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Saturday, 08 June 2013 08:31

Advertising on Facebook

Is Facebook a Failure when it comes to Advertising

We really never did much with social websites up until now but it seems our first experience with Facebook was an eye opener!

It seems Facebook somehow suspected I was not me and suspended the account.
Now that is an understandable thing as we do have to stand vigilant on Credit Card fraud.
But after seeing how their system works I canceled the Ad account.

As an advertiser I expect to be able to have immediate contact with the company I am spending my money with.
This is not the case with Facebook.

After searching on this issue I see people saying "yes facebook is hard to contact - after all it's free and you get what you pay for"
Well I'm sorry in my case it's not free and this is no way to treat a paying customer.

Due to this I have to say Facebook is not a place to spend money on advertising if they can just shut down your Facebook page anytime they please for what ever reason.
Due to the fact you can't contact them right away I say this is not the place to spend your money. .

Imagine you spent $1,000 on ads and they shut down your page because they think Aliens from Andromeda have invaded your account .  Are they going to refund the $1,000?

What if you think there is click fraud?

Facebook advertising is a bad idea until they wake up and hire people to represent what they are selling. It's called customer support.

Vincent G.


Friday, 21 December 2012 13:40

Tips for Spam Assassin

Helpful tips for Spam Assassin

Many hosts use Spam Assassin to block Spam.
Some of the problems are that spammers get around it and I will show you how to solve this problem.

Spam Assassin has a folder it creates on you account root. Within that folder is a file named auto-whitelist.
This is where the problem begins for most.

A spammer sends you an email which maybe nothing more than a question.
You reply and all seems well but it is the first step the spammer used to get past your Spam Filter.
Spam Assassin will add this person to the white list automatically.
From that point on your spam filter is disabled for any messages from this senders address.

To solve this problem delete the auto-whitelist file and add the senders domain to your block list.
It's totally safe to delete the file as Spam Assassin will just create a new one.
You can block an email address or a domain or even a Top level domain.

First examine the email header and look for the line where contact was first made.
Spammers will not use real return addresses so don't try to block those.
The line to use is received from or helo=some domain name  where the domain name is the real senders address.

Since most don't put real email addresses just block the mail server by placing a * (star / asterisk) before the name in you block list.

Lets say you are getting spam from a domain named badguy.com.
You will see in your email header some fake return address and a line like:
Received: from badguys.com ([]) :1111 helo=badguys.com

This is the real sender!
To block all email put    *badguys.com   in your list of blocked email addresses.
This will block any email from the domain no matter where in that domain it comes from.
If it's mail.badguys or mx1.mail.badguys.com it will be blocked.

If you have a lot of spam from one top level domain and if you don't do business with that country then block the top level domain which will mark anything from that country top level domain as spam.

for instance *.uk will block all emails from the UK
But be careful as you must be sure there are no important emails that may come from a country before you thing of blocking a top level domain.

Step one is look through your emails and gather the sender / helo domain to add to the block list.
Step 2 is add the domain names gathered to your block list.
Step 3 is delete the white-list file that Spam Assassin creates.

This will help to solve your spam problems without reverting to use a service to help block the spam.

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 11:29

Cpanel to make most requested changes


Cpanel To make Most Requested Changes

Two changes we requested have been accepted by Cpanel and we are looking forward to them in up coming releases.

The Add-on Domain will now be created at the account Root rather than as a sub domain.
I am looking forward to them implementing this as the current method of adding it as a sub domain has many problems. Under the current structure if a client wants to drop the main domain then this becomes a bit of a problem.
Also Rewrite statements can effect the sub domains.

Having the Add-on domain implemented at the account root would solve all these problems and it also solves it in a proper way.

A second request we made was to allow resellers to control their email messages from WHM.
Resellers may want to have the system email them with important messages such as a website is running low on space or a site was created or dropped.

Under the current design only the Server Admin is able to control this.

I hope other changes that others suggested that would improve Cpanel also were accepted and I applaud Cpanel for their taking the time to listen to their clients.


Thursday, 23 August 2012 11:56

How to choose a Web Design company

Picking the Right Web Designer

I have seen many really bad outcomes that people have had with their Website projects.
There is one company out there that has a one size fits all offering which is a really bad idea.
They use Wodrpress for every type of website which does not meet the needs of 95% of the clients.
Wordpress is a Blog software and yet this company uses it for E-Commerce.
True Wordpress has a plugin to do online sales but Wordpress is not a tool to use for E-Commerce.

Online sales is best done with a Shopping Cart and there are many free and commercial Carts on the Market.  If it's an Online Store you wish then choose a company that will use a Cart best suited to your business. I also suggest to test drive the cart to see if you like it. A good designer will provide a demo site so you can see the cart in action.

Last is setting up payment methods in the Cart. Most really good carts support the majority of Merchants that process Credit Cards plus Paypal and other payment systems.
Paypal Pro and any Merchant account setup requires a dedicated IP plus an SSL Security Certificate and you will need to do PCI security testing by a trusted organization.
Standard Paypal and services like 2co.com process Cards and payments off site thus you don't need to pay the fees for an IP testing and SSL.

If you are just wanting a basic website then you may want to look at using a CMS ( Content Management System ).
Apps like Joomla or Wordpress can be a choice over basic static pages in that they allow you to manage the content of the website. Thus you can avoid having to call a web designer to make changes to your web pages. There is a down side although in that these software applications often requires upgrades.
Although Wordpress is flexible it really is designed to be a Blog thus we recommend using Joomla or another good CMS . It's best to use software suited to the task rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Static Pages take up the least amount of space and are much faster to load verses dynamic pages created by such Apps as a CMS or Blog. The space savings can save you money in hosting Fees as most better Web Hosts charge more for space.

