In our effort to promote and further our technology partnerships, we have released a Pin Payments Laravel integration.

This package is specifically built to enable developers to integrate Pin Payments on websites using Laravel PHP. This package enables communication/transactions between Laravel sites and the Pin Payments API.

Pin Payments is an Australian all-in-one payment system that allows user to accept multi-currency credit card payments without a security deposit or a merchant account.

Our latest releases will be posted here: https://github.com/NetFusionTechnology

Visit the Pin Payments Laravel integration package page here:

https://github.com/NetFusionTechnology/pin-payments

Documentation is posted on the release notes.

A short guide on how to use 301 redirects to migrate your old website to a new site without losing traffic

What is a 301 redirect?

A 301 redirect is simply a code of date telling website spiders where you have moved your old web pages permanently to or where they can find similar information.  It may seem to be an irrelevant task for websites that have less than 10 pages, however, these lines of codes can make or break a site with thousands of pages migrating to a new design.

Why is a 301 necessary for site migration?

While information on the internet is movable and thus temporary, it is critical to make sure that information that you previously published is easily found by search engines especially if you have renamed the URL. Changing any url without proper redirection will render the current URL “dead” or 404 does not exist.

Losing old links to a 404 (not found page) code is like demolishing a well-established bridge to a town without giving commuters due notice or even alternative avenues to reach their destination.

While the main reasons why organisations often move to a new site are founded in the hope of creating growth in their market share, migration can instead be a reason for them to lose more traffic overnight. A brand’s following may not actually diminish but the number of visitors you get to your web pages through specific website signals can get disrupted as you change over to a new website.

Below are some technical tips on 301 redirections that can help you transition smoothly to a new website without losing relevant traffic:

Document your current site’s structure

Make sure to audit the structure of your site. Take note all your internal and external links before you move over. Use tools like screaming frog to get a comprehensive list of your existing pages, images and links as well as all the meta information of your pages.

Develop your new website structure

Once you have a comprehensive record of how your site is crawled by search engines, you will have 2 methods of structuring your new site.

Option 1 –  You can use the existing URIs as the basis of your current site structure and mirror the url structure on your new site.

This means that you need to keep your pages and URIs one is to one with no alterations to the way URLS are written. For example, if you have a “website.com/about-us”, your new page will be “website.com/about-us” not “website.com/about” or website.com/aboutus”.

Option 2 –  Use the current structure as a guide to match your new pages.

Most of the time, there is a necessity to alter the current URLS. This often happens if you want to alter the way information is ordered on your site or if you happen to have a new domain altogether. In this scenario, you will need to match the current urls with your new set of urls by using 301 redirections.

For example, if you have a blog entry about “how to buy cars” using a URL carscars.com/how-to-buy-cars, you will need to 301 redirect this page to your new url “carscars.com/a-guide-on-buying-cars” or to your new domain “carbuyer.com/how-to-buy-cars” otherwise your visitors will not be able to find the page with the old link.

Side notes:

  • Do not simply 301 redirect all pages to your new homepage.

It can be tempting to shortcut this step by redirecting old links to the new home page. It seems like an easy fix to do but doing this will make your site both confusing to the web spiders and, most importantly, frustrating to your users.

  • Match pages logically

If you do not have an apple to apples match of new pages with old pages, you can still 301 redirect pages to similar pages that may have the same kind of info as the previously existing page. However, accuracy in matching information is important. You do not want to send users and website spiders to page on shoes for men if your old was all about shoes for women.

  • Create a useful 404 page

Instead of just simply providing a generic notice use the opportunity to provide similar links or a search bar that they can use to find similar information on your site. Aim to create a 404 page that can turn a missing page into a user satisfaction opportunity.

Afterthoughts:

After you have implemented your 301 redirects on your new site, make sure to take note of 404 links through Google analytics and to re-crawl your site for 404 pages that may appear in the future. It will be guide practice to keep 404 pages to a minimum whether you are migrating to a new site or not.

