Back to Top
  • Locally Owned

    DigitalCoreHQ L.L.C. is a locally owned and operated company with our primary mission to

    save you money, and help you make your statement on the web!


    ABOUT US

  • WE LOVE WHAT WE DO

    We specialize in website theme development and site hosting.  Always here

    to help you make your statement on the web


    ABOUT Us

  • THINKERS & DESIGNERS

    Website support available 24/7 to ensure your website is always online.



     

5 Reasons to backup your website

What is a backup?

Simply put, a website backup is the single greatest insurance plan any website owner can invest in to prevent against disaster. Everyone knows the importance of backing up your computer files, but rarely do they give any credence to making sure their website has backups.

If you don’t want to end up unwittingly selling prescriptions to all your visitors, then it’s imperative you back up your site files (preferably in multiple locations) to keep your content safe and secure. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s see if I can change your mind.

5 Reasons to backup your website

 

Sample ContentPeople make mistakes — it’s an unavoidable, universal truth. Someone could click the wrong button, deleting an integral file, and the next thing you know your site is broken. Most people assume their hosting provider safeguards them from such things, it’s still possible they won’t have the latest copy of your website.

Most hosting providers don’t perform regular backups unless you’re paying for a website backup service

In addition, the disaster recovery backups they might have will likely not be immediately available to get your site up and running again (queue the panic over your morning coffee). And even if it is possible to have an immediate backup installed, the cost alone could be astronomical — and that’s often not accounted for in the business budget.

WordPress, the most commonly used content management system (CMS), accounts for approximately 27 percent of all websites currently live on the internet. It’s also an open-source platform, which means anyone and everyone has access to the coding.

When WordPRess updates their core files, all the exploitable vulnerabilities that were corrected with that update are now known to hackers around the world, who then update their malware injection bots to go forth and infect sites that aren’t being updates on a regular basis

If you’re running a WordPress site, this could spell danger for you. As a small business owner, your days are hectic, we get it. You might miss that core update or not get to it until a few weeks down the line. But if you’re not maintaining a website backup and skipping out on updates, you could be out some serious bucks. In fact, according to the Denver Post, 60 percent of small businesses who suffer from a malware attack are out of business within six months.

See what I mean? You don’t want to be part of that statistic. If you really want to amp your security game, check out our security options here. Keep your site malware-free in addition to maintaining regular backups, and you’ll enjoy peace of mind.

Just because you keep a backup on your local computer doesn’t mean you’re safe. While it’s a good practice, computers still crash all the time. The hard drives become unreadable, and all the effort you put into backing up your site could disappear in an instant.

To cover all your bases, consider making at least three website copies: one that’s off site and maintained by a reputable vendor, one on your local machine or external drive, and one on the live site itself.

In general, it’s a good idea to be liberal with your backups. Delete only what you know you no longer need, and keep multiple copies to ensure you have a functioning, current version of your site.

Pro tip: Consider naming your backups with some sort of date convention to keep your information straight. That way, you don’t accidentally load an old version when you really wanted something more current.

Sometimes, updating your core files or a plugin doesn’t go as expected. All you do is press the update button, and next thing you know your site is no longer live. Your boss is calling, your customers are complaining, you’re losing money, and there’s much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Wouldn’t it be super nice if you could just hit a button and restore your website to its previous state? I’m going to go with a yes on this one.

Pro tip: In the event that your site crashes during the middle of a work day — like the above example — you don’t want to be scrambling to teach yourself how to restore your site. It’s a good idea to practice restoring a backup ahead of time, just in case the fire starts when you least expect it.

It happens all the time. You got a new card and forgot to update the information on file with your hosting provider. They tried billing you several times, but the failed billing notices all went to your junk folder. Eventually, your site goes down. You’ll have to repurchase your hosting plan, of course, but you might also be looking at a restore fee to bring your site back online (assuming they offer one, that is).

