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Informative commentary on the web industry from the experts at Itomic.

March 18, 2014

Isn’t WordPress for blogs?

By Izumi Mitsui

If you’ve been anywhere online or looked at getting a website in the recent years ‘WordPress’ is probably a common term you’ve heard thrown around even if you’re not web savvy.  

Wordpress specialists perth - itomic

Itomic – WordPress specialists perth

Contrary to popular belief WordPress is much more than a blogging platform.

Since it’s first release in 2003 (primarily for blogging purposes), the improvements to the architecture over time has allowed websites to have many complex functionalities such as inclusion of shopping carts and accepting automated payments. It currently boasts over 60 million websites globally and the numbers are rapidly increasing every year.

At Itomic we aim to make the most of modern Web Technology available to us, and here is why we think WordPress is so great and decided to become specialists of this platform.

WordPress is an open source Content Management System (CMS). The CMS allows you to freely add/edit/remove content and pages from a website at anytime. Being an open source platform means there’s a global community contributing to the continual improvement of the system making sure it’s adapting to the digital landscape. (i.e. At the time of writing, WordPress 3.8 is the latest release which identify items such as Social Media integration and mobile responsiveness to be a standard request from end users.)

This agile approach ensures new features and security upgrades are being released on a regular basis to ensure the integrity of the website.

Ok, that’s enough about why we get excited about WordPress. Here are some reasons why it’s great for you and the end users:

WordPress is Open Source

There is no ‘lock-in’ to a vendor, so you are free to take your WordPress website anywhere that supports it.   

WordPress is Simple

WordPress has the ability to take a complex set of features and display them in a user friendly, intuitive format for your users and make it easy for you to administer and monitor performance via the dashboard.

WordPress is Scalable 

When it comes to WordPress development it’s helpful to see it as building blocks. Additional features in the future are easily accommodated without having to start from scratch.  

Like what you’ve read so far? Ready to give WordPress a run for your new project or want to find out more?

We can help, let’s start a conversation!

 


March 6, 2014

Australia’s new March 2014 privacy laws. Is your business prepared?

By Ross Gerring

From 12 March 2014, new privacy laws come into effect in Australia. Organisations that are active in direct marketing and related need to take special note, but in fact the new legislation applies to *any* Australian business that holds personally identifiable information. Which is pretty much all of us!

Here are some resources to get you started, if you’ve not started already:

Sky News Business Interviews ADMA CEO on Privacy Changes – 5m30s Youtube video.

Five essentials for Australia’s new privacy laws – from Technology Spectator

Privacy fact sheet 17: Australian Privacy Principles - direct from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)

Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising – their home page with lots of relevant links, resources, articles, etc.

 Itomic will certainly be reviewing our compliance with the new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and updating our policies and procedures accordingly.


February 25, 2014

Does your website need an SSL Certificate?

By Ross Gerring

Please consider this to be a brief, not-too-technical overview of the subject. For more in-depth information, try Wikipedia or DigiCert

What is an SSL certificate?

It’s a software technology that encrypts all information being exchanged between your website (i.e. the computer server where it’s hosted) and the devices (PC, tablet, etc.) of anyone visiting/using the site. It can be made to apply to every single page of a site, or it can be made to apply to only specific pages of a site.

What does “encrypt” mean?

Without an SSL certificate, all information exchanged between a PC and your website is transmitted in “plain text”. Therefore if someone intercepted the data being exchanged, they could easily read that information, and potentially use it with malicious intent. With an SSL certificate in place, the same intercepted data would present as being “scrambled” (encrypted), and is virtually impossible to read, or decrypt.

Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

The more your website involves the exchange of potentially sensitive or confidential information (yours and/or your clients), the more your site needs an SSL certificate, and vice versa.

The most common types of sensitive information being exchanged between websites and the people who use those websites are:

  1. Financial information, e.g. credit cards.
  2. Personal information, e.g. name, age. date of birth, address.
  3. Passwords, i.e. any place on your site where someone (yourself and/or clients) are required to login (authenticate) to access it, e.g. a members area and/or your own content management admin area.

It’s a trust thing. Most people can spot when an SSL certificate is in operation and when it’s not, and some will hold back using your site if an SSL certificate is not in place and they’re being asked to share potentially sensitive information.

How can I tell if an SSL certificate is in operation on a web page?

Two main ways:

  1. Instead of http:// being displayed in your internet browser (e.g. Google Chome), you’ll see https://.
  2. A small padlock icon will appear in your internet browser, typically next to the https:// address of the page you’re currently viewing.

What’s the difference between a single or standard SSL, and a wildcard SSL?

A wildcard SSL secures a domain and all of its first-level subdomains. For example, a certificate for *.example.com secures www.example.com, mail.example.com, shop.example.com, uat.example.com, etc. A single or standard SSL certificate would only secure www.example.com, requiring you to purchase an additional certificate for mail.example.com and another for shop.example.com, etc. Although one wildcard SSL is a little more expensive than one standard SSL, due to their far greater flexibility we recommend wildcard SSLs to all our clients at Itomic, and can offer very competitive rates.

What’s the worst that can happen if my site doesn’t have an SSL certificate?

The information harvested is used maliciously against you and/or your clients. For example, if an unauthorised person gained the admin login details for your site, they could anything to your site that you can do.

How do I choose, buy, install and configure an SSL certificate?

We strongly recommend you speak with your website developer and/or website hosting provider – such as Itomic – for guidance and support on this.

In summary

  1. Think of an SSL certificate as you would do an insurance policy. You might never need it, but be very glad if/when you do.
  2. Some clients (actual or prospective) may avoid your site if they perceive that your website isn’t secure. Is their business worth more or less to you than the cost of an SSL certificate?

February 21, 2014

Major DNS upgrade for Itomic hosting

By Ross Gerring

Today we’re very pleased to announce that a major upgrade has been completed to the DNS component of our website hosting business. In short, our name servers have moved to their own dedicated hosting servers running the latest DNS-focused software. This significant update will make our web hosting services even more stable and secure, especially when it comes to migrating sites from older servers to newer servers.

We’re now in the process of contacting all our valued clients who manage their own domain names and where those domain names currently reference our ‘old’ Itomic name servers: ns.itomic,com, ns1.itomic.com and ns2.itomic.com. The new name server information is:

ns1.itomicdns.com
ns2.itomicdns.com

We look forward to continuing to deliver stronger, faster, more secure systems in the future.