When your WordPress website is hacked, a million things go through your mind. What did the hackers find, change and steal? Who else is in danger — are your employees, partners or customers at risk now too? And how did the hackers get into your site in the first place?

Before you can take the next steps, you have to stay calm. The truth is that hacks do happen, regardless of how well-protected you believe your site is. The good news is that this is a common occurrence and there are established to-dos to start tackling right away.

Also, sometimes websites go a little bonkers — it doesn’t mean you’ve been hacked. A misbehaving website, malfunctioning update or odd comment on a blog post are not surefire signs that your site’s been hacked. You’ll want to dig deeper to make sure you know what you’re dealing with before you try to solve the wrong problem.

How To Tell if Your WordPress Website has Actually Been Hacked

Here are the signs that you’re dealing with a bonafide hack — hopefully, you can say “no” to everything on this list. (And if not? We’ve got lots more help for you.)

  • You’re unable to log in to your WordPress website.
  • You’ve noticed a severe drop in traffic.
  • There are website changes that you haven’t made.
  • Your website is redirecting to a different site.
  • When anyone tries to access the website or even search for it in Google, a warning shows.
  • The server logs show unusual activity.
  • Your security plugin or hosting provider has notified you that there’s been a breach or unusual activity.

Let’s get into some of these a bit more.

Can’t Log In to Website

The most common reason why someone can’t access their website isn’t a hack — it’s because they forgot their password (or think they know it but actually don’t). Reset your password to see if that’s the problem.


Now, if you can’t reset your password, that could point to a potential hack. Hackers will often remove a user or change their password to keep them from accessing the site. If you’re not able to reset your password, it could be because someone removed your user account. Usernames that contain the following are particularly easy to hack:

  • Admin
  • Administrator
  • Root
  • Test

Also, if you are able to reset your password but you notice other red flags that we’ve listed, you could still be the victim of a hack, so read on.

Drop in Traffic

When a high-performing website stops seeing an influx of traffic for no known reason, it’s possible it’s been hacked. Redirected traffic, a decreased user experience or Google blacklisting your site can cause traffic to plummet.

Unrecognized Website Changes

Often, hackers will change your website in big and obvious or tiny and hard-to-catch ways. It could be as clear as the home page being overwhelmed by ads or the theme being totally different. Or, it could be as difficult to find as teeny links hidden in the footer. It’s also common for the added content to be of an illegal nature.

Often, this type of added, unexpected content doesn’t fit with the design scheme or take presentation into consideration. That means that there may be a black ad over a black part of the website, keeping a lot of it concealed.

You can also see if any pages have been added to your site by doing a Google search for site:yoursite.com (replacing yoursite.com with your actual URL). Skim through the results to see if there’s anything you don’t recognize.

Before you assume this is the work of a hacker, check with the rest of your team to find out if any admins or editors made the change. Even an outlandish change could have been a complete accident.

Website Redirects Somewhere Else

It’s common for hackers to add a script to your website that redirects visitors elsewhere, like a dating site or something untoward. You may not notice this yourself, as some hackers will only show the redirects to non-administrators, so it will look normal to you. But if you’re getting feedback from visitors that they’re being sent to another site, listen up.

Browser or Google Warnings

Yes, a browser warning that says your site’s been compromised could point to your WordPress being hacked … or it could mean that there’s code in a plugin or theme that has to be removed. There could also be a domain or SSL problem, which your host can probably help you figure out. The browser warning may provide you with some info that you can use to start troubleshooting the problem.

A Google warning is similar, though more straightforward – it’ll probably say, “This site may be hacked.” This can happen when a website sitemap is hacked, which impacts how Google crawls the site. Like with a browser warning, you have to take whatever info you’re given to start diagnosing the problem.

If you’re still hearing from users that your site is flagged, it could be that they’re getting a notice from their anti-virus product. Even if Google whitelists you again, you’ll have to follow the instructions for the anti-virus products to take you off their list of dangerous websites.

Unusual Activity in Server Logs

If you’re worried that you’ve been hacked, log in to your cPanel via your hosting provider. There are two types of logs to look at:

  • Access Logs: Who accessed your WordPress site and through which IP.
  • Error Logs: Errors that occurred when your WordPress system files were modified.

Look for any unusual activity. If you find IP addresses that shouldn’t have access to your site, block them.

Understanding Why and How WordPress Websites Get Hacked

There are a number of reasons why WordPress is hacked. The top three are:

  • Insecure Passwords: Every user of your site, along with your FTP and hosting accounts, needs a highly secure password.
  • Out-of-Date Software: Plugins, themes and your WordPress installation need to be updated regularly, whenever a new version is out. Without updates, you leave vulnerabilities for hackers to take advantage of.
  • Insecure Code: Low-quality WordPress plugins and themes can put your site at risk.

