Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting

In the dynamic realm of website management, the choice of hosting provider can make or break your online presence. With the proliferation of content management systems (CMS), WordPress stands out as a dominant force, powering over a third of the web. Amidst this landscape, the decision to opt for managed WordPress hosting becomes paramount for individuals and businesses alike. Enter New Directions in Computing, a leading provider offering comprehensive managed WordPress hosting solutions. Let’s delve into the compelling advantages of entrusting your website to such a proficient service.

Advantages of having a Managed WordPress Hosting

Enhanced Performance and Speed

In the digital age, speed is non-negotiable. Managed WordPress hosting with New Directions in Computing leverages cutting-edge technology and optimization techniques to ensure blazing-fast loading times. With superior server architecture and advanced caching mechanisms, your website enjoys optimal performance, translating into improved user experience and higher search engine rankings.

Robust Security Measures

Cyber threats loom large in today’s online ecosystem. New Directions in Computing employs robust security protocols and round-the-clock monitoring to safeguard your WordPress site against malware, hackers, and other malicious entities. From regular security audits to real-time threat detection, rest assured that your website remains shielded from potential vulnerabilities.

Worry-free Updates and Maintenance

Say goodbye to the hassle of manual updates and maintenance tasks. With managed WordPress hosting, New Directions in Computing takes care of all software updates, security patches, and server optimizations seamlessly. This ensures that your website remains up-to-date with the latest WordPress releases and plugins, mitigating the risk of compatibility issues and vulnerabilities.

Expert Technical Support

When it comes to resolving technical glitches and troubleshooting issues, having reliable support at your disposal is invaluable. New Directions in Computing boasts a team of seasoned WordPress experts who are readily available to address any concerns or queries you may have. Whether it’s configuring DNS settings or optimizing server performance, rest assured that help is just a click away.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your website grows, so do your hosting requirements. Managed WordPress hosting with New Directions in Computing offers scalable solutions tailored to accommodate your evolving needs. Whether you’re experiencing a surge in traffic or planning to launch new features, rest assured that your hosting infrastructure can seamlessly scale to meet the demand, without any downtime or performance hiccups.

Streamlined Backup and Recovery

Accidents happen, but with managed WordPress hosting, you can mitigate the impact of data loss. New Directions in Computing implements robust backup solutions, ensuring regular backups of your website’s data and files. In the event of a mishap or unforeseen circumstance, swift recovery options are available to restore your website to its former glory, minimizing downtime and disruption.

Optimized for SEO

In the competitive landscape of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a pivotal role in driving organic traffic to your website. Managed WordPress hosting with New Directions in Computing incorporates SEO best practices, from optimized server configurations to fast-loading web pages, enhancing your site’s visibility and ranking potential across search engine results pages (SERPs).

In conclusion, the decision to opt for managed WordPress hosting with New Directions in Computing offers a plethora of advantages that streamline website management and elevate your online presence. From enhanced performance and robust security measures to expert technical support and scalability, entrusting your website to such a proficient service provider ensures peace of mind and unlocks the full potential of your WordPress site.

Revolutionizing Website Testing: WP Boom 2.0

In the fast-paced world of web development, ensuring the visual integrity and functionality of a website across various browsers and devices can be a challenge. Traditional testing methods often fall short, leaving developers struggling to catch bugs before they impact user experience. However, there is a new website testing tool that has come to revolutionize the industry: WP Boom!

Why Visual Testing Matters?

A minor CSS tweak might look flawless on one browser but wreak havoc on another. Then you have 404 pages or plugin updates that brake a whole site and nobody wants this! Visual testing goes beyond the traditional pass/fail criteria of functional testing, focusing on the visual aspects of a website across different environments. It ensures pixel-perfect rendering and consistent user experience across the board.

Introducing WP Boom – Version 2.0

Enter WP Boom, the game-changer in website testing. Our cutting-edge platform offers an intuitive user interface, empowering developers or QA teams to catch visual changes before they escalate into costly issues.

