Published May 8th, 2015 by

Another client win this week for me with a firm of personal injury lawyers and solicitors in Bolton, UK.  They were recommended to me by another English client that I have, the Bar Stools company I blogged about before.  Personal Injury Solicitors of Bolton have asked me to completely overhaul and re-vamp their existing website which has been live and up and running for about 3 years.

The Previous Web Design

As you can see below, the old site looked a little bit out of date and old-fashioned.  As personal injury solicitors they did not feel that the blue color palette and imagery really suited what they were about as a company.  Here’s what Personal Injury Solicitors Bolton used to look like:

Previous Design

What the Personal Injury Solicitors Bolton website used to look like.

My New Design and Color Palette

As part of their re-branding exercise which is being conducted by a UK advertising firm, they have decided to completely change the color palette and logo.  As you can see on the new website for Personal Injury Solicitors Bolton (click here) I’ve introduced that into the new layout – see a screenshot below or visit the website directly.

New Website Design

How the new Personal Injury Lawyer website looks.

The website is built using WordPress, a standard template, but with a lot of customization based on feedback from the personal injury solicitors in the Bolton office.

In terms of usability I was able to use testing results from other web design projects, and have actually been split testing some of the placement of elements.  For example, where you see that phone number was actually changed three times until we were happy that it was in the optimum place.

Increased Calls With Design Changes

Believe it or not, phone call increased by 10% just by moving the phone number our of the header and into the right hand side columnar space.  The team at Personal Injury Solicitors Bolton are really happy with the work completed so far, but it’s not yet completed to be honest, with loads more to do over the coming weeks and months.#

Why Design is So Important for Solicitors

The personal injury industry is extremely competitive, with personal injury lawyers all trying to get a bite of the cherry.  First impressions always count for so much, which is why it’s imperative that the design looks good, and engenders an element of trust with the website visitor.

After all, you would want to work with an accident claims lawyer who you think you can trust right?  Well that’s exactly true, and why the website design should be a huge part of any legal or law firms marketing plans in 2015.

Would You Like Me to Design You a New Website?

If you are a lawyer or solicitor based in the United Kingdom or United States and would like me to quote for you on a web design project then please do get in touch.  I specialise in the financial sector, but am now starting to build up a small portfolio of legal clients including personal injury lawyers both in the UK and USA.

Use my contact page to email me and I will be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

Published May 8th, 2015 by

I love Kansas, it was where I grew up and spent my formative years. Despite a hiatus I now back and love living back here.  There are a few events coming up in the city that I wanted to share with you.  You can see details of them below.  I am actually going to be involved in sponsoring aspects of these to help generate new business for web design.Events
Of course, I am most looking forward to the 2015 Kansas Air Show that I wrote about in a previous blog post, don’t think I can afford sponsorship of that one though!

Published March 16th, 2015 by

I’ve always been a keen hiker and outdoors man.  My favorite piece of kit is the Garmin leading-edge Montana which comes in three different flavors; the Montana 600, Montana 650, and Montana 650T.  Garmin of course are World leaders in GPS handhelds which are becoming more main stream as the outdoor activity of Geocaching has become more popular amongst families – and the Montana is up there as one of the best GPS for Geocaching on the market.

The Montana handheld GPS devices are all weather outdoor products and have been designed with the rugged outdoors in mind.  So whether you are cycling, exploring, walking, undertaking water-based adventures, or simply geocaching there will be a Garmin Montana to suit you.  Currently you can get 10% if you use a Garmin coupon code from Coupon Chili.

Garmin Montana

Montana 650T – A Rugged Touch Screen GPS

Our review concentrates on the highest-end Montana model which is the Garmin Montana 650T which is almost military grade in its design and features.  It comes with a large 4 inch touch screen that doesn’t seem to suffer even when under direct sunlight – which has been a criticism of previous Garmin handheld GPS products.

The Montana Has a Long Life Lithium-Ion Battery and Waterproof

Not only will the Montana 650T last all day on its long-life battery, but it is also waterproof meaning even the most adventurous of users should find this handheld GPS perfect.  You could start your day driving using the in-built Garmin automotive GPS maps, take it kayaking, and then do some Geocaching and climbing – this GPS does it all.  You can purchase mounts separately meaning you can transfer it from a car to a bike to a boat with ease.

Garmin Montana 650T Receives GPS Signals Quickly

What really sets the Montana apart from the competition is how fast it will receive satellite signals – so if you’re in a tight spot you can rely on it to rescue you from even the most inaccessible of situations.

Geocaching Features of the Montana 650T

The Garmin Montana includes some Dedicated Geocaching tools which mean you can also share Geocaches wirelessly between devices – and of course it will integrate with Garmin’s recently launchedOpen Caching website.  You will be able to download Geocaches direct off the web and take photos as you walk using the in-built 5 mega-pixel camera.

