What labeling do I need to put on my website?

Many fields and professions have very specific needs in terms of labeling and disclosures on your website. In any well-planned website launch, you need to consider what elements you need to add to your site to satisfy your particular legal requirements.

Obviously, from a non-legal perspective, this can seem very daunting. But, all you need to do is look for the standard that applies to your industry – then take it step-by-step, analyzing your website for the necessary changes.

Just a few Examples:
1. Adding a copyright and terms of use to your footer text
2. Adding a privacy notice in areas where it’s needed (EU, etc)
3. medical (HIPAA) website labeling and website security
4. FDA and FCC regulations
5. Real Estate disclosures

Many more industries have very specific requirements for what you put on the website, much like any traditional print design. If you have any doubts, consult a legal professional for more info

“So, What website style should I choose?”

This is a question any insightful budding website owner will have to ask themselves. With a myriad of styles out in the wildly artistic web, the decision comes with the double-edged sword of a range of creative web design styles coupled with the overwhelming nature of trying to find an example and style to match and promote your business.

Let Austin Themes help select a visual style for your website, then create your new web presence based on a few questions.

Although the terms may differ in some areas, I’ve worked with websites in the following styles:

  • Musician websites
  • Medical websites (Non-HIPAA)
  • Video Sites
  • Very traditional business websites
  • multi-column Blog Websites
  • One-Page websites with a Header, Sidebar, and Main content area
  • Single-Pane websites with simple website menus
  • Etc..

 

Places to find great, free WordPress themes

In the interest of finding the best option for a prospective WordPress website owner,  I feel it’s only fair to cover free WordPress themes in addition to touting Austin Themes’ web design services.  There are dozens of great websites out there, so it’s a only a matter of fine-tuning your expectations and finding a great theme that meets or exceeds them.

  • WordPress.org – It has to be said that WordPress.org’s own theme repository (IE, the themes accessible through your wordpress site’s theme search feature) is probably the best source. Not only are the themes guaranteed to be free (even if they’re lite versions of premium themes), but they actually maintain a fairly rigorous approval process for public themes.
  • SMthemes.com – a great resource for free themes from a diverse collection of authors. High-quality free wordpress themes that seem to be well picked for freebies.
  • NewWPthemes.com – another high-quality index of free wordpress themes, designed for a variety of industries and uses.
  • WPlocker.com – a good resource for free quality themes, with an emphasis on modernist responsive themes.

5 easy ways to secure your wordpress website, and what the latest wordpress hacking spree means for your site

If we’re honest, sometimes we all get a little complacent on the security front. Even the most security-conscious WordPress user re-uses a password, or occasionally writes it down on a note attached to the monitor.
Unfortunately, this latest round of WordPress hacking incidents shows us that the dark world of hackers still exists, and it’s always best to play it safe in terms of securing your WordPress site. Below are 5 easy tips for tightening up your WordPress website security

1. Change your Database Prefix
A wordpress website combines a database and files to create a rich, interactive experience. However, this leaves the site vulnerable to database hacking techniques. Use a plugin like the website defender wordpress security plugin to change this default, usually reducing comment spam and foiling a variety of attack types.

2. Remove or rename the default “admin” username (not the admin user!)
The recent WP hacking attacks have shown that the default username “admin” adds a lot of risk of your site being hacked. It’s recommended that you A) create a new username and select “administrator” in that menu, B) logout then log back in as the new username, C) go to ‘users’ then delete the “admin” account.

NOTE : Always keep one administrator-level user on your site at all time, or you’ll lose access to the site’s back-end administration menu.

3. Use strong passwords
Instead of easily-guessable passwords like “guest”, “password”, “password123″, use either a brief sentence with punctuation, or a string of random text and numbers (including an unusual character like ‘&’,'%’,'!’ if possible)

4. Don’t share usernames
Never give out your username and password unless you can trust a party 100%. It’s easy to create a new username and password for that friend, relative, or client, but it’s much harder to repair a hacked wordpress site.

5.Use a wordpress security plugin to find and patch security holes
There are a myriad of ways to easily patch up your WordPress websites, but one of the easiest is to let a plugin take the hard coding out of it. The same plugin referenced above, the WordPress security plugin by Website Defender automatically seals up a few issues in the code and the database to further reduce your WP site’s risk.

Now offering extensive WordPress custom post type work!

Through a personal experiment, I’ve ramped up efforts in my WP custom post type work. What does this mean for future wordpress development work? To start, it means that virtually anything from products to portfolio entries to video galleries can be added alongside the “posts” and “pages” menus in WordPress, and will be treated as their own new content type. Then, the new custom post type can be used in the front-end in almost any form imaginable (within the technical limitations, of course!). Request a bid today, or contact for more info!

new PHP / jQuery demonstration : a tool for generating random colors

After a couple of days worth of lull, I decide to take on a few spur-of-the-moment PHP website development challenges. In this case, what began as a color thumbnail generator written from scratch has evolved into a full-fledged HTML5 / PHP / jQuery random color generators.

Features:

  • Numerous features powered by Query parameters (“http://www.atwebsitedesign.com/colorgenerator/index.php?bg=white&lastcolor=555555″, for instance)
  • Most actions update a unique URL you can share with friends to let them see the great color scheme you’ve found over social networks, etc
  • Add new randomly generated color tiles
  • copy-and-paste hex color code output (more output formats to come!)
  • HTML5 (standards compliant)
  • The unique share URL imports your custom color scheme, clicked colors, and last color so you won’t be starting from scratch if you hit refresh.


To View It:

Click the big “View Demonstration” button to the right (or, if you can’t see it, click the article’s title until it’s just this article.)

What to do when your wp-admin is blank

Ever try to access your wordpress admin panel, and it just pops up with a horrifying blank screen? The solution may be even simpler than you think. In most cases, if you can still access the site, but your admin area is blank, it’s the file “functions.php” in your theme. Even one blank space after the final “?>” at the end of your theme will cause the WordPress admin menu to be blank. Solution: Use an FTP program or your hosting company’s file manager access to remove any trailing spaces.

If you’ve verified that there are no spaces either after or before the “” of your functions.php, and/or the website itself is not displaying on the front end, then you’ll probably want to contact either a developer or your hosting company to find out if it’s a malicious attack or just a coding error somewhere within the website.

Ideas for enhacing your WordPress website

Ever look at your WordPress website and just think “I know there’s something that could be improved”?  WordPress sites can be expanded quickly and easily, and can be updated for changing times and design trends.  Here are a few ideas for kick-starting some new features!
1. Add an image “carousel” or gallery
Using a variety of plugins, you can create a captivating, beautiful image gallery or slideshow featuring your images.
2. Switch your normal homepage, with the lists of posts, to a normal “landing page”.
This way, you can always have control over what content most of your users will see first.  You can also add the carousel or image gallery from #1 to really strike your users with your product, or representative images. If you need help finding images, try MorgueFile.com, iStockPhoto.com, or PublicDomainPictures.net. The first and last are even free!
3. Keep comments on, but add an anti-spam plugin!
If your WordPress site has the accounts turned on, consider leaving the commenting functionality active. This allows your users to have a direct impact and communicate with others, at the expense of dealing with automatic  wordpress comment spam.
4. Use user roles to block off or limit sections to types or individual users.
With a plugin like “role scoper”, among many others, you can get an even finer amount of control over how users interact and access your WordPress website.  If you’re going to be using it to set up a Pay website, consider the “S2member” plugin. The S2member plugin has an extensive roles system, geared toward creating paid membership websites.