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Aurora Announces Re-branding of Web Presence

Aurora Design and Consulting has launched a new website. The new site features a responsive layout for enhanced performance on mobile devices.

Best Plugins for WordPress

WordPress is a highly extensible Web Content Management System. The following list includes both paid and free WordPress plugins.

iThemes Security

iThemes Security

With the increasing popularity of WordPress CMS—Wordpress sites have become a popular target for spammers. To harden your site against spammers and other attacks, we recommend iThemes security plugin. The plugin supports:

  • Login limits to deter brute force attacks
  • Automated Database backups
  • Automated file and directory configuration
  • Intrusion and file change notifications
  • And more

If you are looking for a complete security plugin for WordPress, look no further than iThemes security plugin. There is also a pro version of iThemes security with enhanced support and features.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the best performance plugin for WordPress. Here are some  features:

  • Browser, Database, and Object Caching
  • CSS and JS Minification and Aggregation
  • Asynchronous Loading for JS and CSS
  • And more

Check out a full list of features here: . W3 Edge also offers premium support and a pro version of W3 Total Cache .

Visual Form Builder


Visual form builder is a great plugin for managing Web forms. The plugin includes a GUI form builder and allows you to easily add form fields and fieldsets to your forms. The plugin includes built-in support for: fieldset, checkboxes, text boxes and areas, select groups, and more. The plugin also supports:

  • Standard and Required Fields
  • JQuery Validation
  • Customized confirmation messages
  • Email notifications
  • From data accessible via the admin console
  • Data export to CSV format

If you are looking for a great GUI form builder, Visual form builder plugin fits the bill. There is also a pro version of form builder.

WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast


WordPress SEO is a great tool for optimizing your website for search engines. The plugin allows you to enter SEO titles and descriptions for posts and pages, and takes the guess work out of SEO by providing instant feedback and analysis of pages and posts in the admin console. The plugin also features:

  • XML Sitemap generation
  • Robots meta configuration
  • Permalinks cleanup
  • Breadcrumb controls
  • And more

If you are looking for a comprehensive SEO tool for WordPress, WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast is an excellent choice.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics WordPress
Google Analytics for WordPress is a great way to integrate analytics into your Web site. The plugin uses the asynchronous Google Analytics tracking code and supports:

  • Easy integration of analytics tracking code
  • Outbound link & downloads tracking
  • Debug mode
  • And more

Learn more about Google Analytics for WordPress .

Tribe Events Calendar

Tribe Events Calendar
Tribe Events Calendar is a great plugin for displaying and managing events in WordPress. It provides all the features that you would expect in an events manager app including:

  • Built-in Calendar with list and calendar view
  • Event Search
  • Support for Google Maps
  • Event Taxonomies
  • Upcoming Events Widget
  • And more…

If you are looking for a rock-solid and accessible events manager in WordPress— look no further than Tribe Events Calendar. Learn more about Tribe Events Manager Plugin. There is also a pro version of Tribe Events Calendar with enhanced support and features.

NextGEN Gallery

Nexgen gallery is a great way to incorporate slideshows and image galleries on your Web site. The plugin features:

  • Batch image uploads
  • Meta data entry
  • Thumbnail management
  • Automated watermarks
  • And more

Learn more about Nexgen gallery plugin

Aurora Website Design Services

Aurora develops custom WordPress Web sites for business and non-profit organizations. Check out our Website design services page for more information.

Choosing a Content Management System

Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your site is critical to getting the most from your business or non-profit website.

Why Use a Content Management System?

With the emergence of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems (CMS), its never been easier to publish and manage content on the web. Some advantages of using a CMS include:

  1. Make updates and changes to your website directly via a Web console
  2. Reduce long term maintenance costs
  3. Access thousands of free plugins and modules to extend your Website

Drupal vs WordPress

Drupal and WordPress are two of the most popular open source content management systems available. As of June 2017, the market share for WordPress was about 59%, while Drupal represents about 7% of the total open source CMS installs.



