Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chroma - Online Shopping has been opened

Good News for both the client and us, Redcetera the designers as we managed to put Chroma Shop live yesterday.

The last few days were very hard work including working a 17hr day on Sunday. But the results will hopefully speak for themselves. Take a look at Chroma and feast your eyes.

The site has been built around an e-commerce engine Powa which we have tweaked and stretched, added code to and bent where possible. In effect, we built the site twice, first as HTML and then converted it all to suit its Powa straight jacket - which by the way is an excellent e-commerce package even though at times it can be somewhat unforgiving and inflexible. Which is why we have had to bent the rules here and there and introduce our own solutions.

The site has a myriad of slideshows to show off the fabulous products that Chroma sells - we hope the buying public will be encouraged.

Thank you to the clients, Chroma owners, Michaela and Gerard Jones who have been very helpful with their many contributions.

We wish them much success in their venture.

A couple of lovely products:

Let me know what you think of Chroma.im and many Merry Xmas and Happy New Year's wishes from Glynne and Eva

Till soon - eva@redcetera.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Redcetera Loves Chroma ... and put the site Live today

Glynne and I are very pleased to put website Chroma LIVE today.

Business and site owners Michaela and Gerard have been absolutely marvelous and patient as it has been a bit of a battle at times to meet deadlines and make things go smoothly. We wish them and their business all the best and hope their partners, customers and colleagues are pleased with the result.

However, this is only Stage One as Chroma will have soon beautiful products available for sale on their site and we have a little way to go integrating the site with the e-commerce engine. 

We'll keep you informed - meanwhile take a peep at Chroma and let me know what you think.

Ciao, Eva 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chroma Site .... nearly there

We've been working hard on a new site and we are all getting very excited as we're nearly there. Chroma is a newly set-up company offering gorgeous interior products to architects and designers.

It will look a deceptively simple site but as we all know minimal design can take that little bit longer to achieve. The clients have fabulous and we are working closely together to get the product live as soon as possible.  Watch this space

Monday, October 25, 2010

Milford Instruments Ltd Webstore

The well know distributors of electronic components and assemblies to industry, education and hobbyists Milford Instruments have now added an overview page to their website. Check out this page http://www.milinst.co.uk/overview/overview.html .

The products range from everything you need to make a Parallax Boe-Boe or other robot with sensors, servo motor drivers, Wizard driver board and Auto-talk controllers, add-on modules or 3-axis computer controlled drilling machines. If you want to add muscle Milford Instruments stock the full range of flexinol wires, 4D System graphic Displays and LCDs with Goldelox controller chips.

If that is still not enough you can fill your boots with Quadravox MP3 players, OEM modules, DMX-512 received control boards, LED drivers, Servo motor drivers, BOB-4 on-screen displays and many.

The Milford Instruments webstore stocks Tech-Tools Quickwriter PIC Programmers and Digiview Logic Analysers & are stockist of the Square-1 range of Pic primer books.

Just take a look, you'll be amazed at the range on offer .......

Friday, July 30, 2010

BSS Business Grants on the island

BSS fianancial business grants are a fantastic scheme in helping businesses. They can be the 'yay or nay' factor in deciding on a web project that without this financial assistance may not see the life of day. Having the backing (& 50% of fees) of the DED (Department of Economic Development)  gives businesses confidence that deciding to go with a project is the right way for their company.  My partner Glynne and I are both BSS consultants  & can help obtaining a grant - up to a generous £4,500. The Isle of Man is actively promoting eCommerce & grants in this preferred disciplines are expedited fast and painlessly.

What follows is today's publication from the DED. Please read it - it may be of interest as well as in your interest! The offer might not last for ever .......
Contact me for more info - Call Eva lancaster +44(0)1624 897143 or email info@redcetera.com and/or visit our site for more info & samples of  work www.Redcetera.com

The Business Support Scheme

The Department of Economic Development’s Business Support Scheme can offer your business financial assistance towards the cost of specialist consultancy to help your business develop and improve profits, implement new working practices or improve efficiency.
What can it do for my business?
A recent analysis of over 300 past projects has revealed how effective the Scheme has proved for participating businesses and the Isle of Man in general:
•    46% saw an increase in profits
•    68% saw an improvement in working practices
•    19% have increased employees with over 200 jobs created
•    97% would be happy to use the Scheme again
The following is just a small example of the comments received:
•    “The project is the essence of the business and has enabled it to start-up and to continue to operate largely as an on-line booking agency…”
Sally Helwich- Isle of Man Event Services Ltd

"3 Legs Ltd was delighted to help this new venture to quickly establish its on-line presence, bringing valuable business to the Island's tourism sector."
Sean Kelly, 3 Legs Ltd. (E-Business Consultant for Isle of Man Event Services Ltd)

•    Our energy bills have come down so much we expect the payback period to be 18 months..!”   
John Shakespeare: Manager, Strand Shopping Centre

