Category Archives: Digital News

Rural Companies Flourish Online

The enticing option of leaving the city and making an online living in rural Ireland

In modern Ireland, the cost of housing in the main urban centres is eye-wateringly  expensive and simply paying for the roof over your head, cripples any hope of enjoying other activities such as eating, driving and enjoying a sneaky pint after work!

It is little wonder that city folk, in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, are eyeing their country cousins with envious and jealous looks.  This ironic turn of events comes after decades of pompous disdain at the lack of bread and gin varieties available in your average Irish village.

Now, the lifestyle of rural Ireland has it all.  Panini’s, hummus, cocktails, nature, beautiful views and an easier pace of life.  Housing prices is just the tip of a large iceberg offering a better living standard. The eternal question for city slickers anxious to how to leave the rat race, but still maintain a living wage in the rural setting.  Online business’s have been the option for many rural folk and it could be the way forward for anyone seeking a more fulfilled life in the sticks.    A strong online presence may be the key to having your cake and eating it.

Quilt Yarn Stitch is one company who have both a shopfront on the high street and a busy, vibrant website. This beautiful fabric, yarn and craft store in Tuam, Co. Galway wanted to model their online presence on the personal experiences of their actual store.  www.quiltyyarnstitch is a flourishing, bright and engaging website. Róisín McManus explains ‘We wanted to have a webshop that customers would truly love and that would be their “go to” shop for all their needs, particularly for patchwork and quilting.   Our actual store is bursting at the seams (pardon the pun) so there’s something for everyone and we hope our website reflects this.   Our team love to serve fabric to yarn lovers of all kinds – quilters, dressmakers, knitters, crocheters, crafters, guys and girls, young and old- We feel  our website  is a place, like the shop itself, where you can find lots of lovely things.”   With a flat rate of delivery in Ireland of just €3 and a reputation for great customer service, QuiltYarnStitch has expanded their customer base far beyond the town of Tuam, and is now competing well in the lucrative school market providing Leaving Cert and Junior Cert packs.

Of course, good broadband infrastructure is a key to managing a rural online business.  If you are used to fast and unlimited, it can be a shock to go West and experience the digital divide first hand. The Irish Government has reiterated its commitment to providing Broadband connectivity to the entire Ireland in the coming years.  For those living in the ‘black spots’ of internet access, precariously poised on the wardrobe in the back bedroom to improve the signal to an outdated dongle, this is particularly good news. Some 50% of small business in the Cork/Munster rate their connectivity as less than excellent, so the improvement to the network is definitely needed. However, It is worth noting that most rural business cite the cost of going online as a much bigger barrier to change, than the connectivity issue.  In the IEDR SME Digital Health Index for 2018, only 6% of online businesses’ said that poor internet connectivity was preventing growth.  Certainly, it has not hampered some companies.

Quickcrop,  www.quickcrop.ie is a thriving company operating in a rural setting in South Sligo Andrew Davidson and Niall McAllister sell vegetable growing systems and products for the keen amateur (and professional) gardener.  Most of their business is online. Niall explains, “The internet gives you access to 7 billion people and you can build a business here very quickly. The reason we’re in Ballymote is because there’s good broadband here and the warehousing costs are quite small”. The secrets to Quickcrop’s success lies in their great products and service showcased through a vibrant, well designed and constantly updated website.  Niall is aware that it is an unlikely business to do well online, and yet it succeeds with a healthy domestic trade, while also doing well in the UK and European Market.

Working from a more relaxed country setting is not the only reason for enhancing your online presence. The Retail and Consumer Report of 2018 confirms that more and more Irish people search for goods and services online prior to purchase and that mobile Ireland has the fifth largest percentage of internet shoppers in the world.  That’s an incredible amount of retail therapy for one small country!  In 2017, keyboard consumers in Ireland spent a staggering €3.3billion.