Aside from the added cost of restoring your site, you’re now also looking at lost time. Time spent on the phones with your provider, time without a site for visitors to browse, time without potential profit. As we all know, time is money — and time wasted is money wasted. Maintaining a proper website backup could save you tons in both aspects.

So now that you understand the importance of reliable backups, consider adding a website backup service to your arsenal. DigitalCoreHQ LLC Website Backup can give you all the protection you need without any legwork on your part. Stop worrying about data loss. DigitalCoreHQ LLC Website Backup service will help keep your data safe when servers crash, hackers attack, and malware makes the rounds.

So what are you waiting for? It’s plain to see that a website backup is one of the most important steps in making sure your business becomes and remains a success. Don’t hesitate. Make sure you’re taking all the necessary precautions to protect your online presence and investments today.

New Ticket Support System

In the past, DCHQ has responded to our clients via email support. While this can be helpful in bringing a personal interaction with our customers, it has also been a strain when it comes to response time.

Continue Reading

Common Causes of Slow Website Performance

Recently we have had a report from a client of ours who has their images loading fairly slow on their own website. So to help this out, as well as help prevent/fix future issues with others we have collected information from 2 outside sources to help improve your performance.

Source A

1. Unoptimized Images
Sites impacted: 90%

Unoptimized images were the clear winner, impacting 90% of the Alexa Top 1000.  In this context, we refer to unoptimized images as any image that can be reduced in size without visual impact to your user, also known as “lossless” optimization. Images that are optimized using lossless methods are visually identical to their original images, just stripped of extraneous metadata that helps describe the image (useful to the designer, not needed for the end user).

A few best practices to consider:

  • PNG image files are often needlessly large. This is due to extra data inside the PNG file such as comments or unused palette entries as well as the use of an inefficient DEFLATE compressor. PNG images can be optimized using free tools like pngcrush that reduce the size of the file without changing or reducing the image quality.
  • JPEG image files can also be needlessly large for similar reasons to PNG. By using free tools such as jpegtran you can convert JPEGs into progressively rendered JPEG files to reduce the size of the file without losing image quality.
  • PNG files are best used for icons and logos while JPEG is preferable for photos. Because PNG images support transparency while JPEGs do not, the PNG format is commonly overused for images that are better served as JPEGs. By utilizing JPEG instead, you often can realize file size savings as large as 80%. If possible, consider reworking your design to avoid the use of transparency. Alternatively, you can often append a smaller transparent PNG image alongside the larger JPEG image to achieve the same visual effect at substantial file size savings
  • For GIF images, check out our earlier blog post on Optimizing GIF Images.

For more information about image optimization, check out this presentation as well.

2. Content Served Without HTTP Compression
Sites impacted: 72%

Enabling HTTP compression on your webserver can dramatically reduce the size of the downloaded page, significantly improving load time. This is a high impact change, but is not always as easy as it may seem. We actually did a dedicated blog post on this topic over a year ago here, so i’ll defer most of the details to that.

For Apache 2.0 and above, load the mod_deflate module to enable compression. For IIS, check out this page for more information.

3. Combinable CSS Images
Sites impacted: 69%

Browsers make an individual HTTP request for every background image specified in your CSS pages. It is not uncommon for over half of your total HTTP requests from a single web page to be used for loading background CSS images. By combining related images into a small number of CSS sprites, you can significantly reduce the number of HTTP requests made during your page load. More information on CSS Sprites can be found here.

4. Images Without Caching Information
Sites impacted: 65%

HTTP Caching allows the browser to store a copy of an image for a period of time, preventing the browser from reloading the same image on subsequent page loads and thus dramatically increasing performance. To cache your images, update your web server configuration to provide a expires header to your image responses from the server. For images that do not change often, you should specify a “far future” expires header, typically a date 6 months to a year out from the current date.

Note that even with a far future Expires date, you can always change the image later by modifying the referenced filename using versioning, for example MyImage.png become MyImage_v2.png For more information, see revving filenames.

