March Madness Website Sale

Have you put off getting a professional website for your business? No time like the present to get one made for you. According to data gathered by Visual Objects, “Surprisingly, nearly one-third of small businesses (29%) plan to begin using a website for the first time in 2020. All businesses should have a website.” We completely agree. If you do not have a website, you are missing out on many opportunities to present your company and brand in a consistent way. And if you’re relying on Facebook or Instagram to act as your website, that’s a major fail. Quit failing. Start winning with a super, new site made just for you.

From now until the end of March 2020, we’re offering a crazy sale on new website development.

Get $712 in savings

This deal¹ includes FREE hosting (a $462 savings) and discounts our starter website package to $5oo (a $250 savings)

Your new website includes²:

  • WordPress as a CMS
  • Up to 3 pages (Home Page, About/Services Page, Contact Page
  • Blog Page
  • Device Responsive
  • Contact Form
  • Site Map
  • Website Hosting* for the first 12 months. After that, it’s $44 per mo.
  • Search Engine Listing
  • Social Media Menu
  • Google Analytics and Search Console
  • Website Security & Nightly Backups
  • Regular Software Updates
  • Free Images

What you do

You provide information about your company, staff, staff photos, logo, and details of your services, location, hours, and text to be included in the website such as blog posts for your new site.

What we do

We will build you a beautiful new website that allows you to represent your company professionally and with confidence. We will use BoldGrid site builder and include a BoldGrid Pro license in the site. You will be able to add additional pages and content. We will provide you a video tutorial to  help you learn how to edit pages or create posts for your blog. We will make sure your site is lightening fast in being served to your visitors and is hosted in a very secure environment where it gets backed up every night. We will keep your software up to date so there are no vulnerabilities in your site.



¹This deal is available for new clients only. If you are an existing client and need a new site, we will be glad to price services based on significant savings.
²All services are provided in accordance with our Master Service agreement.

Strong passwords help secure your site and your reputation

Some things are so important they bear keeping in mind. This evergreen post was initially published in 2012 and has been updated to make it current.

Without strong passwords, your site is open to thieves

We want to speak to you about the importance of using strong passwords.

In recent days, we have recorded thousands of separate attempts to access WordPress accounts on our servers. Undoubtedly there could have been more, as our security software is configured to send us reports when a user has been locked out after entering the wrong password multiple times. This is not a deliberate attack on our servers. Attacks like this go constantly, day in and day out, on every web server on the internet.

Resistance is futile without strong passwords

These attacks are carried out by networks of compromised computers known as botnets. An individual computer can be infected in various ways and become part of a network which is then used, without the knowledge of the owner, in endeavors such as denial of service attacks and password guessing schemes. There are literally thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands of computers involved in a single network.

Our security software allows multiple retries before imposing a lockout or total ban on your IP address.

These attacks are not very sophisticated. They do not have to be, as there is zero cost to the attacker who is using someone else’s computer for the attack. These attacks often succeed because the average person does not use a strong password. The statistics on most cracked passwords from 10,000 Top Passwords make it obvious why these attacks work:

  • 4.7% of users have the password password
  • 8.5% have the passwords password or 123456
  • 9.8% have the passwords password, 123456 or 12345678
  • 14% have a password from the top 10 passwords
  • 40% have a password from the top 100 passwords
  • 79% have a password from the top 500 passwords
  • 91% have a password from the top 1000 passwords

Check to be sure your password is not on a list of the worst passwords.

Securing your site

Your minimum goal is to make sure you are not part of the 91% using the top 1000 passwords. It is not as difficult as you may think. You can have a reasonably strong password that is not impossible to remember.

Simple / common passwords are always tried first. Cute or unusual spellings are no replacement for a good password. While you may think that unusual spelling or replacing letters with similar numbers, i.e. secure spelled s3cur3, will make it hard to guess, someone else has already come up with it many times before and it is in the common passwords list. Simple, short, one word passwords just are not good enough. In this case, size matters.

Use either a totally random string of characters, such as this, FT3GvOUZn4WOZ077hL5B (make up your own, do NOT use this one), from my password generator, which requires a password manager to remember (which is what we do), or use at least two random words and at least one random number. Go ahead, write it down (but don’t reuse it anywhere else). You are not defending against someone that’s breaking into your office to search your desk, you are defending from automated attack by a botnet.

