Does your website need a redesign?

When you’re so wrapped up in your business, it’s easy to lose sight of your website.  Over time your pages can get stale, your visitor numbers can drop and suddenly your website isn’t performing as well as it could. That’s where a website redesign can help – but how do you know if it’s time?

Here are 12 questions you can ask yourself to see whether you should be thinking about a website redesign now.

  1. Does your home page showcase the most recent and relevant information?
  2. Are there features on your website that no longer work or you no longer need?
  3. Are all your services, product descriptions and images still current?
  4. When you consider competitor sites, does yours look old?
  5. Has your website analytics experienced a drop in visitor numbers?
  6. Is the navigation intuitive to find the most important things on your site?
  7. Does your website appear correctly on mobile devices? Is it responsive?
  8. Do you know your website is missing content that would be helpful to your customers?
  9. Is there any old or outdated information that must be removed?
  10. Are your website terms of service out of date?
  11. Does your web store need to accept new methods of payment?
  12. Has it been more than a year since your last update?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to more than one of these questions then chances are your website needs a redesign.  Why not start a conversation with our design team about how we can modernize and refresh your website today.

Is Business Hosting Right For Me?

Small business owners will be excited about our Business Hosting at Asporea. Here’s how it’s different from other hosting platforms.  Asporea’s Business Hosting offers premium server performance and an easy to use cPanel. You don’t need advanced technical knowledge.

In short, all the power of having your own server with zero effort. You don’t have to hire a server technician to have a great website platform for your small business.

Small business owners are busy – you’re the leader, the bookkeeper, the office manager and the sales team all wrapped into one. You don’t need to be a server administrator too. With just a little tech knowledge you can be a server administrator without having to get complicated.

If you want a hosting platform for your small business without the stress, then our Asporea Business Hosting solution is the answer.

How is Business Hosting Different?

A shared hosting server is like living in an apartment — it’s inexpensive, suitable and does most things you need. You are in a shared space, so just like apartment living you could have noise across the hall or return to find someone in your parking space!

A Business Server is like owning a condo. We give you dedicated space, a smaller exclusive group of neighbours and a team of people who keep the fuss to a minimum behind the scenes.

A Business Dedicated server is like having your own house – giving you the flexibility to customise and use that server exactly as you want.

Is Business Hosting for me?

Business Hosting was designed to service users who might have outgrown their traditional shared hosting accounts.

These are some of the reasons
•    Your site uses more than the allocated share of resources.
•    You anticipate increased website traffic in the future
•    You want your response times to be faster
•    You are running eCommerce, or applications that require more memory
•    Your WordPress site has a lot of custom plugins that need processing power

Business Hosting gives you more ‘headroom’ and more resources. It’s not a full dedicated server but sits somewhere in the middle.  It’s a cheaper option to give you more freedom while your business grows. Now you can have the power of a big server without having to manage it yourself.

Here’s what you get with your Business Hosting plan:
•    An easy-to-use cPanel experience
•    Over 300 pre-installed one-click install scripts giving you software on tap
•    Unmetered bandwidth which is great if you’re website numbers are growing.
•    Free email for professional communication including a convenient webmail interface for busy people on the go.
•    Customised Performance options built-in.
•    Free Let’sEncrypt SSL

If this sounds like what you need, check out our Business Hosting plans and get started today.

10 Reasons You’ll Love WordPress

If you’re considering building a WordPress site as a hobby, or for your business then it’s hard to go past the WordPress content management platform.  Using a system like WordPress means that you can focus on what you do (content) rather than having to employ expensive coders to build your site.   Yes, you may need someone to set it up for you, but afterwards, you can maintain the content yourself.  That’s a big advantage for any cost-sensitive business.  If that alone doesn’t convince you here are ten other reasons:

1. WordPress is free

Everyone loves free stuff.  The WordPress engine, as well as many of the plugins and themes, are free.  WordPress is completely free with full functionality which means you don’t have to pay for any hidden extras for this powerful content management tool. WordPress gives you the opportunity to manage your website yourself.

2. WordPress is user-friendly even for beginners

I say to people if you’ve ever used word processing software and the Internet then you can use WordPress.  The user interface is so intuitive that people who have never used a website can find their way around and do useful stuff. Creating a page or a blog post in WordPress is super simple, you type your words and press Post.

