WordPress Theme Options may soon turn good-for-nothing

When WordPress Theme options first came into existence, it was a thing of great pride and happiness for most of the WordPress users because it enables the WordPress users to change the Theme Settings and that too, without touching any CSS files or theme files. Even, there is no need of coding when you have Theme Options in hand.

For instance, the default theme of WordPress, that is Twenty Twelve, does not have a Theme Options menu, instead it uses the Theme Customizer option for WordPress theme customization, where in the users can live preview the changes made in the website before finalizing the changes. This is a great feature for WordPress Theme Customization.

This is indeed, a very helpful feature because it allows WordPress users to not risk the whole website and view what the website will look like after the changes are finalized. This is a holy grail for WordPress beginners or if ever, you would like to experiment with the theme modification for background colors, image placement etc.

Theme Options have options to modify the theme in these ways-

1. Layout
2. General
3. Fonts
4. Header
5. Sidebar
6. Comments
7. Footer
8. Pagination
9. Social

Other options are Advanced and Analytics. All the options in the Theme Options Menu are shown below in the image:

But, what is a thing of great surprise is that the Theme Options menu is losing it’s sheen and significance because of the very powerful and efficient Theme Customizer in WordPress to customize the themes. It allows users to live preview the website before finalising the changes made to the theme. The developers rendering WordPress web development services use this option as this is time-saving and saves any risk to the website.

Theme Customizer has been on the shelves from quite a while now. It was released in WordPress 3.4 and since then, the WordPress users have been using it for the options mentioned as:

  • Custom CSS
  • Image galleries
  • Layouts
  • Themes
  • Background colors
  • Custom text boxes
  • Plugin switches

There is no doubt that with the coming of the theme customizer, Theme Options Menu will become obsolete because of the reason that theme customizer provides almost same options to modify the themes as the Theme Options Menu and that too with much ease and no hassles.

Why would Theme Options will go Obsolete?

Theme Options will go obsolete because of many reasons.

First things first, even after downloading any modern, sophisticated theme in WordPress, Theme Options Menu seem to mark their existence in every other theme where it might not even be necessary. The best option, however, would be to go for WordPress web development services for best WordPress theme customization.

What would Theme Options do?

It would allow the designers, site admins and site owners to modify and customize the themes using easy Activate and Deactivate options. It was all easily done using no coding at the user-end.

Second reason, Theme Options would have a different menu in every site theme. It would certainly create problems.

WordPress 4.9: What’s all New you Need to Know about

WordPress is indeed one of the most popular Content Management Systems and an outstanding online publishing platform. With more and more developers going for WordPress because of the flexibility of developing websites in this platform, WordPress comes out with new updations every here and then! This time, it’s WordPress 4.9 and we are here to tell you what’s new up and here.

Before discussing about the new features of the all new WordPress 4.9, let’s give an insight into why WordPress development is so important and famed? WordPress provides work to most of the freelancers around the world! It is an interesting fact because if you want to hire WordPress developer, there are many websites out there where you can hire WordPress developer on per hour basis.

What’s new in WordPress 4.9?

While the WordPress 4.9 version is still available in the beta version, and slated to release on November 14 this year, let’s dive deep into the changes we have witnessed so far in the updated version of WordPress 4.9. We are really positive about the changes seen so far and much of them will be seen in the final release which we are going to discuss further:

Drafting and Scheduling just got better!

Customizer is a great thing, especially if we talk about WordPress. Why? It helps the developers around the world who work with WordPress as CMS, can take burden off their shoulders now. How? Drafting and scheduling has become a lot more easier and smooth. The admin can easily preview the changes before saving them and even schedule the changes in the Customizer to make the things seamless.

The all new Gallery Widget

The WordPress developers will not find it cumbersome anymore to add images to a WordPress website. This is because WordPress 4.9 has come up with an improved option of adding the images through the Gallery Widget. It’s much more easier to add images, edit and delete by using the Gallery Widget. Native gallery in any widget area can be created.

