IT Blog

Google SSL Certificate Requirements: How it Affects Your Site

For several years now, Google has been forcing websites to implement SSL certificates. It all started with its 2014 HTTPS Everywhere campaign whose goal was to raise awareness of the value of SSL certificates. SSL later became a Google ranking signal to further encourage its adoption.

Currently, over two-thirds of all websites are unencrypted, and Google is taking the next steps to change that.

As of July 2018, Google SSL requirements were enforced by flagging sites without SSL as unsafe in Chrome.

This update goes beyond adding it to its list of ranking factors only. It fundamentally changes the way web users think about their online security.

SSL certificates are designed to make users feel secure while using the internet. Without them, you could be jeopardizing your business, as well as your customer’s sensitive data. This article will explain what an SSL certificate is, how it works, how to install one, and more.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Put simply, an SSL certificate is a text file with encrypted data that you install on your server. This allows you to secure/encrypt sensitive information and communications between your website and your audience. Many think of it as their electronic passport.

SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer,’ and when a website owner has one, all data passed between web browsers and servers remains private and encrypted.

Without valid certificates, websites cannot establish a secure connection with web servers, meaning that users will not be digitally connected to a cryptographic key. This puts your company’s and your customers’ information at risk, especially considering current cybercrime trends. As a result, the lack of SSL and HTTPS could potentially damage your brand image.

People will avoid purchasing from you or even signing up to your newsletter through fear of having their details stolen. Your conversions will plummet.

One of the most important things in business is to make customers feel like they are visiting a trusted, reliable website where making purchases is safe. SSL establishes a secure connection which then reassures your visitors using visual cues.

Seeing the lock icon or green bar when visiting a site can automatically make a visitor trust your company and take the next step in making a purchase.

How Does a SSL Certificate Work?

When a browser accesses a secured website, the browser and the web server establish a connection. The process is called an ‘SSL handshake,’ but this handshake cannot be seen by the user and happens within a few seconds. What you can see as a user is a green padlock in the URL address bar of your browser which signifies secure data transfer.

Three keys are used to set up a secure connection: public, private, and session keys. Anything encrypted with the public  key can only be decrypted with the private one and vice versa. Encrypting and decrypting using the private and public keys can take a lot of power. Because of this, they are solely used during the SSL Handshake.

When this action takes place, this creates a symmetric session key, which is then used to encrypt all data transmitted from the sites once the secure connection is established.

Here is a better idea of how SSL policies work in simple terms:

  1. The browser connects to a web server via a secured connection. The browser requests that the server identify itself.
  2. The server then sends a copy of the SSL Certificate, including the server’s public key.
  3. The browser checks the root against a list of trusted authorities. It looks to establish that the certificate is unexpired and that the common name is valid for the site it is connecting to.
  4. If the browser trusts the data it received, it creates, encrypts, and sends back a symmetric session key using the server’s public key.
  5. The server decrypts the symmetric session key using its private key. It then sends back an acknowledgment encrypted with the session key to begin the encrypted session. This happens instantaneously.
  6. Both the Server and Browser now encrypt all of the transmitted data using the session key.

The three keys mentioned above work together to establish an encrypted connection. The certificate also contains what is called the “subject,” which is the identity of the website owner. It holds the following information:

  • Name of the holder
  • Serial number and expiration date
  • Copy of the holder’s public key
  • Digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority

Knowing how SSL works can further help you understand why they are so important.

Why is SSL Important To Google?

SSL certificates are important for various reasons, for both business and website visitor. To get an idea of why it could be essential for your site, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your site take text inputs in the form of login panels, contact forms and search bars?
  • Is your website on HTTP://?

If yes, then you need SSL to prevent risk. Without one, you stand to put your visitors in danger and eventually lose them.

More reasons why this is important:

Encrypt sensitive information – without an HTTPS connection, the computer in between you and the server will be able to see sensitive information, like credit card numbers and passwords. With an SSL, this information is unreadable except to the server the data is being sent to.

Credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login details can be transmitted securely with HTTPS in place.

Provides data protection from online hackers and criminals – online criminals are great at identifying any weakness in networks. They usually strike gold at the point where information is being transmitted. Without the ability to encrypt traffic, you run the risk of being hacked, having information stolen, and more.

Build more trust with customers – building trust with your customers is one of the most important parts of running a successful company in 2018. With trust comes customer loyalty. SSL security reassures customers that their information is safe with just a few visual cues. You boost your business credibility on top of this.

This is also relevant because:

  • HTTPs gives a stronger ranking on Google.
  • You will create safer experiences for your customers.
  • You will build customer trust and improve conversions over time.
  • You will protect both sensitive customer and internal data.
  • You will encrypt browser-to-server and server-to-server communication.
  • You will increase the security of your mobile and cloud apps.
  • You will protect against phishing.

Google said so – There are numerous reasons supporting the fact that this is important, but perhaps the most critical one is ‘because Google said so.’ Nobody wants to experience a drop in search rankings in Google or a negative impact on their business or online reputation. Without SSL, this is likely to happen.

IT Blog Woocommerce

How To Customize Product Sorting in WooCommerce

To customize the product sort order of your products on the product category archive page. The archive used the default alphabetical sorting, but you can change the sort oder of products in a category

Custom Sorting

Listing only products in a category:

  • Click on “Products” in Admin left sidebar
  • Click on “Select on Category”: Click on a category in dropdown list
  • Click on button “Filter” in far right”: to list only products in your selected category above..

Change “menu order” of each product in category:

  • Click “Edit” on a product to go product edit screen
  • Click on “Advanced”: to change product’s “Menu order”: it should be 0,1, 2, 3, 4 ….
  • Click “Update” to save changes.



IT Blog Woocommerce

How to Add Products in WooCommerce: Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a product

Before adding your first product, let’s get familiar with how product categories, tags, and attributes work.

Product Categories

Product categories and tags work in much the same way as normal categories and tags you have when writing posts in WordPress. They can be created, edited, and selected at any time. This can be done when you first create a product or come back and edit it or the category/tag specifically.


These can be added per product, or you can set up global attributes for the entire store to use (e.g., in layered navigation).

Product Types

With attributes and categories set up and stock management configured, we can begin adding products. When adding a product, the first thing to decide is what type of product it is.

Simple – covers the vast majority of any products you may sell. Simple products are shipped and have no options. For example, a book.

Grouped – a collection of related products that can be purchased individually and only consist of simple products. For example, a set of six drinking glasses.

Virtual – one that doesn’t require shipping. For example, a service. Enabling this, disables all shipping related fields such as shipping dimensions. A virtual product will also not trigger the shipping calculator in cart and checkout.

Downloadable – activates additional fields where you can provide a downloadable file. After a successful purchase, customers are given a downloadable file as a link in the order notification email. This is suitable, for example, for a digital album, PDF magazine, or photo.

External or Affiliate – one that you list and describe on your website but is sold elsewhere.

Variable – a product with variations, each of which may have a different SKU, price, stock option, etc. For example, a t-shirt available in different colors and/or sizes.

Other types are often added by extensions. For example, WooCommerce Subscriptions adds new product types as does WooCommerce Bookings.

Adding a Simple Product

Adding a Grouped products

Adding a External/Affiliate Product

Adding a Variable product

IT Blog Setup email

Whitelist IP for Office 365

This document will cover how to whitelist our simulated phishing email servers in Office 365.


Step 1:

Log into your mail server admin portal and go into the Admin -> Exchange area.

Step 2:
Click on Admin -> Exchange.

Step 3:
Click on Connection Filter (beneath Protection heading).

Step 4:
Click on Connection Filter, then click the Pencil icon to edit the default connection filter policy.

Step 5:
Under the IP Allow list, click the + sign to add an IP address.

Step 6:
Adding our IPs to your Allowed IP list:

Step 7:
Click OK, then Save. Next, you will want to set up a mail flow rule to allow our mail to bypass spam filtering and the Clutter folder.


