Now AWS Cloud Certified
27 Oct 2022
I am now an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Cloud Practitioner AND an AWS Certified Solutions Architect. This certification demonstrates that I that know all the AWS core services, know how to set up security and encryption in AWS services, understand networking of AWS instances, and can optimise cloud pricing for myself or others.
I do the AWS training and receive Amazon Partner Program materials for 2 reasons:1. I am able to consult in an area that is one of the most exciting and in...
How Do Big Companies Like GoDaddy Provide Hosting So Cheap? By Cutting Corners And Putting You At Risk
22 Nov 2021
I woke up to this alert this morning from WordFence...
GoDaddy announced this morning that they have been breached. Our team took a deep dive into the breach and found that GoDaddy appears to have stored passwords in plaintext, or in a format that could be reversed back into plaintext, which is not an industry best practice.
We confirmed this by signing into a GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting Account and verifying that we were able to view our own sFTP password. T...
Ransoms - The Growing Business Model Of The Internet
08 Jun 2021
Holding data to ransom has become a common business model on the internet. You will no doubt have heard of ransomware and the damage it can cause. There is a new ransom attack on the rise called a ransom-DDoS where businesses receive an email threatening that their website will be taken down using Denial of Service unless a ransom is paid. And there is almost nothing you can do about it. This kind of attack is incredibly easy to do with the availability and scale of bot farms out there at the mo...
Websites In The Firing Line
01 Jun 2020
Attacks on websites have suddenly increased. Alerts like the following started arriving in my inbox about 2 days ago for many of the WordPress sites I manage:
These are "hacktivists" looking for vulnerable websites to upload political front pages to. This is a common occurrence when big events happen, as in the US right now. Major events in the middle-east or places like Hong Kong also trigger a spike in attacks but this one is the largest increase I have seen. The usual aim of hackti...
23 Mar 2020
Maybe ironically, there is an old Chinese curse that says "May you live in interesting times". We are definitely in interesting times now, but they are also somewhere between nervous and frightening for most people.
As small a business owner, my life has been dominated for as long as I can remember by my family and by my business. I do not know how I could survive without either of them. A situation like this threatens both and that makes me very uncomfortable. I imagine you are in a ...
SEO and Google AdWords are now part of the team
10 Feb 2020
GMAC Internet Solutions has been building amazing software and websites since 2002. But these days that isn't enough. The needs of many of our customers regularly include SEO, Google AdWords, email, IT support, branding, catalogues, video production and more. I needed a team to deliver these so I went out and found similar business owners and contractors in Australia who were long-term experts in their fields and who were very successful at what they did.
To kick off 2020 with a b...
Take A Load Off
06 Dec 2019
Computers are a bit like people - there is only so much they can do at once, you don't want to overload them with work, and they are often better at some tasks than others.
When making any modern website or software application we use a team of people to make sure the job is done properly. When running a modern website or software application we use a team of computers so that their job is done properly as well.
The main computer involved with delivering your website to...
Living On The Edge
25 Aug 2019
When I meet a web professional who does not use CloudFlare it's like meeting a time traveler from the past. CloudFlare offers a lot more than traditional DNS hosting:
An SSL certificate Hiding your server's IP address from attackers Denial of Service attack prevention A Content Delivery Network that caches website files close to visitors Built-in page optimisation tools A Web Application Firewall to keep hackers away from your server
The protection and Web Application F...
TimelineCMS V7 Is Here
10 Jul 2019
The latest version of TimlineCMS for standalone and WordPress websites has now been launched, and it is amazing.
These are the major changes for standalone TimelineCMS websites...
Improved security with Amazon-managed root and administrator accessI watched as a massive effort was undertaken to hack several of my websites in February this year. I took all the logfiles and behaviour I observed and sat down to work out where security holes might have been. Nobody can guarantee that ...
The Best Website and WordPress Hosting
01 Jul 2019
I set up an amazing hosting platform to run my business on. Now I am making this platform available to other web developers and companies who would like their site to be faster.
Everything I do uses Amazon Web Services. Here I will describe how my AWS website hosting works. This is not the full picture, though - there are a lot of other tools that I use to deliver websites that are FAST, reliable and a pleasure to use. This will give you an idea why my sites are so quick and why yours...
Script Kiddies or Sophisticated State Actors?
05 Mar 2019
When you manage a lot of websites you see a lot of hacking attempts. For some reason February saw more in one month than in the last few years combined. The Australian government and a lot of media were reporting about "Sophisticated State Actors" trying to get into their computers. I saw several of my sites come under sustained attack. Were they some sort of elite foreign hacking squad? Not likely. The media loves a good hacking story (they think hackers have superpowers) and the government has...
TimelineCMS 6.2 Released With Faster Memory Management
10 Aug 2018
I have just finished upgrading all TimelineCMS standalone and WordPress sites to version 6.2.
This version has improved memory management on Amazon Elastic Beanstalks which makes them more responsive after quiet periods. You might notice that your site jumps to action a lot quicker first thing in the morning now.
Here is a quick refresher on the three main things that make your website work so well.
This software is fully integrated with...
WordPress or TimelineCMS? Por que no los dos?
06 Jun 2018
Since before I started GMAC Internet in 2002 I have been writing my own CMS software and using it for the sites I develop. It is different to WordPress in that it concentrates more on page management (which WordPress is garbage at) and taking social media feeds and putting them on websites as native content (see the New game Plus site for an extreme example of that in action). It also has a concept called "collections" that allows anything to be put into groups of content that templates can use....
