Why it is Important to Keep Your WordPress Website Updated

Great News! You finally finished your new WordPress website. Take a moment to marvel at its beauty and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Now that the moment has passed, it’s time to start thinking about updating that beautiful old site. That’s right old. Welcome to the digital age where websites can be put up quickly and become outdated even quicker — both the content and software.

If you’re thinking that your website doesn’t need to be updated on a regular basis then here are a few things for you to consider.

Maintain your Security

You may be thinking that your WordPress site does not need to change its appearance but you may be forgetting an important factor. Your website may no longer be secure. Thousands of WordPress sites get blacklisted due to hackers, malware, and ransomware. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure your WordPress site stays updated.

Since WordPress is open source software, it will typically receive minor updates automatically. For major updates, you will need to do the work yourself. Deciding not to do this can leave your website seriously exposed.

The other factor to consider from a security perspective is that WordPress uses a large number of third-party plug-ins. Each one of these third-party maintainers releases updates to their plug-ins. That means that you need to be mindful of more than just WordPress open source updates. The damage to your website and your credibility from a successful cyber-attack can ruin your website.

Skipping Updates can be Problematic

So now you may be thinking that you can just do the updates that concern you the most. Skipping updates here and there can’t really hurt, can it? Well, yes it can.

Skipping updates can actually cause significant problems. Open source software solutions are great in that so many talented people can contribute to its overall success. The downside to this is that there are several opportunities for problems to be introduced.

If you choose to skip updates you may spend more time resolving problems than you would have spent just doing the updates in order. Many a WordPress website has experienced unnecessary downtime because its owner was “saving time” by skipping updates here and there.

There is a Better Way

To help you keep your WordPress website up to date, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to safely upgrade your site.

  1. Create a backup site – Before you do any changes to your production site, you need to create a backup. This will allow you to restore the site quickly if anything goes wrong with the upgrade.
  2. Create a Staging site – The next step is to create a staging site. This is a copy of your WordPress website that you can safely make updates too. Updates made to your staging site will not be reflected on your live production site.
  3. Accept updates – This is where you incorporate the updates to WordPress, your theme, and the various plug-ins.
  4. Test the staging site – Now that the changes have been applied, you can safely test your site to see if there were any problems. If so, you can fix them without disrupting the live site.
  5. Move changes to the production site – Once you are happy with the testing, you can move the updated site to your production libraries.
  6. Test the live site – If it works then great. If not, then you can restore from the backup.
how to update your WordPress site

Following these simple steps will keep your WordPress website updated and running smoothly.

Make Sense, But You Already Have Enough to Do?

We know you didn’t go into business to maintain your website. The good news? UmeWorks can help. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same. We can keep your website humming along – we’ll update the software – and the content too, if you wish. Just contact us to get started.  We can even set you up with a site security monitoring service if you’d like that peace of mind.

What Website Owners Should Do to be GDPR Compliant

Reports show that only 21% of US website owners have taken steps to comply with the GDPR regulation. Since non-compliance attracts stiff penalties, if you’re one of the businesses that are yet to comply, you should be working overtime to get in compliance.

Below is an exhaustive checklist of steps you should take to fully comply with the regulation;

  • Determine whether you need to comply

Some of the criteria that may be used by authorities to determine whether you’re within the GDPR scope include: providing content in EU languages, offering transactions in EU currencies, and using EU-based domain names such as .co.uk. If you do this, it’s important to comply.

  • Identify and clarify a lawful basis for collecting personal data

Article 6 of the GDPR states that entities must have a lawful purpose for collecting and processing personal information. Collecting or processing user data without clearly documenting lawful reasons for doing so is in breach of the regulation.

  • Update your data breach policy to reflect the new regulation

The policy should clarify two main points. First, it must state clearly the steps you’ve put in place to protect personal data. Secondly, it should detail the steps to be taken in the event of a breach. Both points must satisfy GDPR standards.

  • Collect only the data you need

To avoid complications, it’s advisable to collect only the data you need to accomplish the task at hand. If you’re collecting personal information for email newsletters, for instance, you’ll probably only need the names and email addresses of the users. Don’t collect what you don’t need.

  • Set the default opt-in selection to “No”

For forms that invite visitors to subscribe to newsletters or other forms of emails, there must be an explicit separate opt-in box. More importantly, the default opt-in setting must be set to “No” to give the user a chance to consciously choose to opt in.

  • Provide for granular opt-in

Still on forms, the age of bundled opt-ins is over. With GDPR, subjects must know exactly what they are opting into. If you will be calling them, give them the chance to opt-into your call service. If you’ll be sending text messages, the same applies. And so forth. Don’t bundle services together.

