web

Check your webpage for mobile friendly readiness

One of the issues I came across again and again was the e.g., the Google Search Console error with “Text too small to read” and/or “Clickable elements too close together“.

This might hit you all of a sudden and can have multiple reasons.

The best way to start is using the F12 key in your browser and looking at the indicated page emulating a mobile device using the Toggle Device Emulation function. See if you can visually identify the issue right away. If not, it becomes trickier.

You can engage the Google Mobile-Friendly Test page and/or the Bing – Mobile Friendliness Test Tool to see if you can find out more. But as a matter of fact, they might not even find anything. Still, validating the fix, what will take days, might fail especially if you didn’t change anything.

You will quickly discover that there is a lot of talk about the html header tag “<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>“, of course if you do not have this one yet, implement it, but if you use a current CMS like WordPress it is likely already there.

In my case it came down to the TAG CLOUD that showed a lot of TAGS and because of the sheer amount some of them became rather small und therefor closer together when it comes to clickable items. This seemed to be no issue visually but still, Google interpreted it as one.

Needless to say, that ignoring any errors thrown by the Google Search Console might cost you valuable ranking or simply cause Google to not index certain pages. Especially since Google is primarily focusing on mobile usability.

Tools for WebAnalytics and SEO

SEO and Web Analytics are a very important part of successful web pages and blogs, like this page as well.

You want to use SEO tools and plugins on your website, read up on how to use key phrases and other tools in this constantly changing world of web pages and search engines as well as now mobile first development. Having been in IT over 25 years, I saw a lot of changes.

When creating a website, make sure you engage some tools right away, make sure you have small images, JPG is still a very good idea, engage image optimizer plugins and don’t over-size them – I am guilty of this as well.

Caching or your pages with plugins and other techniques and systems is highly recommended, because SEO judges you also on render time and things like LCP – Largest Contentful Paint.

Keep all the overhead CSS and JavaScript under control, especially side loading is a huge problem when it comes to lagging speed to load websites.

To get a good overview – use Google PageSpeed Insights to see how your page is performing and where you should start improving.

Another important tool Google Analytics – it recently changed to GA4 which you can simply switch too. The data there can give you a good idea how people finding your website and where you should improve your marketing efforts.

Now, marketing is not necessarily spending money on Google Ads, find out where people interested in your page collaborate and exchange and interact with them, if there you have e.g., a good blog entry about a topic, you might be able to link it and get more visitors.

And then there is the Google Search Console – the easiest way to find out how your page is ranking on various search requests and also making sure your page has no issues – what is critical. Make sure Googles algorithms are happy with especially the mobile version of your website, that it is deemed readable and fast. Only then you will get a good SEO rating. Ignoring issues there can cause Google to stop indexing your webpage, what will result in less clicks and a decline in visitors.

Of course, there are other tools and search engines out there, but let’s face it – the DeFacto standard is Google. This does not mean you can ignore the others, but I found that Googles free tools are most of the time already very sufficient.

All of this is just a quick overview, this topic is huge and a whole industry stays behind the SEO and web marketing – my only goal was to give owners of smaller website a good overview and some tips on how they can improve without spending a fortune.

Finally, you also should make sure your website is secured and monitored for threads. Not just the incoming threads, also that your website is not unintentionally causing a thread to your visitors due to malicious plugins or altered content. Engage third party firewalls and scan systems. Yes they will cost you money, but they will save your reputation with your visitors.

 

 

MeshCentral – Certificate installation

MeshCentral - Certificate installation

MeshCentral is a remote support OpenSource platform. It runs on Windows or Linux and needs to be self hosted.

While it supports Let’s Encrypt (letsencrypt.org) certificates, this is not always a possible option. Issues you can run in to are:

  • port 80 incoming is blocked by your internet provider
  • your DNS provider does not support the ACME protocol needed

Of course, you also could just simply want to create your own certificate. To do so you go to your regular CA (certificate authority) provider and get your certificate issued. You can do so by simply engaging Windows IIS, request a new certificate per CSR, have it issued and finalize the request in IIS. Your last step is to export it including the private key.

Transfer this file now to your MeshCentral server (just use MeshCentral to transfer the file). Next you will need OpenSSL – what is often pre-installed on Linux and Raspberry, on Windows you will need to download it separately.

OpenSSL is used on the command line to extract the unencrypted key and the separate the certificate so MeshCentral can use it. Follow the next steps – while we assume your source certificate file is named source.pfx.

  1. openssl pkcs12 -in source.pfx -nocerts -out encryptedkey.key
    1. this will ask for the password for source.pfx
    2. it will also ask and have you confirm a new password (can be the same) for the destination file
  2. openssl rsa -in encryptedkey.key -out webserver-cert-private.key
    1. it will ask your for the new password of the file you created in step 1
    2. this will overwrite the webserver-cert-private.key file with a passwordless key-file as needed by MeshCentral
  3. openssl pkcs12 -in source.pfx -clcerts -nokeys -out webserver-cert-public.crt
    1. this will ask for the password for source.pfx
    2. it will overwrite the webserver-cert-public.crt file with the public part of your certificate

Now reboot the MeshCentral service/server and open a new browser window, you certificate should work now.