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April 2018
April 2018
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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
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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 ...


March 2017
March 2017
By

Our planned web server infrastructure upgrades were completed successfully. It required some key changes to the Gutensite platform to allow sessions to persist across multiple servers, and for custom files to be accessible on all servers. Big thanks to Matt for taking on this task.

The new infrastructure allows us to do true "horizontal scaling", with load balancing and much better redundancy. That means that your website is hosted on multiple servers at once. Every page load is distributed across a network of servers that are balanced based on load. If one web server becomes unresponsive, or needs to be taken offline for maintenance, the other servers will take up the load and there should be no interruption or slowness. It's an exciting upgrade for us.

What's Next?

Our next immediate infrastructure plans are to migrate the Gutensite web and database servers from our current datacenter at Rackspace to our new datacenter at Linode. Rackspace is a widely respected hosting service, ...


February 2017
February 2017
By

We've been building websites for 17 years. We've met some great professionals who create gorgeous, effective, sensibly-priced websites for small businesses in need. But for every one of them, I've met a lot more who charge too much, know too little, and are more likely than not to suddenly stop answering client calls one day — who prey on those who lack the right industry knowledge to defend themselves.

To level the playing field, I've summed the most important lessons you need to know into this five-point buyer's guide meant to help business owners get a fair deal they can feel confident in.


#1: Understand What You're Buying

A quality website is the product of five types of expertise working together:

  1. Strategy — Understanding what your business is, what the website needs to do, and how it should fit with your social media and other marketing tools.
  2. Content — Writing sales copy, sourcing high-res photos, creating graphics and videos, etc.
  3. Design — Translating your content and ...

August 2015
August 2015
By

We're experimenting with a new category of Limited Edition design options, and our first offering is the Sterling template, a clean, modern and elegant design featuring full width image, translucent navigation bar, and fully Responsive for all mobile devices, with a smoth menu pull out drawer on mobile. This beautiful design includes stylish animations and transitions that add great sophisticated touches to the UI and UX.

The Sterling is only available to the first 50 websites that want something a little more unique, for only $1000. This new approach will allow us to create truely premium designs at a reduced cost, while still ensuring a significant degree of originality for your website.

Like any template, the design can be further customized if you need anythingn special. Let us know what you think about this new option.


July 2015
July 2015
 
 
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You may have heard that Google recently updated it's ReCaptcha spam filtering plugin to be more user friendly.

Their ReCaptcha plugin is meant to be a "Turing Test" to determine if the entity filling out your forms is a real human or a computer "spambot". And in a stroke of genius, Google used that opportunity (all those human eyes and brains answering the question) to scan and interpret old books (or streetview addresses) with hard to read words and numbers that their "reading" software couldn't figure out.

Unfortunately (and amazingly) computers have advanced to a point where they were better at reading the obscure text than humans, solving the puzzles with 99.8% accuracy. Whereas humans can only solve the image problems about 70% of the time and the audio problems 31% of the time.

So Google improved their ReCaptcha system to be better at stopping robots and also easier for humans. For most people, now you just have to check a box! At worst, if Google can't tell who you are, ...

Tags : ReCaptcha, Google, Spam, API,


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