Hey Siri, Hey Alexa, Hey Cortana

Posted on November 8, 2017 by WebSideView

websideview - hey siri hey alexa hey cortana

Siri, Alexa and Cortana are just a Hey away

AI (Artificially Intelligent) assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana should either:

  • Excite you or
  • Scare the s*** out of you

Why would I say this?

Well the thing is the IoT is/has quietly and steadily become part of our everyday lives (What is the Internet of Things? (And Why You Should Care — A Lot)).

We are effectively “in the internet” and “don’t go on the internet”

thanks to the very nature of how we interact with our internet enabled devices such as our phones, TVs and homes for that matter.

Mobile use has exploded and the AI assistants I mentioned before are at our beckon call.

All we have to do is utter the words:

“Hey Siri”


“Hey Cortana”

“Hey Alexa”

Now if you watch the videos back more closely you should realise what is really going on here.

  1. All are aiming to make your life easier whilst directing you into their own ecosystem or their partners (those that paid to be at the top of your needs list)
  2. Becoming a gateway to fulfil your needs, saving you time or getting you stuff.

In both cases these AI assistants are becoming

The Gate Keepers to your life and more importantly your wallet

It is comparable to those frustrating times you want to meet with a company director but the PA or secretary will not give you access unless you have something to offer or are known to them.

These AI assistants are effectively becoming the next generation gate keepers.

By-passing traditional gate keepers such as search engines, directories etc and thus connecting customers directly to brands and sellers.

For example:

  • In the Siri clip did you notice how Dwanye Johnson asked for a “Lyft” ride (a taxi ride company) and it was just there!
  • Did you notice how Cortana mainly focused on reminders?
    well, when he said “hey Cortana remind me of my anniversary on…” imagine if he added the words “and buy a dozen roses and a necklace from Tiffany’s to be delivered on…
    A great outcome for all involved – seamless execution, a happy partner and extra brownie points.
  • In the Alexa clip the pregnant lady asks Alexa to “ask Uber for a ride” effectively booking a taxi there and then whilst her partner was overwhelmed (poor guy).

It’s interesting how our needs are being cleverly and seamlessly matched with service/product providers, ultimately embedding into our daily conversations and lives.

There is a power play at hand and we can get in on it

Amazon and Microsoft seem to be making it obvious that they are going straight after Apple and Google with a collaboration on “Hey Cortana open Alexa“.

Apple have the lead because they seem to have leveraged the fact that they

  1. Have a device that everyone uses (iphone).
  2. A device that runs most peoples lives from texts/phone calls to scheduling their lives.
  3. Successfully trained the general public to use the commands “Hey Siri…”
  4. Linked these commands to a “baked in” browser that can search anything online and
  5. (more importantly) is directly linked to their own payment gateway!

This is extremely powerful and seems to be the direction things are going at breakneck speed.

“The virtual assistant space is intensely competitive right now. All the major players have one, and they’re battling for dominance, attempting to bake theirs into as many devices as possible, from cars to fridges. Once you’re locked into an ecosystem you’re unlikely to change down the line, the logic goes.” – Amazon and Microsoft team up to make their AI assistants Alexa and Corana talk to each other

If you don’t have an online presence and are not leveraging the platforms your customers and clients are using, its time to get on with it.

Siri, Cortana and Alexa wont find you if you don’t have a website, meaning neither will potential customers.

It’s only a matter of time before Facebook deploy their own incarnation then it will get really interesting!

2018 is going to be really interesting for businesses that embrace and adapt to the changes

or

potentially devastating for businesses that refuse to step away from the status quo, adapt and innovate.

Why a business email address is important to customers

Posted on November 16, 2016 by WebSideView

customers business email address

Setting up a business or working for yourself is a big deal. It takes guts, energy and raw belief because its not easy!

You go through a number of steps to make sure you have all the bases covered:

  • A base of operations
  • A strong business name
  • A Business Plan
  • Branding and logo design
  • A website and
  • An email address

These are just a few of the many things you have gone through to perfect your business and the last thing you want to do is lose customers to competitors simply because you didn’t setup a “business” email address.

