Written by Jason Zagami

Imagine your website is a custom built car. For short money I can build you a chassis, wheels, and a motor. It looks like a car. It drives like a car. How about door locks? Those cost extra. How about a faster engine? That cost extra. Navigation? Yup. Costs extra.

Navigation is like On-Page SEO. It helps the search engines find your website. Door locks are website security and the larger motor represents speed improvements.

Most company websites don’t have these upgrades, but they should. These upgrades can improve a company's revenue significantly when used in conjunction with proper marketing.

Are customers finding you online? Are quality leads coming from your web forms? Are people buying from your online store? If not, it may be that your website wasn’t set up properly.

Below I’ve listed some of the best back end add-on’s. They’re broken down into three categories: Speed Improvements, On Page SEO, and Security. It’s important to understand their value and why you need them.

Speed Improvements

Your website better be lightning quick, because people don’t have the patience to wait around. Servers aside, here are 3 things that need to be optimized properly for a fast website.

 

 

Pingdom's Speed Test Pingdom's Speed Test

 

File Compression
Keeping file sizes down is the most effective way to speed up a site. With 5K desktop screens on the market it’s tempting to use super high resolution images, but keep in mind that more than half of all web traffic is on mobile devices. Most smartphones screens are less than 400 pixels wide when held upright.

I try to keep image sizes around 100 kilobytes or less. This means balancingJPEG compression, and image resolution to achieve the highest picture quality with the smallest file size.

Caching
Caching is when a computer stores information locally to recall it more efficiently. There are many types of caching (page caching, database query caching, object based caching, etc…)

Building a website that utilizes caching will reduce server load, and improve page load times.

Minification
Minification is when you decrease the file size of code by removing unnecessary characters. These can be new line characters, comments, white space characters, and other bytes of data that help a coder, but don’t change how the code executes. By removing these non-essential characters you decrease the file size without affecting other aspects of the output.

On Page SEO

Getting your website noticed by search engines requires a little bit of work. With the right keyword research, schema, metadata and header tags, your website will eventually move up the search rankings. Keep in mind this doesn’t happen overnight.

 

 

Bing Search Search Engine Rankings on Bing

Keywords
Start with keyword research. Find what search terms people are using to search for your products or services online. You can use Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends.

Here’s a quick list of best practices when optimising web pages:

  • Use Keywords 1–2 times per 100 words in paragraph text.
  • Use Keywords in the first paragraph
  • Use Keywords in the page title
  • Ues Keywords in your header tags
  • Use Keywords in the Meta Description

Schema
In 2011 Google, Bing & Yahoo created Schema.org to support a common markup language. Schema has to be coded into websites for search engines to understand the meaning of websites, thus improving search results. It’s important to market up all webpage you want indexable (searchable) by search engines.

You can take this a step further with Rich Cards, Google Snippets & Google’s AMP project.

Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that lists all the web pages of your website. It tells search engines how your website content is organized. The site map can also include metadata. Metadata holds information about when it was published, updated, frequency of updates, and importance of pages in relations to other URL’s. A properly deployed Sitemap is one more way to improve your search

Security

Neglecting to set up proper security for your servers or Content Management System (WordPress) can cost you thousands in repairs. I’ve rebuilt dozens of projects recently due to malware infections (On sites I didn’t set up). Don’t ever cheap out on security.

 

 

 

Google's Malware Alert Google's Malware Alert

 

Below are three must have components for effective website security:

Malware Scanning
We run nightly scans of server and database files for our clients. We get instant notification if any files were modified or contain malicious code. This allows us to intercept and disinfect your site long before Google blocks you.

Firewall Protection
In real time our Firewall protection will monitor all traffic to protect against:

  • DoS Attacks
  • Unauthorized Login Attempts
  • IP Blocking of Malicious Locations
  • Recognizing and Protecting Against Attack Patterns

Server Monitoring
The leading cause of website downtime are server issues. These could be from a nameserver change, hardware malfunction, or someone forgot to pay the hosting bill. It happens all the time. We monitor your website every few minutes. If it goes down our tech team is notified instantly so they can investigate and get you back online.