Tech Changes in 2020

Tech Changes in 2020

2020 Forced Lots of Technical Changes

2020 was weird. There. I said it. 

The past nine to twelve months has change the way many of you work and live. Commutes, water coolers and being interrupted by a co-worker walking around have been replaced by video meetings, garbage trucks backing up and kids needing help with their schoolwork. 

Luckily I’ve been insulated from much of this, but I feel the pain. And I also had to change due to some technical issues. So as we wind down 2020 I wanted to share some of the technical changes I’ve made as we run towards 2021. 

Technical Changes at BeBizzy Consulting in 2020

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Hardware

  • Samsung Galaxy Chromebook – replaced a dead old Samsung Chromebook and an ancient Samsung tablet with a shiny new, Intel-powered, Ferrari-red Chromebook to handle tasks outside the office.
  • Samsung Galaxy Book Flex – replaced a four-year-old desktop computer and a severely hard drive space challenged Microsoft Surface Book with a crazy-fast and powerful Samsung laptop.
  • Increased Bandwidth for Cable Connection – 300Mbps to better manage everything I do : file upload/downloads, video conferencing, VoIP phone calls,

Software

  • 17Hats – I’ve finally jumped to the powerful 17Hats business management system.
  • Microsoft Office – I’ve danced around using various apps instead of MS Office for years, but I came back.
  • Brackets – For many years I’ve used Dreamweaver to edit PHP, HTML, CSS and other files. But I didn’t want to pay for Adobe Cloud, and the old version I’ve been using was probably a decade old, so it was time to update. Brackets is a modern interface and intuitive program to edit these code files.
  • Notion – Want an amazing way to manage meeting notes, easy database tasks, projects, files, time tracking, and much, much more? Notion does this across virtually any device and platform.
  • GIMP – Like Brackets, I started using G.I.M.P because I was tired of paying for an Adobe Cloud Photoshop account. It’s the right price, FREE, and does nearly anything you had to do with PS.
  • Google Meet – Everyone is using a video conferincing app in 2020

Website Apps

  • WP Rocket – I’m a DIVI theme user, and unfortunately that means I had to sacrifice a bit of site speed for ease-of-development and functionality. WP-Rocket recovered that speed easily.
  • Google Drive Backup Space – Earlier in 2020 I ran into a server space issue that was the result of years of backups, unused files and dead sites. So I moved my UpdraftPlus backups to Amazon S3. I quickly encountered unplanned costs for bandwidth and space so I started looking for a better alternative. Google Drive was an easy to use, powerful alternative for $100 a year.
  • Dedicated File/Web Server – I started using Sync as a Dropbox alternative a year or so ago. It’s been great, but to have a complete backup of my Sync storage took up 1.5TB of hard drive space. So, I took my old desktop computer and turned it into a file server including my Sync backup. Accessible from anywhere inside my network, I can get to files without working on something direct inside the online Sync network.The goal is also to get this box set up as a development area for website in early 2021 to eliminate developing on my production server with password-protected sites.

Planned Changes for 2021

  • Moving my desk/office back into the BeBizzy Dungeon – We are shrinking down and going back into our cell where it all began. The windowless, soundless, 12×12′ office off the utility room I lovingly refer to as the BeBizzy Dungeon.
  • Video Podcasts – Going to launch the WP Wednesday Podcast on a YouTube channel. Stay tuned!
  • Two more planned podcasts – we are tentatively planning to launch two more podcasts in 2021. One featuring interviews on a variety of subjects, and one dealing with outdoors. Keep listening!

Today’s News Links

  • WP Rocket  3.8.1
    • Update to 3.8.1 removed the option “Remove jQuery Migrate” option that was causing an issue with many WordPress 5.6 websites.

Technical Changes at BeBizzy Consulting in 2020

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Why doesn’t WordPress send emails without any configuration?

  • The easy answer is, it does… sometimes.
  • Some hosts and website work without any editing to the WordPress install or even the plugins to send emails from forms. It’ uses the PHP Mail function.
  • But some hosts don’t have that running or it is very ineffecting in sending email, so a plugin needs to be installed to send those emails

What is SMTP?