However, many seem to repeatedly fall foul to a couple of very important things:

  1. Failing to setup a website (and associated online assets, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc)
  2. Failing to use a business email address

** I’m still baffled and amazed by the number of businesses (and self employed) that still do not have a website to represent them online and fail to use a business email address.

Uncovering the importance of a business email address.

It would appear to be common sense to have a business email address, a no-brainer you might say (well maybe I’m biased being a tech person).

However it is surprising to still see a large number of businesses using a personal or Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and other email address.

This is a major flaw and common mistake made by a surprising number of businesses. Many businesses are simply letting themselves down after all the time and effort made to perfect their business.

I’m sure you have all seen the Barclays advert “How to make sure your email address is loved by employers” as part of the Barclays Life Skills program.

The advert mentions 7 email address employers would hate to see, highlighting the following:

  1. Your email address is one of the ways that you come across to prospective employers.
  2. Don’t let your email address be something childish – just stick to your name with no catchphrases.

The thing is,

“just because it is business doesn’t mean the same doesn’t apply!”

  1. Your email address is one of the ways that you come across to potential customers, clients or partners.
  2. Don’t let your email address be something unprofessional – use a proper business email address i.e. yourname@yourbusinesswebsite.co.uk.
  • Maybe you don’t know how to setup a business email?
  • think it is expensive to do?
  • don’t know any better? or
  • simply don’t think it is important? – it’s about the business and service after all, right?

It definitely is all about the business and service but why go to great lengths perfecting it and lose out simply because you don’t realize the negative image you are projecting to potential customers.

The 5 main reasons for why you should use a Business Email Address are:

  1. Customer Perception – you will look professional and respected as a serious business.
  2. Trust and Credibility – scammers exist and is a big concern for customers. If you use a personal email address you will very likely be put into the same box (consciously or subconsciously).
  3. Increase and Promote your Brand – every time you send out an email you will promote your business as its in the email address.
  4. Emails are less likely to go into spam – you don’t want to lose leads simply because they didn’t see the email.
  5. You could miss out on your business email address – if you use an “unbranded” email address by the time you get to using it someone else might have taken it. PLUS you could be sending your customers straight to a competitor!

There is a lot of literature out there with this particular stance although I can accept that I may have bias towards this particular conclusion.

Realizing this particular bias, I decided to pose a question to my circle, network and business groups to see if it had any grounding.

The business email address question

Hi everyone I need your help for work. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by commenting a), b) or c).

Which dental practice would you choose to contact given the following email addresses:

  • a) info@pearlywhites.com
  • b) pearlywhites@gmail.com
  • c) no preference


NOTE: This was by no means a scientific experiment so please take it at face value (feel free to refer to other resources to make up your own conclusions).
The email address seen above are also fictitious and do not relate to any existing email accounts. Any similarity is purely by coincidence only.

This same question was put to people on:-

  1. My personal Facebook page
  2. A Facebook business group
  3. A local Facebook social/business group

The business email address question – The Results

Personal Facebook page

websideview business-emails-facebook personal page post

100% of all respondents selected option a) info@pearlywhites.com.

Facebook Business Group Page

websideview - business emails facebook private business-group post

100% of all respondents selected option a) info@pearlywhites.com.

Facebook Local Business Group page

websideview- business emails facebook open local business group post

100% of all respondents selected option a) info@pearlywhites.com.

A unanimous result all in favour of the business email address

As you can see, the results are unanimous with all respondents choosing option A – info@pearlywhites.com.

So why was that? Well some respondents provided further insight as they also volunteered reasons for why they had made their particular choice:

“I’m always suspicious of gmail account etc for business, outlook is about the only one ok if it’s not a proper business in my opinion!”
“Info@ sounds far more professional”
“As I think using a gmail account for a business doesn’t seem very professional.”
As gmail not deemed as professional/ business like”
“more professional”
“The info part seems more formal”
“more professional – gmail too personal for business in my view”
“For much the same reason as (the above response)”
> “Agree with both (the above responses)”
“If I see a email address with Gmail at the end always suggests that the company was set up on a shoe string budget, and creates the wrong first impression to any potential clients.”
“agree with ‘name of individual’ (above) comments”
“It’s direct and professional -Using free gmail addresses gives a cheap image and therefore devalues your brand”
“I wouldn’t necessarily expect a dental surgeon to be able to administrate a Postfix mail server, but if they have a web presence then surely they already have access to somebody who knows how to set up basic mail forwarding.”

