Jolly Good Websites for Reading Businesses Established October 1999
Tel. 0845 6445513 (national) Tel. 0118 9507617 (local)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 ltd Christmas and New Year holiday closures

Christmas and New Year Office Hours

Thursday December 24th Open 10am to 1pm
Friday December 25th Closed (Bank Holiday)
Saturday December 26th Closed (Weekend)
Sunday December 27th Closed (Weekend)
Monday December 28th Closed (Bank Holiday)
Tuesday December 29th Closed
Wednesday December 30th Closed
Thursday December 31st Closed
Friday January 1st Closed (Bank Holiday)
Saturday January 2nd Closed (Weekend)
Sunday January 3rd Closed (Weekend)
Monday January 4th Open 10am - 6pm

Email will be monitored as usual throughout the holidays for web hosting technical support queries.

Annual Hourly Rates Increase

Our standard hourly rate will increase in January 2015 from £40.20+VAT, to £41.40+VAT. This is our "rate card" rate and does not affect any project quotes agreed within contractual time limits. This fee applies to work conducted during office hours and more may be charged for Bank Holidays, evenings and weekends.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Our Work: The Wren School, Reading

The Wren School, Reading, Berkshire

You have to exercise a little imagination when you visit The Wren School on the Bath Road in Reading. 

Right now it's a few temporary structures surrounded by a vast building site. The brand new Reading secondary school opened its doors in September for the very first day and so far it only accommodates Year 7 students (age 12), but those youngsters will form the foundation of a very ambitious new institution built to service the needs of the growing West Reading community.

Next year they'll have Year 7 and 8. And in 2017 they'll have Years 7, 8 and 9. And those lucky young people will be moving into a brand new, purpose-built school with state-of-the-art facilities. By the time they reach Sixth Form age, there will be more than 1,200 students at The Wren School.

Designs for the mobile version of the website for The Wren School, Reading, Berkshire was commissioned to build a new website for The Wren School to take over from the interim site that serviced their needs before they opened their doors. We were given the go-ahead at the start of term and the site went live today, November 11th.

The design imperatives were simplicity and accessibility, with high-contrast colouring and clear navigation, for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. And we've made the best use of the bright colours from the school logo and the photos taken by teachers in class to make the site lively and youthful but seriously professional. We built the site using Wordpress, at the school's request, and we used Bootstrap as the framework under the hood.

Schools don't have inexhaustible budgets, so another imperative for The Wren School was that their website should be simple to update, allowing them to take over immediately, even by staff with minimal experience of Wordpress. But of course we're always here to help if we're needed, because we never hand over a website without the offer of free, no-strings help and advice.

We're very honoured to be selected for such a prestigious project, especially as The Wren School is less than a mile from the inframes office, making both institutions very much a part of the same proud and thriving community.

Work in Progress

We often start the design process by building "wire frames" that allow us to agree the specifics of the website structure with the client before we move on to the fun stuff like colours, fonts and photography. The wire frames are used to make vital decisions about layout, dimensions and navigation so that the graphic designer doesn't waste time at the next stage.

We currently use Balsamiq to make our wire frames. Here's what they look like:

Wire frame for the desktop version of The Wren School website

You might notice blue, dashed arrows overlaying some of these drawings. These are used for annotations around the layout. The wire frame is a good stage of the process not just to show what we're going to do but to explain to the client why we think it's the wisest way to do whatever we're doing.

More wire frames for the desktop version of The Wren School website

Jon Ewing, Designer & Developer
Edward Couldwell, Graphic Design

Thanks to Graphic Burger for the PSD action used to create the mock-ups at the top of the page.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Added Wordpress Security - Protecting Our Servers Against Brute Force Attacks

Protecting Our Servers Against Wordpress Brute Force Attacks 

No matter how secure your password, you're still not safe from a brute force attacker.

In common with a lot of web hosts, we've been finding recently that Wordpress login pages are often falling victim to so-called "brute force attacks" where the site is bombarded with log-on attempts, often many times per second, in the hope of gaining access to the site through sheer fluke by using a combination of commonly-used letters and numbers.

Wordpress is of course a victim of its own success in the sense that there are so very many Wordpress installations around the world, making it an obvious target for hackers.

We always encourage customers to use complex passwords that would be near impossible to guess. However, this in itself does not negate the effects of a brute force attack, because while the attacks go on, the performance of the site - and in turn the whole server - can be affected. If it goes on long enough, the server will almost certainly grind to a halt eventually and will need to be reset.

With this in mind, we're installing and testing plugins on our customers' Wordpress websites free of charge to help tighten up security.