Key Features:

  •  Snapshotting of your site’s pages to compare if something is different
  • Customized page selection for flexibility and a faster process
  • Translation options from available from “My account” page
  • Tags for better organization and tracking of website

How it works?

Using WP Boom is as simple as it is powerful. Just upload your website and our platform takes care of the rest. Our algorithms meticulously analyze every pixel, flagging any discrepancies between different versions of your site. With detailed reports and actionable insights, you can address issues swiftly, ensuring a flawless user experience.

Step 1: Add Site to WP BOOM
Add your site to WP BOOM and crawl the pages you need or the whole domain. These snapshots will serve as your visual baseline, before any updates are made. You can also add multiple sites at once for your convenience.

Step 2: Make some updates to your site

You can now perform your WordPress core or plugin updates or any adjustments you need to

Step 3: Take another snapshot of your site

With your website freshly updated, go back to WP Boom and initiate another snapshot. This tool meticulously compares the ‘before’ and ‘after’ snapshots, using advanced algorithms to detect the smallest variations.

Step 4: Review your comparison

Review the screenshots to find out if your site to see if there were any changes. WP BOOM will give you an overall percentage change, a per-page percentage change, and will let you compare actually see the before and after differences for any given page.

There are 3 buttons available: “Show Difference”, “Show new” and “Show old” for you to navigate between them.

Step 5: You can set alerts (optional) 

WP Boom generates detailed reports highlighting every visual change detected during the update process and sends email alerts.

wordpress testing tool

Benefits:

  • Faster Time to Market: Identify and fix visual bugs early in the development process, reducing time spent on troubleshooting.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Deliver a consistent and polished user experience across all devices and browsers, boosting user satisfaction and retention.
  • Cost Savings: Prevent costly visual bugs from slipping through the cracks and impacting your bottom line.
  • Streamlined Workflow: Integrate visual testing seamlessly into your existing development workflow, improving efficiency and collaboration among team members.

With the launch of WP Boom 2.0, the future of website testing has arrived. Say goodbye to the headaches of manual pixel-by-pixel comparisons and hello to a streamlined and efficient solution.

Are you ready to elevate your website testing game? Try WP Boom today and experience the difference firsthand.

The Benefits of Custom WooCommerce Development: Unveiling the Unmatched Advantages

The Benefits of Custom WooCommerce Development

You and your company work hard to leverage your strategic advantages… shouldn’t your eCommerce solution be aligned to do the same?

There are many choices in the ever changing landscape of eCommerce solutions. But if your business requires a flexible online storefront that can be customized for your specific needs, then there is one clear standout: WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is a free, highly scalable eCommerce solution that is cost-effective, flexible, and powerful enough to meet even the most demanding eCommerce needs. But how does it compare to other platforms?

WooCommerce vs. Shopify and Others

According to Forbes Advisor in a April 2024 article:

“WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms available today. Between the two, there are an estimated 5 million-plus users who’ve earned billions of dollars, globally.”

While both platforms are effective eCommerce solutions, the differences are rather pronounced. One way to think of it is by using the analogy of Ikea furniture vs. custom interiors curated by an interior designer.

On one hand, the Ikea solution (i.e. Shopify, Wix, Etsy and others) is a great fit for those looking for a simple, functional solution, and don’t mind that their store is going to look, and behave, very much like every other store on the platform. If selling your products online is your sole consideration, then these platforms offer an easy, turnkey way of doing just that.

With a hosted solution, there’s still plenty of work for you to do in order to start taking online orders, but hosted platforms do their very best to make it easy for the average online store to get up and running. Of course, your store can only function in ways that the hosted platforms design for you – and, like in our Ikea analogy, you’ve got to unpack, and build out, your digital storefront in order for it to work.

With a bespoke solution (i.e. WooCommerce), by its very definition, it is curated specifically for your unique business needs. Incorporating your unique logic, customizing layouts, syncing with your ERP and other back-office solutions is the job of your “designer,” who can guide you through the myriad of options and deliver an ideal solution that is uniquely yours. The upfront costs can be higher, but WooCommerce is vastly more flexible, and you have full control over how it functions.

