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Members' Articles

What is the difference between budget web hosting and business class web hosting?

by Simon Thomas from Toucan Internet LLP

13th December 2011

Post Type: New Member Article

Many of the points detailed below are on a scale rather than being black or white when comparing one provider with another.

Support
For websites to work properly they have to have an adequate level of technical support at the time when it is needed by the developer and the business. Delays will hinder development and inevitably increase other operational costs.
Toucan Internet’s quality standard is that you will be able to contact a human being who can understand and correct the issue you have or be just one step back from that person. You will always get a human being to talk to during normal UK office hours. We do not use automated call handling, just real people who care and invariable know you as a customer. We also have the patience to take the time to explain the details you need in plain English.

This best summed up by one council who transferred all their hosting to Toucan Internet LLP from a budget web host provider because of the lost hours spent waiting in call queues and alike when technical support was required. They now simply call us and the matter is in hand.

Out of hours we have a Support Request system in place http://toucanweb.co.uk/ti_status_request.php and a notification service for bigger issues at http://toucanweb.co.uk/ti_status.php.

Website Performance
For businesses that require the best possible advantage with Google it is worth bearing in mind that one of the many criteria that Google uses to rank a website is speed of delivery of the web pages and their content. There are two parts to the speed of delivery, one is the quality of the website code and the second is the speed of the server and the supporting network. Our servers are right on the UK’s Internet backbone in a datacentre in London’s Docklands, affording our clients excellent connectivity.

A number of our websites are in the top 5% of the world’s fastest websites as independently reported by Google.

Economy hosting gives the provider a lower revenue and as such they have to max the servers to generate adequate return by putting as many customers websites on a server as possible. At Toucan Internet LLP our competitive business class rate means that we can balance the loads on our servers and keep significant resources in reserve. This is turn gives impeccable reliability and up time plus fast delivery of websites.

 

Email Services
Invariably the web host provider will be the email provider. With the same level of care and customer support, Toucan Internet LLP provides email services for practically all requirements:

  • POP3
  • IMAP
  • Cloud – Hosted Microsoft Exchange
  • SMTP

Plus Toucan Internet LLP supports this with world class email security that screens inbound mail for Spam and viruses including providing an online quarantine box, white & black listing and a daily digest of your quarantine box.
The need to configure your email accounts on your local business servers and devices is accommodated as Toucan Internet LLP has good working relationships with many local IT support companies and liaises with any IT professionals you may already have in support.

 

Bespoke Services
If your web developer requires additional services, modules or configurations specific to a special requirement, then we accommodate this too, subject to a security audit of the solution.

 

 

Comprehensive business class services with personal support

We care about your business.

About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has 18 years direct marketing experience prior to embracing the new Internet marketing channels that emerged in 1995. He heads the multiple disciplinary team of professionals at Toucan Internet LLP supporting clients of all sizes and markets where the client is looking for a professional Internet marketing partner with a long proven track record.

To find out more about Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points
below.

t: +44 1279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk


Newport Business Association makes better business with BNI connections

by Jeremy Rose from Creative Solutions

29th November 2011

Post Type: Newspaper Article
Newport Business Association makes better business with BNI connections

http://youtu.be/C2x0qIPidlA

http://youtu.be/w9ev55FVFMo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2x0qIPidlA&feature=colike

 

Please give feedback on the following YouTube Videos

Great fun making the video shorts, had four businesses getting together. 

 

Comments so far:

“The NCTJ was delighted to provide the venue for Newport Business Association’s filming and support this local initiative. It all ran very smoothly and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished videos.”

Joanne Butcher, chief executive, National Council for the Training of Journalists

Tony Pullen: "It is very good and I think the grandiose Universal Studios opening is excellent. People like to enjoy a bit of fun and find it easier to trust someone who doesn't take himself too seriously but is nevertheless good at what they do, Go for it Jezzah!

Jim Cliff: "Really excellent!  Although, obviously, I hate all the bits with me in them!"

