Category:

Using Google Drive to Share Files and Folders

January 24th, 2018 by

We get many enquiries asking if there is a way for team members to access the same folder or documents in one place, and the answer is yes. Google Drive gives you the option to create, share and access documents and folders with your team, we have created a demonstration below to help you get to grips and understand how to do this.

Step 1 – Access Google Drive

Log into Google Mail and click on the Google Apps button in the top right corner:  Google Apps Drive select screenshot
Select Drive from the menu: Google Apps Drive select screenshot

Step 2 – Create a new folder

Click on the “New” button in the top left and select “New Folder”: Google Drive new folder screenshot
Give the new folder a name and click create: Google Drive rename folder screenshot

Step 3 – Add Content to Your Google Drive Folder

Double click to enter the folder. Once you’re in, content can then be dropped into the browser and added to the folder: Google Drive upload content screenshot
Alternatively, content can be added by clicking the new button in the top left and selecting “File Upload” or “Folder Upload”: Google Drive add new folder or file screenshot

Step 4 – Share the folder

Once your folder has been created and documents have been added, you can now share it with your team by clicking on the folder name located at the top of the screen and selecting Share: Google Drive navigation screenshot
Enter the names or email addresses of the people that you want to share the folder with: Google Drive sharing screenshot

Any files or folders that are now added within this folder, by anyone, will automatically appear for everyone that the folder is shared with.


If you are still unsure or have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact Ballyhoo today on 0121 222 5870, email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk or fill out the contact form on our contact page.

Web Browser SSL Certificate Warnings

June 6th, 2017 by

SSL certificates are a key security measure in many websites as they show users your website is one to trust. This is done by encrypting users’ personal data so that it is unreadable by anyone besides the intended party.

Browsers have recently begun warning users that a website does not contain an SSL certificate, even on websites with a simple login form, in a bid to help prevent private details being stolen. Evidence that an SSL certificate is in place can be found in the browser address bar, typically displayed in the form of a padlock.

Why is SSL So Important?

Many website owners are unaware as to why an SSL certificate is so important and do not see the point in spending money on one. However, search engines such as Google have started penalising unsecure websites, whilst web browsers are also making it hard for users to gain access to them by producing warning signs stating that a website is untrustworthy.

This has without a doubt caused users to move to alternative websites that hold a certificate as they do not want to risk placing their personal information such as addresses and card details into a website that may be deemed as a risk.

Warning Signs

Browsers have now created warning signs that tell users a website is untrustworthy.

The warning signs shown all vary in wording and functionality, although some are as basic as placing an open padlock with an red ‘x’ overlapping in the address bar. Others have a clear warning explaining why a website should not be trusted, whilst a handful do not give users the option to continue and, as an alternative, they have to go through advanced settings to finally get into the website.

This will only cause negative effects on your user experience as people will find it too much of a hassle having to complete steps in order to gain access and some may feel a sense of doubt if search engines are questioning if they should be using your website. Therefore, visits will start to deteriorate and income may be lost.

Search Engine Punishment

Search engines crawl websites multiple times a day to determine which are of highest quality out of the bunch. From this, they push those well structured, informative websites to the top of the rankings, meaning they can be easily found on Google, for example.

Search engines have recently emphasised their focus on SSL certificates, especially on websites that hold a login functionality for users to decide where they should position each website.

If your website does not hold an SSL certificate, search engines could potentially push secure websites above yours, meaning users have to scroll through multiple pages in order to finally find your website. No one is, therefore, seeing what you have to offer and will not land on your website or purchase any of your services or products.

What Can You Do to Avoid This?

In order to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it is vital that you install an SSL certificate. Ballyhoo offer SSL certificate services to ensure your website has the highest level of security. To find out more, get in touch by calling 0121 295 5352, email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk or via the contact form on our contact page.

Dropping Internet Explorer 9/10

November 2nd, 2016 by

On January 12th 2016, Microsoft officially declared the end of support for the browsers Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 – on the Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 operating systems. This means compatibility fixes, technical support and most importantly security updates will no longer be provided by Microsoft leaving you, the end-user, vulnerable to malicious attacks. Microsoft claimed they would continue to support the latest version of Internet Explorer (which is currently IE11) until further notice.

