SURF MERCHANT has undergone a transformation through 2014 and early 2015. In truth, the change in our business proposition has been customer-led. For years we were known in Dublin as the “SEO specialists”, “Google guys”, “Adwords analysts” or “Analytics aficionados”! That we are still, but website owners want more. Repeatedly, businesses that we work with ask us for website management support. What clients want is a webmaster to take ownership and responsibility for their website and supporting social platforms, to handle the “duty of care” of day-to-day web admin. As self-employed, sole trader and limited companies in Ireland invest in doing business online, they soon discover how costly the time-suck of looking after their digital properties. It eats in to their daily core business activities. Time and again, we’re asked for help.
Talking with Irish business owners, the message is clear;
- Take a load off our plate by managing the website load-time, and the hundred other things we need to think about for website optimisation.
- Commit to maintaining our website home address to a standard we can be proud of without having to worry that it will let us down.
- Agree to manage our web portals on our behalf, according to transparent, unambiguous benchmarks.
We set about creating a website support service for website owners and the “home-rule SLA” was born!
Home Rule SLA
Our website management packages come in 3 tiers with corresponding service level agreements. Structure, speed and security are the foundation for every digital property. Our website support is designed to keep your house in order. We convert your house in to a home! Every website performance plan has a SLA agreement against it. KPIs are specific to each business website but fundamentally they fulfil on key requirements:
- 99.9% uptime
- Loading time <3 seconds
- HTTPS always-on SSL
- Zero page redundancy
- Duplicate URL removal
- Zero handling errors
- Zero broken links
- Validated W3 standards
- Web accessibility approved
- File permissions authorised
- Database rules authenticated
- Rich snippet verified
- EU data law compliance
We don’t pretend to have all the answers or be perfect all the time. We’re human. That’s what makes our proposition real. We do our best to provide the best service and we lead by example. Actions speak louder than words. Too often these days, the son of the shoemaker has no shoes!
We know that if we to genuinely deliver best-in-class service, we must showcase best-in-class website management principles ourselves. On the structural peg of our 3 pillar philosophy, we always did quite well. Robust, open-source optimised WordPress CMS platform, technically certified, solid on-page architecture and our SEO performs well for us, routinely driving in excess of 60% all traffic from organic search referral on qualified queries.
Latterly we’ve geared up on security and scaled up on server speed. Working with the clever-clogs at Cloudways, we migrated away from Blacknight hosting to cloud server SAAS hosting, that, as you will see below in our pingdom diagnostics reports, has made our website markedly more efficient. Today we are also proud to announce that SURF MERCHANT is a verified Digicert partner. It is widely regarded that Digicert is the industry leader in SSL so we are pleased to stand over this new partnership.
The more geekier among you might have noticed the green sealed padlock in your web address bar when you loaded this page. This is EV plus SSL at work, a seal of security telling you that you are now in a safe place on the web!
This was not always the case. Nor is it yet entirely, as we still must trawl back through all our blog archives to ensure that each and every media file and piece of content that we have used is locked down.
This is a great exercise in any website audit. Self-regulatory, it forces the website manager or webmaster to comply with HTTPS checks that will ensure there is absolutely no media or externally embedded content on the domain that could compromise the integrity of the website. Bye bye hackers, this website will not be hacked!
Defaulting to HTTPS everywhere is where we are going because that is where the web is going. With Digicert Always-On SSL, we look forward to enjoying the peace of mind that security brings, safe in the knowledge that Google is rewarding us!