Author Archives: Daryl Austman

Check Your Small Business/Local Business Websites!

Over the past few months (actually since April 21st… Mobilegeddon day) there has been much talk about ensuring that business websites are mobile friendly (responsive) so as to NOT get penalized in their search engine rankings by Google.

This has now proven to be the case as WSJ has stated: Google’s Mobilegeddon Was A BIG Deal After All

Digital-marketing agency Stone Temple Consulting found that non-mobile-friendly websites suffered from changes in Google ‘sGOOGL +0.73% search algorithm.

When Google tweaked its search engine in April to favor websites it considered mobile-friendly, initial reports found little impact.

A new study suggests that “Mobilegeddon” was as big a deal as advertised, it just took a while.
(see more of this article here –  http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/07/15/googles-mobilegeddon-was-a-big-deal-after-all/ )

OK… so…

…don’t take MY word for it… Check your OWN #smallbusiness website out here…
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

then give us a call and let us do what we do best – Fixing Broken #localbusiness  websites!
Greymouse Services
Local Business Website Design
Social/Local/Mobile & Video Marketing

www.GreymouseServices.com / www.MobileSitesLocal.com

Good Quality HTML and CSS Beginner Tutorials

html_css_imgBeginner HTML & CSS Tutorials

I’ve pulled together some very good, very basic, very simple to follow tutorial sites that will make learning that cryptic code a LOT easier. HTML and CSS are basic sets of commands that a web server uses to define and display a website or web page. It is the “secret code” that sits behind every website online today.

You should go ahead and just view the HTML code that makes up a favorite webpage by Right Clicking (on a PC) somewhere on the web page and selecting “View Source”. That will bring up a new web page with all the HTML and a bit of CSS possibly, that makes the page look the way it does. It is the set of instructions that the web server sends to our browsers that creates the website we are looking at.

First are 2 excellent sites that I have used on numerous occasions as resources to look up a bit of code or figure out how to modify some code:

  1. W3Schools.com is an amazing resource tool. Every snippet, every bit of code is explained in great detail and best of all they give examples of use (I learn a LOT faster from seeing an example) >> Check Out W3School.com

  2. HTMLDog.com (where do they get these names, eh?) is another excellent resource site with a huge amount of tutorials for BEGINNERS that go through all of the most used HTML language commands. Simple, basic stuff…
    Check Out >> HTMLDog.com Beginner Tutorials

Next I found this awesome YouTube (is there ANYTHING that you can’t learn “how to do” on YouTube??)  tutorial series that focuses purely on learning the HTML language basics and as well, and almost more importantly, CSS language (which is the bits that “style” what you see on a webpage).
Check Out >> DevHQ’s YouTube HTML & CSS Training

It’s always good to have a small bit of HTML and CSS knowledge as it really does come handy sometimes. Even just having places like the above that you can use as references makes a huge difference in your online/internet marketing business. I’m sure that any of the above will give you a great head start with your squeeze pages, landing pages, autoresponder forms, modifying some sales pages, etc. etc. etc.

Enjoy!

 

 

Simple WordPress Security Safeguards – Pt1

WordPress is AWESOME…!

You can do so many things with the platform and make it look/act/feel like almost any form of website. Everything from an authority type blog, to a sales/squeeze page, to a membership site,  to a portfolio for your work or a gallery for your photos! I just love it… There is no shortage of cool themes and plugins to use also that add great looks and great features to your site.

BUT…

Due to it’s public domain existence and it’s global distribution and use, it is inherently a target for hackers.

Here is Part 1 of my short list of important and fairly simple tricks, techniques and methods that will help keep those nasty hacking b*ggers at bay. WordPress security should be one of your important thoughts and tasks anytime you create or update a blog or WordPress website. Remember though… there is no absolute foolproof means of locking them out permanently as they search relentlessly for flaws in new & old plugins, widgets and themes every second of every day! This means that if you don’t keep up with changes and know a smidgen about your site’s security… you are asking for trouble!

TIP #1 – Never, Never, NEVER Use Admin for your Username!

If you think about it, by using “Admin” or admin or administrator as your username when you first set up your WordPress site you have just made the hackers job 50% easier and 50% faster. You’ve given them 1/2 of your log in sequence… DUH! So the simplest and easiest and one of the most effective ways of keeping them out of your system is to just use something cryptic as your username. Pick part of your name and a number, use your pet name or your nickname… just use ANYTHING other than admin.
Here’s why (note- I started monitoring the log-ins Sept 9, 2012 and by June 7, 2013… 10 months later… there were 7,502 attempts to log in):

Bad Login Attempts

On the morning of May 30, 2013 a hacker using a brute force attack using many different IP addresses tried from 2013-05-30, 3:53 AM through to 2013-05-30, 7:04 AM… 6113 times (or almost 1 time per second) using the Username “admin”. Do you think he got in… uh uh!
No way because I simply did not use admin for a username. Would he have obtained access if I had used admin… probably!!

TIP #2 – Use A Complex Password

As you can see by above… it is not IF you are going to be attempted to hack in to your site but WHEN and HOW OFTEN… those are really the true questions. So if you have used something other than Admin/admin for your USERNAME… what did you use for your PASSWORD?

