WordPress 5.3 will change how it blocks search engines from indexing content

WordPress announced an important change to how it will block search engines from indexing websites. This change abandons the traditional Robots.txt solution in favor of the Robots Meta Tag approach. The change brings WordPress in line with the reason for blocking Google, which is to keep the blocked pages from showing in Google’s search results. This is the Robots Meta Tag that WordPress will...
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Malicious plugin found to be being used to encrypt WordPress posts

Recently a new customer came to us needing their website cleaned up after a hack, as part of the cleanup we found an interesting little malicious WordPress plugin, called "WP Security", that was being used to encrypt blog post content. The website owner complained of a newly installed and activated plugin on their website that was rendering their original content unreadable. The hack The plugin...
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Leading by example, some SEO & design changes to our blog

You may have noticed if you're a regular visitor to the O'Brien Media Insider blog, that we've made some minor changes. All in the name of SEO (search engine optimisation) and usability. As some background, Google hates duplicate content, and while they make allowances for some duplicate content that is a natural byproduct of blogging it's best to keep duplicates to a minimum‏. No more blog...
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WordPress 5.2 “Jaco” – Keeping Sites Safer

WordPress 5.1 "Jaco" is now available! Update now to keep your website current, secure, and benefit from the latest feature enhancements. Keeping Your Site Safe WordPress 5.2 gives you even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information...
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Update Easy WP SMTP – Vulnerability affecting thousands of sites across the internet discovered

The Easy WP SMTP plugin authors have released a new update, fixing a very critical 0day vulnerability. When leveraged, this vulnerability gives unauthenticated attackers the power to modify any options of an affected site — ultimately leading to a complete site compromise. The vulnerability, found only in version 1.3.9, has been seen exploited in the wild and impacts thousands of sites. The...
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WordPress now powers over a third of the top 10 million websites

Our content management system of choice, WordPress, now powers over a third of the top 10 million sites on the web according to W3Techs. WordPress' market share has been growing steadily over the past few years, going from 29.9% just one year ago to 33.4% now.Stats in reviewIn 2005, WordPress were celebrating 50,000 downloads. Six years later, in January 2011, WordPress was powering 13.1% of...
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WordPress 5.1.1 Patches Critical Vulnerability

WordPress 5.1.1 was released yesterday evening with an important security update for a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability found in 5.1 and prior versions. The release post credited Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies for discovering and reporting the vulnerability. Scannell published a post summarizing how an unauthenticated attacker could take over any WordPress site that has comments...
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Contact Form 7 switching to reCAPTCHA v3 for invisible spam protection

Google's reCAPTCHA service protects your website against spam and other types of automated abuse.With Contact Form 7’s reCAPTCHA integration module, you can block abusive and junk contact form submissions and login attempts by spam bots that target pretty much any WordPress website on the internet.The latest version of the reCAPTCHA API is v3. Contact Form 7 5.1 and later uses reCAPTCHA v3....
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Top 5 ways to add social media icons to your WordPress blog or website

You work hard to create a professional website with educational content. You don’t want to get buried under all the other sites on the web. That’s where social media comes in handy. If you can create a customer base on Facebook or Twitter they’ll get your updates every day, and you’ll always be top of mind. Better yet, they might even share you work to their follower base. However, you...
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WordPress 5.0.3 is now available!

5.0.3 is a maintenance release that includes 37 bug fixes and 7 performance updates. The focus of this release was fine-tuning the new block editor, and fixing any major bugs or regressions. Here are a few of the highlights: 15 block editor related bug fixes and improvements have been added to bundled themes. Make sure to update these for an improved block editing experience. 2 block editor...
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