Tag Archives: serverfreak

ServerFreak : cPanel Price Hike Guide

 

cPanel has announced a new licensing and pricing structure. All current cPanel Reseller Hosting subscription will have a limitation on cPanel accounts and price change. This licensing structure change goes into effect on 1st October 2019.

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Real Time Chatbot Use Case Studies

In the previous article here, we have highlighted the reasons why people implemented chat bots on their websites and how businesses have benefited from using them.  In this article, we shall place the spotlight on 3 real-world chatbots use across various industries and how they help to reaping value for their parent companies. From streamlined operations to improved customer engagement, the following case study examples are worth your time to read if you’ve ever considered leveraging chatbot technology for your business.

For each example below, we shall break it down to company description, chatbot design & purpose, value proposition (tangible business results) and key takeaways to consider when thinking how to apply the technology to your own company or business.

 

1) ServerFreak Technologies

Company description: A leading Malaysian web hosting company which has been established since year 2003. Affordable hosting plans coupled with superb after-sales support have seen the company constantly ranked among the top 3 web hosting companies in Malaysia.

 

How Chatbots Being Used?

The newly updated ServerFreak website have incorporated live chatbot on their main website at www.serverfreak.com  . Visitors or clients can post their sales/technical questions live and the chatbot will provide immediate and relevant answer.

The chatbots can also navigate potential clients or visitors to different hosting plans based on their hosting requirement.

The chatbot can handle multiple requests at one time and their backend staff can also take over the chat session depending on the type of question being asked as seen from the screenshot below. The chatbot is also linked to their Facebook fan page so anyone who is online in Facebook can drop their messages through Facebook messenger.

 

Value Proposition:

Time saving.  Chatbots offer direct response to the visitors while saving the time for their staff to handle more important request.  Once a question is posted, the bots can give generic response and at the same time the staff has the option to answer or pass it to other relevant department to answer the visitor’s request. Instead of opening support ticket and expecting a delayed response for the ticket reply, the visitors can now enjoy immediate response either through the bot or real-time human response.

Boost sales revenue.  Not many competitors offer chat bot live support on their main website. The use of chat bots have boosted ServerFreak’s annual sales revenue by up to 25%, with majority of the new clients migrating from their competitor over to ServerFreak. Speedy response coupled with excellent technical support is what attracts them to move over to ServerFreak.

 

Key takeaways:

We’re expecting most, if not all hosting companies in Malaysia to leverage the use of chatbots on their websites. Hosting companies may consider using chatbots to perform the following tasks:

  1. Train chatbots to give answer to Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q) and reserve human capital for more complicated demands such as troubleshooting technical matters.
  2. Is there a way to train the chatbots to replace sales staff from answering sales related questions? This helps to save the cost of hiring new sales employee and providing training for them.

 

2) H & M Chatbot

Company Description:  H&M is a well-known fashion company in the world and have a massive appeal especially among the youths who wish to update their own wardrobe and stay tuned to new trends.

 

How chatbots being used?

The chatbots implemented by H&M is designed to guide their mobile visitors to navigate their search through outfit possibilities and guide you to the online store areas that align with your purchase desires.

The H&M chatbots rely on the following information and act accordingly based on the visitor’s input.

  • Gender and favourite style
  • Suggest outfits and calculate the total price for all items
  • Like or dislike the suggested outfit. The chatbot will suggest different outfit if you dislike the previously suggested outfit.
  • If you like the suggested outfit, the chatbot will evoke 4 options below:
  1. Shop : Brings you directly to their H&M Internet Shop.
  2. Save : Archive your outfit
  3. Share : via social networks or by other means e.g. email
  4. Next outfit : offers new outfit/style suggestion

 

 

Value Proposition:

H&M’s outstanding sales performance in the past 12 months together with its recent announcement to launch an eCommerce presence in India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, along with the launch of Afound Digital Marketplace in Stockholm Sweden, appear to signify positive results for its chatbot implementation (though direct correlations are unavailable on its website).
Source: H&M Full Year Report

 

Key takeaways:

Times are changing. Businesses are taking advantage of new technology to engage younger audiences with their products and services.

H&M are adopting chatbot technology as part of their “mobile-centric” approach to reaching consumers, particularly youths who uses social media daily and 80% of that time spent is via mobile phone. We can see more and more retailers will be experimenting with chatbots on their online store in the near future.

