Wednesday, December 19th 2012 | Short URL
We would like to wish all of our clients, colleagues and friends and very happy holidays and all the best for the New Year!
We're taking a break over the Christmas period from 5pm Friday 21st December to 9am Wednesday 2nd January.
If you need to get in touch with us for an urgent hosting support query during that time, please use our support helpdesk. We will recieve any other messages and get back to you on our return.
Thank you for your custom throughout the year and we look forward to working with you in 2013.
Vicky & Jez
Monday, October 15th 2012 | Short URL
This is a notice for clients for whom we have registered and continue to renew domain names on their behalf.
Our domain registrar has let us know that they are implementing some changes to ensure renewal of domains run as smoothly as possible, lowering the risk of domain suspension and downtime. So, they will now request domain renewal payments 7 days in advance of the expiry date. As you already know, our terms and conditions say that funds are required by us at least 14 days in advance of the expiry date, otherwise we can't be responsible if your domain name is lost, suspended or bought by someone else. Therefore, in light of these changes, we will continue to send your renewal reminders at least 30 days in advance and request that payment is made 14 days before domain exipry.
We know that you, our lovely clients, pay promptly anyway and so I hope that these changes won't affect you too much and that our early reminders will still provide plenty of time to prepare your renewal payment. If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact us.
Wednesday, June 6th 2012 | Short URL
Following on from our article a couple of months ago about the new EU cookie law affecting UK websites, the Information Commissioner's Office has now revised and updated some of their information to clarify the rules.
Full details can be found on the ICO blog. However one of the main points worth noting is the clarification around implied versus explicit consent to download a cookie to a users's device. The ICO now states the following:
- Implied consent is a valid form of consent and can be used in the context of compliance with the revised rules on cookies.
- If you are relying on implied consent you need to be satisfied that your users understand that their actions will result in cookies being set. Without this understanding you do not have their informed consent.
- In some circumstances, for example where you are collecting sensitive personal data such as health information, you might feel that explicit consent is more appropriate.*
They stress the importance of informing your website visitors about the types of cookies your website uses and what sort of data it will be collecting from them.
For our web design clients we can conduct an audit of your site to identify the cookies being used and discuss with you the necessary changes needed to comply with the law. To request an audit please do contact us.
* Quoted from the Information Commissioner Office website
Thursday, March 15th 2012 | Short URL
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file which is downloaded and stored on a website user’s computer (or other device) when they visit certain websites. The cookie is then sent back to the website on each visit. Cookies ‘remember’ your visit between web pages, for functions such as setting options (e.g. change text size for accessibility), logging-in to secure pages, affiliate advertising and for tracking web visitors (e.g. Google Analytics), amongst other things.
What is this law for?
The law is intended to protect people’s privacy when browsing the web. However, it is very broad and even covers cookies which aren’t being used to collect personal information. It’s a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
There are some exceptions to this law but not many. Basically websites will not be required to gain permission from its users to set cookies if those cookies are strictly necessary to provide the service that the user has requested. Therefore e-commerce websites which use a cookie to remember a product added to the shopping basket before proceeding to the checkout do not require permission.
However, cookies used for affiliate adverts and website statistics trackers do need permission.
How does this law affect you?
If you are a website owner in the UK then your website is affected by this law. You will need to be aware of the law, the implications of it and make an informed decision about what to do next.
At this stage there is much debate about the best way to comply with this law and there is still a lot of confusion about how best to approach it without negatively affecting website visitors’ experience and the efficacy of your website.
What does it mean in practice?
The law says that websites need to make information about cookies available and gain the user’s permission before the cookie has been set (or as early as possible). If the cookie is set before the user has been made aware of it and given consent then there are likely to be compliance problems.
Given that not all website visitors will know what a cookie is or even heard of them, this may be quite tricky. Nevertheless the Information Commissioner’s Office states that “The information must be clear, comprehensive and readily available”*
“The website setting the cookies must:
- tell people that the cookies are there
- explain what the cookies are doing, and
- obtain their consent to store a cookie on their device.”*
The practical solutions that some websites have opted for already are a message positioned at the top of the screen or pop-up box which appears over the web page.
Some important issues and debates
As you can imagine there has been much discussion and debate about what this law means to businesses, organisations and website visitors. Here are some important issues that have been raised and things to consider:
Enforcement of the law and penalties
Although the law is currently in place the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have provided a period of time for measures to be implemented at websites and this is by 26th May 2012.
Information from the ICO suggests that a complaint will need to be submitted about an organisation’s website before they begin the enforcement process.
“…in May 2012 the Information Commissioner will consider complaints about cookies in line with his normal approach to complaint handling under the Regulations. This will involve in most cases contacting the organisation responsible for setting the cookies in the first instance asking them to respond to the complaint and explain what steps they have taken to comply with the rules.”*
Enforcement will be carried out by the Information Commissioner as follows:
1. Information notice – This requires that the organisation (website owner) provides information to the Information Commissioner by a specific time. The ICO do not stipulate what this information will be exactly but we would guess that it would be details about the cookies or similar functions that your website is using.
