Archives

Posted on May 17, 2017

5 ways to speed up your website

websites

 

5 ways to speed up your website

In today’s digital-savvy world, you need to ensure that your website is always running as quickly as possible. Not only is speed a convenient feature when you’re designing and editing your website, but it’s important for delivering the best possible service to your readers and potential customers. In fact, 40% of people say that they’d abandon a website that takes too long to load, so it’s essential that you keep your site lightning-fast at all times. Below, we’ve put together five ways to speed up your website.

5 ways to speed up your website

  1. Use a content delivery network

Content delivery networks, often known as CDNs, cache your website and deliver it across hundreds of different servers depending on where it is being accessed from. One of the most popular content delivery networks is CloudFlare, but many web hosts and server providers now include their own forms of content delivery as part of their service.

  1. Switch to a better web host

If your site is running slow, then the chances are that you’re on a server that just isn’t fit for your needs. This could be because the server is old, or even that it’s operating from a different country, so find a UK-based web host such as PAC Web Hosting to host your website. What’s more, PAC offers free SSL certificates, which are known to improve the performance and security of your website, and they use LiteSpeed web servers to deliver your content as quickly as possible to your end users.

  1. Cache your content

WordPress plugins such as W3 Total Cache can be used to help speed up your website – simply download the plugin from the internet and set it up on your server. Such plugins reduce the download times of your content, which not only helps to reduce the amount of bandwidth your website uses but helps regarding search engine optimisation and can deliver a ten times improvement in site performance on Google’s Page Speed Insights.

  1. Cut down on images

Although images are important in modern web design, too many high retina images can slow down your website and make your content take longer to be delivered. If you do need to use images, then consider using a ‘smushing’ tool – that is, a tool that automatically reduces the size of your image files without cutting the quality of the images.

  1. Have a responsive website

Responsive web design is a buzz phrase in the digital marketing industry now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses. Responsive web design allows your website to scale depending on the size of the screen that user access your content from, and means that you won’t need to create several versions of the same website for desktop, mobile and tablet. By using an optimised, responsive theme, you’ll be able to cut down on load times.

We’ve put together just five of the best ways to reduce the amount of time it takes for your website to load, but there are a lot more factors to consider. Start with the basics, and you’ll soon see that your website is faster and offers more value to your reader than ever before.

Posted on May 3, 2017

How to take good care of your Raspberry Pi

computers

raspberry

There’s no question that the little single-board computer known as the Raspberry Pi has made a staggering impact since the release of the first version – the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B – in 2012.

So many people in schools and developing countries around the world have effectively been introduced to the wonders of computer science through this marvellous microcomputer, with many of its most ardent fans coming from well beyond its initial target markets.

However, if there is one obvious downside to the Raspberry Pi, it’s that it’s an undeniably delicate little thing that can be highly susceptible to accidental damage. So, what do you need to do to ensure that your own Raspberry Pi remains in tip-top condition?

raspberry pi

Consider investing in a protective case

Yes, I know you’re already sick of me telling you this, but it really is vital to appreciate just how vulnerable the Raspberry Pi is to all of those little knocks or other mishaps that could cause terminal damage.

In its ‘off the shelf’ form, the Raspberry Pi is a naked circuit board with nothing whatsoever to protect it. Nor can you depend on simply ‘getting by’ if it does sustain damage, as any bent or broken part will mean that it no longer works at all.

The logical answer to this problem is to invest in a protective case for your Pi, although this still raises the question of whether it’s best to opt for a ‘homemade’ case or one of the many dedicated Raspberry Pi cases now available on the market.

Should you make your own Raspberry Pi case?

It can certainly be fun to design and make your own case for your Raspberry Pi – just look at this guide on the Instructables site to how you can make one out of Lego, for example.

Alternatively, you might be lucky enough to find a container at home that is just the right size for a Raspberry Pi, although in most cases, it will probably be either a bit too small or a big too big. Many smaller cases, for example, have the problem of leaving the SD card sticking out, which means you will also need to acquire a separate SD card case.

As for the bigger containers that you might happen to come across at the back of one of your kitchen cupboards, there might be more than enough space for the SD card, but you might also have the problem of your Raspberry Pi being left rattling around inside. You might have to include some ‘padding’ to keep your Pi still in there, which is obviously far from ideal.

OK, so what about the various dedicated cases out there?

Good idea! I recently decided to log onto one of the best-known Raspberry Pi-related online stores – The Pi Hut – to browse their range of cases. I quickly discovered that there’s a very smart-looking official case for the Raspberry Pi 3, in a pleasing red and white design and providing a snug and secure fit for the Pi, while also leaving all of the primary ports – including the microSD – accessible.

