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What is responsive design and why should I care?

Did you know that at some point in the next year or two there will probably be more people viewing your website on a mobile device than on a desktop computer?

You might have noticed lots of websites relaunching of late – SBS, Commonwealth Bank, Yellow Pages – and the huge growth in mobile web browsing is why. The message, from big business icon Forbes to tech mags like Mashable and The Next Web, is the same: get a responsive website or get left behind.

A responsive website is one that dynamically adapts and changes depending on the size of the screen/the device it’s being viewed on. Logos and menus will change, text and graphics will scale like magic. (And unlike building a costly standalone app you’ll only need to update your content in one place).

It can be a tricky concept to get your head around – if this is all going over your head the very cool Reponsinator might help you understand. (This is showing the Bodyflow website – try entering your url in at the top to see how it performs).

If you’d like to have a look at your options why not request a (no-obligation) evaluation and quote here.

Here’s a

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Should I register lots of domain names?

The short answer to this question is: no.

Background

In the ‘old’ days of the internet there was definitely benefit in having blueshoes.com as your domain name if you sold (you guessed it) blue shoes. Search engines ranked you higher if your domain name matched a term someone searched for.

As you can imagine this was very easily rorted – someone owning blueshoes.com didn’t have to have a particularly useful or popular blue shoes website to come up at the top of the search results when people were looking for blue shoes (their website didn’t need to have anything to do with blue shoes). So people ran out and registered domain names related to their product or service. Many businesses created exact duplicates of their websites and launched them using these types of domains alongside their existing websites.

As search engines evolved and got better at giving people relevant results – in the early 200s -they tweaked the way they calculated their rankings and started paying little or no attention to the domain name. Google – who were starting to leave the older search engines eating their dust – then started penalising people for having duplicate content. Penalising as in drastically dropping the ranking for …

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What I got up to in Movember…

This post has been classified as MA. Go4 advises viewers that the following images may cause distress.

Donate and help Steve raise money for Movember »
(money goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, beyondblue and the Movember Foundation)

Day 7…

Day 14…

Day 21…

Day 28…

Day 38: The mo that wouldn’t die…

 
Beyond Blue
 

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Watch out for unsolicited domain registration invoices

You receive an invoice in the mail. It’s something to do with your domain name and you know it’s important not to let this expire so you reach for the cheque book/credit card… STOP!

For many years unscrupulous organisations have been sending misleading invoices to people offering to take over managing their domain name or to register additional domain names they don’t need. It works like this…

  1. They use a freely available lookup service (called a WHOIS) to find the names and addresses of domain name owners, including you
  2. They create a nice professional looking invoice for either your domain name, or a domain name that’s very similar to yours (for example yoursite.net.au when you use yoursite.com.au)
  3. …and pop it in the mail to you
  4. You receive it and if you’re not careful you end up paying an inflated price for a domain name that you don’t need.

What to do if you receive an invoice for a domain name and you’re not sure if it’s legit

  1. Check who the invoice is from (these companies are often called something legitimate sounding) and
  2. Check if it’s actually for your domain name, not something similar (remember .com.au is different to .com)
  3. Check the fine print (these often say things like ‘domain

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4 easy things to help secure your website

In the past month a number of high profile organisations have had their websites hacked or customer data systems compromised. In early April the customer email database of Dell (and several other companies) was exposed when email services provider Epsilon’s systems were breached. Not longer after that Monash University’s homepage was hacked, and now we hear that the account details – including credit card numbers – of more than 70 million of Sony’s PlayStation Network members have been accessed by “malicious forces”.

These are all large organisations with massive resources at their disposal and – we would assume – serious security regimes.

The lesson? If they can be compromised then so can you.

Here are some extremely simple things you can do to lessen the risk…

Use strong passwords

You’ve heard this before but I’ll say it again: the easiest way for someone to access your website (or email or Facebook or…)  is by guessing your password. Studies have shown that lots of people use ridiculously guessable passwords (with 12345 and 12456789 the most common, followed closely by people’s names). If your content management system’s password is one of these log in and change it now.

