Ribon Internet Services Blog

Our blog. Articles of interest re Internet Marketing and Web Site Promotion. How to increase traffic to your web site.


Adobe Business Catalyst End of Life Announced

Simon Biar - Thursday, April 05, 2018

On the 27th March 2018 Adobe announced the planned end of life for Adobe Business Catalyst.

Adobe is announcing the end of development for Business Catalyst as of March 19th, 2018. New sites will no longer be available for purchase starting with June 18th, 2018.

Adobe will stop hosting existing sites on Business Catalyst on March 26th, 2020.

Firstly, ... don't panic! There's still plenty of time .. but we would recommend making the move sooner rather than later.

It is not the end of the world but you need to do some planning as this means you will have to move your Business Catalyst web site to another platform. 

Unless yours is a very basic site, you cannot just pick up all your code and transfer it to another hosting platform or package and it will just run. Simply put, there is no option but to rebuild your site on another platform. 

So the million dollar question is ... "Which platform is best?".

We have undertaken a detailed analysis of many of the available options for our own client base. Our conclusion is that there is no single best solution, but there are certainly ones which are much better than others. And the optimal platform does vary based on the functions you use on your web site. For example, whether or not yours is an E-Commerce site or otherwise.

So, as we've already analysed the problem and developed solutions, if you are faced with this issue, and you need some advice or some help, feel free to contact us.

Avoid TPP Wholesale

Simon Biar - Thursday, March 01, 2018

I was orignally a reseller of domain name registration and basic hosting with Ilisys. This company was taken over by UBER Global and then they sold the business to TPP Wholesale and transferred all my clients domains and hosting.

It has been an unmitigated disaster.

Netregistry use the same infrastructure as TPP Wholesale, both technology and support. And I believe this is also the case for Melbourne IT.

Emails blocked due to SPAM - ezreg.com

One of the first issues my clients had was that after the move, suddenly emails started to get blocked. Not ideal!

Turns out that TPP Wholesale use an SMTP mail server with the address 'ezreg.com'. For whatever reason, this SMTP server is used by spammers. I have my suspicions, but it is not relevant here.

Bottom line is that a bunch of my clients using this platform for email, started to have problems with email. We tracked it down to the fact that major ISPs like Telstra would 'block' emails using 'ezreg.com' as SMTP or mail server.

I don't believe this would be an acceptable situation for any online business.

Unnaceptable Support

Ive been in the IT industry for over 45 years and have never experienced such terrible support.

Firstly, you're lucky if you get a response on online support chat or via telephone within 30 minutes. And then when you do get thru, there is a serious lack of expertise meaning that it may take 6-10 contacts to actually get a problem resolved.

The number of times I have been told information that is just plain wrong is astounding.

And there is simply no 'ownership'. The number of times I've literally spent hours working with their support to resolve simple issues (like setting up basic hosting!!!) and at the end of the hour or so contact(s) I've been told, 'oh, there seems to be a problem. I will have to escalate it.' ... and you just never get a response.

Trying to use their products has simply cost me days and days of my time that I simply cannot recover.

Recommendation

Do not use TPP Wholesale. Literally anyone else would be a better option.

Be Secure or Die. SSL Becomes Crucial in 2018

Simon Biar - Friday, February 09, 2018

Chrome, which is Google's web browser, will mark all non-SSL web sites as "not secure" from July this year (2018).

SSL is short for "Secure Sockets Layer" and provides for encrypted communication between a web site user and the web site itself. You can tell if a web site is using SSL by either the web site address being of the form "https" (ie. with the trailing 's') or is shown as "secure" in the address bar in your browser (often also shown with a closed padlock icon).

Google has been on a campaign to eradicate non-SSL sites in a bid to better protect web users.

This change is intended to motivate web site owners to switch to HTTPS, which encrypts data in transit to prevent access by attackers to sensitive user information transmitted on the web particularly when users of a web site complete web forms or submit their payment details.

So, if your web site is not using an SSL certificate (and defaulting to the https version of your site) then there will be visual indicators in Google's search results pages which likely will dis-courage web users from visiting your web site some time later this year (2018).

So our advice is to get this done ASAP if you haven't already.

User Bounce Rate and Page Load Time

Simon Biar - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

According to Google's mobile page speed study, as the web site page load time increases on a mobile device, from one second to six seconds, the web site user bounce rate increases by 106%. (Bounce rate: The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds).

Effect of increased page load time on user bounce rate

Page load speed has been used as a ranking signal for quite some time, though it was mostly focused on desktop or laptop searches. As mobile search becomes a greater volume of overall searches, Google announced their Mobile Speed Update which will start to be implemented from July 2018. This update basically means that page load speed will become a more important ranking factor for mobile searches.

Google does suggest that this update will affect only a small percentage of web site pages that deliver the slowest experience to its users. Google does indicate that the actual search query stays a very strong ranking signal meaning that the slowest pages can still rank well providing they have great, relevant content.

Mobile Users

A recent eMarketer artice suggest that 80% of mobile users will leave a site that is slow to load or switch to another device (https://www.emarketer.com/content/half-of-u-s-users-stop-viewing-content-slow-to-load).

This reinforces the justification for the Google change.

80% of mobile users will leave a site that is slow to load or switch to another device

Use Googles Page Speed Insights to check your pages

To check how your web site pages perform, we recommend you use the Google's PageSpeed Insights Test to check you have well constructed web pages that are NOT slow to load.

NOTES:

  1. We have software which helps us check our clients web pages load times
  2. This is one are where Wordpress sites, because of the Wordpress plugin architecture, oftentimes suffer quite badly. Unfortunately, this is one case of 'you get what you paid for' ... and Wordpress is Open Source, or free. This is why we do not recommend using WordPress or other 'free' platforms.

Google Search Result Types: A Visual Guide

Simon Biar - Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gone are the days when Google results all looked the same; now they come in dozens of shapes and sizes. Different result types are affected by different factors, require distinct optimization techniques, and offer contrasting degrees of SEO potential. To help you make sense of it all, this article provides a detailed visual guide to Google's results — an autopsy of the modern Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), if you like.

A Visual Guide to Google Search Result Types 

Note that the Google SERP above is completely fake, but it's constructed from real Google results. All in all, theres 5 major types of results that appear on Google's search results pages, each having several subtypes.

Knowledge Graph results Knowledge Graph results
PPC Ads Ads
Local Search Results Local Search Results
Featured Snippets Featured Snippets
Free, Relevancy or Organic Results Organic Results

To read the entire article from Link Assistant's site, go to it here: http://www.link-assistant.com/news/serp-guide.html.