Category Archives: System Updates

Easy Blog Networks System Update #24

It’s been a few months since our last System Update blog post. Users have been regularly notified about the major features but here’s a quick recap of the work since November:

  • Completely new Mailbox.
  • Added Paddle as the main payment method while keeping Clickbank for existing customers.
  • Removed Moz metrics from the Dashboard. Moz DA is not used by many SEOs anymore, and it’s by far the most expensive one to get. We’re keeping Majestic and we’ll be looking if users are interested in Ahrefs.
  • Improved security.

We’ve also done a lot of work behind the scenes for decreasing the amount of traffic from crawlers, with a positive impact on security and server speed.

Completely new Mailbox for easy receiving and replying of emails sent to EBN blogs

Better email management has been on our todo for a long time. We started with email forwarding but that caused IP blacklisting so we needed to move to Blog Inbox inside WordPress. That was far from optimal – basic features like sorting by date and search were unavailable. The main problem was finding something that would work well but not leave footprints (a lot easier said than done).

Finally, we’re happy to announce that we found a great solution that will work for the long-term.  The new Mailbox is a solution for not just receiving but also replying to emails sent to any of your EBN blogs. Emails sent to all of your blogs will now be seen in one Inbox. You can also search for old emails, reply to senders or forward an email to your own address. For detailed instructions on how to use the new Mailbox, please read the Help Article.

You should soon start to see Mailbox icon in the top navigation menu that will guide you through the process of accessing the Mailbox for the first time. Some users’ Mailboxes might still be in the process of being provisioned so you might not be able to access it just yet.

Blog Inbox inside the blog will still be available for at least a few months.

Security while traveling and using WiFi

I recently attended a conference where I had to stay in a not cheap hotel that had shared WiFi. Being a curious person (as any Mr. Robot fan would be), I wondered how secure accessing the Internet there really is. Well, as you might have guessed, it’s horrible. 

I could see every guest’s device on network, lounge printer and even some hotel guests’ printers. ::shocked::

In this configuration, anyone can inject ads to any page, sniff traffic (credit cards), or run at the moment very popular crypto mining in the browser on any page you visit.

You might be asking yourself at this point, how this affects you (the user), me (the developer) or Easy Blog Networks (the product)?

For starters, Easy Blog Networks staff cannot access the app without “Secure Endpoint”. So, let’s say the staff is traveling (either at a conference or sipping Margarita while watching dolphins swim) and using an insecure wifi, someone cannot just delete all servers or blogs, or get a list of emails from the app.

However, any user or a potential user can still be affected. Previously, everything relied on the user to be cautious. Browser vendors are slowly adding meaningful policies directly to the browser, but they are not enabled by default and each app vendor has to review and enable them.

And this is where Content Security Policy and HTTP Strict Transport Security come in place. As app developers, we can instruct the browser to use Content Security Policy to disallow loading any scripts on a page that are not approved by us.

Comcast injecting ads on a page? Denied.

Starbucks mining crypto coins on our page? Denied.

SEO conference attendee getting list of all your blogs via some clever advertising? You get the idea now. Denied.

And the second even more important one is HTTP Strict Transport Security. This will tell the browser to never load a page over an unsecured connection (HTTP).

I might have gotten you worried now and thinking how to actually verify that using Easy Blog Networks is really safe.

You can check any page using SecurityHeaders.io where Easy Blog Networks has “A” score. However, there is still space for improvement, and as always, we are working toward that goal – making users and staff safe.

Happy and worrisome New Year. :)

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Easy Blog Networks System Update #23

There have been some major changes since our last system update post. The primary one that helps the most users is the new easy theme editing option. We have also been improving the security of the platform and the blogs.

  • Easy theme editing.
  • Blocking malware domains.
  • User Survey 2017 – we learned a lot about our users and their common frustrations, changing our development roadmap accordingly.
  • Domain field validator – we’ve improved the error reporting of the domain field when adding a new blog.
  • Updating login security – preventing legitimate users from being blocked (ongoing)
  • Blacklisting themes: we’ve seen a few blogs with active malware themes (impacting only the blogs where they were installed) that we removed and blacklisted.

Yashar Ghaffarloo has done another security audit for EBN. At the time of writing all found vulnerabilities have already been fixed. EBN is still the only PBN hosting platform that does regular third-party audits.

In the coming few weeks we’ll be focusing on adding a backup payment provider and an update to Mailboxes.

Easy Blog Networks now has easy theme editing!

Great news! We know that theme editing has been an often requested feature and we’re excited to announce we have implemented this feature.

To avoid manually creating a child theme we are now using a free plugin from WordPress.org that creates child themes and allows you to edit them. We needed to tweak our system a bit for the plugin, but it now works perfectly.

You now get the simplicity of using the default WordPress theme editor but with the security and safety of automated theme updates.

To find out more read the full instructions on how to use the theme plugin in our Help Center and let us know you what you think.