There are several savvy methods hackers use, and the techniques are improving all the time. As sites get safer, hackers get smarter and more creative. Here are just a few of the main routes that are taken to hack WordPress:

  • Backdoors: A backdoor hack bypasses all the traditional ways of getting into your site. The hacker may find a way in through hidden files or scripts.
  • Brute-Force Login Attempts: Automation is used to figure out your password and get into your site. The weaker the password, the easier it is to crack.
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): This is a vulnerability that’s often found in plugins. Scripts are injected that let a hacker send malicious code to the user’s browser.
  • Denial of Service (DoS): If there’s a bug or error in the website code, the hacker can use those to overwhelm a site until it breaks.
  • Malicious Redirects: A backdoor is used to redirect your site.
  • Pharma Hacks: Rogue code is inserted into an out-of-date WordPress version.

10 Steps To Recover a WordPress Website That’s Been Hacked

If you’ve been hacked, do the following as soon as you can. Try to stay calm as you go through this list — panicking will only make it harder to work efficiently, and you could miss important steps along the way.

Put Your Site in Maintenance Mode

If you’re able to access your website and log in, put it in maintenance mode. You want to do this even if there’s nothing obvious that users will see when visiting your site. As you’re working on it, maintenance mode protects their devices and information, as well as keeps it under wraps that you’re dealing with a hack.

Find Your Backup

You’re going to contact your hosting provider in the next step, but sometimes, when a host finds out you’ve been hacked, they delete the site immediately to prevent further problems. That’s why you need backups of your site and database first.

If your backups are stored on the same server as your website, they’re likely gone once you’ve been hacked. However, consider checking these spots in case you have one saved there as well:

  • Your Backup Plugin: If you use a backup plugin, there’s probably a backup stored in the provider’s cloud service.
  • Your Cloud Account: See if you’ve manually saved a website backup to your cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • The Hosting Provider: It’s possible that the hosting provider you use has a backup of your site that you can still access.

Contact Your Host

Depending on the type of hosting package you have, your provider may be able to take the reins and handle a hack for you. Early on, contact your host to (a) let them know your WordPress website has been hacked and (b) find out what help they offer. If you’re not able to gain any access to your site at all, you may need the host’s help to get anywhere.

Reset WordPress Passwords

You won’t know which password was hacked, so it’s safest to change all of them ASAP. While you’re at it, reset any and all passwords associated with your WordPress, like your database, host and SFTP passwords. Also, contact admin-level users right away and have them change their passwords as well. Moving forward, aim to change your WordPress login every couple of months or so.

Update Everything

Make sure your WordPress installation, plugins and themes are all up to date. Doing this early on means that you may patch a vulnerability that the hackers initially got through. If you wait too long to do this step, you could go through the trouble of fixing your site only to have it hacked again through the same outdated plugin or theme.

On top of updating your plugins and themes, do the following:

  • Deactivate and delete anything you don’t use.
  • Are you worried that one of them is from an unreliable vendor? Deactivate and delete it.
  • Remove and reinstall any that you think may be giving you trouble. Or, better yet, remove the plugin or theme and then replace it with something else from the official directory.
  • Check the support pages for the themes and plugins you have installed. There may be recent comments from people who are having the same issue.

If you want to delete plugins from your SFTP instead of the WordPress dashboard, you can. Make sure that you delete the entire directory for the plugin, not individual files. You’ll look for wp-content/plugins/[plugin name] and delete the entire directory and everything in it.

You can do the same for unused themes by going to wp-content/plugins/[plugin name]. Keep in mind that if you’re using a child theme, you probably have two directories to retain so that your theme stays intact.

Remove Unnecessary Admin Accounts

Check through all of the site’s admin accounts and get rid of any that you don’t recognize or that are no longer relevant. For those who still need access to your site but aren’t admins, change their access level. Also, it’s a good idea to check with admins to find out if they changed their account details before you delete an account that’s actually legitimate.


Remove Files That Shouldn’t Be There

You’ll probably need a security plugin for this step. Running a site scan should alert you to files that are there but shouldn’t be. We’ve rounded up the six best WordPress security plugins for your site.

Clean and Resubmit Your Sitemap

If your sitemap’s been hacked, it could have malicious links or foreign characters in it. Your SEO plugin should let you regenerate a fresh, clean sitemap. You’ll then have to submit that to Google via the Google Search Console. Let Google know that your site has to be crawled again.

This can take up to two weeks, so know that the search warning may not be cleared until then. To check if your site’s back in good standing, you can go to this URL: http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http://yourwebsite.com/


Reinstall WordPress Core

When nothing else seems to work, the only way to repair your site when WordPress was hacked is to reinstall it entirely. You can do this through the admin dashboard or through your file manager.

Clean Out the Database

Lastly, clean out your database. Your security plugin should be able to tell you if the database was compromised, and it may also be able to clean it out and optimize it.

How To Prevent Getting Hacked in the Future

We know you never want to go through this again. Here’s what you can do to prevent your WordPress site from being hacked in the future.

Set Secure Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

If you haven’t done this already — or if you did but you rushed because you were panicking — make sure that all of the passwords for your site are strong. Then, add two-factor authentication to your site, which will make it tougher for a hacker to create a false account.

Use a Security Plugin or Service

We’ve mentioned this so many times already that you’re bound to know by now that you need a security plugin for your site. The biggest benefit to this type of plugin is that it will alert you if there’s an issue so that you can take preventative steps before it gets out of hand.

