Category Archives: Walkthroughs

Moving your Website or Blog to a new domain name

There are lots of reasons why you might want to move your website to a new domain name. Perhaps you have had a revamp, rebrand or a change of focus in your business and the domain name is no longer relevant.

An acronym may have seemed like a good idea in the past, but they are generally hard to remember and slower to type (yes, this factor!)  You might have bought a domain name with a hyphen and now know that that are not favoured by Google or anyone else.  It may also be that an old provider owns your domain name and you want a new one which is totally under your control.

At Dmac Media we regularly assist clients wishing to move to a niftier domain name. The most important thing to remember in this process is that you don’t totally abandon the old name, but merely redirect to the new one!  This means that you will not lose clients who have your website address saved in browsers and in their brilliant memories but will merely arrive quickly to the new and exciting domain name.

How do I do it

Your domain name is separate to the hosting of your website. Rather, it points to your hosting, like a phone number or address.  There are two options when it comes to purchasing domains.  You can buy from a re-seller or directly from a Registrar. There are lots of reasons why you might want to move your website to a new domain name. The new domain, once in your possession now needs to be added to your hosting.   

If you buy from the same company that hosts your website (recommended), they can add it to your hosting package. If you can buy separately and point the DNS (Domain Name System) records for your domain at your hosting. It is advisable to use a professional as this can be a little tricky. At Dmac Media we have helped countless people who bought great new domain names but lost traffic when it was not properly pointed to their website hosting.

What is the best domain name to choose?

Choosing your new domain name is entirely your decision although many domain names are already grabbed. In fairness, if you didn’t purchase tombrown.com some eons ago, it is unlikely to be available now.  A domain name is unique to one person or business.  Obviously, acronyms only work for large companies with commonly used branding, such as BBC or RTE.  It is generally best to link your domain name choice to the content of your website. Sometimes this is done in an obvious way, e.g. yogaforseniors.ie and sometimes in a less obvious manner, for example – www.bestforbaby.ie.   

Thankfully, there is online help if you are feeling uninspired.  Head off to namemesh.com and pop in some words that are relevant to your business to get some nifty suggestions.  Remember when choosing, to put your identity first, and what you do, For example – www.kunekunepigsireland.ie  where it does exactly what it says on the tin!  If you are unsure if the domain name you fancy is available, try a quick search on www.whois.net and it will soon let you know.

Redirecting traffic from your existing domain name

 It is vital that the traffic going to the old domain is sent to the new one. It is the equivalent of not telling the post office that you have moved and wondering where your post is, as letter pile up on the old mat.  301 redirects tell Google that you used to be call one thing and are now called this new thing.  Again, your hosting or web design company will advise you on 301 redirects.   After all, the purpose of your new domain name will be entirely lost if you don’t manage to detour the searches from your old one.   If your website on the new domain uses exactly the same URL paths, you can do a domain-wide redirect rule – one rule to capture all uses of the old domain. Or you may need to configure individual redirects for different pages on your site. A useful guide to this is at Blacknight .com

But if the idea of tackling this is too much for you any other good hosting or website provider can assist (Dmac Media, cough cough…)

Itsabraveneworld.com

Whether you are going for something Uber-chic hipster-trendy name like wazoos.ie or going for a say what you see domain, painterdublin.ie you can use the above advice to keep the fuss to a minimum.  With some thought and inspiration, you can reflect your business in a more real way.

Hootsuite tutorial

A quick guide to setting up & using Hootsuite

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a “Social Media Management System”, under the free version you can have 3 social media platforms and schedule up to 30 messages at any one time. It comes equipped with a dashboard for each platform also, so you can see a stream of information at once.  Managing your businesses multiple social media platforms can be a full-time job and if you plan to regularly update them all, I highly recommend using a tool like Hootsuite. Hootsuite will take a little time to get used to but this quick how-to tutorial will give you the basic setup!

