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What is GDPR?

New regulations concerning data protection are coming into force in May this year with massive penalties for non-compliance.

On Friday, 25th May 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will come into effect. As GDPR is mainly a legal matter, we’d highly recommend speaking to your solicitors regarding the changes. Whilst GDPR’s reach is far wider than your website alone, here are some of the key points that may affect your website and the possible solutions.

Privacy Policies

If you do not currently have a Privacy Policy on your website, we would recommend adding one reflecting GDPR. If you do have one, the content of this and your procedures will need to be revisited to reflect the changes GDPR brings.

The very short version from a website design point-of-view is that you will need to inform users of what information your website collects, what it is used for, where it is stored and how long for. You will need to check what other information from a legal-point-of-view you need in your privacy policy but I know you also need to inform users how they can access the information you have on them and have a procedure in place in the event of a breach.

Examples of how websites can collect data include use of; Google Analytics, Contact Forms, E-Commerce, Newsletter Sign-Ups etc.

Another important note is that you can no longer have automatic opt-ins for newsletters, there must be explicit consent to join. If you have a pre-existing list that you cannot prove gave you this consent, you may need to ask them before the GDPR date to confirm they wish to opt-in, or after this date you cannot email them.

Some information collected is not collected in the form of data inputted, but in cookies. We’ve detailed one way of finding which ones your website used below.

Checking Cookies

In order to check which cookies your website uses, you can use Developer Tools on browsers such as Google Chrome.

If you’re using Windows and Google Chrome – press Ctrl + Shift + I to turn on Developer Tools

When Developer Tools is open, click the Application tab then on the left Cookies and under that your website address.

A list of all cookies on that page will be generated. It’s important to go on all pages of your website as some pages may have different features, using different cookies. If you have a login section on your website that customers can access, you will need to remember to analyse these pages and the My Account pages etc.

How we can help with GDPR

As the GDPR date draws nearer, we’re getting more emails from clients asking about us making their website compliant. The difficulty we have is that as every website is bespoke, there is no blanket response we can give or one document we can send out. We can not advise on any legal matters and so the only service we can provide with GDPR is manually auditing your website on your behalf and providing any information you may need for your own privacy policy.

If you do not currently have a maintenance plan we have to bill on an hourly basis for this or if you do have a maintenance plan, we will work up until your allocated hours and then bill thereafter. Using the Cookie Tool above you should be able to access all the information you need yourself so us helping you with GDPR is not at all mandatory and just an additional service we offer.

We can also check the compliance of all plugins associated with your website, though some of the larger ones are still working out GDPR themselves and we may have to wait a while for official information from them. Any plugins that are no longer compliant may need to be revisited.

If you already have a privacy policy on your website you can obviously update this yourself using your logins. If you need to create a privacy policy, you should be able to add a page yourself and then link somewhere on your website. If you need this linked in the footer or somewhere that it will need to be coded or wish for us to add the privacy policy for you, please contact us.

Website Tips & Advice from Cornwall Design and Print

From May this year, all of our support emails with the latest news concerning our websites will be sent via MailChimp. If you’re not already signed-up and would like to receive updates, please do so using the below link.

Google’s Mobile-First Update

One of the biggest updates to Google’s algorithm that his been in the pipeline for a while now is their Mobile-First Index. Whilst this was announced last year, the launch isn’t due until 2018, though reports have been circulating that they have already begun to operate the algorithm on a small number of websites.

The Mobile-First Index half explains itself within the name, they will index by mobile-first. Previously though having a mobile-friendly website was important, Google would base most of your rankings on the desktop version of your website. This algorithm change will mean that Google will look at the mobile-version of the website first and this will form the priority when it chooses where to rank a website.

“Google has previously said that content that’s not deemed mobile-friendly will not rank as well. That remains the case with this new index.” – Search Engine Land

If you already have a responsive mobile-friendly website you don’t need to be concerned about this change as you’re already set to go! Anyone without a mobile-friendly responsive design however should look to upgrade their website before the change in order to keep or improve upon Google rankings.

If you have any concerns regarding mobile-first or wish to discuss any web project, get in touch.

Contact Us

10 + 6 =

It’s crazy to think we’re heading into the final quarter of 2017. With so many advancements in SEO and website design this year, we thought we would round up our top 3 website upgrades to complete before 2018.

ONE / Upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS with an SSL Certificate

In 2017 browsers have really stepped-up their game in the pursuit to encourage HTTPS only websites. We went into it further back in April but essentially, if you want to rank well and avoid warnings on your website you need to upgrade to HTTPS.

TWO / Upgrade to a Mobile-Friendly Design

If you haven’t upgraded to a mobile-friendly website design already, you’re losing out. It was over 2 years ago now that the term “mobilegeddon” dominated SEO blogs and the sentiment of it still stands. In fact, Google has recently stepped-up the game a little. Google is set to launch their “Mobile-First” indexing soon and it will mean if your website isn’t mobile-friendly or your mobile version isn’t up to scratch, your rankings are at risk.