Panelshack is a small family run business located in Drumnagran in Tullyvin, Cootehill   Co.Cavan. www.panelshack.ie. John Brady has been in the fitted furniture business for over 40 years. In 2010 he and his son James expanded the range and began manufacturing high quality wall panelling. The increase in popularity and the trend towards painted timber and furniture being used extensively in homes ensured success. They produce the panelling products in their workshop and host an extensive the showroom in Tullyvin.  A modern mobile optimised website, with an easy click and collect option and comprehensive delivery system ensures that they have plenty of clients who never ever set foot in Cavan.  A dynamic web presence is their key to providing a high quality product to a large and diverse customer base.

But it is not just manufacturers and retailers who prosper in a more rustic setting.  Rachel Gotto www.rachelgotto.ie conducts her Galway and online therapy consultations through a beautiful, informative and helpful website. The big sky and fantastic views of Spiddal are the backdrop to her successful business.

In Summary

There will always some reluctance before deciding to finally swop the stilettos and maccachinos for some stout walking boots and, well, maccachinos. (It’s not that backward in the villages anymore!)  The move to the good life is very enticing.  Who wouldn’t want to wake up to clean air and the sounds of nature, knowing that the bank balance is now as healthy as your lungs?  The cost of living is significantly lower in the Western Region than in Dublin and other areas. You get so much more for your money.  Housing is, of course the most obvious difference, with average rural rentals at just €613 per month and three bed houses for sale between €90 -120K So, it may well be time to consider that ‘big move to the country.  Rural companies are thriving online. So why wouldn’t you?

Resources

https://www.pwc.ie/reports/retail-consumer-report-2018.html

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/sligochampion/news/online-retail-can-work-in-rural-hub-35430638.html

Look West

The most common, hackable, guessable, unsecure passwords and why you should never use them!

You need to review your passwords now.

Many of us are lazy about our passwords. We are lazy, we are complacent and we are highly likely to be hacked. This does not mean that some spotty faced genius teenager wearing an ‘anonymous’ mask is hiding in a dimly lit cellar, spending all his days cracking codes just to get into your online Wish shopping account or your secret Tinder profile. This scenario is possible but the reality is actually a lot more sinister than that!  There is now computer software designed specifically to decipher and publicise your precious passwords. A computer that never tires of trying all the computations of birthday dates and obvious words to find the secret key to your life. A weak and obvious password can leave your emails, bank details and personal information at the mercy of unscrupulous hackers.

 

 

Quite apart from the computerised password thief, there is a very real danger that using the same email and password for every account, from Pinterest to online banking is giving your details away. Low security sites with access to your details may inadvertently be receiving the very same details needed for more secure information.  You need a unique password for each account you log into.  If this sounds like too much trouble, you need to seriously weigh the effort up against the horrors of identity theft.

 

Despite the risks, the vast majority of people do not give a second thought to their password choices. It appears as if the main criteria for choosing is ease of remembering and (rather pathetically) the proximity of the tiles on the keyboard. Sequential keyboard action, such as   12345, is an oft chosen requirement in the most hackable passwords.

 

Let’s take a look at the most popular, and therefore most obviously breached passwords in the world and take a salutary lesson in online security.

 

 

123456 

Boom!  The most used password in the world. Don’t start using it unless you want to lose your privacy. A computer programme will crack this baby instantly, so be wise. Try something a little smarter. But you need to be very smart. According to the site, www.howsecureismypassword.net. The seemingly respectable password, ‘orpheus37!’  Will take an estimated one month for any self-respecting hacking software to decipher.   However if you get really creative, and chose something like ‘pigswilltime2078’ you take the code cracking time  up to an estimated 6 million years.

Password  

The second most chosen password in the world is ‘password’.  Duh!  I have no doubt that, like some worn out oft repeated joke, using ‘password’ as a password is thought of as the height of irony and humour by some. Computers don’t get irony. Hackers don’t get humour.  It’s a no brainer people. Choose something more exotic, more cryptic and less likely to cause you grief.  Check out the strength of your choice of passwords at this site. www.passwordmeter.com. The ironically hilarious, ‘password’ password gets an 8% score and is very weak while ‘ExplodingSpuds2’ is an 83% strong choice.