Key Benefits of a Custom WooCommerce Solution

Here are some advantages to a Custom WooCommerce Solution. For more insights, schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with our eCommerce Strategy Team.

Tailored to Your Unique Business Needs

  • No two businesses are alike, and a one-size-fits-all solution often falls short. Custom WooCommerce development allows businesses to address their unique challenges and specific needs with precision.
  • Incorporating specific business rules into the development process ensures that your online store supports your business’ unique demands.
  • Tailored solutions are inherently scalable, and can grow in tandem as your business grows.
tailored website according to your needs

Branded Design aligned with a Branded User Experience.

Custom WooCommerce development allows you to infuse your brand identity into every aspect of your online store. From color schemes to typography, the design is a true reflection of your brand’s personality.
Custom development ensures a seamless and user-friendly experience. Every aspect of your site is strategic, and the user journey can be designed to enhance engagement and encourage conversions.

Integration of Specialized Features and Functionalities

  • Custom programming of your WooCommerce solution allows you to introduce unique functions that set you apart from competitors. Whether it’s a specialized checkout process or a unique product display, the possibilities are limitless.
  • Speed is paramount in eCommerce. Not only does your site speed reflect on your search engine ranking, it plays an enormous role in completing transactions.
  • A custom WooCommerce solution is entirely portable and can be matched with the right hosting solution, one that matches resources to your needs and is scalable for future growth.
  • Performance tailored to business needs ensures a fast, efficient, and responsive online store.
  • In the world of e-commerce, every second counts. Custom development allows for advanced speed optimization techniques, reducing page load times and minimizing bounce rates.
  • Advanced speed optimization contributes to improved user satisfaction and search engine rankings.
Enhanced Performance and Speed Optimization

Integration with You Back-Office Suite

Your WooCommerce developer should also work with you to integrate your internal business systems, such as CRM, ERP and billing, with your eCommerce solution.
Integration flexibility ensures a smooth and cohesive online store ecosystem.
Every efficiency gained is more $$ to the bottom line.

Dedicated Support and Maintenance

  • Businesses can benefit from having a partner who understands their needs and works to grow their eCommerce system.
  • Hosted solutions are operated by large companies with call centers, they don’t have the capacity to get to know your business and partner with you to grow your eCommerce business.

Empower Your eCommerce Solution with Custom WooCommerce Development

 

Custom WooCommerce development in the hands of a skilled development team can mean all the difference for your business. Look for a team with experience in working with eCommerce clients, and can demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of your unique business needs.

At NDIC, we understand the intricacies of custom WooCommerce development and are dedicated to empowering businesses with personalized solutions. Our commitment to excellence, our client-centric approach, and unwavering focus on innovation position us as a trusted partner as you seek to expand your e-commerce offering. Talk to us and see if we are the right fit to support your online presence.

How to find the Best WooCommerce Developers

The Benefits of Custom WooCommerceDevelopment

So you’ve done your research and have come to the conclusion that WooCommerce is the right solution for your eCommerce needs. Congrats! You’ve chosen the most cost effective, scalable and flexible eCommerce solution available today.

Now to find a WooCommerce partner who can deliver on the promises that WooCommerce makes possible.

Decoding the World of WooCommerce Development

Customizing WooCommerce to meet your unique business needs requires expertise that only seasoned developers can deliver. A top WooCommerce developer is someone who not only has a strong grasp of web development, particularly within the WordPress environment, but also specializes in the nuances of the WooCommerce platform.

Turn to a company who can transform your online store into a powerhouse of functionality, design, and user experience and watch your KPI’s take off!

As you read through this checklist, remember that the most important factor in selecting a partner who can support your online business is the relationship and understanding between the partners. At NDIC, we hold the relationship paramount, and work every day to build trust with our clients, and to exceed their expectations by delivering exceptional value beyond the norm.

Custom development in woocommerce websites

Qualities of a Top (the Best) WooCommerce Developer

1. Expertise

The best developers specialize in WooCommerce and possess a deep understanding of its architecture, features, and customization capabilities.

