.more than just your average web design agency / #pixelsource
- Knowledge Base,Web Technology
- Website HTTP Status Codes - What Are They?
- In this page we just want to explore just a few of the more common status codes you may comes across both as a developer and as a user (browser) of the internet. Some of these codes will have you jumping for joy, some will have you pulling your hair out but understanding them will help your sanity just a little bit (we hope). 2xx - Success Status 200 - OK - This is the most common status code and simply put, everything is ok, this page or element has loaded correctly 204 - No Content - This basically means that the server processed this, however, no content is being returned back. 3xx - Redirection Status 301 - Moved Permanently - This means that any requests into this will be permanently directed to the URL specified 4xx - Error 400 - Bad Request - This status code indicates that the request cannot be completed due to bad syntax 401 - Unauthorized - This indicates that authentication has failed or something is trying to load before authentication has been completed 403 - Forbidden - This means that the actual request was valid but the server is refusing to respond to the request. 404 - Not Found - One of the most common status codes, this means that the item requested was not found on the server. 5xx - Server Errors 500 - Internal Server Error - This is pretty much a catch all error code when the server cannot give you more information on the particular error 503 - Service Unavailable - This can be a common error code and means that the server is currently unavailable. This is normally a temporary error 509 - Bandwidth Limit Exceeded - This status code is basically saying that the website on the server has reached its limits and the server will no longer be served up We hope this has helped, there is a more comprehensive list available by heading on over to Status Codes Pixelsource are specialists in web design and bespoke development. You can see the kind of work we do by heading over to our portfolio (which have no website status error codes!). www.pixelsource.co.uk
- February 17th, 2017
- Knowledge Base
- Yet Another Warning From Google
- Yet another warning to non-mobile friendly website owners For a couple of years, Google has advised site owners to ensure their sites are mobile friendly. However, this month they have stepped up their game and site owners really do need to listen if they wish to maintain their online presence. Firstly a couple of statistics. Google represents around 85% of UK Search engine traffic - if someone is looking for your website, then 17 out of every 20 users will use Google to find it - which is 54,000 searches per second. Secondly, the number of people accessing the web via traditional platforms - desktop and laptop computers - is rapidly diminishing. The average is around 25%, some sectors are 10% and below. Google has changed both the type of results and the presentation of results depending on what device is being used to access it. On a hand-held or mobile device, it will list not only website results, but also if they are mobile friendly or not. So users are immediately discouraged from visiting a non-friendly site based entirely on Google's opinion of the site. mobile-friendly-google So what's changed? Am I ok to continue burying my head in the sand? No. Even if you don't rely on search traffic now, in our opinion Google's influence will dictate that other platforms will follow suit. Google has announced this month that they are going to change their indexing process. Indexing is where they store information about every website on the planet. For the first time since Google was launched, Google plans to have two indexes. One for mobile devices and one for desktop devices. And each index will be independent. The intriguing aspect from this is that Google will be prioritising the mobile index over the desktop one. Mobile, being the majority device used for web searches, will be the most up to date index with the latest results. Desktop will be relegated to second place in priority and not be updated as often. And by definition non-mobile sites won't be indexed by the Mobile index (you wouldn't put a banana under the Vegetables section in the supermarket?) So the time is now up for website owners with their non-mobile friendly websites. That website will become an irrelevance, an obsolescence, an archaeological artefact whilst mobile friendly sites will gain the rewards from the forward-thinking investment in their sites. Talk to us about making your site mobile-friendly, and help us to help you increase your business' digital presence in years to come. For more information get in touch with Pixelsource on 0191 4234251, you can also email us via our contact form.
