Category Archives: Websites

Any thing about Websites

Ban Web Server Traffic

Web Server Traffic Should be Banned

Opinions will differ about putting a ban on web server traffic. There are those who want their blogs and websites free from malicious activity, safe and secure for genuine valuable visitors. Then there are those who think there should be no restrictions on web traffic and activity (some even think spam is not bad).

Let’s clarify the web traffic we’re talking about. We’re not talking of banning referer traffic i.e. traffic from good back-links from websites resulting in genuine visitors.

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Htaccess Site Speed Impact

Does the .htaccess File Slow Site Performance

Bloggers often ask the question “does using .htaccess for security or redirection slow down the site”? The answer should perhaps not be a simple yes or no. Some hosts recommend .htaccess should not be too large (not have a lot of rules) as it has a bad impact on performance. htaccess logoThen again some users have very long lists of rules in their .htaccess files and their sites are still fast enough to satisfy visitors and accepted Google page load speeds.

We need to weigh the benefits of using .htaccess for security, redirection and site configuration against any performance penalties (or advantages). Once we understand how .htaccess works on our blogs we can make the decision how we will this extremely useful file.

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Massive Number Websites in Botnet

Massive Number of Hacked USA Websites Participate in WordPress Botnet Attack

website botnet thumbnail imageFor the past couple of days we’ve been watching a customers WordPress site being attacked by a botnet of websites trying to access site admin with user name “admin” and a variety of simple passwords.

Most of these attacks are coming from USA based web hosting services. One particular top level service provider, Provo Unified Layer, stands out above the rest as the most hacked network. Many 2nd tier providers use Provo Unified Layer infrastructure including Bluehost and Hostmonster. Of the hosts using Provo Unified Layer infrastructure, Bluehost is ahead of the pack in having hosted sites participating in the botnet. (Read more about Bluehost and the Botnet).

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Server Down – 9 October 2013

International Web Hosting Server Down

The USA based VPS hosting our international client’s and our own site is offline while the engineers attend to the problem.

Problem First Noticed After Midday 9 October 2013

We first noticed a developing problem at around 12h00 GMT when the server become progressively slower to respond to requests.

Later afternoon the VPS was taken offline for the engineers at the GNAX Atlanta data centre to work on the problem.

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Built Our Own Link Farms

We Built Our Own Link Farms – Really Bad SEO

A “webmaster” desperate for backlinks decided to build her own link farms for backlinks… No, I’m not talking about 3 or 5 years ago, this was recent, this year in fact. Worse yet, not only one link farm, an entire network of link farms.

“Old McSpammer had a farm, e-i-e-i-oh,
And on that farm he built some links, e-i-e-i-oh

With a backlink here, and a backlink there,
Here a link, there a link,
Everywhere a link, link…”  Video about link farming

Hasn’t the Webmaster Heard About Google Farmer, Panda, Penguin

Maybe because this is a South African webmaster, the news about Google Farmer, Panda and Penguin never reached this far…

Surely, everyone in the web industry knows link farms are useless these days as a source of backlinksBacklinks from link farms can even harm the site. Read the rest of this entry

Broken Links Bad For Website

Will Broken Links Harm Your Google Website Ranking?

The first answer to will broken links harm your Google ranking is no. The second answer is yes.

Broken Links Won’t Harm Your Website

Google says “Generally, 404 errors don’t impact your site’s ranking in Google.” Note the word ‘generally’

404s are a perfectly normal part of the web. You will likely never be able to control every link to your site, or resolve every 404 error listed in Webmaster Tools. Instead, check the top-ranking issues and fix those if possible” Read more…

This is of course only part of the story. Google’s info page doesn’t mention anything about the number of broken links. It’s perfectly normal for Google to find broken links to your website from other websites.

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Bing Banned

Bing and MSN Bots Are Banned

I have banned Bing, Yahoo and MSN search engine spiders from my sites! I’m tired of the constant rule breaking and over-crawling by Bing and MSN search bots.

Bing is a Rule Breaker

Microsoft claims Bing honours robots.txt rules. In my experience that is a blatant lie. Bingbot / msnbot simply ignore robots.txt rules and crawl whatever they want. Some of the specific rules broken include;

  • crawling system folders
  • crawling image folders (msn-media bot). Image folders and extensions jpg,  png,gif, bmp are disallowed
  • crawling RSS feeds. All RSS feeds are disallowed; rss.xml, /feed/, etc
  • crawling comment forms; DOMAIN/comment/184 – the path /comment/ is disallowed in robots.txt

The last straw was today. 2 days ago I added Bing and MSN user agent strings to disallowed bots in robots.txt across all my sites; this morning I see these bots read robot.txt then ignored it totally, and crawled the sites anyway.

Have You Seen Bad Activity by Bing?

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Website Down for Visitor Safety

Website Offline after DoS Attack

My Drupal website, graphicline.co.za, remains offline today following yesterdays JavaScript injection / denial of service attack. I decided to take the site offline to ensure the safety of visitors while I check the site for any malware. My hosting service technicians are also examining the server for any possible faults or configuration problems. Other sites on sub-domains of graphicline.co.za were affected at times, and further disruptions of service are expected.

website affline after dos attack graphic imageThe DoS (denial of service) attack began in the early hours of January 24 2012 and continued for nearly 2 hours. During this time thousands of attempts were made to inject JavaScript redirect code into the website (there are too many related entries in the log to count). Although initial inspection showed no successful hack, I felt it prudent to take the site down until certain no malware or other bad stuff had been included.

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Botnet Attacks WordPress Website

Apparent Botnet Attacked My WordPress Website

graphic image of botnet attackerWhat appeared to be a botnet attacked one of my sites (tech.graphicline.co.za) this morning in a brute-force wp-login attempt from multiple IP addresses. This was the most coordinated attack against any of my sites I’ve experienced. Usually the hacker bots I see use up to 6 IP’s in these attacks – 146 IPs is serious stuff…

146 IP’s Used in Simultaneous Attack

The IP’s listed below are the guilty parties to this brute-force login attack on the site. The main attack started at 05h09 GMT this morning (November 25, 2012) and continued until 05h15 GMT. A second but less intense attacked followed; starting from 05h16 GMT tailing off until ending at 05h43 GMT

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Hosting Change – Ten Times Faster

Website Loads 10 Times Faster After Hosting Change

One of my sub-sites loads 10 times faster after moving the domain to an offshore server. To be totally fair and put the improvement in perspective, the actual server is not that much faster; the big difference is route latency or lag.

graph showing 10 times faster page load speed

Before moving the average time it took Google-bot to load a page from this site was around 1100 ms. Now, a month later we can see the improvement – average time is about 100 ms..

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