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Google My Business

Last month we started signing all clients up for a free Google My Business listing.

Google My Business is the 21st century equivalent of a Yellow Pages entry. It's a location-specific entry, which helps people find you online in whatever local area you specify. The listing is utilised in both Google Search and Google Maps. If you don’t create a listing, Google may make one up for you. It is free to create a listing.

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New hosting plans for 2017 - improving website security…

WebSolutionZ are making some changes to our hosting plans for 2017.

Since 2005, WebSolutionZ has been delivering website solutions via a project-based business model, using the Joomla! Content Management System (CMS). Once delivered, the site was handed over to the client for ongoing management and maintenance. This strategy worked fairly well for 10 years, but this year has seen a large increase in the number of website security issues across the world, and a number of existing clients have recently been impacted. This is obviously bad for the client, but also something we're not particularly happy about!

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What is a Brute Force attack?

In simple terms, a Brute Force attack is an automated software hack that attempts usernames and passwords over and over, until it can get in.

Recently there has been an increase in the use of Brute Force attacks against Joomla! websites.

From a website owner's perspective, a Brute Force attack has a couple of effects:

  1. Your website will become really slow.
  2. It is likely your bandwidth usage will skyrocket.

But why? My website isn't that interesting!

Websites are usually hacked either to get hold of valuable data, or as a means of getting to the server. Or, according to this article, it could be for one of these reasons:

  1. People bored with nothing better to do.
  2. Political agenda.
  3. You've irritated somebody.
  4. You're in competition with each other.

So what can we do to stop it?

There are a number of preventative measures we can attempt, including:

  1. Don't use the admin username (we don't).
  2. Choose good passwords. This is usually the weakest link in the chain. If you use a word commonly found in a dictionary, it can be guessed by these programs fairly easily. (And if your password is in this list, we recommend you change it asap!)
  3. Change your /administrator URL. (We now do this for all Joomla!3x websites.)
  4. Install a plugin to secure your /administrator area. (We now do this for all Joomla!3x websites.)

For more information about Brute Force attacks and secure passwords, we recommend:

Understanding Denial of Service and Brute Force Attacks

The 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2014: We're All Doomed

Is it time to upgrade your Joomla! 2.5x site?

If your current Joomla! website was built between about 2011 and 2013, it was probably created using Joomla! 2.5x which was the latest stable version available at the time.

However, software is always being improved and updated, and Joomla! operates according to an official release cycle which includes Long Term Support (LTS) releases that are officially supported for about 4 years, and Short Term Support (STS) releases which are only supported for a matter of months.

I've always tried to build websites using LTS releases, to enable longer-term stability for my clients, but sometimes there are compelling reasons to do otherwise, and sometimes your website creation may occur towards the end of a current LTS so you would not necessarily get a full 4 years. Four years!! It's worse than buying a car! :)

Important Dates

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