- November 8th, 2016
- Knowledge Base,Social Media
- What Is Facebook
- Facebook is a popular free social networking website, that allows users to create personal profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends and family. It was founded in February 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA by Mark Zuckerberg; who originally launched the site as a Harvard sophomore and ran it as one of his hobby projects, with financial aid from Eduardo Saverin. The site was first called "thefacebook.com" and instantly became a big hit. Now, thirteen years later, it has become one of the biggest websites in the world and has over 1.86 billion monthly active users. The largest demographic on Facebook is people aged 25-34. Facebook was surrounded by controversy very quickly. A week after he launched the site in 2004, Mark was accused by three Harvard seniors of stealing the idea from them. This accusation soon became a full-fledged lawsuit as the Harvard seniors sued Mark and Facebook fir theft and fraud, as they founded a competing company. This lawsuit was settled in 2008 for $65 million. By June 2009, Facebook became the number one social network site in the United States; exceeding MySpace. Moreover, in October 2010, a movie about the start of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg is released, entitled "The Social Network". Facebook has since gone on to purchase popular photo sharing app Instagram and mobile messaging service Whatsapp for a total of $20 billion. As of March 2017, it is the second most visited site in the world. For more information about how Social Media can work for you, get in touch with us at Pixelsource or call us on 0191 4234251
- November 2nd, 2016
- South Shields
- Just Say The Word
- South Tyneside's newest public building - The Word - was officially opened to visitors, today. People were seen queuing since 8am to ensure they were one of the first through the doors of the new-look library and digital media space. The centre spanning over three floors boasts a range of facilities including exhibition space, a computer gaming area, digitised archives and a children's immersive storytelling area. Read more at: http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/the-word-receives-thumbs-up-from-visitors-as-the-doors-open-to-the-public-1-8195588
- October 22nd, 2016
- Knowledge Base,Web Technology
- Best Practice Guide - Meta Descriptions
- You may or may not have heard the term "Meta Desciption" before?, if you have dealt with a reputable design agency like pixelsource then they would of spoken to you about them.
Meta Descriptions do not and will not ever have an impact on SEO rankings,that is pretty obvious as Google would not be able to serve up reputable results. SO WHAT ARE THEY? Each web page on your site will/can have a meta description that can be added to the HTML markup of each page, note you can only have one meta description on each page.Whether you are using a system such as wordpress or an ecommerce platform such as Magento, they all have a facility to update meta descriptions for pages and/or products. You can see from the example below clearly what the user will see when they click on the link. WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT? Meta descriptions are vital, they provide a potential visitor to your website with a quick snapshot of what the page contains before they click on it, so essentially it is a teaser, a set or words or a phrase that entices a visitor to click on your link and visit the page. AVOID DUPLICATES AT ALL COSTS It is vital that you do not have duplicate meta descriptions, pages that are similar shouldn't even have duplicate meta descriptions.Take your time and get the page description right. RECOMMENDED LENGTH As with alot of procedures there are character length guidelines in place, if you can keep your description to between 150-160 characters then that is great, but don't get to hung up on the length, make the description natural for the user to read. ONCE YOU HAVE UPDATED THEM, WHAT NEXT? Once you have updated your meta description(s) on your page(s), then the next step is real easy, simply submit your website back to Google for a re-index. They are pretty quick at updating their index these days so you could see your updated changes within the search results within 24hrs. WORD OF WARNING Google still has the right to whether or not to show your meta description.If they think that their is keyword stuffing or general naughtiness going on then they will decide what your meta description will be and it may not be pretty, worst case scenario is that they add a manual action to your website which could see you plummet down the rankings. If you are still unsure about meta descriptions, then please feel free to call Pixelsource on 0191 4234251, or reach out to us through email via our contact page.
- October 20th, 2016
- Knowledge Base,Web Technology
- Best Practice Guide - Web Images
- We all know that images are important, in fact, very important indeed, to the point of getting into a discussion on semiotics.
So, the point of this post is to give you a good steer on what is cool and what is so not cool but like fashion this could change!
What is a cool image to use on a website?
There are no real rules on what is cool, maybe a photo of a pile of bank notes on a financial advisor website may appear acceptable, it wouldn't be so great on a website that sells shoes, it may well be sending out an incorrect message if you catch our drift. You need to look at the purpose of the image, when choosing an image it should be ticking these boxes:
- Is it going to arouse some level of curiosity?
- Is it relevent to my product(s) or service(s)?
- Does the image quality represent my product or service?
- Does your image say a thousand words (doesn't have to be exatly a thousand)
There is a general conception that if it is on Google you can go ahead and use this image (This is not cool), we spoke about this before over here "Using Images On Your Website" Taking or commisioning photos is the way forward for images to be used on your own website and we would urge you to go down this path. You can also use stock photographs of course, there are a number of stock photo websites where you can pay a small fee to use a photo for your website and/or digital communications. Getting technical with photos...
