Businessman hand holding money banknote for paying the key from

When your website helper becomes your website hacker!

We are just six weeks into 2019 and I’ve personally helped recover three websites and one social media account so far this year after each was hacked. Every one of these cases caused panic and alarm in the website owner. Two of them involved fraud, or attempted fraud, and one caused a website to be flagged as malicious by Google.  We’re still trying to recover its ranking and reputation. Let me say, whatever you can do to protect your website is worth the investment, rather than dealing with the stress of a stranger attempting to destroy your hard-won livelihood.

But today we had an incident different to the norm, and it’s prompted me to write because it’s a flippin scary scenario.

Businessman hand holding money banknote for paying the key from

This particular client has strong connections to businesses overseas, her family often travels and her husband actually works with outsourcing centres abroad. Consequently, rather than use our services in the UK, they had engaged a website support in another country they worked in. This made sense finanically and they felt they had a trustworthy person on board. He had been working for them for about six months I believe. Then today, out of the blue, this person contacted them threatening to delete both their business websites unless they paid him a large sum of money.

Website sabotage by a person you trust

Our saboteur had logged in to both sites with my clients’ details that she had given him to do the work. He then defaced both websites by deleting all the posts and pages. He created himself a new administrator account and deleted all of the other users, so nobody could login directly. Moreover, he accessed a back-up plugin that we had installed and deleted all the back-ups on the server and, using the same plugin, deleted our copies too from remote storage. (Happily we do not rely on that particular back-up plugin for this sort of emergency.)

Keep back-ups that are separate from your server

This guy was quite clever in that he thought he could hold the business to ransom because he believed he had deleted all their back-ups. But thankfully, as part of our support package, we also create copies of our websites overnight and store them remotely on a completely different server. Plus any web host worth their salt will create a daily back up of their server – so we usually can restore a website that way as long as you contact them right away.

In this situation then we were able to restore both websites quite quickly and lock the perpetrator out. Thankfully, he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. And luckily he wasn’t technically able to break into the hosting account or the server directly to plant any nasty viruses or malware. Consequently he was cut out fast.

We could also identify his IP address and block that too!

But it left me wondering… after all there was no way of penalising the perpetrator now, even though he wasn’t an anonymous hacker, he’s not exactly within reach. I’m guessing he will sink into the shadows with very few or nil consequences. Unfortunately, it goes to show that even those you have built a relationship with can and do try to hurt you.

To help yourself, please do take note:

What saved my client from losing her sites?

  1. We kept remote back ups that this hacker could not access.
  2. We had a savvy web host who could lock out this hacker and give us access to a back-up of their server quickly. (IONOS in this instance – not usually my favourites, but they did a great job today!)
  3. We changed all our passwords immediately. This included passwords to the hosting account, database of the website, as well as website logins.
  4. My client had us on the phone to help restore the right files and database within a couple of hours.
  5. We used Wordfence to help lock down her site from future attack. (Our clients have the Premium licences to give them the best chance of avoiding a hack). We identified the perpetrator’s IP address and blocked it. And if he attempts to login to the sites again with his old username or email he will also be blocked.

And what could you do to prevent this happening?

  1. Be very careful giving access to anyone working on your website. Check them out thoroughly, and ideally go and meet them. Get a physical address for their place of work. Obtain client reviews and check a couple to make sure they are genuine.
  2. Avoid giving Administrator access to your website. WordPress has a few standard options, like Author or Editor, for people preparing content for your site. Or you can create a custom User Type to give more access than that. For example, if you employ someone to work on your SEO, they might need to install plugins and work on the structure of your site, so they would need greater privileges than Editor to do that. There is a plugin called User Role Editor to help you give the access they need without giving them the keys to the car, so to speak. Basically you do not want a person to easily be able to add or delete other Users without your permission. Otherwise they can delete you! Just like happened today.
  3. Check any third party who requests Administrator access to your website in order to troubleshoot a plugin or theme problem. Read their Support reviews. Find out where they are based and how long they have been around. Do they have a credible website and associated domain? Did you find them through a well known platform like Envato Market or WordPress? If they approach you directly, rather than you going to them with a problem, I would see red flags for sure. Many well-established theme and plugin authors have developed alternative ways of checking your website if you have a crazy error on it, so they no longer need Admin access. It’s always better to pay for premium support than risk a dodgy person having complete access to your website.
  4. Lastly, if you keep any sensitive data on your website, this one is really important. You must not give access to the sensitive data on your website to a third party unless you have told the people who have given the data to you. This will be stated in your privacy policy as part of GDPR. Therefore, if this is you, and you want a new third party to work on your website, you have to lock down that sensitive data, which you can do with the User Role Editor or with another plugin like Adminimize which can hide chosen links in your left-hand column of options from that user. Alternatively, you must advise your customers that you are sharing their data and informing them of how it is protected and how it is (or is not) used.