Media adding is now possible along with Text widgets

With the all new WordPress 4.9, adding Media has got easier without getting into the code game. Earlier, HTML code was required to add media. But now, it’s not at all necessary to use HTML code CSS code to add media. With the click of a button, WordPress developers can now add images easily with the click of a button.

Much to the happiness of the developers, there are many other improvements that we witnessed in the beta release of WordPress 4.9. The most important one here is the extendable control for code editor. WordPress developers from Wordprax, WordPress development company with years of industry knowledge keeps a clear understanding of the business and technology goals in mind to render the best services possible. With 350+ experts and 10+ years of expertise in hand, WordPrax team is highly collaborative and responsive.

WordPress 4.8.2, the security and maintenance release is out

Recently on 19 Sept, 2017, WordPress core version 4.8.2 is released for the general public. Actually this is a security and maintenance release and the updates are minor ones. For those people who have enabled the auto updates feature, their WordPress websites will be uploaded automatically.

WordPress 4.8.2 features mainly nine security fixes which the WordPress website owners should apply. This year there have been total six updates featuring security fixes.

The maintenance side of the update features six other software updates and focuses on the bit where we see five cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws which is a popular attack that refuses to die, directory traversal issues and the one covering an open redirect. Also there is precautionary hardening of the $wpdb->prepare() method for more safety.

The WordPress plugin developer can understand this easily as how much important it is to write plugin code without any vulnerability. Actually the main problem is not the vulnerability in the core WordPress software but the main headache is the ecosystem which allows code of WordPress plugins and themes.

WordPress states that WordPress core is not directly vulnerable to this security issue but we have added more hardening to prevent plugins and themes from causing a vulnerability.

Although WordPress has a solid security operation but the large number of third party plugins and themes which offers many benefits to WordPress also add the vulnerability.

Recently it was found that the Display Widget plugin which is used by more than 2,00,000 websites was taken off when it was discovered that it contains a backdoor which enables the spam.

The hardening of $wpdb->prepare() is also considered important as it has been found that the best defense against SQL injection attacks is to ensure that the SQL queries are properly escaped. Which means that if we will add escape characters in a SQL query then it will stop the database engine from considering user supplied data as code which will stop the hackers from corrupting queries by adding codes into the data.

Both, WordPress and Wordprax state that the best way to do your escaping is by using prepare method. All data in SQL queries must be SQL escaped before the SQL query is executed to stop SQL injection attacks and the prepare method can do this for the WordPress.

Therefore the developers will use the prepare method as it protects against SQL injection. The updated WordPress versions will automatically be safe from buggy third party code but the old versions may not be. Hence the plugins and theme developers should test their code against the older versions of WordPress too.

The security fixes in 4.8.2 will affect all the WordPress versions before and including the 4.8.1. 4.8.2 is a low key update as it is most happening period of WordPress patching. Everyone waits for who patches and how quickly.

Still attackers can exploit and deface large numbers of unpatched websites even though WordPress keeps on recommending for automatic security updates.

Hence the most important advice from WordPress is “We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.” Hence update it now if you have not already.

Update about WordPress 4.8.1 Release

WordPress has released its latest version i.e. WordPress 4.8.1 on 2nd Aug 2017. WordPress 4.8.1 is a maintenance release and it has 29 maintenance fixes and enhancements. The prominent updates are the fixes to the Rich Text Widget and the introduction of the Custom HTML widget.

Recently WordPress 4.8 was also released which has hit more than 13 million downloads. WordPress developers were already waited for the next release and it happened in the form of WordPress 4.8.1 which has resolved many issues and fixes.

