Domain Name Renewal Scams – A Warning!

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$245 for a Domain Name? What?!

If you have received an invoice for a domain name that’s very similar to one you already own but ending in .net.au and with an extortionate price you can pretty much guarantee that it’s dodgy. We’ve noticed a marked increase in the number of our customers that are receiving the invoices through the mail asking them to pay for a domain name that they either don’t need or don’t own. This scam seems to have been going on for a number of years and even has a customer alert put out about it from auDA, the governing body in charge of .au domains.

How can I tell if it’s a scam?

There’s a number of things you need to look for if you receive on of these invoices. The first thing is the price. As an example we charge $10 per year for a .net.au domain. If you are paying $245 for a domain then you are paying too much. The second thing to look for is if the ending of the domain matches the one you already own. Is it showing a .net.au instead of .com.au? If so, then it’s probably a scam. The third thing to look for is if the invoice comes from the company that you already use to purchase your domains. If it’s not then you can guarantee it’s just a fishing expedition from the company sending out the invoice.

Companies registering your brand in China?

Another variation of the scam that we are also seeing more of lately is the Chinese Domain Name Scam. This is where you receive an email like the one below suggesting that somebody is trying to register your brand in a domain name in China. Ignore it, it’s nothing but scare tactics trying to get you to register a domain name that you generally don’t need.

An example of one of the emails we have seen

Details have been removed to protect the innocent

From: “Stephen Ma”<ma@nrecn.org>
Subject: General Company Matters “*************”- Domains And Network Brand Registration Application
Date: 21 October 2014 5:43:42 pm AEDT
To: “info”<info@************.com.au>

(This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or appropriate person. Thanks a lot.)

Dear CEO/Principal,

We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Institution in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on October 20, 2014 that a company claimed “PliueHing Company” were applying to register “*****************” as their Net Brand and some “************** Asian countries top-level domain names through our firm.

Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “PliueHing Company” Looking forward to your prompt reply.

Best Regards,

Stephen Ma
Senior Consultant Manager

If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of an email or invoice we’re always happy to take a look for you.

Beware of Domain Scammers

How do you split a large text file up?

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Working with big .txt files

This week we had to work with a fairly large text file weighing in at over 220mb and containing over 1.9million records from NZ Post. I found that even the 64Bit version of Microsoft Excel wasn’t very happy dealing with that many records in one go. The best and quickest solution for us was to split up the original text file in a number of smaller files, import and edit them in separate sheets and then combine all the edited records in a single sheet ready to save to .csv format. There are number of great programs on the market that can do this for you but we found that Gsplit worked really well for this particular job. It had one great thing going for it from the outset which was the price, Free. I think the program is usually used for splitting large files up into smaller pieces for nefarious purposes (filesharing films etc) but in this case it works really well splitting up the text file and automatically putting a new header into each file. It took seconds to split up the file smaller 45mb files which were easy to import and work with in Excel.

The GUI was (fairly) simple to use. I did manage to split it up into the wrong format once or twice but that was mainly because I didn’t take notice of the very obvious instructions, so more user error and than product error.

All in all would definitely recommend.

Gsplit Text File Splitter

Is Mobile Friendly important?

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If you own a website or are doing research on having a website built you have probably had the words Responsive Design thrown at you from all angles. Responsive design is merely an approach to design to make sure that your website gives the user a great experience whether they are looking at it on a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile phone. If you look at our website on a mobile phone you will still get all the information that you get when you look at it on a desktop computer, but you’ll find it in a format that fits on your screen, runs quickly and allows you to navigate around in an easy to read way.

Why is Responsive Design Important?

If you take a look at the stats on Browser Market Share in October 2013 to Oct 2014 you can see that,at a bare minimum, 15% of internet users are using mobile devices.

This doesn’t take into account that some of the Chrome and Firefox users may also be on a mobile device. Another even more compelling stat comes from Our Mobile Planet where we find that 90% of smartphone users in Australia use the internet on their device everyday. When you consider that 65% of the total population own or use a smartphone, that statistic becomes even more relevant and shows exactly why you need to consider responsive design for your site.

