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How to reduce spam emails?

How to reduce spam emails?

Actually, it is frustrating if you are receiving a lot of spam email. Even you have so-called the best anti-spam on your email service, you can receiving spam email, maybe lesser and at the same time, you might treat some emails as spam email, known as false positive.

SPAMEXPERTAs far as I’m concerned, there isn’t 100%. With anti-spam you are receiving lesser definitely but your definition is never the same as the server. Some anti-spam require you to set rules or train them in order to be effective

Thus, you cannot eliminate those spam emails defined by you. However, you can still minimise receiving spam emails without spending a lot to or buy a good anti-spam. Here are a few tips to help you;

a. Never use your ‘work’ email to do registration online for personal use, Your email address can be sold to someone for bulk sending. Always think twice if registration is necessary.

b. Avoid common account name like help, sales, enquiry or similar. If your name is John, avoid using john@, and add your last name.

c. Do not advertise your email address. Spammers like to use harvesting technique to collect email addresses. Common areas like auction portals, buy & sell portal etc.

e. Make sure you use SPF in your domain name DNS allows only permitted email server to send email on your behalf. I recommend ‘-a’ at the end of SPF record if you want to enforce those emails impersonate your organization.

f. Use effective RBLs on your email server. Reputable RBLs filter emails sent from bad IP addresses.

 

 

 

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WordPress version 5.1 is here

wordpressWordPress version 5.1 is here

WordPress version 5.1 is here, you can find the details here https://wordpress.org/support/wordpress-version/version-5-1/ . If you are using an older version of WordPress, I suggest you upgrade as soon as possible.

Before you upgrade, always verify the plugins that you have installed are compatible. An upgrade to the outdated plugins may require. Do a backup of your WordPress website before the upgrade.

It is a common mistake made, the users backup the WordPress files only. WordPress website is a database CMS. Content updates are changes in the database table, thus making a database dump / backup is important.

Without the latest database backup, you have a high chance of getting a broken website during restoration.

A common mistake of choosing a dedicated server?

What is the common mistake of choosing a dedicated server? Does size matter? Or the price is a matter. Basically, we put them into 2 categories; the value and the performance.

shockedFrom my past experience, customers are looking at the disk size and the RAM. Yes, the more the merrier but this most time doesn’t help in performing but larger in quantity. For me. I will go with performance than value.

A 2.6Ghz CPU A if different to 2.6Ghz CPU B. CPU B have the same speed but it is the later generation consume 30 watts while CPU A use 60 watts. It meaB performs better and consumes power lesser.

Next, we come to storage, we have hard drives, SSDs and NVMe now. Even the Hard  Drives are different. The slower one spins at 5400rpm, follow by 7200rpm, 10,000rpm and 15,000rpm. The spin speeds give you better read and write performance. SSD reads at about 500Mb per second and NVMe is 2000MB per second. Hard Drives, the most common is 7200rpm gives you 150Mb.

A common mistake of choosing a dedicated server?

So, today you got a big hard drive which means you can store more but the server can only host 2 websites as compared to those with SSD 3 time more for the same website loading speed.

For a dedicated server, the priority should be the power, the performance unless you use it for files archiving and you need the pace. A website with images probably less than 10GB if you have a 6TB server, I will guess you used it for archiving.

On the other hand, big hard drives like 4TB are common now, who sells you 1 or 2 TB drives. Most probably, they are old stock if they do. The spin speed is still important if you stick with the hard drives., otherwise SSD at least.

All Support for version 11.30 Ends April 2, 2019

All Support for version 11.30 Ends April 2, 2019

Today cPanel told us; As of April 2, 2019, cPanel L.L.C. is dropping all support for cPanel & WHM version 11.30.

According to cPanel, there are still some servers running cPanel & WHM version 11.30 in use today! Version 11.30 reached End Of Life status back in January 2013 and has not received updates since that time.

cPanel wants you to know that with this action of ending support for 11.30, they will also end support for BSD, and anything not CentOS or RHEL. Please review these documents for more information:
cPanel & WHM End of Life Policy
cPanel & WHM Upgrade Blockers

Please also note that support for cPanel & WHM version 11.32, which reached End Of Life status back in August 2013, will be dropped, next. Our data tells us that there are servers still running on that tier as well.

