Blog

Our blog is home to all the latest Freethought news and announcements as well as interesting guides, industry news, and opinion pieces.

Social media, analytics, and customer privacy

Over the past few weeks, users around the world have been bombarded with endless updates to privacy policies and requests to opt-in to receiving emails as part of the privacy apocalypse stemming from the implementation of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) throughout the European Union on May 25th. We ourselves had to update our privacy policy as well as updating our terms and conditions of service in order to reflect the rights of our customers and our legal obligations as a business.

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Speed up your website with these 6 easy tips

Whatever kind of website you run, be it a community forum, a blog, or an online store, speed is very important. This is particularly true for eCommerce sites where studies show that for every 1 second which visitors spend waiting for your site to load, your conversion rate decreases by 16%! For an online store taking £100,000 worth of orders per day, that extra 1 second delay could cost your business £2.5 million in a year!

For any website, 40% of visitors will give up and go elsewhere if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 47% expect a website to load in under 2 seconds. As a result, Google and other search engines now including page speed as a factor in their ranking algorithms, so a slower website could mean that you your competitors appear ahead of you in search results.

Pages loading slowly ultimately means less visitor engagement; whether it’s less subscribers to your blog, less interaction in your online forum, or fewer sales with your online store - a slow website is bad news. We host thousands of websites and we understand a thing or two about making websites go fast, in fact we’ve become a little obsessed at times running website speed tests to try and shave those last few milliseconds off the loading time!

To help you make your website super fast, here are our top 6 things you need to do to improve your website loading time.

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Automatic registration of second level UK domains

When second level UK domains became available in June 2014, for the first time UK registrants were able to own a domain ending in just .uk rather than .co.uk or similar (third level domains), much the same way as countries like Ireland (.ie), France (.fr), Germany (.de), and countless others have always done it.

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Introducing Node.js, Ruby, and Git

Modern websites have expanded beyond the traditional so-called “LAMP” stack (i.e. Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) to encompass a range of new technologies which allow them to create amazing, immersive web applications at a much faster development pace than was ever possible before.

We want to ensure that the services which we provide to our customers enable developers to continue to create wonderful new applications, so we’re delighted to announce that with the latest update to the Plesk control panel our standard web hosting and ULTRA hosting services now have native support for Node.js and Ruby (both Rails and Sinatra). Plus, to keep up with the pace of development, we now also support Git natively in the control panel.

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Christmas opening hours.

As a family run business, we strongly believe in the importance of spending time with loved ones at Christmas and so with this in mind, we will be operating reduced opening hours for our technical support during the festive period. We will of course continue to monitor our network and services 24x7 and respond to emergencies as usual.

December 23rd - Early closing at noon.

Christmas Eve - Closed, emergency support only.

Christmas Day - Closed, emergency support only.

Boxing Day - Closed, emergency support only.

December 27th - Closed, emergency support only.

December 28th - 30th - Reduced availability; no phone support, non-emergency emailed tickets may take longer to reply.

December 31st - January 2nd - Closed, emergency support only.

During the Christmas period you can continue to submit support tickets via the customer portal or email, but please take note of the above opening times with regards to when you should expect to receive a response. If you have an emergency then please contact emergency@freethought-internet.co.uk or if your service includes it then call the emergency telephone number and we will get back to you straight away.

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