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What is SEO and is your WordPress site secure

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 25/08/2015 - 10:28am

Today I am providing some answers to common questions we get asked and not just focusing on Windows 10. However I will have one little Windows 10 section as well for those who have updated already.

Are you actually harnessing the power of Office 365?

Jethro-Facebook-Office-365-Mobility-Business

When you made the strategic decision to move some or all of your business to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365 that was a good call. But since you made that call have you actually extracted as much value from this tool as possible, or is a large part of your investment lying there just untapped?

With our free customer audits we offer the opportunity to discuss what you have in place and what you don’t but could be utilising. Here’s a quick checklist. Are you utilising the power of these products?

Feature

Description

Major Benefits

Who should use

Skype for Business

Instant Messaging and Hi Def Video conference communicator for staff, customers and suppliers

Find out about Skype for Business

Hi Def Video conversations

Instant messaging

Presence indicator

Tightly integrated with Outlook

Presentation and webinar system

Any business with multiple staff

Any business with customers or suppliers who use Skype or Skype for business

Anyone who uses Outlook heavily

Anyone who needs to share their content via voice conference or webinar (private or public)

SharePoint

Document management system

Find out about SharePoint

Multiple version management

Single point of reference

Reduce attachments in email

Remote / mobile access to documents

Collaborative (multi user) editing

Any business creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets, video content or PowerPoint decks

Any business with staff roles and security levels for access

Any user who has more than one device (e.g. laptop and PC, or tablet and mobile)

Any business who collaboratively creates documents

OneNote

Note taking application that includes web clipping, email saving and screen shot saving

Find out about OneNote

Organise notes, to do lists, screenshots, and other important information in one place.

Easily share some or all of any notebook with multiple people as read only or read write

Automatically syncs across every device you own with no need to save

Anyone who writes to do lists

Anyone who needs to store important information like passwords

Anyone who needs to share with staff important information e.g. shared notes about customers

Anyone who needs to create screenshots and turn them into images

Delve

Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging

Find out about Delve

Surfaces information already being created in the organisation by other people you might not know about

Improves collaboration

Integrates with Yammer

Any business with a team working on a projects or shared work

Any user wanting to find other documents in the organisation

Any business with 3-5 or more staff who create and edit documents

Yammer

Private Enterprise Social Network.

Also allows connection with external networks

Find out about Yammer

Find information and answers to common questions easily

Communicate with peers and colleagues on projects and documents

Network with others inside and outside your organisation

Any business with multiple locations or remote workers

Any business that works with customers or suppliers who also use Yammer

Any business that runs projects

Sway

Online publishing tool

Find out about Sway

Create and share polished, interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more

Any business creating presentations or reports

Any user creating content

Anyone needing to provide a slick looking web presentation of their information or data

Contact us now to if you haven’t had your free audit or want to know more about any of these products.

SEO Is no longer an option for business it’s a Must

Here is a fairly long explanation of what SEO actually is if you ever wondered just what those telemarketers are offering when they ring up and say they can put you on the front page of Google. I debunk the myths and explain the actual science of SEO so business owners can understand it.

image001Definitions
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – commonly referred to as getting on page one of Google for a search. However there is a lot more to it than that. It is actually about ensuring that the website has all the components in place to assist the search engine crawlers (Bing Yahoo and Google) to rank you correctly. There are a number of components and I have attached a cheat sheet that describes most of these. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing – paying for ranking improvements by the use of AdWords, Click marketing and other techniques.
  • SMM – Social Media Marketing – very broad term around utilising social media as a marketing tool
  • Black hat SEO – refers to aggressive and often “bad” methods of attempting to “game” the crawler algorithms by taking advantage of them. Usually a short-lived approach and is generally only used by the scammers – those who call up in a foreign accent and tell you they want to help you improve your SEO. While these often work well for 1-2 months the end result is usually a lower result as you can get blacklisted for doing it.
  • White hat SEO – the professional approach to doing it right using known techniques that actually work.
Measurement

There are some easy ways to define measurement and then a whole range of additional metrics that are far more in depth and specific. The first task is of course a goal or goals that need to be set in order to measure improvement of the metrics against those goals. For example measuring the number of people who come to the site isn’t really relevant without adding in calls to action and then measuring those calls to action. Then you can determine if a particular piece of work changed any of those things.

Using Google analytics is extremely important and should be enabled by your web developer. If you are not sure ask us. Metric management is about tracking the specific stats against a goal and the changes as you do things. Google analytics can measure how many people clicked on the contact form page and how long they stayed there, where they came from and where they went next. Some of the specific things that can be measured external to the google analytics are the number of enquiries you receive from the website forms. This can then help us create a ratio as follows:

no of people viewing a sales page : no of people clicking from the sales page with a call to action to the contact form page : no of enquiry forms received : your conversion from those enquiries to sales. Example 1000:150:8:5

This then allows you to set a goal around that ratio metric – e.g. increase the numbers or improve the ratios.

The actual measurement then requires three things:

  1. A measureable goal
  2. The stats being collected from the website
  3. And the additional stats provided by yourselves.

Additionally Goals themselves should be what is known as SMART goals:

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

  • Who: Who is involved?
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • When: Establish a time frame.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……

How much? How many?

How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic- To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.

When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

How do we do this?

SEO is primarily about two things – Content and Currency.

Search engines rank you for the content on your site. They crawl words within context looking for relevancy. They look for timeliness or recentness.

This has to be developed backwards from the goals.

First you have to develop an avatar or a generic target customer. You create a mythical person who is your ideal next customer – the person you want to be having that phone call with selling your services. Once you identify the problem that person has that you can solve for them, then you need to work out how they find you. E.g. what was the problem? What words did they type into google to start finding solutions to the problem? How did that then find your website? When they found your website (page on your site) how well did the words you wrote confirm for them that you know how to solve their problem and convince them to contact you?

This leads you or us then to the ability to write content for your site that meets this objective. The more pages that can be written describing the real problems your customers have and how your company solves them. The more keywords there are that can be crawled by the search engines and the higher you will rank for those keywords. Adding in external links and other reference material, and then being referenced by other sites, analysts, uni students doing assignments on that problem and writing websites about them, etc. will help your rankings.

SEM – paying for it

A natural extension to the first component is to start paying for the results using AdWords and click marketing. E.g. paying for your site to be ranked higher or in suggested or advertised results sections on searches for certain keywords. Note there is no point doing this until you are already ranking well for those keywords. Your site needs to already have good content with those words before you can do this effectively.

SMM or Social Media Marketing

A powerful tool to massively leverage the ability for people to find your content and also improve SEO is SMM. This is extending the content you write on your site out into social media space – LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter are probably the best places and definitely Facebook as well. Each space has a different set of “rules” and ways to work and Twitter and Facebook also have the ability for you to pay money to advertise.

How do we help?

