[VIDEO] How To Secure Remote Desktop On Windows And Safely Access Your Computer From Outside Your Network.

A while back I did a video that’s gotten a lot of attention. It’s been pretty popular with over 200,000 views as of this writing. Many of you might have seen it. It’s about setting up your router to allow you to access your computer at home through the firewall, through the router, using remote desktop. One of the problems with that particular video is that it doesn’t really address the issue of security. And so in this video I’m going to show you how to set it up so that you are actually using encrypted communications. So this is really about how to enable and secure remote desktop in Windows.

The steps that you need to perform to accomplish this are: (more…)

[VIDEO] Introduction To The WordPress Dashboard

[VIDEO] Introduction To The WordPress Dashboard

[wpmudev-video video=”dashboard”]

Overview of the WordPress Dashboard.

[SCRIPT]

Typically the first thing you’ll see when logging in to WordPress is your dashboard. It’s a great way to get updates on your website, statistics, and more. In the main area of your dashboard you’ll find widgets that provide news and basic information about your site. You can drag and drop these widgets to position them however you’d like. You can also roll them up by clicking the down arrow icon in the far right corner of the widget title. Some widgets have configuration options that you can access by hovering over the title bar and clicking on the configure link that appears.

In the upper right hand corner of the screen you will see a couple of pull down tabs labelled Screen Options and Help. Clicking on the Screen Options tab brings up customization options for your dashboard. Here, you can turn off and on the widgets you desire to have hidden or shown at any given time.

The Help tab provides some information about these customizations, as well as some helpful links to documentation and support.

In the Side Bar you’ll find buttons that provide easy access to different areas of your website. When the menu item is selected, a list of sub-menu items will appear below it. Hovering your mouse over any of these buttons will also display the sub-menu. You can click these to easily access any of the sub-sections of your site.

The main menu items include:

  • Dashboard, where you can receive updates and statistics regarding your website.
  • Posts is where you create and manage the posts on your blog as well as the tags and categories managing them.
  • The Media Button is for managing the Media Content library for things like images, video, and audio.
  • The Pages button is for creating and managing pages on your site.
  • Comments is used to manage your visitors feedback.
  • Appearance is used to choose your Theme, set up Widgets, create custom navigation menus, and more.
  • Plugins gives you the power to extend the capabilities of your website, and allows you to manage them, activate and deactivate them.
  • Users allows you to manage and view all of the site’s users. It also allows you to edit your own profile, giving you options to change your password, email address, and screen name.
  • Tools provides some powerful tools plus options for importing and exporting content.
  • The Settings option is were the bulk of your site’s options are maintained: Your website’s name, privacy, and permalink settings can all be configured to your liking here.

And finally, at the top of the page you will find the Admin Bar which provides access to commonly used features and information.

How Marketing and Greed Destroyed Black Friday

How Marketing and Greed Destroyed Black Friday

This article was originally posted on my LinkedIn Profile at
http://bit.ly/1WQwmgz
on 11/28/2014

As I sit here enjoying my Seattle’s Best #5 coffee, after spending what seems like an eternity deleting Black Friday promotional emails from my gmail inbox, I just can’t help but wonder, what is Black Friday anyway, and why should I care? Why are all these marketers emailing me about Black Friday?

After all, I’ve been getting emails from marketers for an eternity, it seems. They’re all getting in my face, clogging up my inbox, trying to get me to buy this and that, telling me that I’ll save big bucks, claiming my eyes will pop out… here are just a few examples of the absurdly ridiculous attempts to get me to pull out my wallet:

  • Prices so low, they’re scaring us!
  • Get your treats! Last chance to save
  • Time is running out!
  • Black November – a month of Black Friday deals
  • 50 eye-popping black friday deals

The problem with these? (more…)

[VIDEO] How To Create A Simple Advertising Graphic For Website Advertising

[VIDEO] How To Create A Simple Advertising Graphic For Website Advertising

Website advertising is a big deal today. It’s probably the one area of the Advertising industry that still has a huge amount of growth potential. Advertisers and Agencies are finding all kinds of new ways to get the stuff you are already interested into your field of vision: whether it be on the web, on your mobile device, in a video game… and countless new avenues and vehicles yet to be discovered.

If you are a small business, there are a lot of options for web advertising starting with Google Adwords. AdWords allows you to create simple text ads and tie them to keywords and phrases so they know where to show your ad in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). But if you really want your Ad campaign to get the most exposure, you need to create graphic ads for the Google Ad Network (also known as Google AdSense).

Website owners (like my clients Florida News Flash and The Life Center of Hernando) can create ad space on their site and either sell that ad space directly or create placements for Google Ad Network (AdSense) ads. AdSense offers placements for a variety of different ad sizes: 250×250, 200×200, 468×60, 728×90, 300×250, etc. depending on where they want to display the ads (in the sidebar, at the top or bottom of the page, in the middle of the page, etc.). At the time of this writing, there were (more…)

7 Ways To Guarantee Your Great Idea for Software in a Hot Niche Market Will Fail

7 Ways To Guarantee Your Great Idea for Software in a Hot Niche Market Will Fail

As an independent consultant that works both in and on my business all day, every day, I’m always on the lookout for new software and services that can help me stay organized, streamline my workflow, keep the constant ebb and flow of my seemingly never ending ToDo list under control, and capture the time I spend every day in a way that allows me to quantify the billable hours that I present to my clients as well as quantify the apparently massive amount of non-billable time I spend in front of this PC every day, day after day, week after week, and month after month. Some weeks I work 80 hours and only bill 20. Some weeks I bill 50 and only work 60. It all depends on whether I have billable or non-billable projects to do.

