L
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Doing business in China – websites and ICP

Can I get a .CN domain name?

Yes, it’s not as straight forward as getting a .co.uk domain but if you have a driver’s license or a passport then you should be able to secure a .CN domain for a provider that offers it
Now you have a .CN domain, you can do pretty much what you want with it. Treat it as a .COM. but, this does not increase your profile on the Chinese network.

You will need to get hosting within China. This is where all the red tape starts to pile up. In order to operate a website legally in China you will need to have at the very least an ICP number or an ICP License. No hosting company will allow you to host without one.

We have servers in China and we had to go through this complicated and convoluted process of applying for an ICP to get them. I’ll discuss this in a different blog or if your needs are more urgent why don’t you contact us.

So why host in China?

Simple answer, you want to get high in the search results in  Google. In China there is no Google. So you need to get high up in Baidu. The most used search engine in China. Again getting on Baidu is not straight forward. You will need a Chinese mobile phone. And ICP number and a website hosted in China to get the most out of it.

Is it worth doing all of this? I think you have to look at it project by project and what is your budget for your investment. My recent visits to China have identified several service sectors that are crying out for western delivery of products and services, education being an attractive one.

I will write more on our work in china and our links with companies out there. If you would like to speak to us regarding our Chinese links and networks call us today.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools

Why do you have a website? You want to promote yourself, sell a thing-a-ma-gig or get a message out there in the big world of the internet. So how do you know if it is doing the job you had planned for it to do?

If you had a shop this can be easily done, you count how many people come in, you can ask them how they found you and you can note what they are looking at in your shop. So why not do this on your website? You can and it’s not that hard to setup and work with… and if you do it yourself it’s FREE!

Google offer a set of tools on your Google account for all the websites you own. the tools that you need to set up immediately Google Analytics, Google Search console, Google Webmaster Tools and Google Business. If you have not got these tools then set them up immediately.

After you have created your Google account and validated all of your websites with analytics, search console and webmasters tools you will gradually build up profile data of your visitors, where they come from and how they found you. Now that is useful, you can see if your website plan and goals are being hit. If not then you can adjust it and then measure your websites change.

So what info can you get?

Search Queries

The Search Queries section shows the keywords that led users to your site.

This list shows which keywords users searched for when they came to your site. This tool is essential as you will see if your search engine optimisation (SEO) is working the way you want it.

In the Search Queries section, you can also see the number of impressions and the number of clicks, which gives you an idea about the Click-through Rate CTR for this keyword. All equal, a higher CTR means the keyword is relevant, so you might want to invest some more efforts into this keyword.

 

Google Analytics Sample
Google Analytics Sample

Links

An equally useful section of Google Webmaster Tools is the Links to your site section. You need to get inbound links for your website as soon as possible, this is especially important at your websites launch.

Here you can see where your backlinks (internal and external) come from, as well as the pages they are linking to one of the advanced uses of the Links section is to disavow links to your site you deem harmful. Links from bad sites can hurt your rankings, so if you will need to remove them.

 Keywords

Similarly to the Search Queries section that also deals with keywords (but it is the ones users type to get to your site), the Keywords section also shows keywords. However, the difference is that here you see what keywords (and their significance) Google has found on your site. The two lists (of keywords users’ type and the keywords Google finds on your site) could be very different, which means you are not optimizing for what users are searching for.

The Keywords section also allows to see the subject and proposition of your site, which post Panda has become even more important.

There are other more advanced tools that we will not discuss here as this post is an introduction into getting data from your site. These include crawl errors, Sitemaps, Robot files and other stuff!

In conclusion you have to ask yourself or the person/company who is managing your website do we have Google tools set up for it. IF NOT…WHY NOT?

All of our packages come with Google Tools set up free as standard. Find the right package for you in our pricing page.

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