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Category Archives: Web Development

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How To Protect Your Website From Digital Pirates

By | Business, Digital Trends, Industry News, Security, Web Development | No Comments

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When you hear the term “Cyber Pirates” I hope that a dashing image of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow coding at a desktop monitor doesn’t come to mind. In fact, cyber pirates are more threatening (and possibly more composed) when it comes to their method of pirating. 

More now than ever before, Cyber Pirates are using RansomWare to hold companies’ most important assets hostage, while releasing confidential information to the public. These attacks are happening all over the globe and amongst companies of all sizes. You might have read about the HBO hack that happened just a few weeks ago where hackers who used the same software accessed and leaked confidential information about upcoming television shows.  

So what exactly is RansomWare, and how can you detect and prevent the attacks from happening to your company? 

RansomWare is a malicious software that holds business websites hostage or threatens to release sensitive data to the public for a handsome fee. Cyber pirates will utilize a variety of avenues including emails, network traffic, user behavior and application traffic to insert RansomWare. These types of attacks are typically carried out using a “Trojan”  that is disguised as a legitimate file. For example, the Trojan might be an innocent looking email from your boss instructing you to check out pertinent information. Unknowingly you click the link, because you trust the source. But once you click the link, it activates the download of the malware and the hacker can encrypt your files until you supply the bounty.

via GIPHY

According to a recent article published by Barracuda.com, “ a Ransomware variant will infect between 30,000 to 35,000 devices a month, with some variants reaching up to 150,000 infections.” However, most of these attacks can be prevented. Follow our guidelines below to keep your website safe so you don’t become one of the statistics.

Although we always recommend first that you prevent threats before they happen, sometimes this isn’t always feasible. We also offer website maintenance and support to repair websites after they have been hacked.  Take a look at our Top 9 must do’s to keep your website running optimally while guarding it against any potential threats. 

  1. Run daily, weekly or monthly backups of all of your files. If a cyber attack occurs you want to ensure that you can recover the website from the most recent version.
  2. Host your website on a secure server. Our dedicated servers provide our clients with a variety of weapons to fight cyber security attacks. These include Firewall Protection, Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus Protection, HTTP Intrusion Protection, Daily security audits and more that all monitor threats and prevent them from attacking the website.
  3. Always make sure that you have an SSL certificate for your website., to initiate a secure session with browsers. Websites with SSL certificates have the “Secure” stamp of approval in the URL, also known as HTTP. 
  4. No website is self-sustainable, make sure to update your plugins. New plugins are constantly being rolled out to patch old bugs and potential vulnerabilities. So keeping your website backend up to date is instrumental in guarding it against possible threats.
  5. Use Strong Passwords and 2-Factor Authentication: Making sure that your website password is complex and updated bi-monthly and you have dual authentication for website access is crucial.
  6. Make sure to blacklist all bad or suspicious IP’s.
  7. Make sure to whitelist all trustworthy IP’s.
  8. Daily Attack Monitoring.- Sign up with a hosting and support company that offers Daily Attack Monitoring so that you know the exact moment when an attack is occurring. Responding quickly to an attack can be a deal breaker.
  9. Most importantly, be aware of suspicious emails, websites, and apps. In order for RansomeWare to work some has to unknowingly download malware onto their device.

via GIPHY

For more information on how to keep your website safe and secure from those digital pirates, contact us through our live chat option or click here to fill out our contact form and we can create the right Maintenance and Security package for you. 

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Socialfix On The Move

By | Industry News, Marketing, Social Media, Web Development | No Comments

Over the past two weeks Socialfix has had the privilege of attending two exciting events.

First! the iLead seminar, which was followed by delightful mixer. The iLead seminar was very informative about the connection between the American and  Chinese economy.

The team also went to the Atlantic Builders Convention where we made a bunch of new friends. We learned a lot and had a great time.

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Join Us On October 29th for Social Media Domination

By | Digital Trends, Industry News, Marketing, Social Media, Web Development | No Comments

SmartCEO Webinar by Socialfix Media

Socialmedia Domination

JOIN US ON: Wednesday, October 29
TIME: 2:00pm EST
DURATION TIME: 45 – 60 minutes
HOSTS: Terry Tateossian & Ken Krysinski

In this free webinar brought to you by Socialfix & SmartCEO, you will learn steps on how to:

  • Utilize Facebook ads and re-targeting to get more leads
  • Build your email list with social media
  • Engage existing customers and nurture new leads
  • Increase engagement on your website by using social logins
  • Measure and track your success on social media
shopping, sale, christmas and mall concept - smiling woman in dress with red sale sign at shopping mall

Who is your #1 Sales Person?