As you can see from the comments above being “professional” is the main reason for why they would choose the business email.

I would advise (and continue to) that you take this seriously and look into getting a business email address setup but you will need a website to secure such an email address.

If you need help with this please feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help. Getting online is not as expensive as you might think and with a little technical know how you can also setup your very own email address or get this included within you website setup.

Thank you for reading.

Don’t be a Google, Facebook, LinkedIn Puppet

Posted on September 1, 2016 by WebSideView

websideview google facebook linkedin puppet

“If I have been further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” – Sir Isaac Newton

“Stand on the shoulders of giants.” – Google

We all build our own knowledge upon the “giants” that came before us to influence the modern world as we know it today.

There would be no Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram and Snapchat (to name but a few) without them.

Society has accepted the previously mention innovations using them personally and to promote and market their work/businesses. They are well and truly standing on the shoulders of giants for their own gains.

However, it is amazing to still see a very significant proportion of self employed and small businesses not fully embracing this monumental shift to the Web, Social (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat etc) and more recently the Internet of Things (IoT).

Why haven’t they (you) fully embraced this shift?

Well that is a good question and from the discussions we’ve had it is clear that there are two very distinct reasons:

  1. You don’t understand the internet, not knowing its power and where to start.
  2. You are stuck in your ways and don’t see what the big fuss is about.

It’s pretty interesting when the conversation unfolds and one simple question reveals you are missing a big trick.

QUESTION:
So, let’s say you need to find a plumber, find a restaurant telephone number or get train times what do you do?

ANSWER:
Well, I erm use my phone.

QUESTION:
You use Google on your phone or ask friends on Facebook for a recommendation, right?

ANSWER:
Oh, well, yeah. I see what you mean now. I’ve never looked at it that way, I get it now.

the first place anyone looks when they need something is Google (I’m sure you found this page using Google on your phone) and having a website lets you to sell your services on your own terms.

Even with this realisation getting a website and online (social media etc) baffles a lot of people because many of us don’t know where to start, being unaware of the tech stuff and worried about being ripped off.

Make sure people can find you online – Facebook isn’t enough

Most people think this simply means having a Facebook page (this is only part of the process).

Having a Facebook page is important but you need to recognize that Facebook doesn’t belong to you and more importantly you don’t control it.

If Facebook (Google, Twitter and LinkedIn for that matter) decide to change something you are at their mercy and this could greatly effect your business if this is the only online asset you have.

Let’s say they decided to start charging you for people to simply find you on Facebook? Or worse still, they decided to charge you for anything you wanted to post.

This could greatly effect your bottom line and is completely out of your control! but don’t just take our word for it Forbes magazine did a piece on it recently; What Do Social Media Algorithms Mean For You? – 20th April 2016

You need to be clever about how you do this and leverage all tools in your arsenal (join groups such as 1create.co.uk Facebook group) because it’s clear that these changes mean engagement is now the crucial No. 1 factor for social media platforms.

It’s also important to understand that using these for business will increasingly mean you have to pay to play.

With most people using Google, Facebook and Twitter to find you it is important to have an online presence including a website (you’re in full control).

That’s what we’re here for – to help artists, photographer, builders and more

We specialize in working with self-employed and small to medium sized businesses.

Working with you to fully understand what you need, removing the worry and confusion so we can get you online with the best solution for you.

A good starting point for those of you that don’t understand websites is to read these short insightful articles:

  1. How your Website Works on the Internet in Plain English.
  2. What’s my current situation and why do I want to get a website?
  3. Step 1: Deciding on a domain name that is good and relevant

We will guide you through all these things and more, putting you at ease and firmly in control.

If you are more aware of these things then feel free to contact us or email kat@websideview.com we’re more than happy to help.

