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Avoid Being a ‘Not Secure’ Site

Posted on April 19, 2018 by

Google has released a statement saying “Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as ‘not secure'”.

So what can you expect if your website does not have an SSL Certificate?

Google will display a ‘Not Secure’ message marked with a red triangle next to your URL. This message will inform all the users that they shouldn’t enter any sensitive information onto this site as the information they enter will not be encrypted.

What is an SSL Certificate, who needs one and what steps does your business need to take now? Let’s take a closer look at these:

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In other words, an SSL is the security technology that keeps the connection between the web server and browser secure.

install ssl

Who needs an SSL Certificate?

Some people might think that an SSL Certificate is only needed if you have an e-commerce store. This is not true.

ANY website with ANY kind of text input needs one. Whether it’s a contact form, search bar, login panel, etc. The SSL provides security, integrity and privacy for both your website and your user’s information.

What are the reasons your businesses should have an SSL Certificate?

Not to mention the big red ‘Not Secure’ message won’t look good on your website and will probably put your potential customers off. Let’s be honest, would you enter any of your personal details on the website if you saw a message ‘Not Secure’? The answer is probably no. Not having an SSL Certificate can cost your business a lot.

Encryption of the information

As we mentioned earlier, an SSL keeps the information (e.g. username and password) encrypted whilst it travels between the server and the browser. This way the information you enter onto the site becomes unreadable to anyone else during this journey – apart from the server you’re sending it to.

Improved SEO

A couple of years ago, Google announced that websites which have an SSL Certificate perform better in Google rankings. When it comes to SEO, we believe every little helps so it’s definitely worth having one on your site.

Building trust

When you have an SSL and customer enters your site, a little green padlock with a ‘Secure’ message shows up next to your URL. The padlock represents a secure connection to the site meaning that the information the customer enters is private. This helps to make your business look trustworthy and reliable in the eyes of your customers.

Protect your business from attackers

We hear a lot about cyber attacks. Without having an SSL Certificate, it is almost impossible to escape these attacks. If your website does not have an SSL, your visitors’ information can be easily attacked as it travels between the server and the browser. This way you put your customers as well as your business at risk.

What action does your business need to take?

There’s only a couple of months left before the release of Google Chrome version 68. You really need to take action now and get yourself an SSL certificate, otherwise, your businesses will be one of those obviously ‘Not Secure’ sites to use.

Contact us today to install your SSL Certificate


Cookies And Cookie Policy Under GDPR

Posted on April 11, 2018 by

You will have no doubt heard a lot of buzz around the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) on 25 May 2018. As a website owner, there are some specific considerations coming into effect as part of these new regulations. Under GDPR regulations, cookies are considered personal information as they are used to identify an individual. As you conduct your GDPR review and audit for your business this is how you must treat cookies.

Cookies and your cookie policy

Your website will almost certainly be using cookies to track visitors which means that you will need to make some changes to how these are used. Firstly, you will need to as a minimum have a soft opt-in for site visitors. If your website is aimed at consumers then we would recommend a specific click for consent option that allows you to provide evidence of an opt-in. In either case this means that you must as a minimum do the following;

  1. Ensure no cookies are dropped before a visitor has given express consent to accept your cookies.
  2. Tell your visitors what you use cookies for and then make it clear that if they proceed past the page they landed on, they are giving consent for you to drop a cookie(s) on their device – this is not recommended for B2C website as it will almost certainly not pass GDPR rules. Alternatively, you must give them the option to continue without accepting cookies although it should be noted that this will stop some websites from working properly or as intended. This should be made clear to your visitors at the outset if applicable.
  3. Give a link to your cookie and or privacy policy which should clearly detail what you are using cookies for and how a visitors data might be used.
  4. Finally, and this is really important, provide the ability for visitors to revisit your site and opt out of your cookie policy and be forgotten. Again this should be made clear at the point of entry to your website such that visitors are clear as to how this process works should they wish to opt out at a future date.

Privacy policy

Your privacy policy should detail everything regarding the use of cookies on your website, how they are used and what they are used for. If you use any forms on your website you should state what you do with this data, especially if you plan to share any data with third parties. If you are using data you collect to identify website visitors you must also make this clear. The privacy policy relates only to the use of the website or data collected via the website so is separate to your terms and conditions or other more general GDPR requirements.

