What is a Canonical tag?

To put it simply a canonical tag is an HTML tag used to indicated to search engines that similar URLs are actually the very same page. The canonical tag is added to pages using a link element in the HEAD of the HTML document.

If two URLs contain the same canonical tag this indicates to search engines to index the pages as a single entry.

For example take the following URLs:

  • https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/
  • https://www.liquidweb.com/kb
  • https://liquidweb.com/kb/
  • https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/?hello=world

Technically these are all the same exact place, meaning they all pull up our KB home page even though they have differing URLs. To Google and other search engines these all would be indexed and crawled as individual pages, even though they’re all the same exact content.

Enter the Canonical tag!

With use of the canonical tag we can indicate to search engines that these differing URLs all serve the same resources or page. Continuing with our example the canonical page used would look like:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/">

With this Meta tag included in our documents HEAD, then we should see all of the example URLs indexing as the same page.


Exactly what does a Canonical tag do?

Canonical tags specify for Search Engines what the ideal URL to index a page our resource is. Like most other HTML meta tags, the canonical tag doesn’t directly affect how a user interacts with your website. It simply helps you signal to search engines what your preferred URLs are.

Why should I use Canonical tags?

Canonical tags should be used anytime you’re serving the same content from multiple URLs. The affected URL variations include changes to: protocol (http vs https), query parameters, and (of course) URL structure. Implementing Canonical tags is especially useful if you serve the same content over various URLs. This is often referred to as the “Duplicate Content” problem when looking into a websites SEO performance.
Additionally, in the case of URLs with query parameters, it helps ensure that search engines only index a page with the “cleanest” form of the pages URL. This can help prevent pages with query parameters from being indexed separately from your main page.

To 301 redirect, or to Canonical; that is the question.

If you’re familiar with the topic of SEO then you know just how important properly redirecting your URLs can be. So you may be wondering, “Why not just redirect these pages?” and that’s a great question! If you ever have the option you should always add a redirect. Think of canonical tags as a way of clearing up a potential ambiguity (if the same content is visible on two pages), where as a 301 redirect removes any potential ambiguity. That said, you should essentially always aim to include Canonical tags since they help cover URL variations based on query parameters as well.

Canonical tags and You!

So as we’ve explained Canonical tags can be a very powerful tool in a web professional’s toolkit. By properly implementing Canonical tags you can often see an improvement in the way your website preforms in search. As with all great power comes great responsibility; this article should serve as a primer for your knowledge on Canonical tags, but the journey shouldn’t end here. There are a lot of great resources that go into greater detail on Canonical Tags, the best practices around them, and so much more!

Value Added Tax (VAT) Information & FAQ

Value Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST)

If you reside in a country that charges a value-added tax on services provided, Liquid Web will require a VAT Number that states that you are tax exempt. Without this exemption in place, it is our duty to comply with tax codes around the world. Customers that sell “Business to Business” should be tax exempt, providing your VAT number will ensure that you are not charged additional tax.

If you have any questions about entering your VAT number, please call us at 1-800-580-4985 (toll free) or 1-517-322-0434 (international). You may also start a ticket with us from your manage.liquidweb.com account or by emailing billing@liquidweb.com. Questions about specific taxes will need to be answered by your own tax advisor.

If you can not provide/or we can not verify a VAT or GST tax number you will be charged taxes as required by your country’s tax code.

Once you log into your manage.liquidweb.com portal, you will see a pop up box that will ask you to enter your VAT or GST tax number. If you dismiss the box, you may also set your tax status from your manage.liquidweb.com account.

To do so, go to the Account tab on the left side.

Then Edit the Address & Tax Status section.

If you are Tax exempt because of VAT, 501c status, government entity, or church status, please check the Tax Exempt box.

When checked, additional fields will appear. Enter the ID that was provided to your organization here as well as the reason for the Exemption.

If your address is outside of the United States and your country requires VAT, you will see the following box and can enter your Registration Number.

Please review the table below to see the format expected for VAT numbers from different countries.

VAT & GST Identification Number Examples by Country

We have reviewed a list of common errors and possible solutions to help aid you when entering your VAT or GST. If you are noticing issues with validation, please check the list below for formatting examples.

CountryExample
AlbaniaA23456789B
Please remove any spaces.
AustraliaABN1234567890
Please remove any spaces.
AustriaATU12345678
Please remove any spaces.
BelgiumBE123456789 or
BE1234567890
Please remove any decimals or spaces.
BulgariaBG123456789 or
BG1234567890
Please remove any spaces.
CroatiaHR12345678910
Cyprus12345678X
Czech RepublicCZ12345678 or
CZ123456789 or
CZ1234567890
DenmarkDK12345678
EstoniaEE123456789
FinlandFI12345678
FranceFR12345678901
GermanyDE123456789
GhanaC123XXXXXXX
GreeceEL123456789
HungaryHU12345678 or
12345678
Only the first 8 numbers are required.
Please remove any spaces or dashes.
IcelandVSK123456 or
12345
Please remove any spaces.
Please add “VSK” to beginning of number.
India06AAACQ4267G1ZH
2 Digit State Code + 13 Character Alphanumeric PAN + 3 Random Alphanumeric Characters
Ireland IE1234567A
Please remove any spaces.
Israel 123456789
Please remove any spaces.
Italy IT12345678901
Please remove any spaces.
Latvia LV12345678901
Please remove any spaces.
Lithuania LT123456789 or
LT123456789012
Please remove any spaces.
MaltaMT12345678
Please remove any spaces.
NetherlandsNL123456789B01
Please remove any spaces.
New ZealandNZ12345678 or
NZ123456789
Please remove any spaces.
NorwayNO123456789
Please remove any spaces.
PolandPL1234567890 or
1234567890
Please remove any spaces.
PortugalPT512345678
Please remove any spaces or dashes.
RomaniaRO12345678 (the number of digits may vary)
Please remove any spaces.
RussiaRU1234567890
Please remove any spaces.
SlovakiaSK0123456789
Please remove any spaces.
SloveniaSI12345678
Please remove any spaces.
South Africa4220122222
Please remove any spaces.
SpainESA12345678 or
ESA1234567A
Please remove any spaces or dashes.
SwedenSE123456789012
Please remove any spaces.
SwitzerlandCHE123456789 or
CH123456
Please remove any spaces, decimals, or dashes.
United KingdomGB999999999
Please remove any spaces or decimals.

