While we have been away!

I was looking at our Fungrenade site today and thought ‘ooo, we are breaking our own rules of web management’ not keeping your site up to date.
So I put on my extremely large to do list ‘write up an update of what we as group of companies have been up to’.

We can’t start without mentioning COVID-19 and the impact it has had on businesses in the area. We have been working with Steve Tottle Tae kwon do to set up Virtual Teaching Environments for their students so they can keep training during the lock down, using social media as the initial arena to share recordings and developing Learning Management System to access pre-recorded patterns and skills content. An added bonus this also gives them the ability to broadcast sessions live for subscribers and students unavailable to attend the group session.

“Working from home”, I think that way of working has changed astronomically in the past 2 months. Before it meant, I have a boiler man coming around and you can call me on my mobile IF you need me. Not any more, working from home NEEDS to be at the very least as productive as sitting in your office. The technology is there! Telephone systems over SIP that can redirect, file systems stored securely on the cloud, face to face meetings over the web. The important thing is to get these processes in place before they are needed. Or to use the old adage ‘make hay when the sun shines’

People have experienced the COVID impact over the past 2 months in the UK, however we have been working with companies/schools in China since January. So from a technical perspective we have had a two month head start to get our processes right.

And what a great time to design and build a new website! A local community council thinks so to so we are building their new site to go live during the lock down. proof that nothing can stop a committed organisation from developing and growing.

Like I said a quick update. So I will sign off by saying stay safe and stay home!

Where you host your website is crucial to your success

In this day and age I struggle to understand why people in Wales and the UK host their websites in the US, Amsterdam (there is a huge cloud presence in the Netherlands, Azure, Amazon Web hosting etc) the only thing I can assume is the lack of knowledge that they are hosting abroad and they think hey are hosting within the UK

Having said all of that, is getting your website hosted overseas the only option that you want to go for? Don’t you want to consider if there are any benefits in getting your site hosted locally or within the similar time zone as yours? It so happens that not all classes of webmasters benefit from getting their websites hosted overseas. There are few key points that need to be considered before opting for a web host located in a remote country.
The biggest advantage that you get out of hosting your website overseas comes in form of low cost; having said that, low price doesn’t necessarily mean good service. If you are in UK, you should not doubt the low-cost hosting service you are getting from a place like India or the US. They offer low prices because of their overall low cost of operations, so there is no reason to doubt their competency.
However, what can be a difference maker is the kind of customer support you get from such budget web hosting providers. Looking at the growing competition in hosting industry, it’d be safe to say without any doubt that the professionals working for these hosts are well trained, but you still need to make sure that you get 24/7 customer support because of the time zone differences.

A person searching for your domain sitting in China will see your website’s rank higher in search engines if your website is hosted in China. A person sitting in US and UK won’t see the same search engine results as the one sitting in China. In simpler words, you already know that SERP ranking affects the amount of traffic you get to your website, so before finalizing the country where you would want to host your website, think about the audience you want to target. It is always suggested to host your website in a country from where you expect the maximum amount of traffic. google does look at your domain and weights the results based on the country of the admin details, but I have not measured any difference.
A user living far away from the server of your website will always see your website loading very slowly compared to the person who is closer to the server. A slow website always irritates the visitor and they normally tend to switch to another similar website. And, you don’t want that to happen to your website, do you?

So, once again you need to choose your location of hosting such that your maximum potential visitors come from places closest to the place of hosting.
All the points discussed above clearly go to show you that there are enough number of pros and cons of hosting your website overseas. And, all that you need to do is to think about your website’s future and what you expect from it; this would certainly help you in finalizing the location of the hosting company you want to work with.

If your user base is with in wales, or the UK then you need to ensure your hosting package is in the UK. Use our where is your website hosted service to see which country your website is hosted in and call us to help you bring your website home!

Does my website need an SSL?

The short answer to this question is no, most websites don’t require an SSL certificate. However in this day and age there is a stronger reason to have one than not.

SSL connection, displayed on your browser as HTTPS:// is a connection between the website you are looking at and your computer that is secure (encrypted). Why is that important? Well if you are in a shop you wouldn’t shout your credit card details at the cashier would you? It’s the same on the internet. There is no guarantee that the networks you cross to visit the website that no one is eves dropping on you and what you are doing. And in the modern age, personal data is just as important as financial data. So in my opinion every website should be encrypted to protect the person visiting it and potentially leaving data on it.

