Your Website Needs More Than a Web Design Agency

In starting up a business, one of the first things you consider on putting up is your company website. Websites are useful in advertising your company profile, products and contact information. They can reach not only your neighbors but other countries as well. And in putting up a website, you might consider hiring a web design agency, but is it the only thing you need? You must define your website’s needs first.

Your company website needs a descriptive domain name.

Your website’s domain name is your website’s address, commonly known as the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Many people think that their company’s name is enough to be registered as their website’s domain name. A recent study shows that Google algorithm updates, including cuddly animals like Panda and Penguin, consider domain names as one of the major factors in keyword searching. The algorithm was designed like this: if a person is serious in his company’s website and its contents, he should have left a keyword on the URL at least. This means that if my company’s name is Affordable Furniture, my website’s domain name should be like www.affordable-furniture.com, not just www.affordable.com. In addition, it will be helpful if the webpage for my products has an address like www.affordable-furniture.com/products.html rather than www.affordable-furniture.com/gallery.html. This is part of on-page search engine optimization (on-page SEO) which I’ll discuss later.

Most web hosts offer domain name registration along with their web hosting services. There’ll be more about web hosting services later.

Your company website needs clean and appropriate web design.

One of the basic things your company needs is clean and appropriate website design. There are many web design agencies out there that do web design without even considering their client’s products and services. Yes, quite surprising but true. Consider my friend Tom who owns a pet shop right across our street. He has a website for his pet shop which he paid for $500. He asked me if I could do a re-design because he thinks his website didn’t fit well for a pet shop. When I saw the website, I immediately thought I was looking at a safari travel agency rather than a pet shop’s site. I did a re-design based on what he wanted and added some other stuff the website needed, and voila, I got one satisfied customer. And I only charged him half the price (well, he’s a friend).

Web design encompasses both professional webpage graphic design and clean coding. As the owner, you should make sure that the web designer or agency you’ll be hiring is knowledgeable of the latest developments on the web. View their portfolio first to see if they can really make their clients happy.

Your company website needs fast and reliable web hosting.

Web hosting is the service of providing web storage to websites. It’s like storing your website in your computer’s hard disk, the only difference is that a web host’s hard disk is available online. In choosing a web host, you must consider not just the space capacity but the bandwidth and uptime as well. A good web host provides 99.8 – 99.9% uptime guarantee, does routinary back-ups of your files and makes the data secure through anti-virus protections and firewalls.

Your company website needs content management system.

As the website owner, you should ask the web designer or web developer to give you the ability to edit the contents of your website in case the need arises. Editing can be done through what we call content management system (CMS). It’s not wrong to ask for CMS, in fact, your web designer or developer should provide you with CMS even without you asking for it. Unfortunately, many website owners fail to ask for CMS and suffer from modification fees. Be reminded that you are the company owner and that you should be able to modify contents on your website. Remember, it is YOUR website.

Your company website needs search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of tuning up a website for it to appear on search engine results. As the website owner, you desire high-ranking results on search engines. Unfortunately, only websites with good foundation in SEO can reach the top. SEO involves two things: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is the actual modification and improvement of website content in order to emphasize proper keywords. On-page factors include, but not limited to, wrapping keywords on appropriate tags, setting keyword as alternate texts on images and assigning keywords on URL (as sighted on a previous example). Off-page SEO, on the other hand, mainly focuses on link-building. The search engine algorithm is designed in a way that if your website content is interesting and worth to be indexed by search engines, there must be other websites that are linking to yours in a “do-follow” way. The higher a website’s reputation is, the more search engines index its content and the higher Google sets its PageRank. Inbound links coming from these quality websites are important in link-building and off-page SEO.

Website owners should be aware of Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is the process of getting high rankings on search engines in an unethical manner. This can be through keyword stuffing, white texts, setting up of doorway pages, comment spams and other methods that are deemed to be trickery. These methods can only be effective for a short-term period. Once Google detects that you are using unethical methods, your website can be banned for a long time and may lose credibility and reputation. After the recent Penguin update, many websites who had high rankings previously got low ranks, and some were even perpetually banned by Google. The wise Penguin just found out that these websites were using black hat SEO. To prevent the use of Black Hat SEO, don’t be afraid to ask your SEO consultant regarding his methodologies.

As you can see, your website needs a lot of things — not only design. The next time you’ll be hiring a web designer, keep in mind this list.

