Michael Hostiuck

Recent Posts

3 Website Trends to Avoid in 2017

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Feb 23, 2017 9:53:00 AM

Similar to consumer technology, the web and how we interact with it is constantly evolving. Every day we see new designs and graphic effects rolling out on the websites we view in all kinds of markets, from business to shopping to entertainment. For developers, this means you have to be at the top of your game, at all times. While it may be tempting to adopt the all of the latest style developments, here are three trends it might be better to avoid in 2017.

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Topics: Website

Advanced Analytics for Forms

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Jan 19, 2017 11:34:45 AM

The subject of website analytics is very important for every company that wants to gauge their online success.  Everyone who wants to succeed is doing it, and software like Google Analytics can provide you with a plethora of information about your site and its engagement.  Is there more that you can be doing though?  The answer is definitely, yes.

I’ve written in the past about A/B testing, the benefits, tools that are available, and how to use those tools. But how do you know what to change or what should be changed?  We’ve been using an online software called Hotjar for a year now, and today I want to show you a little bit about Hotjar’s Form Visualization tool.

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Topics: Usability Testing, Website Analytics

Penguin 4.0 has arrived at Google, and it’s all grown up!

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Sep 30, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The last update to Google’s Penguin update was Version 3.0, which landed back in 2014.  Last time Google said penguin would affect less than 1% of US/UK searches.  With that being the case, then Penguin has definitely grown up in 4.0.  Google announced the new version on September 23rd, 2016, stating that Penguin is now part of their core algorithm.

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Topics: Google

The Heartbleed Bug - What are the facts?

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Apr 23, 2014 4:39:47 PM

 

Code-named “The Heartbleed Bug”, news of this serious vulnerability has been spreading rapidly through your media outlets. It’s not unlikely that you’ve heard something about it recently, and at first glance it sounds to be an incredibly large loop-hole. Warnings of the vulnerability of sensitive data with your online accounts have run rampant to a point of near mass-hysteria. Is Heartbleed actually that dangerous? The simple answer is yes, but there are caveats that lessen haze of gloom and doom surrounding it. We’ll explore the facts below and touch on some utilities and other methods for making sure your information is safe.

First, let’s figure out exactly what Heartbleed is, and why it has had so much attention. The World Wide Web is a complex network of servers and clients interconnected to share and deliver information to anyone who requests it. Some of this information is considered sensitive, and such has a level of security to protect the privacy of the owner of that information. A simple example of this type of information is a username and password for some online account. It can extend to much more sensitive information however, like your address or even a credit card. To keep your information secure all of this data is encrypted using a service called SSL or TLS. Without going into great detail, this encryption makes it so that you and only you can retrieve your information as long as you can prove you are who you are. That sounds very abstract but it’s really straightforward. You login to your account using a username and password, once that combination is verified you are given a higher level of access to retrieve information pertaining to your account. Heartbleed is a vulnerability in one of the most popular cryptographic software libraries called OpenSSL. As a user you would notice this type of encryption on a site by the typical “https://” preceding a URL. OpenSSL is the default encryption engine for Apache and nginx. According to Netcraft [http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/04/02/april-2014-web-server-survey.html], Apache and nginx accounts for 66% of the websites on the internet. OpenSSL extends beyond just the internet as well, including instant messaging services and email.

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Happy Halloween!

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Oct 31, 2013 2:04:48 PM

Leaves are falling, temparatures are dropping, the fog is rolling in and the haunting is beginning. Halloween is among us, are you prepared to survive among the undead? Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I love the decorations, the costumes and all the haunted houses! Below I have included some fun tips and tricks for Halloween!

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Topics: Friday Funk

The Importance of Site Usability

Posted by Michael Hostiuck on Sep 30, 2013 11:47:34 AM

Site usability is a very important facet of web development, perhaps one of the most important. No matter how well your website ranks in the search engines, if using your website is confusing, your visitors will not use your website. There are a number of things to consider when discussing site usability, such as browser compatibility, layout, and design. But how do you know if your website is unusable or not? There are various tests that have been developed over the last few years to help us understand how a visitor interacts with your website. From this data you can create modifications on your site to increase conversions, decrease bounce rate and much more!

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Topics: Usability Testing, SEO Tools