marauding goats raising for Breat Cancer nowRealnet director Kari Sewell and 5 of his friends teamed up to complete the London to Cambridge cycling event, and raised over £600 for Breast Cancer Now.

‘The Marauding Goats’ consisting of Kari Sewell, Phil Dear, Lewis Boon, Steve Casey, Kealan Boon and Jay completed the 60 mile trip in the wind and rain, in an impressive 4.5 hours!

The lads came up with the idea just 3 months ago whilst having a drink in their local pub The Royal Exchange in Haverhill. They trained hard to build up their fitness levels (some had barely ridden a bike since childhood) and achieve their initial sponsorship goal of £250.

Although the team are delighted to have exceeded their goal, every little helps, and it is not too late to donate at www.justgiving.com/marauding-goats

Kari cycling for cancer completed

Novus WashroomsRealnet have helped to quickly put together a holding page with a useful brochure flipbook for Novus Washrooms, part of the long established Vetspeed group near Royston providing expert safety equipment, supplies and advice for cleanliness and waste product removal.

The idea was to quickly get an online presence and focal point in order to show the flipbook brochure and product range and to get them indexed onto Google and the other main search engine and directories. With the website holding page indexed, this now makes further indexing more straight forward and better established later for the next project phases.

The team at Novus Washrooms now have the peace of mind and breathing space required to finalise their website plan in full, online purchase system plan and create an attractive, intuitive and useful online store for their established and potential new blue chip business customers to order their essential and more specialist supplies easily and simply.

http://www.novus-washrooms.co.uk/

We would like to invite you to visit us at The Two Counties Business Exhibition on Wednesday 25 March, 11.00am-3.00pm, at Newmarket Racecourses.

The Two Counties Business Exhibition brings together businesses from across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and beyond to build new connections, promote products and services and to learn and be inspired by guest speakers.

It’s free to visit, and you can save time on the day by pre-registering at twocounties.eventbrite.co.uk

For further information about The Two Counties Business Exhibition please click here.

Today I was doing a little research on top websites, when I ended up on the Play.com website. For a few years this has been a go to place for me along with Amazon, but I noticed two things today that didn’t seem very clever….

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LeanCMS display stand - http://www.leancms.co.uk/

LeanCMS display stand – http://www.leancms.co.uk/

Realnet are exhibiting the LeanCMS platform at the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Exhibition. The show is held at FIVE Farnborough from Tuesday 10th February through Thursday 12th, and is the must-attend event for industrial engineering and manufacturing professionals.

With over 800 leading suppliers, and a packed schedule of seminars, Southern Manufacturing is the UK’s biggest and most comprehensive industrial technology show. Visitor entry is free and can be booked at www.industrysouth.co.uk

This is our first year at Farnborough, so do come along to see us at stand P103 to get hands-on and experience the LeanCMS platform for yourself. And while you’re there, ask about our special, exhibition-only offer!

http://www.leancms.co.uk/

Around this time of year I usually put together a design article about up and coming trends for the year. However, this year I thought I’d do something a little different. Whilst researching, I got to thinking about how trends are actually created and develop in the first place, and what factors a designer should be taking into account when creating or building upon ‘the next big thing’. This led me to some interesting articles about how trends evolve through design, communication and the sharing experience. I’d like to share and expand on some of these ideas in this latest post.

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Over the summer, Google announced it wouldSafe and Secure start giving preferential treatment to sites with HTTPS encryption by default. This is in response to increasing security concerns on the web including the Edward Snowden leaks, various sites having their user details stolen, Shellshock vulnerability that affected most web servers and more.

Also, visitors are more likely to buy from secure websites. For now this is only a very small factor in your search engine rankings, but it could well grow over time. Indeed they have stated that they would eventually like to see the internet populated only with encrypted sites.

In the past, adding encryption to your website often needed a dedicated server and slowed down your website. With the improvements of cloud server technology and encryption algorithms it’s now much more viable for smaller websites. As always,
Realnet are happy to help if you’d like to discuss this further.

PenguinThe big news in search engine land this month has been Google’s roll out of the Penguin 3 algorithm update. You may have heard about it already, and there’s an awful lot of chatter and contrasting information on the web to get your head around. But don’t worry; we’ve read and digested the most trusted sources on your behalf to give you a concise summary. So read on to find out what Penguin means to you as a website owner.

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B&Qs multi-million pound website overhaul

B&Qs multi-million pound website overhaul

A couple of major retailers’ website launches have particularly caught our eye this October. First of all, came the news of Selfridges’ digital makeover. A reported budget of £40 million went towards the new responsive e-commerce platform, and the necessary systems integrations, to enable them to compete as a luxury multi-channel retailer.

However, this huge budget was soon trumped by B&Q, with the update of their diy.com platform. The total bill for their work came in at a staggering £60 million!

As is often the case with websites of this nature, a lot of the cost occurs behind the scenes. B&Q operate 350 retail sites across the UK and the new website has to interact with each, to enable the diy giant to offer a comprehensive ‘click and collect’ service. A concurrent upgrade to the company’s backend systems means that a shared product database now powers all their customer and staff-facing systems. This means that the website is instantly up to date with available stock levels at each store, and in turn can allocate products from shop stock to online purchase. The same site also offers a customised view for staff to use in-store.

To add further context, the site sees weekly traffic of 3.5 million visitors, compared to Selfridges’ none-too-shabby one million. In contrast, Realnet’s busiest site, Kickoff.com, achieves 1.5 million visitors per week.

That still sounds a lot of money to us though!

As a final note, both budgets are still minute in comparison to the former businesslink.gov.uk website (remember it?). A total budget of £105 million over three years still makes that the most expensive we know of.

ELEIt’s been a busy quarter for the development team, with some major projects going live. Amongst sites of note since our last newsletter are an all new catalogue site for ELE, who are a leading supplier and manufacturer of testing and instrumentation equipment for the construction materials market.

They are part of the Danaher corporation, and the new website (www.ele.com) supports their international sales team. Enquiries through the site have already increased tenfold compared to the old site, and we are now undertaking an exciting second phase of development to incorporate additional functionality that will grow use even further.

Phoenix Fund ManagementAnother new addition to the fold is Phoenix Fund Services, an investment administration company with oversight of £5.4 billion in funds. A fresh and responsive design has been developed alongside some industry leading functionality, integrated with Phoenix’s back house systems, to ensure that up-to-date fund information is constantly available to fund managers and investors.  www.phoenixfundservices.com

We’ve also been working on a rather special and exciting project with Cambs County Council – Mush. Cambridge Music Partnership is a brand new concept in engaging people with music education. The website is a portal to bring together interested individuals with opportunities provided by the Cambridgeshire Music Hub and beyond.

Mush - Cambridge Music PartnershipWhether young or old, participant, player, teacher or simply interested, the Mush portal is developing a musical community for Cambridgeshire at www.mushcambs.org.uk.