SSL certificate – how to choose the right one?
Written by: Jon Eivind Malde

The demand for SSL certificates have been increasing rapidly the last couple of years. The reason for this is most likely because security have become more important as there are continuously new cases of hacking and cyber-attacks. Google and the web browser community have also contributed to the increasing demand. Not having an SSL certificate will cause a warning to appear for the user in the web browser. Here at PRO ISP we receive daily inquiries regarding SSL and the most common questions are:

 

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL certificates are used to create a secure connection so that the information being sent cannot be monitored or altered by anyone. In other words, it ensures safe communication. On a website with SSL certificate, the URL will contain an S so it will say https:// instead of just http://.ssl certificate secure not

SSL certificates are not only used for web servers, but for any type of service where secure communication is required (email, FTP for example). However, it’s mostly on websites that you will notice the use of SSL due to the visible indicators to increase end user trust and confidence in the browser. We will elaborate more about this later.

SSL certificates also have another function. The certificates are issued by certificate authorities (CAs). These issuers have a set of rules to follow for when a certificate can be issued – in the same way as there are rules for issuing passports or driver’s license.

There are currently 3 levels of validation for SSL certificates and each level have higher requirements than the previous level. The requirements verify control and ownership of the domain. Each level is meant to provide increased trust for the client that you are who you say you are. As each level require more information to be verified the price is usually higher for each level.

The levels are:
1. Domain validation (DV)
2. Organization validation (OV)
3. Extended validation (EV)

1. Domain validation (DV)

The easiest certificate to get issued is domain validated certificate. This certificate only verifies that you control the domain, which can be done via email, DNS and file. This part is done automatically for all our clients who order certificates for web hosting at PRO ISP. All our web hosting includes a free Basic SSL certificate which is a domain validated certificate. This only takes a few second to issue.

This is how a DV certificate will look in a web browser:

ssl certificate google
The difference between a free Basic SSL certificate and a paid DV certificate:

  • Site seal is not included for the free certificate, but is included in all the other certificates. You can however add a site seal to your free Basic SSL, which is cheaper than purchasing a SSL certificate. If you are wondering how a site seal looks on a website, look on the bottom at proisp.eu. Clicking the site seal will provide more information about the website and what is verified. Site seal is used to show visitors the owner of the website has secured the website and show what has been verified by a third party. This increases the chances for the first-time visitors to more quickly establish enough trust to the website so they may contact you or make a purchase. The site seal included with certificates typically contain more information the higher level they are, as well as being more expensive. The site seal for proisp.eu is one of the ones with most verified information as well as issued from the worlds most recognized brand when it comes to security online.

ssl certificate norton site seal

  • Paid certificates have a warranty covered by the issuer if the certificates have been issued to someone performing fraud and issuer should have known about. Visitors of the website is covered by this warranty. The warranty is another way to ensure the visitor to have trust in the website.
  • About 5% of our clients are denied Basic SSL by the certificate issuer due to information on the domain, domain name or contact information seeming suspicious. In these cases, a manual review is required by the issuer and you will need to purchase a SSL certificate instead.

2. Organization validation (OV)

Organization validated certificates must in addition to domain validation also validate the information regarding the organization/company. Private parties can therefore not purchase these. Required documentation is that the organization:

  • Exists
  • Own/operate the domain
  • Operates from the correct address
  • Can be contacted through public available contact information

In a web browser the URL will look the same for OV as DV certificate, but the visitor can check which organization and address the certificate has been issued to, as shown below.

ssl certificate details

The site seal for OV certificates contains more information (company name), the warranties are higher and there are some available extra functions such as malware and PCI scanning. As there is more to verify for OV it usually takes the issuer around 1-2 days from order to the certificate is issued. This is also reflected on the price.

3. Extended validation (EV)

EV SSL certificate requires the highest level of validation before being issued. Basically, most of the same information as OV certificates but the difference is there are fewer approved sources as well as the validation process is more thorough and more documentation is required. Compared to OV certificate there is overall more to validate on each check point. The most visible difference is seen in the web browser. This is how our URL is seen in the web browser:

 

 

You can clearly see who is the owner of the website as the company name is shown next to the URL.

Since there is more to validate for the certificate issuer it usually takes 2-7 days to issue EV SSL certificates. These certificates are normally the most expensive.

What do I need SSL certificate for?

