Have a look at analytics.usa.gov. You’ll see statistics for the aggregate of most federal government websites: Number of Visits, Top Pages and Domains, Visitor Locations, Top Downloads, Devices, Browsers, and Operating Systems.
I notice that this blog now by default provides its content to visitors in encrypted form, using the HTTPS [Hyper Text Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)] protocol. This is great news. I congratulate WordPress.com. They’ve used the new Let’s Encrypt Certificate Authority, which removes the relatively high cost barrier of encrypting websites.
I’m impressed by the effort to take down Internet bad guys at Project Honey Pot. Website owners can use Project Honey Pot’s tools to redirect spammers and other misbehaving visitors who appear on a blacklist to a “honey pot” page. There, continued bad behavior is logged and the naughty visitor receives more demerits that bury him or her deeper in the Project Honey Pot blacklist.
Website owners may choose how many days of good behavior a blacklisted IP address must exhibit before he or she is allowed to use the owner’s website. This allows dynamically assigned IP addresses who behave, to eventually be removed from the blacklist.
Here’s a summary of bad guys who have been trapped by Project Honey Pot, by country (as of 7 November, 2015):
If you have a self-hosted WordPress website or blog, you can implement Project Honey Pot by using the http:BL WordPress Plugin plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to install, and works fine with WordPress v 4.3.1, even though it’s guaranteed to work through only v 3.3.2.
I’ve been developing a few websites with storefronts. I used Nopcommerce three years ago, and it was impressive in many ways, but its poorly-defined technical support steered me elsewhere.
Two attractive e-commerce offerings with better-defined tech support are Volusion and SquareSpace. Both offer mobile-responsive templates, and both products include hosting with tech support.
The “drag and drop” SquareSpace templates allow a developer to quickly place a rudimentary SquareSpace site into production, but I don’t recommend it for sites of more than about twenty pages or a business with complex product inventory or special payment processing needs. One could quickly roll-out a good-looking modest SquareSpace e-commerce site without writing one line of code. Just don’t expect to easily expand this simple site into a large complex site, and your payment processing options are limited. Unlike Volusion, SquareSpace does not seem to offer 24/7 tech support via telephone — only via email.
One beauty of both Volusion and SquareSpace is that you don’t need to host them. Just pay a modest monthly hosting fee and let them keep your site on-line. An attractive alternative to both is BigCommerce, but I have no personal experience with it.
http:BL WordPress plugin: redirects visitors who are on a public dynamic blacklist to a honeypot page, which is seeded with unique email addresses that can give away spammers.
One plugin that logs malicious activity:
SEO Redirection plugin: logs 404 (page not found) errors. Reviewing the log file allows an administrator to block future access of IP addresses that attempted to discover cracks in his or her firewall or execute administrative PHP scripts.Caveat: Use care to ensure that you don’t mistakenly block search engines’ spiders and other legitimate robots. (I’d erroneously blocked three IP addresses that are used by the GoogleBot spiders. That explains why the website suddenly disappeared from Google’s search results. D’oh!)
I use and recommend all three of these WordPress plugins on self-hosted WordPress installations. They work. I’m amazed by the persistence of attackers on my WordPress sites. (Most attacks originate from Russia, Ukraine, China, Netherlands, Germany.)
I’ve finished moving clients from various older website platforms to modern mobile-responsive website platforms. Now I need to finish moving my own website from its ancient foundation.
I’m moving my website (http://russbellew.com from Microsoft Office 365 hosting to a self-hosted WordPress platform. It will have all the mod cons, including mobile-friendliness. Once that’s settled, I plan to move this blog (rbellew.wordpress.com) to the new website. It’ll be more functional and free of advertising. I will move blog subscribers to the new platform. I hope to have my new website online within a month, and will move this blog about a month later.
The news has been full of stories that involve misuse and mismanagement of personal data by government and private sector entities. Let’s discuss this soon.
Until recently, I’ve regarded websites that are mobile responsive as desirable, but not essential. Around last November, Google began adding the phrase “mobile-friendly” to search results for websites that are mobile responsive.
Last month Google announced that on April 21, they’ll update their search algorithm. It’s expected to reward mobile responsive websites with higher search result rankings.
I’ve been busy updating clients’ websites to make them mobile responsive. This has meant moving them to new platforms. I’ve moved small websites to Squarespace without too much pain, but I’ve learned that Squarespace doesn’t allow navigation menu nesting deeper than two levels, which disqualifies it for websites of more than a couple dozen pages. I’m working with a few mobile responsive themes on WordPress; it’s probably the route I’ll follow for my own website.
As usual, I’ve learned (again) that there is no single perfect answer. We just have to work around flaws and hide the blemishes.
When I’m asked about creating a website for a business, I recommend that the owner first “buy” (it’s actually a lease) a domain from a domain registrar such as Network Solutions or Godaddy. If the domain name is longer than ten characters, buy an abbreviated domain name as well. You can point it to the full length domain; it will be easier for visitors to type.
Think of your website as the hub of a hub-and-spoke system for your business. Links on the spokes should point inward to your website. The more spokes, the stronger your website’s web presence will be. These spokes are called backlinks.
Your website should describe what you do and provide a phone number and alternative ways of reaching you. Each page should contain your phone number.
Unlike the movies, if you build it they will not come. You have to drive visitors to your website. Create a big footprint on the web by ensuring that each web document that you create contains an inbound link to your website.
Install Google Analytics or Statcounter on your website so that you can count visitors and analyze their on-site behavior.
Where can I create “footprint” documents with inbound links?