HERO Blueprint Podcast – Episode 1

buy Lynda.com - InDesign Tables In Depth crush pistol drain pistol
The HERO Blueprint podcast is a podcast featuring web tips for business owners and professionals struggling to enhance their web results. HERO stands for How To Enhance Results Online and the podcast strives to teach just that.

With the help of Thor Schrock and the Schrock Interactive development team, you can build your brand in ways your competitors simply are not.

purchase GraphiSoft ArchiCAD 18 rag rag piece
In Episode 1, we introduce the show and take a look at 2 local businesses’ websites to see how they could be making the most of their online presence.

buy Lynda.com - InDesign Tables In Depth crush pistol drain pistol
The HERO Blueprint podcast is a podcast featuring web tips for business owners and professionals struggling to enhance their web results. HERO stands for How To Enhance Results Online and the podcast strives to teach just that. With the help of Th..." />buy Lynda.com - InDesign Tables In Depth crush pistol drain pistol
The HERO Blueprint podcast is a podcast featuring web tips for business owners and professionals struggling to enhance their web results. HERO stands for How To Enhance Results Online and the podcast strives to teach just that. With the help of Th..." />

Goodbye Annoying Captcha!

heaven grow brother Discount The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers heaven
Last Friday, we wrote an article talking about this year’s noticeable trend that fewer people are doing their holiday shopping in brick and mortar stores in favor of shopping online (Brick and Mortar Down, Mobile Up). That online process is about to get a whole lot easier with the news that Google has found a way to get rid of those annoying boxes that distort text and ask you to type the number to prove you’re human (known as CAPTCHA).

Introducing the no CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

water soon piece price of Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers water
Google is calling their new bot deterrent the “no CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA.” Rather than displaying twisted text that is hardly readable by a human, Google’s new reCAPTCHA system will display a simple checkbox that reads “I’m not a robot.” The user checks that box and by examining how you interacted with it – what you do before, during, and after clicking – it determines whether or not you’re actually human.

new captcha box

Mobile Users Aren’t Completely Left Out

While this system only works for users with a mouse, mobile users won’t be left high and dry. Mobile users will be shown a picture and asked to tap similar images from a list of options.

This is extremely exciting news in the web security community but also has a direct effect on regular internet users. It’s common knowledge that installing standard CAPTCHA reduces the number of users who can successfully complete a web form – especially when the target audience is elderly or vision-impaired. This new CAPTCHA will make that process infinitely easier and help reduce the number of potential customers lost due to complicated security measures.

It’s still in beta but a few high profile website have already adopted it including WordPress, Snapchat, and Humble Bundle.

Continue reading

IE’s Web Development Support Makes It’s Move to Stack Overflow

After a recent blog post and announcement to their MSDN community, Internet Explorer’s Web development discussions have made a transition away from MSDN to the ever growing Stack Overflow community. This comes at only a moderate surprise as Microsoft’s OneDrive and Azure also have their discussions on Stack Overflow, though IE’s Web development discussions are the only Microsoft property to have fully moved onto a different private network. Internet Explorer’s blog has also stated their reason for the move:

“This decision reflects the belief on the IE team that Stack Overflow is not only a rapidly-growing community of broadly-disciplined engineers, but a great place to get timely and reliable support on Web standards, and cross-browser development. We are proud to sponsor the Internet Explorer tag on Stack Overflow and are joining other teams around Microsoft such as OneDrive and Azure in helping to direct our developers to the Stack Overflow community.”

Making the move was a smart decision for IE. Stack Overflow is home to millions of users and is widely known for it’s great community of helpful programmers and engineers. On top of this, Stack Overflow’s own CMS interface is coded in ASP.NET, using the MVC Framework and uses Microsoft SQL Server for it’s databases, which is a very Microsoft-friendly environment. You can read more about the IE Stack Overflow switch on Internet Explorer’s blog here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/12/04/focusing-community-discussions-for-ie-development-on-stackoverflow.aspx

Brick and Mortar Down, Mobile Up

With Black Friday safely in the past and the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s a good time to take a look at changing shopping trends. Retail analytics data from ShopperTrak indicates a 0.5% drop in sales at retail stores from $12.35 billion to $12.29 billion over Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Retailers shouldn’t be worried yet, though, because prognosticators predict sales to steady out and contribute to an overall increase from last year over the entire holiday season.

What sticks out here is the tremendous spike in online purchasing compared to 2013. Adobe Systems reports $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion in online sales over Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That’s a 25% and 24% increase over last year, respectively. Smartphone usage in the holiday shopping process has seen a significant boost with 29% of Thanksgiving sales coming from mobile devices.

While this data doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for brick and mortar outlets, it does indicate a growing desire among consumers to forego the 3:00AM start times, impossibly long lines, bitter employees, and feisty shoppers to shop from the comfort of home.

If you are a retail outlet without a mobile-friendly online presence, you are abandoning a growing set of consumers that are hungry for good alternatives to the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping experience.

Schrock Web Customers Automatically Protected

WordPress is a web development framework that many web designers – Schrock Interactive included – use to build beautiful, easy to use websites. As the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites, it can be a target for attackers. WordPress releases updates periodically to help fight the constant onslaught from the more nefarious internet users. Today WordPress released a major security update that patches several vulnerabilities including:

  • Three cross-site scripting issues that a contributor or author could use to compromise a site.
  • A cross-site request forgery that could be used to trick a user into changing their password.
  • An issue that could lead to a denial of service when passwords are checked.
  • Additional protections for server-side request forgery attacks when WordPress makes HTTP requests.
  • An extremely unlikely hash collision could allow a user’s account to be compromised, that also required that they haven’t logged in since 2008.
  • WordPress now invalidates the links in a password reset email if the user remembers their password, logs in, and changes their email address.

All major development platforms are subject to these types of threats. The main issue here is this: If you host your website on your own, you may be vulnerable. It’s incredibly annoying to make sure your WordPress installation and all your plugins are up-to-date at all times. That’s why all Schrock customers are automatically protected. We update the WordPress framework for you so that your website stays secure from attackers using known vulnerabilities to exploit and take advantage of unsuspecting website owners.

With hosting plans that start at $30 per month, it’s incredibly affordable and worth the investment to guarantee you’re as secure as you can be.