Keep passwords safe and and don’t save them on

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More about integrating your Facebook and Twitter account with your website

If you want to integrate your social media accounts with your website there are a growing number of different techniques you can use that work quite differently. We’re often asked about this so here’s a quick overview…

Contents

1. Directly linking from your website to your Facebook or Twitter page
2. Allowing others to share/like/tweet things on your website with their social media networks
3. Pushing feeds from your website onto your Facebook or Twitter account
4. Pulling feeds from your Facebook or Twitter account onto your website

facebook & twitter badges1. Directly linking from your website to your Facebook or Twitter page

This is one of the simplest and most commonly used techniques across the web. We add a Find us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter button somewhere on your site (usually in the sidebar or the footer area) that links directly to your Facebook or Twitter page.

Nothing fancy going on here but you give your customers a super easy way to find your social media accounts.

Live examples: Enchanted Maze Garden (Facebook), St Kilda Boat Sales (Facebook and Twitter), GXY

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Put your &*%! phone number in your email signature

Got five minutes? Here’s my number one super easy tip to help people contact you:

Create an email signature that puts your contact details at the bottom of your emails.

Why?

At least once every day when I’m at work I read an email from someone, pick up the phone to call them and realise that I don’t have their phone number. It must be at the bottom of their email, right?

Well, as often as not, no. I then hang up the phone, dig through my contacts to find the number, call the person back and… by this stage more likely than not I forget what I was calling for.

A quick and very unscientific survey of my inbox right now shows about a 50/50 split between people who include their contact details on their emails and people who don’t. That’s crazy.

It’s so easy to create an email signature. Do it now!

How to create an email signature in Microsoft Outlook

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Choose Tools → Options
  3. Choose the Mail Format tab then click the Signatures button
  4. Make sure you’re on the E-mail Signature tab
  5. Click the New button
  6. Type a name (eg ‘work signature’ – this is just for

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Our Living Coast – Bellingen, Coffs Harbour & Nambucca sustainability hub launches

We’re proud to announce the launch of the Our Living Coast website, which aims to keep people from Bellingen, Coffs Harbour and Nambucca shires on NSW’s mid-north coast up to date with sustainability-related information and events from the Our Living Coast project.

The site has a forum, great information on living with less impact on the planet in the Sustainable Living Guide, information on the performance of the member councils and lots more. Check it out – ourlivingcoast.com.au.

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What are RSS feeds?

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. Using RSS feeds is a way of keeping track of updates to a frequently updated website or part of a website, showing when new articles or comments have been added.

For example if you regularly read 20 different blogs or sites you could subscribe to RSS feeds from each of these sites and then use a feedreader to easily check a digest of all new articles each day without having to visit all of the sites one by one.

Should I have an RSS feed from my website?

If you have a website and publish regular updates, like news or blog posts, you should offer your visitors the chance to subscribe to your website’s RSS feed.

How do I do this?

If we build you a website using WordPress you’ll automatically have an RSS feed from your site. The address of your feed will be http://www.yourdomainname.com/feed/. If you have different types or categories of content that you regularly update you can also offer people category-specific feeds.

For example the Go4 website’s main RSS feed is here: https://www.go4.com.au/feed/ – this shows alls new posts we add to our site. The RSS feed for our blog is available at …

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Go4 has a new website

This is one of those “here’s our new website” posts. So…

…here’s our new website (bet you didn’t see that one coming).

Hope you like it. Of course the site runs on the spunky WordPress backend.

We’ve worked hard to try and build a clean and simple site and get to the point. So in that spirit, I’ll leave you to have a look around.

(OK, I can’t help myself. If you’d like some suggestions on where to start why not try our portfolio, info on our services like web design and email newsletters or our blog. If you’re feeling saucy you could even request a quote).
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