Archive for the ‘Adventures Online’ Category

Karen Callahan Honored by the Local Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Last week, I stopped in to the local Chamber of Commerce to say hello and inquire about a recent vacation taken by the President and CEO, Susanne Morreale-Leeber.  I wasn’t there two minutes when Susanne surprised me with this beautiful plaque.

Honor from Chamber of Commerce

( Click for larger view )

I had served on the Board of Directors for the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce for seven years, resigning in December 2016. For me, the best times were when we met in smaller groups to map out a strategy, welcome newcomers, brainstorm about ways to improve the ‘member experience’, compile checklists and plans of action for accomplishing one or another of the Chamber’s goals.  Here I am standing proudly with the other 2016 Directors.

2016 Marlborough Chamber Directo

2016 Board of Directors for the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce 

Networking with Metrowest Polka Dot Powerhouse

Thursday, April 13th, 2017
Karen Callahan at Polka Dots Powerhouse meeting

Can you find me? (…third from the right in the front row)

The Metrowest chapter of the national organization Polka Dot Powerhouse® (PDP) recently launched in Framingham. Having attended and been very impressed with a PDP meeting on the North Shore last year, I joined this local group as soon as I heard it was starting up. Here I am with my Dot sisters at our April monthly lunchtime meeting at John Harvard’s.  Great networking. Great fun. Great personalities.

New WordPress Packages Introduced

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Thursday, 2-2-2017, I presented at my BNI in Marlborough, MA. As the other BNI members are my sales force, I introduced several new packages that I have begun rolling out this year.

Karen Callahan presenting 2-2-2017

Introducing new WordPress packages at my BNI 2-2-2017

These multi-month to year-long packages include irresistible offers and bonuses including input from and conversations with experts in related fields. The packages are themed around:

  1. How to add SEO to your WordPress Website
  2. Easily keeping your WordPress website up to date
  3. Keeping WordPress and the plugins updated
  4. Website Design (Redesign) and Development package

I am on a quest to help WordPress website owners work as independently as they wish – and – you see that the first two packages are designed to set WordPress do-it-yourself’ers up for long-term success.

I’ll be posting the details about the WordPress packages including sign up forms later this month and next.  Be on the lookout!

Giving Thanks in a Fun Way

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Last Thursday, Nov. 17th 2016, we had loads of fun at my BNI meeting while contributing to a great local cause!

Karen Callahan's BNI group

BNI Marlborough, November 17, 2016 (about 1/2 the group)

BNI is a business networking group that meets weekly. Every week, each member gives a 45-second presentation that helps the other members understand what a good referral for their business looks like.

On this Thursday, in the spirit of giving thanks and the gift gifting holidays, each member brought a non-perishable food item to donate to the Marlborough Community Cupboard. Then, during their 45-seconds, they told the story of how the food item ‘represented’ their business or their target audience.

Good fun was had by all as we were reminded how creative everyone can be. Some members even surprised themselves! And, we were all reminded how good ‘giving’ feels and how giving in a group setting multiplies the good will!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you be blessed with little traffic, warm hugs, and a full belly!

4 Tips for WordPress Website Security

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Karen Callahan speaking

Here I am, Thursday, 6-23-2016, presenting to my BNI group in Marlborough, MA.

I opened with a fun, something-no-one-knows-about-me story that involved a 13-hour train ride in Spain, an ex-con, a knife, and the threatening of my life. Ahhh… but you will have to meet me for a 1-to-1 to get the whole story!

One of the questions I had been asked to answer that day was:

What is the new gold standard in WordPress website security?

If only there were one thing that could be done for complete protection! That day, I responded with two quick tips:

  1. Create difficult, lengthy passwords
    This is a simple measure that deters a lot of would-be hackers. An easy password is like leaving the keys in your car or the front door to your home unlocked. The first step in self defense is simple locks. (You know that some burglars and car thieves are opportunists looking for an easy score and will move to another car or another house when they find that your car and home are locked down.)
  2. Host your WordPress website with a reputable hosting company
    Do research. Search for “company_name reviews”, and read the reviews. Check websites that exist for discussing the pros and cons of website hosting firms (i.e. Remember that you get what you pay for, so, opt for a mid-priced website hosting account and not the cheapest.

If I had had more time, I would have added 2 more tips that do-it-yourselfers can do to protect their WordPress websites. The full discussion is in my LinkedIn Pulse article, 2 tips to make your WordPress website less attractive to hackers. In the article, I recommend

  1. Updating the software often
  2. Keeping the website hosting account lean and mean

Running old WordPress versions and old plugin versions and keeping unused files in your WordPress hosting account set up your website as a desirable breeding ground for hackers. In those conditions, hackers can work undetected and inject code into your website.

Code that messes up your website. Code that downloads Trojan viruses to your visitors’ cell phones and laptops. Code that kidnaps computers and holds them for ransom. Code that establishes your hosting account as a spam email hub.
–Karen Callahan, 2 tips to make your WordPress website less attractive to hackers

You can take steps to avoid being the “hub” of malicious activity. Learn how to clean up your WordPress hosting account

I write these 4 tips for protecting a WordPress website here because a good, non-techie friend of mine often reminds me that not everyone is a professional WordPress developer like myself, and when you are a non-techie, “You don’t know what you don’t know“. Now you know! Remember to backup your website often, and especially before upgrading WordPress and the plugins.