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      11 Things Website Owners Should Update During a Crisis


      Ever since the coronavirus crisis hit, it can sometimes feel like it has affected every area of our lives. Anyone who is now homeschooling kids or suddenly spending way too much time over a hot stove can vouch for that! Of course, that includes business too, and if you’re a business owner, there’s a good chance you’ve really felt that impact.

      “In my 13 years as a marketing agency owner, I never dreamed of this time, when my team and I are assisting hundreds of struggling small businesses to understand how best to market and communicate now to save their businesses,” says Wendy O’Donovan Phillips, CEO of Big Buzz.

      “Re-evaluate your vision statement to focus the team’s efforts through this time,” she advises. “Revisit your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis with a particular focus on opportunities. Your clients and community have different needs now than they did even a month ago and will have different needs in another month. This approach will help you more readily hit your revenue and profit projections. Take the right action, and you will survive!”

      It’s time to create a crisis management plan. One of the most crucial things you’ll need to tackle as a small business owner is updating your website and social media channels.

      To keep your small business on the up and up, we’ve identified 11 things website owners should update during a crisis. Let’s dive in.

      How to Update Your Website During a Crisis

      1. Create a new landing page.

      When people visit your website, your homepage is likely the first thing they’ll see. That’s why keeping it fresh is always crucial, but with things in flux during a crisis, that’s even more important.

      To show that your business is on the ball and staying up to date, you’ll want to create a landing page for crisis-related content. Make sure to change the page often, especially when new information is released or policies evolve. If those affect your business, outline how you’ll be implementing anything new and how that will impact customers. Every time you update it, you can spread the word on social media by sharing a link.

      Another reason to continue refreshing your landing page is that search engines will recognize it’s a key page on your site for the crisis, which will boost SEO.

      2. Update your FAQ page.

      If you don’t have a FAQ section on your business website yet, it’s time to add one! The COVID-19 crisis is changing every day, so a FAQ section is a great place to address that and share your updates. Local businesses especially need to answer common questions about their crisis management and how your company is adapting because of restrictions due to COVID-19.

      To ensure that clients are aware of your FAQ section, you can spotlight a link to it on your homepage. Continue to add relevant information to your FAQ page, such as how you’re keeping employees safe, who comes into contact with your products, and policy changes, for instance.

      The FAQ section is also an opportunity to share any changes in your supply chain, offerings or any potential product fulfillment delays.

      “Always ensure you have the right resources to deploy readily available,” says Bob Minhas, Founder and Lead Trainer for eSchool for Entrepreneurs. “Whether documents or videos, walk through your customer journey and understand what they might need to know to complete a transaction with you online and have the right FAQ ready for them.”

      3. Change your menu/navigation.

      To make it easy to find your crisis content, it’s a good idea to add a link in your main navigation or an alert bar that sits above the navigation to your crisis landing page. Be sure to keep the title of the new navigation item short.

      Plus, regardless of the status of a crisis situation, it’s always a good idea to update your navigation to keep it timely and relevant, which should be part of a best practices strategy for your website.

      4. Review your product descriptions.

      Have your offerings changed in any way since the crisis started? Then you’ll want your website to reflect that. Change the text accordingly and add item availability information to postings.

      “A lot of small businesses that we work with are looking to add new services or products that are complimentary and interesting to the audiences they have built both online and in previous customers,” says Chris Sica, Chief Revenue Officer, The Ronin Society. “We encourage business owners to step into their customers’ shoes, think about the new buying journeys they are going to be on, what new pain points they will be experiencing and attempt to solve those using the resources they already have available to them.”

      5. Check your events page.

      If your business hosts events of any kind, you’ll want to give updates on how the schedule has changed, including if they’ve been cancelled, postponed or are going virtual.

      To avoid confusion, continue to list the original event date so that clients can confirm the event. For events that have been changed from in-person to digital, be sure to link to the virtual location for easy access.

      6. Make a homepage hero.

      In the midst of a crisis, everyone could use some good news. If you’ve realigned your business to help in any way, make it easy for customers to find out by updating your homepage. For example, if you’re now doing carryout or delivery, be sure to spread the word.

      “A delivery option is absolutely essential now,” Sica says. “Lots of customers still want to get out of the house and curbside pickup gives them a bit of a break from being at home. [Another element to expand is] payment options to make it easy to afford your product or service.”