12345678

For the most unimaginative amongst us, a quick finger dance across the number tiles on the keyboard, gives the iconic ‘12345678’ password.  Yeah, you guessed it! Another gift to hackers , waiting to help themselves to bank details and a wealth of private information.  If you are creatively challenged and cannot think of any alternatives, then finger dance along to www.random.org/passwords/ .  This site generates some tough password computations, such as pQZXXJAg and R9cPZkVh. Totally safe and secure.  Now your only problem is remembering them!

Qwerty: 12345:123456789

Another lot of lazy keyboard gliding gives us three passwords that represent the fourth, fifth and sixth most used/unsafe passwords in the world.  Come on guys! Be original.  Be secure.  Get a unique, yet memorable password from here: www.warpconduit.net/password-generator

Letmein

The seventh most used password in the world is ‘Letmein’. And the answer is Yes!  We will let you in! In fact, we will let everyone in.  What the password ‘Letmein’ does though, is introduce us to the ‘passphrase’ rather than the password. An ideal way of remembering good strong codes, when passwords fail and a good way to foil the hackers.   its a clever way of thinking of a much longer password. Dictionary words and names are not restricted, and you can be 15 characters long.   So a line from a poem, quote from a book, song lyric or a movie are all ideal.

1234567

Number Eight in the most used passwords, is another obvious numerical sequence, Low security, high risk. Low creativity, high chance of being breached online!  You know what to do!

Football   

The password ‘football’ is number nine in password popularity and while we don’t know the gender balance for usage, it is inconsequential as it is easily hacked for and by everyone.  It is never a good idea to put anything personal in your password.  This includes hobbies, place names, your obsession with teapots or your pet names. It is never wise to use birthday years as there are only 2000 numbers computations for the computer software to play with and security will soon be breached.  “Nothing too obvious” is a good maxim and possibly a good password if you throw in a few ampersands and exclamation marks to fool the hacking software!

 Iloveyou

Oh we are a romantic bunch! We have made ‘iloveyou’ the tenth most hackable, guessable and accessible password in the world.  Time for some self-love.

 

Love your own privacy. Love your own security, Review your passwords regularly. Choose high strength passwords and pass phrases. Have a unique password for each account. Stay safe and use some creative mischief to invent user friendly passwords that keep your personal log in’s more secure.

Farmers are shopping online – from high heeled wellies to a limousine calf.

This week, the Irish company, Dairygold closed the doors on their creamery in Dunmanway, West Cork.  Locals bemoaned the loss of their treasured shop, which many had used all their lives.    Donal Hurley, a farmer, said that the Company had cited online shopping and farmers ordering supplies over the internet, as a reason for the demise of the local creamery and its ultimate closure.

While Donal and farmers like him are sad to see the end of the local store and its place in the fabric of life of the local community, there is no doubt that the viability of traditional creameries is a thing of the past. The local creamery store, with the trail of tractors parked outside and the shared greetings and shared gossip and stories will be confined to memory.   Nostalgia aside, we must accept that there are more practical, modern methods of shopping, which reflect the life of Ireland’s busy young farmers. Many agricultural workers have two jobs and young families.  The smartphone is replacing the more traditional retail habits of today’s farmers.

 

 

Ireland has the fifth largest percentage of internet shoppers in the world.

That is an incredible amount of retail therapy for one small country!  In 2017, keyboard consumers in Ireland spent a staggering €3.3billion. The farming sector are among the growing number of willing internet shoppers.  Busy lifestyles and the rising use of technology are just some of the factors which are enticing the Irish farmer to go online to buy.  The choice of products, the competitive prices and the free advice accompanying veterinary supplies, seeds and farm products are  also very tempting factors.

One agricultural supplier who specialises in online purchases, reported a 126% increase in spring retail sales between 2017 and 2018.  And the figure is still rising.

Buying a product on agridirect.ie

 

Companies like Agridirect www.agridirect.ie  are making the best use of their internet presence to reap the benefits of the agricultural communities online spending.   Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and investment in digital marketing strategies have seen Agirdirect go from strength to strength in online shopping.  Astute farmers can shop for better value online, comparing prices and seeking special offers.  There is also the opportunity to showcase the more unusual products and the latest in technology.  High heeled wellies are one such item, although not hi-tech, they are unusual.  While they garnered much attention, but alas, sales were minimal. There are still some things the Irish farmer is not quite ready for yet.  However, the Foxlight is typical of a product which may have never become known in the mountains of Mourne or the Wicklow valleys if it were not championed on the internet. The Foxlight is an Australian invention which has proved itself invaluable in keeping lambs safe from foxes in the spring.   It is now a best-selling online sensation for Irish sheep farmers.