Includes Points of Interest

If Geocaching isn’t your thing and you are in a strange and unfamiliar place then you can turn to the pre-installed Points of Interest (POI) files which include local pharmacies and golf courses – and additional content such as Garmin map updates can even be purchased separately.

Who Should Buy the Garmin Montana 650T GPS Handheld?

If you are active or even have ambitions to get out and explore the great outdoors then the Montana 650T will appeal to you.  What you need to appreciate though is that you aren’t just getting a handheld outdoor GPS – you are also getting a sat nav GPS to use in your car or truck as it really is a fully functional GPS to suit all scenarios.  The price point, whilst expensive, is fully justified given the huge versatility of this handheld.

Detailed Features and Specification of the Montana 650T

Dimensions

  • 9 inches wide, 5.7 inches high, 1.4 inches deep
  • Screen display 2 inches wide by 3.5 inches high
  • Display resolution 272 x 480 pixels
  • 65k color TFT with dual-orientation touch screen
  • Weights 10.2 ounces
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery includes (or takes 3 x AA batteries)
  • Waterproof handheld GPS
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver

Maps & Memory

  • Comes with Basemap
  • You can add new maps
  • Built-in memory of 3GB
  • microSD data card slot
  • 4,000 waypoints, favourites, and locations
  • 200 routes
  • Track log of 10,000 points, 200 saved tracks

Technical Features

  • Automatic routing
  • Electronic compass
  • Touchscreen GPS display
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and automatic Geo-tagging
  • Paperless Geocaching
  • Can load custom maps
  • Photo navigation to Geo-tagged photos

If you want to purchase and buy the Garmin Montana 650T handheld GPS then the best prices are currently being ranged on the Amazon website.

PS: Like Garmin products? How about you check out this video from them which I previously blogged about.

Published March 16th, 2015 by

It’s been a while since I updated the blog, primarily due to work load.  Whilst I started the blog with the best intentions, sometimes life can get in the way.  I had intended the website to be a portfolio of work where I could show off the latest stuff that I was doing and showcase my skills. The ironic thing is that because I started that last year, I’ve now got so much work in that it’s hard to find the time.

The upshot is, I’ve decided that I will be posting probably less regularly, and will be started up a new company website instead.  I will post up information on that when it’s ready to go!

Published October 10th, 2014 by

bar stools logoIn a slight departure from my usual line of business, this week I won a new client for some back-end PHP development and coding work – but not in the finance sector.  I met Elena Travis from The Funky Chair whilst recently at the Content Marketing Conference.  Elena and I shared a coffee and have a brief chat about what I do and my services that are on offer.  Anyway, to cut the long story short she runs The Funky Chair website which sell bar stools in the UK.

She imports bar stools from around the globe from top designers and then re-sells them into the UK consumer market.  She was telling me about some IT challenges that she has due to the bar stools warehouse not sync’ing up too well with all of the backend systems that she runs her stock control and order entry stuff – which all feeds into the bar stools website.

Bar Stools Stock and Ordering System

Her whole business relies on being able to list stock inventory on The Funky Chair, whilst at the same time matching that up with the products volumes back in the bar stools warehouse.  So as an example, if someone visits The Funky Chair and selects a red leather and steel bar stool and then adds that to the cart, it needs to be certain that a) the product is in stock, and b) when purchased that’s flagged against her internal systems as being ordered.

Currently there are some flaws in the system so I’ve been brought on board to streamline the whole online ordering process, to implement new code so that the ordering and stock control works 100% seamlessly with no glitches.

Obviously I never thought I would be working on a PHP project for a bar stools retailer in the UK so it just goes to show what networking can do for you – in fact since this opportunity has come up I’ve signed up to more small business networking groups on LinkedIn.

Over the coming months I will be adding updates to my blog about how this bar stools project has gone so please keep coming back –and if you have an online programming project that requires a pitch from me then please do get in touch via my work with me page as I would love to hear from new potential customers – no matter where you are in the World!

Published September 23rd, 2014 by

This week I’ve been working with some new clients who work in the accountancy field.  They asked me to help to develop a web interface which connects to their back-end systems.  Essentially it’s designed to let their clients login and submit accounts online, rather than emailing large files, PDFs, and such like.

In terms of what I’ve needed to learn, it’s been a huge learning curve.  I’d not really played around that much with SQL to this level of complexity before.

I can’t tell you who the client is right now, but should be able to add them into my portfolio when November comes once the system has gone live and has been fully tested.

Content Marketing WorldI’ve also been to a few conferences this month, with a highlight being the Content Marketing World Conference 2014 which was held Cleveland. It was another fantastic opportunity hot off the heels of my visit to the SMX Advanced Expo recently to meet like minds and “talk shop”.

I had never really thought much about how this form of networking can help your business grow, but the conferences I have now been to have opened up so many opportunities that I would recommend them to any entrepreneur who wants to get their business running better.

