Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Make your Website Secure to Avoid Getting Hacked

The risk of a website being hacked is directly proportional to the growing reach and popularity of the internet.

If you are a website owner you need to make sure that your website is fully secure from hackers to avoid loss of important and private data. Not having a secure website can also affect your online presence and reputation. Over the last few years website hacking has increased significantly and large number of websites have been affected by this.

When we start talking about website security, the blame game between the website host and the developer starts almost automatically. As a website owner it is your job that your hosting company, programmer and of course you do your best to prevent your website from hacking.

Here are some areas of focus that can prevent the website from the risk of hacking: 

Developer: As a website developer you are not only responsible for make a code executable but you are also responsible for developed a fully secured website where no one can hacked your website.  So if you want to keep your website secure and avoid any kind of hacking or malware you need to focus on the following areas:
  • Updated Software & Plugins: Always use updated software & plugins for your website. Older versions can cause security issue for your website so keeping everything updated is prudent.
  • Use Open Source Software or Plugins from Trusted Sources: if you are developing any open source websites like Wordpress, Joomla, Magento etc and using free plugins, always use those items from verified and trusted source. Also read their reviews and feedback carefully.
  • Avoid using General Extensions for Admin Section wherever Possible: Hacking is done by way of a program built by setting up of code. Being a smart developer you have to figure out how can you save your website from such programs. For example if you are developing CMS based website then use alternate name for admin user login rather than general login like /admin, administrator, wp-admin etc. You can thereby reduce the chance of hacking as it will be difficult to recognize your admin address by hacking programs.
  • Always Use Capcha for Forms: Without a proper validation to check whether your website enquiry form is being filled by a human or a software, the chances of spamming are high. Adding capcha in all kind of reservation and enquiry form is a great way to circumvent this problem.
  • Hide Secure Folders & Databases from Search Engines: Hide your all secure folders and database from search engines to avoid any kind of attack from hackers. In absence of this hacker can easily recognize your files, folders, database name and directories.
  • Server Side Validation/Client Validation: Use proper server side and client validation in your website. It will help you avoid any kind of access by robots, software or program.
  • File Upload & Permission:  Always limit the file uploads so you can avoid unlimited file uploads in a short period of time. Also ensure that you use proper file permissions. It is prudent to allow write permissions for limited number of files.
These are some of the basic and important steps through which you can save your website from any attacks.

Hosting Company: When you are selecting a hosting company you need to make sure that your hosting provider is taking all the necessary security measures for your website. Ensure that your website hosting has following security features:
  • Security Tools: Make sure your website hosting features has in built security tools in order to safeguard your website. These security tools let you know the security status, error and broken page website.
  • Automated Reset Password: Hosting Company should enable the automatic reset password option for certain period of time. This feature forces you to change the password after certain period of time and ensures security.
  • Firewalls: Your hosting company must have security firewalls, which prevent you from all kind of attacks. The Firewall checks all miscellaneous codes, files and will prevent the website from.
  • Virus Scan- It is prudent to check if your hosting company uses updated virus scan tools to keep you protected
  • File Uploads- Check if your hosting company offers secure file transfer protocol as it offers extra layers of security
  • Backup- Ensure that your hosting company takes frequent back ups. It is best to check the frequency of back ups as also the duration for which back ups are kept.
  • Script & Database- Make sure that your hosting company uses data base security best practices such as encrypting storage files and keeping all patches current.
  • SQL Injection – While many security measures are available against a possible SQL Injection attack, the most basic protection you can get against it is through data validation. Validation done through the server end ensures that it cannot be altered or bypassed.

Website Owner/Administrator: If you are a website owner or you have a web administrator who manage your website than you cannot leave anything for your hosting company and developer. You will have also take care of all security measures and make sure everything is working properly and keep your eyes open all the time. Here are some areas where you need to work regularly:

  • Password: Keep changing your website panel, FTP and other related passwords frequently. Make it your habit and you can disappoint hackers!
  • SSL: Use SSL certificate for your website. By investing some money you can save your secure data like card details, personal information etc.
  • Antivirus: If you download and upload files into your server make sure your computer is safe and secure. Use best antivirus and keep your computers or mobile virus free so your files will not infected.
  • Backup: Take your website back up on regular basis even if your hosting company does it for you. It will help you to restore your website in some accidental situations if your website is hacked
  • Alerts: Regularly check all alerts and messages from your hosting provider, webmaster tools as well as other security tools which you have already installed in your website. All these alerts will help you from any possible hacks or will at the least, inform you to take immediate action incase the website is hacked.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Are you loosing Mobile Traffic?

