Archive for January 2010


WebEden forum now live!

January 29th, 2010 — 2:16pm

Its been a LONG time coming, but we have finally launched the WebEden forum!

The forum will be a place where you can interact with other WebEden website builders, and members of the WebEden team.

Its a great place to ask questions in order to get answers to a problem you may have with your website. There are specific sections where you can ask about domains, email, webite editing, widgets or SEO help.

You might also like to help other users out with your knowledge of building websites. You can also show off or promote your work. And if you want to suggest something to the team, or want to have a moan, then please go ahead.

You will need to register with your own unique username and password. This will be a different username to the one you use to access the WebEden website builder.

You can find a link to the forum across the top green bar of the site. And here’s what it looks like:

Ready to get involved? Visit the WebEden forum now!

WebEden launches ‘en Francais’

January 28th, 2010 — 1:47pm

A few of the more frequent visitors to WebEden might have noticed a little blue, white and red flag in the top left hand corner of our website.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out what this is all about: We’ve just launched in France!

Now anyone with French as their native tongue can build a WebEden website without having to stuggle with the English language. Website Building tools in France are quite a bit less advanced than the UK, so we have high hopes that the WebEden system will be embraced.

Fancy building a website in French? Know any French speakers who might want to créer un site web gratuitement? Any comments (French or English!)?

Want free online storage? Take a look at the Gdrive

January 27th, 2010 — 3:27pm

A few years ago Google indicated that it would build a space where anyone could store all their documents, music and images online, for free.

They gave it the moniker ‘Gdrive’, but since making the announcement everything has gone pretty quiet.

Then a couple of weeks ago, they quietly added a few new features to their ‘Google Docs’ product. For many, this meant that the ‘Gdrive’ had arrived.

For those of you not familiar with Google Docs, it’s an online service where you can create, manage and store your spreadsheets, word documents and presentations. It’s an online rival to Microsoft Office, with the added advantage that you can access your documents from any location; and collaborate with others online.

The downside of course is that you need to be connected to the Internet to do this. We discussed the ups and downs of each system last year.

Now Google has added extra features. You can upload any file up to 250MB to Google Docs. You get 1 GB of free storage for files that you choose not to convert into one of the Google Docs formats (Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations). And if you can always buy more space if you want it, at a cost of $0.25 per GB/year.

Here’s a screengrab that shows you where you can upload your files:

Google reckon that you’ll be able to open most common formats using the service. You can also search for files once you’ve uploaded them. And you can share you documents and images with anyone you choose.

Of course there are plenty of rivals for this type of service. Microsoft’s SkyDrive gives you 25 GB of free storage, and ADrive offers a massive 50 GB.

Are you a fan of the online storage model? Or do you prefer to keep your stuff local, on a memory stick or external hard drive? Leave us a comment below.

‘Google’ named ‘word of the decade’

January 26th, 2010 — 1:51pm

Google – a word that few of us had heard of ten years ago – is now so deeply embedded in our lives that there are some conversations that can’t take place without it.

It’s impossible to talk about the Internet without mentioning ‘Google’.

It’s hard to talk about finding stuff without mentioning Google

And any type of information reference has trouble slipping by without someone mentioning Google…

Word of the Decade

So perhaps it’s hardly surprising that the American Dialect Society has picked the verb as the most important word of the last 10 years.

The Society looks at the use of English in North America.

The Society’s members voted the verb ‘Google’ – meaning to search the internet – to the number 1 spot. Other technology runner ups were ‘blog’, ‘wi-fi’, and ‘text’.

Grant Barrett, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Societ” said “I really thought ‘blog’ would take the honours in the word of the decade category, but more people Google than blog, don’t they?”

“Plus, many people think ‘blog’ just sounds ugly. Maybe Google’s trademark lawyers would have preferred it, anyway,” he added.

Word of 2009

The society also voted on the word of 2009. This time it was the chance for Twitter to shine, with ‘tweet’ nabbing number 1.

2nd place in the 2009 vote was ‘fail’, a “noun or interjection describing something egregiously unsuccessful” according to the society.