We have a very specific targeted approach to this and can assist at any one of three levels:

  • We can do everything for you including writing the articles
  • We can assist you by doing the technical and web stuff after you have written the content yourself
  • We can teach you how to do it yourself and then stand back and let you go to it on your own.

Our approach is simple.

The first step is to have a planning meeting where we assist in working out goals, setting a timetable of 6-12 months for content creation, determining the scope – e.g. website alone or extending to Social Media

From there we can help you work out who does what and what the cost will be.

Each step we take helps you identify the goals, how will measure it – who does what and how much it will cost. No black box “pay $40 a week and we will get you onto page 1” false promises.

Contact us today if you want a free analysis of your website for the 7 most common mistakes most business websites make (Usually $199). If you want a free SEO cheat sheet email and I will send one to you.

Is Your WordPress site secure?

wordpress-logoWordPress is one of the most popular CMS (Content Management System) website software out there. We have developed a lot of WordPress sites for our clients. What many people don't realise is that both the WordPress core system and all of the available WordPress plugins are vulnerable to hacking, and need to be monitored and kept up to date on a regular basis.

Keeping your website up to date will help safeguard and eliminate uninvited intruders or bugs on your site.

Nearly all of our clients take the approach to allow us to manage all aspects of the domain name management, hosting, development and ongoing maintenance. However we do allow our clients the flexibility to host elsewhere, manage the site and maintenance themselves if they wish.

Obviously we can’t be responsible for their site if issues occur if they’re choosing to host elsewhere or managing the site themselves. And unfortunately some people fail to keep their ‘versions’ of software and plugins up to date, again causing possible opportunities for hacking. The lack of updates, coupled with poor hosting environments can leave a website wide-open for security threats.

But time and time again, we have clients who do it themselves come to us pleading for us to help them out of a horrible hosting mess or to fix the site when it gets hacked or goes down.

Where there are WordPress sites there are hackers, and over time we’ve seen an increasing number of hacking attempts and malware on WordPress sites. We daily get reports from our managed sites indicating the targeted attacks occurring and the successful blocking of those attempts.

What Jethro does for our managed WordPress clients
  • Our servers are entirely owned and managed by us. There are no other resellers or websites on the server that we don’t have control of. When you host with crazy domains or any of the other cheap hosts you are subject to the fact that there are hundreds of not thousands of other sites on the same server – and while your site might not have any issues something happening to one of those other sites might cause your server to go down.
  • We monitor the servers constantly. Both at the server level where we receive text message and email notifications if something occurs, and at individual site level.
  • We harden the security of the default WordPress site way beyond the standard install. The standard install script most hosters offer for DIY leaves folders unprotected, easily guessable admin user names and no usually no password complexity requirements. We ensure that the site is as hard as possible to get to.
  • We don’t install 35 “that might be nice to have” plugins that may cause compatibility issues, security flaws or other issues. Every plugin we use has been tested over a long period of time, is compatible and has good developer maintenance.
  • We offer a maintenance service level agreement for all our clients that includes regular off server backups, plugin and core updates, documentation of all changes made and easy recovery if problems occur and active monitoring of the site.

Talk to us today about your WordPress website and ask us for a quick analysis of the site for potential problems. Better yet let us maintain this business asset for as little as $550 a year.

Welcome to the New Windows 10 Your Start screen

The Start menu is back—and it’s more personal, more organized, and more fun than before. Go to Start Windows logo icon on the taskbar on your keyboard. You'll find your most used apps on the left, the All apps list, and shortcuts to other locations on your PC, like File Explorer and Settings

win 10 start screen

Windows 10 Store

win 10 storeThe Store is a one-stop shop for music, videos, games, and apps.

Try out an app before you buy it, or pick a free one. Your Windows 10 apps will work on all your Windows 10 devices.

Application Switcher and Virtual Desktops

Click the application switcher for quick access to all your running apps. Or create and switch between virtual desktops.

win 10 desktops

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Windows 10 Bonanza

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 11/08/2015 - 3:28pm
Do NOT Upgrade Your Business PC to Windows 10 Yet

Jethro-Facebook-Windows-10-Pro-Banner

There are several things that you must have right first. Of course you don’t have to have them right and you can ignore this warning and just go ahead and upgrade – your call. But I’m wanting to save you money so listen up!

I have now upgraded more than 10 machines including touch and non-touch laptops, various tablets, multiple screen PCs, single screen PCs, virtual machines and from a variety of Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 tech preview existing installs. None have had issues that couldn’t be solved. But there are some warnings in the list below. So either read carefully before proceeding or call us to manage tour upgrades in the best possible way to avoid disruption to your staff and customers.

Licensing – General Information

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Windows 10 is free to upgrade from qualifying Windows 7 or 8 versions. The version you are currently licensed with in Windows 7 or 8 is what will map to the version in Windows 10. The information provided by Microsoft is difficult to clearly figure out what is and isn’t the right way to do it – licensing has never been easy to understand and it’s still not. This website tells us exactly what is and isn’t qualifying, what it means for OEM licences.

Business licensing

Businesses should always be using the correct licence. Unfortunately many business owners go and buy a machine from a major retailer that is not correctly licensed for business. A home premium edition of Windows 7 or 8 will not translate into a Windows 10 Pro licence, and all businesses should be using Windows 10 Pro, not home. I won’t go into the significant differences here, but essentially to upgrade will require you to pay for the right license at some point. Either before upgrade, or after.

Installing v Upgrading

Upgrading an existing machine will use approx. 20 GB drive space, download approx. 3.5GB of data and is completely reversible. The process itself installs the operating system side by side so reverting to the old system can be done very quickly if there is a failure or some other reason to revert. The benefits include keeping all your existing programs and data, most settings and personalisation exactly the way they were before. The cons are the same. You may want a clean slate!

There is a tool that can be used to upgrade multiple machines with only a single download. This can be installed on a USB key and used to either upgrade or install machines.

A fresh install is possible, but requires a valid license to install. The product key isn’t needed – it just validates online afterwards.

User Accounts

This is probably the most important reason for businesses NOT TO UPGRADE to Windows 10 just yet.

If you are a standalone PC user who doesn’t have office 365 then ignore this section. If you have Office 365 or a server or business network DO NOT IGNORE THIS.

Authentication and security is one of the biggest reasons to use Windows 10. For businesses one of their single biggest points of risk is cyber security, stolen or hacked passwords, unauthorised access, crypto virus attacks, and other security threats. Can you imagine calling your insurance broker to advise that your staff members corporate laptop or phone has been lost or stolen and having this conversation?

  1. Is there confidential information on that device, e.g. email, customer data, credit card information, passwords or unsecure access to corporate data systems?
  2. Is the hard drive encrypted?
  3. Can it be remotely wiped?

