SSL Certificate – What is it?
The Secure Sockets Layer certificate, or for short SSL certificate, is a useful cryptographic protocol that serves for authenticating the identity of a website.
Secure Sockets Layer is a data file that produces an encrypted connection between a browser and a server. When they connect, the SSL certificate is verified. That allows accomplishing a communication between them that is protected. The result is protected access to the user’s sensitive data, for instance, email address, payment specifications, and so on. In addition, only the particular user and the website are allowed to examine that info.
As a user, usually, it is very easy to identify visually if a website holds an SSL certificate or not. In case there is an added “S” appearing after “HTTP,” the website has such a digital certificate.
How does it work?
It starts when a user wants to visit your website and connect to it. If you already hold an SSL certificate installed, the server is going to transfer it to the device of the user. Next, the user’s browser is going to utilize the public key of the certificate and decide if it is genuine, and also, it will create a symmetric session key. Then the server is able, with its private key, to decrypt the symmetric session key. So now both participants have trust in each other. If it is needed, they can utilize the session key for other further decryption and encryption. This process is also commonly referred to as an SSL handshake.
Types of SSL certificates
Domain Validation (DV SSL). This type of SSL certificate is actually cost-effective, plus getting it is easy. With it, you receive a basic level of encryption and security. In order to get one, the Certificate Authority (CA) is going to check through email if actually, the one appealing for the certificate is the true owner of the registered domain name. Moreover, the CA is going to review if the email you presented is matching with the one registered for the domain in the WHOIS record. Then, you are going to receive a message, and in case your response is accurate, the DV certificate is quickly issued. Finally, you should receive it in a file that you simply add to your website.
The DV SSL is suitable for websites, such as portfolios, blogs, that are not operating with the sensitive data of the users.
Organization Validation (OV SSL). This type is more pricey compared to DV SSL, and the process is more time-consuming because it’s more detailed. Moreover, the level of encryption that it offers is higher, plus it strongly authorizes the company’s integrity and legitimacy. The CA is going to check the company’s information, including name, current physical address, telephone number, and domain ownership, to prove that it is actually a reliable organization. In case the CA decides that your company is authentic, the OV SSL can be published in a few days. It is going to present the company’s name, city, and country where it exists. This certificate is suitable for larger companies and also for government agencies.
Extended Validation (EV SSL). This type of certificate provides a pretty strong level of encryption, security, and company integrity authentication. Yet, compared with the previous two, the EV SSL takes a longer time and is more expensive to get. The CA makes some extra steps to validate your company, such as examining legal documentation and more. Typically businesses that handle a lot of continuous transactions are the ones requiring such certificates. It is a necessity for them to ensure security for their users and make sure every payment or data transfer is protected. Such organizations are the different financial institutions, banks, global brands, government, e-commerce enterprises, tech, and more.
FTP is one of the protocols that are a lot popular. Moreover, it has been around since 1971. In present days, it could be implemented in some interesting situations. So, let’s take a minute to explain a little bit more about it.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) explained.
File Transfer Protocol, or just FTP for short, is a standard communications protocol used to transfer files between devices over a network. In addition, the two have a TCP/IP (Internet) connection. As a network protocol connecting a user and a server, FTP gives the ability for users to download different files, pages, or programs which are available on other services. When the user requires to download the data to their personal device, they are utilizing FTP.
It is important to note that FTP does not apply encryption. For the purpose of authentication, it only relies on cleartext usernames and passwords. Unfortunately, that makes the transference of information sent with FTP defenseless to common practices of impersonation and other types of attacks.Yet, there is SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) which is able to provide secure transfer of files.
What are the advantages?
- It provides schedule transfers.
- With FTP, you are able to transfer very large files.
- It is possible to renew an interrupted FTP connection.
- With it, you are able to send several directories with files at the same time. That way, you speed up the transfer process a lot.
When to use it?
- It is common to use File Transfer Protocol to download big files over the Internet.
- It is possible to use it for uploading an extensive file to your web hosting.
- It is a great option when you want to make a backup of your website.
Interesting uses of FTP
- You can collect data for connected devices – The number of IoT devices is increasing, and all of the machines are connected to the Internet, like laptops, computers, tablets. You can get all of the data and transfer it over a wireless network without the need for human interaction. By setting up automated FTP transfers, the data transfers regularly.