More info on 301 redirects

https://yoast.com/create-301-redirect-wordpress/
https://www.bruceclay.com/blog/how-to-properly-implement-a-301-redirect/

More info on 404 pages

http://charlesriverinteractive.com/check-404-errors-right-way/

 

The internet is a galaxy of web pages which are dominated by WordPress sites. Like Coca-Cola, it is a household name in Content Management Sites. Reports claim that WordPress takes up about 60% of the CMS websites and these sites run about 30 percent of the entire internet. While these sites are made to be easy for use, they can slow down as you continue to build and add new content. Real world page speed is an important metric both for usability and SEO so it is critical to routinely make adjustments on your site.


Below is a process that can help you improve your WordPress site page speed:

Get a baseline number
It will be hard for you to track improvement if you do not have a starting point. While You can use the following tools to find that number you will improve on.
https://tools.pingdom.com/
https://gtmetrix.com/

Check your engines
Make sure you have the latest updates on your WP Core and all your plugins. While this is more of a web security task, updates are often created to not only prevent vulnerabilities but to also patch some code issues. Your site will undoubtedly benefit from this activity.
Although unrelated to patching updates, it is likewise important that you install SSL on your sites. Google has started to force sites to use SSL this as a basic security feature. Adding encryption will prevent your site to be tagged “unsafe” by Google.  

Serve Small Images
Images are the most common reasons a site slows down. Audit your images and see if you can resize them. Often, image dimensions are larger than needed.  If the dimension size is not the issue, sift through your images and review their file sizes. High-quality images often mean larger file sizes, but this can affect load speed.  Fortunately, there are a number of tools (Tinypng.com and others) that can still provide you with high-quality images without degrading display quality.

Implement Browser caching
Browser caching is often one of the most recommended items by Google PageSpeed insights. Enabling browser caching will allow you to tell your visitors how long they should keep specific resources on their computers. This will make sites load faster as many of the resources will be simply referenced from their own devices. For example, you can set a limit of cache for 2 weeks for images, and longer periods for other items like style sheets that do not change often.  Your developer can do this by setting it up directly on the .htacces filer or via a plugin like W3 Total Cache

Go Mini

Extra lines of code, even blanks, can add bytes to files. These added bytes also add some time to load. Minify your HTML code, CSS style sheets, and JavaScripts to further speed up your site. This is a technical task that competent developers can accomplish easily. It is very important to review all pages after minification to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Some parting notes:
There is a balance between speed and display or functionality. It would be great to have both but if you must choose, in some cases, it is better to sacrifice a bit of page speed for higher quality images and functionality. A simple HTML site will load faster than a sophisticated image-heavy site, but it may not fulfill the needs of the customer.


Our team at NFT provides page speed updates with our website maintenance services. Contact us today to learn more.

To set up your own small business online, you need a web hosting service. While there are many platforms available today with many features and add-ons, choosing the best service will not only get you up and running in no time but cater to your requirements for the long term.

Here are 10 features to look for in a web hosting service to help you make an informed decision and find the right service that you can rely on for years.

1. 24/7 Support

For most websites, downtime means loss of revenue. That is something every business owner must avoid. So when critical issues arise, you would need accessible and reliable support to fix those issues in the fastest time possible. An example of the use of this function can serve sites of uk online casinos, for which the attendance of players is very important. This feature provides round-the-clock support to players and helps to resolve contentious issues. Go for a web hosting service that offers 24/7 support.

2. Reliable Backup

Your data is critical to your operations. Just think about the awful feeling of accidentally closing a word document and losing pages and pages of content you didn’t save. For your website, this will be ten times worse.

Look for a web hosting service that will provide adequate backup. A reliable hosting must have a good disaster recovery plan to ensure your data is secure.

