What’s new in WordPress

WordPress allows you to design and build a website that meets your unique needs. Start a blog, business site, portfolio, online store, or anything else you can imagine. We explore what’s new in WordPress 5.6.

With built-in optimization and responsive, mobile-ready themes, there’s no limit to who you can reach with your new website. Create a simple website for your family or sell products around the world—it’s up to you.

WordPress is often regarded as the easiest and best website builder if you’re looking to build something that you won’t outgrow in the long run. Most web hosting accounts now include a ‘1-click installer’ which will set up WordPress for you in seconds. Contact the LIS Help Desk to buy your domain name.

What’s new in WordPress: Five awesome new features

Like previous releases, WordPress 5.6 includes several versions of the Block Editor enhancing the editing experience for WordPress users who don’t have the Gutenberg plugin installed and updated on their websites yet.

Not everything is about the Block Editor, though. Several features have been added to WordPress Core, like a new default Twenty Twenty-One theme, auto-updates for major releases, better support for PHP 8.0, Application Passwords for REST API Authentication.

There is so much more in WordPress 5.6. You will see accessibility improvements, UI enhancements, tons of bug fixes and a huge list of changes for developers.

1. New default theme: Twenty Twenty-One

One of the major new features in WordPress 5.6 if the new default theme: Twenty Twenty-One. It looks awesome, plus it’s lightning fast, accessible and SEO-friendly. One of the coolest features is that you can quickly build a complex layout thanks to block patterns. These block patterns were introduced in WordPress 5.5 and this new theme uses them nicely. The theme comes with a couple of patterns, but you can make your own to suit your needs. The Twenty Twenty-One theme was designed by Mel Choyce-Dwan and built by a development team — consisting of several Yoasters — led by Carolina Nymark. You can read about how Twenty Twenty-One came to be.

What’s new in WordPress

Twenty Twenty-One comes with a number of great color palettes, plus support for block patterns

2. Automatic updates

Keeping your site and plugins up to date is a chore — but an essential chore to keep your site safe and secure. It’s one of the reasons why the WordPress team is working hard on making that process a little bit easier by providing automatic updates. Luckily, WordPress can already automatically update minor versions, but with 5.6, it can also update to major versions automatically. This is an opt-in, so you have to activate it yourself in the WordPress Updates screen if you want to make use of this. Remember, automatic updates of major versions has its pros and cons, so think before you activate.

Automatic updates

By turning automatic major updates on, WordPress can always update itself

3. Application passwords

Application passwords offer a new way of providing access to certain parts of your site. You can’t use them to log into your account, but you can use them to help give external sources access to your site without you having to give away your password. You can easily generate access keys and share them with your users. Keys are easy to understand and come in a familiar format like abcd EFGH 1234 ijkl MNOP 6789. Revoking access is just as easy. Simply hit the Revoke button. Keep an eye on this feature as many plugins and platforms will adopt this.

Application passwords

Application Passwords makes managing external authentication easier

4. Loads of Gutenberg updates

We’re big fans of the new block editor, but we know there are still a lot of naysayers out there. Luckily, the Gutenberg team keeps chugging along and put out great release after great release. In WordPress 5.6, you’ll find the results of not one or two Gutenberg updates — but no less than seven releases. Among many things, you’ll find improved support for video positioning in cover blocks, enhancements to the block patterns, better dragging and dropping of blocks, improved keyboard navigation, et cetera. It comes with many performance and accessibility improvements as well.

5. Beta support for PHP 8 in WordPress 5.6

PHP 8 has just been released and it is a huge deal for developers. It’s the latest version of the programming language in which WordPress is written and it brings a whole lot of cool stuff that will help developers use modern code practices and features. As of WordPress 5.6, the CMS is considered beta compatible with PHP 8. Still, there’s a lot of work to do to get WordPress fully compatible with PHP 8 and before developers can use all the new goodies that it brings.

New build or upgrade

Are you happy with your existing website? Is your website out of date? Do you need to upgrade to sell products online? Our clients benefit from working with us as we have a team of designers, programmers and IT support staff. We offer hosting, design and build of websites, email setup and SEO. We also offer training for the person in your team who will be updating your site. They will soon find out what’s new in WordPress and how it will benefit your company.

