Heres something I have been using for the last 4 years and I had just stopped thinking about it until I got a new laptop recently and I wondered why my eyes were getting tired and strained at night – as I sat in a low lit room using my laptop and then I remembered f.lux. Computers are designed to give the amount of background light based on bright days and good office lighting – and not for soft room lighting.
F.Lux acts like a 24 hour guard on your computer – calculating what time of day it is and adjusting your screen lighting to the appropriate backlighting and I really love it – particularly because it all happens automatically. Its Free and you can download it here
One small word of warning – if you are working with detailed colours, it is best to switch it off as it can impact on how you perceived detailed colours. Other than that – for me its great – and my eyes dont get tired and I dont get headaches.
Handyweb.ie are delighted to announce its oSS shop solution where we now provide a single shop package that will take care of your online sales and offline sales – all on the one management system.
Retail outlets thinking of moving online have been put off by the additional problems of stock management for their website and their shop.
Handyweb.ie have put their techie and software resources into delivering a single system that works both in your physical shop and on your e-commerce website.
The online and retail single solution ( oSS ) just announced by handyweb.ie delivers a complete online shop management system – including stock, products, variables, range of shipping options, vouchers, payment, order processing and report systems that allows the website owner to be in control of their online shop. What is particularly new is that Handyweb.ie now extends this software to allow a barcode scanner, till printer and cash drawer connect with your laptop, desktop or tablet and operate a till system that works directly from your online shop so you have a single stock control across your online and offline business, you have a single software package that runs the the till and online orders and even allows you accept cash sales at the till as well as credit and debit cards – without having to have a payment machine in your shop.
Its the perfect solution that all shops have been waiting for – no need for an additional EPos system, and no worries about trying to have your Till system talk to your website software and no requirement to pay large sums for systems that just about connect these – but never in the way you want.
Handywebs One Stop Shop (oSS) – is the perfect solution that cuts out duplication and seriously reduces costs for the retailer/trader
It allows retail outlets expand at a low cost to become online shops – after all you already have the expertise, you know your products , so why not sell to a larger audience and even offer a 24/7 service to your existing customers – with Handywebs “One Stop Shop Solution.
For e-Commerce traders – considering opening a physical shop or Shops – to reach out to the “feet on the street” – its a singular solution that allows you keep maximum control with the minimum effort.
Having developed and trialed the oSS system over the last 6 months – Handyweb.ie are delighted to make this available and will start accepting inquiries from 16th June 2015 .
For further information contact Handyweb.ie and put your business ahead of the rest – with the Retail/trader Online and Offline oSS solution.
You will have noticed the growing number of websites with messages similar to
Most websites are required under legal compliance to display a Privacy Statement
How do I know if my website needs to have a Privacy Statement?
If your site does any of the following: –
Collects personal data (visitors filling in web forms, feedback forms, etc).
Covertly collects personal data (IP addresses, e- mail addresses.)
Then you are legally obliged to have a privacy statement on your website?
How do I display my Privacy Statement?
On arrival at your website visitors must have an option to view your policy and this can be covered in a number of ways and depending on how you collect data and what it is used for then your Privacy Statement needs to ensure the website visitor can read how their data can be used, which gives them the option of continuing or not continuing to use your website based on this information.
The legal requirement:
Two distinct pieces of legislation apply: The Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 (“The Acts”) and Statutory Instrument Number 336 of 2011 European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services)(Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011 (“SI 336/2011”)
Section 2(1)(a) of the Acts requires that: –
“The data or, as the case may be, the information constituting the data shall have been obtained, and the data shall be processed fairly”.
This fair obtaining principle generally requires that a person whose data are processed is aware of at least the following:
The identity of the person processing the data.
The purpose or purposes for which the data are processed.
Any third party to whom the data may be disclosed.
The existence of a right of access and a right of rectification.
Failure to comply could result in prosecution / penalty of up to €100,000!
