Broadband Connectivity Issues

The last week and a half here at Web-Empire we saw some trying times – namely we discovered on Thursday the 15th of January that we had no internet access from the office. What could it be? We went through checking everything – it turned out that our ISP had entered into a dispute with their provider of broadband connections, and so about 6000 people had their broadband cut off.


We couldn’t get through to the company, nor the company that had recently bought it up. So the Web-Empire team did the only sensible thing they could do and decamped to a local-ish pub that has free wifi. The only issue with this was that it entailed spending more time at a laptop than is ergonomically sensible and some people find noise and music more distracting than others. But we were able to function and keep up with business.

About a week after we were cut off we finally managed to get through the queue on the phone and got a temporary account with another company (owned by the big company that had bought up our original ISP).

Until we could get through to the company we were stuck as without being able to get a MAC code out of them we couldn’t even go to another company and buy another broadband subscription! The effect that such an event can have on small and medium businesses is astounding. If we had not all had laptops then we would not have been able to work; and even then the disruption and time taken dealing with the issue delayed work.

We were lucky not to be more affected. Also, this shows one very good reason why people should not host websites via broadband – this is a big no no. If Web-Empire had been doing this then all the sites we host would have been down. Instead, we have servers in nice shiny data centers with backup power and redundant connectivity.

We only mention this as we still often hear of people hosting websites in this way. There will be a follow up post on the ins and outs of hosting, for those who are interested to learn more.

We felt it was only fair to keep you all abreast of the situation; and we find ourselves wondering how many other businesses have been affected by this dispute? For all those who were affected – good luck from all of us here at Web-Empire.

WordPress Visual Editor

For those who are using WordPress blogs and use plugins such as markdown or textile to make all the links and formatting appear, the new visual editor may cause a few problems. This was not in earlier versions of WordPress, but is now the default for new blogs when you set them up.

If you edit your work with markdown or in plain HTML, but happen to be in the visual editor, markup such as your links will not work, and will appear as the original markup on the blog, as if your chosen formatting plugin wasn’t installed. If you just change over to the html editor the damage is already done, so the links will still not work; and on top of that there will be all the random html tags the visual editor had put onto the text, all visible within your post. If it is only one post then copy the contents from the visual editor, change editors, delete the contents, and paste in the uncorrupted original. Now everything should work.

However if you have multiple posts you will have to go in and remove all the tags manually.

We at Web-Empire hope this is helpful. For any other problems there is always the WordPress blog and forum themselves!

The Building Blocks of the Blogosphere

Here at Web-Empire we specialise in blogs; setting them up, showing you how to get the most out of them and indeed how to use them. But what is a blog?

“Blog” is a contraction of web-log and can be veiwed as an online diary. A fuller description of what a blog is can be found in our glossary. The concept of a blog is a pretty obvious one; put any writter or diariest online and it was bound to happen sooner or later. This means the origin of blogs and when the first arose is a vague and grey area.

They have also now taken on a life of their own as, unlike diaries kept in the traditional sense, they are interactive – people read them, and people comment on them in direct response to what ever has been posted that day. The original author may then respond and discussions, debates and even full blown arguments may ensue!

The ability to link directly to information that may be interesting or support a cause is also a new dimension for the diariest and journalist to contend with. This can lead to a sort of community where everybody knows somebody who knows somebody – thus mirroring social structure.

Blogs are also highly versatile and capable of having more than one person adding posts. This leads them to being useful for larger organisations as well as the individual, and businesses may set one up for a specific project.

They are searchable in a way books are not. They can have catagories in which posts are placed so if you are interested in all of the posts containing Fruit you can just click on the catagory fruit. And unlike books with contents pages each post can be in multiply catagories and so they act similarly to an index as well.

Another way that many blogs have of searching their contents is the archive, this has everything listed in the month, year etc… when it was posted.

Journalisim, either professional or what is termed Citizen Journalism, is another use of the blog which has grown in popularity. People like Tom Renolds have even had book deals out of it. (By the way we recommend his book).

Blogs are used in many ways and have a huge potential. There is much more to be said on the matter which we at Web-Empire will be addressing shortly. Until then, have a good week.

Happy New Year!

Exciting times are afoot here at Web-Empire! We are now up and running and hope to be helping more and more people get what they want and need from the web.  

With the credit crunch many people may have found themselves unexpectedly taking a different direction in thier lives; and what better way to start the new year than to set up with your own website or blog?  It’s a very cost-effective way of building your profile and getting noticed.

2009 is also the international year of astronomy, so if you are a club or society maybe it is time you started to think about a web presence and how to attract new members in this new and exciting year, full of events!  If you’ve got a website already, why not start a blog or forum to get people coming back and seeing whats on this week?

Happy New Year Everybody

From all of us here at Web-Empire.

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