Need even more protection? There are security services that will monitor your site for you and fix any issues that arise. And if you are hacked again in the future, they’ll handle all of the troubleshooting steps for you.

Keep Your Website Up to Date

Everything on your site should be up to date, from the WordPress version to any plugins and themes you have installed. Updates usually have security patches, so leaving them out of date means that hackers can easily find their way in. If you’re not in your site regularly to perform maintenance, use an auto-updater to handle it for you.

Use SSL On Your Website

SSL is standard with most hosting packages, and it adds another layer of security to your site. Check with your host to see if SSL is included. If it’s not, you can install a dedicated SSL plugin, or check if your security plugin includes it.

Use a Firewall

A firewall acts as a bouncer between your site and the rest of the world, blocking anything dangerous before it has the chance to cause a problem. You can use a security plugin or service, but first check with your host to see what type of firewall protection you already have.

Be Careful With What You Install

Only install plugins and themes that come from reputable sources — the official WordPress directory is your best bet. And even then, make sure that what you’re choosing has been tested with your version of WordPress. Avoid plugins and themes from third-party sites. If you must get one from somewhere other than the WordPress directory, research to find out if the vendor has a good reputation.

Clean Your WordPress Installation

Anything that’s hanging around that you don’t need anywhere should be deleted, including:

  • Files that you no longer use
  • Plugins that are inactive or active but unused
  • Themes that are inactive that you won’t use again
  • Old WordPress installations
  • Unused databases

Old WordPress installations are especially vulnerable. Often, your backups are kept in a subdirectory of your site. So while your main website may be secure, a hacker can get in through those old installations.

Try to walk through this cleanup routine regularly, like every three months, to keep your website more protected against getting hacked.

Wrapping Up

When your WordPress website has been hacked, your site often isn’t available to your visitors, which could impact everything from your brand’s reputation to your income. Acting quickly and smartly is necessary to get your site back in working order. Then, the next most pressing matter is how to keep your site healthy and hack-free moving forward.

Luckily, many of the maintenance suggestions we’ve covered are no-brainers. You probably already know that stronger passwords and up-to-date plugins mean a healthier site, just to name a couple best practices. By following the advice in this article, you have a better chance of fixing your WordPress site after it’s been hacked and avoiding the same headache in the future.

The footer is a valuable space on your WordPress website. Utilized correctly, it can help visitors find what they need and stay on your website longer. The WordPress footer shouldn’t include anything and everything. It should be designed well and serve its purpose. In this article, we’ll look at 4 footer elements to include in your website’s footer.

1. Footer Elements: Contact Information

First, we’ll look at contact information. This type of information makes it easy for customers to talk to you and find your physical location. It’s often included in detail on a contact page but having some of the information in the footer is helpful. Shorter versions of this information are great for footer elements.

Basic contact information includes the email address, phone number, and address. For a store, you can add opening hours and other information. These are often added with individual text modules. Other modules add elements that make them stand out such as titles and dividers or styled borders.

Contact Form

Add a contact form so your visitors can reach you easily. Add the specific fields you want, but it’s best to keep it simple for the footer.

Social Media Follow

Social media follow buttons are ideal for almost any footer. Add your active social networks.


Maps are great for providing directions to your physical location or the location of events. They’re easy to add with a Map module or plugin. They can be full-width or just take a up small column. Alternately, you can add Google Maps HTML.

2. Footer Elements: Calls-To-Action

Next are CTAs. Calls to action are powerful footer elements. Adding a call-to-action to the footer gives you one more chance to push something important to your business goals. This can be an email subscription, membership, link to your shop page, a reminder to ask for information, etc.

Email or Newsletter Subscription

Adding an email or newsletter subscription is as simple as adding an Email Optin module or other form element.

Purchase Call to Action

Create a link to your online store to remind visitors where they can shop. The shopping CTA should be larger than most other links and stand out. They can be full-width or fit within one of the columns.

Project CTA

A project CTA can nudge the visitor into requesting a quote or contact you for more information. They work best when they’re larger than other elements around them, but still keep them simple and clean.

3. Footer Elements: Links

Next, let’s talk about links. Links are some of the most popular elements we see in a WordPress footer. They work great as footer elements and they’re easy to add. They can link to pages, posts, comments, products, events, services, and lots more. There are several ways to create them.

Links to Pages

Links to pages can include specific products, legal information, about your company and team, your contact page, etc. It’s also good for links to pages that you don’t want to place in your primary menu. These links are usually created manually.

Posts and Products

Display a list of your latest posts and comments. You can also display WooCommerce products based on category, featured, hand-picked, or popularity. Add the proper widget to the WordPress widget area and then add them to your footer. Some themes offer a Sidebar module for that purpose.

Navigation Menus

Navigation menus look great when the links are stacked. You can add a stacked navigation menu widget to a footer area in your Widgets screen and then use a Sidebar module in your footer. Displays the navigation menu in a vertical stack.

Services and More

The footer is an excellent place to add links to your services, projects, portfolio, resume, case studies, events, etc. They work the same as regular links or you can highlight them with images or icons. Use only a few links rather than linking to all your projects and services.