2. Undertaking – The organisation is committed to a specific course of action to improve its compliance.
3. Enforcement notice – The organisation must take the action specified in the notice to bring about compliance with the Regulations. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice can be a criminal offense.
4. Monetary penalty notice – Requires the organisation to pay a monetary penalty of an amount determined by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The ICO says about enforcement: “The Information Commissioner will take a practical and proportionate approach to enforcing the rules on cookies. He has to enforce the law, but he does have some discretion in how he exercises his formal enforcement powers.”*
What to do next
The ICO advises that the first steps should be to:
For our web design clients we can conduct an audit of your site to carry out steps 1 & 2 above and discuss with you how you may approach step 3 and compliance with the law. To request an audit please do contact us.
Tuesday, January 24th 2012 | Short URL
Happy belated New Year! 2012 threw us straight into it this year and we've been busy working on projects for our clients and ourselves without much time to come up for air.
However, last week, along with 650 other web designers, developers, project managers and creative folk we escaped from our desks and screens and gathered at the beautiful Albert Hall in Nottingham for the much anticipated New Adventures in Web Design Conference 2012, or NACONF as it has become known. We attended the very first NACONF last year and you can see our review here.
I'm not going to write in detail about the event again as there is already lots of information online - especially at the NACONF website - about the speakers, talk topics and events of the day. Mr Collison (Colly) worked very hard once again to bring some of the top designers in our industry from all over the world to our home town of Nottingham to share their ideas, experience and thoughts for the future of web design.
For any web folk who weren't able to make it on the day or for non-web folk who'd like to delve into the webby world you can buy a pdf of the New Adventures newspaper for just £1 and get a copy of last year's for free. The newspaper contains opinion articles, interviews and useful information for when the videos are released, so look out for those.
In the meantime, check out this short film (made by Relly, one of the conference volunteers and her husband Paul) which sums up the spirit of the day.
Monday, December 12th 2011 | Short URL
Christmas is nearly here and we'll be taking a break to join in the festivities and recharge our batteries.
We will be closed from 5pm on Friday 16th December to 9am Tuesday 3rd January.
If you have an emergency hosting support request during that time, please use our online support helpdesk to send us a message. It will be useful for you to note the website address of the helpdesk just in case you need it: makehay.zendesk.com
Please don't send us an urgent e-mail to our usual addresses as we won't receive your message until we're back in January. For all non-hosting enquiries, e-mail us as usual and we will reply when we return from Christmas break.
Finally, we'd like to say thank you for your custom this year and in previous years and we look forward to continuing to work with you into 2012 and beyond.
Have a peaceful and happy holidays and a great New Year!
Vicky & Jez xx
Tuesday, November 15th 2011 | Short URL
The Nottingham Post ran an article in their business section recently on my week (a few weeks ago) at Make Hay.
The My Week features follow local business owners and professionals from a range of industries. This was an interesting experience for me because, like most people, I'm too busy getting on with the job to stop and reflect on the past week. Maybe its something we should do more.
Friday, August 12th 2011 | Short URL
It landed with a loud thud when it hit the floor through the letterbox this morning, the very pretty first issue of The Manual.
This brand new printed journal promises to give a fresh view of design on the web. Over several issues it will document voices of web craftsmen and women about our maturing industry as it defines itself as a 'distinct discipline'. Sounds pretty exciting to me!
Copies of the first issue are initially being sent out to everyone who supported the project via Kickstarter but it will be available to buy later.
Monday, June 13th 2011 | Short URL
For those of you who use WordPress as your blog or website platform you'll know that the guys over at WordPress regularly release updates for the software. It is important to make sure that your website is using the latest version of Wordpress to ensure its best security and functionality.
Updating your WordPress installation is relatively easy. You just need to take the necessary precautions and make a few clicks.
Your WordPress website will tell you when an update is needed and when that reminder message appears at the top of your admin dashboard you should go ahead and update.
We've created a simple downloadable guide to help you update your WordPress website easily. If you're still not sure and don't want to tackle it yourself then do get in touch and we can help you out
Wednesday, January 19th 2011 | Short URL
Happy New Year! Welcome to our brand new website. As you will see we have freshened our look up, with an updated logo and pretty new colours.
We are still the same Make Hay, an ethical web design team, creating beautiful websites for positive organisations. We still run Green Hosting too! Aside from our new brand we have lots of exciting plans in place this year, starting with the New Adventures in Web Design conference this week. More on that soon.
Monday, December 20th 2010 | Short URL
We’ll be taking a break over the holiday period and so the office will be closed from 5pm on 22nd December until 9am on 5th January.