  • Safe communication
    In today’s society with increased focus on protection of privacy and security, secure communication is essential to maintain both.
  • Higher ranking in search engines
    Search engines have added SSL as a part of their algorithm ranking and it is estimated websites with SSL have about 5% better results than websites without.
  • Faster loading websites
    Web browsers have chosen to support the new HTTP/2 protocol when using SSL/TLS only. HTTP/2 can reduce the loading time with 20-30%. All our web hosting supports HTTP/2, but only when you have an SSL certificate your website will use HTTP/2 instead of the older HTTP/1.1 protocol.
  • Avoid warnings in the web browser
    Web browsers shows a warning that the website is not secure when inserting data into a form and the website is not using SSL. In the future a warning will be shown for all websites not using SSL.
  • Increase conversions
    A conversion is a visitor performing a desired action on your website. This could be a purchase, registration or anything else. All paid SSL certificates contain many benefits to increase conversions, such as site seal, warranty, malware scan and increased visibility in search engines. These benefits will help increase the trust for your website while showing your customers you are serious about security.
  • Company name visible in web browser
    EV SSL certificate clearly shows the owner of the website and that it has been validated from a secure third party. A message to show you have been through the most thorough check and give you the highest level of trust with your customers.

Which SSL certificate should I choose?

Which SSL certificate is the right one for you will depend on what kind of website you have and how it is used. Some have several domains and websites with different needs and therefore may need many different certificates.

Generally, we recommend you consider who your visitors are and what you want them to do. These questions should be answered:

  • To what extent does users notice if the website is secure?
  • How much will it mean for the visitors to see the website is secure?
  • Will indicators showing that the website is secure, or to show who you say you are, increase trust for your website and its visitors?
  • Will increased trust to your website increase the likelihood of visitors doing as you want them to?

If the visitors will not notice it the website is secure, and it will not increase the likelihood of visitors doing as you want them to, you do not need more than our free SSL certificate or Start SSL (RapidSSL). Even though it may not matter much, it would not be negative to add a site seal included in the certificate on your website.

Some of the recommendations below are for wildcard (plus) and multi-domain certificates. These are explained in further details in “SSL certificates that cover more than one address”.

SSL recommendations for:

Simple personal website

Typically, simple blogs with personal information or simple websites with few pages. To avoid warnings in the future that the website is not secure it is a minimum requirement to use SSL. Since there is no need for increased trust there is no need to pay for a certificate unless the free Basic SSL could not be issued.

Recommendation:

Simple website for a company

A small website with information about the company and a contact form could have different need for SSL. Depending on what type of clients (IT and security related versus non IT related such as carpenters for example) we have different recommendations.

Recommendations for not IT related clients:

Recommendations for IT, security, web shop or similar related clients:

Larger website for a company

A larger website with information about the company and a blog, web shop or more.

Recommendations:

Several websites for a company on several domains

Here the same recommendations as mentioned above applies. You should consider each website separately as mentioned above.

It’s it usually best to order a certificate for each website, but if you have a good overview of the domains it may be best to consider Premium SSL multi-domain. If you do not need to increase trust we recommend Comodo Positive multi-domain SSL.

If you want a certificate for alias domains on the same web hosting you will need to use a multi-domain certificate for these. This also applies to other sub domains and domains pointing to the same folder on the web server. Read more about SSL certificates that covers more than one address.

SSL certificate not to be used for website

SSL certificate not to be used for websites are often used for email services. They are also used for other services such as FTP, APIs/apps and other services that require SSL. They have in common that they only need the security SSL provides. It is therefore no need for a higher-level certificate than DV certificate.

Since you can only use basic SSL with our web hosting, you will in most cases need a DV certificate (such as Start SSL) which covers one domain.

  • If you have several sub domains on the same domain you wish to use for such services, we recommend you use Start SSL Plus.
  • If you are securing several addresses for several domains, we recommend Comodo Positive multi-domain SSL.5

 

Contact us for further questions

Hopefully this information will help you find the right SSL certificate for your need. If you are still unsure which one to choose, it is more important that you are using SSL – then which one it is.

Do not hesitate to send us feedback or questions. Should you have any questions please contact us.

Website builder – Create professional websites easy!
Written by: Isabelle

The Website builder makes it possible to create professional websites simple and easy. By using responsive design your website will look just as good on both mobile, tablet and desktop. Choose from over 400 different design templates to customize the website as you like.

 

website builder

 

Is the Website builder for me?

Yes, the Website Builder is a great tool for anyone who is creating a website. You will select the design, insert your content (pictures, and text) and in a matter of short time, you will be ready to publish your website.

In addition to the 400 different design templates you can choose from, there is also a large selection of widgets you can use. You can add a photo gallery, calendar or contact form just to mention a few.

How do I get started?

