Latest Updates
Three ways to speed up your site performance
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 20 October 2016 10:36 AM

Fast loading!

Three ways to speed up your site performance

When it comes to improving the performance of your website, there are a whole host of guides and ‘hacks’ scattered around the internet for you to take advantage of. Opting for super fast website hosting is the most obvious solution for those wanting to improve their website’s speed, but there are a range of other solutions for you to consider.

A whopping 46% of mobile users claim that they would abandon a page if it took too long to load, so it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is performing at its best. If you don’t ensure that your website is highly optimised, then you could struggle to rank well on Google’s results pages (SERPs) – after all, the search engine giant counts mobile-friendliness and page speed amongst factors for ranking atop of its search results.

A slow website could mean that your customers abandon their shopping carts, or worse still, jump ship to one of your competitor’s websites– so it makes sense to improve your website’s performance by following the actionable tips we have listed below.

Serve your website through a content delivery network

Taking advantage of a content delivery network (CDN) is a great way to improve your website speed. By opting for a provider such as Cloudflare or MaxCDN, you can serve your content through a system of distributed servers, which deliver web pages depending on the user’s geographic location. You’ll still have all of your content hosted on your own server, but customers from other countries will be able to access it from a location-specific server. Not only can this help improve page speed and loading times, but it can cut down on the amount of bandwidth your website needs – and improve your security in the process.

Optimise your website for a mobile-first browsing experience

When it comes to improving your website’s page speed, there’s no better way than to focus on mobile. With internet users ever-increasingly turning to their smartphones and tablet devices, more and more webmasters are putting turning their focus to a ‘mobile-focused design, cutting back on browser-heavy features such as CSS and JavaScript. Opting for a responsive mobile design and keeping your content to a minimum, you’ll be able to cut down on your loading times and improve your user experience in the process.

Cache and smush everything you can

When it comes to reducing your website’s loading time, starting with your page file size is the best way to begin. Take advantage of free tools and plugins such as WP Super Cache and image ‘smushing’ tools to reduce the amount of time it will take for each page to load – and, in the process, cut down on the amount of bandwidth you’ll need to invest in.

Regardless of which option you choose to improve the speed performance of your website, it is clear that there are significant benefits in doing so. Before you make any other changes to your website, make sure that you focus on slashing your page speed today.

Read more »

Do subdomains damage your SEO?
Posted by Sam Thomas on 19 October 2016 01:51 PM


Do subdomains damage your SEO?

When it comes to launching a new website, registering the perfect domain name is a great place to begin. All too often, however, a single top-level domain name (TLD) is not enough to serve the needs of your organisation. Whether you want to add more keywords into your domain name or segregate your content into separate sub-websites, subdomains are a great place to begin.

But when it comes to your search engine optimisation (SEO), many leading figures have warned that subdomains can negatively impact your page rankings – but how much of this is true?

Why are subdomains good?

Subdomains work because they add an additional layer of flexibility into your domain name and page structures. If you want to run multiple websites, for example, each of your subdomain names can be separate entities – each can have a homepage, a /blog canonical URL and even its own email address, so it makes sense to consider subdomains if your organisation falls into this category.

Subdomains also serve as a promotional tool to your main domain name. As each of your subdomains will have the main domain name in its URL, every page and piece of content ties back into your domain, increasing brand awareness and allowing you more flexibility in your marketing.

What’s changed with subdomains?

In the past, search engines recognised subdomains as individual domain names, which effectively meant you could rank several times on the same page result. This also, however, had negatives, as the traffic and links to your subdomains would have no influence on the page ranking or domain authority of your main domain name.

Now, however, Google treats its subdomains as part of your main domain name. Changes to its ranking algorithms were confirmed by Google’s head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, were designed to reduce the amount of spam-filled subdomains which competed for page rankings. A new ‘two-page limit’ means that subdomains from any domain name must pass a higher quality threshold than before to be considered for ranking.

Are subfolders better than subdomains?

Across the SEO community, an argument over "subdomain vs. subfolder" continues to reign. To explain the difference between the two in simple terms, a subdomain on your website would be, whereas a subfolder is reached by typing into your browser.