You’ve got loads of control.  You can type your content and modify it with colours, and different type styles like (bold, italics and underline). You can add headings, align text, and add pictures and hyperlinks too.

3. Add features easily with Plugins

WordPress has a lot of hand features built in.  That said, if you need WordPress to do more than it does ‘out of the box’, then you can search the WordPress repository for plugins that do the job for you. Many of these plugins are completely free and built by the WordPress developer community.

For example, if you need a contact form that emails you messages from visitors, there’s a plugin for that.  If you want to build a complete Learning Management System in WordPress, there’s a plugin for that too.
WordPress offers you plugins for just about anything you can imagine you want to do.

4. Great SEO options

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is easy with WordPress.  There are several popular plugins that will help you manage your content and ensure your website is SEO compliant. This is important to help you get great search engine placing that helps people find your website.

5. More themes than you can use

If you want a great looking site, then WordPress will help you do that.  WordPress has tens of thousands of themes for you to choose from. Some free, and some premium.  Developers can also easily build themes for your website to give you a unique look to match your brand.
WordPress Themes are skins that you add to WordPress to change the look of your website. With built-in access to the theme repository you can choose a different theme from inside WordPress – it’s very easy.

6. WordPress is built for blogging

You may think you don’t need a blog, but having the blogging functionality helps your website grow in a few ways – firstly even if you don’t ‘blog’, you may want to display ‘news’. The blogging function can be used for the same thing.

Blogging or the production of news on your site ensures that your content remains fresh and gives website visitors a reason to return to your site.  Visitors return to this site to read new posts we place here on a regular basis. You need to be doing the same thing.

Because you can do this from inside WordPress, you don’t need to pay a developer to add your post each time you want to make a content change.

7. WordPress is flexible and can be used for almost anything

WordPress is a content management system, but the plugins you can add will allow it to do almost anything – you can run a newspaper, build an online learning platform, sell goods or services or even run your a podcast network all using WordPress using plugins found for free in the WordPress repository.

Let your imagination run free, and you can do it with the help of WordPress, easily.

8. WordPress helps you to sell stuff

With great free plugins like WooCommerce, you can sell physical goods (things that get mailed to customers) or virtual goods (things delivered through the website, or via email) very easily. Add the plugin, create your products, setup a payment gateway like Paypal and you’re set to sell.  Online stores can be setup in just a few hours, and you can start making sales the same day.

9. Nearly everyone supports WordPress

WordPress is popular – many people use it, and many people build software plugins for it. This means that if there’s a snag, there are people who can help you out.

When you search Google, you’ll find a lot of forums, posts and support from web developers and designers because it’s one of the most commonly used web platforms in the world.

And even if you don’t want to do it yourself, there are people like us who can help you get the job done.

10. Nearly every host offers WordPress built-in

Most popular web hosts including Asporea Hosting offer WordPress as an easy one-click install which means that you can add WordPress with a few clicks – in five minutes you can be setting up your first WordPress website.  What are you waiting for?

Blogvault malware exploit affects email services

BlogVault, a real-time backup and migration service announced over the weekend that it suffered a security breach that exposed data.  The service which is used by more than 85,000 websites globally, uses a WordPress plugin to connect websites to the service.

The founder of Blogvault, Akshat Choudhary, detailed that some customer website were accessed and injected with malware.

According to customer reports, some of the malware injected malicious code that started spamming mail servers. Customers without adequate security screening first noticed the issue when receiving mail servers started rejecting email.

BlogVault has contacted customers with affected sites, removing malware and security data. Blogvault is quick to reassure customers that all backups generated are safe. File transfer, login credentials and payment data are safe. He reiterated that credit card data is processed by Stripe and therefore not stored on Blogvault servers.

After the breach, Blogvault updated the plugin to version 1.45 and reset passwords for all customer accounts. They then analysed systems to determine any other sources of concern. Customer passwords on the service are encrypted, making them difficult to retrieve.

As Blogvault continues to share information with clients, Choudhary says We understand that it can be frustrating for you; as it is for us, to not have all the information,”

“We aim to be comprehensive in our response to the issue. Once we have safeguarded our customers’ data, and our investigation is complete, we will be able to share more details.”

