17 Feb

Website Metrics

Website metrics/analytics are essential for you to be aware and informed as to how your website is performing. There are a number of ways to glean how your website is performing, from the “free” services from the Big Internet companies such as Google Analytics, Bing Analytics and Yandex Metrica, paid metrics from a third party vendor, to self hosted metrics software like Piwik/Matomo, and log file analytics from Webalizer or awstats.

My advice is always to use a couple of these, most hosting packages provide a log file analyser as part of the service so you may as well have this configured, however you really need more deep analysis also provided in a graphical format which you can do comparisons etc. and Google Analytics is the monolith in this, if you are using Microsoft products/services a lot or Yandex then their Metrics could be a benefit, or if you even want to compare or proof the results found by the other metric provider.


20 Jan

Update to WordPress 5.3.2

After some waiting to see WordPress 5 bed in

I updated to WordPress 5.3.2 so far so good, I had to update a number of plugins including shortcodes for the WordPress theme. Installed both the old classic editor and have used the new “blocks” editor Gutenberg which for me the jury is still out on.

As it had been a few months since a full CMS update I had to update translations,  and themes as well.

Microsoft stopping support for Windows 7

This is something which annoys me, while I am not a user of it, I have had a number of friends ask me what to do, the simple answer I give is you need to update if you are sticking with it and if you are confident try and install Linux, Ubuntu or Linux Mint I would suggest.

Perhaps if a software provider stop support for a platform, then it should be released as some sort of open source (ok not to copy but to maintain)


29 Oct

Try the Brave Browser

Brave BrowserI have been using the Brave Browser for some time now and I am impressed. It does seem fast, which is my initial thoughts, but I have not done an in-depth comparison with say Opera or Chrome or Firefox or Safari.

One thing which annoys me when surfing the net (a phrase which seems to be dated) is when popups come up, but also when tracking software is being run on your computer after you have visited a site, Brave is a great way of handling this, blocking or managing it as you please.

I also like the way it is opensource, based on chromium and using the Mozilla licence, and dovetails in with the duckduckgo search engine.

While I haven’t engaged in the BAT system yet it is an interesting idea.


30 Apr

Encypting Your Hard Drive

Data is Money!

It is important to keep your data safe, particularly on  your Computer/LapTop. Of course you should have your Laptop password protected, however this is just limiting access and is into protecting data on your hard disk, for this I recommend encrypting your hard disk.

Encrypting your Hard Disk – Windows

Some Windows systems have Device Encryption built into them, and is turned on by default.

Windows 10 Professional has BitLocker built in and it can be configured to encrypt your hard disk. If you have the Home edition BitLocker can be purchased as an add on.

Another option for Windows users particularly earlier versions is encryption software, such as the free VeraCrypt. For the non-technical user the built in encryption with windows is much easier.

Encrypting your Hard Disk – Apple Mac / MacBook

Pretty much all macs since 2003 have a system called FileVault which can be used to encrypt your entire hard disk.

When setting a password/key when encrypting

  • Make sure it is a secure password!
  • Make sure you remember it!
  • And store the password / key somewhere safe and not on the computer you are encrypting !
10 Apr

Know what google knows about you

Some links to see what google knows about you and how you can manage it. Google provides some excellent services and I am a user of gmail, maps and analytics, but it is good to know what the social and search engine companines know about you.

23 Jan

Tools for the Very Security Conscience

Data is money, but there is a trade off  in security, when using online services. However there are a number of tools/services for those who want that extra bit of secrecy.

DuckDuckGo Search EngineDuckDuckGo.com – Search Engine (www.duckduckgo.com)

DuckDuckgo is great, if you want to search (I nearly typed google) for something and you didn’t google, or perhaps the company or site you are searching for to know that you are visiting their site. Even as an alternative to Google search it is well worth using.

SpiderOak File Sharing Storage MessengerSpiderOak (www.spideroak.com)

SpiderOak is an alternative to Box, Dropbox, iCloud, Copy, OneDrive, and Google Drive. Just like the other services it is a backup, file sharing and messaging platform, with additional security that the other platforms.

Tor Project Browser (www.torproject.org)

While surfing the web, you do leave a trail, perhaps a bit obsessive but the Tor Browser is a way to hide your surfing. Other browsers have their incognito, or browse in secret options but Tor is that extra level of secrecy.

Personally the benefits in using Google and Microsoft software online outweigh the price you pay in data secrecy. It is beneficial,  for the search engine to have access to data about you, making the search results more relevant.

14 Jan

Email configuring using your own domain

This week I have been doing some work for clients regarding their email. Both have come round to the pestering (by me) that they should use their email with their domain name, and not their gmail or outlook email, it just looks more professional. So here is a number of options or solutions for small businesses or sole traders who want to use their domain email.

Most hosting packages will offer a number of emails, so set up a personalised one, firstname, or firstname.surname, also set up some generic ones info, sales, support, etc., even if these are forwarded to the one email.

Often your domain email can be forward to your gmail or outlook email address so you can get them using your phone etc. However I still recommend configuring outlook and gmail, so as you can respond to emails using the domains.

There are a variety of ways of accessing your email, webmail, email client and forwarding  or importing to another email provider.

Roundcube emailWebmail

There are a variety of ways to access your email, via the web using webmail, normally, webmail.yourdomain.ie, www.yourdomain.ie/webmail etc., this will give you an online email application RoundCube, Horde or Squirrel and you can use this process your emails. Personally I like RoundCube but it is really personal preference. Which ever you use I would recommend setting up an email signature with your business contact details.

Email Client

In setting up your email you will be given POP and IMAP settings. These can be used to configure an email Client e.g. MS-Outlook, evolution or Thunderbird on your laptop or desktop (n.b. Always use SSL settings)  but also lets  you configure an email client on your mobile phone.

Hosted by Google

Google has a product offering where you can configure your email domain to be hosted on gmail at a cost.

Importing into Outlook or Gmail

For small business who would have a website and hosting package I would advocate importing into your outlook or gmail, your domain emails, and reply with your domain email address, for this you would have to configure it, and configure your online email with separate email signatures one for yourself, and one for your work guise.

Personally I like and use Gmail, however from an unscientific sample I find more clients like Outlook, particularly those who use Microsoft products.

04 Jan

The Benefits of an SSL Certificate

Since last autumn Google has evaluates websites which have an SSL Certificate higher than those which do not. While an SSL is essential if you are conducting financial transactions and debit or credit card information is being handed on your site otherwise it wasn’t necessary. Now changing your website to be on a secure server with an SSL even if it is a relatively cheap one is well worth it. If your site is an eCommerce one processing card details on it you should choose a higher level secure cert, but just to reap the benefits of googles search change a relatively cheap one shall do.

Secure Certificate Providers

A few secure cert providers I used which have relatively cheap SSL Cert.’s  which I have used are.

Another option if you just want to have an SSL for the search engine benefits although it requires some configuration is Lets Encrypt  https://letsencrypt.org/. You will need access to the shell.


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