Categories
Web Development

What is DNS?

It’s a question we hear often. But, unlike many other bits of online jargon, it’s quite easy to explain.

So here goes … What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System and is the single, central list of how to find anything on the internet …

Each device or computer on the internet has a unique IP address so other devices and machines can find them, a bit like a house number, street and postal code.
 
Of course, that series of numbers doesn’t look good on the side of a bus, over your restaurant door or on a business card, so DNS enables us to have a name, usually a business or project name as the address (e.g. fredspizzastore.co.uk).

Imagine, when you text your pal Joe on the your phone, there are loads of Joes out there – but you have saved Joe’s phone number against the name ‘Joe’ on your phone. You can’t remember Joe’s number but your phone does. DNS is like that – but for everyone.

So DNS or basically works like the yellow pages of the internet for computers. DNS translates the easy to read and market domain name ( e.g. haywines.co.uk ) and translates that into an IP address, which is the physical address of a server on the internet that hosts your website, or email or app.

That’s Just for Us Puny Humans, But There’s More to DNS Than That …

But DNS is much more than just converting website addresses into physical locations on the internet. It handles all sorts of other requests too, direction for email traffic, voice over IP, security certicates and website validation, email verification and more.
 
DNS can also be used to proteect your website, app or service from attack by hiding your service’s true location from the internet. Services such as Cloudflare provide extensions to their Domain Name Configuration so the exact location of your devices is hidden from hackers and trolls to help keep your critical services running.
 
A properly configured domain DNS can be the difference between getting email, or not – services like SPF (sender policy framework), DMARC (Domain Message Authenticaion and Conformance) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) all rely on DNS to pass the relevant information from server to server.
 
Are you sure your domain’s DNS is configured properly? Would you know how to check? Does email you send go into people’s junk folders ? is your site protected from a DDoS (denial of service) attack?
 
We can check and report on your DNS for you now, why not drop us a line….

Phew!

If that was too many Three Letter Acronyms (TLA) for you sorry. For more explanation, you check out our jargon busting ‘What is a TLA?’ article – or just let us worry about it.

Categories
SEO and Digital Marketing Web Development

Why has my Website Disappeared from Google

Recently we have had calls because business owners are saying their sites aren’t showing up in Google search even when they type in their own company name.

With all four of these sites, I found some obvious reasons for the sites not ranking well such as no security certificate or the site wasn’t mobile friendly – but, it wasn’t that which was preventing them showing up or making them rank lower than other sites, these sites did not rank at all. 

Even if I did site:websitename.com , which will return every page of your site which is in the Google index, I got no hits. Nothing. It was as if the site had simply vanished.

On further investigation, I discovered, that each of these websites had a ‘manual action’ against them – Google had removed them from their index, specifying a reason of ‘pure spam’. 

Now if you read up on the ‘pure spam manual action’ it’s pretty damning – suggesting the offending site is employing spam techniques such as cloaking, automatically generated gibberish, scraping or copying data and content from other sites and other tactics which violate Googles webmaster guidelines

So I checked each site and well, apart from a minor infringement on one of them, they were all respectable, well structured sites with good, original content. I was suprised , corrected the infringment on one of the sites and appealed all four.

Is there a manual action against my site ?

Easiest way to see if your not indexed is to type site:yoursitename.com into Google. If you get nothing back at all it’s likely Google have applied a manual action of some sort.

What can I do about it?

Each action must be appealed via search console. First, you need to check to see if you are doing something you shouldn’t be. In the cases I mentioned above, only one appeared to have actually violated the webmaster guidelines by hotlinking to images on another site, purely by accident.

Every site I appealed was eventually relisted by Google without explanation. So it’s really a good idea to search your own site every now and then even, if you believe you are doing everything right because Google takes no prisoners and does not notify website owners when they take sites off the index – even if you are paying for adwords. 

If you would like us to see how your site is performing on Google’s search index why not drop us a line , we’d love to hear from you.

Categories
Web Design

1ast Pharmacy

New Sheffield Pharmacist 1ast Pharmacy – opens with new website and associated publicity. Little Fire Digital have helped design and develop the online presence for this new website based pharmacy in Sheffield.

We also provided print media including leaflets / flyers and order forms.

Print and digital media have been merged to create a business which reaches out to all, connected or not. Our award winning designer helped in bringing the idea to life and the flyers are the perfect vehicle for getting the word out about the website and the service on offer.

Using our in house developed application vcms (visual content management system) the forms have been created by the website administrator with all required fields. These can be added easily from a simple control panel – from text fields to multi line text boxes to radio buttons and select menu’s – this enables 1ast Pharmacy to provide a comprehensive questionnaire in which users can be accurate about their requirements, tailoring their own service.

Vcms automatically builds a form from the administrators chosen questions and ensures it is responsive and mobile friendly, fitting beautifully to whichever viewport it is viewed from.

All this is served over a secure connection using encryption certified with an SSL certificate from Comodo. We supplied and installed the certificate on the hosting platform to ensure peice of mind for website users and the website owner.

Google is now very keen on websites being secured with an SSL and those that are may see their websites position improve slightly in the search engine results over those that do not have a security certificate.

You can get a certificate for your website easily just contact us for a free quotation.