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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Who is knocking at your web site door? Are you well set up to deal with allcomers?

Anyone who advertises a public facing web server / web site is telling everyone about a door to their resources ... and even those people who have web sites which they don't advertise are likely to be talked about and so discovered by a potentially wide audience. So it's rather important for the people who are looking after the web server and web site to be very careful about that door:

* What can be taken out of the door?
* What people can bring in through the door and leave with you?
* Whether the door is big enough for everyone to pass through.
* Whether the property behind the door is big enough to handle all the customers.
* Can you keep customers queueing at the door at busy times, or will they give up?
* Will there always be at least someone inside the door to look after customers?
* Indeed - will there be enough staff to handle all the customers coming through the door?
* Whether the Landlord's going to get upset if there's too many people coming to your door.
* Is the door always going to be accessible?
* How will you know if something malfunction in the door's operation?

In the "real" world, there are checks and controls and common sense on all of these issues. Think of a shop, of a train, of a private house (or a public house) and you'll see how we administer each issue in day to day life. It may be through signage and good common sense, as in these instructions from the railway carriage telling you how to open the door. And people can make mesaured decisions too, based on how long a queue they find when they turn up, or they can come back later if they're advised that something will take a bit of a while.

In the world of the Internet, and web sites, all the aspects need to be considered, but handled automatically. The traffic level is much higher than in the real world, the visitors less forgiving if things don't work right (and obviously) for them, and many of those visitors will be looking to take advantage of you.

• If you were to walk into each of the shops in Melksham and try to leave a pile of leaflets advertising [something] without permission, you would soon find they were chucked out, and that you came to the attention of the shopkeepers and perhaps the police. But online, there are enormous numbers of automated programs looking to leave things on your web server ... and they are constantly knocking on your door, trying out your staff daemons, to see what they can leave where others may find it.

• Similarly, if you walk into a shop (or perhaps the Tourist Information Centre, where much of what's on display is free) and try to leave with their display stands, they'll probably stop you. But online, there are again a lot of automated programs that are looking to get things off your server which are the fixures and fittings rather than the goods you have on offer. That's so that they can learn about your systems and come back to leave their advertising material later, via a back door rather than through the front.


Web site and web server security is a huge subject ... to give you an idea, we had 110,000 requests made to our front door yesterday. I estimate that around 45% of those requests are from search engines indexing our pages (these are benign automated programs that will help get our message out to the world), and around 40% of the requests are from real users looking for a resource that we've made available for them. Another few percent can be accounted for by people "hotlinking" images off our web site (see [here]) and that leaves just over 10% of requests being of "security concern". Not a high percentage, but just one request that penetrates a hole in our system would be one too many.

Malicious Automata tend to look and see if certain files / URLs exist on your server. They'll speculatively try some common names, and also names of files that they know exist in standard software packages to see if you have those loaded. Off course, 999 times out of 1000 you won't have that software loaded, and in the remaining case you'll probably have fixed the problem / set a password / not have the right setup to be vulnerable.

For the 999 out of 1000 failed malicious requests, we want to respond as quickly, negatively, and efficiently as we can. Incoming requests for pages that have names which aren't even close to what's on our site are, therefore, met with a very simple "page not found" response - with a header code that clearly says the resource does not exist. The page doesn't follow the format of the rest of the content of our site; I'm all for uniformity, but really I don't want my staff daemon to be spending a lot of time dealing with these rogues, nor do I want to have my landlord getting upset as I ship them loads of information in response to their request which they'll never use. That page can be found [here] if you want to see what it looks like, and it includes a link to this article so that the occasional real visitor who gets it and is interested can read up. The page may be short, but it IS polite ... so that majority of real users who get to it - perhaps because of a broken link on someone else's site, or because of a mistyped link, will simply follow one of the offered links to really help them find the resource.




