The Purpose of Google Analytics

A question we get asked sometimes is what is the purpose of google analytics on our website. The answer is simply to know who the heck your site visitors are and to get more of them! It only takes one line of code – which we can add for you – to connect you to everybody that lands on your site.

Knowing who you’re users are and what they’re interested in or not allows you to improve things. It also gives you the ability to find possible errors and blindspots on your website. If you have a WordPress site, there are two ways of adding Google Analytics. It can be done through a plugin like Monster Insights or with Google Tag Manager (our preferred method).

The reason we like Google Tag Manager is it allows you to insert what is like a container on your site. It can easily be added in the footer of your site regardless of what CMS you are using. Once you have that container loaded, you can add anything you want through the Google Tag Manager interface.

If you want to setup goals and see how many people have clicked on a link or an ad, you can easily get that info. If you want to see where visitors spend the most time or where they drop off, you can strategize accordingly. Have an e-commerce store and want to know the revenue and transactions compared to last week? That can easily be setup to give you valuable information to help your business go to the next level.

We have added the service to setup Google Analytics on your site as part of our SEO products. Click below if you’d like us to setup Google Analytics on your site & make sure to check for any discounts.

Understanding WordPress Errors

It’s an unfortunate part of life that WordPress Errors are going to happen. The good news is that there is always a solution to the problem. Figuring out what the problem is can be tricky and time-consuming. Just like you would call a plumber to help fix your leaking sink, you’ll need someone with WordPress skills to help when your website has a hole in it. Let us explain a little about what happens when we fix an error that’s on a site.

WordPress Errors on Apple-Mac-Computer

A known error to happen to WordPress sites is the 500 Internal Server Error. The number 500 is a status code that says this is a server-side type of error. In order to pinpoint where the problem is, we need to find where the file is that the issue stems from.

Every hosting company that is worth its weight in salt should have a server log with all activities happening on it. Among those activities are errors that arise which should be on the log file or a separate file called an error log. It is on the error log where we should find the exact line or lines of code that is causing the problem.

We at Critical Web Solutions have experience in fixing these errors quickly. Usually, the problem stems from the .htaccess file being improperly setup. Just by temporarily editing the file on the server, we sometimes can bring a site back up. Another place we check is the permissions on the folders and files on the server. We want to make sure that file/folder permissions are set to 644 and 755 to access them. If that doesn’t work, we will take a look the plugins installed. Instead of checking every plugin one by one, we rename the plugins folder so that WordPress core loads without any plugins at all. If this solves the problem, then it’s just a matter of fining out which plugin is the culprit.

There are numerous other WordPress errors that can arise. Issues such as a database connection failure or a php configuration error can be easily solved. You just need the right people with the tools to go in and take care of business. Contact us if you have an issue and we’ll make sure your site is back to normal fast.


Dissecting the Dedicated Server

A lot of people have asked for details about the dedicated servers that we provide. Everyone has different reasons to use them and get the power and specialized hosting that is needed. Reasons range from uploading motion graphics, video gaming, audio composition or music production. But all expect their dedicated server to deliver the same reliable and scalable power with absolute physical security; our goal is to provide just that. Lets find out exactly what the hell it is that these machines have in them.


Dual Interlock Dry Pipe Fire Suppression
SOC-1 / SSAE-16 Type II Audited
N, N2 Generator Power
N+1 Cooling
High Energy Efficient Centralized UPS System
Private VLAN
1000 Mbps Uplink Port
4 Useable IPs for Free
Premium Bandwidth with more than one upstream
Intel Virtualization Technology
Demand Based Switching
Intel 64 Technology
Execute Disable Bit capability
Intel I/O Acceleration Technology

We know that each server has different hard drive sizes and memory so lets focus on one. The Intel® Xeon® L5420 is our most popular server with its high benchmark performance using all of its cores. It provides enough juice for your resource hungry needs without a problem. You already know that the server has 500GB Sata Storage Space, 10TB Bandwidth and 16GB Memory. But lets get some more details on this bad boy.

THE L5420
Cores – Four
Processor Base Frequency – 2.50 GHz
Cache – 12 MB L2
Bus Speed – 1333 MHz FSB
TDP – 50 W
VID Voltage Range – 0.850V-1.3500V
Processing Die Size – 214 mm2
# of Processing Die Transistors – 820 million (damn that’s alot)

Additionally, if you want info on the other dedicated servers we have, feel free to contact us. Our team will be glad to help inform you with what you are getting.

Top 3 WordPress Security Steps to Take

There are a lot of things that anyone can do to improve the security of their WordPress site. Yet there are some that are essential and simple steps that can be taken and I’ll show you what they are.

1- Username/Password
I have found many sites still using the name admin as a username and this is a big no-no. Hackers know that the default WordPress username will be admin so this makes their brute force attack jobs easier. This should be changed to anything, preferably something that is different than the name of your website. A password should also be set that has a combo of numbers and letters; of course you already knew that.

2- Disable Editor
WordPress allows users to edit their plugin and theme files in the admin interface by default. This is a simple security risk that many non-developers are unaware of or don’t consider. To see if you have this access, hover over Appearance and you will see Editor at the bottom. If its not there, then you’re developer knows his shit.

