Founded in 2001, Webhosting UK has grown to become one of the largest web hosting providers in the UK, serving over 35,000 customers and hosting in excess of 1,000,000 websites across our network.
Unlike many competitors that have been brought and sold over the years, we have remained privately owned which has allowed us to retain our small business mentality towards customer care. This means we are accountable only to our customers.
As a private company, we have a unique ability to invest aggressively in new and emerging technologies. Many of the hosting solutions we offer today are the direct result of our continued investment and ongoing research and development
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Latest Hosting and Tech News From (WHUK) WebHosting UK COM Ltd
Times almost up for UK registered .eu domain holders
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU means UK citizens and organisations won’t be able to hold the registration of a .eu domain when the transition period ends on 31 December. Any .eu domains registered to UK entities will stop working on 1 Jan 2021 and will be revoked and made available to other registrants from 1 Jan 2022.
To be eligible to keep a .eu domain, registrants must be one of the following: a legally established entity in an EU or EEA country, a resident of an EU or EEA country or a citizen of an EU member state. If you are eligible, you will need to update your domain contact details before the deadline.
If you are going to lose your .eu domain on 1 Jan 2021 and wish to keep your website online, you may need to register a new domain and transfer your website to it. If you need help with this please get in touch. You can find and register a new domain on our Domains page.
‘ey up, Yorkshire’s got robot brickies
There’s a bit of a renaissance happening in God’s Own County. While Bielsa and Leeds United are making waves on Match of the Day, when it comes to Grand Designs, it’s the Automated Brick Laying Robot (ABLR) from York’s Construction Automation Ltd that’s stealing the show.
Long considered one of those manual tasks requiring too much skill for a machine, brick laying is a labour intensive job that is both expensive and time-consuming. The ABLR, however, can take a digital plan of a building and, using state of the art robotics engineering, lay bricks and mortar to the architect’s exact design. The robot works by following a track around the perimeter of the building’s footprint, building up the brickwork in layers and only needs the minimum of human input.
The technology provides numerous benefits. It decreases the cost of a build, speeds up construction, increases site safety, ensures build accuracy and uniformity and even provides detailed analytics – all without drinking copious amounts of Yorkshire tea.
UK ransomware attacks surge 80% in last quarter
Cybercriminals selling Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) have contributed to an 80% increase in UK ransomware attacks over the last three months, according to security company, Check Point. It’s not just the UK which has been affected: globally, the figures are up by 50%, while the US has seen a 98% increase and Germany 145%.
The starting point in the rise coincided with the start of the pandemic and the major attacks have been against companies with remote workers, universities and healthcare organisations. The Maze and Ryuk forms of the malware have been the most commonly used, with the latter still being used to attack around 20 organisations each week. Researchers believe that the easy availability of ransomware, together with the growing numbers of organisations paying the ransom, particularly to stop stolen data being leaked, are the main drivers behind the rise.
Erm, that’s not the recycling we had in mind…
With hundreds of millions of old smart devices being replaced each year, recycling makes sense. Many contain rare earth metals which, if reused, could dramatically reduce the environmental damage done during their mining. Add to this the recycling of all the metal, plastics and reusable technology and it’s a task that benefits everyone.
That, it seems, is what Apple had intended when it began recycling its old gadgets. It wasn’t, however, what its Canadian recycling company, Geep Canada, had in mind. Instead of stripping down all the old technology, it discovered it could make more money by reselling some of the items second-hand. Indeed, Apple has now accused Geep Canada of stealing and reselling over 100,000 of its products.
Apple’s ability to keep track of its products led it to discover that of the half a million iPhones, iPads and Apple watches it sent to Geep Canada, at least 18% of them were still accessing the internet. Looks like Geep Canada are in Siri-ous trouble.
Only 27% of companies comply with PCI DSS
PCI DSS is an online payment security standard designed to ensure that payment card data is handled securely during online transactions. According to research by Verizon, however, only 27% of companies, globally, fully meet the standards.
