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Important Update: Database Maintenance

November 22nd, 2021 by

We will be carrying out important system updates to our database servers between 3am – 4am on Saturday 27th November 2021. If you have your website hosted with us, this may mean that your website is offline for up to half an hour during this window

If you have any queries, please give us a call on 0121 295 5352. 

What is the System Update? 

The update is a mandatory upgrade to the underlying operating system on which our database servers operate and includes critical security fixes.

Why Do You Need to Do a System Update? 

A system update allows us to keep our databases secure – meaning that your website and hosting will be safe for you to use. It also allows us to keep the databases running smoothly and efficiently – meaning your website will have good load times.

If you would like any further information, please give us a call on 0121 295 5352 or send us an email at support@ballyhoo.co.uk, and our team will be happy to help. 

Important Update: Ballyhoo’s New Phone Number

November 16th, 2021 by

Our New Number: 0121 295 5352

Our old number will continue to be forwarded for the next few months. However, please update your records with our new number as soon as possible.

We are now using Google Voice – a system that allows us to handle a higher volume of calls and react quickly to any enquiries.

We ask that if you have any urgent requests, in or out of our regular opening hours, you call and leave a voice message.

Note: The best way to contact us for updates and support requests continues to be by emailing support@ballyhoo.co.uk where all emails are logged and receive a ticket number, so that we can assign the best person for the task at hand.

Safari Redesign & Changes in iOS 15

September 29th, 2021 by

Apple has released its new version – iOS15 – for beta testing, and there are some noticeable differences to previous iOS versions. These changes directly impact user experience, and could impact how your website is viewed by users. Keep reading to see an overview of the changes. 

Safari Changes 

One of the main changes in the update is the core UI in Safari. All UI for interacting with web pages has been moved to the bottom of the screen – including the URL bar. In the current Safari, the URL bar appears at the top of the screen, and tools appear at the bottom of the screen e.g. the back button and share button) – however these two toolbars have now been compacted into one floating toolbar at the bottom of the screen. 

This has likely been done to allow for users to browse and input URLs when using their device with only one hand. And although this change is unique and unlike something we’ve seen before in a UI, it has its drawbacks. 

Firstly, the floating element requires extra empty space – drawing more attention which could disrupt the user experience. Not only that, but it appears in a position that is commonly scrolled in or tapped in – which means users may accidentally tap the URL bar or buttons when they don’t mean to. 

However, since releasing the Beta 4 version Apple has taken on feedback and in Beta 6 have added a switch back to having a top-oriented URL bar if you prefer that. You can change where the tab bar sits by going into your Settings app and choosing whether it appears at the top or bottom of the Safari interface. 

Image source: 9to5mac 

Tab Swipes & Tab Groups 

You can now seamlessly swipe between multiple tabs – swiping left and right to move between tabs that you have open. What’s more, the tab bar minimizes to the bottom of the app – which you can tap back to make it reappear. This makes it great for accessibility and allows users to easily reach different web pages quickly, especially if viewing on larger models of the iPhone. 

There is also a new tab management tool allowing users to have ‘tab groups’. You can access these new Safari Tabs by either tapping the double square icon, or by swiping up on the tab bar. You can rearrange tabs, add new tabs, and customise them. 

Safari Extensions 

Safari is now set to have support from extensions – including content blockers and more. These extensions will be able to be downloaded and installed through the App Store. We will likely see developers build early support for this over the coming months.

Landscape View Tabs 

When you use your iPhone in landscape mode, you’ll see a Mac-style tab bar at the top of the screen – showing your open tabs. This makes it easier for you to move between them. 

Pull Down Refresh 

To refresh your page, you will be able to pull down on the page – rather than previously having to press the refresh arrow. This makes it much easier to do. 

HTTPS Upgrade 

Safari will automatically upgrade sites that are known to support HTTPS from HTTP. Apple is implementing Intelligent Tracking Prevention which will prevent trackers and sites from tracking users across the web. It will also allow you to hide your IP address. Having HTTPS means that your website is secure, and can be the difference between users purchasing from you or using your competitors. Need to make your site secure? Contact our experts who can help. 

Why Are There Big Changes? 

