Azure Stack Technical Preview Now Released.

Azure Stack enables lots of application patterns but the one that has got developers and business leaders most excited is the new hybrid application pattern. This pattern delivers a solution designed from the beginning to span Azure and Azure Stack to deliver the best of both worlds. Using this pattern developers gain access to resources in real time and low risk, and IT business planners can blend cost models to best satisfy their customer expectations and effectively manage bottom lines and business rules. A consistent application platform available both in the public cloud and their own datacenters is what makes all the difference here. Consider a global app rollout; with consistency, an application can be designed to have components deployed in different ways, yet maintain uniform behavior and management with no extra work.  It could now be that in the US components deploy to Azure. When the same app is deployed in Germany, where privacy rules diverge from the US, components could deploy to private datacenters or a local service provider datacenter, and so on. Only the combination of Azure and Azure Stack delivers this.

 

Find out more here

Manage your Business in Google

One easy way of promoting your site is via Google – obviously – but I wonder how many sites arent registered?

It is easy, just go to http://www.google.co.uk/business/go/befound.html

As well as linking your website, adding opening times and contact info, you can for example see who  hass viewed your site, or perhaps posted a review and you wish to respond, thanking them. You could also upload media, such as :

  • Interior photos
  • Exterior photos
  • Food & drink photos
  • enu photos
  • Team photos
  • Additional photos
  • 360 Virtual Tours

 

I guess one could argue this is boring – but with a tiny bit of effort you can really promote your site and your business.
You might find this pdf useful too SEO For Beginners from Google.

Setting up a WordPress CMS & Google Ranking Thoughts (SEO)

wordpress
Simple example of wordpress admin and front pages

Let’s make a site that is s easy to use and hand it over to you to manage!!

I tend to make sites using a Content Manage Site (CMS), using either WordPress, Drupal or some other CMS.  The benefit to you is that you can manage the site yourself, once its up and running. I can show you how to add content etc, but if you are interested just google it. There are likely hundreds of youtube videos out there with this info. I don’t want to charge hundreds of pounds to manage your site – I want you to do it yourself. I’m not being lazy – The trouble is I dont know your company, nor do I know how you want to develop it further. But you do. So why employ me when you can do it yourself. I’m happy to get you going and if you need extra help I can advise etc, but ultimately you don’t want me, you want to be confident enough to own it all yourself. Perhaps asking for help as and when you need it.

OK so whats a WordPress site?

A wordpress website works typically by allowing you to blog, but it can also be used as a more traditional website (pages etc..), and can be turned into a site where you can sell stuff, integrating for example paypal into it. Actually WordPress and other sites like it are incredibly powerful because there is a huge amount of options either free of can be purchased for a minimal fee. Lets say you want to sell something, you can embed an ecomerce element into your site. Perhaps you want to rent out a room, this can be done in your site and the availability can be managed online – it might even manage the payment. For this small amount of money you get a huge amount of features, without knowing how to code. If you don’t feel confident in setting this all up, then I am happy to help.

The layout in WordPress works by using a theme – people often focus on the images, but a theme is more to do with how you want it laid out, colours, font etc.. Most themes will allow you to add any type of image content – so themes that are called for example “Coffee Shop Theme” are aiming at those who dont know what they want, or dont understand how to make it work. Have a look at some themes here for example.

Also a theme can change – Yes it is good to pick and stick to a business identity, but you can switch a bit as you develop your brand, without loosing all your content, however there will be some overhead in terms of putting back some custom settings / content. – Generally however it is a good way to develop a site.

TBH most sites , but defining the look will come in time. I am sure you have a strong idea about your business already, but this may change as you start having a website, and what you want to do with that online presence.

But how to get on page 1 of Google?

Finally if you want a strong google ranking and want to use the site to deliver customer engagement then you need to try and be active with the site. Gone are the days when you use meta tags, embedding words into your site secretly; such subtle tricks to fool Google are gone.

These days if you want to be number 1…… Its about being rellevant. Google prides itself in guessing what you meant to type, and serving you the appropriate page. For example that’s why every site has a contact us page. Its useful for the user, but also it tells Google.. Hey this site is from Bristol, so if someone from Bath or Bristol searches, then this site is a good option to show.

OK its a bit more complicated than that, and yes there are tricks you can use, but the best thing is rellevance. FYI all those spam SEO emails you get bombarding your inbox telling you they can make you Google Number 1, it’s all mumbo-jumbo. The best thing you can do is post content yourself and ignor the SEO bandwaggon. Google isn’t stupid anymore.

These days your website should reflect what you do, content should reference key words you want google to find. If you submit content, make sure you have checked it has words in that rellate to your business (In a subtle way of course!!). Most importantly is your content is current and updated on a regular basis. Other tricks like linking to other sites, getting people to comment on content or tweet about you is great!!

A combination of social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter can be embedded in to the site, but the emphasis should be on you having ownership of the site. You will have a login and would be encouraged to use it to advertise your company; Alternatively you can buy this as an additional service, but I would always advise that a good site and business is one where the owner is passionate about their company and engages with the site.

Key Points / Links with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

RetroPie

Retropie_SplashQuestion : What do you do when you have a Raspberry Pi kicking about, free time and a geeky fascination with Manic Miner, Lemmings & Mario Cart.

Answer : You download a copy of RetroPi on to your SD card and voila.

RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up. For power users it also provides a large variety of configuration tools to customise the system as you want.

RetroPie sits on top of a full OS, you can install it on an existing Raspbian, or start with the RetroPie image and add additional software later. It’s up to you.

 

 

Nick’s First Post

Welcome to my slice of the internet. Initially I thought I’d use it as a web design site but actually, I think that it will morph into a place to record work I am currently working on. My background was in applications development, however recently I have been getting into DevOps, Docker & working in agile ceremonies.

I guess we will see how this site changes over time, but I’d like to describe myself as someone who enjoys and dabbles in many IT areas. But for now it’s creating a CI Pipeline and learning Docker.