Package up your software to create user friendly downloads using Advanced Installer

Advanced Installer

The growth of cloud computing and delivering Software as a Service (SaaS) has revolutionised the way we use and access software. There are countless examples of software packages that we might once have purchased off the shelf or downloaded and purchased a licence key, that have moved to SaaS models where users sign up for a subscription and start using the software in a few clicks.

This movement towards SaaS and subscription based pricing has created both opportunities and challenges for software providers. Consumers now demand easy access to software and are quickly put off by long winded and sometimes complicated installations that involve numerous steps. Consumers want quick and simple installations that take minutes. SaaS providers already know this and they have developed their solutions to deliver just this. The real question is where does this leave the software that hasn’t been developed for SaaS and still requires that installation process?

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Race Search used our Web Start Up Package for an event management website

Race Search Logo

Race Search is a new business venture that allows visitors to it’s website to easily find races that they can run in. Visitors to Race Search can search for events by name, date and location or browse the calendar and categories. Event organisers are also able to submit events to Race Search which then appear on the website once approved by Race Search.

The website has been developed from our Web Start Up Package for Entrepreneurs, making it a very cost effective start up. Once we installed the package, we handed over to Race Search and they were able to continue developing the site as they wanted in their own time. We were on hand to provide support and were able to assist them with a few of the trickier things they wanted to add.

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Free Live Chat Support on your website from Offerchat

Offerchat Live Chat

Live chat is a great way to engage visitors to your website, but then the fact you’ve found this page is likely to mean that you’ve realised that already. There are a whole host of live chat tools out there, ranging from free to hefty monthly payments per chat operator. We originally started investigating the live chat options on behalf of a client, but soon realised how we could use it ourselves.

What we were looking for

  • Integrate into WordPress site.
  • Multiple chat operators.
  • Link to Instant Messenger (IM) account on mobile devices.
  • Retain chat history.
  • Proactive chats (automatically engage visitors).

The live chat solutions we trialled

Initially we tried Clickdesk, which seems a very popular option for WordPress users and has reasonably priced packages. We really liked the integration with Google Talk and Skype, but unfortunately the reliability and support wasn’t up to the level we required. They were doing an upgrade around the time of our trial, which may explain some bugs, but they were also changing features without warning, like the appearance of the chat widget on our website; this is fine if you like the new design, less so if you don’t! I suspect they are a young company that are striving ahead, perhaps a little too fast, but will definitely be one to watch for the future and they have great potential.

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Talking e-marketing with members of the Solent Enterprise Network for Sustainable Enterprise (SENSE)

e-Marketing

It was a privilege to be invited along to give a talk on e-marketing to a group of budding entrepreneurs at Southampton Solent University. It is always a joy to talk to entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their exciting journeys.

As well as being a privilege it was also a challenge to select the topics to include in talk and it was a reminder of how broad e-marketing is. In the end I decided to take them on the journey that I have gone through with many other small business start ups, showing them the importance of e-marketing strategies and plans to acquire and retain valued customers before jumping in and using the various e-marketing tools; by sharing our experiences we were able to draw out a number of key e-marketing messages for entrepreneurs in particularly to consider.

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Reasons to have your own personal Vcard website.

It’s been very interesting to see the increase in demand for personal Vcard websites over the past couple of years. We thought we would take a look at what Vcard websites are, what they offer and why people want them.

What is a Vcard website?

Quite simply, a Vcard website is a small personal website that acts as an online business card / resume. People often use them to show case some of their work as well. The primary purpose of a Vcard website is to provide others who are interested in you and what you do with a way to get in touch with you. A typical example can be found here.

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How to use social networking outposts to drive your inbound marketing strategy

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of e-marketing strategies and how to make effective use of social media without it sucking up all of your time. The launch of Google+ and the recent IPO filing that reveals what Facebook is worried about has made some people once again consider their reliance on a particular social network. We’ve probably all jumped on band wagons at some point or another because it was the latest big thing, but are you and your business protected from shifts in the latest social networking trends?

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SOLUTION – Auto post WordPress posts to Google+

Following our article on auto posting to Google+ we have evaluated some of the solutions that have been put forward for auto posting from WordPress to Google+. The best solution we evaluated was Next Scripts Social Networks Auto-Poster, which we have reviewed here and will guide you through installing the plugin. The plugin itself is free but also requires a script that costs $49, which for many people is much more cost effective than spending time manually posting to Google+.

To summarise the steps in the above video:

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Google Drive is announced…..first impressions compared to Dropbox

Google Drive

It has been confirmed on Google’s Blog that the rumours about Google Drive are true. Google Drive is similar to Dropbox, Skydrive and other cloud sync storage solutions. It’s perhaps a bit early to start making definite comparisons as Google Drive isn’t actual live yet, but it is possible to draw some comparisons from the information we have from Google. The video clip below gives us an insight into what Google Drive offers.

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and others: a cloud sync storage face-off is a good articles that gives us an initial comparison of Google Drive compared to current offerings on the market.

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Nimble Social CRM Review – Bridging the gap between Social Media and CRM

Social CRM

We recently moved our e-mail accounts to Google Apps for Business; one of the big benefits of this has been the ability to use Google Apps that integrate with our e-mail accounts. It was exploring Google Apps that we came across Nimble Social CRM, which is a hosted CRM solutions that pulls contacts from a variety of sources into a single place where you can manage all of your interactions with your customers. So, what did we make of this Social CRM application and what benefits does it bring.

Easy to Set Up

Nimble Social CRM is easy to get set up. You simply register, fill out the on-screen form, tell it what accounts you want to link to and then Nimble does the rest. Currently you can link to Google accounts, IMAP e-mail accounts, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages and LinkedIn. We particularly liked the fact that you can connect to a Facebook page without having to connect to a Facebook profile because this will suit small businesses that have used personal Facebook profiles to manage their business Facebook page.

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Could the US ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) affect UK websites and businesses?

Today we saw some high profile brands, such as Wikipedia, Google and eBay), take part in the protest known as ‘Internet blackout’ over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). So what is SOPA and how could it affect you?

[youtube_video id=sE5WlyQRvaM width=”560″ height=”340″]

As the video explains, it’s a piece of US legislation that if passed will allow sites to be blocked if they contain material that infringes on intellectual property rights, contains links to such sites or is consider Rogue.

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