Business Website Hosting and Security

Business Website Hosting and Security

As digital marketing experts, the Woya Digital team knows that just about every business in every market, in every sector in the world needs a website. Not just any old website either – it needs to function correctly, be safe and secure, and provide a fantastic user experience!

So what happens:

  • If your website crashes?
  • If you lose all of your sales records?
  • If your client information is hacked?
  • If your website stops loading properly?

With so many hosting services, competitive rates and technical terminology, a vast number of businesses are faced with a conundrum when trying to work out the best way to manage their website – with the risk of a business-critical disaster if something goes wrong. Never fear!

We’ve put together this simple guide to explain everything you need to know about your business website hosting, security, and how you can get the best value for money (pssst it’s definitely not in the bargain basement hosting services category!).

Any burning questions we haven’t answered – give us a call or drop us an enquiry.

Building a Business Website

So, we get it – you need a website, it needs to be sparkly and bright, and you needed it yesterday! And there are a tonne of cheap offers out there, but just like a budget airline there are a million add-ons:

  • Hosting
  • Security
  • Upgrades
  • Online forms
  • Support Packages
  • Image Rights
  • Reports and 24/7 Monitoring

Unless you happen to be an IT whizz, a lot of it doesn’t necessarily make sense; and do you know what you are actually paying for? Is it really essential – if you’re on a tight budget, isn’t it tempting to click ‘no thanks’ and crack on with your brand new website launch?

We’ll stop right there; because it is so easily done, and is absolutely not the right call.

It’s easy to justify the cost of building a new website because you have something tangible to show for it at the end. And it’s just as easy to justify not paying for all of those pesky add-ons because they aren’t something you can see, and appear to be a quick way for a hosting company to make a few extra bucks.

But, the issue here is that hosting and security is vital, and is just as important as the style of your website itself. These factors make sure your new site stays online, is accessible to all of your valued customers, and critically – is safe to use.

With our years of webdesign experience managing business website relaunches for clients who have come unstuck due to poor site security, this guide is designed to make sure you know where the pitfalls are, and make sure to steer well clear of them!

Business Website Hosting – The FAQs

Let’s start at the beginning (skip down to the more technical stuff if you’re familiar with this!).

  • What is website hosting?

Your host is as it sounds; it’s the place on a server where your website ‘lives’ – and unless you have a vast organisation, it is very likely to be home to many other websites too.

  • What has bandwidth got to do with business website hosting?

As well as a slightly annoying workload term, bandwidth means space on the server. The problem here is that if a server tries to house too many sites at the same time, or hosts lots of spammy, bad-quality sites, this can be detrimental to the performance of your website.

For example, the site speed might be affected, or your site may crash – if the server crashes, all of its hosted sites go right down beside it, just without the violins.

  • Why does my hosting service affect my site speed?

On the average business website, hosting is often the most crucial factor when it comes to site speed.

This all depends on how many sites are being hosted at once, how modern the servers are, and therefore – the cheaper the hosting service, the more vulnerable your website.

Top Tips for Secure Website Hosting Services

All those potential pitfalls in mind, here are our top tips to make sure you choose the right hosting service!

  1. BEWARE of cheap hosting!

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Your website is critical to your business, and paying for proper hosting is an investment in the future longevity of your digital presence.

  1. Keep an eye out for downtime.

Most server companies don’t monitor your site continuously, and won’t necessarily warn you if your site is down, or the site speed is slow.

Very often, businesses find out about this the worst possible way; when a customer calls and can’t complete their order, or when investigating the need for tumbleweed blowing over their weekly sales figures. You can check out your site speed yourself via Pingdom, to see for yourself how smoothly your website is functioning.

  1. Check how your website has been built.

WordPress is a popular choice; because it’s cheap, easy to use, and everybody is familiar with it.

However, if you want a super-fast site, it might not be your best choice because it isn’t naturally the best website format for quick loading speed.

