How healthy is your website?
Often when we’re asked to build a website, the client expects it to work flawlessly forever. The truth is, it won’t. Websites break—most of the time because they’re out-of-date, or some plug-ins just stopped working, or it’s taking time to load, or scariest of all, it has been victimised by cybercriminals. Yikes!
Many website owners just don’t give their websites the needed love and attention, and so they get all too surprised when things get bad. The website starts falling off, their customers get turned off, they ask someone to rebuild it, and they get a hefty bill for the work.
But you can avoid losing a huge chunk of sales and having to spend heaps on website repair by having a simple and inexpensive website health check plan.
WordPress is software, which means it needs to be updated regularly. WordPress sites are made up of a variety of plugins and themes, which, give shape to your website. They, too, require constant updates. Apart from providing the features and functionalities, these apps also increase your site’s security, covering up vulnerabilities and strengthening your site against cyber attacks. Moreover, updating your plugins and themes will help fix bugs existing in earlier versions, so you won’t have to worry about errors on certain features of your site.
2. Page Speed
We all know how important page speed is: if your site loads slowly, visitors may leave in frustration, and search engines will drop your ranking. If you’re not sure how fast your website loads, you can use a speed test tool like Google Page Speed Insights, GTMetrix Page Speed Tester or Pingdom Website Speed Test. Once you’ve entered your website address, it will tell you how fast your web page loads. It will also give suggestions on how to improve your speed.
So what could be slowing down your website? Unoptimised pages, large images and a slow web host are the most common culprits.
While identifying website speed issues is fairly straightforward, fixing them is not as simple. The first and most obvious step is to choose a professional web hosting provider. If you’re using WordPress, the next step is to install a WordPress plugin to increase page performance. This will help with large images and unoptimised pages. And finally, it’s worth thinking about using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to increase page load times. A CDN basically takes a copy of your website and delivers it from a closer location to the visitor.
Much as we love the Internet, it’s not exactly the safest place in the world. You may have installed a really cool plugin but found that it’s carrying malware, infecting your website and putting your entire system at risk. Creepy cyber crawlers are also lurking everywhere, waiting for any chance to exploit your website. Any outdated software can give hackers the access to your system, and once they found their way inside, they will spread malicious content, take personal information and misuse them for monetary gains, and worse of all, shut down your site completely. To fend off would-be attackers, you need to check and update your site regularly.
4. Mobile friendly
With over 60% of first visits happening on mobile rather than desktop, you can’t afford for your mobile experience to let you down. Ideally, your website should work across all devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones of all brands and sizes.
Having to pinch and zoom to see text on smaller devices is annoying for your visitors. Also, now that Google has rolled out their Mobile First Index, you need to act fast.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
We all know the future (and the present) is mobile, so having a responsive website is essential. In 2019, 80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet. 80%! If your site isn’t easy to browse on a mobile device, you are without a doubt losing visitors. And Google won’t rank you as well. Because mobile devices and resolutions change with such speed, it’s important to check your website’s mobile performance regularly. What worked previously, might not work now.
So how do you test your site’s responsiveness?
Using your cellphone, browse to your website and ask colleagues or friends if they can do the same. This way you can see what it’s like to browse to your site on different devices.
Chrome offers a built-in tool to switch the screen resolution to various popular devices.
Numerous free and paid-for solutions let you test your website for mobile-friendliness (including the Hubspot Website Grader we already mentioned).
Whether you’re looking to bring in new website visitors, expand online sales, get the phones ringing or keep customers coming back for more, Google AdWords can help.
But Why AdWords?
- AdWords is Measurable and Flexible
One of the main advantages that online marketing has over traditional marketing channels, like TV or print, is that it’s extremely easy to measure. However, it can be a challenge to effectively measure your SEO campaign since you can’t always get a precise measurement on what increased or decreased your rankings. Enter AdWords PPC. This is probably one of the best resources you have to measure what’s working and what is not because it comes equipped with plenty of PPC metrics that do that task for you.
AdWords is also flexible because it has customizable options for your campaign to suit your particular needs. For example, AdWords can be used to:
- Specific keyword match types – This allows you to display your ad for exact keyword searches. So, you could set it up to “New York pizza,” as opposed to general searches for “New York” or “pizza.”
- Ad extensions – This give you the ability to display everything from product images, contact information, to a pack of links to your site.
- Narrows your audience – You can have it set up so that you can discover your audience by their location, the time of day, their language, and even their browser or device they’re using.
- Access to non-search sites – Gmail, YouTube and lots of other of partner sites are at your fingertips.
- Leverage the display network – This can help you establish brand awareness.
Stay Tuned for follow up blogs concerning AdWords.
Credit to Forbes.com
Mobile Readiness – No need to produce a second Web site just for mobile users. WordPress automatically recognizes if a person is viewing the site through a web browser or mobile device and configures the content to be viewed on either.
A massive new ransomware attack that started in Ukraine is spreading across Europe and the United States, according to Reuters and multiple other sources.
The ransomware appears to be related to the Petya family, which is currently detected by ESET as Win32/Diskcoder.C Trojan.
ESET users can find instructions to ensure the highest level of protection against this threat here. In addition, here is an advisory for ESET customers about the new malware. ESET protects against this threat, provided you have a default install of any current ESET product. Additionally, any ESET product with network detection protects against the SMB spreading mechanism, EternalBlue, proactively.
ESET researchers have located the point from which this global epidemic has all started. Attackers have successfully compromised the accounting software M.E.Doc, popular across various industries in Ukraine, including financial institutions. Several of them executed a trojanized update of M.E.Doc, which allowed attackers to launch the massive ransomware campaign today which spread across the whole country and to the whole world. M.E.Doc has today released a warning on their website: http://www.me-doc.com.ua/vnimaniyu-polzovateley.
How does Petya work?
The Petya malware attacks a computer’s MBR (master boot record), a key part of the startup system that contains information about the hard disk partitions and helps load the operating system. If the malware successfully infects the MBR, it will encrypt the whole drive itself. Otherwise, it encrypts all files, like Mischa.
The new malware appears to be using a combination of the EternalBlue exploit used by WannaCryptor for getting inside the network, then spreading through PsExec for spreading within it.
To check if your Windows operating system is patched against it, use ESET’s free EternalBlue Vulnerability Checker.
This powerful combination is likely the reason why the outbreak is spreading quickly, even after previous outbreaks have generated headlines and most vulnerabilities should have been patched. It only takes one unpatched computer to get inside the network. From there, the malware can take over administrator rights and spread to other computers.
Petya and crypto-ransomware
In Ukraine, the financial sector, energy sector and numerous other industries have been hit. The scope of the damage caused to the energy sector is not yet confirmed, and there has been no reports of a power outage, as was the case previously with the infamous Industroyer malware that was discovered by ESET.
An image that reportedly shows the ransomware message is making the rounds online, including one from Group-IB with the following message (which we’ve paraphrased):
“If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they have been encrypted … We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily. All you need to do is submit the payment [$300 bitcoins] and purchase the decryption key.”
How to protect yourself
- Use reliable antimalware software: This is a basic but critical component. Just because it’s a server, and it has a firewall, does not mean it does not need antimalware. It does! Always install a reputable antimalware program and keep it updated.
- Make sure that you have all current Windows updates and patches installed
- Run ESET’s EternalBlue Vulnerability Checker to see whether your Windows machines are patched against EternalBlue exploit, and patch if necessary.
- For ESET Home Users: Perform a Product Update.
- For ESET Business Users: Send an Update Task to all Client Workstations or update Endpoint Security or Endpoint Antivirus on your client workstations.