The Josh.biz Blog

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.

Read more…

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

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.

Read more…

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

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.

Read more…

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

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.

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

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

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Recommended Social Media Image Sizes

social-media-sizes

Ideally, before uploading images to your social media channels for use in your headers and logo display (your profile), it’s a good idea to prepare your images carefully in advance. This usually requires some image editing software such as Pixlr Editor or  Adobe Photoshop Elements.

The sizes are constantly changing and there’s not always a definitive size specified but currently the sizes below are recommended by ourselves. This way, you’ll avoid any pixellation and present the best quality of images.

You’ll find the results are usually much more pleasing to the eye and professional. These specifications change all the time so keep an eye out for future changes.

Social Media Recommended Image sizes (pixels)

  • Facebook Header: 851 x 315
  • Facebook Logo: 180 x 180
  • Twitter header: 1500 x 500
  • Twitter logo: 400 x 400
  • Google Plus ‘Cover Photo’: 1080 x 608

Other useful related pages:

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Google rewards responsive websites

Google Search Engine on mobileEvery now and again Google launches a major update to its famous search engine algorithm. This is the formula which analyses every web page and determines the search results we’re offered upon searching the web.

Major updates to this algorithm always affect search results significantly.

Google’s Panda Update of 2011 targeted websites with poor quality content. The Penguin Update arrived in 2012 and amongst many other measures, targeted websites with poor quality, bad or artificially created links.

These (and many other updates) continue to be tweaked all the time.

The mobile-friendly ranking algorithm

Now Google is turning its attention towards a new factor: mobile-friendliness. This new update to the algorithm will be introduced on 21 April 2015.

This time, Google will be analysing how mobile friendly a web page is when deciding the order of its search results. Logically, this is only likely to affect searches on mobile devices initially but exactly how it pans out, nobody knows.

Read more…

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Windows 10 – arriving this Summer, a free upgrade

Microsoft Windows 10 logo

Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows, version 10 is coming this Summer, earlier than we all expected. And, for a year after launch, it will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users, a big carrot to entice users to get on board quickly.

The current version, Windows 8 has been very poorly received and many have tried to stick with Windows 7 wherever possible. Microsoft’s drive to offer a single operating system for both traditional desktop computers and touch screen tablets has been far from successful, though in truth, Windows 8 has included big improvements which have been overshadowed.

The removal of the Start button and Start Menu, forcing users to jolt across to a full screen, tablet friendly menu (previously known as Metro) has been the biggest bugbear. But there are other complaints.

Microsoft Windows 10

Windows 10 will see major compromises and hooray, the return of the traditional Start Menu. As pictured below, Microsoft appear to have amalgamated the best of both worlds and it looks very promising.

One of the major reasons Microsoft are so keen to get everyone onto Windows 10 is to roll out the Windows Store, which copies the successful Apple App Store on iTunes by offering users an easy way to download new software. Apple charges 30% commission on every single app it sells, so if Microsoft’s Windows Store takes off, it will become a huge income stream for Microsoft.

“Apple announced that the first week of January set a new record for billings from the App Store℠ with customers around the world spending nearly half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases” – Apple Press Info

What do we think?

In our opinion Windows 7 is currently the best ‘rock solid’ version of Windows available and we’ll be hesitant to move on. However, if Windows 8 didn’t offer such a jarring user interface, it wouldn’t be so bad at all.

Pushing the boundaries somewhat, I’ve been using Windows 8 on a ten year old laptop (originally installed with Windows Vista) and it’s definitely stable and nippy to use. Don’t forget that the hardware requirements for Windows haven’t changed significantly for a long time, so nowadays even an older PC can benefit from a newer version of Windows. Of course, it never used to be like that.

If Windows 10 can overcome the significant user interface issues and offer continued stability, speed and security features, it will surely be a winner.

You’ll have a year to upgrade for free so perhaps the best option (as ever) will be to hang back initially and let everyone else be the guinea pigs. Once it proves to be the predicted success it deserves to be, there’ll still be plenty of time to upgrade from 7 or 8. It’s going to be exciting.

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Domain Name Verification

Domain Name RegistriesThe domain name registries have been toughening up on accurate registration contact details (to combat criminal activity online). It’s therefore important that you maintain accurate contact details for all your domain names and respond to any verification requests promptly to avoid suspension.

Who are the domain name registries?

If you have an American domain name (e.g ending .com or.org), your domain name is managed by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). If you have a UK domain name (e.g ending .co.uk or.org.uk), your domain name is governed by Nominet.

And of course, you may have multiple domain names, governed by different registries. Note that there are other domain name types (e.g. .biz, .tv, etc.) managed by other registries but ICANN and NOMINET are usually applicable.

Read more…

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Shellshock (Bash) Vulnerability

Website SecurityYou may have read in the news that a new Shellshock (bash) vulnerability has been discovered on the 24 September. Please be assured that all our servers were patched within hours of the vulnerability being discovered; and that the latest patch released today has also been applied to all our servers including all dedicated boxes.

We have seen no evidence that our servers have been attacked and are confident that the prompt application of the patches has prevented any exploit.

You don’t need to take any action, but if you do have any concerns, clients are welcome to contact us.

See also: Shellshock: ‘Deadly serious’ new vulnerability found (BBC website)

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn
Scroll Up