Drupal is an excellent choice for robust Web sites requiring numerous custom content types and e-commerce functionality. Here are some advantages to using Drupal CMS:


  1. Well established developer community with thousands of free modules.
  2. Powerful custom content and views modules provide a robust framework for dynamic Web sites
  3. Excellent and FREE e-commerce tools such as Ubercart, Drupal Commerce, and more.
  4. Incredible flexibility and extensibility


  1. Higher development and maintenance costs than WordPress
  2. Core updates require manual file and database upgrades

Learn more about Drupal



WordPress began as a blog platform, and is one of the most popular content management systems in use today. Sites that use WordPress are highly extensible and easy to manage.


  1. Well established developer community with thousands of free plugins
  2. Updates and maintenance are easily managed via the WordPress dashboard. This includes WordPress core updates.
  3. Lower maintenance costs than Drupal and other CMS systems.
  4. Good flexibility and extensibility


  1. Some of the better e-commerce tools for WordPress are paid plugins and require a subscription
  2. Less powerful than Drupal and other CMS platforms

Learn more about WordPress

And the Winner Is…

There’s really no real winner as both are excellent CMS systems. We recommend using WordPress for smaller business websites as its easier and more cost-effective to manage. For e-commerce applications, we recommend using Drupal with Drupal Commerce for greater power and flexibility.

Get Help Today

Aurora develops powerful and flexible Websites using the latest CMS systems including Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. Contact us today for a free consultation

Tips to Successful Website Design

A website can be the best marketing tool to promote your products and services. Successful websites share some common traits including: clear and consistent navigation systems, responsive design, engaging and well-organized content, and more.

Clear and Consistent Navigation Systems

Consistent navigation and menu systems are a key to usability—and allow your customers to find information quickly and easily. Consistent navigation systems include a logical structure for menus, and consistent placement of menus and submenus. By employing consistent navigation systems—you can drive engagement, conversions and sales on your website.

Responsive Design

The number of users accessing the Web on mobile devices is increasing exponentially. To keep up with the mobile trend—successful websites must work well on devices of all shapes and sizes. Successful websites make use of “responsive design” to adapt to a wide array of screen types, resolutions, and orientations. Responsive website design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. By employing responsive design, you can be sure to reach the greatest number of internet users.

Engaging and Well-organized Content

When it comes to the Web, content is king. Successful content (descriptive text, images, and video) helps to engage users, and helps search engines find and index your page. By optimizing content for search engines, you can increase your placement and profile in search engines and reach the greatest number of internet users.

Aurora Website Design Services

Aurora provides custom website design and development for business and non-profit organizations. We specialize in responsive design, e-commerce platforms, and search engine optimization– and can help you reach the widest audience possible. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Heartbleed Bug Exposes Weakness in OpenSSL

The Heartbleed bug, as it has become known, is a weakness in the encryption protocol in OpenSSL—which can expose vast amounts of data including: account usernames and passwords, system information, and more. This bug affects Web servers running OpenSSL—and has been around since the launch of OpenSSL v1.0.1 in March 2012.

Mashable has posted a list of affected sites here: Additional suggestions for password security are as follows:

  1. Use unique passwords for all of your accounts online.
  2. Use secure passwords consisting of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters
  3. Change your passwords periodically to insure security
Aurora provides security consulting services to protect your Web site and data from intrusion. Please contact us today for a free estimate.

How to Promote Your Web Site

Leverage Social Media

Social Media is a great way to build an audience on the Web. Most social Media accounts are free and you can get started by setting up Profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Once you have established a social media presence, its important to keep your profiles up to date and post consistently.

Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to organically increase your page rank in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. The first step to maximizing the exposure of your Web site is to research keywords that you customers might use to find you. Google Adwords includes a free keyword selection tool to help you target high-volume keywords.

Once you have identified your target keywords, update your Web site to feature these keywords in body text, headings, and page titles. Be sure not to over-use keywords, however, as some search engines penalize sites for spamming content.

Set up a Blog on Your Website

A blog can be a great way to promote your website. Blog entries can be used to feature new products or services, and to increase the number of targeted keywords featured in your pages.

WordPress, a popular Web Content Management System, began as a blog platform and includes built-in tools for publishing and categorizing content. Take advantage of these features and start up your new blog or news section today.

Aurora provides Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services for local businesses. Our services include content authoring, social media integration, web analytics, and more. Please contact us today for a free estimate.

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