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Have you updated your WordPress lately?

A warning message sent out from Wordfence yesterday indicates an urgency for updating your site as soon as possible.

Make sure you run a full back up first, before you do and ask your webmaster if you need assistance.

Wordfence advises:

WordPress 4.0.1 has just been released and with it the announcement that multiple critical vulnerabilities have been discovered and fixed in several versions of WordPress Core including the current version 4.0.

We strongly recommend that you immediately upgrade to WordPress 4.0.1. With this release the existence of the vulnerabilities has now been made public. The researchers have not released technical details or exploits, but the knowledge that these exist is enough to create a significant risk that exploits will appear in the wild shortly.

Full details at http://www.wordfence.com/blog/2014/11/multiple-critical-vulnerabilities-wordpress-core/

Australian based domain selling

If you have been purchasing and renewing your domains via domainservices.com I wish to notify you that I am now set up as an Australian domain reseller through another server and am gradually transferring all domains I personally own to that new service. I encourage you to do so too – preferably well before renewal is due, or after you’ve paid renewal, so that the domain isn’t in a grace period (preventing transfers when renewal is due).  I will be phasing out domainservices.com in its current set up sometime during 2015.

The new service is on this site at http://domains.acs-webhosting.com/ and you can purchase Australian domains and all the other domains regularly available through different services. When applying to transfer your existing domain it will keep the current DNS settings so won’t change where your site is being hosted, it’s just changing who your domain registrar is. Their system is quite easy to use and I’m still available for support.

I also have a new range of hosting services available, providing cpanel access, with monthly or annual fees. And for those who need lots of cloud space for storing their emails that is also available. You can find it at http://domains.acs-webhosting.com/web-hosting.php.

The hosting service that I have been providing was not set up for email to stay on the server long-term. If you do wish to change over services you can purchase the hosting service you need then submit a request for your site to be transferred to the new server.

Why having a CMS site is important for you

I believe that CMS is really important for web owners and, therefore, all sites I create are CMS, unless otherwise requested.  What is CMS? It’s a website development system that gives you, the owner, the flexibility to update your site, whenever you wish, without having to wait for the web designer to make changes for you.

What are the benefits of having a CMS site?

  1. It gives you control. Once the site has been designed and published, I give you the login details and a small instruction book that explains how to use your site. Or, I can give you a short training session.  However it’s done, it does mean that you, or your staff, can log into the site anytime you want, to edit the content, add or delete images, write blog posts, and so on. No more waiting for someone else to do it for you.
  2. Low cost option. CMS sites are often built with existing templates, which can be modified. This allows you to have a good looking site without having to pay lots of $$ to have something specially created for you.
  3. Change the look anytime you want. Because CMS sites do work with themes, you can install a new theme, any time you wish and instantly have a new look.
  4. Expand your site as you need.  The CMS system I choose to use is WordPress and it has tons of plugins and additional extensions that can be installed to work alongside WordPress. Gives you lots of flexibility with your site.

If you have your content planned already, a new site could be installed and published within just a few days.  And it can be created to be mobile responsive so that your audience can read your site on their phones, tablets and ipads easily.

What do you need to get started?  A domain name, and webhosting, both of which I can provide. Why not get started today and fill out this form to register your interest in having a site developed next week?

Got writer’s block?

I recently had an interesting chat with a brand new client who was referred to me by a colleague in Qld. She is starting up a new business and knows she needs a presence online so contacted me to find out about getting a website.  I sent her my questionnaire, she emailed a few questions and then asked if she could call.

That’s when she told me that she was stuck about the content for her site and that is what was holding her up. She admitted she knew that in the back of her head but had never thought about it. Turns out what was holding her back was that she thought a website was permanent, rather than a live document that could be regularly updated. We talked about the importance of updates, blog posts and fresh content and she now realises it’s not like a printed book, brochure or business card that you can’t change once printed. She hung up relieved and ready to get the information to me, knowing it can be updated whenever she wants.

I wonder how many other potential web clients out there think they have to get it word perfect the first time?  You don’t. And a simple site can have About information – info about you, what makes you qualified to do what you do, your photo, etc. A page for contact details and a home page about your business. Perhaps a page of testimonials. As simple as that. After that you can add to your site and build it as things develop for your business.

Now are you ready to get your site created?  Contact me for details!

New websites at budget prices

Are you looking for a brand new website? Perhaps the current one isn’t working right for you. Or perhaps you’ve never had one but are realising that you really do need a web presence.

I have a special offer for new websites only. And that is a 4-6 page website, built in WordPress and including one year’s webhosting.

What do you need to have before I can get started?

  • A domain name. If you don’t have one, you can purchase it here.
  • Content for the site. That is, the text you want on it and the images. Images should be your own, or ones you have purchased for use. If not, I can source images at extra cost for you.
  • An idea of what colour(s) you’d like the site in.
  • Provide any logos, or corporate images you use.

Providing you can provide me with the above I can have your site completed for you in just a few days. Interested?  Then click on the button below to get started.




