Yearly Archives: 2018

Cross browser compatible websites

Posted on September 7, 2018 at 1:41 pm

When developing a website it is vital that it displays and works correctly across multiple browsers. With more and more people using the internet to search for products they want or companies that offer services they require, it is imperative that your website is up to scratch.

Over time browsers get updated and code that may have worked years ago may no longer be supported. This can cause layout issues and functionality issues on older sites or sites that have not been checked properly before going live.

It is important that your website is built with all different browsers in mind and not just the one or two that you or your client may use. A huge number of people are using smart devices such as phones or tablets to browse the internet, so your website needs to also be compatible with these browsers and the different screen sizes.

There are websites that allow you to input yor web URL and it will test its compatibility on the different browsers and versions although these are not always that accurate. You cannot program a site that will work on really old versions of a browser but making sure that it is compatible with all the latest versions is a must.

 

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Fancy Bear: A New Cold War?

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:55 am

If you’ve not already heard of Fancy Bear, you’re clearly not following the latest cyber-security news as closely as you should be. In the new information age, communication & transmission of information is of course easier and quicker than ever before, but in turn, so is espionage; or at least, for those with the relevant skills or facility to develop or pay for them.

The media has certainly been full of stories about supposed Russian intervention in not only the US elections, but also in the British General Election, the EU Referendum, and a number of other votes held across the EU and Europe.

Fancy Bear is part of this; alleged to be at the heart of the hacking of Democrat emails to the benefit of the Trump campaign, it is a cyber-espionage group widely believed to be connected to GRU, the sister agency to the former KGB (now FSB). GRU is much less well-known than it’s sister agencies, which concentrate primarily on internal security and have come to prominence through their integral role in spy dramas like Bond, but it’s purpose is perhaps more concerning to us. It aims to ensure external security; that is, influencing political conditions outside the Russian state to benefit Russian interests.

Posted in News

Checking how your website performs on the search engines

Posted on July 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm

When you have a website it is important to know how it is performing on the search engines. The first thing you need to do is track how many visitors you are getting to the site. This will show you an overview of how many people are visiting you site on a daily basis. Some servers have stats packages installed on them to allow you to do this or you may wish to use Google Analytics which is user friendly and free. If you find that you are not getting many visitors to the site then there may be an issue with your rankings. To check your rankings you need to have a list of at least 20 keywords or phrases that you want to be found for. These phrases are what people type in on the search engines, which then pulls up a list that is relevant to that term. Often the more generic phrases will be a lot harder to compete for so ideally you want to have a mix of generic and long tail phrases so see the bigger picture. You can track these yourself by going on to the search engine like Google and typing the keyword in. You have to be careful when doing this as Google will often order the sites you see in order of how often you have visited them rather than if you were just a member of the public searching for the first time

 

 

Posted in Marketing

Saving your printer ink

Posted on June 10, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Printer ink can be quite expensive to buy and many of us have printers but few always have ink in. It can be easy to forget to order or buy ink and find yourself trying to print out documents that are patchy or simply blank due to lack of ink. It is best to try and order printer ink in advance as this allows you to shop around for the best price.

Some companies such as HP have launched a revolutionary way of ordering ink for your printer. HP have something called instant ink. Basically you sign up to one of their ink plans and as long as your printer is connected to the internet, they can see how much ink you are using and when you need more. They will post the ink out to you automatically so you have it ready when yours runs out. Packages are very reasonably priced and they even do a free package which allows you to print up to 15 pages a month and still benefit from the ink, if one month you need to print more than 15 pages you can pay one pound for an extra 10 pages as a one off payment. The next package is priced at £1.99 a month and allows you to print up to 50 pages a month. If you do not use all of your pages in one month they will carry them forward to the next month.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Using your phone or tablet as a Wi-Fi hot spot

Posted on May 30, 2018 at 3:31 pm

There are often times when we use our phone for work or to type letters etc but sometimes it can be a lot harder to do than using a laptop or computer. You may be in a location where you have no Wi-Fi available to you but do have signal on your phone. Most phones and tablets now will allow you to turn your device in to a Wi-Fi hotspot meaning that you can then connect other devices to your on the internet. Doing this will enable you to connect your lap top or computer and essentially use the data allowance on your phone. When doing this you need to be aware of how much data allowance you have remaining and keep an eye on what you are using. Some network providers will put a block on your allowance meaning that once it is used up you cannot go over without agreeing to pay extra.

You should also set up alerts that will tell you once you are getting close to your limit so that you can stop using it and spread it out over the remaining days you have left until you get your new allowance.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Staying in control of your website

Posted on April 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

If you are a business owner then you may need to outsource your web design and programming project to a third party who has the skills and knowledge to allow them to create what you need.

Choosing a web developer can be hard as you will often have to go off previous examples of work they have done for other or you may be able to get a recommendation off a fellow business colleague.

It is important that you understand the basics of your website and what you would need to do should you ever have to move your site. Firstly your website will need a domain name. Ideally you should buy this yourself and then point it across to the web developer’s server or ask them to do that for you. This will allow you to save costs on domain renewal fees and also to ensure that you remain the owner of the domain name at all time.

You also should find out who the hosting company is if possible. You may not be able to gain access to the server but it may help in the future should you need to have the website moved.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Investigating issues with your server

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 9:41 am

If you are a web developer but use a third party to host your website you may often get frustrated with issues that happen that are out of your control. As often you are the middle man between the client and the hosting company, you will most likely have to try and resolve the issue and this may cost you a lot in time that may not be able to be recovered.

If you are experience slow loading speeds, first check your site on one of the free page speed test websites. This may give you an idea what the issue is and allow you to find out if it is a problem with elements on the page or if it is the server which the site is being hosted on.

If you are using an off the shelve content management system such as WordPress, you may find that certain plugins cause issues with loading speeds or even that they break the site completely. Some plugins will work fine but then may conflict with a new plugin you install. If possible it is advisable to

Test the plugins on a test version of the site prior to doing the live changes.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Taking back ups of your website

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Back ups are essential to try and ensure that you can always access your data should something go wrong. Websites need to be backed up every time something changes so you can very quickly updated a copy on it on to the server again or on to a new server should the other one have failed.

Most hosting companies will take a back up of your website for you but you should always check how often this is being done and if you decide to do any major changes to the website then it is important to ask them to take an immediate back up so you have the vey latest copy. If back ups are not done then you may find that you have lost all your content and even layout of the website and have to start again. This can be a very costly mistake as you will not only have to pay or spend the time to have it all designed and programmed, you will have to rewrite all content and while the site is offline you may lose a lot if not all of your website rankings.

Don’t risk losing everything, ensure you have a solid back up procedure in place.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

The importance of updates

Posted on January 31, 2018 at 9:26 pm

More or less all software we use has to be updated from time to time. This may be on your computer on your phone or table or even on your watch. As technology advances updates are needed to be able to fed new or improved functionality to your device. Updates also often include a lot of security updates and if you do not do them you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to an attack.

Not updating your software can cause all sorts of other issues. You may find that your internet becomes slow or unreliable or that some applications will not work on older versions of software. Apple have been criticised over the years for rolling out many updates but not allowing older devices to be able to download them.

Windows had some big updates to their software a number of years ago and totally changed the way their platform worked. Often updated software applications are not thoroughly tested enough and may contain a number of bugs so many people chose to delay doing the update for a period of time.

If you find that your computer always does updates at an inconvenient time then you can change the settings to force it to ask you if its ok to update. This can be handy at times but does then mean you need to remember to manually do them.

 

 

 

Posted in IT Solutions