In that case, you can optimise the speed in a few ways:

  • Set up automatic platform updates
  • Invest in advanced security add ons
  • Use a plugin manager to deal with daily updates
  • Hire a developer to optimise your site layout
  • Switch to a premium hosting service
  • Optimise your images with smaller sizes that load faster
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)

Or, you can consult an expert when building your website to get a bespoke service that does exactly what you need it to do, right from the word go.

How Can I Guarantee my Hosting Service is up to Scratch?

The answer is simple – if you want a decent hosting service that is going to be an asset to your business, the key is to work with a digital expert.

At Woya, every client has the benefit of a premium hosting service – because we know how important your website is to your business. Premium hosting is worth its weight in gold (and if you’ve ever had to crisis manage a website crash, you’ll know what we mean!) – it includes benefits such as:

  • A fully managed hosting service.
  • Fast and secure loading speeds and connections.
  • Full back-up for immediate information recovery.
  • Dedicated support, so you know instantly if your site crashes.
  • Rapid responses and 24/7 support to manage problems efficiently.

Poor quality hosting leaves you vulnerable to security breaches, loss of business and crawling loading speeds that will see the most patient customer flick over to Insta for a bit of light relief. Premium hosting, in contrast, offers a lightning fast, modern service with complete oversight and control to provide your customers with the best possible digital experience.

The Lowdown on Back-ups, Updates and Business Website Security

You don’t need us to explain that updates are essential!

Software changes at the spur of the moment, and if you don’t keep up to date with updates, your site is NOT secure. It sounds simple, but it is a widespread problem that thousands of businesses run into – and often only notice when a security issue becomes severe.

35% of the internet is powered by WordPress but, of those sites, 49% are not on the latest version of WordPress. Even worse, 33% are at least 2 versions behind. When most of the updates are about security, this is quite a worrying set of facts!

A few things to mention about back-ups and website security:

  • A working website isn’t just one piece of software; it’s lots of widgets, add-ons, plugins, apps and parts of technology all functioning together like a jigsaw puzzle.
  • For example, if you use a WordPress website, that is just one component, not the whole website.
  • With a lot of services, daily updates aren’t unheard of – and it is beyond imperative to keep up to date with those, at the risk of exposing site security issues, or having pieces of software that stop working together correctly.

Online security is a massive challenge for millions of businesses, and the impact of poor site security can destroy healthy companies:

  • If your website is hacked, it can be disastrous.
  • Websites might display warnings to customers wanting to make a purchase.
  • Sales fall off a cliff, as nobody is going to enter their credit card details in a security-compromised website.
  • Information, data, and confidential company details can be stolen.

Digital security is just as important as locking your front door at night, and we have helped thousands of clients who didn’t know how vulnerable their business was to hackers – until the unthinkable happened.

How to Safeguard Business Website Security

You wouldn’t leave your warehouse doors open, your car keys in the ignition, or your petty cash tin out next to an open window, right!

Inadequate website security is just as dangerous as any of those things – and in some cases, much more so if you have commercially sensitive information or customer data exposed to criminal access.

  • Robust security means that your site is protected – and in the modern era, goodness knows there is no limit to the number of predators who hack business websites to blackmail and extort their owners.
  • Malware can be inserted into a weak website security system, making it part of a larger scam, and in some cases is simply created to cause disruption and chaos.
  • Phishing is something we’re all too aware of and means hackers break down security systems to steal credit card details or sensitive information.

All told, the impacts of poor site security can be catastrophic. There are, fortunately, lots of things you can do to protect your digital assets!

  1. Make regular back-ups. This sounds like another administrative task to add to your workload – but it’s time well spent.

Regular back-ups mean that your site functions well, that all your software pieces in the jigsaw puzzle keep communicating and working together properly, and that, crucially, your security is kept up to date.

We carry out daily back-ups on all client sites, to not one but two different sources. This may sound like overkill, but we have the absolute confidence that if a problem ever occurs – for whatever reason – we’ll get your site back up and running correctly within a matter of minutes!

