Have no SSL certificate and think you’re secure? Think again.

The online world is a dangerous place. Being aware of the risks and taking steps to mitigate them has never been more important, and we at UpdraftPlus are committed to helping all our customers to keep their WordPress websites safe and secure. That’s why we recommend that you have SSL.

What is SSL? SSL is at the heart of website security. It ensures that sensitive information such as credit card details, usernames and passwords are safe as they transverse global computer networks. Having an SSL certificate on your web server provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your website and for your users.

How does SSL work? SSL Certificates basically work by making sure that all traffic between the web server and the web browser is secure and can’t be intercepted. SSL uses something called public key cryptography, which involves two ‘keys’ (long strings of randomly-generated numbers)- one private, and the other public. A public key (known to your server) is available in the public domain and encrypts all sensitive information. With SSL, data sent by your website will be ‘locked’ with the server’s public key so that it’s encrypted and can’t be read if intercepted by a hacker or identity thief. It can only be ‘unlocked’ and decrypted by the server’s private key, i.e. its intended recipient.

Extra benefits? Aside from the obvious security benefits, SSL is invaluable for giving your customers peace of mind. Customers can tell when a web serves has an SSL certificate because the application protocol (HTTP) will change to HTTPs (where the ‘s’ denotes ‘secure’), and the address bar is either green or shows a little padlock (depending on the web browser). Seeing this provides assurance that you’re taking their security seriously- which is more important than ever these days.

What’s more, since SSL certificates are only given out to verified companies who’ve undergone robust identity checks, they reassure users and visitors that any website using it is genuine and legitimate. Demonstrating the trustworthiness of your brand improves conversion rates, motivates customers to return and increases the likelihood you’ll get recommended to someone else. SSL also has an SEO benefit: since it’s now a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm, being certified will boost your Google Ranking.

Next Steps: It’s important to purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (like GlobalSign, VeriSign and GeoTrust). Once you’ve bought one, we recommend getting a plugin like Really Simple SSL to make its installation… really simple! It “automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https” so that all you have to do is sit back and relax. One last thing: before you install, it’s always a good idea to back up your website, just in case.

 

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New UpdraftCentral – three new features, all-new design and special offer!

We’re pleased to confirm today the launch of a new and much anticipated UpdraftCentral.

UpdraftCentral is our fastest-growing product. It experienced huge growth in 2017, as users love being able to efficiently backup and update many WordPress sites from a single cloud-based dashboard, as well as manage comments, users and much more.

Review have been excellent. When it was first launched, one user wrote: “Intuitive to configure. Works really well. For something you have disclaimed as being new, just launched it puts many more established services to shame for quality and reliability.”

UpdraftCentral delivers everything it promises. But we wanted to make it even better, so for more than 6 months, we’ve been working on a major new release – which is now (we’re pleased to announce) ready to roll.

Three Brilliant New Features and Dozens of Tweaks

Here’s a taste of the Brilliant New Features our new release of UpdraftCentral has in store:

Analytics

UpdraftCentral will now automatically run a load of Google Analytics for all of your remote websites, pulling up crucial data to give you an overview of their KPIs in one central location and help you maximise their effectiveness.

Tags

You can now easily add tags to all of your remotely-managed WordPress websites, making it easier to filter and locate website according to category or content.

Shortcuts

You can now access all major features of UpdraftCentral via keyboard shortcuts. This will enhance efficiency and save you even more time.

We’ve made a number of other Useful Tweaks too, such as the ability to bulk delete unwanted backups and hide unwanted modals.

Brilliant new design

What’s more, we’ve set about creating an entire Design Overhaul in order to give you the best ever user experience.

New Modal

We’ve come up with a new smarter, more user-friendly modal with an “advanced” tab option that can be easily switched back to “standard” without having to shut down the Modal altogether.

Show/Hide Backup Feature

We’ve designed a useful feature that allows website backup information to be displayed or hidden without extra reloading or navigation. Instead, you simply click the new “select backup data” button, to get an immediate quick overview of the backup status of a particular website (see below):

New Mobile Menu

We’ve come up with a new and better mobile menu, with a dashboard designed to render well on smaller screens. Here’s the new design:

Sidebar Collapsibility

Finally, we’ve redesigned the side menu so that it’s collapsible, freeing up valuable window space.

