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Real Internet SSL

Is Your Website Secure?

Is your website secure? It matters to Google!

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms.

Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that an HTTPS connection is in effect.

How Does HTTPS Work?

HTTPS pages typically use one of two secure protocols to encrypt communications – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). Both the TLS and SSL protocols use what is known as an ‘asymmetric’ Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system. An asymmetric system uses two ‘keys’ to encrypt communications, a ‘public’ key and a ‘private’ key. Anything encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted by the private key and vice-versa.

As the names suggest, the ‘private’ key should be kept strictly protected and should only be accessible to the owner of the private key. In the case of a website, the private key remains securely ensconced on the webserver. Conversely, the public key is intended to be distributed to anybody and everybody that needs to be able to decrypt information that was encrypted with the private key.

What is an HTTPS certificate?

When you request an HTTPS connection to a webpage, the website will initially send its SSL certificate to your browser. This certificate contains the public key needed to begin the secure session. Based on this initial exchange, your browser and the website then initiate the ‘SSL handshake’. The SSL handshake involves the generation of shared secrets to establish a uniquely secure connection between yourself and the website.

When a trusted SSL Digital Certificate is used during an HTTPS connection, users will see a padlock icon in the browser address bar. When an Extended Validation Certificate is installed on a website, the address bar will turn green.

Why Is an SSL Certificate Required?

All communications sent over regular HTTP connections are in ‘plain text’ and can be read by any hacker that manages to break into the connection between your browser and the website. This presents a clear danger if the ‘communication’ is on an order form and includes your credit card details or social security number. With an HTTPS connection, all communications are securely encrypted. This means that even if somebody managed to break into the connection, they would not be able to decrypt any of the data which passes between you and the website.

Benefits of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

The major benefits of an HTTPS certificate are:

  • Customer information, like credit card numbers, is encrypted and cannot be intercepted
  • Visitors can verify you are a registered business and that you own the domain
  • Customers are more likely to trust and complete purchases from sites that use HTTPS

If you are concerned about the security of your website, contact us at Real Internet and we can put your mind at ease.

 

What is web design?

Web design is a general term which describes the tasks involved in creating a web page. From the smallest personal blog to a complex company website, it is important to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate. More specifically, web design refers to building a website’s “front-end”, or the parts of a web page which customers and browsers interact with.

Your website is the portal to your company success

The sheer volume of web pages show information using many different technologies linked together with hyperlinks. Web pages have two basic aspects to them. The first is a user interface, usually visual, whilst the second aspect is the “back-end” that includes the technical information. A good web design company understands both these elements and can design a website which will drive traffic to a company or individual.

Real Internet – Your one-stop shop for web design

When choosing a web design company, it is important to hire one that has relevant experience and expertise. Real Internet, based in Gloucestershire, is a web design company with a client base that covers Bristol and the South West. We offer affordable services to a diverse range of customers with a variety of needs.

Here, at Real Internet, we are passionate about designing websites that work for customers and are practical, responsive, and attractive. With our vast WordPress experience, Real Internet can build websites and incorporate plugins to give you all the options you need. We can also import your WordPress website directly into our own hosting. We use high-speed, dedicated, and secure servers. Our clients are fully protected from hacking attempts and data loss.

We offer the full web design process, from initial design to the build and publishing online. We also provide monthly maintenance packages, giving you and your business a complete end-to-end website service. Trust Real Internet for all your web design needs.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to create an effective web presence for your business.

How much does website hosting cost?

Website hosting is an essential consideration for any business that wants to have a reliable and secure online presence.

With technology forming such an integral part of how shoppers engage and interact with businesses, an online presence is more important than ever. But how much is website hosting actually going to cost, and can you afford it?

How much to host a website: what determines the cost?

When working out web hosting costs, your web developer will first determine the actual requirements your business has. Every business has its own needs when it comes to hosting. If you are a sole trader who has just had a new website go live, for example, your requirements are going to be generally smaller, compared to an established multinational with thousands of new visitors every hour. This is the primary consideration when it comes to determining web hosting costs.

Most hosting companies now offer dedicated packages of different types, to cater to these various needs. This will often include your actual hosting, as well as some other essential services such as ongoing security updates and data backups. These are very important investments for the stability and security of your website, so be wary of simply choosing the cheapest package.

Can your business afford website hosting?

The simple answer is yes. Whatever kind of business you operate, whether you have employees or you’re a sole trader, and whether your business was established a week or a century ago – you can always afford a web hosting package.

Web hosting is a scalable investment, which means you pay relative to your requirements. The more you need, the more your package is going to cost. But your increased requirement is going to come off the back of your growing success. This means that your hosting service is always going to be a comfortably affordable proportion of your cash flow.

Make a key investment in your business today

A dependable, scalable, and secure web presence is essential for any business in today’s tech-dependant marketplace. That means you need web hosting you can trust. The good thing is that you can easily afford it.

Contact us at Real Internet today to learn more.

website-report

Monthly Website Reports

Today, we are talking about the Monthly Website Reports we issue to all our clients. We send these out at the beginning of the month for the previous month. So, at the beginning of November, we sent out October’s Report. 

We will go through the Report page by page.

Overview

The Overview page shows a breakdown of everything that’s in the Report. Thus, the number of updates completed, the uptime of the website, the analytics, the security issues, the performance, and any keywords we are tracking for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Updates

The next page is a summary of the updates that we have completed over the previous month. It will show the plugins that have been updated, the theme updates etc.

