58 posts categorized "News"


Personifest 2019 Presentation: "3 Professional Wild Apricot Magic Tricks"

You are convinced that Wild Apricot is a great fit for your organization. You got all the basics setup. But there are lingering thoughts — will it really do everything you need? Culled from several years of experience deploying Wild Apricot for organizations around the world, this presentation will illustrate the true transformative power of Wild Apricot.

NewPath Consulting will share three tricks: Website Design with CSS, Multi-chapter Member Directory Magic, and Professional Reports and Analytics.



WordPress 5.0 is ready for download!

Bebo (aka WordPress 5.0) is  ready for download. As of writing it has already been downloaded over 100,000 times. Some of the fresh new features include:

  • A new content editor that enables creating content with blocks - WordPress is here to simplify the process, not the outcome. This new editing experience provides a more consistent treatment of design as well as content. 
  • A stunning new theme called 2019 -- ready for blocks! Twenty Nineteen features custom styles for the blocks available by default in 5.0. Featuring ample whitespace, and modern sans-serif headlines paired with classic serif body text, Twenty Nineteen is built to be beautiful on the go. It uses system fonts to increase loading speed.
  • The Classic Editor plugin restores the previous WordPress editor and the Edit Post screen. It lets you keep using plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor.


Here are the 16 core content blocks you can play with today. And there will be many, many more soon!

16 gutenblocks

You can download the latest version in your dashboard or wait for your host to do an auto-update.

And with a Toronto or Vaughan Library card you can access the new WordPress 5 Essential Training by Morton Rand-Hendriksen for free!


WordCamp Niagara 2018 - Managed WordPress Demystified

In an updated presentation called Managed WordPress Demystified, Alex Sirota, wowed the WordCamp Niagara audience with an updated talk on selecting a managed WordPress host. The video (coming soon!) and the presentation is below.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Wild Apricot: May 25, 2018 is GDPR Deadline

On May 25, 2018, the European Union will begin enforcing a new set of data protection regulations, known collectively as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The GDPR regulates the collection and storage of personal data for EU residents (including UK residents), regardless of where the organization doing the collecting is located.

The GDPR replaces and expands upon the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The biggest change is the extended reach of the regulations, now applying to all organizations that collect the personal data of European residents, even if those organizations are based outside of Europe.

Consequently, Wild Apricot and any of its clients with members in Europe need to understand the requirements of the GDPR, and set up procedures for complying with them.

If your Wild Apricot database contains information about any European Union residents, please let us know and we can help you identify whether your organization is compliant with GDPR. Wild Apricot has begun auditing their processes and software for GDPR compliance, but as of February 2018 Wild Apricot staff have not completed the audit or any remediation actions. Organizations in breach of the GDPR can be fined up to 4% of their annual global revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater). There is a tiered approach to fines, whereby an organization can be 2% for not having their records in order, 2% for not notifying about a data breach, and so on.



NewPath at Digital Main Street Forum

The Digital Main Street Forum aims to assist entrepreneurs in embracing digital technologies to build and grow their business – from online marketing and leveraging data to better engage your clients, to adopting ecommerce to reach a broader customer base, the Digital Main Street Forum will help you understand the "Why" and "How To" of embracing both bricks and clicks for your business. NewPath Consulting will have a booth at this event so please come check us out!

You can register online for free.


NewPath Consulting at Vaughan B2B Expo on February 1, 2017

Join us on February 1, 2017 at Vaughan's premier opportunity to meet and make partnerships with local small business owners. The Vaughan B2B Expo will be held at the sumptuous Terrace Banquet Centre.  Come for a decadent breakfast and delectable lunch while visiting the 100+ vendors, including NewPath Consulting, who have set up displays.  Meet local politicians and government dignitaries, hear keynotes by business success stories and mingle with the best and brightest of the Vaughan small business community.  

At the NewPath Consulting display we will be showing our "Transforming into a Digital Workplace" presentation and offering free business strategy consultations to visitors.  We look forward to seeing you there!  

Vaughan Mayor Bevilacqua at the 2016 Event
Vaughan Mayor Bevilacqua at the 2016 Event
Kristine Black at the 2016 Show
Kristine Black at the 2016 Show



Lynda.com and Safari Books Online available for free with a valid library card

Image result for lynda.com images  image from upload.wikimedia.org

Did you know that your library may offer access to Lynda.com for free? Your library may also offer access to online tech books from Safari Books online, for free! Each resources is normally available under a yearly subscription worth hundreds of dollars.

As of 2014 many libraries across North America have been introducing access to these 2 incredible online training repositories for people holding valid, non-expired library cards. 

What is Lynda.com?

Lynda.com is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Access includes the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

lynda.com, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Carpinteria, California.

What is Safari Books Online?

Safari Books Online provides access to more than 21,000 digital books and videos on topics ranging from programming to IT networking to project management to graphic design to business strategy. The content includes code snippets, certification preparation materials, practice exercises, training videos, and much more. Users can search thousands of books simultaneously online, saving time and quickly finding the information they need.  Safari Books Online provides a powerful but easy-to-use platform for your users to find information and answers to questions about topics such as improving career skills, organizing personal electronics and finances, learning social networking or starting a business. The world's most respected publishers such as O'Reilly Media, Addison-Wesley, Peachpit Press, John Wiley & Sons, Adobe Press, Microsoft Press, Sams, For Dummies, McGraw Hill, and more are available.

Originally started in 2001, Safari Books Online was the result of a combination of two of the world’s most prominent technology publishers, O’Reilly Media, Inc. and Pearson Education.