P.S. Yes - we're a training company and consultancy. We cover some web security on courses such as deploying LAMP, and welcome other questions and enquiries. We may be able to help you ourselves, or point you in the right direction if not.
(written 2011-10-21)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G902 - Well House Consultants - Web site techniques, utility and visibility
  [23] Skills and responsibilities - (2004-08-22)
  [32] Web design platoon - (2004-08-29)
  [98] No more 'Error 404' pages. Something better. - (2004-10-24)
  [109] URLs - a service and not a hurdle - (2004-11-04)
  [117] A case of case - (2004-11-14)
  [142] Colour for access - (2004-12-06)
  [165] Implementing an effective site search engine - (2005-01-01)
  [173] Data Mining - (2005-01-09)
  [179] The hunt for unique words - (2005-01-16)
  [182] Your personal Google ranking - (2005-01-19)
  [197] Allow for peak traffic on your web site - (2005-02-01)
  [202] Searching for numbers - (2005-02-04)
  [222] Who are all these visitors? - (2005-02-20)
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)
  [261] Putting a form online - (2005-03-29)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [274] Our most popular resources - (2005-04-10)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [278] Cover all the options - (2005-04-13)
  [284] The Iconish language - (2005-04-19)
  [288] Colour blindness for web developers - (2005-04-22)
  [311] Growth pains - (2005-05-14)
  [314] What language is this written in? - (2005-05-17)
  [320] Ordnance Survey - using a 'Get a map' - (2005-05-22)
  [322] More maps - (2005-05-23)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [348] Graveyard pages - (2005-06-15)
  [369] CMS - the minefield of Choices - (2005-07-05)
  [376] What brings people to my web site? - (2005-07-13)
  [414] Form Madness - (2005-08-14)
  [492] New Navigation Aid - Launch of My Wellho - (2005-11-11)
  [510] Dynamic Web presence - next generation web site - (2005-11-29)
  [528] Getting favicon to work - avoiding common pitfalls - (2005-12-14)
  [533] Bigger Box Campaign - (2005-12-18)
  [649] Denial of Service ''attack'' - (2006-03-17)
  [658] Keeping the visitors happy and browsing - (2006-03-26)
  [681] Mirroring a dynamic site - (2006-04-12)
  [718] Protecting images from theft - (2006-05-12)
  [732] Where is a web site visitor browsing from - (2006-05-24)
  [757] Horse and Python training - (2006-06-12)
  [767] Finding the language preference of a web site visitor - (2006-06-18)
  [800] Effective web campaign? - (2006-07-12)
  [893] Visibility - (2006-10-14)
  [916] Driving customers away - (2006-11-07)
  [976] Santa at the station - (2006-12-09)
  [994] Training on Cascading Style Sheets - (2006-12-17)
  [1015] Search engine placement - long term strategy and success - (2006-12-30)
  [1029] Our search engine placement is dropping. - (2007-01-11)
  [1055] Above the fold - (2007-01-28)
  [1104] Drawing dynamic graphs in PHP - (2007-03-09)
  [1177] Sorting out for a site map - (2007-05-05)
  [1184] Finding resources - some pointers - (2007-05-13)
  [1186] Two new pages / sites - (2007-05-14)
  [1198] From Web to Web 2 - (2007-05-21)
  [1207] Simple but effective use of mod_rewrite (Apache httpd) - (2007-05-27)
  [1212] What brought YOU to our web site? - (2007-06-01)
  [1237] What proportion of our web traffic is robots? - (2007-06-19)
  [1297] Stuffing content into a web page - easy maintainance - (2007-08-09)
  [1437] Above the fold with First Great Western - (2007-11-19)
  [1494] A time to update pictures - (2008-01-03)
  [1505] Script to present commonly used images - PHP - (2008-01-13)
  [1506] Ongoing Image Copyright Issues, PHP and MySQL solutions - (2008-01-14)
  [1513] Perl, PHP or Python? No - Perl AND PHP AND Python! - (2008-01-20)
  [1534] Where in the world / country is my visitor from? - (2008-02-07)
  [1541] Colour, Composition or Content - (2008-02-16)
  [1554] Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24)
  [1610] PHP course dot co, dot uk - (2008-04-13)
  [1630] To provide external links, or not? - (2008-05-04)
  [1634] Kiss and Book - (2008-05-07)
  [1653] How do Google Ads work? - (2008-05-25)
  [1711] Rapid growth leads to server move - (2008-07-17)
  [1747] Who is watching you? - (2008-08-10)
  [1756] Ever had One of THOSE mornings? - (2008-08-16)
  [1793] Which country does a search engine think you are located in? - (2008-09-11)
  [1797] I have been working hard but I do not expect you noticed - (2008-09-14)
  [1833] Web Bloopers - good form design - avoiding pitfalls - (2008-10-11)
  [1856] A few of my favourite things - (2008-10-26)
  [1888] Find the link - (2008-11-16)
  [1955] How to avoid duplicating web page maintainance - (2008-12-20)
  [1961] Making our things easier to find - (2008-12-26)
  [1970] Plagarism - who is copying my pages? - (2009-01-02)
  [1982] Cooking bodies and URLs - (2009-01-08)
  [2056] Web Site Loading - experiences and some solutions shared - (2009-02-26)
  [2065] Static mirroring through HTTrack, wget and others - (2009-03-03)
  [2225] How important is a front page ranking on a search engine? - (2009-06-09)
  [2332] Formation, des langages Open Source - (2009-08-09)
  [2333] Formaci[83][c2]ón, de los lenguajes de c[83][c2]ódigo abierto - (2009-08-09)
  [2334] Formazione, Open Source computer lingue - (2009-08-09)
  [2335] Ausbildung, die Open-Source-Sprachen - (2009-08-09)
  [2336] Forma[83][c2]ç[83][c2]ão, Open Source computador l[83][c2]ínguas - (2009-08-09)
  [2337] Opleiding, Open Source computertalen - (2009-08-09)
  [2338] Uddannelse, Open Source computer sprog - (2009-08-09)
  [2339] Oppl[83][c2]æring, Open Source datamaskinen spr[83][c2]åk - (2009-08-09)
  [2340] ldning, Open Source dator spr[83][c2]åk - (2009-08-09)
  [2341] Koulutus, Open Source tietokone kielill[83][c2]ä - (2009-08-09)
  [2389] Writing with our customers words - (2009-09-01)
  [2410] Removal of technical resources from this site - (2009-09-19)
  [2519] Status Page / breaks of service in early December - (2009-11-30)
  [2532] Analysing Google arrivals by country of origin - (2009-12-10)
  [2552] Web site traffic - real users, or just noise? - (2009-12-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2668] Is it worth it? - (2010-03-09)
  [2981] How to set up short and meaningfull alternative URLs - (2010-10-02)
  [3022] Retaining web site visitors - reducing the one page wonders - (2010-10-31)
  [3087] Making the most of critical emails - reading behind the scene - (2010-12-16)
  [3149] Looking back at www.wellho.net - (2011-01-28)
  [3197] Finding and diverting image requests from rogue domains - (2011-03-08)
  [3367] Google +1 - what is it? - (2011-07-22)
  [3426] Automed web site testing scripted in Ruby using watir-webdriver - (2011-09-09)
  [3532] Sharing the user experience - designing a form with the customer in mind - (2011-11-29)
  [3554] Learning more about our web site - and learning how to learn about yours - (2011-12-17)
  [3563] How big is a web page these days? Does the size of your pages matter? - (2011-12-26)
  [3589] Promoting a single one of your domains on the search engines - (2012-01-22)
  [3623] Some TestWise examples - helping use Ruby code to check your web site operation - (2012-02-24)
  [3734] QR codes with marketing logos embedded - (2012-05-16)
  [3744] Short Web Addresses for Melksham - (2012-05-30)
  [3745] Legal change - You need to obtain user consent if you use cookies on your website - (2012-06-01)
  [3776] Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23)
  [3896] An email marathon - (2012-10-15)
  [3974] TV show appearance - how does it effect your web site? - (2013-01-13)
  [4001] Helping search engines with appropriate 400 error codes - (2013-02-11)
  [4076] Web site - fully back! - (2013-04-29)
  [4115] More or less back - what happened to our server the other day - (2013-06-14)
  [4136] How do I post automatically from a PHP script to my Twitter account? - (2013-07-10)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4376] Well House Consultants, Well House Manor, First Great Western Coffee shop, TransWilts / 2014 web site reports - (2015-01-01)
  [4401] Selecting RECENT and POPULAR news and trends for your web site users - (2015-01-19)
  [4474] Effect on external factors on traffic to our web sites - an update - (2015-04-26)
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)