Actions you will need to take

  1. Cookie audit – you will need to have an audit carried out to determine a list of the cookies used on your website along with what those cookies are used for. This information is needed for both your cookie policy as well as your privacy policy.
  2. Cookie policy and opt in/out modifications to website. Once the audit has been completed and the policy written you will need to implement the cookie opt in functionality on the website. No cookies are dropped on the landing page and this will ensure proper consent is received from your visitors as they proceed to use your website. Perhaps the most important part of GDPR however is the opt out functionality you will need to implement. Somewhere on your site, and we would probably recommend the privacy and or cookie policy pages, you must provide an opt out that will remove cookies from a previously opted in visitor and prevent further tracking. As previously noted, this may render your site inoperable to the visitor so you will need to cover this in your policy wording.
  3. Update privacy policy – this will be focussed on what data you are collecting, why you are collecting it and if applicable, who you are sharing it with. It will also need to give details of the person responsible for your policy such that you can be contacted.

Summary

Complying with GDPR for your website needn’t be a huge burden and is essentially an extension to the current DPA rules. As such, assuming you are already DPA compliant, you will have a good basis on which to work from. The main reason that there’s so much buzz around GDPR is that is comes with some potentially significant fines for non compliance. This might sound scary but everyone will be conscious of how important their own personal data is and should therefore be keen to extend the same sentiment towards how they manage personal information themselves.

Disclaimer

GDPR compliance is the sole responsibility of any business that falls under the jurisdiction of the regulations. The information contained within this article only covers a small part of the GDPR regulations and is our interpretation of the regulations regarding the use of cookies.


Important Information About GDPR

Posted on April 6, 2018 by

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on the 25th May 2018.

You’ve probably already heard the abbreviation GDPR floating around these last few months. This is not just another piece of legislation taking place – it’s crucial that businesses take action now. But first, it’s important to know how this affects the way businesses use and track personal data, and the steps that businesses need to take now in order to be prepared for these changes.

The GDPR is completely changing the way businesses can use personal data. The aim of the new regulation is to protect the individuals’ data and privacy. What exactly is meant by this? It affects the way businesses collect, store and use the information about individuals, and applies not only to a customer data but also your past or present employees and suppliers. It gives individuals more freedom to ‘control’ what businesses do with their personal information.

Who does the GDPR affect?

You may think the new regulation only applies to large organisations, but regardless of the size of business, GDPR is affecting every business that works with European citizens’ data.

However, the good news is that the GDPR treats small businesses differently to the big ones. The businesses with over 250 employees must employ a Data Protection Officer (DPO) – a person responsible for making sure that the business collects and secures personal data in a responsible way. If the business employs less than 250 people, there’s no need to employ a DPO. However, small businesses still need to be compliant with the changes happening on the 25th May 2018.

The GDPR does not only affect businesses located in the UK. The GDPR is about protecting the data of all European citizens, which means that a business in any part of the world that sells goods to or works with European citizens has to comply with the new European regulations.

What kind of data does the GDPR apply to?

Any personal information. This could be – a name, an email address, a photo, posts on social media platforms, bank details, medical information, computer IP addresses, even sensitive information such as sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. It also includes any piece of information that could be linked to an individual. For instance, a cookie on a website can be used to identify an individual visitor and is therefore classed as personal information.

What rights will individuals have?

Right to be informed
Under the GDPR, individuals have the right to be informed about their data being collected and used. Businesses must provide their customers with a privacy policy detailing what data is being collected, why this data is collected, how long will you keep the data for and if applicable, who will you share this data with. This privacy information must be provided to individuals at the time you collect their data. In the case of obtaining the data from other sources rather than from individuals directly, you must provide details to those being affected with the privacy information within a month.

Right of access
Individuals have the right to get confirmation of their data being used and can also request access to that data (companies have to provide this information free of charge and within a month of the request).

Right to rectification
Individuals have the right to have their data rectified if their data is not accurate. If an individual requests this, the company needs to deal with this request within a month (in some cases, if the request is more complex, the one month period may be extended to 2 months).

Right to erasure (also known as ‘right to be forgotten’)
Individuals have the right to ask for erasure of their data. This includes the right to opt out of cookies on your website if they have previously opted in.

