Author: Jonathan

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

How to run two Chrome browser windows, each with a different colour theme

Ever thought it would be useful to have two Chrome browser windows running, one for your personal websites (such as social media, personal email and news), the other for your business websites (business email, productivity and customer relations management)?

Each with its own colour theme?

Of course, you can do that with the default Chrome experience by opening two Chrome windows, but what if you wanted to change the colour theme for each so that they are easily distinguishable from each other?

If you head over to the Chrome web store > Themes, you can certainly change the colour of the window, and in fact you can change the look completely with a range of image-based themes.

The only snag is that every Chrome window will change, not just the current one.

So how do you change things so that each Chrome window has it’s own theme or colours?

Two Chrome windows, each with its own colour theme

What you need to do is set up another ‘User’ of the Chrome browser. Google Chrome allows you to add users of its browser so more than one person can use the browser and have their own bookmarks, history, and yes, themes.

At the top right of the browser window will be a small round user icon. If you are signed in to the Google network with your email address, then you will likely see your profile image. Here’s my profile the icon with my mugshot below.

Clicking this will bring up a similar menu to this one:

Click on the Manage People icon to show this new window:

From here you can Add Person:

Choose a name for this Profile and an avatar/icon, and click Add.

Optional: The setup of the new user will ask if you want to sign in to Google Chrome with another user. Perhaps you have a personal email account and a business one?

Each account can then be synchronised (bookmarks, history, colour theme) to other computers you use! Just sign in (or create an account) for the additional user and you are done!

That’s it! Now you can click again on the top right profile icon:

In the example below, I’m signed in with my business email (jonathan@anythingit.net), and there is an option in the menu to open a new browser window with my personal user ‘Jabbs’.

To change colours. You can visit the Chrome web store in each window to choose a theme for each ‘user’.

That’s how you can do this:

Any questions? As always, get in touch!

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

A 10-minute Introduction to Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a system created by Google to help website owners with statistical information about their website.

Do you remember the old website hit counters? They used to be pretty much the only way you could tell how popular your website was!

Old school!

Google devised a system where a large amount of useful statistical data could be gathered about your website and it’s visitors. From the total number of visitors during a given period to the kind of device the user was visiting your website on. Google Analytics also shows you information about where the visitor is viewing your website from and how long they stayed on your site.

How it works

One basic requirement is for some Google code to be inserted into your website. If you have access to the website HTML files, then some code like this would need to be placed just before the </head> tag:

<script>
  (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
  m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
  })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

  ga('create', 'UA-yoursiteID', 'yourdomainname.co.uk');
  ga('send', 'pageview');

</script>

The code you need to insert is provided by Google in your Analytics Dashboard when you set up your site.

If your site is built with WordPress, then there are plugins you can install that will do this for you. You would need to install the plugin and the plugin would ask you to connect to Google Analytics so that it can create the necessary code for you.

Essentially, every time a user visits your website, the code above is run and Google receives the information about the visit. This information is then shown in your Dashboard.

Explanation of the most useful features

After navigating to your website dashboard within Google Analytics, you should see information similar to the following. This is the Overview of your site and usually displays the main information from the last seven days.

In the screenshot above, you can see four main pieces of data:

Users
This is the number of unique users who have visited the website. This is possible one of the best pieces of information since it tells you how many actual people have visited your website.

Sessions
Sessions are the total number of times the site has been visited. Sessions could be made by Users visiting the site several times. In the example above, you can see there are more sessions than users. This suggests that some users have visited the site more than once during the period specified.

Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is where a visitor lands on your site but then departs without clicking through to other pages. In other words, they see one page then either go back (perhaps to search results) or close the browser, ending the sessions

Session Duration
Session duration tells you how long in hours:minutes:seconds the visitor stayed on the site.

Audience

One of the main areas I look at is Audience. Or Audience Overview. This shows you a graphical image of the time period selected. The time period can be changed in the top right of the page. You can also compare to previous years by selecting ‘Compare to:‘ in the date range selector.

Here, we have some additional information. You may notice ‘New Users‘ and ‘Pageviews‘.

New Users
New users are visitors to the site that have not visited previously. If a visitor has been to your site in the past, then they would simply be a ‘User’.

Pageviews
This is the number of pages that your site visitors have seen. For instance, every time someone clicks on your About Us page, that is recorded as a Pageview.

Analysing the data presented

How it works for your business is of utmost importance to using Google Analytics.

If you can look at the data and make useful, informed decisions about your website, then Google Analytics has done its job. Try and look at the data in such a way that you can gain meaningful information to take your business forward.

So, it’s really up to you how it can work for your business. In the examples and screenshots below, I suggest some areas that we could look into to make the website shown a better one.

Example 1: Browser
In the screenshot below we can see a list of browsers that people have used to visit the website. Top of the list is Google Chrome, Safari, Edge, and so on.

