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Local Community Archives - Natalie Crowe Designs | Web Design Company Australia

Category Archives: Local Community

WordPress sites being hacked by “Adsformarket” scripts

WordPress Websites Malware & Hacking Help

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

 

Reviewing my last 10 years in business | Web Design Cessnock

10 Year Review | Natalie Crowe Designs | Web Design Cessnock , Web Design Hunter Valley, Web Design Maitland

3650 days of life and business lessons!

Wow! Wow! Wow! As we come to the closure of a decade and 2020 rolls on in. It’s amazing to take a look back at where we’ve come from and where we’re going in business. 3650 days?!  What did we do with them all?

The last 10 years have altered and changed my course tremendously. I’ve seen highs and lows in my personal life and business however the continual indicators show I’m onto a good thing here.

Business is growing, I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’ve established myself and my brand as a strong local contender in various communities both online and offline and most importantly I’m enjoying the process and as I always intended… I’m HELPING people. Win Win!

Adapting to change – Same Great Services

Whilst technology has definitely changed and we’re more mobile or responsive device focused, the decade of instant gratification, social media and being able to find pretty much anything from the palm of your hand in a matter of seconds, has meant as a business owner we’ve needed to be adaptive and responsive to our clients needs.

 
Whilst much has change, we’ve built onto our service and have continued to offer the same great services only with more experience as a web designer and business mentor . These services include:  
  • Building new websites,
  • Improving existing websites,
  • Specialising in WordPress Websites,
  • Offering Website Help, Technical Support and Training,
  • Providing Website Management and monthly update packages,
  • Helping you get found through Search Engine Optimisation,
  • Engagement Marketing,
  • Provision of Hosting and domains,
  • Social Media setup and management
  • &  so more.
One of our primary aims of diversifying into these various elements is so that when you become a client of Natalie Crowe Designs, we offer a one stop shop.  Whether you’re in need someone to demystify the technological side of having a website or you just need a website expert to take care of things for you. We’ve got you covered.
 

Events that have shaped Natalie Crowe Designs

10 years is such a massive timeframe, and with the diversity of events that have occurred; some of them big, some of them small, all of them have contributed to the person I am and who I’ve become and how my business has evolved.

  • From deciding I wanted to help people with their websites and shaping that into a tangible business idea as a means of supporting myself, then that need and desire growing with the birth of my daughter.
  • Having to re-establish my life in the Hunter Valley, after an 8 year relation dissolving and continuing to make a living, working through Family Courts / Custody Battle that set me back $25k+ in legal fees all whilst simultaneously keeping our heads above water. My business supported us.

Web Design Cessnock | Web Design Maitand | Web Design Australia

An old Facebook Image  Also Used as a slideshow image from our website in 2015 celebrating 7 years in business.


  • Through moving 7 times before eventually generating & saving enough money through my business and finding a bank that would accept me as a self employed business owner, and validate that my business was more than a hobby in order to purchase our own home in the Hunter Valley.
  • To, continuing my studies getting additional qualifications and improving myself and expanding my services from not only WEB DESIGN but to BUSINESS MENTORING evolving my business into a one stop shop.
  • To supporting hundreds of local businesses over the years and through the growth and trajectory of my business being able to contribute to countless causes in our local community, donating thousands of dollars to help people get back on their feet, and utilise my experience to better themselves.
  • To finding the love of my life, having same sex marriage laws passed and to being able to get married which for the most part was funded by my ability to generate an income and paid outright which meant we didn’t have to go into debt to be able to bring our family together to celebrate our union.  Something I was so ecstatic about in 2018. 

I am so grateful and proud of each and every moment and what I’ve overcome to create a life that I love and a business that supports me and my goals.  Acknowledging, not all of these things are solely business related but they were possible due to my business or have have contributed as pieces of the puzzle that’s formed the Natalie Crowe Designs of today.


2020 – A year of continuing to offer enormous value & honouring my self worth

In 2020, I’ll be working closely on my message, whilst wanting to help people hasn’t changed, I have spent a great deal of time analysing my business and one thing is clear, I always go above and beyond. My clients are the most important part of my business but at times I’ve found myself over extending, over delivering and ultimately to my own detriment burning out.

$30,000 in uncollected payments, donations, volunteer work and unpaid accounts.

‘There’s always more’ mentality and my generosity can often get the better of me.  It’s been a few years now, but prior to our hourly price increase of $80/hr the tally of discounts alone given to the community in one 12 month span equated to close to $30,000!!

At the time I couldn’t even fathom that I’d discounted developments or not collected payments, volunteered a multitude of hours through that year / completed unpaid work, however it was clear, come the end of the year how burnt out and exhausted I was, how disappointed I felt not attaining the goals I’d set and how much that $30,000 would have made a difference in my life at the time if I’d only honoured my selfworth and trusted that my effort and contributions to all of these amazing causes was worth receiving payment.

Your time is worth the money & you are worthy of payment:

My aim for 2020 will be to shape my business in a way that still delivers enormous value for my beautiful clients, however values my worth, my time, my contributions and supports and nurtures healthy boundaries.

This year, will be the year that will enable me to set and reach my goals and still allows me to honour myself, avoid massive burnout that I’ve experience in the past and also enable be me carve out time to create new products and services, study further, connect with all of you and improve what I can offer you as a part of my web design and business mentoring services.

What to expect as of January 2020

In summary, 2020 will still very much be a year of service, I’m still going to offer the same amazing customer service, delivering enormous value through my products and services and doing my very best to continue to help and support your businesses in the best ways I know how.