SSL certificates make your website more trustworthy. For websites that take payments, this trust is absolutely essential, but even non-ecommerce websites can benefit from having a little extra trust.
Web browsers display a symbol to show when a website has an SSL certificate. For example, Firefox displays a green bar and Google Chrome shows a green tick. Although many customers may not know that the symbol means you have an SSL certificate, they are likely to recognise it from other trustworthy websites.

Google have put more weight on websites that run secure. This was not a major algorithm update contained within say the Panda update but it runs an a per URL basis. Which means that its beneficial for all websites to have SSL

An SSL certificate is essential for any company that takes sensitive information such as its customers’ credit card details. Whether non-ecommerce websites decide to add an SSL certificate to increase trust is one thing, for ecommerce websites it’s not just a matter of trust but security.
This may not apply to all websites that sell goods online. Some eCommerce websites use an external payment processor such as PayPal to manage payments and so no sensitive credit card information is sent between the user and their website. If this is how your business works you may not need an SSL certificate. However, as mentioned before, there are other benefits to having an SSL certificate – an increase in trust and a potential increase in conversions, with the fact that the internet is not secure for example.

These days, more and more cyber-criminals try to spoof company emails. Banks are the most common type of company that’s targeted. Cyber-criminals create fake websites that are identical to the bank’s real website and send out emails (with email addresses that are very similar to the bank’s) asking customers to login for security purposes.
What’s the main difference between the genuine bank website and the fake one? You guessed it! An SSL certificate. The fake bank website won’t have the green bar or tick that shows it’s legitimate.
If your customers use your website and know to expect a green bar or tick icon then if you do get hacked they’ll know that the other website isn’t legitimate.

This should be reason enough for most websites to install an SSL. But to really seal the deal so to speak is that in most cases of hosting SSL can be obtained freely! By a not for profit organisation call Lets Encrypt.

We give SSL certificates to all of or Linux hosting packages, which includes WordPress hosting. So there is nothing really stopping you getting up the search engines and protecting your customers

Linux Vs Windows (hosting Alien Vs Predator)

Or It feels as it should be… it polarizes developers. Most web hosting companies use either one of two operating systems on their servers. We use both and other solutions as there are more solutions to problems on the internet but that’s not the point of this post. The two main platforms are Windows and Linux. What is the difference between the two and how do they effect your web hosting?

Linux is one of the most prevalent operating systems for web hosting, because it is inexpensive and lightweight however anything other than a simple static website it needs a great understanding. Windows is the other choice because they have world class support. However there are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences in how the two operate.

The next thing that you may notice about your web hosting is how you are able to access and transfer files to and in the server. Both operating systems have FTP access, but Linux is usually the only one that supplies telnet or ssh access as well. It’s not that Windows can’t do that, but it’s very rarely offered by hosting admins. However if you have a colo or one of our VPS systems then on windows you can use remote desktop to administer your windows server instance.

Linux and Windows servers can both provide CGI and Perl, PHP and ASP, though Linux is the one that you find those on more commonly. Both operating systems may also provide ColdFusion.

If you need a host that offers .NET, MSACCESS or windows app support with or without MSSQL then windows hosting is what you need. If you want it self manged or use core support then that is something you have to write into your software solution.
If you are going to run dynamic websites, you are going to want to be able to build and access databases. You may be familiar with mySQL, or perhaps you have used Access. If you are used to seeing mySQL and working with that, you have probably been on a Linux server. Windows can run it but it’s rare that you find mySQL on Windows and those servers are usually running Access.

Two seemingly small but rather important differences between Linux and Windows web hosting servers is how they write the pages, and whether or not they are case sensitive. Windows and Linux servers will serve pages in HTML and Javascript. However, Linux servers end name files with *.html versus Windows, which uses only *.htm. This is not entirely important beyond what your preference may be.

Some people may site FrontPage extensions as a Windows exclusive feature, but some Linux servers will provide this as well.

The last difference, case sensitivity, is actually very important. With Linux, file and directory names are case sensitive. So if you name a file AboutUs.html, and another page in the same directory as aboutus.html, you actually will have to completely different pages. Your visitors will have to enter your page URLs precisely or risk landing on 404 error pages. Windows servers however really don’t care about upper and lowercase. On a Windows server, you would only have one aboutus.html page, no matter where you put or left out capitalization.

These differences between server operating systems may sound insignificant, but they can have a major impact on how you manage your site as well as your site traffics experience with your site. Armed with knowing which operating system does what, you can find or set up a web hosting server that will best meet your needs.

In conclusion windows Vs Linux is rather a moot point. They are two different tools to help you get your application on line and working for you.