Customers are encouraged to update the BlogVault plugin to 1.45 as soon as possible and to keep an eye on the service’s security updates page for new information.  Asporea webhosting customers have had the plugin automatically updated.

Customers who are not with Asporea who would like assistance remediating their website or email service can contact Asporea for help.

What is Responsive Web Design?

As you’ve been exploring web design, you may have heard about responsive web design. You may be wondering what it is and whether you need it for your website. Let’s explore Responsive Web Design and why it’s one of the most important investments you’ll make in your site. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or ready for a remodel, you can’t overlook this critical design approach.

Simply, Responsive Web Design is about building sites to provide an ‘optimal’ viewing experience across all devices, whether mobile, tablet or desktop. Responsive websites resize and rearrange page elements depending on where that website is viewed. When it’s on a desktop, you’ll see a full-size website, on smaller mobile devices you’ll see a cut down version that displays the essential content and elements at a size that is easy to read on that device. They key element of responsive web design is that these change happen automatically and your website will optimise the site to give you the best viewing experience ‘on the fly’.

Responsive Web Design has gone from a fancy nice-to-have to a must-have. In fact, Google now examines responsive design when it determines search engine placement. These days, Google’s search algorithms weigh how easy the content is to access, as well as how good the content is. If you examine Google Analytics results for any of the popular websites we build and manage, we can see that the bulk of users are now viewing the site on a mobile device. The number of people using smartphones and tables to search and shop on the web, continues to grow.

Implementing responsive web design on your site is becoming a necessity rather than an option. To help customers make this transition we offer a free 30-minute assessment of your site, to determine how to make your site responsive. Feel free to take us up on this offer.

If you are interested in having a responsive website, we provide fully responsive web design on content management platforms that put you in control of your site once the design is complete. We’d love to chat with you about your web project. Email us anytime for an obligation free discussion.

What To Do After You Transfer Your Website

Before you make the leap from your old web hosting provider, you should do your homework. Make sure they do the things your old provider couldn’t, and make sure they give you enough bandwidth (web traffic) and disk space to support your growth.

When you find the right hosting provider – make the transfer and wait for your new site to be delivered by the new hosting company. It’s reasonably effortless process in nearly all cases. Remember these important tips to make your transition smooth.


Backups are the first thing you should initiate on your cPanel. With Asporea backups are free, and it means that if something does happen to your site, it can easily be restored. Once you’ve started taking, downloads make certain you keep the occasional copy on your computer – just in case.



When you migrate your site to a new web host, there is a period where both sites could be served simultaneously. In the first 48 hours most of your visitors will still go the same old site – that’s because not every site has picked up the news of your new web host. In some cases, this can last up to 30 days.When you’re ready you can tell your provider to cancel the service, just don’t do it too soon.

DNS Propagation is the time it takes for your new server details to travel the world and update on each name server. In some cases, you’ll notice changes in 20 minutes, but it can take longer in some cases. Even though you can see your new content, it’s best to wait 48 hours before you start adding new content. This will ensure that the new content appears on your new site (rather than your old one).

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Make sure your new site is working correctly. Do a complete check to ensure that all the images, links and plugins work as they should. If you’re a WordPress user, then check things like caching plugins which are notoriously bad at cleanly migrating. Doing these checks makes sure your site is 100% ready for new visitors.



If you have a newsletter or a social site, let your customers know. And that’s especially the case if you’re transferring your website to Asporea. Some customers may have been frustrated with the slowness or unavailability of your old site. Letting them know tells them you’re expecting a fresh start and it will encourage them to come back.

We’d be happy to talk to you about web hosting service transfers. Leave a comment below or contact our sales team for information on our super fast website hosting services.


What is a WordPress Child Theme?

WordPress comes in two flavours. WordPress as a service which you can use at and WordPress software which you can install and use on your web server. I love the version of WordPress you host yourself.  Why? Because it allows you to extend what your website can do, almost infinitely. Even themes – which define the way your site looks – can be restyled according to your taste.

