Nominet Messages

The following is applicable if you have a domain ending in .co.uk, .org.uk or .uk

Nominet are the issuing authority that manage any domain names ending in .uk. In the 7 years I have been working with Charities and not for profit groups, I have needed to contact them twice, once being a difficult case where the registrant of a domain name had passed away. The organisation represented by the domain name needed to regain control. They are very helpful, but have been largely a passive organisation; there when you need them.

I had an instance this week, which was unusual and it raises a lot of questions, none of which have been answered. However I think it is worth raising to your attention because if your domain name is registered against your email address, and they contact you and you fail to respond, or miss the mail, or ignore it, then you risk your website and email being taken offline.  Continue reading Nominet Messages

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More on Divi

As you must be aware now, the majority of sites I have built over the past 15 months have been based on the Divi Template by Elegant Themes. This template continues to be developed by the author and his team and continues to offer some key differentiation from the more standard templates seen in WordPress.https://wingrove-services.co.uk/more-on-divi/

It takes a little getting used to if you formerly used a template such as TwentyTen, TwentyEleven, TwentyTwelve or TwentyFourteen (standard WordPress templates I used a few years ago). But it continues to be the most powerful and visually interesting templates I have come across.

Here are the latest sites I have released over the past month

Flittabus

Continue reading More on Divi

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Problems with Webmail?

Over the last 4-6 weeks a few people have reported seeing an error reported by webmail. The hosting company has reviewed this some weeks back now and made changes, and now it happens less frequently. If you see any error messages while accessing website (or anywhere else) please take a screenshot (press the print screen button) and paste the screenshot into a word document, or an image file. Send it to me with the following information:

  • The time it occurred. (very important)
  • What you were doing
  • What the IP address of your computer is. You can find this out by googling “what is my IP”

Continue reading Problems with Webmail?

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GADWP and why it is important

GADWP panel in the WordPress Dashboard
GADWP panel in the WordPress Dashboard

Over the past two weeks I have been working my way around all websites, I still have a few to go, but for most of them I have installed a brilliant plugin called GADWP. It is tied to my Google Analytics Account and allows you to see how many visitors you get over various periods, what they are looking at, and lot of other useful information.

When you login you will see it on your dashboard. There are many different views available. You can select them from the two drop down selection panels in the top left of the panel.

Why is this important?

Continue reading GADWP and why it is important

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Even I get caught out sometimes

Just to show I share the same human traits as everyone else, even though I am fairly IT literate,  I thought I would share the following with you because it demonstrates that being cautious is often not enough.

IOS 11.0.3

My iPhone had been nagging me for some time about upgrading. I usually keep things up to date, and finally had some time and decided to go ahead with the update.  I have a MAC and backed up the iPhone into iTunes before proceeding, because I have been caught out before!

I have the usual range of weird stuff on my iPhone that gets played around with once or twice and then forgotten. But there are a handful of Apps I use all of the time, one of which is a password manager called FireBox.

I have had this for around eight years and it has always served me well. It was pretty basic, simple to use and not particularly glossy or elaborate. I keep or should say now; kept…. most of my critical passwords in there. For some years now I have not used the same password in multiple places unless it is for a simple login which represents no security threat if compromised.

I carried out the upgrade, and was presented with a message that some of the apps needed upgrading and to check in the Apps store, or contact the author. Wow, contact the author, that seemed like an odd request. Well it said contact the author, because the app was no longer supported by the new operating system.

There were only around 4 not supported, but one of them was FireBox. At this point panic starts to set in, but I did carry out a backup before I started, so I am covered…..

I start to research how to roll back the operating system. I find a way of doing it, download the old iOS, and before starting plugged my iPhone back into the computer. Here is where my problems started. On plugging my iPhone back into my computer, it backed it up again, and overwrote my previous backup. Only it is a different operating system now, and we have already established that FireBox is unsupported.

Bottom line, by the time I got the old operating system back on the iPhone I had nothing to restore other than a much older backup.

And the lesson of this sad tale

Don’t assume anything. I should have manually backed it up and stored the backup somewhere else.  The whole process cost me 2.5 days so far going around and restoring passwords from various places. My family tell me I worry too much about things, well this is one example where paying a little more attention would have been hugely beneficial.