Despite compliance being a fundamental responsibility of businesses in order to protect their customers and suppliers, Verizon’s findings showed that many companies lacked the resources or commitment to support data security long term, with the recent data showing a marked decline in compliance since 2017 when the figure was 55%.
The research also pointed out that the US has the highest failure rate for a country, with only 20% of businesses fully compliant, while across business sectors, hospitality fared the worst with only 25%. Though the finance sector came out on top, as expected, the compliance rate was still only 40%. Alarmingly, even there, 30% of financial organisations failed to maintain critical security perimeter controls.
Visit the WHUK website for more news, knowledge base articles, blog posts and information on our wide range of hosting services.
7 Reasons Businesses Should Use Cloud Storage
If you are running out of storage space or find that your current way of storing data makes it difficult to manage and use, then it’s time to consider an alternative option. Today, growing numbers of businesses are finding that the cloud is the best place to store their documents, files and data. Here, we’ll explain seven reasons to store your data in the cloud.
1. Never run out of space again
The amount of data that businesses store is growing exponentially. Companies are collecting more types of information than ever and keeping it for longer – and as they grow, so does the amount they generate. That can cause problems when storing it as its easy to run out of server space.
The benefit of storing it in the cloud is that no matter how much data you have, your vendor will always have enough space to store it. What’s more, upgrading to a bigger capacity package can be done very easily and quickly. It is also much less expensive than buying a new and bigger server.
2. Easy accessibility
Centrally storing all your data in the cloud means that none of it gets buried in departmental silos, making it accessible to anyone you have given access permission. What’s more, when someone updates a file and saves it to the cloud, everyone will have access to the latest update.
Equally important for the modern business is that being in the cloud, the data can be accessed over the internet. This means your employees don’t need to be in the office to do their work; they can work remotely or be out on the road and still have access to it on any device with a connection.
3. Solid security
Cloud vendors have to meet strict security regulations to keep your data secure. Their employment of security experts and use of the latest firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion prevention tools provide levels of security hard to match in-house. Of course, you’ll need to implement your own security measures, such as access rights, strong passwords and two-factor authentication, but, together, these make your cloud-stored data extremely secure – especially when the cloud provides a centralised repository for it all to be stored and securely managed.
In addition, your data is protected against data loss through hardware failure. If there is an issue with hardware in a cloud datacentre, the virtual server on which it is stored will simply be moved to another physical machine. It will always be there and always be online for you to access.
4. Cost-effective storage
A cloud storage package is far less costly than the capital expenditure needed to purchase a large storage server. Neither are there any additional running costs, such as electricity, insurance or premises rent. Your vendor will even take care of the hardware management for you.
5. Makes collaboration and file sharing a breeze
Cloud storage gives companies the ability to share files and sync updates and new additions. Files can be sent to other users and audiences can be invited to access data available online. This helps teams collaborate far more effectively no matter where the members are based, giving them all access to the most up to date versions.
6. Complete convenience
When data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed directly from the internet. This means it’s not reliant on any internal business system or specific device. You won’t need to be connected to your internal business network, use a company computer or plug in an external storage device. What’s more, viewing or working on a file can also be done online, meaning that you won’t need to fill up storage on devices, though copies of files can be downloaded if required.
It’s also worth considering that cloud servers offer exceptional performance, their all-flash storage and Intel CPUs ensuring that data-heavy applications will run like clockwork.
7. Cloud for backups and disaster recovery
Apart from storing everyday data in the cloud, many companies use cloud storage to back up their servers and websites. With incidents of hacking, malware and ransomware on the rise and the risk of accidental data deletion, a backup enables a company to swiftly restore their data and even entire servers if a disaster does occur. The sooner a business can recover from a disaster, the better chance it has of survival.
Cloud backups can be automated to take place at scheduled intervals, are checked for integrity so that you know you’ll have a fully working backup to restore with, they are encrypted for security, stored remotely from your online server and don’t take up any of its existing storage space. As a result, they offer businesses the best possible backup solution.
