SSH, or Secure Shell is something any web developer will have come across. Personally, every single website I deploy involves SSH where I’ll upload and extract a single compressed archive. This is simply good practice and most importantly, much faster than normal FTP. There are a plethora of further benefits in having SSH access – I won’t go into these here though. However, as common a feature as SSH access is, gaining SSH Access on a Heart Internet hosting account surprisingly, turns out to be pretty darn hard to get.
Continue reading SSH Access & Heart Internet, oh my …
I’ll keep this purposely short. I’m just in the process of attempting to transfer a basic 3 page static “Talktalk business website”, with a contact form from TalkTalk Business to my own hosting provider. This should be an easy task and a task I can do blindfolded for a tiny static website consisting of 3 pages.
My client asked TalkTalk for a copy of the site’s files (which will consist of a couple of html files and a single server side script to process the contact form). Nothing ground breaking by any means.
Continue reading TalkTalk Business Websites – A Brief Encounter
If you were looking for an honest Just Search SEO Review …
.. apologies. If you were looking for an honest and impartial Just Search SEO review, this post has now been disabled due to pressure from Just Search, they clearly don’t want honest and truthful seo reviews. Just Search deemed my experience with them as something they don’t want on the Internet – which would be pretty boring place if everyone agreed and no one had an opinion. All the facts contained within the original post were verifiable and based upon upon actual events of my personal experience with Just Search and the SEO they performed (or are still performing) on a small website inherited by myself, for which I perform additional web development. The findings are also all backed up via industry standard tools such as Seomoz’s Opensite explorer and Google Analytics.
Continue reading Just Search SEO Review
It’s been fairly common news for a while now that the age old Yell.com offer web design services, or “Yellsites” as some have coined it. There’s been a lot written about this fact, with some people citing lots of reasons why Yell websites are evil. There also a fairly in depth post that goes on to actually explain why the author dislikes yell.com websites over here. Additionally, there is also a big pool of annoyed people over at the infamous reviewcentre.
Personally, I think their sites will never set the world on fire, but at the end of the day Yell are tapping into a certain and very specific niche where the majority of their clients are very small businesses. It’s truly a case of you get what you pay for (even if a Yell.com website will cost you more overtime, which is what I assume is key Yell’s business model). For me, it’s great really, as seem to have lots of clients who currently have a Yell site, realise their site isn’t performing for them and want to move on – in I (or any other web person) step. Yell are clearly going down the bulk route with their sites being mass produced and based upon templates – at the end of the day they aren’t charging bespoke prices (in the short term anyway). I say fair play to them if they want to go down that route. This post isn’t in any way intended to knock Yell.com websites in the least. Although I’m not a fan of their apparent sales patter I keep hearing about where Yellsites say they have a special partnership with Google” or the “Did you know Yell.com is the most searched UK website” – for the record, both of those statements are frankly lies and total rubbish.
Continue reading Yell Websites and Template Recycling – A Review
Lately, spam from Indian website and SEO companies has been pretty bad for me. I’m not sure what has happened, but over the last 3-4 months it’s increased ten fold – the BBC article on India becoming the World’s leading spammers really doesn’t surprise one bit. I do get spam occasionally from other countries, but India is by far the worst offender for me. I don;t have anything all against other companies trying to grow, but Indian SEO companies are doing this the wrong way. So, just for their record to all the (now human) spammers sitting in India – “I don’t want your link building or seo services and certainly won’t be taking anyone seriously who initiates contact from a gmail account”.
I’ve tried a lot with Indian spammers. Submitting their MX records to various sites in the hope of getting their mail server blacklisted, replying tell them to “feck off”, reporting them to their hosts and even ignoring the said messages. Yes, ignoring the message doesn’t work nowadays as I’ll still get a follow up email asking me “I will revert all my web development to India”. Any emails I do reply to they never acknowledge or (I guess) respect. Nothing works!
Continue reading SEO Spam From India
To date this year, I have inherited several Magento stores to perform web updates on. I thought I’d write a small post on my experience and thoughts in using the system and how that system translates to real world, non technical clients.
As a bit of background, I’m by no means a fully fledged Magento developer in the least. After a few hours of experimenting I managed to get a template based upon my design, up and running.
It’s common knowledge that Magento is touted as the best thing since sliced bread – you constantly see companies selling the (what I call), “Magento experience”. Sales based pitches such as “you’ll never need to upgrade again”, “Magento can do everything out of the box” and “Magento will infinitely scale with your business” are very common from web companies. The latter does not apply to all businesses in my experience. To illustrate, I’ll use the example of a client who came to me in despair at their current web company and Magento based website – I won’t be using any real names.
Continue reading Magento as an ECommerce Platform – A Case Study
Sometimes, you have small experiences that really make you appreciate your chosen web host. They leave you glad you spent the time doing your homework, testing out their support, features and generally ensuring everything is easy as possible with them. If it isn’t easy, then your job will be made all that much harder, unnecessarily.
I experienced such a feeling last week with a client who wanted to use their own web hosting. I had updated a small website to include a blog and gallery, both updateable by the client. This wouldn’t usually be an issue at all if using my own hosting – simply upload the files, add in my custom htaccess file for some mod rewriting goodness and away we go.
However, the host in question was 1and1.co.uk. Now, I’ve read some absolute horror stories about this company in the past – all such experiences seem very typical of a very large company, with their support teams based offshore.
So, back onto uploading the updated site in question. I had expressed initial concerns about the clients current 1and1 hosting package, noting that they’d most likely need to upgrade with 1and1, even though they were on an intermediate hosting package entitled the “1and1 Standard package”. I had also personally been forced to use their support about a year ago, which was hard work to say the least. Moving forward, I carried on and uploaded the site to 1and1’s servers and then visited site. Instant internal server error 500. Straight away I knew this was the hosting as I had previously given the client a link to a staging area on my preferred web host, that worked flawlessly. I’m aware 1and1 have some restrictive hosting on their basic packages (which seems to be inherant of such a large company, with thousands of customers in my experience), so I immediately headed towards to the .htaccess file (it’s essentially a variation of the HTML5 Bolierplate template with some of my own magic included, nothing out of the ordinary though) and renamed the htaccess file. Whallah – the site loaded, thus isolating the issue straight away. Great, I can inform 1and1 and find out what htaccess directives are allowed, it should be a run of the mill support request for any support department.
Continue reading Appreciating Your Chosen Web Host