It’s likely you answered Yes, No and No respectively. If so you may be in a lot of trouble. Possibly the best case scenario is that all that happens is that you get a massive premium hike. Worst case – they might refuse to accept a claim and if someone uses that information you could face a court case for failure to protect private information, being audited by your bank for your merchant processes, and potentially having your merchant facilities reviewed or cancelled (imagine trading without an EFTPOS machine).

Windows 10 is designed from the ground up to be more secure, and there are lots of new advancements. Some of these will not be noticeable until new hardware supporting it comes out in the future.

So the first thing most people are faced with when upgrading is to provide a user account and password. The big question is which one do you use?

You have potentially 4 choices

  • Microsoft Account (default)
  • Office 365 Account
  • Local domain account
  • Local machine account

Knowing which one and why, and how, is what you pay me to do for you. This is a complex situation with the answers specific to each business so I won’t explain the differences here. Call me to upgrade!

Compatibility

Probably the biggest concern people have is, ”will my programs still work on Windows 10?” the answer is more than likely yes. Very old written for DOS or Windows 95 programs probably won’t work, but then they probably didn’t work on Windows 7 or 8 either. The upgrade process runs a compatibility check ensuring that applications and drivers are compatible. Generally they are. See the next section for exceptions.

Hardware

There are a number of exceptions to compatibility relating to hardware.

First of all let me say that generally if a machine was able to run Windows 7 or 8 it will be able to run Windows 10. This means that machines that are using Intel Gen 2 and 3 chipsets and motherboards are able to be given a new lease of life. And of course Gen 4 and the new Gen 5 chips are going to work. (Similarly with AMD but we generally don’t recommend or sell AMD CPUs and motherboards.)

How to find your chipset generation

Open My PC (Win + E keys) Right click My PC and go to properties. You should see this screen. The number after the Core TM ix (3/5/7) is the key. If it starts with a 2 its Gen 2, a 3, Gen 3, a 4, Gen 4, and 5 is the current latest chipset. Mine below is a Core i7 4771 so a Gen 4 machine.windows 10

The difficulties start with age and manufacture support. New machines will have manufacture support with drivers built for the Windows 10 OS released on their support websites. Older machines may but often don’t and very old machines definitely won’t. This isn’t generally an issue. Most essential motherboard drivers are updated by Microsoft via Windows update anyway. It is only very hardware specific drivers like built in webcams, Bluetooth and old Wi-Fi systems that might stop working. If you have an old machine (old is more Gen 3 or older and is likely on an old motherboard) than definitely contact us first.

Video Cards

The other specific issue I have encountered a number of times is with video card drivers. If you don’t have a separate video card ignore this section. NVidia have released new drivers for all their supported cards which is most going back a long way. I found drivers for 6 year old cards. The Windows 10 upgrade will drop the Windows 7/8 drivers and revert to a standard Microsoft one. Thus you will see the screen but in very low resolution and generally no multiple monitor support. The solution is to download the new drivers (preferably before you do the upgrade because of Java issues (see next section)).

Java

Oh how I hate Java! And I'm not alone. Chrome also hates it – and IE puts up with it. It seems Firefox is the only browser that really likes it. Windows 10 will probably mean an un-install and reinstall of Java. And to do it means using IE not Edge, the new browser in Windows 10. And of course Windows makes Edge the default browser when doing the upgrade. This is becoming a rant – but we now have a process to manage this for you if needed.

Contact us now to plan your upgrade to Windows 10.

How to not get ripped off when buying a “new” PC or laptop

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“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” Aldo Gucci.

This has never been any different in the past and probably won’t change in the future. And there are many companies out there offering up bargains on PCs and Laptops and tablets for those who don’t understand this age old maxim.

Before you go and buy a bargain for you, your school child or worse your business, please talk to us! I won’t charge you to advise you on your potential purchases. And of course if you are a business owner who we have developed a digital strategy for then of course we are doing this for you anyway.

See the section above about finding the chipset of your PC. The same chipset number system should be specified in the units being sold. I went and scanned the major computer retailers in Australia today for their lowest priced computers and laptops. It’s pretty safe to say that buying anything under $500 for a desktop and %700 for a laptop is a waste of time. You are likely purchasing something that has a 2nd or 3rg gen (in same cases even older) chip. While the unit is brand new this chip was manufactured possibly more than 5 years ago. It was not designed for today’s software or usage.

My recommendation is to always buy the most current chipset. The machines life then is measured in actual years from date of purchase and could be 4-5 and not by adding 2-4 years to that date and having an effective life of 2-3 years. Example, 6 years ago I bought a PC with the most expensive bleeding edge new Gen 3 chip I could find. That machine is still running solidly today (it has run nonstop almost 100% of that time) and is still going to be good for another 2-3 years. The investment at that point meant the machine hasn’t had to be replaced 3-4 years after purchase but will last twice as long. And it didn’t cost twice as much.

Talk to us about your device upgrade and replacement strategy today. Better yet let us develop a digital strategy for your business.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Windows 10 and Wi-Fi Sense

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 12:31pm

Did you know that Windows 10 is being released tomorrow?

windows-10-desktop-600

The world’s largest Software as a Service SaaS operating system release ever also marks the end of Windows as we know it. It will never again be released as an operating system the way we have known it up until now. Rather the company will begin releasing upgrades and future “versions” as streamed updates. I will talk about some of the changes in this edition as well as some important information. There are also some important changes for our Office 365 customers and I mention them also.

Telstra Increases Office 365 Pricing in line with Microsoft Changes

telstra apps marketplace pricing

Telstra announced a couple of days ago that they will be increasing Office 365 pricing across the board in line with Global Microsoft Price changes. However there are some important things to know.

First of all while Microsoft changes are as of 1 August, Telstra isn’t changing until 1 September so you get 1 more month to buy additional licences at the old price.

Second, the changes only impact you when you end your current contract period (this is the 12 month anniversary of your original subscription date).

When you login to Telstra Apps Marketplace you should be able to see a table that lists your services and the contract period. This Telstra Apps Marketplace FAQ webpage has step by step instructions on how to see this.

Contact us now if you would like to learn more about taking advantage of the current pricing or how the new pricing changes coming in September will affect you.

Windows 10 is Coming Tomorrow

windows10upgrade

In a major change starting 29th July 2015 Microsoft is ending the Operating System version process as we have known it since at least 1995 when they released Windows 95. From now on all updates will be released as they are tested and made available to all users around the world via the internet. No longer will your operating system be old or out of date. For a 12 month period all existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 /8.1 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 19 for free as well. New machines will be sold with Windows 10 installed and will then update online to the current version.

The upgrade process is fairly simple. Once the upgrades are made available to you (there is a staged release cycle so not everyone will get it on the 29th necessarily) your computer will run preliminary checks to ensure that both the existing hardware is capable of supporting Windows 10 and that you have no known issues with the upgrade. The upgrade will commence and the existing operating system will be rolled back if it experiences problems. There will be no loss of data in either case. Applications will continue to work and your connected peripherals (providing they are compatible) will continue working.