Why to Choose WordPress 4.8.1 to develop your WordPress website :-

There is no doubt that WordPress is presently the most used website development platform in the market. Initially WordPress was considered best only for the blogging websites but now after so many enhancements and releases, it is considered best for all kinds of websites. Some of the benefits of WordPress is its customization, scalability, Reliability, SEO Friendliness etc which WordPress offers. WordPress developers around the world are working constantly to upgrade its functionalities. You can also hire WordPress developer if you have some requirement for custom WordPress website. There are thousands of WordPress plugins are available to incorporate so many feature into your WordPress website. You can customize WordPress according to your business requirements easily. Hence you should download the latest version of WordPress to build your feature rich and reliable website.

How to upgrade to WordPress 4.8.1?

In order to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress i.e. WordPress 4.8.1 you can simply visit the Dashboard section of your WordPress website and go to Updates and then click “Update now”. If you are building a new WordPress website then you can download the fresh copy of WordPress 4.8.1 from the official website of WordPress at this link.

Download WordPress 4.8.1

The websites and hosting services which offer automatic updates have already started automatic background updates for WordPress 4.8.1.

Points to Consider When Choosing Your Managed WordPress Hosting Provider

If you want to choose a managed hosting provider for your WordPress website then it can be a difficult task especially if you are not familiar with the technicalities of this issue. There are so many hosting providers offering different features. Managed WordPress hosting standards have improved a lot over the past few years which are provided by only a few companies hence you can choose from them.

In this article, we will provide you with a clear picture of what you should expect from a managed WordPress hosting provider. You will know the questions you should ask your hosting provider to get a deal of value for money. After finalizing the hosting provider for your WordPress site then you can also look for converting HTML to WordPress to get a more feature rich quality website.

Managed WordPress Hosting

HMTL to WordPressWhen you buy a managed WordPress hosting plan then your hosting provider will provide you many services like speed, uptime, security, backups, site restoration, plugin/theme compatibility, updates and monitoring of site on daily basis. Managed WordPress hosting takes care of all the back-end tasks of operating a WordPress website. This hosting plan is ideal for small businesses that don’t want to do daily maintenance of their site. The best hosting plan will ensure your WordPress site deliver the best user experience to its visitors.

After your WordPress hosting provider is finalized then you have to upload your WordPress site to its servers. If your website is still not ready then you can take services of WordPress website development from some experienced developers.

We are explaining here the points which you should consider when choosing a managed WordPress hosting provider so that you can take an informed decision.

Support

One of the most important factor in choosing a well managed WordPress hosting provider is what kind of customer support it provides. Support team should have hands on experience fixing WordPress errors that will save you from late night troubleshooting your site.

Security

Business owners which have a WordPress site, ask their customers for personal information from time to time. They can’t risk security breaches and data leaks. Managed WordPress hosting providers take extra care to provide their customers the right tools so that top level of security is maintained at their servers. Make sure these before purchasing your managed WordPress hosting plan. Do they set up SSL certificates for customers? Do they offer automatic backups and site restoration? Do they provide protection against DDos attacks by hackers?

You should carefully get answers to these question from the hosting providers. If they provide satisfactory answers to these question then you can go for them.

Scalability

Whatever is the current size of your online business, you will always be looking for growth in business in the coming future. If the managed hosting provider is good then it will give their customers enough room to grow  their business without worrying about where they will host their site.

If you choose a bad hosting provider based on your limited knowledge then it can be a frustrating experience in long run. Now we have given you enough information and factors which you should consider before finalizing the managed WordPress hosting provider. If you know your site’s hosting requirements then you can find a well managed WordPress hosting provider that meets all of your requirements, gives you value for money and delivers an perfect user experience to the site’s visitors.

WordPress 4.8 Release – New Updates

On 8 June 2017, WordPress latest version WordPress 4.8 “Evans” has been released which is named in the honor of the jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans. WordPress 4.8 is now available for download or you can update in your WordPress dashboard. Before the release, so many WordPress developers as well as users were eagerly waiting for the release and they wanted to know what are the new updates and changes. As a good news, WordPress 4.8 offers many changes which developers will love as they will improve the user experience.