The bottom line is to know a little about what you need so that you can ask the web designer the right questions,

Don't let the designer force you to use a software that is not suitable to the task.
Look over the software you are planning to pick as this is what you will be stuck with if it's not 100% what you expected.

There are many good designers out there - let them show you their past work.
Don't just take a quick glance at the prior customer web sites - look at them as if you were buying one of them. You may be surprised to find broken links or other problems.
The art work is really nothing more than fancy wrapping paper - you need to open the box to see what's inside.

Hope this helps

Monday, 14 May 2012 12:51

The downside of unlimited hosting

Growing problems for unlimited hosting

I am seeing more problems taking place for hosting companies offering unlimited plans.
I have found a few small web developers that are adding client sites to their unlimited hosting plans.

Most clients don't know what they are supposed to get with a hosting plan so it's quite easy to add them to an existing unlimited plan which to the client seems ok.

As time goes by this will become a growing problem for hosting companies that offer unlimited plans.
This will shrink their paid client base and place high loads on existing servers.

This I think will go a step further to what will be called community hosting.
I am sure the idea of community hosting will start to become popular where up to 100 or more websites will wind up sharing a single hosting plan. Since I am already seeing it taking place at a small scale I believe it will only take a short time for it to grow in popularity.
Why pay $8.95 per month when you can get it for $10 per year or less?

Just how these big hosting companies will deal with this new trend is not clear as of yet.
But I am sure they will have to re-think the idea of allowing unlimited domains and unlimited sub domains which can also be abused.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 13:51

Outstanding job by MIT for YouTomb

MIT has created YouTomb which lists YouTube video violations.

Having seen so many videos on YouTube that were expressing outraged at Ron Paul's 2008 account being removed I decided to check out how to find out if there is any info that can be found as to what may have happened.
What I found was quite remarkable.

MIT has a website called YouTomb http://youtomb.mit.edu
This site has a full listing of all videos and under each video is a reason why it was removed from the account .

The site does not have the full original video as it only shows an image from the video as is normally shown in YouTube.

This is quite an achievement from the folks at MIT and my hat's off to each one that was part of this project.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 09:48

End of Zend

The End of Zend

Many software use Zend encoding for security reasons but this will not be for long.
As it turns out applications that have been built on Zend will no longer work with PHP 5.3
Software companies have to provide a PHP 5.3 Zend version of their software and this version will not work on older versions of PHP
Many Shopping Carts and other types of software will just stop working if your Hosting company upgrades to PHP version 5.3

What you will need to do then is download a version that is compiled with the newer version of Zend.
So you now face a long downtime of your website as it takes quite some time to FTP most software.

One would think Zend would be smart enough to be sure their product has backward compatibility but this does not seem to be the case.

I believe that rather than facing this same problem again most people will switch to IonCube as they have a much better track record.

The end of Zend will happen fast as when a company makes such a mistake as this people abandon it quickly.
In the past Zend could get away with being slow to respond to problems with newer versions of PHP.
But now with pressure on hosting companies to be current in order to comply with PCI testing they no longer have this luxury.

Few people will be happy with a long downtime as they are faced with having to FTP a new version of the Software they use which can take hours.
Worse I see that few are releasing a PHP 5.3 version of their software.

I too will recommend that anyone using Zend should switch to IonCube as I see Zend coming to a quick end.


Monday, 12 March 2012 14:32

Search Engine abuse

Spamming Search Engines

We have run into some new type of search engine spam and have notified 4 major search engines of our findings.
I don't want to go into details at this point but as we are looking to find the source of it.

If you think spamming search engines will help your ranking you are mistaken. Search engine spam hurts search engines as it uses up resources and the majors don't look at this kindly.

Don't fall for the Ads that promise you thousands of visitors if you use their service or install their script.
In most cases these services will only send you garbage traffic or worse get you black listed in a Major Search Engine.

If you have had any bad experiences with such services let us know.
The one I am looking for seems to be an underground service which uses the worst possible methods.
They don't seem to care the type of sites they are spamming as even sites that are doing things totally illegal on their list of sites

Building a good reputation takes time and services such as these can destroy a reputation over night..

Sunday, 11 March 2012 07:43

Distrubuted Search Engine

A Search Engine in the UK is trying a new approach

With the high server cost involved with search engines a UK company has come up with a new approach.
Distributed Search by Majestic-12 is using donor space from others to spread the Data Base out across multiple servers.
By doing this they can keep server costs to a minimum. The UK especially could use some help in the search market as all major UK Search Engine companies have either gone bankrupt or given up and changed their corporate business model.

Not too long ago there were hundreds of search engines that users could choose from.
Today we are down to a little over a handful.

This should be interesting to see if it can gain a market share in the search business.
If this new business model does become successful then the search giants will have some serious thinking to do.

Majestic-12 can be found at - http://www.majestic12.co.uk/

Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:39

What if someone is bashing your business

Have you ever had a person post complaints on your Website

This can even go further in that a few may even go so far as to open a website up to vent their dismay.
I had such a case in that a client of mine had created a website which was explaining his dismay with a Lawyer.
The lawyer tried to have me shut down his website but after looking at it I seen no law was broken by it and refused.
He then took the client to court and lost under free speech law.

The bottom line is if you have a disgruntled client it's best to try to work out something with him rather than ignore his or her complaints. The worst case I can remember was a person that bought a car and was so unhappy with it he took it to the car companies main head quarters and set the car on fire. This of course made headline news. Back then there was no internet or Youtube which now gives people access to millions of viewers.

Another thing that is important is to register any domain name like your company name. If not then a disgruntled person could well register it and use it against you. This would require you to file complaints with ICANN and the domain registrar. You would want to avoid having a website come up in Google, when searching for you, that is describing your company in a bad light.



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