Monthly Archives: July 2018

How to Pick a WordPress Hosting Service Provider

Before building a new WordPress site, you need to consider which hosting options you need to choose from. From bargain shared WordPress hosting options that cost just RM20/month, to self-hosting your WordPress site, or to more costly dedicated WordPress hosting.

The capacity limits, features and practices offered with each WordPress hosting option have a direct correlation on the performance, availability and security of your WordPress website. Majority of the WordPress hosting companies provide fully hosted environments, which is the focus of this article.


CPU Limits

CPU limitation is the first criteria to look for in a WordPress hosting plan. It is essential to understand how much of it you are allowed to use in a shared hosting environment since you are buying a fraction of the computing power of the web server after all. In general, most shared WordPress hosting plans have imposed the maximum amount of CPU power that you are allowed to use, along with how many seconds you are allowed to remain at that level. The more traffic your website receives, the more this will matter to you. Hence it is wise to ask how much CPU power your shared hosting account will receive before purchasing the hosting subscription.


SSH/sFTP Availability

In order to manage your WordPress site, it is essential to be able to upload and change files on your web server or WordPress hosting account. To secure your connection, you can always choose SSH or sFTP. Before purchasing the shared hosting plan, ask your WordPress hosting provider whether they support the secure access that you need because connecting to your server over FTP exposed you up to significant security risks because this information is sent over the internet in plain text, whereas SSH or sFTP will use encryption during the transfer.


Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the encryption technology that is used to offer encrypted communication between WordPress web server and your website visitors’ browser. You can easily identify a web page that utilizes the TLS protocol because it will always begin with HTTPS instead of HTTP. To secure your WordPress site, it is highly recommended to run a HTTPS-only website.

At a minimum, you need to ensure your WordPress login page (usually something like and any pages that accept sensitive information from your users or present it back to them are HTTPS pages. Please take note that most hosting plans will charge extra if you require this feature or you may have to purchase your own certificate, so make sure that you ask your hosting provider first or find out how much it will cost you.


WordPress Hosting: Dedicated IP

It’s generally known that majority of the websites on a shared server, including WordPress shared server share a common IP address with their neighbours. This should not be a problem because a shared IP address will not reduce your website loading speed nor impact your SEO rankings. However, there is always a chance that if one of your IP address neighbours engages in spammy and malicious behaviour that may impact you negatively by getting your IP address blacklisted by an organization like Spamhaus. To safeguard your website, it is wise to spend money in securing a dedicated ip address. It is highly recommended for you to know whether dedicated IP addresses are available and that you understand the cost before you commit to a WordPress hosting plan.



ModSecurity is an open source web application firewall that can be customized to augment what a recommended WordPress security plugin like Wordfence does in a compatible way. In the current hosting marketplace, majority of the hosting providers offer ModSecurity in some form. We recommend that you pick a hosting provider that allows this feature and ideally offers you the option to customize how it is configured.


Other Security Software

Many WordPress hosts will offer additional security software options but they can be restrictive too in allowing which security software you wish to run. As recommended, always verify that you are allowed to install and run the Wordfence security plugin in your WordPress shared server.


Technical Support or Assistance

WordPress script is prone to attacks by hackers in the past and it still does happen till this day. In the event that your site is targeted by hackers, it is imperative that you are able to react swiftly because the faster you recover from the unfortunate hacking incident, the smaller the impact to you and your users. In cases like this, you will definitely require the assistance from your WordPress host in order to help with your recovery efforts. Hence it is very important that you understand how quickly your hosts’ support team responds, how you are allowed to contact them and how competent their support resources are. In view of this, we highly recommend that you choose a top host provider such as ServerFreak that provides competent technical assistance and immediate phone support when needed on a 24/7 basis.


Backups Restoration & Log File Access and History

Unfortunately any webmasters know that they can’t avoid website hacking incident effectively. Hence, backups are one of your most important tools in the event of a hack. Backup restoration will help to restore your website to a “pre hack” state which can make it very easy to eliminate malicious code from your site and get your website back up quickly. It is highly recommended to pick a host provider that automatically backs up your site daily and retains backups for at least 30 days. This service is crucial because sometimes your website could have been hacked for days without you noticing, so if you have older backups available then you can recover your website with ease.