Matthew Radway "I think it's great but the mock-universal opening and film style credits at the end take away a little from the professionalism of it."

Tony Pullen "Excellent - to the point, I hope it gets the views it deserves"

Anthony Rose: "Very good. snappy presentation and i like the key points emphasised just right"

Jane Hill: "Love it! Nice to 'see' you again :-). Good use of the old 'on time, every time' - did you know that Air UK used that tag line in the mid to late 80's??? Great job Jeremy, I hope it brings you masses of views and business."

Laura Jackson "great work, really good, straight to the point and the photos of the work that you do are brilliant :)"

Alan Brown: "Very good Jeremy - as usual. "

Robert McCarthy: "Like the vid Jeremy."


Silver Sausage Winner for best presentation - Toucan Internet

by webmaster from

13th October 2011

Post Type: Meeting Announcement
Silver Sausage Winner for best presentation - Toucan Internet

“Silver Sausage Winner Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP explained today the considerable benefits of automating some routine business procedures. He gave specific example of Toucan projects including how a national swim school administration section was automated with an autonomous web based system administering students, parents, venues, courses and payments. This system alone made direct savings on administration cost for Toucan’s client of £20,000 a year.

Other Toucan projects and their not inconsiderable commercial returns highlighted by Simon Thomas included a virtual PDQ machine, a virtual debt collection system, a data analysis tool for analysing delegate feedback from a series of national seminars and a powerful bespoke intelligent content management system used by an online publishing house.

Simon encourages all businesses to consider their data handling procedures so see if a bespoke web base application could handle the routine more efficiently.

Simon Thomas

Simon@toucanweb.co.uk

www.toucanweb.co.uk


Ashbourne Insurance, a great ten minutes presentation

by webmaster from

26th September 2011

Post Type: Ten Minutes Announcement

Ashbourne insurance - an independent insurance broker, based in the Hoddesdon area, and established for over 30 years.

My name is Chris Barnes, and I am the Commercial Sales Manager.

Good referrals for me are

Golf Clubs,

Sports, Health and Social clubs

Small independent Hotels

Call me on 01992 471001, and I will gladly be of help.

Ashbourne Insurance Sevices - insurance as individual as you!

Chris Barnes

Ashbourne Insurance Services (Hoddesdon) Limited

 t:: 01992 471 001 f:: 01992 444 522 a::

50 Amwell Street Hoddesdon Hertfordshire EN11 8UA

e:: chris.barnes@ashbourneinsurance.co.uk

w:: www.ashbourneinsurance.co.uk

Please help us raise £4000 for our chosen charity of the year The Willow Foundation... please donate at www.justgiving.com/ashbourne30th


Things to consider when redeveloping your website.

by Simon Thomas from Toucan Internet LLP

26th September 2011

Post Type: New Member Article

Things to consider when redeveloping your website.

There comes a time when the corporate website that once met all your criteria starts looking a little like yesterday’s offerings design-wise and is now missing the mark from a marketing perspective. Tell-tale signs may be subtle such as the visitors bounce* rate increasing as the website fails to convince visitors that you are a worthy offering or the signs may be more obvious in that the website is just not up to date with expected content such as social media integration, compliance with popular browsers and standards or being ready for the mobile market place.

From experience the following is a consolidation of some of the points you may need to consider when undertaking the rework of your website.

Your Objectives
Define the objectives of having a website as once you’ve done this all the subsequent decisions you have to make fall in place as they are either in line with these objectives or they are not.

Your Blueprint
On large projects there can be much detail that really must be concluded before the project starts. Once concluded the entire web development team will understand exactly what has to be delivered and when, and as the website owner you will also know that it will meet your defined objectives.

The blueprinting process often opens up the minds to further specification improvements and content as it encourages all involved to review the finer detail of the website facilities.

Websites that are properly blueprinted have always turned out to be good performers and the relationship between the development team and the customer has been excellent.