 

 

Farmers have become more comfortable with buying over the internet and this has even extended to purchasing livestock. We are not referring to the impulse buy of a donkey or a laying hen on Done Deal, but to the livestock marts online.   The online mart may not sound too appealing if you are fan of the banter, the food stalls and the craic of the rural mart, but it is fast becoming a virtual space where farmers can check prices and view the competition.  Commenting on the popularity of online auction, Brendan Hannigan, Founder of Livestock-Live.com said “With the digital revolution, farmers across Ireland are embracing new methods in every aspect of agriculture …and I believe that Livestock-Live.com will act as the catalyst for the online buying and selling of livestock across the country.  It remains to be seen if the county marts will be replaced by online markets, but it is certain that the Irish farmer is moving to a new way of ordering his supplies and goods.

 

As market analysts, Euromonitor International, predict that online sales could reach just under the €5bn mark by 2022, all retailers should be considering improving their online presence. It is not wise to get left behind in the digital shopping revolution.  The agricultural sector is a large consumer base that spends €565m a year on fertiliser alone and when you consider the other consumables, veterinary medicine, machinery, equipment, clothing etc. needed to do the arduous job of farming today, you realise it is a seller’s market.

 

References

https://www.livestock-live.com/

https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/almost-50-increase-in-people-shopping-with-their-phone-467689.html

https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/fivefold-increase-in-online-shopping-since-2007-469059.html

 

 

 

Used Car Sales Web Designers

Selling Cars Online – The Digital Future

 

An inviting, well designed, website with easy functionality is a must for all car salesmen/motor dealers in these digital times when the go-to instinct of all shrewd millennials is to reach for the smartphone before every purchase. Everything from a simple falafel sandwich to a high end Hybrid car is accessed and assessed online prior to purchase.  Car buyers too, are increasingly researching, comparing and buying on the net.

 

The latest online research indicates that Millennials (defined as those young up and coming customers) are overwhelmingly open to buying cars online. Over a third of those who took part in a Trustpilot survey on the digital future of car buying, said they would research and purchase their new vehicle online.  It is no surprise that online research is already a feature in potential car purchases with over 71% of potential car- buyers doing online searches before they purchase (Consumer Association). But despite the online searching, there was still a reluctance for a full purchase online, and as consumer trends change, this too, will become a reality for many motor traders.

 

This change to a digital future for car sales, demonstrates the need for auto retailers to digitally transform and update their online presence. This includes improving the company website, improving your presence on third party websites and engaging on social media in a more meaningful way. The clever car dealer must start thinking that the internet is not just an extension of the car salesroom or the garage forecourt, it is the gateway to potential buyers.    Third-party sites are the now the most popular starting point for car shopping (used by 78% of potential car buyers). It is essential to have an impressive presence on sites like Carzone and Done Deal to attract the car browsing public.

 

The Society of Irish Motor Industry recommend that consumers research online in advance of buying a car and then go on to buy locally for the best deal.

 

We can’t emphasis enough the importance the importance of doing your research when buying a car particularly a second-hand car you need to be well informed as you are not the original owner.

 

They even offer their own website, www. beepbeep.ie as a good start for second hand purchases, as it displays cars from SIMI members, with car history checks already completed.  It is only one of many third party sites available for the buyer to peruse.  Check out which ones offer you, the trade the best deal and have the most traffic, and make sure you are visible, visited and updated regularly.

 

According to the Motor trade publication, Autotrader, 71% of car shoppers will spend a lot of time researching car prices online, before test driving. Just under two thirds of prospective car buyers will find the actual car they want listed for sale on motor trader websites.  Car buyers will also use online searches to compare different models and prices. They will seek the current value and expert reviews on cars and even use detailed video test drives prior to visiting a car show room. Finally they use the internet to locate a car dealer locally or to get dealer info and reviews.