Because you are hosting your WordPress site, you can edit your themes (something you can’t do on the WordPress service). But as you probably know already, theme authors are always improving their WordPress themes, which they release as updates. WordPress Theme updates can add or repair functions, or the changes could introduce security patches for flawed software code.

So when these updates arrive, you may find yourself in a pickle. You need the update, but updating your theme will undo your theme changes.

WordPress Child Themes are useful for this very reason. Child themes add extra ‘layers’ of functionality and style to your theme without modifying the original theme code at all.

A Child Theme has its own theme folder in your theme directory, and it references your original theme but adds your new functionality on top. Think of it a bit like icing on the cake. You could just have the cake, but the tasty sugar frosting makes it so much nicer to eat!

So if you want to modify a Theme file, you make a copy and place it in your Child Theme folder and then make your changes. When WordPress sees a child theme, it knows that files in a Child Theme take precedence over the original.

How to create a Child Theme for WordPress

To create a Child Theme, make a new folder in your Themes folder.  If your theme is called ‘Canvas’ then you might call this folder ‘Canvas-child’.

Next, you create two files – a stylesheet (called style.css) and a Theme Functions file (called functions.php). That’s all you need. Anything else you add to this folder is up to you. Add style changes to your style.css file, and any new functions to your Child Theme functions.php file.

Create a header in your Child Theme stylesheet file (called style.css), so that WordPress will recognise the Child theme. Typically it will look like this:




The Theme Name is what appears in Appearance > Themes. The correct syntax is “Child theme for…” followed by the name of your original Theme.

The @import url defines the location of the style sheet of your original theme, which is how WordPress ‘connects’ your Child Theme to the primary theme. Once defined, WordPress can then overlay your changed elements over the top of the original theme.

If you don’t have @import url, WordPress would recognise your Child Theme as a brand new theme. If you only had style.css and functions.php then your theme wouldn’t operate correctly.



Your functions file is even simpler.  Add additional functions beyond the line:

add_action( 'wp_head', 'favicon_link' );

Working with a Child Theme in WordPress

Now – you can modify any aspect of your original theme, by copying relevant files to your child theme, editing them, then uploading them to your server.  Remember that your child theme must have it’s own new theme folder.  The naming convention for the folder is [theme name]-child.

You can find out more about WordPress Child themes in the WordPress codex here:


How to build a better WordPress site

James Williams from Asporea explains how you can build your own valuable website using WordPress that will continue to attract visitors 365 days a year.

You can have a great WordPress site

Some websites are brilliant at attracting visitors and keeping them coming back each day for new content.  For some people having a high-performing website is just a pipe-dream; they treat their WordPress site like a hobby, but it really doesn’t have to be that way.  A well-designed website, hosted on reliable servers with good SEO and strong pillar content are the four keys to your success.

Find a professional designer

Whether you’re building a WordPress site for business, for pleasure or for a hobby – you are building it for someone.  This person or people are called your audience.  Consider your audience when designing your site, because their opinion counts.  It matters what they think about your website, because the site is for them.  If it doesn’t provide tantalizing and engaging content, on a brilliant functional site  then they will not return.

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Don’t compromise on quality web hosting

Imagine a first date, you’ve got your best threads on, you’re groomed to perfection and then you turn up in your dodgy old pick-up truck.  That’s what it’s like when you’re create site and content are hosting on the wrong platform.  Your hosting provider must be able to support WordPress and serve it to visitors quickly.  If it doesn’t then you should be talking to us.

A fast reliable WordPress hosting platform is essential for your long-term success.  Without it, your visitors won’t think much of you and Google won’t bother to index your site.  More and more emphasis is being placed on site speed as a measure of index success in Google.  So you can be doing everything else right on your website, but if it doesn’t perform quickly then Google won’t rank it.

Spend some money on an SEO expert

It is true that you don’t need an expert to do SEO for you these days… but it helps.  An SEO expert has the skills and updated knowledge to expertly fine-tune your website for maximum hits.  Without good SEO, your site is more like a badly laid out supermarket.  Good SEO puts up signage in the aisles and starts to organise your content in a way that makes sense to readers and search engines… the result is a site that performs well in search engine rankings and delivers you more customers.  Recently we had a customer with an online store.  Over time their store which used to do well in Google, had been outranked by its competitors. A good dose of expert SEO and the sales started to return, double and triple what they had been in the past. All because customers could find them in search.