We are recommending that customers ask us to run this for them. Of course if you want to do it yourself you can and we don’t anticipate issues for those of you who are not running server based networks. We suggest waiting for all those businesses with a server and asking us to book a time to manage the upgrade over a weekend or some other time when we can have the least down time for your staff.

Talk to us about Upgrading today. We are anticipating a number of our customers to upgrade from Windows 7 fairly soon so will need to book you in sometime in August or September.

We have some special deals – we will charge only $149 for a single machine upgrade (ensuring we have a backup first). Talk to us about bulk machine pricing.

Windows 10 Changes from Windows 7 and 8 /8.1

windows 10 start screen

One of the biggest changes is the revised start screen. It brings back the familiar Windows 7 interface with windows 8.1 live tiles. It is fully customisable and apps can be dragged and dropped, resized and added to groups. Unlike Windows 8 this start screen personalisation will not sync to all your devices as individual devices have different uses and different screen sizes so can be personalised individually.

windows 10 notificationsNote all the familiar icons can be pinned to the taskbar as in 7 and 8. The new icon directly to the right of the search box is the app switcher – allowing the ALT TAB application switching command to be clicked or touched.

Modern or touch screen apps from windows 8 can now run in a window and do not have to be full screen.

Touch Devices, tablets and 2 in 1 devices will automatically identify what mode they are in, keyboard or touch and change automatically. This can be set to ask you before changing. However it makes the rapid transition from a touch device to a keyboard interface very simple.

A new notification centre on the right hand side (similar to android phone and tablets and windows phone notifications centres) displays on the right hand side and also allows quick access to settings.

Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 is a Potential Security Risk

Jethro-Facebook-WiFiSense

Most people use a wireless network or Wi-Fi access via their home or office modems for mobile devices including phones, tablets, laptops and even desktop PCs. There is a new setting in Windows 10 called Wi-Fi Sense. By default this is turned on but can be easily switched off. However turning it on can create a potential security risk as it allows you to share your Wi-Fi network settings to your friends so they can access your network. Doing this allows them to also share that with their friends. There is a solution and that is to change the name of your Wireless Access Point or SSID. These links explain the Wi-Fi Sense settings:

http://www.howtogeek.com/219700/what-is-wi-fi-sense-and-why-does-it-want-your-facebook-account/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/30/windows_10_wi_fi_sense/

And this page tells you how to change your SSID. It will need to be named with an “_optout” at the end.

we can re-configure your router remotely quickly and easily

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Critical Security Threat

Jethro Consultants - Wed, 22/07/2015 - 4:04pm

Jethro-Facebook-patch-PC

A critical security threat was announced and an out of sequence patch released yesterday by Microsoft.

It affects ALL pcs running Vista, Windows7, 8, 8.1 and Windows RT.

There is specific news here if you want more http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-rushes-emergency-security-fix-for-versions-of-windows/

And the technical stuff is here https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/MS15-078?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#ID0EKIAE

Please patch all your PCs and Servers immediately.

Categories: Jethro Websites

How Office 365 can Revolutionise your Business on Bastille Day

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 14/07/2015 - 12:47pm

2012-07-14 Brisbane French Festival 017Did you know that today was Bastille Day? Will you be celebrating?

Just as this French National day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution I hope that this newsletter can help you begin a revolution at work with some innovative ideas utilising Office 365.

Quickly create an Online Survey – using Excel and OneDrive

When you login to Office 365 you should see an icon in your apps list for OneDrive. This is your personal user accounts 1TB of storage space. Once you go there online you get access to some interesting features not available on your PC.

 

One of these is the ability to create an Excel survey. Click the New icon and then choose Excel Survey. You will get a prompt to create the Survey workbook with a title and then the opportunity to create questions with options for free text, Yes No, your choice selections and so on. The resulting survey that is created can then be shared with anyone you want to. For example please take this short survey.

There are lots of really awesome use cases for this. Use this as a pre appointment data collection option with a tablet with customers who walk into your business, use at trade shows or send it to customers with a QR code after they purchase from you for post sales feedback and follow-up. Results can be seen real time in the office in a spreadsheet that you can customise as necessary.

office 365 apps list

excel survey 1excel survey 2

Contact us now if you would like to learn more about creating Online Excel Surveys.

Using Sway to generate Online Documents and websites – no programming!

Nearly every business uses PowerPoint and Word. Turning your documents into online applications is far easier than you might think. Using Sway (on your Office 365 app list or by going to www.sway.com) you can turn your existing PowerPoint and word documents into websites that you can send your customers to. For example here is the digital strategy presentation we give to our customers. This took 5 minutes to upload and tweak using the visual tools in Sway.

digital strategy

Talk to us about using Sway to enhance your online presence, integrate with social media and incorporate into client presentations. Upgrade your Corporate Look!

Using Delve to improve your Corporate Communications

Businesses today create large amounts of data. From sales reports, customer presentations, tenders and quotes, SOP, Office Procedures and other how to documents to excel spreadsheets and power points there is endless amounts of data being created. SharePoint is the ideal place to store all this data as it is so easily accessible by all users from any location and on any device.

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

delve

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

Talks to us about getting Delve working in your organisation

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Standard Rates as at 1 July 2015

Jethro Management - Mon, 06/07/2015 - 12:48pm

Some of our standard rates have increased with the increase of underlying costs. Many of the prices below are the still the same as before.

Standard rates as listed below. Not for Profits and charities attract a 10% discount except where noted*.

These prices take effect from 1/7/15.

 

Role

Code

Hourly Rate Ex GST

Senior Engineer

SE

$180

Developer Analyst

DA

$120

Senior Business Analyst

SBA

$180

Business Analyst

BA

$150

Senior Project Manager

SPM

$180

Project Manager

PM

$150

Technician Onsite

TOS

$110

Technician Onsite 1st Hr Call Out Fee

TO1

$130

Technician Remote Access

TRA

$90

Content Writer*

WCR

$50

Photographer*

PHO

$120

Gaffer*

GAF

$70

Makeup Artist per person*

MUA

$120

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer 1st Hr

FA1

$45.45

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer

FA2

$31.82

 

Item

Code

Per Annum Ex GST

Web Hosting 100MB HDD 1000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH1

$110

Web Hosting 200MB HDD 2000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH2

$175

Drupal / Joomla / Wordpress quarterly SLA

SLA

$500

 

Notes:

  • If you have a contract with different rates you will continue to pay the contracted prices unless negotiated.
  • If you have a signed current SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place with us the prices listed in that will remain until its current expiry. We reserve the right to renegotiate those rates at that point.
  • The US and AUD Exchange rate as at 1 July 2015 means we can offer a 10% discount on rates listed above for our US and AUD clients. Any other overseas clients are charged in either AUD or USD anyway. If there is a significant change either way in the AUD/EX rate (more than 5 points) we will potentially change these rates for the USD clients. Contact us for specific pricing for USD customers.
  • No GST is charged to clients resident in countries other than Australia.
  • Technician remote access will be charged in minimum 15 minute blocks.
  • Onsite technical support attracts a minimum 1 hour call out fee.

