Monday, 17 December 2018

Website Design, Collaborations & SEO

In recent months, we have worked on several behind-the-scenes tasks, including video filming and editing plus SEO content and social media consultancy for clients of website developer Professional Solutions in Hertfordshire and business consutant Personal Business Advice in Harrow. Three examples are:

1. We published a new website for our client SunSeeker Roller-Shutters. We edited a short video of the electric shutters closing at the press of a button and applied some visual effects to add interest, keeping it short at just over 20 seconds.

2. SEO & Social Media services for SMRow - electrical services electrican electrical engineer

3. SEO & Social Media services for Kate Edmonson - bespoke bridalwear bespoke wedding dress design

Contact The BPc for website design and related promotions - or for your content and social media needs (WordPress, blog writing, Twitter, etc.).

Monday, 29 October 2018

Social Media Roundup

Which FREE social media platforms are right for you and your business (excluding and paid ads in this roundup)? Our Top Five are listed below.

1. Facebook 

Everyone has heard of Facebook. Some love it, some hate it, but is it right for your business? It's not the ideal medium for some of our clients' businesses but to set up a business page and post to it occasionally costs nothing (other than a few minutes of someone's time).

On the other hand, some of our clients enjoy a significant amount of business via their Facebook pages. These are usually personal or home-related products or services, such as gifts, driving lessons, home improvements, etc.. If this may be the case for you, it's worth investing the time to include Facebook in your plans.

2. Instagram

Part of the Facebook family and the same rules will generally apply. Instagram is more focussed on images shared via its mobile app.  Nevertheless, it has been the fastest growing social media during the past couple of years and it's easy to gain a following.

3. Twitter

In essence, a little more 'newsy' and opinionated but often better for certain types of businesses than Facebook. Again, it's free to set up and takes up very little time to post and react to other posts.

4. LinkedIn

The business person's 'Facebook'. People who meet in a business capacity are happy to use LinkedIn because relationships remain on a business footing and members' family and social lives are left alone.

As with Facebook, LinkedIn enables company pages and job posts. It also encourages articles, such as would be posted to a blog, though these are rarely written.

5. Google

There are many aspects of Google social media: Blogger, YouTube, Google My Business to name just three.
  • Blogging
    Unless it's your living or a hobby, independent blogs have fallen in popularity since their heyday in 2012/2013. With the inclusion of easy-to-update News blogs within websites (primarily WordPress), companies rarely feel the need for an independent blogging site. Other popular blogging sites, though rarely for business, are WordPress and Tumblr. 
  • YouTube
    There is some competition from Vimeo but YouTube is, by far, the most popular medium for uploading and sharing videos (hence the plethora of 'YouTubers'). You can embed a YouTube video into your website - and often by-pass YouTube to upload direct to your website - but, by hosting your video on YouTube and spending a few minutes adding some SEO keywords, it's another way for customers to find your products. One of our Clients has had 50,000 views of their products on YouTube. 
  • Google My Business
    It's impossible to cover this topic adequately in a couple of paragraphs. I feel that Google sees what other sevices are becoming popular and jumps on the bandwagon with its own version - because it's Google.
    Google my Business allows you to link your your Google services under one management account, including Google Local, Google Places and Google+. Yes, it's a minefield.

You can manage your own Social Media (always best!) but if you don't have the time or inclination, it can be managed with you (good) or for you (not so good). The BPc will assist with your Social Media Management.

Social Media

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Introducing our new service: Videography

We filmed our first video almost six years ago. A video filmed for the same client, just over five years ago, has had more than twenty-thousand views. Yet it wasn't until the tail end of last year that we began to offer this service to other clients, following which we filmed a couple of product demonstation videos for a website that we had been asked to redesign.

Until this year, we made silent movies but now we've progressed into 'talkies'!

A young filmmaker has joined our team, with experience of directing, cinematography and editing.

The first video we asked him to edit was filmed in Ireland on an iphone and sent to us. The next video, for the same client, was filmed in London offices featuring an interview with the company's Chief Investment Officer responding to pre-determined questions. We have now been asked to provide a quotation for a third project, location as yet unknown.

Videography examples:

We are currently limiting our filming services to existing clients and will be extended to local (i.e. Herts-based) new clients, on request.

Our editing services, which will take your self-shot footage and enhance it, is available world-wide via internet comms. We can add your Logo, insert graphics, etc.. Our prices are extremely reasonable.

Follow this link for our guide to filming on an i-phone.

Monday, 10 July 2017

British Airways Mystery Tour

BA plane
A family of frequent flyers with British Airways registered with for a service that enables family members to pool their air miles via a British Airways Executive Club Household Account. 

Each person who registered received an email from BA, giving a confirmation link to add the new account. Each person is required to use the link to  connect to a specific page on the BA website to complete their registration. Linking from the first few emails worked as expected.

Then something odd happened with the last one...

The link in one email led to an obvious phishing website which was running a video and sales pitch. The family member quickly deleted the tab from their browser. They returned to the email and tried the link again, to be presented with a different sales pitch. Again, they closed the tab and, this time, also the browser.