These small changes, combined with smarter and more intuitive design, are all intended to make UpdraftCentral ultimately slick and easy-to-use.

Remember, up until the end of February, we’re giving everyone 30% off an annual subscription. There has never been a better time to try! UpdraftCentral will save you time, hassle and energy, so sign up today.

Special offer and free trial

We’re so keen that you see how good this is that we’re offering anyone who signs up before the end of February 30% off a subscription of UpdraftCentral indefinitely (even if you pay monthly). Make sure to use the code: newupdraftcentral.

Find out more or for a free trial of up to 5 sites, just sign in or sign up here.

 

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Getting the best from your support request

Looking for support?  Please go here: https://updraftplus.com/support

Can you remember the last time you had to contact customer support? It probably wasn’t the most thrilling experience. It’s bad enough when something goes horribly wrong and when you struggle to get the right kind of help you need, it can be very stressful.

So here are tips to make it all as painless and efficient as possible:

Find the Proper Channel

Make sure you are contacting the right place to get help. Firstly, make sure you read through the FAQ section, which address the most common concerns.

Failing that, double check that you have the correct phone number or e-mail address to save delays in getting help. For example, when seeking help with a WordPress plugin, you should submit a support request from the forum on the plugin page. But if you have the Premium version of the plugin, you should seek the Premium support channel. Posting about a paid plugin on the WordPress forums is against the community guidelines, which means we’re not able to help even if we wanted to.

Communicate Effectively

It’s vital to express your problem as clearly and concisely as possible. This isn’t easy when you’re stressed, but taking a few moments to plan out your message means your problem can be dealt with more efficiently, without the need for endless back-and-forth communications.

  1. Number your Points – If you have multiple issues, or need to explain what’s happening in order, number them in a list.
  2. Anticipate the Answer – Don’t wait for a reply if you can guess what the solution might be. Instead, tell the Support Member what you think might be causing the error and offer as much supporting information as possible.
  3. Be clear and concise – Use as few words as possible. Re-read your message before sending to ensure it’s clear and concise.

Create a Test Scenario

The easiest way to show support what is happening is to demonstrate it, either through a step-by-step description or through a screenshot/ screencast. If the issue is on your website, try creating a test page to isolate the specific issue- and don’t forget to share the link!

If you can’t share your website because it’s still in development, you could create a temporary site and share that with us. Poppy Life is a great resource for this.

Provide Technical Details

Finally, provide as much technical information as possible. Because your issue may be unique, the more we know, the more likely it is we can help you. Provide answers to as many of the relevant questions below:

  1. What operating system are you using? Windows? Linux? Mac?
  2. What browser are you using? Chrome? Firefox? Does it occur in different browsers?
  3. Do you see any errors? Usually you will see errors on screen or in a console window. Learn how to find errors. One place might be in the developer tools.
  4. Can you provide the PHP version, server information (Nginx or Apache?), and any other specifics about your server?

Keeping these tips in mind will hopefully save you time and frustration. Technical problems can be a headache, but submitting a decent support request can make all the difference to how efficiently and effectively they’re resolved.

Below are a couple different examples of support requests to give you an idea of what to aim for- make sure you aim for something like the second one!

Bad Example

Dear Support,

My site stopped working after the latest update. Can you fix it please? http://example.com/

A Better Example

Dear Support,

After the latest update, I notice that when I click on the button to save my settings I am see an error telling me that the settings aren’t saved. This happens after I log in and take the following actions:

  1. Login to the admin area
  2. Navigate to the settings page
  3. Click on “preview”
  4. Change a setting
  5. Save

Do you think this is because of the changes to the preview button? If so, maybe it’s not compatible with my “older” version of WordPress? I’ve attached a screencast of the error.

I’m using Chrome on MacOS and my server is running nginx and php 7.2. Let me know if you need any further details.

Article written by Kevin Batdorf, one of the UpdraftPlus’ developers.

 

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