One of the most important things for your small business is your website. For many of you, this may be the only storefront that potential customers ever see. And even for those of you that have a brick-and-mortar, many of your customers will check your website before dropping by.

Point being: You need to have a great website. But building a website can be a costly, difficult process if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s very easy to wind up with a design you’re unhappy with.

That’s why we’ve put together this simple outline of the basic steps of getting your website off and running. Here are some thing you’ll need to take care of, in the rough order that you’ll probably need to do them.

Finding a domain name

This can be the easiest part of creating the website, or one of the hardest, depending on whether or not the name you’re looking for has already been taken, and whether it has any solid variants. If neither of those things are an issue, then the process is no more complicated that picking a domain name provider that works for you–from to–and buying it. Usually you can choose to re-up your purchase once every year or every two years.

If many of the names you wanted are taken however, there is another track you can take. The first is to not get a “.com”, but to get something like a “.biz” or a “.org”. Many organizations do this to get the domain name they wanted while only having to change the last portion of the url, and it’s likely to be the most effective way to deal with this issue. Beyond that, you’ll simply have to get creative with your domain until you find one that fits.

Finding a web host

What exactly is a web host? Many people confuse a domain provider with a web host, and while they sometimes overlap, that’s usually not the case.

It’s probably best to explain it like this: The domain name is the name of your storefront. Your online storefront is your website, and the web host is the plot of land your storefront sits on. If this is all sounding confusing, don’t worry. Many web-building platforms now offer to host your site on their servers, or will have an easy way to have your site hosted on someone else’s.

Since you’ll most likely be going this route (it’s the most affordable/easiest for small business), let’s talk about some standard website building platforms.

Choosing a web-building platform

This is arguably the most important part of the process. There are many different platforms available for building a website, and many more people willing to make one for you. How do you pick the best one for your needs?

Well, first things first. No matter whether or not you have someone build your website or you take care of it from scratch, you should be able to easily change basic features on your website without involving someone else. Too often small business owners have someone build their website, only to realize they need to call the programmer every time they want to make a small change because the back-end is a mess, or they just don’t have the basic web skills to make it happen.

If you choose to have someone build your website, don’t be tempted to pick someone who designs decent websites mainly because they are cheap. Many “decent” sites can be a nightmare behind the scenes, and the second most important thing besides an attractive storefront is making sure the back is easy to navigate.

Designing the Website

Once you have your platform picked, now comes the hard work of designing an attractive storefront. This means taking care of everything to the basic design and visual aspects of the site, to how the pages layout, to even creating your logo. Depending on the complexity and how you’re creating the website, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get it in a position where it’s user-friendly and ready to go.

Driving Traffic to the Website

After you’ve done the hard work of getting your website is up and running, it’s time to get people to actually SEE it. There are plenty of ways to do this but the general version is that you’ll be using either organic or paid means to drive traffic.

Some good, low-cost options for driving traffic include advertising/growing social communities, using the google ad network, doing content marketing (i.e. creating your own blogs or other content and promoting it) as well as networking/linking with other complimentary businesses (for instance, if you run a motel, do a cross promotion with a local eatery to encourage your guests to go to and vice versa). You should design a traffic plan that matches the needs of your business, as not all methods will have success depending on what you are.

After all of this, your small business website should be ready for prime-time. Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help


Want more tips and news about the web? Looking for a dependable IT provider? Get in touch with us today.

Published with consideration from SmallBizTechnology. SOURCE

Long before ransomware and large-scale hacks became everyday problems, viruses were crawling into our desktops and infecting our screens. Somewhere in the world, there’s a cynical coder with an ax to grind or bills to pay who can’t wait to ruin your day.

These days, smartphones and tablets are just as vulnerable as regular computers, and malware is often used to subvert your private accounts. Your phone is a gateway to a lot of personal data, and malware is often designed to break into your email, online banking, and apps.

Getting lazy now could wreak havoc on your smartphone or tablet, plus all the networks it’s connected to. The more time the malware has, the more it will try to manipulate your apps and data as well as steal from you.

Be proactive.There are simple steps to make sure your smartphone is safe from hackers.

The most dangerous situation is when your device is infected, and you don’t even realize it. Malware doesn’t announce itself. It works as secretly as possible so that you’ll overlook the damage it’s causing.

One commonly held belief is that Apple phones and tablets never get malware. But the devices are not impervious to infections and scammers.

Symptoms of an infected device

• Data usage: The first sign that your phone has a virus is the rapid depletion of its data. That’s because the virus is trying to run a lot of background tasks and communicate with the internet. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, this could also cost you money. You may have to buy extra data to keep up with all that wasted processing. Essentially, you’ re paying to let malware ruin your device and run havoc on it.

