Monthly Archives: April 2018

Deprecate Support for Squirrelmail

ServerFreak would like to officially announce the discontinuation of SquirrelMail as Webmail for all of our Linux hosting clients.

For your information, SquirrelMail was added to cPanel back when webmail first became an option for cPanel users more than a decade ago.   It is included as one of the default options for Webmail selection together with Roundcube and Horde until now.

 

Why SquirrelMail is being removed?

SquirrelMail’s last update was May 30th, 2013, with their last release on July 12, 2011.

The recent security patches cause cPanel to ship SquirrelMail with known security flaws and they decide to deprecate the support of it in future by removing SquirrelMail at WebMail option for new installations of cPanel & WHM in version 76.

 

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REMINDER

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Custom Webmail Applications is not supported in shared hosting environment.

 

Clients that wish to use SquirrelMail in future may consider VPS/Dedicated servers that allow this custom installation by contacting our Sales department: sales@serverfreak.com

 

ServerFreak will not provide any support or updating for an unmaintained application and it will be the server administrator’s responsibility to keep SquirrelMail up to date if updates are released.

 

Official News:

https://blog.cpanel.com/the-death-of-squirrelmail/

 

Please feel free to contact our team even later on in case you need help during the transition period via Helpdesk or drop a mail into support@serverfreak.com

 

 

What You Need to Know About the Deadly Drupalgeddon2 Bug

Drupal, one of the world’s largest open-source web content management platforms has been struck with a bad news this week by a nasty bug called “Drupalgeddon2”. If left unchecked, this will leave millions of Drupal website highly compromised to attackers. In this article, we shall look at what Drupalgeddon2 is all about and what can you do to secure your Drupal website against the latest vulnerability.

 

What is Drupalgeddon2?

The vulnerability was first discovered by Jasper Mattsson, an employee of Drupal security auditing firm Druid.

The latest bug is called Drupalgeddon2  (identified as CVE-2018-7600) after the original Drupalgeddon security bug (CVE-2014-3704, SQL injection, severity 25/25) disclosed in 2014 that led to numerous Drupal sites getting hacked for years afterward.

Drupal warns that attackers can exploit the flaw through several avenues. Any visitor, regardless of privileges (authenticated or non-authenticated), can exploit the flaw by visiting an affected site and gain access to, modify and delete private data. Theoretically, the hacking happens through remote code execution due to a missing input validation.

 

How Deadly Is This Bug?

Well, the latest security flaw is so serious in which Drupal has given the bug a ‘highly critical’ rating with a risk score of 21 out of 25 under the NIST Common Misuse Scoring System.

No attacks have been detected yet, but the Drupal development team and experts believe they will commence in short order.

At the time of writing, the Drupalgeddon2 security flaw affects Drupal 6, 7 and 8 core versions.

 

Precaution Measures for Drupal Website Owners:

As a safety measure to prevent your website from this vulnerability, it is highly recommended to patch up your Drupal sites with the latest patch. If you are running Drupal 7.X, you need to patch up using Drupal 7.58. If you are running Drupal 8.5.X, then you are required to patch up using Drupal 8.5.1.  The Drupal team also issued security patches for the 6.x versions that were discontinued in February 2016.

If you are unavailable to patch up immediately, you may want to replace your Drupal site with a static HTML page so that the vulnerable Drupal site would not serve the vulnerable URLs to visitors.

Meanwhile, all staging and in-dev Drupal installations should be updated or taken down completely until the security patch can be applied.

If you wish to know more details linked to Drupalgeddon2, please head over to https://www.drupal.org/security

 

Choosing the Correct WordPress Theme for Your Online Project

Are you ready and excited to initiate a great online project? Maybe a recipe blog, a stylish fashion magazine or a fitness website? If you have decided to select WordPress as your Content Management System (CMS), then that is an excellent choice. Congratulations! The next step is to source for the right WordPress theme which fits your website requirement. In general, a suitable WordPress theme is the one that contributes to the accessibility and readability of your content and it should make your website flawless.

 

Your First Choice to Make – FREE or PREMIUM?

You have 2 options when deciding which WordPress theme to use – free or premium version.  There is a distinct difference between free and premium WordPress themes in terms of functionality and overall design. The theme design and functionality for free version is limited whereas the premium version is far more flexible and loaded with many customization options. Using the premium version, you can customize and modify your theme mostly through an extensive options panel. With a premium WordPress theme, it is convenient and easy to switching styles and colors via multiple styles. In addition, you will have reliable support from the theme developer whenever you need them.

