While we have been away!

I was looking at our Fungrenade site today and thought ‘ooo, we are breaking our own rules of web management’ not keeping your site up to date.
So I put on my extremely large to do list ‘write up an update of what we as group of companies have been up to’.

We can’t start without mentioning COVID-19 and the impact it has had on businesses in the area. We have been working with Steve Tottle Tae kwon do to set up Virtual Teaching Environments for their students so they can keep training during the lock down, using social media as the initial arena to share recordings and developing Learning Management System to access pre-recorded patterns and skills content. An added bonus this also gives them the ability to broadcast sessions live for subscribers and students unavailable to attend the group session.

“Working from home”, I think that way of working has changed astronomically in the past 2 months. Before it meant, I have a boiler man coming around and you can call me on my mobile IF you need me. Not any more, working from home NEEDS to be at the very least as productive as sitting in your office. The technology is there! Telephone systems over SIP that can redirect, file systems stored securely on the cloud, face to face meetings over the web. The important thing is to get these processes in place before they are needed. Or to use the old adage ‘make hay when the sun shines’

People have experienced the COVID impact over the past 2 months in the UK, however we have been working with companies/schools in China since January. So from a technical perspective we have had a two month head start to get our processes right.

And what a great time to design and build a new website! A local community council thinks so to so we are building their new site to go live during the lock down. proof that nothing can stop a committed organisation from developing and growing.

Like I said a quick update. So I will sign off by saying stay safe and stay home!

Software Design Pontyclun China business

Doing business in China – websites and ICP

Can I get a .CN domain name?

Yes, it’s not as straight forward as getting a .co.uk domain but if you have a driver’s license or a passport then you should be able to secure a .CN domain for a provider that offers it
Now you have a .CN domain, you can do pretty much what you want with it. Treat it as a .COM. but, this does not increase your profile on the Chinese network.

You will need to get hosting within China. This is where all the red tape starts to pile up. In order to operate a website legally in China you will need to have at the very least an ICP number or an ICP License. No hosting company will allow you to host without one.

We have servers in China and we had to go through this complicated and convoluted process of applying for an ICP to get them. I’ll discuss this in a different blog or if your needs are more urgent why don’t you contact us.

So why host in China?

Simple answer, you want to get high in the search results in  Google. In China there is no Google. So you need to get high up in Baidu. The most used search engine in China. Again getting on Baidu is not straight forward. You will need a Chinese mobile phone. And ICP number and a website hosted in China to get the most out of it.

Is it worth doing all of this? I think you have to look at it project by project and what is your budget for your investment. My recent visits to China have identified several service sectors that are crying out for western delivery of products and services, education being an attractive one.

I will write more on our work in china and our links with companies out there. If you would like to speak to us regarding our Chinese links and networks call us today.

Who Really Owns Your Domain?

Your domain name is your property, that sounds right doesn’t it? Well in some cases you could not be further from the truth and your domain name who is being ‘looked after’ by a trusted person. We have had experience (and in the middle of a dispute right now, hence the Blog) where relationships go bad or a web designer has actually died. This can cause you a massive headache to get your domain back. Continue reading →

Where you host your website is crucial to your success

In this day and age I struggle to understand why people in Wales and the UK host their websites in the US, Amsterdam (there is a huge cloud presence in the Netherlands, Azure, Amazon Web hosting etc) the only thing I can assume is the lack of knowledge that they are hosting abroad and they think hey are hosting within the UK

Having said all of that, is getting your website hosted overseas the only option that you want to go for? Don’t you want to consider if there are any benefits in getting your site hosted locally or within the similar time zone as yours? It so happens that not all classes of webmasters benefit from getting their websites hosted overseas. There are few key points that need to be considered before opting for a web host located in a remote country.
The biggest advantage that you get out of hosting your website overseas comes in form of low cost; having said that, low price doesn’t necessarily mean good service. If you are in UK, you should not doubt the low-cost hosting service you are getting from a place like India or the US. They offer low prices because of their overall low cost of operations, so there is no reason to doubt their competency.
However, what can be a difference maker is the kind of customer support you get from such budget web hosting providers. Looking at the growing competition in hosting industry, it’d be safe to say without any doubt that the professionals working for these hosts are well trained, but you still need to make sure that you get 24/7 customer support because of the time zone differences.

