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Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Tips to secure your Joomla site from Hackers

clock May 18, 2016 20:07 by author Armend

How to secure your Joomla site from Hackers ?

Here we will take you through the steps you need to know so that your Joomla website is as safe and secure as possible online!

Consider a Joomla security audit

Consider having a Joomla security website full audit and you will have taken the first step on the road to online security. A security audit will result in a list of potential security issues being created. The highlighted issues can then be resolved. Sometimes it is the simple things that are missed such as setting file permissions correctly, implementationof strong secure passwords and SSL certificates with data encryption.


Sometimes more complicated issues will be highlighted. For such issues you may be better off if you do have web development skills, if in any doubt though we would recommend that you appoint a professional web developer to avoid potential mistakes!

Secure Joomla hosting

Your website should be hosted on a secure server, so make sure that your hosting provider has implemented a strong security policy into their hosting servers. If they do not then you must move your website to a more secure Joomla hosting provider, this is very important.
The task of securing a website that has been developed using the Joomla development platform can be a tricky job. However, most professional website hosting companies would normally be pleased to help you move your site from one hosting provider to another.
Check they offer the following:

  • Automatic Joomla Updates
  • Multiple layers of Server-side Security Filters
  • Firewall
  • Antivirus
  • Malware detection
  • IP Address blocking where necessary
  • Fast Response to Zero-day Mass Attacks
  • Insistyour Joomla installation and extensions are kept up-to-date

Always keep your Joomla installation updated to the latest version, this helps to make life difficult for both new and old exploits to be utilised by online hackers. Fixes for security issues are included with most Joomla releases.

Many attacks utilise security issues in Joomla extensions than the Joomla 3 core files.

Implement use of Strong passwords/ User names

This may seem obvious but ‘password’ is not a good password and an admin login named ‘admin’ is not a good login name! But you would be amazed how many times these are used! Try to implement the use of logins like £R5UU9(!SSw#88 and passwords like $4FfOq0&b””#k9hh, we are sure you get the idea!

Correctly set your File Permissions

Make sure that you do set the right permissions for your Joomla files and their folders. We would suggest the following permissions settings, in general:

  1. Set Joomla folders permission to 755
  2. Set Joomla Files permission to 644
  3. Never ever set 777 permission – this would allow anyone access!
  4. Set configuration.php file permission to 444

Restrict access to your Admin Page

  • Restrict access to your admin page. Password protect the /administrator folder for your installation.
  • Once done, an additional password will be required for any user to gain access to the admin login form.

Use Joomla security extensions

Joomla security extensions are available such as OSE Secure, JHackGuard and RSFirewall.

Always Back-up your Joomla Site

Ensure that you back-up your full Joomla installation often. Test that your backups are always available and perform periodic test restores to make sure that the process works!
You must ensure that you have a reliable backup and restore recovery procedure should there be the need to back out the current version of your website and/or database etc.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: 11 Tips to speed up your Joomla website

clock May 16, 2016 19:07 by author Armend

11 tips to speed up your Joomla website

Why having a fast loading website is so important? Page load time affects two important factors that may have influence on the success of your site: seo rank and conversion rate.  Lets take a look on what you can do to improve performance of your Joomla website.

1.Choose a good web hosting

Web hosting is the most important thing. All other performance tips may be useless, if you do not have a good and fast web hosting. I suggest you to read some reviews and forums to find the one that will be perfect for your site and needs. I think that I do not need to mention that you should avoid free hosts. That should be obvious.

2.Keep Joomla and extensions up-to-date

Beside security reasons, having the latest version of Joomla core, extensions and templates is very important for your website performance. Usually the new version achieves some code improvements and work better than the old version.

3.Remove unused extensions

Each extension installed on Joomla is taking some system and database resources. Usually there are also some additional CSS and JS files loaded into the head section of your template which may increase the overall size of the whole website. A good practice is to keep only those extensions which are currently used on your site. If you often test new extensions, remember to uninstall them if you do not use them.

4.Enable Joomla caching

If caching is disabled, when a user visits a page, all data needs to be loaded on each page request. As you can imagine, such process takes some time. By enabling Joomla caching, if someone will visit your site for the first time, all data will be cached and stored as lighter and faster content that will be loaded for all the next visitors.
There are two main settings related to caching in Joomla.