For emergency hosting queries only please use our helpdesk at www.green-hosting.co.uk/support. For any other queries, please do feel free to contact us and we will get back to you on our return.
Thank you to all of our lovely clients for your continued support. We look forward to working with you in 2011 and beyond!
Friday, December 11th 2009 | Short URL
Our latest newsletter ‘Seasons Greetings, Happy News and Festive Break‘ is out now.
We’ll be taking a short break over the Christmas holidays so please note our office closing ours will be from 5pm Weds 23rd December to Mon 4th Jan 2010.
Wishing you all very merry holidays and a happy New Year!
Thursday, November 5th 2009 | Short URL
Our latest newsletter ‘Cutting Costs and Carbon‘ is out now.
If you are one of our monthly subscribers to Green Hosting here you will find a way to cut your hosting costs next year. We’re also planning on cutting our carbon in 2010, why don’t you join us. Read our newsletter to find out more.
Thursday, October 22nd 2009 | Short URL
Here at Make Hay we’ve just signed up to the 10:10 project. The project to cut carbon emissions in the UK by 10% in a single year.
Why? Well, as the folks at 10:10 explain:
“…while politicians argue about targets for 2050 and 2020, the scientists say world emissions must peak and begin to fall within the next few years. That means we need deep cuts in the developed world as quickly as possible. The longer we leave it, the smaller our chance of avoiding disastrous warming. 10% is approximately the right amount for Britain to cut next year if we are to play our part in keeping global temperatures from soaring out of control…”
I don’t know about you but I would rather have a good go a using the car less, turning the heating down and consuming less electricity than face what may happen if global warming gets much worse. Although 10:10 is an ambitious project, the things we need to do are quite simple. I can’t see any reason not to at least try. I mean, its not asking much is it really?
The 10:10 project is for everyone, not just businesses. It’s about uniting individuals, organisations, schools, companies, everybody to get behind this idea and get things on track for the future. We can’t keep putting this off or rely on the government to do it for us, because they won’t.
If you do run a business you can find out more on the 10:10 website. Because 10:10 recognise that progressive companies have already made significant cuts the aim for us business types is to cut at least 3%. As we’ve already implemented quite a lot of everyday practices at Make Hay to reduce our carbon it will be a challenge but we’re up for it!
The 10:10 project is run collaboratively by the team behind the film Age of Stupid, The Guardian, ActionAid, Comic Relief, the Energy Saving Trust, the Carbon Trust, the Public Interest Research Centre and many more. These guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to climate change so let’s listen to them.
Wednesday, August 19th 2009 | Short URL
Our latest newsletter ‘Getting Green Business‘ is out now.
In this issue you’ll find a handy way of adding your Make Mail newsletter sign-up form to your Facebook page, news of a green directory and an international site connecting sustainable businesses. There’s also a link to a handy free image editing tool and an article about how one company showed how they really did not ‘get’ green business. As always there’s news about our latest clients too.
Monday, March 16th 2009 | Short URL
Our latest newsletter ‘Ethical Businesses Together‘ is out now.
In this issue find a brand new forum for ethical businesses to share views and ideas about doing business responsibly. We also talk about a great marketing kit from HubSpot, the kings and queens of online marketing.
There’s news from some of our lovely clients too so check it out and see what they’ve been up to.
Monday, March 16th 2009 | Short URL
C8ter are based in Nottinghamshire and produce delicious meals, buffets and artisan goods from local and organic ingredients. They are truly passionate about qood quality, healthy and ethically sourced food and I can’t think of a better team to cook for our region in this national cook-off.
Cate has also let me know that resulting from the show Team Notts have begun a Dish4Notts campaign. This came about because they realised that Nottinghamshire does not have its own recognised dish and its fantastic growers, suppliers and producers are not acknowledged for their work. So begins the search for a sweet dish that truly represents Nottinghamshire and its growers and producers. They will be working with Halam’s chef Roy Wood, Castle College and local chefs and restaurants and inviting anyone from Nottinghamshire to submit recipes which embody tradition and demonstrate an understanding of using local ingredients to create a super pudding dish.
Watch this space for more info and in the meantime if you’d like to know more please contact Cate Harvey at C8ter.
Friday, February 20th 2009 | Short URL
Each of the 7 designs show a message for living a more sustainable life.
They come in various unisex styles, sizes and colours. Every order gets a cotton applique patch and orders of two tees or more come in a re-usable cotton tote!
Visit the GGG Etsy Shop to get yours now!
Friday, February 20th 2009 | Short URL
What better way to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight than with a fabulous Fairtrade fashion show?
Vicky here at Make Hay is a member of the Gedling Fairtrade Group who are hosting the fashion show on Wednesday 4th March at Redhill Comprehensive School. Doors open at 7.30pm and the show starts at 8pm.
