New Drive on SSL from Google

Since the beginning of October 2017, Google has increased pressure on website owners to adopt the secure https: web protocol with the latest updates to the Chrome browser.

Over the last couple of years, Google have been pushing the use of SSL to improve web security by favouring sites in search results that use SSL (https:) connections instead of the common non-secure http: connection.

The new Chrome update takes this a step further by warning any page containing a form (a contact form or any other type of interaction that requires user input) as insecure if the form is not sent over an https secure connection.

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New SEO Tools and Position Reporting System Launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new range of SEO tools and improved position reporting system.

Ranging from ranking position reporting (our SEO Watch Service) to a full suite of reporting tools to help you manage your own SEO. With an integrated suite of tools powered by leading 3rd party providers including SEOMoz and Majestic, our new service is a highly cost effective way to manage your online presence:

  • Position reporting
  • Site technical audit tools
  • Integrates with Google Analytics
  • Backlink analysis tools to help you manage your link-building activities
  • Social media 'Buzz' 
  • Checklists to help you manage your efforts

and more ...

To check out the new tool set, why not request a free audit of your own site? Simply click the link at the bottom of this page!. 

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Position reporting offline

We're sorry to have to announce that our SEO position reporting system is currently offline due to the unexpected and unannounced demise of our long term technology provider.

Regrettably, this means that all historical positional data is no longer available. As it happens, we were already at the early stages of implementing a new and improved set of tools and this will be launched very shortly, and new logins will be provided as soon as the new system is live.

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Website Support Update

Some changes to our website and hosting support services, and clarification of some issues that have arisen over recent months.

We'd like to remind all clients that all out-of-warranty support is chargeable, either as part of a support contract or at our hourly rate. Any requests along the lines of 'Can you just...' will be treated as support requests and charged accordingly!

To request support, help, or site amendments, please send your request to - this will automatically raise a support ticket which helps avoid support requests disappearing into the quagmire of general correspondence.

Points to note:

  • Priority is given to support requests where an annual support agreement is in place
  • Other support requests are prioritised by OUR interpretation of order of urgency or criticality, and scheduled to fit in around any other work already in progress.
  • If it is a relatively small task - i.e. less than 2 hours of likely duration, we will carry out the work if practical/possible, and invoice you accordingly, without requesting further approval, unless you clearly state you only want an estimate.
  • If the task is likely to take longer than 2 hours, we'll give you an estimate first.
  • The minimum chargeable period is half an hour
  • We are not an IT consultancy or IT support provider. We cannot help you with your in-house network or email services other than how they relate to any hosting provided by us. We will help where we can, but we cannot advise on configuration of email clients, debugging connection problems, or the vagaries of your network or ISP. For assistance in these areas you will need to engage an IT support company.

CMS Lifetimes

The fact that we built a website for you one, two or several years ago does not mean a lifetime's free support! You wouldn't drive a car around for years on end without getting it serviced, and the same applies to websites - they do need some maintenance and upgrading from time to time.

Software has a lifespan, and it's relatively short. The older a piece of software is, the greater the likelihood of security and compatibility issues. It is unreasonable to expect that a piece of software developed several years ago will remain compatible with the latest server software, or remain secure. As with nearly all software developed anywhere by anyone, security flaws have been exposed in older versions of Joomla and Wordpress (and their additional plugins), particularly as in many cases they necessarily have to be run on older versions of PHP and Apache, which have also been found to have security vulnerabilities. Joomla versions 1.0, 1.5 and 2.5 are now long past 'end-of-life' and are no longer supported by the developers.

Over the last few months we have seen a proliferation of attacks on sites running some of these older versions, particularly Joomla 1.5 and Wordpress <4.5, some successful, resulting in significant downtimes (and cost) while sites are recovered.

The bottom line is that if your site is running an old version of Joomla or Wordpress, it is vulnerable to attack, and it should be upgraded, sooner rather than later, as should your site be hacked:

a) we may not be able to recover it or continue hosting it, leading to significant downtime while it is replaced or upgraded, and

b) the cost of recovering it is chargeable, and there is no guarantee that recovery will be anything other than a short term solution. Prevention is better than cure, and now is the time to upgrade or you run the risk of significant downtime.

If your site is running one of these older CMS systems, we will be in touch with your upgrade options if we haven't already - for 'standard' sites the cost of upgrading to the latest CMS version is not prohibitive, and should you choose not to upgrade the eventual cost and harm to your business could be considerably higher, and we may not be able to provide ongoing support for your site.

Terms and conditions

All work undertaken by us is subject to our current terms and conditions : See Terms and Conditions

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Google Penguin 4 Officially Launches Today

The latest iteration of Google's war on webspam kicked off officially today.

As with previous Penguin updates, the target is to attack sites engaging in illicit linking strategies. Key features are 'Real Time' processing, where penalties are applied (and hopefully removed) following each crawl and re-indexation, and 'Granularity' penalising sites at page rather than domain level.

Better get ready for some movements in SERPS over the coming weeks!

Click here for Google's official release post. 

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