3. Add-ons

While cheap hosting rates can entice you to sign up for the service right away, make sure you first to take the time to learn about the features included and NOT included. Why? Well, you may pay a small price for the basic service but have to pay more for every little add-on feature or tool you will require. You might as well pay for the reasonable price that includes the requirements you are after. So check the fine print and read the details to avoid being misled by cheap offers.

4. Scalable Service

For a small start-up website, bandwidth is not an immediate concern. However, once you build your website and gain considerable amount of traffic, bandwidth becomes a priority.

You may be getting 1,000 visits per month in the first year but need to upgrade when you start hitting 10,000 visits per month. You need a host that can easily accommodate the amount of traffic and bandwidth your site is getting.

A web hosting should be scalable for the future of your website. Find one that has easy upgrade options to support your growing requirements.

5. E-commerce Tools

If you are setting up an online store, you will need the necessary shopping carts and e-commerce tools to support your operations. Most hosting companies will offer single integrated shopping cart application but look for hosts that offer more options and e-commerce features and flexibility to third-party programs.

6. Uptime Guarantee

As mentioned earlier, downtime can cost you money. Nothing is more important than making sure your website is running 24/7. That is why you need a hosting service that can guarantee uptime of 99%. Always go for a hosting service that has a 99.5% or higher uptime score to ensure stable network connectivity.

7. Domain Capacity

Owning one or more domain names is common nowadays. You may own almost all versions of your company names including .com, .net, and .org domain names.

Most hosting services will allow at least 25 domain names in one account. It is more efficient to have multiple domain names in one control panel for management purposes. When considering hosting services, so check for domain capacity.

8. Control Panel

Whether you’re an HTML master or a beginner, having an integrated control panel will make your life easier. You can manage all administrative options in a single location.

If you want to easily manage and control each aspect of your website and easily locate features, tools, and logs, go for a hosting that includes a user-friendly control panel.

Conclusion:

When in doubt, always get more information before you sign up for a hosting service for your new website. If you have family, friends or colleagues who have experience setting up a website, chat them up to get good advice. These will help you choose the best service for your needs.

When you have a business website and require changes to content like text, images, and links, how do you go about implementing those changes? Do you email your web admin and detail the changes to be made, or do you directly make the change yourself? If you’re the latter, then you probably have a content management tool built into your system. If you’re the former, then you are probably spending more time (and dollars) to manage your content.

 

Because time spent is measured in dollars, you as a business owner must aim for efficiency, innovation, and ROI.

 

How can you improve your profits if maintaining a website is still a considerable expense?

Let me give you an example.

 

I used to write blogs for a client for their business website – four articles a month spread out to one article each week. The scenario is that I write one article a week and email the article to the client. He will then review, make comments for improvement, or directly approve it. Once the content is approved, this will be forwarded to the web developer for posting on the site’s blog page. Then, the same routine follows for the next week’s blog.

 

The going back and forth each week with email communications and article reviews took a lot of time and energy. In an effort to make the process less time-consuming, I suggested to write the four articles a month in advance so it would be one sweeping process of writing, review, and publishing.

 

On average, this process takes about 3 to 4 days from start of content writing to getting the content published on the website.

 

But what if there’s another way?

 

I imagined being able to published directly on the website similar to a personal blog. In less than a day, an article can be written, reviewed, and published almost instantly, reducing time spent on processes, which can otherwise be spent on writing more content or other critical tasks.

 

That is what CMS is all about. Content Management System or CMS is a web application that you can install on your system to make it easy for you to add, edit, organize, and publish content on your website. If you are familiar with WordPress or other blogging platforms, you know you can log in, write content, add images, hit publish, and it is live on your website instantly.

 

In the earlier scenario, the alternative is that I have a login access to the client’s content management tool, I’ll input the content, upload images, and save it as draft. I can send quick email to the client that article is ready for review. He can then review the draft, even make edits, hit publish, and the article goes live. With CMS, it is also easy to schedule publication so you can set what date your article goes live, and it is queued in the system.