If you are on Windows 10 however, you’ll have access to Microsoft’s all-new browser, Edge – which is faster, sleeker and has a range of new features, which you may find useful when browsing the web.

What should you do?

Good question! We seriously believe you should update your browser as soon as possible to mitigate any risk of unwanted viruses or malware. Luckily, if you have Windows updates turned on, (guide to check here) you’re good to go as Internet Explorer updates with Windows. However, if you do not or cannot, for some reason, update your operating system then we advise you to choose from one of the following three browsers (which are listed in order of our preference):

These browsers do not rely on Windows updates to remain secure. Instead, they automatically update once a new version containing security updates and features are available, meaning you will be secure from any security loopholes.

What does this mean for Ballyhoo?

Going forward, we have decided to drop Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 from testing as we believe they are no longer safe for use and everyone should be upgrading as soon as possible, not only this but our statistics have demonstrated that both of these browsers combined have had less than 1% market share since March 2016.

2016 Total Edge14 Edge13 Edge12 IE11 IE10 Older
September 5.3% 0.5% 0.8% 0.2% 3.4% 0.2% 0.2%
August 5.2% 0.2% 1.0% 0.2% 3.3% 0.2% 0.3%
July 5.2% 1.2% 0.2% 3.4% 0.2% 0.2%
June 5.6% 1.0% 0.2% 4.0% 0.2% 0.2%
May 5.7% 1.0% 0.2% 3.9% 0.3% 0.3%
March 6.1% 1.0% 0.2% 4.1% 0.3% 0.5%
February 6.2% 0.9% 0.2% 4.1% 0.4% 0.6%
January 6.2% 0.8% 0.4% 3.8% 0.5% 0.7%

Statistics provided by W3Schools*

If, however, you do need these browsers to be supported for your website or web application, arrangements can be made as we still have the tools to support them. We will also continue to analyse these browsers on a case-by-case basis, checking the usage of these browsers for the particular target audience at hand and making our decision based on that – but by default we will no longer be supporting Internet Explorer 9 or 10.

Server Migration – September 2015

September 1st, 2015 by

On Friday 11th of September at 23:00 (BST) our server is being moved from its current home in London to a new data centre in Crawley, Sussex. We expect the migration to be complete by Saturday 12th September at 07:00 (BST). During some of this 8 hour window your website will be unavailable, however, it should not be offline for the full period.

This migration is essential to allow us to continue to provide the reliable hosting service that we are so proud of. As a Ballyhoo hosting customer you will not have to do anything, we are working closely with our hosting provider (Rackspace) to ensure downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.

Please also rest assured that your data will remain secure at all times during this migration. The vehicles carrying our server will be loaded within the current data centre, and so will be subject to stringent security protocols, and will then be unloaded within the same conditions at the new data centre. The vehicles will be unmarked and locked with a special bolt by security personnel and they will also have GPS tracking to ensure their location is known at all times.

If you feel that this short downtime will impact your business please get in touch and we can discuss your concerns and consider ideas for minimising any disruption.

If you would like to learn more please visit www.rackspace.com/Data Center Migration FAQ.

Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

September 23rd, 2014 by

We’ve been looking at the importance and potential impact of SSL certificates, following reports that they can improve your website’s search engine performance.

What is an SSL certificate?

If you’re not already familiar with website security, the first question you’re bound to be asking is, “What’s an SSL certificate?”.

In the most basic terms, an SSL certificate encrypts communication data between you and the website you are using.

When using a website, information is passed between your device (be it PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone) and the server on which the website is hosted. For example, when you type a domain name into your browser you are sending a request to the site’s server which will return the home page. Every time you click on a new page or link, the same digital conversation takes place.

Security becomes an issue when you send private information like contact or purchase details through online forms. Understandably, you won’t want your private details to be seen by the wrong eyes. This is why SSL certificates are needed.

