IT Support

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Portfolio

This page: Websites | Technical Support

Websites

Premier Construction SW Limited
Construction company operating in the whole of the South West of the UK
Website design, website hosting, tech support, telecoms

Positive Steps Care & Support Limited
A care and support provider operating out of Plymouth, UK
Website design, website hosting, website support, I.T. support, telecoms

Bryce Properties
High-quality student accommodation close to the University of Plymouth
Website design, website hosting, website support, I.T. support, telecoms

Posidacious
Cloud-based Property Maintenance Management Portal

Top Glass Glazing
Glazier serving Plymouth and surrounding areas.
Website design, website hosting, website support, I.T. support

Harbourside House
A beautiful holiday cottage serving up to 8 people near Torpoint in Cornwall
Website design, website hosting

Photography by Alison (tech support only)
A local to Plymouth photographer providing excellent wedding photography

Parallel Coaching (website support only)
Fitness coaching, working our of Devon but serving the whole world!

Marjon Students
A student rental property website, part of the Bryce Properties portfolio

 

Technical Support (for business)

Charanna Estates Ltd
Technical support for the team, including spreadsheet creation, websites, computer networking, PC’s and Mac’s, mobile phones, CCTV and a VOIP telephone system. You name it!

Includes the design and implementation of new technical processes to aide this growing business.

Positive Steps Care & Support
Technical support for the team, including website, computer networking, PC’s, mobile phones, Office software and a VOIP telephone system.

Premier Construction SW Limited
Technical support for the small team. Email, website, CRM system, mobile phones, CCTV cameras at their construction sites.

Top Glass Glazing
Ad-hoc technical support for the business’ Mac computer, office software and emails.

Converse Online
Email hosting and support

Custom Fluid Power
Ad-hoc tech support and website construction (in progress)

Stiltskin Theatre
Ad-hoc I.T. support.

Xarri Ltd
Technical support (emails, Office 365 etc) to this freehold management business

Welcome Two
Providing Microsoft 365 business services (Business email, OneDrive)

Various
Providing set up and ongoing monitoring of Google and Facebook advertising campaigns.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Three (non-technical) SEO things everyone can do to improve their website

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


Do you find yourself asking the question: “How can I improve the SEO of my website?”. Does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) seem like a black art? Does it seem like whatever you do, nothing improves?

Perhaps you feel you don’t have time to contribute to the growth of your website?

Naturally, there are hundreds of areas that Google (and other search engines) look at when ranking your website. Many are beyond your control such as the location of the user carrying out the search or the popularity of competitor websites. There are some things you can do that are in your power though.

Read on for three tips to improve the SEO of your website.

1. Provide better content

Search engines know how long a visitor stays on your site. When a visitor stays on your site for more than just a few seconds, it can suggest that the content is interesting enough to potentially provide the information the visitor was looking for.

You are the expert

You are the expert in your field, not me. So I will leave the examples up to you to consider. BUT, what if you wrote content for your site that satisfied the visitor? Perhaps you are answering a question that they need to know the answer too? Maybe it’s a special vegetarian recipe? Perhaps your content explains to the visitor how to make a better golf swing?

Whatever it is, it is down to you to provide the information in a legible way so that your site visitor does not depart quickly going back to Google for alternative answers.

Think about the websites you visit that answer your questions or you simply enjoy reading. What is it about them that makes the site tick?

Content that answers specific questions

When answering specific questions such as pricing details, or the location of your premises, make it clear and obvious. Provide a table of pricing for your pricing structure or a map of your location with the address clearly visible.

There’s nothing worse than a searcher landing on your website to find the address of your premises, not finding it so going back to Google and clicking on another website (say Yell for instance) that does show your address. What do you think Google is thinking about that simple question? It’s not good.

Some sites sell stuff online. So, okay writing stories or articles for these sites might not be the best way forward, but you should ensure that each product text is well written and clear. This will help people stay on the site and encourage people to stay longer and even purchase!

Be the giver

Providing good content in Google’s eyes has a lot to do with what you give the visitor. If you write stuff that is useful then you are one step closer to SEO heaven. Google will also look at links you provide in your copy. you need to create internal links (links to other pages on your site) in your copy, and also links to external sources that might enhance what you have written.

For instance, in SEO circles I often refer to Neil Patel since he is undoubtedly an expert in this field. Some of the videos he produces are spot on so it’s worth checking him out.