 

Professional or Personal Website?

This is the type of question you need to answer yourself before even beginning to write a post. If you’re planning to create a business website, then you’ll have to search for different features and options of a WordPress theme as opposed to a blog or an online magazine.  A static front page or an informative sidebar is typical features of an online magazine.  Meanwhile, with a business website, it is usually presented in an intuitive way whereas a blog is presented in a nice and neat overview of the latest blog posts.

 

What is Your Website/Content About?

Which content management features of your online presence you choose will depend on what kind of website you are planning to launch. If you are planning to run a simple and clean blog with maybe an image here and there, a pure and clean template would be suitable. In the example of a vivid food magazine, whereby the primary focus is on the most popular articles, a WordPress theme which allows you to create a static front page and manage a great bunch of content through custom widgets would be a really good choice.

 

Decision Time: Make Your Choice

At the end of the day, you will need to make a decision. Regardless which website you are planning to launch, there is a huge range of WordPress themes for you to choose from. The best bet is to choose paid WordPress theme due to its flexibility and many customizations option. If you find it difficult to decide, just think of the most essential aspects your website should contain and focus on those – like e.g. a full-width header image, a flexible layout, several color schemes or a custom background. Once you have made up your mind, you can finally start letting those creative juices flowing in your quest to producing great article content.

 

Looking forward to having a WordPress blog of your own? Engage ServerFreak Technologies now – the best web hosting provider in Malaysia to host your blog today!

15 Steps to Grow Your Online Business

The internet has certainly revolutionized the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. A good example is the creation of online businesses – where anyone can compete on the same platform and start generating income for themselves anywhere anytime.  Also, it is no longer a secret that having an online presence is a great way of drumming up sales for a small business, and trading online will allow you to attract new customers. Since you already own a small business online, have you ever wondered how you can start advancing your new business venture? This article will walk you through the important steps necessary to growing your business online.

 

3 Key Components of a Website

As a new online business owner, you should know that having an operational website is the key to building a successful presence online.  By having a website, this will enable your clients to locate you easily since every information related to your business can be found online.  If you have merchandise, setting up an online store will allow you to sell to them online as well! In fact, it is common nowadays to see many brick-and-mortar businesses have made the transition from offline business model to online too in order to make themselves competitive in this era of globalization.  So what are the 3 key components of a successful website?

  • Domain Name – This is the “home address” of your business therefore you need to spend time and effort to think of a great name for your website. A short and catchy domain name should be sufficient. To establish a good branding for your online business, try to avoid having hyphens or numbers on your domain name because this may appear unprofessional to your visitors.
  • Finding a Hosting Provider – A good and reliable hosting provider is important to ensure the success of your online business. You want to co-operate with a great hosting provider who is able to match your online demand and capable of scaling with the growth of your online presence.
  • Building Your Website – The appearance and general feel of your website is also essential. If you are inexperienced with creating a website from scratch, there are several options available for you. For instance, you may consider using WordPress for your new online store. The latter is a good starting platform to use and also comes with free themes or templates that you can use for self-customization. But this method will require time investment from your end since everything will be handled by your own. If you do not wish to build the website yourself, you may also consider outsourcing your website creation to professional wed design agencies.

 

5 Essential Considerations

You cannot simply build a website, load it up with articles and expect traffic to start coming in. You will need to increase visibility in order to use your new website as an asset to drive traffic to your business. Here are several suggestions to increase the visibility of your new website:

Responsiveness: Is your website optimized to be viewed on any device including mobile phone? In the past, a simple website with good loading speed and optimized with proper keyword density can be easily ranked in Google and other search engines. However, with the rise of mobile search traffic, Google has included mobile-friendliness as a primary criterion for ranking websites viewed on mobile browsers. This is why it is essential to have a version of your website to be responsive on a mobile device.

SEO:  Remember, a website without proper search engine optimization (SEO) is equivalent to a dead website. So, what is SEO? SEO is making the content on your website refined so that search engines like Google and Bing can locate you easily to show a potential customer’s search query. SEO is important to ensure that when people type the keywords related to your service, that you become one of the top search results. You may consider hiring a team of SEO experts to get your website optimized for the search engines.  Expect to spend some capital for this purpose.