I hope this all helps. Please do get in touch if you need support.

Sketch of happy hosting with email and website separate

Pros and cons of hosting your email and website together

If you’re getting started with a new website it’s likely you’ll want a custom email address to go with it. Or perhaps you just want to get going with a unique email address (even if you don’t want a website yet). In either case, it looks so much more professional to have an email address that uses your business name!

In this article I look at how to get started and why it may be preferable to host your email away from your website.

Register your preferred domain

The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is to register your domain. My article here on What domains do I need? will help you make the best choice of domain. In addition I recommend you read 10 things to know about buying website domain and hosting together, as it may not be a particularly good idea to purchase website hosting with your domain seller.

Assuming you already know what email addresses you need, you next have to choose where you host them.

The pros of hosting email with your website

There are some pros to hosting your email account in the same place as your website.

1. One login to remember, one company billing you

Clearly one supplier means you’ll have one place to go to administer both your website and email. You’ll have a single control panel, one login and one interface to learn your way around. That certainly makes life easier!

2. You only need one support team

If you are using a digital agency or website hosting support to help maintain your website they would also be able to help you with your mailboxes. That can be really useful as that team can help you set up your email account on your devices: on your phone, ipad, laptop or desktop. It’s nice to know that you’ve only got one port of call to get support for any problems with your email as well as your website.

3. It’s cheaper

You will save money if you host your email with your website provider, especially if your host bundles the two together as one price. Make sure you have enough space in your package to cope with the demands of a busy mailbox and website. We have had a good experience using Unlimited Web Hosting for five years now. There are no limits to mailbox sizes in their cloud hosting packages. Their support is all online, but generally pretty fast and efficient.

The cons of hosting email with your website

Sketch of happy hosting with email and website separate

Firstly, you are not likely to get the best quality email service with a standard hosting package. See below for some tips of what to look for, but a more concerning downside are the risks if things go wrong

1. Yikes! Your website gets hacked

If your website is hacked and your email is using the same hosting account, then the hacker may well be able to access your email through your hosting control panel. You might be susceptible to hacking if you don’t have any security on your website. A hacker might find a weakness or vulnerability that gives them an entry to the back end of your website and from there to the server, where your emails can be found.

At the very least you need to make sure your website is protected from hackers with adequate security. And also check with your host to see what security they have in place against such a scenario.

2. Oh no! Your email account is hacked.

If your email account is hacked and your account is used to send spam, then you may find that very quickly your hosting provider suspends your hosting account. If your website is hosted in the same place, then everything will get shut down at least temorarily. This is bad news, but potentially very serious for an ecommerce operation.

Make sure that wherever you are connecting to your email – phone, tablet, computer – you have reputable anti-virus security installed and kept up-to-date to help prevent this.

3. No email when you need email the most!

If, for example, your hosting is shut down because of an incident of hacking or sending spam, you might find there’s an added problem. The email address you use to correspond with your customers, your team and the web host itself, is out of action. Nightmare complication. Usually in that situtation you’ll need to get on the phone with your web host to help resolve the issue, or use a personal email address to deal with that correspondence if you can.

4. Move your website hosting and the email has to move too

As time goes by, you may want to upgrade your website hosting, or move it to a new ISP for whatever reason- service, speed etc. But if you host your email account in the same place, that means your email has to move too. What a pain in the backside, especially for those who have multiple addresses on many devices. Now you have the trouble of archiving all your mailboxes, disconnecting your accounts and having to reset the whole thing on every one of your devices, for every team member using an email address. If your operation is likely to grow, it’s better to keep the email hosted separately so the two are not tied together in the long run.

What should you look for when choosing your email hosting

Consequently, it is very much worth looking for a dedicated email package with an internet service provider (ISP). There are many out there and vary in terms of offering, price and the level of customer support.