 

3) Domino’s Pizza

Company Description:  Domino’s Pizza is a popular worldwide brand for pizza delivery service. This American restaurant chain is also famous in Malaysia and other international markets.  This company aims to become the best pizza delivery company in the world.

 

How chatbots being used?

“DOM the pizzabot” is designed by the company to serve their customers. DOM the pizzabot is a Facebook Messenger bot and all the users need to do is to type “PIZZA” and send it to DOM via Messenger. DOM will then list orders within seconds from the full menu available. The customer proceeds to choose from the menu or make a custom pizza. DOM the pizzabot will guide them through the list of possible options and offer suggestions.

Apart from placing orders based on DOM’s suggestions, users can also place their orders through Easy Order for faster order processing the next time they use the chatbot, and they can click on a link sent by Dom to track their orders.

 

Value Proposition:

In order to capitalize on Facebook Messenger’s massive 1 billion active users, Domino’s Pizza introduced this chatbot ahead of the Super Bowl event back in 2017.  The marketing lead of the company, Nick Dutch admitted the use of chatbots as their company’s PR tool during a Marketing Week interview:

A successful goal of this kind of platform will be to make our current customers’ lives easier, which doesn’t necessarily translate to a huge surge in sales but an improvement in experience and as a result sentiment towards the brand, which is a longer-term benefit.

 

Key takeaways:

Big companies constantly keep themselves updated of the latest technology in order to improve their marketing and sales campaigns. Domino’s Pizza is taking advantage of all channels, including smart devices. In this way, whether consumers are using Messenger or watching their smart TVs, this company’s products will remain accessible to their consumers. Smart move by Domino’s Pizza!

 

Conclusion

Based on the 3 case studies above, there is no doubt that the use of chatbots is getting more popular nowadays as the technology develops.  The bots or AI can be trained to offer customers with an intelligent and responsive conversation. Another added advantage of using chatbots is the reduced risk of imperfect service caused by moody employee as such employees will be replaced by the stable and high quality customer care provided by chatbots.  However, such substitution is not yet feasible today due to the fact that Bot AI is not 100% developed perfectly enough to replace human interaction. This means if your customers’ questions fall outside of the bot’s parameters, the chatbots won’t be able to help. So, more test and trials are required to fix this issue before we can have a top quality chatbot with the highest degree of automation that delivers inch perfect human-like response.

Hopefully once that issue is resolved in the future, we shall see the actual realization of “Skynet” as often seen in the blockbuster Terminator films.

Top 10 Malaysian Personalities with the Highest Twitter Followers

Malaysians in general love to surf online and the most favourite social media sites they love to visit are Facebook and Instagram. Apart from these 2 social sites, do you know that Twitter is also another most used social media platform in Malaysia?

Based on the latest statistics released by Statista, we have over 2.2 million of Malaysians who have active Twitter accounts in the year of 2018 alone. This ­­staggering number is expected to reach 2.4 million by next year.

What does this data mean to you? 

It indicates that you have a good chance of increasing your brand awareness among Malaysians by leveraging the popularity of Twitter. If your business is targeting the Malay audience, you now have all the reason to have your brand appear on Twitter.

 

Number of Twitter users in Malaysia from 2014 to 2019 (in millions)

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/490591/twitter-users-malaysia/

 

 

No. 1 – Mohd Najib Tun Razak

Profile name: @NajibRazak
Followers: 4,050,990
Following: 158
Tweets: 13,115

He’s our 6th Prime Minister and undoubtedly the most famous people in Malaysia amid the gossips and rumours about his style of managing Malaysia when he was still in power.  Although he has resigned as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, everyone still loves to keep receiving the latest news about him.

It seems that famous and powerful leader gets all the attention from its people. The former President from the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama also has a huge following, with an estimated 104 million followers in his Twitter account – which is possibly one of the highest in the world.

 

No. 2 – Lisa Surihani

Profile name: @LisaSurihani
Followers: 3,754,960
Following: 
455
Tweets: 
23,399

 

Lisa Surihani is a Malaysian actress, model, television host and commercial model.  It’s unbelievable to acknowledge the fact that Lisa has appeared in numerous feature films and television shows as well as TV commercials since the age of 11.

This young mother of 2 also received several accolades for films as well, most notably The Best Comedy Actress for Film Category of Anugerah Lawak Warna. The same movie, Istanbul Aku Datang, also won the Best Actress in 2014 for Festival Filem Malaysia awards.