Heartbleed vulnerability

By now you’ve probably seen articles online about the Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability affecting the internet community and that there are many popular sites affected by this bug.  This relates, in particular, to sites that are using SSL, i.e. you’re logging into a site with an address that starts https:

First off, I’d like to assure you that the servers I use for hosting sites are safe and unaffected. So you do not need to be concerned there.

However, there may be sites you are using that are affected so it’s worthwhile paying attention to this. What I encourage you to do is to monitor the sites you do have accounts with and after they’ve advised they’ve run an update, then go in and update your password. If you do it before they’ve run the update you’ll have to go and change your password again.

Rather than repeat all of what’s been said about Heartbleed, I encourage you to click here for details.  And here for a list of sites affected.

Shifting web hosts?

There may come a time when you need to shift your site to a new hosting service.  Could be any number of reasons. You don’t like the service. They don’t provide everything you want. A friend is now providing a hosting service. Perhaps something else.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember you should advise your old host, once the new site has been removed. Why?  Because there’s no automated system that actually tells the old host the site has been re-uploaded to a new server. For all intents and purposes, as far as they know, they’re still hosting your site. The files for it are still on their server. And they will send you a renewal invoice, or continue to take subscription payments, until such time you advise them that their services are no longer required.

So do your old host a favour, if you decide to shift to another host, make sure you advise the old host, once the site has been fully removed and is operable in its new place. That way they can remove the file copy they have from the server.

Why you should have two email addresses

If you’re in business, and especially if you’re using your own domain address for email contact (as you should be), it is also important to have a secondary email address – not attached to that domain. Why is this?

A few reasons:

  • I believe it’s important to separate business from personal.  I have a personal email address for family and friends to use to contact me.  I like to keep things separate.
  • If your domain is being transferred to a new server, your email will be down for a small period of time. Would be good for your host to be able to contact you still via the other address, as a backup.
  • When your domain is due for renewal, good to have the renewal notice going to both email addresses.
  • If your server is down (for whatever reason) it is good to still be able to get email in and out via another service

And I’m sure there are other reasons too. While I have a personal email address that is mostly for personal use, it does become useful if something occurs where I need to be able to access another address. Of course, as a web host and owner of more than one website, I actually have more than one email address via different servers. However, some of my clients don’t and if I need to contact them via email to advise a transfer has taken place, I’m unable to contact them if they only have the one address.  At least not till business hours when I can give them a call.

Worth thinking about.

Who are you?

whoYou know, but do your website visitors know?  I’ve lost count of the number of websites that I visit and the following information is missing:

  • Name of the owner of the site.  Who owns the site? Who provides the service or sells the product?
  • What experience has that person got in their field? What qualifies them to do what they do?
  • Where are they situated? If the service is locally oriented, visitors won’t know how close they are to you if you don’t let them know.
  • Forms shouldn’t be the only way to contact you. Include a postal address and a phone number.  And a name.

Add your photo if it’s relevant. Often it is.  Let people get to know you and connect with you before they make contact. Include your social media links if you have accounts with LinkedIn, Facebook Twitter, etc. Or, are you hiding something? That’s the general feeling when people don’t reveal who they are on their website. If you’re going to go to the trouble of setting up a great site, then don’t forget to add the important parts – who you are and how to contact you.

 

How to get your website up quickly

I provide web design services and get regular enquiries about getting a website set up. I have standard questions to ask, for example:

  • Do you have a domain registered yet?
  • Have you worked out where to host your site?
  • Do you know what you want on the site?

Answers vary but often they have a domain, or have thought about it, not sure where to get the hosting (sometimes they didn’t know they needed it) and almost always say ‘yes’, they know what they want on the site. But do they really?

When I give them my questionnaire to fill out they’re able to tell me about sites they do or don’t like, their competitors’ sites, the colours they want and can provide a logo or photos and then they send the form back to me, signed off, but… without content for the site.

What do I mean by content? Well, I mean what you want on each page in the way of text. Your “about” information, information that tells the client what you do or have, and why they need it.  Some sites only need a small number of pages, i.e. Home, About, Contact and maybe an order page. Others need a lot more information and some may also want a blog where they can write regular articles for their subscribers.

no duplicate contentRecently a client asked me to look at their competitors’ sites and glean information from there and re-arrange the words. I had to refuse this request. Apart from being plagiarism, Google can also penalise you if you have duplicate content on your site. Not only that, but the original owners of the content could demand you take the site down and perhaps threaten you with legal action if you don’t. I don’t want to get embroiled in that situation.  But I did refer him to a copywriter I know to assist him in that part.

I know that many new website owners have been caught up in situations like this because they haven’t provided their web designer with content, but rather just some instructions, imagining that magically they’ll have this whiz bang site and they don’t question the web designer where the content came from.  Not a good position to be in.

Please don’t imagine, for a moment, that your web designer is a copywriter. While there may be some who are, just as some are also graphic designers, the fact is that the majority of web designers are web designers and not copywriters or graphic designers.

Finally, do I know any copywriters and graphic designers I can refer you to? Of course I do!  One of the things I love about being in business is having a mix of contacts I can share with my clients, and share my clients with my contacts. 🙂

So, ultimately, I can assist you with domain registrations, web hosting and web design. All you need is to provide the content to go on the site and I can have it up for you in relatively quick time!  Why not contact me today?