      7. Utilize pop-ups or banners.

      One of the easiest ways to catch your clients’ attention and update them is to add a pop-up or banner. It’s an easy way to spread the word about reduced hours, limited inventory, shipping delays or changes in service availability. Make sure that it visually grabs people’s attention.

      8. Refresh local listings.

      If your hours have changed, the world needs to know. Be sure to update your website. Additionally, you’ll need to adjust hours and temporary closures on platforms where customers go to find your hours, such as Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp.

      9. Update your scheduled messaging.

      If you regularly send out pre-scheduled emails or social media updates, be sure to adjust them to fit the current situation. Otherwise, if you send out the same old communication, it can make you appear tone-deaf and not up to speed.

      “Customers are used to coming by your shop, seeing your advertisements, or whatever your traction channel is,” Sica says. “Their entire user experience with your brand has been removed or changed. Their fears and pain points have been altered. As a result, you need to make sure that you stay top of mind in a useful way. The easiest solution is by creating or updating your newsletters. We’ve also seen businesses create how-to videos for clients based on in-store or online products they like, and we’ve also seen customer happy hours.”

      10. Change your social media accounts.

      At the minimum, ensure that your business hours, closures, and product availability information remains updated for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.

      Just to be on the safe side, it’s best to post more than once on your regular social media channels about any business changes, since we all know how quickly a Tweet can disappear to the bottom of a Twitter feed. This increases the odds that customers will see the news.

      11. Increase crisis communication.

      Ensure everyone is up to speed by sending updates via email, texts or blog posts — communicate with your customers in the way that is best for them.

      “It is important to stay in touch with customers,” says Jaryd P. Kase, Principal at Kase Consulting, LLC. “First off, if you are open, your customers might not know and they should know you are open. Second, your customers are dealing with the same crisis as you. By communicating how you are working to mitigate risk factors in the pandemic or working hard to continue bringing them a great product or service (or pick up where you left off if you are closed), it helps put the customer at ease that their favorite store or an important supplier isn’t going out of business.”

      However, there is a fine line between communicating too much and too little. “Communication with customers should be tempered,” says Deborah S. Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. “It is important to not over-communicate or be too sales-y. Share information cautiously. Share content and information, but don’t try to sell. Inform and educate.”

      Looking for Remote Work Tips?

      Whether you want to stay focused at home or increase team engagement, we can help! Subscribe to the DreamHost Digest so you never miss an article.

      Your Crisis Management Team

      The coronavirus pandemic — and the resulting economic downturn —  is making things tough for small business owners. At DreamHost, we’ve provided digital homes for small businesses for more than two decades. In that time, we’ve learned that entrepreneurs are scrappy, smart, and savvy. We believe in you and your business and are here to help.



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      How to Update Drupal 8 on CentOS 8


      Updated by Linode

      Written by Linode

      Drupal 8 is the latest version of the popular Drupal content management system. While Drupal 8.1 includes a simple feature for incremental updates, you must preform manual Drupal core updates for any preceding versions. This guide demonstrates how to manually install an incremental Drupal 8 update on your Linode. The examples in this guide assume you have a functional Drupal 8 installation running a LAMP stack on CentOS 8.

      Before You Begin

      1. Complete all the steps in the Install and Configure Drupal 8 on CentOS 8 guide.

      2. If you followed the Install and Configure Drupal 8 on CentOS 8 guide, your site’s document root should be in the /var/www/html/example.com/ directory, where example.com is your own site’s domain name. You can list all your directories in /var/www/html to verify the location of your site’s document root.

        ls /var/wwww/html/
        
      3. Update your CentOS 8 system if you did not complete that step while installing Drupal 8.

        sudo yum update
        

        Note

        This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, visit our Users and Groups guide.

        All configuration files should be edited with elevated privileges. Remember to include sudo before running your text editor.

      Create Backups

      In this section, you will create an archive of your Drupal site’s files and store the archive in a backups directory. If needed, you could extract the compressed files in your backup archive to restore the state of your site prior to updating it.

      1. Create a backups directory in your site’s document root to store any backups you make of your Drupal site.

        sudo mkdir /var/www/html/example.com/backups
        
      2. Create an archive of your existing site files and move it into the backups directory. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s domain name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com/public_html
        sudo tar -cvzf example.com-BCKP-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar.gz ./
        sudo mv -v example.com-BCKP-*.tar.gz ../backups
        

        Note

        This process can also be scripted and run on a regular basis using cron.

      Download Updates

      You are now ready to check your Drupal system for available updates. Once you have identified the necessary updates, you will download them as an archive to your Linode.

