Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oranges and Lime Blog

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This blog is geared towards anybody who owns, runs or manages a business today. We are always looking up and sharing the latest tips and tricks that we find out about how to have a more profitable business using a website and other modern tools of doing business.

We discuss an interesting take on Social Media: That Social Media can be divided into two groups: 1) Those that simulate social mobility and 2) Those that don't. From my understanding, he is saying that the first type can transform you into something you aspire to be (I take this to be what he means by Social Mobility). The second type merely tries to replicate who you are in the offline world. The second type is the type that is likely to keep you bogged down with old and existing social networks, and this somehow limits you from a personal, professional or business standpoint.

Hello everybody, we thought we should try videos as a way to communicate to you. This is our very first video blog so we are sure there's a lot of room to improve.

In these series of videos we look into topics that are of interest to business owners. In this video we discuss an area you need to consider after your website has been built. We look at how to maintain your website from deteriorating and more importantly, how to protect your website from hackers.

The need to inform people about the subject matter arose because many website owners seem to ignore warnings when they are simply verbally mentioned. It is only when their website gets hacked that they take notice.

Below is the loose transcript on which the video was based on...

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 20:14

Yes, You Need A Website!

"For more than a decade now, we have heard that websites are important for business. In 2001, I began approaching small business owners, telling them they needed a website or else they would get left behind. Most were curious but many had no idea of what I was talking about. Now, more than a decade later, an industry study reveals that about half of businesses in Australia still do not have a website! Clearly, many small business owners do not really see or understand the benefits of having a website. Is it just another unnecessary cost? Is it an investment they are able to delay or forgo altogether?"

In this article Marquez Comelab, Managing Director of Oranges and Lime, outlines the three major reasons why and how a website is an important investment that benefits every business that hopes to compete in an increasingly global marketplace....

Read the full article, "Yes, You Need A Website!" from page 12 of The Business West Magazine.

"Business West is a Melbourne Magazine in Australia about local people and local companies making news, and the leaders spearheading Melbourne's astonishing growth in the West."

Monday, 25 June 2012 12:29

Brimbank Business Breakfast

If you are in the Brimbank Area (Melbourne, Australia), there's a business breakfast being held this Friday, 29th June. The guest speaker will be James Tuckerman. James is a publishing entrepreneur who created Anthill Magazine from scratch and has steered it to become one of the top 50 finance and business websites in Australia. James Tuckerman is one of Australia's most successful digital publishers. He's an entrepreneur, angel investor, consultant, coach and public speaker.

To reserve your seat: contact Brimbank City Council. Contact us by Thursday, 28th June.

If you are running a business in Australia and you need an accountant, we recommend Axle Edge Accounting Group in Melbourne.

Axle Edge Accounting Group specialises in Accounting, Taxation and Business Advisory. The founder of Axle Edge Accounting Group is Xavier Xi. He is a CPA Public Practitioner who truly believes that the public practice industry should always consider the public first, and the practice second.

It's great to work with such a principled man like Xavier. We under-estimated the job by a few hours. We were happy to charge him the amount equivalent to our minimum estimate and he said, "No, no I will pay you the hours it took you to finish the job for me".

We were so impressed with him for resisting the tempation of a small gain and being able to see the long-term value in making partners out of the people you work with. If he treated us with such honesty, integrity and fairness, then we know he treats his clients similarly. This is why we recommend people to him because we are confident he will always do what is best for his clients.

So if you need someone to help you with

  • Managing and administration of your financials
  • Preparing your tax returns
  • Advise about your business

Visit Axle Edge Accounting.

If you want to know more about the type of work we do, here is a short run-down of the modifications we did on the Axle Edge Accounting website:

  1. We added the Contact Details of the business as well as Social Networking links to Facebook, Twitter and direct call link to Skype.
  2. We fixed up the menu because it was too long and it was wrapping to the next line.
  3. We fixed up the Contact Page to allow visitors to include the products and services they are interested in along with their enquiry.
  4. We added a Slideshow highlighting Axle Edge's specialty services.
  5. We added 3 sections that focus more on the 3 specialty services: Accounting, Taxation and Business Advisory.
  6. We changed the footer to black to match the black banner at the top.
  7. We adjusted the 'Cover of Excellence' logo in the footer of the website.

Are you looking to improve your existing website? Give us a call and have a chat with us.

It had been a while since we blogged. Many projects have kept us busy for the past few months. One of the projects we have just completed is called ThisIsStAlbans.Com.Au and we thought we should just share with you what the project entailed to help some of you in your decisions when you are thinking about putting together a website. This particular website is to inform and promote the local public about St Albans, a suburb of Melbourne, as well as the many businesses and organisations in the area.

"St Albans is part of the City of Brimbank Local Government Area and has a population of approximately 33, 511. The activity centre is St Albans' main commercial and shopping precinct and is located on Main Road East, Main Road West, Alfrieda Street and East Esplanade"[1].

The website has been developed with a lot of functions. These are the 3 major ones:

1. EVENTS and EVENT CALENDAR

The website has been developed with Calendar of Events. Events will appear on the Calendar and when the user hovers over an event, a pop-up providing a small snippet about the Event appears. If the user is interested in reading more about the Event, s/he can click on the event title to be directed to the full page concerning the particular event.

2. DIRECTORY / LISTINGS

The website has been developed with a directory of businesses and organisations, categorised into different categories. These categories can be further divided in sub-categories. For example, the Businesses lists category can be divided according to industries of business-types. The website allows administrators to log into an administration panel and add details of businesses (or whatever it is that needs listing) to directories.

