News

It Could Happen to You

Posted by on Monday, November 19, 2012 in web design | 0 comments

A while back I wrote about what could happen if you don’t take precautions with your domain & hosting services. That article came as a free download ebook of tips which you can get here.

One of the points was that you should own your own domain name. It’s YOUR address on the web and you should not give control to anyone else, even your web designer. I read an article over the weekend where a thriving website with lots of users has had to buy a new domain and is fighting to regain control of their old one precisely because they allowed someone else to control their domain name.

Read about Cyanogen domain problems here.

In their case they had allowed a team member to buy their domain name through his own company and he had ‘gone rogue’ and done naughty things.

So, please take heed and own your own domain name.

Let’s make Xmas good for the homeless

Posted by on Thursday, October 18, 2012 in Other life | 0 comments

I noticed a tweet from Donna at Wren Training who volunteers at Lancaster Homeless Shelter. She was asking for Xmas donations for the homeless.

It’s about 9 weeks to Xmas so why don’t we all try and make it a good one for the homeless. It’s the one time of year that everyone feels charitable and it can make such a difference.

One stipulation – no soup! As Donna said, she could sink a battleship with the tins of soup she already has. She does need food though, plus sleeping bags, small tents, money, coffee, sugar, clothes, toiletries etc.

Ideas to help

  • add one (or two) non-perishable food items to your shopping trolley each week
  • sort out your clothes, come on we all know we need to clear our wardrobes
  • have a ‘sin tin’ in the office so if you swear, don’t meet a deadline, eat a biscuit etc then you add a small coin. Even 10p per time would probably mount up between now and then.

Contact either myself or Donna via twitter to arrange dropping off times & places.

Please help because, after all, you never know what your future has in store.

Why I am like a rice cooker

Posted by on Friday, October 12, 2012 in business, marketing | 3 comments

A few weeks ago I bought a microwave rice cooker from Amanda at Pampered Chef. She had mainly tempted me with the 9 minute chocolate cake that it could make :-)

Today, whilst on Twitter, I mentioned that I could do with organising some promotion but that I hate ‘selling’ myself. Amanda caught the tweet and pointed out that I should think of myself as the rice cooker as, through my enthusiastic recommendations, she had sold quite a few.

So here we go …

Just like the rice cooker I am versatile. I can work with people from all types of businesses. Having worked in customer service for twelve years followed by time being a mother then a university student I have met many people from all sorts of backgrounds. My curiosity and empathy enables me to be friendly and professional with everyone.

Just like the rice cooker I am good value for money. My philosophy is to build the website that will be best for you and your business. If that’s just a one page web presence then that’s what I will advise. I will not persuade you to have an all-singing-and-dancing website if that’s not what will benefit you and your clients.

Just like the rice cooker I am user-friendly. One of the things clients say time and again is that I am so easy to work with. I believe in getting things done for my clients with minimum fuss. I may be tearing my hair out and shaking my fist at the screen when a piece of code needed for your website just won’t work out right – but you will never know. I also try and explain things in terms that non-webby people might understand (and that’s the book I am writing). Sometimes it’s hard not to lapse into jargon but my clients all know they can ask again and again and I will be as patient the first time as the 42nd.

Just like the rice cooker I produce tasty results. I know I am not the world’s best web designer and I certainly do not aim to mislead people that I am. However, the results you get from me will enable you to own a web presence you can be proud of. Something that is effective for your business and attractive to look at.

Can you think of any other ways in which I can be compared to the rice cooker? What object can you think of to compare yourself with to ‘sell’ yourself?

Being ill

Posted by on Friday, September 28, 2012 in business | 2 comments

Many apologies to my clients and social media buddies. I got my September cold/chest infection last weekend and it has knocked me out.

So – for those wondering what happens when I am ill here is a brief rundown.