3 years ago, Lisa Surihani also won the Best Actress award in Anugerah Skrin for her role in Dendam Orang Mati.

 

No. 3 – Air Asia

Profile name: @AirAsia
Followers: 3,176,391
Following: 
420
Tweets: 
46,318

 

Huh? Why is Air Asia ranked third in Malaysia?  The answer is simple. That’s because  everyone wants to book cheap flights, receive exclusive updates, and participate in Air Asia promotional contests.

Being a budget airline, consumers always want the most updated flight promotions, whether it’s during school holiday or festive seasons.

Let’s not forget the fact that Air Asia is very active on its social media marketing efforts. By leveraging the power of Twitter, Air Asia is constantly announcing new flight routes and limited promotions to keep their fans excited.

 

 No. 4 – Zizan Razak

Profile name: @zizanrajalawak
Followers: 2,609,710
Following: 
1,309
Tweets:
10,624

Zizan Razak first came to public notice back in 2007 when he participated in Astro’s Raja Lawak program and became the runner-up in the very first season of the TV show. Not satisfied with the runner-up results, he participated in Maharaja Lawak, which is another Astro TV show for budding comedians. Joining the Maharaja Lawak program is the correct decision for Zizan Razak because it helps to boost his popularity further. Ever since then, his career blossomed after participated in various TV reality shows and commercials.

He also acted in last year’s Malay blockbuster movie called Polis Evo 2, starring the role of Inspector Sani.

 

No. 5 – Khairy Jamaluddin

Profile name: @Khairykj
Followers: 2,4728,771
Following: 2,411
Tweets: 60,990

He is the son-in-law of the fifth Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Famously known for his young and energetic personality, Khairy Jamaluddin was appointed as the Youth and Sport Minister in Malaysia back in May 2013 that lasted until May 2018.

Khairy is a well-liked Sports Minister and his active presence can be felt in sport events as he assists our Malaysian teams to make it to international competitions. He also introduced the Podium Programme to inspire Malaysian athletes to become world class beaters.

Currently, he is the MP for Rembau and actively contributing to UMNO, a major political party in Malaysia.

 

No. 6 – Siti Nurhaliza

Profile name:   @CTNurhaliza11
Followers: 2,421,739
Following: 
103
Tweets: 
15, 071

The “One and Only” and most recognizable songstress in Malaysia, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza is ranked 6th in our Twitter list. Currently, she has been listed as one of Malaysia’s richest, most-influential, most award-winning, and most single-produced artist.

She’s a very versatile singer. Apart from singing in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and English, she has also recorded songs in Chinese Mandarin and Arabic.

Her singing career is regarded by many as hugely successful since Siti has won many awards in Malaysia and on international level.

 

No. 7 – Yuna Zarai

Profile name: @yunamusic
Followers: 2, 420, 979
Following: 
1, 508
Tweets: 
27, 254

 

Yuna Zarai, whose full name is Yunalis binti Mat Zara’ai is a Malaysian singer-songwriter and businesswoman.

She is best known for her collaborations with Usher on her breakout single, “Crush” which peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Adult R&B chart.

Currently embarking on a Europe Fall Tour this year, she is very active in music performance both nationally and internationally.

 

 

No. 8 – Neelofa

Profile name:  @Neelofa
Followers: 2,247,303
Following: 517
Tweets: 17, 100

 

Noor Neelofa binti Mohd Noor, or famously known by her stage name Neelofa or Lofa, is a Malaysian actress, television presenter, a commercial model and an entrepreneur.

What makes Neelofa outstanding among her peers is the success of her online hijab store. Her hijab store, Naelofar Hijab is one of the premium branded stores in Malaysia. Due to her business success, Neelofa was named amongst ‘Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia’ in 2017.

 

 

No. 9 – Shaheizy Sam Samad

Profile name:  @Shaheizy_Sam
Followers: 2,232,242
Following: 1,962
Tweets: 13,442

Shaheizy Sam  bin Abdul Samad is a versatile actor in Malaysia. He gained much fame after starring in “Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam” in 2009 and the “Adnan Sempit” box office in the following year.

Featured in over 30 films, he is a very successful actor in Malaysia, receiving many acting accolades.

 

 

No. 10 – Aaron Aziz

Profile name: @AaronDwiAziz
Followers: 2,044,919
Following: 880
Tweets: 14,418

Aaron Aziz is a Singaporean actor but made it big in our local entertainment industry. Some of the key movies that made him famous are Evolusi KL Drift 2, KL Gangster 2, Adam and Hawa, Ombak Rindu. He will be starring in three more upcoming movies: Sayu Yang Syukur, I Love You,Stupid! And Tyickoouns.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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 Istockphoto.com (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.

