Good wishes for 2017

Season's greetings

Try 500 things for free on the internet.

Whether you are a web developer, computer scientist, avid reader or interested in growth and change for the New Year. See a great collection of links and resources to help you find a quiet time over the holiday season.

With thanks to Alex de Asis for a great basket of interesting web links.

Merry Christmas.



Venturefest East Midlands 2015

Our Partnership Team will be exhibiting at Venturefest East Midlands on Tuesday 14th April, 2015.

venturefestLogoThe SmithMartin stand will be in the Social Business Hub, where our Partnership will be supporting our client Roger Moors of SEEM, delivering a series of workshops on the emerging Social Business sector.

Both Tim and Sue will be available to discuss with you how our community driven approach to the web, and our long history of providing original content ( images and text), coupled to our secure web hosting service, can add real value to your Social Business project.

Whether you are planning to start a new project, would like help in developing and managing an existing one – the SmithMartin Partnership can offer experience and insight into the change and growth you are trying to achieve.

See us in the Social Business Hub at The East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. Make your business ‘social’ but don’t forget to update your web presence too!

You can still book your free ticket to Venturefest East MIdlands here…


The hard road
to building the web…

Every web designer and publisher has clients who believe that ‘…we email it in and it appears on our web site‘. If you have someone in your department, setting or business who believes this we think it is a compliment to your design and build skills, as well as the back office processes that deal with new content, images, films and functionality.

Mix Online have produced a great poster which explains all the functions and processes, no matter how lightly touched upon even in small design houses, which must be undertaken to create the simplest functioning web page.

Mix Online believe that…

Designing, building and launching websites is real hard work — but our profession is seriously misunderstood. To help explain the process, we drew you a picture. A really big picture…

…and this is what they have done. You can view the design and build web process they have created on this web page. You can use the links on the page to dive deeply into the image and explore the functions of design and creation that go into building your web site. (View deep zoom).

Our own development process at can be found in narrative form,  on this web page. Our systems are designed to support remote clients with all the services needed to launch simple, magazine style web sites, to more complex blog driven, gallery supported, e-commerce and information gathering web pages.

Our simpler, less sequentially staged process none the less includes all the elements found in the Mix Online illustration – in small design houses fewer people wear more hats.

It’s still hard work though, whatever the content, time frame or functionality desired.

Happy New Year for 2013 from all at

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Are you in the cloud already?

We see a lot of words on the bulletin boards, blogs and magazines about ‘The Cloud’. Chances are you are already in it.

We build and install CRM services and remote file stores for our clients. Really simple archives of data, images and files which can be accessed from any web enabled computer.

This means that our clients work is in ‘the cloud’. We use proprietary services and Open Source software to achieve this facility, which maximises the best value proposition we can offer to clients.

This video from the company Accenture shows how, through the voices and ideas of young people, just how pervasive cloud resources are.

No struggling with the concept, seemingly, in this film.

If you are using a Thirdsectorweb remote file store to access your board minutes or policy papers – a CRM suite to monitor your customers or service user activity, which we have installed, then you too are in the cloud.

It’s not where it is, just what you call it that counts.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Getting credibility on the web

GuidelinesWe really liked the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility, which we came across recently.

They are pretty straightforward guidelines – pointers to how you should look to have your web pages configured to establish maximum effect with your visitors.

They are here…

1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.

2. Show that there’s a real organisation behind your site.

3. Highlight the expertise in your organisation and in the content and services you provide.

4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.

5. Make it easy to contact you.

6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).

7. Make your site easy to use…and useful.

8. Update your site’s content often (at least show it’s been reviewed recently).

9. Use restraint with any promotional content.

10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.

We build all of these elements into our practice sites, so that you can see who we are, where we are and how what we do is interlinked with our professional and pro-bono work.

It is useful to see something that we have strived to develop intuitively placed in print – although in the past either at our client’s behest, or by making our own mistakes, as human web developers we have veered from the golden path occasionally.

