Internet Services News

Google and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

You may have noticed that some website URLs start with ‘http’ while others start with ‘https’. The extra ‘s’ means that the website uses a technology called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser, such as personal data or credit card information, remains private and cannot be accessed by cyber criminals. An SSL certificate is necessary to create a SSL connection.

Why do you need to worry about SSL?

Security is a top priority for Google. With the release of Google’s Chrome v62 browser, if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, Google displays a ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar. Conversely, with an SSL certificate, your website visitors will see visuals like a lock icon or green address bar that indicates well-trusted encryption is in use. Further, Google uses https as a ranking signal, so a SSL certificate will give your website a slight ranking boost. Note however that if you migrate your site from http to https, Google treats this as a site move with a URL change. This can temporarily affect some of your traffic numbers.

Please do get in touch if you would like Lanetech to purchase and install a SSL certificate for your website. Note that the certificate will need to be renewed each year. The cost is £100 + VAT per year.

Changes in data privacy: GDPR

You may have heard about the upcoming change in data privacy, and we wanted to highlight some changes that you may need to make to your website. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into enforcement on 25 May 2018. Briefly, the main GDPR requirements are:

  • Explicit consent. GDPR requires that users give explicit consent BEFORE submitting personal data. Personal data can be anything that allows an individual to be identified such as a name, an address, or an IP address.
  • Right to access. Individuals have the right of access to their personal data, so that they are aware of and can verify the lawfulness of the processing.
  • Right to erasure. Individuals have the right to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

GDPR also states that organisations shouldn’t process or retain extraneous personal data. For full information, please see the GDPR portal or ICO website.

Some changes you may need to make to your website

  • Contact form. Only collect data that is strictly necessary, and add a (data consent) checkbox at the foot of the form for an individual to confirm that they consent to their data being collected, with a link to your privacy policy.
  • Privacy policy. If you are collecting personal data, you should update your privacy policy webpage in line with GDPR requirements. For example, you will need to explain what information is being collected and how it will be used. ICO provides comprehensive guidance on privacy notices that you can use as the basis for creating/updating a privacy policy webpage.

As always, please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Pre-order your .uk now!

.uk domain

At 08:00hrs on 10 June (2014), a new domain name will become available — .uk

The change follows in the footsteps of other countries such as France (.fr) and Germany (.de). The main benefits are: building trust — according to Nominet, 81% of people prefer .uk domains when searching or buying online; and a shorter, snappier domain name that puts focus on the website name. Existing domains such as and will continue to operate as they’ve done before. Registering a .uk version of your existing domain name will ensure that another individual or business doesn’t eventually nab it!

Please do get in touch if you are a Lanetech customer and would like to pre-order (or order) a .uk domain. In the meantime, our web services provider has produced the following helpful information about .uks:

Key dates

  • The reservation period for existing customers who already have a,,,, or runs up until 07:59hrs on 10 June 2019.
  • Domains registered before 23.59hrs on 28 October will have rights to the equivalent new .uk domain, provided there was no other corresponding,,,, or registered.
  • All domains registered after 28 October 2013 and before the new .uk domains are launched will also have rights to the .uk equivalent, as long as there is no clash with any existing domains in the following situations: Where there are two or more domains with the same website name, the will be offered the .uk equivalent. Where there is no, the will be offered the new .uk equivalent. Where there is no or the will be offered the new .uk equivalent.

Right to reserve

  • New registrations of domains made before 08:00hrs on 10 June 2014 (provided that no other equivalent,,, or exists) will get the rights to the new .uk domain.
  • After launch on 10 June 2014 any new registrations within the .uk family (e.g. in, etc.) no longer get automatic rights to register the new .uk domain. So these new .uk domains become available for anyone to register.
  • Anyone wanting a new .uk domain, where there are no existing domains with rights, will simply be able to register the new .uk domain.

For more information, please see the launch website.

Marketing your business online with

Yell logoWe recently updated our listing on – one of the UK’s local business search engines – after noticing the prominence of Yell in search results on Google. Which we think is the result of Google providing easier access to other local search providers in its own search results after complaints it was blocking competitors. The link to Yell brings up relevant search results on You can opt for a free advert or a paid (Prominence) advert. A paid advert should ensure that you appear higher up search results and includes monitoring where calls and clicks are coming from. According to, potential customers looking for local businesses and services visit Yell online 10.7 million times a month. This pales in comparison to the billions of searches per day on Google; we will let you know if our investment to advertise on was worth it!