 

Motor Traders need to embrace the digital age.

 

 

Trustpilot, the consumer review site has important message:    “For those seeking to appeal to Millennials, the message is clear – build a compelling digital experience that provides access to the buying and service experiences of others. By doing so you’ll appeal on their terms, as our research clearly shows this segment is ready to buy online. The winners in the industry will be those that embrace change and transformation.”

 

At Dmac Media, drawing on our years of experience in providing outstanding websites and digital marketing expertise to the motor industry, we put it in more simple terms.  The website of a successful motor trader needs to be sleek, classy with an ease of functionality. Your potential client will view it on a number of devices including smartphones.   The buyer wants to see featured cars with video, imagery and the increasingly popular 360 spins. They also expect access to finance applications and simple contact methods.  A car that lacks detail is a huge turnoff!  Not just for that car but for brand.

 

With projected new car sales for 2018 expected to be in the region of 125,000, and considering the vibrant trade in second hand vehicles, it is vital for the independent motor trader not to get left behind in the world of online car sales.  Social media, third party sites and your own amazing website are all part of keeping up with the online trends. Embrace the future and start forward thinking with a website revamp and a digital marketing strategy that will ultimately increase your footfall and sales.

 

More Useful Links

6 Top Social Media Tips for Car Dealers

 

25 Amazing Statistics on How Consumers Shop for Cars

 

 

URLs & Domain Names | Dmac Media

{Video} Cyber Squatting – What is it and what to do about it!

Ever heard of cyber squatting?

 

In this month’s video installment, Dave McEvoy explores the lucrative world of cyber squatting, which can and has proved costly for many small business in Ireland.

 

Cyber Squatting is the term given to the purchasing of a domain name with the sole purpose of reselling it to an individual or business who really want it, or really need it at a higher price.  For most business domain names can be purchased for up to €50 however, if a cyber squatter purchases a domain name ahead of you, they tend to command thousands in order to turn over ownership of the name itself.

 

Check out the video below to learn how to avoid paying exorbitant prices for a domain name

 

Choosing the right payment partner for your website

According to research carried out by RBR Online Card payments increased by 28% in 2016 and is set to increase by 100% by 2022

More on that here: https://www.rbrlondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/GC22_Press_Release_280218.pdf

 

Traditionally online payment was only considered by ecommerce operators, but more and more business owners are providing simple online payment options for their customers.  Customers now expect to be able to pay online for everything from utility bills to automobiles.  It has become a norm.  More importantly in a world where consumers demand choice, they now expect to pay with their preferred method.

 

If you have payment options on your website or are thinking about offering them then you will be looking to partner with payment processors.  This blog gives you a little insight into the types of processors as well as some pros and cons for each.

 

Let’s talk about the two broad categories for payment processors:

 

Dependant processors

 

Dependant processors are providers that require a separate Merchant bank account to receive funds from credit card transactions.  This is separate to your standard business bank account.

 

All major banks provide merchant account services.  Setting up a merchant bank account can be time consuming and the bank will apply its own charges over and above the payment processor charges.  Typically, they will charge between 1-2% commission on your transactions and may have a minimum administration fee if your transaction volume is low.  These additional charges should be factored in when selecting a provider.

 

Dependant processors will also apply standard monthly fees for processing. Normally starting around €25 per month (as at August 2018) This covers you for a set volume of transactions with additional costs for transactions over the limit.

 

Two of the more popular processors are Global Payments (formerly Realex) & Sage Pay Both have very high standards of customer support and have a proven track record for stability in card processing.

 

If your business happens to use Sage accounting software Sage Pay offers options for automatically integrating with your accounts.

 

If you are selecting this type payment processor then you should be aware of the tendency for many of these to be white label version of other processors.  This won’t impact on the day to day management but if technical issues arise during the website integration it can cause delays as you do not have direct access to the processor technicians.

 

Aggregated processors

 

Aggregated processors provide both payment processing and merchant services.  They do not need a separate account.  This makes it a lot easier for start up business to manage.   Their charging is usually commission based and can range from 3-5% based on volume.  The aggregated providers tend to be web based with low levels of human contact for troubleshooting.  The logic being that their system is so easy you don’t need hand holding.