Either way, I want to be able to look back and know what I did yesterday. Believe me, without keeping track of projects, tasks, and time, I could work on something all morning and forget what I did by the afternoon.

So when new tools come around and present themselves to me in the form of a carefully crafted advertisement promising productivity nirvana, you bet I’ll go and check it out. Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat several times in my quest to find (more…)

Forcing Your Customers To Talk To A Computer Says Everything About Your Hatred For People

Forcing Your Customers To Talk To A Computer Says Everything About Your Hatred For People

OK, I’m all for answering machines, especially for small businesses. I use one. I even have a virtual receptionist available to me with my Ooma Office Phone Service any time I decide to take advantage of it. Right now, I just have my office number ring on my cell phone simultaneously so I never miss a call. If I don’t know who’s calling, or I’m too busy to answer, or the call is coming too far outside my normal business hours, I let it go to Voicemail.

And even then, if I decide to use it, the system allows me to configure voice prompts simply by typing the content into a text box. What I type is what the Virtual Assistant says. So I can say “Thanks for calling AppDataWorks. Press 1 for Sales. Press 2 for Support.” and so on. I think that’s appropriate for a very small business like mine. I could hire a “live virtual receptionist” to answer my calls and give a human touch to that contact, and I may do that down the road if my phone starts ringing enough. But for right now, even a highly configurable robo-voice prompting callers to the correct line would be fine.

In fact, it should be fine for any size business. Do you hear me Sears? Bank of America? Verizon? (more…)

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 3: Multisite

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 3: Multisite

So now we get down to the purpose of this series, which is our quest for the best managed wordpress hosting for WordPress Multisite installations. To be certain, any of the hosting providers in the previous two articles – part 1 and part 2 – would be perfectly fine for any kind of WordPress Hosting if you don’t need to enable MultiSite support. I have several GoDaddy accounts and I’m perfectly fine with them. They give you the most bang for your buck. In fact, almost all of the hosting providers in the previous article support Multisite but not on Managed WordPress.

Why is this important? Managed WordPress hosting accounts are a special type of hosting designed specifically for WordPress. You usually don’t get access to any kind of CPanel or other server management user interface. The site compression, firewall, anti-malware scans, backups, etc. are all handled externally to your website. You get access to – in most cases – only the ability to restore backups, push/pull content to/from a staging environment, and access to your WordPress Admin Dashboard. You typically don’t get access to create FTP accounts, create add-on domains, etc.

I say in most cases because (more…)

New WordPress 4.3 Features. Cool stuff only comes around once in a Blue Moon.

New WordPress 4.3 Features. Cool stuff only comes around once in a Blue Moon.

I’ve always loved Billie Holiday, so a little smile crossed my lips when I saw that WordPress 4.3 was code named “Billie”, and in fact was named after her.

A plethora of previously reported bug were fixed with this release – 180 or so in fact, so both developers and designers should enjoy a much more stable experience. I’ve been working with 4.3 for a few days now and it seems pretty tight. A lot of the enhancements in this version are under the hood API  changes, depreciation of old code, a new singular.php template that simplifies things a bit for theme developers.

In this article, I’m going to focus mainly on the more visible changes. (more…)

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 2: Support

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 2: Support

<— Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 1

In my previous post, I laid out the groundwork for what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. In case you didn’t read it, click the link above to read Part 1.  But if you’d rather just get a quick fill-in, then read on.

A business associate of mine and I decided to team up to create a very high capacity website that needed to be able to start small and scale to millions of visitors per month, even millions of visitors per day eventually. This kind of large scale application takes a huge amount of technical knowledge, granular separation of component parts into separate servers and services, a high degree of network engineering and linux administration knowledge, the ability to provide 24/7/365 support and replication of assets both on the same LAN as well as on a wider network of replicated servers in multiple data centers. We need the site be be highly available, and we need support with the technical chops to help us design it, build it, scale it, and support it when things go wrong. (more…)

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 1

Quest For The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Service – Part 1

This is the first article in a series of articles that will explore the process of finding the best managed WordPress hosting service for a new web venture that I expect to scale to millions of users per month.

Part 1: The pain points.

Hosting a website for most small businesses is a fairly inexpensive affair, with the vast majority of websites getting modest amounts of traffic that can easily be serviced by most shared hosting providers. Most providers have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. What that means is that your web server will respond to requests 99.9% of the time, but that guarantee usually comes with caveats that protect the hosting company from having to issue refunds for what they call “perceived outages”.

For example, if your web server is running but can’t connect to another resource like your database, you’ll get a “Can’t connect to database” error but that doesn’t technically count as downtime. Why? Because your web server is responding to requests. The fact that the database is missing or down doesn’t matter.

So when a partner of mine and I decided to start a new venture utilizing WordPress Multisite hosting, (more…)

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