Break out the champagne and pull the party poppers, we have just launched a brand new product range – 123-reg eCommerce. It is an easy to use but very powerful online shop that gets businesses trading on the web quickly and easily. What we particularly like about it is eCommerce users don’t need to have the skills of a programmer or web-designer to set up their eshop, the Setup Assistant gets you going with templates and you can then adapt your shop as much or as little as you like, so your customers always get the best shopping experience and will want to keep coming back.
So, whether you’re just starting up online or expanding to new virtual markets, 123-reg eCommerce provides many valuable features for businesses, including:
- Choice of 3 levels of shop to suit the size of the business
- Secure payments through the likes of PayPal and HSBC bank, protecting the buyer and seller
- Links to eBay, Kelkoo and other shopping portals to reach a larger range of customers
- Customise the look and feel of the shop to suit the company and products on sale and keep customers coming back
- Advanced marketing tools like vouchers, cross-selling and newsletters to get closer to your customers
To find out more about eCommerce and its features go to our eCommerce home page
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Web accessibility means making your website available to all, regardless of ability or disability. The Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI) introduction to accessibility is a good starting point for this topic. For sites providing public services, the UK DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) law comes into force, and websites are therefore required to be accessible. For more information about accessibility, the RNIB also has a good overview of the Disability Discrimination Act.
10 Quick Tips from WAI
for web content developers (page authors, site designers, etc.), web authoring tool developers, web accessibility evaluation tool developers and others who want or need a technical standard for Web accessibility.
- Images & animations: Use the alt attribute to describe the function of each visual.
- Image maps: Use the client-side map and text for hotspots.
- Multimedia: Provide captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video.
- Hypertext links: Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid “click here.”
- Page organization: Use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS for layout and style where possible.
- Graphs & charts: Summarize or use the longdesc attribute.
- Scripts, applets, & plug-ins: Provide alternative content in case active features are inaccessible or unsupported.
- Frames: Use the noframes element and meaningful titles.
- Tables: Make line-by-line reading sensible. Summarize.
- Check your work: Validate. Use tools, checklist, and guidelines here.
For more details, explanations and implementation guidance, please visit WAI or any of the other websites mentioned above.
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Today we have slashed our .eu domain name’s in half from £14.95 a year to just £7.49 a year.
And thats not all, if you buy 10 – 29 .eu domain names you pay the equivalent of only £7.19 a year each, and if you buy 30+ you pay even less, at £6.49 each a year.
This is a limited time offer so get them whilst they are hot!
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Party poppers were popping and the brass-band was playing as 123-reg welcomed the 6th millionth .uk domain name through our virtual doors.
The 6th million .uk domain name klassikbuilders.co.uk was registered with 123-reg by Tony Hunt for his Merseyside company. Tony wanted to promote his business online to stay competitive and make Klassik Builders more visible.
We raise a glass to Tony and wish him all the best with his online venture. Some non-virtual beers are in the post.
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When it comes to links and SEO, a common misconception is that it is the volume of links to a site that is most important, unfortunately this is not the case. Instead of quantity, search engines are more concerned with the quality of the links.
It is better to have a small collection of high page ranked sites (e.g. PR6+) linking to your site than lots of PR0 sites. If you find you have a lot of PR0 sites linking to you, don’t worry, you won’t be penalised for this. The search engines know you can’t control someone else linking to you.
Other areas to be aware of include:
Avoid using link farms. Once they are discovered by the search engine they are often black listed from the results pages, and those who took part may also be affected.
One way links also count for more than reciprocal linking, as these are counted as genuine ‘votes’ for a site.
Buying domains to set up links to a site
If you own multiple sites each with their own regularly updated independent content then by all means link them together as ‘sister sites’. However if the domains only exist to link to your main site and carry the same copy on each site (if any at all) the search engines will filter these links out and you have wasted money buying the domain names.
If you run a site dedicated to the latest news about dogs and cats, a link from another site related to the world of dogs and cats is going to carry more weight than a link from a site that reviews pots and pans.
One of the best pieces I have had about SEO if from a colleague who used to work at Google who said the best way to think about Google’s spiders (the software that trawls the web looking at links, design, content…) is the same way as if a person is actually looking at your site.
