Secure websites with SSL

SSL certificates create an encrypted connection and establish trust.

  

If all that is too much tech for you to take in, you are in luck. We are here to help secure your site.

Vector vs. Raster 101

We have been answering this questions since we first started using graphics on the computer. I will attempt to break down the basics without out too much tech jargon.

Raster Files Extensions: 

  • TIFF (tagged image file format)
  • JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • GIF (graphics interchange format)
  • BMP (bitmap)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

Vector File Extensions:

  • EPS (encapsulated postscript)
  • AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  • SVG (Server Vector Graphic)

Mixed File Extensions: 

  • PDF (Portable Document Format) Can contain any or all of the above)

Raster images are made up of pixels tagged to be a certain specified color. If you have a one-inch square image that is at a resolution of 72 DPI (Dots Per Inch or pixels per inch) it contains 5184 pixels. 72 x 72, just like figuring square feet. Heres the import thing that differentiates Raster from Vector. Resolution is not scalable. Only the image is scaled. not the resolution. If you take the 72 DPI image and make it 3 inches square, you now have a 3-inch square image that is at 24 dpi. Same goes for reverse. Make the image smaller and the image tightens up. Web pages use a screen resolution of 72 DPI for most screens. Print uses screens from 85 DPI for a newspaper to 150-200 DPI for offset printing. So as a rule of thumb, an image that works at 3 inches across on the web may only work as a 1inch wide image in print or smaller. Lower resolutions for the particular format and size results in pixelation.

So to say you have a 300 dpi image means little of usability unless you include the size.

 

Same image at 10 DPI and 72 DPI.

Raster images are used for photographs that can contain millions of colors.

Vector images are often used for graphics like logos. A vector image is made up of lines of code that tell the display how to draw something. So take the 1-inch square. Make a point (vector) in the top left, one in the bottom right and create a rectangle, now fill it with black. You end up with a black square. Scale it up to 10 feet or down, does not matter because it’s simply a line and a fill now matter how big or how small. The actual file for this is extremely small and does not change based on the size. The other benefit is the vector formats support transparent backgrounds, which helps in placing a logo on color or a photograph without getting a white box behind it.

  • 1 inch square in TIFF format 72 DPI – 35,928 bytes
  • 1 inch black square in JPG (compressed) format 72 DPI – 350 bytes
  • 1 inch photograph square in JPG (compressed) format 300 DPI – 11,305 bytes
  • 1 inch black square in EPS format – 950 bytes

So the graphics and their use can determine what is best in certain formats. Photos don’t make good eps files (Monster size files). But vector files are scalable.

INDS domain name scam

If you have a registered domain name, its a good chance you have received an envelope in the mail from INDS. What INDS does is mails expiration notices to the owners of expiring domains before their domain registrar does. If you fill in the form and send them money you are agreeing to transfer the registrar to them (its in the fine print), from who you registered it with. You would still own the domain, but the registrar will change. The mailing looks very official and prompts many emails and phone calls wanting to know if this is something that needs to be done. You should simply discard the mailing and wait for the actual registrar to contact you regarding renewal. Other scams come from Chinese registry services stating that you are in violation and the US Domain Name registrars which looks like official government business.

 

Google Chrome and https

Google has made its intentions known that within Chrome it wants to encourage webmasters and site owners to move their sites to HTTPS. Later this year, Google’s Chrome browser will show a warning message on pages that have search boxes or forms to fill out.

HTTPS requiures a Secure Socket Layer or Certificate be issued for the domain. Then the site can be displayed through HTTPS instead of HTTP. Depending on the server that the site is hosted on, will determine how an SSL certificate will be implemented.

Google said, “in October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”

Chrome recently added that pages with logins are required to be over HTTPS and even sent out webmaster warnings about the change.

Ultimately, Google wants to mark any web page over HTTP as insecure — but that will take them some time to accomplish.

It’s left to be seen if other browsers follow suite, but the odds are good they will.

