Best Web Hosting for Beginners

Beginner web hosting

As a business owner you are focussed on many things: ordering stock, fulfilment, customer service and support, staffing – the list goes on. If you are like most business owners, your website plays a central role in bringing customers to you and keeping them engaged. But keeping your website online, running fast and in 100% working order is not one of your key skills.

You might be the boss of your business – but are you the boss of your website?

If you’re feeling a little confused or befuddled about how to keep your website working properly, read on, we have some great tips!

What is this thing called web hosting? It’s simply the provision of a little corner of the web where your website can live. It’s the service of storing your site, allowing you to easily update it, and keeping it online and running fast.

It’s not that complicated really. Let’s not overthink it.

Over the years we’ve noticed some things that small business owners really need from their hosting:

  1. Jargon-free. Owners don’t want the technical gobbledegook and the jargon that comes with owning a website. They just want their site to be online and ready for action.
  2. Great design at a low cost. Web design used to be the preserve of an elite group of nerdy types who can bamboozle the site owner into handing over thousands of pounds for a site that probably didn’t even work that well. Those days are gone. Now, you expect to be able to build your own site as easily as sending an email. You don’t want to pay thousands of pounds for it either. You might be prepared to shell out a few hundred.
  3. Take the problems away. You don’t want to be responsible for things like bringing your website back online when it’s gone down, fixing broken links and broken forms, uploading images etc. You just want your site to work so you can forget about it and get on with your day-to-day business.

Fortunaetly today there’s a range of services that are built to meet the needs of folk like you who just want to get on with your business.

Firstly there are the website builders. We don’t mean web designers or web developers. We mean web-based software that can take your basic information such as name, address, and description of your services, and turn this into incredible-looking website. There are plenty of website builders out there to choose from, but the most obvious choice hands-down is WordPress.

This system allows you to create a website in a weekend that will look amazing. You can easily bolt on functions such as an e-commerce store, contact forms, forums, maps, videos – the list goes on. All of these functions have free versions that allow you to build something that really works with costing the earth.

If you are ambitious and have some free time, you can do all of this yourself. If you have no time but a small amount of money then you can engage the services of a WordPress specialist to help you get to where you need to be quickly. Either way, it’s a great choice for the beginner to web hosting.

Do I need to be designer?

To use WordPress you need no design skills and no technical skills at all. You can choose from thousands of pre-designed themes, the majority of which are completely free, and install these into your website in the click of a button. You can literally change the entire look and feel of your website with one mouse click!

How much does it cost?

As with any form of web hosting, there are some costs to cover. Our WordPress web hosting costs from £4.99 per month. Then you’ll need to add the cost of your domain name registration onto that. Think in terms about £20 – £30 to get you started, with ongoing costs of about a fiver a month. If your business is important to you then these costs should not be too onerous.

What about support?

The key question is what happens when you need some help. Do you want to be routed to an expensive offshore call centre? Do you want to wait days for reply to an email query? Of course you don’t! You want to speak to somebody competent and understanding in the UK – someone who speaks plain English and not jargon! So the best web hosting for beginners will come with excellent backup telephone support.

If you are excited about getting your website online, check out our beginners’ web hosting package.

Web-to-email forms

Why Do Web-to-Email Contact Forms Stop Working?

Email contact forms on websites are notoriously bad at just … working! They work one day and just suddenly stop working the next. Usually the first you know about it is when you notice that you haven’t had any email enquiries from your website for a while.

Here are some tips on why email contact forms stop working and what to do about it! This is a non-technical article, so you won’t need to be a geek to make use of it.

Read more

SEO services for solicitors

Website Support Contracts – What You Should Know

So – you’ve found a website maintenance company who have the perfect tech skills to help you. Great! Hang on though, before charging in, here are a few tips on how to get the best website support contract for you with your chosen web support team. Read more

SEO rankings

What Do Website Management Companies Do?

A good website management company should make your life easier by taking away the burden of maintaining your website. If you’re thinking about engaging a company which provides website management services, this article will give some pointers on what to look for and what you should expect them to deliver.