2. Consider the structure of your content

Don’t write content that is hard to read. Here’s hoping that this post can be read easily otherwise I’m in trouble!

What I mean by structure is that you should write content that is broken up nicely into paragraphs and sectioned off with appropriately titled headings.

Don’t write a 1000 word article with no paragraphs!

Maybe it needs images or a video to help get your point across. Images can break up the content making it easier on the eyes. Try it!

3. Write more often, and regularly

You think it’s okay to write a new article every six months, do you? Sorry, but if you want to have a non-technical impact on your website, then you need to produce new content or update old content at regular intervals.

Not all websites benefit from writing content such as news stories, articles or tips and tricks. But, if you are not an SEO expert then writing could be the way forward for you. See below about how it has affect our website for a real-life example

How often should I create new content?

The old adage of ‘How long is a piece of string’ comes to mind. It’s whatever suits you and your business. if your content is long and complex to write, then once or twice a month might be enough. If you writer shorter snippets of copy, then several times a week might be the way to go.

What we have done

For us, at Anything I.T. we had several aims one year ago to raise our standing on the search engines. I’m happy to say that we are making excellent progress towards these goals.

The number of visitors has risen by twofold and our rankings for chosen keyword phrases have increased to the point where two are consistently on page 1 of Google results and the others are slowly rising as well.

Below is a search result for “IT Support Plymouth”. It’s lovely to see our site second only to the University of Plymouth (after the adverts and location results of course). One year ago we were on page 10!

How have we done this?

You might notice from the Blog section of our site that we have written around 17 blogs in the last year and a bit. Most of which are fairly in-depth technical articles and tips. FREE stuff we want to share with other small business owners out there.

Not only do we write these blogs but we share them on social media and encourage discussion by asking questions that don’t prompt yes or no answers. Getting into discussion with people and providing free stuff for others has been one of the aims of the blog writing.

Like I said earlier, blogging is not for everyone but I would strongly suggest looking at it.

The Geek Collective

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is just one of the services that Anything I.T. and its colleagues within the Geek Collective provide.

Simon Pykett of the Geek Collective is particularly adept at onsite SEO and is a website design and SEO freelancer.

Neil Tancock is a specialist in providing telecoms and computing help for businesses across the UK. And we have him in Plymouth!

Jonathan Burrows (that’s me!) is a systems and support guy.

Quote: “The Geek Collective is an established and credible body of industry professionals who are expert in their specific arena. We are distinct in how we deliver our services and we have come together as professional individuals, to provide our highly trusted services as one collective.”
Source: https://geekcollective.co.uk/

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Automated Backup Service

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


Considerations, Types of Backups, Implications, Assessments, Restoration

Note: A PDF version of this post can be found here: Automated Backup Service This document will likely be updated from time to time so information is up-to-date and current.

This post contains questions which are not necessarily answered here but provide an opportunity to create a proper plan to keep company data safe. Liaising with Anything I.T. to do this can save time, money and stress.

Considerations

Consider the following when planning a backup strategy.

  • Is an ‘on-premises’ backup sufficient?
  • Is a manual periodic/random backup taken off-site enough?
  • Does the nature of the business expect any off-site backups (such as remote backups) to be encrypted?
  • How much space in Gigabytes will be required (see Assessments below)? Think future-proofing an increase in disk space.
  • Choice of types of backups (see below Types of Backups).
  • How often should a backup be taken?
  • Who oversees/performs the backups? If it is an external company, do you get reports from them regarding current status?
  • Consider hard copy documents such as signed paperwork. Should these be scanned and saved into a folder that gets backed up?
  • Is there sensitive information within the files being backed up? Does your company GDPR policy take into account the remote storage of this information?
  • Are files containing sensitive information stored in a secure Cloud location such as Dropbox, OneDrive for Business or Google Drive?
  • If a file is corrupted somehow (perhaps by virus or computer malfunction), how do you plan to re-create that file? Or is that not possible?
  • Are email mailboxes backed up? Typically, Gmail, Office 365 is not backed up by the provider

Types of Backups

Essentially, there are three types of backups:

A Full Backup

This backup when it runs, backups up every file that is selected in the backup job. Backups can often take a long time since we are backing up every file regardless of whether that file has changed since the last backup.