To ensure our messages will bypass your Clutter folder as well as spam filtering within Microsoft’s EOP, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1:
Go to Admin -> Mail -> Mail Flow.

Step 2:
Click the (+) Create New Rule button beneath Mail Flow -> Rules.

Admin Center:

Step 3:
Give the rule a name, such as (Bypass Clutter & Spam Filtering by IP Address)
Click on “more options”
Add the condition “Apply this rule if….”
Select “The sender”, then click on More Options and select “IP address is in any of these ranges or exactly matches:
New Rule Screen:

Step 4:
Specify Sender IP addresses:

Step 5:
Beneath “Do the following”, click “Modify the message properties” then “Set a Message Header”
Modifying the message properties:

Step 6:
Set the message header to this value:
Set the message header “X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassClutter” to the value “true”.

NOTE: Both “X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassClutter” and “true” are case sensitive.
Set the message header value:

Step 7:
Add an additional action beneath “Do the following” to “Modify the message properties”. Here, click on “Set the spam confidence level (SCL) to…” and select “Bypass Spam Filtering”.

Bypass Spam Filtering

Step 8:
Click Save. An example of the completed rule is below.

Completed Mail Flow Rule

Jeff Williams

IT Blog

Google API Key

Follow these steps to get your Google API key:

  1. Visit

    (You may need to log on to your Google account – assuming you have one – first. If not, you’ll have to sign up. We won’t cover that here.)

  2.  Click the ‘Google Maps JavaScript API’ link
  3. If required, create a project (or select an existing one – see step 4)

    Give the new project a name and click CREATE
  4. Enable the API
  6. Click ‘Find out what credentials you need?’ and copy the contents of the ‘Here is your API key’ box.

    Your API key should be a long string of characters (upper/lower case and numbers)

  7. Set restrictions (optional – recommended)

    Your key may not function correctly if you do not fully specify the domain names used to access your site (e.g. &

  8. Add the Google Places API Web Service to your project

    From your Google Developer Console Dashboard click ‘Enable API‘, then click ‘Google Places API Web Service‘

    Click ‘ENABLE‘ to add to your project:

  9. Be sure to click SAVE at the bottom.
IT Blog

How Can You Not Have a Website Yet?

It’s hard to believe, but as 2017 dawns, a sizeable percentage of small business owners still don’t have websites. Even among those who do, many of their websites are less effective than they could be. Is yours one of them?

In a recent Capital One study, just 56 percent of small businesses say they have a company website. Of those, only 53 percent of their websites are mobile-optimized.

This kind of statistic makes me want to tear my hair out.

If your small business doesn’t have a website, here are some of the many ways you’re missing out:

Your email marketing is less effective than it could be.

Last week, I reported that about half of people who get a marketing email from a business will visit the business website as a result. If you don’t have a website, they could go to your social media page—but can they actually make a purchase there? In most cases, no.

  • You’ll get less traction in search results.

If consumers search for your business online and you don’t have a website, your company name and address may show up (if you have a presence on local search directories, that is). But where do customers go to learn more about your business? Without a website to click on, they’ll be taking their chances if they decide to visit you.

  • You’re at the mercy of social networks.

Social networks change their algorithms and policies all the time. What if a new change makes your business’s social media accounts less visible in users’ feeds? It’s happened to plenty of Facebook users as Facebook has adjusted its algorithm over the years. Worse yet, what if the social network you’re reliant on loses its luster? (Think MySpace.) If you build your marketing presence on a website that you control, rather than on someone else’s turf, your investment of time, energy and money, it is much more secure.

  • You look less than legitimate.

Personally, I am very leery of doing business with any company that doesn’t have a website. Consumers these days like to get as much information as they can about businesses before making a decision to patronize them. Without a website, your business is shrouded in mystery. . . and not in a good way. You look either hopelessly out of date, or like you’ve got something to hide.

Beyond all these factors, one reason to create a business website is that there’s no longer an excuse not to.

