If you have a few minutes to fill this morning, Akamai has released the first in a series of regular reports titled The State of the Internet.
The company – which operates a global platform of servers – has used its network to collect data about internet traffic and broadband penetration. The report contains some interesting information about these items, as well as summarising the major network events that happened in the first quarter of 2008 (like the accidental cutting of an undersea cable).
You can grab a copy of the 20-page report from Akamai’s website (free registration required). But here are a few relevant points:
The UK measures up well in terms of broadband adoption – we’re rated 10th overall. Interestingly, all 9 spots above us are filled by European countries, with Norway top of the list.
However, we’re not doing so well when you look at the speed of those broadband connections. We don’t rank inside the top 10 countries when you rank them by the percentage of broadband connections which run at over 2mbps.
Attack traffic (malicious internet traffic) originated in 125 different countries. China was the largest source of attack traffic, accounting for 16.77 per cent of the total. The US was second with 14.33 per cent.
Take a look at the report for yourself, and leave a comment if you spot anything interesting.
Increasing consumer confidence is a must for businesses and individuals that make money from selling online. However, the latest statistics from the Office of Fair Trading highlight that even many of the UK’s top online retailers are operating illegally – and not in the best interests of the consumer.
To promote a code of best practice, we’ve teamed up with a online shop accreditation scheme, SafeBuy, to raise awareness and educate companies which trade online.
As part of this, all 123-reg ecommerce customers can claim 6 months of SafeBuy membership completely free (terms apply, of course).
SafeBuy is the only online shop accreditation scheme approved to Stage 1 by the OFT. When you join the scheme, you’ll get:
Pre-packaged terms and conditions. You can use these on your ecommerce website, alongside the SafeBuy logo. It’s worth using them because they’re definitely legal and provide protection for your online shop, as well as giving your customers a fair deal. It also solves the problem of where to get terms and conditions for your website from. Many online shops just copy and paste their terms and conditions from other sites – this is illegal in itself.
The chance to display the SafeBuy logo on your site. This recognisable logo reassures customers that your site complies with the SafeBuy code of practice – a set of rules ensuring consumers and retailers alike get a fair deal.
Just because you know what to type in to a text editor or how to use a graphics package doesn’t mean you can create a snazzy website or banner. I know how to use a paint brush, but it doesn’t mean I can paint, and one of the frustrating aspects for me of creating websites is my lack of design skills. There comes a time when if you want to take that next step forward you need to call in the professionals. Here are my top 6 tips to make sure your brief gets the results you want:
1. The designer is not psychic
For example, if you know you want your logo to be to the right of a banner, then be very clear that is what you want. It is easy to presume that they will appreciate this should be the case from your other design collateral or because “that is the way it has always been”, but if they have not worked with you before, you may get the first draft back with the logo on the left! This also goes for use of colour, fonts, images and everything else you can think of.
2. What action should it elicit?
Digital marketing is more than just sales. Make it clear what you want to achieve with the new banner, site, email… etc. Is it to raise awareness of your brand, to facilitate an immediate sale, to collect data or to influence opinion? (Or all of the above?)
3. What is your target market?
Depending on who you are targeting, the design of your collateral will vary drastically. For example, the design proposition for 10 – 14 year olds is very different to that of £100k+ a year business executives. Make it clear who your product / service target audience is and if you have it any insight into their online behaviour / preferences. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the first in a new regular series on our blog… video guides! We’ll try to keep them short and to the point, and more often than not, they’ll be an introduction to a topic providing top level information. The idea is to help get you started and give you some links to find more information about the subject.
The first video is our copywriter, John, providing some insight into writing effective web copy. Please take a quick look, and please do use the comments to let us know what you think. It’s the first time we’ve tried this, so it’s a bit of an experiment for us too!
We have launched a great promotion for our business pro ecommerce package in conjunction with PayPal. The first 50 new customers who purchase a 123-reg annual business pro ecommerce account and sign up and trade on a PayPal Express Checkout or Website Payments Pro account, receive £119 in cashback.
The cashback will get paid directly into the PayPal account after 3 months of active trading. We had to put in some strict terms & conditions as we want to reward customers who are serious about selling online and not those that are only in it for the quick buck.
As some of you may know, since Monday 05.05.08 Google has started to allow advertisers to bid on other company’s brand names. Previously banned in the UK (but allowed in the USA), competitors are now allowed to show one of their adverts when some searches for another company’s brand name.
We have already started to see other web hosts biddng on our brand names, and through out other industries these adverts are starting to crop up. Check out lastminute.com, moneysupermarket.com, and iPod.
In order to clarify our position regarding affiliates, I would like to emphasise that affiliates who have joined our programs through 123-reg itself, Commission Junction or TradeDoubler are prohibited by the terms and conditions from bidding on our brand names (123-reg, WebFusion, Donhost & SupaNames).
Any affiliate found to be bidding on our brand name or using our brand name to advertise on another company’s brand name will be removed from the program and no commission paid for any sales made from those adverts. This may seem a little strong but it is vital we maintain control of our brand and where we are seen to be advertising, as well as our relationship with fellow web hosting companies.
I’ve been off on holiday for the last couple of weeks, and as usual my return to the office this morning has resulted in an inbox full of messages and an RSS reader full of interesting articles.
My effort to catch up on all the interesting news and posts from my favourite sites is largely in vain (there’s too much to read and too many other important things to do), but here are a few domain-related items that caught my eye:
An independent appeals panel has overturned the decision to award the domain myspace.co.uk to social networking website MySpace. This is the latest twist of events in the story we reported on previously.
16 years after the end of the Soviet Union, the old .su domain extension just won’t die. Nostalgia for the Soviet empire and entrepreneurs who see value in the extension are apparently responsible for a 45 per cent increase in registrations this year.
I personally don’t register a lot of domain names. The domains I do own tend to those I stumbled across that I can’t believe no one else has already got, or I have an idea for a site and in a rush of blood register the domain name and then lose all energy towards the project (the ‘gonibbler’ debacle still hangs heavily over me). Recently I started looking for a domain name with these criteria in mind:
Encapsulate the theme of the website
Easy to remember
Easy to spell
A brandable name e.g. not simply descriptive of the service
.com & .co.uk both available to prevent traffic going to someone else
I’ll be honest I found it very hard. I started typing in quite generic words, combining them, mixing them around, but nothing hit the mark. For the first time I had to start doing some research into related words and phrases that I could use. If you find yourself in the same position where you are struggling to find a domain name you are happy with here are my tips:
Use a thesaurus for inspiration
Type in the core theme of your website in to a thesaurus and see if you can find any related keywords that you like. For example in you have an online shop you could type in “store” and you will be presented with words such as; backlog, cache, inventory, nest egg, reserve, reservoir, stock, stockpile, treasure, store, boutique, emporium, outlet
Go web 2.0
Web 2.0 style domain names are all the rage, and they are proven to be an effective method of branding and easy to remember. Good examples include flickr, wuffo, bliin and zoogmo. To create your web 2.0 simply remove a vowel (e.g. trackr), add a vowel or two (e.g. miiix), add two unrelated short words together (e.g. snapfrog) or use utter jibberish (e.g. boblr). Read the rest of this entry »