Cloud storage has many benefits over keeping your data stored on-site. You’ll always have enough space, your data is easily accessible and secure, it’s convenient and makes collaboration easy, is perfect for backups and is highly cost-effective.
10 Ways to Declutter Your Website Disk Space
If you are running out of disk space on your web hosting server, its time to take action. When a disk starts to get full, files can be fragmented, slowing website performance. At the same time, running out of storage capacity means you might not be able to grow your website, collect more data or update your software. While upgrading to a larger hosting package is sometimes the best solution, for many website owners, the first step is to declutter what’s there. Here are ten ways you can do this.
1. Spring clean your website installation
Website software, like WordPress or Magento, collects lots of unwanted or unnecessary data that uses up precious disk space. Your first task is to get rid of anything you don’t need. This includes unused themes, deactivated plugins, undeleted spam comments, uploaded images that have never been used, old posts and pages that are no longer published, old post revisions, unsubscribed users and so forth.
2. Get rid of old emails
Emails stored on your web server can eat into your disk space allowance. The biggest issue is with email attachments as these take up far more space than the email itself. If you need to keep the attachment, download it and save it to a local computer then delete the email. After this, empty your spam and junk folders, before working your way through the inbox and sent folders to remove anything you’re not going to need.
3. Get a separate email hosting account
If you get a lot of emails and its seriously eating into your web server disk space, then setting up an email hosting account that has its own disk space on a separate server can prevent it affecting your website.
4. Limit the number of sites on each server
Every website you host on a server will increase the amount of data you store. Start by getting rid of any half-finished websites that you’ve never got around to launching and which have been put on a permanent back burner. If you have other websites that are growing, now might be the time to give them a hosting package of their own or upgrade to a bigger package that can handle them all.
5. Disable duplicate site analytics tools
If you are using a variety of analytics tools that are all doing a similar job, just use the one. The best choice is Google Analytics as this will store your traffic data on Google’s servers, not your own. Tools such as AWStats, however, will store them on your own server and use up megabytes of space.
6. Backup and delete test files
If you’ve built test sites or installed programs for testing but no-longer use them, deleting them can save you even more space. You can always save them to a backup and reinstall them later if you want to use them in future.
7. Don’t host videos or music on your website
Video and music files are large and can quickly fill up smaller storage allocations. If you want to show a video or play music on your website, upload it to a third-party site, like YouTube, and embed it on your pages. This way, people will still be able to access it on your site but the video or music itself will be stored elsewhere. What’s more, it will be able to attract an even wider audience if it is available on popular streaming sites.
8. Delete log files
Most website users never look at their log files, however, they can be helpful in finding the causes of any issues on your site. To save space, you can download them for local storage and then delete the ones on your server. Even the one’s you download won’t be needed forever.
9. Get rid of installation backups
When you update, some software will leave an installation backup on your server. This backup is helpful in case the update causes compatibility issues with other applications that your website uses. If this happens, the installation backup enables you to restore the software to its earlier version. However, once you’ve checked that your site works as it should after an update, that installation backup file can be deleted – otherwise, it will just sit there taking up unnecessary space.
If you have a lot of plugins and they update frequently, you might find you have quite a lot of installation backup files clogging up your drive.
10. Disable or limit user uploads
While allowing user-generated content on your website can make it more engaging for other users, unrestricted uploads or unlimited file sizes can quickly fill up your space, especially if they upload image, sound or video files. Restricting the number or size of uploads or the format in which they can be sent can help keep disk usage down. Alternatively, you could simply disable uploads altogether.
For growing websites with small hosting packages, there will come a time when you need to upgrade to a larger solution with more disk space. In the meantime, you can try and reduce the amount of space you are using by carrying out these practical tips.
If you are looking for a larger hosting package, visit the WHUK Homepage to see our range of hosting solutions.
5 Clear Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Web Hosting
Shared hosting is, by far, the most popular hosting solution around. For many website owners, it provides all the resources they need while being very inexpensive. There may come a time, however, when there are clear signals that it is necessary to find a more powerful solution, like VPS, dedicated server or cloud. Here, we’ll look at the five signs that indicate its time to upgrade your web hosting.