It’s more affordable and easier than ever before to set one up for just pennies a day. All you have to do is visit one of the many one-stop services that offer web hosting, web design and/or DIY website templates you can use to create your own website. As a bonus, many of these services make it easier to market your website by helping you with search engine optimization, local search directories and more once your website is up and running.

Your business website doesn’t have to be fancy, either.

If you own, say, a local dry cleaner, a couple of pages with your basic information (hours, address, phone number), perhaps a Contact Us page, and links to your business elsewhere online (social media, reviews, etc.) are really all you need.

When asked what would most improve their businesses in 2017, 32 percent of small business owners in the Capitol One survey cited “increasing advertising and marketing.” But just 14 percent said “creating a website.” These days, however, a website should be the basis of your advertising and marketing efforts. Without one, you can’t hope to compete effectively.

Author: Rieva Lesonsky

Need help planning your business website and using it effectively as a marketing tool? please don’t hesitate to contact us

IT Blog Setup email

Delete Email from iPhone or iPad

1. From Settings: Tap on “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”

2. Tap on email account you want to change


3. Tap on Account email ….


4. Tap on “Advanced” at the bottom


5. Tap on “Deleted Mailbox” under MAILBOX BEHAVIOURS


6. Tap on “Deleted Messages” under ON THE SERVER to make sure having a tick as picture


7. Tap on “Advanced” at top left on picture 6 to go back.

You will see as picture 7, Deleted Mailbox: Deleted Messages




8. Tap on “Account” at top left on picture 7 to go back

Tap “Done”


You should quit your email program or turn off and then turn on your phone 


IT Blog Setup email

How Can I Blacklist / Block Spam Emails at Horde Webmail?

Login to your webmail account (;

  1.  Select SPAM message(s)
  2.  Click Other tab
  3.  Select Blacklist


How to WhiteList Emails

You can whitelist email addresses that you want to make sure you receive and do not want them filtered by your spam filter.


IT Blog Setup email

How to change Email Outgoing Server Port to MS Outlook

If you can’t send email out it’s because SMTP Server Outgoing port is changed.

The following will show you how to change this port to MS Outlook.

1. Click on “File” menu from MS Outlook menu bar on the top


Picture 1

2. Click on “Account Setting …” button & “Account Settings ..” dropdown box.


Picture 2

3. Click to select Email you want to change (1) and then “Change ..” (2)


Picture 3

4. Click on “More Settings …”


Picture 4

5. Change Outgoing server (SMTP) to 587


Picture 5

IT Blog

How to Create an Email Autoresponder in Webmail

What is an AutoResponder?

An autoresponder is a feature within your email settings that allows you to automatically send a response when an email is sent to a specific email address.

When should I use an AutoResponder?

It’s really up to you when to use the autoresponder feature. Typically, businesses will use the autoresponder feature to let others know when they are out of the office, to confirm receipt of an email, and to acknowledge and thank customers for an order that may have been placed.

STEPS to Setup an AutoResponder in Webmail:

Step 1:

Login to Webmail.

Enter www.<yourdomainname>/webmail into address bar of browser

Example: <yourdomainname> is


Enter your email address & password

Click “Login



Step 2:

Click the Auto Responders button on the bottom of the page.


Step 3:

Click the Add Auto Responder button.


Step 4:

You will now be able to fill in the fields to setup your AutoResponder. Below is a brief description of the available options.


Step 5:

Click the Create/Modify button to save your changes.

IT Blog

Why should you keep your site up to date?

WordPress was fast becoming the world’s most popular CMS and taking security very seriously. It was now being used to power sites for organisations like government and media for which security was a serious concern, and that it was now a very secure and stable platform on which to put their small business site.

Why You Should Keep Your Site Updated

There are five main reasons for keeping every aspect of your WordPress site up to date, which are:

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Bug fixes
  • Compatibility
  • Features

Each of these is important for different reasons, but it can be argued that security is the most important of all.