Depending on your needs you can select either Website Lite or Website Pro for the website builder. Both versions will give you access to all the design templates while the number of widgets is limited in the Lite version versus unlimited in the Pro one.

After ordering (how to order) Website Lite or Website Pro you will be able to open the Website builder from the client portal on proisp.eu. You will then be directed to your new website and can start creating it!

You will start by selecting a design/template of your own choice. There is over 400 different designs so you will absolutely find something that would fit what you are looking for. They are also sorted in different categories so you easier can find the one for you or your business.

When you have decided which design you want you will have the option of changing the colors and fonts for the design. When you are happy with the design you may start adding content. You can add your own pictures or select from the different stock images included in the Website builder. When you are finished with the editor, your website is ready to be published.

Our guide “How to use the Website Builder” will take you through the process step by step.

BILDE MED SKJERMDUMP AV STEG 1-2-3

Recommended widgets

If you are using Website Lite you can add a limited number of widgets while the Website Pro users have unlimited number of widgets available to add. There are several widgets to choose from, below are some examples:

Facebook Page
If you have a Facebook page to connect to your website use the widget called “Facebook page”. This can make sure your website visitors also becomes Facebook followers.

Social share
Do you want your website visitors to share content from your website? Make it easy for them to do so by using the “Social share” widget.

Search
Give your visitors the option of searching your website. “Search” is recommended for websites with a large amount of content and especially for websites with articles or blog posts.

Google calendar
Show upcoming events, seminars or other happenings to your visitors with Google calendar. You will need an existing Google calendar to use this widget.

SCREENSHOT OF WEBSITE WITH WIDGETS

iOS Push Notifications
Written by: Morten Malde

Our servers have been upgraded to cPanel version 64. Within this upgrade there are several new functions available (read about them in this article). Another new function available is iOS push notifications for email on devices from Apple. This has been tested and can be found on all our cPanel servers at PRO ISP.

iOS Push Notifications

This technology will improve the battery time for your iOS device and receive email quicker.

To start using push notifications you need to exit and close the email application or do a restart of the device. Follow this guide to see how to exit and close the application on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Afterwards push for email against our servers will work immediately and the unit will vibrate when a new email is received.

This technology is only available if email is set up using IMAP. If you are using POP3 this will not work. This is also only available for Apple’s email application.

Receive notifications

New emails will not automatically show on the screen when the unit is locked. You can adjust the settings to receive warnings when specific people send you email. Follow these steps:

1. Open Mail application.
2. Choose “Mailboxes” on the top left corner.
3. Choose “I” symbol to the right of the VIP menu.
4. In the VIP list choose “Add VIP”.
5. Choose which of your contacts to be shown on the locked screen when you receive email from them.

cPanel version 64
Written by: Morten Malde

During the next few weeks cPanel will be updated to cPanel version 64 on all of our servers. These updates are done a few times each year after they are tested and available. Since updates contains several different things we have written about the most important ones for our customers.

cpanel version 64

Fast Email Searching (IMAP Full Text Search)

This technology (Solr) will be activated on all our servers and will work for everyone using email with IMAP at PRO ISP. The technology works on all iOS units, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and all the webmail clients we have available.

How does it work?
When searching for an email with text or other the server will index the entire email account. The first time the search will be somewhat slow, but all future searches will be much faster compared to before as the account was indexed earlier.

This technology will require more resources from the server (CPU and disk space). This will not affect the disk space for our clients, but directly on the server.

Tidy Mailboxes

A new icon will be available in the control panel to give an overview of the number of emails and disk space for the different email accounts. It will also be possible to tidy up the email accounts using these options:
– Remove all emails older than 1 year in a folder
– Remove all emails in a folder over 30MB
– Remove all emails in a folder

Look for the icon “Email Disk Usage” under the category “Email”.

Optimizing

Improvements will be made on a server level for the email servers as well. Mainly sending/receiving email will be faster as well as reducing the battery usage of iOS units.

New styles (white/black)

Several of our customers have changed to Paper Lantern theme in the control panel. Now white and black is available for anyone wanting to use this.

cPanel version 64

Software

The most important and highly requested updated this time is phpMyAdmin which will be updated from version 4.0.10 to 4.6.6. The current version (4.0.10) was released in 2013 and the new in 2017. In the future new versions will be released more often.

SSL proxy subdomains

It will now be possible to use your own SSL on proxy subdomains (for example webmail.yourdomain.net/cpanel.yourdomain.net). If you have a wildcard SSL certificate you can install this on the subdomains in cPanel.