Work with industry experts for all your online requirements and to find out what’s new in WordPress. Let us take away the headache of dealing with several suppliers. Working closely with you, the client, we’ll provide product features based on actual end-user behaviour and deliver exactly what you require. Delivered on time and within budget. Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your online requirements.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#WordPress #Websites #Hosting #SEO #Marketing

Five key IT areas

Five key IT areas you must address in your business’s 2021 growth strategy5 key IT areas guide. As we finally approach the end of – what we can all agree has been a difficult year – it’s likely that the last thing you want to think about is your IT next year. However, being the IT super-fans that we are, we’d suggest that now is the best time to do this. We’re about to begin a new year.

It’s going to be another challenging one. So what greater way to start than with a clear strategy for the months ahead? A solid IT strategy is a critical part of your business growth plans for the year.

Download our new guide to find out the 5 key IT areas you must address in your business.

5 key IT areas you must address

How was 2020 for your business?

It didn’t take long for the optimism of a new decade to wear off. By the end of 2020, companies everywhere were reeling as they reckoned with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, the impact of the virus was too much for many firms, leaving millions of workers unemployed and driving thousands of businesses to close their doors. Those companies that stayed afloat had to act quickly in order to enable their remote workforce and maintain operations.

Heading into 2021, there is little precedent for projecting the future. The economy is showing some signs of stability, but there are lingering fears over continued challenges or further surprises. Now is the time to investigate to see how five key IT areas can help your company in 2021.

Making sense of it all

Through all the confusion, though, there are still some basic concepts that will shape the year to come. Digital operations are more important than ever, with many transformative changes accelerating over the past year. Fair treatment for all is an absolute mandate, making diversity, equity and inclusion a top priority. The influence of technology is massive, forcing new approaches to regulatory behaviour. When is the last time you analysed your IT system? Have you locked the secrets behind the five key IT areas?

As the industry emerges from a chaotic year, it will begin a rebuilding phase, but this rebuilding goes beyond restoration. There is little opportunity to return to the old way of doing things. Thanks to changes that no one would have wished for and fuelled by the requirements of a digital society, the technology industry will doubtless take a new shape in the coming year. This isn’t rebuilding to reclaim the past; this is rebuilding for the future.

Book a FREE IT audit to cover the five key IT areas

All our clients benefit from our experience and knowledge. Our team have been working in the industry for over 25 years. We pride ourselves on delivering nothing but the very best customer service and solutions to our customers whatever the situation may be. Contact the LIS Help Desk to book your FREE IT audit and discover the secrets of the five key IT areas to help your business. Our services include managed IT services, network support and telecoms.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#FreeGuide #ITStrategy #BusinessGrowth

Covid Ready Gadgets

You know we love a gadget!

So here are some new Covid ready gadgets just for you. The world is being reshaped by Covid-19, and that includes the sphere of tech. The annual IFA Berlin tech fair is the biggest platform for new tech releases in Europe. This year it attempted to carry on as close to normal as possible. The exhibition looked a little different to what we are used to.

The 4,000 attendees had to wear masks and social-distancing measures were in place. The class of gadgets on display were also different to usual. Best known in recent years for giant sized TVs and virtual-reality headsets. This year IFA saw exhibits of a new class of pandemic-inspired gadgets. Here are some of the Covid ready gadgets available.

Some of the best Covid ready gadgets from the show

Covid REady Gadgets

Daan Tech’s Bob the mini dishwasher

Dishwashers are reputedly big and ugly. That’s what this small and autonomous dishwasher called Bob attempts to get away from. Designed by France’s Daan Tech, Bob sits on a kitchen worktop. It takes just 20 minutes to run a cycle and comes in one of 24 colours. All great stuff, but where’s the Covid-19 link?

Bob also indulges in UV-C sterilization. Using ultraviolet light to warp the structure of genetic material, effectively killing bacteria and viruses. So, alongside your dirty plates, mugs and  glasses, Bob can also work its magic. Great on disposable masks plus your dirty wallet and keys. It sells for £267 and is now available for pre-order.

Wearable air purifier: The best Covid ready gadgets to keep safe

Electrostatic technology could well be the “disinfectant of the future”. With Covid-19 it was inevitable that we’d see a wearable air purifier at IFA 2020. Designed to be worn around the neck, this Covid ready gadget is one of the best ideas from the show and will protect millions of users.

The improved surface coverage is the result of the electrostatic technology. As the chemical exits the electrostatic sprayer, it is atomized and given a positive charge. The positively charged spray droplets are attracted to and travel toward negatively charged objects, creating a 360-degree wraparound effect on the targeted surface.

However, its three-layer electrostatic filter works to rid the bubble of air around you from bacteria and viruses, alongside pollen and air pollutants. From Japanese company Creative Technology  the air purifier is already sold in Asia.

