Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Professional E-Commerce Website Design or a DIY E-Commerce Website.

Americans spent $200 billion online in 2011. The opportunity for retailers is huge--but you're not going to grab it with a DIY website.

A report this week from Forrester Research confirmed what just about everybody in business already knew: Americans are buying online and they are buying a lot.
The study reported that Americans spent more than $200 billion online in 2011 and projected that total would rise to $327 billion in 2016. The 2016 figure represents 9 percent of all retail sales (up from 7 percent in 2011).
Among the report’s interesting findings:
-53 percent of Americans made an online purchase in 2011.
-58 percent are expected to make an online purchase in 2016.

People believe they get the best deals when shopping online.
Tablet devices like the iPad have spurred online impulse buying.
If these stats don’t make you want to re-evaluate your e-commerce efforts—and perhaps plan a redesign!—they should.

An attractive, well-organized website, with a back-end that functions seamlessly and a shopping cart that makes the purchasing process as easy and intuitive as possible will do wonders for your bottom line.
Ten years ago, building a quality e-commerce website was a highly expensive proposition. You had to hire an outside firm to do it. Today, businesses can use any number of open-source platforms to build a complex, yet relatively inexpensive e-commerce site.
But just because you can do it yourself, should you?

I say no. It’s too critical to your business not to get right. Granted, I work at a Web design firm, but hear me out.
These cookie-cutter websites that people are peddling for $1000 or less may be fine for some kid with a blog or a pizza parlour looking to put their menu and phone number online, but for most businesses, they just look cheesy.
Here's the thing about cheap, template-driven websites: They look like every other cheap website out there. And that cheapens your brand. It makes you look like you don't take your marketing and messaging seriously.
Custom designs are always going to cost more but the result is something you'll never get from a generic template: a site that's been designed to drive real business for you. That requires a team of people including an information architect, a designer, a front-end coder, a back-end developer, a quality assurance expert, and a project manager to coordinate all of the work.

But first, you must find the right design team, Media Orb. Look for one that understands your business and how to best promote your business online. When you are interviewing potential designers, make sure they can point to specific case studies of successful projects they have completed for other clients.

The design process should always start with a planning phase: That’s when your designer should demonstrate an understanding of your business, the competitive landscape, and the goals for the project.
This is followed by the design stage, where your team will map out the look and feel of the site and lay out the navigation and functionality requirements.

Finally, after all of the site specs are agreed upon, the front and back-end coding will begin. At this stage, the quality assurance process tests the site’s functionality across a variety of browsers.
It’s not a fast or cheap process. (And, by the way, it doesn’t end there: The next step involves driving traffic to it with sound marketing strategies.)

If want to be in business, then you need to be online. But if you’re doing a bad job of it online, you have no business being in business in the first place.

Kind Regards
The Media Orb Team

Content taken from http://www.inc.com

New Wordpress CMS and E-Commerce Websites now live

We are pleased to announce the Wordpress CMS website http://mkresolve.co.uk/ and a E-Commerce website http://brownsofweston.co.uk/ are now live.
Please take a look.

Many Thanks
The Media Orb Team

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bibic Charity Bridgwater - Drive 4 Change fundraising website

 up and running check it out! - This website was built for a really good cause.

This is there mission - In October 2013 the ‘Drive4Change’ team of Steve Hancock, Tony Cole and Ben Worth will travel from London to Cape Town covering 10,000 miles through 21 countries. The sole purpose to raise as much money as possible for bibic by breaking the current record of 11 DAYS 14 HOURS 11 MINUTES set in 2010 by Mac MacKenney, Chris Rawlings and Steve MacKenney. Prior to the 2010 expedition, this record had stood for 47 years.
From high speed motorways, across desert tracks and pot-holed roads, this journey is a true test of man and machine.

Please visit the website today and donate to this great cause. 

Because we can make change!  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


we are pleased to announce that Media Orb Limited are now official users of Rackspace world leader server solutions. Rackspace can boast clients such as Vodafone, Renault, Confused.com, Go Compare and Virgin Trains to name a few. 

A Managed Hosting environment from Rackspace offers you the flexibility to build a truly tailored solution. Whatever Managed Hosting solution you choose, we do our best to ensure you've got a stable operating environment with our 100% network up-time guarantee, so you can focus on your business.

