Google and the “Not secure” website shift

Google starts giving incentive to secure the internet.

Last year, Google made a move toward a more secure web by putting pressure on sites that are not serving pages over HTTPS. This is the main component in ensuring what you view on a website is exactly what the company or server wants you to see. Although at this time it is just a warning, it will soon be a larger concern for all you travelers of the internet. Soon ALL sites visited in Chrome that don’t serve encrypted pages will be marked as insecure, and if you don’t enforce this protocol on your site you may not appear (or may appear lower in your Google ranking) in searches.

Google goes on to explain their suggestions on how best to implement your secure content. Using an SSL isn’t as easy as flipping a switch or paying for a Certificate. If you have a large website, with enough integrations, making the change could take time to ensure EVERYTHING is fully encrypted. Want to know how to get started?

Lock with Encryption

Security is now the name of the game.

Free solutions are also available (if you know how to sling code).

If you have the time and know-how, Let’s Encrypt is getting a jump start with free SSL certificates that will serve your pages over HTTPS. They can do this because they focus on promoting best practices, showing transparency for all records to the public as an open standard, and helping to build a community where we can all feel a little bit safer on the world wide web. More solutions like this will be popping up as Google starts its security shift.

Paid solutions exist (if you want to get it up and running fast).

JAC Creative Hosting can provide you with the tools you need to get secure. If you have your own hosting solution or would like to upgrade, contact us today to keep your site and rankings secure. It may be a small step now, but it can put you ahead of your competition as Google makes its move toward a more secure internet.

How Much Does a Website Cost?

The default template you used on your company’s website has broken… again… and you are now tasked with the job of finding a designer and hosting company to get back on page 1 of Google. Time to start looking, but you ask yourself: “How much does a website cost?”

Before you start asking design and advertising agencies in Cleveland, it’s best if you can answer these questions with certainty.

1. Based on The Current Market, What Should My Website Provide to My Customers?

Different markets expect different results from a website. Restaurants and food distributors rely on social media and recommendations to get more business. If someone lands on your website, what do you expect them to do? If they email you, do you have a way to respond within the next 3 hours? How many back and forth emails will it take to answer their question, and could the website have been structured to have all these answers already organized, so that an email never needs to be sent?

Knowing the 3 Main Goals of your website will focus your attention on what your clients need.

2. What Functionality Does My Website Need?

Another aspect to focus on is looking at your current market. Your competitors may have been providing an online service for years, and they already have a giant head start on the problems and solutions clients may ask. Learn from your competition, find what they do well, and do it better, and find where they are lacking, and become the main hub for that solution.

Once you know what you should be providing, research the best way to provide it, and list out all the companies and services that have mastered it. Collaboration (even for a cost) works better than re-inventing the wheel every time.

3. Will I need to Scale My Website in the Future?

A simple solution that can solve the problem now  is good, but what about 3 years from now? Do you have a plan in place for a phase 2, 3, 4, or 5? You need a chain of command that will allow you to make your website grow organically, without ending up a complicated mess as pages, people, and projects get added.

Always have a plan for where new pages will go, what to do if you hire a marketing manager, or even if you want to let someone write a guest blog post. A well thought out structure may increase your website cost, but it will save you and your company money in the long term.

Website Page Breaks

A web page breaks when you least expect it.

4. Who Do I Call When Something Breaks?

No one wants a page to break, but it happens. Disaster can always happen and the only way to soften the blow is to have a disaster plan. Understanding who to call and what steps need to be taken to get your website fixed are crucial. Are there backups? Is there a plan in place if someone’s email only sends cat photos? What if someone mentions your site on TV, and you get 6,000 people checking it out at the same time? Could you handle that traffic and get 6,000 customers?

Having a policy and plan in place will save you a countless amount of headaches and missed opportunities.

5. So, What Does A Website Cost?

After you have answered all these questions (or wrote them down), start asking around your local Cleveland advertising and marketing agencies. Shel Perkins at AIGA wrote a great article about pricing models and the phases of purchasing a website design, and knowing what you are buying is always a good idea.

JAC Creative also has a system for scoping and estimating a website cost broken down by Market Standards, Functionality, Scaleability, Security & Backups, and customer support. We have been doing this for some time now, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Shoot us a message to get started.

The Simplicity of Web Design

Knowing what a section is in HTML5, setting up the newest version of PHP, and how to properly configure your robot.txt are all great things when it comes to building a website, but you could be overlooking some simple rules of the internet.

3 Simple Rules of Web Design

It all really boils down to displaying the correct information about your product or service. That information needs to load quickly, across multiple devices, and needs to be built in a way that is easily shared with others. These simple rules make or break your website or online advertisement.

Loading Quickly

Looking pretty is one thing, but having the correct information load on a phone (we know most of you just browse the web on your phone) in the shortest time possible. Images are good to have, and are a big part of the internet, but content is king, and a big part of that is through text paired with optimized images.

Structured Content

When it comes to current web standards, things can get a little tricky. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of HTML5’s sections and hgroups, because making Google index things better is extremely important. More importantly than having the most optimized page is organizing it in a way humans can understand it. The more Google grows and learns, the higher level of understanding Google has when it comes to simply reading your services on a webpage. Write for humans first, then spend the rest of your time making robots recognize it.

Call to Action

The internet is just like the highway. Everyone has places to be and things to do. You don’t take a longer route to get to your destination, you take the shortest path possible. A Call to Actions on a webpage can be as simple as a single button that leads to an easy form to fill out. If two companies provide the same product or service for the same price, it all comes down to ease of use.

JAC Creative strives to follow all of these rules of web design with all of our clients’ websites. We want to make it easy for clients, their customers, and everyone in between.

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