  • The default method of sending any emails is SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol).
  • It’s a way to send email from your website to your visitors through your email provider.
    • If you don’t have a dedicated domain email provider, you an also use Gmail, Outlook and other free email providers with a little configuration.
  • The basic information to send email through SMTP is
    • The server address : will be something like smtp.gmail.com

    • The username. Often it will be the full email address to send FROM : ie – something@gmail.com

    • The password for the account

    • The protocol to use and it’s accompanying port

      • 25 – basic, unencrypted SMTP port. This sends email from the site/app directly to the email server with no protection. It’s often restricted by many email servers and ISPs.
      • 465 : Another port that was used up until recently, but it’s not recommended any longer. It uses SSL ports but is actually now used for other types of internet traffic, and can be blocked or filtered by many ISPs and email providers.
      • 587 : The recommended port to send SMTP traffic. It uses TLS encryption which will ensure the email is submitted security.

      What plugins can be used to send emails from WordPress

      • Easy WP SMTP Plugin – my default SMTP plugin. Easy to confiure, it’s free, and comes with many preconfigured hosts like Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook. Sends a test email to any email you wish to make sure everything work.
      • Mail SMTP Gateway Plugin – Another great SMTP plugin. This one has many options and can be tough for inexpreienced users to configure the eadvanced options.
      • WP Email SMTP Plugin – Another free plugins that has all the usual options. Some of the most popular included settings are from email, from name, mailer, return path, host, port, authentication, encryption, username and password.

What are your experiences or questions about sending emails from your website? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Great Website Hosting : InMotion Hosting

Great Website Hosting : InMotion Hosting

Choosing Your Website Host is Critical

There are so many pieces to a great WordPress website. The WP version, PHP, theme, plugins, images, content, videos… all contribute to the website’s performance.

But even if everything is optimized as much as possible, if your server isn’t performing, the site will still not serve as quickly as possible.

I’ve tried many server hosts in the last decade, and my favorite so far is undeniably  InMotion Hosting.

InMotion Hosting

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

A Little About InMotion Hosting

Joining me on the BeBizzy Break Podcast toay was Robert Hood, Assistant Product Line Manager for both WordPress and Dedicated Hosting.   

InMotion Hosting is a hosting company based in Virginia Beach, VA. They do have satellites in Los Angelas and Denver.

Support Is a Focus for InMotion

  • Agents are trained by agents who have been on the support floor for months, even years.
  • Agents are continuously trained to support new issues or to better handle customer requests.

Some technical info

  • All hard drives are Samsung SSDs
  • Intel-based CPUs
  • CentOS operating systems. No Windows support at this point. 
  • Redundant, secure server locations in Los Angelas and Virginia.
  • Caching – NGNIX
    • NGNIX is a proxy-cache, so the site is served from memory instead of the hard drive. 
    • NGNIX can be turned on or off.

What Are People Looking For In A Server Host

  • Price
  • Technology
  • Support – they are there 24×7, 365 days.
  • Uptime, as for most hosts is 99.9% uptime goal.
    • Dedicated staff of support people watching the server environment at all times controlling 

Hosting Types

Hosting is similar to where you live. 

  • Shared Hosting – Apartment. Communal system sharing resources like water, power, trash. You are dependent on everyone else on that server to be responsible for bandwidth and malware.
  • VPS Hosting – Townhome. Technically connected, but your own water, power, privacy, etc. Your site can still be dependent on others being responsible, but you are insulated a bit.
  • Dedicated Hosting – Private home. You have control over basically everything. You have your server resources, your bandwidth, etc.

Support Types

  • Basic Support
    • Available 24×7 – 265
    • Handles almost 95% of the issues you encouter
  • Advanced Product Support (Robert used to be the manager of this support team)
    • Junior system admins
    • Higher degree of training
    • Assigned to VPS-3000 customer or dedicated box
    • They have resources available to help, but generally an agent owns an issue from start to finish; no hand-offs.
  • Paid Support Teams
    • WTR Team – Website Transfer Team
      • Get some time with that when you spin up a new server
      • Available at later times for more transfers
  • Managed Hosting Team
    • For-hire system admins
    • Bye per-hour or subscription programs 
    • Help with setup, custom configuration, advanced issues.