Imagine a world without websites like Google or Facebook

Posted on August 23, 2016 by WebSideView

Can you imagine a world without Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, heck no websites full stop.

Many of us don’t know a world before the World Wide Web and probably wouldn’t be able to function or find our way around without Google at our beck and call.

It would be like Armageddon!

websideview lost no website

On April 30th 1993 we, the public entered the Information Age thanks to the frustration of Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web, www).

This was the first website on the world wide web (not much to look at really, I hear you say)

Well that “nothing to look at” is what has lead to the massive change in the world.

Bringing us:

The web has created so many opportunities for everyone, young to old, for both work and pleasure and guess what? its only 23 years old!!

If you’re still not embracing the power of the web with a website for your business you’re risking ending up like the dinosaurs, “outdated and extinct!”

We can’t wait to see what comes next as the Web is still evolving and opportunities continue to present themselves.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee we salute you.

Thanks for getting frustrated and releasing it to the world for free!!

Think Your Simple Business Website is Worthless to Hackers? Wrong!

Posted on April 20, 2016 by WebSideView

websideview business website

Having self-employed and business owner friends generally means a part of our downtime conversations involve us picking each others brains about our respective areas of expertise.

It’s a great benefit to having friends in different professions and we’re all lucky to be in such a situation. I’m sure you’ve all done it and I’m guessing it went a little like this:

“You’re a (insert profession here), what should I do if…”

“I’ve got this problem…”

“How do you sort…”

This particular weekend turned out to be my turn, focusing on business website security (plus other things) and raising the question:

Why would a hacker attack my business website?

I don’t have anything valuable. I don’t have credit card details or anything worth stealing.

This single question inevitably resulted in a debate that provided further insight into how business/self-employed people generally see website development and maintenance:

  1. Once a website is built that’s the end. It’s done now so I don’t need to look at it again.
  2. I paid you enough money to build the website so why would I need to keep paying you to look after it? It should just work.
  3. My website isn’t of any value to hackers because I don’t have anything of value to steal.

Needless to say,

Ignorance is bliss (until something goes wrong, then it sucks)

People are either unaware of what to expect or have preconceived ideas about what a website should be, how it should be developed and how much they should pay.

Often stating that website maintenance isn’t as big a deal as building because you don’t need to do as much (this is true in part but not when there’s a new threat!).

Unfortunately, this is not the case (we would love it to be) however, website maintenance is a big deal, taking time, knowledge and awareness.

A perfectly good example would be the following:

It’s similar to buying an owning a car.

When you buy a car everything is great but we all know that a car has to go for a service and MOT to make sure that everything is working okay. Otherwise things can go drastically wrong and end up costing you a fortune when you could have nipped the problem in the bud before it escalated.

This is the same situation with websites. You have to regularly service your website to mitigate against future problems.

However, there is one major difference:

The world of the internet is constantly changing and evolving.

It is our job as website developers and consultants to keep up-to-date with new developments, threats and techniques so we can allow you to focus on your business.

With the added pressure of somehow forecasting and preventing the bad things that could happen and reacting quickly enough to protect you and your business when they do happen.

It can be like changing the locks, engine immobilizer, key lock code and alarm system every week (if not more often with the increased number of threats)!

The plan was to write a piece about this, explaining why it is important, providing insight and justifying the fees charged.

However, it would appear that we were beaten to the punch and a study has already been performed. Answering the question:

“Why would a hacker attack my website? I don’t have anything valuable. I don’t have credit card details or anything worth stealing.”

Have a look at this article that explains “What Hackers Do With Compromised WordPress Sites.”

Here’s a little insight into what was found. Out of 873 respondents the top reason for a hacked site was to deface your website or to take it offline! (slightly over 25% of cases)

When hackers deface websites they replace your content with their own.

“The most common was political content from terrorist groups and the like. The next most common was hackers simply bragging that they hacked your site.”

If you have a business website and you’ve asked the above question you need to read this article because your perspective will massively change after reading this article.

Simply put,

“No-one is immune or off the menu when it comes to hacking.”

Hopefully you will also understand just how much your website developer/online consultant does and the value of having a good one.

