6 Small Business Tips for Working Remotely

With the impacts of Coronavirus being felt far and wide, we’ve compiled 6 small business tips for working remotely, including what you can set up easily to ensure that your team can continue to work efficiently and productively from home.

And the good news is many of these are very cost effective –  you may even have access to via Office 365, depending on the level of subscription you have.

While we are not computer technicians, we can help you get your software requirements for email and Microsoft Offices sorted.

Brisbane Hosting & Website Design is a partner of Microsoft, Google and Dropbox. This means that we purchase and manage your subscription renewals on your behalf. And in the rare instance you have any issues, you contact us rather than getting frustrated dealing with tech support of a global business. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions – 07 3889 2977 or enquire online here.

1. Switch to Office 365

If you’re not already on cloud email, now is the time to make the change!

The single biggest advantage is that all emails are stored in the cloud and synced across multiple devices, not on individual machines. If your team log on from home, all their emails will be instantly accessible meaning they can continue to be effective wherever they log on.

Did you know? Imap and Pop email accounts were created before smartphones and tablets. Meaning these “old-school” email accounts types, while often free with your domain, can be a headache when trying to access email from multiple devices. (Read: You’ll save time and money by being on cloud email like 365).

Brisbane Hosting is a Microsoft partner.

2. Enjoy free access to Office 365 Webmail

Regardless of which 365 subscription level you have, you can still access your emails via webmail (log on via an internet browser such as Chrome).

Webmail access is free with all subscriptions, including a basic Exchange only account. In fact, many of our team use webmail even while working in the office, let alone remotely.

3. Organise your Microsoft Office Software Licences

If you require Microsoft Office software licenses (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc) for staff to be able to work from home, email us here.

Premium subscriptions have all software included, so you may not have to pay anything extra!

4. Use Microsoft Teams chat or messenger to reduce your email communication

Premium Office 365 subscriptions also have an in-built chat functionality via Teams which can help clear your inbox. If you’ve looked into Slack or similar instant messaging platforms for your internal team – this could be a cost-effective solution!

5. Run meetings via video with Skype for Business (also in Teams)

Skype for Business has now integrated into Microsoft Teams. Choose from audio or video calls. You can easily run internal calls and video meetings 100% online – and even invite external users to join.

Some of the functionality that has caught our eye is the ability to share files and the screen sharing mode for presentations or training sessions.

We’re expecting this will only grow in popularity with more and more people around the world working remotely.

6. Set up Dropbox storage

Cloud storage like Dropbox can make accessing work and client files a breeze. Brisbane Hosting is a Dropbox partner and can help set up your storage solution. Prices start from $18.50 per user, per month. Minimum 3 users. Billed yearly. (Monthly billing available but prices vary).

If you need help setting up any of this for your business, Brisbane Hosting & Website Design can help, call our team on 07 3889 2977 or enquire online here.


Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website HostingDomain NamesDNS ServicesWebsite DevelopmentWebsite DesignWebsite RevampsWebsite Maintenance, Lead Generation Packages and Blogging, Social Media Campaigns and more.

Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au for further information. 

5 ‘Ignore at Your Peril’ Reasons You Need to Run Regular Updates on Your Website

In this blog, we share the 5 ‘ignore at your peril’ reasons you need to run regular updates on your website.

This includes using the latest version of WordPress, and regularly deploying theme and plugin updates.

Not sure how to do this on your own? We can help! Find out more about our Client Care Plan below and we’ll take care of it. It’s a small outlay for peace of mind and to keep your website secure and functioning at its optimal! Call us on 07 3889 2977 or enquire here.

Why you need to be using the latest version of WordPress

Here’s why you need to run regular updates on your website – and keep your theme and plugins up to date!

1. Security

It might sound obvious, but it’s sheer madness to see the volume of business owners who don’t bother to switch to the latest version of WordPress.

Especially given it’s free and takes less than 2 minutes.

WordPress powers almost one quarter (23%) of the world’s websites. And thanks to its popularity, it is often the target of hackers, data thieves and malicious code distributors.

Sounds scary, but the good news is that ensuring your website is using the latest version of WordPress means you’ll significantly reduce the risk of getting hacked.

With each new release, developers fix bugs and known security vulnerabilities.

Hackers can even search for websites running outdated versions of WordPress. So, no matter the size of your business – simply running an old version of WordPress can mean you’re at greater risk of a sophisticated attack.

And we’ve seen it happen time and time again – even on websites for small Aussie businesses.

2. Fixes Bugs

It’s not just the major WordPress updates you should be keeping on top of. Despite rigorous testing in the lead up to a major update, it’s not uncommon for a few bugs to slip through the cracks for a short period of time.