Cache setting in Global Configuration

To enable Joomla caching go to System → Global Configuration → System and choose the caching method:
Available methods of caching:

  • conservative – the same cached content is loaded for all visitors
  • progressive – content is cached separately for each visitor

It is recommended to use the conservative method. The progressive method can be counterproductive if you have a lot of content and a lot of visitors.
Please note that Joomla caching can produce some issues related to extensions. There is additional setting available for each module that allows to turn off the caching. To disable Joomla caching for selected module, go to Extensions → Module Manager and choose a module. On the Advanced tab in the module parameters you can disable caching of the module content:
Another way to speed up your site directly from Joomla settings is compression. When compression is enabled, your site pages are downloaded as zip file and unpacked by browser. This way it is possible to reduce the content size over 50-70%.
To enable this option, go to System → Global Configuration → Server and choose Yes for the Gzip Page Compression

6. Optimize images

Usually, images take the biggest part of the overall website size and this is the main reason why they should be optimized. Take a look on the most important tips regarding image optimization:

  • avoid using large images on your site
  • do not scale images using HTML or CSS
  • remember to add the width and height attributes for each image so browser will know their dimensions before downloading them
  • do not put too many images on a single page
  • use lossless or lossy compression to reduce the size of your images. Usually if you save images using Adobe Photoshop or Gimp, the image size can be still reduced without losing quality. Always remember that images from your camera should be resized and optimized before putting them on your site.

7. Optimize .htaccess

Another way to increase your site speed is tweaking the .htaccess file. Before you start, you need to make sure that you have renamed the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess and enabled the url rewriting in System → Global Configuration → Site

8. Optimize CSS, JS and HTML

Each template and extension load CSS and JS files that may block the content rendering since the browser must process all the files for the current page first. They also produce a number of HTTP requests. If you are using EF4 Framework you can easily compress and optimize CSS/JS files as well as the HTML output. How does it work?

  • it merges all CSS and JS files so the number of requests will descrease
  • it removes all unnecessary spaces, line breaks and comments to reduce file size

9. Tools to optimize Joomla website

In Joomla Extensions Directory you will find a number of optimize extensions. You may be interested in the following ones:

JCH Optimize

Probably the best optimize extension for Joomla. It allows to:

  • combine CSS and JS files into one
  • minify the combined files
  • combine background images into a sprite
  • minify the HTML output
  • CDN support (pro version)
  • load JS asynchronously (pro version)
  • include CSS styles and JS from inline declaration blocks (pro version)
  • and lot more

JBetolo

This is an alternative to JCH Optimize extension. It provides very similar features but it has some advantages over JCH Optimize, for example it provides CDN support in free version where JCH Optimize provides this option in paid version only.

ScriptMerge

Another solution that is worth to mention. It allows to compress CSS, JS and HTML code. There are also many other features that you may want to test on your site.

10. Use a Content Delivery Network

CDN is a large network of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. Using CDN you can serve all the static content (such as scripts, images, videos, music) to your visitors from the server which is in the nearest location to theirs.
CDN can be configured using the JCH Optimize and JBetolo extensions mentioned in the previous tip. There is also a lot more extensions for CDN available in Joomla Extensions Directory.

11. Mobile friendly optimization

It has been almost two months since Google launched a new mobile algorithm. It means that mobile friendly websites get a higher rank in the search results on mobile devices. That is not a surprise since over 50% of online traffic comes from mobile and tablet devices.

 



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: 5 Tips to secure your Joomla website

clock April 29, 2016 20:56 by author Armend

5 Tips to secure your Joomla website

Website security has become the talk of the internet. With security loopholes discovered almost every other day, we know you’re concerned about your website.
and this time we want to talk about a few tips to secure your Joomla website.

 

  1. Updates: Your Joomla website and the supporting extensions should always be updated. Updates add more features or a security patch which is essential for your website in order to block any possible loop holes. These updates are generally very easy to install and won’t take much of your time. Think about this, it’s easy to update your website and it’s components than to figure what caused your website to crash and rebuild it again. Remember to take a backup before you apply the updates.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions: Keep only those extensions that are required for your website, the rest need to be deleted. Many beginners tend to try a lot of extensions to see how it will help them with their website. Only a few extensions end up actually giving value to the website, the rest are just lying there with absolutely no additional benefit to the website. They simply take up your hosting space and can also become a potential threat to your website if they are not regularly maintained (updated).
  3. Use strong login details: We are all aware that we need to set up strong passwords to secure the login page but we also need to setup an equally strong user name. The default usernames are generally ‘admin’ or ’administrator’ which are vulnerable to brute force attacks. Think of usernames as passwords and make it strong and not easy to guess. This way you’re adding another barrier for an attack on your website’s login gateway.
  4. Setup right permissions: A very important tip to secure a Joomla website is setting up correct permissions for your website’s files and folders. We recommend setting the permissions of the folders to 755 and the files to 644. If you’re not aware on how to make changes to the permissions then you can check out this blog post.  Never use 777 for either your files or folders as this gives read, write and execute rights to everyone.
  5. Security extensions: If you need an easy solution to take care of your website’s security then you can utilize one of the many security extensions available. You can try jSecure security extension, which covers a lot of security features that you will need to secure your Joomla website.