When it comes to deciding which is right for your website, there are various things to take into account. Aesthetically, a subdomain can look more appealing, but the chances are that a subfolder is more likely to rank and improve your website’s overall SEO.

Rand Fishkin, of Moz, says that subdomains only sometimes inherit the pass link trust and quality rankings between each other, whereas subfolders always inherit the ranking metrics across the same domain name. Therefore, hosting all of your content on a single domain is more effective than it would be to host several subdomains each linking to one another.

The bottom line is that you should host your content in which way suits your business. If you are looking to boost your website’s SEO rankings, then a subfolder blog or content section is the way forward. If you are more concerned with organisation and aesthetics, then a subdomain content route is the solution, even if it does take more time to get the search engine rankings you require.


Read more »

SSL Encryption: Why it’s important to your website
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 16 September 2016 10:59 AM

SSL Certificates

SSL Encryption: Why it’s important to your website 

When it comes to keeping your website well-protected, an SSL certificate is a great place to begin. SSL (which stands for secure sockets layer) works by protecting sensitive information as it travels across the internet and offers a range of benefits to both you and your business.

What is SSL?

SSL is a form of security that can handle sensitive information – such as customer names, telephone numbers and credit card details. SSL certificates create a secure connection between your customer’s browser and your server, ensuring that details remain secure and protected throughout the transfer process.

SSLs encrypt information

One of the main purposes of an SSL certificate is to encrypt information which can only be read and understood by the intended parties – usually e-commerce or data storage software. Information submitted on the internet passes through more than one computer before it reaches its destination, so the more computers it passes through, the higher the chance of a third party getting access to the personal data.

By encrypting this information, SSL certificates render such information unreadable and undecipherable to third parties.

SSLs are authenticators

Some types of SSL certificates also come with a ‘server certificate’, acting as a mediator between browsers and the SSL servers. Customers can freely view information about the owner of the SSL certificate through their web browsers, most commonly through the green padlock and “https” text which is shown in the user’s web browser. This increases trust and allows for a deeper level of authentication, which is particularly useful when sending sensitive information through contact or order forms.

SSLs allow you to take card payments

To meet Payment Card Industry standards, all online businesses need to have an SSL certificate installed on their server. Without an128-bit certificate, your website won’t be able to take credit card payments, so it makes sense to install one.

SSL can form part of your SEO solution

Having an SSL-encrypted website can also improve your website’s your search engine optimisation, with Google offering secure websites a slight ranking boost as part of its aim to encourage a safer browsing experience across the web.

SSL Certificates come free with shared web hosting packages

At PAC Web Hosting, all of our shared web hosting packages now come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, which is automatically applied when you sign up for a new account. When you add additional domain names or subdomains to your web hosting account, each will get its own free SSL certificate, meaning that you can take advantage of the power of SSL across all of your domain names and improve the security of your website.

If you are interested in finding out more about SSL certificates, or you’d like to take advantage of our web hosting packages which offer free encryption as standard, don’t hesitate to get in touch with PAC Web Hosting today.

With years of experience in the web hosting industry, we are best-placed to offer impartial advice and deliver a service that will help to improve the safety of your website.

Read more »

Ten quick tips about web hosting
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 05 September 2016 09:48 PM

Top WebHosting Tips!

Ten quick tips about web hosting

Whether you’re a complete novice or you’ve been using hosting services for a long time, sometimes you need a helping hand to make the right decisions for your website and business. At PAC Web Hosting, we’ve put together ten quick tips to help you make the most out of your web hosting.

Overestimate your space

If you are building a new website from scratch, then opting for the cheapest web hosting package available can be tempting. However, it’s important to consider the growth of your website, so be generous with your space and choose a package that allows room to grow.

Choose a UK-based web host

If you have customers based in the UK, then opt for a UK-based web host. Not only is it good to support British businesses, but you can enjoy a significant speed boost by hosting your website on a server closer to home.

Backup your content regularly

From the moment you begin designing your website, you need to protect your content. Whether you manually keep a copy, or you set up an automated backup system, make sure you have the protocols in place to save you the heartache of data loss. At PAC, all of our hosting packages come with free thirty-days of back-ups taken hourly! for your peace of mind.

Work with cPanel

cPanel is the most reliable control panel for web designers, so make sure your web host uses it.

