Ajax Event Calendar no longer supported

Over the past month I have found out that the Ajax Event Calendar is no longer available and no longer supported by the author.

If your site uses this plugin you may continue to use it unless we find a reason not to, such as a vulnerability has been found in it.

How do I know if I have Ajax Event Calendar installed?

It looks similar to this one below from a users point of view:

Continue reading Ajax Event Calendar no longer supported

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Electronic Forms

Using Google Sheets for online forms

form-elements

I have been looking at using Google Docs which are a set of online web based applications. Currently you can create forms, spread sheets, presentations and text based documents online. They do not offer everything that is available with MS Office however they offer greater flexibility to website users because you do not need to have MS Office installed on your computer or device.

You can download a PDF version here.

The main problem is that if you have a moderately complex form it will generally mean it has to be presented in one of the following formats:

Continue reading Electronic Forms

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Spam Emails

A message from Sandra:

Because I set up a lot of sites, I see quite a few of the same messages. Here is one you may have seen. It is not from a human.

Contact Us

On: Nov 27, 2015 @ 12:01 PM
IP: 107.173.160.108

  • Name: Sandra
  • Contact Number: tshmusuebqe@sskdolek.net
  • Email Address: http://www.arvut.org/1/dft
  • I wish to contact you about:
  • Your Message: Hi my name is Sandra and I just wanted to drop you a quick note here instead of calling you. I came to your Contact Us | (your name here) page and noticed you could have a lot more traffic. I have found that the key to running a successful website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your niche. There is a company that you can get targeted visitors from and they let you try their service for free for 7 days. I managed to get over 300 targeted visitors to day to my website. Visit them here: http://ittsy.com/it/3x

Continue reading Spam Emails

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Spam, Spam, Spam

From time to time I get asked the question whether the website is broken because a strange message has come in from a contact form.

Invariably they contain links to somewhere else, usually obfiscated links so you cannot tell where they will go, without going there. They also have completely random text, sometimes just random sequences of characters, and sometimes a passage of text which has no bearing to the function or purpose of the charity website. The text is added to try to get around various spam detection mechanisms.

Why do we get them?

They are sent through comment boxes and forms, and often get around form checking methods. The reason they are being posted on your site is because the settings on your site may instantly publish it. If that happens then the person responsible for sending it have just got some free advertising through your website. Some sites automatically publish comments or form content.  In your case this is deliberately disabled when I publish your site.

here is one example you may have seen: Continue reading Spam, Spam, Spam

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Asking your visitors to comment on your site

I completed a Home-Start site this week for Home-Start Bracknell Forest. One of the requests for content was quite unusual compared to the 100+ other charity sites that I have built over the past 3 years.

This group had an old site that I replaced. I was asked to add a feedback page, so they could gather comments from those people that came past the website on their views about the website.

I have used a function that is built into all WordPress websites where you can invite comments on articles (posts and pages). I have turned it on at the bottom of this page so you can see an example and make a comment. You can do this on your site as well (and turn it off again).  But you need to be aware of what might happen.

Catering for the Bots

A growing problem is Form Blasting. This seems to be a relatively new tool in the world of the hackers and fringe groups who use computers to post adverts and links into forms. I have seen several examples over the past month where those that use Form Blasting advertise the fact in one of the forms that is submitted from your website. You pay say £150 and they will place your advert for knock off Gucci bags on 10,000 websites. Continue reading Asking your visitors to comment on your site

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