Having originally built www.southamptonwebdesigner.co.uk in 2012, I felt it was time that my local Web Design Southampton website was due bit of a re-vamp. Running a local Southampton Web Design Agency where ensuring your client’s needs are met can make it fairly tricky to try and build a website for my own business. However, I had to bite the bullet and pull some very late nights to ensure that new clients could see a collection of my fairly recent works and not examples from circa 2012. The digital world moves along at an exponential rate and 4 years is an extremely long time.
Why move from http to https?
In August 2014 Google officially announced that https would factor as an official ranking signal (read more at the Google Webmasters Central Blog by clicking here) Search Engine Land elaborated on this article and went as far to say that ‘Google to give secure sites a ranking boost’ h (Search Engine Land Article: Aug 2014). The fact that Google wants the web to be a safer place it is no surprise that they would encourage sites to move to https. However, it’s a bit easier than said. Over the past couple of years since the announced I have said to clients that if SEO is of paramount importance and they want to try and tick every known aspect in that they can in the algorithm then it would make sense to move over to https. However, for some clients with huge, complex sites it is just not feasible to conduct and undertake such a large scale project for a marginal SEO perk.
My reason for moving over to https was the fact that it made sense at this point whilst undertaking a re-development to swap over to https. Also, my site previously had very few pages so the redirection work to avoid horrid 404 errors was minimal.
Moving to https with @Cloudflare
Having looked into Content Delivery Network in the past for a couple of my clients (@MSKUltrasound and @themotoringlaw) I was aware of Cloudflare and the services they offer. Their servers are very fast and with the fact that users love fast loading sites it is not a surprise that Google takes into account page speed as an important ranking factor.
Achieving 100% Page Loading Speed
As Page Speed is an important ranking factor I wanted to ensure that I tried to make my site as fast as possible to please 1) Users and 2) Google. It appears that www.southamptonwebdesigner.co.uk has achieved a page speed of 100% according to the official @GoogleDevelopers Page Speed Testing Tool
Another handy little tool for achieving this page score was www.criticalcss.com by Jonas Ohlsson which was recommended to me by Chris Toddhunter @StudioRepublic who runs a top Creative Digital Agency in Winchester, Hampshire (check out their website at www.studiorepublic.com.
When it comes to Web Design and SEO Results I believe the proof is in the pudding. I made sure to place a collection of local Southampton clients and some of my further afield clients on the homepage. Since taking a leap of faith in 2014 to take my freelance web design career as a sideline hobby to a full-time venture I’ve been really fortunate to work with some great clients who hopefully feel I’ve added value to their business and online presence. Feel free to check out my testimonial page www.southamptonwebdesigner.co.uk/digital/testimonials/ or my LinkedIN profile.
Several Special Mentions:
Although I’m grateful for all the business I’ve received since over the years I’ve got a few mentions I’d like to make:
Regan Stuart at Future Employment @futureemp (Recruitment Agency Southampton):
Regan Stewart has known me since 2004 and actually interviewed whilst I was just finishing uni for my first job which was my break into the world of Marketing & Advertising which set me on my path. Since 2007 when she first set up her own business I designed her brand and have built 3 websites over the years for her. She ranks highly for ‘recruitment agency southampton’ and always allowed me to try out SEO techniques. She’s a great recruiter, business woman and overall person. Visit her site at www.future-employment.co.uk.
Andy & Marcus have both known me since 2004 and over the years have collaborated on various projects as well as recommending me for other work. They are both successful businessmen and certainly have helped me with my career along the way.
Liberty Leasing Plc | Asset Finance Specialists @LibertyLeasing
I’ve provided web and marketing services to Liberty Leasing Plc for a number of years. I built their new responsive website in 2011 and re-vamped it with a more modern and cleaner look in 2014 to fit their brand. I’ve been contracting to them as a Digital Consultant since September 2015. I did have reservations going back into an office on a long-term contract doing 9am to 5.30 but I have to say they are the friendliest bunch of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.
Although not based in Southampton Olliers Solicitors are definitely worth the trip whether that’s to their Head Office in Manchester or facilities in Mayfair, London. Initially I was tasked with developing a micro-site for their Motoring Law Division www.themotoringlaw.uk. This fiercely competitive sector was certainly a challenge but with a consistent and concerted effort we have ensured the Adwords works for them and that the organic SEO rankings have improved. They’re a great bunch to work with and we’ve achieved some great results particularly with Search Engine Rankings and Social Media Optimisation.
Norman Court | Montessori Day Nursery & Private School @Norman_Court
Norman Court is not only a stunning venue based on Wiltshire / Hampshire border but they offer a Montessori Day Nursery, Private School (soon with Boarding), Out of School Clubs and Hire Venue for Corporate Events, Weddings and School Take Over days. I’ve been working with them for almost a year develop their website portfolio, improve SEO rankings and ensure brand consistency across offline and online mediums. Visit their website at: www.norman-court.org
I’ve worked with Stuart Wilders since 2009 when re-building a portfolio of sites placing them into WordPress CMS and and then again at ICS Cool Energy www.icscoolenergy.com where once again we re-developed, improved the company’s online profile, rankings and established a social media presence. Both Stuart and I have collaborated with Bill at Giant Leap Video & Photography who helped us with video and photography requirements. They are both great guys to work with, committed professionals and enjoy a beer with 🙂
Madalina Cooper (LinkedIN Profile)
I’ve known Madalina since 2012 and she is the Queen of PPC, CRO and Analytics. We both have a passion for all things digital and certainly have had some of my most geekiest chats with her. Working for yourself can be a lonely business so it’s great to collaborate with someone who shares your passion and understands your sense of humour 🙂
David Edbrooke (WTF SEO)
I first worked with David in 2009 and he introduced me into the world of WordPress and Genesis Framework. He has massively helped me over the years on various projects and his SEO knowledge has been invaluable. In a very cryptic and mystified world of SEO, David is rare in the sense he is helpful and willing to explain technical concepts in easily understandable terms. You can visit his site www.wtfseo.co.uk