From a business perspective, there are two or three interesting pieces of data:

  1. Session duration difference between Chrome and Safari. 8 minutes! Why is that? We need to ask questions about this. It could be that Safari in this list refers to the mobile version of Safari as well as the Desktop version. Perhaps mobile users don’t spend so much time on the site?
  2. The Internet Explorer Bounce Rate. Internet Explorer is the old browser by Microsoft and is no longer supported. But why would users of this browser be more likely to leave the site after visiting one page? Granted, there were only five users. Perhaps you could make a business decision to display a message on your site to Internet Explorer users saying that the website works best on Chrome/Edge/Safari/Firefox?
  3. Three users visited the site using the built-in browser in their Samsung device (Samsung Internet), and another used Amazon Silk (Kindle/Fire browser)!

Example 2: Mobile vs Desktop
In this screenshot, you can see something incredible. Visitors to the site are doing so on a mobile device MORE than on a desktop computer!

What does this tell you and your business? Well, the owner of this site certainly needs to ensure that the site works well when viewed on a mobile device! It needs to look good and load fast!

Acquisition
I’ll finish this short explanation by talking about Acquisition. This is data showing where your visitors came from to get to your site. For instance, this is extremely useful if you want to analyse keywords that users type in on Google Search

This data also shows whether the user types the address of your website in manually, or perhaps have clicked a link on another website.

So for this website, the majority of users appear to be ‘Direct’ visitors. This is where the user has either typed the address of the website into the URL bar in the browser or has perhaps saved the website to their favourites.

This data is not entirely surprising for this site (Posidacious) since it is a Maintenance Management System for letting agents and landlords. Therefore, I should imagine a lot of the tenants will have saved the page somewhere, as would the staff of the agencies and their contractors.

A small percentage find the site by searching or via social media.

A short video by Anything I.T.

Here, we show you around some of the features in a short video

Further reading

Neil Patel is probably my favourite online marketer. He dishes out free advice almost daily and writes comprehensive helpful blogs on various SEO related topics.

He has written a blog post called: How to Get Actionable Data from Google Analytics in 10 Minutes, which goes into more detail and in fact he goes on to explain how to set up Goals within Google Analytics. A very useful feature.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

From not being listed on Google to who knows where!

So the Anything I.T. website has just been launched, but the website is not even listed in the Google Index (more on that another time)!

This means that even searching on Google for “Anything I.T. Plymouth” doesn’t reveal our site!

Clicking through the search results does not find our site at all!

So I’ve made a short video to accompany this blog post (watch below) and our plan is to make certain changes and take actions on the site in the hope that over the next few weeks (even months perhaps) we can show you some results of our search engine optimisation on our own website!

Fingers crossed? Or some experience and skill?

Watch this space!

Video of our starting point.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Are you scared of your computer?

Don’t be!

Or if you are, get in touch and you’ll find a helping hand with Anything I.T.

Here’s a short video I made earlier at the Brighter Business Brunch organised by the Six O’Clock Club (thank you Mike Turner)

Something we at Anything I.T. can help with is to ease away a strange fear that many people have of their computers, their website, their Wi-Fi, and their use of computer applications (such as Excel)!

There really is nothing to fear! Sometimes all you need is a helping hand from a someone who knows…

Have you experienced this ‘being scared’? Please let us know below! Don’t be scared!

That’s where we come in!

We’ve just made live a new Anything I.T. website which includes a way of contacting us, useful information about some of the services we offer, and a blog with a growing number of helpful posts which we think will become a very useful free resource.

Get in touch with me direct if you like or through the Anything I.T. Facebook Page, or website (details below).

Homepage
Blog
Facebook Page

Don’t forget to comment below if you have been/or are someone who is a little scared of tech!

Take care,

Jonathan

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Setting up your E-Commerce Store

It is certainly possible for the “average” store owner to set up their own Shopify store online. Of course, it being an E-commerce website it would require the aspect to sell relevant products from your business.

With this, comes a lot of time adding products, product codes, photos, prices, discounts and many more aspects to adding products, which some store owners unfortunately might not have time for.

The first step would be to acquire a Domain Name suitable for your business brand. There are also ways to use existing Domain Names or current live websites to enable the domain as “The New Website” which will, of course, be an E-commerce website and potentially be completely different to the website you already have.

After the Domain Name purchase, the following steps are; Adding the Domain Name to Shopify, SSL Certificate, Shop Configuration, Website Configuration, and then working with Sales Channels. An in-depth guide on all of these will be below.

However, there are also many other potential hurdles you will need to overcome to do all this. All these (below items) can take time but with a certain amount of technical know-how (which can be learned) can provide to be slightly easier to get your site to the finishing post.

Domain Name

Firstly, in my opinion, you will require the “Domain Name” but everything is equally important. Most business owners will already have one.
With getting a Domain Name first, it will give you the ability to have a small or larger understanding of the product or website you will ultimately develop.

Example 1: “Shop for Life” which would be perfect for an e-commerce built website to be using Shopify for this. (to provide the ability to sell)

Example 2: “BoatRentalSouthWest.co.uk” could potentially have a “seaside theme” and to give the website the ability to advertise “boats to rent”

With this, you can get a good understanding of the website and what steps you require to create a professional e-commerce website.