Landing Pages, WordPress, Bootstrap and TimelineCMS 6
05 Apr 2018
I have three exciting new developments to announce...1) Landing PagesSometimes you only need a single page website with a contact form. I have used them as part of marketing campaigns for customers where a product-specific page is included in bulk emails or Google AdWords so that the traffic can be more accurately measured. Using Squarespace, Wordpress or TimelineCMS in these cases is not very cost-effective or efficient. Now I can make and host Landing Pages for far less than a full website.Hav...
What Meltdown and Spectre mean for your website
04 Jan 2018
I see a lot of security flaws (I did my Honours year at Deakin University in Distributed Operating System Security) but rarely have I seen anything as significant as Meltdown and Spectre. These are fundamental flaws in Intel's CPU architecture and they can not be properly fixed without replacing every computer's processor. I doubt there is the manufacturing capacity world-wide to replace every single computer CPU so these flaws will be around for a long time.
All cloud provide...
03 Jan 2018
If I host your TimelineCMS or Wordpress site it is about to get even faster. Over the break I worked out an improved way of managing website images and documents that is significantly faster. Want even more good news? Images and documents also now have versioning. That means if you delete or change something you have uploaded to your website I will now be able to get the old version back for you.
Try the Couch Warriors website to see the speed improvements in action. This is a very im...
The Big 2017 Amazon Web Services Migration (and a crash)
11 Dec 2017
Early this year I developed a plan to modernise how I hosted websites and protect them against downtime. Since 2002 I have used very expensive and powerful co-located servers in an Australian datacenter. These were due to be replaced so I started speccing hardware and getting prices... until I saw what Amazon Web Services can do.
The biggest problem with hosting websites is that the amount of visitors can vary a lot during the day and between days of the week. Traditionally, you choos...
4 Big Reasons Why Your Website Needs Cloudflare
06 Dec 2017
All the websites I develop and host now use a combination of Cloudflare plus Amazon Web Services (AWS). These combine to give the fastest, most reliable website hosting environment currently available.Most people only know Cloudflare as DNS management, but it also provides a suite of essential tools for a modern website. These are the best:1) An SSL CertificateStarting in late 2016, Chrome and Firefox began showing warnings for pages that had form elements on them but were not delivered to the u...
Pinterest: The quiet social media giant
16 Oct 2017
Social Media can be a minefield. One wrong step can lead to disaster. Or at least that is how it seems to many businesses. There is an easy solution - stay away from Twitter. That is where all the problems are. Instead, consider the quiet social media giant that is Pinterest.
Here is some research on the demographics of social media users from 2016:
We all know Facebook is king of social media. Unfortunate...
TimelineCMS version 5 has launched
17 Sep 2017
After months of coding and testing, the newest version of TimelineCMS is being rolled out to all our sites.This version uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for reliable and scalable hosting servers. Each website is now located on its own individual hosting server that has virtually infinite capacity to expand as the number of visitors to the website increases.Why does that matter? You might have heard that Google is using website loading speed as a metric to determine search rankings. The faster your...
Use Social Media As Your Website Content Management System
18 Aug 2015
Never update your website again. It's time consuming and frustrating. So stop and read this for a better way.We are world leaders in linking websites to social media platforms. Yes that is a bold claim, but it is one we stand by.Imagine your website being updated automatically from your social media posts. It really is this easy using our platform.You can try this amazing technology out for yourself. There are some restrictions on what we can do so please check them at the bottom of the page...
Google Rankings and Mobile Devices
15 May 2015
There is a lot of buzz at the moment about changes Google has made to SEO and how websites rank on mobile devices.
As usual with SEO, some of the claims being made are misleading.
What Google is doing is effectively maintaining two sets of rankings for your website - one for mobile devices and one for desktops. If a person searches for your website on their computer they should see it appear in the ranking where it is now. If they search on their phone they will find that w...
Preparing For The Future
07 Mar 2015
The internet is almost unrecognisable from when I started GMAC Internet Solutions back in January 2002. The web is the fastest moving area of IT outside of internet security and the moment we relax we get overtaken. Here are some of the major changes we have implemented for our customers in over the last 2 years...
Responsive Design and Mobile Websites
We upgraded all our software to better handle Responsive and Mobile friendly websites. This was a complete overhaul of how ...
Lessons From Apple
01 Mar 2013
Love or hate them, it's hard to deny that Apple are the most successful company in the world when it comes to marketing their products. I have often joked (or half joked) that Apple does not sell technology - they really sell desire. Here are some quick lessons that every company can take from them and how these lessons apply to your website.Constant Improvement, Perfection is ImpossibleDo you remember the original iPhone? It shook the world. It was a stunning piece of design that looked sex...
Why use Social Media anyway?
20 Dec 2012
The numbers are huge. The marketing and hype are deafening. Social Media is massive. Your business needs to be on it.But why?In August I prepared a Social Media Strategy for Honda MPE. In the following three months the Honda Motorcycles facebook page has (at the time of writing) gone from 16,487 to 30,758 likes - an 87% increase - and their number of Twitter followers has gone from 1,569 to 2,562 - a 63% increase. No black hat methods, payments or autofollows have been used.The strategy for Hond...