THREE / Upgrade to the latest version

Something we’ve come across increasingly in recent years are websites that have been left to decay, often the version of their websites are years past the best-before-date and therefore vulnerable. We often give the analogy that websites are like cars, to perform at their best they need to be regularly serviced and looked after. So many times we’ve seen websites be compromised and hacked as a result of a severely out-of-date system. To avoid this, have a website-refresh often to keep all framework and plugins up-to-date.

Small Websites, Big Impact

Last year we launched a new smaller package, the micro-website, and the response has been so good we wanted to blog about it.

Our clients can choose from a one-page dynamic scrolling design or up to 3 page standard bespoke web design, depending on which they prefer and suits their online needs.

Our one-page websites are perfect for clients who need a well-designed and informative web presence without needing a lot of content. We build in a scrolling design, with a dynamic menu that will move the page to the point of your choosing, all whilst being easy to navigate with all the content being on the same page.

Our three page websites are the most popular as they allow for a lot more content, even across only 3 pages! Having extra pages allows the content to be split for a more minimal design.

Though these websites are small in size they’re packed with our usual high-spec of features including:

  •  Bespoke Mobile-Friendly Design
  • 12 Months Premium Hosting
  • SSL Certificate for added security and speed
  • Up to 3 Mailboxes (10GB)
  • .co.uk Domain Name
  • CMS System for you to be able to edit the website content yourself
  • Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Google Analytics Integration

To find out more about our micro-websites or any online requirements, get in touch.

What is a SSL Certificate and why do I need one now?

When visiting a website, you may notice some begin with http:// and some begin with https:// the difference is the “s” being a SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates provide an extra layer of security for a website through a cryptographic key, but we won’t get into the exact web jargon here.

As of 2017, browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have decided to bring ‘Not Secure’ messages to the front-and-centre of websites for visitors, promoting online safety. The browsers will now display warnings when users are on websites without SSL certificates, letting users know they are not secure. Further warnings will be generated if the user is required to use passwords or use a payment gateway.

Further to the browsers clamping down on websites without SSL certificates, popular payment gateways will no longer work correctly or at all without an SSL certificate present on a website.

Google also lists SSL Certificates and secure websites as a ranking feature, so not only do SLL certificates benefit security and user experience, they also benefit SEO!

Why You NEED an SSL Certificate

Don’t just take our word for it, the benefits speak for themselves!

HTTPS loads websites far faster than HTTP

Faster websites means higher search rankings. Test the difference here

Firefox will warn users about entering any information if you don't have an SSL

Warnings will appear in login fields and checkouts.

Browser User Warnings

“Eventually, Chrome will show a Not Secure warning for all pages served over HTTP, regardless of whether or not the page contains sensitive input fields. Even if you adopt one of the more targeted resolutions above, you should plan to migrate your site to use HTTPS for all pages.” Developers, Google Chrome

“To continue to promote the use of HTTPS and properly convey the risks to users, Firefox will eventually display the struck-through lock icon for all pages that don’t use HTTPS, to make clear that they are not secure. As our plans evolve, we will continue to post updates but our hope is that all developers are encouraged by these changes to take the necessary steps to protect users of the Web through HTTPS.” Mozilla Firefox

How Do I Get One?

Contact us for a quote in switching over to HTTPS by gaining an SSL certificate.

3 DIY SEO Tips

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of optimising a website to rank well on search engines. The algorithms and bench marks that search engines use to decide your websites ranking are ever changing, and so keeping up can be daunting. Whilst true SEO takes a lot of time and expertise, there are a few ways that you can boost your ranking prospects without even an ounce of coding knowledge.

ONE. Keep it fresh

If there’s one tip we always pass onto clients upon finishing their website design, its to keep it updated! Both search engines and your viewers love fresh content on a website, it shows your business is still active. The easiest way to update your website is to blog about topics relevant to your business.

TWO. Google my Business

Local SEO is important if your business has a base or appeals to a target location. Google my Business is Google’s own local “directory”. Google my Business puts your business info in local search results, on Google Maps and Google+. If you haven’t already, create a Google my Business page https://www.google.com/business/ and if you do have one, make sure its filled out in full with helpful, well written content.

THREE. Analyse and Adapt

It’s all very well optimising your website, but you have to know it works! We recommend Google Analytics. It’s easy to set-up and can provide you with a wealth of information on how your website is performing. From Google Analytics you can see where your traffic is coming from and how well the page is performing.

 


 

For more SEO tips and advice, contact us. We can generate a report on your website to find out what areas you need to improve and even take the pressure off and do the hard work for you.