  • Does your developer have multiple WooCommerce clients they’ve been supporting for years?
  • Do they know how to customize the right plugins and can create functionality as needed?

2. Diverse skills and experience

  • Look for a professional team that has several developers, each with multiple years of experience
  • Does your team have diverse programming experience in order to augment your WooCommerce solution? PHP programming skills are the cornerstone of WordPress and WooCommerce development, look for a team that not only does front end development, but also excels at customizing the back end.
  • Are they experienced with integrating your back-end systems with your client-facing systems?
  • Can they demonstrate experience with testing and debugging? Do they use version control systems and have a proven strategy for development, staging, and live updates?
  • Do they demonstrate an understanding of site security, performance optimization and can support you with a range of scalable hosting solutions?

3. Alignment

  • A strong partnership begins with a shared vision. Look for a developer who demonstrates an understanding of your business and your digital strategy and is customer focused.
  • Does your development team exhibit strong analytical skills, and the ability to problem solve?
  • Look for a company that has long-lasting relationships, that is a sign they truly understand their clients’ needs.
  • Trust is the bedrock of successful partnerships. Does your developer communicate well? Are they transparent? Do they follow through?
  • Can they help you identify the right solutions given your financial and aspirational requirements?

4. Flexibility

  • Is your WooCommerce partner skilled enough to address your project from different approaches? Small firms are often only able to look at challenges from one point of view. Large firms can be fixed in their methodology. Look for a firm that has good depth but is nimble enough to make your eCommerce solution uniquely yours.

Many developers are highly technical but don’t comprehend the practical aspects. Some can program but not design, or visa versa. Most don’t fully understand the hosting aspects once the site is live. It is rare to find a company who can create, maintain and host your WooCommerce website. Rarer yet, finding a company that does all this and proactively works to safeguard and optimize your digital storefront.

These traits combine to make an eCommerce developer who can not only build and maintain an online store but also contribute to its growth and success in the competitive digital marketplace. If you’re looking to hire or become an eCommerce developer, focusing on these areas will be key.

In short, look for a developer with a proven track record of successful WooCommerce projects. NDIC, with its more than 30 years in business and a portfolio of diverse and thriving eCommerce solutions, scores high marks on every criteria.

A Closer Look: NDIC – a Leading WooCommerce Developer

 

NDIC’s development experience spans more than 30 years. They have championed WordPress and WooCommerce since their early days as these platforms are flexible and easy to use, which empowers their clients to maximize the utility of their online presence.

With a suite of talented developers, graphic designers, programmers and project managers, the NDIC team has the wide-ranging expertise to take on any WooCommerce project. From the entrepreneur to large, multinational corporations, they understand how to create a “best fit” for each of their clients.

Collaborative approach at NDIC

A Collaborative Approach: NDIC’s Commitment to Excellence

 

NDIC, over years of providing online business solutions, has one overarching principle: Understand the client’s needs, goals and aspirations, and work continuously to provide the best service possible. They do that by constantly evaluating the competitive landscape, focusing on supporting a

It’s not about the technology. It’s about how the technology can help you grow and become more efficient.

Occasionally, that means they advise their clients against pursuing certain courses of action, even though it might be more profitable in the short term. By providing keen insights and recommendations, they work as an important team member, ensuring a company’s web presence is being expertly maintained so as to serve a company’s overall business objectives.

You want your eCommerce platform to be a seamless, integrated solution that will grow with your needs for years to come. And you want a partner who has a clear understanding of what your eCommerce goals are, and can deliver on them consistently and effectively. A team that is responsive, communicates clearly, one that demonstrates an understanding of your business needs and that can be there consistently to support the growth of your digital presence.

In the vast landscape of WooCommerce development, NDIC emerges as a leading choice for businesses seeking excellence, innovation, and success. By aligning with NDIC, clients not only gain access to cutting-edge WooCommerce solutions but also embark on a journey of collaborative development, client-centric strategies, and industry-leading expertise.