Updates: Once you have your website up, you need to maintain it by providing fresh content for your visitors or clients. People are generally attracted by new posts and it is vital to keep your website loaded with new content regularly in order to pull your visitors back to your website. Find a comfortable cadence that you can maintain and update it to showcase deals, incentives or new products & services.

User Experience:  Do not assume your website is working fine and always ask for feedback from your site visitors. For a start, you can ask your friends and family to browse your website and try to order or submit requests. Ask them if there are any roadblocks or hiccups in the process? Analyzing and making changes based on their feedbacks can help reduce bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments. Ultimately, what you want is a seamless process for your clients who wish to purchase your product or services.

Competition:  Be better than your competitors! Always compare your website with your competitors and check out what their process is like. Be innovative and pay attention to where their services lack so that you can make improvements onto your page accordingly.

 

4 Effective Methods to Market Your Website

Once you have a fully-fledged website that has online visibility to your visitors, the next step is to stepping up the marketing campaign. Here are some website marketing ideas for your reference:

Target Customers:  Keep in mind that customers do not come to you directly. You need to take a proactive approach by actively looking for an audience that may be interested in your products and services. Identify who are your target audience and demographic you want to target.  You can find this information by leveraging popular social media tools such as Facebook Audience Insights and Google Keyword Planner for this purpose. Do some research on what your customers are looking for using these tools.

Networking:  Networking is a great way to broaden your thinking and to find new ideas to find potential customers or see different target markets that you hadn’t thought of. A big network can help you expand both your business and your potential customer reach. This will also boost your company’s brand identity. Linkedin is a good resource to meet industry professionals.

Email Campaigns: This is a conventional yet powerful method to capture new sales or repeated orders.  Emails can be used to notify your customers updates on new items they might be interested in, upcoming sales, or even just a thank you coupon code for their next visit. Use tools like Aweber or GetResponse to keep your clients coming back!

Advertise:  You need to allocate some money for business advertising.  Want more people to recognize the nature of your business and what it offers? Find advertising opportunities where people with relevant interest can learn more about your business. Bing Ads, Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are great place to start!

 

3 Essential Customer Support Responsibilities

Customer service is the lifeblood for any businesses. Hence, you must ensure your company upholds a high-quality service to keep your customers happy and coming back. This may seem like an obvious thing to do but many businesses take things for granted. There are cases where many businesses neglected customer service once their business grows. Here are the best ways to stay engaged with your customers:

“Oh, the Humanity!”:  The main priority is to take care of your customers’ needs and listen to their complaints if there’s any. Your customer is also a human being and they like real people that care about them. When your customers love your business, not only will they be returning customers, but they will also recommend you to people they know, enhancing both your brand and customer base.

Customer Feedback:  Always ask and welcome your client’s feedback. This information can be very valuable in identifying which areas of your business that requires improvement as well as ways to stay competitive. When you make changes to improve their experience, your customers will love you for it!

Customer Support: When your business doesn’t offer customer support, your customers will feel confused and helpless in trying to figure out everything themselves. If they can’t figure it out, there is a high possibility that they may never want to return to your business. Therefore, support is essential to the post-consumer journey and can offer your customers the confidence to subscribe to your service, knowing that they can get the assistance they need!

By following this guide will have you well on your way towards a healthy and successful online business!

How to Make Your Website Becoming Mobile-Friendly?

In 2016 for the first time, mobile internet usage surpassed computer usage. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone paying attention. Mobile device use has been on the rise ever since Apple released the first smartphone and mobile devices have become such a regular part of everyday life that we all expect to see people looking at their phones every time we leave the house. For website owners, this shift in how people interact with the web isn’t surprising, but it does increase the urgency you need to have in making your website mobile friendly. If your mobile visitors currently don’t have a good experience when they land on your website, you’re driving away a huge portion of your potential traffic (and hurting your search engine rankings in the process). You’ve heard it before by now, but we’re saying it again. You have to make your website mobile friendly. But knowing that’s something you need to do and actually knowing how to do it are two different things.

 

10 Steps to Make Your Website Becoming Mobile-friendly.

Here are a few steps you can take now to make sure your website works as well for your mobile visitors as it does for your desktop users.