Top 10 WordPress Security Plugins in 2018

WordPress is one of the most popular web software that is used to create beautiful blog or setting up e-commerce sites.  In addition, there are both free and paid versions of plugins and themes available for the WordPress platform.  Often, a few of these free plugins or themes are uploaded by people who have tweaked them for their own gain.  These unscrupulous individuals could inject malicious code that allows them to gain entry to your blog’s back end access without your consent. There are also cases whereby these hackers attack and compromise your blog in order to redirect traffic to malicious URLs which is why it is crucial to scan WordPress for malware regularly. In this post, we will focus on the best 10 plugins and services to scan your WordPress for malware.

 

 

1) Vaultpress

Vaultpress is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed by Automattic, which is the company responsible for the growth and success of WordPress.com.

VaultPress is now powered by the Jetpack plugin and effortlessly backs up every comment, media file, posts, revision and dashboard setting on your site to VaultPress servers. With VaultPress, your website is well protected against accidental damage, hackers, malware, and host outages.

There are 3 plans available inside VaultPress – the Personal, Premium plan and Professional plan. The Personal plan offers brute force protection and uptime monitoring but does not include daily malware scanning. If you require daily malware scanning, the Premium plan (USD 99 per year) will perform daily Malware scanning for your website. For the Professional plan (USD299 per year), it is the best option since on-demand scans for infiltrations and malware as well as automated resolutions can be done without lifting a finger!

In order to activate VaultPress, you need to install the VaultPress plugin first and connect it to your website via FTP/SSH.  By doing this, it will start monitoring your website on its own. You’ll be able to access information about any security threats found during your daily scan and make updates if needed (or restore a fully secured backup generated by VaultPress) – all from your VaultPress user dashboard.

 

 

2) MalCare Security & Firewall

Developed by the team behind BlogVault, the MalCare Security & Firewall plugin packs an intelligent machine-learning based security firewall, a one-stop login protection system and a no false positive security scanner.

Brute force attack is a common issue for WordPress sites, and so the Web Application Firewall and the Login Protection are activated in the free version of MalCare plugin which helps to safeguard your website 24/7 from bots, hackers, and the rest.

By leveraging MalCare’s early malware detection technology, this could successfully detect complex malware that goes undetected in other popular plugins. This will help prevent your website from being blocked by web hosts or blacklisted by Google.

This plugin is able to identify a malware accurately and reducing the number of false positives being reported significantly. This means that you are alerted only when the plugin has confirmed that it has detected malware and not a ‘possible suspect.’

Meanwhile, the premium version of the plugin automatically deletes malware that has been found on your website. In addition, there are options like IP Blocking, Login Protection, and Website hardening which serve as added layer of protection. If you have multiple websites to maintain, managing plugins can be a headache. Updating or removing plugins, themes and WordPress core can be carried out from within the MalCare Pro dashboard.

MalCare is truly a one-click security solution for your website.  All heavy lifting is done at their end that ensures your site’s security does not come at the cost of your site’s performance. In short, MalCare is the most innovative and effective WordPress solution available that helps to keep your website protected from malware, hackers and the rest.

 

 

3) Sucuri SiteCheck Scanner

You can always perform a free remote malware scan of your website by visiting Sucuri SiteCheck Scanner website and enter the URL of your website before hitting the “Scan Website” button. The scanner will extract the links, javascript files and iframes, and revisits your website main page as a search engine bot.

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 malware found and recommendations on how to manage them.

The scanner does not access your server. This is a major disadvantage because anything malicious in the server that is not displaying in the browser is not detected by the remote scanner. And hence, this scan is ineffective for backdoors, phishing and malicious usernames.

Besides scanning, the Sucuri Security plugin can do much more – audit logging, integrity checking, email alert, security hardening and other tools. You can also choose to activate the plugin and generate a free API if you do not want to run the URL often.

In addition to free service, Sucuri also offers many paid services as well. For instance, a Firewall service (CloudProxy) that can perform malware cleanup, prevent hacking, security monitoring and many more.