Covid Ready Gadgets

GoBe Telepresence Robot

Anyone suffering video-call fatigue? Not surprising, given that telepresence has suddenly become a way of life for many of us. However, interacting remotely doesn’t come close to being there in person. The answer is to use a remote-controlled mobile robot. Designed in Denmark to replace travel, GoBe is all about putting someone “in the room”.

At its core it’s a 21.5-inch “face screen” on wheels, with its robot pilot being fed real-time images via a zoomable 4K camera. It also has a wide-angle front camera for a view of an entire room. “During the pandemic, we have seen significant growth in orders,” says Peter Juhl Voldsgaard, CEO of GoBe Robots.  “Telepresence robots have now become a standard technology that everyone can understand. Our technology gives each person a unique experience.” He added.

Neato Robotics’ D10 robot vacuum

So, any improvement to your sourdough bread-making skills? If half the flour you hoarded over lockdown regularly ended up on your kitchen floor, then maybe you should consider the Neato D10 “intelligent robot vacuum”. It promises not just a clean but an ultra-clean. It is important in the world of Covid Ready Gadgets that they make life easier.

Robot vacuums have become one of 2020’s biggest must-have gadgets. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and they require literally zero effort.

Announced at IFA 2020 and claiming to be able to suck up dirt from all types of flooring. The D10 features a True HEPA filter to capture “up to 99.97%” allergens and particles as small as 0.3 microns. The D10 runs for 2.5 hours and is programmed via the MyNeato app.

Fauna Audio’s Memor Havana audio glasses

Are your efforts to work from home productively being hampered by kids or noisy housemates? Then it’s likely you could benefit from some beefy noise-cancelling headphones. If that isn’t a major concern, consider these blue light-blocking glasses with built-in sound.

Fauna’s Memor and Levia models feature standard blue light filter lenses to reduce blue light exposure from computers and phones. Prescription lenses can also be fitted  and MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) micro-speakers. This will not block sound in the manner that earphones and headphones do. As a result,  have one ear listening to audio from your computer, music, virtual meetings and so on. Whilst the other can listen out for the arrival of the courier with your latest Amazon purchase.

Fauna has integrated Bluetooth and microphones for taking hands-free calls. It also works with voice assistants and boasts touch control via two touchpads on the temples. It sells for £178.

Stay ahead with the latest tech

Whilst the world is worrying about Covid Ready Gadgets, have you thought about your IT systems? Our clients benefit from the latest tech, upgrades and support from our Support Technicians. With remote access, regular checks and security, our clients have peace of mind. With everything going on in the world, how great would it be to work with an IT partner that is responsive?

Contact the LIS Help Desk for your FREE IT AUDIT. We will take the time to find your business goals and make sure your systems are set up efficiently. Upgrade to the latest hardware, software and security. This will ensure in a happy and productive team, and happy business owners!

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#CovidGadgets #GadgetPost #TheyKnowWhatWeWant

Digital Transformation

Misconceptions Surrounding Digital Transformation

Most people in the business sector are talking about digital transformation (DX). An example of this is Uber’s quick rise from a mere mobile phone app, putting a longstanding black cab industry at threat.

Because of its simplicity and how effective it is, a lot of businesses are rethinking their models. A lot of the time they are completely restructuring their own IT infrastructure, bettering their processes and redefining their team. They’re doing this to prepare themselves for an economy where everyone is using digital services. As well as thriving off applications instead of physical products.

On the contrary, amongst all of this excitement, there are a lot of myths surrounding this topic. This causes confusion for business owners and their staff. It’s for this reason; the wrong approach is often taken.

Digital Transformation

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of going paperless

5 myths about digital transformation

People are desperate to see change

Generally, people react in one of three ways to digital transformation. They either pushback, have a sense of fear or try to bid so they can increase their power.

In an interview with CEO world, the management guru Cheryl Crann stated that the ones who limit digital transformation are the employees. The reason being is due to the extra work and aggravation before benefits can be detected.

It’s recommended for a successful migration to a digital-first model; businesses should make the necessary improvements to employee’s workflows and processes. Such modifications should begin with the major stakeholders and then to the rest of the organisation.

Digital transformation is only just for the technology

There’s more to change than just digital. There are other variables such as culture, objectives, processes and more. In today’s digital world, we must shift our attention from the technology to the outcome of the technology.

The best way to do this is to consider what you want to achieve first and then reverse-engineer the systems and processes. It’s not about merely acquiring the newest and most efficient technology. If you’re going to transform, you need to embrace change not just focus on the status quo.