Word of the 90s

Technology words frequently dominated the ‘words of the 90s’ with annual winners including ‘web’, ‘Y2K’, ‘cyber’, ‘information superhighway’, and ‘e’. But it’s been 10 years since a technology word has won.

In 1995 the society showed its forward thinking by saying that ‘World Wide Web’ would be the one “most likely to succeed”.

Does Google take top spot for you?  Or do you have a favourite you’d like to put forward? Is WebEden your favourite, just like it is mine ;-) Leave us a comment below.

The French Plan to Tax Google

January 25th, 2010 — 12:27pm

Last week we had a story that talked about the fact that despite taking over $1.6bn in revenues in the UK, search giant Google paid just £144,000 tax. This is all because the company’s European headquarters are in Dublin, where Google takes advantage of the low tax regime.

Apparently Nicolas Sarkozy has unveiled plans to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen in France. It’s all part of the French president’s desire to regulate the Internet.

The proposals have suggested that all three of the major search engines (the others being Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing) pay a tax every time a sponsored link is clicked.

That could potentially raise a lot of money: Google has revenues of around £720m in France. Sarkozy wants this money to go towards schemes financing the creative industry.

Its about the music

One such scheme is a government subsidy of digital music and film services, and would be an attempt to reduce illegal downloading of this content.

Carla Bruni – the Franch PM’s wife – is a keen musician and has campaigned to raise awareness of the problems of illegal downloads.

France has already used new anti-piracy laws to stop illegal downloads, with perpetrators being disconnected and fined.

Slowing innovation

Detractors of the new proposals say that the tax would slow down innovation in France. Google France senior policy manager Olivier Esper said that the best way “to support content creation is to find new business models that help consumers find great content and rewards artists and publishers for their work”.

What do you think?

Do you think that Google should pay more tax on its activity? Have the French got the right idea to tax online advertising? Lastly a plug: do you want to Créer un site web (that’s my way of saying check out our French site!)

Leave us a comment below.

The 2010 General Election: Who is winning online

January 22nd, 2010 — 2:59pm

In a blog post titled ‘It was the Internet wot won it‘ last year we included the news that Barack Obama’s use of the Internet was a crucial factor in winning votes in the 2008 US General Election.

And as the UK turns towards the ballot boxes again the Internet will be a key battle ground to be fought out.

So who is doing well at the moment?

A review published last week reckons that both parties are making mistakes in the use of search engines and social media.

On Search Engines

When it comes to Google, unofficial websites often with negative comments dominate the first page of results when searching for either party leader. These include both gordonbrown.com and davidcameron.com.

And lets not forget mydavidcameron.com, who have generated huge volumes of traffic over the last few weeks by capitalising on the Conservative’s poster campaign featuring an airbrushed David Cameron.

Since there are 400,000 searches per month for ‘gordon brown’ thats a lot of eye balls that are getting exposed to content that describes the PM in a less than positive way.

On Social Media

And as for Twitter, neither leader owns their own username on Twitter. The @gordonbrown account is clearly an imposter; and the @davidcameron account was recently paused, and includes a message asking visitors to follow @conservatives instead.

At the moment official PM Twittering comes from the @DowningStreet account, which has done pretty well to rack up 1.7 million followers. Of course, the PM’s wife Sarah Brown also has more than a million followers of her @SarahBrown10 account.

These numbers stack up quite well even compared to @Barackobama’s 3million followers.

By contrast, the @conservatives account has a measly 18,421 followers. To be fair that’s in the same ball park as the @UKLabour account which has 8,979 followers.

The conservatives are at least trying to work the Twitter channel with a very active Twitter account. At time of writing Labour had Tweeted just a handful of times in 2010.

Social media profile in the Search Engines

When searching on Google for ‘Gordon Brown Twitter’, the @DowningStreet account is the first one to come up. On the other hand, I couldn’t find the @conservatives account when searching for ‘David Cameron Twitter’.

In the US, Barack Obama used Twitter and his official website to distribute campaign packs, give people material to win debates, distribute tickets to events and get feedback from potential voters.

In the UK it looks as if both parties have a lot of work to do in order to make effective use of search engines and social media to promote their views and garner public support.