The only difference you will probably notice is that you'll now be asked to complete a "captcha" form when you log on. Thanks to the new plugin, if more than three unsuccessful logon attempts are made in the space of five minutes, the originating IP address will be blacklisted.

It goes without saying that whenever you log on to your own Wordpress website, you ought to check your records to ensure you're using the right password if you're not 100% sure of it, otherwise you may find yourself a victim of your own website security protocol. But don't worry - if that ever does happen you can just let us know and we will of course remove your IP address from the blacklist.

We can only apologise for this small added inconvenience, but hopefully you can understand that the right course of action is to try to protect everyone sharing our servers from these potentially catastrophic attacks. We've downloaded and played around with a variety of different security plugins and we hope we've identified the best balance of protection and user-friendliness, but of course we welcome your feedback.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Recovering data from a broken mobile phone

Broken mobile phone? The Gadget Lab has four little words to reassure you that it's not the end of the world.

Recovering data from a broken mobile phone

As part of my work with Wildfire HQ I am working for a fascinating, albeit anonymously-named company called FMS Group, which specialises in what's called "forensic digital investigation".

Big Brother Stuff

FMS works with law enforcement agencies to extract evidence from mobile phone handsets that might be used in a criminal investigation. For example, engineers can examine the data on a phone and, when combined with data and call records from mobile phone network operators, they can tell you where a phone was located when a text message or phone call was made or received. Those engineers can then act as expert witnesses to give evidence in court under oath if necessary.

In their video presentation (see below) you can see how the movement of a phone in a criminal case in Preston could be cross-referenced with images from traffic cameras to identify the licence number of a vehicle in which the mobile phone user was travelling. It's very clever, Big Brother stuff.

Introducing the Gadget Lab

Unsurprisingly, customers of FMS Group tend to be organisations such as the Crown Prosecutor, law firms, the defence industry and large corporations. But FMS has launched a new online service called Gadget Lab which is aimed squarely at you and me - which is to say, you and me when we're having a very bad day.

When your mobile phone, tablet or iPod has broken and you're unable to access some vitally important contacts - or irreplaceable photos and videos - then you need someone you can trust to retrieve that important data for you.

Four Little Words

The Gadget Lab website has a friendly and approachable designed to reassure us when we're feeling desperate. The site's opening message is four very encouraging words: "All is not lost". Even if your phone is broken beyond repair, it's often possible to retrieve your data. So, if the worst happens, you can pop your phone in a padded envelope and send it off. Gadget Lab will charge you £24.99 to assess the device and if all you want to retrieve is something text-based, like messages or contacts, then that's all you'll pay.

Four Big Services

Gadget Lab offers four main services. They can rescue your data, they can remove or reset forgotten passwords for about £50, they can transfer data from your old device to a new one for £45, or they can fix your mobile phone. Or some combination of the above, depending on exactly what's wrong.

Mobile phone repairs are of course sometimes impossible and often less than cost-effective. In some cases, you could spend so much money getting your phone fixed that you might as well buy a new one. But Gadget Lab can fix a dodgy USB port (which will cost you somewhere in the region of £40) or broken iPhone screen (£70 or thereabouts) or get the battery charging when it's stopped taking a charge (around £30, depending on the make and model).

Super-Sleuthing Boffins from a Data Detective Agency

Whatever happens, if your phone or tablet needs mending, no one can tell you how much the repair is going to cost unless they've examined it in person. One of the FMS engineers will look it over and assess the problem and give you a fair price for repair, including the best quality spare parts where necessary.

And with Gadget Lab, your device gets the attention of a qualified boffin employed by a super-sleuthing forensic mobile data detective agency. How cool is that?

Monday, 29 June 2015

New Mobile-Friendly website for Green Parlour

New mobile friendly website for Green Parlour florists, Berkshire
Last week we launched Pangbourne-based florist Green Parlour into the mobile era with a new website.

What We Did

Visually, the new isn't a big leap onwards from the old, but under the bonnet this website is completely different - the old site was built on a proprietorial ecommerce platform while the new site is fully converted to Wordpress using Woocommerce for the all-important shopping basket system and the Worldpay payment gateway extension for payment processing.

An extensive modification of the free and flexible Wordpress twentyfifteen theme, the whole site is made mobile-friendly using Bootstrap so that it looks good and, most importantly, functions perfectly, on anything from a high-res desktop computer to the smallest screen mobile.

Why We Did It

This conversion isn't just about bringing the technology up to the latest industry standard - it's really about setting it free from its shackles.