The main points to consider are:

Size of mailbox

You may want to have large (say 30GB) or unlimited space available for an email account with the ability to send large attachments. Or you may be happy with something smaller to start with.

Ability to download your emails to your devices

Most people want to read their mails on their phone, tablet and computers, depending on where they are. This requires a protocol to download emails from the server to your device.

Make sure you can use IMAP or POP to sync your device mailbox with what’s on your server. POP simply downloads what’s on the server to your device. IMAP is a bit more advanced as it syncs your device with the server and leaves the mail there too – better for a person using multiple devices to check an email account.


If you lose your phone or your computer dies, webmail is a great back up system to access your email via a website, like you might look at yahoo mail or gmail for example. You would just need a username and password to login and away you go.

Security / Encryption

To keep the contents of your emails secure as they fly across the world wide web, make sure your provider has encryption activated on both the webmail and the IMAP / POP connections, and on the webmail website.

Reputation of the server’s IP address

This is something that is increasingly important as big ISPs like Outlook and Yahoo tighten their spam rules evermore. The IP address of your server will essentially be ranked and good, neutral or bad, and your emails will be treated in a corresponding way. You want to make sure that your emails don’t land in other people’s junk mail if possible. There are a multitude of factors to help with this, but IP reputation is a major one.

If you host your email in a shared cloud hosting account, you suffer the same IP reputation as the other unknown people on that server. Unfortunately one bad egg who abuses the account and sends spammy emails will spoil the reputation for the rest. With a dedicated server, or an ISP who works hard to keep their reputation ratings high, you have more control over your IP address reputation and therefore how successful sending your emails will be.

Junk mail filter

Make sure your ISP provides a quality junk mail filter with the ability to adjust the settings. This is essential to keep your own incoming emails free of spam, and to block irritating repeat offenders, or white list others who have been wrongly categorised. (I have found actually that you can plug an ordinary hosting account into gmail and that filters spam very efficiently if you’re happy to use their website interface.)


This is the gold standard of email hosting. It’s a Microsoft service that allows you to sync your Contacts and Calendars as well as emails with a team. Very handy as part of an integrated team solution.


Understandably you pay more for more size, better quality of server connectivity (speed), and excellent customer support.

Have a look at PC Mags 2018 review of email hosting providers here for a full review of major ISPs.

In summary

For some people keeping your email and website hosting together will work fine. This would generally suit a small team or sole trader and makes sense if you’ve got someone to help guide you through the risks associated. For growing businesses and bigger teams I would definitely recommend keeping your email hosting separate to your website to manage risk and to ensure a better service.

jigsaw puzzle of domain, hosting and website - how they fit together

10 things to know about buying website domain and hosting together

Should you buy your website hosting and domain with the same internet service provider?

This is a good question for the person who is about to register their website address, or if your web designer offers to register a domain and host your website too.

In this article I am going to give you the pros and cons of buying your domain and website hosting from the same company, or from a web designer. I hope to protect you from costly errors and help you avoid paying more than you need when you buy a domain and hosting packages.

Firstly if you are about to choose a new domain, please a take a look at my article What Domains Do I Need?  This contains advice on what to check before you choose your domain, and what extras you might want to purchase at the same time.

Please explain! What is a domain, what is hosting and why do I need them?

I am asked this frequently. If you know this already, jump to the ten things you need to know here.

In order to get a website onto the internet, you need three parts of a jigsaw puzzle.

jigsaw puzzle of domain, hosting and website - how they fit together

1. a domain

This is the address of your website, also known as your URL, which for the geeky amongst us, stands for uniform resource locator! But enough of that. It is like your mobile phone number: you want to have one, and you want it to stay the same for as long as you need it. You want it to be portable when you get a new phone or when you switch service provider. The same goes for your website domain: it should be easily portable if you change websites or hosting providers.

2. a website

These are the files (and database) that put together make your website appear on a computer screen. You can have a website on your local computer at home, but nobody would see it unless it is hosted publicly and has an address. It is like your mobile phone. You can hold it in your hand, but it’s not useful until you have a telelphone number and a network provider.