A contravention of the provisions of the Acts can result in investigation and enforcement action by the Data Protection Commissioner. If the Commissioner issues an enforcement notice requesting that you either place a Privacy Statement on your site, or cease processing data, failure to comply could result in prosecution with a possible penalty of up to €100,000 and/or deletion of any/all data collected via the website.
Additionally, section 7 of the Acts gives a person a right to take Civil Action against you if that person has been damaged by the manner in which you have processed his/her data.
Businesses know it is important to be trading online. In fact, 60% of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) have a website and online presence, yet a lot of them admit that cannot process sales on the internet!
It is a logical step to conclude from the above that there is a combination of fear and lack of understanding that is stopping businesses from taking a step this close to the lowest cost of expansion for any business.
So let’s have a look at 7 great reasons why you should seriously think about embracing Ecommerce!
7 great reasons why you should start doing business online
1. An Ecommerce is cheaper
Setting up an Ecommerce business costs an awful lot less than opening a new premises on the high street. It is obvious, but still a valid point to consider.
2. An Ecommerce is quicker
You can quickly take payments online from clients (also as deposits from slow payers, if you use QuickPay). This is quite a useful starting point to get businesses used to the value of online payment.
3. An Ecommerce can always be open
This benefits both you and your customers. People may want to buy products from your shop but really don’t have the time or the chance to stop by. Having an Ecommerce enables them to browse your catalog and buy anything, anytime and anywhere.
4. An Ecommerce can still be personal and unique
An Ecommerce doesn’t have to be as massive and corporate-looking as Amazon. There are plenty of very unique Ecommerce websites that carry as much personality as their owners can offer. Many customers are attracted by something that feels unique and has a personal touch.
5. Ecommerce websites have grown popular
In 2013, Irish people spent over 4 billion online. By the end of 2017 this is estimated to rise up to 21 billion. Do you really want to miss out on this?
6. Ecommerce + SEO + Social Media Marketing = Success!
With an Ecommerce it’s easy to get started with both. It’s not as easy as sharing a post or tweeting, but it something that anybody can learn how to do, given they are willing to spend time learning and practicing.
Or you can have a third party expert to manage SEO and Social Media Management for your Ecommerce. Someone like us!
7. A single Stock Control System for both Online and Retail Store
Of course, there are businesses that do have a Retail store, but benefit a lot from their Ecommerce website. An example of such business is The South African Shop in Mullingar.
We helped the owner designing a website that also works as an all-in-one POS System, syncing the stock available at the retail and on the online shop.
An Ecommerce can be cheap, can help you earn money while you sleep, can be as unique and personal as you are and can also exist along with your Retail store.
These are just few of the reasons why a business should embrace Ecommerce. In the end your business will thank you as you will be surprised how cost effective it is to deliver.
7 quick suggestions (plus one bonus recommendation)
Visitors to your website need to know they can trust you. Its not just about the products and services you offer. Visitors need to get a sense of who you are so they want to trust doing business with you.
This post will deal with two aspects of building that trust – that are essential to the personal relationship visitors want – which allows them relate stronger with you.
Lets start with the bonus suggestion first……
A) Are you real and how do I know you exist.
Start with your contact details – Not showing a full postal address and contact details – is one of the top reasons visitors shy away from websites, so we recommend an informative Contact Page that builds trust :- that shows your full address, phone number and a contact form. Add a google map of your physical location which will allow your website visitors know you have in place the number one confidence requirement – “that you actually exist in a physical location and they can contact you in case of need.
While all this may sounds obvious – but not everyone does it! – and web users have learned the hard way to walk away from websites that cause them even the slightest doubt.
B)About Us Page
Many new website owners seek to fill this webpage with mundane information because as business owners they are focussed on content that they believe visitors are more interested in. A good “About us” website page will be a “converter” – i.e. either convert a consideration to buy on your online shop into a purchase or convert a half interested visitor into being comfortable that you are a business they can trust to make further contact with.
For this reason I strongly recommend giving some thought to the content of our about us page.
1) Know your audience – an online shop may require to promote the brand stronger here while a business to business website may need to promote their people and the quality of service.
