We Will We Will Secure You!

Keeping your private information private in the internet age is extremely important. As a website owner, you want your customers to feel confident that the information they provide to you is kept secure.  The best way to offer your customers this is the addition of an SSL Certificate onto your website. What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate also is known as a “Secure Socket Layer” is used to

  • Confirm the identity of a website
  • Encrypt information sent to the server

To work properly an SSL Certificate authenticates the

  • Name of the holder of the cert
  • A unique serial number
  • The expiration date (certs need to be renewed)
  • A copy of the holder’s public key
  • The digital signature of the issuing authority.

Once an SSL Certificate is successfully added to the website the URL will reflect this in the prefix, the Http will become an Https. This authentication process ensures that the data being sent from the website to the server is not intercepted by an improper server.

Who needs an SSL Certificate?

Probably every website since there has been a significant change by the browser “police” in how a non-secure website connection is treated.  For example, the current version of Firefox returns a warning if that you are not connected over a secure connection (HTTPS) it the website, in fact, does not have SSL installed.

So, you need an SSL. Should You get a shared dedicated one?

Different SSL certificates are available.

A Shared SSL is added to a server and can be used globally on that server to secure any sites.  It is generated for the hostname of the server and may cause a certificate warning message pop up on your site when used as it won’t matching the domain name(s).

Shared SSL Certificates maybe

  • Low cost
  • Must be renewed frequently
  • May reduce website loading speed
  • May not be as safe as you would like
  • Should never be used for a payment website

A dedicated SSL is added directly to your website and is not available for other sites to use.

  • Costs can vary from $10’s of dollars to over $100
  • Allows you to maintain your website URL.

To some this change of URL is acceptable, but if you have a large following changing your URL in any way will affect the way you conduct business. If the change of URL is unacceptable for your business, you may require a dedicated SSL. This will allow you to maintain your websites URL, however, there can be a large cost associated with a dedicated SSL. The increase in cost for a dedicated SSL can be attributed to the requirement of a dedicated IP address, these are the most secure choice when dealing with an e-commerce site that requires credit card information be exchanged.

 

 

Should you update your own WordPress site?

WordPress is cool!  It was developed by a group of developers: they made it free and open sourced.  WordPress seems to be in a constant state of change. Each time the program is updated with a new release, things happen.  Bugs get fixed.  New Features are added, and overall performance is improved.  In the meantime, the bad people of the world are busy writing bots and code to break into WordPress sites, only to be stopped by a new release which fixed a vulnerability – if you didn’t update your WordPress site, well you might be hacked and of course you’ll be missing out on any nifty new features.

You might think, “gee my site is working great, I’m going to skip the new release”.  Think of updating anyway, as WordPress grows in popularity, it has become a popular target for hackers, malicious code writers, data thieves and those who are dared to make a name for themselves on the dark web.  Don’t give them the playground they need, leaving your WordPress site open without the latest updates.

Remember this platform is open source, anyone can see and use the source code, to your advantage, by creating a new feature or your disadvantage, but creating a new hack.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of good hackers out there too, which means security updates are totally necessary as new hacks are routinely discovered.  AND it’s not just WordPress that’s exploited, it’s the plugins too.

This means, yes you must, update those plugin’s too.  Sometimes daily.  Once in a while a plugin and theme will not agree, and something will stop working.   This happens if you updated the plugin and not the theme, or the plugin developer wasn’t following safe coding, so back up your site before you do anything.

Backup, plugin’s updates, theme updates, it doesn’t end.  And all that time.  Check out our WordPress Maintenance package, we take the Worry out of WordPress.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is going to be the front door to anyone searching for your products and services on the Web.

The key to any online presence is the domain name. Choosing the right name that meets your company’s overall business and marketing needs typically requires some time and research. Here’s a list of a few things you should consider when choosing your domain name:

Choose the Right Top-level Domain (TLD)

The extension you see to the right of the dot (welovecats.com) is just as important to what’s to the left of it (welovecats.com). Learn more about TLDs to help you choose the right one for your business – Verisign powers several reputable extensions like .com and .net:

 

With more than 15 years of reliability, .com is the foremost trusted domain and where customers want to do business online.

 

An established domain with a strong legacy, .net validates your online business

 

You can engage the world with your .tv domain and let them know it’s your channel, your passions, your stories.

 

Establish your online presence in a creative and memorable way with a .cc domain name.

 

Make it easy for others to learn more about you with a .name domain name and create the perfect place for promoting your personal profile, your interest, your links.

Be Creative

Your domain name should be memorable! Try creating your own word by compounding two whole words (YouTube), blending parts of two words together (Microsoft), tweaking a word (Tumblr) or using a phrase (ImLovinIt). Also, remember you don’t have to use your company name as a domain name, try your slogan or product name!

Know Your Audience

When it comes to choosing a domain name, consider what tone is appropriate and will resonate with your target audience. For instance, will using slang words be advantageous or disadvantageous to your business?