  1. Take a copy of your website. Again, sounds maybe a little unnecessary? Not so.

If you take a copy of your website once it’s been built, if you have any problems with your hosting service, or need to find a replacement sharpish, you can take it anywhere you need to and have your site hosted and back live again.

Expert Support with Business Website Hosting and Security

In a nutshell – your website might just be the one most valuable asset to your business.

Many businesses spend a great deal of time and money on having an excellent website built, but don’t realise that without good quality hosting and diligent management, that might be time and money down the drain.

  • Don’t presume that your website is safe, or isn’t a target, because you aren’t a financial institution or a major company. Millions of small businesses suffer the consequences of hacking, security theft and data breaches every day (one every 19 seconds, to be exact!).
  • WordPress might be the most popular platform in the world, but their updates are mandatory, not optional – and if you don’t stay on top of updates, some parts of your website might fail, or become a new security risk.
  • Any site that isn’t updated regularly, and however often updates are released for each piece of component software, is vulnerable and exposed.

If you’re worried about your website performance, know that you could improve your digital presence but don’t know how, or would like to switch your business website hosting and security to an expert team who have your back day or night, give us a call!

Woya Digital is a fast-moving, technologically advanced and creative digital marketing agency that works with a huge range of companies to help them remain at the forefront of dynamic modern business! We design fantastic websites, have an outstanding track record in driving growth through targeted SEO, and can help with every aspect of managing and marketing your business in a way that delivers tangible results.

 

September 2020 – Mobile Friendly Website Cut-Off Date

September 2020 – Mobile Friendly Website Cut-Off Date

It’s news to no one: the world, and the world wide web, is mobile. More of us than ever have global information at our fingertips and in our back pockets in the form of smartphones and internet-connected tablets. It should be a given that websites are enabled to operate on mobile devices and smaller screens seamlessly – yet there are still businesses out there without having optimised their web content to a mobile friendly website. Their days however, are numbered … courtesy of Google.

Google have announced that from September 2020, they will start moving to mobile-first indexing for all websites that appear in their search results. They estimate that 70% of the websites in Google listings are already mobile friendly and won’t be negatively affected: but the 30% remainder will be.

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Put simply: mobile friendly websites will be featured at the top of search results, and those that aren’t will be ranked at the bottom.

Mobile-first indexing is the practice of ranking websites in search results based on their mobile friendly features. If a website is designed to automatically format properly no matter the device size or type, and includes like-for-like content (including text, videos, images, links, titles, descriptions and meta tags), it will be ranked higher in search results than those not formatted to be accessed on different devices.

Why is Google doing this?

More users than ever are accessing the internet through their portable devices, so optimising search results to feature more inclusive results first simply helps Google deliver a better experience to those using their site. Mobile-first indexing will provide a better customer service overall: keeping search results useful, readable and simple.

What does Mobile-First Indexing mean for your website’s SERP (Search Engine Result Page)?

If your business website is mobile-friendly, mobile-friendly indexing will have a positive impact on your SEO (search engine optimisation). However, if your business website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will be negatively impacted and demoted down the results.

SEO is a key marketing activity for businesses to enable visibility online against their competitors, and without careful management of SEO, it can be difficult for companies to be found on the internet. If there’s any chance that your business’ website could be ranked down as a result of these changes, action should be taken immediately to avoid this.

What action can be taken to avoid being ranked down as a result of Mobile-First Indexing?

First off, if you’re not sure whether or not your website is mobile friendly, check online to confirm.

If it looks as though you do need to take action to re-format your website, make it a priority amongst your internal marketing and IT objectives. Although the indexing won’t begin until September, any changes to your website should be made as early as possible.

Dependent on how your website was created and is managed on an ongoing basis, it may be that re-formatting it to include mobile optimisation is a simple task. If not, web designers will be able to make a fresh ‘copy’ of your existing site that is able to adapt to the device its being viewed from and may even be able to enhance the overall user experience of the site. This doesn’t mean creating a separate website to your existing, but rather recreating it in a better, more accessible format.

