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What is website hosting?

Posted on April 3, 2020 by

Web hosting

  1. the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites (Lexico).

Website hosting is a service that makes a website live and accessible onto the internet. Therefore, a web hosting service provider is a company that provides the capabilities for a website to be viewed on the internet. 

How does website hosting work?

Websites are hosted (or stored) on special, dedicated computers called servers. When a user wants to access your website, their computer will connect them to the server that hosts your website and your webpages will then be delivered through their chosen browser.

What are the different types of website hosting?

There are a number of different options that will suit different websites. If you choose to arrange your website hosting through an intermediary, rather than directly through a server provider, they will likely be able to advise you on which suits your needs best.

The main options that are available:

1. Shared hosting – This is more suitable for a low demand website. As the name suggests, with shared hosting, the website will be on the same server as any number of other websites. Using a shared server will cut down the costs of hosting a lot.

2. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting – This is a good option if you do not want to share server resources but you do not think you need a dedicated physical server just for you.

3. Dedicated hosting – This again is very much self-explanatory. A dedicated server runs on dedicated physical hardware that is used solely for your website. This gives your website the greatest freedom but the costs will likely be far greater.  

4. Colocation – This is where you purchase your own server, but rather than house it onsite, you ‘co-locate’ the server offsite, at a dedicated location. It gives you full control but with it the responsibility of taking care of everything, such as hardware, software, and any services.

How much does website hosting cost?

The cost of hosting a website can vary a great deal. There are many factors that come into play such as the size of the website, the type of hosting and the fees of a management service. We have tried to give cost brackets below for good hosting:

1. Shared hosting – £120 – £300 per annum

2. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting – £350 – £750 per annum

3. Dedicated hosting – £2000 + per annum

Who should I choose to host my website?

It is best to choose a reputable company that hosts many other websites. Hosting is a critical part of maintaining a healthy and reliable website, so it needs to be someone you trust. Make sure you do your research and find a company that has been hosting websites for a long them.


Does my website need an SSL certificate?

Posted on March 12, 2020 by

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a type of digital certificate that provides authentication for websites. It means all communications between a browser and the website are encrypted. It is a similar idea to sealing an envelope to protect the contents when it travels through the postal system. As it ensures that all data passed between two parties remains secure, SSL encryption help to prevent hackers from stealing valuable information such as credit card numbers, bank information, names, and addresses.

How do I check if a website is secure or not?

You can tell if a website is secure when the browser address bar has a padlock symbol displaying on the very left of the bar. You can also check by looking at the website URL. If it uses https rather than http then it is secure.

Why do I need one?

An SSL certificate indicates that there is a secure connection between a personal device and a website. It provides authentication, encrypts sensitive information, and provides a level of trust. There are many reasons to make sure your website has an SSL certificate:

It might be tempting to dismiss your site as too small to be a target for hackers, but most interceptions are made electronically so there is no human there deciding who to attack.

What are the different types of SSL certificates?

There are three main types:

  1. Domain SSL – ideal for blogs and smaller websites
  2. Organisation SSL – for the bigger businesses
  3. Extended SSL – this one adds your display business name in the address bar

How do I get one?

Well, this one is easy peasy. You can phone us and we do all the admin and just send you your yearly renewals. Contact us now to find out more.


Preparing for Magento 1’s End of Life

Posted on February 27, 2020 by

To all the Magento 1 users out there who are still using the software, as you should already be very well aware, Magento 1’s shelf life is coming to an end in June 2020. We are certainly hoping you already know this and if not, your web development agency has been rather naughty. 

At the end of June 2020, Magento 1 will no longer be supported by Magento and Adobe. It will still be accessible and usable but the official support will cease. There are lots of reasons running an unsupported Magento is not a good idea:

Loss of Security

Security is a paramount issue when you run an eCommerce website, regardless of size. Without the support of Magento and the regular release of security patches, it will be very difficult to keep your site secure and prevent any known vulnerabilities being exploited. Hackers will know when the patches have stopped coming so they will inevitably target Magento 1 sites. It is a sad truth. 

These security patches come pretty regularly. In the past 2 years, there have been over 16 security patches, which works out at approximately one every 6 weeks and they fix a good number of security issues at a time. 

Third-Party Extensions and Themes

As Magento 1 comes to its end, the development of third party extensions and themes will slowly cease. Many developers will have already stopped building them and contributing to the Magento Marketplace. This will leave Magento 1 users without new extensions and themes and the responsibility of fixing and maintaining current ones. 

So, Magento 1 users, it seems you have three options:

1. Upgrade to the Magento 2 platform

This will probably seem like the most logical next step. No one really likes change and if you are used to Magento 1 you will likely want to go to Magento 2. However, Magento 2 is a completely different platform. Themes and extensions are also completely new.