If you fail, it’s classed as bad 

McKinsey and Co estimated that even in the highest tech firms, only a mere 25% succeed. Moreover, if you’re in a field such as manufacturing or energy, it could be as little as 4%. However, you can learn a lot from failure.

Conversely, if the company’s organisational structure is strong, the process should be smooth to absorb and review feedback, come up with improvements and implement them. After that, it’s just a case of repeating the same method and getting an optimised workflow.

In this report, it’s also mentioned that effective and successful projects have a focus on the latest product and service launches in markets not being opened. Again, success only arrives after the amount of transformation comes from hitting a specific limit with multiple business functions and business units.

Everyone is undergoing digital transformation

According to Telstra, around 21% of experienced and senior decision-makers, class their organisations as “digitally mature”. At the same time, those who haven’t started transformation are at 30%.

Telstra believes that this is a great and clear opportunity for businesses to enhance and increase their way they approach digital transformation. Even though there is room to do more for digital transformation, a clear strategy for the company needs to be there for them to follow it effectively.

Digital Transformation is the same rules for everyone 

Depending on your industry, digital transformation can vary a great deal. It can even change between organisations and subunits within a particular organisation. To effectively undergo digital transformation, you need to have a flexible ecosystem. The experience can be optimised and it is achieved within an organisation.

However, problems must be recognised and be solved using digital transformation. After this, you must customise the change and realise that it is not a one size fits all method. Similarly, this is an ongoing process which gets refined as part of the business model. While it evolves through time, it addresses challenges, goals and outcomes.

Ultimately, digital transformation is not a walk in a park, and you can’t predict the results. However, if you’re a business, you can only survive and change or become extinct. You must change alongside the market requirements. However, if there is an option between slow and expensive, or quick and cheap, fewer consumers like the former.

LIS, your IT partner

Lodge Information Services is one of Essex’s longest-standing IT partners. With over 25 years’ experience, we can assist you with IT support, consulting and cloud computing needs. We’re proud to be local, offering remote and on-site support. Contact the LIS Help Desk to book your FREE IT Audit.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Digital #Business #ITSupport #Technology

NHS data saved

NHS data saved by Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s pilot to reinvent web

The founder of the World Wide Web may have come up with an answer for one of the NHS’s biggest challenges. How do you give patients some control of their medical data? Whilst making sure it can be shared with doctors and other healthcare workers. Does the creator of the web have the answer? Yes, he has, and Sir Tim saves NHS data, enabling patients and doctors to share access.


Key points

Tim Berners-Lee, known as the inventor of the world wide web, has revealed that Inrupt has launched a privacy platform for enterprises.

The U.K.’s National Health Service, the BBC, NatWest Bank and the Flanders Government are among its early adopters.

Berners-Lee has become increasingly concerned that today’s digital giants are exploiting citizens around the world.

For two years, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been working on an idea called Solid. A web platform that allows users to store their data in what is called a Personal Online Data Store – or Pod, according to BBC News. With this solution Sir Tim and his team have changed the way we use the Internet and store sensitive data.


NHS data saved: The eureka moment

Far from just being an academic project, the technology behind this platform is being developed by a company called Inrupt with some major venture capital backers. Now Inrupt and its chief technology officer Sir Tim have announced what he calls a major milestone – the release of its technology in the form of the Solid Server, with a handful of clients already piloting possible use cases.

John Bruce, CEO & Co-Founder of Inrupt wrote in a blog that the NHS, for example, was using the platform to allow patients to store their personal medical data on Pods, as well as data from health apps on their phone or other devices.

NHS data saved

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s latest project explores patients’ medical data storage and how it could be better shared

A ground breaking opportunity to save NHS data

“It’s going to drive ground breaking new opportunities that not only restore trust in data but also enhance our lives,” claimed Berners-Lee, who is Inrupt’s chief technology officer.”

“For all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas,” he wrote in 2018. “Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible — and necessary.” With this new breakthrough in technology, other large organisations will likely want to use this platform.

How do you store your data?

Cloud data storage offers valuable IT solutions for businesses of all sizes. This was originally used for personal use. However, cloud storage solutions for business are crucial in today’s world.

Now the NHS data is saved securely, this technology can help businesses of all sizes. Our clients also benefit from cloud storage and security. Cloud services are taking over almost every aspect of technology and are an important part of business life. Many businesses can benefit from comprehensive cloud services and will help to streamline their operations. Despite its accessibility, data stored via the cloud is extremely safe and secure. Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss cloud storage, hosted applications and security.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#technews #internet #NHS #TimBernersLee