By | Coding, Industry News, Social Media, Web Development | No Comments

shopping, sale, christmas and mall concept - smiling woman in dr
We often refer to your website as a 24 hour a day 7 day a week sales machine. A well designed and executed site will have all of the best attributes of a top performing sales rep. It is informative, efficient in delivering compelling brand values that speak directly to the emotional and functional needs of the visitor, and always tells the visitor next steps to closing the sale.

So now you have the world’s best sales rep at your disposal. Would we just let him sit at his desk and wait for the phone to ring? Or would you kick their butt and tell them to get busy making sales calls, networking, setting appointments, sending emails, going to events etc… until they were able to reach their quota. Then we would expect even more.

At the end of the day, the digital sales process is not that different than traditional sales. Instead of cold calling we do email blasts, SEO and PPC campaigns. Instead of networking events, we do social media marketing through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Instead of setting appointments we use interactive websites to help prequalify and auto-respond to leads before we start spending expensive human hours on a live sales process. In addition we can create newsletters and industry whitepapers, blog and create digital PR campaigns.

Every successful sales rep has a sales funnel and every company that wants to increase their bottom line in 2014 needs to have a strong digital sales funnel too. Your digital marketing plan should have a wide range of engagements with each specific tactic being tested and improved through iterations to produce a lean mean selling machine that your website was born to be.
If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy yet. Here are a 3 steps you should be taking right now to start:

  1. Social Media – Social Media will mean something different for every company and the mix of where and how to engage will be very different for each one. But with very few exceptions, EVERY company and its key employees should be on one of the big 3, of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media can be both a source of long term relationship building with clients and partners, as well as a personal network builder and sales generation tool when used to its fullest potential.
  2. Email and Newsletter Campaigns – Branded regular communications with your clients, partners and prospective clients and partners will give you touch points over long periods of inactivity or low contact. These touch points should not be direct attempts to sell but instead take the opportunity to present your company’s human side. Let these contacts in on the culture and things going on inside your organization. Share your industry knowledge and expertise with them.
  3. Digital PR – Events, awards won, new products or services, charitable contributions, business partnerships etc… should be broadcast on a regular basis to online PR sites like prweb.com and prnewswire.com. Not only is this good content for your press pages of your website but the link-juice of digital PR articles is great for your SEO.

If time is your biggest limitation to starting these initiatives, we at Socialfix are equipped to guide you through the process of creating and implementing a successful digital marketing plan that will have your website off its chair and out there kicking butt as your top performing sales machine!

Is Your Business Website Ready for the Surge in Mobile-Only Users?

By | Coding, programming, Web Development | No Comments

Responsive web design is the future-friendly method of developing one website to meet the needs of all users, regardless of the device on which the site is being viewed. While responsive design is the preferred long-term solution, there are ways to retrofit and modify a site to save time and money in the short term.
What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design takes the approach that you should design for the user and the devices they use to access your content. It involves adjusting screen resolution, using flexible images and implementing a custom layout structure.

Why is Responsive Design Important?

According to Pew Research 55% of adult Americans access the internet on their phones with 31% of respondents reporting they use their phones a majority of the time. As more people use tablets and mobile phones to surf, search and make purchases, it is in your best interest to make your business site easily accessible across all devices.

A responsive design ensures the same content is accessible to all users without requiring mobile or tablet users to pinch and shift the site around in order to find what they are looking for. There is a lot of competition out there and you don’t want your customers or prospective customers finding the information or products they need on a competitor’s site.

How to Meet the Challenge of Mobile-Only Users

Many businesses may not have the time or budget to rebuild their websites from the ground up. However, there are options out there to retrofit an existing website and make it mobile.

If you want to make sure you are not missing out on the increasing number of mobile-only users you have a few options:

Build a mobile site – Having a separate mobile site is relatively inexpensive to develop, but maintaining two sets of code can be more expensive over time.
Retrofit existing site – a retrofit uses your existing code, so maintenance is easier and more cost effective than maintaining two sets of code. A retrofit makes your site available to a wide variety of screen sizes and you will have to make few changes to your existing site.