If you are looking to move to Magento 2 opensource, formerly known as Magento Community, you need to be aware of some of the issues that have lately arisen:

The ongoing costs of updates, development, and integrations

Security patches are now only provided for the latest Magento 2 versions and have since been rolled in with the version upgrades. These upgrades take a huge amount of development time which makes them very costly for you the customer and given their frequency, the costs are racking up. Unfortunately, these patches are by far the best way to keep a Magento 2 site secure. There are options of relying on third-party services which attempt to plug the gaps if you chose not to stay on the latest version, however, these still have additional costs and can’t cover all issues.

It is a demanding system

Magento requires a lot of development, customisation and maintenance. It also needs some serious server power to run as well as multiple specialised technologies to be available on the hosting platform. Again, costly. If you are to look at the fees for having and running a site for say, 3 years, it would be a pretty penny (and then a load more pennies until we are way, way up wondering why we counted in pennies). 

Support? Not so much

There are thousands of open Magento support tickets and with that, there is a queue. It is long and in the end, you might not get much support at all. Official fixes for core bugs can take months to appear, often forcing developers to spend time, and hence more money, fixing these rather than building bespoke functionality.

So, you do not fancy Magento 2? We don’t blame you. Let us look at your next option:

2. Move across to a different system altogether

Now, isn’t this an exciting option! Brand new. Completely different. New name. New loyalty. But which one? There are so many! Don’t we know it? WooCommerce has the most hacks and Shopify sites you never actually own so these should be crossed out. Surely you have crossed them out? 

What is left? Shameless plug time but our eCommerce platform of choice is Coaster. Built on the wonderful language of Laravel and with the user in mind, there is no platform that is easier to use. What is not to love? Many of our old and newer Magento customers are moving across to Coaster and never looking back. Now that is a resolution that we love.

3. Stay on Magento 1 and hope for the best

In light of everything written above, we can not recommend this option. It is inevitably frustrating to be ousted from a platform you are probably very happy with. Therefore it is understandable if you have considered hunkering down and hoping to continue your time on Magento 1. We do not blame you. We loved M1 and will be sad to see it go.

If you do have any concerns or questions, please contact us and we would be happy to help.


When is it time for a new website?

Posted on January 28, 2020 by

If you are reading this article, it is probably now. Now-ish. 

But, if you’re not sure, we have put together this article to help you see the light. So, have a read, and if any of the 7 points apply, then it may just be time to contact us (and reap the rewards) of a brand new website. So new it squeaks when you walk (too far?)

Our 7 (deadly) signs that you need a new website:

1 You have competitors

If you have competitors, which you do, you need to remain…competitive. Unless your website is better than all of theirs, and perhaps it is. Yet here you are on a blog article about the signs it is time for a new website… It takes only 50 milliseconds (or 0.05 seconds) for people to establish their opinion of your website. We were all taught not to judge books by their covers but it seems that the lesson fell on deaf ears. So, if you want potential customers to pick you and save their 0.05-second judgements for someone else, then it’s simple really.

2 You want more sales

The power of a well-oiled website to generate revenue is, well, powerful. You can only really appreciate the value once you have one. We’re talking about a lead generating, consumer-enticing, informative and damn-good-looking website. You may be pretty happy with your sales and not looking to increase them (really?). Nonetheless, your website can always be performing better and you are probably losing more leads than you want to know. We know sales aren’t everything and looking after the clients you already have comes first. But why wouldn’t you want your website to be an effective means of driving sales? Unless you have highly optimised social platforms, it is likely to be your best tool for online lead generation. 

3 Your site is more than 3 years old

There is a general rule of thumb that a website’s ‘use-by’ date is usually at about 18 – 30 months. This is quite broad and there are certainly other factors at play but if your site has been collecting dust for over three years then it may be time to think about upgrading to a newer, younger model. 

4 Your site isn’t mobile-friendly

Stop reading and contact us immediately. This is not a false alarm.

But really, if it isn’t, it should be. Mobile usage for browsing the internet has overtaken desktop usage. It now has 52.27% of the market share. If your website isn’t optimised for handheld devices, which is pretty simple stuff, then on average, over half of your website visitors are being shown a site that looks bad and isn’t doing your brand justice.

It’s not only important to make sure your site is user-friendly, as it’s these users that are prospect customers, but also, Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher and we know how important this is. (If you don’t know how important this is, again, stop reading and contact us now. The SEO gods are turning in their graves.) A good website is nothing without great SEO and you need a responsive website for that.

If you are not sure whether your site is mobile-friendly, here is a handy little way you can find out.

