The latest news and updates from Brass Tacks Web Design, including new websites, features and offerings available to organisations and individuals.
Choose Your Business Name Wisely
Monday 15 April 2019
When choosing a business name it's always important to check out available domain names before coming to a final decision.
Is there an easy to remember domain available for your business name? Are there variants available? If similar sounding domains are being used by competing businesses then you could potentially lose business to them. If you're a private investigator and want to name your business Owl PI Ltd, you might find that owlinvestigations.co.uk is available, but owlinvestigations.com is already registered to another similarly named investigations outfit elsewhere.
Using generic business names can also present particular problems because it is unlikely a suitable domain will be available.
There is a strong argument for giving your business an unusual or memorable name. Many people choose to use animals or fruit in their business names, coupled with an adjective - such as Dancing Elephant or Laughing Nectarine - anything that stands out and catches the ear.
It's also a good idea to consider the length of your business name. Hamilton, Bailey and Curruthers Information Processing Services is quite a mouthful and doesn't lend itself to an easily remembered domain name.
Another aspect of of choosing a business name is the branding - what sort of logo might work for your business, what house colours might you use. What would be your choice of typeface. Fonts in particular have a personality and can be used to reflect your businesses values.
In summary, remember that a business name is more than just a name - it's a domain too.
Friday 4 August 2017
We are now able to offer secure installations of private cloud package Nextcloud.
Nextcloud is an open-source alternative to file sharing services like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
As well as storage, Nextcloud also offers third-party applications including online notetaking functionality, task, calendar and contacts management, photo galleries and a video player.
To find out more about Nextcloud, visit nextcloud.com.
Use Your Business Email
Sunday 9 July 2017
When you're running a business it's important to make a good impression. If you want to appear professional you should be using your business's domain email, not a consumer webmail account. If you send email to your customers from firstname.lastname@example.org, it's going to look a lot more serious than using email@example.com.
All our website and hosting packages come with business email which is easy to integrate with your own systems. You can send and receive business email using either a desktop email client, a webmail account or an app on your smartphone. We also offer our own webmail interface if you want to keep business and pleasure separate.
And you don't have to have a website to take advantage of business email. We can also offer you business email if your website is hosted elsewhere.
Feel free to contact us if you want to find our more about business email from Brass Tacks Web Design.
Ongoing Website Management
Monday 26 June 2017
We were recently asked to make some changes to a Wordpress website, after the client had lost touch with the original developer.
We quickly found that the website was running an outdated version of Wordpress, with a theme that had not been updated for a number of years.
At Brass Tacks, when we design and deploy a website, we don't then walk away. We continue to monitor the site, take regular backups and ensure that all software is up to date. This service is provided as part of our web hosting package at no extra cost. Even if you've decided to host your website using your own provider, we're happy to keep an eye on things for you.
Adding Content Management
Tuesday 14 February 2017
We've recently completed a project retrofitting a content management system to a client's existing static website.
The client approached us with an existing website designed by a third party, asking if we could add a backend content management system that would allow them to add to their existing portfolio of case studies. They also wanted to add blog functionality so that they could post news to the site.
We designed a database and provided the client with our easy to use stock CMS. We migrated the existing case studies to the new database and provided a backend to allow maintenence of the case studies, including image galleries.
We also added our stock blogging system so that news could be added to the site.
The front end was then updated to work with the new database and client images.
Websites For Community Organisations
Friday 14 October 2016
Our portfolio features a significant number of community and arts organisations, such as local theatre companies, museums and music events. We've been working with local organisations for over a decade providing web and online services to the community.
As well as public facing websites for organisations or events, we can also provide password-protected members' areas that provide information and resources to members of an organisation or those resposnible for administering clubs, societies and other community organisations and events. We can also provide databasew designa and administration, including member lists, event listings, calendars and document sharing functionality.
We can also proactively manage your social networking operations - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, for instance.
Many community organisations and events work on a tight budget so we are able to offer and affordable alternative to larger web design studios.
If you're interested in funding out more about what Brass Tacks can offer you, why not get in contact for a chat about our services.
Running a Snitz Forum on PHP
Friday 12 August 2016
We recently ran up some code to allow an old Snitz Forum to be accessed on a PHP system.