MoS2 Low Friction Coatings – Not Just For The Aviation Industry Anymore

MoS2 low friction coatings (also known as molybdenum disulfide, also spelled, disulphide) are regarded the most widely used form of solid film lubrication today. What makes them unique (with the other dichalcogenides) is the weak atomic interaction (Van der Waals) of the sulfide anions, while covalent bonds within molybdenum are strong.Thus, lubrication relies on slippage along the sulfur atoms. All the properties of the lamella structure are intrinsic. No external form of moisture is required. In fact, best performance from MoS2 low friction coatings is attained in the absence of water vapor, which are prone to surface adsorption. This makes them ideal under vacuum.There are a number of methods to apply MoS2 low friction coatings, including a simple rubbing or burnishing, air-spraying resin-bonded or inorganically bonded coatings, and more recently by sputtering through physical vapor deposition (PVD).Thickness will vary, depending on form of MoS2 low friction coatings, but typically ranges between 5 to 15 micrometer. Sputtering techniques can produce thin films of 0.2 micrometer. While plasma sprays will result in higher builds, beginning at 0.003 inch or more.Friction coefficient less than 0.05 is attainable, but will also vary with humidity and sliding conditions. Tests show friction decreases with increasing vacuum strength. Friction also lowers with higher load, faster surface speed, or both. In fact, MoS2 low friction coatings are superior to both graphite and tungsten disulfide (WS2). Friction with MoS2 low friction coatings is independent of particle size, though the larger particles can carry more load.Dry lubrication for MoS2 low friction coatings remains superior at higher temperatures, with oxidation rates remaining relatively low at temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. And in dry, oxygen-free atmospheres, lubricating performance, even with oxidation products, is stable to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.Higher air flow can affect oxidation kinetic rates in atmosphere. Molybdenum oxide products (MoO3) and sulfur dioxide. Since MoO3 alone offers dry lubrication, based on its relative softness, molybdenum disulfide coating are ideal in higher temperature environments. At higher temperatures, though, they are better suited under vacuum. In atmosphere, they are prone to water adsorption from air based on their hygroscopic properties.As with the other dry film lubricants, while differences may prove negligible, you will have to determine which is better for you: longer wear life or better performance, using MoS2 low friction coatings. Generally, friction will be slightly higher by coating both surfaces, rather than coating one surface only. But wear life will increase coating both surfaces.Friction can be good in so many areas of life. Without it we could not easily stop and start our motion, or change direction. But in moving machinery, friction causes considerable loss of energy, poorer performance, not to mention limiting wear life.As with many non-lubricated systems, the static coefficient of friction is higher than the dynamic coefficient of friction. The resultant motion is often referred to as ‘stick-slip’. Basically, the two surfaces stick together until the elastic energy within the system has accumulated to some threshold, where a sudden, forward slip takes place. Under magnification, it’s apparent the union of two surfaces is often limited to intimate contact only at the tips of a few of the asperities (small scale, surface irregularities). At these point areas, pressures relating to contact may be near the hardness of the softer material. Thus, plastic deformation occurs on some localized scale. This is known as cold welding. Where bonded junctions are formed between two materials.For lubrication to occur, these bonds, this adhesive component of friction, must be broken. And this is where products like MoS2 low friction coatings serve well.So, where are these products used today? Consider aerospace, automotive, marine and electronic, for starters. There, you’ll find MoS2 low friction coatings, again and again.

Ontario’s Wine Industry – Harvesting the Benefits of SR&ED

How wonderful it is to proudly browse the wide selection of Ontario’s wines at your local LCBO. Knowing that your own winery is both a driving force in the Canadian economy and an innovator of the local wine industry can certainly be rewarding, both personally and professionally.From challenges to opportunitiesQuite often the goal of a grape grower to produce a consistent, high-quality brand of wine is met with many unexpected challenges. With the erratic situation of the Canadian economy following the recession, wine makers of Ontario struggle to produce at the risk of manufacturing downsizing. In addition to economic factors, the wine industry of Ontario is faced with a higher stringency under Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) regulations, and the push from Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) to raise industry standards by participating in programs like Sustainable Winemaking Ontario.For the individual winery of Ontario, keeping up with competition means continuously utilizing new technologies and finding innovative ways to provide a premium product, despite such challenges. Simply put, this boils down to having the necessary financial opportunities become available to maintain a healthy competition. Are these opportunities available to the wine industry of Ontario? Yes – SR&ED is the answer!The SR&ED programThe SR&ED program (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) aims to reimburse companies for their experimental development expenses. For over 20 years and with about $4 billion a year in funding, it remains the largest single source of federal funding for R&D in Canada. The goal is to make creativity and innovation affordable in the Canadian business environment and foster future development.The program is highly relevant to businesses who are naturally involved in shop-floor
experimentation. R&D projects that qualify under the program include (1) work undertaken for the purpose of achieving technological advancement and/or (2) creating new, or improving existing materials, devices, products or processes. The actual refund amount depends on proper identification and qualification of eligible expenditures.Wineries in Ontario serve as ideal candidates for such funding. Typical SR&ED eligible activities that apply to the wine industry include:Developing new wines
Altering soil chemistry
Handling and harvesting technology
Improved bottling techniques
Altering practice as result of the weather
Many more…
Wineries and growers may be regularly overcoming such obstacles in daily operation. Your innovative solutions to these problems may very well qualify you for some SR&ED funding. The program supports any attempts to improve your business operations, even if they do not prove successful.Which costs qualify?Working on new ideas takes time, wastes material and requires equipment modification. The SR&ED program allows retrieving these expenses:68% of wages and salaries of personnel directly involved in R&D
41% of sub-contractor expenses
22% of capital expenditures
The refund has no strings attached – as a winery owner you are free to spend it anyway you like – buy new equipment, attempt new projects, or give everyone a big bonus – the decision is yours!How we can help?Submitting a SR&ED claim is a fairly complex and time consuming process. It involves properly identifying eligible activities within your business, associating the appropriate costs to these projects and completing a highly technical report to support the claim.Using the extensive experience of a professional consultancy like ourselves, business owners have the opportunity to review their potential for qualification, and complete the application process in a few hours, and with no up-front costs. We get paid when you do!Discovering that your business is eligible for SR&ED funding makes a world of difference. The goal is to help your winery take potential technical risks that will eventually lead to significant improvements in your industry.