5. Domain Sharding Not Implemented
Sites impacted: 64%

Most browsers typically support 2-4 concurrent downloads of static resources for each hostname. Therefore, if your page is loading many static resources from the same hostname, the browser will bottleneck in a stair-step fashion downloading all the content. By splitting resources across 2 different domains, you can effectively double browser throughput downloading the required links.

Note that it may be administratively difficult to physically move your files to different hostnames, so as a clever “trick” you can utilize DNS CNAME records to map different hostnames to the same origin. For example, static1.example.com and static2.example.com could both map to static.example.com, thus prompting the browser to load twice as many links concurrently as before, without requiring you physically move the files on the server. For more information see Maximizing Parallel Downloads in the Carpool Lane

Of course too much concurrency has its own drawbacks on performance, so testing should be done to find the optimal balance.

Want to see if your website has these problems? Try a free performance scan to learn more about these and 395 other performance best practices.

Source B

1. Too Much Fancy Flash

Fancy isn’t always fun. In fact, Flash can seriously slow down your website. Flash is the sumo wrestler of software – it’s big and bulky. And here’s one more vote against it: Flash is almost always incompatible with mobile devices, meaning that a large chunk of your audience won’t even be able to access it. So, if you’re using Flash, you’re slowing down your site for minimal benefit.

2. External Embedded Media

Another common culprit for a slow-running website is external media usage. That means cutting down on the videos and shiny stuff – they’re like carbs. Use them in moderation. Although you may find a fun video or smart slideshow that you think is relevant to your business, think twice before embedding someone else’s media into your site. Once you embed external material into your site, your pages will only run as fast as the host site. In other words, if that external site is having a particularly slow day, your site may run slowly too. Don’t let another site drag yours down! Whenever possible, it’s smart to host all content on your own server.

2 Best Security Plugins for WordPress

Often times if not all the time, people are always concerned about the security of their own website.

  • Can it be hacked?
  • What if people know my login information?
  • How can I prevent spammed comments?

The list goes on…

We have found a couple plugins designed for WordPress that will help ease your worries about hacking and spamming.

[Source]

Your online accounts can be accessed from any device in the world, often without your knowledge. Rublon protects your personal data, as well as business and financial operations, by restricting access from unknown devices.

Use Rublon to manage and define the devices you trust, such as your laptop, tablet and mobile phone. Rublon secured accounts will only be accessible from your Trusted Devices. The Rublon mobile app allows you to add or remove Trusted Devices anytime, anywhere you are.

Rublon is an additional security layer that verifies whether you are signing in from a Trusted Device. It works on top of any existing authentication process. This means that you still have to type your username and password or use a social login button (e.g. Facebook Connect) to sign in, but it must be done on a Trusted Device in order to access your account. And if you want to sign in using a new device, simply confirm your identity using Rublon, and then add it to your Trusted Devices.


Akismet – [Source]

Akismet is an advanced hosted anti-spam service aimed at thwarting the underbelly of the web. It efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. To fight the latest and dirtiest tactics embraced by the world’s most proficient spammers, it learns and evolves every single second of every single day. Because you have better things to do.

With 80,000 scans across your website each month Akismet is a highly recommended plugin for your WordPress website.

How to install WordPress – Manually

WordPress is known as the most popular blogging platform and content management system. New users are often surprised when we tell them that WordPress is also well known for its ease of installation. All best WordPress web hosting companies allow you to install WordPress within few clicks. In most circumstances, installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete. In this WordPress installation tutorial, our goal is to offer a comprehensive WordPress installation tutorial for beginners and advanced users alike. We will show you how to install WordPress manually for beginners. We will explain how to install WordPress manually for our new users.

Things You Need Before Installing WordPress:

  • Domain
  • Hosted Account

Manually installing WordPress using FTP is also known as the famous 5 minute install. To install WordPress using FTP, you need to have a FTP software (Or Cpanel account, with DCHQ all web hosted accounts are provided with a Cpanel account).