The original forum ran on a Windows server using Active Server Pages (ASP) with a backend Microsoft Access database.
The forum was hosted by Discover Hertford Online, a community website, on a Windows server running ASP. The overall site was migrated to a LAMP server running PHP and the forum retired (although it was replaced with a new forum running on phpBB).
To allow the old Snitz forum to be accessed as a refreence, we migrated the basic forum tables from the Access database to MySQL and created a PHP front end to allow the posts to be viewed. There is no functionality to actively use the forum - the code merely being in place to view the old forum.
The layout is rudimentary and as such can be used with any Snitz forum that is no longer active.
Visit the link below so see the archived forum:
If you have an old Snitz forum that you'd like to make accessible in the same way, why not contact us. There is a small charge if you want to use the code but we're happy to include any basic data migration that might be necessary.
MySpace & Tumblr Passwords Leaked
Tuesday 31 May 2016
If you have a MySpace or Tumblr accounts it's time to change your password, even if you don't use your account.
Hundreds of millions of hacked details are being sold online, although the leak may have happened a numb er of years ago. However, it's still a good idea to change your passwords.
You should also follow good password techniques and guidelines. People often use the same passwords across a numbre of accounts and if your MySpace or Tumblr password is the same as your email account then you are particularly at risk.
From BBC News:
MySpace & Tumblr hit by "mega breach"
Tempted by a .london domain?
Saturday 26 March 2016
In the Summer of 2014, the new .london top level domain was launched. This allowed organisations and individuals to register domain names ending in .london, such as 'mybusiness.london', instead of the typical 'mybusiness.co.uk' or 'mybusiness.com'.
The value of this new top level domain (TLD) is questionable. Whilst it's being talked up by many people with a stake in it's success, not least the companies selling them, they have yet to gain any real foothold and the advantages of using .london seem to be negligable. Google has stated that all top level domains are treated the same and that using the new TLD will not help search engine ranking: 'Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search'. The cost of a .london domain is also more than a typical .com or .co.uk.
If you're thinking of investing in a new .london domain name we suggest you do some research to establish if the new TLD will provide any real advantage over conventional endings.
Forwarding Email Is A Bad Idea
Friday 26 February 2016
Many people like to forward their domain email to a webmail service such as Gmail or Outlook (formerly Hotmail). This can be useful if you want to receive a number of different email addresses in one place or want to take advantage of Gmail or Outlook's spam filters. Whilst this may seem convenient and easy, it is regarded by many system administrators as a very bad practice that can ultimately lead to your server or domain being blacklisted.
Consider the following example: Andrew has a website and email address that use the domain "mybusiness.com". His website is at "www.mybusiness.com" and his email address is "firstname.lastname@example.org". So that he can receive email on a number of different devices such as a PC, tablet and mobile phone, he forwards his email to his Outlook webmail account. This means that when "email@example.com" sends him an email, it arrives in Andrew Outlook account having been sent not by "anotherplace.com" but from "mybusiness.com" - so the sender's domain and the domain that the email was received from don't match. This can cause Outlook to question that authenticity of the email and may result in it getting classed as spam. If this happens too olften it could untimately lead to mybusiness.com's server being blacklisted (many email providers use third party lists of blocked servers). Once a server is blacklisted it can be difficult and time-consuming to have the block removed.
Another potential issue is if a spammer spoofs "firstname.lastname@example.org" and uses it to send out thousands of spam emails. Many of the target email addresses may be old, invalid or just non-existent and could generate large numbers of rejection emails from the target servers, which will then inundate Andrew's Outlook account - all being routed back through and appearing to come from the server hosting "mybusiness.com". This, again, could lead to the server being blacklisted.
In both of these examples, Andrews’s mail server is seen as a source of spam, and as a result the reputation of the mail server is affected.
So what is the solution? The best way to address this issue is to use the POP functionality of your mail provider (Gmail, Outlook etc) to collect your domain email, rather than the domain forwarding it. This works in the same way an an email program installed on your computer, which contacts your mail server and downloads your email. Webmail can do the same thing - connecting to your domain email account and retreiving your messages.