3. BUSINESS PROMOTIONS BY USING BANNER ADS

The website has been developed to accommodate for banner advertising to promote not only businesses but other organisations and events on the website. These banners can be both image- or text-based. The banner ads can be positioned anywhere on your website and they can be rotated so each business, organisation or event is promoted evenly.

This is St Albans Home PAge

  1. We were given this logo. It had a lot of colours and the feel of fun and vibrancy, so we designed the rest of the website with these colours and 'feel'.
  2. We add banner ads at the left of the header area to promote different businesses in the area everytime the page refreshes
  3. We have a menu system that allows for a fantastic pull-down system, displaying lots of categories and sub-categories depending on the content.
  4. We have an exhibition area with a large photo that changes every time the page refreshes to give a bit of 'freshness' and avoid the pages looking 'same-ish'.
  5. We have a Search Function to quickly search the website for any term
  6. We have a section to promote the biggest feature of the Town Centre: Dining and Cuisine, Fresh Food, Balkan and Specialty Shops
  7. We have a link leading to a page on Chinese Lunar Festival, which is a major celebration in the area
  8. We have a video streaming about St Albans
  9. We have quick links to upcoming Events in the Event Calendar
  10. We have a section introducing the town with regards to Retailing, doing Business and its Community.
  11. We have quick links to the website
  12. We have quick links to the important articles about St Albans, St Albans Town Centre and the St Albans Business Group Association
  13. This shows a map so people can immediately know that the website is for St Albans, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

___________

Sources:

[1] ThisIsStAlbans.Com.Au, "About This Is St Albans, St Albans, St Albans Town Centre and the St Albans Business Group Association", 24 May 2012.

 

Facebook dominates many of our personal lives today. Almost everyone we know uses Facebook. The chances are, you probably also have a Facebook account and you have lots of friends and acquaintances. If you have a business, you obviously would like to tap into this existing network that you have right? Well, what many businesses do is create a Facebook Page for their business. People can then 'Like' this page on Facebook. Businesses can then post status updates on their Business Page. Those who have 'Liked' the page will see these updates. This article talks about how you can make your Facebook Page work better for you by giving it more functionality.

Consider this snapshot of a Facebook page:

Have a Facebook mini-website on your Facebook Page

This is where Oranges and Lime comes in. Oranges and Lime can make your Facebook Page more functional. For example, can you imagine if on your Facebook page, your fans can instantly see images of your products, information about your services, watch your videos or listen to your podcasts? You can engage them better by being able to communicate with them in many ways, visually and by sound. On your page you can have a form your visitors can fill out. This form could be an enquiry form, an order form or whatever else you need!

Adding more power like this to your Facebook page will definitely give you an edge over your competitors. Just think of the extra number of interest and enquiries you can get.

Friday, 27 January 2012 17:17

Joomla 2.5 is Released

Joomla 2.5 has been released. Here we quickly discuss its fantastic new features and our experience in working with it so far.

Joomla 2.5 has been released. Here we quickly discuss its fantastic new features and our experience in working with it so far.

  1. New Search Function - Fast and more versatile than the standard search
  2. Ability to Support Other Databases - Apart from working with mySQL, Joomla can now work with SQL and MS SQL.
  3. Joomla Update Notification - You will now get notified when your website - the Core Joomla script and its Extensions - needs upgrading.
  4. Database Version Fix Button - With a one-click button, Joomla can update its database.
  5. Captcha in Core Joomla - Helps stops Spam.
  6. Easier to link New Menus with Modules.
  7. Easy Image and URL fields for articles are accomodated for.
  8. You can now choose whether Administrator to Get Email When New Users Register.
  9. Menu Item Notes - to comment menu items.
  10. Custom Text Filters per User Groups
  11. Improved Filtering by Category in Article manager - Easier to find articles per category
  12. Manager for Language Overrides
  13. User Notes
  14. Flexible News Feed Order
  15. Image Option for the Offline Page
  16. Better Performance in Menu Item Edit Page

So far, we have found no great difficulty upgrading Joomla 1.7 sites to Joomla 2.5 sites. If you have Extensions, double check with their authors to see that the extensions work in Joomla 2.5. If you use Seblod 2.0, it does not work with Joomla 2.5 at the moment. If you experiencing problems upgrading, get in contact with us.

Twitter now allows you to automatically update your Facebook account or Facebook Page. To help you find where you can set your Twitter account to make this possible, we provide the following guide.

Step 1: Log into your Twitter account.

Step 2: Click on Profile at the Top Menu Bar.

Step 3: Click on Edit Profile

Step 4: Click on Post your Tweets to Facebook

Step 5: Follow the instructions from there.

This small feature makes our social networking activities that much more productive.

Once your website is developed, you still have some responsibilities to ensure that your website continues to run in top condition. Like everything else, a website deteriorates if left unmaintained. Be sure you have arranged for, or have plans and procedures for all of the following:

  1. Backup your files and databases
  2. Do you know how to restore your files and databases when you need to restore them?
  3. Ensure that your CMS and your plug-ins (Wordpress), modules (Drupal) and extensions (Joomla?) are up-to-date.
  4. Check your website regularly to make sure it is still functioning as it should.

If you do not take care of these, upgrades to internet browsers, hosting servers and website design and web development standards amongst other things, can affect your website with mild symptoms including your website simply not looking right to more serious problems that leads to the website becoming inoperable and/or the website may even be hacked quite easily.

Performing these tasks are not covered in typical web design and development agreements because they are beyond the scope of designing and developing a website. This is why Oranges and Lime provides these services to all businesses and organisations. Please call us if you need help in any of these.

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