This means minor releases (which are shown by X.X.X) are equally important and shouldn’t be ignored. To give you an example, WordPress update 4.2.3 fixed 20 bugs from the 4.2 major release.

The key takeaway – always ensure you’re run both major and minor WordPress updates once they become available.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, running your WordPress, theme and plugin updates also have some positive perks…

3. Access to New Features

Using the latest version of WordPress means you’ll be able to leverage the latest and greatest features and software changes – designed to make updating your website even easier.

And if you do hit a roadblock, because you’re using the latest version you won’t have any issues finding WordPress help online. Steps for troubleshooting is typically based on the latest version

4. Improved Performance and Speed

WordPress developers are always pushing the limits to make things faster. Each new release will have several performance updates to improve efficiency and speed.

And given speed is a crucial factor in SEO, updating to the latest WordPress theme is a no brainer.

5. Compatability

While we’ve mostly addressed WordPress themes updates above, it’s just as important to use the latest theme and plugin versions – and for many of the same reasons. To protect against security vulnerabilities and eliminate any bugs in the software.

This will ensure that all the software – and your website – keeps functioning smoothly.

It’s not uncommon for issues to arise when your plugins are out of date, but you’ve got the latest version of WordPress – due to an incompatibility.

How to Update WordPress, Theme and Plugins

True to form, WordPress has made it easy to see and install a new WP, theme or plugin update.

Simply login to you Dashboard and look for the in-built “UPDATES” notification field. If new updates are available, you’ll see a round orange circle displaying the number of updates available.

Not comfortable navigating the back end of your website (your WordPress Dashboard) – we can help!

Brisbane Hosting Client Care Package

While some business owners may find it easy to run their WordPress, theme or plugin updates – others may not have the time, energy or confidence to do it on a regular basis.

Our Client Care Package not only ensures your website updates are up to date, we also take a full site back up and check for irregular hacker files, that will save you a lot of headaches (and money) should the unforeseeable happen.

To sign up for our Client Care Package, recommended on a quarterly basis at minimum, but can also be monthly – email us here

Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website HostingDomain NamesDNS ServicesWebsite DevelopmentWebsite DesignWebsite RevampsWebsite Maintenance, Lead Generation Packages and Blogging, Social Media Campaigns and more.

Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au for further information. 

Small Business Website Checklist – 5 Things Your Website Needs in 2019

To help set your business up for success, we’ve pulled together our small business website checklist featuring 5 important things your website should have in 2019.

You’ll find some new software features such as a Facebook Chat, others you may already be familiar with but perhaps didn’t implement in 2018.

Need help with any of the below? Contact our friendly team of web developers and marketing experts who can help get your website and digital presence optimised. Call us on 07 3899 2977 or email us here.

1. Install an SSL Certificate on your website.

We cannot stress enough how crucial this is.

A SSL Certificate encrypts data that passes between a user’s internet browser and your website server. It’s recommended for all websites, not just e-commerce sites as it helps protect personal data you collect on your website, including contact forms.

Why do you need one? Google set a deadline of 1 July 2018 and since October 2018, any website that doesn’t have an SSL has been prominently displayed as ‘Not Secure’ by Google. Some browsers won’t even loads websites without SSLs, forcing the user to confirm they want to proceed to an ‘unsecure site’ which is a big deterrent for potential customers.

Google also indicated that not having an SSL Certificate would impact your organic rankings. Find out more here.

Haven’t got an SSL Certificate? You need one asap. Email us here. 

2. Ensure your website is mobile friendly.

With more and more customers searching via mobile devices rather than desktop, if you expect your website to convert leads – it needs to be mobile friendly with a responsive theme that’s easy to navigate no matter what device it is accessed from.

Why is this important?

Consumers now spend more than five hours a dayon their smartphones.

Source: Mobile Marketing Statistics, bluecorona.com

69% of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns.

(BrightEdge, 2017). Source: Mobile Marketing Statistics, bluecorona.com 

 3. Blog regularly.

Want to improve your organic Google rankings? You need to be blogging regularly.

 To get the best ROI on your blogging efforts your posts does need to tick a few boxes such as optimal length and optimised set up. This will give you the best change of ranking well for your desired keyword or phrase.

Not sure what to blog about? We always recommend starting with client case studies – a great way to showcase positive reviews and demonstrate your expertise and work!

We also offer flexible lead generation packages where we can do the keyword research for you, plan your blog topics and even write the copy for your blogs! Email us here to find out more

Why blog?

Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. 

(New Media Campaigns, 2018) Source: Marketing Statistics, Hubspot

70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. 