Length

Don’t be afraid to have a longer domain name. In fact, the average domain name is 13 characters long. Descriptive names that are naturally longer in length can be memorable and great for branding. Some businesses even add in location or other words that help to describe their business in their domain names.

Hyphens –Domain names with hyphens can open the possibilities of what is available to you. Though you should take into consideration where you place the hyphen. It is best practice to place them at natural word breaks, as it will make it easier for a user to remember your domain name.

Ex. We-love-cats.com vs. w-elovec-at.com

Don’t Forget to Check Trademark Issues

To avoid infringing on a trademark, double check the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and do an online search of your proposed name to avoid legal issues in the future.

Consider Alternate Spellings

When registering a domain name that has more than one possible spelling, try to register all variations of the word to help ensure your customers can easily find your business online.

Consider Registering with Other TLD Extensions

Once you determine the domain name you like is available (welovecats.com), consider purchasing the same name but with other top-level domains (welovecats.net, welovecats.cc, etc). Then redirect those extensions to the original domain name to help protect your brand in the future.

Using the tips provided above, brainstorm a list of possible domain names you want to secure for your business. Then check the availability with our register a domain name tool.

Online Presence

True or False? Having an “online presence” means your company has a website.

Surprisingly to many, the answer is false. “Online presence” simply means the different ways you represent your business on the Web. That’s right – there’s more than one way to create your company’s online identity besides a website. And they range from free to low-cost options that require little to no technical expertise.

But before you can employ an option, you’ll need to make an important decision first. The key to creating your own online presence is the domain name. Determining the right domain name that your current and prospective customers can trust is vital – learn more in the article How to Choose a Domain Name.

Once you’ve chosen and registered your domain name, it can be leveraged in one of the three following ways. And these options are not inclusive to one another and can be set up in any order. That’s a great benefit of registering a domain name – it gives you the control to scale your web presence as you grow without the risk of losing customers.

Domain Forwarding

Setting your domain name to redirect to your social media business page, an e-commerce site, or an online directory listing.

With over a billion people using social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, and e-commerce sites like amazon.com, etsy.com, and ebay.com, redirecting your domain to your company’s social media or e-commerce site is a great way to initiate an online presence. Best of all, this simple technique requires little to no investment, easy set-up and enables you to see the benefits immediately because of the built-in base of potential customers.

 

Using your domain name as your company’s email address.

This inexpensive yet effective option is a great way to build your brand and look more professional to the outside world. Using a company branded email address like yourname@yourcompany.com bodes well – 90% of consumers surveyed said that they felt more comfortable dealing with a small business using a company branded email than with those using a generic email account like Yahoo or Gmail.

Company Website

Creating your company website with your domain name.

This option offers the most control of how to market your business and enables more marketing opportunities. In a recent survey of millions of consumers, 56% said that they would not trust a business without a website.

 

 

And in a poll of small business owners worldwide,

72% of small business owners choose their company’s site as their primary online presence.

Four out of five would recommend a website to other companies in their industry.

Three out of five agree that a website is critical for success.

And contrary to popular belief, creating a website can be simple, relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Eventually, we would recommend you to support all three options in the future, but getting started with at least one is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, the most important outcome is that your company is represented online in the way you want.

Just remember: whether you’re looking to build your brand or bring in more revenue, having an online presence will help you achieve your goal.

 

 

Good Words to Host By

As a small business owner, you can run your brick and mortar store with no problems. You can fill and ship orders blindfolded, use all your expertise with the services you offer and run circles around your competition with your personalized customer service, but how much control do you have over one of the most important online marketing tools ever invented: your website.

Your small business website is important It’s your marketing, branding and essentially your livelihood put out there in cyberspace in competition with thousands of another website that offer the same thing you do.

Online visitor expects to find information, quickly, without second-guessing the navigation placed there, most likely, by your web designer. Content, appearance, and usability are critical to your website success.

Did you know a web design could actually hurt your business?

1. Poor Navigation: Easy and understandable visitor navigation should be one of your top priorities. Think of your own experiences, how long do you stay on a website when the navigation is hard to follow. Gets frustrating doesn’t it, and that experience probably leaves a bad impression of the company altogether. Do not set your website up to leave a bad impression. Keep your visitors with good navigation organization, which translate into more visitors, potentially more customers.

2. No Call to Action: No matter how well you word your content, how many pictures, videos, and testimonials you use on your website if you do not close the deal your losing sales. Website traffic should not be your only goal; have a clear call to action prompting visitors to commit to signing up for your email list to buying your product. You want your visitor to do something while they are there.

3. Content: What you say matters. “The times they are a changing.” Everyone seems to be in a hurry, which means most people do not like to read unless absolutely necessary. Create content that is easy and quick to read or scan.

Highlight points of interest, bullet point features and keep the relevant information in the forefront.

Use white space to your advantage: to allow your readers to focus on a particular section.

4. Disorder: Everyone has a lot to say or a lot to show. Do not put it all on your main page. You do not want to appear unorganized or distract anyone from your call to action. Visitors will not return if they can’t make sense of your website.

