Client Portal
Small business web design by Blue Dog Online Blue Dog using his laptop

Blog

Welcome to our blog. Although we don't update it very often (as we only work on this part-time, we don't have a huge amount to blog about here), we keep it here as an example. The blogging platform that we use is entirely custom made by ourselves, in such a way that it can be re-used in any site with a minimum of effort. We can also modify the template used to display each post to fit in with any theme.

latest news
Tuesday 27th March 2012
BD

Blog move

by David

As explained on our home page, we've just finished moving this blog over to our new blog page (as you must know, since you're currently looking at it!). This is primarily because we felt that the leisurely pace of updates didn't really warrant having a blog on the home page. In the future we may decide to put something else there, such as recent posts from our Twitter or Facebook feeds, but for now we just don't post enough online to justify it.

Speaking of Twitter and Facebook feeds, we have also been working on a new web service to track activity on our Facebook page, which is now nearing completion. So far we're able to manually request the last x-number of updates from Facebook and have our web service organise and save them to our web server, with older posts sorted by date into various archive files. The next step will be to automate the requests, by setting up a service for Facebook to send regular updates to. Once that's up and running, it will be a simple task to turn our stored Facebook data into a visible activity feed on our website.

Posted at 15:55
Running Blue Dog
Saturday 11th February 2012
BD

Wilmslow Lettings Website Launch

by David

New website launched today to advertise a house to let in Wilmslow (Cheshire, UK): Wilmslow Lettings (wilmslow-letting.co.uk) demonstrates what we like to call a "window on the web" site, as described on our Web Design Services page.

Posted at 01:22
Running Blue Dog
Monday 23rd January 2012
BD

Site Update

by David

Howdy there! Haven't done this in a while. Unfortunately we've been so busy moving and getting settled in our new home in Guildford that we've forgotten to update this blog for a while. If you've been here before you may notice that the blue strips down either side of this page are now a tad darker than before, and we've added a little "Client Portal" link in the top right. That link is for our existing clients to log in and use any administration tools that we've built for them.

Posted at 23:50
Running Blue Dog
Thursday 13th October 2011
BD

What we've been doing for the last month

by David

Sorry we haven't been too good at keeping this page up-to-date lately. Now I think it's time to let you know what Blue Dog's been doing since our last blog post.

We've been travelling a lot between York and Manchester, visiting friends and family, as well as talking to a few small business owners at food fairs and the like.

One restaurant owner asked whether we could produce a template for an email newsletter, which was something we hadn't thought of doing before. However, this did strike us as a great idea, so we spent some time researching the details of producing HTML emails (the kind that look like mini web pages) and planning the means by which we could offer an online toolkit for newsletter writing using a bespoke template. As a result we are now able to design and produce custom newsletter templates and should soon have a basic toolkit up and running to enable clients to write their own emails using the templates we design.

Posted at 22:32
Running Blue Dog
Monday 12th September 2011
BD

Pure Origin Chocolate

by Felicity

Well its been about a week since we launched our first website and I'm very excited! let me tell you all about it...

It's a new website for a cheshire-based chocolatier who makes the most amazing chocolate (well we would say that, but it really is!). They trade under the name Pure Origin and sell seven varieties of single origin chocolate, meaning that each bar is made using cacao beans from a single location. This gives unique flavours that we've never tasted before so, If you like your chocolate, I'd definitely recommend them as we're now regular customers ourselves!

The website itself is an e-commerse site which works through paypal, meaning that you can now buy this gorgeous chocolate online from the comfort of your own sofa. It also has lots of information about shops and markets where the chocolate is sold, as well as info about what makes it so special. All decked out in a design that I think rather nicely reflects all of that wonderful chocolatey goodness.

That's all for now.

Posted at 11:25
Running Blue Dog
Tuesday 6th September 2011
BD

Official Launch of our Web Design Services

by David

With our pricing plan now finalised and written into a web page format, we think it's high time we welcomed the whole world to rejoice in the official launch of Blue Dog Online! We aim to help small businesses gain a decent foothold on the internet with our affordable rates and friendly, informal service.

Our initial approach with new clients will be to invite them out for coffee and an informal chat about their business, their customers and what they'd like to gain from the internet. We'd also like to visit our clients' shops, if they have any, in order to really get a feel for the style of business they run. As our work progresses we'll keep in regular contact by phone, email or face-to-face meetings in order to keep clients up to date with how their new website is progressing, and once a website's been online for a while we'll offer a review of visitor habits and search engine rankings in order to inform decisions about how to improve productivity.

We hope that this makes us approachable and enjoyable to work with, whilst also providing an efficient and affordable professional service. If you have any questions, or would like to a free, no obligation quote, please email us at enquiries@bluedogonline.co.uk (don't forget to give your preferred method of contact - phone or email) and we'll endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted at 12:12
Running Blue Dog
Friday 2nd September 2011
BD

New Blogging System

by David

Hi there, this is our first proper news post and I'm writing it simply to say that our new blogging tool is now functional. That's right, I've now finished coding a basic system that enables us to conveniently post news straight onto the front page of our website. There are at least two great things about the way I've made it too:

  1. It doesn't use databases, so articles can be accessed more quickly by the server.
  2. All the functionality (inputting new articles, processing them for storage, etc.) is carried out by a module that can be applied directly to any website, so it's now pretty easy for us to install a news feed for any of our clients, without affecting the appearance of their website.

So, why didn't we just use Word Press like so many other people? Partly because it uses databases, which are more valuable than webspace and can't be accessed as quickly by the server. Also, whilst I'm aware that highly customisable packages like WordPress are very user-friendly and therefore fantastic for the average blogger, I believe that coding our own package gives us infinitely more customisation options in the long run. Finally, and most importantly, the fact that I've created this myself means that I have a complete understanding of how it works, meaning that I'm much more likely to be able to solve any future problems very quickly.

So, what next for Blue Dog Online? I think our next step will be to add more pages to this website, with important information such as what services we offer and how much we charge. Over the coming months I'll also be working on a new picture gallery and expanding the blogging tools towards becoming a full content management system.

In the meantime please watch this space, or check our facebook page for further updates.

Posted at 01:17
Running Blue Dog