Please share this with anyone you think would benefit from reading this (Steve the builder, Robert the accountant, Jean the coffee shop owner and other self-employed/business owners).

Don’t be a Dummy Keep Website and Email Separate

Posted on April 14, 2016 by WebSideView

email and website

Why should you do this?

For 4 very good reasons:

1.) If your website hosting goes down so does your email

Even if you are not an internet expert you have definitely come across a website that has been down. Website attacks that overwhelm and block a website from being seen are all too often!

However, can you remember the last time your email provider such as Gmail, Outlook, Zoho etc were down?

Its common knowledge that a website is a lot more likely to go down than your email.

If you have associated your emails with your website hosting company just so you can have that all important name@businessname.co.uk guess what?

If your website goes down, your emails will also stop working!

That’s not great for business because I suspect email is essential for your business operations (it definitely is for me and my clients).

Customers, suppliers and everyone else wont be able to visit your website but worse still they wont be able to get in touch with you.

Can you imagine the effect this will have on your suppliers, clients, business partners and the rest.

You can have a business email, just keep website and email providers separate

However, if you had separated your email from your website hosting you would be able to carry on with business, keeping in contact with your suppliers, clients and business partners. Heck you can even take the proactive step of letting them know that you are currently experiencing problems with your website (which I’m sure they will appreciate).

You should also make sure that you have at least one other social media channel such as Facebook or Twitter just so you can let everyone know you are experiencing problems with your website and that you are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible (good customer service).

2.) Moving your website means moving your email.
Bad news, it’s not that easy!

Although moving a website has some technicalities it is still relatively straight forward.

  • You buy new hosting from another hosting company,
  • instruct your web developer to push and pull the technical levers to finish this off
  • move your files to that new hosting company,
  • cancel or let your old hosting run out,
  • and your website continues to run.

Unfortunately, if your email is also linked to your website hosting it can and is a pain to move your email address and all of your past emails across with it.

You could find yourself up the creek without a paddle and losing all of your previous emails. Plus, just to let you know, web developers do not really like doing this either.

By hosting your emails with another email provider all you have to do at initial setup is point incoming emails at the domain registrar to the email provider that stores them. If you decide to move your website hosting from the registrar or from another hosting company you do not have to do anything with your emails. They will continue as normal.

Plus if you decide to change your domain registrar as well (sometimes because your domain renewal is more expensive) all you would have to do is change where the incoming emails point to at your new domain registrar. Your past emails remain where they are at the email provider (this is much less work, therefore costing you less or you can do it yourself if you have the technical ability).

3.) Hosting your email with your website uses up valuable space

Having your email through your website hosting company uses up valuable website storage space. Space that you should be using for your website to add photos, extra pages and new blog posts or announcements.

4.) The user experience with Hosted email is generally not as good

On a lesser but annoying note, using hosted email is a poorer user experience (although it has improved) compared to that of a dedicated email provider such as Gmail, Outlook and Zoho to name but a few.

Most people have difficulty learning new ways of doing things or just plain don’t like learning new things when they have a good system already. Changing website hosting providers is a common practice much more frequent than changing email providers.

Moving or losing your emails simply because you changed your website hosting to another company sucks, is a headache and costs more money. When I’m asked to move a website for a client, I want emails to carry on as normal and make the transition as easy and seamless as possible for both me and my clients.

Therefore, to avoid associated security risks, headache and cost keep your email providers separate from your hosting company.

Step 1: Deciding on a good and relevant domain name

Posted on April 2, 2016 by WebSideView

domain name

Deciding on a domain name is always the first thing people think of doing when they want a website but there are a couple of things to consider when you’re doing this and that’s what we are going to discuss.

The last article explained what you should be thinking about and asked you the question “What’s my current situation and why do I want a website anyway?”

Now that you’ve thought about:

  1. What your business stands for;
  2. What it does;
  3. What your customers expect and
  4. How your website can compliment your existing business offerings.

We can move on to actually getting a website for your business.

Having worked with (and being friends with) a number of different business owners and self-employed, the same things seem to always come up.