4. Footer Elements: Company Information

Finally, we;ll look at Company information. This is one of the most important of the footer elements. Often, this type of information doesn’t fit well anywhere else on the page. This also works as a summary of the information. This includes copyright, company mission statement, information about the company, photos of people or products, etc. Be sure to keep it simple.

Copyright Notice

The copyright notice usually appears at the very bottom of the footer. You can enter the year manually or dynamically.

Mission Statement

Mission statements can be powerful messages about your company. They’re especially important for companies, such as charities and churches, that help others and accept donations that need to build strong relationships with donors. Mission statements are easy to add with Text modules.


Adding branding, such as a logo, reminds visitors of who you are. Add a logo using an Image module.


Photos can be a great way to make yourself relatable to your audience. Add an Image module along with Text modules for your name or contact information. You can also add photos of your products or an example of your work. One or two small photos are all you need in the footer.


A testimonial can help build credibility. Add one with a Testimonial module/plugin. You can add more with a Slider module/plugin and set it to display one at a time. Keep them short.

Ending Thoughts on Footer Elements

That’s our look at 4 footer elements that can’t be missing from your website and how to add them. The details of the elements are up to you, but every footer needs:

  • Contact information
  • A CTA
  • Important links
  • Company information

These examples show one method of how to create these elements, but they can be created using other footer placements. There is a lot of flexibility on what these are and how you create them. Be sure not to clutter the footer area. Use borders and different background colors to separate the elements and footer sections. Building these 4 important footer elements will make your footer more valuable and useful to your visitors.



SEO is the lifeblood of your website, and it will affect just about everything that happens with your site. Here are some important points any SEO agency would consider when thinking about SEO: keywords, links, title tags and descriptions, page titles, and headings. This article will explore each one in more detail so you can get a good understanding of how they work together to increase search engine rankings. Let’s dive right in!

Utilize Keywords

Your “keyword” is the word or phrase that people will type into a search engine when looking for your website. Google, for example, uses data from your common keyword to determine how relevant it is to a search result.

Plan for Links

Links are the currency of the web. Whenever you link out to another site, whether it’s sending someone to an outside resource or linking back to one of your own pages, that is a positive signal for search engines. The more quality links you have coming to your site, the better you will rank.

Check Your Title Tags and Descriptions

Just like how people use keywords to find your website when using search engines, people viewing your website will be using those same keywords to figure out if they want to stay. Your title tag and meta description are the titles that show up in search results next to your link, so make them compelling enough for people to click.

Create Unique Page Titles and Headings

Page Titles and Headers are the most important information on a page from an SEO perspective. You want your title tags to be interesting, but they also need to provide the reader with the information they were looking for. In addition, you will use subheaders throughout your writing to highlight certain topics. Just like how you used keywords in your title tags and meta description to match what people are searching for, use headers and keywords in your content so that both humans and search engines know what your page is about.

Alltogether, SEO can have a dramatic effect on how successful a web page will be. The more relevant information you provide with your keyword usage, links, title tags and descriptions, page titles and headings, the more likely you are to have people find your web page in search results. If you are unsure of how to link all this together, it’s time to hire an SEO agency to help you. Remember, the more SEO-friendly your web page is, the higher ranking it will have, and the more likely people are to find it!

PS: When designing and developing websites, Artkenya always uses pemium themes which are ‘SEO-friendly’. And when hosting your website with us, we install premium plugins that give you everything you need for fast, powerful WordPress SEO with industry-leading features like:

  • Automated SEO checkups and reports
  • Sitemap auto-generator and search engine notifications
  • Titles and meta descriptions
  • Full support for default schema.org types
  • Site crawls, scans, and reports
  • Automatic linking
  • 301 Redirects
  • Advanced social media sharing

Please contact us today for a free consultation.

When seeking reliable website hosting services, you must consider keeping your site secure. Today, the standard is to make your site “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” if you want to avoid the embarrassment of your visitors seeing a “not private” security warning.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer (also known as “Transport Layer Security”.) and is a cryptographic protocol designed to provide communications security over a computer network. It involves scrambling data to make it almost impossible for hackers to read. Most websites these days have an “SSL Certificate,” which helps anyone who visits that site to feel safe. Having SSL protection increases the trust level among site owners and potential customers. The free version offers the same benefits as the paid version but doesn’t have a verified signature other than what a site owner might sign themselves.

How Do You Get an SSL Certificate?

Website hosting companies usually provide a free one through the “Let’s Encrypt” version. It offers the standard protection expected by most site visitors. You also can receive paid versions that usually come with advanced support and might cover a validation period of one or two years versus only 30-90 days. Either free or paid, you receive the option to order one for your website when you sign up for website hosting services.

Is an SSL Certificate Necessary?

If you just have an informational domain that doesn’t require visitors to register, you might not need an SSL certificate for your site. If you do have forms that collect sensitive information such as last name, phone number, birth date, or social security number, an SSL certificate is recommended. Even if you have a web form that just requires a first name and email, it wouldn’t hurt to have SSL encryption to make visitors feel better about signing up to your newsletter, special offers, and free products.