This case was only priced at £6 at the time of my visit, and with its five-star reviews and optional clip-on lid for further protection if needed, it ticks a lot of boxes for a great Raspberry Pi case for such a low price. It’s also available in black and grey, and there’s a smaller version for the Raspberry Pi Zero as well.

raspberry pie

What else do you need to know about caring for your Pi?

Caring properly for your Raspberry Pi isn’t just about the physical protection side of things – in today’s Internet of Things (IoT) world, it’s also advisable to be alert to the risk of hacking attacks when you use your Pi with connected devices or home automation projects.

It’s therefore well worth consulting a guide such as this one at Hackster on how you can make your Pi as secure as possible against the likes of man in the middle and spoofing attacks. You can even set up a firewall for your Pi, together with an intrusion detection system that lets you know if someone still somehow manages to penetrate your Pi’s defences.

With all of the above said, however, it’s worth emphasising that a Linux-based computer like the Raspberry Pi isn’t really vulnerable to virus attacks in the way that a Windows PC is. This is due to various factors, including – but not necessarily limited to – the wide range of Raspberry Pi software permutations that makes it harder for attackers to define a particular target, as well as the generally tech-savvy nature of Raspberry Pi users compared to Windows ones.

In summary, then, when you want to protect your Raspberry Pi against all of the problems that could realistically befall it, it’ll be physical protection to which you need to pay the most attention. Feel free to share your own advice below on how to best care for a Raspberry Pi and keep it working like clockwork for a long time to come!

Posted on February 24, 2017

The Big Small Business Survey

geek

Ah, small businesses. We all love to support them and help their businesses to become a success. We see them as friendlier and more personal than a big company. Everyone loves an underdog, right?

Instaprint recently carried out a small business survey. The results are interesting, so take a look!

Posted on February 23, 2017

Top 5 messaging apps

phones

Top 5 messaging apps

There is an abundance of messaging apps out there for smartphones, and it’s often very difficult to chose the one that’s suitable for your needs, whether it’s for personal use or business. You’ll likely to do all sorts of research when it comes to a new phone and, after you’ve trawled through different mobile networks, product types and models on tech blogs, you’ll now you need an app that will perform the tasks most important to you. Below, we’ve put together the top five messaging apps for you to consider.

WHATSAPP

WhatsApp is enormously popular with 800 million users worldwide; this could have something to with it boasting apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and the Windows Phone. WhatsApp allows you to send photos, documents, text and call over Wi-Fi for free – ideal to avoid the costly MMS charges or if you want to call a friend from abroad for a catch-up. It’s simple to use, free and you can log onto your WhatsApp from your computer, too.

GOOGLE MESSENGER

For all those people out there love to customise and organise their lives, Google Messenger offers you this in the form of colour coordinating your contacts. It has a fluid easy-to-use design that lets you scroll through your messages easily. Unfortunately, all you iPhone lovers out there will be left out with this one as it’s only available on Android. However, that’s not to say that you can’t message someone who doesn’t have Google Messenger, they just won’t have the same colourful responses as you do.

SKYPE

Skype is mostly known for video calls, but you can also send instant messages to any of your Skype contacts. It’s an all singing, all dancing app that gives you three different ways to communicate in one go. Ideal if you want a ‘face to face’ conference call, chat to a relative that lives far away or send an instant message to a friend. It’s very easy to download and can be used on a number of devices. It’s also free if you’re just after the basic package.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Skype, consider the virtual phone numbers for businesses offered by Capital Telecommunications. Not only do they offer a range of 03 and 08 numbers to use for your business, but they allow you to use them from your smartphone.

SIGNAL

A messaging app for those worried about privacy. It comes from Open Whisper Systems (that has the seal of approval from Edward Snowden, no less), is simple to use and your conversations are encrypted. It is available for iOS and Android, keeping its target market pretty open. There is no message backup, so don’t send anything you don’t want to keep permanently, this is because it doesn’t record metadata. So if you need to send a colleague delicate information or you’re concerned about phone hacking, this could be the perfect choice for you.

FROZEN CHAT

Like Signal, Frozen Chat offers end-to-end encryption, but it also has Off The Record Messaging. This means that your messages are protected, and you can verify whom you’re speaking to. Unlike Signal, Frozen Chat is only available on Android but could be the solution to your security fears.

Posted on February 15, 2017

A Brief History of Microsoft Windows

computers

A Brief History of Microsoft Windows

Since Windows 1 was launched in 1985, the Windows operating system has changed massively.

My first memories of Windows were on version 3.1. Basically, the only thing you could do was play solitaire, draw on point and use the notepad.

I was sent this infographic over to share with you all about the different versions of windows have changed over time. It’s hard to imagine an operating system in 2017 that could run off 192KB ram!

Take a look and get nostalgic:

A Brief History of Microsoft Windows

Posted on January 8, 2017

Sausage Party // The Weirdest Movie EVER

movies

Sausage Party review

It’s not often a film grabs my attention right from the start, but from the opening song started by the corn on the cob, which outlines the foods desire to be chosen by a human and taken to the great beyond – the ultimate goal – I was hooked.