All being extensions from the original question asked, “How do I get a website and what do I need to do?” and summed up in the following sentiments:

  • “I don’t understand how all these things work (what’s involved in building a website)”
  • “I just want a website. I don’t want anything complicated that does lots of things and cost a fortune”
  • “I don’t know what I need to do or what I should expect as the normal process”
  • “How do I know I’m not being ripped off?”

Hopefully all will be answered in the steps that follow.

Deciding on a domain name that is good and relevant

When it comes to setting up your business website, deciding on a domain name is always the first thing people think of doing and they normally already have a name in mind.

BUT and a BIG BUT

Lots of other people are also looking to get a website and this could mean you end up with one common issue…

You head over to a domain registrar such as Godaddy or 123-Reg, click in the search box, type in the name of a domain you would like for your website and hit search.

You wait a second or two and get a result, a result that p****s you off

“The name that I want to use for my website is already gone!! What should I do now?

Can I use another name that is similar or something else completely different?”

Like I said this is a common issue as a lot of ideas that we think are unique actually aren’t as other people have thought of the same thing, acted on it and bought a domain name before you did.

If you have already setup your company and have a business name this can be annoying as your business name wont match your website address.

Use an acronym of your business name

A way around this is to use the acronym of your company name.

For example, if websideview.com had already been taken, we could have used wsv.com and checked if that was available.

People would still easily relate wsv.com to websideview the business because when you tell them you are using the first letters of each word they can easily remember this.

Be creative with names

Another, way to get around such an issue is to be a little more creative using words that easily relate to your business.

A prime example of this is B&Q the DIY superstore.

Firstly there is no way that they could have used the special character “&” in the name as this is not allowed so they had to think of something different.

Yes you guessed it, they are a DIY store so they used diy.com

Everyone already relates B&Q the brand and DIY store to all things DIY and if they didn’t it was easy for people to remember when explained,

“our website address is diy.com because we supply diy goods for home and garden.”

What you will also find now days is that since lots of companies are now using up names that finish with .com or .co.uk the domain registering companies have now started using others such as .company .education and more. However, be careful when using these extensions as they can still lead to confusion for customers as they are still used to the regular .co.uk and .com.

It’s a little different if you are just setting up a business or setting up working for yourself as you have a little more freedom as you do not already have a brand that people know and recognize.

For this reason you can play around with lots of different names to use for your domain name.

The only bit of advice to remember here is to not use something that is too “left field” and “quirky” as the last thing you want is to have a great name and domain name but find out that people cant even spell it or remember it.

Google isn’t a word as such (well it wasn’t at the time) but it is memorable and easy to spell.

Spotify, Apple, Dell, Godaddy and WebSideView even (viewing the Web from the Side View) are easy to remember and spell.

Don’t forget about Google and Search Engines

Google has changed the way it ranks websites and how it shows search results to people. There are a number of different factors that they have introduced and changed over the years but one thing remains the same

Google searches for words to match searches (alongside other criteria – read here to learn more ).

For Example: Someone is searching for where to get a pizza

When someone types in “where can I get a Pizza” you get the following results:

domain name example 1

You will notice that pizzahut.co.uk comes in third position and it contains the word “pizza” in the domain name.

Google looks for words when searching/scanning your website, looking specifically at the domain name, page title and your full site content for matches to what has been typed into that search box.

For that reason it is a good idea to try to use a word or two that someone would naturally search for in your particular area of business. This is not easy to do because most people think of such descriptive words when naming their businesses meaning not many are left these days.

This is a simplified explanation as there are a whole host of other factors that Google uses to decide whether you appear in the search results but doing this can help.

Don’t worry too much about this as there are other tactics you can use that are more fruitful for improving search result ranking, much better than matching the domain name to a search word or two (good to hear, right?).

Choosing a memorable and clear domain name is much more important so:

Keep it catchy, simple and easy to remember.

It’s much more beneficial for people to come to your website directly because they remembered your business and domain name from an advert, Facebook post, leaflet or someone telling them.

What’s my current situation and why do I want to get a website?