Incremental Backup

This backup job backs up every file that has been changed or newly created since the last Incremental backup. This kind of backup is faster to implement but it can take longer to find specific files if lost since they could be anywhere amongst any number of Incremental backups.

Differential Backup

A differential backup backs up change or newly created files since the last full backup.

Implications

Valuable Resources

What is a valuable document, file, email, or resource in this description? Usually, one that would cause either a little distress at losing the resource (the effort to re-create it) or significant distress due to the nature of the resource (a signed PDF contract document, or an accounting database for instance) and/or a significant effort to recreate the resource. Often, the information contained in this files is a ‘one-off’ such as that might be contained in an email or a signed document.

Re-creating the resource

The implication of re-creating a resource can have a negative impact on a business. Firstly, by way of the time spent to re-create the resource, and secondly, by way of the negative impact on the individual’s well-being (“I already created this document, it took me two days”).

In the case of loss of an accounting database, then this loss would be significant and the knock-on effect on the business should not be underestimated.

Assessments

To come up with a purchase plan for Anything I.T. remote backup, we need to find out how much disk space the client is currently using for valuable documents

  • How much disk space usage per user will be required?
  • Which are the most valuable files/folders (and where they are located)?
  • Record which are sensitive files/folders (and where they are located)
  • Are email mailboxes being backed up?

Restoration

Who and How?

  • How are restores carried out?
  • Who provides this service?
  • Is there an additional cost in the case of disaster recovery?

Anything I.T. carries out the restoration of individual lost or corrupted files as part of the monthly cost of the service (see price list or quote provided).

Disaster Recovery

In the case of a disaster (complete catastrophic loss of data), there is a charge of £75 (as at Feb 2020) per hour to recover. For up-to-date pricing, please refer to our price list.

Any questions?

Contact us at Anything I.T. on the details below:

Email: support@anythingit.net

Phone: 01752 422954

Note: A PDF version of this post can be found here: Automated Backup Service This document will likely be updated from time to time so information is up-to-date and current.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Number Club

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


An introduction to Number Club, what it is and why it can be a ‘life-changer’, or should we say ‘business-changer‘ for small businesses.

High-end Unified Communications, priced for small businesses

What the heck does that mean?

In as concise a sentence as possible, Unified Communications are where you communicate (phone call, conference call, messaging and so on) via any device, whether that be a mobile phone, tablet, desktop PC or ‘proper’ desk phone.

The benefit to small businesses if they can enable this is that regardless of where they are sat (or standing!), they can make and receive calls ‘as their business’, transfer calls to another team member, message team members and so on.

With Number Club, there is a lot more to it than that which we will explain later in this post. For now, rest assured that Number Club is truly a high-end telephone and communications system that small businesses can afford.

Number Club – The gory details

Number Club is an offering by Anything I.T. and its partner Comtec ICT. It’s been designed to provide all the features of a modern PBX system (including Unified Communications) at an affordable price.

Features include

  1. Communicate via desk phone; web browser, tablet, mobile phone, all while appearing to come from your business landline
  2. Video calling
  3. Conference calls
  4. Transfer calls between the team
  5. Place calls on hold
  6. Set day/night times
  7. Customised call routing (press 1 for sales, 2 for support and so on)
  8. Voicemail (including transcripts by email)
  9. Shared contact lists (for your team)
  10. Mobile phone app
  11. Chat messaging within the team
  12. Leave Post-it notes for other team members
  13. Individual ‘Available‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Do not Disturb‘ statuses
  14. PLUS – a direct extension number to our team
  15. A range of desk phones and accessories

Cost

£20 per (premium licensed) user (some user types are less, please ask), per month on a minimum 12-month contract.

This provides you with a business landline number (actually several if required) in your area (i.e. Plymouth would be 01752 xxxxxx), and full access to the features listed above.

Not only do you get all that, but you also get unlimited UK landline and mobile calls! (it does not include premium-rate numbers) in the £20 per month/per user price.

Optional extras

Equipment

You do not need a physical desk phone for the system to work. That’s just one of the features that make this a great value system. However, if your business requires desk phones and other equipment, these are available at affordable prices. Please ask us for the latest pricing. Here are some images of products available:

Wallboards

Wallboards – A live way of looking at call stats for your team displayed on a TV (ask us about this option as it is an optional extra requiring some development time). Check out the blog over on the Comtec site for more information

Telecoms via a computer’s web browser

You can even carry out calls via your computer’s web browser. If you spend a lot of time at your desk, then this is a real lifesaver.