Also, a reminder that we strongly recommend setting up Google Places for Business, which is free and in our opinion an essential part of any local campaign – see our earlier blog! Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss local search engine optimisation (SEO) services.

edinbane pottery google map custom Street View panorama

Create a virtual tour using Google Street View

We thought you might be interested to learn how one of our clients, Edinbane Pottery, has created a Google Map custom Street View panorama to allow virtual visitors to ‘walk’ off the street and explore inside the Pottery. Many people are familiar with StreetView, the technology featured in Google Maps that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world, and many websites incorporate a Google Map, but we don’t see many custom Street Views (or virtual tours). It’s by no means a cinch to create, you will need to create or commission your own 360 degree panorama photographs and add some code to your website. However, as you can see the overall effect is very impressive!

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss adding a Google Map custom Street View panorama to your website.

e-availability introduces follow up emails for online ticket sales

Today, people assume that it should be possible to purchase tickets for any event online, ideally from the event organiser’s website. Our partner business, e-availability, provides a wide range of online booking systems. The Ticketing system is the most popular, which is ideal for any ticketing- or events- based business. Working with some of our clients, we have recently added a Customer Feedback feature to the system that can help to build positive customer relationships. If activated, emails can be created according to each event and automatically delivered to customers the day after the event. For example, you could request feedback by return email, a review on Facebook or TripAdvisor, or offer discounts/coupons.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss our range of online booking and ticketing systems or to see a demo!

Show up across the Web with Google Places for Business

Google Places iconAccording to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. We wanted to remind our customers of a free tool to make sure your business stands out: Google Places for Business. Sign-up is quick, easy and free. Simply sign in to your Google Account at (or Sign Up if you don’t yet have an Account). You will then be able to add your listing to Google Places for Business. This includes your business contact details, hours, photos and a Google map. Your business should then show up on Google Maps and in organic search results – if you check, remember to add your City/Town (e.g., e-availability Forres). You can visit Google Places anytime to edit your information or see how many people have seen and clicked on your listing. Once up and running, our tip would be to ask real customers over time to add a review, as reviews with a 4 or 5 star rating will boost your search engine optimisation (SEO) for the Google Places page. As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO options.

Help your customers find you using Google Maps!

Visit Sleat Interactive MapDriving into work today, the radio presenters were discussing how Google Maps has made a comeback to Apple’s iPhone. Earlier this year, the Google Maps app was removed from the iPhone and replaced with Apple’s mapping software. However, the Apple Maps app is somewhat glitchy with many places misnamed, missing or misplaced; the Australian police recently warned motorists that using Apple Maps could be deadly as the town of Mildura has been placed some 40 miles in the Outback! The Maps will improve the more people use it, but in the meantime, customers can download alternatives from the App Store. We wanted to remind our customers that Lanetech can add a Google map that pinpoints your location to your website. Additionally, we can enhance it with other locations relevant to your business such as local accommodation options and visitor attractions – for an example see Visit Sleats interactive map. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss mapping options.

Stop spammers using your online booking form!

Recaptcha example

One of our clients recently enquired how they could reduce the amount of spam coming through their online booking form. We thought it might be helpful to share our response with all our Blog readers:

We recommended installing CAPTCHA or ReCAPTCHA. You’ve probably all seen CAPTCHA – it’s an online security test to tell computer spamming programmes and humans apart. A common type of CAPTCHA requires user to type letters and/or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen. The software is popular because it is still relatively effective; the downside is that typing CAPTCHAs is one of the most annoying things on the web! and can be a barrier to people with dyslexia or sight problems. Even their inventor has said that he regrets the amount of time humanity as a whole wastes on these codes each day. As a result, CAPTCHA has evolved to ReCAPTCHA, which involves one randomly generated word and a photo of a word from a text that’s being digitised – so, the software is being put to good use as both a security check and a means to digitise books one word at a time 🙂

CAPTCHA is free – see the official CAPTCHA website for more information. Please do get in touch if you would like Lanetech to add CAPTCHA or ReCAPTCHA to your online booking form (free of charge).