Building a new website is a no mean feat. Given that the web keeps changing constantly, you can no longer make do with a static website. You must be able to update your site, add fresh content and do a lot more to stay ahead of your competition.
That’s where a content management system (CMS) comes in. There are several options, but WordPress is by far one of the best options for new website owners.
WordPress is Free
WordPress is an open source platform and it’s completely free. This means that you can build your business website on a limited budget. What’s more, a lot of plugins (these help you to add features and functions to your WordPress) are free too.
By building a WordPress site and the free plugins, you get to use the saved money on creating content and website promotion.
Easy Peasy Content Management
The best part about the WordPress CMS is that you can easily publish your content. You don’t need to have any technical skills to be able to publish, revise, edit or update your content.
If you can use a word processor, you can easily publish a blog post and even add images to your post. Even editing, updating and revising your content is a breeze. Simply make the changes and click the update button, and you’re done!
Get Found Easily
You want people to find your business, product or blog posts.
WordPress helps to this end by formatting your website in a manner that makes navigating your site easy for the search engine bots. WordPress also makes it easy to refine the meta data and title tags without the need for any code.
You can optimise your website for the search engines easily using SEO plugins like Yoast.
Perhaps, you have already heard a lot about the importance of a having a mobile-friendly website. With more than 50% of the Internet traffic across the world coming from mobile devices, this is the hard truth.
Whether you are adding text, images, videos, product catalogues or reviews – every kind of content you add to your site must load quickly and display appropriately on mobile devices.
A mobile-optimised WordPress website can ensure your website fits the size of the device its accessed on.
Are you ready to build a WordPress website for your business? LS25 Web Design can build you a mobile-ready, professionally designed website at affordable prices. Talk to us today.
Your website isn’t something you are done with once it’s has been created. It’s a proactive project that needs to be cared for regularly to make sure your site continues to deliver the results you desire.
Once your website is live on the Internet, be sure to carry out some essential maintenance tasks. Let’s take a look at what these tasks should be.
Carry Out User Testing
You have taken pains to build a site that provides a stellar user experience. But the reality is that the Internet undergoes rapid changes. A design element or feature that felt right in the 90s won’t work its charm in 2018.
To ensure your site is still meeting the needs of your users, be sure to do a usability testing once a year.
Get those who are not linked to your brand/business to have a look at your site and give you a fresh perspective. Ensure the testing covers all major device types and browsers.
Be sure to carry out the updates and changes as necessary.
Fix Broken Links
When someone clicks on a broken link, they’re redirected to a 404 page. This can frustrate users. When a dead link appears on your site, it creates a bad impression and your visitors may exit your site.
That’s why it’s important to carry out this task.
Once every three months, check your website for broken links. Either replace the broken link with an updated link or remove the link.
Finding broken links is easy. You can use a free broken link finding tool like Google Search Console.
Back Up Your Website
What if your site comes in harm’s way and a hacker hijacks it or a malicious code finds its way to your site? It’s better to prepare for the worse than repenting.
So be sure to backup your website once a month. Even if your website gets hacked or any data gets lost for whatever reason, you know you can easily bring your website back live in no time.
Assess the Important Metrics
Google Analytics offers a lot of useful data and information about how people find their way to your site and use your site. A regular review of your analytics data can help you to ensure your site is doing what it’s supposed to.
Don’t Ignore Website Maintenance
Just like your car, your website also needs to be cared for every once in a while. If your website is important to you, then there’s no denying that you need to take the time to check your site. It helps you save money, time as well as unnecessary trouble.
Every business owner realises that their website is an important part of their business. After all, the first contact your prospective customers have is with your website when they are looking for your services.
However, the web is evolving rapidly and your old site might not be keeping up with the times. Whether your website was developed a decade ago, you’re looking for a modern design or you want your website to be mobile friendly, a website redesign is not a small task. It calls for preparation.
Here’s a checklist that will help you prepare for your website redesign.
Analyse Your Goals
Every project should start with a goal in mind. The same holds true for your website redesign project. Evaluate your current site. Why do you want a redesign? Why is now the appropriate time for it?
Create a list of things you want from your new website.
Carry Out a Content Audit
Assess the current content on your site. Do you want to keep most of this content? How much of the content stays and how much of it will be discarded? What new content would you require?
Content helps with your rankings, branding and it even helps your visitors. So do not simply discard all your existing content. However, this is a good time to remove all the fluffy stuff.
As part of your content audit, analyse each page on the site to determine what will be removed and what will be kept.
Also bear in mind that a lot of your URLs are on the web – on emails, other sites and on social channels. When transferring to a new website, ensure that the current URLs are considered.
