Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

We’re all tempted to go for one company to solve all our needs, one voice to filter everything out and offer the service you want. Is it really the best idea, let us explore why we think multiple agents and contacts is best for your online presence.

We’re going to break this down into the technical/marketing and sales sides of your digital world, starting with our speciality, the technical side;

Domain Name

Your website address, URL or common name Domain is your online identity, many of us have built our business name around the domain name we could purchase, be that fizzyblonde.uk, archers.law, or musicisthekey.door the variations you can choose from are fantastic, so after spending hours searching for the domain name, buy it yourself!

You will then own this, it won’t be accidentally purchased by another company, and you have all the rights to move it anywhere you like and it’s yours. Now we can sell you domain names, but we always advise our customer to purchase them elsewhere to keep things more secure and give them freedom.

Hosting

You can get hosting directly from a supplier, you can buy it from a reseller and you can buy it with you domain registrar. All are equally as good, but ask yourself what would happen in a nightmare scenario? If you purchase it from the web designer with your site and the designer doesn’t pay for their hosting, your site goes down and your on-line reputation is damaged. Maybe they go out of business, they are backing it up for you, or they offer you a great annual deal and forget to tell you that little changes are chargeable at their hourly rate.

If you take out the hosting yourself, you have control of the account, you’ve paid and if the developer goes under the hosting was separate and your site will live on. Any changes you want to make, can be done when you like and free of charge. You don’t have to wait until their office hours, and pay their fee, just contact the hosting company, ask them how and do it.

Website

Let’s not go into too much detail here, you can read our previous article about why we think you should do it yourself here

Platform

This is paramount, as choosing the wrong one at the start could be disastrous to your site and cost you loads later on. WordPress is by far the most popular at the moment as it’s versatile and easy to setup but if you’re focusing on a shop front have a look at Magneto or Prestashop. If you’re confused go on a few courses and learn about them or read up on-line.

SEO

Most website development company and hosting companies will offer some degree of SEO for your site, but did you know there are loads of tools out there you can use for free to get you started. Have a look at Hypestar SEO tool, or for a more technical one, try dareboost.com. These are great if you want to save a bit of money and some time, but more importantly you can run these and keep them as comparisons to see how the professionals have done.

On that note, I think SEO is paramount and well worth paying for! Get a copywriter to help you write content, find a photographer to take pictures, getting the right people together the best way, but don’t over reach! If you’re testing a website and aren’t ready for the ecommerce plugin, skip the photographer and hire them when ready.

Having a separate approach allows you to manage you cash flow better and really lets you get the site you deserve.

Sales

Online sales, the place to be… get a SSL certificate. Google is not picking on sites without it even if they aren’t ecommerce sites, SSL certificates help SEO and secure your sites. Free ones such as Let’s Encrypt work great for none commerce sites but paid ones come with security and insurance. You can buy them from source, but since they are addons to your site, just get them from your hosting company.

Finally… before deciding if we’re right with the DIY approach, it’s worth mentioning that although you are certainly going to have an easier time paying someone to do everything, you’re never going to be in control of your property, your assets will always be available to someone.

Would you do that with your Car or House?

Go with different companies and limit your liability is our advice!

Find out more about our hosting packages at https://solblu.uk/sharedhosting.html

Designing your Own Site or Paying someone to do it… which is better???

Websites are still seen as a dark art to some, with terms such as SEO, PPC, Analytics, copywriting, user experience, SSD, SATA, CPU, RAM and HD’s all over the place it’s a nightmare to know what you need and what you don’t need… no wonder you want a simple and easy life.

What if I were to tell you, you don’t need to understand it all and it’s not as complicated as you think! Let’s start by picking out those silly terms and making sense of them.