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We are currently running a great domain offer! Buy a .com, .org or .net domain for 2 years and get a .co.uk free for 2 years!
You also get
- a free 123-drive: unlimited online storage and you can share all your files
- a free InstantSite homepage
Why buy an extra domain?
Even if you only thought about registering a .com, ,org or .net domain name this offer provides you with the opportunity to:
- Expand your business online
- Protect your brand name from cyber squatters
- Benefit from a UK SEO boost within localised searches
- Test which domains work best while saving the cost for the extra domain
- Get something free!
If you have any ideas for any special offers you would like to see in the future leave us a comment and we will see what we can do (-:
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I’m sure a lot of you have signed up for Google Analytics. It is a powerful and easy to use tool, with the added bonus of being free, which is always nice!
The question that always persists is why are they giving it away for free in the first place? One answer is the goodwill that comes with these free services, another is that the more you use Google services the more likely you are to use their search engine. A third reason is all that fantastic data they gather from hundreds of thousands of websites which they can then use to their benefit. A very interesting article concerning a study in to what Google is doing with the ‘bounce rate’ data can be found at http://www.1stsearchenginerankings.com/2007/06/08/google-bounce-factor-research-data-is-in/
In summary, they found:
1) Too many searches resulting in a click to your site which then result in a bounce could negatively effect your site.
2) Somehow lowering this bounce rate, by providing what the users want most likely can indeed have a very positive effect on your site.
3) Google Analytics data is INFACT used by Google to manipulate results in their search engine. By using Google Analytics your data could have either a negative or positive effect on your site.
4) The overall bounce rate for the site and each individual bounce rates for each of your keywords plays a role.
This is just one of many variables Google takes in to account so do not get too worried about how your rankings are being affected if you have pages with high bounce rates. However, from the perspective of your site’s design and content, it is worth your time to try and find out why they have them and taking action to try and lower the bounce.
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“Phishing scams” are a way for cyber criminals to steal confidential information and potentially your identity. Scammers will send out thousands of emails pretending to be credit card companies, banks, online auction site and other organisations.
Phishing emails will normally contain a highly emotive or technical reason why you should visit their site, for example “update your password or your account will be suspended“. A lot of people will just click the link without thinking about it, they will be taken to a site that looks very like the official one, however it is a fake designed to entice them into entering their personal information such as username/password or credit card number.
How to spot a phishing mail
It is remarkably easy to make an e-mail from one person look like it has come from someone different. Here are some simple tips to help you to spot an phishing mail.
- They ask for personal information such as username, password or credit card number; your bank would never do this.
- The email address that is has been sent from is not exactly the same as the organisations website.
- The email has been sent from a free mail system, such as hotmail or gmail.
- They address you as “Dear customer” or some other non-specific greeting, rather than by your name.
- They will try to make you think that there is a sense of urgency, i.e. “respond now or your account will be suspended”.
- The link in the email does not quite match up with the organisations, even one character out and you will be sent off to another website.
- You were not expecting to get an email from that organisation.
- The email contains only images, including the text of the mail, this image is one big hyperlink that will take you to the fake site.
How to spot a fake website.
Most modern web browsers will automatic filters that can help to detect fake websites, Mozilla FireFox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 are two examples and can be downloaded for free. They’re not always 100% successful, so here are a few tips to help spot fake sites:
- Use your instincts, if it looks even slightly wrong then it probably is fake.
- The Website address is slightly different to the organisations regular address.
- There is no padlock shown in your browser to show that it is a secure connection.
- They are requesting personal information such as username, password or other details in FULL when you are normally only asked for some details.
- Right clicking on a hyperlink and selecting properties should reveal the links true destination.
Ways you can protect yourself
- Never click on a link embedded in an email, always type the web address directly into your browser.
- Use a spam filter such as the email defence., this will block many of the fake mails.
- Don’t give out personal information unless you initiated the contact and you are sure you know who you’re dealing with.
- If in doubt contact the bank or website owner direct by telephone or email before proceeding.
For more information on this problem the UK Banking industry has set up a site to help you Bank Safe Online
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