I’ll be restructuring my pricing and packages a little to ensure that I’m honouring my boundaries,  however most of the modifications will be behind the scenes and all be it that it sounds a little confronting, I am enormously excited for the factor that implementing these new strategies will mean I’m utilising my time and resources better and I essentially will be able to engage and support more business owners and causes whilst simultaneously supporting and honouring myself.

I can not wait to share the progress of 2020 with you. From works in progress, completed projects, to resources and tools, tips and insights, causes and community events we’re getting behind and so much more.

If I can be of any assistance moving forward to help you establish and grow your online presence, provide website help and support please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

To have a chat about your requirements and start moving forward with your goals in 2020.


I would LOVE to arrange a FREE 30 Minute discovery call with you to discuss your options and help you get your goals underway!

Send a message via the form below or feel free to give me a call on 0423285233.

Natalie Crowe Designs
Web Design & Business Mentoring

Making a difference in an innocient animals life.

Sawyers Gully Animal Rescue Group

Every few months my partner and I go down to our local animal rescue group and do some sort of donation for them. We were in touch with Sawyers Gully Animal Rescue Weston who explained that with their current cats and kittens in care they are going through 42 cans of cat food in a single night. 42 cans! That’s insane.They let us know that there ALDI locally was the most cost effective option and that anything we could donate would be greatly appreciated… so we went on a bit of a rampage…. This was what we walked out of Aldi at Greenhills at Maitland with on Sunday afternoon.

The photo above is two ALDI trolleys full of 27 trays (12 cans in each) a total of 324 cans…. Would you believe this massive number (only 8 trays short of a pallet) will only last the Sawyers Gully Animal Rescue for about 7 days.. I just can’t get enough.. It’s something like $200+ worth of food right there… They go through $300+ a week for food and rely on donations… Much like a lot of the rescue groups in the area.

If you’d like to donate to them, please feel free to contact me personally or I can put you in touch with the girls directly. They have a facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sawyers-Gully-Animal-Rescue-Weston/554196344616086 which you can visit, like and follow their progress.  

Directly from their Facebook Page Info: 

About
We are a not for profit organisation animal rescue shelter located at Weston NSW Australia.
Run by Dee Walton 0410 645886 and Karen Delemos 0421 102104

Company Overview
We rescue cats and kittens that are abused, sick, abandoned or facing death in the pounds.

We help find companions for our seniors by finding them a suitable animal to their needs. We do this out of our own pockets as a way to give back to the community.

Description
ABN: 27 275 199 002
Giving unwanted animals a second chance. Contributions to our vet bills are most welcomed and appreciated.

BSB: 062805
ACC: 10353454
Bank: CBA
Name: Sawyers Gully Animal Rescue

Contact:
Dee on 0410 645886 or
Karen on 0421 102104

Our Mission:

To educate people of the need to desex their pets. To save and place animals into loving homes only. Pets are for life!

Company Overview:

We rescue cats and kittens that are abused, sick, abandoned or facing deaths in pounds. We aim to assist in our local area. whilst there is a limit to the amount of animals we can take in at one time, we do endeavour to help if possible. Bottle fed babies are classed as urgent and are given priority.

General information

Sawyers Gully Animal Rescue (SGAR) is run by Dee Walton and Karen Delemos. We are a fully registered entity who is in the process of turning it into a charity.

Overnight Reflections | Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Lake Macquarie

WEBSITE # 1 Overnight Reflections – Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Lake Macquarie. http://www.overnightreflections.com.au/

“Imagine yourself waking up to the sounds of lapping water , beautiful sunrises and superb views. You will receive all this and more at the Overnight Reflections Lakeside Retreat.

Your wonderful hosts Narelle and Bill welcome you into their lakeside paradise, which has been operating as a traditional B&B accommodation since 1995. Located at Fishing Point (Rathmines), on the banks of Lake Macquarie in a private garden setting.

Guests are offered total seclusion, sensational breakfasts overlooking tranquil waters, air conditioning, peace and privacy and something to tantalise all of your senses.” 

 

Visit their brand new website http://www.overnightreflections.com.au/ and let us know what you think. The website is due to be officially launched on on the 3rd of November our Facebook Fans get a first look at what we’re working on! 

If you need a website or know someone who does, contact us today for your FREE quote

Natural Disasters

Hi
guys – Nat here… I have wanted to send me thoughts to those
suffering at the moment due to our natural disasters going around the
nation. I have to admit, although we’re not directly impacted by the
fires within NSW at the moment, I had been rather emotional for those
who are suffering right now.. I was absolutely disgusted after seeing a
news story that looters have been targeting the “evacuated
areas” where by residents have fled their homes due to the fires… and
poor excuses for human beings have raided the houses stealing tvs, cash
and property… seriously what the hell is wrong with people!! One
report said that a 12 and 13 year old teens were responsible for one lot
of fires, It makes me so angry that some of these fires were
deliberately lit by arsonists and there are people who are losing
everything…. yet there are lowlifes that seize the opportunity to just
keep on taking – I am so genuinely sorry for those impacted. My heart
breaks for you..

I know it’s not helping directly and that
this is not the most professional means of expressing my heart ache for
all of you, but I am sending my thoughts and prayers to everyone – We’ll
do a rain dance or something and help bring on the rain and put an end
to these fires.

If we; Natalie Crowe Designs
can do anything to help any of you, please don’t hesitate to contact
us. I am so sorry once again.. We’re here to help and we’ll do what we
can make a difference.

Please stay safe .
My thoughts are with you. x