Maintenance Monday: WordPress security releases, updating plugins, and double opt-in email marketing

This month we look at topics like WordPress security releases, updating WordPress plugins, and double opt-in email marketing.

If you have any questions or need help integrating any of these resources, please contact me.

Security

Critical security release – In addition to the usual plugin updates needed to keep your WordPress website secure, wordpress.org released an important security update. All WordPress users are urged to update ASAP.

Theme Forest is a popular place to buy WordPress themes. If you own a theme purchased from Theme Forest, here’s a good article that discusses What to do if You Buy or Sell Items on Theme Forest and need to update your theme to secure your website against the recent WordPress security vulnerability. And here’s the official news release from Envato (parent company of Theme Forest).

Curious about SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and whether or not you need it? Read this article.

Performance

I’ve mentioned CDN before. Here’s a recent comparison of Cloudflare and max CDN.

Keeping your WordPress plugins up to date is an important part of optimizing your website’s performance. But what do you do when a plugin update does not go smoothly? Here’s some helpful advice.

Are you getting too many visitors leaving your website after landing on the Home page? Here’s a long article with some great suggestions for lowering your bounce rate (which is a good thing).

Education

If you are looking for ways to spruce up your WordPress Pages and Posts, here are “12 Tweaks” to improve the look and function. Some are pretty straightforward; others require a bit more coding experience. For example, depending on your theme and how Posts are displayed on your home page or sidebars, consider using WordPress’ built-in Custom Excerpts feature.

If you maintain your own WordPress website, you might find that you need to move the entire website to another hosting company (hopefully not too frequently!). There are many tools available now that make this a painless procedure that can be done in about 15 minutes. But if you need to move it manually, here’s a great guide.

Email marketing often goes hand-in-hand with a WordPress blog. There are many plugins that help you integrate your email strategy with WordPress. One thing to consider is the benefits of double opt-in email marketing. If you are located in Canada and marketing to Canadians, a double opt-in strategy is a great idea to avoid a nasty fine (you can read the government documents or consult your lawyer for details. MailChimp has a nice overview and some handy tools). This article looks at pros and cons of double opt-in, but for Canadians, the advantages go beyond legal compliance. In fact, studies show that double opt-in means more people will actually read your emails and stay subscribed.

That’s all for this month. If you have tried any of these tips, or if you have anything to add, please use the Comments section below.

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