Category: Tech

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Google Webmaster Tools

So you used to use Google’s Webmaster Tools and haven’t checked your site for a while only to find out that it doesn’t exist anymore and it’s been replaced by the Google Search Console (and your details haven’t been moved across automatically – thanks for that google! another blinder!).

Google Search Console

Setup

Site Verification

First thing you’re gonna need to do is add your site. This is pretty straightforward and if you’re logged in using the same email address as your google analytics a/c and you’re using the most recent google analytics code on your site this is pretty straightforward and you’ll just be verified in no time!

However when you see item one of google’s introduction instructions you’ll see you have to add both instances of your site with and without www, which might seem like a problem if like me you have your host automatically redirect http://yoursite.co.uk to http://www.yoursite.co.uk but all you’ll need to do is select the Domain Name Provider option and create a TXT record in your DNS.

This also means that if you add SSL to your site you’re also going to have to add two more properties https://yousite.co.uk and https://www.yoursite.co.uk

Site Settings

Go to site settings and select your poison, either http://yoursite.co.uk or http://www.yoursite.co.uk (making sure of course that these settings match the one you selected in at your host (if applicable)).

Select Target Country

It’d be really great if selecting your country in WordPress would populate the hreflang for you, but it doesn’t. So I’ve ignored this. If you want to read an analysis see this article on Yoast.

Share Access

Seriously?! There are people in your business who also want to see this?! Lucky you! Invite away!

Submit a sitemap file

No Sitemap? As I use Yoast SEO (which has a sitemap configured*) I was surprised not to see a sitemap, but it’s simple to sort. Just go to the XML Sitemaps section of the Yoast SEO plugin. Click and get your sitemap. It’ll normally be http://www.yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap.xml or http://www.yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap_index.xml (if you have more than one site map (I did).

I recommend running the test feature first which will check that there are no errors in your sitemap. You will however then need to add the sitemap manually again as it refreshes the page and removes it.

* Remember if you’re using Yoast SEO to generate your sitemap you should make sure that you don’t have the Jetpack sitemap feature enabled!

Learn how to work with Search Console

Read away!

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

ico

ICO launches new diagnostic tool

Most small businesses – charities in particular it seems – don’t spend sufficient time thinking about their obligations towards Data Protection. To help combat this the ICO has launched a new Self Assessment Toolkit you can work with online to assess your compliance and determine what you might need to do.

Check it out here.

Source: Charity Digital News

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

Vimeo

Vimeo Roles

I spend my time telling people they need to make sure that they are on each and every social network they may work on, now or in the future, but sometimes I don’t get round to following my own rules (do what I say and not what I do I suppose is the exception proving the rule).

So there’s something really important to know about vimeo, if you don’t have an account (and then later set up one) even if someone credits you to your email (and the email you use to setup your account) then it will not translate across… i.e. you’ll have to rely on the poster of the video to change your credit.

Luckily for me I’m in control of most the videos I’ve been involved in so far, so no loss, but you may not be so lucky (BTW Vimeo this should be really easy to correct and why haven’t you done it already?). So Ree Collins, set up an account asap, so I can still amend your credits.

Oh and if you’re uploading a video then I’ve a few wise words of advice (firstly I’m thinking of you Andy Berriman) always use the credits rather than add them in the text otherwise you lose the web part of the web; (secondly I thinking of you Ian Paine) if you’re contracted to make a video rely on your commissioner to credit you rather than post it yourself.

Proper use of credits will improve the penetration of your films and improve your overall position in google.

Check out the films I’ve been part of by looking at my vimeo profile and one video I helped to get off the starting blocks and am most proud of (18k views!) but am not credited in :-(.

And John Kirkbride I still can’t find you on vimeo. WTF?!

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

Synology DS Power Button

Switch off a Synology DS box from the Power Button

Can you switch off a Synology DS box from the Power Button? I asked myself this morning when I got a text from our building manager to remind me that the electricians would be in at my day job this morning and I couldn’t login via quickconnect.

This is not an easy thing to find out (if you’ve not actually switched off your box physically before) and no-one wants their box to be inadvertently powered down. But it is possible.

Synology DS Power Button
Power button circled in red. Press and hold until you hear the beep.

Fortunately I have a box at home too and can practice. The key is to hold down the blue power button until it makes a loud sharp beep and then it’ll power down gracefully.

Update

And it worked. The fabulous Dawn was able to easily shut down the server. Crisis averted. Re-wiring of our lighting underway.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

Mac Finder Icon

“AFP_VFS afpfs_DoReconnect: connect on failed” causing Finder crash

The Problem

“AFP_VFS afpfs_DoReconnect: connect on failed”: I’ve been plagued by this error for some weeks, which relates to waking my Macbook Air from sleep after being connected to my synology NAS at work. The console is replete with hundreds of these messages as it tries to re-connect to the server that is no longer available and there does not seem to be a routine that allows it detect that the server is no longer available and stop attempting to reconnect. As a result the finder simply ceases to be responsive and if you force quit it, it does not spawn properly again.

How to fix it

After getting frustrated with having to log out and log back in again to regain a responsive finder, I googled and failed to find a solution so I turned to the Activity Monitor where I noticed substantial activity from the “soagent” and found that if I force quit that – don’t worry it’ll respawn unharmed – then I got my finder back. Not the most elegant of solutions but quicky, dirty and more importantly successful. I hope the bug will get corrected in a future release of OS X (at the time of writing I’m using 10.10.3) but in the meantime this works.

Update

Okay that solution didn’t work frequently enough but this new one, thanks to Krysole at superuser.com does indeed work. I generally check which smb mounts are malfunctioning from the console and then go to terminal and use the following command:

sudo umount -f /Volumes/”volume name”

And bye, bye problem!

