and add it to your online store. You can also use the Coupon Creator shortcode to insert coupons into pages and posts. The expiry date option lets you set a closing date for using the coupons.

YITH WooCommerce gift cards

YITH WooCommerce Gift Cards is a highly sought after WooCommerce coupon plugin available today. You can depend on it to create discount codes and gift cards on your e-commerce site. It is effortless to set up the gift cards and set up a discount amount if you wish to offer one. The multilingual capability of the plugin with WPML is a great feature. It is possible to email the gift cards to the users to surprise them with discount vouchers.

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a highly reputed WordPress popup plugin you can find today. It can be installed on your WooCommerce store for growing your email list and bring down the rate of cart abandonment. This plugin lets you display the most attractive lead magnets and coupons inside popups, scroll boxes, and floating bars. There are a large number of pre-designed templates and a drag and drop builder to let you simplify the whole process and also customize the coupons thoroughly to your taste.

Coupon generator for WooCommerce

Coupon Generator for WooCommerce is highly easy to use coupon code plugin for WordPress that can let you generate coupons in bulk for your e-commerce store. It is effortless to create thousands of tickets at once. It is also possible to use limits, expiration dates, and restrictions on each coupon code.

WordPress notification bar

WordPress Notification Bar is straightforward to use a plugin to add a floating bar onto your digital shop. With this plugin, it is possible to display a coupon code along with a call to action button in the sticky bar on top of your website. You can also style the notification bar for changing the font and color to suit your website design. Features like multilingual support and its compatibility with the leading e-commerce plugins for WordPress are some significant advantages of this plugin.

Strong Reasons Why You Must Use WordPress

February 3, 2020 in Cultivate, how to

Whether you are using some other platform for your site or want to create a new website, WordPress can be your last option due to several compelling reasons. Here we discuss some excellent reasons why you must use WordPress to power your site.

Strong Reasons Why You Must Use WordPress

About WordPress

Most people think WordPress is only a blogging platform. The truth is this. WordPress started its journey as a blogging platform only. However, over the years, it has grown into a mighty website builder. It is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) today. WordPress is highly flexible and rich in features to create different types of websites. The robust features of WordPress are so compelling that some top brands of the world today depend on WordPress to power their sites like Sony, The New Yorker, Target, Time Magazine, Facebook, Disney, The New York Times, and many others. Here we go with the reasons to use WordPress for your site.

Open source platform

WordPress is an open-source platform meaning it is free even for commercial use. You can get it installed without spending a pie and can use it and modify it in enough number of ways to match your needs. You can create any website on WordPress.

Very easy to customize

WordPress is straightforward to customize. A lot of novices are comfortably using WordPress today without developing or programming knowledge. If you are not a tech-savvy person, you can benefit a lot from WordPress as it comes with thousands of free website templates to choose from. It is straightforward to customize WordPress themes, and you can customize anything without writing any code. Today you will find a lot of free plugins to incorporate into your WordPress site to achieve several new functionalities.

SEO friendly

Studies show that Google and other popular search engines love WordPress as it is developed in compliance with high-quality code and gives out semantic makeup. We find WordPress sites ranking higher than others on the search results. Though WordPress is inherently SEO friendly, you can also use WordPress plugins to optimize your website further.

Easy to manage

You will find a built-in updates management system in WordPress. This feature enables you to update your plugins and themes right from your WordPress admin dashboard. When there is a new version of this platform available, WordPress automatically notifies you so that you can update your site with a click of the button. WordPress backup plugin can help create automatic backups to be stored in a remote location. WordPress mobile apps make it possible to manage your WordPress site on the move.

Safe and secure

WordPress is evolved with a keen eye for security. Studies show WordPress is a highly safe and secure platform available today. However, nothing is predictable on the internet today. There are chances that hackers target your site at any time. There are easy ways to protect your site against all kinds of common threats and make it highly secure.

Best Practices For WordPress Startups

January 31, 2020 in Cultivate, how to

Many startups find WordPress business very attractive. We see a lot of them springing up almost everywhere around us. While some of them turn successful, some of them fail. If you are a WordPress startup or aspiring to become one, here are the ways to grab your fair share of the WordPress economy.

Best Practices For WordPress Startups

Get it up and running

Bootstrapping your business, which means getting it up and running without seeking any investors’ support. Since WordPress business is quite cheap to start, there is no reason why you must sign away a portion of your business to some investor. Also, this is perfectly logical since WordPress is completely free and GPL. There is a great community willing to support you behind WordPress. A lot of talented people are involved in WordPress development and support. Once you start making profits, you are not needed to share it with anyone.

Invite feedback

When you are into WordPress business, you can invite feedback from multiple channels, including email, in-app support ticketing, Twitter, and the support forum. Experts in the field say that the user field back is something like gold. They can help you adjust your business by adding up new features. Know that when you make your customers happy, you can do more business and consequently more money. Customer feedback can be the most valuable impetus to develop successful ideas.