Right to restrict processing
Individuals have the right to ask for a restriction of their data.

Right to data portability
Individuals can request that their data is moved from one service to another. If this is the case, you must provide a safe and secure transferal of their data.

Right to object
Individuals have the right to object to:
– processing based on legitimate interests in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling)
– direct marketing
– processing for purposes of scientific/historical research

Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling
You must give individuals the information about the processing and introduce a simple way for them to challenge a decision.
(ico.org.uk)

What steps do businesses need to take?

Audit your business
It’s important that you know everything about the information you hold and who it’s shared with. Probably the best way to do this is to organize an audit through your organization and document what data you hold, what you use them for, where the data came from and who you share this data with. And what about your privacy policy? Also, do you give people an option to opt out? This might take a while for you to do but it will give you a better understanding of what actions your business needs to take after the enforcement of the new regulation.

Update the privacy policy
You should already provide this information, however, this should be reviewed as GDPR brings new requirements of what needs to be included in your privacy policy. You will have to explain your lawful basis for processing the data, you will also have to let people know the retention period or let them know that they have a right to complain to the ICO if they think the way you handle their data is not correct.

Cookies
Don’t forget to include information about cookies on your website – including a list of cookies and what they do. You will almost certainly also have to make changes to how cookies are used on your website, have a clear opt-in policy and also implement a way for visitors to subsequently opt out of cookies in the future.

Opt-in/-out
You must give individuals an absolute freedom to opt out. You also have to give them an option to opt in.

Be concise
State exactly what information you store, the purpose of your business gathering their data, how will you store their data, what you will do with their data, how long will you keep their data for and who else will have access to it.

Create a data policy for your business
Individuals have a total control of how companies manipulate their data. You must prepare for situations like; how will we erase the data if requested? Or who will be responsible for doing so? Also, bear in mind the period for handling requests will change from 40 days to a month!

Data breaches
Situations like this are not ideal but they do happen. You should have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate the data breaches. You have to report the data breach to ICO if it is likely to result in putting individual’s rights and freedom at risk.


Magento 1 vs Magento 2

Posted on October 5, 2017 by

Magento 1 vs Magento 2

Magento 2 is the latest version of the most popular ecommerce platform in the world. Currently holding 14% of the market share for ecommerce platforms, it’s safe to say the Magento upgrade has been a pretty big deal for ecommerce businesses.

The key defining feature of Magento 1 is it’s flexibility. Users can create stores with a variety of functions using pre-made extensions or by utilising the coding skills of their developers. This flexibility leads to a better shopping experience, with plenty of useful features and innovation opportunities for both B2B and B2C businesses. This is one of the key reasons why Magento is so popular.

However, despite this flexibility, Magento 1 is not the most user-friendly platform. It lacks performance optimisation, mobile-responsiveness, and some admin capabilities that every online store needs. These essential features aren’t part of the Magento 1 package and would need to be developed by a skilled Magento developer. There have also been many complaints of Magento 1 running slow, which isn’t ideal for an ecommerce site.

To address these issues, the Magento team designed an upgraded platform: Magento 2.

Magento 2 comes with features that make it a better platform overall. The major changes for Magento 2 include the following:

features of majento 2

Improved UX

The admin panel of Magento 1 is notoriously difficult to navigate and not user friendly. Thankfully, the team at Magento decided to address this issue head on with Magento 2.

One of the most obvious changes and welcomed to the second edition of Magento is its brand new admin panel. The new admin interface is designed to help reduce the time managing the online store. It’s a lot more user-friendly and easier to get to grips with.