As “Evans” is a major release of WordPress hence you have to manually start the update if you are not on a managed WordPress hosting service.

Also it is important to take WordPress backup before starting the update. The WordPress developers have added three new default widgets in WordPress 4.8. Actually WordPress users were waiting for these widgets since long and now they are happy that finally they got them.

WordPress Developer - WordpraxThese updates look minor but they are due to the efforts of hundreds of developers. Look at these updates and new features which surely you will like:-

  • Link improvements
  • New media widgets under images, video and audio
  • An upgraded text widget which supports visual editing
  • Upgraded new section in your dashboard to notify you about nearby WordPress events and meetings

Also read this : What’s New With The WordPress 4.7.2?

Widget Updates

- Image Widget

WordPress has made it easier to add an image to a widget. You can do that even if you don’t know programming. You can insert your image right within the widget settings.
Video Widget

WordPress has made it easier to add any video from the media library to a sidebar on your website with the new Video widget. If you want to enhance the brand of your site then a video can help. You can use this to show the video which has information about your new products or offerings.

Also read this : WordPress Update Now Available: Version 4.7.3

- Audio Widget

WordPress has made it easier for you to add your audio file to the widget. If you are a musician then it will help you. You can just upload the audio file to the media library and then go to the widget settings to select the file.

- Rich Text Widget

With new update now you are more capable of rich text editing which has now become native for the text widgets. Now you can work with your new formatting powers. WordPress developers have loved this new feature.

- Link Boundaries

If earlier you have faced problems in updating a link then now with link boundaries, a new feature, you can easily update links.

Notifications about WordPress Events

WordPress has huge open source and development community which holds regular meetings and events. It has presence in more than 400 cities around the world. With this new feature WordPress will update you about all of these events and meetings happening near your area. You can join them and increase your skills or make new friends. These events will be visible in the WordPress dashboard.

All of the WordPress developers were waiting for the launch of WordPress 4.8 hence this is a good news for them that WordPress new version has been launched with improved features. These new features will benefit WordPress developers as well as the site owners and visitors.

Why do you need a professional for converting your PSD design to WordPress?

There are so many PSD to WordPress tutorials available online. They all promise that by reading these tutorials you will be able to convert PSD to WordPress. But just by following a tutorial you will not be able to covert a PSD to WordPress theme so easily. Mostly these tutorials can atmost give you a general idea about how to convert a PSD design to WordPress. But they are not able to give your practical details which is required to convert a design into WordPress theme. Hence with these tutorials you won’t be able to complete the task of PSD to WordPress conversion.

PSD design to WordPress is a professional work and for that you need an expert WordPress developer to convert your design into a fully functional website and it requires a lot of technical knowledge. You need to be expert in Adobe Photoshop, HTML, CSS, jQuery, JavaScript, PHP and WordPress.

First step of conversion of PSD design to WordPress is the slicing of the PSD file. Hence you must be an expert in Photoshop.

Next step is to create the markup. For this, you need to be an expert in HTML and HTML5. You should know about the HTML tags. You also need the knowledge of semantic markup and microdata so that your content is well read by search engines in a better way. After your markup is ready, you need to complete the design phase. For this, you need to be an expert in CSS, jQuery and JavaScript.

If you have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS then it will not be enough. In order to create a theme in WordPress, you need to be an expert in PHP and WordPress.

You must be having in-depth knowledge of how WordPress works? Also you need to know what are action hooks and filter in WordPress? After that you must know about the template tags, template hierarchy and conditional tags. You should also know how to create a theme in WordPress and what is functions.php and what is style.css?

- As WordPress is coded in PHP hence if you want to use WordPress you need to be an expert in PHP.

- These are the things which you must know very well in order to accomplish simple PSD to WordPress conversion.

- And that’s not all. You also need to follow the standard coding practices, so that your code is W3C validated and it works across all browsers.

- Also if you know about the Search engine optimization(SEO) then you can work on improving the search engine ranking of your website.