3. website hosting

This is like your mobile phone network service provider. It connects your website to the world. It is the ‘place’ your website files and database must be saved and the ‘place’ your domain URL must point to. There are a few choices as to what service level you might need. For a starter website usually a shared cloud hosting package is sufficient. If you have want super-fast hosting, have high visitor numbers or peaks of traffic, or you are unsure about a shared service due to security concerns, you may choose a dedicated server.  The latter is naturally more expensive.

Ten things to understand before you register your domain

It is likely that the company you register a new domain with may offer you lots of seemingly attractive extras, including website and email hosting. But should you buy them all together or keep them separate? And should you accept an offer from your web designer to register a domain for you?

1. It it essential that your domain is in your control

The golden rule! When you buy a domain, you need to make sure that it is registered in your name, or your company name. This domain needs to be within your control as it may be a significant business and branding asset.

2. Be careful if your website agency registers your domain for you

I would recommend that you register your own domain – there are instructions on how here – and don’t get the agency building your website to do that. Most website designers and developers are absolutely trustworthy, but they will probably put your domain in with a lot of others in a company account, so you won’t have your own access to it.

Importantly, there may be occasions where relationships break down, or you lose contact. Certainly, you don’t want to find that the person you’re in a dispute with can actually control what appears on your website because they control your domain.

3. The risk of losing contact and the nightmare sabotage

Fairly often I am asked to help rescue a website which the client cannot access because they do not have hosting access or domain access either. This can be a time-consuming process to resolve. I have also experienced the ‘designer with a grudge’, who pleasantly grafittied my new client’s existing website during the domain ‘Transfer out’ process. We were helpless at that time to stop him.

4. The freedom to move supplier

Similarly, if you want to move to a new website designer or support, having control over your domain will seriously ease the process of switching to a new supplier. This is because you can simply change the place the website address points to, without having to deal with a potentially disgruntled incumbent supplier.

5. The pain of reclaiming a domain that is rightfully yours

If the worst comes to the worst, domain sellers and regulators have procedures for you to claim a domain name that is rightfully yours, but it’s a process to be avoided. If you have a .uk domain, Nominet is the regsitry organisation that can help you retrieve access to your domain.

6. “But”, you say,  “I would rather someone else did this for me!”

If you are not confident, or very busy, it’s certainly easier to delegate this task, so if you’re not too concerned about control and your website designer does register the domain for you, then please ask them to register it in a new account with your details, so you at least have your own login.

7. How many years do you want to register it for?

It may seem cheap to see your domain is only 99p, but be aware that it is usually only the first year that is such a low price. When you add your domain choices to your basket, beware that the company you’re buying from may add a 2-year or a 3-year registration. Usually there’s a bulk saving buying more years, but only if you need then. Simply buy one year if you don’t.

8. Remember VAT

Another tricky practice for us common consumers to look for is that, like car garages, domain sellers tend to put on the VAT at the end of the bill, not in the initial price quoted. That can push your total up somewhat!

9. To bundle or not to bundle

Usually a web host and domain seller bundle their products, so you might see a free domain if you buy hosting at the same time.

The pros: it’s usually a good price to buy both together. You’ll only have one login and one company billing you.

The cons are really about security.

The main thing is that if you buy your website hosting and domain with one provider and your hosting account is hacked, there’s potential for the hacker to not only gain control of your website, they may also be able to control your domain name. That can leave you with a big problem. At the very least, make sure you practise good password security on your hosting account.

Keep them separate and if somebody hacks your website they cannot get hold of your domain as it’s somewhere else. Similarly if you fall out with your web host, you can ditch them much more quickly as your domain is somewhere else. As mentioned, it’s much more easy to port your website across to another host than it is to try and get hold of a website that is in somebody else’s hands.

10. What about email hosting?

You’re likely to want an email address using the same address as your website. I’ve written another article about where you host your email here.

11. Search Engine Optimisation packages and other marketing tools.

My view is that you can save this for later. It’s not something you’ll need until you’ve got a website up and running, so I’d put this one hold when you register a domain.

In summary

I hope this article answers any questions you may have about whether you should buy domain and hosting with the same provider. There are no hard and fast rules, just please remember that your domain is to be protected. Please ask any question in the comments below, or ping me an email using our contact form.

Go to Account Settings on SmugMug site

Use your own domain on a SmugMug photography website

This week I was asked to help a local photographer set up her SmugMug website.

What is SmugMug?