Provide an unfailing customer support

Provided the communication and support are good and encouraging; the users are more than willing to deal with bugs in a new product. You must make every effort to see that you care about them. Even if your product is of excellent quality, a poor support system is going to put them down and turn them against you. Stick to timelines, maintain a friendly relationship with polite manners. Invest in new methods to provide support and conduct tests to see if the system works in reality. Ensure there are no technical problems and no delays in support.

Get involved with the WordPress community

Speak, sponsor and give back to take part actively in the WordPress community. Since WordPress comes to your free of cost and provides you a livelihood, involving actively with the WordPress community is a way of saying thanks. Contributing code is just one way of giving your bit. Still, there are also other ways like writing and distributing plugins or themes, submitting a patch, helping on the support forum, reporting bugs, actively looking for bugs and patching them, translate or test WordPress, involving in meet up groups, write tutorials or guides on your blog and many others.

Do market research

Set up a Google form and send it to people to gather feedback. You may also use Gravity Forms provided by WordPress for this purpose. Collate all the information into a spreadsheet and generate graphics. By a well-planned and systematically executed market research, you can gain insights on whether your business idea will work or not. You will get to know people are willing to pay for what.

Merely Interfaces don’t Define a Great User Experience

January 22, 2020 in Cultivate, Design

For a layman or even the amateurs, the concept of excellent user experience is often limited to design-driven ideas and following the set rules and patterns defined by the industry and standardized by the experts.

Yet, there is much to beautiful and useful user experience than simple interfaces, colors, and navigation, etc.

Apart from the basic and classic concepts of design, here are a few items that will constitute a great user experience and will help you design a better product:

  1. Are your notifications troubling the users and doing nothing else?—if your strategy is to annoy users with emails, SMS or even push notifications; you are not providing great user experience.
  2. Keep the process simple, easy, and visible. In every product, there are few discouraged actions like deleting the account or even changing the payment method, but if you keep them obscure and users find it difficult to find those links or buttons, you are not providing great user experience.
  3. Customer support is also a crucial aspect of great user experience. As designers working in a good organization, you should be in continuous contact with the customer service department so that you could be on top of the issues faced by real users.
  4. Ask the marketing department if they have some features that are appealing more to the clients and some features that they don’t like.

Conclusion

Excellent user experience is a combined effort of all the departments of an organization and should never be limited to colors, navigation, and typography. Yes, these elements are essential but not exclusively responsible. As an organization or a business manager, it is necessary to make everybody understand this and pitch in feedback and inputs so that the designers could work on creating a useful product or feature.

How To Use Technology To Boost Your Business Performance

January 9, 2020 in Cultivate, Startups

In the list of things that make a business to prosper, perhaps technology has today found the topmost place. In this age of science and technology, you can make the best use of technology for executing your business goals. Technology helps entrepreneurs keep everything in an order as well as ensure the best check and balance.

Technology in business

Invest in productivity software

Many things can create a block in the employees’ performance. It is very difficult to implement new strategies every day. Invest in the right kind of advanced software that can work fast with no errors. Such software help increase productivity by improving the performance.

Stay connected to your customers

Successful businesses must find ways to stay connected to their customers 24 X 7. A superior customer service can help attract and satisfy targeted people. Establish an online communicative environment to take the orders as well as solve the client problems.

Create a great website

Today most searches for businesses happen online than offline. Have a user-friendly website and implement the best SEO practices to increase the visibility of your business.

Use technology to evaluate your employees’ performance

It is necessary to compare and evaluate your employees’ performance by using the right kind of software. Compare their performance month after months and motivate them in order to boost up sales. Make some internal changes to get the most from them depending on how productive they are.

Take advantage of crowdfunding option

Capital is the basic requirement to start a business. Today no more are many entrepreneurs thronging at banks for getting business loans. You can project your business vision online using technology today to attract crowdfunding.

Benefit from Blockchain software

Companies make use of Blockchain software to keep the record. The inability to keep a proper record can lead to disorder. Blockchain can help verify and record this transaction. Use of Blockchain can help you rule out the need to depend on brokers who prove to be very expensive. By moving to Blockchain software you can save enough money to invest back in your business.

The Benefits of a Minimalist Web Design

December 19, 2019 in Cultivate, Design

Have you seen or been a part of a website of a company that started from scratch and ended up jam-packing everything, and the final result is a clutter-house of marketing and self-boasting copy and visual display?

Yes, it is a story of the maximum of websites that want to fill the users with every information that they have, irrespective of whether the user is actually looking for that info or not. Every department of the organization wants to stake a claim at the premium web pages and want to show off their maximum achievements, capabilities, and strengths.

