The Josh.biz Blog

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Obligatory disclaimer: we are web designers, not lawyers – so what follows does not represent legal advice. If you require legal advice, always consult a qualified legal expert. The objective of this post is to raise awareness of the forthcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and to provide an introduction to the regulation.

By 25th May 2018 all EU businesses will be required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new legislation supersedes the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and has been designed by the EU to strengthen individuals’ rights regarding the collection, use and storage of their personal data.

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Should your website display a cookie consent notice?

CookiesIn May 2011, a European Union (EU) Directive was adopted by all EU member countries to protect consumer privacy online. In the UK, the rules on cookies are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The Regulations were revised in 2011, and the ICO is responsible for enforcing these rules.

Requirements state:

  • Inform users if they are using browser cookies
  • Detail what data is gathered using cookies and how the data is used (sometimes in a privacy policy)
  • Gather user consent to the use of cookies

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What business information does your website legally need to display?

UK law includes a range of legislation which requires websites to display specific information about their business (or organisation). Rules also apply to other areas of your business such as signs, stationery, invoices, emails and promotional material. Entities such as registered charities and voluntary organisations have other requirements.

If you’re running a business, the requirements vary according to the legal entity of your business (for example, whether it’s a limited company, partnership or a sole trader). If in doubt, seek professional advice from a legal expert about the precise requirements for your website. In addition to seeking advice from a legal expert, relevant information is often also available online at websites such as the UK Government website.

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Hints and tips when choosing a domain name

Choosing a domain nameWhen starting a new web design project, one of the first, most important decisions is choosing a domain name.

This will be your website address, and often, will be used in email addresses too. Here are a few essential points to always consider:

1. Does it reflect what your business does?

Your domain name should closely match your brand, product or service. Choosing the right domain name will create a good first impression. Think about how your domain name will be perceived when presented in search engine results pages.

2. Will people easily remember it?

People will type your domain name to go directly to your website or when composing an email. It needs to be easy to type, to spell and to communicate verbally. Avoid numbers, long words, more than 3 words, words which are difficult to spell – and hyphens.

3. Is it future-proof?

Your domain name should be able to stand the test of time and not limit your business scope in the future. Prepare for any possible diversification your business may later take. It is possible to switch domains in the future but this can often require significant work, time and expense.

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Twitter profile pictures go circular

Following a major redesign of the Twitter interface, Twitter profile pictures have gone circular.

Your Twitter profile picture is very often your logo or brand identity. What worked as a square may no longer work when cropped as a circle. It’s best to take a look and judge for yourself. If any adjustments are required, edit as required and upload your new version.

Here’s a good example of before and after:

Circular Twitter profile picture - logo cropped

Circular Twitter profile picture

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Secure your website with SSL – HTTPS

Two years have passed since Google announced that website security would become a ranking signal, influencing the position of pages shown in search engine results.

Secure your website with SSL - HTTPSWhen a website uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security, information sent between the user’s browser and the hosting server is encrypted and therefore less likely to be intercepted or exploited. With SSL security you’re providing your customers with a safe and secure environment on your website.

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Speed up your website

“The need for speed” has become a mantra with Google. Now, more than ever, it’s vitally important that your web pages serve up to visitors quickly.

Not only will your website visitors thank you, but Google will also reward your pages with a little bit of extra Google goodness, giving your pages an advantage in search engine results pages. Most visitors to your website are impatient and will soon press the ‘back’ button if your pages are slow to load.

WP Rocket - faster websites

If your website is powered by WordPress strong consideration should be given to employing a ‘caching’ plug-in such as WP Rocket to speed up your pages. On all the pages we’ve tested this on, there’s been a significant increase in speed.

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Recovering disk space in WordPress by deleting unused media

Nearly all website hosting packages impose a maximum disk space capacity. This capacity can usually be increased by upgrading the hosting package, for an additional cost.

If operating a WordPress powered website, as time passes, the website content will build up gradually, as new pages and blog posts are added; this causes extra disk space to be consumed. The rate of consumption is higher where new media (images and PDFs) are frequently added.

Note that any updates involving just text usually have a comparatively negligible impact on disk space; it’s images and PDFs which use up space.

The WordPress Media Library

It’s wise to review media, delete any unused media permanently and free up disk space.

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Google My Business

Google My Business

If you search Google for services and include geographical words, you’ll often find that Google shows you a map with local businesses pinpointed and with their details displayed prominently underneath the map or in the sidebar. These businesses will all have listed themselves with the ‘Google My Business‘ service.

Last year, Google combined what they previously called Google Places and Google Local into one service, Google My Business. So you may be already familiar with this service by one of it’s previous names.

We have published reminders before about the value of listing your business here and importantly, keeping your listing/account up to date and as enticing as possible. It costs nothing but your time.

To find out more please visit the Google My Business website.

And, of course, if you have any questions, clients are welcome to get in touch with us.

Playtime at Google?

Google revamps their logo (yet again). What happened to timeless logos? Will certainly be better for display on small devices but isn’t it very dumbed down? Looks like a playgroup or those magnetic letters children play with on fridges.

Seems to have a touch of ‘Comic Sans’ about it. Doesn’t really fit with Google being the fountain of all knowledge. But I’m sure we’ll all get used to it very quickly, as usual.

Goole logo

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