1. Your website is growing in popularity
The goal of most businesses is to have a website that becomes very popular with lots of new and regular visitors. It’s these visitors that will bring in the income your company needs to survive and prosper. While growing popularity is great news, it should also be a time to closely monitor how your website performs when it’s busy. Every time a visitor lands on your site, clicks on a link or interacts with features on the page, your server will have more work to do. If you have so many visitors that it begins to perform sluggishly it’s a sign that you need to upgrade.
The reason is that over-busy servers slow down the loading times and performance of your site. This can give a poor impression to visitors and even force them to abandon your site completely, potentially losing you sales. This is most likely to happen on shared hosting where the server’s resources are shared out among many different users. Indeed, the performance of your own site could be impacted by someone else’s website being very busy.
2. You are running out of disk space
Most websites don’t need a lot of disk space and there’s usually ample storage on a shared hosting plan for the site’s platform (WordPress, Magento, etc.), themes, plugins and content. However, some sites do need to upgrade in order to expand their storage capacity.
Sites can need more storage for a variety of reasons, for example, when they add lots of content, such as a blog; publishing lots of user-generated content, as with a forum; sell a wide range of products; collect significant amounts of user data or have lots of large files, like videos and images.
If you get a warning from your web host that you are approaching your storage capacity limit, then it is time to upgrade to a solution that has plenty of growing room for your future needs. Without extra space, your site will perform less well and won’t be able to grow.
3. Your website regularly goes offline
If you have a website, the expectancy is that it is always online. Such reliability ensures you don’t lose business and that your online reputation remains intact. Most web hosts guarantee a minimum 99.9% uptime, with the 0.1% downtime being used to carry out important maintenance, such as updating the operating system or installing security patches.
Unfortunately, continual availability isn’t always a reality. Busy neighbours on shared hosting plans might use so many of the server’s resources that your site crashes completely from time to time. Alternatively, your host might be using old hardware that is prone to breaking down and needs regular server maintenance. HDD drives, for example, with their mechanically spinning disks, are much more likely to fail than a solid-state drive (SSD) that has no moving parts.
If you monitor your site’s availability and find there are regular periods when it goes offline, then it is time to upgrade.
4. You want to host additional websites
Although not everyone needs or wants to host multiple websites, lots of companies do. They may want sites in different languages with domains targeting different countries, e.g. mybusiness.co.uk, mybusiness.fr, mybusiness.de, or your company could evolve and need specialised websites for its different products or services.
Most shared hosting solutions limit how many websites you can host and if you reach your maximum, you will need to upgrade. Perhaps a more important reason to upgrade, however, is that every website you launch will increase the resources your hosting plan uses: storage, CPU, RAM and bandwidth. So, even if you are under the limit in terms of the number of websites you are allowed, you may be affecting the performance of them all if you run too many on a small package.
5. You cannot use your plan to do the things you want
The very nature of shared hosting means web hosts need to put some restrictions in place to ensure that all users on the server enjoy good service. For the vast majority of users, this isn’t a problem as the restrictions apply to the use of resource-hungry applications or workloads and over how the server is configured.
If you need a configuration that is different to how the shared server is set up or wish to use your server to run resource-heavy applications, e.g. running a streaming website, game server or ad server, it is likely you will not be allowed to do so on shared hosting as it could negatively impact other users on the server. In which case, you’ll need to upgrade.
What are the options?
If you need to upgrade your hosting plan, there are four options you can choose from. The most basic and not the solution for all circumstances, is simply to upgrade to a larger shared hosting plan that offers you more resources and the option to run more websites. You may even benefit from upgrading to a shared hosting plan that is specialised for your platform, like WordPress hosting.
For most companies, the next step up is VPS hosting. Still relatively inexpensive, it gives you all the power and resources of a mini-dedicated server, plus the freedom to configure the server and run the software that you wish. For those with even greater needs, there are high-performance, large storage dedicated servers or 100% uptime, scalable and cost-effective cloud hosting solutions.
