Running a WordPress website? It’s time update your PHP!

Running a WordPress website? It’s time update your PHP!

Running a WordPress website? It’s time upgrade your PHP!

If you have a website, it will likely be running WordPress. Behind this, PHP is a coding language used by WordPress and other applications used on the Web.

What does the upgrade mean to those of us who are not programmers? One of the biggest reasons to make the upgrade is that improves the speed for WordPress, making your website faster to load both for you and your website visitors. WordPress also points out that :This performance increase also means fewer servers are needed to host websites. Updating PHP isn’t just good for your site, it also means less energy is needed for the 1-in-3 sites that use WordPress, so it’s good for the planet.”

Around the time that WordPress 5.2 was introduced in April, WordPress they also announced that they would increase the minimum version of PHP required to PHP 5.6. Since this time, they have advised that the minimum required would increase to version 7+ by the end of the year for ongoing benefits. We would recommend that all WordPress websites are upgraded to the latest version of PHP 7.2 as soon as possible.

Upgrading PHP will require some testing as plugins and themes may require updating to remain compatible. However, given the upgrade will also assist in providing ongoing security and support we believe the upgrade is worthwhile.

CyberGuru will be upgrading all of our clients managed under a Website Maintenance Service as soon as practical automatically and other clients in consultation, however if your website requires an upgrade, or looking for a website hosting provider that can support version the upgrade, please contact us.

Ask CyberGuru – Should I purchase a claimed domain name?

Ask CyberGuru – Should I purchase a claimed domain name?

Ask CyberGuru

In this month’s Ask CyberGuru, we are asked, “I’ve been advised that my domain name has been claimed and offered to purchase a domain name from someone who had advised that they have a statutory obligation to offer me the first right of registration. Should I purchase this domain name?”.

Upon review of various examples we have seen of this, the email in question is reportedly from an Australian business claiming there is an application for a similar domain name using the .info domain name extension. In these cases, we have seen the business is seeking a significant amount of money for the registration purchasing such the said domain.

We have reviewed the company as well as other examples reported online, and based upon our knowledge and research, we don’t recommend going ahead with this via the organisation in question to do this.

However, should you wish to purchase the domain name, we would suggest going through a suitable domain name registrar to do this. If this is something you are looking to do, we can assist and advise accordingly.

If you have a question you would like to Ask CyberGuru, please feel free to contact us.

Ask CyberGuru: Can I buy a similar domain name that is owned by another organisation?

Ask CyberGuru

In this month’s Ask CyberGuru, we are asked the question, “Can I buy a com.au domain name that is similar to a org.au domain name owned by another organisation?”.

In terms of your question, a com.au domain name needs to be resemble your Australian business name or trademark. The auDA or Afilias (the name of the .au Domain Administration registry), the organisation is responsible for .au domain names, advises that com.au are for commercial organisations and org.au are for not-for-profit organisations. They advise that Australian domain names must have a “close and substantial connection” to the person or business intending to use it.

If this is the case, then you can likely purchase the .com.au domain name you are seeking, and you are welcome to do so through our CyberGuru Domains website. Upon registering you need to provide your Australian Business Number (ABN), which needs to be associated to this.

However, please be mindful that if another organisation is the has a similar domain name as yours, it may lead to confusion for your visitors and also be difficult to have a good search engine ranking in place if both organisations have similar domain names, so it may be better to consider choosing another name.

If you have any question that you would like to Ask CyberGuru, please contact us.

WordPress 5.0 has been released

WordPress 5.0 has been released

WordPress 5.0 'Bebo'

The latest version of WordPress, WordPress 5.0 ‘Bebo’ (known as “Gutenberg” during its development) has been released. For those unfamiliar, WordPress is a website content management system used by a majority of CyberGuru clients to build their websites. WordPress now powers 32% of the websites on the internet today, and in order to keep up with emerging trends, WordPress 5.0 has seen the largest upgrade to date on the platform.

Going from the current version of WordPress to the Gutenberg release is like changing from a manual car to an automatic. Just as an automatic car doesn’t look that different from a manual, websites in WordPress 5.0 won’t necessarily look vastly different from those using the current version of WordPress. However, the driving experience of automatic is substantially different from a manual and similarly the website design process is considerably more intuitive and user friendly in the Bebo release. Given the magnitude of this upgrade it is understandable that some plugins may not work and many websites may require tweaking to take full advantage of the upgrade.

The most significant change since the last major release some four years ago, is a block-based editor, similar to Divi and SiteOrigin Page Builder where editable content, such as text boxes, images and other items, can be added as simply as adding a block and modifying these. This is a large change from what was previously generally editing similar to a Word document. According to WordPress, they plan to continue to support the “Classic Editor” until at least 2021.

Another change is the frequency of updates. WordPress have proposed minor WordPress release twice a month. Further information is yet to be shared by WordPress, but we understand that these will be focused on improvements and bug fixes.

As it is nearly time here for Christmas (Summer) holidays, we recommend that our clients postpone upgrading until this can be reviewed closely in the new year. It is likely that there will be issues with possibly a theme, plugin or translation that may cause the upgrade to not go as planned. As with any new release, there is a likelihood of bugs and other issues to present itself themselves. It is anticipated that as an increasing number of websites begin to use the new version, these will be identified and resolved. Waiting until the new year will hopefully reduce the issues and be more stable and reliable.

We suggest having a working backup and testing the website prior to changing over to identify potential issues. We will be working with our clients to discuss how best to plan and manage this for their particular circumstances in the new year and identify a suitable time to upgrade.

We do not recommend taking this upgrade lightly. If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact us.

Ask CyberGuru: Should my domain name include my business’ service?

Ask CyberGuru: Should my domain name include my business’ service?

Ask CyberGuru

CyberGuru has recently received some enquiries regarding what domain name a business should use. For example, should a bookkeeping company called Acme use domain name acme.com.au or acmebookkeeping.com.au?

In terms how important the word is (in this case bookkeeping), if your business is predominately a bookkeeping company, then having www.acmebookkeeping.com.au is useful to search engines such as Google as it would likely index you more accurately (through the word “bookkeeping” being added).

However, you may also wish to purchase www.acme.com.au as this is easier to manually type from say a business card or brochure, or your business was to expand from just computers in the future. These domain names could be linked in that if you were to have both, you could redirect one of them to the other.

If you have any questions or to register a domain name, please contact us today.