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

What it takes to be a better web developer

Posted on December 21, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Although the main job of a web developer is to build and code a website, it is very important to have a good overview of the rest of the website process in order to build the best website possible. You may be used to working with a designer and will understand the importance of being able to discuss ideas and work together to create a design that is not only pleasing to the eye but also that is going to be functionally sound too, There is no point in having a website that looks great if it doesn’t work how it needs to.

You also need to have a good understanding of online marketing, especially SEO. SEO stands for Search engine optimisation and a lot of this is done during the build process. Things such as not having inline code on the page and making sure that each page is set up with unique meta data is far easy to do during the build process than having to change it afterwards. Also having SEO friendly page URL’s will really help to get the website pushed towards the top of the search engines and takes little time to program in.

Posted in IT Solutions

Do you need to hire an IT company to look after your business IT?

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

If you own or run a business then you may wonder if you need to hire an IT company to look after your computers, emails and servers etc. Depending on how lunch IT equipment you have in your office and how much you reply on them, will help you decide if you need to employ someone to cover your IT needs, outsource it to another company or manage it yourself.

If you only have one or two computers, do not use servers and are quite confident with IT then you probably do not need to use a third party, but if you have multiple machines, need to be able to quickly share and access information between each other, ensure that a full back up is carried out and that any issues that arise will be sorted out promptly then you will most likely either want to employ someone or outsource it to an IT specialist company.

Most It companies will charge you either a fixed monthly fee which includes a certain amount of call outs etc. or they will just charge you for individual jobs and when they are needed.

 

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Finding the right printer for your office

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm

If you are on the lookout for a new printer, you may be baffled by the choice you have. There are hundreds of printers available and many of them have different functions. The first thing you need to decide is what the printer is going to be used for. If for example you are going to be printing a lot of photos, then you need to ensure that the printer is capable of printing high quality images. If you want the printer for printing documents, then the number of pages it prints per cartridge and speed may be more the deciding factor.

Another important factor to bear in mind is if you want a printer that is wireless or not. Wireless printers tend to be a little more expensive but you can still pick one up for around £30. If you are going to want to print from your phone then printers that offer apps or say they are Apple print compatible (if you use an Apple phone) are great.

One other point to mention is the cost of replacement ink cartridges and how much printing they actually give you.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Backing up your work and your computer

Posted on September 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Many of us reply heavily on our computers but despite this, not enough of us back up our work as often as we should. If you use your computer for business then it is vital that you keep at least two copies of your work. The error that many people make is to back up their work on to an external hard drive or memory stick for example but then delete the original. This is not a back up more a way of moving files. You need to have two copies as should one get deleted or corrupt, you still have another copy somewhere else. If you are bad at remembering to back up then you could buy a back up system that you can schedule to do it for you. Western Digital have systems such as My Book which allow you to run a backup as and when you want but also to schedule back ups to run daily, weekly or monthly. As soon as the time comes to back up it will run and if the drive is not plugged in, it will run the back up next time you connect it. You can also get systems that back up over Wifi meaning you no longer have to physically connect a device such as an external hard drive.

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Finding bugs on a website and how to fix them

Posted on August 24, 2017 at 11:41 pm

As a web developer, you will all too well know the frustration of bugs in your web development. Often bugs may just be a simple bit of code that has been mis typed or placed in the wrong area. Hours can be spent trying to find out the problem and sometimes to no avail.

When searching for bugs you may wish to take advantage of programs such as Firebug (part of Firefox browser) which allow you to pick apart code on the website to see how it works or how it can be fixed. It also allows you to make live changes (local only) to the code to see if you can fix it. Once you have found what the issue is you can then apply the correct code to the code on the live version of the site. This also allows you to play around with colours, fonts etc without having to do it live for any visitors to see.

If you really get stuck then you could try posting on one of the many forums out there. If you are using WordPress, then they have a great community of users ready to help if you get stuck with a website or plugin.

 

 

Posted in IT Solutions

Using on computer for all your IT needs

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Computers are used by many of us on a daily basis in work and in our personal live. Many of us now rely on computers and technology for day to day tasks such as making shopping lists, organising our calendars and appointments and even sending out birthday cards and connecting with friends via video chat for example.

The problem is that when we reply on only one machine for all of this, should something go wrong with that machine, as often happens with computers and technology, then we stand to lose everything. Some people don’t have a computer but use their phone or tablet in the same way, often using the calendar to set reminders, again if this is lost or damaged you may be at risk  of not knowing what you are supposed to be doing when and missing appointments.

Ideally you need to ensure that all your data, pictures, calendars, documents and contacts are backed up regularly so you can access them from elsewhere should you need to. Most cloud storage systems offer a service to allow you to do this and some of them offer a certain amount of space free.

Posted in IT Solutions

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