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Five fantastic WordPress plug-ins for your site

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We love WordPress here at Heart Internet. Not only is it easy to set up, it has thousands of plug-ins available to turn your basic WordPress installation into a tricked out wonder of a website.

We’ve found five plug-ins that are great for tweaking your WordPress, whether adding extra features, making it easier for people to use, or stopping hackers from sneaking in.

Maps Builder

Screenshot of the Maps Builder WordPress plug-in

Make it easy to add Google Maps to your website with Maps Builder. Add in markers, display places of interest around the area, and integrate Google Maps smoothly. The free version has Google Places API integration, a full-screen map builder, and unique marker icons, and if you upgrade to the Pro version, you can then add custom markers, show traffic and transit layers, and automatically populate markers on a map based on your own posts.

Login LockDown

Screenshot of the Login Lockdown WordPress plug-in

Stop brute force attacks on your login panel by installing this plug-in. Set the number of failed login attempts in a certain amount of time, and Login LockDown will block the IP address range for a period of time. It also records the IP address and timestamp of every failed login attempt, making it easy for you to see where this traffic is coming from.

Quick and Easy FAQs

Screenshot of the Quick and Easy FAQs WordPress plug-in

Adding FAQs can be really difficult when working with an existing site. You’re never sure exactly where to put it in, you’re not sure how to break up the text, and updating it can be even more annoying. Quick and Easy FAQs makes it convenient, using shortcodes and custom posts to create an easy to use system that also gives you plenty of variety. Set up a page where the answers toggle underneath the questions, filter them by group, or have them in a simple list style – it’s all possible with this plug-in.

WP Accessibility

Screenshot of the WP Accessibility WordPress plug-in

WordPress does make it easy to add accessibility to your website, but there can always be more you could do. Whether adding large print and high contrast views of your theme, requiring you to add alt attributes to images, or including skip links to make it easier to navigate, WP Accessibility gives you plenty of features and also helps fix some accessibility issues WordPress has.

Floating Social Bar

Screenshot of the Floating Social Bar WordPress plug-in

Lightweight and powerful, Floating Social Bar lets you include “share” buttons for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest in an elegant horizontal tool bar that follows the visitor down as they scroll down the page. Make it easy for your visitors to share your posts without impacting site download speed.


So those are five that we’ve found to be useful – what’s your favourite WordPress plug-in?

The post Five fantastic WordPress plug-ins for your site appeared first on Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web.

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Managed Website Hosting – IaaS / SaaS Solutions

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When choosing a webhost for your website, it’s important to consider not only the type of site you are building, but the extent of your technical knowledge as well. If your budget allows IT personnel, then your choice comes down to price, but if you are about to embark on building the site yourself, you will need some technical know-how. Choosing and installing an operating system is only the beginning. You will also need Apache or Litespeed, and security software, and you need to be comfortable at the command line as well.


Know Your Comfort Zone

There are alternatives to building the site yourself, and at JaguarPC, we offer WordPress design packages that are tailored to different levels of management comfort. While packages vary from host to host, the most comprehensive website hosting packages include installing and updating your OS, mail servers, web services, MySQL, name servers and FTP. They also offer all the security you need, and 24 hour monitoring including administrative services. You will need to have a quality design loaded into a easy to manage content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. Once your site is ready and hosted you will need to have ongoing maintenance and effort to maintain the integrity of the software, hardware, and the never ending battle with search engine optimization (SEO). This is the kind of package you want if your time is tight, or your comfort level with Unix or its many variants is low.

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Managed Solutions

If managed solutions are right for you, then the next step is choosing a website hosting company that is not only reliable, but has the latest hardware and technology. Superior, cost effective and quality hosting means you are up around the clock, and supported by a staff that is experienced and security certified. JaugarPC is certified with Trust Guard, and we recommend looking for their seal of certification when choosing your host. Certification means your customers are protected when making purchases, and their privacy is ensured.


Management via cPanel

cPanel is a control panel in a GUI format that lets you manage your servers, accounts and software applications. It’s easy to use, and provides single click management of styles, languages, email and mailing lists. Security is built in, and it allows you to set the tiers of access to your website for both administrators and end users. You may allow your administrators to add or change content, or your end users to change colors or fonts on their own browsers. Cpanel is a must for ease of management.


Website hosting doesn’t need to be complex, and JaguarPC suggests knowing your management comfort zone before purchasing a package.

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HTTP/2 and You

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The introduction of HTTP/2, the latest version of the HTTP protocol, is helping to make the web faster. With advancements in technology creating demanding users and heavier sites, speed has quickly become an important factor for both users and search engines.

The new protocol will make it possible for websites to load faster while using fewer server resources, increasing site speeds and boosting search engine rankings. As the web moves to HTTP/2, it’s important to learn more about it, understand how this new protocol works, and why it’s important to you and your site.

Photo of a front of a server

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is the latest update to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the essential way that the servers connect to each other on the web. HTTP/2 is based on Google’s SPDY protocol, which was developed to improve the speed and performance of browsing on the web.

Essentially, HTTP/2 makes one connection to the server, then “multiplexes” multiple requests over that single connection to receive multiple responses at the same time.

In the Moz article HTTP/2: A Fast, Secure Bedrock for the Future of SEO, Billy Hoffman uses this analogy:

Think of multiplexing like going to the grocery store and calling your spouse just once to get the full list: “Okay, we need milk, eggs, and butter. Check.” Compare this to HTTP/1.1 which is like calling your spouse over and over: “Do we need milk? Okay, bye.” “Hello me again — do we need eggs too? Yep, okay.” “Okay sorry one last question, do we need flour too? Nope, good.”

By multiplexing, all the data is interwoven much more efficiently on that one connection. And with how important loading time is today, interweaving the data means faster load times.

Photo of the back of a server rack

What does HTTP/2 do better?

HTTP/2 brings advancements in speed, security, and efficiency. Here are just some of the major improvements:

Single Connection

Unlike HTTP/1.1, the new HTTP/2 uses only one connection to load a site, and that connection remains as open as long as the site is open. This reduces the number of round trips needed to set up multiple TCP connections.


By allowing multiple requests on the same connection, HTTP/2 reduces the required time to process the requests that are sent and received. This speeds up the loading time and improves the user experience.

Server Push

With HTTP/2, the server analyses the client’s next request and sends additional information even before it’s needed. By allowing the server to push data, it cuts down on loading time even further.


HTTP/2 transfers the most important requests first — the CSS ahead of the images, the encryption before the JavaScript — delivering higher priority resources faster.


HTTP/2 transfers data in a binary format, removing the current steps of translating text to binary protocols and back again.

Header Compression

With HTTP/2, you can compress the headers further, cutting down on the size and download time.

Secure Connection

When a browser connects to a server using HTTP/2, it uses a secure connection — https instead of http.

Browser Support

HTTP/2 is currently supported by approximately 70% of the browsers available — including Chrome for Android and iOS Safari.

Photo of the inside of a server

What do I have to do to use HTTP/2?

It’s likely you’ve already been using HTTP/2, just not necessarily on your own website. If you use Chrome as your browser and access Gmail, you’ve been using SPDY and HTTP/2 already.

Since HTTP/2 is a server protocol, you can only fully switch to HTTP/2 if you have full control over your server. We’ll have an article later on detailing how to do this for your VPS or dedicated server.

Before you can set it up on your server, however, you need to make sure your website can be fully accessed through a TLS connection. Get an SSL certificate and set it up for your site. We’ll also have an article going through this process at a later date.

There are more things you can set up and check before you switch to HTTP/2, such as checking your images, adjusting your server calls, and more. Smashing Magazine produced a convenient action plan in Rachel Andrew’s excellent article Getting Ready for HTTP/2: A Guide For Web Designers and Developers.

Photo of a server rack

What if I don’t want anything to do with HTTP/2?

One of the beautiful things about HTTP/2 is that it is backwards-compatible with HTTP/1.1. You can ignore it, and nothing will change.

And if your users are likely to use older browsers, especially on mobiles, then it makes sense not to upgrade.

However, as more servers and websites switch, your website could start to seem slower. And, as Kissmetrics has pointed out, 40% of users will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Photo of the front of a server

What do you think?

What do you think of HTTP/2? Are you hoping to implement it for your site soon?

The post HTTP/2 and You appeared first on Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web.

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