These tips should be good enough to give you a head start in securing your website. We would love to know of any security tips that have worked like a charm for you. Don’t forget to share them by leaving a comment below.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostportal.com :: Tips To Speed Up Joomla Websites within 5 minutes

clock April 26, 2016 20:57 by author Armend

Tips To Speed Up Joomla Websites within 5 minutes

Whether you are running your personal blog or a enterprise level of Joomla eCommerce store, your heartiest exception sticks with highest pick of traffic and record breaking conversion, right?
To turn your dream into reality, there are plenty of technical aspects need to kick in along fresh and professional site contents. Without going to describe them all mediocrely, I am going to share proven tactics to speed up Joomla websites, which is considered one of the most significant ranking factors according to Google. Are thinking why speed is important?

Choose a reliable Web Host

Taking right decision while selecting best Joomla hosting is considered the key for adding lightning bolt speed in Joomla website. Thinking why? The files of your website are virtually hosted on a remote server. When a end user hits for your site URL in the browser address bar, and If it takes time to retrieve data from server to your end clients, definitely your site loading time is going to be increased and your are going to lose a significant amount of traffic. So what would be the best solution? To cover the question, we prepared a wonderful guide to select best Joomla hosting. I be your find them amazing, enjoy the reading.

Use updated Joomla and its extensions

Latest technologies includes new opportunity to keep your websites away from numerous limitations of past and add finest smoothness in the overall site performance. Whereas Joomla is growing everyday for open-source contribution, so the consequence presents us the frequent update of Joomla with possibilities of site speed, because each updated version comes with multiple code improvements. Same happens for 3rd party plugins, keep them updated to consolidated with your need.

Use must-have and remove unused extensions

The plugin based model for feature extension sometime loads unnecessary features and bloated codes in maximum CMS. Nothing different for Joomla. With several years of Joomla template development, I used many of tremendous Joomla extensions comes with awesome features. But your site may required to use single features, but other remain unused and become reason for poor site speed and conflict. So, remove the unnecessary plugins and install lightweight and need specific Joomla extensions.

Enable Joomla Caching

When you look for a website or its content in the browser, Browser sends request to the server to serve requested contents back. If you are using Joomla website, on the every page load or request browser retrieves associated plugins, components, modules, images and other more. It’s really a weightlifting work for site database. Suppose you have a website visited by 1000 visitors at a time, I bet your site loading get down to 5 to 10 seconds. What’s the solution to comprehend this issue?
The answer is - enable joomla caching. Caching allows to present pre-generated contents to the end users without annoying server all the time. In a cache enabled websites a saved “view” is offer to brower. If any content is changed or updated by site owners, users momentarily get older version of cached information, but after a defined interval, cache version gets update automatically.  Want to enable Joomla caching, just follow the beneath tutorial

To enable the Joomla caching, first head the System from Global Configuration, select ON - Conservative caching option from cache dropdown field, and select Save button.
To ensure Joomla caching system starts working correctly, you have to check whether core Joomla 3 plugin System - Cache is published or not. To check status of the plugin, head to the Plugin Manager from Extensions menu. search for System - Cache. If the plugin is enabled that would great, but not publish it on your own. Have a look in the following image.
Congratulation, Now Joomla caching system is running successfully.

Enable Gzip Compression

Gzip is the popular tool for file compression. It lessen the file size and helps to shrink server response time.
Yahoo says "Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%. Approximately 90% of today's Internet traffic travels through browsers that claim to support gzip,"
To enable Gzip in Joomla! CMS, head over to Global configuration > server and click on option 'Yes' for Gzip compression.

Leverag speed using CDN

Content delivery network (CDN) is an incredibly simple way to supercharge your Joomla website. A CDN is an interconnected system of cache servers that use geographical proximity as a criteria for delivering Web content. If you enable a Content Delivery Network, your static files will not be served from the location of your web host, but from the global network of servers of your CDN provider.
In a CDN, multiple copy of your web contents strategically exists on disseminating servers, allow you to serve the same content to many requesting clients computing devices with high availability and high performance - even when bandwidth is limited or there are sudden spikes in demand. CDNs are especially well suited for delivering web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.
If you want to know which CDN provider is best suited for your Joomla website, read this detailed guide.

Summary

Speed up Joomla websites is the key to boost up conversion and sales simultaneously. I’ve discussed only the techniques worked for me precisely. If you think, I missed any of them, let me know in the comment below, I will add your recommendation to the above tips.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: The Key Reasons Why Joomla is One of the Most Sought After CMSs

clock April 21, 2016 20:24 by author Armend

The Key Reasons Why Joomla is One of the Most Sought After CMSs

Joomla is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) used by millions around the world to build powerful websites and online applications. It is an award-winning solution, well-known for its user-friendly features. Joomla has been designed for easy set-up and simple kick-start, even for new users. Since it is easy-to-use, it can be used to quickly build dynamic websites. In this post, you will discover the reasons why businesses prefer Joomla CMS for their website development.