SSL Certificate Renewal

You can usually sign up for your domain at the same time you purchase website hosting services. When you do, you could coordinate this renewal service with your SSL certificate. Make sure you check on your domain status before it expires, which usually happens once a year.

You also can purchase multi-year plans that extend your domain ownership and SSL certificate out to at least two years or longer. Whether a year or more, make sure you keep both your domain and your SSL certification active so customers can find you.

PS: When signing up for Artkenya’s ‘Managed Web Hosting’ service, we provide a FREE SSL.

Every business needs a website nowadays. However, not all websites will achieve the same results. Your website only has three to eight seconds to catch a visitor’s attention before they leave. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have a website that is appealing to your customers. That’s also why it’s important to go for customized websites. Let’s take a look at the advantages of customized websites.

Customized Websites are Tailored to Your Branding

A business needs to be able to show its personality. That’s one of the most effective ways to stand out as a business. Customized websites are unique in that they are tailored to blend with the rest of your branding. In addition, a customized website is given a personalized touch, which enables it to offer a unique user experience.

Customer Experience-Optimized Design

When a website is built from scratch, its design and functionality will deliver real business results. This is done by optimizing the structure and user experience to suit your particular audience. When a web design agency makes a custom website for you, they first ask about your business goals. Apart from that, they will also need to understand your customer journey regarding your unique products or services. This will help them come up with a design that will best suit your particular needs.

Full Scalability

One of the most significant advantages of customized websites is that they are scalable. As your business grows, your designer can add extra features to the website and optimize it to better suit your new needs and approach. This is also one of the most effective ways to grow your business online.

No Limitations on Functionality

A custom website can be turned into whatever you want. You can add or remove features that make it easy for your clients to navigate and interact with the website. Therefore, you will have full control of whatever happens with it.

Better SEO

If you have your website built from scratch, designers and SEO specialists will optimize it for search engines. Web developers can develop a custom-coded solution that enables better keyword integration and the addition of SEO-friendly features on the website. This will help make your site rank higher than others in search results and increase brand awareness.

Updates and security

With a custom-built website, there will be no need to wait for updates that might not come. You can always have your website updated at any time to keep up with the current trends. That means you can keep upgrading your website security as well.

These are some of the advantages of having a custom-built website. It is an effective solution that will bring lots of business to your doorstep.

If you would like to explore the option of a custom built website, please call Chris on 0722-705002 or  send us a message to make an appointment.

1. Local SEO Benefits

Registering a ccTLD for your website allows you to target traffic from specific areas of the world. Let’s say you own a bakery in Kenya or are expanding your business there, you may want to register a .co.ke domain name to ensure that your company is showing up in the search results of those living in Kenya.

2. Instill Buyer Confidence

ccTLDs are preferred to .com domains in many countries because many people prefer to complete transactions and visit sites in their own native language, currency, and region. ccTLDs allow customers to easily identify websites local to their region when shopping online so that they can click local and buy local.

3. Greater Availability

Traditional and public domains like .com domain make up more than half of all domain extensions on the Internet combined. This means you’ll have a greater chance of securing your name in a ccTLD.

4. Shorter Names

ccTLDs are always made up of a two-letter code that is assigned to every country. Because every country has the right to determine its own guidelines for assigning domain names, some ccTLDs do not require higher prices for short, high-value domain names.

5. Get Creative

Some companies have been creating domain hacks to build a strong brand around their domain name. This is when you use a ccTLD domain ending to form words and phrases. For example, the domain hack food.ie uses the Ireland ccTLD, redd.it uses the Italian ccTLD, and subscri.be uses the Belgium ccTLD to forward to mailchimp.com.

To register your co.ke domain, please contact Chris

Many popular websites fell offline on Thursday in a widespread global outage of service.

Visitors attempting to reach some sites received DNS errors, meaning their requests could not reach the websites.

Affected services included Airbnb, UPS, HSBC bank, British Airways and the PlayStation network used for online games.

One popular DNS provider, Akamai, reported “an emerging issue” with its Edge DNS service.

It has now tweeted that the issue has been fixed and “the service is resuming normal operations”.

Internet outage monitoring platform DownDetector had reported thousands of problems from its users across dozens of platforms.

We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.

Previously it said the issue had been a “partial outage” – and some users reported being able to access some compromised services in different regions.

As some websites began to appear again for users in Europe and the US, others in Asian nations continued to report problems.

DNS – short for Domain Name System – turns the human-readable web addresses we use, such as bbc.com, into addresses that point to a computer server somewhere online.

Disruptions often mean that a web browser cannot find the content it is looking for.

Other affected services reported by DownDetector included:

  • Banks such as Barclays, Lloyds, TSB, and Halifax
  • Gaming services including Steam, Call of Duty, and EA
  • Streaming services on Channel 4 and ITV

It is the second such widespread outage in two months.

In June, cloud computing provider Fastly had an interrupted service which took down a large number of high-profile websites around the world, including many international newspapers and government websites.

In that case, it later emerged that a settings change by one customer had inadvertently affected the entire infrastructure.