- Content distribution network (CDN) – Large media content organizations and different radio and TV shows require quick and stable data transfer. That way they achieve shows to air on time. The ability of FTP to carry huge amounts of data is a benefit for them.
- E-commerce business – Online shopping is great, and it has a lot of benefits. Yet, there is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) assists e-commerce companies by transferring the information to different essential for the company systems, like analytics. That way, the organization can keep moving forward.
- Third-Party Logistics (3PL) – We all desire things to happen as fast as possible. A lot of 3PL services utilize secure FTP for sending packages and transaction data. In addition, they have to share information fast and keep the order fulfillment correct.
- Mars Roving – Due to its reliability, one of the most critical photographs of a generation was trusted for transfer through FTP. It was set up as an automated process to send images from Mars to Earth. The File Transfer Protocol was capable of handling it.
What is load balancing?
Load balancing is a great and very commonly used method implemented for managing the traffic of a hostname. With it, you are able to effectively and in a coordinated way to spread the incoming network or application traffic through a number of servers.
If you own and maintain a website with a lot of popularity, that definitely means your website is going to receive massive traffic daily. In addition, it has to be able to operate with a large number of receiving requests from the users. Also, for every request has to be provided an answer that is right and with the exact part of the information, like text, picture, video, or application data. The whole process has to be performed in the quickest and safest way.
First, the load balancers are going to implement several criteria and examine the incoming traffic. Next, as the following step, they decide and decide to let the traffic proceed or, in a different case, to prevent it from continuing. They could redirect it to a separate server based on the load of packets at the moment or other parameters.
How does load balancing work?
The usual order of how load balancing work looks like:
- Traffic comes to your website. Users send many requests to your website’s server through the Internet.
- The traffic is spread over the server resources. The load balancer receives every request and guides it to a suitable server.
- Every server works with a reasonable workload. The server gets the request and is able to approve it. Then it returns an answer to the balancer if it is not overwhelmed with an extreme amount of requests.
- The server replies to the query. The process is performed in backward order to transfer the server’s reply back to the user.
Types of Load Balancers
The load balancer manages the upcoming traffic, and it could arrange it depending on:
- When was the arrival of the query? – This method is a very simple and popular way to balance the traffic. Every query goes to a different server, depending on the time it arrives. For illustration, request one proceeds to server one, request two goes to server two, and so on. It starts all over, after that.
- What is the location of the query? – In that case, the load balancer recognizes from where the traffic is appearing. Next, it redirects it to a specific IP address that is going to provide a quicker answer and better performance. The perfect example of this type is GeoDNS.
- Is the server busy? – A wise way to manage the traffic is to base it on the occupation of the servers. The queries are going to move to the next most nearby server in a case when the primary server is overloaded. The network will continue to operate efficiently.
- Weighted balancing – You could choose what value to be based on. It defines which server should, and it is able to receive more traffic. For instance, such value could be the server’s computing power.
So, your e-commerce site is going well, but you want it to go great, right? Then, you came to the right place. Here we have 5 easy ways to improve your e-commerce website and boost its success.
They will all give you a real advantage over your competition. Applying the to your e-commerce will change you from a small fish in the sea to a giant white shark!
1. Make your e-commerce website fast
There is no other single factor that could improve your overall website than speed. Your customers will be happier. Your site could rank better on search engines and all of that with just a bit of extra money.
It depends on how much you are willing to spend, but here there are a few tricks.
Managed DNS. One of the cheapest solutions that could have the most result. It is the system that resolves your domain name, the first step when somebody visits it. Additionally, it could offer features to manage this DNS traffic and reduce the downtime due to DNS outages.
Better hosting. Improve your server so it can manage consumers’ queries faster. More power means better speed.
CDN (Content Delivery Network). If you are a global company, have servers right where your clients are. Having more servers and a CDN will help you with speed and redundancy.
2. Excellent products’ photography
Nobody wants to buy a product that they can’t clearly see. So pay attention to the photos. They must be professionally taken. The products sizes should be easy to understand from them. Also add pictures of particular details of the products, that could be vital for the buyers. Yes, it costs, but if your shop has not so many items, you can also create a small photographic studio at your office and do the photos yourself.