- Also you need to have knowledge about user experience, website performance, loading time and caching.

As we have shown you, you need to know so many technical things just for PSD design to WordPress conversion. Hence it won’t be possible for you alone to fulfill this task unless until you have a strong team which is well versed in all of these technical aspects. Therefore it is best to hire professional WordPress developer for completing the task of PSD to WordPress conversion and designing in WordPress. If you hire an expert WordPress professional developer then not only your task will be completed quickly but also you will get lots of tips about how to improve your features and functionality of the WordPress site so that your online business can prosper.

Business Benefits of Installing CDN on your WordPress Website

Content Delivery Network commonly known as CDN is referred as a dedicated server setup and this is required for efficient as well faster delivery of media. It has proved its value by being a high-tech solution for website optimization globally. In this blog, we will discuss the concept in detail.

Now, let us suppose that you need to access a website whose central server host is located far away from your present location. So, the speed of your website will certainly be quite less as the geographical location of the website matters. As there are several minute things that play a crucial role in your online business image, therefore, you must hire a professional WordPress developer who has the experience to deliver awesome projects.

Things bring us to the point that the geographical location of the central hosting server plays a crucial role. The time to load the content is more if the distance between the hosting server and the client server is large. This can be a big reason for your viewers to leave your website and this is not good for your business conversion.

WordPress Developer for HireThe reason behind this is that the users might leave your website if it is slow. Content Delivery Network can work in order to change the entire speed phenomena. Its work is to simply alter the central hosting server. However, the nature of this modification is not physical and thus fosters WordPress website development process.

The work of a CDN is to send a cached file of your web site’s media content to the hosting server which is the location of the person viewing your website. This is quite a simple step and there is a significantly reduced the loading time of your website.

This is not just it. Faster loading time of your website is quite good for your website.

Why do we need a CDN?

Speed of the website

One of the most beneficial things about CDN is that your website tends to work faster than ever. Due to which the response time of the website increases and this in return increases a loyal base of customers. Moreover, it is seen that even a delay of a second has a very strong psychological impact on the potential buyers.

Robust websites

The hosting servers that are present globally help to share the load on the central hosting server of your website. This helps the website to resist all the sudden crashes on your website. This is the reason CDN is very much beneficial for e-commerce website as it helps to improve the revenue generated by the website.

Incredible User Experience

The bounce rate of the web pages is quite low for those websites that load faster as compared to others, due to which the number of views on your website increases. Due to which the user experience of your website increases. With the help of this loading time, the website further tends to increase the global reach of your website that further quite profitable.

New advanced SEO Ranking

According to Google, the rank of a website with faster speed tends to get higher rank in search engine results page (SERPS). This is one major factor that helps increase the SEO ranking as well as reachability of your business website via search engines.

Endnote

A CDN helps the business owners to form your company’s presence in areas that are difficult to reach. In order to reach these areas, you need to physically reach or must own a web hosting server. However, CDN, helps business owners to easily create an impact on their customers using their local hosting server without incurring any extra cost. The installation process of CDN is not quite a daunting task but requires your sheer attention. All you need to do is to install WordPress Plugins such W3 Total Cache for installing as CDN.

Few things to notice while selecting custom WP development services

Undoubtedly, WordPress is one of the most beloved content management systems in the web development sector. So, if you planning to come up with a business website or personal portal and don’t have many resources to maintain it, then you should opt for the WordPress platform. All you need is a skilled WP developer by your side and just hand him over everything you want to see on your site.

You can also opt for custom WordPress development services provider who will help you in getting things sorted. Nowadays, outsourcing web development project has become a trend and you might be able to secure an affordable service package. There are several offshore developers who also offer WordPress maintenance and support services. This can be a big leap especially for the non-technical users who seek an online path for success.

There are several cases when the people with non-technical background panic because they are not able to find a right service provider. In this article, you will read about certain points that you must take into consideration while searching for a suitable WordPress developer or development agency.