How to Get Your Website Ready for Black Friday
With the pandemic making people purchase more products online, this year’s Black Friday may well be the biggest yet for retail websites. To make the most of the annual spending spree, however, your site needs to be prepared. Here’s how to get your website primed for Black Friday 2020.
Get your sales items ready in time
As Friday 27th November approaches, you should have your website ready in plenty of time for the sales. You may need to create a special Black Friday shopping category that contains all the items on offer, you’ll want to display an eye-catching Black Friday sales tag for each item and you’ll need to let customers know how much they are saving by displaying the discount.
Putting all this in place requires quite a bit of work. You’ll have to decide which products are going in the sale and how much discount you can afford to offer, you’ll need to create the new category, move sale products to it and ensure the discount and promotional material is displayed for each item. Additionally, you may also want to set up your site to maximise sales by offering upselling and cross-selling deals and displaying related products.
Get the message out
People will flock to Google in search of deals on Black Friday and its those websites that rank well which will take the lion’s share of visitors. For this reason, it’s a good idea to create special landing pages for Black Friday and ensure that these are optimised with relevant keywords and quality content.
While you don’t need to publish your sales products until Black Friday, the landing pages that link to them need to be live on your site well before 27 November, as they’ll need to be indexed by Google before they can appear in search results. You can add the links to the products when the sale goes live: in the meantime, use the Black Friday landing page as a teaser, perhaps even for taking email addresses so you can send reminders to interested shoppers on the day itself.
Not all your efforts should go into gaining traffic from search engine results. You should also consider using PPC advertising for the sale, though this might be the most expensive time of the year to do so. Another important part of your marketing should be to promote your Black Friday sale on social media. The earlier you can start doing this, the better – and remember to link to your landing pages.
Make sure your website can handle the traffic
Though Black Friday is the biggest selling day of the year for many websites, for plenty of others it’s a disaster. The main reason is that they get so much traffic, their server isn’t able to cope with demand. Without sufficient RAM, CPU and bandwidth resources to cater for the spike, your website may begin to function very sluggishly. As a result, you’ll see visitors leaving as quickly as they arrive and those much-anticipated sales won’t happen. The worst-case scenario is that your site will go offline: not only will you lose sales but any investment in advertising will also have been wasted.
If you are expecting significant traffic, the best way to avoid downtime is to ensure your hosting package provides all the resources you need. This may mean scaling up to a bigger package or a more powerful hosting solution like VPS, dedicated server or cloud. Those sites using shared hosting are the ones most at risk here.
Make sure your site is secure
There are two reasons for making sure your site is secure in time for Black Friday. The first is to gain the trust of potential customers. You may get a lot of new visitors during the sale who are unfamiliar with your brand. Making sure your site is seen as secure will give them increased confidence to carry out financial transactions on your website.
The most important way to do this is to have an SSL certificate installed which encrypts data sent between a user’s browser and your server and which stops payment details being stolen in transit. Once you have an SSL certificate, web browsers will display the padlock icon next to your URL in the browser address bar, signifying to users that your site is safe. Without an SSL, instead of a padlock, users will see the words ‘Not secure’ and a triangular warning icon. If they click on this, they are warned not to enter sensitive information, like passwords or credit card details, on your site.
The second reason for ensuring your site is secure is that Black Friday is an exceptionally busy day for cybercriminals seeking to take advantage of the hectic goings-on. The day is associated with a rise in all forms of criminal activity: phishing scams, DDoS and ransomware attacks, online fraud, malware distribution and site hacking. It is imperative that, before Black Friday begins, you have made your site as secure as possible and that you have backups in place to restore it quickly if it is attacked.
WHUK provides a wide range of security features, including advanced firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, spam filters and remote, encrypted backup solutions.
2020 could well be a bumper year for Black Friday sales with people buying online in greater numbers. To take advantage of this, you’ll need to prepare your site in time, optimise landing pages, promote your sales on social media and via advertising, make sure your site can cope with increased traffic and that it’s secure.