Magento 2’s administrative improvements and new capabilities include:

  1. Improved product creation: The new step-by-step product creation tools allow you to add products to your store up to 4 times faster than in Magento 1.
  2. Improved data view and filtering: Admin are able to customise the new grid-style admin panel so important business information can be accessed quickly. The personalised admin panel is designed to increase productivity when managing products, orders, and customer data. This means you are welcomed with a clean, de-cluttered user interface that offers the information you need. Magento has also added the ability to quickly filter data based on any of the attributes that have been enabled in your data view.
  3. Admin navigation improvements: Overall the admin interface is cleaner and less cluttered. Menus are more organised so that finding the page and functionality that you are seeking is much simpler. These improvements lead to a smaller learning curve and quicker productivity for administrators.
  4. Data safeguards: Magento 1 was designed for a single user admin to be manipulating product data at a single time. This is troublesome for larger sites that might have multiple administrators to work on product data simultaneously, thus making your team more efficient and allowing you to more easily keep your store’s products up to date. Magento have addressed this issue with Magento 2.
  5. Product videos: Adding videos from YouTube or Vimeo is now very simple and supported by Magento 2. This offers a great opportunity to properly merchandise your products and add some engaging video content to your site.

The admin interface of Magento 2 also now includes drag-and-drop layout editing, meaning users don’t need extensive coding knowledge to modify an online store’s appearance. This means you can create a beautiful online store in half the time.

Streamlined checkout

The majority of Magento 1 stores had to alter the checkout process in some way to make it more user-friendly. Now, better checkout options are built into Magento 2. This means every store built with Magento 2 will by default have a more intuitive checkout process.

The checkout process in Magento 2 is more streamlined, making it quicker and easier for customers to go from adding items to their cart to completing an order. It’s highly customisable and requires fewer complicated steps and customer information. Reducing the checkout time is huge for reducing abandoned carts and increasing conversions, so this is a great improvement for both customers and business owners.

Magento have also simplified customer registration by allowing customers to create an account after ordering instead of during the checkout process. When a customer goes to checkout, they are brought to a default guest checkout screen where they enter an email address. If this matches an existing customer, they are given an option to checkout faster with saved information. Guests can create an account in one click from the order Thank You page. These features which simplify the order process encourage customers to return to your site and make purchases. Fewer confusing choices and fewer forms means a significant increase in conversions as customers focus on what matters: finishing the checkout process.

The new checkout also includes order details on every step, offering greater transparency to help put your customers at ease. The order summary in Magento 2 now includes product photos. This reduces ordering errors which cuts down on returns and increases buyer confidence that leads to higher conversions.

 

the benefits of magento 2

More mobile-friendly

As more and more customers are shopping on smartphones and tablets, mobile responsiveness is key to improving sales. In fact, 50% of online transactions are now performed on mobile devices. The Magento team recognised this and made mobile responsiveness a priority for Magento 2.

Magento 2 comes with new responsively designed and SEO-friendly themes, integrated video features and a streamlined checkout. These all improve the look and function of Magento stores on mobile devices, thus encouraging mobile sales. A much more streamlined, mobile-friendly checkout and faster performance will result in a much higher conversion rate for your mobile shoppers.

The new admin panel is also responsive and touch-screen friendly so you can manage your store on the go. This enhancement ensures easier control and configuration of the online store. This is great for merchants who work with their CMS via iPads or tablets – make changes in the office, on the train or at home.

Performance enhancement

Magento 2 was designed with performance in mind. The developers behind Magento have achieved this through utilising the following technical improvements:

  1. Ajax cart: Magento 2 uses JavaScript to add items to the shoppers cart without reloading the entire page, putting less load on your hosting hardware resulting in a more responsive experience and a faster checkout time for your shoppers.
  2. Cache: Magento 2’s improved caching system stores commonly accessed page elements to serve them faster to your visitors, and now includes support for caching technologies like Varnish (a popular HTTP accelerator).
  3. PHP 7: PHP is the programming language that Magento is built with. Magento 2 is optimised for PHP 7, which provides superior performance to previous PHP versions.
  4. Hosting environment improvements: Magento 2 includes new features and functionality that allows you to more easily spread the demand on your hosting infrastructure over multiple servers, which makes handling large traffic spikes much easier.

Magento 2 will run an average of 30% to 50% faster than it’s predecessor. Faster site speed encourages more user interaction with your site and more products added to your site’s cart, leading to more sales and fewer abandoned carts.

The latest Magento version can handle up to 39% more orders per hours with 66% faster add-to-cart times that Magento 1. It can also better handle many catalogue pages without slowing down, with a nearly instant server response time for catalogue browsing.

Magento 2’s improved functionality also means it can handle more traffic. Magento 2 can manage 10 million page views an hour, whereas Magento 1 can only process 200,000. This makes it ideal for large stores and able to grow with an online business.