A great resource for generating random words is unique-names.com. Just open the page and pick two or three words from the list. Stick in one or two random two or three digit numbers between and/or after the words, and you have a password with extremely low odds of being on the list of guessed passwords. The words themselves are almost guaranteed to be on the list, so DO NOT use only one word. It is the particular combination of words and numbers which is strong. If you’d like to use a truly random number, ramdomwordgenerator.com has a true random number generator on their front page. Just enter a minimum and maximum, say 100 and 999, click Generate, and use the three digit random number you’ve just generated. Write your password down or enter it into your favorite password manager.

Manage your passwords

Should you wish to start using a password management system, there are several good ones reviewed at InfoWorld, both free and commercial. We prefer KeePass, but read the review and see which one works for you.

Changing your password in WordPress is easy. There’s a video at WordPress.tv showing how to do this. While this video was generated a number of years ago for WordPress.com, the basic functionality still applies and works for both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.

One of the most important things to remember when using a password manager is that there is now a single password which grants access to all the others. It is imperative you use a very good password to access the password manager’s database. We recommend trying several words arranged into a memorable nonsense phrase (those random word lists at unique-names.com are handy for this). Again, size matters.

You may think, why should I worry about someone guessing my password, there’s nothing valuable on my website. What happens to your brand’s reputation if malware is installed on your site and all your visitors are infected? And what happens when Google marks your site as infected and posts that in conjunction with your URL? If your site spews malware, you’ll see all the hard-earned SEO efforts you’ve dedicated yourself to crumble.

Don’t share your login with others. If you must share with someone, so they can perform maintenance or install software or perform some action you have authorized, change your password after the task is completed.

Last, but extremely important, never, never, ever, reuse passwords. Once a password is guessed, the attackers will attempt to identify other accounts you own and try the password on all of them, like your online banking accounts. What about your domain registration? What would it cost your business, in money and reputation, if someone logged into your account at your domain registrar, and stole your domain? What if they then linked it to a pornography site?

Adding 2 Factor Authentication to your site

Adding two factor authentication (2FA) to your site is one way to add another layer of security. It uses something you know (like your password) with something you have (your phone for example which can generate or receive other login information.

WordPress writes:

Logging in with a password is single-step authentication. It relies only on something you know. Two-step authentication, by definition, is a system where you use two of the three possible factors to prove your identity, instead of just one. In practice, however, current two-step implementations still rely on a password you know, but use your Phone or another device to authenticate with something you have.

WordPress Beginner offers a tutorial on adding Google Authenticator as a 2 factor authenticator service.  Plugins for 2FA can be installed as well. Here’s one from techjourney.com about how to use Authy for 2FA on your site.

Make sure you have a strong password, and consider adding 2FA

We figure a word to the wise is sufficient. Create strong passwords. Don’t share them. And never resuse them. Your business and reputation depend on it.

 

Driwood Moulding Website Launched

After a lot of planning, hard work and development, we are delighted to launch the Driwood Moulding website.

Driwood is a legacy company who has been making the most exquisite architecturally correct mouldings, millwork, cornices, doorways, and paneling, cabinetry and custom architectural designs for over 100 years. When we say they are makers, they truly are.

This project could not have come to life without the dedication of a team of people. They say it takes a village, and in this case, it did. With more than 500 products showcased in the site, finding just the right tools to provide filtered searches based on moulding attributes was challenging.

Driwood Ornamental Wood Mouldings and Custom Millwork

First and foremost we’d like to say thank you to our client, Driwood whose vision it was to create a website where customers could view mouldings, and get quotations, could create an account and save orders and who wanted to be able to share the full history of the firm.

Our full team was composed of graphic designer / Woo Commerce integrations specialist Jeffrey Schierer, account manager Dale Aren, developer Bill Smithem and genius copywriter Jenny Badman. The Driwood videos about the company and their legacy were shot and edited by Meredith Browne of See It All Media. Voice over narration was done by Richard Lubash of 2K Plus who also supported post production. Anna Stein wrote the more than 500 product descriptions with precision and professionalism.

This custom WordPress theme is was a true work of many hands.