(MarTech, 2018) Source: Marketing Statistics, Hubspot

4. Consider installing Facebook Chat on your website homepage.

Make it easy for your customers to connect with you.

A common challenge we’re hearing from clients is that customers are becoming increasingly impatient and don’t want to wait 24 hours to receive a response from an online or email enquiry they’ve submitted.

Depending on your target audience, enabling FB Chat on your website homepage may be a great solution to make it super easy for potential clients to contact you.

It means that you’ll also get an immediate notification about the enquiry through Facebook messenger on your mobile devices.

You can also set up auto-responders which manage the potential customers’ expectations about how quickly you will respond.

5. Proactively requesting Google Reviews from clients.

Are you proactively reaching out to customers to ask for 5-star Google Reviews? You should be.

Having positive reviews not only helps with lead generation (helping drive word of mouth online), but it can help reduce the impact of getting a negative review.

People tend to publish a review when they have something to complain about – so get on the front foot and establish a good rating to begin with.

This will mean, that if you do happen to get a less than favourable review, it will have less impact on your rankings or positioning in the Map results in a Google search.

Why are reviews important?

93% of local consumers use reviews to determine if a local business is good or bad. 

(BrightLocal, 2017). Source: Customer Review Statistics

72% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews 

(Testimonial Engine) Source: Customer Review Statistics

Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website HostingDomain NamesDNS ServicesWebsite DevelopmentWebsite DesignWebsite RevampsWebsite Maintenance, Lead Generation Packages and Blogging, Social Media Campaigns and more.

Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au for further information. 

E-newsletter refresher: What does the Australian SPAM Act include?

Created in 2003 and managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australia SPAM Act 2003 outlines what you legally can and cannot do when sourcing new subscribers, or sending commercial messages electronically to your network or database.

To begin with, it’s important to understand what is classified as an electronic commercial message?

  • Email
  • Short message service (SMS or text messages)
  • Multimedia message service (MMS)
  • Instant messaging (IM)

There are three key parts to the code of conduct to be aware of:

1) Consent – not only must you have consent from the individual you are contacting, but you need to be able to prove it.

A lot of the online tools you use to manage your e-newsletters have the functionality to embed a ‘sign up’ form into your website. The benefits are two-fold, firstly it makes it uber-easy to keep your database up-to-date with new subscribers, and secondly you can also keep track of when and how someone joined your mailing list (the proof!).

How do I know if I have consent? Well, according to ACMA there are two types:

(a) Express Consent – when that person or company willingly provides their email address by ticking a box on a website, filling in a form, face-to-face or by swapping business cards, and that person is made aware they may receive commercial messages.

(b) Inferred Consent – this can be trickier to navigate. Inferred consent can be obtained via another existing business or other relationship where there is ‘reasonable expectation’ of receiving commercial electronic messages. The other instance is when someone’s work contact details are publicly listed or published. There are a couple of caveats to be mindful of, so best to read the guidelines from ACMA here if you’re unsure.

Click here to read ACMA’s frequently asked questions around consent.

Side note: Some types of organisations are exempt from sending certain commercial messages without consent. This includes government bodies, registered charities, registered political parties and educational institutions (when contacting current and former students).

2) Identification – any time a commercial electronic message is sent, it must clearly identify the sender. This includes the individual or name of organisation that authorised the distribution of the message (who it is being sent on behalf of) and ABN where applicable, plus how recipients can contact your organisation or you as the individual.

(3) Unsubscribe – the unsubscribe function is mandatory on all electronic commercial messages. The SPAM Act stipulates that businesses must make it easy for people to remove themselves from your mailing list via clear and conspicuous instructions, and it must be honoured within five (5) business days.

ACMA provide a couple of examples of clearly worded unsubscribe facilities you can reference here.

Hungry for more e-newsletter tips? Click here to read Brisbane Hosting’s top five tips for growing your email database and ensuring your e-newsletters won’t be considered as spam.


Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website Hosting, Domain Names, DNS Services, Website Development, Website Design, Website Revamps, Website Maintenance, Social Media Campaigns and more.

Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au for further information. 

ASX and ASIC Launch Big Company Cyber Health Checks for Top 100 Firms

The ASX and the corporate regulator have launched a new initiative to improve the cyber security defences of Australia’s biggest companies, urging the exchange’s top 100 firms to have a Cyber Health Check.

The program forms part of the federal government’s cyber security strategy that was launched earlier this year and it has been developed alongside professional services firms KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC and CERT Australia and has been based on a similar initiative in the UK with the FTSE 350.

ASX group executive Amanda Harkness said the sharing of best practice approaches was critical to businesses.

“Increased awareness and engagement by directors of listed companies are important steps in building the cyber resilience of Australian businesses,” she said.