Starting afresh, they tried a third time and up popped a warning “Your computer is infected. Do not turn off your browser or your data may be lost…" etc. The user shutdown the computer, disconnected their external backup, and called for support (an associate who works with The BPc).

The computer appeared no worse for wear and the B.A. emails appeared to be genuine, correctly formed and with similar code to the other emails that all worked as expected. However, on closer inspection, the link on the 'problem' email was slightly different - the dot was missing after the www giving a link at rather than

from the air & waiting to fish
leaving the skies for a spot of fishing
And there was the problem: is a phishing website owned by a squatter!

Copy/Pasting the link from the email into a browser, manually, and inserting the dot in the correct place between the www and britishairways, enabled the link to work as expected, going to the appropriate website page to complete registration.

For some reason, in this one email from British Airways, the link was formed incorrectly.

The phishing website is an opportunistic one like hundreds of others, waiting for an unsuspecting surfer to mistype a web address. Luckily, in this case, there was no harm done. You can TechCrunch for more good & bad examples.

Although you might expect the odd mis-type to take you on an unexpected journey when using the internet, you don’t expect a major corporation like British Airways to direct you to a highly suspect website!

BA has been informed, so hopefully this particular gate will be closed today. We'll keep you posted if/when we hear something :)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Clients' Websites Recently Designed & Published

Of the websites we mentioned as 'under construction' in a previous post, one is still waiting for some final information. The other is the showcase for a family run accounting services company based in London and Hertfordshire. During the design phase, there were a couple of reincarnations but we finally launched the SJ Accounts Solutions website earlier this year.
We designed a nice little website for SmithHamiltonLaw but since we've handed it over, the person appointed to update it has, in our opinion, lost much of the design balance. The home page text is too small to read. 'Designed by TheBPc' has been removed from the site but we are quite happy about that in the circumstances. Pity though.
Recently, we delivered a website for Jim Germaney Driving Tuition. When Jim became an independent instructor, he was looking for a website designer and was referred to The BPc by another independent instructor who is still very pleased with the unique design we delivered a number of years ago.
We also redesigned The BPc website.

For website design, optimised content writing and meta-data optimisation, regular news posts, social media management, logo design and related graphic design... briefly jot your requirements on an email or call/leave a message and we'll get back to you.

Finally, we have a number of websites under construction, in Herts and London. If you can't wait for our next portfolio update, follow TheBPcUK on Twitter or Facebook.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

First New Website Design in 10 Years

For several years, The BPc has begun work on a total renovation of whenever there was some quiet time, such as Christmas or August, but never to the point of completion. Finally, we have published our brand new website in time for the start of 2017 business.

Tech-note: the original website was hand-coded in HTML and the new website is built in WordPress.

Over time, demands from our clients have followed varying business trends in marketing, graphic design, desktop publishing and business internet services, e.g. optimised website design and social media management.

Of all the designs we could choose, why this one?

Its presentation is simple, allowing viewers to find the information they are looking for as easily as possible (we hope). We've selected images of different styles - some vibrant, some cool, many that we've created ourselves. Above is the a screen shot of part of the home page, the other pages use a side-by-side layout, as shown below.

Amongst our future plans, we shall be adding to the website blog which, in our opinion, has an attractive layout. At present, the following topics have been covered for the launch:

Some other website designs are showcased on our site, with links to their related case studies and further links to the clients' websites, where you can find their contact information to help you with your independent research into the quality of our services.

Visit our new blog posts on our website by clicking the above 'News & Blog' image.

Friday, 23 September 2016

How to Embed a PowerPoint Presentation into a Web page or Blog

Recently, a client asked whether they could include a PowerPoint presentation to run within their website....

How easy this is for each application depends on your website or blog platform and whether you currently update your blog or website content. Below are the instructions for WordPress website pages or posts and Google Blogger. They are based on having a MicroSoft account and a One Drive account - it's easy to set them up and if you have Windows 10, you are probably already set up. The terminology we are using refers to a Windows-based computer with MicroSoft Office, rather than a Mac or iPad.

You can choose an existing PPT file or create a new one and copy, move or save it, as appropriate, to a OneDrive folder, in exactly the same way as you would store a file on your PC. The One Drive folders should be visible in the left column of Windows Explorer, as shown below.

Log into your Microsoft account and go to OneDrive in your browser. Tick the box in the upper-right corner of the file to select the file you want to embed. Click Embed on the top of the page, and then choose Generate.

click to enlarge image to make it readable

Copy and paste the resulting code into the HTML window of your website or blog... et voilĂ !

Please click through our test presentation, below.

Get in touch if you get stuck and we'll try to help (no charge, no obligation).

For more insights on how to engage with your readers, peruse our post about adding videos to your blog or website. The principle is similar, using third party media such as YouTube.

Further information: PowerPoint WebApp & SkyDrive-OneDrive / PowerPoint and Office 365-SharePoint