What Ever Happened to Our Website? Why did it Change?

Whitney at 92LLSomething good happened at the Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) 92 Annual Session at Nashville in June. As many of you know, we have had many problems with the TDHA website beginning late last year. It would mysteriously stop working and serve up cryptic “out of resources” errors.  The hosting provider was less than helpful, at several points they just shut it off and told us that our site was experiencing a denial of service attack.  Frankly, we had no idea what to do, or how to fix it. Fortunately, at the Center for Lifelong Learning 92 Annual session at Nashville in June Sallie Benedict, one of the volunteer staffers heard that our site was down.  Sallie Benedict, RDH was a volunteer at the 92 Annual session.  When she heard about our problems with the website she “volunteered” her husband, retired Army veteran Mark Benedict, to fix our problem.  Mark Benedict is an IT consultant with CIO for Hire, LLC who specializes in cyber security, online presence, web development and Search Engine Optimization.

After some in-depth research Mark found that in August of last year the site was hacked from overseas. The hackers began to put links on a large variety of disreputable websites that pointed to our website address.  The result was thousands of foreign clicks and page views from China, Russia, and Turkey that simply overwhelmed our webserver.  There was also a Taiwanese company who registered the name Tndha.com in October, 2014.  We began to get crossover traffic meant for the tndha.com address to our old website at tndha.org.  Very frustrating, but just one of the realities  we all face in our brave new cyber world!

Mark and Sallie Benedict

Mark and Sallie Benedict

Mark determined that we would have to change our domain name to stop all that unwanted traffic.  You can find us now at tenndha.com, which we hope will be permanent, and free from our former problems.  We’ve added some security software to the website and Mark will continue to monitor our website to help protect it.

We’ve rebuilt the site completely to make sure that there were no residual problems from the hack. Since we working on it anyway, we decided it was time to change our website template to one that was designed for use on both PC desktops and mobile devices.  As a result, you’ll notice now that if you view the site on a mobile phone you’ll see the content in single columns that are readable even on a small screen.  This makes the site much more user-friendly over a wider variety of screen sizes.  I hope you like it.

CIO4HireMark Benedict’s company is supporting us pro-bono, (oh that’s just a fancy word for free) which is great for the TDHA. Nothing better than free… However, we all know that he has to make a living, so if your dental practice is looking for someone who can help you update and modernize your website, we recommend you give him a call at (615) 945-5180.  Mark and Sallie are both experts on Search Engine Optimization and will be happy to help your practice improve your online marketing. They know how move your online search results higher in the Google search engine without having to pay for per-click advertising.  They can also help you manage your Google and Yelp online reviews to make sure your practice gets the recognition it deserves.