 

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News sites and upgrades

It has been a very busy month, here are some sites that are in the late stages of development or about to be released.

Home-Start Carmarthenshire

This is one of the first sites to request a facelift to the new template I have developed for Home-Start websites. It is based on Divi too.  I have two other Home-Start’s pending an upgrade at the moment, if you are interested in getting your site upgraded let me know please. While upgrading existing sites, I can also add in new content if it is out of date.  https://homestartcarmarthenshire.org.uk 

Seniors Social

A new daycare centre being launched in November. The site is based on the Divi Template:  https://seniorssocial.org.uk

New Covenant Fellowship Church

Continue reading News sites and upgrades

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Fast Secure Contact Form

Some of the websites I have built use a plugin called Fast Secure Contact Form. It was a very popular form handler highly regarded by users written by Mike Challis.  The plugin was sold to a third party in June of this year and the new owner attempted to manipulate the code in the plugin to set up adverts.

Please check ASAP whether the version that is currently in use on your website is version 4.0.56. You can do that by logging in, and going to the Plugins page and look down the list. You will see an entry similar to the one below which includes the version number.

If you have version 4.0.56 you are OK! Don’t panic. 

If your site is at an earlier version contact me immediately and I will sort out updating it. 

(update: 6:00am 27/9/17 Nobody has reported a problem so far, all sites have upgraded automatically. That was to be expected. If you cannot find Fast Secure Contact form another method is used for forms on your website. Probably Form Manager. You are not affected by this notice.)

Why is this important?

Continue reading Fast Secure Contact Form

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Two Scams to be aware of…..

I have come across two scams this week targeting small regional charities, one about domain registration, I came across several years ago, but it looks like it is still going on. The first is encouraging you to call a premium rate number.

Scam #1  Contact me message

You all have forms on your websites, and you usually get legitimate enquiries on these forms. Do however check the contents in a message and if the only way you can contact someone is via a premium rate number then don’t bother calling. If the content is virtually non existent like this one below, it is encouraging you to call a premium rate number. In this particular case I checked the number through a web search. This individual is sending messages to websites through contact forms.  So if 10 people call back then that is £1+ they have made depending on how long they keep you on the phone, you would not know what their premium rate is prior to calling.

If you are not sure, type in the following into a Google Search form:  who called me 08712771062  (Obviously substitute the number you wish to check. In this particular case it took me to this page: http://who-called.co.uk/Number/08712771062 if you read the reported cases there, you can see the depth of the scam and other people’s comments.

Normally anyone contacting your organisation will provide more information in the form for you to process and not leave a short message like this.

Scam #2  About your domain name

In many cases I am looking after your domain names, so if you get anything like this send it to me, it is a bit more subtle than the previous one. In general domain names are registered to organisations and that registered information can be located on the internet. So a determined third party can find it and then contact you. This is how the domain scam works: Continue reading Two Scams to be aware of…..

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Home-Start Site Upgrade Offer

This offer is specifically for those websites that I have built based on the “Home-Start Lite” template I developed, of which there are now five versions. These sites are limited to 14 pages “off the shelf” and customised/ localised for satellite offices.

I have built  version 5 of the Home-Start lite website in August and have released my first site for Home-Start Lisburn. You can see the site here: https://homestartlisburn.org.uk or click on the screen shot below.

Version 5 of Home-Start Lite site

Continue reading Home-Start Site Upgrade Offer

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Facebook Feed

I have recently been around all of the websites and backed up everything locally on my systems. I do this generally every three months and also check the site infrastructure to make sure everything is up to date.

I can see some people prefer to use Facebook for news rather than the news page on the website. This is understandable for two reasons. Your audience if it is under 35yrs is more likely to be active in Social Media than the group that is above 35yrs. In practice it is a good idea to add news to the site and to add entries to your facebook group page linking them back to the website by copying the link to the news item on your site to Facebook.  Here you fix two problems. One is the duplication of news, you don’t want to write everything twice. The other is catering for two audiences.

Continue reading Facebook Feed

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