How integrate NANO cryptocurrency payment gateway via Brainblocks to your website?

nano logo

 

Hitsteps accepted Nano cryptocurrency (formerly known as Raiblocks) as a way of payment for it’s services since early January 2018, we are excited about cryptocurrency as whole and specially about Nano cryptocurrency. We were using RaiPay.io as our payment processor gateway however they’ve gone offline and shutdown their service.

So we moved to BrainBlocks. At time of writing this article, brainblocks.io homepage provide a simple and efficient guide on how to create an “inline” nano payment button. however there is no guide on how to create a “hosted” payment gateway page while they DO offer this service as it can be seen in their woocommerce plugin. We are happy with their transaction processing time and their service, so we decided to provide this simple guide to encourage more merchants to accept Nano.

Brainblocks team provided a simple way for Shopify shop owners to accept nano as well as a WordPress plugin for those who use WooCommerce.

In this article, we will focus on how to create a “hosted” nano cryptocurrency payment gateway. We will use PHP for this example, but you can use it with all other languages.

You need to build your URL path to redirect user to brainblocks payment gateway page.

Section A: Opening BrainBlocks Hosted payment gateway page

Your nano wallet address as:
$destination = "xrb_.............";

USD or other currency amount to be paid by user:
$total = "99.99";

Currency that you are using for total amount above:
$currency = "usd";

At time of writing, brainblocks accept aud, brl, cad, chf, clp, cny, czk, dkk, eur, gbp, hkd, huf, idr, ils, inr, jpy, krw, mxn, myr, nok, nzd, php, pkr, pln, rub, sek, sgd, thb, try, usd, twd, zar currencies for price conversion.

Return URL after a successful payment: (order_id parameter is optional, it help you to pin point to exact order generated from your service)
$returnurl = "http://website.url/thankyoupage.php?order_id=xxx";

Return URL after a failed payment: (order_id parameter is optional)
$errorurl = "http://website.url/payagain.php?order_id=xxx";

and then build your brainblock url using variables defined above:
$brainblocks_url = 'https://brainblocks.io/checkout?payment.destination='
 . $destination . '&payment.currency=' . strtolower($currency) .
'&payment.amount=' . $total . '&urls.return=' . urlencode($returnurl) .
'&urls.cancel=' . urlencode($errorurl);

and then you redirect your visitor to this generated URL:
header(“Location: “.$brainblocks_url);

Section B: Verifying payment after it’s paid by customer

In example above, we used success return URL to be thankyou.php, so this instruction is regarding thankyou.php file.

BrainBlocks redirect user to your thankyou page with parameters you’ve provided and add an extra parameter named “token”. This token parameter will be returned as GET (on URL) however there is possibility that it get returned as POST as well. so you need to check for POST if GET token is empty.

In thankyou page, we validate Payment using Token code that is provided by brainblocks as json:
$brainblocks_data=(array) json_decode(
file_get_contents("https://brainblocks.io/api/session/".
$_GET['token']."/verify"),true);

now, we check to make sure full amount is paid by customer:
if ($brainblocks_data['fulfilled']){
//payment is successful and you can go on with processing the order
}else{
//payment has been failed or not full amount has been paid
}

This section B instruction can be used together with brainblocks’s inline payment button guide as well.

Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs an Update

There are so many things marketers can do that sometimes they lose focus on the overall strategy. Is the approach you have chosen aligned with the goals of your organisation? Are the tactics still relevant? Is your strategy outdated? So, what are the warning signs that you need up update your marketing strategy?

Just plain old

If your strategy is older than two or three years, it’s probably time to update it. With so many updates, technology, platforms and new processes, you need to consistently account for change. Marketing is always developing and at a rapid pace. Anything over three years old can be falling behind. Content marketing, programmatic buying and customer analytics are just a few new tactics you could consider. Try to go over your strategy every twelve months. You don’t have to give it an overhaul, just adapt and update.  Sometimes it helps to make personal improvements, online courses are a great way to keep up to date with industry trends.

Preferences change

There is a stronger focus on health in 2018 compared to ten years ago. The same people are searching for nutritional recipes over junk food recipes.  If your audience is changing, then you must change with them.  If your strategy doesn’t account for change, your audience will go elsewhere.

How do you know if preference has changed? Simply listen to your audience. Surveys, keyword research and trends a just a few ways you can gauge change. Marketers will often forget to listen because they are so focused on what they are going to say. Address changes in your audience.