  • Ensure that all business partners are in compliance

Under the GDPR, both controllers and processors are responsible. To this end, it’s important to ensure that all business partners, including employees and suppliers, are in strict compliance. Employees and contractors must sign an NDA.

  • Provide easy, granular opt-out

A subject is allowed to withdraw consent whenever they wish. Data collectors must make the withdrawal process as simple as the opt-in process. More importantly, you should make it possible for subjects to withdraw from individual services, one at a time.

  • Understand user rights beyond opt-in and opt-out

Beyond opt-in and opt-out, subjects have a right to data portability as well as full erasure. For this reason, inbound marketers must have a separate box that users can tick if they wish to receive further emails.

  • Provide a privacy notice and terms & conditions

Finally, provide a privacy notice on your website and give users the chance to “Agree” to the terms and conditions of the business relationship they’re getting into.

Note: For those using MailChimp and WordPress, the platforms have provided a few solutions to consider. MailChimp, for instance, offers several GDPR tools to get you started. WordPress, meanwhile, has plug-ins that you can use to ensure GDPR compliance. Just keep in mind that those plug-ins aren’t one-click solutions. Even after installing them, you’ll have plenty of work to do.

Balancing Safety and Independence in an Assisted Living Facility

Many residents of assisted living facilities need help with mobility and other physical aspects of their lives, but they retain their mental faculties. However, many assisted living facilities tend to focus more on schedules, efficiency, safety concerns and State compliance instead of ways to promote resident independence. You want to provide the best care possible for your elderly residents, and studies show that balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility increases the happiness of residents and improves the overall quality of life. But how can you implement programs and strategies that foster independence?

The Path to Autonomy

The ability to make decisions for oneself is a cornerstone of medical ethics and is perhaps even more important for elderly residents. As the body and mind decline, it is all too easy for a resident to feel like they are losing control of their life. That is why it is important to give your residents as many choices as possible in their daily lives. They may not have control over the medications they take, but they can choose what they want for dinner or whether they’d like to play Bingo, for example. Multiple chances to make choices for themselves throughout the day makes it easier for a resident to accept and even enjoy the parts of life they no longer have control over, such as their living arrangement.

The Role of Staff Members

It is likely that your staff are already balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility without realizing it, but extra training can be beneficial. It’s important for staff to understand that independence starts with respect, so they should be instructed to treat each resident as an equal individual. Additionally, autonomy is centered on choice, so clear, concise and jargon-free information should be given so a resident can have a complete picture of what their choices are. Each resident should be as involved as possible involved in any decision that affects their care.

Open Lines of Communication

There are many key players on a resident’s care team. From the resident and their family members to the CNAs, nurses and doctor, everyone has a duty to help improve the quality of care wherever possible. This is best accomplished through open lines of communication. For example, if your resident tells a family member that they no longer want chicken for dinner, the family member can pass that information on to the dietary staff. The family member feels like an important part of their loved one’s care team, and the resident feels validated because their needs are better met.

Balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility is relatively easy for residents without any cognitive disabilities, but can take some finesse for others. So long as your staff is fully committed to providing clear information and as many choices as possible, your residents will be cared for safely while retaining as much autonomy as possible.


Attract New Residents to Your Senior Assisted Living Facility – Share How Your Senior Home Embraces Each Individual’s Abilities

Use inbound marketing to reach more potential senior residents and their adult children and let them know your facility’s unique, caring philosophy.

Not sure how to get started? Request a free consultation with UmeWorks on inbound marketing for your Senior Living Facility and receive a copy of Dr. Gawande’s book Being Mortal while supplies last. Include “Being Mortal” in your comments.

Request Consultation

Dr. Gawande proposes that that “quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, but in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. He offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and demonstrates that an aging person’s life may be rich and dignified.”

Serving Cultural Needs in Senior Living Centers

As the face of America is equally becoming more culturally diverse, senior car facilities are finding it challenging to become not only culturally sensitive but culturally attractive to the growing diverse elder population. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that within the next three years 25% of adults age 65 and over will be non-Caucasians.


Senior Living Centers must keep up with the changes in demographics, and how do they appeal to a multitude of cultures — all at the same time.


Some senior living facilities have turned to cultural niches with emphasis on certain particular cultures such as Asian Americans or Hispanic Americans. You don’t have to generalize your senior living facility and steal appeal to a diverse population by incorporating as many cultural traditions as possible. Here are some tips on serving cultural needs in senior living centers.

