Karl Elliott

Weeknotes – 22 April 2016

A roundup of notes and news related to technology from the past week or so…

WordPress 4.5 is out

The latest major WordPress update has been issued.  So your self-hosted WordPress sites will all be telling you to do an upgrade.  Usually this is a safe update to do, but beware of your older plugins and customised themes which might not always keep working as WordPress marches on.  And I’ll always recommend that you do a backup first.

Read more about 4.5 here.  If you’re a WebClub Gold member then I’ll be updating you shortly.  If not, you can always ask us to help with these sorts of upgrades.

Installatron Messages

If you are self-hosted with WordPress then you might be getting a lot of automated emails from Installatron at the moment.  I’ve noted that Krystal (and probably other hosting providers) have changed the admin tool that does easy installations of software.  And the new tool – Installatron – by default does an awful lot of notifications. Regularly. Every day. Annoyingly…

They are for a good reason – telling you should be doing something about maintenance on your site. But if (like me) you don’t react that day then they keep on coming.  So head into you hosting admin panel, find Installatron and for each of your websites find the setting to change email noticifications.  I’ve turned most of them off now (apart from errors, which I still want to know about).

WordPress Masterclass

It’s been a few years now since I held a full, advanced, WordPress Masterclass.  But it’s back and scheduled for:

Wednesday 29 June 2016.
9.30am registration. 10am start. 4pm finish. Lunch provided.
At VANEL offices at the Willows, Grimsby.
Strictly limited places. Booking essential.
£95 per person, £75 for VANEL Members/Friends + £40 per person for additional attendees from the same organisation.

This is for those who already use WordPress for their website and pretty much know how it all works.  It’s to help you learn to do all the really clever stuff to make the most of the power of WordPress to really manage your site(s) well and to make the best use of the tool.  We’ll stop short of actually coding/re-coding WordPress, but there’s a lot of useful stuff that we’ll cover in this workshop.

More details very soon, or contact me – Karl Elliott – to discuss whether this will be appropriate for you.

Keep your website safe

There was (another) scare story this week about a charity losing its website.  Read it here.  The site was hacked/attacked and disappeared.  They clearly had no way to recover it so now they are appealing for help, support, money etc to get it back to life again.  Lessons learned the really hard way.

(Of course it’s not just small voluntary groups that this happens to.  Here’s news about a football club losing its website – admittedly for slightly different reasons.)

Preparing for this is easier, quicker and cheaper than trying to recover from it.  Better security on the site in the first place to avoid the attacks.  Backups to recover from it.  Someone technical, knowledgeable and prepared to support before, during and after an attack or problem.  Thinking about it as part of your risk management and business continuity planning – at staff level, management team and board of trustees/committee level.

So how are you prepared for this?  VANEL can help you prepare for these sorts of technical issues or can help you if the problems arise.  Just contact us for information (in advance please!)

Funding for your digital projects

Tellonline will match fund your digital project up to a maximum  of £5000.  It’s a simple process with a deadline of 7th June.  You’ll need to find some money yourself, but only 50% of the price of your project.  So find out more and apply here.

VANEL can help you with this.  We could help you think through your digital project, price it up, and hopefully to deliver it.  We could even help you  prepare the wording  for an application.  So why not get in touch to discuss.

A couple more training courses…

We delivered “Cooking up a website” in Scunthorpe recently in partnership with VANL.  Our next session of this two hour basic introduction to how websites work and how you can build one will be in Grimsby at VANEL offices on Friday 6th May, 10am-12noon.  Limited places and booking essential. £20 per head.  Contact us to book or for more information.

And on Wednesday 15th June we’re running “Technology for Trustees” at our Grimsby offices. From 3pm-5pm this two hour session is very specifically for trustees or committee members who need to understand how their leadership can help with the technology that their organisation uses, how they benefit from it, how to fund it and how to leverage good value from it.  Again, very limited places and £20 per head. More information soon or contact us.