DMARC

Within the zone editor it is now possible to add DMARC records within the interface instead of manually.

cpanel version 64

WHD -World Hosting Days 2017
Written by: Morten Malde

From 27.-31. of march PRO ISP attended World Hosting Days (WHD) in Rust, Germany.

What is World Hosting Days (WHD)?

The fair is held at Europa-Park, Europes largest amusement park. Every year WHD grows in number of participants, seminars and companies attending. This years over 6500 people attended WHD and over 120 seminars was held. As many as 2500 companies from 84 different nations attended.

whd

Our providers

Most of the time PRO ISP spend at WHD is spent on meeting our providers and their contacts. We discuss current solutions and products as well as the future and what challenges lies ahead. This gives us information of future plans for our providers services and products.

whd whdwhd

SSL certificates that covers more than one address
Written by: Jon Eivind Malde

Wildcard certificate

If you have web hosting with PRO ISP it is not only the website you should consider making secure when it comes to SSL. You are most likely using email and other services you are not aware of should use SSL. This is especially important if there are many users of these services. Wildcard SSL certificates will the best choice in this case. The following addresses are useful to secure with SSL on our web hosting (in addition to the website itself):

  • webmail.exampledomain.org
    You can connect to http://webmail.exampledomain.org without any problem unsecured, but we recommend you always use https instead with the alternate address you have been given (which is a bit more difficult to remember). The benefit of SSL on webmail.exampledomain.org is that you can use this address with https and it is easier to remember for all the email users on the domain.
  • mail.exampledomain.org
    This address is used typically in email clients as host name when setting up email addresses. If you do not have a certificate on this address users will receive a warning regarding the SSL certificate not being the same as the address. The warning will not appear if you have installed a valid SSL certificate and you will avoid any confusion for the email users. Be however aware you may just as well use exampledomain.org as host name in the email client. The reason why many still use mail.exampledomain.org is probably because the address traditionally has been used for this.
  • cpanel.exampledomain.org
    This is the address you can log into cPanel with. If you do not have a certificate on this address we recommend you always use https instead for the alternative address you have been given. The benefit of SSL on cpanel.exampledomain.org is that you can use the address with https and it is easy to remember.
  • ftp.exampledomain.org
    Many people use this address for FTP (up-/downloading of files) service. Several FTP clients are now using SSL/TLS automatically and these will show a warning for the error on the certificate unless you are using your own certificate.For many of the addresses above it is not possible to install a certificate for each address. There is however a type of SSL certificate that covers most of the addresses above and that cPanel sets up to secure all the addresses with: Wildcard SSL certificate.This certificate will secure all sub domains of the domain the certificate is issued for and will in the example above be *.exampledomain.org. You will in other words be able to use it for all the addresses above, as well as other sub domains you create, for example webshop.exampledomain.org.

 

When should you consider using Wildcard SSL certificate?

We would recommend this in two cases:

  • If you have several sub domains you wish to secure, as it will be easier to operate fewer certificates, and cheaper then several certificates.
  • If you have several users for webmail, email clients, cPanel or FTP as you will not have confusing errors and you can use easier addresses to reach the services.
    Be aware there are not any Wildcard certificates for EV certificates.

Multi-domain SSL certificate

As the name indicates, multi-domain certificates can secure several addresses. Typically, it will secure a total of 3 or more addresses with the option to purchase more. The benefit of this certificate versus the wildcard certificate is that you can purchase several domains and sub domains on the same certificate. For example, you can secure the following in one certificate:

  • exampledomain.org
  • abc.proisp.no
  • proisp.eu

You can normally secure up to 100 different wildcard addresses in one certificate (even more in some cases).

When should you consider using multi-domain SSL certificate?

We would recommend this in the following cases:

The same recommendations for wildcard if there are a few sub domains to be secured.
cPanel prevents the installation of more than one certificate on domains and sub domains pointing to the same folder on the webserver. Typically, our clients have this problem when using alias domains where they would use mycompanyname.no, mycompanyname.com, mycompanyname.se all pointing to the same holder. You will then need to use a multi-domain certificate to secure these domains – if not it is only possible to secure one of them.

When you want to secure several (sub)domains with an EV certificate:
If you are in full control and have a clear overview of your domains this certificate would be practical. In many cases we however see there are issues with issuing, reissuing and renewal if you have many domains on one certificate. The reason could be errors in the information registered on one domain, a configuration that has been altered or other issues that causes delays.

Due to this we recommend you avoid use of a multi-domain certificate unless you:

  • Have full control and a good overview of the domains.
  • Do not have any problems with several addresses pointing to the same folder on the web server.
  • You don’t have many sub-domains
  • There are wildcard multi-domain SSL certificates as well!