Note: Luckily, none of artKenya’s hosted sites were affected by this outage. Learn more about artKenya’s hosting packages here.

Read the original post on BBC News here: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57929544

Here are the five elements to web design:

1) Content

There’s no denying that ‘Content is King’. It plays a massive role in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and is one of the main reasons people visit your website.

You really need to focus a great deal of effort into creating first class content for your website, which should include videos, relevant news/information and high-resolution imagery to make your website ‘stickier’. This will ensure you keep your users on your website for longer.

2) Usability

Great usability will never be noticed by the end user, but bad usability instantly stands out. Your website must be easily navigable, intuitive, accessible and mobile-friendly.

The user should know where they are on the website at all times and be able to find where they want to go with little thought. They should also be able to access any page they need without having to view the whole site.

Your site should try to anticipate what your visitors are thinking and help them to fulfil their needs with as little effort as possible.

3) Aesthetics

In this day and age, having a visually impressive website across all devices is crucial. However, you must maintain your brand image. Your website must reflect who you are as a business, and visually connect with the audience.

The visual appeal of your website not only contributes to your brand awareness but also increase your credibility.

4) Visibility

If you had the most aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly website on the web, it would still be unsuccessful unless it could be found. Your presence and visibility through digital marketing campaigns including SEO, social media and email marketing is vital to the success of your website.

It’s important that you understand how to be found, what platforms to target and how to utilise your content. Thousands of factors have an impact on where you appear within the search engines, so make sure you have a plan in place!

5) Interaction

Your website must engage with your audience, hold their attention, direct them through the stages of your website and finally encourage them to contact you.

Before we talk about the essential elements of a website, it’s worth discussing what goals it can achieve first. Check the list below and verify that this is the case for your site. If not, it will probably be worth refining it in this respect. Make a note of what to change on it to support your business even more.

Goals of the company website:

Building trust – this is by far the most important of the goals of every website for a micro, small and medium company. The small business website is proof that it exists and operates on the market. But just having a company website is not enough. Users visiting it should get the impression that they are dealing with professionals and that it is worth considering using their services. Trust will allow you to attract new customers without getting involved in advertising. When you build them – you will also be able to achieve higher margins than your competitors and efficiently implement projects – when the client feels that he has entrusted the work in good hands, he will not interfere in your projects.

Be found -thanks to the company’s website users will learn about the existence of your business. For example, you can reach a new group of clients or acquire business partners.

Providing information – the website must state what you do and what problems you solve, who you are, how to get to you, how to contact you or place an order. Basic information is necessary because for someone to use your offer they must understand what you do. Communicate it clearly, presenting your company, offer, and experience, as well as implementations. Providing you with all the information you need also gives you the benefit of saving time – when a customer learns everything they need to know, you won’t have to spend time answering his questions.

Education – your website should allow you to learn more about your products/services and their applications. You can publish valuable content on your blog, organize webinars, offer e-books for download – think what form of communication will be appropriate for your target group.

Converting – a website should be built so that as many people as possible decide to send a request for an offer, fill out the contact form on the website, generate valuable sales leads, or book a visit.

A website can also perform other, additional functions, e.g. help in finding employees.

Your website must be user-friendly

You want your customers to feel good about using your services. Let them feel they have chosen the right person and that you will do what they pay for well. Similarly, you should care that everyone who visits your website feels confident about it. So that he can use it comfortably and find what he was looking for there without problems. Your task is to make it as easy as possible for him. To do this, make sure that your company website has 4 features.

4 features of the user-friendly website:

1) FEATURE 1: Adaptation to different devices

The days when we browsed websites only on computers are long over, so you need a page that users can conveniently use from a mobile phone or tablet. The pace of life is getting faster and we are looking for services when we are at work, at home, but also on the bus or train, so you need a website that can be viewed in various circumstances.

What is a responsive website?

Responsiveness means “relevance”, however when we define a website as such, it means that it is suitable for all devices on which it can be opened. In other words, all of its content will display correctly on screens of all sizes, desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

The responsive website is automatically adjusted to the device resolution and thanks to this all the website content is visible. The user can freely and conveniently browse such a page e.g. on a mobile phone and does not have to move the content of each subpage sideways, enlarge a small font, photos, etc.

Why do you need a responsive website?

You can still find many websites that look good only when displayed on a computer screen. However, if you open the page on your mobile phone, there is a problem. It takes a lot of effort to find the content we are looking for, or even switch between subpages. This is because the width and structure of the website are not adapted to the resolution of mobile devices (and yet the smartphone has a screen much higher than the wider, and the laptop the opposite). This is a big mistake because at present over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices (mainly mobile phones).

This is a very large group of potential customers, and you can’t afford to lose them. If your site will not display well on mobile phones, you will probably lose half of your website visitors’ attention and the chance to become your customers. Decide on a responsive website to give them a good experience of using your website, and they will stay there much longer. However, if it will not match the resolution of their device, they will probably leave it very soon – customers today are very comfortable.