Making calls from your business number while sat at your PC is very useful, including messaging colleagues and website visitors (if you have something called WebRTC set up), conference calls and screen sharing.

Not only is useful, it is a professional way of communicating.

Mobile devices

Then there is the mobile phone app! From the app you can make and receive calls (again, from and to your landline number).

From the app you can also carry on a chat conversation, check your voicemails and set a status.

By status, I mean you can set yourself to busy of offline which means you will not be disturbed by calls when you don’t want to be. Perhaps you are in a meeting or don’t want to be awakened by unwanted calls at night?

A little but useful feature

if you take on Number Club as your phone service, you get an extension number for each user (let’s say you have extension 3076), you have the ability to dial an extension number for Anything I.T. or Hello Comtec. Right there from your phone! Nice and easy support at your fingertips.

Summary

In essence, Number Club is a high quality, full of features cloud based telecoms system which is affordable and scalable as your business grows.

Contact us for more information or to arrange a demo.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

The Geek Collective

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


Who are the Geek Collective?

In a moment, I’ll go into some detail about the three ‘geeks’ behind the Geek Collective. For now here is a quick summary of how the Geek Collective can benefit you, the customer.

Benefits

For the most part, the Geek Collective is an unseen entity (for now) because it’s just three guys in Plymouth (UK) who are techies and whose skills cross a large range of technical areas. Each running their own business.

But how does this benefit you, the customer?

Simply put it means there is a support network behind the business you choose to implement some sort of technical service.

Be it website design through Anything I.T. or Hello Simon, or implementing a modern (and yet cost-efficient) telecoms system through Hello Comtec. Or still more an I.T. Support service through Anything I.T. or Hello Comtec!

Because of the way everything technical works these days, there is a natural crossover between all the supposedly separate areas.

But this is not true in reality.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want a nice new website made by an award-winning designer (that’s Simon at Hello Simon by the way). That’s great because he will design you a smashing site fit for purpose.

But what if you also said, I need help with the emails on the domain name we own as well. Or perhaps you also mention to Simon that you are moving to a new office and could do with help setting up the technical aspects such as network cabling, broadband and router, new PC’s and so on.

The good news is Simon won’t answer you by saying, “Sorry I can’t help”, he’ll say, I’ve got just the person! And he will pass you on to one of the other two in our little network.

Why would we do this?

First of all, it’s great to be able to offer each of our customers that we can literally do ‘anything I.T.’ related.

But quite frankly it’s really nice to have other geek friends to work with whom we trust.

Trust is an important thing in friendships and also in business. Especially since some of the services we offer could be construed as a competitive crossover into one of the other businesses!

But that doesn’t stop us because we know that the benefits to us and our clients is huge.

More about the three of us and what we offer

From left to right: Neil Tancock of Hello Comtec; Simon Pykett of Hello Simon; and Jonathan Burrows of Anything I.T.
Here we are geeking out and drinking coffee

You can obviously find out more from our websites and Facebook/LinkedIn pages so here is a summary of each:

Jonathan Burrows of Anything I.T.

The Anything I.T. website (circa early 2020)

Browse this site for more about what we can do and also our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Anything I.T. was set up by Jonathan Burrows in a rejuvenated format during 2019 having let the business idle along since the mid-noughties!

Jonathan got into computing in the early ’90s when his uncle brought him a PC. He was very excited about this until he opened up the box, only to find that the PC needed putting together first!

In those days without the World-Wide Web, he had to rely on books to help him build his first Windows 3.11 computer. Fun times!

This led to Jonathan eventually changing career path from one of Retail into the Technology sector including time as a Technical Consultant for a FTSE 500 company and later on a Systems Analyst for a large company in the South West of the UK.

Now, Jonathan is excited about the various opportunities coming his way, including the Geek Collective.

Jonathan’s favourite saying is:

“The more I know, the less I seem to know”

Anything I.T. website – this site!
Anything I.T. Facebook Page
Anything I.T. Linked In Page


Neil Tancock of Hello Comtec

The Hello Comtec website (early 2020)

Neil’s comprehensive understanding of the technology & communications arena has taken him around the world. With an extensive client portfolio and a commitment to reliability, his knowledge of technology systems is something that he doesn’t need to boast about.