2) Tell your business story history about its founders and their mission and how the business has grown. If a new business share your enthusiasm for the gap in the market you are fulfilling and how you will provide them with a better service. – Remember its all about building trust.
3) Don’t lie – Don’t pretend you are a 10 year old business and you actually started last week. Trust is built with 1) and 2) above and is completely ruined by telling lies. Yes google is responsible for access to a lot of the information that gets you found out – Don’t take the risk because it only takes a few seconds to be found out!
4) Be PASSIONATE – ensure your website visitors know you ( and your colleagues) are passionate about what you do, be that for your level of service, range of products, unique proposition, etc – don’t be shy about letting them know how much you care about them getting great products or service. Your love and enthusiasm will build confidence.
5) Mission, Vision or USP – If there is something unique or market leading about your product/service – get this message across here – you can still link to references in other sections of your website. If you have a unique selling proposition ( USP) ensure you get this across and if you are more of a corporate ensure your Mission statement and Vision comes across.
6) Testimonials – Testimonials are the online equivalent of walking into a physical store or office that seriously impresses you and gives you confidence that this is a strong business doing well. A couple of testimonials from a range of genuine customers/clients will have that same strong impact online. Don’t neglect this even if you are new to business – then you should grow this as your business grows and actively seek testimonials from early clients.
7) Images – A picture paints a thousand words and a poor out of focus makes you look like a dilapidated business in a falling down building. Always use quality images and in your ” About us” page – let them show what your business is about and ideally show real people that visitors can relate to.
The information on your about us page should come across as showing your vision and expertise, your passion, your customer care, and be backed up by quality images and Testimonials. The about us page does not have to be a novel – but should be thought through in terms of having a sentance or short par and pics that reflect the 7 steps above.
For a website owner – it should mean having a website that automatically looks its best on all size devices from Desktops to mobiles. It should mean that your users get fast loading web pages that are easy to use.
For the website developer – it means delivering a consistent good user experience no matter what device the website is being viewed on and that content is presented in an easy to follow manner on each of these devices. Web Developers need to ensure your website works fluidly on ……
Quality Responsive Website Design
3) Tablets/ iPads
Why do I need a responsive website now?
Until the arrival of the iPad there was no need for any of us to even wonder what “responsive” web design and making websites iPad friendly became an option ( but not a requirement) The arrival of the “smartphone” has meant that we all need to take the word “responsive” as an important feature in websites ( and thus a higher level of interest has grown in having websites “responsive” ) and in April this year when Google announced ” we are starting mobile friendliness as a “ranking signal” – the whole web community has woken up to “responsive” now becoming an absolute – as the effect of this announcement is that searches done on smartphones – will result in “no shows” for websites that are not smartphone friendly.
Yes, you do need a responsive website now -(unless your focus is on ensuring you have less visitors to your website, which I am sure is not the case) Because the phenomenal growth in smartphone usages – up to 33% (and growing) of all web searches are done on smartphones and if your website is not responsive then a minimum of three things will happen when users visit your website on their smartphone:-
It will be cumbersome for visitors to navigate your website, having to drag it left and right, enlarge type to view and find it hard to click through to sections – and you do not need to make it hard work to use your website, because the visitor has so many other options on the web
Images and content will not be as fast or smooth as a responsive website – so you are delaying them in viewing your content – and they move on
Most importantly – if google ranking detects you are not smartphone friendly (i.e. responsive) then you are most unlikely to appear in any google searches done on mobile phones.
The power of “Goggle” is such that is is forcing people to move to “responsive” web design and while that many seem like a pain for “businesses” that are not responsive, it is positive for end users to know that websites they search for will work well on their chosen device. The challenge to business owners is to deliver a quality responsive website that attracts more visitors.
If your website is responsive there is nothing to do.
If not you have 3 choices …
A) Convert your current website to responsive – can be more work than the next two options
B) Use a mobile theme – google don’t really like you having two websites with same content so you need to be careful how you implement this. or
C)Get a fresh responsive design that does not oblige you to make compromises as you will have to do with the first two options. – This way you can get the most up to date responsive styling without compromising.