3. Have a blog for your e-commerce website
Why would you need that? The answer is simple: it can get you closer to your audience and attract more potential buyers thanks to the blog’s articles. Starting a blog in WordPress is simple. Then think about content that could be easily relatable to your products. Excellently written content is a must. When you are writing it, add links and make it easy for the visitors to go to your e-commerce site. You will see both increased sales from your typical visitors and from newcomers too.
4. Excellent customer service
Who is the key to your success? Your customers! Your e-commerce site is growing thanks to them, so you should really think about them. Make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. Add Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook, or another channel of communication that they prefer. Creating chatbots can help you improve your customer service significantly because it can reduce the work for your employees.
5. Fast check out
Reduce the friction for your clients. Make the checkout process simple and fast. Yes, it helps a lot if you get profiles of all your clients and what they buy, but think about those who just want a quick purchase. Leave an option to buy with only essential data and no registration.
Also, think about what payment methods and delivery options you include. Offer what is most popular in the clients’ countries, not only what is easiest for you. You will see that this care about the clients and their experience will pay off significantly in the future.
Here we gave you 5 ways to improve your e-commerce website. Go ahead and try them out. Have a great e-commerce site and plenty of clients!
Before we start the topic of the TXT records, we are just going to scratch the surface of the DNS (Domain Name System). First, we will learn what DNS is, a DNS record, and the TXT record. That way, you can better understand the process of the verification of your domain.
What is DNS?
DNS is the universal translater that links domain names to their IP addresses. It is used on all websites and many services like, for example, web hosting and emails. You should know that DNS works with DNS records, which are instruction sets, linking various resources (names, IP addresses, services, etc.) together.
What is a DNS record?
A DNS record is a simple text file that DNS uses to add data. The data can be which domain has which IP address, which domain name has another canonical name, which server is located, and more.
What is a TXT record?
The TXT record is a type of DNS record that can verify your domain and various authentication processes. The most common ways that you can use TXT are:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF). It is a technology that can give you feedback about your emails. Basically, it shows who can send emails on behalf of the domain’s owner.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM). It is a method of encryption for your emails by linking the domain name and the emails. It is another anti-forging technology that improves the security of your emails.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). It combines the features of the previous two and provides a more complex reporting mechanism. For example, it can show if the email was sent from the right domain and, if not, what the receiver should do.
- Verify your cloud account. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others will use TXT records with a particular string of information that they will want you to add to your DNS.
Verifying your domain with a TXT record.
If you are using a service that wants you to verify that you are the real owner of a domain, that is often performed by adding a TXT record to the domain host’s zone. A service like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Google Console must first verify the owner before starting working.
They will usually provide you a code, a string of random text, that they want you to put where your domain’s DNS records are located.
If you are the owner of a domain, you would have access to your profile on your domain registrar’s site, where you bought a domain name. There you will need to create a TXT record. Depending on your provider, the type of record could be listed as TXT, DNS TXT, or TXT record.
So go to the domain settings and search for DNS management (or similar, depending on your provider).
Add a TXT record where the host will be your domain name, and the TXT value will be the code you previously copied.
Save the new record.
Now you need to wait until the propagation ends. Sometimes, changes can take up to 72 hours until your newly created record gets on all the DNS servers of the host.
Done! You will be able to use the service already.
Verifying your domain is a must when you want to use many services. The way to do it is simple, by adding a TXT record to your domain’s DNS zone.
Choosing the perfect domain name for your needs can be an interesting or stressful mission. It’s vital for your online success, for being found by clients. You don’t want to be totally ignored by the search engine’s radar.
Check out the following rules, and you will pick that perfect domain name without pain.
Choose a short domain name.
Short names can be remembered easier, and they avoid confusion on users. With a long name, you can forget one of its words, and that’s enough not to reach the domain. While trying possibilities, users can end up in another destination.
It’s allowed to create domain names of up to 63 characters. The rule points no more than fifteen characters is optimal.
Make it easier for your audience.
