Email: POP3 or IMAP
Email

Choosing between POP3 and IMAP when setting up your email addresses

When you set up on your email addresses on your chosen software you have the option of choosing between POP3 and IMAP. They both allow you to access your email address but behave differently so you need to choose the best option for you.

POP3

If you use POP3 your emails are downloaded from the mail server onto your computer. Once downloaded the email is deleted from the server (unless you set your email software to leave all the emails on the server). If you use more than one computer or device (tablet or smart phone) to access your emails you could well find that emails you have already viewed only appear on the one computer – in other words if you download it to your desktop it then won’t be available to view on your phone.

Pros Cons
  • Because the emails are deleted from the server this helps prevent your mailbox getting too full and having emails bounce back.
  • If you use multiple computers/devices it can be difficult to keep track of where you have downloaded your emails to.
  • It is more difficult to access your emails on multiple devices.

IMAP

IMAP, on the other hand, stores emails on the mail server. What it does is sync your emails between the mail server and any computers/devices you use. It also syncs any emails you have sent with the server – so you can access your sent emails on your phone if when you’ve sent them from your computer. This makes it the better option if it’s important to you to be able to have access to all your emails on all your devices. However, because all your emails are stored on the server you have to be aware of how much storage space you have and monitor it to make sure you don’t fill up your mailbox. A full mailbox means that you won’t be able to receive any new emails, they will instead bounce back to the sender.

Pros Cons
  • You can access all your emails (including sent email) on multiple devices.
  • All your emails are stored on the server so you could find you quickly use up your storage space and cause a blockage with sending/receiving emails.
  • It takes extra management to monitor your storage space.
  • It really does sync between all devices – if you delete an email from your phone it will also be deleted from your desktop computer, if you’re not aware of that you could easily lose an email you meant to keep.

Beware

Just a word of warning. Many of the current email programs, for example Outlook, try to automatically choose your email settings for you and quite often default to IMAP. When setting up your emails please be aware of the settings and make sure you choose the options which best suit you and your mailbox storage allowance.

 

St Just Miners' Chapel
Case Studies, WordPress

Supporting the St Just Miners’ Chapel

Last week we were thrilled to launch a website for the St Just Miner’s Chapel. As residents of St Just, this is a project which is close to our hearts. It’s such an amazing building and sadly it was due to close at the end of August 2017. However, thanks to some amazing people the doors have stayed open and there is a campaign to secure its future.

Our small contribution to the cause has been to create a website for the campaign. We’ve used WordPress as the basis of the site which will mean a great deal of flexibility for its development and maintenance. The home page includes an image slider showcasing some fantastic photos of the chapel, details of how to donate, and a feed from the Chapel’s Facebook page.

We are honoured to have been named the Chapel’s very first two ‘Pards’ and are looking forward to helping the website continue to develop over the coming months.

Domain Names
Domain Names

It’s all in the name

If you’re new to web design some of the terminology can be a bit confusing. One of the terms that it’s essential to learn is “domain name”. Here is our guide to domain names. Here is our guide to domain names.

1. What is a domain name?

A domain name forms part of a website’s web address and related email addresses. For example our domain name is “webfooteddesigns.co.uk”. This gives us the following:

Web address: www.webfooteddesigns.co.uk
Email address: info@webfooteddesigns.co.uk

Your domain name needs to be unique to your website and registered with a registrar.

2. How do I register a domain name?

There are many websites available through which you can register your domain name. A business offering domain name registration is called a ‘registrar’. They allow you to search to see if the domain you would like is available. If you are based in the UK we recommend that you use a UK registrar. A couple of good options are:

www.123-reg.co.uk
www.heartinternet.uk

If you are unsure about the domain name registration process and would prefer to have someone take care of this for you, you might consider our Domain Name Management service whereby we register and maintain your domains on your behalf for a small annual fee.

3. How do I choose my domain name?

Make choosing your domain name one of your first jobs when planning a website. Nothing is more frustrating and disappointing than to get a serious way towards completing your website only to find that the domain name you had in mind is already taken.

Heart Internet and other registrars usually have a facility on their website to check the availability of a domain name. If you come to us with your web project we check the availability for you and can advise you on options if it is already gone.

The golden rule when choosing a domain name is to keep it as simple as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to remember your website or email address.

4. Should I choose a .co.uk, .com or .org.uk domain name?

The different variations of domain names can be confusing. These are our recommendations:

.co.uk

If you are a business trading solely in the UK then a .co.uk is the best option. It places you firmly in the UK for those thinking of doing business with you.

.com

If you do business internationally, choose a .com as this can help you with your perception as an international business.

.org.uk

Choose .org.uk if you are a non-profit organisation. Please don’t make the mistake or registering a .org.uk domain for your business.

Registering multiple domains

When choosing your domain check whether the .co.uk and .com versions are both available – if so snap them both up as this can help protect your brand. You can easily have them both linked in with your website.

What about all the other options?

It’s true, there are many other types of domain available – .biz, .info etc. Our recommendation if you run a business is to stick to either .co.uk or .com (or both if you can). Those two are the mostly widely used, and if someone is going to make a guess at your web address the chances are they’ll try a variation of your business name with either .co.uk or .com. If you’re very keen to protect your brand, then registering other variations could help that, but it’s not something that we would consider essential.

5. What does it mean to let a domain name lapse?

When you register a domain name it is for a set period (commonly 2 years). This means that the domain is not necessarily yours forever unless you renew your registration when it is due to lapse.

If you fail to renew the registration of your domain when it is due to run out, your website will become unavailable and any related email addresses will stop functioning. Not good for your business!