 

 

4) iThemes Security (Formerly Better WP Security)

The iThemes Security plugin is hugely popular with over 800,000+ WordPress users downloads recorded to date. This plugin secure your site and scan WordPress for malware. The free version of iThemes Security plugin provides 30 layers of protection and security including a 1-click “Secure Site” check, Malware scans (via Sucuri SiteCheck), strong password enforcement, brute force protections, database backups, file change detection and much more.

If you are looking for security features such as 2-Factor Authentication, scheduled Malware scans, password expiration, WordPress core file comparisons and many more, then you need consider upgrading to iThemes Security Pro plan. The Pro plan of this plugin will cost USD80 per year which might be a bit high for some bloggers, but can you really put a price on security and peace of mind?

 

5) Anti-Malware Security & Brute Force Firewall

Besides scanning and detects malware, the Anti-Malware Security and Brute Force Firewall helps you to fix them. It detects malware, viruses and other threats on your server, and marks them as Potential Threats.

You will have access to download of new definitions, automatic removal and patches for known vulnerabilities if you register the plugin at GOTMLS.NET. Since the Revolution Slider in WordPress is particularly prone to malware attack, hence the protection for this feature is automatically enabled in this plugin.

The premium version of this plugin offers protection against Brute Force and DDoS attacks, scanning the integrity of the core files and downloads new definitions automatically. You can donate fixed amounts ranging between USD 14 to USD 133.7, and each level opens up different features. For USD 29, almost everything is unlocked for as many websites as you want.

 


6) All in One WP Security & Firewall

The All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin is another popular security plugin that is user friendly. The plugin offers a list of security features such as password strength, built-in captcha, database prefix options, brute force login attack protection, file permissions, htaccess/wp-config backups and firewall protection. In addition, the plugin also provides simple-to-use security scans that you can use to detect and remove malware quickly.

You may utilize the file change detection scanner and database scanner to search for file changes or data tables you didn’t create. You may also use the settings to schedule automatic detection and to have an email sent directly to you inbox whenever a file change occurs. This way you will get to notice quickly if there is any potential hacking attempt.

The plugin does offer Malware specific scanning, but you will need to pay USD 9.95/month for the Site-Scanner plan in order to enable this feature.

 

 

7) WordFence

Wordfence is free and open source and uses the constantly updated Threat Defense Feed to monitor and prevent your website from being hacked. Wordfence is not merely a malware scanner, but it offers almost complete security protection for your website.

The Web Application Firewall can identify more than 44000 known malware and prevent it from attacking your website. It also scans for backdoors, phishing URLs, Trojans, suspicious code and any other security threat.

The scans are generally performed at hourly interval so you will be informed of any malware content on your website within the hour of it reaching your website. This security plugin can scan core integrity as well as monitor traffic in real time.

You are required to pay and obtain a Premium API key if you wish to run scheduled scans, country blocking and other additional features.

 

 

8) ExploitScanner

Exploit Scanner scours the files and database of your website to hunt for alien code. Active plugins are also scanned. This plugin sole function is only detection, thus any clean-up and prevention will have to be done by other means.

You can increase PHP memory access from the plugin admin page if you find scanning is slow on account of insufficient memory. You can customize the scan and exclude some files from scanning, but it is always recommended to perform a complete scan.

The only disadvantage of using this plugin is that it has a tendency to return ‘false positives’. So, you must be able to understand the results of the scan and able to identify the alien code.

 

 

9) Quttera Web Malware Scanner

Auto-generated malicious content, malware, trojans, backdoors, shells, viruses and malicious code injection – if they are lurking in your website, Quttera Web Malware Scanner will find them all.

If your site has been blacklisted by Google, it will reveal that in a scan as well.  This scanner generates a detailed malware report, based on which you can clean up your website. However, you need to contact their support in order to remove the malware.

 

 

10) Theme Authenticity Checker

You can rely on Theme Authenticity Checker to identify theme vulnerabilities quickly and easily. Whether a code clean-up is required or not can be determined by Theme Authenticity Checker.

This plugin scans the source code of the theme looking for unwanted alien code. When it finds the mischievous elements, it will highlight the location where you can find it, along with a snippet of the code. The disadvantage of using this plugin is that it does not automatically remove the offending code. You need to assess the impact of the code and decide whether to remove it manually or keep it.

 

 

Conclusion

If you do perform a malware scan on WordPress and the result shows your website to be clean, can you rely on it? Maybe, but always take it with a grain of salt as scans are not foolproof.  You are reminded that there is no 100% perfect malware scanner out there and scanning for malware is likely to throw up some false positives. If you do decide to scan WordPress for malware it’s a quick and easy first step to protect your website. Though it takes more than a few scans and plugins to safeguard your website from security threats, website security is something you need to think through fully and implement diligently.