So if you require dedicated website hosting and email support look no further than Media Orb.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

SEO (Search Engine Optimsation), is this important for my website?

“SEO Strategy”

Within the current economic climate, more and more business are turning to Search Engine Optimisation as a cost-effective way of increasing traffic to their website, which means it is becoming ever more important to ensure your business' website is not left behind by your competitors. There are a large number of businesses that are yet to understand the power and potential of the internet and online marketing, and the benefits it gives you in aiding your business’ growth and increasing turnover and profitability, but this is a trend in decline. It is becoming ever more important to ensure your business takes all the initiative.   

Below you can find some eye opening statistics that may shock you, and you will ask yourself if you can afford not to have an SEA strategy in place.

1. 36.8 million users in the UK spend on average over an hour a day on the internet.
2. £4.2 BILLION is spent online in the UK alone
3. 78% of internet users conduct product research online

I trust you are still asking yourself if you can afford to miss out!

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Google is the new Yellow Pages.

But to understand why it is critical to your business that you have a credible SEO strategy a few more facts & figures for you to think about:

1. 75% of users NEVER scroll past the first page.
2. 70% of the links search users click on is organic – NOT sponsored.
3. 10.3 billion searches are conducted on line EVERY month on Google.
4. 20% of monthly Google searches are for Local Businesses.

What this actually means is that if your website cannot be found on Google, no one will ever see it!
Making sure your website can be found high up on Google is not just an option, it’s a business must.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Why is my Facebook timeline photo / cover blurry?

Media Orb's guide to great quality Facebook Timeline covers

With the compulsory introduction of Facebook's timeline, it has become very important to have a great Facebook timeline cover, as this is the first thing anyone viewing a profile will notice; in order to minimise bandwidth however, Facebook's developers have been pretty heavy-handed with timeline photo compression which means that, without the right optimisation, timeline photos will look blurry and distorted. Fortunately, through a great deal of trial and error, we have found the best Photoshop settings to export a Facebook timeline cover that minimises blurriness and jpeg artefacts.

Image Dimensions

On photoshop, create a new file with these settings for your
timeline cover

For some reason, Facebook's developers have neglected to forcefully resize profile pictures and timeline covers to the size they appear on the front-end of a profile. This is the major cause for blurriness. Facebook profile pictures must be uploaded with a minimum width of 180px, yet they display at 160px x 160px, without Facebook resizing the cached image, which means that the user's web browser is forced to resize the image on the fly (bad practice generally!). This is why profile pictures are always a bit blurry, but this is unavoidable unfortunately. The problem is not unsolvable for timeline covers however, which means as long as a timeline cover is sized at 851px x 315px, it will not be resized by the users browser which means you can avoid that nasty re-sampling!

The following table shows Facebook's image sizes as displayed.

Image type Width Height
Timeline Cover Photo
Profile Picture
160px (must be uploaded at 180px)
These are the results when the timeline cover is 1px by 1px smaller than it needs to be. Notice the blurriness of the text.

JPEG Compression Quality

The other major factor that creates nasty blurriness is the file size of the timeline cover. Simply put, if the image uploaded is larger than 100 kilobytes, then Facebook will re-compress the image. This results in an image being compressed twice (which really messes up the image), and also being compressed more strongly than it would be if it was uploaded with a file size less than 100kb.

This image was uploaded at 90 quality with a file size of 145.5kb. Facebook resampled the image down to 58.14kb. This looks a lot better than a wrongly sized image, but it's still not as good as it could be.
These are the settings used for our final timeline cover

The easiest way to maximise image quality for timeline covers, is to use the 'Save for devices' utility in Photoshop. Gradually reduce the JPEG compression quality (usually defaults at 100) until the preview file size in the bottom left is safely under 100kb. Then save the file and upload it Facebook!

The Final Result

When the image is the correct size, and uploaded with a file size less than 100kb, the clarity of the timeline cover is greatly increased!

This image was uploaded with a file size of  97.51kb, and remained unchanged after Facebook's processing. This means
that you are given an extra 40kb ish, of image quality!
And that's it! Thank you for reading, and we hope this helps you out. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them, and if you fancy helping us out, then like our Facebook page or visit our new website!

Cheers for now, 
Adam Lanning-Molyneux
Developer at Media Orb