My experience with InMotion Hosting has been incredible. They are competitively priced, have updated technology, and superior support. If you’re looking for a better host for your WordPress site, InMotion Hosting is my recommendation. 

Where are you hosting your website? Leave it @BeBizzy on Twitter!

InMotion Hosting

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Speeding Up Your WordPress Site With WP-Rocket

Speeding Up Your WordPress Site With WP-Rocket

What is WP Rocket?

WP Rocket is a caching and optimization plugin that takes the code, content, images, videos and other pieces of your website and finds a faster way to present them to your website visitors. That can be storing them on their computers or on a CDN (content data network). It can be combining or moving CSS and javascript files to minimize the time spend processing the code. It can be reducing the number of calls made off the server to Google or other sites.

WP Rocket does all of this, with about ten minutes of setup and a few bucks. Speaking of a few bucks… if you want to purchase WP Rocket, go to bebizzy.com/rocket and get started today!

WP Rocket

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

How Can WP Rocket Speed Up My Website?

There’s only so much you can do technically to increase your website speed. Load times are based on server response times, bandwidth, hard drive speeds… and then it’s down to the software. 

CDNs and optimized code definitely help but eventually you’re down to leaning on more involved 

Features

  • Basic setup was done in about 10 minutes.  Advanced setup, configuration and testing can take additional time, but all options are pretty much toggled on/off.
  • Page caching
    Really decreases page load time by serving up indexed and cached items.
  • Preloading
    Because the crawler simulates a visit to preload the cache, the indexing of your website by search engines is instantly improved.
  • Sitemap loading
  • GZIP Compression
    WP Rocket compresses HTML, CSS, javascript and other code to optimize it by decreasing the size.
  • Browser Caching
    Modern browsers can look for the same photo, video, HTML code and other pieces of a website faster locally that it can sending requests to a website. WP Rocket helps optimize that.
  • Database optimization
    WP Rocket helps clean up databases and make them run more efficiently.
  • Google fonts
    Decreases the requests for unused fonts by only grabbing what is needed to properly display on the site.
  • Remove query strings from Static Resources
    Improves load time and testing scores by removing query strings from CSS and JS files.
  • Lazyload images and videos
    Images and other content doesn’t load until it becomes evident the visitor wants or needs them.
  • Defer Javascript
    Load JS files at the bottom of the page unless necessary elsewhere. This speeds up the page by not loading code before visible items.
  • CDN
    I have mine connected to my Stackpath CDNs, but Cloudflare and other URLS are easily inserted in the settings.
  • Works with eCommerce

Pricing 

All pricing for WP Rocket is on an annual basis to keep updates and support access. You could allow the plugin to lapse, but as WordPress, PHP versions, your themes, your other plugins and more advance the plugin may not work as intended and also become a security issue.

  • $49 for one site
  • $99 for three sites (annual)
  • $249 for unlimited websites

Some other features

  • Works for multi-lingual sites
  • Works in multisite environments
  • You can turn on and off features to connected users with a simple toggle button
  • All features of the plugin can work on mobile without additional programming or configuration.

Support is email support. Only sent one ticket but got a response in about two hours, which is decent.

If you’re looking to speed up your WordPress site, I can’t recommend WP Rocket enough! Head over to https://bebizzy.com/rocket and get signed up.

Do you use WP Rocket or another caching pluging? Leave me comments @BeBizzy on Twitter!

WP Rocket

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

My Favorite Apps and Plugins – Episode #100!

My Favorite Apps and Plugins – Episode #100!

We made it! Episide 100!

I’ve always hoped we would reach this milestone, but it seemed so far away. But here we are, the 100th episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast!

On today’s podcast we will discuss the apps and plugins I use on a daily basis for general business, WordPress and podcasting. 

BeBizzy's Favorite Apps and Plugins

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Links to previous podcast posts on my favorite apps and plugins.

Favorite Applications/WP programs I use on a daily or weekly basis. You, or someone you work with or know, may find some of these very helpful. 

Keep in mind a few of these may be affiliate links… it won’t cost you any more, but I will make a few dollars off the referral, so thank you!