 

  • It is open-source and is free to use under General Public License (GPL). It is a user-friendly and easily understandable CMS.
  • Joomla is very popular and is used by worlds biggest and most well-known companies like Pizza Hut, Kelloggs, Sony and Ikea to list a few.
  • It has a wide range of plugins and extensions for developers to build customized robust Joomla sites.
  • Joomla websites are easier to maintain, allowing users to systematically manage the content, pages, images and more through a secured admin system.
  • Joomla can easily be integrated with WordPress, which is one of the best blogging tools of the recent times.
  • Joomla is an excellent platform to build responsive websites, giving users an enhanced experience across all the platforms.The sites built on Joomla are easily navigable. They can be properly organized and their layout can be made attractive for users.
  • You can even start your online business through your Joomla site as it has several eCommerce components that can help you to efficiently manage your products, their images & description, shipping, payment gateways and more.
  • Joomla is easy to install; it hardly takes a few minutes to get downloaded from internet. Once the installation is over, you can easily start using it.
  • The framework behind Joomla is well organized and uses Model View Controller standard (MVC), thus ensuring robustness in the website.
  • Joomla provides a variety of in-built SEO features to help your website get higher ranks in the major search-engines, thus driving more traffic to your site.
  • It has a variety of attractive themes and templates, helping you to design impeccable website to entice visitors.
  • Joomla is a secure platform to build websites with features like reCAPTCHA and UploadShield Code to prevent your site from malicious uploads and spam.
  • Joomla is widely used by organizations of all sizes, different businesses and private as well as Government organizations. It can be used to build websites for small ventures to enterprise-level businesses.
  • Joomla helps designing multi-lingual websites, thus helping you reach a broad range of audience.
  • It is backed by large online user communities from where developers can easily get advice and tips. There are online tutorials also available, thus providing solutions to your queries quickly.

Joomla is thus one of the best CMSs available for businesses to build highly-intuitive and feature-rich websites. It also allows customization to a great extent, allowing you to have a website that caters to your precise business needs!
Semaphore Software is a world-class Joomla Development Company, with extensive experience in delivering high-quality Joomla websites.
Contact us through
sales@asphostportal.com. to get our comprehensive Joomla development services including Joomla website development and Joomla themes, extensions and plugins development!



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Joomla SEO Best Practices

clock April 20, 2016 19:55 by author Armend

Learn how to maximize your Joomla website for better search engine rankings. Our SEO guide will teach you how to make the most of Joomla for SEO. Includes Meta Data, URL structure, page speed, and compression techniques.
Looking for how to make your Joomla website SEO friendly? You are in the right place.
Joomla does pretty well out of the box but there are several elements that can be improved. Often times site owners want to add many unneeded features

Standard SEO Best Practices

  • Keep the number of images to a minimum
  • Give your images a descriptive names
  • do not place any content or text in images (remember the search engines can not read the images)
  • each page should have 250 to 700 words of content
  • keep the user experience as a top priority
  • Use H1, H2, H3 tags

Meta Data

Meta (or Page) Title

This is the most important of the meta data elements. The page title appears at the very top of most browsers and is the blue link in Google search result pages.
Page titles are a balancing act between including your keywords and creating an interesting clickable title. Page Titles should be kept to around 60 characters.

Meta Description

The meta description is not visible to the user anywhere on your page, but the search engines do use it to index and rank pages. Google will often times use the meta description as the text on the search engine results page.

Meta Keywords

Meta Keywords have really been abused in the past by spammers as a result most search engines do not use them for ranking. There is some research to suggest that search engines will use keywords to sort pages but not rank them. The end result is that you do not need to spend much time on your meta keywords.
If do add keywords to a page:

  • Keep the number of keywords less than seven
  • Make sure the keywords exist in your content
  • separate them with commas

SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URLs

Joomla by default doe not have very good urls they typically look like:

  • index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=126&catid=1&id=58&lang=en&view=article

The next step up is to turn on the core Joomla SEF URLs:

  • best-practices/joomla-seo-best-practices.html

If you need more control you can look at a 3rd part SEF extension.  Many times the urls will look very similar to the Joomla SEF URLs but if you need more control or have special circumstances a SEF extension is very helpful.

Joomla Speed & Performance

Making your site fast will help you in many ways:

  • A better user experience, how long do you stay on a slow loading site?
  • Improved conversions
  • More love from Google.  Google has added site speed to their 200 or so page ranking factors.

Follow these suggestions to improve the speed of your site.