If a potential customer visits your ‘non-responsive’ site on their smartphone and they can’t get to the information they need, they have two choices; visit your site again later on a desktop computer or go to a competitor that does have an easy to navigate site. I know which one I’d prefer! You are potentially losing out on customers simply by not having an easy to browse website.

How do I tell if I my site is responsive?

The easiest way would be to visit the site on your smartphone. Does the experience change compared to your desktop site? Is it easy to navigate. If you were your own customer would you be able to find what you are looking for?

The second way would be to use Google’s recently introduced Mobile Friendly Tool to see how the search engine sees your site. There’s rumours that Google may even give you a rankings boost if your site is deemed Mobile-Friendly. This makes it even more important to ensure your users have a great experience!

Right now if you get us to check your Mobile Friendliness, you’ll receive a free SEO Site Audit report worth $150. Simply click here to get started.

Are you Mobile Ready?

Multifit eDM and Slider Image

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The sports tape, strapping and medical supplies company, Multifit, are running a pre-season campaign for sports clubs and asked us to produce an eDM to be sent out from Campaign Monitor and a promotional slider image to add to the existing website.

We added a header to the eDM showcasing some of the products available in the offer and a solid text call out showing the promotion. We then created a simple template for the client in Campaign Monitor. The slider was added to the existing Magento eCommerce site and prominently displays the offer code.

Multifit

Zeal Apartments eDM

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Zeal Apartments are embarking on a registration and information teaser campaign and have asked us to help out with it.

We were asked to design and build a HTML eDM to send out for the new campaign. It was to be simple, use the existing colour scheme and imagery and reflect the existing website. It needed to attract the attention of the reader.

Usually we love to use Mailchimp or Campaign monitor for our eDM work but this one is being sent out my a 3rd party on behalf of the client. This meant we had to make sure the html was easy to import and edit if necessary.

Zeal Apartments

Zeal Apartments Teaser Site

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Each of Zeal’s 17 apartments are designed to offer the best in contemporary living. But above all, they are artfully designed for comfort. Open plan kitchens flow into living rooms which flow out onto spacious courtyards to ensure the ultimate in convenience and connectivity.

Zeal apartments are a stunning addition to the apartment living trend,
enviably situated near Caulfield Park. Benefiting from a generous entrance
and aspect, Zeal invokes a modern and elegant appeal, enhanced by an
abundant flow of natural light throughout. Flourishing garden spaces
establish a sense of restfulness and repose by greeting the resident before
they even step foot in the hallway

We were asked to build a small landing page/registration site on WordPress. We used Contact From 7 with Flamingo integration for the contact form and the Nectar slider for the homepage slider. The site will continue to grow as the project develops.

Zeal Apartments

Earlwood Orthodontics Website

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Earlwood Orthodontics’ top priority is providing you with the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly and comfortable environment. They use the latest state-of-the-art technological advancements in orthodontics to ensure that you receive the most effective care possible. Their goal is beautiful smile and facial appearance for every one of their patients. A beautiful smile increases self-esteem and confidence, and that lasts long after the treatment has finished.

We were asked to build a WordPress CMS based website with Avanser integration, contact and referral forms based on Gravity Forms and Social Media integration. The site is built on the WARP framework and is responsive across all devices. The client required a very simple and clean site to match the existing branding and feel within the surgery.

Earlwood Orthodontist

Luxor Apartments Portfolio

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LUXOR has been developing apartments for over 30 years.

They are focused on the South East Suburbs of Inner Melbourne – covering Caulfield, St Kilda, Port Melbourne and soon Malvern.

They collaborate with highly skilled architects and builders to create distinctive, elegant properties that enhance and maintain a sympathetic approach to Melbourne’s unique architecture.

With excellence in the field of construction,they are the complete project managers. Their core strengths lie in the ability to assess development projects and opportunities, create strategies and implement them successfully and cost-effectively, without compromising our design standards.
In terms of economic viability, design creativity, location and lifestyle, Luxor Apartments is top of its class.

We were asked to add in a portfolio function to an existing WordPress CMS site

The portfolio uses a masonry effect to display the thumbnails in a responsive fashion.

Each portfolio page uses a slider gallery to display the image contents.

Luxor Apartments