However, minimalist web design is something that could help in actually driving the business—the prime motive of a company’s website. Here are a few points to drive the point home:

  1. Because not all do it, the minimalist design brings a sense of uniqueness and almost exclusiveness which generates tremendous interest in the eye-heart unit of a user.
  2. Because you have followed the minimalist guidelines, there is clarity of purpose in everything that is shown to the user. There are not confusing breadcrumbs, icons, or misleading links.
  3. Because there is a sense of purpose in the design, it helps in achieving the objective easily and quickly—there would be an action from the users’ end, which is obviously what the website was built for.
  4. Even if the trend changes in the web design world, you are safe because you have taken a different route, which does not need change.
  5. Apart from being unique, it also takes lesser time and gives you the ability to focus better on every element of the website—whether it is a picture, a text copy, or any other element.

The minimalist web design is something that can generate tremendous value for your website; however, it should have a definite purpose to begin with. Simply reducing the number of images and text won’t do it. Try it, and you will see the change!

Understanding the Difference between User Experience (UX) and Usability

December 16, 2019 in Cultivate, Design, how to

In the recent past, you must have come across these two terms used interchangeably by designers across the world. For a layman, there is not much difference between these two terms, though they stand apart when looked and pondered upon carefully. In this post, we will try differentiating both these terms and understand their implications in a better way.

  1. User Experience (UX)

Use experience is pretty subjective, and it includes all the emotional and functional response of an end-user towards a particular product of a brand. It may include all the services and products and the company in general itself. Designers should focus on the user experience, adaptability, desirability, and the value of the product.

  1. Usability

Usability refers to more about the degree of ease with which a user can operate a product—it includes the degree of ease of learning. The degree of ease of learning to use the product, the degree of making fewer errors while using the product, and the degree of satisfaction a user gets while using the product. While designers focus on usability, they focus on functionality, learnability, flexibility, and the industry-design of the product.

Different goals of both the terms

It is essential to know what their goals regarding a product are. So, for example, in the case of a website, the only usability goal would be to be easy—so that the user could use the site quickly. However, regarding the user experience, the website’s overall experience and how it interacted with the user is crucial, how the user feels while using the site, and even after using it—both these scenarios would include the user experience.

Understanding and Using Guerrilla UX Testing for Better Results

December 14, 2019 in Cultivate, Design

More often than not, design teams avoid testing new products and apps because of the resources and the cost involved in testing. Guerrilla UX testing technique presents an economical way of doing just the right thing before you end up spending money and time on designing a product or a feature that nobody would want to use.

What is Guerrilla Testing?

Though it may sound a bit weird and trespassing, Guerrilla testing involves approaching people in cafes and public places to show them your prototype or even ask to use the product. It is a simple process like any basic questionnaire would have—introduction, taking permission, asking them to use the product, observing or recording their usage, thanking, and moving away. The only difference is that it is not done purely on a paper or a website form. It has to be done in person.

Benefits of Guerrilla Testing

  1. It gives you crucial information about the usability issues early.
  2. It provides sufficient insight and observational information about the user behavior related to particular features of your product.
  3. It helps in creating validation points and testing the hypothesis based on which you are building your product.
  4. It is easy, cheap, and can be conducted on a need-based scenario. There is no minimum or maximum user count that you need to fulfill.
  5. There is no need to hire an expert tester—anybody could handle interaction and note down what the user did and went through.
  6. If your product does require deeper testing, the Guerrilla testing can be used as a demonstration for the stakeholders or investors to make them believe that testing is an integral part of your product development.

A great way of testing

Without a doubt, any UX design or product can benefit from Guerrilla testing, and there is hardly fretting that is involved. The only need is to know its importance and crucial significance in the development cycle of a product.

Why is Usability Design Important for any Product?

December 11, 2019 in Cultivate, Design

The simple definition of ‘Usability’ of any product, as clear from the name itself, is the degree of ease and satisfaction a user gets when he/she uses the product in a particular scenario for a specific task or objective.

If the product has a higher degree of ‘usability,’ the users will like it, and there are higher chances of the product getting popular and being sold. That’s why it is one of the most beneficial and necessary aspects that any UI/UX designer needs to consider while designing a product.

Further, whether it is a product, a website or even a form that needs to be filled by the user, ‘usability’ of the design is one of the paramount metrics that designers and product managers need to focus on coupled with aesthetics and other similarly crucial elements of flawless design.

What constitutes a ‘Usability’ design?

Some of the points that a UI/UX designer has to keep in mind include:

  1. The design should assist the user in operating the product easily
  2. There should be complete visual clarity
  3. The design should be helpful in error prevention
  4. The user should feel a sense of freedom and control while using the product instead of feeling insecure about a new and align environment
  5. As much as possible, the design should have a match between the system and the real world

Usability Design Thrives on Usability testing

Usability testing helps in ascertaining that the users’ expectations are met, matching the product with the real-world, and removing flaws. The best ‘usability’ designing comes through iteration of design elements through usability testing, which is done involving real users of the product. The feedback provided by these real users will give any designer valuable inputs about the ease, efficiency, and satisfaction that they feel while using the product. Based on these inputs, the designer can quickly improve and achieve the maximum degree of usability.

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