A person searching for your domain sitting in China will see your website’s rank higher in search engines if your website is hosted in China. A person sitting in US and UK won’t see the same search engine results as the one sitting in China. In simpler words, you already know that SERP ranking affects the amount of traffic you get to your website, so before finalizing the country where you would want to host your website, think about the audience you want to target. It is always suggested to host your website in a country from where you expect the maximum amount of traffic. google does look at your domain and weights the results based on the country of the admin details, but I have not measured any difference.
A user living far away from the server of your website will always see your website loading very slowly compared to the person who is closer to the server. A slow website always irritates the visitor and they normally tend to switch to another similar website. And, you don’t want that to happen to your website, do you?

So, once again you need to choose your location of hosting such that your maximum potential visitors come from places closest to the place of hosting.
All the points discussed above clearly go to show you that there are enough number of pros and cons of hosting your website overseas. And, all that you need to do is to think about your website’s future and what you expect from it; this would certainly help you in finalizing the location of the hosting company you want to work with.

If your user base is with in wales, or the UK then you need to ensure your hosting package is in the UK. Use our where is your website hosted service to see which country your website is hosted in and call us to help you bring your website home!

Linux Vs Windows (hosting Alien Vs Predator)

Or It feels as it should be… it polarizes developers. Most web hosting companies use either one of two operating systems on their servers. We use both and other solutions as there are more solutions to problems on the internet but that’s not the point of this post. The two main platforms are Windows and Linux. What is the difference between the two and how do they effect your web hosting?

Linux is one of the most prevalent operating systems for web hosting, because it is inexpensive and lightweight however anything other than a simple static website it needs a great understanding. Windows is the other choice because they have world class support. However there are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences in how the two operate.

The next thing that you may notice about your web hosting is how you are able to access and transfer files to and in the server. Both operating systems have FTP access, but Linux is usually the only one that supplies telnet or ssh access as well. It’s not that Windows can’t do that, but it’s very rarely offered by hosting admins. However if you have a colo or one of our VPS systems then on windows you can use remote desktop to administer your windows server instance.

Linux and Windows servers can both provide CGI and Perl, PHP and ASP, though Linux is the one that you find those on more commonly. Both operating systems may also provide ColdFusion.

If you need a host that offers .NET, MSACCESS or windows app support with or without MSSQL then windows hosting is what you need. If you want it self manged or use core support then that is something you have to write into your software solution.
If you are going to run dynamic websites, you are going to want to be able to build and access databases. You may be familiar with mySQL, or perhaps you have used Access. If you are used to seeing mySQL and working with that, you have probably been on a Linux server. Windows can run it but it’s rare that you find mySQL on Windows and those servers are usually running Access.

Two seemingly small but rather important differences between Linux and Windows web hosting servers is how they write the pages, and whether or not they are case sensitive. Windows and Linux servers will serve pages in HTML and Javascript. However, Linux servers end name files with *.html versus Windows, which uses only *.htm. This is not entirely important beyond what your preference may be.

Some people may site FrontPage extensions as a Windows exclusive feature, but some Linux servers will provide this as well.

The last difference, case sensitivity, is actually very important. With Linux, file and directory names are case sensitive. So if you name a file AboutUs.html, and another page in the same directory as aboutus.html, you actually will have to completely different pages. Your visitors will have to enter your page URLs precisely or risk landing on 404 error pages. Windows servers however really don’t care about upper and lowercase. On a Windows server, you would only have one aboutus.html page, no matter where you put or left out capitalization.

These differences between server operating systems may sound insignificant, but they can have a major impact on how you manage your site as well as your site traffics experience with your site. Armed with knowing which operating system does what, you can find or set up a web hosting server that will best meet your needs.

In conclusion windows Vs Linux is rather a moot point. They are two different tools to help you get your application on line and working for you.