What Year Does Your Home Exist In?

Take a walk through your home and look around. If you had no idea what year it was, would you be able to tell that it was 2017? You might not, or at least you wouldn’t if you haven’t got the latest home electronics and technology powering your home. Some people are averse to living too interlinked with technology, but we say: hey, it’s fun! You’ll be more a part of the world, will be able to have more fun, and will be able to impress visitors if you give your home a tech update. Here’s how.

More Sockets, More Control

Funnily enough, one of the main reasons people don’t have more technology in their home is for one simple reason: they don’t have enough power sockets to power all the devices they want. Of course, you can power multiple devices from one outlet if you attach a multiplug to it, but that only creates one super tech corner. You want technology throughout the home! Attach more plugs to the walls around your home around your home, and you’ll be able to do this. Oh, and as it’s 2017, make sure the sockets have a USB charger too. Life-changing!


Your home probably already has a Wi-Fi connection, but that only doesn’t mean much: everyone has Wi-Fi. The true test of your home tech’s credentials is in how well it performs. If your internet connection is struggling to reach all corners of the home, then buy data products that’ll help improve the range and boost the speed at the same time. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a Wi-Fi dead zone in the home, especially when it’s in one of it’s most relaxing rooms.


We’ve come a long way when it comes to entertainment. If you’re still relying on that old, seasoned television, now’s the time to upgrade to a smart television. You’ll have the whole selection of internet entertainment right in your living room. Oh, and they’re usually a decent size, too, so you’ll be able to watch the Superbowl and other grand events in style. And talking of entertainment, let’s not forget the music! There is a selection of superb sound systems that are designed to be used with smartphones. Have your phone in your pocket and your favorite tunes streaming throughout the house. Perfect!

Internet of Things

You better get ready for the internet of things, because it’s well and truly on its way. The most forward-thinking homeowners have already got the first devices installed in their home. Just to demonstrate the power the internet of things has: there is a device that you place on your bin. When you throw something away, it scans the barcode and makes a note of it, so you can rebuy when you’re out shopping. The future is a wonderful thing.

Going Further

There are new devices coming out all the time. Keep abreast of the latest home technology improvements, and you’ll have a home that will look more suited to 2117 rather than 2017!

How To Keep Your Kids away From Drugs

Most parents can feel rather fearful of facing the dreaded teenage stage. As this stage is saddled with hormonal behaviour, erratic mood swings and a real tendency for rebellion there really is no wonder this stage of bringing up children is often riddled with anxiety. Your children getting mixed up with drugs and alcohol is obviously one of the biggest worries about this stage of adolescence so if you are heading towards this chapter with your children then read on for our essential tips on how to keep your kids away from the temptation of dangerous experimentation.

Be There

Just making yourself available, at what can be an extremely difficult and confusing time in a child’s life, is absolutely the most important thing that you can do. This transitionary period that teenage children are going through can be an isolating time for kids, with all the changing hormones so it is really important that as parents you are making yourselves a safe and consistent support network.

Teenagers usually react much better to advise and are much more open to parental guidance, when they look for it themselves. Teenagers can be overwhelmed by being constantly bombarded with advice, guidelines and restrictions, endless rules and of course, as they see it, continual nagging.

Therefore many parents, dealing with teenagers have found that a calmer approach to teenage behaviour can be rewarded by teenagers being more open and honest as a result. Because parents are acting calmers, teenagers feel safer to confide in them so make sure you give them their time to discuss the issues that are on their mind.

Giving your teenage children time and space to learn from their own mistakes will allow them to feel that they are making their own rules and establishing their own routines (within reason). This will then let them feel that they are entering into an adult relationship with you, which works to motivate and encourage them to act more responsibly and maturely.

Alcohol & Drugs

We all need to face facts that most teenagers are going to experiment with alcohol at some point in their adolescent. Therefore it is less about complete prevention and more about educating them. Teaching your children how to approach alcohol in a responsible way can help to prevent problems, dangerous situations and even, the worst case scenario the need for a quality team of defense lawyers if your child ever ends up in a drink or drug related situation or accident..

A tried and tested way to try and prevent children from going down the wrong avenue when it comes to drugs and alchohol is to encourage them to spend their time doing other things. Children will always want to do the things that they are told they can’t do, so instead of telling them what they can’t do, distract them with other more interesting things they can do to stay active and interested in other hobbies and interests. Be active with your kids and offer ideas of fantastic things they can do with their friends and even offer to be their taxi service to make it even easier for them to stay on track and enjoy the right things.

IOT And Other Techy Terms You Need To Know

Working as a business owner, it can be difficult to stay on top of technology. But you need to because technology these days is always at the heart of the company. You might hire people to set up and monitor the tech that you use in your business. But you’ll still need to understand what’s going on when they talk to you about it. So, let’s look at some of the tech terms that it would be useful to know when you’re operating a business. We can start by thinking about the user interface.

User, What Now?

Interface, it sounds like a line from Tron doesn’t it? But it’s not all that complicated. You see there are two parts of any piece of tech. There’s the user side which is like the stage, and then there’s the operating system which is more like behind the curtain. The user interface refers to everything that happens on stage that users can see and that they interact with. So for instance, a user might click on your website and be able to click on a buy button. Now, we know that underneath that buy button there’s lots of little systems and processes working. But, the user only sees the button and any animation that occurs after they press it.

The user interface is important because it’s going to shape customer buying habits and whether or not they will buy multiple times or even once. It’s really just a question of whether the user interface is both attractive and easy to use. Or in some cases, the user interface is changed to make it more, for a lack of a better word addictive. There are even companies that specialise in this type of design.


If you don’t understand the Iot you could be DOA on the market, particularly as an online company. Iot stands for internet of things. What’s particularly confusing about this term is that it’s particularly broad and abstract. It’s difficult to know exactly what it means so let’s break it down. Internet of things refers to the connectivity of different networks and servers on the internet. For instance, whenever you use a social network such as Facebook, you’ll be interacting with an interface which is part of the Iot. As part of that Iot, there will be a number of alarms and notifications that can be sent as messages to different parts of the network, ensuring that it runs smoothly. To keep everything connected and stay on top you need a response software such as Skyresponse running in the background as part of your Iot. Yes, it sounds confusing, but as a business owner, you just need to know that the Iot is a term referring to your computer network.


Lastly, you need to understand both CRO and SEO. Each are important at a certain point in the marketing funnel. SEO alters your site to ensure that it connects well with the search engines and cro means that you alter the site to ensure the best conversion rate. Both, if understood can lead to a high volume of traffic and a lot of customer purchases. That’s exactly what you need if your business is going to be a success.

As you can see then, certain tech terms are important and by having even the basic understanding of them, you won’t just be nodding your head oblivious to what you’re being told when talking to a tech pro.

WordCamp Asheville – Slides, Notes, etc

Thanks to all who attended my talk! There were some great questions and I enjoyed talking about WordPress security with you. #wcavl

As promised, here are the slides:


And here is a link to the security related RSS feeds I follow, many of which cover WordPress:


Have you been pwned?

This website has come in handy a couple of times recently. I was made aware that my username and password were found in lists of those stolen from hacked websites, including Dropbox and LinkedIn. Of course, I had long since changed my passwords, but it’s still interesting to see this happen, and it could one day really save me. I suggest you sign up!



A Guide To Running An E-Commerce Business

Since the internet was invented in the early 1990s by the British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, it has changed the way that the world operates. For one, it is a democratizing force. The Arab Spring of 2010 was enabled in part by the fact that the protesters involved were able to communicate with each other on their phones. The internet has also allowed for more people to educate themselves. Sites like Open Culture believe that the Internet is able to act as a tool to proliferate information, university courses and art and literary criticism for people who may otherwise not have access to these things. It allows for all sorts of conversations to take place between people who may not otherwise have been able to communicate. One of the potential problems with this, however, is that the internet facilitates niche communities to exist. If a person only reads certain websites they can find themselves in a sort of digital echo chamber where their own opinions, thoughts and arguments are repeated back to them and are therefore validated and encouraged. Whether this sort of thinking has led to a greater degree of partisanship in our online and social discourse is debatable. On a personal level, the internet has changed things too. Facebook now has an estimated 1.9 billion unique monthly users and has enabled people to make new friends, and form new romantic relationships while also resurrecting old ones. It is also cited in a third of divorces today, so it is not all good.

However, as a potential business opportunity, it is unparalleled. The global e-commerce market is thought to be worth about $22 trillion with m-commerce (transactions that take place on mobile devices) being worth an estimated $3.2 trillion. Remarkably, amongst small businesses in 2016, 46% did not have a website. Of the 54% which did, 23% of those websites were not mobile friendly. These statistics reveal that a lot of people have still not realized the potential of the internet as a tool for running a business. The reality of the modern world is that if someone needs information, they will likely turn to Google. The prevalence of phonebooks or business directories has steadily declined for exactly this reason. Not having a website is therefore to condemn yourself to only being able to do business with customers who are in your geographic vicinity. If you live in a major city, that still may be millions of people, but with 3.7 billion people now having access to the internet, there really is no reason not to embrace the digital revolution. Besides, the internet is also a great marketing tool.

The infrastructure of online commerce is such that if you are smart, you can easily advertise your business for a fraction of the cost that it would ordinarily cost. For example, with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, if you manage to produce viral content, you can reach millions of people within a few hours. Besides, the cost of using these websites to promote yourself or your business is nothing. The only problem is that everyone else is trying to capture the zeitgeist too so it can sometimes be a rather crowded market. It is especially important when you are advertising online to be sensitive to the cultural considerations of the people who may see it. With the internet, that is people from nearly every country on earth. It can often be quite expensive to plan, create and launch an advertising campaign and if it is not successful, that money will be wasted. The recent Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner created a backlash because it was thought to co-opt and infantilize a political struggle that is real to a lot of marginalized people. Using that to sell your products is rather distasteful anyway, but it is especially embarrassing when the corporate desire to fit in and appeal to young people is so blatant and unsophisticated. There are so many examples of international marketing campaigns that were not cognizant enough of the cultures in which they wished to expand. However, being sensitive to these things is not just a moral issue, it could help prevent you losing the potential revenue of massive markets around the world.

There are particular benefits to running an online only business though. First, with retail companies, in particular, there are a lot of serious expenses that have to be met in order to start trading. Opening a brick and mortar store is expensive because the store itself needs to be designed in such a way that it is appealing to the customers as well as safe and compliant with lots of different health and safety codes. There is then the issue of hiring friendly, competent staff that have a working knowledge of the products and also how to deal with customers. The cost of a warehouse for stock is also important. When you run an online store, you will still need a warehouse, but you can save lots of money on running an actual store. Your overheads will be a lot lower, and you will, therefore, be able to sell your products for reduced prices as well. One of the costs that online businesses have to worry about though is the sometimes startling prices of shipping products to customers. While most online purchases come with a shipping fee, they do not always cover the entire cost of sending the package, especially if it is an international delivery so the e-commerce company will have to subsidize part of the transaction. They obviously consider this a feasible option because they anticipate future business with the customer. However, this is not something on which you can always rely.

There are particular security issues of which you need to be aware as well. When a customer inputs their sensitive financial information into the payment gateway on your website, they are taking a risk. The threat of non-ethical hackers compromising your computer systems and stealing that information is real. In fact, it has happened to a lot of major companies. It is serious because this sort of thing can completely ruin your reputation with your customers. If they cannot trust you with their sensitive information, they simply will not shop with you. If you fail to put the necessary measures in place to protect yourself against this sort of threat, you may find that you face legal problems. It is your ethical responsibility to protect this information. However, it is not always just outside forces which you should protect yourself against. A poll conducted in 2011 found that 60% of people steal from a company that they are leaving. 65% stole email lists, 45% took non-financial business information, 39% took customer contact details, 35% took employee records, and 19% were bold enough to steal financial information. These are corporate crimes, and if you think you were the subject of fraud, you should consider speaking to a whistleblower attorney. Setting a precedent and clearly demonstrating that you do not condone such behavior is important, but you should also be aware that losing this information can seriously affect how well you are able to compete with other businesses. You have legal recourses which you should use.

Finally, whatever you choose to sell, you need to make your products unique. People can often be indecisive when they are working around a mall because there are so many different products available to them. However, when it comes to the internet, there are many more. Managing to stand out in this environment is not easy, but it can be immensely profitable, a fact demonstrated by the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos now being worth an estimated $84 billion.