How to – Clear Cache in Cloudflare

Not seeing your website updates reflected? Are you wondering how to clear cache in Cloudflare? Either if you need to purge a page or the whole site, this post provides an easy step by step tutorial so you can clear cache from Cloudflare.

    1. Log In to Your Cloudflare Account.
      Visit the Cloudflare website (https://www.cloudflare.com/) and log in to your account.

 

    1. Select Your Website.
      In the Cloudflare dashboard, you will see a list of the websites registered in your account. Click on the website for which you want to clear the cache.

    2. Navigate to Cache Settings.
      Once you’ve selected your website, look for the settings menu. In the left sidebar, click on the “Caching” option to expand more choices, then click on the “Configuration” option.

    3. Clear the Cloudflare Cache.
      Within the cache configuration section, you will find various options related to caching. To clear the cache, follow one of these two methods:Custom Purge (Clear Individual Files):

      • Enter the specific URL of the page or resource you want to clear from the cache.
      • Click the “Purge” button.

      Purge Everything:

      • Click on the “Purge Everything” option.
      • Cloudflare will prompt you for confirmation since this will remove the entire cache of your site. Confirm the action.
    4. Wait for the Cache to Clear.
      The cache clearing process in Cloudflare will begin and may take some time, especially if you are clearing the entire cache. Cloudflare will remove all cached versions of your site.

 

    1. Verify Successful Cache Clearance.
      Once the clearing process is complete, you will receive a notification or a success message. Your website will now serve fresh content to visitors.

 

  1. Check Site Functionality.
    It is important to check that your website continues to function correctly after clearing the cache. Navigate through the pages and verify that everything is displaying as it should.

We hope you find this article helpful and if there is anything more specific you need help with, regarding your hosting solution or website be sure to reach out. We are happy to help!

 

How to – Create a Database in cPanel

  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Navigate to the Databases Section.
    Look for the “Databases” section. Within the “Databases” section, search for and click on the “MySQL Databases” option. This tool will allow you to create and manage MySQL databases in cPanel.
  3. Create a New Database.
    Once you are in the “MySQL Databases” tool, you will see a section for creating a new database. You should follow these steps:

    Assign a Name to the Database: Choose a name for your new database. This name must be unique.

    Create the Database: Click on the “Create Database” button. cPanel will create the database and show you a confirmation that it has been successfully created.


  4. Create a User to the Database.
    Navigate to the MySQL User section, click on “Add New User,” and enter the username that will have access to the database. Similarly, set a secure password and click en “Create User” button.
  5. Assign the user to the database.
    Now assign the user to the database. This allows the user to access and manage the database. To do this, follow these steps:Assign the user to the database: Navigate to the “Add user to Database” section, select the user and the database; this will assign the user to the database.
    Manage the user’s permissions: Assign privileges to the user for the database. We recommend selecting “All Privileges” and clicking the “Make Changes” button. You can specify individual privileges as needed.

That’s it! You have successfully created a database in cPanel and assigned a user to that database. Now you can use this database to store and manage data on your website or application.

How to – Locate the error_log file in cPanel

  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Navigate to the “Files” Section.
    Once you’re logged in to cPanel, look for the “Files” section. Within the “Files” section, search for and click on the option “File Manager“. This tool will allow you to explore and manage your website’s files.

  3. Once you’re in the “File Manager“, you should access the root directory of your website. The error_log file is typically located in the root directory of the public_html folder.


  4. View or Download the error_log File.
    Once you’ve located the error_log file, you can do the following:

    View the file: Click on the name of the error_log file to open it and view its contents in a popup window. This will allow you to review server error logs.

    Download the file: If you want to save a copy of the error_log file to your local computer, select the file and download it.

How to – Change my MX Records in cPanel

  1. Access you cPanel account.
  2. Managing Your Domain.
    Go to the “Domains” section. Here, find and click on the “Zone Editor” menu.
    Locate your domain in the list and click on the “Manage” option next to it.