 

7 ways to make your website load faster
Written by: Morten Malde

The speed and page load time of your website is extremely important and will affect the traffic to your website. Google distinguishes between fast and slow websites when ranking them and in cases where two websites has the same content, Google will prefer the faster one. Your websites page load time will also have a large impact on your visitors and potential customers as the bounce rate is much higher for slow than for fast websites. At PRO ISP we care about the speed and page load time for our clients websites. We therefore wish to give you some simple and easy ways to speed up your website.

Before performing any change, we recommend you test your website to see the differences before and after. Below you will find some simple tools to measure how fast your website is today:
Pingdom Tools (choose Stockholm before preforming the test).
GTMetrix (you cannot choose location without being registered).

load faster

1. PHP version

New versions of PHP are released continuously. They have improvements that will reduce the use of resources required to run a website build in PHP.

There are several benefits when switching to a newer and higher PHP version:
– They require less resources and are more efficient.
– The website will have more capacity for more traffic and load faster.

– Active support for security. On PHP 5.6 support for security support expires 31th of December 2018. (We are running «HardenedPHP» on all our servers so older PHP versions are secure).

You can change versions as much as you please to see which one works the best for your website. It is important the code/script you are running on the website is not outdated as this can cause problems with newer PHP version.

As long as everything is updated (whether it be WordPress, Joomla or other scripts) it will be able to run on PHP 5.6, but if the websites works well in PHP 7.0 that is the best option. PHP version can easily be changed in cPanel (control panel).

load faster

2. Compressing content

Most content can be compressed before being sent from the server to visitor. By compressing the content, it will reduce the amount to be transferred to the visitors and therefore reduce the load time for the website. This is available on all our severs and can easily be set up in the .htaccess file or by activating it in cPanel as shown in this guide.

load faster

3. Cache

There are several types of caching. This tip is for caching the website on the server. By having caching activated on a website, data will be stored, so that new requests of the same website and content will be retrieved from the cache and not the webserver itself. This reduces load time and makes the website considerably faster.

A large number of our clients use WordPress for their websites, but this tip also applies for other scripts (such as Joomla!, Drupal og Magento).

When using WordPress you can download and install plugins. There are several different cache plugins and if your web hosting is located on a LiteSpeed server you can use the LiteSpeed cache plugin which is the fastest one when we tested.

Other plugins that work well:
WP Super Cache
W3 Total Cache
Comet Cache
Simple Cache

When you have installed and activated one of these you can adjust the settings, but for most websites no adjustments will be necessary. If you have a website with low traffic you should change TTL for caching from standard to higher (432000 for example, which is 12 hours).

load faster

4. Keep everything updated and remove what you dont use

Often people install scripts on their web hosting and plugins within the scripts to test stuff. These are often forgotten or not being when the testing is completed. Even you have plans to maybe use them later you should remove them and rather install them when you need to use them.

Installations such as plugins, theme, extensions and modules not being used is a safety risk. The also use resources and disc space. By keeping everything updated you are better protected against hackers and other attacks. Should an update fail you can always restore from our external backup.

load faster

5. Optimize images

Images is one of the larger elements on a website. It is therefore important that they are optimized as much as possible. Use Google PageSpeed to analyze what can be improved including having all your images optimized in a zip-file for downloading and replacing existing images.

For WordPress, there are plugins to remove excess information from images which will reduce their size and optimizes the images. By using one of the plugins mentioned below you can optimize several images already posted on your website:
WP Smush
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Imagify Image Optimizer
TinyPNG

load faster

6. SSL and HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is the latest version of the HTTP protocol and will improve the load time for websites considerably compared to the 1.1 version. The most popular web browsers have chosen to only support HTTP/2 over SSL (HTTPS), which means you will need to use an SSL certificate on your website to be able to use HTTP/2.

All our web hosting solutions include a free SSL certificate which covers the minimum demands for encryption and HTTP/2. You can easily install this as shown in the guide for configuration of Basis SSL. Even though this is free to install, we recommend all professional websites to purchase an SSL certificate with additional functions to increase your customers trust in your website and this way also increase conversions.