SmugMug lets you create specialist photography websites using their range of templates and software. SmugMug hosts your site and the main advantage is that you can also sell your pictures securely through it, all for a monthly fee. (It has some disadvantages too, but I’ll save that for another post).

SmugMug creates a URL / web address for your new photography website

When you first set up a site, you have to choose a sub-domain, in this case,

But there are a few downsides to this:

  1. it weakens your brand as clients might not understand what SmugMug is and what it is to you
  2. it is less convenient to say over the phone to clients
  3. it’s not exactly a pretty name, is it?

The good news is that you can use your own domain instead

This is called “cloaking the domain”. First you need to buy a domain. In this case we bought a couple of domains with privacy from 123-reg. (See here why it’s useful to choose the privacy option). For this example we chose

We want all visitor traffic, whether someone enters the URL or, to land on the right SmugMug pages.

(As an aside, I am amazed by how often I see websites that don’t load with both the www in the URL and without it. It’s an easy fix so read on to the second step if this is you.)

Ideally, because the URL here is quite long, I wanted the preferred domain to be without the www. But, here’s the tiny bit of bad news… you can only cloak it to the www.  You can’t send www. to the root domain and then to SmugMug. But it isn’t awful, because we can set this up so that even if you don’t enter the www into your browser address bar, it will still arrive in the right place. Happy days!

This is how you do it:

How to cloak the SmugMug subdomain with your www address

First point your domain’s traffic to SmugMug

Login to 123-reg

Select the domain you want to use

Select Domain To Manage on 123 reg

Click on Manage DNS.

Select Manag DNS on 123-reg

At the bottom of the table you should add a CNAME record with the address:

Add the SmugMug Domains CNAME

This means that anyone who goes to http://www.yourdomain will be sent to SmugMug.

Second, send all traffic from your root domain to www.

Now you need to add a web forwarder so that any visitors going to http://yourdomain will be forwarded to http://www.yourdomain.

Head back to the Control Panel, then click Web Forwarding.

Selec Web Forwarding on 123-Reg Control Panel

You need to create a 301 Permanent Redirect to http://www.yourdomain. Find your domain using the search box. Then add 301 forwarding.

Set up 301 forward on 123-reg

Set up forwarding 301 direct

Third, tell SmugMug your custom domain URL

Shut down 123-reg and open your SmugMug website and login. Then go to the Profile icon at the top right of the page and click Account Settings in the drop down menu.

Go to Account Settings on SmugMug site

This will open the black settings screen. You need to scroll down on this page and look for Custom Domain Name. Enter your http://www.yourdomain here.


Custom Domain Settings on SmugMug

Now wait. It can take six to eight hours for the DNS settings to propagate.

You may see this change immediately, or you may need to wait a while. If, after waiting, you still cannot see the changes, then check all the steps are saved correctly. And you can also search the Internet for a free proxy server to see if the website URL works as expected there. Bonne chance!


Start selling before you can start selling

The Hair Helper Holding Page

This is what we’ve just done for The Hair Helper so they can start marketing before they launch.

My product isn’t ready

This week I heard this problem from a client who is waiting for her manufacturers to start producing her newly designed product… “I can’t build my website until my product is ready to sell… It’s so frustrating. I don’t have any images until I have a product. Everything is in limbo.”

Not so, friends!

You can still prepare to sell.

Mailing list

Get yourself a holding page on your website domain, set up a mailing list and start building that list of contacts. Word of mouth is the best way to start this process.
Talk to everyone you know and ask if they can help you. (Most people love to be asked to help, especially if they don’t have to do anything). Say, “Would you like to support me? Can I put you on my mailing list? Then you will be the first to see my new shop when it’s live.” And if they are enthused by you, they will mention it to their friends too.

Social media preparation

You can also use social media to identify people who may like to blog for you, or help you with PR, in an exclusive way, ahead of general sale, for example. Sometimes competitions are a good way to generate interest and add people to your mailing list too. (Be careful though, you must make sure that it’s optional to be added to a mailing list, not a requisite of entering a competition). Check out the ICO website for guidance.

Use your journey to market as a story for your Facebook page.

Be inventive and set up a Facebook page and Twitter account even before you’ve got your product or images ready. Tell the story of your business idea, your brand and your journey to market. Your personal story can be a great way to build relationships and be an inspiration to others.

