During the last seventeen years we have developed a deep understanding of the Internet, its technologies and the businesses and people who use it. The following articles share some of the things we’ve learnt.

XTH – the XHTML to HTML converter for wordpress

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in Archive, Wordpress

Download XTH (v2.01) here By popular demand here it is – version 2.01 of the original XHTML-to-HTML wordpress plugin. Now called XTH (bit catchier, no?), it is a complete rewrite of the original version and aims to fix the Javascript CDATA and RSS feed issues that the original suffered. Caveats OK, this version seems to successfully avoid parsing inline Javascripts and external Javascript libraries. This is necessary because the XHTML closing sequence is a valid pattern in javascript regex, and removing it from those places would...

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A dummy’s guide to ecommerce, #3: Tips for Success

Posted by on Aug 9, 2008 in Archive, Ecommerce, Web & Internet Marketing

Top tips for turning browsers into buyers Do your research and try to sell products that have a market and are in demand. Set your prices as low as you can. Market your business from the outset, don’t leave it until after your site has launched, and make sure you have a healthy marketing budget for at least the first year. Do show photos of your products, and make sure they are good quality. If you have to get them done for you then so be it, people want to see what they are buying. Use conventions. The Internet is beginning to...

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A dummy’s guide to ecommerce, #2: taking credit card payments

Posted by on Aug 6, 2008 in Archive, Ecommerce, Web & Internet Marketing

There are four main ways for your ecommerce business to take credit card payments. Secure capture & swipe This method is probably the most common, is the cheapest to you the retailer and works as follows: Firstly, your ecommerce system stores your customers’ card details securely online, usually in a database used by the system. I most highly recommend that you ensure that the details are strongly encrypted whilst they are stored, your ecommerce provider will be able to reassure you in this respect and if they can’t, maybe...

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A dummy’s guide to ecommerce, #1

Posted by on Aug 5, 2008 in Archive, Ecommerce, Web & Internet Marketing

This is an introduction to Ecommerce aimed at people who know nothing or very little about the subject. Which, judging from the number of people I get questions from, is a fair many of you. Firstly, learn the jargon: selling online, e-tailing (yuk), web and Internet stores – these are all the same thing, and are simply just different ways of saying “ecommerce”. Ecommerce is what you are doing when you sell something via the Internet, it’s that simple. Next, go and read all the articles on this website about web...

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XHTML to HTML WordPress plugin

Posted by on Jul 10, 2008 in Archive, Wordpress

  Important At last there is a new version of this plugin. This version is no longer supported. Please download the new version.   This tiny plugin filters WordPress’s output to produce HTML instead of XHTML. It is simple to use and will ensure that your WordPress Blog stands at least a fighting chance of being properly standards compliant. Download the Plugin! Background The WordPress platform is based with the best intentions, from boots to brow, on XHTML and has been ever since I’ve been using it. Now this is...

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Web analysis: Get the facts

Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Archive, Technical, Web & Internet Marketing

It is good to know where your web site visitors come from and what they do after they arrive. This and other information is available, using special software, from your web site’s access logs. It can be a good idea to outsource this type of work for reasons of economy (doing it properly requires investment on several fronts) expertise and impartiality. If you do then you should expect human analysis as well as tables and charts, and you should get reports that actually help with the planning, running and assessment of...

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Actinic ecommerce primer

Posted by on May 15, 2008 in Archive, Ecommerce

Welcome to my attempt at a brief introduction to the Actinic ecommerce websites that we are currently recommending to small and medium-sized businesses. Some of these points are covered in other articles, but I thought it would be good to collect them here for your convenience, and so I have a single article to point to when people ask me about Actinic (which is often enough now for me to take the time to write this article). First off, this article isn’t a how-to or a manual, it is an overview of the main features offered by the Actinic...

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social meltdown sites

Posted by on May 10, 2008 in Archive, Web design

So much for social networking sites. I just tried again to update my MySpace site because last week when I tried to do it the site was so busy it just crawled to stop and I had to get off. This week – same story. I don’t know how much longer I can go on persevering with god awful websites, whose main goal seems to be the serving of ads rather than customers. Why is it when MySpace churns to a stop (as it frequently does) that for a whole minute, while my browser waits for MySpace to decide if it’s too much trouble to...

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Tim, nice and anything but dim

Posted by on May 9, 2008 in Archive

On an otherwise unremarkable day, April 30th 1993, something happened which changed the world. On that day Tim Berners Lee and his employer, CERN, released the World Wide Web (WWW) from its licensing bonds and set it loose upon the Internet as a free technology. The impact of this was almost immediate, leading to the birth of the web as we know it, albeit in prototype form. I started a career as a web designer the following year, so I owe a lot to Tim and CERN. Looking back over those 15 years it’s obvious the web has changed out of all...

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Death by SEO

Posted by on May 5, 2008 in Archive, Web & Internet Marketing, Web design

Even the most extreme search engine optimisation won’t, on its own, jet-propel your web site up to position 1, or even to page one, on Google necessarily. Good positions are best achieved by running a well-rounded web marketing strategy, SEO is just one of the many tactics such a plan would employ. Search Engine Optimization (or optimisation as the British prefer) is a key web marketing activity. According to Wikipedia it is the job of “improving rankings for relevant keywords in search results by rectifying the web...

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