Importantly, the time spent on the site is one of Google’s ranking factors. So, if the bounce rate (the percentage of users who visit only the main page and do not go to any other subpage) is high, your site will be perceived by the search engine algorithm as useless, not corresponding to the needs of its visitors, and therefore its position in Google will be lower and will go down. Remember that the competition is not sleeping. If it has responsive pages, then users interested in services like yours will reach them, not you.

Responsive or mobile website?

Two solutions allow you to get a website tailored to display on your mobile phone: responsive and mobile. What is the difference?

The mobile website is the second version of the website, created specifically for the requirements of mobile devices. However, in the case of a responsive page, the contractor creates only one page that automatically adapts to the devices on which it is displayed.

A much more popular solution is responsive websites in RWD technology because they are cheaper – both in terms of their creation and maintenance. We pay only for one page, and mobile pages – for two versions of the site. A responsive page has one URL, and the mobile page must have a different URL than the desktop. In the case of RWD pages, there is also no phenomenon of content duplication and there is no need to update the content twice on each of the mobile and regular pages, so this process can be carried out faster. As of today, we can say that responsive websites are becoming the standard.

Check if the contractor creates responsive pages

To adapt the website to mobile devices, web designers create responsive websites or a separate mobile version of the website. Before you choose a person who will create a page for you, check their portfolio and open individual pages on your mobile phone. Check if they look good. Be sure to ask if the page created for you will be responsive.

2) FEATURE 2: Intuitive navigation

You already know that your website should be comfortable to use. Well-designed and well-thought-out navigation should also serve this purpose. Its pillar is the menu visible on the page, but the navigation should also be placed in the footer. The use of tile navigation and the so-called hamburger.

What subpages should the small business website contain?

Typical subpages for small businesses are Home, Offer (Products, Services), About us (About us, Team), Portfolio (Realizations), Price list and Contact. This does not mean, however, that exactly such tabs are to be included in your menu.

View competition pages and think about the subpages that are specific to your industry. For example, in the case of restaurants it will be Menu, and in the case of hotel facilities – Rooms. Think about what your customers can get and what your competition rarely has. If you run a guest house, the Tourist attractions subpage will certainly be very encouraging.

Before you start designing navigation, be sure to think about what content your site should contain to effectively convince you to take advantage of your company’s offer. The content should form a coherent story leading the potential customer from the first hearing about your company, by getting to know its offer, the value you offer, how you deliver it until the purchase, i.e. the transformation of the potential customer into a real customer!

Why is the menu on the company website important?

The purpose of the menu is to show the content of the page or at least its most important elements. It is to enable quick access to the most important information on your site and ensure easy navigation and return to the main page. Usually, a clickable company logo is placed on the menu that takes users to the home page. Small business pages usually use horizontal menus, but you can also find sites that have a vertical menu.

If you design a website’s navigation well, users will spend a lot of time on your site, and you care about it. You want users to visit various tabs on your website, and to become familiar with your offer, price list, and become convinced to use your services. The more time spent on the website means also better positions in search results.

Not only your potential customers move on your side, but also Google robots. The better the structure of the menu and links on your site, the better it will evaluate and will be rewarded with a better position in search results. To sum up: good navigation effectively supports positioning.

Website menu – how to plan it?

Take a pen and paper and try to plan the menu scheme. You can also ask for the opinion of the developer of your website, but it is much better to go to him with an outline of what you plan. Use clear names of subpages in the menu so that users know what kind of content they will find in a given tab.

The order of items on the menu matters. In the beginning, there should always be a homepage (you don’t have to put it as a menu item if your company logo will be linked to it). Usually, there is a subpage About the company, then subpages related to the Offer, and then Portfolio, Blog, and Contact, which is always at the end.

Don’t put too many items on the menu. When you use more than 7, the menu may not be readable. Do you have many materials that you want to put on your website? Calmly. Not all of them need to be included in the menu. A popular practice is e.g. using a submenu, e.g. placing subpages with individual services in the Offer tab. You can also publish sitelinks as a list on the related subpage.

It’s also a good idea to put your business phone number and business email address above the menu. This way you will make it easier for users to contact you.

A web designer is a graphic artist who is responsible for designing the layout, usability, and visual appearance of a website. A successful web designer must possess an array of creative, graphic, and technical skills.

A web developer is someone who builds and maintains the core structure of a website. They’re tasked with converting the web design into a functional website, using coding languages such as HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and Python.

The Role of a Web Designer

Web designers have a varied set of tasks and responsibilities. However, a designer’s role revolves around creating the layout and visual aspects of a website.

Their goal is often to make sure the site is both visually pleasing and user friendly and encourages visitors to stay around for as long as possible. In addition to the general framework and layout structure, this also means considering and constructing conversion-generating elements, as well as designing web pages in a way that translates well across various devices.

Web designers need to stay updated on the latest web design trends and adhere to certain standards and best practices. They often deal with brand imagery, color palettes, fonts, and so on. Many will even create a web design style guide to ensure that each website looks consistent:

There are a handful of other key documents and resources that designers are charged with creating, administering, and overseeing. This includes:

  • Web design contracts
  • Website briefs
  • Website design questionnaires
  • Website proposals

There’s also a fair amount of research and testing involved in a web designer’s job. It’s important to make sure the website is designed in a way that meets users’ expectations and client specifications.