Holding page SEO and Analytics

Just having a holding page on your website means you can get a head start with search engines. Google and Bing will still be able to index your “Coming Soon” page, so you’ll be listed from the word, Go! Don’t forget to add a meta title, keyword and description to your page and submit it via webmaster search consoles. Lastly, you can also set up a Google Analytics account to make sure you can track visitors from day one too! It all helps to build your understanding of what works or not.

Find the right Domain Name for you

What domains do I need?

Domain name help for new business owners

This week I was asked by a contact who is starting up a new business which domains to buy. She said, “Is it important to get Or What about .uk? What about .london?” And on it goes… Here are my tips to register the right domains for you.

Is your business name available?

Check out any domain registrar. I particularly like 123-reg for domain registration as they have a really easy-to-use website and services to help find the best domains. If your preferred name is available, great, and if not, there are other options to consider, like checking if the domain is actually being used, or if it’s up for renewal soon, who owns it and can you bid for it? (I’ll plan to cover that in another post.)

Have you checked for similar-named competitors?

Next I would consider is anyone else or another company using the same or similar name, even with a different domain extension? If yes, where are they and what do they do? Established brands have first refusal on their domain names and you need to be sure for your own commercial advantage that you’re not going to get into a messy wrangle over branding / trademarks or customer confusion. You don’t want people going to your website when they want another and vice versa.

An example of this is when we registered There is an Eclipse Chorus based in Canada, and this is a small male singing ensemble, not a large mixed community choir like ours in London. Given the distance and different audiences, sounds and set up, it seemed fine to stick with the name Eclipse Choir, and it’s doing really well.

Find the right Domain Name for youCan you get the ‘big’ domains?

Thirdly, it’s good practice to choose a domain extension that suits your business. For example, if you’re a charity, then you need a .org or a perhaps. If you’re a business then you’ve got a lot more choice!

Look at bagging at least one major domain. My advice is, if you can get .com, then buy it. It will be more expensive than .uk domain names, but it’s so easy to say and it’s very familiar to everyone.

Plus, if you’re in the UK and selling to the UK it makes sense also to have a .uk domain. If you get both, you can decide which one to use and forward one to another.

When choosing either or .uk, there’s not much in it. The latter is a newer option and so, if you buy that one as a primary domain, you might want to back it up with too, because it may be some people would type that in if they were looking you up directly. You can easily forward to .uk if you like it that way around!

The worst thing is not to buy.

Registering a uk domain costs less than £10 for two years, so it’s not a big outlay, even if you’re unsure of your final business name. If you miss it you may miss out for a long time. I won’t ever forget the candidate on The Apprentice who got to the final interview stage with a business plan and was totally foiled when one of the interviewers announced that he had bought up the proposed company name’s domains. The candidate showed lack of thought and commitment by not buying the domain as soon as he had his great business idea.

What about newer domain extensions?

Newer domain extensions are popping up all the time. An associate of mine uses .co and .eu domains. I also have a client who’s just bought a .yoga domain. That alone makes it self-explanatory what she does, right?! I think the important thing to consider is relevance to your business and how easy is it to say and spell to others. Over time the general public will become familiar with the variety of domain extensions available and not find ‘unusual’ extensions surprising or confusing, so long as they tie in well with your offering.

What about ID Protection?

When you come to purchase your domains I’d recommend buying ID protection. A lot of people don’t know that when you register a domain to your person, or to your business, without ID protection then your contact details, including name and address, are published and available on domain registrars over the world wide web. If you don’t purchase ID protection then you will very probably receive quite a lot of email spam at least. Most of this is advertising web design or SEO services, but some of it is rather official looking, nasty scams. I’ve seen one that reads as if you will lose your website / domain name from search engines entirely unless you order their ‘Search Engine Service’. This is, of course, rubbish. Avoid spam if you can, or if you don’t want to pay the extra for ID protection, please be ready to delete delete delete.

Will it have an affect on my search engine rankings?

Google and other search engines will rank your website based on a multitude of factors, and the most important thing is creating great, relevant and fresh content that keeps your visitor engaged on your website. It takes time to build a good Google ranking, perhaps a year to get from zero to hero on competitive terms. The most important bit about your domain name is the name, not the extension.

I’ve got all these domains, so what do I do with them?

Well, you don’t have to do anything! A domain is not a website. You have registered your ownership of a domain name and that is all.