5 Its looks and functionality are just a little outdated

We say ‘just a little’ very generously. If your site doesn’t look and operate like it belongs in 2030, do you really want it? The navigation needs to be intuitive and the site structure needs to be easy to follow. 88% of consumers are unlikely to return to a site if they have a poor user experience

It helps to think of your website as your home. Your ‘business e-home’. Would you want to take your guests on a tour of your website as it is? You want to offer the best and most relevant content and features for your visitors to provide them with the greatest experience that will have them wanting to come back. 

6 It is slow

There is nothing worse than a slow website. You know it. We know it. 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So if you are breaking the magic 3-second rule then you need to speed things up. 

7 You can’t update the content yourself

If you can’t easily manage content updates in-house then it’s definitely time to upgrade. Now we’re not telling you developers are no longer needed, they certainly are, but content management systems (CMS) have been around for a while now so if your website isn’t one, then it should be. Or, yours is a CMS that is just not easy to use and is counter-intuitive. Either way, it’s time to upgrade.

Let us conclude

New year, new website. Why not? I think I’ve even persuaded myself. 

‘But who can I trust to build me this new website?’ I hear. You’re in luck! We build websites and we’ve been building them for over 20 years. What are the chances? So go on, give us a call. We can make your wildest (website) dreams come true.


20 Years of Web-Feet

Posted on June 17, 2019 by

On June the 17th, 1999 Web-Feet stopped being just an idea and it became a Limited Company. 20 years later, to mark the occasion (we have eaten lots of cake and generally felt rather proud to be part of something that has not only lasted but thrived over the last two decades) we thought it would be nice to write a blog that looks back on our biggest milestones. A whistle-stop tour of the last 20 years or so.

We also want to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of it. We are very lucky that we get to do what we love and through our services we help you communicate your messages to your customers and continue doing what you love every day. So it goes without saying that we hope to continue working together for many years to come.

1997

After the birth of her second child, Gillian left her fast-paced sales role to relax and spend time with her growing family. Unbeknown to Gillian, this was not to be the end of her working life nor time to enjoy the fruits of being a stay at home mum, but instead the beginning of running her own business and being busier than ever.

1999

Just a few months after the inception of Google, Gillian very quickly realised the power that the internet would have to connect businesses to consumers and even the most niche of them. Stewart must have decided that Gillian wasn’t busy enough with two very young children so he suggested that she start her own business creating websites. Back then, the internet was commonly known as ‘the web’ and you need feet to walk – so along came Web-Feet.

Our very first logo was made out of clay – we still love it but we have certainly come a long way since then.

1999 (cont.)

Just a few months later, with absolutely no idea how to build a website, Gillian had sold one to a company called Sandwiches Unlimited (thank you very much). Gillian then had to hire a little help to actually build the website. For the first few years, the business was completely run from a bedroom in the house.

2000

Web-Feet’s first CMS site was built – an updated Sandwiches Unlimited site so that they could change their menu (as any good sandwich company should).

2001

Our first e-commerce site was for a company called Naughty Hampers (no longer around we’re afraid, so you’ll have to use your imagination). As the company grew, the spare bedroom was no longer cutting it (there were so many people that someone had to leave the room to let someone else in) so they moved into their first office in Chandler’s Ford.

2004

After initially outsourcing all of our SEO work, we decided to bring it in-house. We wanted to have full visibility of the process and be able to incorporate it into the journey of each website’s development.

2009

After ten years of business, we decided to reward ourselves with an even bigger office, still in Chandler’s Ford but with enough room (and then some) for the growing team.

2016

When you spend lots of time building sites, you often realise what’s missing and what could be made easier. So, to fill this space, we developed our own CMS called Coaster. It was built with the customer in mind – we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to make changes, and who are we to keep it a secret from the world? So, in 2016 we released it as an open source platform. Coaster is now used by design agencies all over the world and we have built many of our own client’s websites with it, along with Magento and WordPress.

2017

We rebranded and built ourselves a new website to go with it, although we’re already thinking about the next one. That’s the one thing about being web developers, you will never be satisfied with your own site.


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2019

20 years later, Gillian is still at the helm of Web-Feet with Stewart as master of SEO, technology, and accounts. We now have a very busy team who cover the whole mix of digital marketing.


Some of our happy customers

logo ahmad
logo poingdestres
logog swiss
logo ibhs 1
ww
logo sgc
logo nationwide
logo undersea
logo roughton
logo stcross
logo pulse
logo mm
logo jfl
logo heritage 1
logo firesafe
logo electrofreeze
logo clickmetal
logo baguetti
bpc
logo ccc 1
log arokah
logo labs
logo paragon
logo trant
logo nahh
logo edge
logo romsey
ace1
ace2
spaceway logo
logo bookharbour
logo chartco
logo cranbourne
logo magister
logo mgmetals
logo westway
logo ocean
logo testvalley
logo brittania
logo faac
recref
logo gss