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How Google DDOS’ed our server

Usually, Google is our bestest friend on the web. Several weeks ago however, we ran into something odd. Our monitoring alerted us to the fact that for the past several days the CPU use of one of our sites was steadily increasing. On a daily basis we had one million crawled pages, and more than 25 Gb of data downloaded. And that was per day, from one bot! A quick analysis of our logfiles revealed the cause of this to be traffic generated by a Googlebot (or someone impersonating one).

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Secure your Umbraco

Security is a hot issue currently and with the coming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) this topic will only become more and more important. The last couple of years I've been specializing in security and tried to combine this with my love for Umbraco. After dozens of security audits (executed by international organizations on our own Umbraco installations) and my own visions regarding security, I would like to use this blog to pass along some tips and tricks that are easy to apply to your own installations.

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I Have a Dream About Umbraco and GDPR

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the new European regulation regarding privacy - and data protection, comes into affect on May 25th , 2018. The regulation is about how personal data of European Union-citizens should be handled. But it’s also as important outside the EU, because if your website is targeting EU-citizens you’ll have to apply to this regulation too. Jeffrey wrote an article on what could/should be changed in Umbraco to accommodate this. Five questions will be discussed: 

  1. Which data do you store?
  2. Where do you store the data?
  3. How do you store the data?
  4. Who has access to the data?
  5. How long do you store the data?

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Hooray! VERDER* wins 2 awards!

At the Grand Prix Content Marketing 2017 VERDER* has been richly rewarded with 4 nominations. On November 16th we went home with no less than 2 distinctions and a bronze award!

In the following categories, VERDER*, the personalization website commissioned by vFAS, was rewarded with: a nomination for Best Effectiveness; B-to-C a bronze award; an award for Best data driven implementation; and for Best Platform / content hub.

The jury said among other things about the platform: "Social goal, charming and applause worthy, especially that you as an industry organization tell the stories without putting emphasis on commerce. "Personalized content like VERDER* is the dream of every content marketer. The technology behind the platform is impressive and the results speak for themselves."

Making Umbraco ATAG and WCAG-compatible

At Perplex we’ve been working on accessibility for years. We believe that everyone should be able to use any site in whatever way they wish. We have received the official certificate (the Dutch office responsible for testing accessible websites) for several of our sites and want to continue doing our best to contribute to a better web for everyone. Last spring, we decided to test Umbraco against the WCAG and ATAG guidelines by an official Dutch testing organization. An accessible website is nice and all, but doesn’t the backend need to be just as accessible?

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Personalizing an Umbraco website

When an user visits your website, you want to help him as much as possible by offering the most relevant content. To do this, you can use the data the user already supplied and change, or personalize, your content accordingly. The principle of 'personalization', originally regarded as a simple marketing buzzword, has been applied by Perplex with stunning results.

During CodeGarden 2017 one of our sites featuring personalization was nominated in the category 'Best Technical Solution'. The goal of this blog is to show our thoughts about this principle as well as to try and inspire you to put your back in it and start personalizing. We will kick things off with a short look at some important concepts followed by, based on a concrete roadmap, implementing personalization.

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Google PageSpeed Insights: Reaching a 100/100 score

Mobile is becoming more and more important and with it, so is the loading time of your page. The Pagespeed-score is factored into the sites ranking after all. Because of this, Google Pagespeed Insights has been created. With this free tool, it is easy to discover how Google ranks your website in terms of speed and performance.

Using the recommendations the tool hands out, you can improve the Pagespeed-score. For our own website, the goal was reaching a 100/100 score. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. The 6 best practices we picked up, will be detailed in this blog.

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Road to PageSpeed 100/100: Load Analytics.js from your own server

At Perplex, we care a lot about the performance of our websites and always look for ways to further improve it. Nobody gets excited about slow, unresponsive websites and we do not want people to become frustrated when using a website we developed, because they have to wait a long time for each page to fully load. Rather, we would like them to hardly notice the loading times at all. One of the tools we use to analyze a websites speed is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. In a series of three blog posts, we pay attention to several ways to improve your website’s page speed with this tool.

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