Creativity is very welcome for defining the perfect domain name. Just avoid complexity. Sometimes, to brighten among competitors, people choose uncommon words, created or foreign ones. They repeat twice a consecutive consonant or vowel or add more than one dash, maybe numbers. Remember, you’re building a catchy domain name, not a password.
Avoid elements that make domain names harder to understand, spell, remember, pronounce, and type. Otherwise, you definitely will get uniqueness, but at the cost of being unreachable online.
If your mother language is Russian, Hindi, or Japanese, and your target market is absolutely local, use the letters of your alphabet. But if you look for reaching an international scope, prefer the use of Latin letters.
As a rule, a clear domain prevents confusion and orthography mistakes.
Use keywords to build your domain name.
You can play using keywords related to your business objectives, field, etc., for building your perfect domain name. Adding a keyword to it can tell search engines what your domain is about and be ranked better.
Choose the best top-level domain (TLD).
Currently, the variety of TLDs is really wide. You can even create yours. But experience shows that most users consider reliable only a few of them. Besides, the use of the oldest TLDs has become a habit for most users. Sometimes they directly type .com, .org, .net, for instance. Actually, have you seen that some smartphones have a .com button?
Choosing between the most popular ones can add reliability to your domain, and that’s not minor. Newer TLDs (.photography, .ninja, etc.) sound fresh and fun but still have a long way to get under people’s skin.
The rule is to choose what is best for your online business. TLDs can add extra information about your field, purpose, location, etc., to your users. Don’t waste the chance to mean something valuable with it, instead of picking randomly.
Research your domain name before registering it.
Defining a domain name is not only a matter of creativity. Availability and legal rights are factors to consider too.
Once you get to choose the perfect domain name, don’t run directly to register it. Understandably, you want to register it before someone else does it. But first, research about it. Be sure it’s not already taken, or it’s a trademark. Doing it is a healthy habit to prevent sues and legal problems.
You can check by yourself on the Internet, and you can try more advanced trademark researches to be sure.
Building an online business is an exciting adventure. Be enthusiastic and creative while choosing the perfect domain name for your needs. These rules are very useful to give creativity proper direction, a guide not to get lost. Try them! You won’t regret it!
Starting a blog is a lot easier than starting an e-commerce site, but still, there are important aspects that you should consider. So here we got a nice and easy guide on how to start a blog that will give you all that is needed for your blog’s fundamentals.
1. Content is the king.
The content is the king. It has always been and will be! There is a sea of sites, blogs, and articles about almost anything on the Internet, so there is a good chance you will enter a market full of competition. What will make your blog stand out and help you rank better on the organic searches is excellently written posts that follow a content strategy. Randomly posting every now and then does not work, so you will need a schedule and discipline to achieve it.
2. Business plan.
If you don’t care about money, you could skip this point, but the majority of blogs are created with a business in mind.
Although having a blog is much less difficult than having a physical store, it needs almost the same care.
What are your goals and values? What are the motives behind it? What is the end result that you are seeking?
After you have thought about these points, you can start thinking about your products (articles, videos, etc.) and compare them to the competitors’. How can you distinguish yourself?
Plan all the resources that you will need – money, time, web hosting, domain name, collaborates, etc.
Don’t forget to think about all the channels that can bring you profit. Ads on the site, affiliate marketing, paid posts, merchandising, etc. There are many sources of income that a site can give you. You should make a forecast and see if the numbers are good enough for you.
3. The real start of the blog
The boring part. You will need a few must-have items for a blog site.
Domain name. Try to choose a short and easily rememberable one. If it is possible, include a keyword that is related to your industry.
Web hosting. Get web hosting in the country where you are expecting the most visitors. This will help them have a better and faster experience. You can start with a small shared hosting and later upgrade. Just see if the provider has good plans for your future.
CMS (content management system). I know that site builders look very easy to use and tempting, but a CMS is a better option. When your site starts to grow, and you need more features, you will suffer a lot if your site builder is limited. Also, new collaborators and employees that you hire will have problems understanding a site builder. Better go with WordPress or Joomla. They both have a lot of additional plugins that can add important features in the future.
4. Make it popular.
If you are on a tight budget, social networks will be your main alliance. See where people talk about similar topics like what you are writing and share. Don’t be intrusive because you can get kicked out of groups and sites.