Select a good hosting company

A fast server and good hosting company is the foundation for a fast site. Without a fast reliable server all of your other efforts will disappear. Not sure which company to go with?  Check out our Joomla Hosting Editor top picks.  Want to make sure your hosting company is doing a good job?  Think about using an uptime monitor and read about the advantages of an uptime monitor.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Important SEO tips for Joomla you must know

clock April 13, 2016 20:10 by author Armend

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a must-have skill for web developers, blogger, Web Content Editor, Writer. Every minute, there are hundreds of new sites created. So if you do not make your site appear on search engines, no body may know your site and it’ll be forgotten and useless. This is must be a disaster for kind of ecommerce, blog sites. So Joomla sites is not an exception. A site ranking must be thought out when you are planning to create a website.

1. H1 & Alt tags

If you've been around Joomla seo for a while - you will know the importance of the H1 tag. This is one of the most important on-page Joomla and can still be used to directly influence SEO. If you use the H1 correctly, you can have a very postive influence on your search engine rankings. Your page should have only one
As per google algorithm, google spider very much consider on h1 and alt tags for onsite seo, The alt text tags’ purpose is to be displayed when an image is unable to load. Search engines take the alt tag into consideration, so don't forget to add alt tag to your images html.

2. Create your title tags

Tittle is also a very important item for SEO, or could be the most important. Title tag should be unique for every page ( max 60 chars ). It is possible to override the title using the Page Display Options in the advanced options of menu-items. Using this feature, you will have full control about your menu item titles.Menus >> Menu name >> Menu item >> Page display tab

3. Use Meta Description

The meta description is used to describe short summary of a page. So that readers can decide whether the page is what they are looking for or looks interesting. Your meta description will have the most impact if it is 160 characters or less in length, including spaces and punctuation. Make them compelling, concise and informative.
When you're writing your meta description, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Don’t abuse important keywords
  • Do write high quality descriptions.
  • Don't repeat information that is in the page title.
  • Don't include your site name or URL. value.
  • Don't repeat descriptions over multiple pages

4. Don’t do keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is now considered as a strictly black-hat SEO technique. It does tend to have some positive short-term effects, but it’s playing with fire and rarely is beneficial in the long run. Ideally, each page of your website will use three to five keyword phrases, specific to that page.

5. Optimize anchor text

Optimizing you anchor text is extremely important, especially for your on-site URL's. When building in internal link structure, this is the most important issue to look at. Your anchor text links should contain keywords that describe your article, not something vague such as, read more, click here, etc.
Some recommended Search Engine Optimization extensions are MijoSEF, sh404SEF, and JoomSEF.

6. www or non-www url’s

If you Joomla site is accessible either with or without a www-prefix is actually also a matter of duplicate URL's. Google ask you to choose one in Webmaster Tools, and it's also important to choose one in Joomla. You can go into Google Webmaster Tools and specify how you want Google to index your site, with or without www. Or you also can set up the redirect in your .htaccess file:
non-www to www redirect:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mysite.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.mysite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

www to non-www redirect:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} www.mysite.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://mysite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

7. Internal and external link

Linking internally is as good as creating backlinks from external websites.
Creating incoming links from other domain is really hard work while for internal links you are able to do it easily – that’s your site. So if you have a page with content relevant to the article you’re writing no wait further link to it internally! - it will improve your rankings.
Linking externally, you might need to usethe rel="nofollow" tag in your links. Too many external links from a page can be bad for SEO, so setting some of them to nofollow can be good.

<a rel="nofollow" href=http://differentdomain.com title=" Text"> Text</a>

8. Good site map to get Google indexed

One you created your site you should create a sitemap.xml file which contains the structure of your Joomla site’s URLs. This helps Google and other search engines to determine the structure of your website and how to reach all parts of it. The file looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset   xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" etc. etc.>
     <url>
          <loc>http://joomlavi.com/</loc>
     </url>
     <url>
           <loc>http://joomlavi.com/another-page</loc>
     </url>
          ..................
</urlset>

9. Use Joomla SEO Extensions

The Joomla Extensions Directory - JED contains a lot of Joomla extensions and plugins for SEO. Using SEO extensions is a useful way to make sure your Joomla website is optimized for search engines. Below are some other widely recommended Joomla SEO plugins:

SH404SEF

SH404SEF is probably the most pupolar SEO extension for Joomla. It has been around for a long time and supported for all Joomla versions. The main features are rewriting URL, avoiding duplicate content and 301-redirect.

X-Map

This is a free and most extension for sitemap extensions on JED. Xmap creates a sitemap based on the menu structure of your Joomla website. Xmap allows you to create a map of your site using the structure of your menus.

SEO-Generator

This native Joomla 1.5 - 3.x plugin automatically generates keywords and description for each article by pulling text from the title and/or the content to help with SEO. It also gives you the ability to set different title configurations, robots meta tags and Google webmaster verification keys.