Thank you for your business.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Standard Rates as at 1 July 2015

Jethro Consultants - Mon, 06/07/2015 - 12:34pm

Some of our standard rates have increased with the increase of underlying costs. Many of the prices below are the still the same as before.

Standard rates as listed below. Not for Profits and charities attract a 10% discount except where noted*.

These prices take effect from 1/7/15.

 

Role

Code

Hourly Rate Ex GST

Senior Engineer

SE

$180

Developer Analyst

DA

$120

Senior Business Analyst

SBA

$180

Business Analyst

BA

$150

Senior Project Manager

SPM

$180

Project Manager

PM

$150

Technician Onsite

TOS

$110

Technician Onsite 1st Hr Call Out Fee

TO1

$130

Technician Remote Access

TRA

$90

Content Writer*

WCR

$50

Photographer*

PHO

$120

Gaffer*

GAF

$70

Makeup Artist per person*

MUA

$120

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer 1st Hr

FA1

$45.45

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer

FA2

$31.82

 

Item

Code

Per Annum Ex GST

Web Hosting 100MB HDD 1000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH1

$110

Web Hosting 200MB HDD 2000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH2

$175

Drupal / Joomla / Wordpress quarterly SLA

SLA

$500

 

Notes:

  • If you have a contract with different rates you will continue to pay the contracted prices unless negotiated.
  • If you have a signed current SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place with us the prices listed in that will remain until its current expiry. We reserve the right to renegotiate those rates at that point.
  • The US and AUD Exchange rate as at 1 July 2015 means we can offer a 10% discount on rates listed above for our US and AUD clients. Any other overseas clients are charged in either AUD or USD anyway. If there is a significant change either way in the AUD/EX rate (more than 5 points) we will potentially change these rates for the USD clients. Contact us for specific pricing for USD customers.
  • No GST is charged to clients resident in countries other than Australia.
  • Technician remote access will be charged in minimum 15 minute blocks.
  • Onsite technical support attracts a minimum 1 hour call out fee.

Thank you for your business.

Categories: Jethro Websites

End of Financial Year Tasks

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 2:45pm

Did you get to the end of the Financial Year in good shape?

I certainly hope 2014-2015 was a good year for you and that you are looking forward to lots of new prospects, sales and good business in the next. I have outlined below some end of year things that you should take note of.

Financial Year End Tasks - Backups

There are lots of things to do at Financial Year End. Preparing Trust and Company minutes, getting stocktakes done and preparing final things for your accountant are some of the important ones. However in this newsletter I want to highlight some often neglected ones.

Jethro-Facebook-Alex-Hughes-076-Backup-Peace-of-Mind

First of all remember a copy of your data is not necessarily a backup. If you copy it, label it and store it securely it can be. The important test is that it is not being overwritten. So using your daily backup without taking monthly or at the very least annual snapshots of your data is a poor process. At the very least you should be able to locate and recover from the last 1-5 financial years data. If you do not have a “proper” backup process in place then ask us how to do so. These components should be a checklist for you. A Proper Backup should:

  • Allow you to recover from the last day, week, month, year – meaning you have access to media with those data sets on them.
  • Be labelled – clear and time proof labelling (not post it notes)
  • Be recorded – note who did the backup, when and what was backed up as well as the media it was stored on if your system does not do that for you automatically.
  • Be tested – at least once every 3-6 months you should run a recovery test to ensure that you can recover your data in the case of a failure.

Contact us now if you can’t tick off all those items for your backups.

Financial Year End Tasks – Using Excel Spreadsheets

Nearly every business uses Excel Spreadsheets. And none more so than office staff, accountants and book keepers. While Excel is a fantastic Business Intelligence tool a quick google search on parliamentary inquiries excel errors will scare the pants off you. I have seen first-hand how QLD government has reported incorrect numbers based on spreadsheets with errors in them. Most businesses also have the same problem – even mine! Relying on spreadsheet data for financial information needs to be done with the right auditing tools in place to ensure fidelity of the data, and comparison with the source (accounting) data. Done right Excel Reporting tools can greatly improve a business’s ability to manage their financial information, management reporting and other data. I have 27 years of experience of working with financial data in Excel (since version 1 and Lotus Notes before that). If you would like some assistance to ensure that your spreadsheet design (or your accounting staff’s spreadsheets) are accurate there are some simple things we can do to assist you. Even if that is just a couple of hours of specific training in good spreadsheet design techniques.

Talk to us about Excel and VBA training for your business. We provide customised training that your end users will find useful straight away – not just going through a manual on formulas and functions they will never need or use.

Financial Year End Tasks – Filing and Archives

CB107982_LoResI grew up in businesses with large filing archives, microfiche machines, rooms full of filing cabinets, stacked shelving and the dusty ceiling space storage accessed with a torch in times of desperate need only!

Today we create data in multiples so much greater than those days of typing pools, slow copy machines and dusty archives. However often digital data is stored in the same method that we used to store analogue data. This is really rather ridiculous when we think about it. Before computers data could only be stored in one place in a filing system and the indexing method needed to be able to help you easily find that data. Today with the use of metadata we can store data anywhere and use powerful search algorithms to find and locate data. The key is the metadata. Without it we can be as lost as the person in the archives who discovers all the vertical tab filing labels have fallen off.

The modern office stores data in most if not all the following places. Email, hard drives, network servers and storage, cloud storage places, USB external drives and mobile devices. How many times have you or someone you know spent ages looking for the file, email or image you “saved” and now can’t remember where it is?

Talks to us about how we can help you make the best use of your digital filing systems and reduce wasted time

Quick Steps in Outlook

outlook quick stepsEmail management is probably the largest time waster for businesses and office workers today. From Outlook 2010 on there is an awesome feature in Outlook that enables anybody to quickly and easily automate repetitive email management tasks. Effectively they are shortcuts that you can create that will mark items as read, move them to folders, forward emails to preselected team members and many other customisable actions.

Click on an email and in the ribbon select the quick steps box. You can open the manager and look at the default ones, modify or duplicate them and play with the options. More help online to manage Quick Steps.

If you are processing more than 100 emails a day ask us for help with managing them in significantly more efficient ways than what you probably are doing now. this applies to those people with hundreds of unread mails also!

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Windows 10 Specifications and Excel Short Cut Keys

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 16/06/2015 - 4:50pm

What’s the biggest challenge facing you in business right now?

If you don’t read the rest of this article maybe just take 30 seconds to email me and send me an answer to that question. It’s possible I can locate something or know something that can help you. Or maybe one of my other clients can; the power of networking is invaluable!