Sausage Party is based in a supermarket. The animated cartoon appears to be for a younger audience until the profanity used comes fast and hard.

So what does happen to food once it leaves the supermarket? Honey Mustard, after being bought by mistake instead of normal mustard, has had a glimpse of The Great Beyond and comes back ‘fucked up’. After being threatened by Firewater to have his throat slit in his sleep unless he keeps the truth hush, he eventually commits suicide by jumping out of the shopping cart when he is picked again. This leaves Frank the sausage and his girlfriend Bun out of their packaging, as they attempted to save Honey Mustards life. Terrorised by a Douche, they search for Firewater to find the answer to what’s beyond the supermarket doors.

What comes next is a dirty puns, swears and a philosophical undertone about the meaning of life and what’s beyond death.

You shouldn’t watch this if you’re unable to poke a bit of fun at religion, sexuality and life. The ending of sausage party is unexpected and will leave you thinking ‘What the fuck?’ 

Sausage Party review

Sausage Party review Sausage Party review Sausage Party review

Posted on December 27, 2016

The Best Online Pharmacy. Buy Cialis Without Prescription – Orders-Cialis.info

games

Why buy cialis on the internet is really beneficial for you?

So you’ve decided to order cialis and do not know where to start? We can give you some advice. First, ask your doctor for advice in order to properly determine the dosage, when you do that, you need to decide for yourself exactly where you will be buying the drug. You can buy cialis online, or you can just buy it at the pharmacy. Buy cialis online has a number of advantages, one of which is price. The cost of the Internet will always be lower than in stores, and when combined with the free shipping, it will be the best choice. Besides the price there are a number of advantages over conventional pharmacies, one of which is anonymity. Also, you can always check the online store on reliability, read reviews about it and the opinion of other buyers. Read more.

Posted on December 19, 2016

A Christmas Wislist for a Geeky Man

geek

5 things (17)

Less than a week to go and you’re still worrying about what to get a geeky man in your life? Check out some of these and get them on quick delivery ASAP!

Untitled

One // Two // Three
Four // Five // Six

Everyone loves and hates Monopoly. I remember wanting to play it but also getting so annoyed and bored with how long it takes. How about a themed version for a bit of fun?

I went to a bar launch a few weeks ago and I loved that they had a big ice ball in one of the whiskey cocktails. This death star ice mould is perfect and I’m actually tempted to buy myself a couple!

Lighters are always useful, whether you smoke or not for lighting candles or a manly fire. Or something like that.

Again with the Star Wars theme – light up chop sticks?

These virtual reality headsets look like loads of fun! I’d love to try one out and I bet any guy would, too.

Winter is coming has to be one of the most said phrases on Game of Thrones. Apart from ‘A Lannister always pays his debts’. Love this chopping board!

What ideas do you have for geeky men?

Untitled3 copy

Posted on October 17, 2016

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse // Review

computers/ tech

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review I was recently sent the Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse to review.

The mouse is designed to allow you to perform movements on your computer while using your body parts designed for these types of moments. Rather than using shoulders and arms in an unnatural and healthy position, the Penclic B2 lets you use your fingers to carry out these movements to help reduce the likelihood of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review

I love the packaging of the product, it’s encased in a cylinder tube that is easily put back together – handy if you want to sell the product at a later date.

The Penclic Mouse comes with a start-up guide and a troubleshooting leaflet. In typical electronics style, both guides had many languages. Despite the size of the leaflet, there wasn’t much information at all. I ended up going on the Penclic website to download the startup guide which included more detail with pictures.

Hey, I need pictures because I’m a useless girl. Don’t judge me, okay?

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review

The box also includes a pouch which is home to the USB port and rechargeable battery.

You put the battery in the bottom of the pen and plug the USB cable in to charge it. The light on the front flashes green when charging. It then has a continuous green light once fully charged.

To connect it, you press a button underneath to connect the device by Bluetooth.

I’m not going to lie, I found it hard connecting the mouse. It didn’t seem to like my computer. I then dropped it by accident and the pen fell out of its socket. I pushed it back in and then it seemed to work. Maybe the fall did it good, ha! It doesn’t seem damaged at all by the little accident.

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review

Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review Penclic B2 Bluetooth Mouse Review

penclic mouse b2 penclic mouse b2

Overall, the pen looks great on the desk although it’s quite awkward to use. It’s nicer to use than a traditional mouse, but I think I still prefer my track pad on my Mac over the pen as I’m used to the shortcuts and everything already.

I think it would take a few weeks of using it to fall in love and because I don’t suffer from any pains due to my excessive computer use, I don’t quite need to do this yet, but it’s good to know I have the option.

Untitled3 copy

Back to top