We are in one of the most exciting phases of business today. Brick and Mortar shops are giving way to computers which in turn are paving the way for mobile and hand held devices. There is a marked increase in the volume of business being generated on mobile and other devices like tablets. Smart Phone ownership has already reached staggering levels and is steadily increasing. Already 40% of people use a mobile to check e-mails and browse the web. Mobiles have already become the preferred platform for accessing Internet and are also cornering a huge chunk of e-commerce business. Many companies have jumped on the mobile bandwagon by offering websites designed for hand held devices but they are unable to meet the expectations of the mobile customers.

A mobile interface is unique as it has a lot of restrictions. The most important one is the screen size that has an important bearing on the way in which customers interact with a website. ‘Fat Finger Syndrome’ is a common problem associated with accessing websites on mobile devices. It originates due to the fact that a user is unable to click on an icon on the screen due to its small appearance. Another problem unique to a mobile site is of upload times. The slow Internet connectivity often leads to heavy upload times for a website on a mobile device. It is important to develop websites that are flexible and can adjust well to the mobile environment. Let us look at a few ways in which you can make your website more responsive.

  • Build an adaptive layout: Websites created for computers and laptops are more rigid in nature. They have clearly marked boundaries that make it difficult for them to adapt on a mobile device. The trick lies in developing flexible grids that can adapt to any size dynamically. A simple way to do this is to have a clean HTML without relying too much on CSS and JS. It is a technical process and should be handled only by expert web designers.
  • Focus on the font size: Fonts are an important aspect of a mobile interface as they determine the way in which the customers interact with your website. Both the size and style of the font is important in this regards. Use a font size that makes your options visible on the screen and allows the users to click on them. Also, try and use bright font styles that add a dash of creativity to the website. The appearance of fonts can have an impact on the mood of the users and affect their buying behavior.
  • Monitor your images: You can be magnanimous with the size of your images on a desktop but a mobile device has its own restrictions. Heavy images and pictures will increase the upload time for your website and simply irritate the customers. A good idea would be to insert thumbnails on your mobile site and remove unnecessary images. 
  • Manage the content: Content is still the king on websites, but it has to be customized to suit the requirements of a mobile site. Verbosity in content will not produce any results and only increase the upload times. Reduce excessive content from your site and focus on adding suitable Product Descriptions. If the recent updates from Google are anything to go by then products descriptions are all set to acquire more importance in SEO search. Lucid and precise content will make your mobile website more responsive.
Developing a responsive website is a creative process and you will surely enjoy being a part of it. Partnering with an experienced developer will help you to customize your website and make it perform better on a mobile device. A flexible approach will help you to enjoy these exciting times in business!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Diwali

Wish you a very very happy and prosperous Diwali to you and your family.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Adwords Remarketing - High on ROI

Remarketing is an extremely powerful online marketing tool available on Google AdWords, that offers the right message- target audience fit. Remarketing enables a business to personalize a message to make it relevant to your target audience, a feature that is otherwise not present in a great many online based advertising mediums. With the ability to customize your advertising message to targeted consumers, it has the potential to generate tremendous return. This targeting of specific potential consumers to draw them back to the site to complete a purchase activity is what makes remarketing different from normal display advertising.

The primary focus of remarketing is to track and target individuals who have demonstrated an interest in your products or services by visiting your website. As such it can also be used to build brand awareness as well as generate sales. This tracking is done using a unique tracking code to install and use cookies to serve ads to people visiting the site. You can also customize the frequency of ad display to appear for instance, once a week or twice a week, to ensure that the messaging does not become too intrusive for the visitor.

Benefits of using Google Remarketing tool include:

Tips to make effective use of remarketing tool include
  • Upselling to your visitors by enticing them to purchase a higher priced item if they have visited or are visiting your site to purchase a lower priced item. For example, if your visitor bought a mobile case, you can remarket the latest mobile headphones to him.
  • Cross Selling to your visitors by recommending products similar or complimentary to the product the visitor has purchased or is purchasing from your site. For example, if you are a fashion retailer and a visitor purchases shoes, you could remarket them a matching accessory.
  • Remarketing for products or services that are seasonal in nature helps to engage the attention of consumers who have purchased your product or service during the same time last year.
  • Sale Time Remarketing to target visitors who viewed products during full price but did not complete the purchase action, by letting them know that the products are now available on sale.
  • Remarketing to target visitors, who chose not to complete the purchase action after placing items in their shopping cart.
  • Location Remarketing to target users visiting your website and living in a particular location to encourage them through discounts to visit the physical store in that location.
  • Language Remarketing to target consumers based on linguistic preferences by offering downloadable resources in various language versions.
  • Motivate New Visitors to return to your site by remarketing similar content to them.
  • Remarketing to target users based on the device used to visit the site, for instance a person visiting the site through a particular mobile phone can be remarketed with accessories of that particular phone to visit the site.
  • Social Remarketing based on engagement of visitors with your content on facebook, youtube and other social media sites.
Remarketing, if applied effectively can generate very high ROI for businesses across a wide  range of objectives, ranging from increasing brand awareness and site registrations to  mobilizing sales on your site.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The New Era of Facebook Marketing