General Apps

WordPress

Podcasting Gear

We’re always looking for new and different plugins and applications to test and review. Have one? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

BeBizzy's Favorite Apps and Plugins

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Basic Technology Troubleshooting Steps

Basic Technology Troubleshooting Steps

Troubleshooting Technology Is Easier Than You Think

Ever sit down at your desk ready to get the day started and push the power button on your computer, only to have NOTHING happen? I mean nothing. No lights, no fan sounds. nothing…

You’re not alone. But before you run out the door to your favorite computer or tech store to have it looked at, here are some tips on how you can solve the problem, or at least help the tech repair place solve the problem.

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Basic Steps To Fixing Your Technology

There are some things you can do 

  • 758ba104655a443ba12a2fccdb035ebbReboot! – “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” 
    THE basic troubleshooting step is to power the device all the way down, give it a few seconds, then turn it back on. We have a tendency to leave tech sleep mode or standby, and while that makes it easy to quickly power it back up it can leave the device in a mode that isn’t fully functional. Rebooting also clears out running processes and programs that are using memory and even processor power.
  • Document Errors – If the reboot doesn’t fix your problem (it will, most of the time), write down or make note of the exact error you are seeing. Does it boot to a black screen, does it even turn on, is there an error box on the screen, can you close it out or move past it? This information is very important to you or the technician to solving the exact issue you are experiencing.

    If you can get past the error, type the exact error into Google and find out how thousands of other users have solved the exact issue.

  • Check the cables – Whether you’re talking about smartphones, computers, lights, tv’s… whatever, cables come loose. Maybe it wasn’t plugged in correctly the first time and it worked itself loose. Power everything down, unplug and replug everything, then power back up. A loose cable can cause not only the attached device to not work but also the operating system or top-line device.

Steps To Ensure You’re Prepared For A Breakdown

Tech issues are inevitable… here are some steps you can take that when something big happens, you’re prepared.

  • Virus Scan – I’m not a fan of the big anti-virus programs like Norton, McAfee, Avast, etc. If you’re running a Windows computer, Windows Defender does a great job of protecting your PC. Just make sure it’s turned on, updated and running. I run a full scan around when I do a feature update (twice a year).
  • Updates – Keep your operating system, phone OS, and various programs and apps updated to keep small pinholes from being exploited by attackers. If Microsoft, Android or Apple is telling you NOT to run an update, hold until they give you the green light. 
  • Backups – Need to restore information damaged by viruses, attacks, broken hard drives or virtually anything else? Backups are your savior. Backups are also great in the event you get hit by ransomware. If your files are corrupted and you have a backup, you can tell the guy holding your tech hostage to pound sand, reinstall Windows and restore the backup. All you lose is some time.
  • Get Rid of Programs You Don’t Need – Uninstalling programs, apps or even browser plugins that you don’t use or will probably not update is a great way to harden your device from attack. 
  • Eliminate Insecure Wi-Fi Hotspots – Lock your devices down to connect to know and safe hotspots, and if you do have to run on an open system, get a VPN.

Regardless of how great your technology is, it will fail. It may be today, it may be four years from now, but it will fail. Power supplies quit turning on, hard drives stop spinning, memory fails. Prepare yourself from an issue, and if you do suffer a failure, take a few moments to reboot, document issues, and hopefully you will get your machine back online in minutes, not days. 

Have any questions or suggestions on fixing your own technology issues? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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Increase Site Speed By Decreasing Image File Size

Increase Site Speed By Decreasing Image File Size

Nothing Will Speed Up Your Site Faster Than Optimizing Images

Using a tool like GTMetrix.com will point out some obvious issues with your website. More often than not image size, compression and resolutions will be at the top of the list to fix. 

On our first #WPWednesday episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we talk about why and how you should be optimizing your images for better site load times. 

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What Can Be Managed In An Image File?

