Retailers in a number of industries both welcome and fear busy online shopping periods, especially during Christmas and New Year. Agencies such as Internet Retailer report that specific market segments such as online clothing have seen 18% increases in ecommerce sales compared to last year.
While this is great news in terms of signaling an economic revival, it also places enormous pressure on UK startups and small businesses to ensure their websites and ecommerce shopping carts perform flawlessly with zero downtime. A technical glitch, 404 error, server connection errors, or slow-loading sites will not only lose a potential customer to another site but it could also result in a lower search engine ranking on Google.
You may have heard increasing references to the ‘Internet of Things’, which suggests that a growing number of devices, machines and platforms are becoming ubiquitously connected to the Internet, offering a level of automation that the world has never seen before.
A simple example would be a refrigerator sensor connected to the web that automatically orders more milk, once it detects the bottle is empty. While this implies a highly connected world, it also conveys the underlying march in automation, which allows machines to do the job of humans, thus saving us time, money and hassle.
While the search engine giant reportedly uses several hundred signals in determining where your website will rank, increasingly Google seems to suggest that speed is becoming a major factor in this process.
Recent Penguin and Panda updates have reshuffled the search results for thousands of websites, and speed was a determining factor.
Now, Google seems to be focusing on smartphones, using internal research to suggest that should be aiming for uptimes of just one second. This may come as a shock to many website owners who see this as a huge challenge.
One form of web hosting infrastructure that is well equipped to deal with the surging increase in UK e-commerce sales (at least 20% above last year’s levels) is dedicated server hosting. The big boys of the web server family, these powerful Intel platforms are juiced with high RAM and disk space components that allow hardcore server administrators to exercise precise control over hardware, software and security policies that are not possible on shared or VPS platforms.
London is to get its own new top level domain, ICANN has confirmed. In 2014 London businesses will be able to apply for a domain name that reflects the global brand recognition of the UK capital – .london.
As part of the opening up of top level domains to new applications there have been number of geographic applications, with New York City, Paris and Wales among the many looking to tap into the benefits. London is one of the first to be signed off though and so will have many people keeping a close eye on proceedings.
If you were asked what you thought the oldest registered domain names were what would you guess? What timeframe would you be expecting? Well, Domain Holdings have posted a list of the 100 oldest domains and the results may be a little surprising.
Did we mention already that UK2 is partying this month? We’re celebrating 15 years in the business, during which we’ve sold over 4 million domains and gained customers in over 200 territories. As a way of showing our appreciation we invited a few of our valued customers for a curry and a slice of birthday cake in a local restaurant.
It’s always great to meet the people you do business with, and we learnt what a range of customers we have. From those who held just a domain to fully managed dedicated servers, our customers represent a range of industries including fraud prevention, education, metal trading, ICT, publishing and artists. Once we’d all filled up on varying levels of spicy food, they were able to give us some important feedback on where we were going right and what improvements they would like to see in our services, giving us food for thought as well as the stomach.
As part of our birthday celebrations we’ve another week of daily offers for you. Today we’re offering up .co.uk domains for only £1, and there’s more to come over the rest of the week. So join in our celebrations and get more for your money this October!