Lose sight of the overall picture

Because there are so many marketing tactics, we sometimes lose sight of how they will all work together.  How will social, SEO, SEM and email marketing all work together? To avoid this, you need to start with a business strategy. This will help you determine which marketing efforts will help you get there quickest.

Value over volume

In 2018, it’s no longer enough to just turn up the volume; you must have value there. You must integrate value into your strategy. There is plenty of content and information online but is it of value and quality.  People still value high-quality content.

Your brand doesn’t have a unique knowledge base and point of view. Are you demonstrating knowledge and opinion through blogs, articles, webinars, events and other methods to establish yourself as a leader in your field?  If not, you need to start updating your strategy.

Relocate spending

As your business and market change, are you making sure the allocation of marketing budget changes too? Has one marketing channel shown growth or potential over another? Do you have a room in your budget for innovative new tactics? It may be time to reassess your marketing spend.  If the channels you have been using are no longer getting results, you must change things up.  It’s time to relocate your budget to new channels. You can use eVoice virtual numbers to track marketing channels and see which ones are working the best.  

Final thoughts

If any of the above is describing your business or your marketing strategy, it’s time to step back and reassess your marketing strategy. Start with your business your business goals. Then map out tactics and channels that will help you achieve these goals. If you need more clarity, get some help.

How Your Website Statistics Ultimately Determine the Value of Your Site

Keeping good statistics about your website is an absolute necessity. It helps you recognize trends and identify areas where you are underperforming so that you can make the right decisions to help you grow. Yet keeping good statistics has another purpose: it helps determine the value of your business.


Image: Pixabay

Someday you may want to sell your site or your online business, and having access to quality data on how it is doing will prove to be invaluable later on when the day does come to move on.

Here’s how your statistics impact the value of your business

The 2.5 rule

The general rule of thumb when determining the value of a business is that it is worth 2.5 times its yearly revenue. So, when you go sell the business, or even to just determine what it is worth, you’ll need reliable revenue numbers. If you go to an investor expecting them to take your word about how much the site makes, you can expect to be laughed out of the room. However, if you go with data to back up your claims, that’s a different story.  

Growth projections

A business that is growing is worth more than one that is not. If you can demonstrate to investors that the arrow for your business is pointing up and that it is likely to continue to do so, you are more likely to get a better valuation. And there is nothing like month-by-month data to be able to demonstrate this trend. Plus, if there are months where things didn’t go well, you can more easily explain them away, conveying more clearly the overall health of the business.

Records keeping

Another thing that helps determine the value of a website or online business is its records. Investors want to know that what they are seeing is all there is to see, and they also want to make sure that they are entering a safe venture that won’t run into accounting or legal problems down the road. Having the numbers about how your website performs will help clear up these doubts and encourage investor confidence.

Market Research

One of the best things that comes from website statistics is the insight you can gain about your market. You can learn valuable demographic information about your audience, and you can also learn how they ended up on your site and then what they do once they get there.

This impacts your business’ value in two ways: first, it helps identify potential risks. Maybe you are overly dependent on one group. If this is the case, having a plan in place to diversify your market will show investors you’re serious about risk management, helping add to the company’s value. And second, having this information about the market helps point out areas of focus for the new owners. They will be able to see more clearly how the website will grow, and this will make them more likely to give a higher valuation.

All in all, website statistics play a critical role in determining the value of your site. If you aren’t collecting data now, you’re setting yourself up for a lower valuation and for some potential disappointment down the road.

About the author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, a brokerage service that specializes in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He helps clients get the best deal for their websites and other internet companies, and always advocates for strong data and records management, as it helps secure a higher valuation.

Hitsteps Analytics now accept Bitcoin and altcoins

Growing popularity for cryptocurrencies cannot be denied and while it could be start of transforming to a new currency system, Hitsteps now accept Bitcoin along side PayPal and credit cards. We also support Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Basic Attention Token and other digital currencies.

You may purchase your monthly web analytics using our cryptocurrency payment gateway from now on.

Update 13 January 2018: We support RaiBlocks payments effective immediately.

Bing PPC Bots pageviews crawl various pages in website

After few of our customers complaint about Bing PPC bot invalidating their pageviews and keep visiting their websites, we have started to find a way to block this. It messed up their analytics data by generating fake pageviews that look like a real user.