5. Dull: Do not overlook the value of color. Color can add or take away from your website content. Colors and contrast can exemplify the order of things, create an appealing visual interest, relax atmosphere or make a user feel rushed. Do a little research by examining how other websites use color, in both good and bad ways.

These five easy steps will turn a good website into a great website. And if you need help drop us a line: info@dwli.net

 

 

Website Building

Why do you think you need a website?  Businesses find that a website is an essential part of selling as it opens doors to opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.  With an idea and creativity, a website can be developed into an entire online business or be part of an existing brick and mortar industry.  A website by its very nature makes it versatile for just about anything you can think of Applications to Zebra watching music and everything in-between.

People like the idea of a web presence and you want one because you have:

1. Something to sell.

2. Information to share

3. To have a way to attract customers to your local painting service

4. Lots of family photographs and the family is all over the country

5. Lost a pet and want to set up a memorial to him.

6. A following of people who need a place to play the new game you designed,

7. So many cool ideas to make money.

Select a domain name.  This is essential, as a domain name is your (virtual) online address, (website address) that allows existing and potential customers to find you on the Internet. There are many advantages registering a specific domain name including,

1. The establishment of your business online identity

2. A way to build trust between you and your website visitors.

3. Free listings in the popular search engines

4. The use of domain email: an easy way that continually promotes your website every time you use it.

5. Have a memorial web address.

BTW Some buy domain names because they sound cool, others to make money by reselling them.  A long while ago a customer of ours, who was an AVON representative purchased beauty.com.  She never set up the website as she intended., , but held on to the name just the same.  She eventually sold it for $5000.  Who would have thought!

Decision Time – are you going to design your website yourself (we do offer easy to use tools), or you can employ our designer or hire someone on your own.

Where to host?  Some hosting companies are free but beware when using a free site, most likely they will use their web address, not yours. In doing so, you typically lose the benefits of owning your own domain name.

Content As you develop your website, whether solo or not, you must determine what information is essential and valuable to your visitors.  At the very least make sure you include your contact information, including your web email address and phone number.

Layout:  The best way to plan out a website: use a storybook layout.  Think about how to make the site easy to navigate.  Consider the design, will a flyer type design work or a full-blown e-commerce site.

Promotion: Think about how you find websites and follow that lead.  Put your web address everywhere, business cards, and social media. In face everywhere, you can.  Setup a mailing list for existing and potential customers. To learn more about mailing lists visit: mailinglistservices.com.

Understanding Web Hosting Basics

For any company, one of the most vital decisions you can make is to build a website.  This site can bring in quite a large amount of business and can be an easy way to gain extra revenue through online product sales. However, the task of creating a website can be daunting; finding the right web hosting service can be downright painful.

In order to make the best decision for your web hosting needs, you will need to have a little understanding of how the Internet works.

First of all, everyone has heard of the three W’s that comes at the beginning of web addresses, but, do you know what those w’s mean?  The three letters are short for World Wide Web, which is in everyday terms, the Internet. When you create a website, it is stored on a hosting server, which makes it accessible to other Internet users, utilizing a special communication for called HTTP.  This protocol allows other computers to access your webpage through a unique web address or domain. There are many, many steps to getting your website to another computer and the steps can sound convoluted, but they are actually quite simple.  A web server hosts your website, and then the site is accessed by another computer using its specific HTTP page address.

In order for another computer to access your website, then the computer must make use of an Internet browser. This browser translates the special protocol language back into its original form.

Now, how does a web hosting service figure into this equation? The web hosting service that you choose will actually provide the server space that stores your website.  The host will be responsible for storing and allowing access to your site and all of the web pages involved. In order to have an effective website, a dependable web hosting service is a must.  A good hosting service will provide a server that keeps your site up and active at all times. Many web-hosting services also include handy tools to store and separate files, manage and build web pages, and include such items as shopping carts and other sales tools. When you are deciding on which web hosting service to use, make sure to consider many factors, like the amount of storage space offered, the web builder platform available, the customer support options available, and the number of other options, such as email addresses and ftp that are included.”

By Leon Belenky

What makes us so special.

The Web Leprechaun Advantage

Whether this is your first web site experience or you’re a total web professional, Digital Web Leprechauns™ offers the latest in webhosting technology to get the job done. We are a USA based company, hosting since 1997 on a privately owned network and servers. With our online easy to use control panel management system, you are always the master of your domain(s).

Benefits

 

  • You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, but if you are that’s great too.
  • Need Joomla® or WordPress or something else? Just ask, we’ll install your apps for Free!
  • Easy-to-use site design tools
  • Upgrade anytime without another setup fee
  • Manage your site(s) online, 24/7

 

Features

 

  • Web hosting for the novice as well as the professional
  • Custom configurations and installations and advanced scripting and database tools
  • Design your own with Site Builder™, use your own designer or hire us!
  • Flexibility to grow when you need to
  • Plesk™ User-friendly control panel