For the moment, our web hosting’s on Apache webservers do not support HTTP/2 even if you install an SSL certificate. This is because cPanel do not support it. It is expected cPanel will do something regarding this, but there is not set date for any solution. In order to use HTTP/2 you will need to have your web hosting on a LiteSpeed webserver which you can for free if you have Pro Medium or larger web hosting solution with PRO ISP.  Check if your web hosting is located on a LiteSpeed server via the client portal. Here you can also request transfer to a LiteSpeed webserver by following this guide on how to change server.

load faster

7. Use LiteSpeed webserver

In addition to the previous section on why you should use LiteSpeed webserver, you should also know these advantages of using LiteSpeed instead of Apache:

  • Static content is delivered up to 5 times faster than Apache
  • Dynamic content is delivered up to 40 times faster than Apache
  • HTTPS 3 times faster than Apache
  • Uses less of the server’s resources which causes it requires more before CloudLinux limits are reached = it takes more before the resource usage of your website is limited
  • Supports LiteSpeed cache plugin for WordPress
  • LiteSpeed was the first commercial webserver on the market and our experience is that new functionality and improvements are constantly being developed.

Our Apache servers uses a module based on LiteSpeed (mod_lsapi). This means the differences mentioned are not as dramatical on our web hosting solutions, but they are still considerably large enough to recommend LiteSpeed instead of Apache.

load faster

How To Make Your Website Load Faster
Written by: Isabelle

Your visitors or customers may not always experience superb net connection and it may take time to load a certain page of your website. However, most of the time, the root cause of the problem is your super slow website. It is important to speed up your website if you don’t want to lose your customers or visitors.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

According to research, 40% of people don’t hesitate to ditch the sites that need more than 3 seconds to load. It is important to test the speed of your website using Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights, DareBoost, and/or other website speed test tools. You need to give more importance to the speed result than the website score that the speed test tool has given.

Using Pingdom

load faster

Pingdom is probably the most favorite website speed test tool around. It is simple to use. All you need to do is enter your website URL in the provided space and hit the “Test Now” button. It will give you a summary of your web page performance that includes:

• The performance grade of your website.
• The number of requests.
• The load time of your website.
• The page size.

Pingdom also offers additional information, which can be found below the summary, that you can use to speed up your site.

Using Google PageSpeed Insights

load faster
The Google PageSpeed Insights can measure the speed of the desktop and mobile versions of your website. The range of score is between 0 and 100. A score of 85 or more only implies that your web page is performing well. You may choose to do something and speed up your website even more or wait until the next scheduled speed test. Take note that your website will not always yield favorable results. It is important to keep a regular speed test schedule to properly monitor the performance of your website.

The Different Ways to Speed Up Your Website

You need to provide the best experience to your customers and visitors when they come to your site. They won’t experience something great if your web pages take so much time to load. When the speed test did not give favorable results, there are things that you can do to speed up your site. You can try to look for a better hosting plan, make your images internet-friendly, eliminate website baggage, and/or cut down on external scripts. You can also optimize the CSS and JavaScript files. It is important to reduce HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) requests and use a content delivery network (CDN). Also, Google includes the site speed as one of the factors in determining the rank of a website.

Reduce External Scripts

The external scripts, such as the JavaScript code to add the extra feature to your site, create HTTP requests each time fresh page loads. The external scripts that may prevent to speed up your site are Facebook “like” boxes, external commenting systems, pop-up boxes, and website analytics services. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid them because they can somehow help your site. You can consult Pingdom once more and see which files consume too much time to load. You can either remove it or see how you can fix it.

Reduce HTTP Requests

Having too many HTTP requests won’t help speed up your website. Most sites often become slow due to HTTP requests that are too large or too many. Your web browser uses the HTTP each time it gets a file, such as a picture and a page, from the server. Your computer sends a request to retrieve a certain file. To reduce the HTTP request, you need to check the number of HTTP requests that your site makes (you can consult Pingdom). You need to eliminate the unnecessary images. You can also reduce the remaining images’ file size. Evaluate other areas that may be responsible for making your website go slow.

Use a Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN)

proisp-cloudflare-illustrasjon
A cloud CDN is basically the same as many optimized servers all over the world that supply web content to users per geographic location, but it is better than the optimized servers. The cloud CDN helps accelerate any website online and provide protection from attackers (see image below).

overview
Your visitors can quickly get the web content from your site and you can be certain that the cloud CDN, like CloudFlare, will be able to block the attackers from inflicting harm to your website. If you are based in the U.S. and the person accessing your site is in Korea, the individual accessing your site will be able to retrieve the web content quickly. The user won’t wait for a long time to get the content because of the cloud CDN. To enjoy the immense benefits of a cloud CDN, it is practical to buy a cloud server (VPS). It provides more control, stability, and freedom than a dedicated server.