Hello Comtec website
Hello Comtec Facebook Page


Simon Pykett of Hello Simon

The Hello Simon website homepage early 2020

Simon has been creating digital content for well over ten years, alongside his role as a Computer Science Teacher. His portfolio is considerable and works with notable individuals in the music, sport and military arenas.

He is now working hard as a freelance creative and studies the dark arts of search engine optimisation.

Hello Simon website
Hello Simon Facebook Page


Finally

So, finally, if you’ve read this far, I commend your efforts! Suffice to say, you are in safe, reliable, technically knowledgeable hands if you choose to use one (or more!) of the Geek Collective to provide technical services for your business/ We are based in Plymouth (UK).

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

How can Integrated I.T Support help your business during healthy growth?

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


We all love healthy growth in our business. It’s exciting and exhilarating! It can also be a little scary and stressful if you don’t get it right.

Sometimes growth can be quick and sometimes a little slower over a period of time. In either case, if you do not have the processes and framework in place to accommodate the growth, things could go awry.

One area of critical importance is ‘Web/IT/Telecoms’. I’ve grouped them here because if they all hang together nicely then healthy growth can be made so much easier.

Taking an intelligent view and proper planning of your I.T. services can be all the difference to healthy growth and, well, not healthy growth!

How can Anything I.T. help?

Jonathan at Anything I.T. has been a techie since the early 1990’s (showing his age!). With help from collaborators such as Comtec ICT, Anything I.T. can help in all the technical areas of web, IT, telecoms, and indeed other technical services such as door entry systems, CCTV.

We pride ourselves on having an understanding of where our clients are in their cycle of growth. Respecting budgets and areas where they are comfortable.

Aside: Doughnuts can help!

On this point of being comfortable with IT, if a small business is comfortable with a certain aspect of their IT, we are not going to forcibly recommend another way. We will work with our customers in the best way possible. Of course, if the customer is using dated, slow computers not up to the job, then, of course, we will make recommendations.

Some business growth scenarios require the ability to work anywhere. Anything I.T. can set up systems where you can easily access your business emails and files. Also, with telecoms systems such as Wildix (from Comtec ICT), your communications with customers can be seamless and still business-like through web browsers, apps and desktop phones.

Coffee and working

Our Integrated I.T. Support service is a unique blend of traditional support and consultancy and a more closer link with your web and IT provider.

Suffice to say that working with us to ensure healthy growth can not only take some of the stress away but increase the excitement and exhilaration.

Contact us today to have a chat.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

How to use effective I.T. when a business changes

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


When a business goes through change, there are many factors that the business owner needs to plan for. Employees, office setup and costs, informing customers of the change and so much more.

One aspect that is often overlooked is the web and I.T. the business uses. This could be anything from network cabling in the office to website changes. From the headache of changing email accounts and telecoms (and broadband) providers.

Anything I.T. has experience in the area of business change and could be the one factor that makes things go smoothly for you.

Just a few examples of areas we can help when your business goes through change:

  • Network cabling
  • Routers and modems
  • Patch panels and network switches
  • Setting up secure Wi-fi
  • Phone systems (Maybe you should consider one that can move office with you with minimum fuss?)
  • Computer setup
  • Digital signing
  • Email account changes
  • Website changes
  • Google My Business changes (such as change of address)
  • Social Media amendments and posts
  • Technical training for changes in staff

Our unique Integrated I.T. Support service might be the way to go. Why not have a chat with us today to discuss possibilities?

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Integrated I.T. Support Service

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


What the heck is an Integrated I.T. Support Service? It’s a unique service offered to businesses in the Plymouth area only by Anything I.T. Read on to find out why it is so different and why it can be so beneficial to your business.

Partnering

Partnering with you and your business to create a sustainable long-term I.T. framework. One that can grow with your business without damaging your business finances.

We work alongside you to create a solution that not only satisfies your business need to have trouble-free tech but to accommodate where your business is financially speaking.

Uniqueness

Why is this service different to other I.T. businesses out there?

I.T., Web & Telecoms support services provided by I.T. professionals are often based on a monthly fee to monitor the existing tech setup in your business.

If problems arise, you might call the I.T. company and get them to fix said problem. Later on, maybe months or even years later, another issue or project arises. Perhaps the upgrade of PC’s to a new operating system?