 

  1. Make Your Website Responsive.

A responsive website includes all the same content and information on any device you access it on, but it changes the way it’s displayed and arranged based on the size of the device screen. This is the best option for making your website mobile friendly, because you’re not limiting the information your mobile visitors can access – they still get all the same content the rest of your visitors do. And responsive design is also good for SEO. Google has said it’s their preferred format for mobile websites. Building a responsive website isn’t for beginners though. You’ll either need to hire a professional to help, or look for a website builder that includes mobile friendly templates. If the main thing that’s been keeping you from making your website mobile friendly is not knowing how to do it yourself, squash that excuse and get it done.

 

  1. Make Information People Look for Easier to Find.

Some people who browse the web on their mobile devices don’t mind taking some time to browse or read content at the same pace they would on a computer, but others want to find the information they need as fast and as easily as possible. Think about the information that people on mobile devices are most likely to be looking for when they head to your website and put that somewhere obvious and easy to find on the mobile homepage. Also consider the FAQs people most often look for when they visit your website. It might not make sense to put all the answers front and center on your mobile homepage, but you should make them easy to find and navigate to on a mobile device.

 

  1. Don’t Use Flash.

Flash largely fell out of favor years ago because it’s bad for SEO. It can slow down a page’s load time and there are a lot of browsers and devices where it just doesn’t work at all. Neither Android nor iOS devices support flash, so if you build a website that depends in any way on the experience of a Flash animation, your mobile users will be left out. At this point, it’s best to scrap the technology altogether on your website and find a strong web design that works without it.

 

  1. Include the Viewport Meta Tag

The viewport meta tag is an easy way to control how your website shows up on mobile. If your page opens up as the same width on the small screen of your phone as it does on your desktop, you’re going to have to do some awkward scrolling from side to side to read each line of text and see the different sides of the page. The viewport meta tag tells browsers to fit the width of your page to the screen of the device type the visitor is coming from. Adding this it to your html is pretty simple. Just paste this onto the html for each page: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

 

  1. Turn Autocorrect for Forms

Something it’s easy not to think about is the little ways autocorrect can make a user’s interaction with your website more inconvenient. If you have forms on your website that ask for name or address information, one small way you can make providing that information easier on your mobile visitors is to turn off autocorrect for each form field, otherwise their phone will try changing their name or street name to more common words and slow down the process of filling out your form. In the input field, make sure you include autocorrect=off in the html.

 

  1. Make Your Button Sizes Large Enough to Work on Mobile

It’s easy enough to click on a button of just about any size with a mouse, but when you’re trying to “click” with your fingers on a small smartphone screen, small buttons are hard to deal with. And that’s especially true if there are multiple small buttons close to each other – pressing one while trying to press another will cause real annoyance for your visitors. The best way to save your visitors from this frustration is to use bigger buttons. Any time you add a button to your site (and for all those already there), take some time to test them out yourself on however many mobile devices you can scrounge up amongst your employees and family. Make sure selecting each button is reasonably easy on all the devices and, if it’s not, update it so that it is.

 

  1. Use Large Font Sizes

Reading on a small screen is that much harder if the font is tiny. It’s best to use a font size of at least 14px on your webpages, but go ahead and test out how that looks to see if going bigger could be better here. It’s also best to stick with standard fonts. Any font your visitor’s browser might need to download will slow down how long it takes your website to load, which is bad news on mobile.

 

  1. Compress Your Images and CSS

Speaking of site loading time, you always want your site speed to be fast. But if anything, that speed is more important on mobile. That means another good step for making your website mobile friendly is to compress anything that takes up a lot of space now and slows loading time. That probably includes your high-resolution images and your CSS. By compressing them, you can ensure they load faster without negatively affecting the quality of what people see on the site.

 

  1. Allow an Easy Way to Switch to Desktop View

Some of your mobile visitors may actually prefer to see the desktop version of your website instead (especially if you go with a mobile version of your website rather than a responsive site). Make sure you give them a way to do that if it’s their preference. You want your visitors to be able to interact with your website in the way that makes the most sense for them.

 

  1. Regularly Perform Mobile Testing

The best thing you can do to make sure your website’s mobile experience is a good one is to regularly test it out yourself on your mobile device. Every so often, pull up your website on your phone and tablet and spend some time browsing to see if anything’s hard to see or difficult to do. Ask your employees to do the same, and consider hiring users to do testing as well (since they’ll be seeing it all with fresh eyes).

 

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Even if you get everything right today, the way mobile devices look and work will continually change and today’s mobile friendly website may not still do the job tomorrow. Keep testing, keep tweaking where needed, and continue to think about your mobile users as a priority and you should be fine.