 

Two of the more popular aggregated providers are PayPal or more recently Stripe. With both providers you are required to provide the normal personal information for creating a bank account (proof of identity, etc.)

 

PayPal has a distinct advantage of both processing transactions and giving you the ability to pay out with the same account either from funds received or via linked credit cards.  Speaking of linked cards lets have a quick chat about digital wallets.

 

 

A quick note on Apple Pay & Google

googlepay_applepayYou can be forgiven for thinking that these providers fit into the categories above, however they offer a digital wallet facility for storing your real-world card details rather than a payment processor.  Your card details are secured, and transaction details passed to the vendors processor.   While you should offer the ability to your website visitors to pay using these methods you will still need a valid processor to link these to.

 

Watch out for charge back

For any real-world retailer the concept of chargeback may be all too familiar but if credit card management is new to you then you need to watch out for this.  All payment processors and card vendors insure the card holder against fraud.  This gives them the ability to dispute any card transaction within a six-month period.  Online purchases are particularly susceptible to this as it can be very difficult to prove the card owner was the recipient of the goods.  In short if a customer disputes, they can order the payment processor or merchant bank to withdraw funds from your account for the customer disputing the payment.  There is very little come back for the retailer in this scenario and they are rarely able to recover funds.  Unless…

3D Secure

3d-security

This is a scheme offered by most merchant bank accounts (not aggregated payment options) that allows the retailer to shift the liability for the charge backs from themselves to their bank.  I have seen this save tens of thousands for online retailers and it is seriously worth considering.  The down side is to qualify for 3D secure your checkout needs to allow your payment processor to bring your customer through additional security checks.  This can have a big impact on your conversion rate and you need to weigh up pros and cons carefully.

 

The short version

Hopefully the breakdown above will illuminate which option is right for you but if you are the type to skip to the end of the book let me give you a very quick summary.

Aggregated payment processors (like Stripe) are great for beginners or start-ups.  Fast and cheap to get going.  They get more expensive as you grow.

Dependent processors (like Realex) are more expensive but for large volumes of transactions they work out more competitive.  They also offer greater fraud protection.  If you have built a regular volume of orders on your site then dependent processor is the option for you.

professional Car Photography

Taking professional car images for your dealership.

The digital landscape of car dealerships has changed massively in the past ten years. Your car showroom is now online, laptops, phones and tablets are now the first port of call for the new & used car buyer.

 

The online marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive as car dealers are constantly upping their game to stand out from the competition and the standard of car imagery has suddenly gone through the roof. As a car dealer you now have to also take on the role of ‘car photographer’ and put out consistently slick and professional imagery because, let’s face it, if your image is shoddy they’ll be scrolling right on by.

 

Doing it yourself

So you have allocated the time resources and energy to shoot your own car imagery, here’s some tips to get the most out of your time.

Location, Location, Location:

Choose your location wisely. Most importantly the location of all car photos should remain the same. This ensures your cars look uniform and professional when browsing online. Shoot against a large clean wall or some kind of generic scene that won’t change week to week and doesn’t have any distractions in the background. Remember cars are like giant mirrors so any reflections of passers by or other cars will be picked up.

Equipment Needed:

Camera, Tripod, Ladder…Check

Invest in a decent camera that can be designated for the job ensuring photos are of high quality and look the same (switching cameras every time will produce different quality images). A tripod set up in the same place every-time means all cars and angles can be shot at the same height & distance. A ladder will allow you mix it up sometimes and get some interesting angles when the car calls for it!

Shoot Angles

Photograph the same set of angles for every car, ideally you should move the car not the camera so that the background is the same whether shooting the front or the back.  Any key features in the interior should also be shown off. Here’s a few examples that will give the customer a nice journey as they flick through your images.

front-l3_4

 

 

frontsidebackback-l3_4

 

These images were taken at Kevin Egan Cars using a purpose built turn table. Expensive but the results speak for themeselves.

Post Production

As much as it saves time to upload straight from your camera if you can run the photos through an editor and apply the same settings or filter every time it will really add that wow factor and keep photos looking consistent whatever the weather.