An SSL certificate is essentially an encryption key that can be installed on the hosting server to allow it to secure and encrypt the connection between a website and its users. When installed correctly, all information passing to and from the website will be encoded so if anyone “eavesdrops” on the conversation they won’t be able to make any sense of the information.

Why are SSL certificates important?

If you collect credit card details online then it is a legal requirement that you have an SSL certificate installed to ensure the payment information is encrypted when sent to your hosting server.

If you collect personal details from visitors to your website then it is not essential but recommended to have an SSL in place.

Should I install an SSL certificate?

In recent months Google have admitted that they are now prioritising websites that have SSL certificates in their search results. It is thought that, in their mission to connect users with the websites they can trust, Google only wants to send traffic to sites that have shown their dedication to online security by encrypting their data.

Bear in mind that there are hundreds of other factors that will dictate how well you rank in search engines, and Google themselves have stated they are considering this a “very lightweight signal”, so don’t expect that simply installing an SSL certificate will make a significant impact on your search engine rankings.

However, over time Google are planning to increase the importance of SSL certificates in their algorithms which may mean they will become a necessity in the future.

What types of certificate are there?

There are a few options when it comes to SSL certificates. The most basic offering known as Domain Validation will simply encrypt the connection to your website and show your users a padlock symbol to indicate that the connection is secure. For most websites this is sufficient and a certificate of this kind can often be obtained on the same day you request it. Costs vary between suppliers, with some granting bigger warranties if anything goes wrong with a certificate they issue – but it is very rare that this comes into play.

There is also a more advanced option which will not only secure the connection but additionally verify you as a business. This is know as an Extended Validation certificate and is considerably more expensive than the standard variety. In most modern browsers, the address bar will go green and your company name will be prominently shown. This proves to your users that they are communicating with the business they want to interact with. This is particularly useful for e-commerce websites selling goods online as the extra re-assurance this gives potential customers can mean the difference between a sale and a lost visitor.

What we offer

At Ballyhoo we offer a mix of certificates for the range of businesses we work with starting from just £5.95 per month. We manage the application process (not a simple process for Extended Validation certificates), provide you with a dedicated IP address and install and renew the certificate on your behalf – all for a low monthly fee.

Our advice is that an SSL certificate, even at the most basic level, is certainly worth considering, especially as part of a more rounded marketing strategy for your website. If this is something you are interested in, please let us know as we offer competitive Online Marketing packages to drive traffic to your website.

To discuss SSL certificates with us in more detail or to place an order please get in touch.

New Top Level Domain Names

June 30th, 2014 by

You may have noticed the recent wave of new top level domain names being released, with extensions such as .plumbing, .systems and even .ninja flooding the market, but what do these mean for your business?

In the many years we’ve been developing websites it has become more and more difficult to find good domain names for customers starting new businesses. Finding a domain that hasn’t yet been registered can be challenging now and you may be at a disadvantage with search engines who have been known to prioritise well established websites in their results based on the age of the domain name.

It’s no surprise then that the industry has taken action and has made new domain extensions available for registration in a bid to help businesses better demonstrate who they are and what they do through their domain name.

.uk

After many years of planning and deliberation the United Kingdom now has it’s own .uk top level domain, putting us on a par with countries like France (.fr) and Germany (.de). This new domain extension isn’t available to just anyone to purchase though, if you already own a .co.uk domain you are automatically entitled to purchase the .uk counterpart.

From the launch of .uk on the 10th June 2014 you have a whopping 5 years to decide if you want to purchase your .uk domain name before it’s up for grabs to anyone, so there’s no rush whatsoever to make a decision.

If you decide early on that you don’t in fact want the .uk domain, entitlement then passes to the .org.uk owner and so on.

Some argue .uk will also help with search engine rankings in the UK, however it is debatable. As long as your site is hosted in the UK, search engines should be able to identify where you are based and rank you accordingly.

For only a few pounds per year .uk could be yours so in our opinion there’s no reason not to protect your brand and at least register this domain.