Meanwhile, server log files are a rich source of information when you are trying to identify the vulnerability that led to a website hack and the total impact it had on your website. At a minimum, you need to purchase a WordPress hosting plan that offers you immediate access to log files going back at least 24 hours. Ideally you should also have the option to archive log files older than 24 hours old for 30 days.



In conclusion, this article is written with the hope that you are now equipped with a solid understanding of the specific features you should be looking for in a WordPress hosting plan and why it is important to safeguard your WordPress site at all times.

If you are looking for a reliable WordPress server that contains all the security features listed above, then you are invited to contact us at ServerFreak today! For more information related to our WordPress Shared Hosting plans, kindly drop your questions to

Two Factor Authentication – What Do You Need to Know

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA adds an additional layer of security by introducing a second step to your login. This is a much secured method of login because it takes something you already know i.e. your password, and adds a second factor, typically something you physically have (such as your smartphone).

In the event an attacker manages to obtain your password illegally, but due to the existence of two-factor authentication, this will stop the attacker from accessing your account.


Why do you need 2-FA enabled?

Nowadays passwords are getting easy to compromised.  They can often be guessed or leaked, they usually don’t change very often, and despite advice otherwise, many of us have favorite passwords that we use for more than one websites. So Two-Factor Authentication gives you additional security because your password alone no longer allows access to your account immediately.

How does it work?

2 F.A operates by following time based one-time passwords. With these, in addition to your regular username & password, you also have to enter a 6 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. Only your token device (typically your smartphone) will know your secret key, and be able to generate valid one time passwords for your account. And so your account is far safer.


We are pleased to inform all ServerFreak clients that your Client Area is now secured with 2-Factor Authentication! Make sure you login to your Client Area today and enable this security feature. You may follow our latest tutorial below on how to set this up inside your Client Area:


The Innards Of An Effective Email Marketing Message

In terms of their success as effective marketing tools, the composition of email messages is more important than ever. With the mountain of email that’s launched into cyberspace these days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to get their messages delivered, opened and read by prospects and customers. The success and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, whether large or small, essentially comes down to one factor:


The Message.

If the message is not properly developed, nothing else matters.


Offered here are some tips for creating email marketing messages with the best chance of reaching, and being read by, your target audience.


Great Subject Line – Just as using the wrong key to unlock a treasure chest will leave you flat broke, failing to create a great subject line for your email will have much the same effect. Absent a dynamic subject line, there’s at least a 90% chance (in my humble estimation) that your email will NOT be opened, and will be immediately deleted.


You must have a subject line that captures your reader’s attention, arouses interest, and compels them to open and read your message. No small feat. Unfortunately, too many marketers choose their subject heading almost as an afterthought, when in truth, this one line is arguably the most important portion of your message.


It is worth every minute of time, and your utmost effort to craft a suitable subject line for your email. Accomplished correctly and consistently, this one element can put you light-years ahead of your competition.


Engaging First Paragraph – After your subject line, this section is the next most-important portion of your email message. Many readers never make it beyond the first two or three sentences of an email. You’ll lose them if you can’t give them a reason to read further, and hint or demonstrate that what’s to come will be of great interest or benefit to them.


The copy developed within this paragraph should be the “anchor” for the remainder of your message. It should contain your best and most persuasive writing. This is your opportunity to pull the reader further into your message. Entice them, whet their appetite, arouse their curiosity until they’re absolutely driven to read more.


A Great StoryPeople love stories. When they become immersed in a good story, it’s hard for them to remember that they’re being marketed to, and people hate being marketed to. The stories you create can be informational, educational, and interesting as well as entertaining. Stories provide an excellent means for communicating your message, and lay the groundwork for the formation of a kinship or relationship with your audience.


Keep Your Message Focused – Each email marketing piece should have one, and only one subject and purpose. It doesn’t matter that you have ten different websites, or 100 different products or services. Focus your message on one thing and one thing only. Your message will be most effective when laser-targeted for your audience, not relying upon an approach of “shotgun” hit or miss.


Great Copy – Only the highest quality copy will do. Well-written, persuasive, clean. Stupid mistakes like spelling errors and incorrect grammar ruin the most convincing sales and marketing copy. It will immediately brand you and the business or organization you represent as amateurish and of low quality. If you can’t write copy, either learn or hire a professional to do it for you. If your copy is of poor quality, then sending your email message is pointless.