Format

  • JPG – most common. Compressed using “lossy” compression, which means you lose some quality when you save the compressed file.
  • PNG – A “lossless” compression type but can be a larger file size. Works best of images using less than 16 colors (icons, logos, etc).
  • GIF – Used for small images and short animations. Images will lose quality due to this format’s limitations.
  • WebP – a fairly new image format for the web. It promises 26% smaller in size to PNG, and approximately 30% smaller than comparable JPEG images. However, WebP is not supported on all servers and browsers so your website could be displayed oddly to most users.
  • TIF – Highest quality image best used for commercial images and not used very often on the web

 Compression

  • JPG and PNG can both be compressed using various softwares. However, when you compress an image you will lose quality, so keep an eye on how that photos looks at various sizes that may appear in a responsive site before you implement.
  • Compression is a great way to decrease the file size of an image. For example :
    • 2000×1500 image recently used as a background on a website – 9MB uncompressed – 7 seconds to download on 10Mbit/s line
    • 2000×1500 at 30% compression – .20MB – close to ZERO seconds to download
    • That same 30% compression at 1000×750 size – .07MB and very little time to download

Responsive Websites

  • Sites that display differently based on the type of device and resolution automatically will sometimes need different sized images to display correctly. Unless you manually tell it what image to use the program (the WordPress theme) will determine this on its own. Keep in mind the sizes can range from a vertical smartphone screen all the way to a 50″ television.
  • For best results use a variety of image sizes, use WPMU’s Smush Pro, or look at your Google Analytics to see what types of devices are more likely to view the page.

How Can You Change File Size?

  • Photoshop – industry “standard” but can be expensive.
  • PaintShop Pro – I’ve used this software for many years. Many Photoshop features but much less expensive.
  • GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program – FREE open source Photoshop clone has many of the same features and it’s the best price.
  • TinyPNG – WordPress plugin that automatically compresses files on upload.
  • WPMU Smush & Smush Pro – very versatile program that compresses images and creates multiple sizes that get automatically used where needed.
  • reSmush.it – Regarded as the best image compression WordPress plugin. Limits optimization to uploads lower than 5MB in size.
  • Optimizilla – free online image compressor. You can upload up to 20 images and it will create downloads of the compressed files.
  • JPEG Optimizer – another free online app that lets you select compression values.

Make Sure Your New Images Are Displayed

  • Upload and replace the current images. I suggest deleting the originals AFTER you make sure the compressed images are quality and are working correct just to save space on your site or server. It’s always a good idea of backing them up first just in case.
  • Clear your server and browser cache to remove any memory of the old file paths.
  • Check the site at GTMetrix again and see if anything else needs to be compressed.

What Else Can I Do To Affect Image Load Times?

  • Use a CDN. Content delivery networks are servers dedicated to sending cached media to your website. They are optimized to send this data quicker than your standard web server.
  • Use a host that has SSD hard drives. I was amazed on how much quicker my website loaded when I moved to an SSD from a standard hard drive.
  • Speaking of hosts, move from a shared environment to a VPS or dedicated server. That removes you from the pool of sites on one box that are running who-knows-what and sucking up all the server’s resources.

WordPress News

Have any questions or suggestions on editing your images to make your WordPress website load faster? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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The “I Need A Website” Scam (and do you accept credit cards?)

The “I Need A Website” Scam (and do you accept credit cards?)

It’s a scam!

itsascamI received an email through my contact form today from “Carl” or “Amos.”

Hello, how are you doing today? My name is Carl Amos, I wanna know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you do you accept credit cards ?? kindly get back to me… so i can send you the job details.Thanks Amos

Sounds good if you’re a web designer, right? Here’s a tip… it’s a scam.

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Just Like Superman 3

Back a few years ago in December 2016 I received a similar email message, except the website product was gacillia nuts.  They wanted a website, provided very few details at first, and wanted to know if I accepted credit cards.

When you respond that you do indeed accept credit cards, you get some more information. Here’s the email I received:

Thank you for your quick response. I have business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in IN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Salon Equipment such as Dryer, haircream, Weavon, Hairdressing, Clippers, i need the best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible.DEMO_WEBSITE_URL_REMOVED... I have a private consultant that has the text content and logo for the site. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate.
1. I want 10pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as DOMAIN_NAME_REMOVED
4. you will be updating the site for me twice in a month.
5. i will be providing the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of 2 to 3months.
7. My budget is $6,000 to $12,000
8. Give me your personal cell phone number
9. Are you the Owner

office-space-printer-scene-amazonHere’s the flags:

  • Usually an “importer” of products, either hairdryers or gacillia nuts.
  • The scam almost always seems to be 10 pages.
  • Only English language.
  • The sample domain name they send always gets an error that it cannot find the server, even though they say in the email they would like a domain “like XXXXXX.com.”
  • Hint in one of the first emails that they already have a graphic designer or project manager that will need to be paid.