One of the main aims of these changes is to make the browser easier to use when using one hand. Apple has likely listened to user feedback and wants to make the browser even more accessible. What’s more, the browser UI is completely unique – which we all know Apple likes to do.  
Having a mobile friendly website is vital, and if your website is not device responsive, it may result in your users going elsewhere. Get your website mobile friendly by contacting our website developers today who can create a successful mobile friendly website for your business.

Introducing Google Workspace

November 3rd, 2020 by

G Suite has had a makeover

Key points

  • G Suite has rebranded to Google Workspace
  • Google Workspace brings collaboration and communication together under one roof.
  • You’ll still have access to Gmail and other apps like Docs and Google Meet.
  • There’s no additional charge, you will be transitioned to an equivalent tier on the new Google Workspace subscription model.

Some business management news for you today. As you may know, Ballyhoo has been an official reseller of G Suite for a number of years.

G Suite includes professional email accounts and an ever-expanding range of office suite and business applications, such as Calendar, Docs and Google Meet. Depending on your edition, you’ll also benefit from terabytes of cloud storage via Drive and advanced admin tools to keep your business secure and compliant.

Google has announced that G Suite has been rebranded as Google Workspace, a moniker that better reflects their diverse product offering and the ethos of the brand in providing everything your organisation needs to work effectively.

With productivity and collaboration at the forefront of every organisation’s needs right now, and digitisation rapidly accelerating due to the pandemic, Google is firmly marketing Google Workspace as the only subscription you need to keep your team on the right track.

https://youtu.be/bE31y5HbukA

What does this mean for my existing G Suite account?

Not a lot, to be honest. You’ll still have access to Gmail and the other applications you may be taking advantage of (though we know for many of you email is possibly the only application you currently use).

In practical terms, you won’t need to lift a finger as the Ballyhoo team will take care of the transition over the coming months as we move your subscription to the correct new Google Workspace tier. Your pricing will remain the same and we will continue to be your point of contact for any administrative queries.

You will, however, see the name of the service change on your Ballyhoo invoices from G Suite to Google Workspace and you may spot the new name and branding during your customer experience when you use Gmail, Docs or any of the other Workspace applications.

What about the future?

We can’t promise Google won’t pull another rebrand out of the bag, that’s for sure! It seems only yesterday that we moved from Google Apps to G Suite! (we’re showing our age, aren’t we?) 

Long before we became a Google Cloud Partner, we used Google Apps in-house for years and soon came to realise that it was the best solution for our clients too, outstripping Outlook and other email clients in ease-of-use, reliability and product experience.

The gamut of additional features and applications that have been added over time have rapidly improved our own collaboration and communication capabilities and we’re excited to see how the Google Workspace evolution takes things even further.

Polls have recently been introduced in Google Meet.

Some features in the pipeline include the ability to collaborate on Docs real-time from within a chatroom environment and use Google Meet picture-in-picture within Docs, Sheets & Slides (as opposed to forsaking face-to-face video for screen sharing). 

We’ll see what else the future holds! Picture-in-picture is certainly something that the Ballyhoo team will benefit from while many of us continue to work remotely.

If you have any questions about Google Workspace or cloud collaboration tools please reach out to us on 0121 295 5352 or email support@ballyhoo.co.uk to speak with the team.

(COVID-19 Update) It’s business as usual at Ballyhoo… sort of

March 19th, 2020 by

Yes, this is yet another coronavirus update. Sorry.

With events moving at a rapid pace we thought we’d better give an update on our stance on the coronavirus. In short, we are now working remotely and expect to be able to continue providing the same level of service.

The long version

Many of your websites perform critical business functions and, now more than ever, are likely to be your customers’ primary point of contact.

In the first instance, we want to reassure you that we have enacted our business continuity plan to ensure that you continue to receive the level of service and support that you have come to expect from us and that we will strive to keep your websites and emails available 24/7.

The vast majority of Ballyhoo’s business tools are cloud-based which means we are all able to work remotely. On a day-to-day basis not much will change, the exception being that our phone lines have been diverted so we may not be able to answer the phone as quickly as we’d like.

We request that for any enquiries or issues during this time you please email support@ballyhoo.co.uk. This will mean your message will be logged as a ticket and assigned to the right person for the job.

How technology can help

Your website may see increased traffic with more people working remotely or browsing the Internet if they are unable to do manual work. Please be assured that our hosting service has the ability to scale accordingly.

You can keep customers up-to-date on your own situation by regularly posting on your website’s blog or news page and by sending email campaigns.

