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October 2018
October 2018
By

The internet is a lot like the wildwest—it operates on trust with very little oversight and no policing, everyone has to look out for themselves. Which makes it very easy for bad actors to anonymously disrupt a website if they want to. One of the most common and difficult types of attacks to respond to is a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service). This type of attack isn't necessarily a security vulnerability, but it does cause a "Denial of Service" when so much traffic comes to your web server that it is not able to serve real visitors. And the attack is "Distributed" because the traffic looks like it is coming from random legitimate visitors (IP address spoofing). This type of attack can come from a bored teenager or a sophisticated criminal network that has a "botnet" (thousands of hacked computers that are harnessed to carry out the attack at a greater volume).

Prevention Options

Preventing sophisticated DDOS attacks is impossible. Because the internet is based on trust, there is ...

Tags : ddos, server, bots,


June 2018
June 2018
By

We have great news for all our Realtor Clients in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Due to historic MLS rules, only brokers were allowed receive the live MLS feed for San Francisco property data. But we have now been given approval to offer this feed to all agents who are members of SFARMLS.

So if you've been wanting to allow your visitors to include San Francisco homes in their MLS search on your site, you now have the opportunity! Approval is easy for all SFARMLS members. Just send us a support email requesting this and we'll get you activated immediately.

Broker Partner Discount

The costs will is comparable to other MLS feeds, at $35/mo. But if you are an agent with one of our broker partners, we'll provide you with a discounted price of $25/mo (along with other broker related benefits). If you are interested in learning more, or helping your broker become a partner, read our Agent Website Solution overview and then have your broker contact our sales team ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

You may notice that a new Cookie Consent notice appears at the top of your site today. This is a new requirement for compliance with GDPR, and we've added it to try to help your site be compliant.

As of May 25, 2018, websites that process Personally Identifying Information of European residents, need to be compliant with the new GDPR rules (General Data Protection Regulation). There is still a lot of confusion (and hysteria) around the exact scope of this law. But over the coming weeks and months we will likely see the European Union audit larger sites, issue fines or perhaps graciously notify them how to fix mistakes if there was good faith. There will likely be court cases that challenge parts of the law (in Europe and in the U.S. where the EU has complicated authority to enforce their law against U.S. companies that don't do business in the EU). The scope and best practices will be clarified and we will need to make adjustments as necessary.

But the general consensus at this ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

We are very pleased to share news about the growth of Gutensite.

 

  • More Agents - Some of you who have recently called into our Website Support line may have noticed a new voice on the other end.  That voice belongs to Mary, who joined the team just over a month ago. We are happy to have another team member who is obsessed with providing you with expert and proactive customer service.
  • Quick Response Goal - We promised a 24-hour return response time for regular email support tickets.  This is pretty standard for our industry, but we know how great it feels to be surprised with quicker than expected support. At the moment, you may have noticed that over 50% of the time you write us, we are able to respond within 1 hour, and 80% of incoming tickets receive a reply in less than 8 hours.  We'll keep pushing ourselves to make responses as quick as possible, because we realize that highly proactive, personalized customer service is one of the main reasons you trust us with your ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

We are extremely excited to be nearing the end of a major Gutensite platform rebuild which will offer a completely new design, workflow and modern framework. This ambitious work on the 2.0 platform has taken all of our attention for the last 2 years. We will be sharing more information about 2.0 really soon, but in the meantime, one benefit of this development is going to be available for all our clients on the current 1.0 platform as well.

So the good news is that we have just finished our new system for automatically providing free SSL certificates to every domain and website on our platform!

In the past, the only way to get an SSL certificate was to have us purchase one privately and then manually install it (for a cost of $100). Now SSL Certificates are automatic and free, because we developed a sophisticated system that interfaces with an open certificate authority called Let's Encrypt and automatically creates, installs and renews these certificates every 3 months (which is ...


March 2018
March 2018
By

Some time ago, Google had updated it's reCaptcha spam filtering plugin to be more user-friendly, labeling it as V2. In case you're not familiar with it, reCaptcha is a powerful tool that has been used on most Gutensite forms and contact pages to prevent robots from obnoxiously sending spam emails out to you.