• Crashing apps: There you are, playing Angry Birds on your phone, and it suddenly crashes. That’s strange. It never used to happen. After the game crashes a few more times, you start to suspect fowl-er, foul play. Most viruses tamper with your regular operations, and it’s common for your favorite apps crash without explanation. Make sure you update all of your apps to prevent viral interference.

• Pop-ups: Many websites have pop-up ads. But if you start seeing pop-ups all the time, especially for products or services that seem suspicious, you may want to check for a virus. Whatever you do, don’t click on the links. Virus-based pop-ups are almost always designed to make your device even sicker.

• Unexplained charges: Ads and crashing apps are annoying. Mysterious billing will hit you where it hurts, your bank account. It’s particularly common among Android users, who find unusual charges in the “SMS” category. Their gadgets are infected with malware and sends messages to premium-rate numbers.

• Unwanted apps: True to its name, Trojans download apps may look legitimate. They’re designed in the same style as real apps to avoid detection. If you see an app that looks familiar, but you don’t remember downloading it, check and see whether it’s authentic. If it looks fishy, delete it.

• Battery drain: All of these digital shenanigans take a lot of energy. Not only does your phone use up more data, but the battery runs out faster as well. Like actual viruses, malware can leave the body of your device completely exhausted.

The symptoms for Apple and Android devices are pretty similar, but the treatments can be very different for each. These include removing questionable apps under settings.

Take your viruses seriously, because they definitely mean you harm, and they won’t go away on their own. How else can you maintain your security in the wild world of cyber-crime?

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment


Published with consideration from USA Today SOURCE

Digital advertisements are ubiquitous across the internet. And just as users started to come to terms with that, Microsoft has taken ads one step further. The Windows File Explorer has begun to show ads for services like O365 and OneDrive, and if you’re wondering how to disable them, this article is for you.

Who is getting these ads?

Right now, we’re still unsure of how widespread Microsoft’s new advertising strategy goes. Not every Windows workstation has started displaying File Explorer banners, and based on some overwhelmingly negative reactions online, the campaign might get shut down before it even reaches your desktop.

However, even if you have yet to be targeted, you can quickly and easily disable these ads right now.

How do I turn them off?

At the moment, these pushy promotions show up only in Windows’ File Explorer window, so that’s where we’ll begin. After you’ve opened a new window, there are only five steps to boot them off your screen:

  1. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  2. Click Options on the far righthand side.
  3. In the new window select the View tab.
  4. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect ‘Show sync provider notifications’.
  5. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft chose to advertise with this move. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for safely working and collaborating from any device in any location — we just don’t want to see advertisements for them when we’re hunting down sales records.

When you’re in the market for the Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more robust however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from SOURCE

While a vast majority of ransomware that’s been developed targets Windows computers, malware authors have begun to attack Mac devices. Recently, researchers discovered a new ransomware strain, OSX/Filecoder.E, which encrypts Mac files and keeps them locked even after the victims have paid the ransom. But don’t worry, there is still hope if you follow the security advice below.

According to ESET security researchers, even though the Filecoder ransomware was written in Apple’s programming language, the malicious code is not as potent or as skillful as other viruses. In fact, it’s so poorly written that hackers never developed a method to retrieve the encryption key once the ransom has been paid.

In any case, whether you’re dealing with Filecoder or some other ransomware, we advise against ever giving in to the hacker’s demands.


Avoid Filecoder
So far, Filecoder isn’t given out via phishing emails like most ransomware; instead, it’s distributed on Torrent sites and goes by the name “Patcher.” Therefore, it’s best to stay away from these highly unregulated (and mostly illegal) websites and stick to trusted app stores like Mac, Microsoft, and Google.

Even if the ransomware is not sent out via phishing campaigns, you should still be careful of any unsolicited emails with strange file attachments in case the malware authors decide to branch out.

Install preventive measures
Like with any other malware, being proactive with your cybersecurity solutions is the best way to defend against Filecoder. Install reliable antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and update systems whenever possible.

You must also maintain backups and have a disaster recovery plan to keep your business running in the off chance that ransomware or any other cyberattack successfully infiltrated your systems.

Defeat the ransomware
Given the ransomware’s shoddy code, security researchers have found a way to decrypt files without paying. Free cracking tools like PKCRACK can recover Filecoder-encrypted data if you have one original version of the affected files. The recovery process, however, does require some programming knowledge, so contact an IT expert or a managed services provider to unlock the ransomware for you.

Filecoder may not be the strongest malware around, but this could just be the start of Mac-based attacks. To protect your business from the onslaught of cyberattacks, you need security experts. Contact us today.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.


Published with consideration from SOURCE.