Are Cloud Services For You?

Can You Benefit From Cloud Storage?

Not many people are aware that what we call today cloud storage roots as far back as 2005. Mechanical Turk in 2005, Google Apps in 2006 and GitHub in 2008 were the forerunners of the cloud computing.
Cloud storage is surely gaining its popularity but at the same time, rightly or not, raises many concerns relating to its security as well as general data privacy, accessibility and copyright issues.
In a few simple words, cloud storage is an internet storage that doesn’t require from the user to store data locally but lets him access it remotely from different devices or even places. It could mean any data storage accessible over the internet such as email services (like Gmail), file storage services (like Dropbox), photo galleries (like Flickr) and so on.

Cloud Services Usage

The popularity of cloud services is on the rise

A poll conducted by a large provider of a cost management tools for cloud services looked at their data from 3200 clients, based in 80 countries. Their conclusion was that 86% of companies use more than one cloud-based service, usually ‘hosting and computing services’, followed closely by ‘storage needs’ (Cloud H Q).

Cloud storage has been gaining popularity for a while now, but at the same time, it has also raised many concerns relating to its security and general data privacy, accessibility and copyright issues.

But what makes cloud storage services so increasingly popular? Let’s have a look.

1. Advantages

There are many reasons why companies and individuals choose cloud services. The most popular reasons are for the backup capabilities, ease of use, high accessibility, especially for collaboration purposes and the possibility of sharing large files.

If you regularly share files (documents, images) or if a lot of people at your company work on the same data, then cloud services can save you a lot of hassle and time. This type of storage sorts the problem of overriding the latest changes made by other users and provides a much more user-friendly way to send documents to others.

In the case of natural disasters, fires, etc. cloud storage seems like an appropriate insurance for all the data that may get damaged. On top of that, it cuts the cost of hardware and excessive storage usage because it is very adaptable in its nature, taking less space than computers or large file cabinets. It can also sync multiple devices/users and is very often more secure than local storage options. Plus, a lot of the time you would only ever pay for the storage space that is the most appropriate for you, and if you need more, you can easily upgrade.

So far so good, but are there any downfalls?

2. Safety Concerns

Some may say that cloud storage systems are not very secure. You can find some examples of vulnerable systems, such as Apple iCloud being hacked. The reality is that even though it is not perfect, cloud storage is one of the safest storage options available today. It uses sophisticated encryption methods to secure data, which in the majority of cases is guarded better than on your local computer.

If we look closer, it turns out that iCloud servers weren’t technically hacked, but accessed via weak ends of their password system. In other words, the passwords and security questions were guessed. Naturally, incidents like that can be easily prevented with some care taken by the owners of their accounts. It’s always wise not to use the same password for everything, and to use additional signs and numbers. You could even use a password generator if you are struggling with ideas.

Security Passwords

Be responsible for your own security and choose passwords and security questions carefully

Apparently, lost data is a bigger concern than security. Some preventive measures can deal with that issue. You need a reliable provider, so do your research first (check online forums, etc.) and remember that since the service is remote, you are not limited to your local companies. Using cloud storage with a third party system as a sharing platform, or backup if you like, is also a good idea because it helps to eliminate data losses.

Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with copyright and privacy laws in the place where your provider operates, as they may be different to what you expect or are familiar with.

Privacy and copyright can be an issue in some cases, particularly with free services. Is your data only stored, or is it used for advertising and marketing purposes? Check it beforehand.
A very controversial issue is whether data stored on cloud servers should be accessible to government bodies. If you are bothered by it, check which companies grant access and on which terms as some of them are more protective towards the customers data than others. There is a website called ‘Who Has Your Back’ where you can find information about how different companies help to protect your data. However, this is an American website, and we use it here as the reference to the general attitudes of the companies towards the requests, not the detailed information about the laws here in the UK (more on that here and here ) . You may find that some cloud software is created in a way that only allows for encryption keys to be generated by the users so that the data can not be physically accessed by providers even if they wanted to or were forced to do so.

3. Conclusion

More and more companies are finding that the benefits of using cloud storage, or other cloud services, outweigh the risks. It doesn’t look like this trend is going to change. The technology is developing, everything is becoming more secure, less data is being lost and a lot of day to day tasks are being made cheaper and easier. There are always opponents to everything but hopefully, after reading our post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether cloud storage is the right option for you and your business.

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How To Choose The Best Web Hosting For Your Website

So you’re thinking of having a new website designed for you, but you’re unsure about the different types of website hosting available and which is right for you?

What Is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is the space located on a server where your website files are stored. When you visit a web page on your device, it will connect to the server that holds the website files and then retrieve the required files to display the page you’re visiting. You cannot run a website without hosting, and there are many different options and hosting packages available, so let us find out together how to choose the best one for you.

