Website Maintenance & Security

web-security-and-maintenance-crop

It’s less costly to prevent a website hack then to fix it.

People hack websites for the same reasons they put viruses on your home computer. Those reasons are all primarily money driven but can be anything from using your website to attack other websites, using it to send spam emails, attacking large corporations, or even just bragging rights.

Your website is an investment for your company. You need to protect this just like you would any other investment. Some ways you can do this are: Continue reading

Using Gmail SMTP on GoDaddy’s Virtual Private Servers

Light at the end of the GoDaddy SMTP tunnel

Photo by http://www.taylorleopoldphoto.com/

Blog Post Update: SMTP connect() failed

Update made on August 29, 2014

After several months of this working, the contact form I was using on my client’s GoDaddy installation stopped working. I would see that the contact form submitted as the information was logged within the backend of WordPress. However, the client would never receive the email. When I ran some debugging tests I received the error of
SMTP connect() failed.

If you receive this error, you have to call in again and they add in a script to the server. Again, this takes an hour to start working. They weren’t clear as to why this stopped working, but I thought I should update this post in case anyone else is having issues.

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Choosing a Web Host

Web hosting can be a confusing to pick, hard to migrate away from, and a pain to deal with if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I’ve been trying to find a simple way to explain these concepts to clients and found that iThemes does an excellent job with their short eBook How to Pick Web Hosting Without A Computer Science Degree. It’s short, concise, and to the point. (I read it in about 1/2 an hour.)

For starters, web hosting is very simply defined as space you rent, own, or lease on a server computer. So, when someone enters your domain name into the browser, the domain name directs them to your website located on the server. (It’s more complicated than that, but that may be a whole separate blog post.) Continue reading

"DNS Services" Domain Name Scam

DNS Services scam example bill

Credit: jptechnical.com

One of my clients emailed me today asking where a bill came from. It was for $65 to renew their domain name. She said the company who sent the bill was “DNS Services.” I did some research for her and noticed a few things:

  • When I looked up to see where the domain name was registered, it wasn’t to “DNS Services.”
  • Her domain name didn’t expire until August 2014. While companies try to give you plenty of time to renew your domain name, they don’t usually contact you two years ahead of time.
  • The name in itself is fishy, it would be like me naming my business “Web Design.” (How unique would that be?)
  • A Google search regarding this piece of mail I came across this DNS Services Scam article. I asked if it resembled the mail she received and she said, “That is exactly what the bill looks like! Thank you! I will shred it.”

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