Here’s where it gets weird.

I sent a response back to CarlAmos, asking if I should build a site like this? THIS being a link to a website documenting this exact scam. CarlAmos responded with “Yes, that’s it!” and asked for an estimate. 

If you pursue this little game a little further, the actual scam comes to light. The scammer, CarlAmos in this movie, has an associate who is a project manager, graphic designer, or content developer. CarlAmos will pay you whatever your estimate is, plus a little bit more via the credit card. In turn, you have to write a check to the PM/GD/CD that works for them. They won’t sign a contract, won’t fill out a 1099 as an independent contractor, nothing. Just cut them a check and keep the rest. 

What happens next is how they make their money. You wrote a check to pay their contractor. That check is cashed for real money, not deposited. They will then do a chargeback on the credit card transaction, which withdraws the money from your account, you pay a chargeback fee/fine, and when you try to stop payment on the check (which has a fee associated with it), the check’s already been cashed so they have their money. You’re out the initial payment, the money in the check and the chargeback fee. That might leave a mark…

Luckily I’ve seen this movie before, might have been Superman 3, and knew it was rotten. I’m most likely going to just let this go, and then maybe send CarlAmos this link so they know I’m on to them and they can remove me from the list. 

In the past when I’ve pushed them to get on a call to discuss I’ve gotten a response that they have a hearing impairment and rather than going through a relay service, it’s best to communicate via email or text. That’s B.S., they just don’t want to talk face to face and have the curtain pulled back when you can hide behind email. 

too-good-to-be-trueBut here’s the reason I posted this today… if something seems a little to good to be true, it probably is. I’m a small web design firm in North Dakota. Sure, I’ve done work for companies in New York, San Diego, LA, Boston, Austin and more, but to get a guy from IN (India?) wanting a website built for him, an importer, just triggered a few warning bells.

Take a few moments to qualify your potential client. Get the company name, look everything up, including the content of the email, and see if anything weird pulls up. Sometimes it hurts to walk away from potential business, but in cases like this it’s a good decision.

UPDATE 7/2/2019 – I got a NEW variant of this scam.

Hello Sir/Madam ,

This David Serrano from Kirkland Shipping,We looking for laptop computers to purchase for our new business branch and want to know if you have them available in stock or can either custom order them for us.We also do have specifications we would like the computers to come with and also if you can tell us how much a laptop with these specifications is going to cost for plus tax…Here are the specifications below

    • An i7 Core Processor
    • 16gb of Memory
    • 1tb of Hard drive or 512 SSD
    • Screen Size can either be 13′ , 14′ or 15.6′
    • Must come with a Touch Screen and a backlit Keyboard
    • Either a windows 10 Home premium or Professional
    • Brands can either be Dell ,Apple,Hp or Lenovo

NB : Also advise me if you do take credit card payment , Thank You

UPDATE 7/23/2019 – This weekend I received a message from another WordPress developer who thanked me for posting this information, and relayed his story, which was very similar to the gacillia nuts request I received months ago.

I need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible.https://attra.ncat.org….The site would only be informational,so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out,the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant,he has the text content and the logos for the site.
FMT3.

1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language.u
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as farmsproducts.co.
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for thesite.
6. i want the site up and running before my return

The developer got a little nervous and did some Google searches, stumbling on my podcast and blog post. Luckily he realized it was a scam and he pulled the plug. A win for the good guys!

Have you been sent this scam or something similar? Let me know @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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Using Mind Maps To Plan Your Business

Using Mind Maps To Plan Your Business

Mind Maps Make Meetings Better (and more productive)

Every have to take meeting notes?

How about use the meeting as problem solving method? And everyone sits in a room to defend their business silo, but no one wants to talk about the primary issue that needs to be addressed?

Well using mind maps might be the way to draw out the best solutions from the group.