A606 - Web Application Deployment - Apache httpd - log files and log tools
  [1503] Web page (http) error status 405 - (2008-01-12)
  [1598] Every link has two ends - fixing 404s at the recipient - (2008-04-02)
  [1656] Be careful of misreading server statistics - (2008-05-28)
  [1761] Logging Cookies with the Apache httpd web server - (2008-08-20)
  [1780] Server overloading - turns out to be feof in PHP - (2008-09-01)
  [1796] libwww-perl and Indy Library in your server logs? - (2008-09-13)
  [3015] Logging the performance of the Apache httpd web server - (2010-10-25)
  [3019] Apache httpd Server Status - monitoring your server - (2010-10-28)
  [3027] Server logs - drawing a graph of gathered data - (2010-11-03)
  [3443] Getting more log information from the Apache http web server - (2011-09-16)
  [3447] Needle in a haystack - finding the web server overload - (2011-09-18)
  [3670] Reading Google Analytics results, based on the relative populations of countries - (2012-03-24)
  [3984] 20 minutes in to our 15 minutes of fame - (2013-01-20)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4404] Which (virtual) host was visited? Tuning Apache log files, and Python analysis - (2015-01-23)
  [4491] Web Server Admin - some of those things that happen, and solutions - (2015-05-10)


Back to
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or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Upcoming events in and about Melksham - more dates for your diary
Some other Articles
Looking forward - Chamber of Commerce has 2012 and beyond on the agenda
Databases - when to treat the rules as guidelines
West Wilts Rail User Group - Walk yesterday from Bradford-on-Avon to Trowbridge
Upcoming events in and about Melksham - more dates for your diary
Who is knocking at your web site door? Are you well set up to deal with allcomers?
How not to call when job seeking ...
Python courses and Private courses - gently updating our product to keep it ahead of the game
Python sets and frozensets - what are they?
Public transport - road and rail
How important is public transport to people in the Melksham area?
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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