First thing you need to do is download the latest version of WordPress. Unzip the file, and use the FTP software to upload the files into your web host directory of your choice.

If you want to install WordPress in the main domain, then you want to install it in your /public_html/ directory. If you want it in a subfolder, then upload it in a folder /public_html/foldername/

Once you are done uploading WordPress, go to your hosting control panel to create a database. We are using cPanel web hosting, so our screenshots will be of cPanel. In your cPanel, find the icon like this:

mysqlicon

You will see a field to create a new database. Enter your database name, and click “Create Database”

createmysqldb

Now that you have created your database, it is time to run the install. Go to the URL where you uploaded WordPress. If it is in the main domain, then you will simply go to yoursite.com.

You will see a page like this:

wpsetup1

Click on the button to create the configuration page. The next screen will show you the information you need to have (database name, database username and password, database host, and table prefix). Simply click on the Let’s go button. Next you will see the form to enter all the information.

wpsetup2

Once you enter the information, click on the submit button. It will take you the page that has the button to Run the Install. Click on it.

wpsetup3

On the next screen, you will see the form to enter your website’s information. This information would be your site’s title, your username, password, and email.

wpsetup4

Click Install WordPress, and you are golden. On the next screen, you will see the Success note with your username and password. Click on the login button and start writing.

REMEMBER: By default, to access your WordPress Admin dashboard again simply type into your address bar whatever you chose for your installation location (usually this is the root of your website) and be sure to add “/wp-admin” to login.

Making posts vs. sharing links on social networks

Hello everybody!

I just finished sending an email to a customer of ours informing them of some personal opinions of posting on their website vs directly on Facebook.

While Facebook itself can be convenient, that is still not providing your business with what you need. Visitors tend to read a post on Facebook than move on. While if you are to simply provide a link on your Facebook if the user likes the title and caption of it they take the bait and click the link right? Well by doing this they will still read the article and chances are they might even see something else on your website that sparks their own interest and will continue to browse.

Now to back up my thoughts on this I have done a little Google and came up with this…