Seminar Update

santa-and-bald-eagle-tour-facebook-advert-1

If you missed the seminar we will be holding a repeat one. However we are aware Wednesday mornings are not good for a lot of people. We are also prepared to come and do a customised version directly with customers and their staff for a flat fee.

Contact us now if you want to do this for Your Business

Windows 10 Specifications

More and more information is coming out around Windows 10 and the specifications have now been released for the upgrade. There potentially will be deprecations of applications and features. The official Windows 10 Specifications page lists the minimum requirements for hardware and also lists all the potential issues.

WARNING! At this stage if you are running a small business network with a server we don’t recommend upgrading to Windows 10 yet. If you are running individual PCS then there should be no problem, but I would recommend either doing it on a non-critical machine first or asking us to assist. Finally you should have a Microsoft ID before upgrading. Windows 8 users will likely already have one but Windows 7 users might not.

Talk to us first if you are not sure about updating to Windows 10.

Office Shortcut Keys

Kitti-IMGP7026-keyboard-warrior

Learning to use Office applications effectively is critical for information workers. So many hints and tips are out there it is sometimes hard to know where to start. Even the little ones we provide in these newsletters or online are just a drop in the bucket.

Today we are going to show you a bunch of really effective short cut keys that we use regularly and that once mastered will speed up your use of Excel. Print these out maybe and put them near your screen. I have highlighted the best ones that are my constant use Go Tos.

Keys for moving and scrolling in a worksheet or workbook

Arrow keys: Move one cell up, down, left, or right

CTRL+arrow: key Move to the edge of the current data region
HOME: Move to the beginning of the row
CTRL+HOME: Move to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL+END: Move to the last cell on the worksheet, which is the cell at the intersection of the rightmost used column and the bottom-most used row (in the lower-right corner), or the cell opposite the home cell, which is typically A1
PAGE DOWN: Move down one screen
PAGE UP: Move up one screen
ALT+PAGE DOWN: Move one screen to the right
ALT+PAGE UP: Move one screen to the left
CTRL+PAGE DOWN: Move to the next sheet in the workbook
CTRL+PAGE UP: Move to the previous sheet in the workbook
CTRL+F6 or CTRL+TAB: Move to the next workbook or window
CTRL+SHIFT+F6 or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous workbook or window
F6: Move to the next pane in a workbook that has been split
SHIFT+F6: Move to the previous pane in a workbook that has been split
CTRL+BACKSPACE: Scroll to display the active cell
F5: Display the Go To dialog box
SHIFT+F5: Display the Find dialog box
SHIFT+F4: Repeat the last Find action (same as Find Next)
TAB: Move between unlocked cells on a protected worksheet

Keys for moving in a worksheet with End mode on

END: Turn End mode on or off
END, arrow key: Move by one block of data within a row or column
END, HOME: Move to the last cell on the worksheet, which is the cell at the intersection of the rightmost used column and the bottom-most used row (in the lower-right corner), or the cell opposite the home cell, which is typically A1
END, ENTER: Move to the last cell to the right in the current row that is not blank; unavailable if you have selected the Transition navigation keys check box on the Transition tab (Tools menu, Options command)

Keys for entering data on a worksheet

ENTER: Complete a cell entry and move down in the selection
ALT+ENTER:
Start a new line in the same cell
CTRL+ENTER:
Fill the selected cell range with the current entry
SHIFT+ENTER:
Complete a cell entry and move up in the selection
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER:
Enter an array formula (must be used when editing an existing array formula)
TAB:
Complete a cell entry and move to the right in the selection
SHIFT+TAB:
Complete a cell entry and move to the left in the selection
ESC:
Cancel a cell entry
BACKSPACE:
Delete the character to the left of the insertion point, or delete the selection
DELETE:
Delete the character to the right of the insertion point, or delete the selection
CTRL+DELETE:
Delete text to the end of the line
Arrow keys:
Move one character up, down, left, or right
HOME:
Move to the beginning of the line
F4 or CTRL+Y:
Repeat the last action
SHIFT+F2: Edit a cell comment
CTRL+SHIFT+F3:
Create names from row and column labels
CTRL+D:
Fill down
CTRL+R:
Fill to the right
CTRL+F3:
Define a name

Keys for working in cells or the formula bar

BACKSPACE: Edit the active cell and then clear it, or delete the preceding character in the active cell as you edit cell contents
ENTER: Complete a cell entry
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER: Enter a formula as an array formula
ESC: Cancel an entry in the cell or formula bar
CTRL+A: Display the Formula Palette after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+SHIFT+A: Insert the argument names and parentheses for a function after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+K: Insert a hyperlink
ENTER (in a cell with a hyperlink): Activate a hyperlink
F2: Edit the active cell and position the insertion point at the end of the line
F3: Paste a defined name into a formula
SHIFT+F3: Paste a function into a formula
F9: Calculate all sheets in all open workbooks
CTRL+ALT+F9: Calculate all sheets in the active workbook
SHIFT+F9: Calculate the active worksheet
= (equal sign): Start a formula
ALT+= (equal sign): Insert the AutoSum formula
CTRL+; (semicolon): Enter the date
CTRL+SHIFT+: (colon): Enter the time
CTRL+SHIFT+" (quotation mark): Copy the value from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
CTRL+` (single left quotation mark): Alternate between displaying cell values and displaying cell formulas
CTRL+' (apostrophe): Copy a formula from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
ALT+DOWN ARROW: Display the AutoComplete list

Keys for editing data

F2: Edit the active cell and put the insertion point at the end of the line
ESC: Cancel an entry in the cell or formula bar
BACKSPACE: Edit the active cell and then clear it, or delete the preceding character in the active cell as you edit the cell contents
F3: Paste a defined name into a formula
ENTER: Complete a cell entry
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER: Enter a formula as an array formula
CTRL+A: Display the Formula Palette after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+SHIFT+A: Insert the argument names and parentheses for a function, after you type a function name in a formula
F7: Display the Spelling dialog box

Keys for inserting, deleting, and copying a selection

CTRL+C: Copy the selection
CTRL+X: Cut the selection
CTRL+V: Paste the selection
DELETE: Clear the contents of the selection
CTRL+HYPHEN: Delete the selection
CTRL+Z: Undo the last action
CTRL+SHIFT+PLUS SIGN: Insert blank cells

Keys for selecting cells, columns, or rows

CTRL+SHIFT+* (asterisk): Select the current region around the active cell (the current region is a data area enclosed by blank rows and blank columns)
SHIFT+arrow key: Extend the selection by one cell
CTRL+SHIFT+arrow key: Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell
SHIFT+HOME: Extend the selection to the beginning of the row
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME: Extend the selection to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL+SHIFT+END: Extend the selection to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner)
CTRL+SPACEBAR: Select the entire column
SHIFT+SPACEBAR: Select the entire row
CTRL+A: Select the entire worksheet
SHIFT+BACKSPACE: Select only the active cell when multiple cells are selected
SHIFT+PAGE DOWN: Extend the selection down one screen
SHIFT+PAGE UP: Extend the selection up one screen
CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR: With an object selected, select all objects on a sheet
CTRL+6: Alternate between hiding objects, displaying objects, and displaying placeholders for objects
CTRL+7: Show or hide the Standard toolbar
F8: Turn on extending a selection by using the arrow keys
SHIFT+F8: Add another range of cells to the selection; or use the arrow keys to move to the start of the range you want to add, and then press F8 and the arrow keys to select the next range

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Office products more effectively. Training your staff in how to use their computers more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive.