For example, on the Real Internet Website Report for last month, the updraft plugin was updated, and the theme we use was updated. What is updated will vary on how many plugins are on your website, and the theme used to create it. There can be several updates each month, it just depends on what the developers send out to us.

The purpose of the updates is to make sure that our sites are running on the most secure versions, which protects our servers and customers’ websites/details from hacking attempts and to make sure that the sites are running smoothly and responsively.

As the sites are hosted on shared servers, a hacking attempt on a site that hasn’t been updated can put the other sites at risk. 

Optimization

The Optimization page shows what has been cleaned from the database. For example, spam comments, revisions, etc. The database is where all the information about your website is stored. It needs to be kept as optimized as possible to ensure that your website is looking good and performing well at all times.

Uptime

After that comes the Uptime statistics. As stated, this shows how long your website has been up on the internet live and functioning. Sometimes there can be a few glitches where it could go off for a couple of seconds and then come straight back up. These are just one of those things that happen in the wonderful world of technology. If we notice that a site has been down for more than five minutes, then we will investigate and sort it out.

One of the things that can cause a website to be down is if the security certificate is not up to date. These must be attached to your website, Google likes them and they show your site is secure to visitors. Therefore, we make sure they are up to date and active. All our websites should have a security certificate attached but, if you don’t have one, please let us know and we will install one.

Analytics

The next page is the Analytics page. It starts with an overview of the amount of traffic to your website broken down into sessions, pageviews and session duration. Analytics are measured using IP addresses, which is the unique address attached to a particular computer. When somebody, attached to an IP address, goes onto your website and how long they stay is a session.

You can see how many pages per session a visitor has looked at, and you can see how quickly they might leave your website if they don’t like it, for whatever reason. It also shows where the visitor has come from. For example, organic searches are when somebody has gone on to Google and put it in a specific search term. In our case, it would be website designers in Gloucestershire.

Following that is a breakdown of the figures where visitors came from, how long they stayed on each page, what they searched for to find your website and the countries they are based in. You will be surprised at the amount of traffic that comes from overseas! 

Security

Next, we come on to the Security page. For the Real Internet Website Report last month, we completed a total of six security checks. This shows any malware or any vulnerabilities that could be on the site, anything that would cause us concern e.g. whether hackers are trying to access the site.

Performance

The Performance page shows the number of performance checks we have completed on the website. We measure the PageSpeed and the YSlow grade that, together, indicate how well a website is performing.

The PageSpeed grade is the overall analysis of the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices. Several factors can affect the page speed, one of these is the number of images you have on your website. An image-heavy website will be slower to load than one that doesn’t have many images. But we can optimise the images to make sure that they load as quickly as possible.

As you can imagine, the better the score, the more you can assume your site is in good shape, and a good score is a fair in indicator of the wellbeing of your site in the eyes of Google.

The YSlow grade is defined by crawling your website and comparing it against a preset list of rules. A website is then scored against these rules and given an overall score based on the average. Each of the rules has a different weighting. Some rules have a bigger influence on your overall score than others.

Just like most scores, a higher score is better. But you don’t need to stress too much about having a perfect YSlow score. However, you do still want to improve your score as much as possible within reason, as improving your score would generally mean an increase in performance. If you would like to talk through your scores with us, then please do give us a ring we’re more than happy to help and make some suggestions on how we can improve the speed of your site and the overall important performance. 

SEO

The next page we come to is the SEO keywords we track. Now, you may not have as many keywords on your website, in which case, I suggest you have to think about this and what people may be searching for when they’re looking for whatever it is that you sell. We can then update your website to include those keywords. And again, this will improve your visibility on Google.

As well as monitoring keywords, we can also show the top four competitors you have for the same keywords. This is useful to help you keep track of your competition, and again, help you become more visible on Google. Which is what we all want after all!

So, that’s a very quick run-through of our Monthly Website Reports. We hope you find the information useful. By comparing your Reports month by month, you will see where things are going up or going down. You can have a think about what did I do this month that made my website go up or equally, what did I do that made my website go down? If you need help with any of this or you just have some questions, please give us a call or email us at support@realinternet.co.uk. We are more than happy to talk to you about this, the Reports or your website in general. We are here to help.

What is website hosting, and what do you need to know about it?

Website hosting is one of the most important web services you will need to consider as a business. At Real Internet, we offer a range of hosting packages tailored to our clients’ needs. But before you know which package is going to be best for you, you need to know the basics of hosting.

What actually is hosting?

Web hosting is, quite simply, where your website is stored. Our hosting service means your website and all associated files and services are stored on one of our servers. When users connect to your website, they connect to our server that it is hosted on, which allows them to browse it.

The important elements of hosting for you

If your website is going to be hosted, what do you need to consider?

The first is the speed and reliability of the server your website is going to be hosted on. Your website must remain fast and responsive to navigate, even during periods of heavy traffic. If not managed properly, the server can become overloaded, which can lead it to become sluggish or even crash entirely.

The second thing you need to think about is security. Your whole website is stored on the “hosting server”, so you need to be assured that the server itself is safe and that your website is going to be secure while stored there. At Real Internet, we take great measures to ensure our hosting servers are as secure as possible.

Data loss prevention is the third consideration you need to make. If there is an issue, you need to have access to a backup of your website and all necessary files/data to continue operating. A properly managed web hosting service will also contain provisions to help protect your website against data loss.

Investing in quality web hosting

A great website is worthless if it’s insecure and unresponsive to browse. Web hosting is the backbone of your business’ online presence and the very thing that ensures your website can be seen by the world.

Learn more about how affordable quality web hosting can be by contacting Real Internet for a quote today.