Another point about copy: keep your information organized and brief. Keep paragraphs short. Use “bite-sized” chunks, and numbered or bulleted lists. Choose your words carefully so that you communicate your message effectively, but as efficiently as possible.


Be Personable, But Find A Balance – You know the stereotype of the “sleazy car salesman“, kind of creepy and super-slick? That’s what it feels like to read email from someone who is a bit “too familiar” or informal. It makes your skin crawl. Not a reaction you want your readers to have from you.


Trying to build rapport with your audience is a good thing, and makes your email message more personable, warm and inviting. However, realize that there is a delicate balance that must be maintained.


You are not your reader’s friend (at least not yet). You are a stranger, a marketer; not a neighbour, not a confidant. Be careful to recognize that there are unseen boundaries in your communications. And, if you make the mistake of causing your reader to feel that you have overstepped one of those boundaries, it’s very difficult to repair the circumstance.


Under-Hype – Remember that your readers receive hundreds and hundreds of emails. This makes their “hype radar” extremely sensitive. Rather than use a lot of hype and fluff, provide statements, statistics, facts and resources to support or provide proof of what you’re telling them. Doing so will go much further toward persuading them that your message is valid, valuable and credible.


Be Clear About The “Ask” – If you are marketing a business, a particular product or service, don’t make the mistake of creating a great marketing message only to wimp out at the end. Be clear about asking for the business, inviting the reader to receive more information, directing the reader to subscribe to a list, or whatever “call to action” you may require.


By the time your reader gets to this portion of the email, if you’ve done your work properly, they’re already inclined to do as you ask.


So ask! Politely, professionally, but with confidence.


The email marketing tips discussed above are by no means an exhaustive list; however, I think we’ve covered most of the basics. While keywords were not mentioned earlier (because email messages don’t require search engine optimization), it’s always a good idea to use them in emails when practical. The advantage in doing so is to get the reader to focus on what your message is about. Then at some future point, if the reader loses the initial email information, she still knows what keywords to use to find you via search engine search.


Email marketing can be a highly effective and profitable marketing strategy. Used intelligently and with planning and forethought, it can be informational and beneficial for your readers, and incredibly advantageous for you.

Web Analytics Tool for Small Businesses

Analytics tools are useful in digital marketing campaigns because they offer you with a huge range of data about your customers, business and your marketing strategies. There are some analytics tools that record how users interact with your website exactly – where they hover but don’t click, at what point they abandon your site – and this information can be extremely powerful if you use it to revolutionize your website.


With the data stored by the analytics tools, you can identify which marketing efforts are effective in attracting the most web visitors, but more importantly, you are able to view which efforts are bringing in web visitors that are likely to convert i.e. from potential visitors into clients. Without measurement, you will be wasting both money and time resources.


5 Analytics Tools that Small Businesses can Afford

Thanks to the rise of the cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-ups, the analytics technology that powers today’s marketing efforts isn’t just powerful, it’s priced affordably so that even the smallest online businesses can benefit.


Listed below are 5 of the best services or tools that you can use to track and understand how people interact with your websites and social media profiles. Not only they are among the best, they’re available either completely free or at least offer a free version.


  1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the dubbed as the “gold standard” for tracking website usage among web professionals and business analysts.


Its robust suite of web analytics is utilized by everyone from part-time sole proprietors to multi-national corporations.


Without using analytical tools to track your website performance, you will not have sufficient data you require to improve it constantly. This is even more significantly important especially if you are a small business owner who relies on your website to generate income for you.


The best thing about Google Analytics is that it is available for free and easy to install on your website. With Google Analytics, it is able to supply you with everything you need to track the visits you send to your website from digital advertising, search engines, email marketing and social media accounts. Even if you are a novice, once you’ve spent time figuring it all out on your own, you will find that Google Analytics is relatively easy to use.



  1. Buffer

The next popular analytical tool after Google Analytics is Buffer. Buffer is a popular tool among social media managers to handle the huge number of tweets, updates, and posts they create on a daily basis to various social media accounts.


While the Buffer tool makes scheduling social media posts looks easy, it can also offer superb social media analytics. For instance, post engagements and interactions can be tracked directly from your Buffer queue.


There are 3 plans available – Free, Pro and the Business plan. You can sign up for their free plan if you possess less than 3 social media profiles and schedule less than 10 posts from your Buffer queue. However, for most small businesses with several social media accounts, they can choose the Pro version which only costs $15 a month.  For digital marketing agencies which manage more than 25 social media profiles, they can select the Business plan which will cost $99 a month.