Make it mobile compatible instead of responsive — If money and time are an issue there are changes you can make in your existing site that will make it more friendly to mobile users. Simplifying site navigation, using larger fonts and using buttons instead of text links; are all ways that can make your site easier to use on mobile devices.

There is no hard and fast rule that dictates which method is best for updating your existing site. Your budget and the design of your current site will influence how you proceed. However, if your website is over 4 years old, it may be time to give us a call and upgrade anyway.

Sources: Pew Research

Browser Trends Forecasting 2014

By | Digital Trends, programming, Web Development | No Comments

The past two years have seen two browsers make big changes in market share in both the American and global markets. Internet Explorer has lost about 15 points across all versions and Chrome has gained a little more than 15 points in the American market. Globally, Chrome is doing even better as shown in the second image.


What’s behind these changes and what lies ahead? Let’s take a look at our predictions for 2014.

 

Internet Explorer and Chrome Continue to Battle

As it stands, the race for browser dominance is a two-horse race. When Chrome makes big gains, Internet Explorer suffers losses. This trend will continue in 2014, especially in the American market.

IE6 and IE7 may hold steady, but web developers will no longer go to the expense and trouble of accommodating the needs of these outdated browsers.

Safari and Firefox Hold Steady

Safari and Firefox have maintained their share of the browser market over the past two years and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue. The numbers graphed above are for the desktop versions of the browsers. Safari gets quite a boost when tablet browsers are added to market share calculations.

Opera Loses More Ground

Opera dropped their HTML rendering engine, Presto, and switched to Webkit, the rendering engine used by Safari and Chrome. Unfortunately, this didn’t improve their useage numbers. That’s a pretty big change to see no impact on market share. We predict Opera will continue to lose ground unless it figures out a better way to stand out from the crowd.

Mobile Web Browsers are History

Our biggest prediction for 2014 is that mobile browsers will be replaced by full versions that operate across all devices. We’ll take it a step further and say that 2014 will be the year that responsive web design will be the norm and developers will continue to create sites based on how their visitors access the web.

Affordable Ways Your Business Website Can Meet Demands of Mobile-only Customers

By | programming, Web Development | No Comments

Responsive web design is the future-friendly approach recommended for developing a website to meet the needs of visitors regardless of the device used to view your website. A responsive website adjusts gracefully and maintains functionality whether being viewed on a desktop computer or a mobile phone. If a site redesign is not in the budget, there are ways to help your current site meet the needs of mobile-only customers.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design takes the approach that you should design your site based on the devices people use to access your content. A responsive site requires adjustable screen resolutions, flexible images and a custom layout structure.

Why is Responsive Design Important?

The number of mobile-only internet users is on the rise, with teens leading the way. However, teens are not the only age groups using their cellphones to access the web. According to Pew Research 55% of adult Americans access the internet on their phones with 31% of respondents reporting they use their phones a majority of the time. As the number of people using tablets and mobile phones as their preferred devices continues to increase, it is important to make your business site easily accessible across all devices.

A responsive design ensures the same content is available to all users without requiring mobile or tablet users to pinch and shift their way around your site in order to find the information or product they need. If finding the right information on your site is too frustrating, most people will move on to the next site instead of pinching and shifting their way around yours.

How to Meet the Challenge of Mobile-Only Users

Many businesses may not have the time or budget to start from scratch with a responsive redesign, however, there are options available that allow you to retrofit an existing website and make it more mobile-friendly.

Build a Mobile Site

Building a separate mobile site is an inexpensive option to develop, however, maintaining two sets of code can run into higher costs over time.

Retrofit an Existing Site

Retrofitting your site involves using your existing code, so it eliminates the expense of maintaining two sets of code required when building a separate mobile site. Visitors will be able to access your site using a variety of devices and it should require only a few changes to your site.

Retool Your Site to be Mobile Compatible

If your budget doesn’t allow for a complete redesign there are some minor changes you can make in your existing site that will make it easier for mobile visitors to use. Site navigation should be simplified to make it easier to find important information or products. Change the font to one that is easy to read and use a larger size to make it easier to read on when the site is opened on tiny screens. You should also consider using easy-to-see buttons instead of text hyperlinks. These are all changes that will make your site easier for mobile viewers to use.

The most important factors in determining which method works for you are your current site design, the time you have available and your budget. However, if you haven’t updated your site in the past four years, it is time to give us a call and upgrade anyway.

Sources:
Pew Research