One of the best ways to minimize malicious code from reaching your website is to download themes and plugins directly from trusted theme developer or author’s page and not from any suspicious third party websites or forums. Many compromised plugins and themes with malicious codes are often found in sharing sites and open forums. So, you have been warned!

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!

How to Choose the Best Hosting Plan for Your Website

Many factors come into play before an individual or organization decides to purchase a hosting plan. It could range from cost factor, specifications of the server, server security, special features and many more. So what defines the best hosting plan for your requirement? It means choosing a web hosting plan with the right features and sufficient capacity while at the same time keeping your costs as low as possible. At Serverfreak, we offer you the luxury to choose from several web hosting options. The question is how do you know which hosting plan is the right option for you? Here are some tips on how to select the best web hosting plan for your website, from both business and technical perspective.

 

The Basic Level: Shared Hosting

The shared hosting is the beginner hosting plan in every hosting company. In fact, the shared hosting is the most common and popular option among bloggers and small business owners.

In a shared hosting, your website will reside on a server (a physical computer) together with hundreds of other websites i.e. you are sharing the space with multiple website owners on a single server.  The main benefit of shared hosting is that the costs are low and affordable, however, the downside is that you are sharing the server resources as well as space: things like memory and the processor, which can have a direct impact on the performance of your website.  The most common problem encountered with shared hosting is the site loading speed. For example, if one of the hundreds of websites that are hosted along with your website starts to receive enormous loads of traffic, your website might face extremely slow loading speed or even offline during worst case scenario.  The slow loading speed can directly impact your work as a blogger or even causing potential loss of sale especially among e-commerce website owners.

For small businesses in general, the shared hosting features and specs can already fulfil their requirement.  This particularly applies if your website is a small online shop, a blog, a brochure-style website or a combination of these things. However, if your website is bigger though, or it is starting to grow at enormous pace, then you will need to consider upgrading your hosting plan to a bigger plan i.e. moving up to the next stages of hosting. On a side note, if slow loading speed of your website happens regularly and deemed unacceptable to you, you need to move on to the next hosting plan.

 

Need More Power? Try These Options

You will know this is happening when your IT guys starts to sound like Scotty in Star Trek demanding more power from his ship. You have two main options if you need more power for your servers:

  • Cloud Server
  • Dedicated Server

Cloud servers are considered as the “upgraded” version of shared hosting. With Cloud server, your website will be hosted in a group of server with multiple websites. But the main difference with shared hosting is that your website now will have its own specific allocation of resources. In cloud server, you do not get all of the memory, space and processing speed of the server, however, you get more than you do compare to what you get in a shared hosting plan. With cloud server, you can now have a peace of your mind knowing that it is less likely that a website on the same server as you will cause your website to go offline.

 

Meanwhile, a dedicated server will allow you 100% full control as you are the only website on the machine. There will be no one sharing the server resources unlike shared hosting. As a result, you get the maximum possible amount of space and performance. That is the main advantage with dedicated servers but two main downsides exist:

  • Dedicated server is the most expensive option
  • Dedicated server is the most difficult to set up and maintain – the maintenance and setup that comes as standard on shared or VPS servers either has to be done by you, or you have to pay more to your host

In short, cloud servers offer a good middle-of-the-road option.

 

In conclusion, below is the quick summary to sum up the difference between these 3 servers and hopefully this will help you to make a better informed decision before considering purchasing or upgrading your hosting plan. Be a savvy Serverfreak customer today!

  • Shared hosting– suitable for smaller websites with small to moderate amounts of traffic. Suitable if your website is lightweight and consumes low server resources.
  • Cloud server– if you run a bigger website, with higher traffic or want to reduce the possibility of your website going offline.
  • Dedicated hosting – if you run a really big website, or want more control over how it’s configured. No sharing of server resources i.e. 100% fully dedicated for your own use. Robust and able to withstand sudden spike in traffic.