Everything else…

.uk is one thing but there’s a plethora of other new top level domains (TLDs) now available, amounting to hundreds of choices for business owners like you. Here’s a small sample of some of those now available to purchase and pre-order:

.email

.london

.today

.photography

.company

.agency

.guru

.tattoo

.build

.plumbing

.ninja

.xyz

.club

.pub

.holiday

.watch

.international

.directory

.domains

.solutions

.bike

.estate

.villas

.social

.careers

.florist

.expert

.reviews

.buzz

.dating

.rich

.guitars

The list goes on…

To register or not to register

It’s too early to tell what these domains mean for the industry and whether their adoption will actually catch on or not. Early indications are that the take up of these new extensions has been low but only time will tell.

In our experience it can even be a struggle for some people to remember the difference between .co.uk and .com so when you start throwing in so many other possibilities we find it easy to imagine potential customers landing on the wrong website or sending emails to the wrong address.

When we first started out in business we attempted to register ballyhoo.co.uk but it was already taken (though we have since acquired this domain name) so instead we plumped for ballyhoo.co.uk, which is solely available to limited companies. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to spell out this domain to people over the phone or had people tell us they sent an email to .co.uk or went on the wrong website. When we had the opportunity to buy ballyhoo.co.uk we jumped at the chance.

Despite this we can still see value in the new domains for some industries, .london for the tourism industry for example, but on the whole are they really needed and who should register them?

To help we’ve put together the following points for your consideration.

Memorability

As previously mentioned, will the public be able to remember these new domains? We think this is probably the biggest hurdle facing the new TLDs.

Is there a chance that if someone knows your business name they’ll still assume you must be using .com or .co.uk? Do you have any competitors that will benefit from your customers getting confused?

In theory shorter domains like .uk are also easier to remember but with so many now available and with some extensions reaching over 10 characters, is it feasible that the public will remember them all?

Industry

Many of the new domains are industry specific so they’ll instantly convey what you do to the public. This could be a benefit to any company with a generic or family name.

SEO

It’s not yet known how search engines will prioritise these new domains in their rankings though it is popular belief that older domains get priority over new ones.

Brand Protection

Do you have a common name within your industry? Is it likely that your competitors will register relevant domains before you do?

Expense

While .uk will only cost about as much as a .co.uk to register, many of the other new TLDs can cost upwards of £20, £30 or even £50 per year. If you want to protect your brand by registering everything relevant to your business you could see your annual domain registration costs increasing substantially.

Could this money could be better spent on an SEO campaign to improve your standing in Google so that you beat the competition in the rankings?

So, will you take the plunge and register any of these new domains? Have you already done so? Let us know! We look forward to seeing how this pans out.

Upcoming Changes to Our Hosting Service and How They Affect You

August 27th, 2013 by

At Ballyhoo we strive to provide a first-class hosting service that ensures your website is always available online. From 1st September 2013 we’ll be increasing our hosting prices by a small amount to allow us to continue to maintain a high level of service and to make improvements to our hosting server in line with industry advances.

It’s never been our intention to profit from our hosting service as we feel it’s our duty to ensure that the websites we develop have a solid foundation and continue to perform optimally long after we’ve handed them over to you. Additionally, it’s a big time-saver for us to be able to work on websites on our own hosting platform as there’s no middleman to negotiate with just to make small changes to your configuration (press 1, press 2… please hold).

We also work hard to promote many of the websites we’ve built and this challenge is made that little bit easier if the website is quick to load, UK based and always online. We hope you’ll agree that it’s good for you as our customer too to have one friendly point of contact for all of your website requirements.

We are proud of the reliability that we have achieved with our hosting service and in coming months we want to start improving the service even further but, as you may have guessed, this costs money. It’s been over 4 years since we last changed our hosting pricing structure so we hope you can appreciate that we only wish to increase the funds available to us to make these improvements for your benefit.

We’re not trying to compete on price so you’d certainly find more basic hosting at a cheaper price elsewhere. What we are trying to do is provide a higher level of hosting service that you’d be hard-pushed to find from any other company like ours. We maintain a top-notch technical specification (with 100% network infrastructure uptime), we are completely UK based and we also provide excellent customer service and support – with real people, not call centres. Basically we do everything for you, and really well!