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Keep writing thought-provoking content

Writing good topical blog posts is good for your search engine rankings. The keywords and content will keep getting you listed. But there is a different type of content that you need to also plan and write.  Called Pillar content, this content is not time sensitive and it attracts the bulk of your visitors of specific key topics.

The reason why pillar content is so effective is that  good content is hard to come by.  People write articles all the time, but very few spend the time to really create that useful content that reads more like a ‘how to’ lesson than an opinion piece.

Keeping your website fast and fresh is key

The long term nature of pillar content means that it stays fresh forever, and offers real value to anyone who reads it.  Behind the scenes it will create back links to your blog which is useful for increasing the google ranking of your website.  Over time this will increase your ranking and drive more people to your website over time. Consider doing at least one pillar article every couple of months and over time you’ll find that you’ve generated some great topics that search engines will index and your readers will love you for.

“Help! My WordPress Site is Broken”

Nobody wants to hear those words, let alone speak them.

The often forgotten part about building a shiny new WordPress site is the ongoing costs. Hosting is a very straightforward cost, but what about ongoing maintenance and support. Who is going to help you when things go “belly up?”

Some people consider Maintenance and Support like an insurance policy. You only need it if you expect something bad to happen. But it’s more than that. Maintenance is about keeping your site updated. It’s a proactive eye on your website to ensure that every theme, every plugin and your WordPress core are at the current version.

Ongoing site maintenance, like the updates we’ve just mentioned are something you can definitely do yourself. If you have time, and you have the knowledge to be able to make adjustments to your theme and plugins you can definitely save money.

Will doing maintenance be a distraction from your core business?

I guess the question then becomes, how much time are going to spend fiddling with your site and settings rather than doing what you’re supposed to be doing?

I remember back to when I was doing my final college exams. Of course I was studying hard, but it was also really tempting to pick up the guitar sitting idle in the corner of my room. It was a welcome distraction from doing the study. While I had never been that good at the guitar, I learned more in my last few months of college than in the previous three years!


I think the lesson here is that WordPress (something new and challenging) can be a distraction. It’s easy to follow the distraction instead of focusing your efforts on building great content, or marketing your product. If you are easily distracted, like me, then you really need to count the cost of website maintenance in terms of lost productivity. You can’t afford to tinker and play around the edges when sales are walking out the door. You need to spend your time more wisely.

The costs of getting something wrong can be extremely high

Your ongoing website charges are obviously your hosting, and we would recommend that this should be accompanied by a security and maintenance plan. At the minimum this will keep hackers at bay and ensure that your site is kept up to date. When comparing the cost of a maintenance plan vs. doing it yourself, it’s not just about the cost of how much a technician costs when something goes wrong. Consider the cost of lost business, or failed search engine rankings and the real possibility of Google putting an ugly “This site may be hacked” message against your search engine entry.

The cost of not taking up a maintenance plan can amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per event for small businesses, and the mopping up can sometimes take weeks or months.
Getting someone to do WordPress maintenance for you can be the better option

Small businesses starting out can start with an inexpensive hosting solution (some under $10 per month) and a maintenance plan that will give you monitoring, backups, updates and more starting from $24.95 per month. That would give you a website and the peace-of-mind that your investment is being protected so that you can spend your time on more important things.

It is worth mentioning one particular issue which arises, that may tip the scales in favour of buying a maintenance plan. Sometimes WordPress updates and themes don’t update well, resulting in a crashed site. While it doesn’t happen every time, we know from experience just how often it does happen. Without solid WordPress knowledge this can be a bit like playing a game of ‘Russian Roulette’ with your website, so be careful if you spin the barrel and decide to maintain the site yourself, and always remember to backup before you make a change.

WordPress Maintenance Plans are not expensive

Someone else can take care of WordPress for you, and this cost is pretty minimal compared to the risks we’ve already talked about. WordPress Update and Backup plans from Asporea Consulting start at $24.95/month and give you 24/7 monitoring, updates, and the ability to restore by backup on request. Great peace of mind for less than 85 cents a day!

Photo credit: David Goehring