Free Hosting Packages

You have probably already noticed that there are many free web hosting packages available. Although they are very tempting, you need be aware of their limitations.

In the World of Web, something that is advertised as “Free” is often used to entice visitors into using their services, but can come with unwanted extras. You may find that free Hosting Providers place distracting adverts on your website to help fund the running costs of their servers. Although they would usually provide a free domain with your free hosting, such as “”, this usually is very long and contains the provider’s name within it, not working alongside your branding.

Free hosting providers usually offer only a very limited and basic hosting service (unless you opt-in for their paid hosting) that would most likely not be applicable for running your modern website. This often results in certain websites not working as expected and very heavy load speed times, of which because you are not paying for their services, their customer service team would not provide the help you require.


Paid Hosting Packages

There are many paid hosting companies that provide hosting for websites, but how do you know which one is right for you? That naturally depends on the type of website and its size, as well as expected traffic volumes. If you expect a lot of traffic onto your website, it is highly advised to invest more money into your web hosting so it can deal with larger traffic volumes. You may also require particular software for your website, as the popular website platform WordPress requires certain server settings to run effectively.

Another important factor to consider is hosting uptime. You need reliable hosting to run a successful business. You do not want unhappy visitors that are not being able to view your website because your hosting is down. Check online and do some research to avoid hosting companies with a bad reputation.

It is common to start on a shared hosting with a small package. In most of the cases, this will be suitable for a lifetime of the project. But if your plan is to grow large, make sure you will have the option to upgrade if needed.

Some things appear to be obvious, but it’s better to know what you are paying for exactly as there are so many vague terms, which can turn against you and result in additional costs or even your website being disconnected. Also, be wary of additional costs and services your hosting company may offer you, as you may find that you do not require everything that the hosting provider offers.

Other Things To Consider

In this article, we mentioned the main factors when choosing the most appropriate hosting provider. However there are other considerations that are equally as important, but may not apply to every case.

You might want to double check with your hosting provider about their server security, email accounts, backup options and how easy their control panel is to operate. If you would like to include emails with your hosting, such as [email protected], then it is highly advised to check if this is included and if there are any additional costs involved (as well as how many email accounts you can create). It may also be worth knowing that usually renewal prices are higher than the original deal, so get familiar with these at the start.


Just remember, if you see a hosting package that is cheaper than others, your website may not actually be compatible with that hosting, but at the same time, a highly priced hosting package might be suitable for running your website but may offer additional extras that you do not require.

Overall, some hosting packages will suit you more than others, but set your priorities and hopefully, after reading our article you will be a little more clued up and be able make your correct hosting decision.

If you would require further information and help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by sending us a message via our online contact form.

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The Apprentice

Why Is It Worth Considering An Apprentice?

Apprenticeships are a good way to support young people and their training, but also a good way to support businesses.

With apprenticeships available in over 170 industries and an estimated 25,000 apprenticeship vacancies available online, there’s plenty to choose from even for young people who don’t necessarily know exactly what they want to do for a career. Discovering it during an apprenticeship is a great way of doing so as nothing will give you a better insight of an industry, than working within it.


Our Experience

Jonathan, who’s now one of the web designers and developers at our company, started his career at CT Creative as an apprentice:

‘Having experienced being an apprentice at CT Creative, I can say that it is a very remarkable and enjoyable experience that provides a very engaging process for those wishing to work in a specific industry. A great deal of my time was dedicated to working within the organisation and dealing with day-to-day tasks of becoming a web designer. This gave me very valuable “on the job” experiences which helped greatly towards completing my apprenticeship. Throughout the process, I would also spend part of my time completing coursework and revision exercises. This all worked towards completing my level 3 apprenticeship and help me gain relevant qualifications. I have now been a full time web designer at CT Creative for just over a year, and have found the experience of being an apprentice very rewarding and would highly recommend this to others.’


From The Business Perspective

The government is constantly investing in the scheme and developing it and in April 2016 the National Insurance contribution for apprentices under 25 will be dropped so the employer doesn’t have to pay it. There are also grants available to help small business owners to start an apprenticeship for people between 16 and 24 years old.

It is said that 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer so to us there’s a clear connection between apprenticeships helping to reduce the rate of young people’s unemployment. Without taking part in an apprenticeship these young people may not be able to get their first job having not had relevant experience, they may not even get the chance to get an interview.

On the other hand it is a great way for the employers to get to know the person whom otherwise they may not have considered. That in return decreases the time and cost of the recruitment process.

Here’s what our director Paul has got to say about his experience of taking on an apprentice:

‘I wouldn’t hesitate recommending any business to seriously consider recruiting an apprentice. Our experiences to date have only been positive. It has provided an effective move forward when hiring individuals who can be nurtured and trained to meet our specific company requirements whilst creating a positive impact in our business. Our first apprentice Jonathan quickly became an invaluable member of staff and today is a highly respected member of the team. We treated the concept of apprenticeship as a long term partnership commitment and together we’ve both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The process isn’t complicated as the agency made it very easy and we’re extremely pleased with the outcome. Apprenticeships are now an integral part of our recruitment strategy, a worthwhile investment and definitely worth considering at every level.’


Apprenticeships were a very common way to train for the jobs in the past and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be nowadays. In 1914 young people were training on the apprenticeships to become dressmakers, engineers, carpenters, drapers or milliners while in 2014 health and social care, business administration, management, customer service and children’s care seem to be the popular choices.

There are a lot of online resources available and agencies dealing with apprenticeships and the educational side of it so if you are considering taking on an apprentice or starting the scheme yourself, get in touch with one of them and they will advise you on how to start.

We’ve dealt with TDM Wyre Academy and are really happy to recommend it for our industry.


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Useful Tools

Hurry! Are You Missing Out On These Useful Business Tools?

Everyone likes a freebie! It’s even better when it’s also a useful online tool for your businesses. Here we present you with the list of the ones we thought were worth knowing about. We hope they’ll make your life easier.


Do you know how your website is performing? If you want to know whether it could improve, and if yes, then which areas, use our free online health check tool. It was created with the help of Google (yes that Google) so you’ll find it filled with things that help improve your Google search engine rankings.

Digital Health Check

Digital Health Check allows you to see how your website is really performing


Are your headlines as good as they could be? Here’s the tool that will analyse it for you and give you some tips on improving the number of clicks and openings of your email campaigns, articles etc by improving their headlines.

Headline Analyzer

See if better headlines could get you more conversions

3. 0 to 255

If you’re currently rebranding your company or working on new branding and need some help with colours this is a great simple tool. It will show you the best variations of your chosen colour, allowing you to concentrate on other parts of your rebranding.

0 to 255

Usefullcolour tool


And here’s the quiz that will help you to choose your brand’s colours if you are just starting your branding journey. And if not, it will at least entertain you.

Colour Quiz

Fun colour quiz that may or may not help you discover your brand colours


Everyone’s heard about hashtags but if you’re using Twitter for your business it may not always be so easy to find a good hashtag that will be relevant to your audience. This clever little website can help you with that. Simply put your main phrase into the search box and it will tell you about the most popular hashtags relating to it.


Finding the right hashtag was never easier


If you are social media savvy you have probably heard about Hootsuite, an online publishing tool for social media that helps you by keeping all your social media activity in one place. You can see what’s going on in all of your social profiles, reply to your posts and share them. You can even schedule your posts to be published later in the week. To make sharing even easier you can download a browser extension called ‘Hootlet’, which will allow you share things as you browse them.


Share to your Social Media as you browse


A great tool to keep your stuff organised- Dropbox. Make use of cloud storage and access all your files from any device whenever you need it, whether in a meeting with a client or when sharing something with your colleagues.


Access your files from al your devices


Google Apps is a great set of tools for businesses and individuals that will help you organise your professional life. Personalised email names, cloud storage, shared calendars and video hangouts are just the beginning of numerous Apps that Google offers to us for free. Check it out.

Google Apps

A whole basket of useful business apps


Google Analytics. This is another great tool from Google. You can use it to monitor your website traffic, find out what works for your business and learn about your audiences. There’s a steep learning curve at the beginning but there are a lot of articles and support on the variety of forums that will make it easier.

Google Analytics

Analyse the traffic coming to your website and learn about your audience


Boomerang and Rapportive – Gmail plugins. They help you stay on top of your game and organise your emails. Boomerang will help you set up reminders directly in Gmail so that you can reply to people when you need to and Rapportive will link social profiles to your contacts so that you can always remember who are you writing to.


Schedule emails to be sent later or set up reminders


This is what you need to organise yourself instead of your notepad that you always forget. You can download the app and install it on different devices to access your notes on them. Create lists, notes, write down ideas, plans or inspirations. The possibilities are endless.


Digital sticky note system available on all your devices


Another great organising tool where you can create boards, to do lists etc and share it with people. It is a great way to organise and plan your workflow, and create tasks for your team members (or get them from your boss!).


Organise your workflow easily


If you’re tired of constantly requesting your password to be changed because you keep forgetting all the different passwords from all the apps that you use, then this definitely is the tool for you. It creates and encrypts passwords that can only be used on devices you’ve approved.


Password manager

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