So, if you are still using 11.30, need to act fast. Vastspace is cPanel NOC Partner.

How to prevent your website against hackers?

How to prevent your website against hackers?

We do not many cases but there is always a website was hacked and asked the same questions, how was my website hacked? And how to protect them?

malwareThere are a few reasons for your website was hacked. Occasionally, we can only share the possibilities until further investigation like checking the log files.

It is difficult to eliminate totally but we suggest you protect them. This will make hacking difficult or not possible.

Hackers are looking for backdoors to penetrate your website, only if you can shut it,  Here are some inexpensive ways to protect your website.

  • updated script and plugins – if you are using WordPress, Joomla or similar, always have up-to-date CMS, plugins and the PHP.
  • Limited your SQL connection or to local connection only.
  • Restrict your administration login page.
  • Use malware scanner to scan your website daily during off-peak.
  • Use WAF like Sucuri Firewall, you update less often which is useful to some.
  • Computers access to the website backend and control panel must install and scan by a good anti-virus/malware and up-to-date definition.
  • Use Strong Password for all users.
  • A penetration test. You can find a free solution online.
  • Use mod_security cPHulk brute-Force or Fail2ban – these can be found in popular cPanel or Plesk Onyx.
  • Use Firewall like CSF or APF. However, I don’t really recommend a software firewall. They can paralyse the website if you are under attacks while it takes resources from your server.

Lastly, you always have a backup copy can restore an up-to-date website.

Should you own a dedicated email server?

dedicated serverShould you own a dedicated email server?

I’m seeing some of my customers are hosting a hundred or more email accounts using cPanel or Plesk onyx. There is nothing wrong using these control panels, email service is free using either Exim or Postfix. There are free and open source email server. Anti-Spam features are limited to free and open source solutions.

They are still ok for daily usages. However, if you are relying on the webmail, the choice is limited to the free and open source solutions. They are not amazing until you have seen better webmail like SmarterMail.

Administrative functions are also limited on these email server. Creating, deleting mailboxes and updating password are likely what you need. A lot of the other features are not available or modify them using SSH shell command.

In my opinion, administrating email server, receiving and sending emails are important for an organization. I’m seeing a lot have neglected this area.

A good email server can save you a lot of troubles and enhance your email deliveries. They are equal to money. Basically, the return is higher than investing in terms of financial values.

Today, we introduce SmartMail DE250Lite at #188 per month. Lower by more than $100 with smaller disk space. The Lite version will ft those with a lower budget if they do not need the large disk space.

About Website cache?

About Website cache?

There are many types of cache, some served with the web server and some are integrated with the website applications, like WordPress. Whichever the type of cache you are using, the objective is to speed up the website.

PEOPLE WORKINGYes! I just said ‘sped up the website’. Wait a minute speed up my website? I have a broken website and mt updates were never appear!

Certainly, your website and her website are not the same. Apart from the website, She is using a IIs web server but you are using an outdated Apache 2.2 web server. For your information, Apache 2.4 is newer and better.

Caches are intended to speed up your website but the question is ‘how much’? Is your website properly loaded? The idea of ‘cache’ is to store the data frequently access or preloaded so that it can speed up on displaying the page on the website.

The cache uses the technique of compressing, preloading, minifying, combine and expiring to speed up the loading process. However, these caches introduce 2 main issues;

  • A broken website
  • Updates are not reflected.

These are known issues. They can be annoying. Some learn the processes. If you choose to use cache, some of these are unavoidable. Some caches are more intelligent, they automatically flush each time you have made an update but I suggest you manually flush for a better result.

If the cache has a commercial license. Ask for trial. You need a few days of intensive testings to make sure all pages of your website are loading properly.

 

Sucuri Firewall Pro is better?

Sucuri Firewall Pro is better?