 

This free online tool allows you to quickly adjust the exposure or make the colours appear more accurate. You can even overlay your logo if you want to get really fancy!

https://www.befunky.com

For more info on editing images check out our blog A quick way to resize and crop imagery without buying photoshop.

 

Calling in the Professionals

Car photography is time consuming when done right. There are always guys out there to lend a hand and ease the burden. At Dmac Media we recommend Image Console.

 

Image Console work with Irish car dealerships on a regular basis. They can provide you with the training and equipment required to shoot great car imagery. Once you have great pics they will provide branded templates for your images and the platform to publish your images/videos on all required host sites.

 

Taking it to the next level.

Once you have the basics looking great consider shooting some video content to really engage the customer who wants to explore a car even further.

360 views are also fast becoming the leading way to give users an interactive and engaging tour of the car. Although expensive to set up they really take the experience to the next level. See example here.

If you want to know any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact us here at dmac media.


The Confessions of a Procrastinator

“Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do The Day After Tomorrow Just As Well”

Congratulations you have just gotten the keys to your new website!  All you have left to do is add some pictures and content and we are good to go. 
Sound familiar?

 

Unfortunately for many people this is where the process fails.  Getting your website is the first step into the world of digital marketing and not the last.

 

As a self pro claimed procrastinator, I really do understand how easy it is to switch off and forget that you’ve spent a lot of money to get to this point. I hope by reading this blog it might get you thinking about how you can get your website finished.  When faced with a task that takes you outside of your comfort zone it can be painful.

I mean it, it took me 744hrs to write this blog! and it’ll take me another 744hrs to write another one. It’s worth it to give hope to people who for one reason or another have lost touch with their websites and still haven’t “Gone live”.

Your unfinished website is just like that flat pack you bought from IKEA and never assembled!  It sits in your spare room or attic silently judging you! (I hate IKEA it is a world of frustration and too many decisions!)   The only difference is that your website is not in your spare room it is on a server taking up room (you’re most likely paying for) and being slightly less productive than this video about twiddling thumbs….

…for the Procrastinator it’s a must watch.

 

It doesn’t matter to that static website sitting there all lonely an unloved when you get around to adding website content.  The only person effected by that is you or your business.  The longer it takes you to do your part the more the cost weighs on you.

So what can we do about it.

First things first let’s recall why having a website was a good idea. Take a moment and try and remember back when you made the decision to hand over a large amount of money to a web design company and the reasons leading up to it.

 

  1. Will it help people learn more about you?
  2. Will it generate more footfall?
  3. Will it make it easier to talk to customers?

Whatever your reasons write them down and put it somewhere you can see it.  This will help you remember the payoff for putting in the effort.

 

Still Struggling?

If you are struggling to define what you should write for the content of your website, then let me introduce you to the silver bullet! Bullet point that is….

 

Start by writing a short list of points you want to get across for each page on your site.  Then take each bullet point and write three sub points about each one.  This gives you a basic structure that you can then flesh out.

If that does not do the trick you can always go nuclear and give me a call at Dmac, We will gladly pitch in and get things moving for you.

 

As soon as you acknowledge the website is back on the agenda we can tackle it together head on. Share this blog or e-mail it to your-self and it will help you remember to do something today. If it was important enough to hand over cash for it’s important to you and your business, why wait?

 

I am confident that there is at least a handful of people reading this thinking… “Dammit! that’s where I spent that money…the accountant was right…it was me” or even if you’re thinking “I need to do something with getting this site live” we’ve made positive steps.

 

*Procrastination isn’t a disease…it’s an easy way to put off stuff you need to do. When it comes to your business you need to be making the best of the investments you make.

 

Domain names are a new hot commodity – Hang on to yours!

There are two important things which support your website in the cyber world.

One is website hosting.  The space that your site takes up.  Hosting with a trusted provider is essential for peace of mind and for a confident web presence.  But the website must also be found easily. Domain names are the other vital component. The domain name directs people to your site, advertises your brand and is an integral part of your business profile.

 

Domain names are the technical shortcut to where your website is located.  Every computer has an IP address (Internet protocol), a code of numbers which leads people to it. No one is going to remember yet another set of numbers in their life, so unique words are assigned to the codes and linked for easy access.    Ergo:  Your domain name.