Cost-wise; as the project runs to a mutually agreed plan there is far less scope for budget irregularities.

Your Current Website
When you put together your initial website, there would likely have been great thought and deliberation as to what was included and how. Despite the old website now looking dismal beside the competition’s new feature rich website, so many companies will totally disregard the good that is present in their old website. Be very careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Apart from quality content that may need to transfer to the new website after reworking, the search engines and other referrers will have linked to the pages in your website.

Your Development Team.
In the past your website may well have required the basic skills of a developer and maybe a designer. Consider the content and your aspirations and ask yourself if your current incumbent team is complete and can offer you:

  • Web development that brings commercial return
  • A team of people with whom you are comfortable working
  • The resources you’ll need to grow your website including:
    • Web coding so the fundamental HTML code is right
    • Programming so the website facilities function to your specifications including Mobile standards and general fall back solutions where Flash and other resources are not supported on the visitor’s browser
    • Copywriting that both fits your industry style and finds favour with the search engines
    • Photography so you avoid poor images that so often degrade what could be a quality website; afford professional or quality photography
    • Video as a powerful and effective way to engage the visitor and also finds favour with the search engines
    • Search engine optimisation
    • Search engine marketing
    • Social media

The Internet marketing team you choose for the next part of your journey needs to have a lot more bases covered than was the case a few years ago if you are to rise above the bland mediocrity of basic websites and have a true commercial success.

The Creative Design
This is the most subjective of all the components. Having a professional creative team that understands both design for web and the norms of your market places will undoubtedly make for a professional result that wins business. So many creatives are stuck in the “design for print world” and do not engage with the dynamic medium of a website. With dynamic new technologies such as jQuery and AJAX, webpages are written to dynamically change according to input giving more efficient pages and a much improved customer experience.

The creative team will work with you and your developers to conclude the navigation tree so that your information is presented in the most effective fashion and in such a way that we lead the visitor through the punchy introduction via the convincers to the call to action. If that simple process is not instinctively engrained in the team’s approach then find someone else.

The Platform and Programming
Do not be wooed by a web development team that wants to build your website with some obscure technology. Stay mainstream with all your resources unless there is a very good reason why not to. If you go “off piste” then you’ll find that there are fewer developers prepared to take your website on with a technology that they do not support and fewer pre-developed resources online so you’ll be paying for bespoke development from scratch for new modules. Examples of mainstream solutions include Linux with PHP & MySQL or Microsoft with ASP & SQL.

Your Online Marketing
The possible routes to market online are now extensive and affordable to all. Have a sound plan in mind that will accommodate all channels including social media, newsletters/mailings, website news, blogging, article publication and other avenues that fit comfortably in your marketing mix. Importantly remember that your website and online marketing are not to be done in isolation and absolutely must seamlessly integrate with your internal systems and traditional marketing. Choose a web development team that understands the benefits of combining multiple channels of communication and better still offers them.

The opt-in newsletter/mailings can be extended further by adding an autoresponder series so that your worthy pre-prepared messages are delivered periodically to your schedule.

Once a website is launched the online marketing offered by your web development team should monitor performance in line with the client’s objectives and the Internet norms and in turn make website changes according to the feedback received. Continuous improvement and following marketing opportunities are key to keeping your website commercially successful for years to come. Keep testing, measuring and improving.

Your Website Hosting
Budget hosting should be avoided; slow servers that are maxed out for profit will cost you dearly. Slow delivery of website content not only turns visitors away but also has an effect on your Google ranking. Your web development marketing company should be monitoring this as one part of your search engine marketing they do for you.

These are just some of the key elements from 16 years of experience and worth considering when redeveloping your website.

 

 

 

About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has 18 years direct marketing experience prior to embracing the new Internet marketing channels that emerged in 1995. He heads the multiple disciplinary team of professionals at Toucan Internet LLP supporting clients of all sizes and markets where the client is looking for a professional Internet marketing partner with a long proven track record.

To find out more about Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points
below.

t: +44 1279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk