Update to WordPress 4.8.3 Now

WordPress 4.8.3 has just been released and if you haven’t upgraded your WordPress website yet, then you should do so as soon as possible.

Version 4.8.3 is an important security update that will fix a serious programming flaw that can potentially expose WordPress-powered websites to the possibility of being attacked and hijacked by hackers by means of injecting malicious SQL database commands.

The bug, CVE-2017-14723, was discovered and reported by security researcher Anthony Ferrara in September. The WordPress core is not affected, the vulnerability lies in WPDB, a set of functions used to talk to the WordPress database, and its ability to include sprint tokens.

The vulnerable functionality was first found in version 4.8.1. WordPress version 4.8.2, which included fixes for many bugs, was supposed to address this flaw. However, according to Ferrara, version 4.8.2 only dealt with “a narrow subset of the potential exploits” and didn’t actually fix the root issue.

In version 4.8.2 and earlier, the buggy code, $wpdb->prepare(), can create unexpected and unsafe queries and potentially allow malicious SQL injection. The newly-released WordPress 4.8.3 security update addresses this flaw by changing the behavior of the esc_sql() function and hardening it to protect it from attacks via plugins and themes.

How to Update to WordPress 4.8.3

If you are a client of Ezone, you needn’t do anything as we have already upgraded you to WordPress version 4.8.3. You can log in to your website as you normally do and be assured that your website is protected from this security threat.

If you wish to upgrade to WordPress 4.83 yourself, follow these steps:

    1. Check first what version of WordPress your site is using. Go to the Dashboard, look in the ‘At a Glance’ panel:
    2. Download the latest version of WordPress 4.83 from the WordPress website, or go to Updates in the Dashboard and choose “Update now.”

The Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites Just Got Even Greater

Is your website mobile friendly? If not you could be missing out on more than 50% of your website’s potential as the importance of mobile friendly websites continues to grow. In 2015 the rise of smartphones is continuing and it is vital that you ensure you are catering to this market. Continue reading “The Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites Just Got Even Greater”

Preparing for our 10th Birthday!

We will shortly be celebrating our 10th birthday!  During the next month or so we’ll be looking back and sharing some of our ups and downs from the last 10 years and our plans for the next 10. (Though we may not share all the details of the celebrations we have planned.)

Old is the new young
Ten years make us a veritable ancient in Web terms.  The online landscape has drastically changed since we started (we are way older than young upstarts like Facebook and Twitter).

Some Fun Stats
Did you know that someone publishes a WMS page on average every 10 mins!  In fact an edit happens on average every 7 minutes. That doesn’t include our new WordPress sites either!

Looking back to fuel the future
It is so exciting for us to look back and see how so many of our dreams and aspirations from 10 years ago actually became real. We are looking forward to the next 10 years and are already preparing for the “terrible teens”….

New WMS Feature: Search Text

We have just launched a new WMS feature that make it easier to find any text in your WMS managed site.

Simply click “Find” in the menu when editing Pages or Components and you will be able to search for any word, phase or sentence.  This includes text that is not currently published to your live site.

 

Note that the search is NOT case sensitive (upper or lower case does not matter) and it uses an exact match (spelling, spacing etc has to be exact).

We hope you like this little extra tool and that you find it useful while managing your site using the Ezone WMS.

 

Voice messages on your site or blog?

One of the most important aspects of any website or blog is interacting with your users.  This is especially important in hospitality where your online presence is a vital part of your customer service.

Visitors use your site to communicate with you in all sorts of ways: booking systems, comments, enquiry forms, email, social sharing (Twitter, Facebook), live chat and so on.

But different people like to interact in different ways and so if you are looking for another method to add to the mix have you considered voice messages?  There are a number of simple tools that can be added to your site or blog that allows your users to leave a voice message for you, no phones required.

Here are two of these tools that we know about:

  • SpeakPipe: allows you to “Set up a voicemail widget on your website or add the voicemail application to your Facebook page”
  • VoiceMeMe: enables you to “have a personal voicemail box for your web site, classfieds, auctions, blog, social network profile.”

As VoiceMeMe says: “Let people say what they really want to SAY to you with their voice, not by typing”.

If you would like help adding these tools to your website or blog just drop us a line ([email protected]).

 

Mastering your Mobile Web presence

As everyone is aware, a mobile/tablet friendly web presence is vital to successful business. This is especially true in the hotel and hospitality markets as evidenced by this ehotelier article.

Photo of very old phone

Here at Ezone we are acutely aware of this and are constantly working to ensure that we have the technical solutions to enable you to meet the ever rising mobile demands.  Of course, it is more than just keeping up with the newest buzz words in the industry, we must understand the technology that allows us meet your online mobile goals and stay within your budget!

One of the fruits of our work in this area is a new mobile website service to add to our existing options!  Here is a quick summary of 3 options we offer new and existing clients:

1. One site to fit them all

The first option is to update your existing site so that it adapts depending on the device, for example changing width and menu layout for small screens and resizing images.  This is often referred to as “responsive design”.

This is the most flexible option, and results in a new site which is a much more useable, manageable and powerful site going forward. How complex this is depends on your existing site’s design, complexity and age.

A complete redesign can be included.

2. Divide and Conquer

The second option is to create a second “version” of the website that is displayed on mobile devices only. This results in a clean, very focused site on mobile devices.  One disadvantage of this option is that it results in a completely separate website that must be updated for future technical changes and or redesigns.

3. Simple but effective

Our new offering is a simpler and cheaper version of the Divide and Conquer approach. We use our tools to create a simplified, mobile friendly site at a lower upfront cost. The on-going costs are also lower.

The major difference is that it is not content managed. The mobile site is updated on an agreed schedule (for example monthly or every week).

As usual, if you have any questions about the above or would simply like to find out more please contact us at [email protected]

WMS Tips: Editing images in your WMS library

Did you know you can edit your images after you’ve uploaded them to your WMS library? You don’t have to do everything in an external editor before uploading. Here’s how:
On your site, click on the Libraries tab. Select the image you want to edit (only click once, a double click will open the image). In the toolbar, the Edit Image button on the right hand side will become active. Click on the Edit Image button. The image will open in the image editor.

 

From here, there are many features you can use to edit your image. There is a zoom tool in the top right and along the bottom there are various menus. You will need to click on them, not just hover over them. The one you will probably find the most useful is the Adjustment menu. Here you can find features such as crop, resize, rotate.
You can also add EffectsBorders and Text to your image. The Overlay allows you to inport another image and place it on top of the image already opened. The secondary image has to be saved on your local machine or cloud drive, rather than in the WMS.
When you’re ready, click the Save button in the top left corner. In the new box, name your image and click save again. Now click Okay. Your image is now saved in your WMS library. Note: when you edit an image the original file is still saved in the WMS library, along with your new file.
As usual, email suppor[email protected] if you have any questions.

New WordPress Service

We’re always looking for ways to improve the services we offer here at Ezone and we’re pleased to announce that in addition to our WMS website service we are now offering websites based on the WordPress framework.

What is WordPress?
WordPress started as a blogging system, but in recent years has evolved to support the creation and content management of fully fledged websites.
Because it is open source WordPress is continually being updated and improved upon by a vast number of developers ensuring that the system is always up to date with the latest advances in web development. This also makes it very easy to add new functionality to a site.
WordPress also includes a content management system making it easy for users to keep their websites up to date. This, coupled with the large number of plugins and themes available make WordPress suitable for anything from a casual blog to a fully fledged business website.

One of our first clients to take advantage of the new WordPress service is the Scottish Tourism Alliance. They came to us earlier this year looking for a new website design to coincide with their change from the Scottish Tourism Forum to the Scottish Tourism Alliance.
The new website needed to be fresh and to be a central hub where people can find information on any aspect covered by the Scottish Tourism Alliance. It also needed to be a means of communicating important news to visitors. They needed this to be ready to launch in quite a short space of time and WordPress was the obvious solution being fast to implement and rich in functionality.
You can view the Scottish Tourism Alliance website here: http://scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/

Because WordPress is such a well supported platform and comes with a content management system it is possible to create a powerful website in a shorter period of time than coding from scratch.
While not as powerful if a website with bespoke and/or diverse functionality is required as the WMS is, we are able to offer WordPress websites as an alternative option.
So if you require a professional looking website without a lot of bespoke functionality then this service could be a great option.

If you would like more information about what our WordPress service can offer please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

WMS server upgrade – UPDATE: WMS unavailability period is now Friday 7th September 2am to 9am

Dear WMS Users

**Update** As you may have seen from our initial blog post and email last week we are upgrading the server the WMS runs on this week. The time that this upgrade will be carried out has changed to between 2am and 9am on Friday 7th September. During this time none of your websites will be affected however you will not be able to edit them through the WMS.

If you use the WMS IP address in your firewall then we will supply a new IP address early next week.

If you have any queries relating to this please email [email protected]

Best Regards

Stuart Ferguson – WMS Support

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