Forest Software

Web, SEO and IT & Business Advice for the Smaller Business


Last updated on April 13th, 2015 at 01:57 pm

I was looking at several ex-clients over the week-end and noticed that many of them had moved to WordPress related sites, presumably done so that they could update the content of the sites themselves (or maybe because this was what their new designer felt was the easiest way to build a website for them – I’ve even seen in the past comments on forums that have said that you have to use WordPress to build websites).

Now, while this is certainly a good, fast, and easy way to build sites there are some things that you need to be aware of if you have a WordPress related the site.  These range from the true ability to optimise the site correctly, something that is possible but a little more difficult than a hand built site in my experience, through to the dangers of running your site on out of date software. It’s this latter problem that this blog posting is about. Continue reading

Last updated on April 13th, 2015 at 02:24 pm

I should start this blog post by saying that I have been a happy client of 123-reg for domain registrations and renewals for many years now, in fact I think I first used them about 14 years ago.  Having said that I need to warn everyone about their latest method of extracting money from people.

I register domains on behalf of people when we build websites for them and, as with many small businesses in this field, renew them on behalf of the clients.  Recently there have been a couple of domains where the client has been unsure if they wanted to renew them so (as I have  been paying by Paypal for the domain expenses – figuring that that is one less company that has access to my card details) I suspended the Paypal agreement so that money couldn’t be taken for the renewals.

This is where the problem starts,  last month a new agreement seemed to be set up without me knowing resulting in money being taken from a bank account unexpectedly.  I contacted Paypal and all they could tell me was that the agreement had been set up on a specific day – ok, I could see that on the paypal screen and had even told their support team the dates but the client wanted the domain renewed so I let it go but made sure that the agreement had been cancelled yet again. Continue reading

Last updated on April 13th, 2015 at 02:29 pm

Recently I have talked to several small (and not so small) businesses that have completely redesigned their websites and have suffered a drop in the number of visitors to their sites.

They are understandably concerned by this turn of events, even making the comment “I thought that Google liked new content”.

There are several reasons why the number of visitors to a redesigned site may have dropped including :-

  • The page content has changed so that the search engine ranking has fallen for the page
  • The internal navigation has changed so that the engines can’t find their way around the site so easily
  • The urls  have changed for the pages and you have not set up re-directions to the new pages (maybe you have just changed the page name, maybe you have moved several pages into a new folder to keep them together or maybe you have gone from a static set of pages to a database driven site that means that the page names have had to change.

Continue reading

Faster Broadband : © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime.comHaving moved recently from Peterborough to North Wales I was prepared for a drop in broadband speed and had already looked at the estimated speeds for the new area – it seemed that I could possibly get 1Mb on an ADSL line.

When we moved and I checked the actual broadband speed once it had settled down I was concerned to see that it had dropped from 1MB to just over 0.5Mb – my work depends on having a reliable connection at as fast a speed as I could get it.

Researching on the net, I came across several articles that mentioned the ring wire on the internal telephone wiring (in particular this article at Kitz on improving your ADSL speed) and they all mentioned the fact that having the ringwire connected meant that it could act as an antenna and was not needed on modern telephones.

I decided to take a look at the wiring in the house and immediately found that there was not an up-to-date socket anywhere which meant that I had to find the master socket another way.  A quick read-up showed me that the mater socket would have a capacitor in it so it was a case of opening each of the 6 telephone wall sockets (one at a time) to find the one I was looking for.  Fortunately it only took me 3 sockets before I found the right one and when I looked at it it seemed that someone else had had the same idea.  The ring wire had been disconnected from one side of the socket – but whoever had done this had taken it from the input side and not disconnected it from the side that ran around the house.

So, making sure that what I was doing was legal – you can’t interfer with wires on the BT side of the socket, I disconnected the ringwire and rebooted the ADSL router.  I was amazed to get an immediate speed of 1.6Mb on the line (remember that I had been struggling to get anything over 0.5Mb) and since then the line speed seems to have settled at 1.4Mb – still nearly a mb more than I was getting.

If you are having problems with your broadband and have access to the telephone wiring this is something that I would recommend that you consider – although as I have said, you must make sure that anything you do is not on the BT side of the master socket, this is illegal and could result in prosecution and/or a fine by BT.

About this blog

Over the years we have published many articles based around the questions that we get asked from small businesses relating to marketing, SEO, general business advice and other subjects.  You can find a list of related articles grouped by subject below or can even search for a word or phrase or browse our recent articles.

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Other sites of interest

The Crafty Kitten, a local craft and gift shop.

Welsh Dragons made from polymer clay.

UK Business Services directory.

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