Security
Web Hosting

SSL Certificates and You

SSL certificates provide additional security for your website and are becoming essential to have.

We explain SSL certificates and how they affect you and your website below.

SSL Certificates

Due to changes in how current web technology treats websites it is becoming increasingly important for websites to have additional security applied.

The additional security is called an SSL Certificate and encrypts any data transmitted. You can identify sites with SSL Certificates as follows:

  1. Green padlock icon in your browser’s address bar
  2. The site address begins with https:// (rather than http://)

SSL certificate as shown in FirefoxThe image to the right shows how this appears in the web browser Firefox for the main BBC website.

In particular, Google is pushing for all websites to use SSL Certificates, and we understand that not having one can have a negative impact on your search engine ranking. Google are also reinforcing this with their web browser Chrome. As of October 2017 Chrome will flag up any forms on a non-SSL website as insecure.

Previously we have only recommended SSL Certificates where sensitive data such as credit card details are collected directly on your website (which is the case for a lot of e-commerce websites). Although we feel that Google is forcing a significant change on website owners, we can’t deny the importance of Google and want to highlight the issue to enable you to make an informed decision.

Please contact us at info@webfooteddesigns.co.uk if you would like to review the impact of these changes on your website and to get pricing for setting up your website to work with SSL.

Email: POP3 or IMAP
Email

Choosing between POP3 and IMAP when setting up your email addresses

When you set up on your email addresses on your chosen software you have the option of choosing between POP3 and IMAP. They both allow you to access your email address but behave differently so you need to choose the best option for you.

POP3

If you use POP3 your emails are downloaded from the mail server onto your computer. Once downloaded the email is deleted from the server (unless you set your email software to leave all the emails on the server). If you use more than one computer or device (tablet or smart phone) to access your emails you could well find that emails you have already viewed only appear on the one computer – in other words if you download it to your desktop it then won’t be available to view on your phone.

Pros Cons
  • Because the emails are deleted from the server this helps prevent your mailbox getting too full and having emails bounce back.
  • If you use multiple computers/devices it can be difficult to keep track of where you have downloaded your emails to.
  • It is more difficult to access your emails on multiple devices.

IMAP

IMAP, on the other hand, stores emails on the mail server. What it does is sync your emails between the mail server and any computers/devices you use. It also syncs any emails you have sent with the server – so you can access your sent emails on your phone if when you’ve sent them from your computer. This makes it the better option if it’s important to you to be able to have access to all your emails on all your devices. However, because all your emails are stored on the server you have to be aware of how much storage space you have and monitor it to make sure you don’t fill up your mailbox. A full mailbox means that you won’t be able to receive any new emails, they will instead bounce back to the sender.

Pros Cons
  • You can access all your emails (including sent email) on multiple devices.
  • All your emails are stored on the server so you could find you quickly use up your storage space and cause a blockage with sending/receiving emails.
  • It takes extra management to monitor your storage space.
  • It really does sync between all devices – if you delete an email from your phone it will also be deleted from your desktop computer, if you’re not aware of that you could easily lose an email you meant to keep.

Beware

Just a word of warning. Many of the current email programs, for example Outlook, try to automatically choose your email settings for you and quite often default to IMAP. When setting up your emails please be aware of the settings and make sure you choose the options which best suit you and your mailbox storage allowance.

 

Domain Names
Domain Names

It’s all in the name

If you’re new to web design some of the terminology can be a bit confusing. One of the terms that it’s essential to learn is “domain name”. Here is our guide to domain names. Here is our guide to domain names.

1. What is a domain name?

A domain name forms part of a website’s web address and related email addresses. For example our domain name is “webfooteddesigns.co.uk”. This gives us the following:

Web address: www.webfooteddesigns.co.uk
Email address: info@webfooteddesigns.co.uk

Your domain name needs to be unique to your website and registered with a registrar.

2. How do I register a domain name?

There are many websites available through which you can register your domain name. A business offering domain name registration is called a ‘registrar’. They allow you to search to see if the domain you would like is available. If you are based in the UK we recommend that you use a UK registrar. A couple of good options are:

www.123-reg.co.uk
www.heartinternet.uk

If you are unsure about the domain name registration process and would prefer to have someone take care of this for you, you might consider our Domain Name Management service whereby we register and maintain your domains on your behalf for a small annual fee.

3. How do I choose my domain name?

Make choosing your domain name one of your first jobs when planning a website. Nothing is more frustrating and disappointing than to get a serious way towards completing your website only to find that the domain name you had in mind is already taken.

Heart Internet and other registrars usually have a facility on their website to check the availability of a domain name. If you come to us with your web project we check the availability for you and can advise you on options if it is already gone.

The golden rule when choosing a domain name is to keep it as simple as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to remember your website or email address.

4. Should I choose a .co.uk, .com or .org.uk domain name?

The different variations of domain names can be confusing. These are our recommendations:

.co.uk

If you are a business trading solely in the UK then a .co.uk is the best option. It places you firmly in the UK for those thinking of doing business with you.

.com

If you do business internationally, choose a .com as this can help you with your perception as an international business.

.org.uk

Choose .org.uk if you are a non-profit organisation. Please don’t make the mistake or registering a .org.uk domain for your business.

Registering multiple domains

When choosing your domain check whether the .co.uk and .com versions are both available – if so snap them both up as this can help protect your brand. You can easily have them both linked in with your website.

What about all the other options?

It’s true, there are many other types of domain available – .biz, .info etc. Our recommendation if you run a business is to stick to either .co.uk or .com (or both if you can). Those two are the mostly widely used, and if someone is going to make a guess at your web address the chances are they’ll try a variation of your business name with either .co.uk or .com. If you’re very keen to protect your brand, then registering other variations could help that, but it’s not something that we would consider essential.

5. What does it mean to let a domain name lapse?

When you register a domain name it is for a set period (commonly 2 years). This means that the domain is not necessarily yours forever unless you renew your registration when it is due to lapse.

If you fail to renew the registration of your domain when it is due to run out, your website will become unavailable and any related email addresses will stop functioning. Not good for your business!

There is always a grace period before the domain becomes publicly available again, so if you do accidentally let it lapse you can usually pay for the renewal and reactivate it pretty quickly. However, if you leave it for too long there is always the chance that someone else will register the domain instead, making it unavailable to you.

The best ways to avoid your domain lapsing are:

  • make sure the email address associated with your domain name account is current so that you receive notifications from your registrar
  • when you receive a notification that your domain is due for renewal, log in to your domain account and renew straight away

If you’re worried that you might not be able to keep on top of your domain name registration yourself, talk to us about our Domain Name Management service – we’ll take care of all the nitty gritty for you, so you can be confident that your domain name(s) are always kept up-to-date.