So let’s begin:

Always opt for these services through references

If you are looking for a skilled WordPress CMS development services provider then you should begin your search process with references. Ask your friends, family members, colleagues if they can provide you with any lead.

Always give preference to testimonials

This is primary thing you need to look out for a WP developer. Just Google search for the service providers, open up their website and straight away head to their testimonial section. Read all the reviews and browse through their portfolio. If you are satisfied their reviews and past work then you can shortlist them for further discussion.

Make sure that the company provides support after development

The real game begins when your site is live on the web. It’s crucial to update your portal on regular basis. It will be good if you hire someone who offers after development support for at least 6 to 8 months. So, that you don’t have to hover around the market looking for someone who can upgrade your site.

Keep yourself aware of the current market price of such services

Before you initiate the process of development do a bit of market research. Keep yourself updated about the cost of services which you are seeking. There are several development agencies which offer fewer prices but fail to deliver prescribed services. Try to avoid such companies. Make a budget and stick to it at any costs.

Request a jargon-free discussion with the company you want to hire

If you have shortlisted a developer then do take up a short interview session. The output of your project totally depends on the skills of the WP programmer. So, ask them to explain their plans and request them to exclude technical words as they might sound alien to you.

Summing Up

Keep all these above-mentioned points in your mind before hiring someone for your project. Appoint an expert who can provide you with unique sites and blogs.

Delving Deeper into WordPress 4.7.5 and Above

WordPress 4.7.5 is the now for available for the users. This release is to cover up the security issues prevailing in their previous versions and therefore it is strongly recommended to update your WordPress websites.

Wordprax - WordPress DeveloperSecurity issues in WordPress versions 4.7.4 and above:

  • Insufficient redirect validation in the HTTP class.
  • Sam Thomas reported about the inappropriate handling of post meta data values in the XML-RPC API.
  • Ben Bidner who works with WordPress Security Team reported a lack of capability checks for post meta data in the XML-RPC API.
  • Yorick Koster reported Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) loophole was uncovered in the filesystem credentials dialog.
  • Ronni Skansing reported a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability while uploading very large files.
  • Weston Ruter of the WordPress Security Team reported cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was uncovered related to the Customizer.

Apart from these aforementioned security breaches, WordPress 4.7.5 also includes 3 maintenance issues prevailing in the 4.7 series which might have an impact on WordPress web development services across the globe. In order to know more about this, you can check out the release notes or list of changes.

How to use WordPress 4.7.5?

In order to incorporate WordPress 4.7.5, you can download WordPress 4.7.5 or go to the Dashboard → Updates and click on “Update Now.” If your website supports automatic background updates then they were automatically updated to WordPress 4.7.5.

WordPress 4.8 release candidate is out!

WordPress 4.8 release candidate is now available in the market. RC is our final version of the task but as there are millions of users and numerous plugins as well as themes, it might be possible that something is still missing.

It is expected to get WordPress 4.8 release on Thursday, June 8. So, it is time to test WordPress 4.8. In order to test WordPress 4.8, one can make use of the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or download the release candidate from the official WordPress website.

After the release of Beta 2 version. Few more changes were made. In order to know in detail about the changes made you can go to the blog. Further, the company has requested to the WordPress developers, to test the compatibility of their plugins as well as themes with WordPress 4.8 and update these plugin’s Tested up to the one in the readme to 4.8.

In the case of any compatibility problems, you can contact the support forums in order to figure in order to rectify it before the final release. Plus, the company is coming up with an in-depth guide to developer-focused alterations will be released soon by the developers.

Final words!

This software is under development, so it is recommended not to run it on your production site. However, if you want to test this feature then you can play with the new version. You can try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin in order to test the WordPress 4.8, Or you can download the beta version from the website.

To get to know more about 4.8, you can reach out the Beta 1 blog post. WordPress developers are advised to update their websites.

Feel free to post your queries in the comments section below.