Posted on March 24, 2016 by WebSideView

WebSideView Getting a Website

If you understand the technical aspects of website development and are bit of a tech geek, this article isn’t for you (sorry).

It’s for people that need and want to get a website, run their own businesses, are experts in their respective fields but don’t have the time to become experts in website design and development.

People like Kirsty the flower shop owner; Steve the builder; Paul the car mechanic; Robert the accountant and other self-employed/business owners.

This is a follow on from the previous article “How your Website Works on the Internet in Plain English” where I briefly explained what you need to know about Websites.

Removing the jargon so you could finally understand what Website Domains, Domain Registrars, Hosting Companies are and how they relate to your business website.

So let’s get started.

A good place to start is to ask yourself the question:

What’s my current situation and why do I want to get a website?

Okay, so you might not know the answer to this specifically but know you need a website.

So lets start by identifying which of these 4 following scenarios best describes your current situation?

  1. You already have a business that’s been running for a while and feel it’s time to get it online.
  2. You are Self-Employed and decided you need a website to better advertise your services
  3. You’re looking to setup a New Business or work for yourself.
    Wanting a website so people can find you online to buy your products or services.
  4. You already have a website but want to improve it.

Do you recognized yourself in any of these situations?

If you are in situation 4, you already have a website, meaning you have already:

  1. Decided on and bought a Domain Name
  2. Bought Hosting for your website
  3. Had your website built
  4. Are using Social Media to promote your website to get more work and customers (e.g. using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc)

This situation is different to what’s discussed below and you will undoubtedly have different requirements such as making sure your website is mobile optimized, making it more social, improving your on-site SEO and re-branding.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you with this feel free to get in touch as we can help with that too.

This article focuses on the first 3 situations. Benefiting those of you that “Do Not have a website yet.”

Here’s the thing… Put pen to paper

websideview website notes

Before you even start looking at the mechanics of getting a website built it is really important for you to understand why you want to be online as this will decide

  • How your website works
  • What it stands for
  • How it looks and
  • What its “business purpose” is.

This is something you should start thinking about and should be guided by:

  1. What your business stands for;
  2. What it does;
  3. What your customers expect and
  4. How your website can compliment your existing business offerings.

No-one knows your business better than you do!

Thinking about these things now will make things a lot easier when you start the discussion with your Web Consultant and Developer.

Putting your thoughts down on paper as a starting point is great for making you think more strategically about the direction of your business and is a really useful reference point during your website meetings (Don’t panic, I don’t expect an essay just key points you think are important).

A good developer will work with you to see the Technological opportunities, creating a website that reflects your brand and business goals, expanding on these to ensure you get a website that is fit for purpose and meets expectations.

You don’t want to end up with a website that costs you a lot of money, has all the bells and whistles but you don’t need them for what you are trying to acheive!

An example would be having a car built that is capable of racing in the Formula 1 but all you actually need is a family car.

One that can fit the whole family in and doesn’t need to go 0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds (would be great fun for the kids though).

The KISS Principle works a treat here, meaning “Keep It Simple, Stupid” or “Keep It Simple Silly”

This has to be one of the best phrases to keep in mind when going through this process.

Keeping things simple, based on clear goals of what you want will ensure you keep on track and get the website that’s fitting for you and your business.

Does that make sense?

If so lets move on to the “Actionable Steps You Need to Take” and if not you can have a quick re-read so it sticks in your mind (we can wait, we’re not going anywhere).


Click for Step 1:
Deciding on a good and relevant domain name

Don’t Get Caught Out – WordPress Security Update 4.2.4

Posted on August 5, 2015 by WebSideView

websideview wordpress security update

Here at WebSideView we try to make sure you have the most up-to-date, relevant information to help you with your business.

With this article we want to ensure your website is not left vulnerable to attack.

It is a quick post to spread the word about the release of an important WordPress security and maintenance update that you need to know about and Act on Now (apologies if you have already heard about this and updated but better to be safe than sorry).

The update was released yesterday on the 4th August 2015 and addresses a number of issues that were highlighted by the WordPress community and contributors:

You can follow the link to see the official release details on WordPress.org

I am not going into the details of exactly what has been updated but just be mindful that these updates are not to be ignored and I encourage you to take action now.