The third analytic tool is called is known as the URL shortening service that allows you take a long website address and shrink it down to a shareable size. Over the years has evolved tremendously and now it includes a suite of detailed analytics that measure the reach of your shortened link. can offer information about where and when your links are getting clicked. The ability to understand the type of audience that are clicking your links with the expanded analytics of the OneView tool is a good addition for email sales and newsletters.


  1. SEM Rush

What is SEOSEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a strategy, a technique, or a process designed to increase traffic to your website. Its purpose is to attract online visitors to visit your website by increasing your rank on search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, or Google.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of your website. The most critical part of any SEO strategy is the keywords you use to help people locate your site.

That means knowing the targeted keywords people actually use to search products or services like yours. Tracking and analyzing the keyword search term is one of the many important features of an SEO tool like SEM Rush.

It is important to note that SEM Rush’s services isn’t cheap especially their $399 Business and Enterprise plan, however they do provide a limited 14-day trial that includes 10 keyword searches a day and one project (website) you can audit and track over time.



  1. Cyfe

The final analytics tool is Cyfe. If you’re searching for an all-in-one solution for managing your social media mentions, email clicks, website visits and a range of other metrics for your small business then Cyfe is exactly what you’re looking for.

Instead of collecting and store your data directly, Cyfe provides robust tools for building dashboards using information from other sources. You can integrate your data feeds from sources such as and Google Analytics into widgets you arrange to create the perfect dashboard.

The dashboards will display the data how you want to view it, so you can mix and match the widgets you build from your datafeeds to track everything from sales to brand reputation.  You can even build dashboards to monitor server administration and customer service.




In conclusion, web analytics can help small and local businesses in many areas of business. The one mentioned above are one of the most essential ones for any business. Some marketing analytics tools are expensive but there are also some which are free and offer low-cost versions that help evenly level the playing field for businesses of all sizes. With constant development and improvement in digital analytics, there’s never been more opportunity for small business owners to reap the benefit of web analytics.


Top WordPress SEO Tips for New Businesses

For new business or website owner, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem to be a complex and foreign landscape, but it doesn’t have to be too complicated. In fact, there’s many small businesses (and anyone) can do without any great SEO knowledge, and without spending too much money.

In this article, we have broken down SEO into a few key areas to help make it more manageable. Let’s take a look…


1) Install an SEO Plugin

The first tip is to use an SEO plugin to perform content optimization on your WordPress website. To improve the position of your pages and posts in the search engines, there are several SEO plugins available to this purpose:

a)    Yoast SEO

The Yoast SEO is widely regarded as the most famous WordPress SEO plugin. There are free and paid versions of this plugin. For the free version, it provides control over your titles and metadata, breadcrumbs, social links, permalinks, XML Sitemaps and lots more. However, the enhanced features of this plugin such internal linking suggestions and Content Insights can be unlocked only in the paid version.

For a start, the free version of Yoast SEO is deemed sufficient enough for any new website unless you want the full bells and whistles of the SEO features. The free version allows you to type in the keywords you wish to rank for a particular piece of content. The plugin will check whether your keywords density is satisfactory or excessive, or placed in the right position of your article content. It will also offer advice on what to improve in order to boost your website ranking in the eyes of the search engines for specific keywords.

b)   Yoast’s Local SEO

This type of plugin is works differently compare to Yoast SEO. Why? That’s because Local SEO focus on the optimization process for the local results in search engines. That means the plugin takes care of your websites visibility in Google Maps. You should consider installing to Yoast’s Local SEO for WordPress premium plugin if you have a local business with physical premises. Another option is installing Yoast’s Local SEO for WooCommerce if you are running an eCommerce store alongside your brick and mortar shop. The benefit you gain from installing this plugin is that it helps you rank in the search engines for local searches, as well as enable you to easily insert Google Maps, contact info, a store locator and opening times into your WordPress website. Try performing a search on “Serverfreak” on Google and you shall see our company working hours, office address and Google Maps location.


2) Perform Keyword Research

Performing keyword research is definitely vital for new businesses. As a new business owner, you need to identify what your potential clients or customers are searching for online. Once these keywords have been identified, you can prepare or start writing your content, so your site ranks for these terms. Alongside with proper keyword optimization, these visitors will come across your site in the search engines when someone searches using these keywords.

