Blog Archives

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”.

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Host on WordPress.com Network

Host Your Site on the WordPress.com Server Network

Would YOU like to host your site on the WordPress.com server network. Sorry, that’s a rhetorical question. There can be only one answer – YES. Well, if I’m reading the adverts correctly, it’s possible.

WordPress.com VIP Services

It seems there’s a whole bunch of things available for Self-hosted WordPress, from several different levels of hosting to a range of expert WordPress support services

wordpress.com vip hosting screenshot

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Is MWEB a Spammers Haven?

MWEB IPs used by Spammers and Hackers

mweb spam ips icon

Checking an IP record for 41.133.8.155 after noticing a minor offence this morning – the ubiquitous and quite stupid practice of adding “/undefined” to the end of actual URLs – brought up a list of IPs in the neighbourhood. All the IP’s included below belong to MWEB. (whois.domaintools.com IP lookup records.)

MWEB, a South African Internet Service Provider, has previously had IP’s under their control listed in several databases as a source of spam e-mails. According to Project Honeypot  a range of IP’s managed by MWEB is (or was) used by Spammers and Dictionary Attackers.

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WordPress 2012 – by Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg’s address from WordCamp San Francisco.

Release Date and Preview of WordPress 3.5

What is Coming in WordPress 3.5

wordpress 3.5 iconThe release of WordPress version 3.5 is set for 29 December 2012. We take a look at what can be expected in the next WordPress update.  Some of the proposed features look really interesting; better image handling and high res images.

Improvements can be expected to the user dashboard, as well as some improvements to WordPress Core. Mac users can expect high res (Retina) graphics, and news about the somewhat belated Twenty Twelve theme.

Read the full article at SME Technology (tech.graphicline.co.za

Links to Website Not Working

Website Links Show a Blank Page

wordpress broken iconThe feeling of horror after installing a new WordPress plugin or updating an existing plugin when suddenly all pages on the website or blog disappear, and a blank page is seen in the browser. The first instinct is to panic, especially when the site is a business site. What happened, what went wrong? I know it’s an awful feeling. Web developers like myself are used to this happening. We sometimes break our sites when fiddling with code and things. A cry for help with this problem was posted twelve hours ago on a WordPress.org plugin forum after a Jetpack plugin update resulted in a broken site.

The first thing to do is delete the last plugin installed or updated. To do this you have to use FTP or server file manager. Deleting the plugin is the standard way to fix a WordPress (and other CMS) site broken by an update or new addition. But it doesn’t always work…

Deleting the Plugin Didn’t Help – What Next?

If simply deleting the plugin didn’t restore the site, something else went wrong. The most likely cause for a blank page is an error written to the .htaccess file preventing URL rewriting, the second possible, but less likely, cause is a corrupted database (especially if you can still access WordPress admin).

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Markmonitor dotcom | Watchdog or What?

What is Markmonitor.com?

brandmark monitor iconMarkmonitor.com is a company providing brand protection to (mainly) global brands.

Markmonitor monitors the Internet (supposedly) looking for brand-piracy, domain name hijacking and counterfeiting (of branded goods) among it’s range of client services. The company must use search spiders to trawl websites looking for this information.

They also have another side of business, as  a domain registrar, and a number of large corporations including Apple.com have their domains under their ambit.

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Views Reloaded

Revamping a Drupal User Guide

Some time ago I added a number of Drupal video guides from several sources to pages on one of my websites. These were really only intended for my use while getting to grips with Drupal CMS. Then they were forgotten.  Recently I was Googling something and lo and behold, one of these pages was on page 1 SERP. (When I added the videos, I didn’t yet have the meta-tags module to include “noindex” for robots, so Google indexed the lot).

blue drupal views friendly dragon iconBut these pages had no content;  most just had the video, either embedded using YouTube or in iframes from vimeo. Seeing as I am in the process of reworking a lot of the web site, sorting out the taxonomy (tags) and adding headings and descriptions to these, as well as undertaking an appearance overhaul of pages showing teasers e.g. blog pages, article summary pages and so on, I decided it was time to do something useful to the numerous pages of Drupal video guides. The collection is being updated and re-published in the form of a Drupal ‘book content type’ at Drupal Guidebook (graphicline.co.za).

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Mobile Data Crunch (and Costs)

Data Bundle Overload: End to Free Mobile Data

data bundlesIt looks like mobile data users at the Southern tip of Africa are not the only ones looking at paying high prices for data bundles (or buckets as they are known in some locales). The USA is joining the trend of charging for mobile data. Down South we have never known the privilege of free mobile data, having some of the highest data cost per GB in the world – at least when compared to first world civilisation.

The Data Crunch

The end of free mobile data is no real surprise. The RF frequencies used to carry this traffic are limited in capacity, new compression technology can only go so far to reduce the load on these channels. Urguably more frequencies could be made available, however these would have to be in higher frequency bands than are currently used. Increasing RF frequency brings it’s own problems – higher frequencies (into the  mid and high Ghz region) suffer more loss from inclement weather signal absorption from structures, components cost more, and we have to consider the human health related dangers of microwave radiation.

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Memory Maker Elpida Bankrupt

DRAM Chip Manufacturer Files for bankruptcy

chipmaker elpidaElpida, Japans’s only manufacturer of DRAM memory chips is bankrupt. Elpida filed for bankruptcy on Monday February 27. Elpida claims losses of $5.5B and is unable to continue trading. Elpida had been struggling for some time in a market dominated by South Korean chip makers able to undercut prices, even a Japanese government emergency loan package from the Development Bank of Japan in 2009 failed to keep Elpida afloat.

Bankrupt Chipmaker President Yukio Sakamoto Stated:

Yukio Sakamoto, president of Elpida told news services the strong Yen was partly to blaim, coupled with offers from potential partners falling through.

“We have lost our competitive edge completely against South Korean companies as the yen has strengthened against the Won, our efforts as a single company alone cannot make up for the steep surge in the value of the Yen over the past year.”

“The company had been pushed into bankruptcy when offers from potential partners fell through.  We had been expecting various offers by today but what we got was not concrete.”

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