“We have the expertise to provide a lighting solution which will benefit the business now and for years to come.”
Ralph Peake: Managing Director, Luminaires Ltd (Energy Consultant for Strand Shopping Centre)

•    "..bookings for the campsite are well up and the administration is so simple and takes up virtually no time at all. All this without any IT skills! It paid for itself within a few months."
Richard Huxham, Ballamoar Campsite

".. we strongly recommend that any Tourist Accommodation Provider, large or small, take advantage of the assistance available through the Business Support Scheme in order to create a web presence with e-Booking Facilities, thereby enabling them to enjoy the advantages and opportunities that E-Business brings.”
Eve Lancaster of Redcetera. (E-Business Consultant for Ballamoar Campsite)

What assistance does my business receive?
The Scheme offers businesses 50% (up to a maximum of £4500) towards the cost of consultancy within the following disciplines:
•    Marketing
•    Design
•    E-Business
•    Environmental Efficiency
•    HR
•    Quality Management
•    Business and Strategic Planning
•    IT
•    Financial Management Controls
Am I eligible to apply for assistance?
All applicants must be either a Manx-registered business, or a sole trader registered in the Isle of Man for Income Tax.
All applicants are eligible for projects in the disciplines of Quality Management and Environmental Efficiency. Additionally, applicants who supply products or services to off-Island customers will be eligible for an E-Business project.
Eligibility for projects in the remaining disciplines is discretionary and the final decision on these will be made by the Department.
Note; Businesses operating in the Manufacturing sector are eligible for projects in all disciplines.
For further information on eligibility go to www.gov.im/ded/grants/bss/eligibility.xml ,
Where can I get further information?
If you would like more information on the Scheme, including application form and brochure, please visit www.gov.im/bss, or contact Scheme Manager, Mike Corkhill, by telephone on 682326 or email michael.corkhill@gov.im

Monday, July 26, 2010

Photo Editors

Designing websites involves nearly always photo images, some used for general illustration and often lots for say Online Galleries.

Unless involved in design or photography the average person has no need for a complex image editor such as Adobe Photoshop. I couldn't live without it but it has so many tools that most people would never ever use.

For a Pro website to look smart however, images need to be of the highest quality. Most original photos need a little (or lots of) help before they pass the test. (They will also need sizing and optimising, a subject I will be touching upon a different time)

What tools to use without having to go thru long learning curves and spending money?
Luckily there are several very good image editors available online so you don't even have to download any programs. Using these to prepare your images you not only get to keep the cost down (to people like us), you can potentially get great results. Plus - you can be proud of your achievements whilst having fun.

I reviewed a few editors and they are amazing. Not only can you do obvious things like autofix, resize, crop, rotate. You can adjust manually (but easily) lightness and darkness, smoothen or sharpen, apply special effects such as sepia, duotone, paint, sketch, change the borders and loads more. All with a click of the button - and (mostly) for free.

All you do is upload your image from your PC, do your thing and when you're happy, just save it to your PC and Bob's you're uncle.

Give a try to http://www.picnik.com/ or http://fotoflexer.com/ or for the more DIY person use http://pixlr.com/ - or for very quick simple fixes without the many bells and whistles use http://www.online-image-editor.com/

Have fun and let me know what you think

Till next time, Eva

Original Photo

Using Picnik adding this effect plus round borders with a few clicks

Using Fotoflexer adding these effects with a few clicks

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Red Holiday Online Booking

Us folk at Redcetera are working hard to get our Demo version ready for our eTourist Online Booking System. Its getting there. We have consulted Holiday Property owners on their requirements and preferences to incorporate them into the software. Speaking to them we have discovered that their needs are often a little different from the 'big' hotel owners and the secret for their success is flexibility and simplicity. Such as being able to hold a booking reservation for 48hrs or so without any money exchange. The 48hrs will trigger then an auto email message to remind holiday owner and online booker that a decision needs to be made.

Redcetera - Red Holiday Online Booking - Demo (in progress)

We are also incorporating a lot of auto goodies for the holiday accomodation owner such as great looking sexy galleries of the property, rooms, facilities and local area. These all wet the appetite for web visitors eg potential customers. Of course the booking process should be super smooth. We are offering multiple choices such as View by Date, Room etc incorporating Date Pickers to make life really easy. Another important consideration in the design is to minimise the amount of clicks and pages an eBooker has to go thru to get to the Till. There will be Upselling options for the owner to add Extra's such Wireless Facilities, Champagne and/or flower bouquet on arrival etc.

Admin for the Holiday accomodation owner will be a doddle. Add & change Rooms, the Images, the Description - with auto uploads. The sites are CMS based to give the eTourist site owner complete control over his website content. This way they can also keep their sites up to date and fresh - so very important for web visitors - and of course, the Search Engines.