We had setup a monitor to identify pattern of this visitor in your analytics and we needed some time until we can acquire sufficient amount of data to analyze this.

They come randomly and at different IP addresses so we could not simply block IP addresses, however all of those IP addresses origin were from Microsoft Azure servers which allows us to backtrace and identify them this way. We have used data set from our database using Hitsteps too and we identified Microsoft Azure hits to be bot, and in Hitsteps, we only count real human visits. We have forbidden our tracker to track Microsoft Azure from now on, and it should not re-appear in your list of visitors anymore.

Interestingly, Microsoft use real world browser useragents which belong to his competitors. We identified useragents that belong to Safari 53 on Windows 7. Safari 7 on iOS 7 and Firefox 23 on Windows 8! We could not simply block it from user-agents due to variety.

As a reddit user put it out this way, During the editorial verification process in Bing Ads, your site may receive traffic from the Bing Ads crawler, which shows as Microsoft Azure. This crawler searches and determines the content of your website by following all of the links and branches throughout your site and pulling relevant keywords from the pages. The depth and frequency of the crawl is related to the number of ads and keywords in your ad groups. The Bing Ads crawler visits sites that it is checking in a very controlled manner. This activity should not affect servers or cause “inaccessible website” errors. (They represent a real browser, therefor made it hard for us to differentiate them from a bot at beginning.)

Bing Ads crawls your site(s) by using the destination URLs that you specify for each keyword-ad combination in your ad group. If you have large keyword lists, your destination URLs may receive hundred of clicks or more. Because this traffic can occur during a very short time, sometimes within only one or two hours, this activity may appear to be invalid activity.

Note that you are not charged by Bing Ads for this traffic, and this activity is not reported on any Bing Ads reports.

This behaviour now can be detected by Hitsteps Analytics and blocked from our users view unless they disable bot protection in their analytics setting.

Introducing Uptime Monitoring System featuring Auto-Recovery feature

We are introducing Smart Uptime Monitoring system, bundled into your Hitsteps dashboard.

Let your servers recover automatically. Know about downtimes instantly, do not let your visitors be the one who notify you about your website downtime.

By activating this service, we scan your servers and websites every minute and notify you instantly if we find out they are down. we verify each downtime from multiple countries to remove false alarms.

Upon downtime, we can notify you via Call, SMS or Email.

Additionally, you can define DNS Failover using Cloudflare or setup SSH commands to recover your failed website automatically.

This feature is available from Pro plan onward. You can find Uptime Monitoring in left sidebar of your Hitsteps Dashboard.

LastPass Security Vulnerability for 2nd Factor Authentication Login

We’ve detected a vulnerability in LastPass which allow autofill of password into web login form right after login and right before 2nd factor authentication login.

This issue is rare and does not affect majority of LastPass users, however  issue could be re-created by our team on Google Chrome running on MacOS when following environment is set:

  1. Make sure LastPass is logged out.
  2. Open a website that you have LastPass to fill up login form automatically.
  3. Login to LastPass and don’t check “Remember Password” (so password expire after closing chrome)
  4. When entering 2nd Factor code, don’t check “Remember” checkbox either (so 2nd factor login expire too. otherwise you need to wait 30 days for it to expire which you will get same vulnerability result)
  5. Upon successful login, you will see LastPass autofilled login form. It is all correct until here right? Yes. next steps is where issue come up.
  6. Completely quit Chrome browser, make sure all processes are closed.
  7. Open Chrome again and open that website (or any other website that have autofill for login form)
  8. Click on LastPass icon and login with your password.
  9. HERE is where problem happen!
  10. You are redirected to 2nd Authentication login form. but if you switch back to the website you just opened, you will see your password is autofilled. Autofilled before you login 2nd Factor Authentication form.

So here is the catch. It will only work on 1st login after a successful full login. If you don’t proceed with 2nd Factor authentication login now and close chrome again. and then re-open chrome and repeat step 7 and 8, it would not auto populate your password into web form.

We’ve reached to LastPass and hoping they react fast regarding this issue.

Update:
LastPass replied
I just want to clarify that this is not a bug. This could be because of the Offline Cache. You may read more about here https://lastpass.com/support.php?cmd=showfaq&id=2775

But… Should not offline cache be secured via 2nd factor authentication too?
And if it is not a bug, why it happen only and only in first login after a successful login, then quitting browser and re-opening it?
If it is expected behaviour, it should always populate login form right after entering login information and before entering 2nd factor code, but now it only auto populate on first try.
Even closing and re-opening browser won’t trigger auto populate anymore.