      1. Log in to your Drupal site and navigate to the Admin Toolbar. Click on Reports and then on Available updates.

        Note

        If Available updates is not listed, enable the Update Manager module by navigating to the Extend menu item in the Admin Toolbar. See Drupal’s documentation for more details on enabling modules.
      2. Right click the link under the RECOMMENDED VERSION heading and copy the link address and paste it somewhere you can access later.

        A Drupal Update

        Note

        If you receive an error when your Drupal 8 installation checks for available updates, it may be having issues communicating with the Drupal website to see if there are updates. You can check your site’s recent log messages, by navigating to Reports and selecting Recent log messages to further investigate the issue.

        If your CentOS installation is running in enforcing mode, ensure you are allowing httpd to make network connections. One way to do this is to set the corresponding SELinux boolean to true:

        sudo setsebool httpd_can_network_connect true
        

        Also, ensure that firewalld is allowing https traffic:

        sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-service=https
        
      3. Connect to your Linode over SSH:

        ssh [email protected]
        
      4. Navigate to your site’s directory. Download the Drupal core archive using wget and pasting the link address you copied from Step 2. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s directory name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com
        sudo wget https://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz
        

      Upgrade Your Site

      Now that the Drupal core archive is saved to your Linode, you are ready to proceed with the version upgrade of your site.

      Enable Maintenance Mode

      Drupal’s maintenance mode allows users with the right permissions to use your site while everyone else will be presented with a message that the site is under maintenance.

      1. While logged into your Drupal site, navigate to Configuration. Under the Development heading, click on Maintenance mode.

        Maintenance Mode

      2. Check the box next to “Put site into maintenance mode.” Enter a message if desired, and click Save Configuration.

        Turn on Maintenance Mode

      Replace System Files

      1. Toggle back to your terminal window and ensure you are connected to your Linode over SSH.

        ssh [email protected]
        
      2. Navigate to your site’s /var/www/html/example.com/public_html directory and remove existing files and folders except sites and profiles. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s directory name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com/public_html
        sudo rm -ifr autoload.php composer.* example.gitignore index.php LICENSE.txt README.txt robots.txt update.php web.config && sudo rm -ifr core/ modules/ vendor/ themes/
        
      3. Go up one directory to /var/www/html/example.com/ and expand the Drupal core archive that you downloaded in the Download Updates section into your public_html folder. Replace drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz with the name of the archive you downloaded:

        cd ..
        sudo tar -zxvf drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz --strip-components=1 -C public_html
        
      4. From a browser on your local machine, navigate to the following URL on your Drupal site www.example.com/update.php. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s domain name. Follow the prompts to continue the update.

        Note

        If update.php does not load or returns a 403 Forbidden error, you may need to update the ownership and permissions of the newly expanded files. For best practices on Drupal site directory and file permissions, see their documentation.
      5. If you are installing additional modules or configuring additional security settings, complete those updates now and continue on to the next step in this section when you are done.

        Note

        The Next Steps section includes a list of Drupal security modules you may consider installing.
      6. Rebuild the site’s cache by navigating to the Admin Toolbar and click on Configuration. Under the Development heading, click on Performance. Finally, click on the Clear all caches button.

      7. Verify your site’s status by viewing its status report. In the Admin Toolbar, click on Reports, then click on Status report.

      8. If the update was successful and your status report does not display any unexpected information, take the site out of maintenance mode by following step 2 in the Enable Maintenance Mode section. Ensure you uncheck the box next to the “Put site into maintenance mode” setting.

      Next Steps

      As a next step, consider installing additional security modules from the Drupal Project Module:

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      How to Update Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 18.04


      Updated by Linode

      Written by Linode

      Drupal 8 is the latest version of the popular Drupal content management system. While Drupal 8.1 includes a simple feature for incremental updates, you must preform manual Drupal core updates for any preceding versions. This guide demonstrates how to manually install an incremental Drupal 8 update on your Linode. The examples in this guide assume you have a functional Drupal 8 installation running a LAMP stack on Ubuntu 18.04.

      Note

      If you are not using Ubuntu 18.04, you can find a version of this guide for your Linux distribution in the Drupal section of our documentation site.

      Before You Begin

      1. Complete all the steps in the Install and Configure Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 guide.

      2. If you followed the Install and Configure Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 guide, your site’s document root should be in the /var/www/html/example.com/ directory, where example.com is your own site’s domain name. You can list all your directories in /var/www/html to verify the location of your site’s document root.

        ls /var/wwww/html/
        
      3. Update your Ubuntu 18.04 system if you did not complete that step while installing Drupal 8.

        sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
        

        Note

        This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, visit our Users and Groups guide.

