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House & Carriage Move Forward

Earlier this week we launched a new website for Oxfordshire based business, House & Carriage. The website has received fantastic feedback . . .

“Your site looks great, just the ticket! V.simple, easy to follow and well executed.”

houseandcarriage.com

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Additions to the Top 10 WordPress Plugins post

After reading Blueprint Design Studio’s blog post Top 10 WordPress CMS Plugins I started to ponder what other plugins I would add to their list. At Oxeye Daisy we have used WordPress as a content management system for a few clients. Nothing comes close to it’s ease of use and simplicity to install and maintain. We’ve looked at ‘proper’ CMSs but they are generally over the top for our customers needs.

So, here are our additions:

Role Manager

Useful for hiding all the more complicated admin options. We tend to use it for preventing page deletions of top level site pages, things that may make the site unusable if allowed.

Flexible Upload

The biggest problem we generally encounter with WordPress is how it handles images. This plugin removes the reliance on customers learning to resize images themselves. We tend to use a modified version of this plugin which prevents anyone but the admin user from being able to change the image size settings. Image size is generally part of the site design and not generally something to be changed willy-nilly.

wpSEO

An invaluable plugin for optimising page titles which helps with search engines. This separates what appears in the browser title bar on a page from what is used as its button name in the navigation. Also allows for adding of keywords.

Dashboard Editor

Used for tidying the WordPress Dashboard. We remove the WordPress Planet feeds and put in a simple menu to direct customers to the admin pages they will most like use, like page editing or updating their profile. Removing the feeds also makes the admin load a lot faster.

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Christmas at A Little Square

We have been busy helping A Little Square prepare for the Christmas rush. We have recently added new tabbed menu buttons making navigation of the site much easier for customers. We’ve updated the home page and added lots of new product ranges such as dressing up costumes and fun luggage tags in the shape of farmyard animals, aquatic characters and wacky shoes.

Visit A Little Square .

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Splashup online image editor

Whilst catching up on my blog feeds this morning I found a link to a web based image editor called Splashup. It needs your browser to have the Flash plugin installed but most do these days so that shouldn’t be a problem. A really nice feature is its integration with Facebook, and both Flickr and Picasa online photo galleries, you can resize or crop your pictures and save them directly to your account.

There are quite a few tools to play about with including text editing, filters, different brushes and layers. Even if you have an image editor installed on your computer its worth bookmarking as something like this is useful to have as a backup.

Take a look at Splashup.

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AddThis – the social bookmarking widget

AddThis is a little set of unobtrusive buttons that you add to your website or blog to enable your visitors to easily bookmark your content. They offer both subscribe and bookmark buttons. When the visitor clicks on these they will see links to several of the well known online RSS readers or social bookmark sites respectively. Using AddThis means you no longer have to second guess which services your visitors are using or leave them drowning in a sea of links. To see AddThis is action visit the Your Tomorrow blog.

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del.icio.us bookmarking

del.icio.us is a free social online bookmark manager that replaces your browsers favourites menu. It features tagging to help organise your bookmarks.

The advantage of using a service like del.icio.us is all of your favourites are available to you from any computer you happen to be surfing on. Simply sign up to the site and install the del.icio.us browser buttons in your browser and you’re all set. If you want to you can even import all of your browsers favourites by using the Import/upload feature found at settings > import/upload.

Now the only favourites bookmark you’ll need is the one to your del.icio.us account.

Have a look at our Oxeye Daisy del.icio.us bookmarks.

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Pershore Open Day

On Saturday we supported Pershore Open Day, exhibiting with other local businesses in the auditorium at Number 8. The open day was arranged by Wychavon District Council and Pershore Chamber of Trade to help promote the town and support local businesses recovering after the floods.

We enjoyed meeting other local businesses and the few visitors who managed to find us. Unfortunately the day wasn’t a great success for us as the trade stands were tucked away at the back of building and the signs were minimal to say the least!

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The Big Flood!

Some of you will already know that our office went under in the ‘Big Flood’ on that miserable Friday in July. Here’s a photo of our office about an hour after the water first starting coming in. As you can see we rescued everything except the desks and even managed to take up the carpet before it got wet.

Here’s the view from our office door! The water continued to rise reaching about 2 feet deep inside the building.

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We’ve gone live!

There’s a buzz of excitement in the office this morning surrounding the news that our website has finally been published! Hurray, we can finally hold our heads high and show off our new site.

We shall be updating our blog regularly to keep you up to date with our news. We’ll share with you our successes, what’s happening here at the office, geeky technical finds and even our favourite websites.

We look forward to hearing your comments so please join in and give us some feedback.

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