  3. Navigating to MX Tab.
    Once in the management section, look for and click on the “MX” tab.
  4. Removing Existing MX Records (if necessary).
    If you want to use a third-party mail service for your domain, you may need to remove the existing MX records.
    Find the existing MX record(s) and use the delete option to get rid of them.
  5. Adding New MX Records.
    Click on the “Add Record” button usually present in the MX tab section.
    Enter the required details for your new MX record(s), such as priority and destination, as provided by your third-party mail service.
  6. Saving Changes.
    Make sure to save any changes you’ve made before exiting the page.
  7. Setting Email Routing.
    If your cPanel has an “Email Routing” section, ensure it’s set to the correct option, like “Remote Mail Exchanger” if you’re using a third-party mail service.

The Totalitarian Regime that is Google Safe Browsing

This is an edited version of an email sent to two different Googlers apparently associated with the Safe Browsing team. It’s gotten zero response, so I’m posting it publicly with the hopes of drawing the attention of other webmasters that have experienced these issues and to hopefully attract the attention of someone at Google that can make a positive difference.

To be fair, I have no idea if I sent the email to the right person, or even to someone who is still at Google. At the same time, Google is notoriously difficult to communicate with. There are no email addresses of team members. The web form on the Safe Browsing site allows only for reporting a URL, there is no feedback form or any way to communicate directly with the team. So, here’s the email…

————
I’m not sure if you’re on this team anymore, but hopefully you can help or direct me to the right person. The Safe Browsing team has done a great job helping prevent the spread of malware but for those of us trying to fight malware in the trenches by cleaning sites and putting them back into service, Google is more like a totalitarian regime than a system of fair governance. Let me explain why it feels that way.

  1. We are thrown in jail without warning (website suddenly displays red screen of death)
  2. We are held without any specific charges (Search Console simply says that the site has malware and may provide an example page where malware was found, but it doesn’t point to any actual JS files hosted by the site, or links within the site that load remote payloads)
  3. There is no indication of when you’ll receive a trial or get paroled (submitting a site for reconsideration comes with zero feedback about where you might be in a queue, when you are up for reconsideration or whether your reconsideration request was accepted or rejected and, if rejected, why. You are either let out of jail or kept in there with the exact same message you got to begin with)

Google wields a tremendous amount of power in these situations and as a web developer trying to make a living and help clients make a living online, it feels like that power is being abused. As a recent example, a client’s site was hacked. We use a number of tools and processes to prevent this, but the bad guys nevertheless got through. The client’s site was red-listed by Google on a Monday morning. By around 9am that same morning, we discovered the hack, cleaned it, and submitted the site for reconsideration via Search Console.

It took 4 days for Google to remove the red screen of pain and despair. This is an e-commerce customer who lost thousands of dollars in revenue during that time. There was no communication from Google during this time. We all had to just wait and hope. There is no one to contact, no one to appeal to.

I would understand if we were the bad guys in this scenario. In that case, having the pain of your site being essentially taken offline (does anyone EVER click the “visit site anyway” button when presented with the red screen of woe and damnation in their browser?) for 4 days is arguably a just punishment.

But we are not the bad guys, we are the victims. Yes we can and will work harder to prevent this type of thing, but we are fighting cunning enemies. We need Google’s help in this fight, not to be further punished.

Can you help me restore justice to the universe in the fight against malware or help me get connected with someone at Google who can?

Thanks!
Masen

PS – I have a ton of ideas on how to improve Safe Browsing and Search Console and would be happy to share them!

New Year Resolution: Add E-commerce to Your Online Presence

Over the past year we have seen some major shifts in how people are shopping. According to Shopify, who surveyed 11 markets, 84% of consumers shopped online during the pandemic.¹

With more people sheltering in place and staying home, it’s not surprising that most people decided to shop online. This includes everything from groceries to hygiene products and other everyday essentials that were typically bought in person. People want to buy these things in a way that’s safe, convenient and fast. (more…)

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Advantages of Managed Wordpress Hosting

In the dynamic realm of website management, the choice of hosting provider can make or break your online presence. With… more

Revolutionizing Website Testing: WP Boom 2.0

In the fast-paced world of web development, ensuring the visual integrity and functionality of a website across various browsers and… more

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