The following are the most common issues we see at our agency that can have long-lasting damage to the online reputation and success of a business.
1. Holding Your Domain Hostage
It happens every day. Business owners lose control of their websites. Why does this happen? Is it because they don’t know that it isn’t simply a matter of trust that keeps them in control, it is a matter of platform and process. It all starts when they fail to ask hosting and marketing service providers the right questions. What kind of questions?
Can you access your website?
Can I access cPanel?
Do you own the design, code, and content?
Do you have a backup service running and access to your backups?
Is the domain registered to your business and in your name?
Do you have access to your analytical data?
If all of these items are addressed prior to hiring a web firm, you can rest easy knowing your website is yours – FOREVER!
Let’s get to the point. If you need open and honesty from your marketing provider you are putting too much faith in trusting someone and not enough good sense to protect yourself. Marketing service providers are not your only potential threat, you also need to consider how employees and those you provide access to your website and domain may harm you. It is much more than just not renewing it and putting a backorder in place or failing to register the domain under your business.
Hiring a web partner is an important decision. You should make sure that before you allow someone to handle your online presence – they are open and honest and care about your business.
We often receive inquiries from potential clients that are coming from experiences that have been less than satisfying, so we see a lot of issues related to web development and SEO that give the industry a very negative light.
2. Picking a Shitty Web Host
Website hosting is a commodity for most hosting providers. There are those that are focused on distributing resources for profit and hosting as a business investment, then you have those that focus on hosting as a marketing and performance solution.
A bad Web host can:
- Have negative effects on your search rankings
- End up wasting your money, hard work, and other resources
- Ultimately affect your online authority in the long run
People think that when it comes to hosting the big names are the ones that they should go with. Just stick your WordPress site with a bloated theme on a $7 a month Godaddy hosting account and watch the load speeds creep up to over 6 or even 10 seconds. The fact is you lose customers and conversions after 3-second load speeds. We always aim to get websites to load in under 1 second.
Why do you need a good web host and what do you look for when considering a hosting provider? Here are 7 reasons:
- Speed because anything over 1 second is not good for marketing your website.
- Security such as prevention of brute force attacks, malware, and site injections.
- Backups need to be as frequent as you edit content and update the website versions.
- When you Need Changes you need a host that can set up new environments, help with version control, and even help publish content correctly.
- PCI Compliance for Ecommerce
- Localized Hosting means your site loads faster because the version of the site being rendered is close to the user.
- SSL certificates because since 2014 Google and other search engines have been invested in user privacy and it is an SEO factor.
Most web host farms are now owned by just a handful of large corporations. What often happens is they purchase a hosts assets and then reduce performance to save costs. Large host data centers consume maintenance and electrical resources that are very costly.
What other considerations do you make when looking for a hosting provider?
- Multi-Site Deployment
- What Types of Sites they Host
- Apache vs Nginx
- SSH/Shell access?
- Can they handle other aspects of marketing?
Finding a hosting provider that manages WordPress sites specifically for performance and can help you with other aspects of your digital marketing is few and far between. That’s what we do best!
3. Not Bothering to Set Up Domain Emails
Version Control Across Devices and Sync
Employees and Email Control
Collaboration like Google Drive, Google Docs, and other cool software
The Internet called and said AOL is DEAD!
No Ads! And it is pretty cheap if you are cool with ditching Microsoft.
4. Picking Horrible Themes and Plugins
5. Blowing Off Google Analytics and Search Console
6. Not Bothering to Purchase the Licenses Needed to Keep Your Code Up to Date
7. Making You Responsible for Loading Content
Making layouts and content look sexy while
8. Expecting You To Keep WordPress Backed Up and Current
9. Not Setting Up SSL
10. Not Optimizing Your DNS
One of the reasons you need control of your domain is so that you can quickly deploy DNS edits to your site as you grow your business and needs. Your domain registrar and DNS provider control the entries and settings for your domain which have a big impact on your SEO.
Think of DNS as a phonebook. Information from all the domain name servers across the Internet are gathered together and housed at the Central Registry. Host companies and Internet Service Providers interact with the Central Registry on a regular schedule to get updated DNS information. DNS needs to not slow your load speed and DNS also needs to propagate the web quickly.