An Educational Consulting company operating in El Paso, TX. They help students prepare for entering higher education.
Since they operate on a border town, Link Advising offers services in English as well as Spanish. They even help foreign students properly navigate legal requirements.
Link Advising was my first official paying client after I left my regular job at the University of New Mexico (UNM). I connected with the owners through a good friend I met during my time at UNM.
At the start…
Before I began working on this project, the site was experiencing major issues with stability. You were as likely to find it offline, as online. The development agency who had initially designed it, was unable to fix the errors it was exhibiting.
The site was also only available in English, and to better serve it’s audience it needed to serve content in Spanish.
1. Figure out what was wrong
Initially, I offered to work with the previous developers to help them stabilize the site. They decided that the best option for them was to give up the site and turn it over to me. It took some doing, but they eventually relinquished the domain and the site content.
Then began the fun work!
Since the site was in really bad shape, I cloned it to a quarantined virtual server. From previous experience at UNM, I had my suspicions that It could be hacked. Which is to say, someone somewhere had taken control of the site.. and were using it for who knows what.
After not much inspection, I discovered they had indeed been hacked. The hackers had gotten in through some outdated software on the server.
2. Fix it!
Thankfully, updating software packages patches most security holes and that was the case here. Updating the software would stop new attacks, but I still had to clean out hidden pages, packages, & other data that the hackers had placed. That takes a lot more work and it must be thorough.
All of the existing admin accounts were possibly compromised as well, and had to be reset and validated.
After much work the site was stable, and free of hacker control.
3. Add Bilingual content
To add multi-lingual support I researched options, and installed a new WordPress plugin.
After configuration and testing, I worked with my clients to upload their new content. Thankfully I’m also fluent in Spanish, so I was able to assist with a bit of editing as well.
To make it run faster, I’ve also added a caching system and manually adjusted many of the images.
Plus I added vector graphics for clearer images (*where appropriate).
They’ve been with me for about 3 years now, which I’m very grateful for.
I look forward to working with them more.