Call us today!

Social Media Images Sizes

Jethro-Marketing-facebook-highlight-mar-2015-1

There are so many different social media platforms and they all have different recommended image sizes for use in the header, profile pic and content. It can be very difficult working out what size to use where. Getting it wrong can mean that images don’t display correctly, scale badly, crop text or logos from the image or worse. We actually use a spreadsheet tool we have developed to identify the correct sizes for to convert images to for each platform as well as many other regular formats such as A4 portrait and landscape, DL flyers, business cards and more. If you struggle with this talk to us and we can help. In the meantime this website gives you a great cheat sheet for social media image sizes on some of the more popular platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest) and the sizes to use for headers, profile pics and inline content.

Ask us for help with developing great images with text overlays for your social media advertising and web content

Follow us on Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Reserve Windows 10 now and Search Everything with Windows 8

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 02/06/2015 - 2:32pm

1504022FC-Q4-promo-A4x4_1.inddDid you know we are FlexiRent and FlexiCommercial providers? That means that if you are interested in leasing new computer equipment we can not only supply, build and configure it but you can also lease it through us. And if you prefer a Finance lease (talk to your accountant) we are also partners with Microsoft Financing. All you need is one qualifying Microsoft product and they can finance the whole deal. T&Cs apply obviously.

Seminar News

If you have a business website then you probably want to come to this seminar. And if you want to improve your sales skills then you definitely want to come!

Jerrod D. Smith (aka the Attitude Coach) will be providing some real hands on mini workshops that will give you selling skills you can take away and use straight away.

Tim from Jethro will be helping you analyse your website for its selling effectiveness as well as providing some excellent productivity tips.

We are still finalising the location – expect it to be in the Strathpine or Brendale area. Get in and buy your tickets now. We will be providing refreshments – and our 100% money back guarantee applies as well!

Register now and buy your ticket at https://jethroseminar4.eventbrite.com

Windows 10 Free Update can be reserved now

GetStartedApp_Image_1xMicrosoft have today announced that you can reserve the upgrade from your computer. Make sure your PC is up to date and you should see a small Windows Icon in your taskbar.

Click on it, then Click “Reserve your free upgrade” in the app window. Enter your email if you want a confirmation of this reservation. That’s it. There’s no obligation and you can cancel your reservation at any time.

Talk to us first if you are not sure about updating to Windows 10.

Using Windows 8.1 Search to search everything

Did you know you can search the web right from your desktop? Windows 8.1 has search built right into it. Try it now. Click the Start button (or the Windows Key on your keyboard (it’s the one between CTRL and ALT)

The windows start tile screen will display.

Simply start typing. This opens up a whole range of powerful options:

This is the fastest way to open an application. E.g. type Word – and Word 2013 will show up – probably before you even finish typing it.

This is a really fast way to locate documents you can’t remember where they were saved. (Even I do that!) Type a keyword from the document title or in its content and then hit enter.

For example I searched “attitude”

win 8_1 search example attitude

The first column displays the documents containing the word attitude in them. There is a link to all 1060 documents there as well which will open a desktop search of my system.

The second column displays images with the word attitude in them. There’s also a link to the other 72 images. And it seems I have some jazz music with attitude in the title.

The next columns over are web searches for the word attitude. Try it with your favourite band. Here’s my search for Led Zeppelin.

The first page shows my local search and includes Xbox music and video links to online content.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 1

Scrolling right (down using the mouse scroll wheel) shows me more web searches for music, images, videos official sites and other search information.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 2

This is a really powerful research tool when working on a document or project. Show your kids at least when helping them with their homework!

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Windows more effectively. Training your staff in how to use their computers and tablets more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Google Mobile Friendly Website Check

mobile friendlyBecause we care about how well your business performs, especially how it ranks on search engines, we wanted to reach out and let you know that if your website is not deemed to be mobile friendly by Google, from 21 April, Google will not rate your website well in their search engine results for local search.

We've already reached out individually to many of our clients that have mobility issues, supplying them with a report from Google showing them evidence of these issues and encouraging them to do something about it.

The fact of the matter is, sites designed pre 2013 aren't mobile friendly, so if you had a website built by us or somebody else prior to this date, it is a high chance that your website is not mobile friendly!

Not sure if it is or not? Go to this helpful link to find out.

Discovered it’s not mobile friendly and need to get it sorted? Contact us now. Do you want a brand new mobile responsive website? We can provide that for you as well.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Web Design - its not Rocket Science

Jethro Consultants - Mon, 25/05/2015 - 4:12pm

Web design seems to be considered rocket science and a mythical art form by many small business people, who simply have no understanding of what’s involved. What is worse there are numerous web developers and design agencies that continue to perpetuate this myth, charge exorbitant amounts of money and deliver poor results. Ok the websites might look spectacular, but for a small business (any business actually) results mean delivering sales.

So lets get started. I’m going to debunk several myths, try and explain the methodologies that should be used in web design and give business owners some empowering questions that they can use to either vet potential developers or quiz their existing one.

This article isn’t intended to be a rant at either business owners or developers, but to simply try and help both achieve their goals. Business owners want a cost effective investment in a website and developers want to be paid fairly for what they do.

First lets start from a business perspective. Unfortunately it seems the majority of web developers do not do this.

A websites primary function is to do one of three things.
  • For an e-commerce (shopping) site it should provide a seamless experience for a customer to enact a transaction and the business owner to fulfil the order and meet all accounting requirements. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of goods sold as a direct cost. Sales less direct costs = gross profit. Simple formula to work out the profitability of a site.
  • A brochure-ware (usually just a few static pages – about, contact, products and services) site’s primary reason for existence is to simply state who you are and how to contact you. It should if done right have as good as possible SEO and you should be able to measure the number of enquiries received from the site. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.
  • A educational and news site (often utilising a blog) is really just a better brochure-ware site with more opportunity for SEO and also social engagement. Blog and news posts can be constructed to deliver keyword searches, and generate enquiries and contact for your products and services. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.