Let's assume you have managed to get a great photo of your sales force and want to upload that photo to your website, the first thing you want to do is make sure you resize that image to something a little more suitable, most modern cameras and smartphones take great photos, the reasons they are great is because they shoot at incredibly high resolution so you are going to be wanting to resize that image for the web before using it. If you can imagine, the biggest browser (monitor) that will render your website and new photo will be probably about 1920px wide and it is likely your photo will be 5,6,7 times bigger than that, the file size maybe anywhere upto 50mb in size, this is not cool, if you were to upload a photo for your website that is that big you will find users will get a little hacked off waiting for your image to load and search engines like Google will mark you down because you have a slow page load speed which is a ranking factor, there are plenty of free websites where you can upload your photo and "save for web" that will do this for you, in fact, you may already have a bit of software on your computer that will do this - This will resize and crunch your image down to something more suitable to upload. We hope this have given you a good steer on how to use web images, for more information about using photos on your website you can speak to Pixelsource on 0191 4234251, reach out to us on Twitter @HelloPSource or email us via our contact form.
- October 20th, 2016
- Knowledge Base,Web Technology
- Do I Need DKIM
- Do I need DKIM?
WHAT IS IT?
DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail and is an authentication mechanism to help protect not only the person receiving the email but also the sender from forged or phishing emails. Forged emails (emails that are sent from spoofed email addresses) have risen dramatically in recent years and DKIM was introduced to add more protection. HOW DOES IT WORK?
DKIM works by "signing" your email with a digital signature. When the signature is generated, the public key used to generate it is stored at the listed domain (where you bought your domain name from). After recieving the email, the recipients email system can verify the DKIM signature by recovering the signer's public key through DNS. It then uses that key to decrypt the hash value in the email's header and simultaneously recalculate the hash value for the mail message it received. If these two match, then the email has not been altered. This gives users some security knowing that the email did actually originate from the listed domain, and that it has not been modified since it was sent. SHOULD I HAVE ONE?
Absolutely, it is best practise to add a DKIM record when you setup your domain and hosting.In fact all new accounts with Pixelsource automatically have DKIM installed. WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED ONE
If you find your emails are sending but are only being received into the spam folder of the recipient this might suggest you have issues your end. You should first ensure your email is not actually spam and your server is not on a known blacklist. HOW TO CREATE A DKIM
You can create these easily online using websites like: http://dkimcore.org/tools/keys.html. Once you have created your record you can go ahead and apply this to your DNS records. If you are not confident Pixelsource can provide this service for you. USEFUL RESOURCES
Check Your DKIM: http://mxtoolbox.com If you have any questions regarding DKIM please contact us on 0191 4234251 or email us via our contact page.
- September 4th, 2016
- Knowledge Base
- 5 Top Tips For Making Your Website SEO Friendly
- 1. Get Your Website Listed
Some businesses think that once their website is complete then the job is done. The next step is to get that website listed (the website link) in as many places as you can. This can be by submitting your website to search engines such as Google or Bing but you should also target local businesses directories. 2. Do Your Search Terms Actually Appear On Your Page?
This is more of a common mistake than you think. As an example, if you are a plumber and you do not mention that you are a plumber or offer plumbing services and just speak about your hobbies it is highly likely search engines will not even list your website for your chosen search terms. 3. Add Good Content To Your Website
You need to make sure that your website has good content, put yourself into the shoes of a visitor to your website. If you are a restaurant, are you showing your opening hours, maybe a map of how to get to your restaurant, if you do takeaways, is there a menu on your website? These are all good things to consider. The best thing is to get a completely neutral person to have a look at your website and see if all the boxes are being ticked for them. 4. Meta Title & Descriptions
These appear in search results, it is important to condense your products and services into your meta title and description. As an example, here is an extract from our own website:
Meta Title: Web Design Newcastle, South Shields, Ecommerce Website Design Meta Description: Pixelsource provide professional web design in Newcastle Upon tyne, offering Ecommerce website design and custom built websites at affordable prices in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, UK You can see we use our keywords, which are "Web Design". We also detail where our offices are and also a summary of the services we offer. You must also ensure that each page on your website has different meta titles and meta descriptions as each page will be talking about different topics or parts of your business. 5. Get Insights
Once your website is online, sign up for free services such as Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools, they are different search engines but both provide very useful information including light analytics but more importantly, what they interpret your website as being about.
- June 18th, 2016
- Knowledge Base,Web Technology
- Simple SEO Mistakes To Avoid
- So you have your new shiny website ready, either a new build or a rebuild. Now is the time to make this work for you. By this we mean generate traffic to your website and generate sales through conversions.
Never try to fool Google!
