New Adwiz service keeps websites fresh

By George Pytlik

I’m pleased to introduce ReBoot, a new service designed to keep company websites fresh and secure.

For years, I’ve helped my clients get the most value out of their websites. Along the way, I’ve heard countless horror stories about the problems people have run into. Sometimes because designers didn’t know what they were doing. But even more often because websites went unattended for years. In the worst cases, hackers would get into the site through various means and install malware, deface it or bring the site down.

It’s heart-breaking to hear stories like this, because I know how much excitement and anticipation people feel when a website is first launched. Like a child getting a new toy, there’s joy and excitement and a desire to make the most of this new brand communication tool.

Then, sadly, the object of so much desire gets left in a corner to be abused by others who don’t care.

All too often, companies make a significant investment in their website and then neglect to keep it fresh with regular content or the refinements that are a necessity in these times. It takes skilled people and structured processes to keep a website up to date. Smaller companies without dedicated IT departments simply don’t have the resources. So after one or two exciting updates, the website sits there for years, falling into disarray and becoming a target for malware attacks.

A regularly updated website is good for security and keeps your brand vibrant and credible.

Until now, I’ve provided website updating services for clients, but always on an as-requested basis. There was never an organized “product” wrapped around the services. Instead, clients paid for my time and the related costs and I would do the work. This was always a bit awkward, and less efficient than it should be.

8 amazing services in one affordable package

I knew it would be so much more effective and easy to manage if those services were combined into one neat, tidy package. Over the past year, I’ve worked hard to do just that. I’m pleased to announce the launch of Adwiz ReBoot.

ReBoot takes the most important maintenance services I’ve found and wraps them up into a bundled product. It’s only for WordPress websites, and I can only support sites of less than 200,000 monthly pageviews. But it’s an impressive suite of quality services for a very low price, starting at just $99/month. Here’s an overview of what ReBoot is all about:

Weekly offsite backup

I’ve tried numerous WordPress backup solutions. Some are free and seem to work great. But when I had to use one of these free services to restore a client’s website, the nightmare began. Restoration is so cumbersome you can easily waste a week’s work trying to complete the task. I hunted for the best solution and found one that makes restoration not only simple, but even lets you restore individual files by just selecting them from a list. It’s not cheap but it is awesome, and I’ve used it ever since.

ReBoot backs up your website every week to an offsite server, so that if anything happens to your server it won’t affect your backup.

Setup for Search Engine ranking

I’m dismayed when I see some websites built by so-called “experts” who haven’t got the slightest idea how to optimize metadata for search engines. While ongoing SEO work is beyond the scope of ReBOOT, we go through a review of your search engine structure, including the setup of an XML sitemap. We make sure your site is as optimized as it can be.

Now, I still recommend that you hire an SEO expert for ongoing work because it’s a special area of expertise and you have to work at it constantly to get results. An Adwiz Alliance partner company provides these services but it doesn’t matter who you use, as long as they apply white-hat tactics. Even so, ReBoot gets everything properly organized to act as a powerful starting point, minimizing your investment.

Anti-Spam protection

Spam is a nuisance and sucks corporate resources. Even small WordPress sites can receive hundreds of spambot-generated comments daily, many of them disguised as real comments. ReBoot puts a stop to most spam. I automatically build anti-spam protection into documents like feedback and appointment request forms, but WordPress doesn’t use Captcha on comment forms because when Captcha is applied to comment areas nobody uses them.

There’s really only one solution to control spam properly, and that’s Akismet. It’s a paid plugin, but it works great and I set this up as part of the ReBOOT package. The cost is included in the package fee.

WordPress updates

Server updates can cause your website to crash and go offline in moments. They’re pretty important because they often fix security holes, and for that reason WordPress tends to make a big deal out of asking you to update. Faced with these constant “in-your-face” requests to update, it’s no wonder even the most disciplined business owners will often just blindly click to update, despite the warnings. I’ve had panicked calls from clients in the past where they clicked the “Update WordPress” option only to find their site generating a fatal error seconds later, with no ability to access even the administration area. It can create huge stress.

Our process checks every update against your website code to protect you from having the update break your site. It’s possible, of course, that a WordPress update will be incompatible with your site. When that happens I’ll let you know and you can decide how to proceed.

Daily traffic reports

We make sure your website is properly structured to track analytics. Google Analytics is terrific, and free, a great combination. But it can be cumbersome to understand, and most business people don’t have someone handy who can explain how to figure out the reports. So I looked for a way to make the most important data as simple as possible.

ReBoot sends you an amazing daily overview of your website traffic by Email, so you can act on changing trends right away. The email report contains the number of visitors, hits, page views, search engines used, top key-phrases, top referral sites, average time a visitor spends on your site, top pages and much more. Even better, there is some amazing reporting built right into your WordPress dashboard that shows you vital information including a map of where your visitors are from. You can see this every time you log into your admin dashboard.

Regular testing for Malware

If hackers do manage to insert malware into your WordPress code, you won’t even know it’s there. Small pieces of code are embedded where only a web guru can find it. You can’t see it by viewing your site, but it causes spam to be broadcast as part of your search engine results and it can create other problems. Eventually, your site will get blacklisted and that can take months to resolve. I’ve seen how much trouble a company can go through to get their site’s reputation restored and back online. It’s not pretty, and I don’t want any of my clients going through that mess.

ReBoot checks your site for malware regularly so that you don’t risk getting shut down. It doesn’t stop malware, because nobody can stop a determined hacker. But it looks for known malware and lets us know when something gets inserted. Catching these things as soon as possible is the key to avoiding even bigger problems.

Safe plugin updates (Silver/Gold)

WordPress plugins need to be updated regularly. New features get added, security holes fixed, and sometimes the plugins just need to be updated to work faster and more efficiently. But a simple update can bring your site crashing down.

With ReBoot Silver and Gold level protection, we check every plugin update against your site code to make sure it won’t break anything. This is a time-consuming task. We basically have to update and then go through the whole site to see if anything is affected. In one case, a simple plugin update caused a client’s website to change its appearance dramatically. Hours of work were involved to track down the reason.

Monthly News/Blog Article (Gold level)

One of the most challenging things for most small businesses is updating the site regularly with new content. You don’t usually have people on staff who are both web savvy and know how to write good content. But search engines and viral impact of your site depend on content.

With the gold level package, we hire a professional writer experienced in web content, who creates one new article each month of up to 500 words. We then search for an eye-catching image to go with it, format the entire article and put it on your site so that every month you have fresh, new content for people to read. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, we’ll even post it for you so people know it’s there.

ReBoot. The best way to keep your WordPress website safely up to date. Putting ReBoot together has been a lot of work, but I’m happy with the result. I think it’s pretty cool, and it starts at just $99 per month for the Bronze level package. All three versions have a one-time $99 setup fee to cover the time involved to install the plugins and settings to make it all work.

Learn more about ReBoot here.

George Pytlik

George Pytlik has been involved in the advertising industry for over 30 years and designed his first website when the Internet was one year old. He was an internationally recognized speaker on advertising and branding and served on a number of communication committees at various times throughout his career, as well as writing a regular column for Marketing magazine.

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