Header Tags

The Header Tags plugin gives you more control over the heading tags (h1-h6) in your website. The plugin searches for existing heading tags within the selected content area and handles them according to your specifications. So if want all the H4 tags in your site to be changed to H3

SEO Simple

This Joomla (1.5/1.6/1.7/2.5/3) plugin simply takes the starting chunk of text from the page’s content and applies that as the value for the meta description tag in the page’s head. Search engines often use a Web page’s meta description in the SERPs, and as such it is important that these meta descriptions have relevant text related to the page’s content.

Easy Frontend SEO

EFSEO is also a free SEO extension for Joomla. you can control all important metadata manually and automatically.

10. Avoid duplicate URL’s

Any kind of duplicate content in your site could harm search engine rankings. The main reason for duplicates to appear is the wrong structure of the website . First, you need to think over the structure and identify main categories and subcategories.. If you create multiple categories in advance this can prevent duplicate pages from appearing in future. There are many way of getting rid of duplicate URL’s like using 301 redirects, setting up rules in .htaccess, setting up robots.txt, use SEO extension mentioned above, google webmaster tool.

11. Avoid 404-errors

Google recommends building a nice custom 404 page for your case with the quote “A good custom 404 page will help people find the information they're looking for, as well as providing other helpful content and encouraging them to explore your site further."
When someone to click on a link to your website and get a 404 error. Make sure that people can never end up with a meaningless 404 Page not found error message. Especially the default Joomla page for this is very ugly. As it will also completely different from the rest of your site, people will think the site is broken and leave it. If this happens often it can negatively affect your SEO rankings. The best way is to create a custom 404-page for your template. All our Joomla Templates have custom 404-page to make to they are good for SEO

12. Avoid Flash

If you're serious about SEO, just don't use any content that is invisible to search engines. So, basically just avoid Flash because of the following reasons:

  • Flash is bad for SEO.
  • Flash requires lots of bandwidth.
  • Flash bad impact for user experience.
  • Flash is not accessible.
  • Many Mobile Devices Do Not Support Flash

13. 301 – redirect for old URL’s

As explained above, you should avoid 404 errors as much as possible. When you are migrating from an old site to a new one, or entirely renew your site. Your URL's will change. Also the Google index will take a period of time to update new URL, and it will keep on sending users from the search results to your old URL's. If you don’t do this, it will badly impact your search rankings! You have to determine what your old URL's are, redirect them to the new ones. You can custom redirects by using SEO extension like SH404SEF , or Shin .htaccess with following structure:

  • RewriteRule ^oldpage1$ "http://newsite.com/newpage1" [R=301,L]
  • RewriteRule ^oldpage2$ "http://newsite.com/newpage2" [R=301,L]

14. Google webmaster tools

Google's Webmaster Tools are essential for any strong SEO effort. Once you've created your SiteMap, you will be able to submit it to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools gives the advanced search expert with following key features:

  • show all sorts of errors with a site
  • Set Site Defaults
  • Analyze Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
  • Top Search Queries
  • Manage Sitelinks
  • Enhance 404 Error Pages

15. Optimize your Robots.txt file to allow images to be indexed

The robots.txt file's purpose is to inform the search engines bots/crawlers/spiders about the files you don't want them to index. Beside content, html structure… you can use images to make your website SEO friendly by removing the Disallow on the images folder in the robots files.
Open your robots.txt file (in the root folder of your Joomla! website) and remove the images line so that now search engines are not denied from indexing your images.
Beside allowing your Robots.txt file for images, you also need to optimize image for site speed improvement. This will help a little for SEO



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Joomla Error Reporting : Explained

clock April 6, 2016 21:03 by author Armend

1. Overview

Error Reporting is a useful Joomla function to troubleshoot PHP errors on your Joomla site. This function provides some clues about what and where the PHP problems are.

2. When to turn it on?

Got blank/ white screen in your Joomla site frontend? Well, that calls for turning on the error reporting feature. You may also want to disable the URL rewriting (htaccess method) using Apache mod_rewrite under the SEO settings for differential diagnosis of the issue as url rewriting with htaccess file in non-supported server (mod_rewrite not active) also renders blank pages.

 

3. How to proceed

In your Admin Panel, navigate through Global Configuration >> Server tab >> Error Reporting.
There are several options for you to choose, namely:

  • System Default : Joomla will inherit error reporting defaults set in the server (usually in php.ini file).
  • None : Choose this option to switch off the Error Reporting so that no notification will be shown. However, when any 3rd party extension overrides Joomla error reporting with their own settings, notifications may still appear.
  • Simple : Overrides server settings to give a basic report with warnings only about the fatal errors.
  • Maximum (Recommended) : Overrides server settings to gives full report with all the errors, warnings, notices, deprecated functions call, strict standards on the website.