If you follow these simple steps below you can forget about Google doing algorithm updates as we will explain best practice SEO efforts. Think About Page Content
When adding a page think about the structure and words you are going to use. If you are writing a page just to appeal to Google and feel the need to sow it with keywords then you are doing it all wrong. Your page should follow this format when you write your page: 1. The title of the page should be relevent
2. The content should identify with what the user wants
3. The content should provide the solution to the user requirements
4. The content should have a clear call to action (either email or telephone)
Your page shouldn't have or be classed as these: 1. Automatic generated text content
2. Scraped content from other websites
3. Affiliate pages Ultimately, try to get a good amount of content on your page that offers relevency and quality to a user. Google will recognise this and reward you accordingly. Duplicate Page Content
When creating pages it is vitally important that you are not copying and pasting content from one page to another. This is what Google call "Duplicate Content", this not only includes the written word but also the Meta Title and Meta Description. This needs to be unique for each page. If you have a new page that duplicates content from another page it is vitally important that you add a 301 redirect to the page to let Google know and they will update their index accordingly. Utilise SEO Tools Like Google Analytics
You may or may not have heard of Google Analytics but it is analytical data that is extracted from your website if you have the tracking installed on your website. It is very simple to add and you can start to see very rich data on website traffic and behaviour. Analysing this data will also (amongst other things) allow you to look at what users are doing on your website including other data elements like browsing devices, source location of your users. The list is exhaustive. Visit Google Analytics for more details. You may need a webmaster like Pebble to install this on your website. Manage Your Images Properly
Google loves images, not as much as text but nevertheless images speak a thousand words as they say and both your users and Google love to see them. When adding an image to your website there is a small attribute called an "alt" tag, this basically stand for "alternative text". It is vitally important to add descriptive alt tags to your images. Once again don't try and fool Google with keyword stuffing. If your image is of a "man at a computer" then your alt tag should read "man at a computer", you could also include when the photo was taken and if relevent, the location of the man at his computer. We think you get the picture. It is time you got started!. We hope this post has proven useful so it is your turn to get started. Useful Resources Based On This Post - Google Analytics
- What is a 301 Redirect
- SEO Services If this is all a bit geeksih still why not give Pixelsource a call to discuss your SEO requirements and where your website needs to evolve to.
- December 2nd, 2015
- Knowledge Base
- What Is Email Phishing
- What is "phishing"?
Phishing is the fraudulent act of scammers who send emails, or telephone people, appearing to be legitimate companies, in order to trick people to give their personal information, such as bank account details, credit card numbers or passwords. Phishing Email Signs…
Generic greeting: Fraudsters can send thousands of scam emails at once. They may have your email address but rarely have your name. Therefore, they tend to use generic greetings such as "Dear Customer" or "Dear Member". What to look out for…
Urgent action required: Scammers very often send emails that include threats in order to fool the individual into thinking they need to react urgently and immediately; therefore being vulnerable and more likely to give out their personal information. These threats are in forms of phrases such as "suspicious activity on your account", "your account has been compromised", "your account will be suspended/blocked" or "urgent action required". Unofficial sender: The fraudster's email address may be similar to, but not the same as, the company's official email address. These fake email addresses are meant to fool people into thinking they are legitimate. Spoofed sender: Something that has recently emerged is that emails can be from a colleague but looking at the email address, it is actually different. Links to fake websites: Scammers often include links to fake websites in order to trick people into disclosing their username and password. These links lead to a page that looks exactly like the sign-in page of a legitimate website, and sometimes even has the company logo. These fake sign-in links then entice people into filling in their details, and therefore resulting in them falling for the scam. Other things to look out for in these phishing emails include; poor grammar, spelling errors, inferior or mediocre graphics, attachments, download files etc. The BBC has a great article available just here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35250678 For more information about email you can contact Pixelsource on 0191 4234251 or email us via our contact form.
- December 1st, 2015
- Knowledge Base
- Why Does It Matter Where I Host My Website
- We know the importance of having a website available 24/7 and this involves everything from our daily backups, to our emergency generators and even our engineers who are permanently on call. All of our servers are ideally placed in the UK to serve up websites to your market, meaning they are much quicker for your website visitors. The servers we use are fully managed by ourselves and are housed in Secure Data Centre facilities. Each server is built in-house for the job at hand, allowing us to choose low voltage components to give equal or even better performance while drawing at least 70% less power. We aim to keep your data secure and your website safe from hackers by utilising hardened corporate firewalls and ensuring that our servers are well maintained and locked down to threats with the latest software and security patches. Personalised support, faster servers, and top customer satisfaction is just the beginning, and even better, we can host your site starting from just £105 per year (which works out as less than a tenner a month!) So, if you're finding that your site is sluggish, or you're paying through the nose to simply keep your site online, contact Pixelsource on 0191 4234251
- July 17th, 2015