Category Archives: General Websites
January saw so many sites attacked by automated hackers looking for websites with vulnerabilities in which they can exploit for personal information.
Some of these hackers attack websites for the purposes of siphoning personal and financial information which they can attempt to utilise as a means of financial gain.
Common activities include:
- Obtaining email address to send spam
- Installing malicious codes and software which may result in forms of payment.
- Redirecting visitors & website traffic to other websites which often they are setup as an affiliate which may create funds for them.
Whilst being one of the best content management systems out there, WordPress; like any open source content management systems, does have vulnerabilities when not correctly maintained.
In this case, a number of clients who were currently self-managing their accounts – whom had not kept up with internet security, backed up the website or completed the needed website maintenance, were the hardest hit.
But what on earth does that “correctly maintaining your WordPress website” mean??
“Self-Managed WordPress Websites” are basically WordPress websites that have been built for you, whereby you take over the responsibility of maintaining the website, ensuring the website is running the latest versions of each of it’s components and making relevant changes as need to the pages and page content.
In order to correctly maintain your WordPress websites, it means you need to keep the WordPress software and it’s relevant plugins and themes regularly updated. It means making a regular backup of the website files and the database. It means making sure you’re not using the default settings for things like login credentials or non secure settings, and using plugins that are regularly update by their developer.
You can also look to utilise more advance strategies like customising your WordPress database tables names to make then unique, changing your SALT keys regularly and if you were implementing new functionality for your website, that you’re using tested and regularly updated plugins and themes.
I think my WordPress website got hacked / How can I tell if I’ve been hacked?
There are 3 main characteristics we’ve seen of late with websites who have been hacked, some are more obvious thank others. However, Hackers have accessed the website and injected malicious code into the websites and modified files that resulted in:
- onscreen errors,
- search engines such as Google – identifying the site as containing malicious code / marked them unsafe
- or the most commonly – the website has a series of codes injected into the website that force visits to be redirected to unsafe and undesired websites.
AdsForMarket – WordPress Website Attacks
One of the primary redirects or spam codes injected into some of these websites were for a domain called “Adsformarket”.
This adsformarket is owned to a private entity and was registered through a domain provider Eranet, whom I’ve contacted to ask them to look at what their users are doing. However hackers can easily change their domains names and use the same scripts elsewhere, whilst we can try and have these creators dealt with, it’s hard to prove and it won’t entirely stop the from doing this again. So the best way to counteract this is to implement stronger security measures.
I make note here NO WEBSITE IS 100% HACK PROOF. However we can make various modifications to help strengthen the website boundaries and with regular maintenance, website backups & updates. Website owners can decrease the downtime and the cost it would take for their websites to be recovered.
Getting help – if you think your WordPress website has been hacked:
If you think you may have been hacked or you’d like some help with your website.
Natalie Crowe Designs is happy to work with you to address the issue.
Please contact us or give us a call to discuss your options: 0423285233
Websites! Websites! Websites!
Being a web designer in Australia for over a decade, I love that I can combine my passion for helping business owners, together with my years of experience, skills and knowledge, to help demystify the challenges of marketing and growing your business presence online. There are so many benefits of having a website. But here are my top 5 ways a website can help your business
A website is a home for your business on the internet. Your website is used to provide information to potential customers about what you do and what you have to offer them.
As a foundation you’re going to want to look at:
- your primary goal for your website is?
- what are you trying to achieve and
- the type of information you need to make available for prospects to help them purchase from you?
Benefits of having a website
– 5 ways a website can help your business:
Whether you have a bricks and mortar business or you’re selling a service or products online, you may want to :
- Have more clients to walk through your door?
- Educate your customers – offering information to learn about what you offer and the benefits of your products or services?
- Encourage prospects to book a service or order products or services online.
- Start a conversation with them, whether they enquire through an email or to pick up the phone and give you a call.
- Keep in touch with them more frequently.
All of these things are taken into consideration as to your primary goals for your website.
Your websites can help get more foot traffic for Bricks and Mortar Business:
For bricks and mortar businesses, making sure your address and map locations are in a predominant spot on every page of your website will be important.
You can include images of relevant maps or add in an interactive map. From sites like https://www.google.com/maps or https://www.bing.com/maps and you can also list your business on local listing websites – many of these are free to do so.
