Website Management Requirements Are Changing

Website security, the user’s data protection, and search engine algorithms are creating new requirements for basic website management. Simple web hosting is far from being an adequate management strategy. Even simple hosting is not so “simple” any more. Your web hosting decision may even be affecting your search ranking.

Hosting – User Experience – Ranking

You may be asking what hosting has to do with user experience and search engine ranking. Hosting can effect site load time, and according to Google, site load time negatively effects user experience. If your website is on a shared server, or (for any reason) does not have adequate resources, the user may experience slow loading. Load time is a factor in Google’s algorithm.

SSL Certificates – Ranking

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a digital certificate that, through encryption, secures a web servers connection to a browser. An SSL certificate adds an additional layer of security for websites. Up until recently website developers didn’t worry so much about SSL unless the website was storing personal and/or financial data. Recently Google made SSL a ranking factor. You can tell if a site is protected by SSL by looking for the green padlock and https protocol in the browser. As of July 2018 and the release of Google Chome 68, users will see “not secure” in browsers for sites without SSL.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation

GDPR was rolled out by the European Union to protect the personal data of it’s members. Websites must let the visitors know they use “cookies” for collecting data….and allow them to opt out. Effective May 25th, 2018 all websites must be GDPR compliant. Technically, failure to comply could result in stiff fines. This regulation may have been introduced by the EU, but you can bet GDPR is here to stay. The United States and other countries will roll out similar regulations soon. Add GDPR to your basic website management plan.

DNS – Domain Name Servers

Possibly one of the most confusing parts of website management for the average consumer, DNS can be challenging. Much of the challenge can be eased by using domain registrars such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions. Just a side note…we prefer GoDaddy. The interface is intuitive and their support is first class.  Many of the third party services out there do not offer phone call support…some have very little support, period, and their DNS interface is anything but user friendly.  No matter who you choose, there are a few options to consider. Perhaps the simplest DNS method, parked name servers, allow you to leave the nameservers with the domain registrar and use the “A” record to point the domain to your server’s IP address. But, this means if/when you ever move your website from one server to another, this record will have to be changed.  There’s the option to use the web host’s nameservers, which will require to you to make DNS modifications at the host rather than the domain registrar. A third option, one we prefer, uses a cname to point to your website (host)  files. Are you confused yet?

Other Considerations

Hosting, SSL, DNS management, and GDPR are minimum requirements for an adequate website management plan. But there are several other items to consider when developing your website management strategy. You’ll need to have a plan for email, connecting your site to social media, performing on-going maintenance and software updates, as well as adding API and code for features like Google Maps, Tag Manager, and analytics / tracking. You may want to consider putting your site behind a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to add more speed and security.

Content Creation

In today’s world, being found on the web requires work….and simply put….someone has to do it. A static website has little chance to become “ranked” among it’s competition. Continuous content creation is a must. There are number of keywords and phrases that are relative to the entity your website represents. “Stuffing” pages with multiple keywords will produce negative ranking results. Although Google doesn’t tell us exactly how to structure website content, we’ve learned that creating a single page to be the “authority” for a specific keyword or term is preferred. Creating regular content increases your digital footprint. If you’re not a writer, hiring one is a must.

No Worries – We Have Your Back

You may have guessed by now, that we can provide all the services discussed here. We can’t stress enough the importance of being thorough when it comes to website management. Sure, it cost a little more to cover all the bases, but the right program will improve your results, and in the end will be well worth the effort.