If you have any questions about this, please contact our Billing Team at billing@liquidweb.com.

Kickass VPS Acquisition FAQ

Who is Liquid Web?

  • Liquid Web has been a leader in hosting for 20 years.
  • Five geographically diverse data centers serving 32,000 customers globally.
  • Certified technicians available 24/7/365 ready to assist you however you want – phone, chat, online.
  • Experienced leadership and sound financial backing from one of the most respected private equity firms in the world – Madison Dearborn Partners.
  • The best customer service in the web hosting industry. We are incredibly proud of our industry-leading customer satisfaction scores as measured by our six-month average Net Promoter Score of 71 – higher than any other hosting provider!

What can Liquid Web do for you?

Continue reading “Kickass VPS Acquisition FAQ”

From Storm to Cloud: Where did the Storm platform go?

With the rollout of our new logo, new website, and general brand refresh we made some big changes. The most noticeable being our new logo and the websites fresh new look. We took this opportunity to update some of our product branding as well.

Our Storm Platform, and related products, is now referred to as our Cloud Platform. You’re still working off the same great Cloud hosting platform, just with a new name. Continue reading “From Storm to Cloud: Where did the Storm platform go?”

What is a FQDN?

What is a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)?

When working with domains and DNS management understanding what a FQDN is can be very helpful. This article will help explain the concept of a FQDN and a domains different components.

The Parts of a Domain

A domain is made up of a two essential parts, the Top-Level Domain (TLD) and the main Domain Name which is what you register. The other component of domain names are the subdomains. Continue reading “What is a FQDN?”

Best Editor for Web Development 2017

Best Web Development Tools of 2017: Editors/IDEs and Package Management

The worlds of web hosting and web development are in a constant state of evolution. Every year we see design trends change, coding standards adapt and new frameworks/CMS created. With such a quick pace of change it’s easy to get lost trying to keep up.

In this article we will discuss and highlight a handful of tools that help make web development easy. Whether you work on Frontend, Backend, PHP, Javascript, or even Perl this list will have something helpful.

As a web hosting company we don’t often talk about the tools used to create the web. We’re usually ultra focused on the components that enable us to server and support you; things like: server hardware, Linux, Apache and etc.

We may not support development tools, but we do want to help our customers to build amazing stuff.
Continue reading “Best Editor for Web Development 2017”

Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?

Lately there’s been a lot of speculation about Googles up-coming changes to how sites without an SSL are going to be treated. As January draws towards a close we have seen an increase in customers with concerns of how this will affect their site. Both in terms of people being able to see it and how it might affect their search ranking.

This article aims to clear up some of the confusion and to demystify the changes. If you are unfamiliar with how SSL/TLS or HTTPS works please take a look at our article on the subject.

If you aren’t interested in how these changes came about feel free to skip down to: How These Changes Affect Your Site
Continue reading “Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?”

Cloud Sites – Powered by Liquid Web

Welcome Cloud Sites customers. The following is to help answer questions you may have as you prepare to utilize your Cloud Sites account with Liquid Web. For more information beyond the questions below, feel free to reference this note from Jim Geiger, CEO of Liquid Web.

General Questions

  • Who does this impact?

    Rackspace Cloud Sites customers will have only the Cloud Sites product transitioned to Liquid Web. All other Rackspace services will continue to be managed, operated and invoiced via Rackspace. Only the Cloud Sites product is transitioning.

  • What happened?

    Rackspace has shifted focus away from Platform as a Service (PaaS) Web Hosting and has sold the Cloud Sites product, customer base, support team and all infrastructure to Liquid Web, who is a leader in this market space.

  • Continue reading “Cloud Sites – Powered by Liquid Web”

What Is a web.config File?

If your server uses IIS, you can use web.config files to control your website’s configuration without editing your server configuration files. You can even apply different settings to different directories within your website.

You can easily create a web.config file by creating a plaintext file and uploading it to your server. If you have multiple web.config files, remember that files higher up in the filepath always take precedence. If you want to make a configuration change to your whole server, we recommend editing server-level IIS settings instead.

Before making any changes to configuration files, we strongly recommend you take a backup of the file.

Some common uses for web.config files include:

  • redirecting URLs to be more easily readable (e.g., mysite.com/product/shirt instead of mysite.com/prodid=1234)
  • loading custom error pages (e.g., 404 pages)
  • forcing your site to use https instead of http.
  • password protecting certain directories
  • preventing hot-linking

If you have a server that uses Plesk, we recommend using the Plesk control panel to change these types of configurations instead of web.config files. You can also use the File Manager in Plesk to edit the web.config file.