Many website owners don’t pay enough attention to their site’s security. They often think “why would anyone target my site?”  But, it can happen. Websites are compromised all the time. There are several ways to help keep your site safe.

Make sure all your software is up to date.  This applies to both the server operating system and any software you may be running on your website such as a CMS or forum. Hackers are quick to attempt to abuse them when security holes are found in software. WordPress and many other content management systems notify you of available system updates when you log in. If you are hosting with a hosting company they should take care of this.

Use strong passwords to access your websites. Place scripts and tools in password protected directories.

Keep your error messages vague. Don’t give away too much info by providing hints. You should use generic messages like “Incorrect username or password” as not to specify when a user got half of the query right. If an attacker knows one of the fields is correct then they know they have one of the fields and can concentrate on the other field.
File uploads can be a big security risk.  Even the most innocent looking of files can contain a script that puts your website /server at risk. Don’t assume hidden files are secure.  It is recommended that you prevent direct access to uploaded files all together. Store the file outside of your document root. Create a separate directory and use it to store uploaded files.

Use an SSL Certificate. SSL is a protocol used to provide security over the Internet. It is a good idea to use a security certificate whenever you are passing personal information between the website and web server or database. Potential attackers could be searching for this information and if the communication medium is not secure use this information to gain access to user accounts and other personal data.
It is important to play it safe to keep both your website and servers secure.  Pay attention to passwords, files and software. In doing so you just might avoid a security disaster.

 

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Every site needs a hosting company for their website to appear on the internet.  Often times people start with one host and stay with it even when the service is poor or more importantly the services no longer fit the needs of the website.  Many times a site’s traffic grows or becomes more complicated and the current host provider no longer has the form of hosting necessary to do the job correctly and efficiently.  If any one of these fits your situation you should consider changing your website host.  Changing hosts can be beneficial provided you investigate properly where you are going to and follow several important steps in the process.

Research potential website hosts.  Make sure they have the proper services that to host your business. Once you find a quality website host that fits your site’s needs there are several things you should do before making the switch to avoid the any issues.

Start the process of switching by backing up your entire site.  Using a basic FTP program or a web browser download all your current files including graphics, html files, etc. making sure to keep the exact directory structure as it was on your current web server.

If something happens and you lose your files, you will be sure to have a back up copy you can use to restore. It is best to manually back up all your files in case there are incompatibilities between your existing host and your new one. Make sure to budget ample time for the back up to run. You may be surprised how long it takes to back up all of your files.

If you have a database back up your database by transferring it to a local machine as well.  Make a note of what type of database your information was stored in. This can be different depending on the type of database setup that is running on the hosting company; some companies provide multiple database solutions and others just one.

Upload up all of your site files to your new host using temporary login information, most website hosting companies can provide you this information prior to your domain name resolving to the new account. It is a good idea to set up all your email accounts as well. Although they won’t have resolved yet, it’s one less step you’ll have to worry about later.  Be sure to test everything before actually changing.

Next you will begin the transfer of your domain name record. Through whatever registrar you used to have your domain registered, request a name change. The only thing that really needs to be changed in your record is the name server information. If you do not have this information, just email your new hosting company support and ask what their Name Server information is.

You should get confirmation emails confirming the change to the domain.  It will usually take between 24 – 48 hours for all the domain name servers (DNS) around the world to get the updated information that your domain has a new location. Once this is complete, you can then contact your previous hosting company and cancel your hosting contract or service.

Changing website hosts is not very complicated, but it takes a certain amount coordination and synchronization. dzine it offers top of the line hosting on our dedicated servers located in Michigan.

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RSS icons, the orange, square-shaped icons on websites are a familiar symbol to many who have websites and use the internet.  RSS is the term used to describe the group of web based feed formats that are used to publish more frequently updated content.

The most common types of RSS Feeds are information or news feeds from a major news website or a blog feed. These are particularly useful since they are regularly updated. Other types of RSS Feeds include Schedule Feeds (which can include schools and other organizations that offer valuable communication like meeting times, events and other information), Forum Feeds (usually alert readers when someone has answered one of their postings or when a subject of relevance is covered) and Discount and Specials Feeds (sometimes offered by retail and online stores to announce the latest sales and discounts.)

RSS Feeds are good for generating more web traffic and increasing search engine rankings. An article feed is good for alerting readers when new articles and other content of interest to a readership are available. The feed is typically a summary or introduction from which readers can read further if desired. The RSS feed is one way to have a constant update to your website with fresh content, so that it will be viewed more often. This, in turn, can cause much higher search engine rankings for your targeted and relevant key phrases. Whenever a search engine directs visitors to your website, it will also record the RSS feed updates. As an added bonus, the search engine may then count the RSS feed as fresh and most probably unique, targeted content.

With an RSS feed, it is also possible to further enhance the amount of unique visitors that come to your website by syndicating the updates. This technique can net several back-links on other websites and result in an increase to your site’s overall off-page search engine optimization score.  It can also help increase the number of unique visitors through the direct links from other websites and blogs.

RSS are easy to maintain.  Once it is set up the RSS feed enables updates to occur without having to actually update it yourself is a plus. For the user, RSS feeds can be opted in and out of easily to control the information flow on a website.

Those who have a website and don’t offer RSS Feeds are missing out on a convenient, time-saving tool for visitors.  And those using the web should consider subscribing to them as well so as not to miss out on new information and offers.

 

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