Yearly Archives: 2016

Domains and Web Hosting – One for all?

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 6:33 am

Many people use one company for domain registration and hosting. It’s natural really as most companies who sell domains offer hosting. It can make good business sense in many ways too because you only ever need to deal with one company for most web related tasks.

That said, some people argue having all of your eggs in one basket can cause problems. Let’s look into this. If you were to have some problems with your hosting company, it could prove tricky to leave. Why? Because you can’t simple get your name servers pointed elsewhere to your new hosting company, after all, your current firm is in control of your name servers.

What does this mean?

It means that if you were to find issues with your hosting company, they could potentially make it difficult or expensive for you to leave and nobody wants this. By having your domain renewal fees with one company and hosting with another you can get the best of both world, as long as they’re both reputable companies in their own right. There are many UK based hosting companies but you’ll notice that they’re often beaten by big US based brands in Google searches.

apple-iphone-smartphone-deskThis is why it’s imperative that you take your time before choosing a hosting company. It’s a huge decision because it can either cause you to have huge headaches in the future or a pleasant service without any complications.

Choosing the right company will not only save you money, it will save you time. A good hosting company will often give you no problems whatsoever, and should your website encounter any issues, they’ll be quick to fix it.

Make sure you take the time to weigh up your options. Do your research first and check out reviews. This is one of the most important tasks before choosing a hosting or domain management company.

Posted in UK Hosting

Reasons to consider WooCommerce

Posted on November 27, 2016 at 8:34 am

If you have a WordPress website and you’re looking to make it an ecommerce website, then there really is only one plugin you should choose and it’s called WooCommerce. With WooCommerce you’re able to add products to your website as well as an account page, basket/cart page and checkout page. It makes shopping so easy and the great thing with WooCommerce is that it can be used with most WordPress themes.

If you’re completely new to the world of websites and you’re looking to create your first one or have someone do it for you, opting for a WordPress website with WooCommerce is a great starting point. Not only is WordPress one of the most customisable platforms (with a multipurpose theme in place), it’s also one of the easiest off-the-shelf content management systems to use. After a couple of weeks of blogging, adding products and editing pages you will quickly acquire skills to maintain your website going forward, and you’ll also begin to learn how to make each of your pages look good. The great thing with WooCommerce though, is that you’re essentially guided through the product necessities as you go. Let’s say you add a new product, WooCommerce will ask you for the price, whether there are any variants, whether there needs to be different shipping prices or whether this product relates to any others (giving you the chance to upsell). The more time you spend adding products the more you’ll learn and you could even design your own ecommerce shop from scratch with a little WordPress experience.

To take a look at how WooCommerce works; simply watch the video below. It shows you just how simple it is to add a product to your website, so you don’t need to fork out money to an expensive website management company.

Posted in Web Design

Different emails for different purposes

Posted on October 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Having one single email address is fine if you have a basic blog or brochure website, but if you’re running an ecommerce website then you may need to have a few for different purposes. You might want an email for general questions and another for FAQs, possibly one more for sales orders, another for technical help and perhaps a dedicated address for accounts information. Having separate emails for different purposes doesn’t just make your business look more professional from the outside looking in, it keeps your mail organised and it means as your business grows, certain individuals will be responsible for those email addresses. Emails are such a simple add on in many hosting plans but they shouldn’t go unnoticed. Make sure you decide on yours from the offset, you can then keep things nice and organised going forward.

Posted in Web Design, Web Development

Getting the most important information above the fold

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 12:14 pm

There are probably many messages you would like to include on your website but you have to remember to make sure the most important information is above the fold. Don’t give the website visitor an excuse to scroll down or click a page to find your most important information, it should be in their face when they land on your website. The fold is described as the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. As screen sizes vary drastically there is no set definition for the number of pixels that define the fold, so you do need to test the website on various devices to make sure your messages are nice and clear. A homepage banner is a great place to put the most important information, perhaps a call to action to your booking or contact page. Think carefully about what you put above the fold.