        All configuration files should be edited with elevated privileges. Remember to include sudo before running your text editor.

      Create Backups

      In this section, you will create an archive of your Drupal site’s files and store the archive in a backups directory. If needed, you could extract the compressed files in your backup archive to restore the state of your site prior to updating it.

      1. Create a backups directory in your site’s document root to store any backups you make of your Drupal site.

        sudo mkdir /var/www/html/example.com/backups
        
      2. Create an archive of your existing site files and move it into the backups directory. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s domain name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com/public_html
        sudo tar -cvzf example.com-BCKP-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar.gz ./
        sudo mv -v example.com-BCKP-*.tar.gz ../backups
        

        Note

        This process can also be scripted and run on a regular basis using cron.

      Download Updates

      You are now ready to check your Drupal system for available updates. Once you have identified the necessary updates, you will download them as an archive to your Linode.

      1. Log in to your Drupal site and navigate to the Admin Toolbar. Click on Reports and then on Available updates.

        Note

        If Available updates is not listed, enable the Update Manager module by navigating to the Extend menu item in the Admin Toolbar. See Drupal’s documentation for more details on enabling modules.
      2. Right click the link under the RECOMMENDED VERSION heading and copy the link address and paste it somewhere you can access later.

        A Drupal Update

        Note

        If you receive an error when your Drupal 8 installation checks for available updates, it may be having issues communicating with the Drupal website to see if there are updates. You can check your site’s recent log messages, by navigating to Reports and selecting Recent log messages to further investigate the issue.

      3. Connect to your Linode over SSH:

        ssh [email protected]
        
      4. Navigate to your site’s directory. Download the Drupal core archive using wget and pasting the link address you copied from Step 2. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s directory name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com
        sudo wget https://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz
        

      Upgrade Your Site

      Now that the Drupal core archive is saved to your Linode, you are ready to proceed with the version upgrade of your site.

      Enable Maintenance Mode

      Drupal’s maintenance mode allows users with the right permissions to use your site while everyone else will be presented with a message that the site is under maintenance.

      1. While logged into your Drupal site, navigate to Configuration. Under the Development heading, click on Maintenance mode.

        Maintenance Mode

      2. Check the box next to “Put site into maintenance mode.” Enter a message if desired, and click Save Configuration.

        Turn on Maintenance Mode

      Replace System Files

      1. Toggle back to your terminal window and ensure you are connected to your Linode over SSH.

        ssh [email protected]
        
      2. Navigate to your site’s /var/www/html/example.com/public_html directory and remove existing files and folders except sites and profiles. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s directory name.

        cd /var/www/html/example.com/public_html
        sudo rm -ifr autoload.php composer.* example.gitignore index.php LICENSE.txt README.txt robots.txt update.php web.config && sudo rm -ifr core/ modules/ vendor/ themes/
        
      3. Go up one directory to /var/www/html/example.com/ and expand the Drupal core archive that you downloaded in the Download Updates section into your public_html folder. Replace drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz with the name of the archive you downloaded:

        cd ..
        sudo tar -zxvf drupal-8.8.2.tar.gz --strip-components=1 -C public_html
        
      4. From a browser on your local machine, navigate to the following URL on your Drupal site www.example.com/update.php. Ensure you replace example.com with your own site’s domain name. Follow the prompts to continue the update.

        Note

        If update.php does not load or returns a 403 Forbidden error, you may need to update the ownership and permissions of the newly expanded files. For best practices on Drupal site directory and file permissions, see their documentation.
      5. If you are installing additional modules or configuring additional security settings, complete those updates now and continue on to the next step in this section when you are done.

        Note

        The Next Steps section includes a list of Drupal security modules you may consider installing.
      6. Rebuild the site’s cache by navigating to the Admin Toolbar and click on Configuration. Under the Development heading, click on Performance. Finally, click on the Clear all caches button.

      7. Verify your site’s status by viewing its status report. In the Admin Toolbar, click on Reports, then click on Status report.

      8. If the update was successful and your status report does not display any unexpected information, take the site out of maintenance mode by following step 2 in the Enable Maintenance Mode section. Ensure you uncheck the box next to the “Put site into maintenance mode” setting.

      Next Steps

      As a next step, consider installing additional security modules from the Drupal Project Module:

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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