Finding If Your Library Has Access

A simple Google search will bring up libraries that have access to either resource:

Search for Libraries with Lynda.com

Search for Libraries with Safari Books Online

UPDATE: We are working on a comprehensive list of all libraries across North America that have access with direct links. Feel free to check out the progress or provide input at this editable Google Spreadsheet.

UPDATE 2: This list is slowly growing and we've created a simple to use search and map tool for this Lynda/Safari public library directory.


Important Security Changes Coming for Google Chrome

UPDATE: In Chrome 68 (July 2018), the Not Secure message goes into effect. Expect lots of gnashing of teeth as insecure websites now flash "not secure" in the URL bar. This was about 18 months late, but it is finally here. Get your SSL now.

Important News from Google Security

Google Chrome (the most popular web browser in the world) will be implementing a user interface change in 2017 that will notify users that a website form that has a password or credit card field is insecure. This will be a default setting and eventually feature a red alert to notify users.

First change: Note how the "Not secure" message will prefix the web link in the address bar.

image from 4.bp.blogspot.com

The eventual treatment of non SSL/HTTPS websites will add a red alert triangle with an exclamation point:

image from 3.bp.blogspot.com

This is a big deal. I think it may be bigger than the mobile-friendly "apocalypse" that was mostly a non starter for many who have actively been using a mobile theme. Once Apple's iOS starts to change their user interface in Safari  on mobile devices, we forecast SSL becoming much more important on all our customer sites. This change will sort of slipstream into our Chrome updates in 2017 and by end of 2018 we believe customers will be clamoring to secure their sites. With that in mind we have added SSL setup services to our Silver and Gold service plans.

So the question remains -- what's the least painful way to setup SSL on WordPress? Here are a few recommendations:

0. Install SSL certificate (letsencrypt.org for a free certificate!) and configure WordPress. We can help you do this.

1. Ensure all your internal links point to the new HTTPS URLs.
Ensure any external links and new social shares point to the new HTTPS URLs, if you’re still getting links to the old HTTP version of your website Google can become confused and you won’t see the benefit that these new links have the potential to pass on to your website structure. Google won’t be able to decipher which is the most authoritative page that deserves a higher ranking.

2. Ensure that all rel=canonical tags within your HTML don’t point to the old HTTP version. Once you move over to HTTPS these tags must be changed to the new HTTPS URLs, as this helps Googlebot understand which version of the page should be used to rank. Again, if you still point to the HTTP version then Google will once again become confused over what page should be ranking in the SERPs.

3. Ensure that you’ve mapped out the new HTTPS URLs on a page-to-page level – you basically want an exact duplicate URL structure the only thing that is changing is that ‘http://’ will become ‘https://’. Once you’ve got these in place you then want to implement a permanent 301 redirect on a page level. Do not 301 redirect everything (either via global or via a wild card redirect) to the home page as this will kill all your rankings overnight.

4. You need to watch your Webmaster Tools account post go live and monitor for any issues Google may be having with your new HTTPS website. You can really drop your traffic overnight by doing this wrong.

5. Test any embedded SSL content from different domains on your website (images, forms, any other content). Make sure there are not any cross-site SSL issues when loading these forms.

These changes are best done on a staging server for any highly traffic sites that cannot afford to be down for any extended period.


New Research from TCBC: Cloud Skills Requirements and Development: A TCBC Best Practices Document

The Toronto Cloud Business Coalition – a group of more than 80 Canadian experts drawn from the IT management, cloud services provider, channel, academic, VC/corporate finance and consulting communities – has published a new document designed to help Canada’s SMBs to define paths to use of cloud within their operations.

Cloud Skills Requirements and Development: A TCBC Best Practices Document was co-created by a working group representing many different perspectives. The document contains essential guidance on identifying and developing the skills that are essential to capitalizing on the cloud. This document was created by the TCBC Cloud Skills working group: Alex Sirota (NewPath Consulting), Timothy Ubbens (American Express), Pam Maguire (Global Knowledge), David Sabine (Berteig Consulting), Nima Honarmandan (Berteig Consulting).

We were intimately involved in the creation of this report, providing regular feedback over the past several months. Figure 2 in the report describes a NewPath Consulting best-practice: the need for small company staff to adopt a "dual" skill set in all roles of a company. Both business and IT skills need to be developed enough to be dangerous and capable so that all parts of the company can readily innovate and deliver value to the company using modern cloud technologies. 


New Research from TCBC: Planning for the Cloud/Cloud Strategy – SMB: A TCBC Best Practices Document

The Toronto Cloud Business Coalition – a group of more than 80 Canadian experts drawn from the IT management, cloud services provider, channel, academic, VC/corporate finance and consulting communities – has published a new document designed to help Canada’s SMBs to define paths to use of cloud within their operations.

Planning for the Cloud/Cloud Strategy – SMB: A TCBC Best Practices Document was co-created by a working group representing many different perspectives: IT firms with expertise in delivering cloud solutions to SMBs (GoDaddy, Cloud A, Symantec), specialists in deploying cloud within SMBs (NewPath Consulting), consultants working with mid-sized enterprises on cloud strategy (PwC), and IT managers from SMB firms in the education and manufacturing sectors. This breadth of perspective helped the group to approach cloud from multiple directions, identifying the opportunities and constraints that SMBs need to consider as they evaluate how and where to deploy cloud.

We were intimately involved in the creation of this report, providing regular feedback over the past several months. We are also delighted to see that the  "Cloud milestones for SMB planning purposes – the annotated version" in Figure 6 is closely tied to NewPath Consulting's service and onboarding methodology. We strongly believe an iterative approach to setting milestones and measuring results is a key to successful cloud strategy and implementation.