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Reply To: Hi, we have a small business that is unable to open at Level 3 and one of the things that we have been looking to do is improve our website to expand our sales opportunities but finding it extremely hard to know where to start. We have a current website that is hosted by a 3rd party for a monthly fee – this is mainly to increase our search engine optimisation. This results in us having limited ability to update or improve our website without additional cost – we can update photos, but not create additional pages/update wording etc outside of our 30 minutes free a month. We have no e-commerce functionality.Can you provide some assistance on the below: – If we change our web host and move to one where we have complete control, is it difficult and time consuming to ensure we have good search engine optimisation? – How much time and effort would be required to ensure a good SEO? – If it is something we can do ourselves, are their suggestions for a good (and free/cheap) option for web hosting that we can create and update ourselves that also has e-commerce options? – Anything we need to be mindful of when selecting a new web host?Thanks GB

Hi Anon
First thing I would do is establish what platform your website was built on, that will hep in deciding how easy it is to move to another provider or ideally bring it “in-house”. If you can migrate it to something like Silverstripe or one of the other many open source platforms it will give you a lot more freedom to manage the site yourself and make any required changes without paying a third party and at no cost. Choice of platform will depend on the complexity of your site and the security needed. You can then still use a third party to help with SEO/SEM if needed. Agree with the other noted points from Matt on the subject. Regards Bob