Security Editor Dedicated Servers

The goal is to protect intruders from getting into the admin area of the site. In case that fails, then at least we should prevent them from changing files on our server. File changes should be done via FTP on your server where you would need login access to it. To remove this access in the admin, you will need to FTP into your server and in your wp-config.php file add the following line in it:

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

3- iThemes Security
If step 2 is complicated or you don’t want to mess with your server; no problemo amigo. There is a plugin that can you let you do the work in the admin area. I recommend everyone use this plugin for security and it’s iThemes Security. It gives you options to protect you from local and network brute force attacks. It allows you to block users who run into a lot of 404 pages; the default setting is twenty 404 pages. If someone lands on that many 404 errors, it typically means they’re scanning for a vulnerability on your site. You have the option to ban their IP address and never have to worry about that person again. If you’re really serious about protection, you can change the login url from the basic The way to do that is to go the advanced options in the settings and click on Hide Backend settings. There will you have the option to change the login url to or whatever you like.

Critical Security Hide Backend

There are even more things you can do to keep your site safe, but I think these steps are what everyone should at least take. Feel free to contact us to take care of your website security needs.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design was a coin termed by web designer Ethan Marcotte and he has written two books on the subject, A Book Apart, Responsive Web Design and Response Design: Patterns and Principles. Responsive web design suggests that a web page be adaptable to a user’s device screen size and their environment and behaviour. This approach is more efficient than designing a different web page or website per device, rather web designs are programmed to automatically adjust to and accommodate to the user.

Why Responsive Web Design?

Designing a web page is usually done on a desktop computer. When the web site is then viewed on other devices, for example tablets or mobile phones, the web page may not exactly fit the screen as expected, since it was designed for the proportions of another sized screen. Screens on a tablet may also be rotated, and these orientations are completely different to the proportions of a desktop computer. Websites should always be easy to use, and a lack of compensation for use on alternative screens may result in information chopped off the edge of the screen or images becoming partly unviewable. There are too many different screen sizes to build customised adjustments for every single one. In comes responsive web design. With responsive web design, CSS and HTML is used to resize, hide, shrink, or relocate content in order for the site to be functional and aesthetically intact on any sized screen.

Fluid grid & Flexible images

There are a few techniques in practice to change the format of the screen to accommodate the screen size as shrinking and squeezing content into place is not always desirable. Examples of these techniques are, hiding and revealing portions of images, creating sliding composite images and foreground images that scale with the layout. Even in these fixes, the outcome is not necessarily perfect for every size of screen. Fluid grid is a technique first recommend by Ethan Marcotte where an image should be resized relatively, rather than pixel determined, according to the size of the screen using CSS to support relative size adjustment. There are even options to fix resolution rendering issues. The Filament Group has presented recommendations where the size of the image also shrinks resolution for smaller screens so that the quality of the image remains intact.

Media queries

Media queries allow the page to use different CSS style rules, determined by the features of the device in use. This means creating multiple style sheets and basic layout customisations for a wide variety of screen widths, including the orientation of the page.

Now we know…

Ethan Marcotte has recommended that fluid grid, flexible images and media queries are three key elements in responsive web design. These techniques have been put into practice with great success and are a great leap forward in our use of the flexibility of code. Media queries will improve the web design within the various contexts for web site viewing. Instead of designing specifically for a device screen, we can adjust code so that customisation is automatic.

5 Secret Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Website!

So you’re looking at how to grow your website. There are two parts to effective website use: 1) getting people to the website 2) keeping people on your website. If you have designed a stunning layout, theme, colour scheme and brand with an excellent product, it does not mean much if no one knows about it. Use these five effective marketing techniques to boost your website traffic:

1) SEO

Search engine optimization. This trumps a lot of other marketing techniques. Think about your audience Googling for your product or service. How do you know your webpage will come up on the top page of results? Or even the second page of results? It is easy to use SEO to trump over your competitors. Type into Google keyword tool a word or phrase that is most appropriate to your site – think what you would type if you were looking for you. This will generate the popular phrases that coincide with your topic. Then, use these phrases to create content for your website and use them as often as possible.

2) Quality and 3) Quantity

If you are using your webpage as an advertising tool or to sell a product, consider adding a blog to your website as well. This will enable you to keep on top of SEO and will encourage users to keep visiting. Having a good balance of both quality and quantity content on your website will generate the traffic you need. Your website needs to be updated on a consistent basis. Whether it’s Mondays and Fridays, once a week or twice a month, people want proof that this website is still up and running. That covers the quantity. Quality is what makes people stick around and actually read your content. Make titles of posts ‘sticky’ by using numbers in them or making them into questions. Keep the length to a minimum – stick to a few points and save the rest for the next post.

4) A picture is worth…everything

For every post you upload, a picture to go with the post is a must. Reiterating on quality, you definitely do not want to skimp on good images, even if the written content is more important. Everything online is extremely visual and you will hook users to your website if the photos you use are original and of good resolution. Make sure that you abide by copywriting law too. Good images will be especially eye-catching when you share your content on social media tools. Instagram and Pinterest are purely imagery after all, the text is secondary.

As well as pictures with your posts, make sure that you use a good quality profile picture and consider having a page with professional photographs of your staff if you are a group. If you use a logo, ensure that every time that the logo is used it is of a good resolution. Consider even adding a logo into the corner of the photos you use on your posts.

5) Multiple pages using social media

If you are everywhere, they will see you at some point. As mentioned earlier, social media marketing is an excellent way to grow your website. You do not have to offer anything new or different on these pages, just share what you are doing on your webpage as a link on your various accounts. Twitter and an official Facebook page is a must, as well as a setting yourself up on Google location if you have a physical shop. Instagram and Pinterest are also useful if you are using unique, eye-catching quality images.

Five simple techniques that will boost your webpage marketing. There are plenty more but these are a good place to start. Good luck and happy marketing!