There is a problem that can surface with this rather distant nature of support. That is that the technology in the business is not growing or organically changing with the business as it in itself grows or changes.

In turn, this can cause unwelcome surprises of unexpected costs and critical downtime to the business.

A lot of I.T./Web/Telecoms support assumes a ‘one-size-fits-all’. Unfortunately, that just won’t cut it in this day and age. Anything I.T. assess the current and potential future needs of its clients and works out a solution from there.

No ‘unwelcome surprises’

With our integrated I.T. service, these unwelcome surprises are negated by the very fact that we work much more closely with your business and therefore can anticipate expected changes or growth. This then leads us to be able to inform you of what you might need to do and spend to enable the changes.

Any increase in expenditure (for instance) happens incrementally rather than in one big shock moment.

Not only does this help the business from a financial standpoint but encourages a stress-free peace of mind environment.

With this service, you are getting an ‘IT Manager’ at a fraction of the cost.

Regular communication is a key factor also. We keep in touch with the client often and encourage regular reach outs and meetings with our clients. Requests such as a new spreadsheet to be designed or an email signature made up are all part of this close relationship we wish to build. All helping towards those goals of efficiency and growth.

How integrated I.T. helps your business grow or change

These days businesses have so many technical demands on them. Websites, email accounts, online advertising, analytics, desktop computers (Windows, Mac, Linux), mobile and tablet devices, telephone systems such as PBX’s, social media pages, broadband and Wi-fi, not to mention cybersecurity, door entry and CCTV systems! The list goes on and on.

There are two approaches that a business can take to these scenarios.

  1. Employ or outsource the work to relevant skilled people (such as website developers; I.T. professionals)
  2. Do most of it (or even all) if you are skilled enough and have time yourself with outsourcing some tasks to others

There are potential issues in both situations which I won’t go into too much detail here except to say that scenario one can be fragmented and involved a lot of unnecessary communicating, and scenario two puts a stupid amount of pressure on the business owner whether they enjoy the work or not.

So, to answer point 1 above, using the Anything I.T. Integrated I.T. Support Services service means one point of contact for ALL your tech-related questions, support and demands, thereby cutting out the communication issues mentioned above.

In answer to point 2 above, let’s take the pressure off you so you can concentrate on building your business. I’m not afraid to say it but often those business owners who have some tech knowledge may fiddle and do okay but when push comes to shove may find their skills lacking.

Using this unique service also provides you with a trusted partner in your business to help it grow and change. An I.T. provider which works with you on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to ensure things go smoothly.

Here’s a list (by no means a definitive one!) of products and services we can help you with:

Website Design and Hosting

Need a website? Need another website? Need help with keeping your site(s) up-to-date and compliant? Just one area that is included in our integrated I.T. Support service. More details on what we do web wise here.

Cloud Email and Storage

Reliable and secure email and file storage is now a top priority for businesses everywhere. From 50Gb mailboxes to SharePoint server helping you collaborate with colleagues. Check our recent blog post on the subject.

I.T. Support

Having available to the team four clever and enthusiastic guys (well, two youngsters and two, err experienced chaps), Anything I.T. offers IT skills built up since 1994! Need more information on our I.T. Support service?

Social Media

Setup, advice, advertising. You name it, we do it. Social Media

Telecoms

By collaborating with our partner Comtec ICT, Anything I.T. can now truly provide a fully integrated I.T. service for its clients. Now (incredibly), our clients have a direct extension number to us from their desk phones, mobiles (via the app) and browser! This includes useful chat, conferencing, video calling and screen sharing features

More information can be found on the Hello Comtec website or our Telecoms page here.

How much does it cost?

Without sounding like a politician, it varies greatly from customer to customer!

All we would suggest is get in touch for a pressure-free chat.

Who is it for?

Certainly for business in the local area of Plymouth and further afield if the circumstances suit both our business and our clients’.

It is also likely that businesses with several employees and/or a decent turnover would benefit most.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.

Update 9th April 2020

Microsoft announce change to names of products

Office 365 is becoming Microsoft 365. The blog post below describes products as they were named before 9th April 2020.

The full list of new names of the products are as follows:

Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Office 365 Business Premium (this post) is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Office 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Apps for business
Office 365 ProPlus is now Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise


OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM

Anything I.T. offers a superb range of products and services to help small businesses. Products such as OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM can provide efficiency and a quick way to access certain information.

OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM for Plymouth businesses

Why would that be important?

Because having trouble-free/speedy access to information and the ability to get the right information to your customers is essential to run an efficient business.

Used well, the business can profitably grow and the products Anything I.T. offers can grow with you too. In other words, you won’t have to change the product or services when you grow from 4 employees to 10. Or from 10 to 50.

OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM is one such product (or service if you like) that can grow with your business.

What do you get for your money (check latest prices here)?

  • BUSINESS CLASS EMAIL
  • ONE DRIVE
  • OFFICE SOFTWARE
  • SHAREPOINT
  • MICROSOFT TEAMS

BUSINESS CLASS EMAIL

What does “BUSINESS CLASS EMAIL” mean?

Your mailbox is hosted on Microsoft’s Exchange servers, one of the best business-class email hosting platforms around. Typically, if you purchased your own domain name and set up an email address, it likely will be a simple mailbox accessed by a protocol called POP3

You get 50GB of storage in your mailbox! That’s huge! Some mailboxes today can be as small as 100Mb (that’s 500 times smaller!). If you went for a Gmail mailbox, you might get 15Gb of space which is pretty good.

The default maximum size for sending and receiving emails is around 35Mb which is a lot larger than your typical mailbox which might be 10Mb or sometimes 20Mb per email. This 35Mb allows you to send larger attachments between co-workers or others you work with. And why not? In this day and age of superfast broadband, sending a 30Mb design document to your co-worker to look over should not be an issue.

ONE DRIVE

With OFFICE 365 FOR BUSINESS PREMIUM, you also benefit from the 1TB ONE DRIVE.

This is plenty enough space for most business users to store documents and files in the Cloud.

With One Drive installed on your PC, mobile and via a web browser, you can access your files from literally almost anywhere.

OFFICE SOFTWARE

All the main desktop office software you need including:
Microsoft:- Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Access

Via a web browser:
Web versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint

One license covers 5 phones, 5 tablets, 5 PCs (or Macs) per user. Plenty enough devices capable of accessing your information.

SHAREPOINT

Quote from the Microsoft SharePoint site:

“Organizations use SharePoint to create websites. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device.”

MICROSOFT TEAMS

Collaborate, chat and communicate about documents and projects your Team is working on.

Associated resources

Be sure to check out the resources below for more information.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

New Price List

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


We have introduced a price list in PDF format that our customers (and indeed prospective customers) can download and view at their leisure.

The list shows most of our popular products and services, if you do not see something then it does not mean we do not provide that service or product. Just ask for more information on what you require.

The list will likely be updated on a regular basis.

It can be found on the Pricing page

Please, if you have any questions or queries, do let us know.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

FREE Excel Spreadsheet Template – Recording Hours Worked

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


“Recording Worked Hours” (by Client/Project)

We all like free stuff don’t we? Especially if it proves useful! Here on this page, I’m offering you free of charge a useful spreadsheet template I created for recording hours worked.

“Recording Hours Worked.xlsx”

It’s a spreadsheet I’m using myself so I’m getting first-hand experience of using the file. In that way, I hope you also find it beneficial.

No strings attached!

Though coffee and a doughnut would be nice!

If you like it, let me know. If you share it with others, please let them know where the spreadsheet came from!

It’s probably most useful for those self-employed people out there who need a simple way of recording hours worked. It’s intended for recording hours worked for their clients, but it can be used for other business scenarios such as projects. If you use it in larger scenarios, I’d be very interested to find out how. Would you let me know? 

All I ask is that you sign up to the Anything I.T. mailing list or Like our Facebook Page. We don’t spam with numerous emails. In fact, you will likely only get between 1-2 a month! I’m not even going to force you to provide an email address. The file is just there, at the bottom of the page, ready to use.

Disclaimer/Warning

To make this work, you may need a basic understanding of Excel documents. if you break your copy, you can ask me for help, but please don’t blame me!

Explaining the Document

Summary sheet

Below are a couple of screenshots of the SUMMARY sheet of the spreadsheet (or workbook whichever you like to call it). You will notice there are a number of sheets, all named the months of the year, as well as the SUMMARY sheet.

Recording Worked Hours spreadsheet

Recording Worked Hours spreadsheetIn this example, we have a sheet that summarises the data across the year and the individual months.