Browser Cache

Browser Caches are a helpful way of speeding up frequently visited web pages. They store files, images and supporting scripts so that your browser does not have to recreate pages from scratch overtime you visit a page often. The problem occurs when a page changes and the browser does not see that change and displays old data. Clearing your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history may remove some data that you wish to keep.

  • In most computer-based web browsers, to open menus used to clear your cache, cookies, and history, press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac). If this doesn’t work, follow the appropriate instructions below.
  • If you don’t see instructions below for your specific version or browser, search your browser’s Helpmenu for “clear cache”. If you’re unsure what browser version you’re using, from the Help menu or your browser’s menu, select About [browser name]. In Internet Explorer and Firefox, if you don’t see the menu bar, press Alt.

Clearing your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history may remove data such as the following:

  • Saved passwords
  • Address bar predictions (e.g. Chrome, Firefox)
  • Shopping cart contents, etc.

While you should clear your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history periodically in order to prevent or resolve performance problems, you may wish to record some of your saved information first. If you are unable to do so, see Troubleshooting alternatives below.

For information about your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history, see the following Wikipedia pages:

Troubleshooting alternatives

If you need to clear your cache, cookies, and history for troubleshooting purposes, but aren’t yet prepared to lose the content listed above, you may wish to consider using a private browsing window in your preferred browser as a temporary solution. For instructions, see:

Google goes all in on Mobile Sites

For the Techies, the saying goes “resistance is futile”. A quoate from Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek.

And so it goes with Google. The search giant annonunced that starting April 21, 2015, they would start ranking mobile friendly sites higher in the saerches. Or in other words, they would punish the ones that are not mobile compliant by dropping them in the page rankings. The amazing thing about that announcement is not what in it, but the fact that they announced it at all. Most changes are added into the placement algorythimes, and we discover them the hard way. Mostly by trial and error. But Google decided that this was so important that they needed to announce it. So is your website mobile compliant. Here is a link where you can check.

Net Neutrality

he best intentions often go astray. It all sounds good. Equal internet for all, but the elephant in the room is government regulation.

The idea is simple. Every website, every browser having equal access to speed/bandwidth on the internet. Sound good. Isn’t that what we have now? Apparently not. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc, pay the major internet providers for better bandwidth and speed for their data heavy users, gaining benefits that the ordinary website host can’t provide or afford. But here’s the catch, when a big clumbersome entity gets involved in regulations, the whole system suffers. Need examples, look no further than heathcare, or veterans hospitals, or taxes, or…… Get the idea. The only reason the governments gets involved in something like this is income, so get ready to pay.

The fact that most people have to be told that the favoritism even exists, leads to the old quote, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Mobile Friendly – Responsive Websites

We have been pushing having a mobile friendly website over the last few years and the amount of users that see websites on limited size screens has only grown. More than 50% of website views are coming from tablets and smartphones.

Google just announced that if will start penalizing websites in their rankings if they are not mobile friendly. So here are the two choices you have to stay compliant:

1. If you like your current site, we can make a phone and tablet specific landing pages within your domain that will automatically direct the corrosponding viewers to those pages. This is the simpliest way to go, but will require updating two or three layouts each time a change is made to the site. Something to consider if your site changes often.

2. Redesign the site so that it is “responsive”. A responsive site use CSS (Cascading style sheets, to change the design to accomodate the viewers device. These often have 3, 4  or as many as 9 differnt widths they adapt to. This type of design will also adapt to either landscape or portrait orientations of the screens. If you have an older wordpress site, this can be a s simple as implimenting a new theme with a little customization.

Email pitfalls

It is the default way to communicate in business, but with comes the pitfalls. Spammers have become very resourceful in phishing for valid email address, and most websites that provide a free service collect email list and sell them to make their dollars.

So turn the spam filter up and try to avoid these common mistakes:

1. Avoid using aliases. The more mail servers email has to go through, the more it looks like spam and the more places troubles can occur.

2. Avoid “re:”, :fwd:” in subject lines. These are one mark against you in the spam filter check list.

3. Avoid send mail to multiple addresses in the same email. Viruses do this and the filters can block the mail and lock down your ability to send because of it.