Site Structure – Why It’s Important and How to Do It Right
Site structure is the way you organise pages on your website and help people find them. Getting it right can make a huge difference, not only for the success of the site but also for how well it performs in search engine results. Here, we’ll look at the importance of site structure and offer some tips on how to best organise your site.
Why is site structure important?
The primary reason for developing a sound site structure is to improve user experience. The easier visitors can find the information and products they are looking for, the better the chance that they will stay on your website, return to it and buy from you. The opposite, of course, is also true: a badly structured site can seriously underperform.
The second reason is that good site structure improves SEO and can help your site rank better in search engine results. A well-structured website helps a search engine map and index the pages on your site and understand where the most important content is. It also helps them to know how your site changes over time so that what’s searchable remains accurate and current.
A pyramid-like structure
Ideally, all good websites should have a hierarchical, pyramid-like structure. At the very top should be your homepage, which is, essentially, the transport hub for traffic to your site. Beneath this should be the categories. Ideally, you need to divide all your content into specific categories and make sure that the right content goes in each. If your site has a lot of content, or a lot of products, it can make it even easier for users if you create subcategories. Finally, inside the categories (or subcategories if you need them) will be the individual pages, products and posts that you ultimately want your users to be able to find.
Getting the homepage right
While the homepage plays a vital role in welcoming visitors and introducing your brand and USP, its main purpose is to move users on to other parts of the site. For this reason, it needs to promote the most important categories and, vitally, provide clear links to them so that visitors can get to where they want to be. Any links on your homepage are also going to be seen by search engines as those you consider most important, which is why it is advisable to link to categories rather than individual pages.
Menus that reflect the site structure
Menus are standard features on websites that visitors rely on for navigation. Having one is essential and so is making sure it’s where visitors expect to find it. Ideally, the structure of the menu should replicate the structure of the website, with the homepage taking precedence and the categories coming next.
If you have a multi-level menu, the sub-categories should be listed under the categories to which they belong. However, if you add too many things to a menu it can become overcomplicated and less user-friendly. An alternative solution for sites with lots of content would be to place an additional category-specific menu within each category, perhaps in a sidebar to make it obvious that it is not the main menu.
Install a breadcrumb plugin
Breadcrumbs are a feature of many websites and are named after the Hansel and Gretel children’s story in which the characters dropped breadcrumbs to help them retrace their steps. What website breadcrumbs do is display a link to the last page you have visited on the top of the current page. Like in the children’s story, they help your visitors understand where they are on your site and navigate backwards and forwards. In doing so, they enhance the user experience and can improve SEO as well. Some website themes come with breadcrumbs included: for those which don’t, they can be added by installing a breadcrumb plugin or add-on.
Aside from dividing content into different categories, you should also consider using tags. Tags are useful because, unlike categories, they don’t need to be hierarchical and this means they are perfect for grouping together things which are in different categories but have features in common. For example, a clothing store could have one category for coats and jackets and another for footwear. However, items from both could be given tags such as ‘winter outfits’ or ‘summer wear’. Tags can be searchable on a website by visitors and indexable on search engines so they can be found online.
Use contextual links
The final piece of the site structure jigsaw is adding internal links other than the major navigational links on the home and category pages. Known as contextual links, these are placed within the actual content of your website and enable visitors to find information about things which you have been discussing – whether that’s a blog post, shipping information, an offer, related products or some other relevant page you might want them to visit.
Again, this helps the user quickly find what they are looking for and, through the linking text, helps search engines understand more about the page being linked to. Just adding the link itself tells the search engine that it is valuable to your site.
Badly structured websites can suffer from high abandonment rates and perform poorly in search engine results. Getting it right can make a huge difference to the success of your online venture. Hopefully, the suggestions discussed here will help you improve your site structure.
6 Types of Content Your Website Doesn’t Need
Content is king, marketers say – but not all of it. Indeed, some content can harm your website, slowing its performance, irritating visitors and badly affecting its search engine ranking. The way to deal with this is to check your site regularly and get rid of the damaging material. Here, we’ll explain what to look for.