The next step is to look at what you want from a website and find help to build it. It’s only then you’ll get to the point of buying web hosting, which does not have to be from the same supplier. (And there are a few reasons why it is good to keep them separate… another topic for a later post!)

Once your business is operating and you have a website, you can easily point multiple domains to the ‘primary’ website domain with a simple redirect.

If, on the other hand, you’re a collector and you’ve got a little library of domains that you’ve bought because they *could* be great business ideas in the future, then I would probably treat them like my wardrobe. If I haven’t worn it in a couple of years, it may be time to get rid of it. Think about it carefully, if the domain doesn’t have any real value, and you don’t have a specific plan for it, then let it expire gracefully. It could be someone else’s dream 🙂

Get Gospel choir Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation and site design for Music Group

Get Gospel generates most of its enquiries from search engine results. We have successfully helped them return in the top Google results for key search terms consistently and helped integrate social media activity onto the website to keep content fresh.

Our main reason for hiring Cheryl to design our website was because of her knowledge of digital strategy and search engine optimisation.

Not only does she understand our brand as a fun, friendly, contemporary and cool gospel choir - and successfully designed a colourful and clear website to convey this - but her work on key search terms throughout the site has improved our gospel choir's rankings massively. She has insight into what works for the customer, and how to give the customer the best experience possible.

Understanding the importance of social media, she advised us on how to integrate Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter on each page so that we could get the most interaction across the board. We're thoroughly pleased with how the site looks, how easy it is for the customer to use, and how easy it is for us to update. Cheryl is more than a website designer; she helps businesses to grow and change with the times, and ours definitely is.

Get Gospel
Eleanor Barlow Professional Website Design

Eleanor Barlow

Professional website design for a cyberpsychologist & business adviser

Eleanor Barlow is a cyberpsychologist and strategic adviser to businesses, her target client being business leaders and senior executives. It was important that her brand and website reflected her unique area of knowledge and approach, heavyweight experience and business acumen.

Eleanor Barlow website

"I hired Cheryl to help me develop a clean, clear and powerful online presence for my business. I needed something which would articulate the weight of my brand whilst also conveying my personality and experience.

Although elements of my positioning were still in flux when we initially engaged, I had a fairly clear idea of how I wanted my site to look and feel. Cheryl was able to translate my scamps into site design effectively, with confidence and expertise. When you engage Cheryl you are entering into real partnership; despite late changes to content and structure, Cheryl has remained patient, understanding and flexible throughout the entire process demonstrating a fantastic sensitivity to my situation and awareness of my business. I definitely feel as though 'we're in this together' and I love my new site!"

Eleanor Barlow
Vesta Rowing Club home

Vesta Rowing Club

Revamped rowing club website and membership management

Vesta is a well-established rowing club in London, with a membership of several hundred. We have refreshed the website to make it more useful and up-to-date for members and more attractive for visitors (almost halving the bounce rate). And as part of an ongoing project, we moved membership subscriptions to an online direct debit collection service and member applications online too, saving time, reducing errors and increasing revenues.

Testimonial on request

Aga Siemiginowska
Putney, London

Jules Rendell

Soul Singer and Songwriter website

An artist like Jules Rendell needs a website to be modern, classy and cool. Together we focused on creating a visually bold and engaging website, with plenty of photos, video and tracks. Importantly the site also links a lot of Jules' social media and commercial activity. It also has room for news, reviews and upcoming events too!

A note on Jules’ site is a Parallex Scrolling site, which means that the background images move behind the foreground images at a slower speed. This can have a very striking effect, but it means that screenshots of the site don't do it justice. I encourage you to click on the image below to view more!

I love my new scroller website. Cheryl has a natural eye for colour, size and balance so that the website is stylish with all the features I wanted but not cluttered. She listened to my requirements and ideas and augmented them to cover areas I hadn't thought of, including the revolving video reel, news page and mailing list sign up. Also willing to learn new aspects of the WordPress theme to make the website I wanted, Cheryl showed her technical ability to solve problems quickly and teach me how to update the website myself. One of her strengths is incorporating social media and SEO rankings, making the most of Google and other search engines to get as much traffic to my site as possible.

I'm thoroughly pleased with the job she has done for me and think it portrays me as an artist in the exact way I'd envisioned. She's also great fun to be around - I totally recommend her!

Jules Rendell