‘Beach-ready’ Website Healthcheck Offer

Summer’s here, though not for long, I expect. Still, to brighten the day of whatever temperature, we are offering a ‘Beach-ready’ Website Healthcheck, discounted while were still full of Piriton!

For only £399 +VAT, saving £100, we’ll give your site a ‘Beach-ready’ top-to-tail ‘going-over’, reviewing all the important aspects of your site, ensuring top performance, and making any recommendations that may improve it still further.

You might *think* that there are no problems, but changes to code structure, plugins, links to external sites and social media feeds, all risk failing at some point, because you can’t be sure that other website code isn’t having an impact on your own.

We’ll check:

  • That you are being found on Google and have good positioning
  • That you are visible in the popular social media platforms
  • That your Google My Business site is registered
  • Any broken links identified and fixed where possible
  • Any risky code, or hacking attempts identified
  • A security audit

We can also offer design improvement recommendations, based on building high-spec sites for over 20 years.

Contact us with the form to the right, and we can get on it while you sit in the sun!

PC Security – WannaCry

The latest virus to hit the headlines shocked the PC world last week. WannaCry, which started to sweep round the globe last Friday and so far has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 nations.

What is it?

Also known as Wanna Decryptor or wcry its modus operandi is to infect PCs and threaten to lock out and delete files of victims who do not pay a sum of $300 to $600 (£230 to £460) within one week of infection. Small businesses are constantly being urged to take precautionary measures to protect their businesses online. It is similar to Cryptolocker of a few years ago.

How is it installed?

The virus is usually invisibly installed on to computers by being hidden within deceptive-looking emails containing links, which users are tricked into opening. Once opened, the malware can install on to a system without the user’s knowledge.

What does it do?

Once opened, the virus is able to encrypt files and block user access to them, displaying a pop-up window on-screen telling users they have been blocked, and demanding payment – often via a digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Can you remove it without paying?

Yes, by using advanced anti-malware software. The malware can also be removed manually with a computer in “safe mode”, but this isn’t a ‘user’ technique as important system files need to be edited in order to find and isolate files created by the Wanna Decryptor software. Disinfection opportunities are reduced if the system is rebooted, so if an infection is suspected, power-down and contact an expert.

The harm of this latest attack is the ease and speed with which it spread, and the vulnerable systems that it exploited. Many NHS systems received the greatest publicity, as they were using old systems, not because of ‘budget cuts’, but because the older systems that they supported were still within useful life. Microsoft had issued a patch well in advance of widespread infection, but unfortunately many systems administrators had failed to implement this.

Businesses and individuals should make sure their internet security is up to date and in use, view emails with attachments sent from unknown senders with suspicion, avoid storing passwords on computers and make sure that backups are in place.

Get Safe Online, offers free expert advice on online security matters and they have created a great detailed post on how to protect your computer , finances and your identity against this new global online threat.

Online phishing attacks have become more and more common over the past five years as more businesses have moved online, and it presents dangers for consumers and opportunities for criminals. That is why today it is vital that businesses understand such risks.

We also recommend the use of a Password Manager such as LastPass to generate and encrypt complex passwords

Top Twitter Tips

8 Twitter Tips Guaranteed to Gain more Followers (ethically!)

Creating a voice and persona on Twitter is one of the best ways to engage with thought-leaders, meet new customers, get traffic back to your website and bridge the gap between your brand and the people who engage with it more “Top Twitter Tips”

Whither Twitter?

Dead_TwitterWhat’s happened to the Twitter feed on my website?

Ah yes – the deafening question from millions of frustrated website owners. The simple (maybe a bit harsh) answer is that Twitter gone broke it. They’ve changed the authorisation needed to collect the Twitter timeline feed, such that the simple method previously employed not longer works. Feeling geeky? There’s more technical information here:

Grrr! What do I do about it

Ok. The answer to that is there is now the need to build an ‘App’ to access your Twitter feed, using a number of authorisation ‘keys’ Frankly this is all a bit of a pain, since the timeline is public access anyway, but, “their house, their rules”, so we’re stuck with it. Yet more geeky information here:

The simplest solution, really, is get us to fix it for you. This would be an ideal opportunity to look at the wider opportunity to check your website maintenance arrangements, since there are going to be changes out of your control such as this cropping up frequently. The more connected we are, the more those connections can fail on us.

Cookie Anyone?

Choco_chip_cookieThere have been changes to EU Privacy legislation (yawn!) , but it means that all website owners now need to have a ‘Cookies Policy’ which notifies users of what cookies are used on the site, what they are for, and how to control them. The legislation came into being on May 2011, and there has been a ‘watch & see’ for a year, but now all websites have to comply.

Many sites uses cookies for, basically, Google Analytics, Content Management, and Shopping Carts. We can sort you a proper cookies audit, a compliant cookies policy and update the site to suit. It’s a bit of work to go through, but we can cover for a flat £250 +VAT. If your looking for a complete new site, we will now incorporate this into the project spec.

There is more info here: aboutcookies.org.

As sites have to comply by the end of May, the usual process seems to be that if you have an action plan then any user complaints are disregarded, so let us know if this would help. We have quite a few lined up!

For over 17 years we have delivered quality web sites, effective internet marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), online stores and graphic design for clients in Stockport, Manchester and the North West.

We have worked with the biggest of blue-chip clients such as Pfizer, Cadbury, NHS etc, as well as numerous small/micro businesses that all appreciate our approach of plain-speaking, professional service.

We can help your company stand out from the crowd and reach more people faster by creating custom-made, highly creative digital and web-based communications that work.

Call or email today for a FREE consultation