We have already received enquiries on how to leverage new technology to find innovative workarounds, for example, to provide services virtually rather than face-to-face. If you are struggling please call or email and we will provide free consultancy and no-obligation quotes to help you negotiate these new waters to keep your business afloat.

Stay safe everyone, please reach out to us if you need to and we’ll do everything we can to help. We will keep our blog and main social channels up-to-date so please follow us for the latest news.

Support & Enquiries: support@ballyhoo.co.uk
Telephone: 0121 295 5352
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Pantone 2018 Colour of the Year, Ultra Violet

January 22nd, 2018 by

With the new year unfolding, Pantone is back with an all-new ‘Color of the Year’, Ultra Violet. 2018 is represented by a colour that symbolises a night sky that leads to discoveries beyond our current capabilities. It will inspire us to look towards a world beyond our own and incorporate a sense of mystery and magic into our designs.

2018’s Colour of the Year

The colour of the year chosen for 2018 is Ultra Violet, a mystical extension of the traditional bluish-purple violet.

Ultra Violet was not only chosen to inspire others, but it was determined based on a variety of aspects such as cultural trends, emerging emotions and political developments. This colour embodies aspects of blue, purple and red to create a vibrant, mystical and magical shade.

Experts at Pantone refer to this chosen colour as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future” and we couldn’t agree more.

A Source of Inspiration

Ultra Violet already seems to be having an effect on the art, beauty and digital world. We are only in the first month of 2018 and can already see Ultra Violet artwork, beauty products and fashion items being released in the shade.

Digital Agencies

When searching the web, we have already seen digital agencies incorporating Ultraviolet into their designs and branding, with some even including a mystic touch to their theme. As web designers, we’re always on the look out for new trends and get excited at the end of each year to see what Pantone announces.

Fashion

Many designers in the fashion industry, for example, use Pantone’s chosen colours to keep up with modern trends. Therefore, we expect to see more purple on the runways and in clothing stores this year. Many online clothing stores have a feature on their website that allows shoppers to select their preferred colour, which in 2018 is most likely going to be purple. Fashion designers must ensure they are supplying the ideal shade, Ultra Violet.

Home Decor

Not only can Ultra Violet be incorporated in digital and fashion choices, but many violetta maniacs are keen to bring this colour into their homes and are taking inspiration from leading interior designers; most of which are advising decorators to embrace the dramatic colour and to incorporate a variety of complementing, purple shades.

An easy way to start bringing this colour into the home would be to purchase a variety of cushions in a number of shades and finishes as well as placing artwork around the building. It’s easy, not too expensive and shows you are keeping up with Pantone.

Previous Colours of the Year

Each Pantone colour of the year demonstrates how design and industry trends are changing and showcases how the digital world can keep up with them. In 2018, designers will need to add a mystic touch into their designs and show colour in all its glory. Will they incorporate vibrancy? mystic elements? animations? or add a variation of light and shade?

Previously, we’ve seen hues of Greenery, Blue Iris, Chilli Pepper, Honeysuckle and Sand Dollar become very popular and well loved so we are excited to see the rise in Ultra Violet and how it can be used to show a world beyond our own.


Sources: shutterstock.com, pantone.com

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 15th, 2017 by

2017 is swiftly coming to a close, and Ballyhoo is about to start winding down for the Christmas holidays.

This year Ballyhoo has worked on a vast range of projects for new and existing clients and have even managed to launch our very own new website (finally!). The Ballyhoo family has grown even more over the last year, and we now have a seven-strong team, each with expertise in their own areas.

We don’t plan on stopping there, next year we aim to grow even more and work on even more exciting projects – nurturing existing relationships and developing new ones.

Ballyhoo will be closing for the holiday period at around lunchtime on Wednesday 20th December 2017 and will reopen on Wednesday 3rd January 2018.

We will have limited access to our emails during this time, however, if your enquiry is urgent, please call the office on 0121 295 5352 and leave a message and one of the team will get back to you.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Happy New Year!

Things to Look Out for in 2018

GDPR

As many of you will be aware, on 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. We are currently putting together some tips and guidelines to help you with compliance, and we hope to get this information over to you early next year.

New Hosting Infrastructure

We’ll be updating our hosting infrastructure to allow us to provide an even more secure hosting service. We are still working on the finer details, but we’ll be in touch early next year with more information.

