This article explains the problems I encountered with SimpleSite.com.
I was in the middle of a domain transfer for a client who has had a website hosted on SimpleSite.com for years. The reason for this is that the domain was of a good age and would pass on strength from the aged domain to the new one on WordPress which was just a few months old.
Basic SEO begins with the installation of Google Analytics and then linking to Google Search Console, then linking the verified website to a Google+ Business page.
Important: None of this is possible with SimpleSite.com
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I’ve written step-by-step instructions on how to Verify a website in Google Search Console 2020
There are several ways to verify your website in Google Search Console (GSC), the 2 most popular options are Google Analytics and uploading a HTML Tag.
If your site is built and hosted on SimpleSite.com then I have bad news for you – it’s not possible to Install Google Analytics so you can’t verify your site this way. There’s no way to add any kind of HTML to the site, there’s no ‘Source Code’ option nor the ability to add code to the <head> of the site
Without the ability to add HTML code to the template builder then logically it follows you can’t verify a website in Google Search Console via Google Analytics or by HTML Tag.
The other ways to verify Google Search Console is by HTML file upload (but we can’t upload anything) and then there’s the Domain Name Provider option, again, not possible as SimpleSite.com is not listed in the drop down menu in GSC and there’s no Cpanel access to add/change a DNS TXT record or by adding a CNAME record.
Most small businesses are restricted by budget, so a common scenario is to choose a free website building platform like GoDaddy, Wix or SimpleSite.com and as my freelancing services are chargeable by the hour I try to keep costs low for my clients.
Unfortunately I spent 2 hours reading the SimpleSite.com blog and FAQ, I even used the ‘Search’ facility for the keywords “Google Analytics” and there was zero results. To clarify, zero results means that there is NO MENTION ANYWHERE on the SimpleSite.com website to tell Webmasters that it’s not possible to install Google Analytics or verify Search Console.
First of all, there is no ticketing system – you have to send an email.
This was my first hiccup as this means I can’t raise a ticket when logged in, and when I emailed Customer Support from my email account and included the client in the conversation it took 28 hours for them to respond only to tell me they can’t help.
Email sent: 1st March 2016 at 12:28 / Email response: 2nd March 2016 at 16:27
Sigh. At this point I’ve spent 2 hours looking around the help section, writing an email, and a further 28 hour delay before an email came back informing me “We kindly ask that you resend your question from the email address that your Simplesite subscription is registered under ”
The email request must come from the email address that’s registered with SimpleSite.com.
Fair enough – However – I couldn’t see this fact in the FAQ and it’s not mentioned on their Support page when you are looking for the Customer Services contact details. I feel this should be mentioned to avoid delays in response to questions.
Fine then, I asked my client to email Customer Services from her email, which she did … guess what? It wasn’t received, so I provided evidence that I was copied in to that email. Here’s the response:
Regarding adding HTML:
I am very sorry, but it is not possible to insert any type of HTML code on your Simplesite and we do not offer FTP access.
It is therefore not possible to add any kind of scripts, widgets, apps or buttons, or upload your own templates or HTML code.
This is because Simplesite is based on predefined online templates that do not allow extra HTML code.
We have designed it in this way so that the Simplesite editing system can be easily used by everyone, even by those who have no knowledge of how to use HTML.
Also it is thereby not possible to add any code that can crash your Simplesite or be potentially harmful to visitors.
Our Simplesite website service does not offer FTP access, nor does it give the ability to add or change the site’s HTML code. It is therefore not possible to use Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools on your Simplesite.
Instead Google will use your menu titles and page titles as keywords.
Please make sure that your titles are as relevant as possible and that your front page contains plenty of good, relevant and updated text.
Use the words that you think people will be searching for as much as you can on your front page – without overdoing it.
It is possible to use Google Adwords with your Simplesite, because Google Adwords does not require that you add any code to your Simplesite.
With AdWords conversion tracking, you can see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity, such as website purchases, phone calls, app downloads, newsletter sign-ups and more. Depending on the type of conversion you’re tracking, the setup process is different, so the first step in setting up conversion tracking is choosing a conversion source, or where your conversions come from.
This project has taken way longer than I would ever anticipate to implement a 301 redirect from an old domain to a new domain and implement a Google Change of Address.
At the time of writing – 08:22am on March 8th 2016 – I’m still waiting for the IPS tag to be changed and we are now on the 8th day of trying to migrate the domain, usually a 20 minute task.
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