On March 7th, 2013 Facebook announced a big change in its News Feeds and called it the “best personalized newspaper in the world.” This is no exaggeration, as here is a medium different from conventional newspaper advertising, as it offers far more user interactivity & collaboration.  With 950 million Facebook users and thousands of online communities to choose from, Facebook has truly brought potential customers much closer to brands with several innovative marketing methods:

Facebook Page-The First option, of course is to create a facebook page and use it to send out brand communication. This is an option that most businesses have chosen. The key success factor here is to be able to build a connection with fans. The posts instead of being didactic or just disseminating one way information need to cultivate engagement with a two way dialogue. The important aspect is to be able to create consistent calls to action.  This can be achieved by posting content that is valuable for the target. Trust & affinity can also be built by encouraging conversation amidst fans. A classic example is the Nike +GPS Campaign where Nike detected the distance run by people & allowed them to share it over facebook. A solo activity was thus turned collaborative, effectively by Nike.

Paid Advertising- There are various forms of paid advertising on facebook. While simple banner ads can direct traffic to the website, Facebook’s Promoted Posts can turn posts into ads that then appear in other people’s news streams. Facebook advertising enables businesses to:

  • Target users basis a number of demographic factors 
  • Allows the flexibility to fix ad budgets.
  • Provides a number of performance measurement tools

Apparently, Domino’s Pizza has achieved its lowest ever cost-per-sale for a display ad campaign using real-time bidding technology after buying highly-targeted Facebook ads via FBX

Facebook Open Graph-Facebook Open Graph lets businesses create a third-party app that connect to a user and posts a notice on Facebook as soon as the user performs a specific action with the app.

Mobile Marketing Tools- According to a recent study, Facebook ranks as one of the top-three things people do on a smartphone. It therefore makes perfect logical sense to use tools such as Facebook Offers, a kind of virtual coupon, which can be redeemed simply by flashing one’s smartphone.  Similarly, a service called Nearby offers recommendations based on a person’s Facebook likes, check-ins and tags. Creating a Nearby account can be an effective way to create awareness amongst friends of customers.

The beauty of facebook for businesses also is the ability to take many of facebook’s functions and embed them into business websites through a host of social plugins. Buttons like Recommendation, LikeBox, Comments, Live Stream etc can be added to the business website. This can be a great tool to understand the likes & dislikes of the target audience & shape the product accordingly.

With Social media projected at having a 100% higher lead-to-close rate compared to outbound marketing, Facebook marketing is fast becoming a watchword for marketers.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tips on Social Media Content Creation

In how many ways you try to convince your customers to buy your services/ products? One ? Hundreds? Or thousands of ways? But one factor that always remains the backbone of your selling strategy is the ‘Interactive and Informative content’. Developing content for Social Media is something that you can’t take carelessly, especially when Social Media is your important-looking initiative to grab more prospects.

Whether in text, audio, video or art form, Social Media content must strike an emotional chord with potential customers while meeting your business interest. Here are some practices that can help you:

Curate content for customer satisfaction
When people choose to drop on your provided-information, it’s because you have succeeded to differentiate yourself from the competition. So always recommend material that merits your objective, be it business or social. People love grabbing things that contextually shows the relevancy as per their needs.

Build balance between your offerings and user’s interest
Give your users something to eat…adding a good proportion of spice in your content can really help you in generating interest. And the chances are they will likely to pass it to others and your content may get repeated again and again on the same channel as well other platforms.

Follow a schedule
People show interest when they keep getting regular updates. Maintain consistency while publishing new and fresh content to stay in the groove and also in minds of your existing users. It not only helps you grow a loyal customer base, but also gives you an opportunity to add new ones.

Call for action
Make sure you accurately land your potential customers from Social platform to your core selling process so that no opportunity can be wasted to sell yourself.

Engaging with the wind of social media can positively enhance the reach, relevancy and credibility of your brand. But remember, social media content is a multichannel dialogue that demands caution and timely responses to users’ queries and comments.