Attention to detail is key

Speed

Both users and (therefore) Search Engines like speedy websites. Here are easy wins to reduce loading times for your site:

  • Caching

  • PHP upgrades

  • Code rewrite

  • Adding a Content Delivery Network (CDN), such as CloudFlare

Why do it? 

Everyone likes a speedy website.  So much so that Google seems to reward fast sites by pushing them up in their rankings. 

How much effort is it?

We can do as much time as you see fit and find a sweet spot between cost and website performance.

How often should I do this?

At least once a year you can review the speed of your site to see if it is faster than your competitors. 

Test it now

https://www.debugbear.com/test/website-speed/ 

SEO

We are not Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts, but we can definitely ensure that the basics are in order.  The basics are:

  • Good quality (semantic / meaningful) HTML

  • Good use of keywords in pages

  • Installing a sitemap to allow Search Engines to find hidden parts of your website

  • Ensure that Search Engines do not index parts you do not want to be indexed. 

Why do it? 

Without anyone finding your site, there is not much point in having a website. The most common way for people to find most sites is through search engines. Thus, optimising your site for search engines like Google makes a lot of sense. 

How much effort is it?

From around one hour through to a full day of work, depending on the size of your site and the complexity of tasks selected. 

How often should I do this?

At least once a year, it pays to review your website SEO. 

What you can do

There are two crucial things you, as a site owner, can do to improve your SEO:

  • Find influential sites in your area to link to your site

  • Create loads of interesting content

After these basics are in place, you can work with an SEO Specialist to take your results to the next level.  This may focus on particular regions / countries, specific keywords, etc. and may also include paid advertising.

CMS Upgrades

A CMS upgrade is when we take all the open source packages included in your website and upgrade them to the latest version (where possible). 

Why do it? 

This is one of the easiest and best things you can do to reduce the chance of your site getting hacked. It will also, on the whole, improve your CMS experience.

Within minutes we can apply 100s of hours of work from the open source software that runs your site.  Usually, this also includes several look and feel enhancements in the CMS (your actual site will stay exactly the same). 

How much effort is it?

We can usually apply a security upgrade within an hour with some larger sites needing only a few hours to accomplish this task. The big exception is upgrading from Silverstripe 4 to Silverstripe 5, which takes a bit of time.

How often should I do this?

Ideally you would do this every three months for a large, high traffic site, while smaller brochure sites should do this at least once a year.

Security Enhancements

Things we can do include:

  • Writing a security policy, specific to your site, that is automatically applied by browsers. 

  • Code review, specifically considering any areas where user input is concerned, as this is a typical area of attack.

Why do it? 

Hackers are getting better and more sophisticated in their approaches.

How much effort is it?

This will take around half a day or more. 

How often should I do this?

Ideally, you would do this every six months for a large, high traffic site, while smaller brochure sites should do this at least once every few years.

CMS Enhancements

CMS Enhancements are about making any data-entry easier, more reliable or faster. You can also think about new export / import options, adding new users with limited editing options, or anything else that makes the experience in the CMS better for you.

Why do it? 

To get the best value out of your site, it is important that common tasks are easy to accomplish. If there are any tasks that take a long time to complete, because you do them so often, on so many pages, or for whatever reason; there is usually an easy way for us to help you do them faster. 

How much effort is it?

It depends on the task at hand, but most of the time, we can make a specific task much faster within one to two hours. 

How often should I do this?

Whenever you are getting frustrated with a specific task ;-) or you feel you are spending too much time doing data-entry.

Image Optimisation

One of the best ways to speed up your site is to optimise your images.  We have developed several tools that do so. Here is what we can do:

  • Go through all your existing images and resize any images that can be resized a little without being reduced in visual noticeable quality

  • Set up recommendations or rules for any images you upload to specific parts of your site

  • Set up separate, smaller images for mobile to increase speed on mobile devices

  • Set up separate images for double-pixel density devices (also called retina), such as Apple devices

  • Rewrite existing and new images into the webp format.

Why do it? 

Speed up loading of your site for specific sites and better image quality for Apple devices. 

How much effort is it?

From around one hour through to a full day of work, depending on the size of your site and the complexity of tasks selected. 

How often should I do this?

Once every three years.

Avoid email in spam folder

If your website sends emails, then it is important that they don't end up in a spam folder. To do so, we can check a couple of key settings, such as DMARC, DKIM and SPF settings. Google et al. are tightening the rules on this all the time you will need to keep up. 

Why do it? 

Often your email is setup to send fine, but your website may not be included in the "recognised" servers for sending emails.

How much effort is it?

Around an hour

How often should I do this?

Every two years or so or when you get reports of emails from your website going to spam folders. 

Error and uptime monitoring

As part of our hosting, we are now introducing independent error and uptime monitoring.  If you would like to have your own login to monitor these errors or you would like to have a status page that shows the uptime of your website then we can set this up for you. 

Why do it? 

In case you would like to keep a close eye on the performance of your site and/or inform your customers about any outages ASAP, then this might be of interest to you. 

How much effort is it?

It will take less than an hour to set this up and we may pass on a small ongoing fee from our providers.

Also See

Please also visit our Gmail Changes 2024 page in the Service Agreement section.

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