Published July 21st, 2014 by

Since I set up in business there have been a number of different software packages that have proved absolutely invaluable for me in terms of not just productivity but also network and PC security.  One of those products is McAfee’s Security Centre – without this I would probably have had to rip and start my business up again due to a recent cyber-attack and hacking attempt that was made on my PC via a Trojan Horse program.
McAfee Promo Code

Get it With a McAfee Promo Code

Note: If you want to buy this product then you can do so with a 25% discount from the Coupon Chili website – click on this Coupon Chili’s promo code for McAfee page.  You should then be able to get for under one hundred dollars – but Amazon also have some cheap deals.

How it Works

The great thing about McAfee Internet Security is that it works in the background to protect your computer against a huge variety of threats – things like viruses, Trojan horses, hackings, malware, and malicious scripts.  Unfortunately I seem to be a bit slack when it comes to backing up my client files and so having McAfee act as the gatekeeper has saved me on more than one occasions according to the logs that I recently read in the McAfee promo code admin area.

Other software that I have started using recently and recommend, in particular for PC and computer security are Norton AntiVirus which I use in conjunction with McAfee just to be even safer – call it paranoia… could be!

To conclude, if you are running any kind of business from home, or have any sensitive files or files you would hate to lose (think accounts and family photos) stored on your computer – then please please make sure that you have adequate protection against data loss and any hacking.  If I find any more deals like that McAfee promo code then I will share them on here.

Disclaimer: I do not benefit financially from any products or websites that I recommend.

Published July 21st, 2014 by

I live in Kansas, and one of the largest technology companies in the World is based here in a place called Olathe. Whilst I’ve never worked for Garmin (although it would have been nice!) I have always respected them and used their products.  I’ve got a Nuvi PND in the car, I run with a Garmin Forerunner, and have a hand-held GPS device to use on my hiking holidays.  Anyway, I got a marketing email from them a couple of weeks back telling me that they are celebrating their 25th birthday – which seems like a heck of a long time for a tech company.  My friends who work there have nothing but good things to say about the place and they do a lot of charity and community work in the Kansas area.  The video they have released makes it look like a great place to work at… so happy 25th birthday to Garmin!  Here’s the cool video.

<

Published July 8th, 2014 by

Off the back of my recent successes with my PHP development portfolio on Elance (see my previous blog post about how I am helping a bridging loans company) I won yet another UK-based client this month – the IT Support London HQ company.  They are a computer and PC support firm based in the capital city of London in England and asked me to quote for a new client booking system that they needed to place online for one of their own projects.

System to Log IT Support Requests & Tickets

The system will allow their clients to log IT support requests into a back-end password protected support website.  It means that their customers can login with their credentials, submit an IT support ticket, and then follow the progress of the job where they can see the assigned IT support technician, any associated notes, scheduling and deadlines.  I am really proud of the piece of work.  Obviously I can’t show you it in the flesh as it’s hidden behind a secure firewall, but I can show you a screenshot or two of how the development work is currently looking.

Work for IT Support London HQ

The IT Support Ticketing System Under Development

The fact that I have been able to pick up new clients like this means that’s it’s a very exciting time for me and I hope that this leads to more work from the IT Support London HQ as they have a large portfolio of clients inside of England that they offer outsourced computer support and remote IT support to.  So far so good, and the feedback I’ve had from their in-house project manager has been excellent so far.

Project Deliverables

I have delivered on the main objectives as follows;

  1. Create a user-friendly IT support ticket system
  2. 100% secure from hackers, SQL injection attempts and other security threats
  3. Let IT Support London HQ staff members upload their own time sheets
  4. Allow customers of IT Support London HQ access remotely
  5. To be quick and fast loading even over slow web connections
  6. To be mobile responsive and accessible via a smart phone or mobile device

The most problematic part of the project to date has been the PHP coding of some aspects concerning the database.  It was all to do with old PHP code from a previous iteration of the application using the MYSQL_ code lines in order to make a connection direct to the database.  You can see how I overcame it below (one of the coders only so apologies for the geekiness!)

PHP Coding Problems

How I Fixed the PHP Database Issues

Generally speaking though, everything has gone really smoothly and I don’t anticipate that that it should take too much longer to complete.  Hopefully I will get another fantastic recommendation to place onto my testimonials page in the near future!

Find Jobs on Elance

I really cannot recommend the Elance website enough.  In the past 2 months I have managed to pick up 2 new clients from this system, firstly it was the Bridging Experts, and now IT Support London HQ.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of many and I have more clients wins to share on my blog in the near future.  It’s exciting times for me and the business is really starting to take off at the moment.

Published July 8th, 2014 by

I love planes, always have, and have actually had a couple of lessons from my uncle over the last 12 months.  A few years back I went to the Kansas City Air Show which unfortunately hasn’t been running for the last couple of years due to a budgeting problem.  It’s a real shame because the 2009 event was awesome.  I was looking up for some footage on YouTube earlier today and found this great video blog montage of great clips from the ’09 show.  You can see it below… if you were there you will probably recall the Apache helicopter that was flown on the day – just amazing.  Anyway, here’s the video.