To fund our planned improvements we’ll be increasing the price of each hosting element* by £1 +VAT per month and, in line with our hosting terms and conditions, this change will only come into effect on your hosting renewal date.

The first improvement we plan to implement is the installation of a new hardware firewall to provide better protection for our server, thus giving your website added security and making it even more reliable. This has particularly become a priority for us in light of some recent and very public high-profile hacking incidents.

You may also notice that we have changed the name of our Domain Name Registration service to Domain Name Management – we’ve done this as we feel it better reflects the service we provide. We don’t just register the domain name for you but we configure all settings for your domain name(s), manage renewals and have the responsibility of being the technical contact for the domain. The increased budget provided by our pricing increase will allow us to be more proactive and make pre-emptive changes to domain name settings based on industry trends to ensure your website and email services continue to run smoothly.

If you would like to discuss this matter with us feel free to call the office on 0121 295 5352 or send an email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk (we aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours).

* Hosting elements that will be affected by the price increase include all hosting packages (basic, standard and professional), all domain names, databases and email services. The price of SSL certificates will not be affected.

Updated Hosting Terms & Conditions

April 19th, 2013 by

We’ve recently updated our website hosting terms and conditions to reflect our new branding (which we hope you like as much as we do!).

While doing this we also took the opportunity to review the contents of the document to ensure that everything is up-to-date and protecting everybody’s interests.

If you’re not already familiar with our hosting T&Cs you can find them on the About Us page of our website alongside a number of other important documents about the way we run our business.

If you have any questions please feel free to let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Essential Server Maintenance Scheduled for 20th April

April 10th, 2013 by

Essential maintenance has been scheduled to be carried out on our server in the early hours of Saturday 20th April. This maintenance, namely to upgrade the software we use to interface with the server, will improve our hosting security and performance.

Keeping our server up to date is of paramount importance and enables us to continue providing a reliable and robust hosting service for our clients.

We use a piece of software called Plesk that allows us to interface with our server. Unfortunately, support for our current version of Plesk is being discontinued so we need to upgrade to the latest stable version of this software available. This will ensure that we always access the server through the most secure method possible and it will also give us a range of new features that we can employ when managing your hosting account.

Unlike other types of maintenance routinely carried out, this update requires the server to be offline for a short time in order for changes to be implemented. To minimise the disruption to our service we have analysed data across our server to choose an appropriate timeslot.

The timeslot selected for the maintenance is 00:00 to 04:00 – a period of time when the vast majority of websites we host see little or no traffic.

At this stage it is difficult to predict exactly how long your website (and associated email service) will be offline but rest assured it will be no longer than the timeslot chosen – 4 hours is a safe over-estimate of how long this maintenance will take. You can also be assured that the engineers carrying out this update are very skilled and experienced and to date have carried out the same process in over a hundred similar cases.

We’ll be happy to address any concerns you may have about the update and the duration of time your website will be unavailable for, feel free to contact us.

SSL Certificates Boost Customer Confidence

May 4th, 2012 by

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate is an internet security technique that encrypts sensitive information sent between your customer’s web browser and your website. Only recognised certificate authorities, such as Comodo and Thawte, can issue an SSL certificate. This is then unique to your website and will be verified by your customer’s web browser each time your website is accessed. Evidence of an SSL Certificate on a website is characterised by the locked padlock symbol in the address bar or bottom right of a web browser.

How will having an SSL Certificate benefit my business?

Consumers are increasingly aware of internet security and fraud and know to look for the padlock symbol when buying online. Having an SSL Certificate installed on your website gives them confidence that their details and payments are being securely transmitted. If you do not have this in place, some customers may choose not to purchase from you.

What are the costs?

At Ballyhoo, we provide a competitively priced SSL Certificate package.

Included:

  • Comodo Certificate
  • Up to 256-bit encryption enabled
  • Universal browser compatibility
  • Dedicated IP Address
  • Maintenance of certificate (including set-up and renewal)

Annual payments are usually required in advance but we want your website to be affordable and will allow you spread the cost over 12 months for only £10.95

Contact us to learn more or request an SSL Certificate.