Do you think that effective online campaigning can boost either leader’s chance of being elected? Leave us a comment below.

Google: We do no evil. And we pay no tax.

January 21st, 2010 — 1:12pm

Barely a post goes by without us mentioning Google in one way or another.

Almost always its in glowing respect: ‘Google has a great new product that…”; “Thanks to Google we can now…”

But not this time. Lib Dem economics scalpel Vince Cable has accused the company of not playing fair, after it emerged that Google will pay no UK corporation tax on the £1.6bn it made in Britain this year.

This is because Google’s European headquarters are in Dublin. Any profit is channeled through the Dublin operation, where corporation tax is much lower.

Of course this is no secret. Many large US technology companies have their European or UK headquarters in Dublin: Microsoft, HP, Oracle to name but a few.

But the accusation may cause Google to smart a little since it goes counter to their corporate mantra of ‘do no evil’.

Cable went on to say that this ducking of £450m in tax meant the company was dodging its social responsibilities, felt all the more keenly in this time of recession.

The Sunday Times reported that Google UK employs 770 people and makes 13% of its revenue on these shores. Google UK also donated a measly £5,662 to charity this year. This contrasts with the average £90,000 wage of a UK employee.

Nice work if you can get it ;-)

See what your website looks like in all screen sizes and resolutions

January 19th, 2010 — 3:29pm

A couple of months ago we had a guest blog from Alison Cross of Alisoncross4webs that talked about how to put The Gold above the Fold.


Newspaper Talk

This phrase is borrowed from Newspaper publishing. It means that if you have something really important that you want everyone to notice, make sure you put it high up on the page, above the place where people fold  their newspaper.

Website Talk

When this applies to building a website, the ‘fold’ is the lowest part on the page that people can see without scrolling.

As many people do not scroll down web pages, it’s important to put your most important information (your gold) above this point (the fold).

Screen Sizes & Resolutions

That’s all very well, but there is a problem: There are a lot of different sized screens with different resolutions. And some people have toolbars installed too. This means that some users can see more of your website than others. And that means that the fold can fall in many different places.

Finding the Fold

So how do you find out where this fold is? Thanks to a handy little visualisation tool from Google, its now possible to accurately see where the fold is for your website for people using different screens.

The Google Browser Size tool lets you understand how everyone sees your website. For any point on the screen, the tool lets you know what percentage of people can see it without scrolling.

Here’s an image of what it looks like:

The tool isn’t perfect. It assumes that your website is left hand justified rather than centre justified (like most WebEden websites are). Nevertheless, when you’re making a website you can use the tool to make sure the important stuff can be seen by everyone.

Try using the browser size tool on your website and leave us a comment below.

New Website Templates launched

January 18th, 2010 — 1:20pm

Due to popular demand we’ve added more templates into our website builder. These give you lots of new starting points for your website building journey!

Here are a few of my favourites

I don’t know about you but I find these new templates inspiring!

Don’t forget, you don’t need to use a template, you can always start with somethink blank.

Like the new designs? Any others out there that you’ve seen and you’d like us to have a go at? Leave us a comment below.

Online to take 20% of all sales by 2020

January 15th, 2010 — 1:48pm

Heartwarming New Year news if you’re serious about doing business online.
Ebay and Verdict (a retail research specialist) released a report a couple of weeks ago that indicates that as much as £1 in every £5 will be spent online by 2020.

And in some categories such as books and electrical goods, online sales will overtake their offline counterparts.

Currently the figure taken by online retailers is around £1 in every £13.

Ebay says this means 2020 could well be a tipping point beyond which independent high street retailers who do not have an online presence will not survive.

The report suggested that over the next 8 years online spend will grow by £46bn (up 223%). By contrast, offline spend will drop by £18bn (down 7%).

The largest growth areas will be clothes and footwear, which are forecasted to grow by 351%. Health and beauty is predicted to rise by 330%.

The report also said that 4 out of 5 retailers claim their offline businesses would not survive if not supported by their online arms.

Whatever your area, there’s no doubt that building websites and doing business online is set to continue its phenomenal growth rate.

Have you built a website to support an offline business? Are your sales trending upwards?

Any comments please leave them below.

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