Sucuri Firewall Pro is better? Yes, in a way. It depends on the users, and on how he or she is managing the website. However, I personally feel Sucuri is better and can be better.

In the market, Sucuri is not the only one markets website protection. There is big name like Cloudflare, Stachpath and others. But my discussion is on Sucuri today, and the Pro plan. They don’t have a free plan like Cloudflare. For their plans: You can find it here

I set up and use most, Actually, they do the job. However, I like Sucuri. The set up gives me a feeling that it is more secure for those choose to use their own DNS. The website webroot point to Sucuri proxy, not to your source. In this way, it is difficult to find your source IP and attack it.

sucuri firewallEven your source IP is exposed, you can protect your web server only allowing sucuri proxies to access it. It is strongly recommended that you do that. When you are using a firewall proxy, your log will show the proxy IP instead. Sucuri has a tutorial on this, how The X-forward can be found here for the most web server.

Sucuri Package from us comes with monitoring too. You can check your website is status and infected by malware or not as little as 6 hours interval.

Most website proxies include CDN. With the feature, it speeds up your website. A bigger brand has more POP than Sucuri. However, never get the impression that the site responds faster. For example, my website vastspace.net scores 86 in Pingdom speed test with Sucuri and 72 only with the other firewall. Test location for both set up was the same. To confirm, I used GTmetrix, Yslow is 81 and 89 with Sucuri.

I feel too the website has loaded faster even the load time at GTmetrix has proven.  I’m not sure you have to pay more to improve loading speed (image loading speed for example) if this is the case, Sucuri is cheaper.

Sucuri is easy to understand and straight forward to most as compared to many web firewall. I found what I need, I have tried some web protection GUI. I’m either overwhelmed by the clickable icons or they have limited features. Actually, the worst feelings are having to pay for a particular feature. In my opinion, do not put them there but sell them as the addons.

Like I have mentioned, this is my opinion. Sucuri is value for money. It costs lesser than most, you will get website protection and speed. It is worth considering.

 

 

 

SERP affect your website?

SERP affect your website?

There are a few search engines on the internet. Some website appears more often and ranks higher than others. Do you know why? No one will likely search for a company but a service or a product?

SEO2
Portrait of two business people pulling SEO banner

For example, I want to buy a tap, I will use the popular search engine online like Google to search for ‘tap’. Tap is the keyword. At the same time, I might need a spanner too, I will search for ‘hardware store’. ‘Hardware store’ is another keyword.

So, it is a must your page is able to tell your online visitors, I’m an online hardware store sells tap. Your website might appear in the search. But the question is in which page, Top 10? 20 or 30? Or I cannot find my website?

Here are tips to help some choose to DIY to save money. Again, I remind you time is only not your concern and patience is needed. My recommendation and tips suggest that your website might be ranked higher but the result is not guaranteed.

  1. If you can buy and use an older and expired domain. The longer, it has registered the better.  The age of the Domain plays a role in ranking.
  2. Readable content and relevant content for the keywords you want to get listed.
  3. Images – try not to have an underscore or special characters in the name and alt is used in all images.
  4. Load speed of the website. Some websites have the tool to test your website first-byte load test. It helps.
  5. Geographical location. If your target customers are Singaporean, you don’t choose to host in the USA. However, this can be reinforced using the webmaster console not very crucial.
  6. Avoid errors like an unfound page, images or similar affect your ranking in search engines.
  7. Use correct  unique title and meta description of each page.
  8. Use sitemap or sitemap generator.
  9. Use https.
  10. Links building. Try to link back to your website from others. And the other website is popular, this will help to rank higher.
  11. Use SEM. Advertise online to get click traffic.

Apart from method 11, most you do not need to speed money. Some may have, like getting a link from a press release or some may have even buy a link. Whatever the case, these are general things that you can do to get a higher ranking.

There are things like redirection, passive voice, transition words, the HTML H1 H2… tag, the frequency of the keyword is appearing are very detailed things to follow. A search engine like Google changes its search algorithm often. I supposed if you have done the above it definitely has a better ranking to a website not Search Engine Optimised.