1. Heavy images
Images are important elements of any website and can have a positive impact on user engagement. However, they are data-heavy and can slow down the loading time, damaging SEO and user-friendliness. While we are not suggesting you delete your images, what we do suggest is following best practice by optimising them for your site.
This means using PNG files of 72 dpi which are much lighter and can be loaded more quickly than larger files. At the same time, use an image optimising plugin that will take existing images and create light versions of the right dimensions for your theme. To speed up your site even more, consider using lazy loading or a content delivery network.
While popups have been proven to help increase conversion rates, they are one of the most annoying features of a website and can lead to user abandonment, especially if you use multiple popups. If you don’t need them, take them down. If you do, ensure you use them minimally and have them appear when the user is leaving the page, not halfway through reading your content. You also need to make sure that closing them is easy and that they don’t appear on every page. Pay particular attention to how your popup works on mobile screens where they can be even more problematic and harder to close than on a desktop.
Remember, also, that a popup adds an additional script to your website which will affect its performance and impact SEO.
3. Overeager cookie consent popup
Cookie consent is something all websites are required to ask for; however, users end up getting incredibly annoyed at having to click ‘accept’ every time they visit a site. So, while you can’t dispense with the law, you can make acceptance far less of a trauma.
For a start, consider replacing page dominating cookie popups with less obtrusive methods that don’t interrupt the user from reading the content. Secondly, set the cookie consent form to appear at the same frequency as your shortest cookie life. Once you have permission to store cookies on a user’s device, you don’t need to ask for it again unless you start collecting new cookie information or change the length of the cookie, the purpose you use it or the way the information is used, stored or shared. This means, if your shortest cookie life is 30 days, you’ll only need to ask for consent every 30 days.
4. Broken links
Links are important for both the user experience and SEO. Internal links help users find the content they are looking for more quickly and enable search engine crawlers to discover and index content on your site. Outbound links are considered by search engines to add value to your content and can, therefore, improve your SEO.
While working links are good, broken ones are not. Users get frustrated if they click on a link to a page that doesn’t exist anymore and this can lead to them having a poor impression of your site or even leaving it. That poor experience is noted by search engines when they follow your links and this too can lead to the pages that they appear on being downranked.
You need to check for and amend broken links regularly, especially if you have been deleting pages or changing URLs. The easiest way to do it is to use a link checking plugin that will take care of the legwork for you.
5. Out of date content
Hidden in the metadata of your web pages is the date on which the content was published. While this isn’t visible to your visitors, it is to search engines which use it to understand how up-to-date your content is. As the world changes so quickly around us, search engines look for fresh information, considering it more relevant to a user’s query.
At the same time, the users themselves want the latest information – someone searching for ‘Best clothes shops in Bradford’, for example, would be disappointed if they found a page containing a list of shops of which many had shut down.
For websites, this means regularly going through your content, deleting pages and posts which are completely out of date and updating outdated information on those that still had some relevance. For companies which have product and service pages where there has been no change to what’s on offer, it may seem that there is no need to make changes. However, even making minor tweaks now and then will refresh the content for both users and search engines and update the publication date at the same time.
6. Third-party ads
A helpful source of income, many sites display adverts, including video ads, from third-parties like Google and Bing or show imaged-led links to content on other websites. While the odd, discretely placed ad does little harm, some sites can go overboard and this can significantly slow down the loading time of the page and become a major obstacle to reader retention. It can have a serious impact on SEO, user engagement and conversion rates. You are most likely to see this overloading of ads on newspaper websites.
Ideally, you should test how the loading time of your website is affected by the ads you show and use analytics to see if they are impacting your ranking, traffic and engagement. If they are, you should remove the worst offenders until you reach a satisfactory balance.
Heavy images, popups, broken links, old content and third-party ads can all have a negative impact on your website. They can make it load slower, be less relevant and give a poor user experience, all of which can make your site perform less well in search engine results and make visitors abandon your site. Hopefully, the information given here will help you reduce the impact that these issues can have.