PPS

This problem has now been fixed by El Capitan… Woot!

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

FileMaker Pro

Remember to Freeze the Window

Read an interesting post by Chad Novotny at the Support Group this morning (read it here), which pointed out something I have never considered, but I suppose had frequently noticed.

It’s changed the way I think about Looping through Records and is a simple, quick and easy way to improve performance whilst using the Loop Script Step in FileMaker.

So as well as remembering to always click the “Exit after Last” option whilst performing the Go To Next Record/Request/Page:

Exit After Last
Always remember to click the Exit After Last Check Box!

You should also remember to insert a Freeze Window step into the script so that the visual element is turned off as your database loops through a couple of thousand or tens of thousands of records.

A simple easy tip that’ll no doubt save you plenty of time!

Oh and if you’re thinking of other performance gains you can get he also recommends:

1. Performing Loops on a Form View

2. Consider using a dedicated Layout if you’re using Script Triggers.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

FileMaker Pro

Navigate Multi-Page PDFs in Container Fields

So if you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I had been searching for and had found the right syntax for adding a QuickTime Movie to a Container Field via a Set Field Script Step, but why was I looking to do this?

Well it’s not because I wanted to store movies in a Container Field, not at all, despite using the “macmovie:/” file path to force the import of my file as a QuickTime Movie, I was in fact importing a .pdf. But why?

Well if you import a .pdf file using this syntax it allows you to view multiple pages of a .pdf rather than just the first page you can see if you import it either as a file or an image.

Now this is really handy if you need to go through some 3,500 invoices to record data from them into a database as you can have the .pdf you’re entering from adjacent to the fields you’re entering data into.

It’s a win-win solution.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

FileMaker Pro

Import Quicktime into Container Fields via a Set Script Step

I had some problems finding the correct syntax for this process, so now I have successfully found it I thought I’d share it:

On a Mac: moviemac:/path_to_your_file

On Windows: moviewin:/path_to_your_file

Oh and why might you want to do this? Because if you use the Insert File, Insert Picture or Insert Quicktime Script steps you have to specify a file path manually rather than doing so via a calculation, which is very inconvenient if you need to import say: 3,500 files as needed to.

If you use the Set Field Script Step and specify the appropriate Container Field, with the new contents being your Calculated File Path Field then you can effectively side step this problem. I only need to do this as a temporary measure so it’ll work just fine for my purposes.

If you’re looking for something more permanent you’d have to think about whether or not it stores the file as reference or actually inserts it, which makes a big difference and the answer to which I don’t know (if you DO know or find out please tell us in the comments).

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

FileMaker Pro

Upgrading FileMaker Pro from a Trial Version

So over the weekend I needed to install FileMaker Pro 11 to a customer’s new computer, unfortunately they had misplaced the CD, but total disaster was averted as they had emailed me the serial number when I had first installed FileMaker for them on the old computer.

So my main problem was how to locate a copy of the software so I could install it. I thought this would be relatively simple as I had a .cdr copy of the installation disk stored on one of my hard drives. So I dropboxed it and gave it a couple of hours before I returned.

On my return I discovered how difficult it is to get Windows 7 to deal with certain file types. So .cdr was out, .iso was is. I used one of my customer’s Macs to run the conversion and dropboxed it back to the new PC. Ah, but Windows 7 can’t automatically mount an .iso.

So off to google, found a great little program called PowerISO which will allow you to mount a .iso and more importantly, will do it for free. (Mind you’ll have to note that it created CD Drive mapped to D: which caused us quite a bit of confusion later on…)

So once I had my .iso of FileMaker created and mounted, I discovered to my irritation that I could only find the .mkpg and no .exe. Oh where oh where was the .exe? Despite searching high and low I couldn’t for the life of me find it.

So it was back to the drawing board. And then it occurred to me why not just install the trial version and upgrade it? So off it was to filemakertrial.com to download the Windows trial version. Ten minutes later I had the copy in the downloads folder and ran the installer.

But where to upgrade the trial to full version? Oh wait there is no simple way to do it? Really FileMaker? You couldn’t make it a little easier than buying the full version, downloading it,  uninstalling the trial and re-installing the full copy?

I was sure that there must be an easier way. Especially as I already had a licence but simply no available copy of the Windows version of FileMaker. And I was right. Although FileMaker definitely did not make it easy to find.

So here are the instructions you’ll need: “Converting FileMaker Pro Trial” but remember that you’ll have to uninstall the trial version first and if you need to install more than one copy you’ll have to change the serial number each time before running the setup.exe

Other than that the only thing I think worth pointing out is that I could have downloaded and installed a cracked version of the software in a fraction of the time it took me to figure this out and that is largely due to the truly atrocious FileMaker site search.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

FileMaker Pro

Record Count in Portal Fields

I used to use this very simple calculation to display a record count in all my solutions:

c_Record_Status

“Record ” & Get(RecordNumber) & ” of ” & Get(FoundCount) & ” ( ” &  Get(TotalRecordCount) & ” total )”

and though it still works in my main layouts in FileMaker 11 it seems to have stopped working in portals, so I had to come up with a new solution and thanks to a post by Daniele Raybaudi over at FileMaker Forums I found a much easier solution:

c_Found_Count_Portal

Get(FoundCount)

which I then compliment on the layout by using the layout shortcut for Get Record Number Symbol or Get Portal Number Symbol: @@. So it is rendered on the page as:

@@  of <<JOIN_Addresses_Companies::c_Found_Count_Portal>>

Which is in itself a much more elegant solution. Oh and remember to set the calculated field to un-stored.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk