Showing posts with label WordPress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WordPress. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Top 12 Inspiring and Well-Designed Wordpress Blogs 

With a vast number of WordPress hosting providers, beginners can get the extra help they need to build their blogs. And these people are discovering that WordPress is capable of so much when it comes to the visual design. There are already tons of free beautiful themes to choose from. What's more, there are many WordPress site builders that either are given out by WordPress hosting providers or can be found on the official WordPress site. Here's a list of 12 inspiring and well-designed WordPress blogs to help you make your design choices.

1. Mashable

At first glance, Mashable looks like a very content heavy blog that's hard to navigate. But when you continue looking at it, it's incredibly well designed. Mashable uses three columns to categorize their content. The newest posts are on the left, rising posts are on the middle and the hottest posts are on the right. The hottest posts are of course the biggest posts in the layout. A good amount of space is used between each post and the navigation is very clean and simple design.

2. Greenwich Live

Public service websites are known for having a reputation for ugly design. But Greenwich Library's site is outstandingly well done. The navigation icons and menu are very modern. The layout is very clean and well organized. The tutorial is taken from the pages of many popular app products. The focus of this site is largely on the user experience. Every part of the site feels intuitive and easy to use.

3. Travel Portland

Travel Portland is a tourism-based site designed to get people to visit the beautiful state. The big theme for this site is fun and interactivity. The site is visually driven and asks the users to click around the various photos to see what's going on in Portland and discover all the activities they can partake in. More importantly, it's fun. You can browse listings of seasonal events, top Instagram pictures and blog posts which are all accompanies by beautiful photos. The site does an amazing job in convincing the user to come visit.

4. Jess Mark's Photography

Jess Mark's Photography site uses a whimsical animated header done in the sketch style. It features a unique fun font, large navigation menus and neutral palettes to put the focus on the content and photos. Users are invited to browse photos on weddings, photo boots and portraits with big bold icons following the introduction. Sometimes a simple and well-executed blog style site is all you need.

5. Yoke

Yoke is a creative studio that runs a fun blog. The site uses a cool sketch animation as their hero image. From there, you are presented with a very minimalist three column post blog with great leading images. What really surprises you is the load out graphics when you go into a post. The blog succeeds with this minimalist approach due to small elements that make it stand out and engage the user.

6. Tinkering Monkey

Tinkering Monkey is a signage company that uses WordPress and a blog style design format to market their products. The first thing that you notice when you land on the site is the animated image that shows how they make the signs. This is followed by big and bold photos of completed projects. This simple layout shows that sometimes the design can be lead by the quality of your images.

7. Fubiz

Fubiz is a site that covers photography, art and design. As a result, their blog is very visually driven. They break down their blog into multiple sections. Each section is designed with a different photo in the background with accompanying posts. What Fubiz does well is using multiple layouts on one page. They arrange their photos and posts in a way that allows you to really appreciate them and makes you want to click on them.

8. Tesco

Tesco is a lifestyle blog that uses a four column card based design as a layout. The blog is very simple and features high-quality photography to drive clicks. The posts are organized by different categories which you can click on the top of the page. This creates a very organized and simple way to browse the blog.

9. Innocent Drinks

The Innocent Drinks blog uses a simple design and layout which makes the site very accessible and easy to use. The design is simple at first glance but then you start to notice all the little things that give this blog a big personality. Everything from the icons, brand images, typography, borders and graphical accents prove that the small things make a big difference in web design.

10. 500 PX Iso

500 PIX Iso is a photography blog that uses a fairly simple layout that anyone can model their site after. It features a hero image for the main post and transitions into a one column, one row blog post format. It then transitions into a four column card based design followed by widgets being placed at the footer. This blog is a great example of how to use multiple layouts on a site successfully.

11. Andy Hau

This beautiful portfolio site combines beautiful images with a simple design to wow the visitors. The images are cut on a fish eye shape (without the distortion) which is a very unique way of presenting the visuals. The graphical cues on mouse over are very user friendly as there is a pointing arrow icon that pops up. The website makes a great use of space and typography. Everything feels comfortable and relaxed to the eyes despite the site being visually driven.

12. Bark Post

Bark Post is a pet friendly blog that makes a great use of visual tags to categorize their content. What really impresses you is their navigation menu. They created a visual based navigation menu which displays a photo of the posts followed by the title on a small horizontal tile set layout. The photos are cute, fun and clickable which only makes the navigation menu more attractive to use.

This is just a small collection of inspiring WordPress blogs. There are many more examples to learn from. Make sure you get out there and see how other blogs are being designed to inspire your own vision. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Mysterious Spike in Wordpress Hacks Silently Delivers Ransomware to Visitors


WordPress Content Management System – Hacked

A large number of websites which tend to run on the WordPress content management system are getting hacked to deliver crypto ransom-ware together with other malicious software to ignorant end users. Researchers from three different security firms, in the last few days have reported that a huge number of legitimate WordPress sites are hacked, silently redirecting visitors to a sequences of malicious site.

The attack sites tend to host code from Nuclear exploit kit which is available for sale in black market all over the Internet. People who tend to visit the WordPress sites and use out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader Internet Explorer or Microsoft Silverlight would find that their computers are infected with the Teslacrypt ransomware package which encrypts user files, demanding a heavy ransom for the decryption key required to restore them.

According to Malwarebytes Senior Security Researcher, Jerome Segura who had mentioned in his blog post published recently stated that WordPress sites are considered to be injected with enormous recommendations of rogue code which tends to silently perform redirection to domain appearing to be hosting ads. This could be a distraction and fraud since the ad comes with more code which sends the visitor to the Nuclear Exploit Kit.

Google’s Safe Browsing Mechanism

The compromised WordPress sites observed, had been hacked to include encrypted code towards the end of all legitimate JavaScript files according to the latest blog post published by website security firm Sucuri. It is said that the encrypted content seems to vary from site to site.

To avoid detection from researchers visiting the compromised site, the code makes efforts to infect only first time visitors and to further hide the attack, the code then redirects end users through a series of sites prior to delivering the ultimate malicious payload. Google’s Safe Browsing mechanism, Sucuri which browser maker then to use in helping users to avoid malicious websites had mentioned that Google had blacklisted some of the Internet domains that were utilised in the scam.

However, a post published recently by Heimdal Security listed an altered domain with the probability that the attackers seem to frequently refreshing as the old ones tend to get identified. Moreover, Heimdal Security also cautioned about antivirus programs could do little in protecting end users.

Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit - Microsoft

The exploit code for instance had been detected by only two of 66 leading AV packages, towards the latest part of the campaign, while the payload it delivered has also been limited.The most recent reminder of the attacks are that people could be exposed to powerful malware attacks even while visiting legitimate websites which could be trusted.

 The best defense would be to install security updates as soon as they tend to become available for such drive by attacks. Other systems comprise of running Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit of Microsoft on any of the Window based computers using the 64-bit version, if possible, of Google’s Chrome browser. It is not known how the WordPress sites tend to get infected.

 There could be a possibility that administrators may be failing in locking down the login identifications which may enable the site content to be changed. It could also be likely that the attackers may be exploiting unknown vulnerability in the CMS, which is one of the plugins used, or the operating system they tend to run on. When a system is infected, the website malware tends to install various backdoors on the webserver, a feature which could result in several hacked sites being repeatedly re-infected.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Fantastic Plugins to enhance the functionality of WordPress

Beta Tester and Regenerate Thumbnails

Plugins could be of immense help for websites on WordPress and handy plugins could prove to be helpful in enhancing its capabilities with great functionality without much strain though one would wonder which of these plugins would be useful for their site. It is essential to understand its need for specific site and add them depending on their requirements with the WordPress installation, most of which tend to become very useful on any WP site. Viewers could check on these plugins and opt for the ones most essential in running their website according to their requirements. At times, some of the functions in WordPress are not recommended for usage and the Log Deprecated Notices plugin provides a list of functions in the plugin or theme with suitable alternatives for usage.

Theme Check

Theme Check is one of the essential and most important plugins for WordPress developers which measures against the prevailing WordPress coding standards as well as its practices. While creating the theme, it helps in verifying the code making sure that it meets the review standard of the WordPress themes directory and creates a fresh menu item under the setting of Appearance. Its capabilities are that one can run over 8000 tests on any installed available themes resulting in a list of recommendations, errors and information messages. If the user has the inclination of submitting the theme to repository, the need to eliminate the errors is essential since Theme Check which is active during submission does not proceed any further, even if a single error is detected.

Besides this, Theme Check’s recommendations can also help in providing ideas for the theme with the maximum advantage on its functionality such as post formats and thumbnails and by eliminating all the recommendation the user can benefit with the latest features to turn off the same. If showcasing themes to clients or for colleague’s feedback and testing, the Theme Demo Bar enables a single WordPress installation, presenting more than one theme where these plugins are common on theme market places and theme shops. These are much easier than setting different environment for various themes though it does not have the flexibility of different content for different theme.

Beta Tester and Regenerate Thumbnails

Updating to WordPress Beta, Nightly version or Release Candidate (RC) with Beta Tester enables to test the compatibility of the theme or plugins, with the latest upcoming versions while Regenerate Thumbnails can be useful in setting a new size of image thumbnail which enable the user to regenerate the thumbnail images in the library according to the size of one’s choice with a single click though the process may take its time depending on the number of images especially from a live site.


Debogger helps in dealing with debug messages, warnings and notices in WP, helping in showing the debug notices at the bottom of the page with the query counts, page load time and peak memory usage making it easy for performance tuning. It also checks the markup for W3C validity and for its function, one need to run on the server which is accessible by the W3C validation service. Another alternative is the Debug Bar that adds a Debug menu to the admin bar for easy access to cache, queries as well as other useful information. The two useful plugins which are alongside each other are the Debug Bar and Debug Bar Extender where the former give information about memory, request etc. while the later gives a better insight on what is prevailing under the hood, inclusive of cache hits or misses, clear profiler with back trace of all functions as well as SQL queries.

User Switching

One can switch between registered users without the need of repeating the usernames and passwords with the User Switching which, once activated will give a new menu named Switch off in the admin bar and if a plugin to create new role with a set of new capabilities is needed, this plugin would be of great help.

Disable Core Updates

Users often working with plugins and themes and probably testing them in various versions of WP of different set of plugins as well as setup configurations come across new versions available which can cause interruption in their working system. The Disable Core Updates plugin thus helps in turning them off.

Backup to Dropbox

Back up of the content is very vital and offsite backups are essential when one would not have the time to download a backup and reload the same to a cloud storage service. WordPress Backup to Dropbox helps in saving the same to the dropbox account instead of downloading a backup using the OAuth, keeping the details safe with its simple and sleek UI, customizable backup settings and cross browser compatibility.

Better WordPress Security

This plugin provides various WP security features and techniques which are essential for securing a WP site combining them into an easy to use plugin by working in obscuring sensitive information, increasing security of passwords, blocking unauthorized users and detecting attempts in finding vulnerabilities. Moreover it also makes regular backups of the site enabling the user to be online quickly should they face any kind of an attack Mono-live is a great eye opener on some fantastic latest technology information which provides immense insight to the user.