Ballyhoo’s New Branding

We are currently carrying out a “Brand Audit” to evolve our identity and ensure that the image we project to the world represents who we are today. This will result in a new logo and brand guidelines which will form the basis for a new website, printed materials and other design elements.

Charity Donation for Feefo Reviews

August 17th, 2017 by

Since 2015, Ballyhoo has proudly been supporting Acorns Children’s Hospice, a charity providing life-limited and terminally-ill babies, children, young people and their families with the care and support they need during challenging times. As part of our planned fundraising activities, we pledged to donate £1 for every review we received through the online review system, Feefo.

It’s now been two years since we started using the Feefo service and over this time, you, our clients, have left us reviews a total of 133 times, equating to a charitable donation due of £133. Whether the notion of a gift to charity has swayed your decision to leave feedback, or not, we thank you for doing so and enabling us to gift Acorns with much-needed funds.

Donate to Acorns

As a digital agency, feedback is essential to us; it helps us to identify areas for improvement but, just as important, it also lets us know what we’re doing right so we can continue providing what you need from us.

You’ve left us reviews on everything from web design and development projects to online marketing and ongoing services like hosting and support and maintenance. Here’s what some of you have had to say about Ballyhoo and our services:

We’ll be continuing to make regular donations to Acorns based on the number of reviews we receive, and we’ll also be looking for further opportunities to fundraise. Next year, Acorns will commemorate their 30th year with some exciting, though yet to be announced, fundraising opportunities in which we will be proud to participate, helping this incredible charity raise even more money. Watch this space to see how you can support us.

It costs nearly £10 million a year for Acorns to provide their care and support to the community, if you’d like to donate, please follow the link below:

Donate

Ballyhoo Are Accepting Online Payments

May 30th, 2017 by

You can now choose to pay your invoices online as soon as we send an email requesting a payment and can even automate future payments to ensure one is never missed.

How does it work?

In order to help you get to grips with paying online, we have created a guide to show how easy it can be to set up a recurring payment.

Step 1

  • We’ll send you an invoice, click “Pay Online” to start.

Step 2

  • Next you will be sent to a form which allows you to see the total price and enter your billing address and card information.

Step 3

  • After you’ve filled in your details, tick the box to save card details and automate payments – when complete, press ‘Pay Now’.

Step 4

  • Once all your details have been verified you will receive a confirmation email that your payment has been sent.

If you need any help setting up a recurring payment, or for a one-off payment, please feel free to get in touch. Any member of the Ballyhoo team will be happy to help and can be contacted by telephone on 0121 295 5352, email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk or via the contact form on our contact page.

It’s Ballyhoo’s 8th Birthday

May 26th, 2017 by

Today’s the day, it’s Ballyhoo’s 8th birthday! And what a fantastic eight years it has been.

Over the years we have seen Ballyhoo flourish to a team of six and there have also been many changes to the services we offer. Our offering has stemmed from just web design and development to incorporating online marketing and additional services such as website support and maintenance and website hosting.

The Last 8 Years

We have seen the web industry change a great deal over the years, but we have quickly adapted to new ideas and kept up-to-date with them day by day. There is now a significant need for responsive websites and the rise of SEO and online marketing has shaped the way we tackle projects, with online success in mind from the outset. We always ensure that we do our best to create outstanding websites that work perfectly on both desktop and mobile devices, from product pages and blog posts to online calculators and payment processing.

With the growth in certain aspects, we have lost the need for others such as older web browsers, including Internet Explorer 9 and 10. Back in January 2017, Microsoft declared they would no longer be supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 on Windows 7 onwards. This meant that we needed to check our statistics and decide whether it was worth continuing to provide support or ceasing it completely. In the interest of embracing new technology, we decided to suspend support and offer advice and guidance to those who are now vulnerable to attacks and help them update their browser.

Not only has there been growth in the world of websites, but we have also grown in terms of the range of projects we have worked on. We continue to support many long-term, loyal customers, but we have also worked on some challenging, and unique, new projects incorporating a number of complex functionalities such as booking systems, sophisticated security, discount options and product modules.

Check Out Our Projects

What Will We Continue To Do?

The answer is simple, provide great service.

We are committed to providing amazing service for our clients, answering any of your questions, improving your rankings in search engines and ensuring your website is expertly designed and developed. We will do what it takes to ensure you have the best experience with us.