Website management involves a wide range of activities, from creating new pages and images, analysing user data, suggesting improvements, keeping you legal and secure and ensuring your website performs optimally.

Read more

Why does my website say "Not Secure"?

Why Does My Website Say “Not Secure”?

https encryption

To remove the “Not Secure” warning from your website, and replace it with the trusted “green padlock”, you need to install an SSL certificate.

Your website will be flagged as “Not Secure” in a web browser if it does not provide any encryption of the data which passes between the website user and the site.

This data could include things like usernames and passwords, data captured in online forms, comments, credit card details, or any other kind of data, including simply requesting web pages from the site. Read more

WordPress Yoast SEO MySql query

Auditing WordPress Websites for SEO with Yoast and MySQL

Let’s say you run WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin. As time goes on you add hundreds of posts and pages. Some of these will have strong SEO titles and metas, some less so. It’s impractical to use the WordPress interface to audit them all.

You could use a site audit tool such as Screaming Frog, but this may not identify all content on your site, especially if there are no links to it. But this content could potentially appear in a site search even if not linked.

Here’s a MySQL query which will pull this information straight from your MySQL database so you can export it into an Excel document or CSV file, and hand off to somebody else for auditing. Read more

Pros and cons of outsourced webmastering

Outsourced Website Maintenance – Pros and Cons

More and more businesses are discovering the advantages of outsourcing their website maintenance. So what’s it all about and what are the pros and cons of outsourced website maintenance? Read more

Surbiton Business Expo 2016

Surbiton Business Expo 2016Surbiton Business Expo is back for the fourth year running and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

  • Learn how using easily accessible data can fuel your business success
  • Connect with likeminded people doing business in the area
  • Get inspired and learn from other businesses who’ve made it

Industry expert speakers

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Fiona Quinn
  • Sarah Gregory
  • BrightLion marketing
  • UKcentric digital marketing

On the day

A number of local and national companies will be taking stands, and offering free advice and support to local business people.

Business Radio will be on hand to conduct interviews with our expert speakers.

Speed networking – a fast-paced way to meet and greet local business people who you can do business with

It’s free for members of the Surbiton Business Community, and low-priced tickets can be purchased for non-members.

Thursday 22nd September 2016
9:30am – 3pm

Glenmore House
6 The Cresent



Three Things Affecting Paid Search Coming Down the Line

Here are three important things that are going to be big news in the world of PPC and SEO.

Local search ads

Ads on Google Maps will lead people straight to your location.

Find out more

smartphone_flickr_philcampbell_2Call-only ads

70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Mobile users don’t necessarily want to click through to a website. They want to call you right now, especially if their need is urgent – for example, breakdown services, dentists, or pizza! Call-only ads bypass the website completely and you bid for calls, not clicks.

Find out more

Expanded text ads

This new type of ad will be rolling out soon and in time will likely overtake the text ads we have now. Google is doubling the length of the title, and this can lead to a doubling of clickthrough rates.

Find out more

BBC News Moves to Responsive Design

BBC News WebsiteToday the BBC has announced that after several weeks of A/B testing it will move all users to it’s new responsive website design.

Responsive design means the same site present itself differently according to the kind of device that it’s being viewed on.

Usually this means having more horizontal content on desktops and on mobiles using bigger text, and fewer or just one column of content, with content stacking up vertically instead of horizontally. This means less pinching and zooming on mobiles, links that are easier to click, and forms that are easier to fill in, while at the same time delivering the rich user experience that desktop users demand.

We’ve been using the responsive design for a few weeks and we like it. It focusses the user on the content not on the presentation, which is Rule #1 of great web design. We didn’t much enjoy being directed to a separate website when viewing the site on mobile, but now we’ll stay on the main URL.

The BBC news team have said that up to 65% of their traffic is now via mobiles and the old desktop site was built four years ago when the conventional wisdom was to build different sites for different devices. They also have a great mobile app which is specifically designed for mobile and there are no signs that will be withdrawn.

  • Visit the new BBC News website
  • UKcentric build all new websites as responsive as standard.