Either by logging into your own WordPress website and applying the updates yourself or asking your developer to do this on your behalf if you are not sure how to do this.

I have previously shown you how you can update your own WordPress website in this post

“Essential 4 Point Checklist – Managing Your Business Website Without a WordPress Developer”

and if you need some pointers you can go directly to the relevant section by clicking the link to

Thank you for reading and please share this with all your business colleagues and friends so they do not get caught out as well.

How Your Website Works – In Plain English

Posted on May 26, 2015 by WebSideView

I’m writing this piece because I’ve been asked the same question over and over again.

“How do I get a website and what do I need to do?”

websideview website developer

I completely understand that this can seem daunting for a lot of people, especially when building websites has always been seen as something only intelligent “computer geeks” do.

Well that might be the mindset for a lot of people and yes like any other job/business it’s not easy and requires someone who knows what they’re doing to walk you through.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to shed some light on the things you need to know about websites before getting your business website built.

Lets begin by clarifying (in plain English) how a website works on the internet.

How your website works on the internet (in plain English)

I’m going to assume you have heard about the Internet and the World Wide Web so I wont be going into all the finer details of how that works.

What you do need to understand is that the internet is like a series of interconnected roads with lots of different addresses, similar to those you would find on a road map.

websideview website domain names

Domain Names and Domain Registrars

These different addresses (Domain Names) are owned by different companies know as Domain Registrars (similar to Commercial Landlords) and they can lease them out to you and I for an agreed period of time (people talk about buying domains but you never really buy them).

Two popular Domain Registrars are GoDaddy and 123-Reg but these are not the only ones so look around or have a word with your Web Consultant or Developer to makes sure you get the best fit for you.

Each Domain Name is like the address to a shop/office within a Shopping Mall (like the Trafford Centre or Meadow Hall) and we can rent them from Domain Registrars for an agreed period of time.

Website Hosting for your New Domain Name

Once you “buy” (rent) a domain name you must then pay a Website Hosting Company (analogous to a Property Management Company) to manage your website (your shop/office) within this “shopping mall”.

The easiest way to understand this is as follows:

This Website Hosting Company is like a property management company.
They make sure the doors to the shopping mall are open (are protected), all services work (are upgraded) and make sure your shop is always available to serve customers when they “knock at the door” (type your domain name into a web browser such as Chrome, Safari or Explorer).

There are a number of Website Hosting Companies and it is worth shopping around to find the right one for you.
Some popular ones are GoDaddy, 123-Reg, iPages, Fasthosts to name but a few (your website consultant or developer will be able to help you with this decision).

You are responsible for designing and making your website.
If you were doing the same for a physical shop/office you would employ your own Architect (Website Consultant), Designer (Web Designer), Builder and shop fitters (Web Developers) to make it all work for you and to meet all your requirements.

After that, you effectively hand over your website to a Website Hosting Company.
This is done by uploading all the files that make your website work to the Website Hosting Company’s “Web Servers.” Once this is done your website will be ready for someone to type your website address into a browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc) so the Hosting Company can “serve” your website to them.

websideview web servers

Web Servers are special computers that store your website and “open the door” to “serve” the website to your customers when they “knock at the door.”

If anything goes wrong with the services when “serving the website” it is the responsibility of the Website Hosting Company to make sure they fix the issues so your website is always available for customers and clients.

However, if anything else goes wrong because of the way your website was built or due to ignored updates, it is your responsibility to get it fixed (you’ll often need to contact your web developer if this happens).

To avoid this happening you can agree a Service Level Agreement with your developer so they can look after your website to ensure all updates are done, your domain is renewed on time and to backup your website.

If however you are unsure and think you might be able to manage this by yourself, have a read of this article which gives you an Essential 4 Point Checklist for Managing Your WordPress Website Without a Developer

I hope that helps.

Next Article: Actionable Steps to Get Online

That is basically all you need to know about how websites work so you can now take the next actionable steps to make it all a reality (please feel free to get in touch if you are still confused).

The next article will let you know what actionable steps you can take to get online.

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