Effective February 28th, 2018 the original reCaptcha V1 spam filter has been deprecated and can no longer be used. What this means for you is that if you have not made use of and added the new reCaptcha to your website yet, you'll find that the old verification box has now been removed from your pages outside of your preview domain.

If you're still looking to protect your mailbox from potential spam, be sure enable reCaptcha V2 on your website.

This change is automatic if your website is accessed through your preview domain, e.g. foobar.gutensite.net. But unfortunately, unlike the previous plugin, the new reCaptcha plugin only works with an API key that specifies the exact ...

Tags : ReCaptcha, Google, Spam, API


November 2017
November 2017
By

It’s important to run an organized and optimized business. Bad processes will cost time, resources, sales, customer dissatisfaction and loss of team moral. So you need to constantly evaluate the biggest pain points at each stage of your growth, because these constantly change. Then you have to create the processes that fuel your success. But you can't let perfect be the enemy of good. And 80/20 is an important principle in business and life that prevents you from getting bogged down and never reaching your goals, i.e. sometimes 80% is good enough and the remaining 20% from good to perfect costs too much without enough ROI.

At each scale, you have to prioritize different things, and that means you may do things manually or less efficiently for a while, because the cost of automating them is too great. That’s okay, because you need to prove the market, prove the need justifies the investment in automation. But when you reach each new level, the ROI equation changes, the manual work ...


November 2017
November 2017
By

Whether or not SEO is a major part of your marketing strategy (and it should at least be one factor), you need to comply with the basic best practices to ensure that your site is found by people searching for your product/service. This is free traffic, free advertising. Each organic search visitor is like picking up a dollar bill off the ground (or ten). The basics of SEO include:

  • Write fresh, keyword-rich content that appeals to customers in every stage of their buyer's journey.
  • Tag your content with the appropriate meta data (e.g. Headers, Meta Descriptions, Friendly URLS, etc.
  • Promote your content and build back links.
  • And now, make sure your site is secure.

(BTW, If you need help getting up to speed with SEO and other Digital Marketing best practices, schedule a free call with our consulting team to discuss your options.)

Google has been pushing website owners to convert their sites to use SSL certificates for a while (they don't want criminals or governments snooping ...

Tags : SEO, SSL, Security, Ranking


November 2017
November 2017
By

Creating and growing a business is hard work. Competition is always fierce. There is rarely a clear path to success. You have to bring your idea into existence through sheer will power. You force an idea to become reality. You face obstacles that stop most people from trying. You make the best decisions you can, with the limited information and resources you have. You fail. Over and Over. It's messy. And then sometimes you succeed.

This type of chaos isn’t an excuse for poor planning or bad management. We’re talking about the type of chaos that is born out of fast growth and the new challenges that come with that. So don’t be afraid of the chaos. It’s normal for every great endeavor.

If you succeed, there will be times when things settle down for you and your team, and you sit back and enjoy what you accomplished. You will have moments where you finally reach a great profitability ratio, so you aren’t worried about meeting payroll and you even have extra savings to make the next ...


April 2017
April 2017
By

We've completed phase 2 of our upgrades which gives us new servers that are faster, more secure, have more redundancy and are running newer operating systems for better long term support.

Faster with HTTP 2.0

This upgrade also enables HTTP 2.0 for all websites with SSL (Secure Certificates). HTTP 2.0 allows pages to load much faster by enabling multiple concurrent connections at once. That means if your page has 50 resources that have to be loaded (e.g. HTML, CSS, Javascript, and image files), instead of loading one at a time, all 50 can load asynchronously.

Our Apologies for the Downtime

We did experience two problems during the upgrade that affected some visitors to a few sites:

1. Intermittent Loading Problems: Our security software on the new web servers mistakenly detected that our Load Balancers were performing a DDOS attack on them. As a result, our web servers intermittently throttled the connections, which caused some resources to fail to load (e.g. the CSS or an image ...


Archives

March , 2017

Server Redundancy Upgrades Successful

Server Redundancy Upgrades Successful
Chadwick Meyer
August , 2015

New Limited Edition Design: Sterling

New Limited Edition Design: Sterling
Chadwick Meyer
July , 2015

New Google ReCaptcha Implemented

Chadwick Meyer
July , 2015

Alternative Page Layouts

Chadwick Meyer

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