Create a New Sitemap
Now that the content audit is done, it’s time to create a new sitemap.
A sitemap is essentially a list of pages on your site. It will help you in visualizing what your new site would look like, where would all the content go in the redesign.
Identify Your Target Audience
This is an important step. After all, every element on your website – the website copy, the images, the navigation and the features – will depend on your target audience is.
A website aimed at doctors would be different from a website aimed at plumbers.
Take a deep look into your analytics to get an insight into your visitors. Identify where your visitors are coming from. For instance, if they are landing on your site from email, you want to create a high-impact landing page.
Assess Your Competition
A competitor analysis will help you to understand what your competitors are doing and how they are positioning themselves on the web. Analyse what you like and don’t like about your competitors’ sites. Of course, you don’t want to simply copy your competition.
Hire the Right Web Design Agency
Once you’ve prepared for your website redesign, it’s time to hire the right web design agency. At LS25 Web Design, we provide professional web design services across the UK at affordable prices. Get in touch with us today for a free website audit and consultation.
Several factors come into play when it comes to choosing a web host. However, the size of the host shouldn’t be one of them. Big is not always better. Let’s see why.
A small hosting service can provide a lot of personal attention.
Big brand hosting companies handle hundreds of thousands of clients. This can bring in complacency, which can affect the commitment level of the staff.
When the team has a lot on its plate, they may not be completely committed to every customer given that a lot of customers are vying for their attention.
On the other hand, a small hosting company is able to provide every customer personalised attention. Because they have fewer clients, they can focus on meeting the client’s needs.
Small hosting companies are popular irrespective of their size because they are able to offer what big hosts cannot.
A boutique hosting company does not have a large corporate hierarchy, and the entire team works together to achieve one goal – customer satisfaction.
Larger agencies, on the other hand, are muddled by corporate hierarchy, politics, job descriptions, systems, targets and more.
The bigger the company, the bigger are its overheads. This will eventually reflect in their pricing, and result in higher pricing. With small hosting agencies, you are able to get the most value for every penny you pay
As a small business, the hosting company is looking to generate sales and would be happy to offer its services at a small margin.
Whether you are looking to cut costs or are simply looking for the best value hosting, a small hosting company can come really handy.
A small hosting company would go to any lengths to provide a solid customer experience. They are willing to go the extra mile. However, larger hosting companies have a huge process and system in place that can really slow things down. So when you have a support request, you are in no mood to wait for a day to receive a response. A small hosting company will be able to offer timely and quick response time for all your queries and complaints.
Whether you are looking to lower the hosting costs or are looking for a smooth experience, choosing a small hosting company can make all the difference. Large hosts are too busy to take care of every small need you might have.
At LS25 Web Hosting, we provide nationwide hosting services and provide our services to some of the top brands across the UK. Get in touch with us today for more information.
The URL structure is an important part of a good SEO strategy. However, given that it’s a tiny thing, it’s not a huge priority for most. The URL is the first thing your visitors see. It plays a huge role in creating a good impression. Here, we look at four benefits of keeping your URLs short and optimising the URL structure.
You must have come across websites with really long URLs that made you suspect it’s a spam site, even though it was a normal website. Websites with long URLs stuffed with strange characters look really spammy. A clean and short URL, on the other hand, gives out the feeling that it’s trustworthy and authoritative.
Ensure that every URL on your website passes the readability test. Read it aloud. Does the URL sound complicated? Does the URL give a clue about the content of the page?
The URL structure has an impact on your website’s rankings in the search engines. Although it’s not a direct signal for ranking, it has the SEO juice that can influence your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
For instance, when you include your keyword in the URL, Google and your readers know what the page is about. However, avoid stuffing in all your keywords in a URL. Use your target keyword in the shortened URLs.
Easy Site Growth
As your website grows, you may have to add more pages, categories and sections across the site. When you shorten and simplify the URL structure, site expansion and navigation becomes a breeze.
Long, complicated URLs make the crawling difficult for the search bots.
When your URLs are short and simple, growing your site also becomes easy.
Sharing is Easy with Short URLs
Short URLs make the job of social sharing easy for your visitors. Just visualize how a long-winding and complicated URL will look like when shared on social media and email? Not only will it look weird, a long URL is difficult to memorise.
Which of the two links below are you highly likely to share?
www.example.com/web-design-agency or www.example.com/web-design-agency/pagetwo.xflp=p8
In all likelihood, you’d prefer sharing the first link.
