Seaborne Freight – How to build a website when your government friends give you £13.8 million pounds

Seaborne Freight – How to build a website when your government friends give you £13.8 million pounds

Last month the UK government awarded Seaborne Freight a £13.8m contract to operate ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  The decision has been criticised due to the fact that they don’t own any ferries and have never been involved in moving freight before.

Here at BORN we were curious to know who they had hired as their web developers, designers and digital marketing company.  Of course we would be more than happy for them to spend a portion of that budget with us.

We decided to look at their web site and perform a quick technical review to see how a government contractor approaches the business of international freight movement in such an important period of the UK’s history.

Google Indexing

The first thing I noticed when performing a site search in Google is that someone has been a little careless with the meta-data for each page leaving [Business name] in the meta-description.

Further down the Google listings we find a recruitment page which appears to be targeting Latin speakers with an interest in pain, the latin translates as something like “There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain.”  It’s an interesting phrase to use on a hard-Brexit recruitment page.

The ferry timetable is listed in a similar way.  And if you try to login to their ‘Portal’, you are redirected to Google.

The Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions page appears to have been copied from a company which supplies food (see the first and last lines below)

But the only other websites which have this text appear to be all part of a Kent-based conspiracy.


Is that their ferry in the home page banner?

No unfortunately not and thanks to @mgleadow on twitter for pointing out that the ferry in the picture is sailing across a Norwegian fjord, read more here

Things you should never do when building a website

All credit for this one goes to @GossiTheDog. Before BORN had a look at their site, they were displaying all of their database usernames and passwords in their source code.

And lastly … Which websites are linking to Seaborne Freight?

We are always interested in the number of links pointing to a website, it’s one of the most important parts of the Google algorithm but looking at Seaborne’s backlinks left us underwhelmed.  The MyBrexit website is interesting and it links to Seaborne Freight from 8 separate pages.

We were expecting links from .gov sites but there’s no sign of them so far.

Ok, that’s all.

Thanks for your patience, we could have continued with more speed tests, responsiveness testing and keyword analysis but we’ll postpone that until the quality of the website improves.

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