If your website does need to be re-formatted, there are mobile-friendly guidelines set by Google that lay out their requirements for an optimised mobile website. Web design professionals will be able to follow these guidelines to ensure that your new web offering fits and will be prioritised within search results.

Whilst not a standalone story in marketing terms, having a mobile-friendly website will contribute to marketing communications – individuals can be encouraged to carry out website actions ‘on the go’ or to download apps, dependent on requirements. If your business’ website has been unformatted for mobile purposes until now, subtly demonstrating to your audience that it has been revamped may be beneficial.

Will other SEO measures remain important?

Yes! While Mobile-First Indexing is part of how websites are ordered on Google search results, it’s not the be all and end all. Other factors such as domain authority, trusted links, easy-to-read and navigate pages and relevant content will all continue to play a part in search engine ranking. SEO should remain a priority for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

As SEO experts, Woya has the tools, the skills and the ability to improve your SEO rankings with our established search engine marketing techniques. We understand the art of supporting websites to rank higher in Google for keywords relevant to your business and potential client searches. Find out how your website is performing with our FREE online SEO Site Audit Report

 

Optimise Your Website for Voice Search

Optimise Your Website for Voice Search

The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and it is often difficult for a small business to keep up. One major change with the rise in digital assistants is the increasing importance of voice search.

Let’s take a closer look at what this is and how to optimise your website for voice search so that you have more chance of your website getting found.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search has come to prominence with home devices such as Alexa. You ask questions or make requests and Alexa or Siri come up with the relevant answers. Digital assistants are now used on smartphones and other mobile devices, and as consumers, we’re becoming more reliant on them.

Why Is It Important to Optimise Your Website for Voice Search?

When you type a search term into Google, you get a whole list of options stretching down the page. With voice search, you get a limited number. How we construct voice searches is also different. We might type ‘best Chinese restaurant London’ into Google where we would ask Alexa ‘where can I find the best Chinese restaurant in London’.

Voice searches tend to be longer and less abbreviated than text searches. It’s an important distinction to understand when you come to writing your small business web content.

Tips for Optimising Your Site for Voice Search

It’s a challenge to optimise for voice searches. It means tweaking your content and having a slightly different focus.

  • Ensure your website speed is optimised. Speed in search is very important in rankings, so make sure that your site downloads at the optimal speed. It’s a small factor in voice search, but an important one.
  • Have a content-rich site. Good quality content has long been important in digital marketing, so ensure that you provide valuable, interesting content. This is less about hitting the appropriate keywords as setting yourself as the expert, go-to site that puts you at the top of searches.
  • Have blogs written in a conversational style. Because we’re asking voice search devices for information, make sure areas of your site such as blogs are written less formally and more conversationally.
  • Focus on longer tail keywords. This is one part of how people search using voice and it’s important to understand all the different permutations of language that they are likely to use.
  • Add a Q&A section or page to your website. Users are likely to ask questions such as why, what, when etc. Adding a FAQ section to your website quickly creates search-friendly entries that are more likely to show up on voice.
  • Structured data in the site backend. This is something more on the technical side. Structured data and schema mark-up allow search engines to crawl your website efficiently. The backend is basically everything on your website that you don’t see such as the underlying code.

Implementing these relatively simple tips should help your small business manage search results for voice better. It means thinking about the content on your website a little differently based on how the average consumer will be searching via voice.

 

Woya Digital makes digital marketing affordable for any size business through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out how your website is performing with our FREE online SEO Sit Audit Report

How To Buy A Domain Name For Your Website

How To Buy A Domain Name For Your Website

The domain name, or home, for your business is a critical point for your company’s visibility. If customers can’t easily find your online presence, they’re unlikely to search for long, and may well find a competitor of yours instead. Domain names are a big market, and prices range from several pence to thousands of pounds depending on the terms used. Your domain name should be relevant, easy and intuitive.