Updated OS & Browser detection plus Tor Browser detection

Did you know Facebook secretly and slowly became one of the major browsers in mobile world? Yes, Facebook Web Browser that nobody ever talk about! and we can detect it for you.

When a visitor click on your link in Facebook or Facebook Messenger, It does not open your website in a separate web browser (unless user has opted out from Facebook In-App Browser), It open your website inside of Facebook Apps. And most analytics softwares are simply pointing this as Chrome, or Safari.

We’ve went one step ahead, and we can detect Google Search App Browser on iOS, and even Instagram Browser. We will extend this In-App browser detection for common apps as we find them.

We are trying out best to show most accurate view of your visitors, removing non-human and bots from your stats. However, certain anonymity programs are known to pass out wrong information in order to mis-guide tracking apps. They are doing it for good reasons of course which is to protect users privacy, and we are not trying to decode and reveal what is being hidden, instead, Hitsteps would not show wrong browser or OS for Tor browser users.

Tor Browser pass out information saying it is a Firefox on Windows 7. Try it on Linux or macOS, still it report Windows 7! In order to provide accurate view for our customers, now we can detect if a user is using Tor Browser and show Tor browser icon (instead of Firefox) and show Unknown OS (instead of Windows 7)

We are not decoding what is real OS, but at least, we are not blindly passing wrong information to our users.

Following up on Apple’s WWDC17 event few days ago, Hitsteps updated OS and Browser list can now detect Safari 11 on macOS High Sierra as well as older versions of macOS, with appropriate OS Icon tailored for each OS X. Same goes for Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, …) and Android versions (such as KitKat, Nougat, Marshmallow and Android O)

With release of Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung has released Samsung Browser 5 which we can detect it as well as Samsung Smart TV browsers.

Human Psychology and Device’s Battery Life

Website Visitors Battery life tracking

Perhaps you noticed battery indicator level of 100% stay much longer than usual in your mobile devices and this percentage get reduced faster and faster as time goes by. You’re not alone. Your phone might show 100% battery when it is actually 90%. Why is it this way?

Users behaviour varies and it depend on battery life!

Imagine you are sitting on your desk, with your laptop connected to a wired adaptor and battery is 100% full. It means you are sitting on this desk for quite sometime.

Sitting on same desk with 10% battery life while plugged in to adaptor, means you are just back to your desk.

Likewise, being on a battery of 95% and unplugged to adaptor, means you’ve just left your desk, and 10% of battery life on a battery, means you’ve had a long day and still not back to your comfort place, your desk, where you can charge your device.

This is same difference that play a strong role for differences between desktop and mobile users behaviours.

You get the idea? How likely it is for a user to purchase your product when on just 5% battery left if your product is Food? or if your product is a Laptop?
If you’re selling time-sensitive product like Food, your conversion rate goes higher. If you’re selling more expensive product like Laptop, your sale chance is lower.
Uber reported that their customers are more likely to accept surcharge and get a ride when their users battery life is low, so should you treat users with 5% battery left and those who are on 100% battery and plugged in, same?

Hitsteps provide you with a tool that you can monitor each individual visitors in your website and see their current device battery life, remaining time to finish their battery to help you address them better. Be it get used for conversion monitoring, or by a live chat agent, who see customer battery is low and time to address the user before he ran out of battery is running out! Hitsteps website visitors battery life tracking tool support those visitors who are using a compatible browser and device.

Company Information from Business Visitors

We’re proud to announce a new feature (currently in BETA, but available for all members) which detect type of your visitors and detect if they are a business or residential visitor. Additionally it can detect if visitors is from a government firm or from a university or school.

This feature is currently in BETA as there is not a single source of valid data. we verify information from more than 3 sources to make sure all of them report a visitor as business and then marking visitor as a business user. There are times each of our sources report a different data and we are enhancing our algorithm over time to be able detect user type more accurately as we go on.

We match your visitors data with our companies data and provide information such as IP Address, business full address, contact number, email address, employees size and website address.

You can access this feature by looking at user type icon next to their country flag (business users are marked with a suitcase) and you can see list of all business users by looking at “Companies” sub-menu under “Visitors” menu.
You will see information for each of businesses by clicking on their profile.