A business MUST approach this with the same business intelligence they would approach any other marketing or advertising opportunity. The marginal gain from new customers MUST be more than the overall cost – or the ROI is negative. No one is in business to lose money. Yet it seems common-sense decisions go out the window when choosing a web developer. A web developer should be able to help a business make the decision based on the economic value of the site to the business. And a business owner (who wouldn’t employ a sales assistant to stand in a corner doing nothing) shouldn’t be buying an expensive selling tool only to leave it standing in the corner doing nothing. To be fair to web developers many business owners are their own worst enemies here and do not understand this paragraph. Thus they allow developers to charge way to much for ineffective websites that do not produce $ results.

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

SDLC chart

Unfortunately it seems many developers also have forgotten this – or conveniently ignore it when talking to gullible business owners (of which there are plenty waiting to have their wallets lightened). I’m not going to explain the SDLC in depth here – use Google or Bing for that!

While some take a waterfall approach to design, the more accurate approach is the circle – with an ongoing cycle that can span years.

As a minimum I would expect a web developer to follow this basic outline – and for a business owner to be prepared to pay on these approximate milestones.

  1. Requirements Analysis and Design. If a business owner is not able to do this themselves then they should definitely be prepared to pay their developer to assist them to do this. Setting out up front the goals for the site, the functional requirements and the actual stages of development provide a sound platform that any competent developer can then quote to – giving the business owner the ability to play the field. A good business analyst will develop a design requirement that they can quote to as well as any other developers.
  2. Initial development – usually a 50% or similar deposit is required to get the large amount of backend work completed. Host setup, often domain registration and business name registration, graphic design and image and other site asset compilation and generation, back end configuration and very importantly documentation.
  3. Go Live. the point where the site is up and running and visible to the public. At this point all social media connections should be made, search engine optimisation complete (for what is there now)
  4. Ongoing maintenance. This is all too forgotten component. Web software is constantly being updated and patched for security issues, additional features, bug elimination and so on. It should cost less with a good Maintenance Service Level Agreement (SLA) to keep o a site updated than to repair it when something goes wrong or to to do a massive number of major upgrades several years later.
Theming – function and form.

While it is possible to have function and form, e.g. great looking websites that provide great UI for the user as well as looking great, it has to be said function is more important than form. If budget is a consideration than definitely drop theming and focus on function. its not good having a snazzy looking website with poor navigation, difficult shopping cart completion etc. These days a professional quality theme can be purchased for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla for around US$50 and a good developer should be able to configure that to suit your site in 1-2 hours. And to be honest if you are a small business owner looking to invest less than $5K into a website than there is no reason to choose anything other than one of these solutions. They are popular for a reason.

Finally great content beats pretty graphics every time. People will be attracted to your business by what you say not what you look like.

So what can a business owner do to ensure they don’t get ripped off?

First, understand your own business, and set goals for the website. What does it need to do to assist your business grow, attract customers, sell products and so on? What results do you need to measure this by? And over how long? Calculate your own ROI.

Second, ensure that the web developers you are looking at can answer these questions:

  • Can you assist me to develop a requirements specification that i can take to any web developer for quoting?
  • What measurement tools can you put in place to ensure that my goals for this site are being measured?
  • What stages of development do you require payment on?
  • What is the total component cost of my site in theming?
  • What documentation do you provide?
  • What training do you provide and how much does it cost for additional training?

Authors note and disclaimer. We have been developing software and websites for over 20 years. While we approach all our clients development needs with best practice in mind, many clients choose to cut costs by cutting corners, don’t complete projects and in many cases don’t choose to follow all our advice. That is their prerogative.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Stop the Chance of Losing Your Cloud Data, Quick Office Tips and Sales Seminar News

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 4:37pm

Did you know that if you save newsletter emails into Outlook then all the text is indexed? That means if you search in outlook for anything mentioned in a newsletter you will find it. You don’t even have to read it now! You can save all your newsletter emails from me or anyone else into a “Research” folder and the content will be a resource for you to search whenever you need to know something.

Stop the Chance of Losing your Cloud Data

2010-01-26 Eggs 009

You probably know the adage “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. Well it applies to your data as well. Don’t keep all your data in one cloud!

Your cloud data may be vulnerable to loss or corruption. Most of the “free” services have had failures at some point. Making sure you have numerous points of backup including physical backups is very important. In addition ensuring that you have the right security settings in place for data shared with staff or other people is critical.

There is a very good cloud backup service also called CloudHQ We use this to backup various cloud services from one to another. For example Evernote is backed up to OneDrive, and Box is backed up to Google Drive. For a small cost of US$99 a year that’s great peace of mind.

SharePoint is an even better solution. Microsoft’s multi geo-location data storage system ensures that your data is replicated in multiple data centres around the world and the OneDrive for Business application syncs your SharePoint libraries to your local machines.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data storage and how to ensure that you are protected against data loss in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 Free Update Clarification

Some more clarification around the free update offer:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be purchased.
  • Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
  • If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
  • The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.

outlook ignore conversationTypically business users should not be using the retail versions (e.g. Windows Home Basic or Premium). If you have devices in your network that are incorrectly licensed please talk to us about fixing that. There is simple way to upgrade to Pro now inside Windows 8 in order to qualify for the correct version of Windows 10.

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

5 Quick Tips in Microsoft Office

Fast tips following:

  1. Ignore a conversation in Outlook by right clicking the email and clicking Ignore. Note all further emails in this conversation thread will be deleted.
  2. Instant calculation in OneNote – simply type a formula in OneNote followed by a = and a space and the answer will be calculated for you. E.g. 3*sqrt(pi)= .
  3. In OneNote you can dock the pages list to the left by changing one option in the display options. Click File and Options, Display and then tick the option for Page tabs appear on the left.onenote display options
  4. In Excel quickly see options for your chart data by using the quick preview feature. Select your data to chart, then click Insert and Recommended Charts to see the quick previewsexcel recommend charts
  5. In OneDrive start a quick survey that can be shared easily with people and the answers will come back into Excel for you to analyse. Take my Favourite food and drink survey to see what it looks like. Here’s how to do it. From OneDrive online click New and Excel Survey. Follow the prompts to create your survey and then share it.onedrive new excel survey

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Office Products more effectively. Training your staff in how to use office more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Sales and Website Seminar

Jerrod Smith is the Attitude Coach. If you haven’t heard him speak then you must come along to this seminar just for that. An experienced Sales Professional, Jerrod is going to provide a number of key resources and skills for improving your businesses sales by adjusting your company’s attitude! And Tim from Jethro will be providing some productivity hints and tips as well as a couple of short sessions on web marketing and digital strategy.

Book your tickets for this event now – the location is still to be determined but it will be somewhere in Pine Rivers / Moreton Shire. The cost is $79 per person and includes refreshments. Time is 7am to 9am on the 10th June.

Book Now

2 hour seminar flyer_rev_01

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Thu, 01/01/1970 - 10:00am