What is a Domain Name?

Put simply, a domain name is the address of your website on the internet. Beginning with www. (an abbreviation for world wide web) and ending in a range of suffixes (the most common being .com, .co.uk, .net and .org), it is usually just your company’s name.

A domain name links through to your website, so when it’s typed into an internet browser or clicked through to, it directs to your business website. Your website doesn’t actually ‘live’ here as such, but it’s how it will be found.

How do I choose a Domain Name?

Normally, a domain name will be your business name. However, if for any reason this isn’t available, you may wish to pop in hyphens, shorten or abbreviate it or go for something else entirely. For example, if your company is a mechanics based in Sheffield, sheffieldmechanics.com may suit you rather than your business name.

Your website can have as many domain names as you like, although you should only communicate one for consistency. Other domain names may be in place to help potential customers swerve competitors or just to capitalise on random searches.

How do I find out Which Domain Names are Available?

Search! Domain name companies will be able to list out variations of your chosen name for you to select from. You may still be able to buy names directly from the owner, but this is often an expensive way to purchase and ideally, should be avoided.

Are Domain Name Prices Set?

Absolutely not! Domain name companies often host sales and different offers, so it makes sense to shop around. As with any purchase, you’ll find different price points and different levels of service from different providers, so only settle for someone that you feel works for you and your business. Most domain names can be bought from more than one provider, so there’s no need to find the name you want and buy it immediately without checking others.

How to Buy a Domain Name for Your Website

Different domain name companies will have different processes, but in most cases, you’ll need to select your domain name and/or service package, make a card payment, and it’ll be yours immediately. Once allocated to you, you can assign the domain name to direct to your business website and it will be ready to use within 24-hours. Domain name purchases are usually valid for a year, so unless subscribing for longer, you will need to re-purchase thereafter.

 

Woya makes new business websites affordable through our pay monthly, no upfront investment marketing packages. For more information and support with regards to getting your new business website up and running get in touch!

Why You Should Invest in a New Website

Why You Should Invest in a New Website

Never compromise with business visibility, especially online for your website. It is the cornerstone of professionalism, providing a first impression and encouraging people to do business with you (or not?). Looking at your current website, ask the question, should you invest in a new website?

Here are a few points to consider when deciding whether you should invest in a new website:

First Impressions Matter

We live in an increasingly tech savvy world (my seven year old ‘Googles’). Customers explore their options by reaching out and searching online for products and services, plus social media platforms for reviews. This makes it integral for any business to have a fantastic website. A branded business website will reflect your company values, professionalism and attitude. What does your website say to potential clients in the first 10 seconds? Try it!

Old Websites Lose Business

A old and poor website will most likely mean that you are losing potential new business. While not having a website at all is a major business failing, having an old or poorly designed website can be more damaging. For a professional business a website is integral for success and improving online visibility will have amazing results.

So What Makes Websites Old Fashioned?

Most of us have encountered websites that look old and tired. It doesn’t take long for technology to become out of date in this fast paced world. For a progressive business, having an awesome website is simply essential, for visibility, increased traffic and ultimately profitability.

Here are a few indicators of an outdated website:

Cluttered Webpages

Initially websites were filled with content affecting the navigation. Businesses are now encouraged in the direction of a simple responsive design that engages the visitor.

Non-Responsive Mobile Layout

This is essential as 60% of Google searches are now on a mobile! How does your website perform on a mobile phone, have you checked? Many businesses don’t focus on a responsive mobile website. While your website may be great on desktop, it is even more important that your site perform well and is easy to navigate or make sales on mobiles.

google mobile searches - new website

Share of online searches initiated on a mobile device, by industry – Source Hitwise

Poor Interface

The interface of a modern website should not feature outdated effects and design. Modern typography, visually pleasing layout and easy to understand text and navigation make up the essence of a modern website.

Why You Should Invest in a New Website?