Still, with the plethora of social networks, platforms and web services on offer – keeping to the core, simple effective truths is no bad thing.

You can see the original research results form the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility here at…

Internet explorer updates…continued

Following on from our recent post about vulnerabilities in IE Microsoft have now published details of an out of sequence update for the range of IE browsers.

Having published details of recent attempts to use IE6 as a vehicle for attacks, Microsoft is now issuing security updates for all extant versions of its browser.

You can read the Microsoft advance warning here.

Visit the home page of Third Sector Web here.

Is your web browser up to date?

securityPicIf national governments are warning their citizens to stop using a particular browser, then the potential risk to your data and stored information must be pretty high?

Both the German and French governments have recently issued advisory warnings about using one particular browser.

If you travel and use public networks, if you work a lot online, like us – update your browser often. We have reported in the past on this blog about our use and favour of Opera, Firefox and now Chrome.

Free, quick and easy to download and install. Update or refresh your browser of choice…

…you can see an article from The Guardian about a world-wide hack, originating in China here. The concern seems to be with IE6. Why do so many government organisations, for example, allegedly use outdated software for mission critical applications and services?

You can download IE8 here. It’s improved immensely of late.

Visit the home page of Third Sector Web here.

Creative Commons Image: Brad & Sabrina at Flickr

New Year – new resolution – new email backup

Clip2Our New year resolution is to keep our physical and cyber space desktops a bit tidier.

Pretty easy to implement in our various physical locations, but requiring a little more effort in e-space.

We use Mozilla Thunderbird as our default email client. We like it for its safe ease of use, ability to intuitively create folders and drag emails off the various servers across our partnership, so that our team members can consolidate their communication.

So far so good. We have recently implemented an email archive solution, to complement Thunderbird. Allowing individuals from their home offices, for example, a crucial back up of multiple emails from different sources, all into one folder or burned to a single dvd.

Partners chose Mailstore for use on their personal computers. A simple, easy to understand interface, which will back up and relocate not only Thunderbird folders, but also Microsoft Outlook, Express and Exchange, as well as Google Mail, IMAP and Pop 3 mailboxes and even Windows Live Mail.

We like it. You can find the freeware personal edition here.

You select the target folder to save to and declare the attachments you would also like archived, .pdf, .doc etc. Then back up.

Mailstore also offer business wide archival solutions on their website.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

New regional office for Thirdsectorweb


The Thirdsector team have been busy installing cabling, desks and communication systems in our new regional office this week – we now have a loft space in Cambridge, U.K. to support our clients and a growing number of supply partners in the Midlands and East Anglia.

Our web coding and creative team will now all be based in Cambridge, in an attempt to speed up turn-round times for projects and to ensure that any copy we receive is actioned for client sites as soon as possible.

Our mission – to integrate web, print and broadcast TV into a single solution for our clients.

Our new facility will help us to achieve that aim.

Our sister trading styles Dolphin book sellers and Dolphin book box will also have a presence on site.

We now have immediate access to spot bulk storage facilities, which will help our partnership to better deliver our large book orders, library and nursery refits and any returns required from our customers.

If you are in the eastern region and have a need for our web or communication solutions – the team will be happy to meet with you too.

Our location and messaging services can be found on our contact us page.

You can also see our full range of services on our partnership page at SmithMartin LLP.

You can visit the Third Sector Web home page here.

Updated scripts in your client control panel….

cogsImageOur client control panel has been updated. If you are a Thirdsectorweb client who maintains their own domain, you can now self install the following scripts from your client control panel.

These new versions supercede previous control panel access entries.

If you have any difficulties installing these scripts please contact Thirdsector web support as usual.

New versions are available of the following….

WordPress, PHPCoin, Joomla, Locked Area Lite, Mambo, RoundCube, Website Search, AWStats, ZenCart, Openads and Web Calendar.

You can see the Thirdsector web home page here.