Astra Firewall Statistics

Added on November 8, 2020

Astra stops many website attacks that users are unaware of. This post shows some of the attacks.

Let's take a look at some of the things Astra blocks from happening to your websites. We often hear, 'I didn't even think someone would bother attacking our website'. Hackers do not actually visit your website so it does not matter how popular your website may be. Instead, they write a script that is used to try and hack thousands of websites at a time by finding vulnerabilities (bad coding practices, weak passwords, outdated software, etc).

This is why it is so important to keep your passwords strong and unique, keep your software up to date (including themes and plugins that are active and inactive) and to remove files from the server that are not being used.

The screenshot below shows various attacks stopped by Astra. In the 1st screenshot, you can see that the attacker was trying to inject malicious code into the database. It was stopped.

In the 2nd screenshot, you will see how many times they tried to do so and the way Astra stopped the attacks at first and then finally blocked the attack all together.

The key to keeping your website safe is to be proactive. Once a website is hacked, it causes a lot of stress, downtime, lost business and angry site visitors. Having a firewall in place is a small price to pay to keep your website free of Malware and stop the attacks.


Components of a Domain Name

Added on November 3, 2020

Owning a domain name is the foundation of your website. Choosing a memorable name is key.

During the purchase of a domain, you're presented with various options. In this blog, we're going to look at these options and explain what they are and how they effect you and your website(s).

Registration Price

Most domain registrars will offer you an eye catching 'deal' when you first register your domain. Often times, you'll see .99 for the first year or very similar. The hopes are that once you register you domain(s) you won't be transferring it anytime soon. Don't be fooled by insanely low registration prices. The average and fair price is between $8 and $11 per year.

Renewal Price

This is where many domain registrars 'get you'. Their renewal rates are often largely inflated in hopes of recovering from the low registration rates. It's very important to look at the renewal rate when there is no reason to keep over paying. We don't suggest paying much more than you paid when you originally signed up. If you're paying $15 or more per year to renew, you can do a lot better somewhere else!

Term

Some registrars charge a low rate for the first year and then charge a high rate for years 2 - 10 so be careful and do the math ahead of time. Evolve Hosting is a little bit different because we offer you a fair rate for the first year and carry that through the first 10 years when you register your domain. Our renewal rate is only $1.50 higher per year than our registration price.

Whois Privacy Protection

Whois Privacy Protection is a service that masks your contact details so scammers can not see your details and contact you with bogus offers. A few registrars offer this for no additional charge and others charge upwards of $7.99 per year.

DNS Management

It's important to have the ability to manage your DNS records and it is pretty standard with most domain registrars. Although updates aren't made on a regular basis, it can be a real headache if you need to and don't have the ability to do it yourself or to reach support to help you out.

Whether you are hosting your website(s) with Evolve Hosting or somewhere else, we can still offer you domain registration services at a very competitive rate! We register thousands of domains for customers using Shopify, WIX, Weebly and other hosted web solutions.

To get started:

Register Domains: Register Domains

Transfer your domains to us: Transfer Your Domains

Do you own multiple domains and want to save money by transferring them to Evolve Hosting? Feel free to call, text, live chat or send an email to hello@evolvewebhost.com and we'll handle the transfer for you so that you do not have to spend the time entering all of the information into our website to place your order.


Ways to Securely Share Passwords

Added on September 11, 2020

At one time or another, you've very likely emailed a password to a website designer, friend or other agency. What you may not have known is that your password was potentially exposed to more than the intended recipient. How is that possible you ask? There are a few scenarios when you email a password:

1) More than likely, the recipient's email is not secure

2) The password is always sent in plain text which means it is not stored within a database using encryption

3) The password is sitting in someones inbox in plain sight

4) Your own email may not be sending with SSL encryption

5) The recipient's email account could be hacked after they receive your message

Now that you have more understanding of what can happen with these passwords, let's take a look at a few ways to make the process more secure.

Password Managers

Most, if not all password managers have a 'secure share link' feature that allows you to share passwords with others.

1Password: https://blog.1password.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-password-sharing/

Dashlane: https://support.dashlane.com/hc/en-us/articles/202699021-How-to-share-your-saved-items

LastPass: https://blog.lastpass.com/2016/01/tips-for-securely-sharing-passwords/

One Time Unique Passwords

Create a temporary login with a unique, temporary password. This means, don't use a 'regular' password that you use for any of your own accounts. It is best to use the password generator or if your software doesn't have a password generator, use the one from Dashlane: https://www.dashlane.com/features/password-generator

Once the user is done logging in and making any necessary edits, you can delete their account.

Call the recipient

The most secure way, yet a little bit inconvenient is to call the person on the phone and give them the password. This avoids the possibility of a hacker intercepting the password(s).

Further Reading About Secure Passwords

https://www.evolvewebhost.com/blog/password-do-s-and-don-ts


How to Create a Sitemap for Search Engines

Added on August 31, 2020

Creating and maintaining a sitemap for search engines is important to the success of your website. Depending on the software you use to build your website (Wordpress, Opencart, Joomla, Drupal, etc), there are many ways to get this done.

If you are using a content management system, consider the following:

Wordpress and WooCommerce: Try Yoast SEO or search the Wordpress Plugins

Opencart: Try UKSB Sitemaps or search the Opencart Marketplace

Joomla: Try JSitemap or search the Joomla Extension Directory

Drupal: Try Simple XML Sitemap or search the Drupal Modules

If you have created a website using your own custom code, the following is the format to use within a new file called sitemap.xml

Copy and update the following for each additional URL to list:

Once you're finished, upload the file to your server. If you already have the Sitemap URL submitted to Google and Bing, they will crawl it. Otherwise, create your Google Webmasters and BING Webmasters accounts and submit your Sitemap to them.


Facebook Image Size Guidelines

Added on August 31, 2020

Creating posts and having a strong social media presence is an important part of your marketing strategy. We want to pass along a few easy tips to strengthen the appearance of your Facebook Business page. Facebook has a list of different image sizes for your cover photo, profile photo, post photos, etc. This quick little guide will help you ensure that your images display properly on every device for every image you upload and post to Facebook. All sizes are in pixels.

Profile Picture: 180 x 180

Cover Photo: 820 x 312

Shared Images (Used when you make a post): 1200 x 630

Shared Link (Used when you add an image to a link you are sharing): 1200 x 628

Highlighted Image: 1200 x 717

Event Image: 1920 x 1080

Using Facebook to compliment your web page makes for a stronger marketing campaign when promoting your business.


Website Image Compression

Added on August 26, 2020

Making sure your website loads fast is very important when it comes to visitor retention and satisfaction. One easy way to help increase speed is to compress your images which makes them load faster across all devices. Fortunately, this is very easy to do and doesn't cost any more than a little bit of your time. There are several free websites including:

https://tinypng.com/

https://tinyjpg.com/

https://compressjpeg.com/

https://imagecompressor.com/

https://wordpress.org/plugins/tiny-compress-images/ (for Wordpress users)

Get started today and give your website a much needed speed boost!