Keeping Your Site Updated Will Enhance Security

One of the reasons that WordPress is increasingly becoming the target of security attacks is because it’s so big. A CMS that powers up to a quarter of the internet will doubtless attract the attention of anyone wanting to insert malicious code, take sites down or steal data. But the very size of WordPress, and of its community of users and developers, is also an asset here.

Security vulnerabilities are spotted and dealt with quickly. This applies to WordPress core as well as to the biggest and most popular plugins. The fact that WordPress is open source means that anyone finding a problem can identify the cause of that problem and alert the right people straightaway, whether that be via the WordPress site or by alerting a plugin developer.
With smaller and lesser used plugins, and those that aren’t well supported, this is less the case. But the fact that all plugins are open source means that even if the plugin developer doesn’t fix the problem, someone else can.

All of this means that when a security vulnerability comes to light in WordPress core or in a major plugin, it can be quickly fixed, and an update released straightaway.

None of this will benefit you unless you keep your version of WordPress and your plugins and themes up to date. I’ll come to how you do this later in this post, and recommend some plugins that can help. But if you don’t install the updates, you’re vulnerable to security problems, and you’re the only one to blame.

An Updated Site Will Perform Better

Updates aren’t just for security. Often they’ll improve the performance of WordPress itself, or of a plugin or theme.

For example, WordPress 4.1 included improvements to complex queries to improve the performance of sites using these, and WordPress 3.9 included improvements to the performance of TinyMCE. Plugins also get updates to improve performance, perhaps to speed up scripts or queries or run more efficiently.

So keeping your WordPress version and your plugins up to date will help your site perform at its best.

Updating Can Eliminate Bugs

Aside from security patches, a reason for minor WordPress releases (the ones with a X.X.X version number, rather than X.X which is a major release) is to fix bugs.

Major releases tend to be very stable and bug-free thanks to the meticulous development cycle and the legions of people helping with testing, but sometimes a bug will slip through the net, and a minor release will come out to fix it. For example release 3.8.3 fixed a bug with the “Quick Draft” tool which was broken.

Plugins and themes are the same: Make sure you install updates in case they fix bugs that could be affecting your site.

Updates Can Enhance Compatibility

After a major WordPress release, a lot of plugins will get an update to ensure compatibility with the new version, or to make use of new features. Sometimes a plugin won’t need to be updated as it remains compatible, but the developer should check that it’s compatible and update its compatibility information which you see in the plugin repository.

Occasionally you might find that an update to WordPress or to a plugin results in compatibility problems with another plugin, which is why it’s important to back up your site before updating.

Updates Can Introduce New Features

Keeping your site up to date also gives you access to new features. For example, recent releases of WordPress have included big improvements to the UX of the admin screens as well as accessibility improvements. Plugins can do this too, which means that keeping things up to date gives you access to the latest goodies.

By Rachel McCollin

IT Blog

Accept Credit Card Payment on website with PayPal

Website Payments Standard.



With Website Payments Standard, you integrate our payment buttons into your website to turn it into an online store. Your customer checks out through the PayPal site, then we return them to your site.

How it works:

Customers add items to your shopping cart on your website and are taken to a PayPal payment page on PayPal website.
They choose to pay by card or log in to PayPal where they can choose from their linked cards or bank accounts.
They enter or select their shipping address, confirm the payment and return to your website.


It’s just 2.6% + $0.30^ per sale, with no monthly fees. As your sales volume increases, you can become eligible for lower rates. Pay to PayPal

Website Payments Pro – Hosted Solution


  • An all-in-one solution to handle all your payment needs
  • Accept Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payments
  • Your customers don’t need a PayPal account to pay
  • Integrate with your existing cart or use APIs

How it works:

  1. Your customer chooses an item and decides to pay with a card.
  2. They enter their information on an unbranded, PayPal-hosted page.
  3. The payment is processed and your customer receives confirmation.


Get both Website Payments Pro – Hosted Solution and Virtual Terminal for just $25 a month plus transaction fees (~$0.30, detail ). Pay to PayPal