 

P/S: Any more questions pertaining shared hosting, virtual private servers or even dedicated servers? Please feel free to reach out to us at Serverfreak today at sales@serverfreak.com

 

 

3 Intelligent Ways to Offer Live Support to Your WordPress Visitors

Why WordPress is becoming increasingly popular nowadays? The answer is simple: Simplicity.  Anyone from first time WordPress user to experienced developer can now setup a beautiful website by leveraging the ubiquitous content management system (CMS).  At times, it can feel a little too simple. On a side note, there are some non-believers that think WordPress is not be capable of offering some of the features they find on websites of larger brands.  However, WordPress has grown in its capabilities since its early days as a mere blogging platform. Today, few features exceed the capabilities of a WordPress site, and most can be added via a plugin by even the most novice of site builders.

 

In order to keep a website lively, one must allow regular interaction between the site visitor and the website owner. One of the most important features for enhancing a site’s engagement with its audience, live support, can take your brand’s reputation from good to great. To fulfill that objective, we present three intelligent approaches to include live support to any WordPress website.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI is a rage nowadays and one that we will hear a lot more about in the future. What you might not know, however, is that even today AI has already found its way into WordPress. There are a number of WordPress plugins already out there that utilizes artificial intelligence. A good example is the use of WordPress chatbots, which can be found on thousands of sites already. By using chatbots, you can easily create live support for site visitors, thus saving your time and effort to answering simple questions. What you need to do is just simply install a chatbot plugin on your WordPress from your dashboard and train it to answer support questions. Some bots may even respond in a manner consistent with your brand’s voice.

All plugins are not created equal, in which the same goes with WordPress plugins that utilizes AI. These AI plugins vary widely in quality. What we want is a plugin that can handle the tasks you have in mind and that interacts in a natural manner with your audience.  On a side note, there are also some high-end chatbots that act like real human and can easily fool human visitors into believing they are real people. However, the use of such high-end AI plugin is costly and require greater technical prowess on your part to train them. For a start, the use of affordable WordPress chatbots which can simply analyze questions and spitting out relevant answers is more than sufficient for most website owners, even if not in a 100% human manner.  Even though this method offers a cost-effective solution for live support but there are some guests finding automated systems like this impersonal. Hence, the best way is to consider running A/B test, by testing it against the following two solutions to determine which option works best for your situation.

 

Outsourced Support Center

If you are not yet ready to embrace the use of AI in your live support, you may want to consider the human option by engaging a team of outsource personnel to handle your support calls.  There are many advantages of hiring such labour overseas. One of the major benefits is the lower hiring cost due to the advantage of international monetary exchange rate difference.  Since overseas labour rates can be much lower than Malaysia, you will probably pay far less than if you hired a similar service domestically. For instance, you can get an entire team of operators in India for only RM2000 a month, which is less than the average monthly salary of a single web hosting technical staff in Malaysia.  And, because the support center company employs them directly, you do not have to worry about benefits and payroll taxes. The second advantage is their good level of technical skills. With a sound technical knowledge, less focus on training is required since these personnel usually work for a company specialized in providing support. As such, they will have the right infrastructure, training, and management in place to get the job done. However, you still need to install a proprietary plugin or install a bit of code on your site to activate their service. When visitors surf your WordPress site and encounter an issue, they can contact your outsourced support team seamlessly via chat, phone, or email.  By doing so, your support team remains available to your customers around-the-clock, 7 days a week.

You also need to evaluate your budget for hiring these outsourced personnel. These outsourced support services normally charge on either a time-used basis or on a flat monthly fee. Therefore, pick a plan based on expected use volumes. Many newer and smaller sites have fewer customer support interactions; a situation appropriate to a time-used billing model. Larger, more established brands, on the other hand, may save money on a flat monthly fee.

 

However, there is also a downside using this method – which is the perception issue. Some customers may feel turned-off by thick and difficult to understand accents or perceive your company as having overseas ownership. Test the service yourself so you know what customers experience. Also, as before, consider A/B testing this approach to other solutions to make sure it provides the optimal solution.

 

Live Chat

Finally, you can choose to handle the live support on your own. The advantage is getting direct customer interaction, ensures your message stays on point with your brand, and allows the greatest expert on your products (which is you) to answer the questions. However, the downside is this approach is too time-consuming since everything is handled by yourself.

Live Chat and Email Support

WordPress has a broad array of plugins for fully-functional live chat support. You can obtain some of these plugins for free, but more powerful ones generally require some sort of fee (either one-time or recurring). With such a plugin, you can engage with your customers while they visit your site in real time. No chance of losing them to the competition because you took too long to respond or provided an impersonal interaction.

