New Year, New Website: SILVERCOMPUTER.NET

I’m happy to announce the launch of our new website: https://silvercomputer.net

To better understand the improvements featured on our new site, we should first take a moment to discuss some of the failings of the old website: http://silverleafcs.com

Lack of encryption (HTTP vs. HTTPS)

The main problem with our old website (http://silverleafcs.com) was that it was not protecting our visitor’s data.

Now, when you visit our new website (https://silvercomputer.net) you’ll know that any data you send or receive over the site is protected against third party spying because your browser will display a green padlock icon next to our URL.

The padlock icon indicates that our site is utilizing an encrypted connection over the secure HTTPS protocol, and that your data is safe in transit.

Not Google-optimized

Using HTTPS on your website is especially important now that Google has decided to change how the Chrome browser (which is used by roughly 40% of all Internet surfers) indicates connection security with a special new icon.

Soon, any website that collects visitor data that is NOT utilizing a secure HTTPS connection will be branded “Not secure” by the widely-adopted Google Chrome web browser. (it’s important to note, too, that Google ranks sites that use HTTPS higher in search results than sites that are not encrypted.)

Hard-to-remember domain name

Try saying the old domain name, silverleafcs.com, out loud. It’s awkward to say, right? It’s hard to remember, too, and doesn’t convey much meaning by itself.

The new domain name, silvercomputer.net, is much easier to say aloud, and lets you know immediately that you’re visiting a computer-related website. Over the past year, we’ve transitioned all of our client-facing email and communications to use the new domain name (don’t worry, your browser will automatically re-direct you if you accidentally type in the old domain name.)

Slow performance, unreliable hosting

All websites need to be “hosted” somewhere, which means that the actual files making up the website need to be stored on a computer server. Access to the web server is usually “rented” out by a hosting company via the magic of the cloud.

But there are times when the cloud isn’t very magical. A big problem with our old site was that it was hosted on a server that was experiencing significant technical problems, occasionally resulting in long wait times whenever someone tried to visit our site. Sometimes, the site wouldn’t load at all!

So we ditched the old hosting company, and transferred our website content (text, images, etc) to a new company. Now that our new site is built on DigitalOcean, it’s lightning-fast and reliable, and we have nearly full control over management, backups, and maintenance.

Looks bad on a mobile device screen, inconsistent layout/style

The old website layout was not mobile-optimized, meaning that the site displayed strange formatting errors and illegibly-tiny text whenever you would try to view it from a small mobile phone screen.

The new website has a fresh new responsive design that automatically adjusts to the size of the visitor’s screen, whether they’re viewing the site from a small iPhone or Android phone screen, medium-sized tablet or laptop screen, or a full-sized desktop PC screen. This way, our content looks great on any size device.

Responsive design is extremely important, because nowadays nearly half of our web traffic comes from mobile devices – and we want our visitors to have a good browsing experience no matter what device they browse from!

Conclusion

If a first-time visitor to our site was greeted with slow loading times over an insecure connection, and/or they couldn’t read our content because it didn’t display legibly on their phone, then they’d probably just leave our site immediately and “bounce” to a different site (likely a competitor’s!)

A good business website needs to give visitors and prospective clients a positive first impression, while minimizing bounce rates and drop off. The site must protect the visitor’s data in-transit, and enable a smooth browsing experience (ideally, the website should also provide relevant information designed to “convert” the visitor into a lead by encouraging them to “Contact Us!”).

The old silverleafcs.com website, which was built by an amateur web guy (me), wasn’t delivering the “wow” experience I felt my prospective clients deserved. Worse, I felt that it wasn’t converting enough visitors into leads (this feeling was supported by high bounce rate and low conversion rate data, as reported by my analytics tracking code).

That’s why I decided to hire a professional web developer for help. I’m beyond happy with the results, and I think that our new-and-improved website is perfect for the new year.

Welcome to https://silvercomputer.net!

Author: Kevin S.

Kevin Sanders is a Los Angeles native who has worked in tech support and customer service since 2000. He specializes in professional IT consulting, cloud technology, cyber security, networking and Wi-Fi, hardware/software diagnostics and repair, and custom systems building.