We’ll start with the techie talk first…

SSD, SATA, CPU, RAM and HD, what’s that all about. These are your resources for your website, SSD/SATA and HD are all the storage (the box your website is going into), CPU is the power your site has, so the larger the numbers of both these sections the better, however remember SSD is better than SATA (read our article here about SSD to find out why!)

programming

Now let’s talk about the analytics side of things, SEO/PPC, PPM, Copywriting, User Experience, each of these serves a larger master, SEO/PPC/PPM are for google and the search engines, SEO is all about writing your site to match what the search engines want, there are specifics that these sites love and you can find tools on-line to help you deliver these with no cost, have a look at Hypestar’s free SEO tool, then make the changes it suggests. For more comprehensive and technical SEO have a word with us and we’ll introduce you to our SEO tool (we’ll even help you implement some of the changes). PPC and PPM are the dark arts you hear about, these are paid adverts on Google, PPC is pay per click (so every time someone clicks on the advert you get charged), PPM is pay per impression (every time someone sees it you’re changed)… PPM is great for brand building but has little to no return on investment, however if someone clicks 100 times on the same advert you’re only charged for the times they see it on search, while PPC works the other way round, you’re changed every time someone clicks… does that all make sense?

Okay so the babble is all out of the way, and you understand the terms, let’s go back to building your own site and if its right for you?

Lets Start with paying someone to do it…

Firstly, you have to find a company you want to work with, within the North East of England if you google web designer you’ll find over 5 million results. Picking one can be tricky, you’ll meet loads of them, they’ll all tell you different prices for different things and eventually you’ll pick one for yourself.

Once you’ve done that they make the site, it might take a month, or two, or even 6 months. It all depends on what you want and how much you’ve paid. Once it’s built they upload it to staging server, then you test it, and correct it… still after months…. it’s not online and still being built, when the site is ready and you’ve got it on-line, a few months later you want to make a change. Did your web site builder agree a certain amount of changes a year for free, are there charges?

You decide you want to take the site elsewhere as the annual fees are in the £1000’s to keep it there, so now, they charge you for access or make it difficult for the next company…

Horror Stories I’ve seen from multiple customers.

Why not do it yourself?

Take up hosting from us at £50 a year and install WordPress with our 1 click installer. Head on a course with our partner company Hypestar and learn how to build it yourself. Feel free to pay a designer to do some logos and buy a template from the internet.

Work on the site in your own time, have the prototype online and then install and setup the ecommerce later after already running a SEO tool to check the content is right.

Designer – £50

Hosting – £50

Training – £120

Total cost less than £300 and only £50 a year to keep it going…

It’s a no brainier!!!!

What are SSD’s and Why do I want them on my website?

SSD, or Solid State Drives aren’t new technology but they are becoming more common place in the market, and it’s not surprising why. First of all, let me tell you what all the guff is and it might help you understand why they are so important!

SSD is a fully static device, there’s not a single moving part within the drive. Think of them as bigger versions of SD Cards, they are also known by the name flash, it’s a type of memory that allows you to read and write many times. This technology has been around since the 80’s but it’s never been very good at frequent read and writes, so often its system items such as the BIOS on your PC, however as the years have passed we’ve moved this technology from KB’s in storage to TB’s… (btw 1073741824kb is equal to a TB, or 1000MB so that’s a massive improvement).

So why aren’t we all using SSD?

SSD’s are great but they are expensive and hence a lot of companies choose to use traditional SATA drives with spinning disks, these works similar to record players! (Yes, record players as in the big spinning disk and a head) In fact that technology hasn’t fundamentally changed in decades.

The record player read groves on the black disc, indents and flat (on and off, or 1 and 0 in computer teams), these combined to create music. CD’s do the same thing, but the head is a laser meaning the grooves are even smaller, SATA drives or SAS drives are no different… information is written as on or off across the grooves. When a computer needs to find a file, the drives spin up and the head moves the part of the spindles where the information is, and reads it from the drive.

You’re limited by the speed the drive spins, do if you see SATA 5400 1TB drives, that means you have 1TB of storage space and the drive spins at 5400 revolutions a second (think of your RPM on a car, its no different), so if you have SATA 7200 1TB drives, you have the same space but you’ll be able to read and write it faster.

With SAS drives you can buy Hard Drives that can spin up to 15000 rpm, which is impressive but still can’t match SSD drives, everything is measured by Read/Write times, so as I write this on my trusty laptop I can tell you that the read/write I’m getting from my 1TB 5400 SATA drive is 106MB/s (Megabytes per second), while the SSD I have in my other machine is getting 446MB/s

These are only home drives, imagine what server drives can do and how that affects the loading time of your website… at maximum potential you can have your website loading 4 times faster!

Does your hosting us SSD? We do, find out more and talk to us at https://solblu.uk