Simplify Things with a Short URL Structure
Improving the URL structure of your website might look like a cumbersome task, but it’s not that difficult. Be practical and logical, and things will become easier. We hope that this brief guide has helped you in understanding why short URL structures are better for you, your SEO and your visitors.
For any information about our web design service, get in touch with us today.
Website speed plays an important role in improving traffic and conversions on your site. In fact, a majority of the Internet users expects a website to load quickly. In fact, every one-second delay in load time reduces your conversions by 7%.
Given that people have a very short attention span, it is important to ensure your site loads quickly. Here are some ways to improve your website load time.
When a visitor lands on your site, the site will load up all the images. Your web design agency knows this. As an experienced web design agency, we usually resize all images that we use as part of your website development.
However, the problem arises when you upload you’re the images yourself. If you don’t usually resize the images before uploading to your WordPress (or any other CMS) website for example, your site may have very huge pictures that could potentially slow the load time.
You can resize your image using Photoshop, Paint or bulk image resizing software. Here at LS25 Web Design, we use the leading WordPress image optimisation tools.
When you want a quick loading site, be sure to activate browser caching. With browser caching enabled, some of the downloadable files will be stored in the visitor’s browser. When the visitor visits your site again, the site will load faster.
Browser caching not only helps reduce the load time, but it also lowers the bandwidth usage for you as well as your visitors.
Host Videos on External Platforms
This is a handy tip if you are looking to add videos to your site.
Let’s say you want to add an intro video on your homepage.
Videos not only take a lot of hosting space, they can really slow your site down when multiple users are trying to access the same video.
Instead of uploading it to your site, consider uploading videos to external hosting platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo and embed the video on your website.
Choose a Reliable Hosting Service
We can’t emphasise enough the importance of choosing the right hosting plan and service. Choose a plan that’s right for your requirements and choose a company that guarantees 99.9% uptime. Don’t be blown away by hype, brand or offers. We pride ourselves in provide exceptionally reliable hosting to our customers, backed up with fantastic customer support.
If you are struggling with a slow loading website, consider our free site consultation. We can help you find the issues and even provide an action plan to help fix the issues. Get in touch with LS25 Web Design today.
You’ve decided to build a website for your business. You’ve given it a thought and you’ve realised the benefits of having an online presence. So the next step is to choose a domain name, hire a web design agency and choose a hosting service.
Given that there are several web hosts in the market - from small companies to big-brand players - how do you choose a web hosting company?
A recent study suggests that companies around the world prefer to use the services of local web hosts, and with good reason. Let’s take a look at the benefits of choosing a local web hosting company.
Local hosts are able to provide a personalised service. Whether you have a support request or a clarification, your phone call is directed to a customer support staff instead of a complex IVR loop. Your emails are answered swiftly and promptly without any delay.
A big-brand host, on the other hand, will not be able to provide such personalised customer support. Given that they are flooded by enquiries, they won’t be able to give each customer so much attention.
Speed and Performance
When you choose a local host, you benefit from better speed and performance. A locally hosted website is thrice as fast when compared to a website that’s hosted with an international host.
Because the web servers are located closer to home, your site will load faster. The closer your host is located from your website visitors, the faster is the load time.
Several hosting companies from America have a worldwide presence. However, their servers are located in their home country. This is of significance especially if your target market is the UK. With your host further from your visitors, your website’s speed and performance is affected.
When it comes to hosting your website, uptime is a major consideration. More important that is the customer support. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong and your website goes offline, you want to work with a company that can offer quick and prompt support.
As a local web hosting service, LS25 Web Hosting offers reliable and prompt customer support to all our customers. Whether you have a question or a support request, we are happy to serve you and respond to your questions quickly.
Contact Us Today
Get in touch with us today and benefit from all the advantages of working with a local web hosting service.
Passwords have become a part of our lives. Anything you on the Internet requires a password. Of course, it makes sense given the increasing instances of cyber attacks. With websites getting hacked in a variety of ways, having a hack-proof password for your website is very important.
Generic passwords like abcd1234, 123456, your mother’s maiden name or your birthday won’t help. Anything that can be guessed easily isn’t a good password. Here are some tips to help you create a strong password for your website.
Get the Basics Right
In addition to avoiding the passwords discussed above, there are several things you can do to strengthen your password. Your password should have:
Do What Gamers Do
Usernames are taken quickly in the online world. This forces users to become creative with their usernames. People generally use letters, random numbers or misspellings to get the username they want.
You could apply this strategy to your password too.
For instance, you could use ‘3’ to replace ‘E’ or ‘0’ in place of ‘O. Misspellings are another great way to create an identity that’s close to the one you want. Add an extra ‘A’ or change a ‘Z’ to “S’.