In addition to all of these fantastic new features, updates within Magento 2 are designed to work a lot quicker, making it easy for Magento users to take advantage of new features as they’re released.

Key payment integrations

As we’ve mentioned, Magento 2 integrates a lot of popular extensions so stores have better functionality out of the box. This includes payment gateways like PayPal and Braintree. These are payment platforms the majority of Magento users choose to integrate anyway, so having them already integrated into Magento 2 makes it a lot easier for store owners.

Magento 2’s integration with PayPal means customers do not need to re-enter payment information such as a billing address as this is handled by PayPal, another development which makes the checkout process smoother and quicker.

There are also integrations with Worldpay and Cybersource to increase payment security, so customers can rest assured that their payments are safe and secure.

So, Magento 2 – have you been persuaded to transition?

Web-Feet have certified Magento developers who are eager and ready to help ease this transition. Let us help give your customers the benefit of Magento 2’s new features.

Although some have reservations about moving to Magento 2, it’s clear this platform was designed to provide a better experience for both customers, store owners and administrators. It maintains the flexibility Magento is known for, but with improved features.

What’s more, soon Magento 1 security updates will be stopping, so all Magento ecommerce site owners will have to move over to Magento 2 sooner or later.

If you’re thinking about moving your ecommerce site over to Magento 2, or creating one from scratch our team of expert Magento developers are here to help.

Contact Us


When Does Your Site Need a Security Audit & What To Check

Posted on June 29, 2016 by

Thanks to the evolution of online viruses and the growth of sites that have been broken into by hackers, dangers threatening your business are more common than ever.

The question of how often you should conduct a website security audit is vague. Ideally, you should download a security system that manages this for you and verifies your site’s safety automatically so that you do not have to worry about upkeep.

Still, most companies conduct a security audit and backup only when they absolutely have to. As an agency we often provide security audits and reviews for all types of businesses who don’t trust their software or just want a certified professional making sure they’re in safe hands.

Continue reading →


What Does Google’s Recent Announcements Mean?

Posted on May 27, 2016 by

Google has recently held a large selection of events and announced some cool interesting features being released. Whilst there were no massive surprises updates were in line with recent tests seen in the wild) there’s still work for marketers to do to understand their impact.

Here’s a summary of things to look out for in the coming weeks and months.


Pins Set To Change Maps UI?

Below is a shot showing a Starbucks pin along with a page preview at the bottom and a familiar directions button. Google didn’t add detail to how these pins would work but initially they’ll undoubtedly be just a pin, with the user needing to tap on the map to view more.

Could it be that route options may eventually offer to find points along a journey for me to eat or shop, you could call it a tailored adventure?

promoted pin Google maps

Continue reading →


5 Tremendous Digital Marketing Stats From Last Week

Posted on May 23, 2016 by

Last week’s roundup of digital marketing changes includes good news for AdBlock Plus, even better news for Zoella, plus a whole load of insight into customer loyalty, data privacy, mobile payments and Donald Trump!

Right let’s get the round up of the last week’s digital marketing stats!


60% of customers abandon baskets due to slow delivery.

A survey has discovered that customers are abandoning online baskets because their expectations for delivery are not being met.

40% of consumers said delivery is a very important factor in determining whether or not they make a purchase. Likewise, 77% said that free shipping would be more likely to encourage them to buy from a retailer again, and one in three said they are usually irritated when a company charges for delivery.

With Walmart announcing the launch of ShippingPass, an annual membership that competes with the likes of Amazon Prime, the future of retail is predicted to be fast, free shipping. We have tested Amazon Prime in-house many times and especially the one delivery slot, we think this fast service is truly the future of shopping.

Continue reading →


Emerging Marketing Trends for Businesses

Posted on May 20, 2016 by

Business have to stay competitive in their marketing to stay attractive to their audiences, this is falling to marketing trends. Surprisingly many businesses big and small don’t keep up with the trends and fall behind the market.

This means they need to be strategic and creative. They need to think long and hard about their target audience, their brand, and the message they want to send.

Below we mention some emerging marketing  trends that businesses are adopting to build a loyal consumer base. Some of them may seem risky, but in the evolving world of marketing, taking some risk is necessary.

Continue reading →


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