Enjoy live music whilst you browse the Fairtrade stalls and have a chance to buy gorgeous Fairtrade clothes, accessories and gifts after the show.
Tickets cost just £2 for adults and £1 for concessions. That’s a great price for a fun night out!
For more information and details on where to buy tickets visit the Gedling Fairtrade Group website.
Friday, December 19th 2008 | Short URL
Our office will be closed from 5pm tonight (Friday 19th December) until Monday 5th January.
Wishing you all happy holidays and we’ll be in touch again the New Year, ready for a great 2009!
Wednesday, November 26th 2008 | Short URL
As you’ve probably heard, the government has announced changes to the UK VAT rate which will be coming into force on Monday 1st December. The new rate will be 15% rather than 17.5%
Here’s how it affects you as Make Hay and Green Hosting clients
1. Any outstanding invoices sent to you before 1st December will need to be paid with the current 17.5% VAT rate. So, no changes will be needed.
2. Any new invoices issued after 1st December will state the new 15% rate
3. Any monthly subscriptions will be charged at the new rate from 1st December onwards
For our Green Hosting clients, who pay on a monthly basis, we will contact you all individually to give more details and re-start your subscriptions at the new rate. The good news is that you will be paying slightly less each month! Please look out for that e-mail from us as you will need to re-activate your subscription.
For our Make Mail newsletter clients we have some great news.
The newsletter system is being upgraded to provide some new reporting features. The interface will look slightly different too but will be just as easy to use.
Whilst this upgrade is taking place you will not be able to log in to your Make Mail account on November 29th and November 30th.
However, subscribers will still be able to sign-up to your newsletter and the reporting features will continue to work in the background. You just won’t be able to log into your account over the weekend.
Next week you can begin to enjoy Make Mail’s new features!
Friday, November 14th 2008 | Short URL
Personally I use both Facebook and LinkedIn but always preferred the extra interaction that Facebook allows.
Well, LinkedIn has caught up. So as well as offering lots of scope to share your professional credentials LinkedIn Applications provides these goodies too (as well as many more):
Thursday, November 13th 2008 | Short URL
Nope, this isn’t a spelling mistake, its another cool new online tool to make bloggers’ lives easier.
This is a real goody if you’re working away from your regular computer or you don’t having image editing software and it is called Resizr.
Resizr lets you re-size images (and change a few other settings) online. You can either upload an image from a local computer or use one already on the web.
Simple yet effective!
Check it out at www.resizr.com
Wednesday, November 12th 2008 | Short URL
Talking to a client the other day about the joys of blogging, I realised that I’d broken one of my own number 1 rules – neglecting our blog.
Our client was interested in how a blog could enhance his online presence and as I went to show him how we use our blog to provide useful resources to our clients I felt a pang of shame…. I haven’t posted for weeks!
Well, I’m pleased to say that the cause of this lack of posting is because we are very busy. We’re also going through a period of change at Make Hay, evolving our services, approach and look with a re-launch in the New Year.
It seems that there is a general feeling of shift right now, with the very distinctive change in season, a new president in the White House and a new feeling of hope, so now is a good time for us to bring about positive change here too.
To make up for the lack of posts over the past few weeks I’m going to make a point of finding useful things to tell you about for the rest of this week. So please look out for those.
In the meantime, here is a great movie about positive change which I think is very pertinent right now, it’s called The Shift:
Tuesday, September 2nd 2008 | Short URL
Just a quick update following the previous post.
As well as our slick new look we have new features and opportunities for guests to contribute.
Friday, August 8th 2008 | Short URL
The list includes physical and virtual networking groups for technology and social entrepreneurs and creative people.
As Michael Says networking is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and “the two ingredients of success in changing the world are CURIOSITY and SERENDIPITY”
Friday, August 1st 2008 | Short URL
Last Friday’s post was a little heavy and since then I’ve been having a lot of interesting conversations about the way green/ethical business is perceived and how those of us who run ‘ethical’ businesses should communicate what we do. I put the word ‘ethical’ in inverted commas because a big part of the discussions have been about what we mean when we are using certain words to describe our business and how that may be perceived – Hmmm lots of food for thought.
This blog is meant for you – Make Hay clients, those interested in finding out more about us, colleagues and associates. So, tell us what you want to see here.
What would be most interesting and useful? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Speak to us! We really want this blog to be something you want to read. Please either leave a comment below or contact us.
Make sure you don’t miss out on new blog posts, subscribe to our RSS feed.
Friday, July 11th 2008 | Short URL
The latest Make Noise newsletter is out now!
Check out the July ’08 edition ‘Campaigns, directories, research & donations‘.
If you would like to find out about all kinds of green and ethical work then why not become a Make Noise member? Joining Make Noise is completely free and all we ask you to do is help spread the word by forwarding anything you think will be of interest to a friend.
Spread the word about positive action and Make Noise!