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Website Designing Blog

People often ask us what do I get for my money when it comes to what you charge me for Premium Hosting? Well if they don’t ask like they should, they are maybe thinking the same, and rightly so.

When it comes to server functionality and behind the scenes support, the very support that keeps your business or organization website running like clockwork, then you can use the old saying pretty much every time. “You get what you pay for”.

At GDU, we have always taken a proactive approach to server maintenance and support. Now this doesn’t include updating your website or adding pictures etc. This is the stuff that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t see, the stuff that you are actually paying for.

As the modern website has evolved, especially over the last 3-5 years, so to has the not so nice people out there that want to cause trouble to websites, servers and anyone involved in any online activity. As most are aware SPAM takes many minutes or sometimes even hours of our time to deal with each week. With the added threat of “Phishing” scams the cost could also be monetarily or even your very identity. So what was the norm for the hackers to do 10-15 years ago and that was to deface a website, has now lead to a far more sophisticated attempt at cheating you, website owners and server managers out of their well earned cash or just causing massive headaches.

 The most common threat to the server environment or your website structure today is now what’s commonly called a “script injection”. A script injection is where the hackers inject a piece of code deep into the bowels of your website file structure that then uses your web space to produce things like pop up advertising, pop up porn websites or even uses your website code to send out thousands of spam or phishing emails at a time. All these things can occur for weeks without you knowing anything was wrong or what occurred and can appear to be your doing!. Well, until your websites resources are brought to its knees or one of your customers contacts you weeks later and says something like “What’s with all the porn stuff on your company website?”

As many of our clients are aware we run a Content Management System (CMS) website platform called Joomla to bring your website to life. No longer can we just use single HTML files sitting in a single folder to produce the functionality that websites require these days to stay dynamic and competitive. The Joomla program which is individual to each website account, is made up of ‘scripts’. Ahah, you are thinking so it is the Joomla program we are using that is the problem? Good question, but not so fast, it is not the way to look at things. Joomla like all CMS platforms out there use scripts, others like WordPress and Drupal, that with Joomla make up 40% of all websites on the web these days also use scripts to make things “zing and pop”. So the solution is not always a simple one as it would appear on the surface.

Joomla and most of the other CMS programs routinely or religiously is a better term, bring out security updates and even migration upgrades that require work by a developer or savvy business owner to implement. To the average man on the street keeping up with these things can be daunting, as one errant click could mean goodnight to your website, your hard work and maybe even your business.

GDU looks after all these updates for you as part of the Premium Website Hosting package we offer. This we are pretty sure is not something other website developers do. Or if they do they charge for that service and support each time. There have been 43 updates to the Joomla platform in the past 18 months alone, but far more on some of the other CMS platforms that run websites. Have you noticed anything different about your website.? Hopefully not, or if you have it has been minor, as we are working diligently behind the scenes 7 days a week to keep the “script kiddies” as they are affectionately called sometimes in our circles, at bay. Just this week there was a major security upgrade released that if not installed could have meant every website that we manage and tens of thousands around the world could be compromised and taken control of by someone we don’t know. We implemented all the upgrades for all of our client’s websites in the few hours before midnight this past Tuesday, just three hours after the Joomla Security Team released the notification that a critical upgrade was needed.

There is also one other important thing to mention. All our clients have different needs for their websites. This means they probably have little apps on their sites that do what they need them to do. From slideshows to calendars and contact forms, there are dozens we implement as required. All these little apps or plugins also come out with little upgrades and security releases, that ensure that they are not part of the bigger problem. We take care of those upgrades as well. Yep guess you didn’t know that either huh?

This is also another example also why we do not support client’s websites on other servers but our own managed servers, as this process implemented Tuesday might have taken a week to complete and maybe left one of our client’s website vulnerable to hackers.

So that is a little of what happens behind the scenes for your website and what is included in the Premium Website package at Georgia Down Under Website Design, regular Joomla CMS Platform support, updates and fixes. As clients your website and its environment is important to us, you are important to us. There is actually a lot more goes on but we won’t go into it all today. In the mean time when you hear of someone’s site that’s being hacked or compromised, be compassionate and be sorry, it happens, but also maybe ask them who has been looking after their website and their server file structure? If the answer is nobody, or nobody that knows what they are doing, then maybe you should point them in our direction.

Cheers

Wayne Kraska
Owner/CEO
Georgia Down Under Website Design.