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What is Mind Mapping

  • Way of visually getting ideas you don’t know are in your head or trapped in a team and representing them in an easy to use format of subjects, ideas and sub-ideas.
  • Essientially here’s how it works
    • Start with a main topic or issue, the Subject. Say, SEO for Website
    • Start populating the second level, or Ideas, with possible issues or groupings of drill-down items. In this case. Internal teams, External Resources, Training, Measurement Criteria, Other Items, etc.
    • Then, inside each of these ideas, there are sub-ideas, resource details, questions to ask, action items, etc.
      • All of these can usually be signified in the software with either custom icons like a checkbox, question mark, etc, or with different text colors.
    • Each of the Ideas start a branch of “bubbles” on the mind map, which then branch out again, and even again if necessary. All of this forms an easy to use diagram, which in many cases can be converted to a more traditional outline format if needed. 

Why is Mind Mapping Better Than Plain Old Words?

  • Ever try to add an item in a traditionally list on paper or a white board? Your options are to erase and move items, add it to the bottom and signify it needs to be somewhere else, or draw an impromptu mind map with lines, bubbles and some text anyway.
  • Humans consume visual data quicker and better than plain text. Ever wonder why TV and magazines and of course, the web, have ousted newspapers? Highly visual and easily consumed ideas instead of long, wordy sentences. 
  • Mind Mapping encourages grouping of ideas and expanding on those ideas, whereas simple text can be limited by the format.

How to Mind Map?

  • Start with an idea or subject that is easy to solve. If the subject is too complex, break it down and then build mind maps for an easy to consume part of the mind map, therefore solving the bigger issue by conquering the smaller ones.
  • Use images, hyperlinks, contact information and more to make the document more useful or easy to follow. 
  • Also use different colors for the different Idea branches to make it easy to navigate inside each topic and subtopic.
  • Use short phrases to capture ideas, especially in the brainstorming portion of mind mapping. You can always go back and expand on issues, but capture what you need, and only what you need initially.

Any Pitfalls to Avoid When Mind Mapping?

  • Concentrating on one item too long. Dump ideas and move on, you can sort everything out later.
  • Not having someone leading the mind mapping that knows how to ask for expansion or more creativity. 
  • Capturing vague ideas and not documenting or expanding them.

What Software Can I Use to do Mind Mapping?

  • Mind Meister : Free for up to 3 maps, $5 for personal, $8 for a Pro account and $12.50 for enterprice (all per user, per month)
  • Coggle : Little more bare bones, not the catalog of templates or “flair” but cost : Personal – free, 3 private diagrams, Awesome is $5/month for most of what you will need, and $8 for an “organization” account if more customization needed for teams.
  • Mind Manager : really a virtual whiteboard but it’s by the company I was first exposed to in Mind Mapping, Mindjet. It’s #349 for Windows, $179 for Mac. All have 30-day trials. Full-featured and wonderful software. 

Have any questions or suggestions on going mind mapping? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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BBP : EP 26 – Make WordPress Go Faster

BBP : EP 26 – Make WordPress Go Faster

There are two complaints when a client is discussing the option of moving to WordPress.

  1. WordPress isn’t secure. Something I discussed in a previous blog post – Is WordPress Safe?
  2. How can I make my slow WordPress site faster? And besides being a recent blog post, we discuss that on this week’s BeBizzy Break Podcast.

Make WordPress Faster

Of all the things that will make customers leave your site before they consume any of your information, images, videos or any other sort of content, a slow loading site is #1 on the list.

Many things cause slow sites, and on today’s episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we will talk a bit about them.

  1. Making your server run better and serve up the pages quicker.
  2. Installing and turning on page caching to make sure returning visitors see pages faster
  3. Compressing and resizing images to decrease the file size being sent to the brower.
  4. Turning off and removing unused plugins and themes on the page to reduce the number of calls and possible security holes.
  5. “Minifying” CSS, javascript and HTML to decrease the number of files that have to be loaded to make the hidden portion of the website work. This is the most technical fix of the five, so make sure you are backing up the files AND database prior to messing around with this process.

Speeding up WordPress is something that can be achieved if done correctly, so either get dirty and clean up your website, or contact BeBizzy Consulting today and we will take a look and see how we can decrease your page load times.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!