In order to identify which probable keywords your visitors enter into the search engine, you need to use a keyword tool such as the Google Keyword Planner, which is a popular tool that allows you to type in keywords that are associated with your business. It will inform you about the monthly and yearly searches for these particular words.

Another important feature of Google Keyword Planner is it helps to find related phrases or keywords associated with your original keyword. You should then try and use these relevant keywords in your content to help your site rank for a variety of popular keywords that are compatible with your niche.


3) Performing Link Building Activity

Link building is definitely an important action that cannot be simply ignored when it comes to ranking a website. It is an important factor in the Google algorithm for ranking websites; therefore you need to add links to your site, both internally and externally. Over time links will organically happen, but as a new business you should also plan for how to receive links initially for your WordPress site.

a)    Internal Links

To help improve your website ranking in the search engines, adding internal links to your website is certainly a must. Internal links allows Google to find your site, identify and rank content. Internal links also make it easy for your visitors to find content and help increase the time that they spend on your site.

Wherever makes sense to link pages and posts, take advantage of this opportunity to add internal links to your WordPress website. As an example, you may include link to other relevant blog posts within an article. Another example is from your home page, link to pages where you want your visitors to go next.

b)   External Links

Gaining external links is referring to getting links back to your website from large, reputable websites. By link association, Google will determine that your website is important and this will help it rank in the search engines.

Writing guest post on other sites is a great way to generate links back to your website. You can do this by contacting other sites in your niche, similar businesses, industry online magazine and news sites, and any other relevant websites you can find. By writing guest posts for these sites you can leave a link back to your own site.


4) Keep Writing Fresh Content

Content is what will help you rank for your target terms. This means content on product pages, homepages and everywhere around the site, but a blog can also help.

A blog also allows your site to grow. This can be achieved by adding interesting and valuable content that will attract new visitors and recurring users. You may consider uploading different types of media, like video, podcasts, and webinars onto your blog in order to appease different audiences. Increasing the traffic to your website will be great to your business but increasing visitor numbers or website hits will also help with your website rankings.

To grow your blog and increase the chances of your blog getting ranked for numerous keywords, you can write each blog post targeting different keyword. This will allows your site to rank for a selection of varied keywords, and consequently reach a wider audience. The more interesting and diverse content you posts, the more likely you are to connect with new users.


5) Site Performance Optimization

Another method to optimize your website for the search engine is to ensure that your WordPress site is performing to the highest level in terms of loading speed and user friendliness.

a)    Monitor Your Site’s Speed

Search engines reward websites with higher position especially those that load quickly and provide a seamless user experience. If you want your site to earn higher position in the search engines, then you need to ensure your website’s loading times is short.

You may want to use Pingdom website performance management service if you are unsure how well your site is performing. The free version of this service will allow you to monitor how fast your site is loading. Pingdom is able to produce comprehensive reports to help you understand what type of content or files that are reducing your website loading speed and what you can do to improve load times. If you want to monitor your page speed on an ongoing basis, you may consider upgrading to their premium service.

b)   Improve Your Site’s Speed

There are 2 ways to improve your site’s speed – themes & plugins selection and choice of hosting. Firstly, look carefully at the theme and plugins you are using. A modern, fast loading theme such as WP Total, will immediately impress the search engines and help your site rank. Installing a few different plugins to your WordPress website such as caching plugin, image optimization plugin and lazy load plugin will improve your site’s performance and help you gain favour with the search engines.

Secondly, hosting your WordPress site on a high-quality web host is equally important. With the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’, definitely rings true. If budget is not a concern to you, always choose a high end hosting company like Serverfreak. ServerFreak web hosting offers WordPress Hosting plans which have an impressive track record, providing fast loading times for the numerous websites they host.


6) Develop Your Website Becoming Mobile Friendly

If you want your WordPress website to rank well in the search engines, therefore it’s important to use a mobile responsive theme on your website. Mobile responsive themes are now easily available in the marketplace, so it is wise to spend some money in getting one of these for your website. However, for those using an older theme, and are not yet ready to upgrade, then you need to install a plugin that optimize your site for mobile devices.

One of these plugins is called WPtouch which is a free and extremely popular WordPress plugin. When accessed by smartphone or tablet users, this plugin will automatically enable a mobile-friendly version of your website with ease.  A Pro version of this plugin is also available offering a variety of enhanced themes and providing you further control over the features and functionalities used and displayed.

