WordPress Emergency Support — Here We Are!

If you need Word­Press tech sup­port in an emer­gency, if a crises aris­es and you need your Word­Press fixed as soon as you can snap your fin­gers — here we are!

Well, slight­ly longer than “snap­ping your fin­gers” — but not much.

We pride our­selves not only on our high qual­i­ty (plus rea­son­able cost) but, above all, our speed. We’re obsessed. Mid­dle of the night? There. The wee hours before sun­rise? We’re there. Some crazy time­zone on the oth­er side of the world you’re in? We’re dou­bly there.

Of course, we can’t promise 24/7 solu­tions because we’re bru­tal­ly hon­est: some­times, we just can’t solve the prob­lem that quick­ly. Some­times, unin­stalling this, re-installing that, chang­ing this whole oth­er thing around, just takes time.

Time, and a lot of cof­fee!

Here’s one tip. Call us any time — but if we don’t answer, it does­n’t mean we’re sleep­ing. We’re like­ly focused and it’s 3am here and Miina’s try­ing to solve this prob­lem, Jesmin anoth­er prob­lem, Kristi a third prob­lem — and so we don’t even have the vir­tu­al phone turned on! Just leave a mes­sage or send us an email. When we come up to breathe soon, we’ll call you back or send you a note.

There’s an obvi­ous ques­tion: “don’t you ever sleep?”.

Well, glad you asked! A few things. First, we drink a lot of cof­fee. Sec­ond­ly, we do sneak in naps. Third — more seri­ous­ly (although the cof­fee point was indeed seri­ous!) — this is an advan­tage we have to being par­tial­ly dis­trib­uted. Although our home base is in Palo Alto, in Sil­i­con Val­ley, few of us are based on in Tallinn, Esto­nia — which posi­tions us per­fect­ly so that, at most times, some­one is like­ly focus­ing.

Con­clu­sion: you need a Word­Press fix in a pinch. Well, here we are. Just call. Or email.

-mor­gan

How Come WordPress Isn’t More Secure?

A ques­tion we get a lot is, Why Isn’t Word­Press more secure?

Excel­lent ques­tions. We used to won­der this our­selves, when we got start­ed!

A few rea­sons:

First, due to his­tor­i­cal lega­cy rea­sons. Word­Press was built the way it was built, using great tech­nol­o­gy of the time. PHP was the coolest thing ever! Per­haps today, it is eas­i­er to build a safer sys­tem from scratch, but it was­n’t when it was first devel­oped. Tech­nolo­gies change, but soft­ware remains in the lan­guage it was writ­ten.

Sec­ond­ly, there is a trade-off between “flex­i­bil­i­ty / easy of devel­op­ment” and “secu­ri­ty.” Said dif­fer­ent­ly: What makes Word­Press so amaz­ing is that it is sooooo easy to work with: you can quick­ly, triv­ial­ly, change the source, change a design, add a wid­get — do almost any­thing. We love it because, it lets us make any changes we want with­out much effort. But with great pow­er comes great respon­si­bil­i­ty: the ease of devel­op­ment has its cost, and that cost is in secu­ri­ty (and per­for­mance — but that’s a top­ic for anoth­er day). To imple­ment so many ide­al secu­ri­ty mea­sures would slow down the core dev… and no one wants that. Well, “no one” except for us!

Third, shock­ing­ly, many of the secu­ri­ty mea­sure are con­tro­ver­sial. Incred­i­ble to believe, I know! Take, for exam­ple, ban­ning IP address­es that hit too many 404‑s. Let me explain. A com­mon tac­tic to break into a site is to just try lots and lots of URLs, that con­tain plu­g­ins with known vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, to see if the user hap­pens to have it or not. If they do — hack! If they don’t — a “file not found” (404) error. But there’s a down­side to this: log­ging every 404, could bloat the data­base to be huge — thus slow­ing down the site. Plus, dur­ing stages like devel­op­ing the site, the devel­op­ers often to to URLs that may not exist — thus acci­den­tal­ly lock­ing them­selves out. (No, that’s nev­er hap­pened to me, no, nev­er, and espe­cial­ly not two days ago, which served as the inspi­ra­tion for this blog post — no, of course not, this is mere­ly hypo­thet­i­cal.) As a result, the core Word­Press devel­op­ment team has made a trade-off on pur­pose: lets leave Word­Press with the min­i­mum con­fig­u­ra­tions pos­si­ble, and then let each site admin­is­tra­tor decide for him­self which trade-off‑s he/she’s will­ing to make. As a man who loves flex­i­bil­i­ty, I sup­port this phi­los­o­phy.

These are the three core rea­sons. Per­haps there are more, but it’s too ear­ly in the morn­ing for me to think of now!

Any ques­tions? Bueller, Bueller? Just ask!

-Mor­gan

Client Questions: Where Are Your Developers?

A com­mon ques­tion clients and poten­tial clients ask us is, where are your devel­op­ers?

Excel­lent ques­tion: many peo­ple pre­fer work­ing with peo­ple in a sim­i­lar time-zone, or who speak the same lan­guage — or who are next door, so they can go knock on the door and have a cof­fee (or beat them over the head!).

Answer: the co-founders split between two offices, in Palo Alto and in Tallinn, Esto­nia. We’re a small team, so when we say “office”, think about 6 peo­ple sit­ting around at table — not the Google­plex. (Yet!). Most of our sup­port­ing devel­op­ment team is in Esto­nia.

Esto­nia is an inter­est­ing and unique place. The birth­place of Skype, it’s also a core Euro­pean coun­try — but it’s always been a bit on the out­skirts. Their lan­guage just isn’t relat­ed to any oth­er known lan­guage (except Finnish and Hun­gar­i­an, odd­ly enough) — and the cul­ture is one of Nordic, north­ern Euro­pean pro­fes­sion­al­i­ty, seri­ous­ness, and prob­lem-solv­ing.

But the best part of work­ing with Esto­ni­ans is this: their almost-native com­mand of the Eng­lish lan­guage. The edu­ca­tion and entire cul­ture there is, effec­tive­ly, bilin­gual in Eston­ian and Eng­lish. As a result, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is as smooth as our team is pro­fes­sion­al.

But with the oth­er part of our team in Palo Alto, we have a strong Amer­i­can face as well. Half the team is Amer­i­can, and we under­stand deeply both the Amer­i­can cul­ture, and the unique dynam­ics of the tech space and Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Have any ques­tions? Just ask — we love to talk!