Tip : You can enable the Error Reporting with the configuration.php file. Edit the file and add one of the following numeric values for $error_reporting, which equals to the PHP’s error constants:

-1 = 0 : No error reporting.
30711 = E_ALL & ~(E_NOTICE|E_WARNING) : All errors reporting. No warnings or notices.
30711 = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE : All errors and warnings reporting. No notices.
30719 = E_ALL : All errors, warnings and notices reporting.
32767 = E_ALL | E_STRICT : All errors, warnings, notices and strict standards reporting.

4. Recommendations

For developers error reporting gives them a headstart and they know what they have to fix and where. For regular users, it helps to provide more details to the developer instead of saying "I got blank / white page".
Error reporting should be disabled on an live site as the error reports would be visible to your users and information about your website may be revealed including the absolute path of your website.
Turn it on only when something goes wrong such as a blank page and/or you are debugging your Joomla website. Once the bugs are fixed, change the error reporting settings back to “None”. This is highly recommended for any Joomla website in term of security.

5. Live example

Let's see how an error would be reported when your Joomla Error Reporting is ON.

  • Open your_site_root/components/com_content/content.php and remove “;” from line no. 11.
  • Check your front-end. As your Error Reporting is set as "None", it must be just a blank page.
  • Now proceed to turn the Error Reporting to "Maximum" and you can see the exact error.

6. Joomla extension for Error Reporting

You may find some more useful Joomla extensions for error reporting in our Joomla! Extension Directory. Easy Error Reporting would be a handy choice as you can enable the error reports for specific user groups only.

7. Further reading

  • Sever Settings Group - Joomla! Docs
  • error_reporting - PHP.net
  • How to turn your error reporting to Maximum - OSTraining

 

 



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: 11 Tips Seo your Joomla site with Super Easy Steps

clock March 16, 2016 19:54 by author Armend

SEO Your Joomla! Website in 11 Super Easy Steps

So you've chosen Joomla! as your CMS of choice. You've bought, or designed and developed a beautiful template and added all your creatively crafted content to your new Joomla! website and you are now ready to start open your website up to that hungry horde of customers hurling their credit cards at you.

One problem: If you've started with a base Joomla! installation, odds are that those thousands of people itching to get their hands on your products probably aren't even going to be able to find your website in the first place. In contrast to Wordpress (which is what you could consider Joomla!'s primary competitor) Joomla! Is simply not quite as search engine friendly right out the box. In fact, I have found that you actually need to go through a number of steps (11, to be precise) in order to get a Joomla! website into a position where it really performs satisfactorily when it comes to on-site SEO factors.

 

Having developed a number of Joomla! websites over the years, I would like to share with you the exact guidelines that I give to the junior web designers at Red Giant Design Studio to make sure that our websites compete admirably in the rankings.
Without further ado, let's get stuck into the meat of this tutorial.

1. Make Sure You're on the Right Type of Server

This is the first step for a reason. It's important.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you are using an IIS (Windows) server to host your Joomla! website, you are going to get so frustrated that your Mac may end up at the bottom of a swimming pool. (This may or may not have happened)

The reason I say this is that URL rewriting just never seems to gel well with any rewrite module that IIS can use. Rewrite modules are also a nightmare to get set up if you are using a shared hosting account. I've also, on occasion, had issues with the installation and configuration of Joomla! on an IIS server.
For practicality and succinctness's sake, I would simply recommend that you save yourself endless headaches and get your Joomla! site set up on an Apache server with mod_rewrite installed. Your nerves and the SEO components you're going to install will thank you.

2. Rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess

Because you are going to want to enable URL rewriting to make those URLs a whole lot more attractive than they start out, you are going to need to rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess - which is the version used by Joomla! and mod_rewrite.

3. Enable SEF URLs and URL Rewriting

In your Joomla! Global Configuration, set the "Search Engine Friendly URLs" and "Use URL Rewriting" options to "Yes".
Joomla! SEF Settings
Search Engine Friendly URLs is the setting that removes all the dynamically generated gobbledygook from your URL and replaces it with the alias of the menu item that you're using on the page.
URL Rewriting is the setting that removes the /index.php/ from the URL. For this to be enabled must have mod_rewrite enabled and must have a .htaccess file.
The balance of the settings are really left more up to your discretion. I tend to prefer leaving the other three off. You may like to turn on the option to include your Site Name in your page titles, particularly if the site has a lot of content. Personally, I like to micro-manage everything and craft each title separately in most instances.