Using your website as an education tool for your business:
Your website can be such a great education tool. Specifically when educating your prospects on the type of products and services you offer and the benefits of those products you may look to setup things like:
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions page,
- Photo Gallery or slideshow page; before and after photos, video content – as simple a quick video of before and after completion.
- Testimonials or reviews – in some cases you can embed various review from other sites within your testimonials page, for example Google Reviews, Tripadvisor etc, or simply including a screenshot as a image could very well achieve this. Your aim is to demonstrate credibility and share experience of others working with you .
Whilst these might seem like simple additions these will all help give your prospects an overview of your offerings.
Online Shop websites and custom ordering online a breeze.
In terms of allowing prospects to order or book online there are a variety of options available to you.
- Online Shops or eCommerce websites – You could integrate an online shop ( ecommerce) section into your website for multiple products or services or simply offer a basic PayPal button to allow one time payments for a service.
- Simple Online Order Forms – optionally accepting payment online – Alternatively could offer a simple online enquiry form to allow them to submit their order and offer the ability to pay on collection , pay by PayPal invoice or one of the other more readily available payment options.
Websites are GREAT for starting conversations with your prospects.
With your website you can easily integrate options for your prospects to start a conversation with you. Something as simple as a contact form or even listing your phone number with a “Click To Call” link so that prospects using their mobile phones can call you by click your number – For example 0423 285 233 – If you click this link via your phone it will show Natalie Crowe Designs phone number up on the call screen of your phone to which you can then get in contact with me directly.
Communication – Websites can help you keep in touch more frequently:
As a part of your website,you could look at a number of different ways to keep in touch more frequently, you can allow users to sign up for a mailing list to send out regular emails using tools like Mailchimp or Aweber and connect with your social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram and Google Business.
In summary, your website can provide a multitude of ways to help your business get found, educate your clients or prospects and keep in touch.
Here at Natalie Crowe Designs ( Website Design Hunter Valley, Australia) we offer a one stop shop for business owners – looking to get a website or interested in improving their existing website. We offer affordable website help & business mentoring online via Skype.
We’re your friends in the business who genuinely want to see you succeed!
Your website is one of the primary tools your prospects use to connect with you.
So you want to ensure that it is running at it’s best.
We all go over our content to make sure the text is well written and engaging, however we often don’t consider the SPEED and how long it takes for a user to actually load your page. Speed is super important in this instant gratification world.
With Google being the most popular search engine, we tend to primarily look to google as a basis of testing.
And Google offers a range of neat tools to help you test your website. One of these tools Google Page Speed Insights allows you to key in your website address and it will come back with either Low, Medium or High ranking for Page Speed Optimisation along with a list of improvements needed in order to meet Googles requirements.
We encourage our clients and prospects to run their website through this test in order to know where to improve.
To do this:
1) Visit : https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
2) Type in your website address
3) Review your results.
If your website isn’t in the Green chances are your website is in need of improvements.
If you’d like to discuss these improvements feel free to contact us
12 Benefits of Having A Website | Australia
Having a website can be an amazing tool for any business. Your website will mean, your potential customers can find you, purchase your products or services and make enquiries 365 days a year without you having to be driving the sales, it can increase your credibility and boost customer confidence. Check out the 12 benefits of having a website, and how as website can work for you:
- Having a website means credibility and accuracy of information made available about your business.
- A website works for you 365 days a year.
– Even when you finish work for the day, your website keeps working round the clock.
- Your customers can access the information about your business, products and services at their leisure regardless of your operating hours.
- You are able to reach a larger target audience.
– With the ability for potential clients all over the world to have access to your business.
- Your clients can make online enquiry 24 hours 7 days a week.
- You can use your website as an additional means of advertising.
- A website can increase sales.
- A website can increase how often your clients interact with your business.
- A website can increase customer confidence.
– For clients, knowing that they can get in contact with your
business or find out more information about a service or product is
- You can utilise statistical data to measure the success of your business online.
– Things like seeing how many people visited your website over a
period of time, what webpages they viewed and how long they are
spending on your site.
- Website is often more cost effective then print media.
- A website is dynamic and grows as your business does.
– You can start out with a website that is very basic, simply
offering your clients general information about your business and then
later introduce other features for example online shopping, or bookings
Building your business & helping clients locate your business with a website:
Like every business owner, you understand that you need to
make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to locate your
business, and having your potential clients locate your business means
your business is one step closer to having them purchase your products
or utilise services and there are a many ways to of making your
business more locatable,however, the easiest way starts with having your
Almost everywhere you look the internet is readily, at the
click of a button you can type in any search phrase and locate any
number of businesses? So what if your clients knew your business name,
for example “Natalie Crowe Designs” they could search for you (click here for a sample) or perhaps they typed in some keywords related to your business, on our case “Website Design Cessnock” (click here for a sample).