Facebook-vs-Blog

12 Reasons why not to have FLASH for websites

Reason #1: Bad for Search Engines (SEO)
If you want your website to appear in search engines, do not use Flash. Flash pages don’t get indexed properly by search engines due to the fact that search bots simply can’t read Flash content. As far as the search engines are concerned, you might as well have a website that consists of a title, some meta tags, and no other content. It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is or how fluid the animations are if no one will ever find it.Nowadays, Flash can even hurt your search rankings. Many search engines have begun blacklisting websites that have meta data unrelated to the website’s actual content, because such websites are regarded as being deceptive in their attempts to gain web traffic. As far as the search engines are concerned, Flash websites have keywords, but no content, which commonly results in blacklisting due to the perceived discrepancy.
 Reason #2: Limited Mobile Viewing
As the iPhone, Blackberry, and other smartphones have skyrocketed in popularity and usage, more and more websites are being accessed on the go from mobile web browsers. But guess what? Most mobile web browsers haveno Flash support, so they can’t display Flash websites at all. Those that can (in theory) are still limited by the memory and processing power of the mobile device and will often choke on Flash websites because of their increased bandwidth and CPU demands.   ( More on bandwidth and CPU demands in Reason #10 below. )
 Reason #3: No Linking or Bookmarking
Every page of a Flash website has the exact same web address, or URL. In other words, no matter which page you’re viewing on a Flash website, the URL is exactly the same. On normal websites, you can bookmark and link directly to specific pages using unique URLs. This makes it easy to find your way back or to share these pages with others. Without unique URLs, it’s impossible to bookmark pages, and you’d have to include click-by-click instructions to help someone else find their way to a specific page after sending them a link to your website.
 Reason #4: No Back Button
Suppose someone is clicking their way through your website, finds themselves on a page they didn’t mean to click to, and decides they want to go back. This is where the back button comes in on a normal website. On a Flash website, the back button is either disabled altogether, or it will take them to the website they were viewing before yours! Eventually, they’ll have to figure out how to get back another way, such as by reloading the whole website and starting over. This is far from ideal and can seem quite inhospitable to your website visitors.
 Reason #5: Poor Design Standards
The bells and whistles that come with Flash almost always result in gratuitous design abuse when it comes to websites. Successful webmasters understand that the Internet is a standards-based system. Navigation goes here, content goes there, a click does this, a drag does that, and so on. It’s a standard user experience that shouldn’t be re-invented on a whim. Most website visitors are annoyed by broken usability standards, and older or less experienced website visitors will often give up and leave.   ( More on usability failures in Reason #9 below. )This isn’t to say that pushing design boundaries is always a bad thing. In fact, it’s the only way innovation can come about. But the ratio of “revolutionizing” design change to “senseless and gratuitous” design change leans far to the latter, and too many webmasters who try to create something unique and edgy only make their websites unusable as a result. Nowhere is this phenomenon more prominent than with Flash websites.
 Reason #6: Content Loading…
On a normal website, content is instantly viewable as each page or image downloads to the web browser. On a Flash website, however, the entire website has to download before any part of it is viewable. This is the reason 99% of Flash websites start with a loading screen. Compare this to the old days of web video when you had to wait for the entire video to download before it would start playing. Nowadays, streaming video is the standard, because it allows the video to play instantly while it downloads. Flash is incapable of streaming, however, so Flash websites will always behave like the old, non-streaming videos that no one misses.
 Reason #7: Splash and Intro Pages
Splash pages are those annoying intro screens that you often see before clicking “skip intro” or “enter here” to access the real website. Splash pages nearly disappeared a decade ago for their inherent uselessness, but – in a step backwards for web design and usability – many Flash designers have developed a unique dependency on them. Most often, splash pages are used to give visitors a choice between viewing the Flash or non-Flash version of a website. Putting aside the utter pointlessness of having two versions of the same website, this creates an extra and unnecessary hoop for your website visitors to jump through in order to get to your content.
 Reason #8: Basic Text Functions Broken
On Flash websites, it’s impossible to make use of basic text functions like copy-and-paste, finding text, or changing text size to improve readability. There’s no right-click menu to facilitate these tasks, and keyboard shorcuts don’t work with Flash. Also, since the text displayed by Flash websites is unreadable by web browsers, visitors who depend on screen readers due to vision impairments might as well be staring at a blank screen.
 Reason #9: Poor Usability Standards
While most of these twelve reasons involve the usability failures of Flash websites, this section specifically addresses how Flash designers typically break or ignore standard user interface elements of the Web.Internet users are accustomed to certain user interface elements, and they don’t want to learn or adapt to anything new just to use your website. Scrollbars and buttons should look and respond in a familiar way. Navigation menus and forms should behave predictably. While most Flash designers will forego such standards for the sake of being different, time-tested usability standards will always offer a better user experience than a custom widget cooked up by a well-meaning Flash designer over the weekend.
 Reason #10: Bandwidth and CPU Demands
Flash websites can bring older computers to a crawl, and they can take much longer to load with sub-broadband Internet connections. While this may only affect a small portion of your intended audience, why alienate anyoneby denying them a good experience while viewing your website? Remember that if it takes too long to load, or if it runs too slowly on their computers, visitors will often leave your website before they’ve even seen it.
 Reason #11: Dependency on 3rd-Party Plugins
Most people forget that Flash is a proprietary technology owned by Adobe. In fact, Flash websites can’t even be displayed without Adobe’s free Flash Player plugin. While it’s generally accepted that over 90% of today’s Internet users already have the necessary plugin, the rest of the population is either excluded or forced to download and install it. This may be a minor issue for most Internet users today, but it bears mentioning nonetheless.
 Reason #12: Adobe Doesn’t Even Use It
That’s right! The very company that makes, markets, and distributes Flash doesn’t have a Flash website! Perhaps because they know its limitations, but we’ll let the irony of this fact speak for itself.