Another method is to utilize Google’s Page Speed Insights tool that checks how well your site is performing on mobile devices. Simply type in your website and Google will give you a score out of 10 for your site’s mobile performance, and recommendations on what to improve.



For many new businesses, most of them don’t have the time needed to dedicate to SEO. If this is the case, and you have the budget for it, then it makes sense to bring in an SEO professional to help optimize your website. Hiring an SEO expert can be a great way for a new business to jumpstart their way into the search engines. Just make sure you do your research carefully before hiring.

However, if you have limited capital for SEO professional service, you may consider the above tips in order to improve your WordPress website site ranking in the eyes of the search engines.

Marketing on Facebook: Why Market On This Social Networking Site?

Are you looking for an effective way to market your products or services? If you are, then the answer to this kind of problem would be internet marketing. First of all, internet marketing is one of the best ways to advertise or market your website or your products or services. Through internet marketing, you will be able to reach out to more people, which means that you will be able to have a lot more clients.


Whatever it is you are selling, you can be sure that internet marketing is a must in order to get ahead of your competitor and in order for your business to grow. However, although internet marketing may sound simple, it is actually very complicated. It will require you to write articles, join forums and you also need to know about search engine optimization in order for you to become successful at it.


However, internet marketing shouldn’t be so complicated. Thanks to social networking websites, internet marketing is a lot simpler to do than ever before. One social networking website is Facebook. Here, you will see that this website will be able to provide you with the traffic as well as the tools you need in order to market your products, services or business website effectively.


1) Facebook Has a Huge Potential Customer Database for Your Business

With millions of active subscribers, you can be sure that you will be able to find your target customers here. You will see that Facebook will contain a lot of people in different backgrounds, age groups and it will also contain people with different interests.


So, whatever you are selling, Facebook will readily provide you with potential clients. All you need to do is to get them to visit your website or at least your Facebook profile page.


Facebook is such a great place to market products and services because of the amount of people logging in and out on a daily basis. Also, it is the fastest growing social networking websites today. In fact, it is estimated that the number of members in Facebook will grow to about 14 percent every year.

Currently, Facebook is now a host to more than 2.13 billions of  members.

For experienced internet marketers, Facebook is definitely a goldmine.



2) Facebook Offers Various Marketing Tools for Free at Your Disposal

Another reason why internet marketing on Facebook is a must is that it will be able to provide you with the tools or applications you need in order to market your products, services or business website effectively. Here, you will be able to upload photos, share videos, and even post on events.


The newsfeed feature offered in Facebook is also a popular social tool that can be used to market your products or services. Whatever you do in Facebook or whatever changes you make, it will be announced in the news feed for everyone in your network to see.



3) Increase Your Chances of Closing Sales through Facebook Groups

In Facebook, you can also join or even create your own group. Marketing wise, if you see a group or groups that have an interest in what you have to offer or sell, you might want to join this kind of group. Here, you will be able to get the traffic you need for your website and will increase your chances of selling what you have to offer.


These are some of the many reasons why you need to market in Facebook. With all these things, you will see that internet marketing will be a breeze.

How to Remove Your Website from Google’s Blacklist

Have you logged into your Google Analytics account recently and notice the sudden dip in traffic to your website? Or noticing new and unwanted shady product adverts that flash on your pages? If you’re nodding in agreement, it is very likely that your webpages are missing from Google’s index.  To describe this in layman terms, Google might have blacklisted your site because it considers it unsafe for visitors. In order to prevent this from happening to your website, it is crucial to understand how to keep your website off Google’s blacklist.


What is Google’s Blacklist?

It is generally known that popular search engines such as Bing and Yahoo strive to provide users the best search experience possible, and Google is no different. Google is constantly on the lookout for malicious content on websites that can potentially harm visitors. If Google manage to identify one, they will quarantine these compromised websites.


Google continuously scours the internet for potential threats even when it does not publish any official blacklist. In order to protect site visitors, Google will de-index these unsafe websites. Therefore, it is essential for webmasters to pay a great deal of attention to this, as any negligence towards their own website safety can lead to potential heavy loss of traffic.


In many cases, a blacklist is a good precaution as it safeguards unwary visitors. That is because these compromised websites inject malicious code to quietly install programs that take advantage of any software glitches in your computer. These programs can then send out spam mails, and even wreck a visitor’s computer performance by causing sluggishness. On a serious level, they can even steal your visitors’ personal information such as passwords or credit card info. Therefore, a prospective buyer of a website should check if the website is on the blacklist as part of the due diligence process.


What Makes Google Label a Website Unsafe?

There are many reasons take into consideration before Google decide to make a move to removing your website from reaching your site visitors. This may happen due to algorithmic changes, but more often it may be due to security issues or other factors such as below:

  • Hosting phishing or scam pages.
  • Pornographic or junk content, controversial / illegal content, content that’s not original or violates any copyright.
  • Malware or viruses on your computer or network or in your host servers.
  • Redirecting to other webpages with suspicious background.
  • Creating backdoors, sending backlinks, buying or selling links.
  • Linking to spammy and malicious pages.
  • Dirty SEO practices such as keyword masking or keyword stuffing.

These aspects can trigger Google to remove your website from Google’s search index if your website is found to have committed similar offence above.


What Happens if Your Website Is Blacklisted?

The most serious negative repercussion from the Google blacklisting effect is the drop in visitor count. With low traffic, an e-commerce website will suffer serious revenue loss. Any blacklisted website will also suffer in terms of website’s credibility and reputation.  Once your website is blacklisted by Google, your website will show flashy red warning sign on the main page which will scare away every visitors on your website. And once you’re on the blacklist, it can be a long road to recovery.


15 Signs that Your Website Is Blacklisted by Google

If you have registered your website URL in your Google Webmaster account, Google will notify you immediately about de-indexing of website without delay so you can proceed with necessary cleaning action. Other than email notification from Google Webmaster, you can also look out for these signs:

  1. Warning messages such as ‘This site may be hacked‘ or ‘This site may harm your computer, Do you want to proceed?’begin to flash.
  2. Google warns visitors that your site is Possibly Compromised or Potentially Unsafe.
  3. Your website loads an empty page or your homepage is redirecting to another URL.
  4. Searching your website in Google returns weird pages or ads.
  5. SEO spam links and redirects in SERPs.
  6. Weird keyword searches for shady pharma products land on your page.
  7. Your emails start to bounce.
  8. Unfamiliar popups begin to flash, spammy content or weird ads appear on your site.
  9. Your browser loads weird content from external sources.
  10. You notice strange code fragments in the header or footer of your website when you click Ctrl+U.
  11. Your website slows down visibly.
  12. Bandwidth usage increases.
  13. Traffic to your website is decreasing by the day.
  14. Your Google Webmaster Tools account receives warnings about malicious code on your website.
  15. Your website no longer appears on Google’s index.


How to Check if Your WordPress Site Is on Google’s Blacklist

Maybe you are not even aware that your website has been delisted from the search results by the search engines. De-indexed website by search engine is a sign of blacklisting, but there are some ways which you can use to verify and confirm if your website is really indeed being blacklisted.


Manual Checking

This is the most common and easiest way to identify whether your website has been de-indexed by the search engine. Just enter your website address in the Google search bar and if your site doesn’t show up, and this was not the case previously, chances are that the site has been de-indexed by Google. However, this method will not work for a brand new website since it has not been indexed by the search engines.


Free Online Tools

There are several online scan tools which offer a quick check to determine whether your website has been penalized by Google. Visit IsMyWebsitePenalized and paste your website URL.

The tool scans your website and informs you about the penalty status. The results are fairly accurate and can be used to check on parked domains, redirected domains, or new websites. This tool is a free service that’s useful for webmasters and SEO professionals.


Sucuri SiteCheck

Sucuri SiteCheck scanner is another effective service which you can used for free for malware scanning and detect security issues, including blacklisting of your website.

How Sucuri SiteCheck works is that it compares all the pages and links against Sucuri’s malware database and reports the anomalies which include malware, blacklisting, defacing, website errors and out-of-date software. The scan generates a report of the website blacklisting status and recommendations on how to manage it.


Google Webmaster Tool

The best way to remove the blacklist warning and detect the security flaws of your website would be to use Google Webmaster Tools.

The security issues area of Google Webmaster tools reveals tons of useful information about your site, including the links to your site, your search queries, site health and 404 errors.