Here are just a few reasons why a new website would benefit your business:

Improved Conversion

A modern website a lower bounce rate and a better conversion rate. If a website is impressive to a potential customer, there is an increased chance of converting them into a customer. By investing in a new website with the right marketing partner, companies actually contribute to their improved conversion rate. (Remember this doesn’t cost the earth with a #paymonthlywebsite solution from Woya Digital.

Customer Satisfaction

Customers are the backbone of any business. With cut-throat competition, you want to offer your customers the best services and retain them as customers. An effective website is a channel for effective and ongoing communication through regular updates and blogs.

Competitive Edge

A new business website will give you an edge over your competitors. When a customer is contemplating the market choice, an impressive and effective website can be the deciding factor.

Search Engine Optimisation

A poorly optimised site can translate into loss of potential business. A new search engine optimised website will improve your ranking on Google. Enabling you to direct more traffic to your site. This is critical to being found online.

Woya digital is a social media marketing agency based in Chichester. We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet. Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results! We are fantastic at social media management, website design and SEO. All paid monthly, with no upfront investment.

Why Your Mobile Website Needs to be Mobile Friendly?

Why Your Mobile Website Needs to be Mobile Friendly?

60 percent of retailers in the UK have integrated mobile commerce solutions in their business models.

That means they have a mobile website that works!

According to PAC, an independent European research and advisory firm:

Considering the wide adoption from the business community, the message is pretty clear, It’s time to make your mobile website, mobile friendly… But what has prompted this approach? Why is there such a craze among webmasters to develop a mobile responsive website? Let’s take a look.

Tapping the Massive Audience

Currently there are 3.5 billion users connected to the digital world of internet through globally residing IPs. Out of these 3.5 billion users, 60 million dwells in the UK. Refine it further and you will find that 70 percent of the internet users (aged 16 or above) access internet through their mobile phones and smart phones. We tried summarising it and the conclusion we reach is:

Whether you are in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales – if you are on the internet right now, statistically the chances are that you are on your mobile phone.

Now with such a massive audience to tap, who wouldn’t want to have a mobile website, mobile friendly?

You Don’t Just Have an Audience, You Have a Flock of Customers

Tapping a large audience doesn’t always translate into more business opportunities. But here, you have the McFlurry and you have the M&M as well to top off the experience. A report from Capgemini and IMRG revealed that during December 2016, 47 percent of the retail sales were made through mobiles. The report further goes on to predict that the ecommerce sales in the UK will cross the figure of £500billion by 2020. Out of which mobile commerce will contribute to a whopping share of 45 percent.

You have the audience and you have a consolidated niche that is ready to earn you some significant business.

Here is a bonus for our readers: Clothing, books and home electronics were the most popular consumer products that the residents of the UK purchased over the internet over the last two years. So all the concerned retailers, it’s time to call a meeting with your webmasters.

In the World of Internet, Google is the Ruler

Google too appears to be strongly advocating the idea of mobile compatible websites. With its recent algorithm updates, the search engine has been prioritising mobile friendly websites on its ranking table among the returned SERPs. Search engine optimization is the rule of law in this kingdom and webmasters are always looking for strategies and practices that can help them rank higher on SERPs.

As such having a mobile website that is mobile friendly can help you boost your website ranking.

And in the End, it’s the Reputation that Matters

The whole concept of a mobile website that is mobile friendly is to provide convenience to the users. They can access from the comfort of their palms, anytime and anywhere. That is the future as this improves a customer’s online experience and accents your mobile website and brand with glowing reputation.

When your customers are satisfied and you have a burgeoning reputation in the market. Nothing can stop you from being a competitive player in your industry.

Need Some Help?

The team at Woya Digital is here to help you out. We offer pay monthly mobile website solution that is customised and managed. No upfront cost and backed by a reliable infrastructure. From SEO to mobile websites that are mobile compatible, we will integrate everything that you need for your new mobile website to be successful.