Posted in Web Design

Optimising your images

Posted on August 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm

By optimising the images on your website you can drastically improve speed, perhaps making your site more SEO friendly too because we all know Google and Bing love a fast loading website. To optimise your images, simply open them in Photoshop and size them correctly. So, if you have a 300×300 pixel space on your website for an image, size the image to that scale and ‘save it for web’. Reduce the quality of the image for a lower overall file size but don’t choose one that’s too low because you still want nice looking visuals on your website. Once you’ve saved it, simply upload it via your CMS or by FTP. That’s all there is to it, and if you do this each time you add a new image you’ll be making your website faster and more user-friendly. So it really is a job worth doing right.

Posted in UK Hosting, Web Design

Updating your website naturally

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm

It’s natural for websites to change and evolve over time, especially if your products and services change each year. You may find that you’re naturally improving your search engine rankings by doing basic tasks such as updating news items, updating products, removing old products, adding new services and creating new pages. Google likes websites that incorporate fresh, engaging content and its algorithm is designed to reward these websites. Make sure you’re not slacking when it comes to updating your websites with new product information, it may just be more important than you think. Simple updates will certainly go a long way and they can assist an SEO campaign, so if your business is slacking at the moment and there’s a lot of outdated content on your website at the moment, get it updated now. You won’t regret it in the long run.

Posted in Web Design, Web Development

Why isn’t your website ranking on Google?

Posted on June 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Google is a brilliant search engine that gives us the information we want fast. Everybody loves Google right? Wrong, not small business owners who have paid a lot of money on a new website only to find Google isn’t interested in it. Google’s algorithm isn’t friendly toward new domains and it can take time to build up a level of trust, but when you do you’ll reap the rewards. Google wants you to prove yourself by producing high quality content, doing the right things to drive traffic to your site, such as setting up social media accounts, modifying your title tags, adding lots of valuable content to your website and making it as user friendly as possible. A good UX designer can help you create a site that will tick Google’s boxes but you’ll also need someone with seo expertise to optimise your content when it’s in place. Start making friends with Google today, getting great content on your site and into the eyes of Google.

Posted in Web Design

The power of SEO Yoast

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 8:04 pm

SEO Yoast is an incredibly powerful plugin. If you have a WordPress website and  want to make sure it’s optimised for search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing then please don’t wait around. Get this plugin installed today. It’s compatible with the latest version of WordPress, and it essentially allows you to modify everything you’d ever need in terms of SEO. You can make titles tags and Meta descriptions with your relevant keywords, create xml sitemaps so Google has a better understanding on your website content, and get analytics set up so you can track your visitor rates. This has to be one of the most widely used and most powerful plugins to date and it’s only getting improved year on year. Hats off to SEO Yoast.

Posted in Software

Checking your website speed abroad

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 8:02 pm

I thought no matter how fast my website is in my country it will be the same elsewhere. Only I was completely wrong. I tested the speed for my WordPress website using a 3rd party tool and it clocked the loading time in at 3.1 seconds. I was fairly happy with this as it said my site was faster than 71% of websites in the UK. I then ran the same speed test but changed the location to Australia. The results were terrible. It clocked in at 11.6 seconds. How can that be, the only different aspect is the location? I thought to myself, is Australia way behind on Wi-Fi or something? The problem is, a website will always load quicker when it’s hosted your own country, if it was hosted in Australia it would be quick there and slow here. I’ve managed to optimise it and speed it up significantly, but it hasn’t made much of a difference down under. Lucky I don’t have many customers from there!

Posted in UK Hosting

My favourite WP Plugin right now

Posted on March 24, 2016 at 10:12 pm

WP Smush is a plugin I was recommended by my hosting company to speed up my website and it’s the most amazing plugin I’ve ever installed. It’s specially created to optimise images on WordPress websites, and it essentially ‘smushes’ the images, reducing their overall file size, meaning your pages load quicker. The great thing about it is it’s a one-click plugin, and every time you add a new image to your gallery, it will automatically ‘smush’ it. It was created by WPMU DEV and it has over 400,000 active installs. Are you one of the current users? We’d love to know you thoughts. I’ve never known it to be so easy to strip hidden bulky information so quickly, and it’s definitely helped me improve SEO because my site is a lot faster. And so my visits are up this month!

Posted in UK Hosting

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