With a website, we can create an online presence that is optimised to
be more likely to appear when clients search for these terms.
Early this month we launched www.holfordwelding.com.au a local hunter valley business offering Welding, Fabrication, Vehicle Modification & Vehicle Repair – Hunter Valley and Australia Wide.
HOLFORD Engineering & Welding can provide all your Welding
Supervision & Inspection services complying with Australian &
International Standards in the Hunter Valley.
We also do Automotive Modifications like Engine Conversions, Hat Rod
Chassis Fabrication, Minor to Major repairs & Modification to Cars
& Light Commercial Vehicles
With 35 years experience in welding and fabrications and 35 years
experience in vehicle modification and repairs. Your local team at
Holford Engineering & Welding look forward to assisting your
♦ 35 years experience in Welding and Fabrication
♦ 35 years experience in Vehicle Modification and Repair
♦ Certified Structural & Pressure Welding Supervisor
♦ CERTIFIED PRESSURE WELDER – Mig, Tig, Stick
♦ Qualified Motor Mechanic.
We’re excited to share the launch of one of our newest clients websites. Introducing …. Phil’s Northern Towing!
Phil’s Northern Towing is a Newcastle & Hunter Valley (24/7 & Emergency Towing Service). If you Need Car Towing Newcastle and surrounding areas? Towing to and from the Hunter Region including Nelsons Bay, Maitland, Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast. Day or night and available 24/7 hours in emergency, Phil’s Northern Towing Newcastle is your local towing service – Call Phil on 49684713.
Your local tow-truck driver; Phil, has decades of experience in Car Salvage, Car Accident Towing, Vehicle Breakdown Towing, Car Transport, Towing for insurance companies and more. Phil specialises in towing cars and small utility vehicles, with a 4
tonne towing capacity and ability tow two vehicles where needed.
Based in Mayfield, Phil is a local Novacastrian and has an extensive knowledge of the Newcastle and the Hunter Region.
Check out the website here: http://www.philsnortherntowing.com.au
as well as the Facebook Page
We’re excited to share the wonderful updates we’ve just completed and launch of their new Vintage Industrial Furniture
Website. The website features, Antique /Bric-a-brac, Contemporary Art,
Sculptural Lighting and a range of Vintage industrial furniture.
You can also find the Century Salvage team on facebook:
We would like to thank you for our fabulous new website!
Not only do you have creative flair & fresh ideas, you make them a reality.
Your support and patience throughout the whole process made what we thought
was impossible a stress free streamlined outcome.
We have already, and will continue to recommend Natalie Crowe Designs to anyone who
needs a modern, easy to use website.
– The Team at Imsprint.com.au
IMPORTANCE OF UPDATING YOUR WEBSITE!
It’s been a busy last few days, we had a client come on board, whom had been held at the mercy of an international hacker, who utilised an outdated software or content management system behind their website to hack into their online database. The hacker had gone the step further and initiated taunting and demanding money. So it required further contact to the appropriate authorities…
Althought,The client acknowledges that given that the website system was built 7 years ago, that they were an easy target. It’s a big reminder to all website owners *You need to keep your systems updated and implement security measures* otherwise there are people out there who will attempt to do the wrong thing…
If you’re using a system that is open-source or that is free to use, it’s more important than ever to upgrade that system and keep your site up to date with the latest security, as that the source code is available to everyone and hacker use these type of systems in order to exploit people… Keeping in mind, there is always good and bad in every situation, as long as the appropriate security measures are taken, you can benefit greatly from content management systems such as WordPress, or Joomla etc, one these precautions have taken place..
Natalie Crowe Designs will be working closely with this client to get this website back on track, we’ve currently accumulated a whole day over the last 3-4 days, in addition to a midnight call out to address the emergency, all of this time has been spent trying to address the issue. And are now having to implement a clean version of the latest software and rebuilt the website system.
If you find yourself in the same position or you have not updated your website for some time, get in contact with us so we can help you get your site up to date and also make sure it’s secure! It’s a loss of revenue, loss of business and damage to your reputation when it comes to issues with your system security and we’re here to help.