These days a 4-5 character word or set of numbers is just not even remotely good enough. You can see that hackers now use sophisticated software to hammer away at your site and throw every combination of numbers and letters and words at it hoping they will get lucky.

You need to use at least 8-10 characters AND use UPPER/lower case letters, along with numbers AND special characters such as #$&*_- to be truly safe from these brute force attacks. Use a free password reminder software such as LASTPass or Roboform to remember these difficult passwords as it is a cinch that you won’t !! Another tip is to create a short phrase using numbers as letters and adding in the odd character as a letter. That way you might be able to remember it without the software. Something like this – I love puppies turns in to 1l0v39@99i3$ so as long as you “love” puppies that may work for you and be quite a strong password.

TIP #3 – ALWAYS Update Your Themes, Plugins, WordPress Often

If you think about it… why are they continuously updating those darn plugins, themes and WordPress its self? It sure isn’t just to tick you off and make more work for you… its due to the fact that they’ve found flaws in the coding of them which need to be patched. These flaws are what the hackers dream about at night, searching for new, clever ways to infiltrate your site and do what they want with it.

Check in to your installs at least once a week to ensure that everything is up to date. An updated website/blog is a simple and efficient way to ensure you are getting the newest features AND helping plug holes in the coding to keep the bad guys out.

Continued in my next post… Stay Tuned To Find Out What Simple Plugins You Can Use To Block Hacks!

Tracking… Why Bother?

Tracking TrafficYou’ve probably heard this time and time again, online/internet marketing gurus have been jamming this message down our throats for years…

“Thou Shalt Track Your Results!”

But most of the time they don’t explain just WHY we should follow this commandment….

1. You Waste Less Time/Effort/Money – Instead of spending a bucket load of money on advertising campaigns that only produces mediocre results and/or profits’, tracking  will give you the feedback info which you can then use to Continue reading

My Top 10 Freebie Resources

Free ResourcesA Top Ten Free Resource List That I Use

Wow… where do I start and what do I add and not add to this list. There are SOOOO many great resources out there that can help streamline your online tasks that I just don’t know for sure what to list here… but I’ll start with my favs, OK? I use a lot of these almost daily so I KNOW they work and have excellent features. These days getting things done efficiently and effectively does NOT need expensive software or monthly dues.

1 -Easy To Use Facebook & G+ Timeline Cover Tool

  • Using Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for your online pleasure or for your business is pretty much a given now and everyone has these very cool and very innovative Facebook timeline cover photos or graphics these days. Being able to switch them out and create new ones can be a real hassle… UNLESS… Continue reading

Check Out The Pop!

WP Notify Wizard Demo1

Ok this is the first demo of that new WP Notify Wizard pop-up which I picked up yesterday.

I grabbed the OTO1 and OTO2 also so that I could get the nifty animated graphics (which of one you are probably seeing right about NOW!)

[custom-pop id=’2′]

You should have seen a crumpled piece of note paper, unfold and display sales text somewhere near the lower left of your screen.
That animation then calls a full page new browser window that should show you the sales page for the plugin.
This is all done from within the WordPress plugin and by adding a shortcode on this post. Continue reading

IM Business Flavor?

Ice Cream FlavorsI started thinking about just “What is Internet Marketing (IM)?” the other day and man… I had a very hard time defining a defined, simple, one sentence explanation of what IM actually is.

You see, I see Internet Marketing as more like a huge container… a wrapper… rather than a defined object or “thing”.

And that is where the “flavors” of Internet Marketing analogy comes in. Maybe we can look at Internet Marketing like an ice-cream shop or candy shop and then view all of the different business models as “flavors” of ice-cream which is found inside the ice-cream shop walls. Continue reading

My Top 10 List Building Blunders

Learn How To Not Screw Up Your List Building

List Building BlundersOk, “bin’ der dun dat”… so here is your chance to NOT make the same mistakes I did while I learned how to build good quality lists and keep the subscribers happy, content and best of all… staying on the list!

Below is a list of my Top Ten Biggest Blunders that I’ve made over the past 3-4 yrs of list building… read’em and weep people (or at least learn from them, OK?):

  1. Using My Own Hosting & Domain as My List Server
    Wow… this is #1 because of just how much damage it can do to your reputation, your bank account and your future progress. DO NOT EVER use your own hosting, your own domain name or a script you found or set up on your hosting to act as your list server/autoreponder… PERIOD! I’d list off the 1000 reasons you don’t do this but here are the top ones- getting your hosting shut down, losing your domain name, having your name and brand besmirched, getting accused of spamming, possible fines/lawsuits… should I go on? A Terrible Idea… Don’t Do It! Continue reading

Free And Low Cost Ways To Generate Huge Traffic

Welcome to this step-by-step series of tutorials. Over the next few posts I’m going to share with you 5 essential techniques that you can use to greatly boost your website’s traffic without spending your life savings on expensive ‘traffic generation’ software or even empty your wallet or purse to get paid traffic!

That’s right… you don’t need to invest your life savings in Google AdWords or pay through your nose for private advertising space on high traffic blogs.

These techniques are so powerful that they will help you create so much traffic; you will think you are in Internet Marketing heaven! Continue reading