Mostly posts about WordPress, design and video.
Have you ever wondered what happens when you set up an email account on your computer, or how email is sent from one computer to another? If you’re confused by those prompts you sometimes get for an incoming or outgoing server password and want to know your ‘pop3’ from your ‘SMTP’ for example, then this helpful and informative little blog is for you. POP3: – Post Office Protocol 3 Emails are past from server to server regardless of the email handling method or service in use. This is an industry standard protocol that enables emails to be sent and received with ease. You can connect to POP3 accounts using popular email systems such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail. These systems connect to the POP3 and download any emails to your computer. Most POP3 applications have a default setting not to delete downloaded emails from a server. Similarly, the majority of POP3 accounts have setting not to delete messages from the server. If this option is used however, servers are likely to fill up quickly and refuse incoming mail. Pros: Your emails are stored locally, so you can access them when a Wi-Fi connection is intermittent or unavailable. Email access can be faster from your computer. Your address book can also work faster from your computer. Cons: Once email is downloaded it can only be retrieved from your computer. This means that if your computer fails, email is lost. Confusion can occur if access to email is gained both locally through a computer and remotely – if a user is travelling and needs access to their email at an internet cafe for instance. This is because web based email uses SMTP methodology to send email and means that sent messages will not be downloaded and available to your computer at home. IMAP – Internet message Protocol IMAP is another protocol, similar to POP3 Access is gained using an application on your computer. Most POP3 email applications support IMAP. Your emails are retained on the server but cached locally on your computer. It means emails can be written locally and then sent when you next go online. Pros: Your email is stored on the server, with a local copy cached on your computer – you now have the best of both worlds! It means you can have more than one computer connected to IMAP at a time. This is useful if you have a computer at home and another at work for example. Folders created locally will be replicated on your server. Cons: Only received emails get synchronized. Emails written locally are not synched until sent, which means you could find yourself preparing the same email in two different locations. WEB- BASED EMAIL Hotmail, Gmail, yahoo, BT are all examples of web based email services and are usually free. Typically users sign up to the service and are allocated some limited storage space together with one or more customisable email addresses. Access to email is gained by logging-in online. Pros: All your emails are stored online in one place, so they can be accessed anywhere in the world. Server settings are managed by your host provider which can save you the hassle of configuring your email accounts. Advances in the way accounts are managed allows...read more
From time to time you may experience error message when sending emails. This can be for a number reasons. Below is a list of the most common errors. SMTP 550: Permanent Failure for One or More Recipients? The most common generic error message. It means the email could not be delivered. This could be for a number of reasons. The users mailbox is full The users mailbox doesn’t exist anymore Blocked by spam due to the content or by the senders network The senders network maybe blacklisted. What can you do? If possible, try to contact the recipient by other means. If the error message points to a specific blacklist or spam filter, do try to contact the list or filter administrator. Failing all this, you can always explain the unfortunate situation to your email provider. They may be able to contact their colleague at the receiving end and get the situation sorted. List of SMTP Error Codes (with Explanations) An ‘SMTP’ error’s three numbers get us a detailed list of ‘ESMTP’/SMTP server response codes, as laid down in RFC 821 and later extensions: 211 – A system status message. 214 – A help message for a human reader follows. 220 – SMTP Service ready. 221 – Service closing. 250 – Requested action taken and completed. The best message of them all. 251 – The recipient is not local to the server, but the server will accept and forward the message. 252 – The recipient cannot be VRFYed, but the server accepts the message and attempts delivery. 354 – Start message input and end with .. This indicates that the server is ready to accept the message itself (after you have told it who it is from and where you want to to go). 421 – The service is not available and the connection will be closed. 450 – The requested command failed because the user’s mailbox was unavailable (for example because it was locked). Try again later. 451 – The command has been aborted due to a server error. Not your fault. Maybe let the admin know. 452 – The command has been aborted because the server has insufficient system storage. 455 – The server cannot deal with the command at this time. The following error messages (500-504) usually tell you that your email client is broken or, most commonly, that your email could not be delivered for one reason or another. 500 – The server could not recognize the command due to a syntax error. 501 – A syntax error was encountered in command arguments. 502 – This command is not implemented. 503 – The server has encountered a bad sequence of commands. 504 – A command parameter is not implemented. 521 – This host never accepts mail; a response by a dummy server. 541 – The message could not be delivered for policy reasons—typically a spam filter. (Only some SMTP servers return this error code.) 550 – The requested command failed because the user’s mailbox was unavailable (for example because it was not found, or because the command was rejected for policy reasons). 551 – The recipient is not local to the server. The server then gives a forward address to try. 552 – The action was aborted due to exceeded storage allocation. 553 – The command was aborted because the mailbox name is invalid. 554 – The transaction failed. Blame it on the weather. 555 – The server does not recognize the...read more