  • If I don’t *have* to get up & dressed I don’t. I get my laptop out and work from the warm & cosy atmosphere of the house instead of the sometimes drafty office.
  • I work when I can & sleep when I need to. It’s important not to overdo things as then the illness goes on for longer.
  • Whenever possible I push myself to hit deadlines & not let clients down. Prioritising is key.
  • If there’s something I absolutely can’t get to I let my clients know asap and give them a timeframe of when I can get to their stuff.
  • The housework and anything else gets left so that I can concentrate on the important things – like my clients.

I’ve more or less managed this week, although Wednesday was a struggle as my sinus headache meant looking at a computer screen was really difficult. I hope that none of my clients are unhappy with me & I especially hope they haven’t felt let down.

I’m fighting off my chest infection and the cold is at its snotty phase so fingers crossed by Monday I will be back to my normal self.

 

What if …

Posted by on Thursday, September 20, 2012 in business, web design | 0 comments

Top Tips to Avoiding Website Disaster

What if disaster strikes & you lose your website? Sign up to receive a short ebook with some top tips to help you minimise fuss and costs should the worst happen.

Get your FREE copy of Top Tips to Avoiding Website Disaster.

Start Up Saturday

Posted by on Monday, September 10, 2012 in business, morecambe | 0 comments

I have long been a fan of Enterprise Nation and what they do to help small businesses get up and running. Therefore I am very excited to be a part of their new venture.

Start Up Saturdays have been very successful in London and I am very pleased to be able to offer the workshops here in the Morecambe Bay area. You can find out more information here.

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What I’ve been doing this summer

Posted by on Monday, August 13, 2012 in wordpress | 0 comments

I have created quite a few WordPress based websites for clients over the last few years and have been thinking of ways to help them get going with WordPress. To start with I have been putting together this website that will, I hope, help them on their way.

Eventually it will be developed into a short ebook that I can give to clients as part of their web design package.

Here’s the link … Starting Out With WordPress

Please Update Your Browser

Posted by on Thursday, July 26, 2012 in web design | 0 comments

I saw a link to this excellent article on Twitter and felt I should pass it around. It explains very clearly why it is important to update your browser to the latest version.

Please Update Your Browser

Keep Records!

Posted by on Friday, July 13, 2012 in web design | 2 comments

I received a text and an email from the same person today at roughly the same time – I was so shocked that I immediately returned home, rather than run errands as I was doing, to sort it out.

Can anyone see any design similarities between these two websites?

Basically I was contacted by someone saying,

…a design you made for Little Tiddles Softplay 2012 is a clear copy of a design Mobile Fun Box 2011

I am currently unsure as to how the designs are similar and have responded to the email and am waiting a reply. I did mention (truthfully) in the email that I created Little Tiddles Softplay website to the specifications of my client and that I have never seen the Mobile Fun Box website before.

One thing I am grateful for is my habit of keeping all client emails in separate folders. I therefore have a clear timeline of how the design was created. Sometimes I look at all my folders and thing “why?” but I now realise that it is a very good idea and will continue to do so.

While I may take inspiration from other designs I would never copy someone’s work. That is totally not right and unfair.

 

Summer Break

Posted by on Thursday, July 5, 2012 in business, Other life | 0 comments

This is a public service announcement. I will not be doing any client work during August.

It’s not that I don’t love working with all of you, it’s just that I have various plans for August so that I can return all refreshed in September.

1. My children are off school. I know they are teenagers now but I still want to be able to say “hey, let’s go out today” if the sun decides to shine without feeling obligated to finish something off.

2. I need to stop, take a deep breath and look around. Life moves so fast you know. This year has been so successful with lots of new clients & opportunities that I have barely had chance to do anything other than work. I need to plan what I want to concentrate on and how I am going to get there.

3. I want to write. I have plans for freebies to give advice and tips to anyone that wants them but I have been so busy that I haven’t had a proper chance to organise them. I also want to finish the book I started earlier this year & possibly start the next one.

I will no doubt be lurking on the social networks and will still be answering emails but I won’t be starting any new client projects until school starts back in September.

I hope everyone has a great summer – maybe we’ll even get some sun.