Check out some good common sense blog security tips

Image: Hacker Inside LogoI couldn’t have said it much better myself, so I decided to link to this article rather than write my own version of it. Although, I might write a follow up that gets a little more in depth or something. However, that’s for another day, for now check out this post on the site “Spice Up Your Blog” where the author goes over “5 Ways Your Blog’s Design Is Making You Susceptible To A Hacker”.

Now this isn’t just for server operators, it focuses on things that also make a difference to those that run their own blog too. This is because a “Hacker”, or maybe a visitor with malicious intent, can wreak havoc on your blog even without touching the rest of the server. If they can get access to your database for example, you can kiss all of your posts, pages and pretty much everything else goodbye if they are feeling especially destructive. Even if they don’t destroy your data, they can post things on your blog that you don’t want, like advertisements; porn; we own you messages; what have you. Even worse, is when your site gets compromised and no one knows it. In these cases the hackers can do all sorts of fun things. One especially nasty trick I have seen is when they plant a virus alongside your sites files and then append a small bit of code to your pages so that your visitors get infected, talk about your reputation plummeting faster than a stone tossed out a window.

With all this in mind, take a look at the following page and see if any of the things they talk about there sound like they might be up your alley. It pays to be careful, I hope this helps!

5 Ways Your Blog’s Design Is Making You Susceptible To A Hacker


The Advantages Of Choosing Linux Web Hosting

Linux web hosting refers to web hosting services that are based on a server that is running the Linux operating system. It is probably the most widely used type of web hosting, especially for individuals and small to medium sized businesses, simply because Linux web hosting is cheaper than other options like Windows based hosting. The reason for this is that Linux is an open source software product and as such does not incur the high licensing fees that other operating systems do; you can freely download and use it at no cost. On the other hand, a web hosting service that offers Windows based hosting has to pay for the software and maintenance fees.

Some of the advantages of Linux web hosting are: cheaper than Windows, support for PHP scripts and MySQL databases and some hosts may offer telnet accounts at no or little additional cost. In many circles Linux is believed to be more secure than Windows, and for that reason it is also the more popular choice for web designers and programmers. Linux web hosting also offers users many configuration and customization options.

The Linux operating system is also very stable, so you can expect high uptime from a Linux web hosting service. Linux supports most scripting languages and types of web files, and you can use files with all the following extensions: .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .asp, .xml and others. The biggest disadvantage of a Linux based web hosting solution is that it is not compatible with Microsoft technologies, like ASP scripts.

On the other side of the coin is Windows based hosting, which is generally more expensive, but it does support ASP and, usually for an extra fee, can support Cold Fusion, Access databases and SQL Server databases.

In conclusion, if you are new to building websites and web design, Linux web hosting is the better, and cheaper, option. However, if you need specialized services that are Windows specific, then you will have to use a Windows web hosting service.

Website Design Tips or Things Not To Do

Ok folks, I have decided to toss out some general tips for those of you who consider yourselves website designers. I have been seeing lots of poorly designed sites out there, and it has frustrated me enough that I have to mention a few of the top offenses. Read this and take heed, you might think you are cool and a super leet rumpshakin pimp webmaster dude but, you’re not. Follow me:

  • Keep your audience in mind. Don’t forget that you are writing a website for a wide variety of users, not a small minority. Sites that don’t render in anything but IE and have the little button “Best Viewed in Internet Exporer” drive me insane, and in fact I won’t do business with sites like that. Most of what I am going to talk about in this post centers around this main issue.
  • DON’T BASE THE WHOLE SITE ON JAVA-FREAKIN-SCRIPT! Did I make myself clear? I can’t tell you how many sites I have found that not only don’t have any navigation links without Javascript enabled, but won’t render at all without it. Here’s a clue, if I just described your website, you are a moron. Javascript is great, but it’s also dependent on the browser again which means you can’t rely on it for critical things like navigation (if that’s the only navigation), rendering the site in the first place, form input validation (duh!), etc. Anyone who uses it for form input validation is crazy, you don’t trust that to something that can be manipulated on the client side … HELLOOO?!
  • DON’T BASE THE WHOLE SITE ON FLASH! Did I stutter? Not only does it take way too long to load, especially for people on dial-up (yes, people are still using dial-up, in fact, the majority of web surfers still do), but we run into that whole client side thing again. Don’t alienate people because they don’t have the right plugin, I don’t care how widespread you think it is. I know, you are thinking that it’s only 5 or 10 percent of the visitors, but why throw away that many opportunities? Come on man, get with it.
  • Don’t over do it with the gadgets. Yes, fly up pop out whirl around shout at you menus are cute, but they detract from the whole purpose of your site, to convey whatever information you have to the visitor. Now, if you have no content maybe you should have all that stuff.
  • The same goes for too many graphics. Load that page up with too many pics and you are back to having it take too long to load and people getting fed up and moving on. From the research that I have read, you have about four seconds to get the page loaded and grab a visitors attention before you have lost them. Think about how fast you yourself move on when surfing. Uh huh, see?

I think that’s enough for now, it’s a good start anyway. At the very least you should get an idea of where I am going. Keep your sites clean, simple and easy to navigate. Great designs are fine and well, great even, but do it right!