There is always a grace period before the domain becomes publicly available again, so if you do accidentally let it lapse you can usually pay for the renewal and reactivate it pretty quickly. However, if you leave it for too long there is always the chance that someone else will register the domain instead, making it unavailable to you.

The best ways to avoid your domain lapsing are:

  • make sure the email address associated with your domain name account is current so that you receive notifications from your registrar
  • when you receive a notification that your domain is due for renewal, log in to your domain account and renew straight away

If you’re worried that you might not be able to keep on top of your domain name registration yourself, talk to us about our Domain Name Management service – we’ll take care of all the nitty gritty for you, so you can be confident that your domain name(s) are always kept up-to-date.

WordPress Updates
WordPress

What do you do if you can’t automatically update WordPress?

We’ve been finding recently that some WordPress auto-updates are failing for us. By auto-update we mean when you log in to your WordPress admin and click the ‘Update Now’ button. WordPress has made this so easy over the last few years that we’ve come to rely on it.

But if that happens, all is not lost. Do you remember such a thing as a manual update? We’ve reminded ourselves of this and applied it to a number of sites over the past few weeks with great success.

Here’s a run down of the steps you need to take.

1. Back Up

As with all updates it’s absolutely essential to back up your website first. By this we mean download the files that make up your website and also the database. Please don’t go any further until you’ve done this.

2. Get the Latest WordPress

Go to http://wordpress.org/download/ and download the latest WordPress onto your computer. It will download as a zip file, so will need unpacking.

We like to run a virus scan of anything we download from the internet, even when it’s a trusted source like the WordPress site. So, before unpacking the zip we would right click on it and run a scan on just that folder – it only takes a few seconds.

Now you can unpack it using your preferred zip extractor tool.

3. Prepare the Website

The next thing to do is deactivate all the plugins running on your website. You do this by going to Plugins in your WordPress admin. You can either click ‘Deactivate’ for each plugin one at a time, or you can select the checkbox for each and choose Bulk Actions > Deactivate.

4. Replace the Files

Now comes the slightly scary bit as you are going to be deleting files from your server.

  1. Connect to your website using FTP.
  2. Delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.
  3. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories from the new copy of WordPress that you have just unpacked.
  4. Don’t delete wp-content. Instead open up the folder and overwrite any files using the wp-content in the new WordPress.
  5. Upload all the loose files from the root directory, overwriting what is already there.
  6. Compare the new wp-config-sample.php with your own wp-config.php files by opening them in your preferred text editor and see if there are any new settings introduced by the update. If there are move them across individually and upload the edited wp-config.

5. Finish the Update

Go to your WordPress admin. You may be asked to log in again, but don’t worry if you’re not – this varies depending on the update. You may also be asked to upgrade the databsae, in which case follow the instructions.

6. Reactivate Your Plugins

Now you can go back the Plugins page and reactivate all your plugins – again you can do this one-by-one or as a bulk action.

7. Test Thoroughly

Test both the front and back ends of your website and make sure everything is still working as it should.

8. Back Up

We also recommend that you take a back up of the updated site once you’re finished.

 

Are you having trouble updating your WordPress site? Carrying out the steps above does require some technical know-how. If you need a hand please contact us and we can get you sorted in no time.

Pixie Payroll Services
Case Studies, WordPress

Transforming the Pixie Payroll Website

Meeting Pixie Payroll Services

Pixie Payroll Services is a local Payroll Bureau based near Helston, Cornwall, run by Kellie Burslem. I met Kellie a few weeks ago at a networking event and arranged to get together with her to talk about her website.

Kellie had an existing website but had been receiving feedback which suggested that it needed improving in a couple of areas:

  1. Design – the existing design was too informal and wasn’t giving the professional impression that she needed.
  2. Structure – the existing site was one page, which was limiting the scope for providing information about her services and optimizing the site for search engines.

I agreed with Kellie that we would tidy up the layout of the site to give a more professional feel, whilst keeping Kellie’s personality, and that I would split the content into separate pages.

The Transformation

We started by selecting a new WordPress Theme for the website. The Forefront theme by WooCommerce was the ideal starting point as it has a very professional feel and arranges the home page content in a way that is perfect for a business offering services.

We installed Forefront and created a child theme for it. When working with WordPress themes a child theme allows you to make customizations to the layout and styling without touching the original theme. By working in this way we could a colour scheme to complement Pixie Payroll’s branding and bring in design elements to give the site personality.

As far as the structure goes, rather than one page with all the content, we’ve broken it down into Home, About Me, Services (further broken down by service) and Contact Me, and also introduced a Blog so that Kellie can add useful articles and her news to the site.

The Result

Pixie Payroll ServicesWe are thrilled with the resulting site. The website has a very pleasing look and is much easier to navigate and find out about the services that Pixie Payroll offers. And Kellie has been getting some great feedback on the site. It’s also worth mentioning that the site has a responsive mobile-friendly layout so works well whether you’re on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Have a look for yourself: www.pixiepayroll.co.uk

What Now?

It’s been lovely working with Kellie and we will be continuing to help her develop the Pixie Payroll website further in the coming months. As part of the work on her site we have moved her to our web hosting and domain name management service so that we can offer full support for her site, and we will be keeping the website backed up and WordPress fully updated so that it will continue to run smoothly over time.

What Kellie says about working with us

“I had a website before I met Emily at a networking event but it wasn’t really working for me. I made an appointment to see Emily and I am so glad I did, she is so friendly, professional and nothing is ever too much trouble. Emily has transformed my website – it now looks fresh and easy to use. I would highly recommend Webfooted Designs, the team now look after my website and all the maintenance.”