When selecting the right live chat plugin for your needs, consider these questions:

  • How frequently does the plugin developer updates the software?
  • Does it offer the features you want/need at an affordable price?
  • How will the plugin look on your site? Will it blend well, or stick out and look amateurish?
  • How well have other users reviewed the plugin? How many people use it?

The drawback of trying to handle support yourself: your own time. Before implementing your live chat solution, remember that somebody needs to be available when a customer has a question. Research when people visit your site to ensure you or your staff remain available at appropriate times to answer questions. If you cannot offer around-the-clock support, clearly identify hours during which you do on your website. Also, be prepared to change strategies for supporting customers should you grow to a point that individual hands-on responses no longer make sense.

 

Conclusion:

While any of these solutions could work, you will need to find the one best suited to your customer base, budget, and traffic. While they should work on virtually any kind of hosting, any of these that require additional software (like a plugin) can lag without the right environment. ServerFreak’s WordPress Hosting offers the advantage of a hosting platform built specifically for WordPress (and its assorted plugins). With it, chat and AI applications run smoother and faster, making for a better user experience.

Things to Take Note When Changing Web Hosting Providers

There are many web hosting companies today who faced disgruntled clients who wish to migrate their hosting account to other competitors. This is unavoidable because it’s hard to keep everyone happy and there are many reasons why individuals or companies want to change to a new web hosting company. It could be due to simple reasons such insufficient bandwidth or storage space, or it could be due to its customer service, or lack thereof.

Easier said than done? Changing to a new web hosting company may sound like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated – there are just a few things to keep in mind.

 

Keep your web hosting account with your existing host active:

Rule number one: Always keep your existing web hosting account active until you have completed the transition steps (i.e. email account creation and setup, files transfer, DNS modification and propagation).This will ensure that your website and domain email accounts will run smoothly without any interruption during the transition. In addition, if there are some old website files found missing in the new account after the migration is done you can always return to the old hosting account for retrieval.

 

Choosing a suitable new web hosting provider:

When it comes to choosing a new hosting provider, we need to consider the following:

a) Type of Operating System (Windows vs. Linux) – it depends on the technologies your website requires. For example, if your website requires PHP, MySQL , Python or Perl, then you will need a Linux-based hosting. Meanwhile, if you require ASP, MSSQL, MSACCESS or other Microsoft-specific technologies, then you will need to find a Windows-platform web hosting plan.

 

b) Bandwidth and Disk Space Requirements – the higher the bandwidth & disk space requirement, the higher you need to pay for such services. If your existing provider is unable to provide higher specs than your current requirement, then it is time to move your website to another hosting provider who can match your demand.

 

Make a backup copy of your existing website:

To make things simplified, it’s highly recommended to download existing website files in the same tree structure in which you want to upload it later. In addition, files and folder permissions will need to retain its original properties.  It’s recommended to look for any file or CHMOD permissions that you might want to set on any folder or file. This is a fairly easy task and can be accomplished easily by FTP.

However, in some cases, there are some web hosting providers that do not provide FTP access. This is especially true if you’re currently using a free Flash/drag-and-drop website creation service (i.e. WIX.com or Weebly.com). If this is the case, you won’t be able to downloading your existing website files and will have to recreate your new content. To avoid running into the same problem in the future, always check and make sure that your new web hosting provider offers FTP access.

 

Setup new or existing email addresses:

You do not wish to lose all of your important emails.  Hence, it’s highly recommended to keep the same email address, including email aliases and forwarders to ensure that all emails, new and old, are properly received.  You do not want to go through the hassle of recreating existing email account and modifying other technical settings, do you?

 

DNS changes and propagation

It’s important to know that all necessary Domain Name Server (DNS) changes will take place once you have ensured that all email accounts have been recreated while your website files have been migrated to the new server successfully.

DNS is usually obtained once you have signed up with the new web hosting provider. You will need to replace your existing DNS settings with the new one – this is usually done via your domain management panel (your domain registrar).

For your information, propagation of the new DNS will require at least 24 to 48 hours. Therefore the old web host is responsible for website and emails in the meantime. This is why terminating the old service should be the last thing to do.

 

Cancel your old hosting account.

This is the final step before saying goodbye forever to your old service provider. Once your new account has been activated and your website and email services at your new web hosting provider are running smoothly without any interruption, you can proceed to have your old hosting account cancelled.

Thinking of migration? Not sure if your account is eligible for this migration service? Fret not. Contact us at ServerFreak today and let us handle the dirty work while you sit back and relax.