Add an SSL certificate                                                                                                                    

If you are running an e-commerce store, an SSL certificate is essential to protect the data of your customers. At PAC, we offer a range of encryption solutions to benefit your business.

Keep up to date on payments

Regardless of where you choose to go for your web hosting, make sure you keep up to date on your hosting payments. If you fail to do so, your website may go down, and you could lose valuable custom. We recommend paying for a web hosting plan annually, or setting up recurring payments.

Monitor your bandwidth

If you want to maximise your website’s performance and reduce the chance of running out of your allocated bandwidth, make sure you monitor your usage throughout the month by using cPanel or another control panel behind the scenes.

Measure your uptime

Not only is downtime bad for customer experience, but it can be bad for your overall brand image and even your SEO rankings. So, if your web host is offering 99.99% uptime, hold them to account! Sign up to a service such as Pingdom so you can monitor your uptime throughout the month, and get a notification when your site goes down.

Utilise your host’s support

If you need help when it comes to optimising your website or installing some software, then work with your web hosting providers who will be on hand to help. At PAC, we offer 24/7 support with all of our products and services, and we’re always on hand to help in any way we can.

Don’t fall for a bargain

When finding the right web host, use your common sense. If a web hosting provider is offering unlimited features for 99p a month, then the chances are, there’s something that will trip you up. Choose a web host with an honest pricing structure, without the gimmicks.

There you have it, our top ten tips for web hosting! If you’d like to chat to an expert about any of your web hosting related queries, click here to speak to a member of the PAC team.

Read more »

How to transfer your domain name between hosts
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 25 August 2016 02:02 PM

domain name transfer

How to transfer your domain name between hosts

If you want to transfer your domain name to a new registrar, or transfer it directly here to PAC Web Hosting, then you’ll soon realise it’s easier to do than you first thought. Rather than the worry of weeks of having a domain floating between two registrars, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to transfer your domain name without the fuss!

Do I need to transfer my domain name to move hosts?

Although many people think that transferring a domain name is part of transferring your website to a new host, this isn’t the case. In fact, your domain name can be registered through any provider, so long as you link your domain name to your nameservers or web hosting IP address.

However, there are advantages of transferring a domain name to your new host – for example, you will be able to manage it conveniently alongside your web hosting account, and your host can provide assistance in relation to DNS, CNAME and MX entries to maximise performance.

What should I know about domain name transfers?

When you purchase a transfer – such as a domain name transfer to PAC Web Hosting – your site will remain online, regardless of whether it is registered with your old registrar or moved to PAC. However, it is important to note that the entire process may take up to ten days, and you will not be able to make any changes to your domain name settings (like nameservers, MX entries and other variables) during this time.

Steps to take before starting the transfer process

Before you purchase a domain name transfer, you need to find your EPP code*, which can be obtained from your current registrar or web host. Most have the option to reveal the code through a control panel, but if not, you will have to ask for it. During the transfer process, you will be asked to provide your EPP code, and your transfer won’t complete without this key.

Next, make sure your domain name is unlocked. Again, this can be done through your domain name control panel – failure to unlock your domain will result in the transfer failing.

Finally, if you have WHOIS protection enabled, make sure that this is disabled before initiating your transfer. If your contact details for your WHOIS information, such as your email address and telephone number, do not match the personal info you have registered on your new host, then make sure you update it, otherwise, again, your transfer request will be rejected.

*Most domain transfers use an EPP code with the exception of domains ending in .uk for these you need to change the domains IPS TAG at the current registrar to the IPS TAG of the new registrar, also for this type of domain you do not need to unlock your domain.

Initiating the transfer process

Once you have completed the transfer steps and have initiated the transfer process – by purchasing a domain name tranfer and filling out all of the relevant information – your new host will send an approval request to the email address that is registered as part of your WHOIS information**

You can then click this request in an email, and then the registrar will request your current domain registrar to release your domain name. Within a few days – sometimes up to 10 – your domain name will then appear in your new registrar’s control panel, where you’ll be able to access your domain name.

**If the domain being transferred ends in .uk then once you have purchased the domain name transfer all that is left to do is change your domains IPS TAG to complete the transfer.

Read more »