Optimize the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript Files

In order to optimize your CSS and JavaScript files, you can try gzipping and/or minification. Gzipping locates all repetitive strings and substitutes them with pointers. Minification removes all the comments, eliminates white space, deletes non-required semicolons, and reduces the lengths of hex code. You can use both methods to achieve best results. Take note that gzipping is accomplished at the server level. In Minification, you can use minifying tools such as W3 Total Cache, BWP Minify, and WillPeavy.

Discard the Website Baggage

proisp-wp-optimize
You can make your website go faster if you will eliminate the so-called website baggage such as the excessive WordPress plugins (for WordPress users), massive media libraries, themes, and others. You need to remove the trackbacks that you no longer need as well as the spam comments. The WordPress users can use WP-Optimize to efficiently clean the database. The WordPress users should remove the older installations of WordPress to help speed up your website.

There are times when hiring a professional is the best option to speed up your website, especially if your business is booming. Your slow website may cause you to lose some of your clients – you certainly don’t want that to happen.

Digital Marketing – how to use it and why
Written by: Isabelle

Digital marketing is all around us in our everyday life. Take a look around you. People are either looking down on their mobile phones or tablets. Be it on the streets, restaurants, cafes or in their homes, everyone is connected to the internet. Information is literally at everyone’s fingertips and with it, the birth of digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Connecting with your customers in the right place and the right time is what marketing is all about. Simply put, digital marketing is a collective term for all online marketing done by a business. There are a lot of channels open for companies to connect with their target audience. These include social media, Google search, email and their own websites.

digital marketing

Tips and Tricks

There are many ways a company can enhance their branding online. These include the following methods that will help their brands reach their goals:

• Emails
• Blog articles
• Company websites
• Interactive tools
• Infographics
• Ebooks
• Lookbooks
• Whitepapers
• Online brochures
• Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
• Branding using fonts and logos, among others
• Online coverage such as reviews, social media or PR

Most companies employ the following tactics to improve sales conversion:

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the method of optimizing content so that the website will rank higher in search engines.

• Social Media Marketing – a kind of marketing that utilizes social media to promote brand awareness, increase traffic to the site and generate sales leads.

• Affiliate Marketing – advertising based on performance where site owners promote products of other sites to get a commission.

• Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – one common example of this is Google Adwords where companies pay a publisher every time their ads are clicked.

• Marketing Automation – these are software were the goal is to automate everyday marketing actions such as emails and other social media functions.

• Native Advertising – these are advertisements that are content-led and mostly featured side-by-side non-paid content.

• Online PR – much like traditional PR but in the digital scene; companies employ online coverage with blogs, other digital publications and content-based websites.

• Email Marketing – companies use email marketing campaigns to communicate with their customers to promote events, contents and discounts among others

Whatever your company desires to use, make sure it fits the needs of your customers. It will save time, money and effort in the long run.

Important differences between B2B and B2C

While digital marketing works well for any kind of company, there are different ways it can be used and implemented. Depending if your company is B2B (buisness to buisness) or B2C (buisness to customer) different strategies are needed.

B2B is marketing products (or services) to other companys or organizations. For B2B the digital marketing strategy will need to focus on creating “leads” online via the companys website and other channels such as LinkedIn. The “leads” will again create conversions (sales).

The focus for a B2C company is to attract visitors and turn them into customers. This often requires a strong “call to action”and marketing through several channels are often a well used strategy.

 

digital marketing

Benefits of Digital Marketing

There are a lot of benefits for marketers, among them:

• Seeing your results in real time regardless of whether you are a big or small company.
• Using website content to connect with online visitors 24/7.
• Track consumer reaction the moment they visit your site and thus, optimize the page on an ongoing basis.
• Realize higher ROI compared with traditional marketing strategies.
• Stay competitive in today’s high tech business climate.
• With real time data on hand, a company can adapt and take action.
• Able to connect with mobile customers when they use their smartphones or other mobile devices.
• It generates higher conversion rates.
• Big and small companies save money in terms of lead generation.
• Enables real-time response to customers.

Content Creation

Depending on the needs of your audience, your content must answer the needs at different stages in the buyer’s journey. Knowing and creating different buyer personas are necessary for content creation. It will aptly identify your customer’s goals and preferences in relation to your business.

To create awareness, your company may use short videos, blog posts and infographics. All are powerful means to connect with your customers. Using testimonials and case studies are also ways to help clinch a sale. Companies often use photos of their customers with hashtags to get their brands across.

