Blog Archives

Google Drops Real Estate MLS Listings

Will Google Stop Indexing Real Estate Website MLS Listings

is google dropping mls links iconIs Google going to stop indexing MLS listings on real estate websites? It’s a rumour we came across recently! Disturbingly, the source of the rumour came from an IDX service provider. (IDX service is an intermediary service between the raw data MLS feed and a realtors website)

The IDX service provider told our client there was no point in having indexable listings on his real estate website as Google was going to stop indexing these listings. The client should instead use the listings on their own domain, and use Google AdWords to drive traffic to their site

In a way this makes sense. Yet the idea raises more questions than it answers.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Slow Website for Work Sample

Really Slow Joomla Site for Server and Site Demo

slow website thumbnail imageI received some links to a couple of really slow Joomla websites today. The links came in an e-mail with promotional offers from a South African web developer (competitor?). I don’t like to knock other developers so I won’t mention the sites or his name. However, the slow page loads for the two sites mentioned as recent samples, and the hosting setup mentioned motivates me to write about my findings…

The developer states “all sites hosted on my own server which only has my customers on it…  All  customers have the same server benefits of unlimited email accounts, unlimited website traffic, unlimited website storage…” I was intrigued by the ‘own server’, and decided to have a look at the sites.

Read the rest of this entry

What is Data Shaping

Internet Access Data Shaping

Internet access data shaping, also known as “packet shaping” and “traffic shaping” is the method used by some Internet Service Providers providers to limit certain types of internet data traffic. The internet provider may impose data shaping for several reasons, the most common being insufficient network capacity; nearly always a result of the “profit motive”  – ISPs oversell capacity and try to load as many paying customers on to a network as possible, to grab extra profit from the limited resources.

Internet service providers will seldom admit their sole reason for data shaping is profit, they will usually tell clients they regulate  network data transfer rates to assure a certain level of performance or quality of service (QoS) for all clients. Whether or not their data shaping adversely affects these same clients is of little consequence except in a highly competitive market.

Read the rest of this entry

Which ERP Solution

ERP Solutions for Small Business – Which One?

ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions are the next step up from a basic accounting package.

An ERP system integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization; finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization… (Wikipadia.org)

ERP Solutions are not for everyone. First of all they are much more complicated to set-up and get working, and a a lot harder to use somatimes too. They can also cost a lot of money. Most small business owners may be satisfied with a basic accounting system, e.g. Quickbooks or similar. But what about the business profesional starting his (or her) own small enterprise, but coming form a corproate or large business envirnment: Such person will be used to a fully integrated system to manage all aspects of the business from a central point, using a single software application.

Read the rest of this entry

International Telecommuting Challenges

The Challenges of Telecommuting Internationally

telecommuting internationally iconModern information and communication technology introduced a new era in the way we work. It promised a new era where we could work from anywhere, no matter where in the world our office is located, or where in the world our customers came from.  For some of us at least the this new era has arrived.

For others, the promise of telecommuting is only partly realised.

Read the rest of this entry

Why Do You Want a Website

Do You Really Want or Need a Website?

why want a website iconIs a question I find myself asking (silently) prospective and even some existing clients. It’s a terrible thing for a web-master to ask. I make a living (well try to anyway) from website construction, management and support. Yet I really think some companies don’t need a website. I know they don’t really want one, it’s just the thing to do.

A website is a responsibility; it needs frequent and regular updating, lots of content, a clear idea about what is expected.

The Worse Reason To Have a Website:

“We have to have a website, it’s expected today”. Right, at least part of that statement is true. I for one hesitate to deal with a business that doesn’t have a website. But this is not a good reason for a business to own a site. I hear this statement repeated by business owners all the time. Usually in a sentence “The website doesn’t bring us any business, but we have to have one”.

Read the rest of this entry

Pansee Site Valuation – Rubbish

False Valuation by Pansee.com

pansee site valuation trashEver had a site valuation by pansee.com – I got sent a mail informing me ‘someone’ had conducted a valuation of my website graphicline.co.za using pansee.com valuation tools, with a link to the valuation report. Interested to see what the report contained, I checked if Google had any information about malware on the site, then visited the page.

The valuation report had some interesting data. From the country where most of the website traffic is derived from, to number of daily visitors. And a claim to the value of advertising on the front page.

France is the Biggest Source of Traffic

This amused me… According to pansee.com, 12.2 percent of my traffic comes from France, while the USA only accounts for 8.1%

Read the rest of this entry

Google Ranks WPOnlineStore Websites Badly

Googlebot has Problems with WPOnlineStore

There’s a few problems Googlebot (Google’s search engine spider) has with sites using the WPOnlineStore osCommerce plugin for WordPress. These problems result in WPOnlineStore website catalogue listings ranking badly in Google SERP, or not being indexed at all.

One of these only affects a few sites, the another is common to all standard self hosted WordPress sites using the WPOnlineStore plugin for e-commerce websites. Both these problems are extremely serious, but neither is a fault or bug in the plugin. The third problem Google has with WPOnlineStore e-commerce sites is the store XML sitemap – there isn’t one!

Read the rest of this entry

Trade Restriction Ends

Free to Trade After Three Years

Good News! The restriction of trade that formed part of the buy/sell agreement when I disposed of my share in a publishing business three years ago ended at 00h01 today…

Trade Restrictions Imposed by Agreement

trade restriction iconDuring the three years the restriction applied, I agreed not to trade in competition with two products produced by the publishing house in which I had been a partner. The first of these is a business to business directory called “The Printers Contact Directory” also known as “Print Contacts” in the past. This directory took the form of a small A5 (later B5 or close to that size) booklet featuring advertisements for suppliers of equipment, machinery, inks, paper as well as other supplies and services to the South African printing industry. This niche market booklet was/is produced annually and distributed free. This niche market directory included a website.

Read the rest of this entry

Online Payment Hampers Small Business

Online Payment Problem for South African SME’s

South African SME’s are hampered by lack of economical online payment facilities for their customers. Small enterprises in SA came across a big stumbling block when trying to trade online in South Africa; Normal credit card methods of online payment are simply too expensive for most small traders, taking around 8.5 percent in transaction fees. Many operate at low margins in order to be competitive.

Low cost online payment methods are not available, e.g. the well-known PayPal service cannot be integrated successfully with e-commerce application using local SA Rand as the base currency. Direct transfer by online banking is not a realistic payment method for cash strapped customers, most will need to pay using a credit card for all except small item purchases.

Read the rest of this entry