When we talk about organic results, the best you can do is to write valuable and searchable content. It will take a while until you master the skill of writing, so don’t worry. Later you can revisit articles and update them for better results.
And if you have some money to spare, advertise your blog on the web. You can do it on search engines or on social networks. Just focus on your target audience and think about where they are so you can show them your content.
Now you are ready to start a blog! So what are you waiting for?! The time is now!
Website builders have really made the experience of creating a website really easy. Currently, you don’t need technical, design, or programming skills to get it. You only must have your business plan clear in mind to pick from all the functionality choices website builders offer: themes, applications, galleries, menus, reservations, links, charts, custom code, etc. Then, choose the most convenient for your business purposes.
Check out the best website builders of 2021 for you to pick a choice!
Squarespace infrastructure provides the necessary design, tools, and features for building any kind of professional business site. From a blog, portfolio, membership site to a powerful e-shop or an online enterprise. Its quality and modern design are some of its widely recognized and awarded strengths. If you look for creativity and a visual impact on your websites, this can be your choice.
It’s not difficult to use, but it’s not the easiest due to the abundance of features and customizable settings. You need time and practice to master it. It’s not the cheapest on the market.
- Unlimited website hosting.
- Responsive design (mobile-friendly).
- Drag-and-drop, point-and-click editor.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Free 14-day trial.
- Four premium plans from $12 to $40 monthly.
Flexibility, intuitiveness, ease-of-use, price, bandwidth, storage, tools for building an audience, the fact that you can change themes without affecting the content you already have, are to be remarked.
Weebly is really useful for everybody, but it can be especially attractive for entrepreneurs, bloggers, newbies on e-commerce.
- Large app store.
- Responsive design.
- Drag-and-drop editor.
- Built-in SEO guidelines.
- Customer support is only available during business hours. The e-mail one is 24/7.
- Free version available (limited functions).
- Four website plans from $0 to $25 monthly. And three plans for online shops from $12 to $38 monthly, if you paid annually.
- Customization possibilities and design can feel limited for experts.
Ease to use and the wide variety of features make a powerful combination on Wix. You can build the website you need, from a small business to a full e-shop. It offers a really large variety of templates to choose from. But consider that once you pick it and the website is active, it can’t be changed.
The basic plan can feel limited, but you can add the functionality you need.
- Drag-and-drop editor.
- There’s a free plan, but it displays Wix ads.
- Hundreds of apps are available.
- It supplies four paid plans from €4.50 to €26 monthly. E-shop plans go from €17 to €35 monthly.
- 24/7 customer support.
Duda makes the tasks easier for everybody, experts and beginners. With just an Internet connection, you can build your site.
If the creation of multiple websites is a need for you (freelancers, design agencies…), Duda is a professional and fast solution. A variety of features, tools, and templates won’t disappoint you. It offers specific designs for different industries. Once you finish the customization of your site, it can be directly published online due to the own Duda’s hosting service.
- Intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
- Apps and widgets are available, and you can build yours to solve your specific functionality needs.
- It provides 4 paid plans, from $14 to $44 monthly (billed annually). And the fourth allows you to create your own plan based on your specific needs.
- Customer support.
- Free 14-day trial.
Using the best website builders, you can really get a site ready in a few clicks. Review carefully price, terms and conditions. Choose the best for your needs and enjoy the online experience!
IP – What is it?
Internet protocol (IP) establishes a collection of communication rules. The purpose is to control the form of all data sent within local networks and the Internet.
IP sets the most suitable arrangements for packets to transport the data till they are delivered, and it also includes many forms of addressing. Additionally, it routes datagrams over networks. Therefore, the transfer of data packets from an origin to their target point depends upon IP addresses.
IP addresses servers to identify different servers, routers, websites, computers, smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) throughout the Internet. It makes communication between devices and exchanging data possible.
IPv4 address is the older but more commonly used Internet Protocol. It has been around since the beginning of the 80s. The 4th version of Internet Protocol was launched in 1981 and became in use in 1982. As we mentioned, like Internet Protocol (IP), its goal is to set all of the rules for communication. For example, from how the data packets have to be sent, to what occurs with them after, and should they be received, and so on.