Seeing Results

Depending on how effective your website content in driving customers to your site, results vary. So, it is important to understand and create your buyer persona to answer their needs. It is also crucial to have quality online content for sales conversion.
Paid advertising results may be seen quicker, but it is more important to build your organic reach. This can be done using SEO, content and social media for the long haul. Usually, results can be seen within the first half of the year.

Budget

You don’t need a huge budget especially when you already have your own website. When you use SEO, content creation or social media, you won’t need much at all. Yet, if you decide to hire other SEO specialist later on, it will come with a reasonable fee.
Online advertising, while giving you the needed visibility will cost more. Using Google AdWords to implement PPC can be expensive. Rather, it’s a good idea to improve your organic reach and focus on creating top-notch content.

Mobile Marketing

Do you know that almost 60% of your market uses mobile content? Those who uses desktop make up the remaining 40%. Therefore, it is important that web pages, images, digital ads and other digital assets are optimized for mobile devices.

A responsive website design that will make browsing seamless must be your goal. It is important for mobile users to have the same pleasing experience as they would on desktop. This means that images and texts must not be cut-off. Remember that some smartphone’s screen may be tiny.

What Now?

There’s no time to lose – digital marketing is the lifeblood of today’s businesses. It is not a fad or a trend. In today’s highly technological world, staying on top of the competition is not the same as decades before.
You need an effective strategy to build your brand and get your customer’s loyalty. Whether you are a novice or a pro, digital marketing is your ally to take your business to the next level.

WooCommerce: Build a webshop easy as 1-2-3!
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

When you want to build a webshop, there are many options to choose from, such as OpenCart, CSCart, Magento and WooCommerce. All of these are eCommerce platforms where you can administrate everything from orders, products, storage, shipping and taxes. In this article we will take a closer look at WooCommerce, which is one of the largest plugins for WordPress.

What is WooCommerce?

Today WooCommerce is used on millions of webshops and about 39% of all webshops worldwide. In Norway 38% of webshops uses this platform. There are many good reasons why you should use WooCommerce. It is basically free, based on open sourcecode, with the option of buying and adding extensions for all purposes. WooCommerce gives you full control over all your products, customer data, orders and so on. You can also sell any type of products, both physical, virtual, subscription services and other types.

In the video below, you will see an introduction on how WooCommerce works.

 

How to install WooCommerce?

Since WooCommerce uses WordPress as a “base” you will need to already have WordPress installed. If you are a customer at PRO ISP WordPress can easily be installed with a few clicks (follow this guide for installation). When using WooCommerce and WordPress we recommend using LiteSpeed that is included in our Pro Medium/Premium web hosting.

In WordPress admin panel you can easily install and active WooCommerce like this:

Plugins – Add new – Search for WooCommerce – Install – Active

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When WooCommerce is activated you will receive a step-by-step guide for the different functions on the website. After the installation you can add different types of extensions.

How to use WooCommerce

For a thorough guide on how to use WooCommerce we recommend WooCommerce step-by-step-guides with both pictures and videos. You will learn how to set up your webshop and how to administrate it. The video below is one of the training videos and will show you how to get started with WooCommerce.

 

Payment options within WooCommerce

We recommend you give your customers the option of paying directly in adddition to via invoice. Direct payment with VISA/Mastercard (creditcard) can be done via PayPal. The customer can either use their account with PayPal (where all the cardinformation is stored) or without an account.

Another option is STRIPE. This option works the same way most online card terminal does. The customer adds their card details and the amount is withdrawn and transferred to your account within the next few days. The difference between STRIPE and PayPal is with PayPal you need to transfer the money manually.

If you want to use invoice within WooCommerce, we would recommend taking a look at the extension from Klarna. With this extension the customer can choose between invoice and down payment. In Norway Klarna is a well recognized brand so this can boost sales. To be able to use Klarna, you will need to register with them. Only registered companies can create accounts for sales with most vendors such as Klarna. The downside using invoice instead of direct payment is that invoice usually recuires more work in terms of follow-up via bank or other costly services.

Secure your webshop with SSL certificate

You often need an SSL certficate for encryption. We highly recommend having every site on the website secured (not just the webshop). Show your customers you can be trusted because security is taken seriously.

SSL certificate can also increase conversions for your webshop and give your website higher ranking in search engines. PRO ISP have different types of certificates you can read about.

SEO plugin

SEO is one of the most important measures you can take to increase traffic to your website. SEO is short for “search engine optimization” and we recommend you read: “SEO – what do I need it for?”. There are also plugins to help with SEO for your website, such as YOAST SEO (free). WooCommerce also have their own SEO plugin (not free).

Sources:
Statistics for the usage of WooCommerce