Ethnically Diverse Foods

Asian grandma eating with girl

Serving a wide array of food will be attractive to anyone. Train your kitchen staff on cultural dietary restrictions and be sure to always have an alternative option for those that are unable to eat certain meal options, such as a Kosher alternative. Switching up the menu on a weekly or daily basis to serve different styles of foods is a great way to include many cultural groups but to also help your residents to not become tiresome of the same meal every day. Offering culturally diverse cooking classes in another great choice if you have a facility with active seniors that would like to participate in learning new dishes or want to show others their own traditional meals.

Staff

Hiring care providers and other personnel that can speak multiple languages is a major plus to residents who would like to be able to speak to others in their native tongue. This can be difficult as there is a multitude of different languages or dialects, however just having translators available would be a huge plus as well.

Respecting and celebrating traditions and holidays

Training your staff and personnel on the differences among cultural holidays and traditions is extremely important as you will reduce possibilities of offending anyone or leaving groups out. Staff must also be aware of behavioral and emotional differences in cultures such as avoiding eye contact as a sign of respect to some.

Be sure to celebrate the holidays of your resident’s cultures as well as the traditional American holidays. Residents will appreciate the ability to experience new traditions and to teach others about their own.

Access to diverse cultural entertainment

Provide your residents with access to foreign films, literature, and music so they can feel the comforts of home. If you bring in entertainment to your facility look not dancers, musicians, and speakers, etc who deliver cultural experiences similar to those of your residents. If there are museums or cultural centers close by providing transportation to and from these places will be a huge attraction to residents that crave cultural experiences.

Providing a Sense of Community

The most important thing to keep in mind when serving cultural needs in senior living centers is to keep everyone included and to create a sense of community among diversity. Residents play an important role in making other residents feel welcome so try to always include everyone together to eliminate the potential of cliques forming among different groups. When serving cultural needs in senior living centers always be culturally sensitive to those around you and open-minded to the needs of others.


Attract Residents of Diverse Backgrounds by Highlighting How Your Senior Living Facility Attunes to the Cultural Needs of Various Ethnicities

Use inbound marketing to do this. Need help? UmeWorks can help you create an inbound marketing strategy to those you are targeting, and help you manage your plan. Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Request Consultation

Help Students Find Your English Language School

Learning English as a second language is a challenging endeavor, and finding the right school to help you in a country where virtually no one speaks your language can be even tougher. If you are a provider of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, you may provide the very best lessons and still be struggling to bring in enough students to fill your rolls. One factor in this difficulty could be that your website may not be in a language that your potential students can understand. A website that supports multiple languages can be one solution to this problem.

Helping Students Find Your English Language School

While many students looking to study English as a Second Language may have some command of the language, virtually none will have mastered it to the extent that they will feel comfortable getting all the information that they need from an English-only website. Your website may boast about your industry-leading graduation rates or reasonable tuition rates, but if the message is not getting to your target demographic it may not lead to substantial results. A student viewing your website for the first time has a lot of questions. What are the tuition rates? Do you have student housing? What is the scope of instruction? Are you confident that you are answering these questions for your prospective students?

Multi-language Support Can Transform Your Website And Your Program

If there is one thing that you can count on, it is that your student body is going to be composed of individuals who are more confident reading, writing, and conversing in their native language. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and what does an English language site with no information in any other language say to the potential student? For the student who needs additional support, not just a classroom environment where they are expected to sink or swim, you could give a false impression that you are not running a student-centered program. While students may be able to translate your website using Google or other services, the results of electronic translation methods are famously garbled. You have the ability to make sure your message comes through loud and clear to the students you wish to enroll with nothing more than a single click of their mouse.

Consider What You Want Your Students To Know On Day One

Even if your website succeeds in promoting a sufficient amount of enrollment, a multi-language website can have many benefits to your students and your teachers. No educator really wants a blank slate of a student to show up to the first day of class. There can be a significant language barrier with ESL students and as much time as possible should be devoted to the lesson plan. Needing to take time to answer questions and concerns that should have been answered by the website can derail lessons and be a cause of frustration for everyone involved.

How A Multilingual Website Can Make A Big Difference

Consider this case study in providing multilanguage support. The ESL Academy of Orange County had an English-only website for many years, relying instead on bilingual recruiters at college fairs to fill their classes. However, after a website redesign that incorporated the most common first languages of their students – Spanish, Chinese and Korean – they realized that they were getting nearly a third more students signing up for classes directly through the website.

Do you have any questions about how multi-language support can transform your website and increase your class sizes? Contact our web designer at UmeWorks in Torrance for an estimate to translate your webiste, and for more information.