Tips to Keep Your Website Off Google’s Blacklist

Repairing the damage caused by de-indexing is a long and tedious process. Therefore, it is much easier to adopt some preventive measures.  Here are some good practices that you can do to stay on Google’s good side and keep your website whitelisted:


  • Install a firewall, and run anti-virus software regularly.
  • Clean up your site and remove malicious content.
  • Avoid linking to spam websites, as well as buying or selling links.
  • Ensure unique blog content without keyword stuffing.
  • Select your hosting package carefully.
  • Update your WordPress script regularly, use reliable themes and plugins.
  • Change your username and password regularly, safeguard your login pages.
  • Secure the wp-config.php file as well as the .htaccess file.
  • Familiar with Google’s terms and conditions and keep up with the algorithm changes.



As you can see, being blacklisted by Google will cause unnecessary hassle to the webmaster and requires some time and effort to recover. The best way to keep yourself informed about malware attacks and website blacklisting is by creating an account with Google Webmaster Tools which helps to perform regular check of your website.


Once you noticed that your website has been de-indexed by the search engine, your first step can be to take your website offline as a damage control measure. Notify your hosting service provider and ask them to turn your website offline.


Look up Google’s note on maintaining a malware-free website, and if necessary, engage professional help to clean out your website. Once you’re done with the clean up, login to Google Webmaster Tool and submit a website review request. Google will then begin to crawl your site again and re-index your webpages. It will take time, but your website will surely recover.

4 Useful Tips for Beginners to Build the Perfect Website

If you have zero experience in web designing, building and maintaining your own website can be very challenging.  Luckily for you, there are many website builders on the Internet that you can consider today that helps to manage and design your website. Among a wide variety of website tools, WordPress is the best one to use.  WordPress is undoubtedly the industry standard for both beginners and professionals.  The WordPress platform is very easy to learn yet incredibly powerful and has all the features your website might need.  With WordPress, you can construct and maintain your own website in a professional way. This leads us to our first useful tip for building the perfect website.


Tip 1 – Using WordPress

Since WordPress interface is easy to use, we highly recommend you to use this powerful content management system (CMS) to get your first website built.  Here at ServerFreak, we try to make managing your website and online presence as simple as possible. You may consider signing up for ServerFreak’s WordPress Hosting solutions which are fully optimized for building and maintaining your WordPress website. With the WordPress hosting package, you can install WordPress easily and get your website up and running in no time at all!


Tip 2 – Selecting the Right Design for Your Website

First impression counts! That’s why it is crucial to get a good design for your website. Fortunately, with a WordPress website, changing your website’s design is just a breeze. You can make changes to your website design by changing the WordPress theme. So, what’s a WordPress theme? A WordPress theme is like a design template that allows you to change your website appearance easily. WordPress themes are available for free generally but there are some themes that can be downloaded for a small one-time fee i.e. paid themes. With paid themes, you can find really good and attractive designs that match your website requirements. For example, if you are building an e-commerce website, you can find hundreds if not thousands of great looking e-commerce themes from premium WordPress theme providers such as Elegant Themes, Themeforest, TeslaThemes, Themegrill, TemplateMonster and many more.


Tip 3 – Customize Your WordPress Theme with Stock Images

If you choose a nice theme for your WordPress site, chances are your website is probably looking good already. However, a theme is still a template and you are required to customize it even further to make your website’s design your own. A great way to customize your website is to utilize good quality photos. For example, you may consider getting professional stock photos from (now acquired by Adobe Stock) to spice up your website. For your information, Adobe contains thousands of images designed to match every type of website out there. What you need to do is to search for photos that match your website’s category and start picking the ones that will appear great on your website.


Tip 4 – Customize your Stock Images to Fit Your Website

If you want to get really fancy, you can edit/customize the stock photos to even further fit your website. At the very minimum, you’ll want to crop and resize the stock photos to fit your website. Photoshop is the best software to edit photos, but for beginners with no design experience, you most likely won’t have that. Pixlr and Canva are great photo editing software and the best thing is that both are available for free! Both are actually quite similar to Photoshop and you can really make your photos look great!


In conclusion, you are on the right track to having the perfect website if you have followed the tips above. You already have a strong powerful website built with WordPress and hosted by ServerFreak WordPress hosting solution. Furthermore, you have access to hundreds of amazing WordPress themes and thousands of stock photos to fully customize your website’s design. Your website will look amazing and best of all; you were able to build it all by yourself.