Setup

Hootsuite.com (https://hootsuite.com/#)

One you arrive on the website in the top right-hand corner press ‘Sign up’, this will lead you to their pricing structure. If you plan to use this for the 3 platforms only scroll past all these options to the free version just below:

Hootsuite Tutorial

This will then prompt you to enter a name, business email and password. Once this information has been accepted it will bring you to the connection page, this is where you will add your three platforms.

Connect social profiles

For the purpose of demonstration, I will use Facebook as an example, Click on Facebook.  If you are not currently signed in, it will ask you to sign in, and it will then ask permission for Hootsuite to manage your business. If you happen to have more than one business page you will need to edit the settings to only allow the one you want to manage in Hootsuite. Do this for each of your chosen three platforms.

Once this is done you will be prompted to go forward and enter your business details:

Hootsuite Signup

Hootsuite will then bring you through a quick tutorial,

Hootsuite publisher

How to schedule a post

Step 1

On the top right-hand corner of your screen there is a post button click this and you will be brought to a new post page. Your first option will select which platform you will be posting to

Select social media networks

Step 2

Write your post including all text, links and hashtags

Creating a social media post

Step 3

Add any media you want including photos or videos here

Adding Media

Step 4

When do you want to post? Select a time and date and hit schedule.

Hootsuite Calendar

As you are creating your post, you will see a preview of how your post will look and the right-hand pane. It will also give you a warning, if you go over the 280-character limit for Twitter.

How to see what I have scheduled

There are two ways to see what is scheduled, on the left-hand black menu the second option is publisher, click in here to view your posts.

Hootsuite Menu

Once in publisher, this will give you two options.

Hootsuite Planner

The planner will give you a calendar schedule of your past & future posts, while Content will give you a list version of this.

Hootsuite Streams

As you can see from the menu above the first menu item is streams, this is your homepage where you can see your recent posts, timeline, mentions, messages, scheduled posts. The stream you can have will vary from social media platform to the next below is an example of the streams available from Facebook:

Hootsuite Streams

Below is an example of how your home page of streams can look:

Hootsuite Preview

So, there you have the basics of Hootsuite in this quick tutorial. If this is still a little foreign to you don’t worry! That’s what the digital marketing team at Dmac Media are for, contact us today if you need help to setup your social media management platform.

How to Talk to Technical Support

Frustrating technical problems with your computer, device, website or electronic equipment are an unavoidable facet of modern life.

We have all been there! Tearing our hair out as technology fails and ultimately defeats us.   Luckily, there is always the help-line or Tech Support Team to assist you, when you have reached the end of your technical tether.

But contacting the experts at the end of the help line is not always a rewarding experience.
We have put together some simple guidelines to better communication between you, the frustrated user, and the experts at the help desk.  


‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’

This classic on/off switch question has been lampooned and laughed at for years and yes, it can seem smugly insulting to those of us who think of ourselves as techno savvy.  (Especially if you hadn’t actually tried it and it results in the problem being solved!) But it does lead us to the first steps in talking to I.T techies. 

Be clear and don’t skip any pertinent information. Logical steps in explaining. You are dealing with extremely logical people (Actually, they are geeks, but let’s just call them extremely logical people for reasons of political correctness and because I have to work with them).   Describe the issue in detail and bullet points the actions which you have done to try to remedy the situation, detailing any pertinent results. 

Keep calm and be prepared

Given that issues can often be attributed to a simple problem between the chair and the computer, it is probably wiser to take a calm and methodical approach to seeking assistance.  Before you email or phone, get prepared by making a list of all the problems. Tell them everything.  Is there an error message?

Detail what it says. If there is no error message, then note what your computer or device is doing.