You're welcome to take a peep at the work to date by clicking here 

For more information or a chat contact us on +44(0)1624 897143 or email info@Redcetera.com

Tiil soon,


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

E-Business Powa site launched

Yesterday we celebrated Tynwald Day - our national day here at the Isle of Man. But one of our very nice clients, Suzanne Cubbon, also had reason to be happy as we went live with her site  www.PresenceOfMann.com 

Presence of Mann is a newly established Manx shop in Laxey with a fabulous selection of wonderful mainly Manx goodies that are just great for presents and gifts or self indulgence.

Let me know what you think of the online shop - I am sure Suzanne would love you're reactions too ...

The online shop was created using Powa software as a base on which we put our stamp with custom design, CMS and JQuery techniques. Having used this engine for the first time we were pleased to discover the facilities it offers. Powa has an inbuilt shopping cart, good promotional options and SEO and CMS techniques. We're definitely we'll be recommending this product to our clients.

We'll be publishing a page on our site www.Redcetera.com with information and prices shortly - Ahh time, if only there was more of it!  If you meanwhile want to check it out go here

Contact us if you are interested in a Powa or any other E-business , a site or blog for your business

Till soon, eva


Thursday, June 24, 2010

several items

Its been a busy month with lots of new exciting jobs and lots of maintenance on client sites and then there was the TT of course which always somewhat interferes with our daily lives - not unwelcome for a change.

Glad to say that TT was good for www.Ballamoarcampsite.com - they received lots of extra visitors thanks to their new online booking system that we set up. The DTI was also impressed and say they want to use it as an example of a successful e-commerce conversion for a business.

Speaking about the DTI - I have recently been approved as a BSS Consultant. This means I can help businesses obtain a governement business grant up to the tune of £4000 for e-commerce web applications. My partner Glynne has been a consultant for a number of years but I hadn't done the paperwork for it - so now you have it.
More info on BSS grants, links and how to obtain them via this page on our site 

We have done a make-over for www.CronullaCrafts.com and wish them much success in their venture

In my next blog I will tell you more about one of our project for Hotel Online Bookings - this is a great new venture that will be beneficial to many local businesses.

We are nearly ready to go live with an e-shop that we are helping the owner of Presence of Mann to prepare. It is going to look fabulous and will be a success. Suzanne puts a lot of hard work into this venture. The e-shop is powered by Powa software for whom we are designers. For more info see www.powa.com 

We also updated www.RalphArt.eu with a gallery and new Home Page and it's looking swell.

Your comments are always welcome - let me know what you think

Till soon, Cioa



Sunday, May 2, 2010

E-Booking Facilities

Recently I blogged on the subject of Online Booking and of course there's a lot to say on this subject.

Online booking systems are the bee's knees of the web and they can make a real difference to the business owner. In a competitive industry they can even be make or break. No matter how good you and your business are, no matter that you have a splendid and informed website - if you have something to sell or for hire - you will be miles better off with e-booking facilities.

Web customers have become an impatient and impulsive breed and if they want something, they often want it now - or never. If your products or services cannot be bought NOW, then the vistor will often choose a different site from yours, buy and move on. You will lose the sale and the customer and that's that.

Online Booking systems used to be expensive but as with most IT things in IT life, these systems have not only become cheaper, they are miles better as the designers understand now also better what you want and what your customers expect - and what you can afford.

We believe in the simplicity of modular systems and have built and programmed systems for the hospitality and shopping industries that can be designed & tailored tailored to match your looks and requirements.

I will soon tell you more but if you own a shop, hotel or holiday property we love to tell you more and show you our demo. It is easy to admininister, great for your visitors and affordable too.

As always, we are happy to hear from you

Ciao for now,


Slide Shows for websites

Slide shows can really enhance a site and add that extra bling and interactivity web visitors often long for in the far too static web world!

They are a great way to show of your products and can enhance your company that just 'normal' images can't do.

Of course, prime candidates are artists and one of those is a hugely prolific painter who constantly wants his web updating with new images. Our time is money but luckily we can offer a method for clients to update their own slide show gallery without having to pay us! I will tell you more about this another time but check out his site meanwhile - we love his work, have bought some of his paintings - maybe you do too!

Let me know what you think of his work with the slide show or contact him direct via ralph's site http://www.Ralphart.eu

Contact me if  your are interested in a slideshow for your web?
Ciao, Eva



Ballamoar Campsite

Wow, this blog has been neglected - it's been so busy and suddenly it is May today already!

One of our projects was a website for Ballamoar Campsite. Richard had made a field on his farm available for TT in jubilee year 2007 and has been welcoming visitors since. He spent monies on electrics, toilets and showers but without advertsing & being where it is, the visitor level proved low after its success.

We suggested a website with e-booking facilities and this proved an immediate success. Well done Richard for taking this brave step with us. Ballamoar Campsite is the first in the island to take the Online Booking route and it sure has been the right decision already.

Check it out http://www.BallamoarCampsite.com 

Hope you like it, but your comments are welcome either on this blog or contact. Maybe online booking is for you too the answer - I will write more about his in the near blog. Meanwhile you can contact me via our site: http://www.Redcetera.com.

Ciao, Eva