Usergroup Roundup and news from EU

It’s been a busy week with a Joomla and WordPress usergroup sessions, as well as a meeting with Eurid, the registry for .eu domains.

Joomla Usergroup

Joomla Usergroup London logoThe regular monthly meetup of the London Joomla usergroup took place on Tuesday. Phil from SoftForge gave us some insights into the Akeeba Backup tool. Many people already use the extension to make backups of their site. What is not so well know is that the Pro version (a very reasonable $50 or so for unlimited sites) easily adds the ability to copy the backup to offsite storage. Currently DropBox and Amazon Storage are available. Phil also pointed out the security feature of Akeeba to setup a secret key as attackers could trigger your backup repeatedly and cause a Denial of Service (DOS) attack. This setting is in the top right Parameters button. Akeeba Backup is even being used to non-Joomla websites.

2020Media will setup Akeeba for any customer using our hosting competely free of charge. Just ask!

WordPress Usergroup

Two talks this week – WordPress SEO and a newbies guide to Custom Post Types. The evening began with a quick roundup of WordPress news (download the podcast).

  • WordPress 3.3 is almost out. New features include a drag and drop interface for adding images and other media.
  • Akismet, the anti comment spam service is continuing it’s march towards a paid model
  • There’s a plugin to check your website for vulnerability to the tomthumb problem.
  • WP Install Profiles is a Drupal-like idea for developers who want to pre-fill their installs with their favourite plugins and themes.

David Bain speaking at WordPress LondonDavid Bain, an internet marketing expert who uses WordPress in his work, talked about getting your WordPress website noticed in the search engines. David talked us through his 3 “P”s – Preparation, Publishing and Performance. Lots of great tips and well worth attending if you were able to get to London. His slides and our podcast will be available soon. Download the podcast

Keith Devon speaking at WordPress LondonKeith Devon gave us a great introduction to Custom Post Types, which was very useful for the new developer or designer. Simply put, setting up Custom Post types allows you to add a new section to the admin menu for a adding content to a specific type of page that you design. For example if you had staff profiles, you can create a page entry that has boxes for their name, position and job description, and then on the front end display this in a particular way. Download the podcast.

Eurid Meeting

Aliette Boshier from Eurid
Aliette Boshier

The team for the .eu registry were in London to convince the euro-sceptics in the UK that getting  a .eu domain is a good idea! Whilst the argument “show you are European” may not be terribly popular at the moment, the EU is still Britains largest overseas trading partner. If you run a business that trades with the European area, a .eu domain is a wise choice to link to your website.

The .eu domain is 5 years old this year and is now considered a well established and trustworthy domain extension. There are over 3 million .eu domains in use, and it’s the 5th most popular extension in the UK (behind .uk, .com, .net and .org).  .eu domains are now available from 2020Media with multi-year periods of 1 to 10 years, and were one of the first domain extensions  in the world to offer a registry-backed DNSSEC (secure DNS) support.

 

 

Privacy Matters

watcher of the watchers - Julian AssangeGoogle adverts and many others set cookies in your browser that allow them to track you across the web. Google (as an example), uses this information to display adverts that it thinks you are more likely to click on, based on the kind of sites you’ve visited in the past. Here’s how the world’s 3rd biggest search engine Yahoo! describe it:

“To make our ads more relevant and useful for you, we make educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on Yahoo!’s sites and services.”

Quite apart from the privacy concerns this raises, it can make SEO (search engine optimisation) of your website harder to do. If you are checking keywords in search engines, how do you know if you are seeing the same results as an ordinary user who’s never heard of you before?

Fortunately you can opt out of these networks (well most of them).

Because the default behaviour is opt-IN, these methods set a cookie that tells the advertiser to stop tracking. If you clear all your cookies, this preference it lost and you will have to revisit these pages again to opt-out again.

Location information is also commonly being captured by search engines so it’s important to clear this as well when you are doing research on your website’s search engine ranking. Google call it location-based customization.

2020Media can help

SEO Panel screenshot
SEO Panel

Use the links above to check your browser’s current settings – if you use more than one browser you will need to use each in turn.

2020Media are beta-testing a new free service to all customers – SEO Panel. This is a complete open source seo control panel for managing search engine optimization of your websites and works independently of your browser settings. If you’d like to be in the trial, let us know.

Communication preference settings on the 2020media portalCustomers can update their communication preferences with 2020Media by logging in to the customer portal, clicking My Profile and editing the Bulletins tab.

 

2020Media takes privacy matters extremely seriously. We have a privacy statement on our website. This describes the policy that is in place to protect your personal information.

When changes are requested to your services, website or email, expect us to be robust in challenging the person making the request to prove they are authorised to do so, especially when the change requested could affect the availability of that service. 2020Media prides itself on being “small enough to care, large enough to cope”; so our staff attempt to speak to each and every contact during the service. This helps improve security as well as emphasises that we are not just a faceless supplier – we’re trusted partners in your internet presence.

 

 

 

Match your domain name to your target country

Google
SEO hints from Google

It’s no secret that Google uses several factors to determine where a web site is “located” and thus determine its relevance to each individual searcher. But there has been a lot of debate about which factors are most important.

The two I hear mostly commonly are if the domain has a particular country code domain name and where the web host is.

Now Google search czar Matt Cutts has given us a pretty clear answer.

One person asked a question that we forgot to make a video for: “Can you list in order of importance the things that make a site to be seen by google as a site from a particular country?” Since we didn’t make it as a video, here’s the answer as a quick bonus:
  1. country code TLD (ccTLD) such as .de or .fr
  2. geotargeting in the webmaster console
  3. IP address
There may be other signals, but those are the biggies and the order that I’d put them in.

Matt Cutt’s post shows that the most important thing Google uses to determine what country your web site is in is the country code top level domain name. How this applies to USA websites or .com domains isn’t clear – is .com considered ‘USA’? Certainly hardly anyone uses the .us domain extension for USA websites.

Many thanks to DomainNameWire for the headsup.