  1. The preferred method of installing Shopify into your website is to purchase a new domain name (low cost). You can do this through any domain re-seller such as GoDaddy, Fasthosts, Google Domains.
    In fact Google Domains has an option to set up your store via the Google Domains Dashboard: with Shopify.

2. Set up the technical aspects of the domain (DNS settings) and then configuration inside Shopify, to ensure the domain name actually works and everything is in place, an advisory test of the live website would be recommended.

DNS (Domain Name Service) is normally configured automatically for you during the setting up of the Shopify store.
Please keep in mind that on some occasions these settings might need to be configured manually.

The Domain Name Service is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network.
It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities.
There are many reasons you might want to use a third-party DNS server, from parental controls and security features to speed and reliability improvements. You can change the DNS server for your entire home network on your router, or set it individually on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android device, Chromebook, or many other devices.
If you change the DNS server on your router, every other device on your network will use it.

SSL Certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.

There are several ways to set up SSL (the little padlock in the browser address bar) which is a requirement for Shopify to work. In most cases, this is an option within the Shopify settings area that needs to be configured.
“the little padlock” in generic terms means the connection to this website is secure, which for obvious reasons is a positive thing.

You can also:

  1. Host with a dedicated IP address
  2. Buy a certificate
  3. Activate the certificate
  4. Install the certificate
  5. Update your site to use HTTPS

Or: install an external ‘recommended program’ that can help with instructions on and how to set up SSL.

Understand that https doesn’t mean information on your server is secure, it only protects the TRANSFER of data from your visitor’s computer to yours and the other way too. Once the sensitive data is on your server it’s up to you to keep that data safe (encrypt in the database, etc).

Look for a lock on the browser URL, not the page. After you’ve installed SSL you might want to try adding a lock icon on your pages just to let them know it’s secure if they don’t look in the URL bar.

Shop Configuration

Everything from;

Adding products (including unique product codes & photo’s) to the correct section of the website.

Files upload like SSL Certificate, additional products, business logo and/or sponsors or anything else that you might desire when setting up Shopify.

to;

Setting up the bank account your money is paid into, for verifying your legal status of the company and it’s address, to ensure Google is happy. Also to avoid complaints or confusion with the wrong business addresses and/or bank accounts. Maintaining customer satisfaction and business professionalism.

Also to set up are: Checkout; Notifications; Billing; Shipping setup, Google Analytics, and much more.

Website Customisation

While there are literally thousands of themes to choose from, some free and some paid-for, there will inevitably be some element of changing the source code of the site. This requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS and scripting.

Sales Channels

Sales Channels such as the Facebook and Facebook Messenger Channels are marvellous avenues to promote your products within your Facebook Page and your Facebook Page’s Message system.

All this again needs configuration in the Shopify and Facebook settings.

What to do?

We are more than happy to help on an ad-hoc basis or take the project completely into our hands to provide an end result that you can then hit the ground running with.

Have a look at the E-Commerce page on our website and then Contact us for more information and pricing.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Who the heck are Anything I.T.?

We at Anything I.T. are certainly driven to succeed. We work hard to build business that can sustain a high level of client service and expertise.

Our expertise covers a wide range of technical knowledge and at a high level too.

But skills alone don’t cut it. The driving force behind building our business is:

“If we can help our clients grow, become more professional, be more efficient, and succeed; then we in turn will succeed.”

Jonathan (Founder)

Jonathan first got involved in the technical side of computing when his Uncle brought him a new PC back in 1994!

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!), the PC was in pieces so Jonathan and his Uncle spent hours and hours putting it together, installing Windows 3.11 and troubleshooting problems (no Google in those days!).

Now, Jonathan is super keen on the ethos of working creatively (not competitively) with clients, and like-minded associates.

Check out his person blog at jonathanburrows.co.uk


Adam (Full Stack Developer)

With a fantastic First in Bsc Computing, Adam is a talented developer with web and data skills to die for.

Since finishing his degree, Adam has been eager to start new projects, learn new skills, and take his career one step further.

What does ‘Full Stack Developer’ mean to you our client? In a nutshell it means someone who can work on ALL things web. From the behind the scenes coding to the HTML that makes the actual visible page. Therefore, you can have faith that Anything I.T. area capable of working on your project, whatever your requirements.

Adam also loves football and coffee!


Alex (E-Commerce/Support)

Alex joins the team in 2019 and specialises in customer support, organisation, and setting up e-commerce online stores.

Alex has a history in retail and has recently set up his own gaming stream on Twitch.tv.

He brings an energy into the team that is freshening and full of belief that we can help our customers succeed.

It’s fair to say he picks up the pieces that others may miss.


Neil (Comtec ICT Services Ltd.)

Neil is our trusted associate from Comtec ICT Services Ltd. Comtec specialises in Internet and Telecomms solutions but with tremendous Computer Support and Training experience too.


You can find more about who the individual members of the team are on the About Us page.

For now, you can be assured that our technical and business experience will ensure a fantastic result for you and a great business relationship.

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