 

choosing the right domain name

Choosing your domain name

The name you choose is very important. A short, relevant and clever domain name is the difference between your website being lost in cyber space or recalled easily by potential customers. It must reflect who you are. It must be easy to remember. It belongs to you, the owner, and is protected by regulations against being snapped up by others.  Regulations vary from country to country but generally they allow certain protection to citizens and residents to prevent their particular country code domain being bought by those outside the jurisdiction. There is good reason to protect the names and we will come to that later. For now, your purchased domain name is yours, provided it is paid for annually, and the odd emails verifying ownership are answered.

Renewing your Domain Name

Whether your domain is managed by an I.T. Company or administered by yourself, it is vitally important that the renewal costs are paid annually.  This cost is relatively small compared to other business costs and it is often ignored, precisely for this reason.  A fairly modest invoice, among many higher costs can seem to be unimportant.  However, the cost of losing your domain name is extremely high.  If you worry about missing that all important invoice, there is the option of updating for five or ten years in advance.

When a domain name remains unpaid after its renewal date, it enters a ‘Grace period’ where the website is still visible, but the domain is on a countdown to suspension. Graced periods vary from company to company and are different for .com’s and .ie’s etc.  But on average there is around 40 day’s grace.  During this “Grace Period” a domain owner can renew an expired domain at the regular renewal price.  If a domain remain unpaid even after this time, then they go into the dreaded NRP. Non-Renewal Process!

40 days after the renewal date the NRP is enforced and the name is completely suspended, causing all services to automatically stop. Even though you’re hosting and your email may still be paid up to date, they will not be accessible because of the lapsed domain. The loss in search engine rankings is immediate and deadly. Some providers will charge an extra fee to renew the domain at this NRP stage.

70 days after the renewal date, the domain is deleted. The domain registrars publish a list of deleted domains every day. These are immediately available for purchase by anyone who wants. If you are super quick, there is a possibility of purchasing back your own domain at this stage, but experience has shown that this rarely happens. There are many companies throughout the world buying up deleted domains and reselling at exorbitant prices. This is the moment when many businesses look back wistfully at that old unpaid invoice for a modest sum and regret the non –renewal bitterly.

Where do lost and deleted domains go?

It is not surprising that an increasing number of companies worldwide have been set up with the express mission of nabbing deleted domain names and selling them on at a profit. Thankfully, the registration rules around dot ie’s protect this to some degree, but the more widely used .com’s and .net’s are a prolific hunting ground for the shark companies. Reselling at an exorbitant price is their main mission.

Increasingly too, brokers are being used to appraise the value of domain names and to access them for hungry clients.  This is real proof that it is a sellers’ market and the very fact that a third party, the broker, can now make a living from the sale of coveted domains is proof of the value of the once humble domain name.  It seems that a domain name can be your golden ticket, if you are lucky enough to own one that is desirable.

Regular domain names can make it to the open market at prices of $2,500 dollars upwards. In 2005 ‘lasvegas.com’ was purchased from an unknown reseller for $90 million. The buyer agreed to pay $12 million upfront and the rest in instalments till 2040.  This is, without doubt, the most expensive domain name ever purchased.  It is not unusual however, for a desired domain to reach big figures. ‘CarInsurance.com’ was bought in 2010 for a mere $49.7. Million, while ‘fund.com’ fetched a cool $9.9 million in 2008. Is your domain name commanding a little more respect now?

A good domain name is important to your business, not just because it directs traffic to your website, but because it represents your business and is its internet identity. While its current monetary value may seem relatively small, it plays a very important part of your online branding and it could be a very expensive loss.

 

 

{Video} What is Cyber Squatting and how to avoid it

Have you ever heard of Cyber Squatting?

 

We’re going to guess the term cyber squatting is relatively new to you, but the practice of cyber squatting has been around for many years and the victims of such practice are far and wide. To learn more about Cyber Squatting and to save your business from paying exorbitant sums for a relatively cheap domain name watch the video below where Dave McEvoy sheds some light on the practice. And more importantly how to avoid it.