Say someone gets their hands on your personal information including the password. What then? That’s where multi-factor authentication can come really handy. Multi-factor authentication helps verify your account when accessed from a new/unrecognised device.
If there’s an activity that seems suspicious, you receive an email/message to alert you about the login. A lot of businesses these days use multi-factor authentication to secure their clients’ information. Consider doing this for your website and wherever possible.
So in the unfortunate event that someone cracks your password, you’ll receive a notification immediately, so you can reset the password and keep hackers away from your account.
When it comes to website security, never leave things to chance. Put extra effort to create strong passwords. After all, your passwords keep your information and website safe from the prowling eyes of intruders and hackers.
If you have surfed the Internet long enough, you must have observed that most URLs begin with “http://”. You must have also noticed that some URLs begin with “https://”. So what does this extra “s” signify?
In simple words, the extra “s” signifies that you are connecting to the website in a secure manner and that any data you enter on the site is encrypted to ensure it is shared with the website safely. SSL is the technology behind HTTPS.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer
So why should you use HTTPS on your website? Let’s explore some important reasons why.
HTTPS Helps Keep Intruders Away
As a website owner, you must protect every website you own with HTTPS, especially if you handle sensitive data. HTTPS ensures that intruders can’t tamper with the communication between your site and browsers of your users.
Intruders come in many forms – hackers, malicious attackers and even legitimate companies that are highly intrusive such as hotels/ISPs that may inject adverts. For instance, someone could inject ads on your site that could spoil the user experience and even lead to security flaws. They could even trick users to share sensitive information.
HTTPS Helps Protect Your Users’ Privacy
When your site is unprotected, it is exposed. Any information that your users share on your site could be exploited by intruders.
HTTPS ensures that intruders cannot passively listen to the communication between your site and your visitors. Even if your site does not handle sensitive data, it helps to secure it with HTTPS. Intruders could exploit unprotected HTTP connections to find information about identity and behavior of your visitors.
HTTPS is Good for SEO
Google wants to offer the best experience to searchers. To that end, it has been amending its algorithm constantly. What happens when Google ranks two sites equally for a search query? What would be the tie-breaker here?
Yes, there would be. And it’s HTTPS.
If every other quality signal is equal for two sites, the site with HTTPS might get an extra boost to overtake the other.
Secure in Search Results
If your website handles sensitive data, it is mandatory to secure it with HTTPS. Else, your site would show as unsecure in the results pages. This could have a small yet significant impact on your traffic and conversions.
There you go. If you want to offer users a safe and secure experience while cementing your SEO further, then HTTPS is the way to go. Need help installing SSL on your website? LS25 Web Design can help. Get in touch with us today for more information.
A web host is any company that provides the resources to host your website on. When your visitors type your URL on their web browser, a connection is established with the respective server, and your site shows up.
A great looking website will prove ineffective if your hosting service is ineffective. So it is critical to choose a reliable web hosting service. Here are some signs to look for when choosing a web host.
Guarantees Server Uptime
High server uptime is the first sign of a good web host. A lower uptime can affect your brand reputation and even lower your conversions. So be sure to choose a hosting service that offers an uptime of 99.9%. Your host should provide a legitimate uptime guarantee in the form of a clause in their service contract.
Offers Exceptional Technical Assistance
Your website needs to work 24/7 so this dictates that you should expect exceptional support from your web host. You should be able to get in touch with your service provider when your website is experiencing a technical problem to get it up and ready quickly.
The hosting company should also offer multiple contact points. In addition to standard telephone, chat and email options, an exclusive portal to lodge your complaints would be great.
Offers an Easily Manageable Platform
You should be able to host your content management system easily. If the hosting platform is complicated, you’ll end up paying extra for hired technical assistance. Work on the prospective host’s demo platform to determine how easy it is to use.
Offers Flexible Subscription Options and Reasonable Pricing
Choose a host that offers multiple options for subscription such as a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly and a yearly subscription plan. This way, you’ll be able to try the provider for a trial period before you decide to subscribe further. Also, if they offer any discounts on long-term subscriptions.
Compare pricing and features provided by multiple service providers and eliminate those that you feel are heavily priced for the same features.
A web host should be there for you when you grow, to scale up your website accordingly to meet your needs.
For example, if you are planning to open your online stores soon, your web host should be able to scale your existing platform to meet such needs.
Similarly, if you are planning an aggressive growth strategy, your web host should be able to upgrade simultaneously, say to a dedicated server.
Analyse your needs first to end up with the right provider. Take help of online reviews and customer feedback additionally to increase your chances of success.