“The better informed boards become, the more effectively they can assess their cyber security risks and opportunities, identifying areas where improvement is required.”

The initiative comes as the government has introduced a bill to bring in the long-awaited mandatory data breach notification rules, which will mean companies that have been breached or have lost data will need to report the incident as well as notify customers that have been directly impacted.

If a company fails to do this, they will face fines of up to $1.8 million for organisations and $360,000 for individuals, but the laws only apply to companies turning over $3 million or more.

Ms Harkness said participation in the program would assure shareholders of the top 100 companies that cyber security was a board priority.

“We encourage Australia’s largest listed companies to play their part,” she said.

Participants in the health check program will respond to a series of multiple choice questions such as what risk factors apply to their company, if they have a clear understanding of their company’s data assets and key information, and if they receive high level intelligence from the chief information officer or head of security.

They will also be asked if the company engages external parties to perform penetration testing, if they use public cloud servers and how significant a risk cyber security is in their opinion.

Cyber security breaches have been estimated to cost local businesses $1 billion a year

Late last month the Australian Red Cross Blood Service was forced to apologise after the details of 550,000 blood donors was leaked online.

In August it was also revealed that Austrade and the Defence Department’s research division, the Defence Science Technology Group, had been attacked numerous times in the past five years by cyber criminals based in China.

By: Yolanda Redrup

Posted on: http://www.afr.com/technology/web/security/asx-and-asic-launch-big-company–cyber-health-checks-for-top-100-firms-20161109-gsl77l#ixzz4PTjMSjL4

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Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au for further information and quote today.

Risky online behaviour due to security fatigue: study

Security fatigue is causing computer users to indulge in risky behaviour, both in computing and their personal lives, a study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology claims.

The study came to this conclusion after an analysing data from a qualitative study on computer users’ perception and their beliefs about cybersecurity and online privacy. (The study can be downloaded here after payment.)

Those interviewed ranged in age from 20s to 60s, and were from urban, suburban and rural areas. They were employed in a variety of jobs.

The study defined security fatigue as a weariness or a reluctance to deal with issues of computer security.

The study, published in the IEEE’s IT Professional, looked at computer use in the workplace and home. There was a specific focus on online activity, including shopping and banking, computer security, security terminology, and security icons and tools.

Cognitive psychologist Brian Stanton, a co-author of the study, said: “The finding that the general public is suffering from security fatigue is important because it has implications in the workplace and in people’s everyday life.

“It is critical because so many people bank online, and since health care and other valuable information is being moved to the internet.”

“If people can’t use security, they are not going to, and then we and our nation won’t be secure.”

The study found that most average computer users felt overwhelmed and bombarded, and got tired of being on constant alert, adopting safe behavior, and trying to understand the nuances of online security issues.

It said that when users were asked to make more computer security decisions than they are able to manage, they experienced decision fatigue, which leads to security fatigue.

The study concluded that this weariness could lead to feelings of resignation and loss of control. This, in turn, could lead to avoiding decisions, choosing the easiest option among alternatives, making decisions influenced by immediate motivations, behaving impulsively, and failing to follow security rules.

The study said there were three ways to ease security fatigue and help users maintain secure online habits and behavior. They are:

  • Limit the number of security decisions users need to make;
  • Make it simple for users to choose the right security action; and
  • Design for consistent decision-making whenever possible.

By: Sam Varghese

Posted on: http://www.itwire.com/home-it/75169-risky-online-behaviour-due-to-security-fatigue-study.html


Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website Hosting, Domain Names, DNS Services, Website Development, Website Design, Website Revamps, Website Maintenance, Social Media Campaigns and more.

Contact Brisbane Hosting on (07) 3889 2977 or via email info@brisbanehosting.com.au

Set your Google Plus Custom Short URL

To get your custom URL:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Brand Pages at the top of the page, then click Manage this page for the page you’d like to manage.
  3. Click the three dash menu 3dash and choose Google+ page.
  4. Click the About tab, and under “Get your custom URL”, click Get URL. (If your page isn’t eligible, you won’t see the message.)
  5. You’ll see the custom URL you’ve been approved for, which you aren’t able to change. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you.
  6. Check the box next to “I agree to the Terms of Service.” Then, in the bottom left corner, click Change URL.
  7. You may be asked to verify your account using your mobile phone number. To do this, you’ll need to:
    1. Enter your mobile phone number when prompted, and click Send code in the lower left corner.
    2. Check your phone for the code that was sent to you.
    3. Enter that code in the box on your screen, then click Verify in the lower left corner.
  8. When you’re ready to permanently add your URL to your profile, click Confirm choice.