Thanks to our work, Green Parlour's highly creative lead florist Emma Sampson can now take charge of her own website in a way that had always been frustratingly difficult or impossible before. Using the universally-recognised tools provided by Wordpress, Emma is already bringing her vision for the site direct to Green Parlour customers without relying on third parties to unlock the mysteries of her own website.

About Green Parlour, Pangbourne, Reading, Berkshire

Green Parlour supplies a range of freshly-made bouquets for any occasion which can be delivered same-day in the Reading area for only £5 or nationwide for just £10.

Of course, their wedding floristry service is second to none, as you might expect from a firm who were honoured to be one of those invited to provide floristry services for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.

But despite their pedigree, Green Parlour prides itself on offering reasonable prices for their services. Bouquets start from just £25 and local businesses can receive a fresh delivery of Green Parlour flowers every week for as little as £25 per week, invoiced monthly. See the Areas We Cover page if you'd like to find out if your location is eligible.

Whether you need flowers for your office reception desk, the counter at a hair salon, the lobby of a hotel or artfully arranged in the windows of your pub or restaurant, Green Parlour can supply long-lasting and beautiful flowers and plants for your business, matching the best quality London florists, but at Berkshire prices.

New mobile friendly website for Green Parlour florists, Berkshire

Find out more about Green Parlour Florists Reading by visiting their website or calling 0118 984 4000.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

List of fonts available from Vistaprint

Don't have your business cards made by Vistaprint.

That's the advice part of this blog post out of the way.

So, you've made up your mind to have your business cards made by Vistaprint?

These are the fonts currently available in their design "studio":

List of fonts available from Vistaprint

AdLib BT
Aetna JY Newstyle
Amazone BT
Balloon Bd BT
BankGothic Md BT
Baskerville BT
BernhardMod BT
Big Limbo BT
Bravissima Script
BrushScript BT
Calligraph421 BT
Comic Sans MS
ComicPro JY
CopprplGoth BT
Courier New
DomCasual BT
English157 BT
Futura Bk BT
GoudyOlSt BT
HandelGothic BT
Humanst521 BT
Integrity JY Lining 2
Kennedy Sm Caps Book GD
Kuenstler165 BT
Melanie BT
Missy BT
MisterEarl BT
MS Gothic
MS Mincho
MS PGothic
MS PMincho
Parisian BT
Playbill BT
Roundhand BT
Stencil BT
Swis721 BT
Times New Roman
Trebuchet MS
TypoUpright BT
VAGRounded BT
WeddingText BT

Friday, 12 June 2015

Our Work - Biogene

Biogene logos designed by inframes and how they appeared on an exhibition stand at the ESHG European Human Genetics Conference in Glasgow last week.New (long-overdue) Biogene website coming soon, but in the meantime, we made a couple of micro-sites for QuRapID and QuType

Biogene logo designed by inframes 2014

GDT logo designed by inframes 2015

QuRapID logo designed by inframes 2014

QuType logo designed by inframes 2014

Biogene ESHG European Human Genetics Conference exhibition backdrop - black, backlit

Biogene ESHG European Human Genetics Conference exhibition backdrop - white

Biogene ESHG European Human Genetics Conference exhibition backdrop - AV presentation

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fix mobile usability issues found on [your domain inserted here]

Fix mobile usability issues found on [your domain inserted here]

For several months, Google have been sending out emails to webmasters with the title "Fix mobile usability issues found on [your domain inserted here]".

In some cases, these can be a bit worrying, because they say things like "Google systems have tested 100 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors".

Google warns you "These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users."

Which is another way of saying that you're potentially missing out on mobile users, because when they search the web, they probably won't find your site – and they may well find a competitor's.

In practice, this means the site wasn't built with mobile devices in mind and so the links are probably too small and too close together for people to be able to click on. And the text is too small to read without zooming in.

Theoretically, your site will be missing out on mobile users, because when people search Google on their phone, they probably won't find it –they will find a competitor's site.

Don't panic - nothing has changed on the site and there are no faults that need to be fixed as such, it's just that Google has started a programme of sending out emails to the webmasters of sites that are not yet "mobile-friendly".

As a major mover in the mobile 'phone market, Google has a vested interest in making the mobile internet experience better for everyone - hence the inflammatory language they're using in their mailout, with words like "fix" and "critical... errors" to scare webmasters into getting up to date.

There are simple steps you can take to solve this. Inevitably it will involve an investment in bringing the site up to date but on the upside you'll be improving the experience for all your website visitors and quite possibly increasing sales or enquiries.