Additionally, a web designer will need to consider how their design affects the coding of the website. Designers create a site structure and mockup, which developers then bring to life by coding the site.

Web designers’ work typically also includes some post-launch services. They may provide content creation and updates, maintenance and monitoring services, and ongoing performance checks.

Types of Web Designers

There are different types of web designers, each focusing on a unique and specific type of work. These are:

  • User Experience (UX)
  • User Interface (UI)
  • Visual

UX Designers

UX designers help ensure the website is structured in a way that engages visitors and delivers a positive experience. Their role is to create human-centric designs that are based on data-driven decisions. This involves conducting a lot of research and testing to gather and analyze data, which is used to inform their final design choices.

UI Designers

UI designers also play an important role in the design of a website. In addition to the experience it provides, they also prioritize interactions. More specifically, their role is to enhance the usability of a website and optimize it in a way that helps encourage conversions.

Visual Designers

Visual designers, as the title suggests, work with the layout and visual elements of a website. This work combines certain aspects of both UX and UI design. The duties of a visual designer are based on ensuring that the interface is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

Most web designers use a handful of tools, software, and programs to perform their tasks. The most important of these are design and editing software and programs, such as Adobe Photoshop.

The Skill Sets Web Designers Need

The skill sets web designers require to be successful vary, depending on each person’s specific role and specialty. However, generally speaking, some important skills include:

  • HTML and CSS knowledge
  • Understanding the Principles of website design and web accessibility standards
  • Responsive and interaction design
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • User journey mapping
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Branding, color theory, and typography
  • Design tools and software

The Role of a Web Developer

A web developer’s primary job is to build and maintain the core structure of a website. Their role involves a lot of technical work, including using complex coding and advanced programming languages. In a nutshell, they take the ideas and concepts laid out by designers and turn them into real, live, and fully-functioning websites.

More specifically, the duties of a web developer involve constructing the website itself. This includes coding and configuring the server and databases on the back end, as well as incorporating user-facing features and functionality. They also perform testing and debugging and may handle an array of post-launch services, such as providing ongoing support and maintenance and fixing server or hosting issues.

To better understand the role of a web developer, it might help to compare it to another field, such as construction. A web developer is to a website what a construction company is to a new house. The developer takes the design plans and blueprints drafted by the architect (web designer) and lays the foundation to ensure that there is a functional, sound structure in place.

Types of Web Developers

Typically, web developers focus on a handful of programming languages. The languages they use, however, will depend on the type of web development work they do.

There are three major kinds of web developers:

  • Front-end
  • Back-end
  • Full-stack

Front-End Web Developers

Front-end developers code the actual website using CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and other languages, as well as Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress. Front-end development, also known as client-side development, largely involves coding and programming the visual elements of a website that users will see. As such, there is a fair amount of overlap and collaboration between front-end developers and web designers.

Back-End Web Developers

Back-end developers code the database and server using advanced programming languages such as PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, and SQL, as well as NodeJS and other server-side frameworks. Back-end development, also known as server-side development, mainly encompasses the aspects of the website happening ‘behind the scenes’, which visitors don’t see from the front end.

Full-Stack Web Developers

Finally, full-stack developers code both the front and back end of a website. They have a solid understanding of how these parts work and function together. In addition to coding web pages using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, full-stack developers also set up and configure servers, code Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), query databases, and more.

The Skill Sets Web Developers Need

As we touched on above, web developers require certain technical skill sets to fulfill their roles. At the least, a web developer will need to be knowledgeable in:

  • Coding and programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP
  • JavaScript frameworks like jQuery
  • Testing and debugging
  • Back-ends and databases
  • Content Management Systems (WordPress, etc.)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In addition to technical skills, there are also non-technical skill sets that come in handy as a web developer. This includes problem-solving and analytical thinking, which can be useful during the debugging process. It’s also important to have solid communication and collaboration skills for working with clients and other key parties (such as web designers).

Web Designer vs Web Developer: What’s the Difference?

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the key differences between a web designer vs. a web developer. To bring everything together, let’s take a look at a quick breakdown of the biggest distinctions between these two roles:

  • While designers focus on appearance and usability, developers focus on functionality and structure.
  • Web designers conceptualize the idea and look of a website, creating a mockup based on visual, UX, and UI elements. Web developers determine whether the concept is financially and technically plausible, and if so, program and code the site.
  • Web developers require a solid amount of technical knowledge. This includes understanding complex programming languages and frameworks. While there is some research and analysis involved, a web designer’s role is less technical and more about the visual and creative elements of a website.
  • There are different types of web developers, including front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. The three main types of web designers are UX, UI, and visual designers.
  • The tools and programs web developers often use include coding libraries and frameworks, code versioning and issue tracking platforms such as GitHub and Jira, hosting control panels and FTP clients, and CMSs. Web designers typically use design editing software such as Photoshop, a CMS like WordPress, and a website builder such as Elementor, along with wireframing and prototyping tools.

Source: Web Designer vs Web Developer: What’s the Difference? | Elementor