Making a great looking responsive website is only half the battle. You will need to make the website work hard day and night to bring in the revenue to pay for itself. With a responsive WordPress website the inbuilt Content Management system is a very good place to start. Most WordPress templates come with good inbuilt SEO. WordPress out of the box is more than capable of handling the small changes needed to get you noticed in search engines, additional plugins are freely available to give your site a boost. The Market Not many sites are in the strong position of selling a unique product and attracting clients from the initial launch. The chances are your website sits in a highly competitive market and requires a few alterations to get you more traffic. Time is at a premium, what should I focus on? You’ll need to install Google Analytics on your website to monitor any SEO changes you make. Search Engine Optimisation is one of the key areas to focus on after the sites launch. Renaming images and using clever keywords on title pages can make a big difference on how your site performs. These simple changes will drive more traffic to your website and lower your Google Analytics bounce score. I’m on a roll, what should I change next? If you have made the changes above then you’re well on your way! Regular blog posts are a fundamental part of maintaining your website’s strong presence in search engines. Creating clever keyword content based on content is a fantastic way to increase traffic. If you specialise in garden furniture then why not create a blog post entitled “Why I like to make garden furniture ” or “Why oak garden furniture is the best”. I suggest following your competitors on social media and craft content based on your findings. The more time and effort you spend today will pay off in the future. It’s never too late to get inspired and it doesn’t take long before you start thinking creatively about your...read more
I started freelance video editing about eight years ago. Working with videographers on small editing projects for West Midlands Fire Service. This soon grew and I now film and edit projects for many businesses in the Birmingham area. This project was filmed and edited for Castle Vale swimming pool. The facility was facing closure and required a promotional video to gain exposure and support for the campaign to keep it open. Equipment This is my set up; what works for me Apple iMac with plenty of ram BMPCC camera and lenses H4N sound recorder Final Cut Pro editing software Several fast external Thunderbolt drives Vimeo pro account for sharing content Several card readers for capturing media Video Storage In the past I used many LaCie drives to manage and video edit content. I recently invested in a Drobo raid drive and several fast Red drives for stability and raw editing power. The device also uses raid technology to manage backups. I still use a standalone Sony tape drive and two Sony Z5’s to film and capture many large projects. This saves disk space when filming lengthy conferences and anything where large recording times are required and cheap backup essential. Where to share video edited content When working remotely I use Vimeo Pro to show clients draft video work. I make good use of the password function, which allows private video files to be shared securely. Finding the right freelance editing jobs It goes without saying that much of my editing and filming work comes from word of mouth. Having a capable show reel helps land the right jobs. When out filming it’s essential to have your business cards close at hand. Chris is a film and movie producer / editor. You can see my most recent work at: VividShare on Vimeo. If you require any help or advice please visit my contact page for further details, Video editorial links Video Editing...read more
Google recently released its mobile friendly algorithm, which caused much controversy across the internet. This update means sites that are not fully optimized and register as mobile friendly will receive a lower score and could incur a penalty losing vital page positioning in the Google browser. Fortunately the nice folks at Google have provided you with a simple way to mobile friendly test your website. Below is the mobile friendly test page and what it looks like, its very easy to use. By adding your domain you can receive instant feedback on how Google views your websites. If you get a FAILURE message you will also get a list of useful pointers to help you improve your sites performance. If your websites already Responsive then you shouldn’t receive any errors. Google recommend this approach for maximum scoring. A good website template will allow the site to display across all mobile friendly devices without the need for multiple Url’s or the creation of multiple sites. Is my site ranking permanently affected by this change? No, you can regain your position later after you make the required changes. Although during this period you will lose traffic to your site. What if I have a mobile website? – Creating a separate mobile website alongside the main site was how coders used to deliver content to mobile devices. This still ranks OK with Google. If your site is displaying outdated content, such as Flash then the Google Algorithm can penalise you for this. Conclusion Displaying, indexing and crawling content for two sites is not the best approach. This can be time consuming to update and confusing for the user, especially if they click on a social link which sends the user to wrong Url. Modern website designers should be using the Responsive method. Its quick to implement and covers 99% of known devices. Google ranks this method highly and allows its website crawlers to search the site freely. WordPress links Google’s mobile friendly algorithm rewards responsive sites How social media can benefit small business Why WordPress makes for a great content management system How to password protect your WordPress site How to disable comments on your WordPress site How to add comments to your WordPress posts Removing the URL field from the WordPress comments form How to Import a Microsoft Word Document into...read more