On this, the SUMMARY sheet, we enter the client/project on the left-hand side. These names are automatically populated to the other individual sheets. This is important as it ensures no typing mistakes are made by the user (and thereby providing accurate data).

The SUMMARY sheet provides not only a, ermmmm, summary, of hours worked each month and for each client/project, but money made (if you use this as the basis for your invoicing).

The financial aspect is optional and for me at least, it is primarily used for giving me an idea of where I am with certain clients.

You will also note the columns which I hope are self-explanatory:

  • Total Hours
  • Total £
  • The individual months (each with Hours and £)

On the far right-hand side, you will see a list of rates. Enter your own here. These rates are used on the individual month sheets (more on this below).

Recording Worked Hours spreadsheet

The ‘Month’ sheets – Entering in your hours worked

On each ‘month’ sheet, you should see on the left, the area where you need to enter four pieces of data:

  • Date (the date of course!)
  • For Whom/What (See below for an explanation)
  • Description (Whatever you want in here to describe the work carried out)
  • Hours (The number of hours obviously. Can work in parts of hours too, such as ‘1.5’.

Recording Hours Worked

For Whom/What

Your client name or project name. Clicking into this cell reveals a dropdown arrow which picks up the client names/project names you entered in on the SUMMARY sheet. Adding a client name or project name on the SUMMARY sheet automatically adds it to the dropdown options.

Recording Worked Hours spreadsheet

This cell is configured so that you must enter in (or select from the dropdown) an exact match from the list. Trying to type in ABC1234lhalhdlahdl (if it doesn’t exist on your SUMMARY sheet) will produce an error.

Type in a description and enter how many hours work, or indeed a decimal of an hour (0.1 would be 6 minutes, 0.25 would be quarter of an hour, 0.33 would be 20 minutes, 0.5 half an hour, and so on).

The ‘Month’ sheets – Client/Project auto-summarisation

On the right-hand side, you will notice the client names (or your project names) automatically populated.

Important: Do not try to type into these cells. Only the rate column of cells is editable (but you will still need to enter valid data).

Additionally, the hours worked for each client/project is auto-calculated based on the data on the left-hand side so do not try to edit this directly.

Option: You can also choose a rate for this client/project. If you do, then the amount in currency is automatically calculated. It could be useful for you if you need to generate invoices based on time worked.

Recording Hours Worked

The rate is also chosen via a dropdown menu. The rates are configured on the SUMMARY sheet to the far right-hand side.

Like the other dropdown, you must select a valid option otherwise it will display an error.

Protected Cells

In the blank version below, some cells are protected. This is because we don’t want anyone accidentally overwriting the formulas within the cells by mistake and wondering why it’s not working!

If you feel competent enough, you can unlock the cells via unlocking the spreadsheet by clicking the ‘Review‘ tab on the Ribbon and clicking Unprotect Sheet and entering the password doughnut5 (hint hint).

 

Ribbon

Potential Future Enhancements

I’m considering adding the following columns on the ‘month’ sheets next to the amount (£) column:

  • Invoice #
  • Sent (date)
  • Paid (Amount £) – Colours Red (Unpaid), Orange (Partially paid), Green (Fully paid)

Colours of cells would change depending on invoice status, Sent, and Paid column.

Summarisation and Downloads

So, I hope you find this spreadsheet useful. I certainly do!

There’s a blanked out version to download below as well as one containing some sample data.

If you have ideas for improvements feel free to send a message via the contact page on this site, or via the Anything I.T. Facebook, or by directly emailing me: support@anythingit.net.

The files


by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

How to run two Chrome browser windows, each with a different colour theme, passwords for websites etc.

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.

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)?

Or perhaps you want to login to the same website with different usernames or email addresses but you find that this doesn’t work when you have the basic set up of Chrome.

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:

Two Chrome windows, two Usernames and Passwords

Also, as suggested earlier, you can log in to the same website with different sign-in credentials. Perhaps you have two email addresses at outlook.com? Or you have two accounts on a social media site? The new ‘user’ can log in with the second set of credentials.

Any questions? As always, get in touch!

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

A 10-minute Introduction to Google Analytics

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


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

Are you scared of your computer?

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


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

Anything I.T. and the Geek Collective provide an I.T. Support service and Website design to business clients in Plymouth, South West of the UK.


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.

Anything I.T. Plymouth Limited

Send an email and we will be in touch as soon as possible

The landscape has changed.

The Geek Collective