4. Remove "/images/" from your Robots.txt file

This is something about Joomla! that has always left me bewildered. In the automatically generated robots.txt file that is created on installation, Joomla! includes a disallow rule for the images directory, instructing the search engines not to search or index your images folder.
As you may well know, images can generate a sizable chunk of your traffic from Google and the search engines if you have them correctly optimized.
Because all the image optimisation in the world won't help you if you are telling Google not to bother with your images directory, I highly recommend that you remove the following line from your robots.txt file:
/images/

5. Install JCE Editor

Not only is JCE Editor free, but it provides a whole bunch of really cool features which will help you put together and maintain your site.
My favourite two things about JCE are the fact that you can instruct it not to strip code that you add through the editor and the fact that it provides a great interface through which you can add images, coupled with Alt tags and image dimensions.
It's a really good component for Joomla! and I highly recommend you use it.
JCE Editor Logo

6. Use Alt Tags and Image Dimensions

This tip is really not specific to Joomla! but it is important nevertheless. The JCE editor allows you add the Alternate Text to describe your image as well as add the dimensions right within the image upload tool.
In case you weren't aware, adding image dimensions to your images allows the "space" to load before the actual image does. This should help improve your load times a bit.
 The only drawback to SEO Boss is that it may not gel well with all of your installed components, in which case you'll need to go and manually edit those through the relevant component's own interface. For everything else, however, it's great.

7. Manage Your Meta Data

Although meta keywords tags are pretty much redundant these days, your meta descriptions and title tags are still rather important.
I came across a pretty useful component quite recently, called SEO Boss. The only feature of this that I actually use is the meta tag manager, but I have found this to be extremely useful.

To edit meta data for your Joomla! website normally, you need to navigate to each menu item/article and edit the descriptions and page titles manually. With SEO Boss, you'll find a single screen that lets you edit all of your meta data directly from that interface.
The only drawback to SEO Boss is that it may not gel well with all of your installed components, in which case you'll need to go and manually edit those through the relevant component's own interface. For everything else, however, it's great.

8. Choose www. or non-www. and Redirect

Joomla!, unlike Wordpress, doesn't automatically redirect your website to either the www. or non-www. version. This obviously poses a canonical problem, which you need to correct manually via your .htaccess file.
To redirect from non-www. to www. add the following code to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]
Alternatively, you can redirect to non-www. by adding this code instead:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} www.yourwebsitehere.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://yourwebsitehere.com/$1 [R=301,L]

9. Be Consistent When Linking Internally

When it comes to CMS websites (especially Joomla! ones) duplicate content can become a bit of a problem. The key to combating this is to ensure that you link consistently to internal content.
By this, I mean only creating links to either the www. or non-www. version that you chose above, only linking to pages using a trailing slash or no trailing slash, or pages with a suffix (.html) or no suffix. Only link to a single version of a page, ever.
Remember, it's not duplicate content if nothing is linking to it for Google to find it.
You can't really control the way others link to you, but you can set an example. If people are linking to you incorrectly, you can add further redirect rules to 301 redirect to the correct links.

10. Speed Up Your Website!

It has to be said that Joomla! doesn't do page speed very well straight out of the box. The good news is that you can speed things up significantly by doing three main things: Leveraging browser caching, enabling Gzip compression and compressing your images.
10.1. Leverage Browser Caching
Without getting into too much detail, you want to utilize browser caching to instruct your browsers to cache certain types of content found on your site, as well as tell them how long to cache them for. My suggestion is to simply add the following code to the bottom of your .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 1 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 years"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 months"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 months"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 months"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 months"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 1 months"
ExpiresByType image/ico "access plus 1 months"

You can, of course, tweak the code if your content needs to be held in the cache for shorter/longer periods, or if you would prefer not to cache certain types of content.

10.2. Enable Gzip

A good way to improve load times is to use Gzip to compress your code. I tend to only do this once I've got my whole site set up, but it's generally a good idea to use it.
To enable Gzip via Joomla!, simply navigate to Global Configuration > Server and switch the option for Gzip compression to "Yes".
Note: This will only work if mod_gzip is installed on your server.
Depending on your host, you may also be able to enable server size compression through your hosting control panel. I recommend enquiring from your hosting provider how you can go about this.

10.3. Optimize Your Images

Image optimization is something that every web designer should ensure happens, regardless of whether you're using Joomla! or not. It's ridiculous how many times I've come across websites loading 350kb images that can easily be cut down to 25kb. If you're not an expert when it comes to Photoshop, you can download highly optimized versions of your images using Google's Page Speed tool.
Through the above methods and other really minor tweaks, we generally manage a Google Page Speed score of 95+ and I can honestly report I find that many of our Joomla! sites actually perform better than similar Wordpress sites that we've developed.

11. Install Xmap

Xmap is quite simply the best sitemap component that I've found for Joomla! thus far.
It seamlessly generates XML and HTML sitemaps for your website and there are many plugins available for popular Joomla! components such as Virtuemart and sh404sef.
Simply navigate to Xmap and create a new sitemap. Choose the menu items you want to include, set their priorities, click "Save" and voila! You can then create a menu item for your HTML sitemap and grab the link for your XML sitemap to add to Webmaster Tools.




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