IPv4 holds one fundamental feature. It is the chance to apply the best-effort delivery model. That means it is not necessary to establish a connection between the two points completely. However, it just has to try to send a message and actually don’t even have to wait to identify if it was successfully sent or not. For that reason, it is perfect for the Internet.
IPv4 addresses are quite short and easy to use. This is because they are 32-bit addresses performing the role of an ID card of every connected host.
They hold 4 groups of numbers that are with maximum 3 digits in each group.
Let’s see, for example, the IPv4 address of google.com: 18.104.22.168
Actually, Google holds many servers and has IPv6 addresses, so the example is just one of many IP addresses it holds.
Structure of IPv4 address
The IPv4 address’s structure is simple and basically looks like that: x.x.x.x. With the x is represented an octet with a number from 0 to 255. The numbers are separated with dots, so every IP version 4 address has four octets and three dots.
It is a 32-bit number, which uniquely recognizes a network interface on a machine. Every number stands for an 8-bit field and describes a byte of the IPv4 address. For that interpretation of the bytes in an IPv4 address, it is often presented as the dotted-decimal format.
Parts of the IPv4 address.
Additionally, the bytes could be divided into two parts – the network part and the host part.
Let’s use an example of IPv4 address: 22.214.171.124
The first two octets and the first two dots (126.96.36.199) represent the network part. With it is defined as the particular number that is assigned to an individual network. Moreover, it identifies the class selected for the network.
The third and fourth octets and the third period (188.8.131.52) represent the other component, which is the host part. It is usually selected for each host. Thanks to the host part, it is possible to recognize a certain individual device in one specific network.
Take note that for each host on your network, that network part of the IPv4 address is going to be the same. But, on the other hand, the host part is going to be different and unique.
Here are some DNS terms that will help you manage your domain name as great as possible. As a beginner, it could be really frustrating to learn the complex structure of the Domain Name System (DNS). Yet, let’s start explaining, and everything will become much more clear, and it will make more sense.
The Domain Name System, or DNS for short, is an essential part of the Internet. It is a global naming database that translates internet domain names to IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. DNS is decentralized and has a multi-level hierarchical structure. Thanks to that system, humans are not required to remember long and difficult numbers (IP addresses) to enter and explore every website. Instead, people are able to type right away the domain name and successfully connect to their desired web page.
The domain name is the identifier for a particular website. It is an individual text string used for describing devices or services, such as example.org. Users typically use it and easily remember it rather than its corresponding IP address.
The DNS zone is the administrative segment that the DNS namespace applies. Each DNS zone is managed by a separate DNS administrator. That is why the entire system is considered decentralized. In many cases, a domain and the DNS zone could be considered as the same thing, except that this is not actually accurate. A domain is possible to have only one individual DNS zone, but there are other cases that are usually more common. When a domain holds a number of DNS zones, it is pretty understandable that they are not the same thing.
Inside the DNS zone can be stored various information, which is concerning the DNS records. Additionally, inside the SOA (Start of Authority) record of the DNS zone is stored contact information about the administrator and zone parameters like Refresh and Retry rate.
DNS query is one of the DNS terms representing the process of searching the IP address (an A record or an AAAA record) or another DNS record of a domain. Imagine the user who asks for particular information, and it sends exactly a DNS query. Next, the DNS recursive server, after receiving the query, will search for the needed answer. Finally, the recursive server gets back to the user with the wanted data.
DNS records are text files that hold information concerning the exact Domain Name System. Every domain has a different amount and diverse DNS record types. They indicate separate entities and settings of a domain. For example, one of them could point to the IP address (A or AAAA record), another could show a specific service, such as the email server responsible for receiving emails (MX record), and many more.
There are two fundamental types of DNS servers – authoritative name servers and recursive name servers.
The authoritative name servers keep the zone file of a precise zone. They are able to answer queries. In this type are all the authoritative name servers of every domain, such as TLD servers (like .org, .com, etc.) and Root server (the highest hierarchy level).
Recursive name servers assist in searching for the answer to the DNS query by querying separate servers till they get a response. Thus, they are in the middle between the DNS user and the authoritative name servers.