It is not enough to simply say, it just stopped working.  It makes more sense to say something like:  I pressed the on button and the green light flashed for a moment, the screen came on, but then everything went blank. The monitor stays on but all the lights on the front of my computer turn off. If I power it on again, the same thing happens over and over.” Detail when the problem started happening? Did anything else happen at the same time?  Virus warnings, electrical storms, you spilling your coffee on keyboard may be helpful in getting a swift diagnosis.  Detail your troubleshooting to date (Do use the word ‘trouble-shooting’, the geeks will be impressed!) and include any other specifics which may be relevant.  

Add screenshots of error messages, or list them exactly as they appear.  For example, ‘I am getting an error 404 message’ or the extremely annoying ‘unknown error’ message. Be pedantic.  The devil really is in the details.

A Ticket Number is your friend

Support Teams that use a ticketing system display a more organised approach to problem solving. It might be a reference number, an incident number or a support ticket, but it places your issue in the queue and allows for problem solving to be charted as you work together to a solution. The tech support representative logs the details of your call or email and there is a clear record and if you should need to call again, there is no need to retell the story.

They are techno wizards – but they cannot do magic

Communicating with the support team when you are already in a panic about those lost files, or missed deadline is no fun and always fraught with an air of panic and desperation.  But the experience can be equally as frustrating for the techno-bods at the other end of the phone/email.  Stories abound of the help requests that they cannot, ever fulfil. . .  I am thinking of one IT support worker, accosted by a frustrated colleague while walking through the office with the grumpy shout “At last! It’s taken you long enough. I pressed F1 (help button) over 2 hours ago!”    One of the favourite repeating requests is, “I can’t remember my email password. Please email me it to me.” And ‘My mouse has stopped working’.  Technology may be available in the coming years to allow for the remote changing of batteries and the mind reading of lost passwords, but till then, we must take a realistic, and somewhat patient approach to requesting assistance.

Speaking of passwords, make sure you don’t use any of these hackable, guessable & downright unsecure passwords in future…

Communication is key.  Keep your query as polite and informative as possible. If you do not understand any requests from the technician, ask for more detail or for directions to where you might find that information. Approach the problems as one which you can solve together and as such, most support requests that begin with ‘ I hope you can help me’….. and end with a simple …’thanks in advance’ will be well received.

With a little thought, you can have a more constructive support call, with problem solving as the focus for both you and the helpful geeks of I.T. support!

Walkthrough: How to optimise images for mobile

Google now looks at your ‘mobile first’ when deciding your website ranking. One of the key ways to improve your ranking is to improve your page load speed. When improving the load speed of any webpage the first thing to do is Optimise your Images. Images are the main culprits for slowing down a web page as they generally have a large file size and often unnecessarily so. So how do we Optimise Images?

Go to Page Speed Insights

Visit  https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ and enter your website address:

 

page-speed-1

 

 

Next you will see a quick overview of your page speed. By default your mobile score is shown first.

 

Your Mobile Speed test

 

 

Scroll down until you see the heading ‘Optimization Suggestions’. Beneath this again is the sub heading Optimize images with a link to ‘Show how to fix’

 

page-speed-3

Click on the text ‘Show How to Fix’ and the page will list a summary of images below that can be optimised (reduced in size with minimal loss to quality)

 

Beneath this again, you can see the text ‘Download optimized image’.
Clicking on the word ‘image’ will download a .zip folder to your computer containing all the optimised imagery.

 

page-speed-4

 

 

Now its time to replace all the old bulky images on your site with your new speedy optimised ones. Run the test again and see your score improve.

 

good-page-speed

 

Note, some loss to image quality may occur but the flip side is you have fulfilled one of Google’ most basic criteria and worked towards your site ranking better in search results.

 

In Summary.

This is the quickest way to optimise images and keep Google super happy but there is more you can do. This process simply compresses your image as much as possible it doesn’t resize the width or height. If you have uploaded an image that is 2000px wide and it only displays on your page at 1000px wide, then you should resize this image first to further increase your page speed. Here’s a quick walkthrough on Resizing imagery for web

 

Of course if you need to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Dmac Media