Category Archives: News

Strong Customer Authentication – PSD2 2020 Update

Category: News

Lat year, we wrote a blog post covering the new requirements for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). This post can be found here.

Initially, the deadline for compliance was September 2019 but given the difficulties this caused, many central banks had agreed to an extension to allow providers extra time. The updated deadline in Europe is now December 31st 2020.

What is SCA?

Strong Customer Authentication is a system to increase security standards for online payments and reduce fraud. If you’ve ever made an online payment, you may have had to verify this payment via a verification code or other method. SCA2 is an enhanced version which also covers subscription payments. The central bank in Ireland issued their guidance for these payments here – https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/psd2-overview

What do I need to do?

As a website owner, you will need to ensure that the payment systems in place on your site are fully up to date.

If you own a WordPress site and take payments, you’ll most likely use Stripe or Paypal for accepting payments. The responsibility to make sure the systems are up to date lies with these payment providers. Generally, they will release an update for the payment plugin in use on the website and if you are a maintenance customer of ours, we will ensure these updates are applied during maintenance time. This is as much control that we, as a website service provider have in this case.

Woocommerce have released some guidance on this topic also – https://woocommerce.com/posts/introducing-strong-customer-authentication-sca/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you. We also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Ensure Cookies are Compliant – Deadline Passed

Category: News

The date for the grace period has now passed. From October 5th, the Data Protection Commission can issue fines for non compliant use of cookie technology on websites. Following on from our previous blog post on this topic, we explained the ins and outs of the compliance measures required. You can view that post here – https://2cubed.ie/2020/09/cookie-compliance-gdpr/

2Cubed have been working with a trusted partner called OneTrust to help customers ensure compliance is met. The cookie compliance tool on offer is a ready made solution to ensure compliance.

If you’d like to have your website audited for cookie compliance, we can do this for you. Some considerations to keep in mind to ensure compliance is met.

  1. Review cookies currently in use on the website
  2. Whether or not you are offering users the option to manage their cookie preferences without ambiguity
  3. If a user chooses to reject cookie usage, are cookies then blocked for that user?

Get in touch now to discuss your options and to get you on the path to compliance today! You can call us at 051-440425 and ask for Stephen or follow the link below:

Contact 2Cubed Web Design

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***Please Note***

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice or guidance. It is simply to inform you of the upcoming deadline and what you may do to help to achieve compliance on your website. Each and every website is different and therefore requires analysis individually. You should seek legal advice for all matters concerning GDPR or cookie compliance in your area of jurisdiction.

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Cookie Compliance – GDPR

We’ve heard so much over the past few years about GDPR and protection of personal data. In May 2018, the European GDPR regulation came into force and caused many businesses to re-evaluate how they process and store customer information.

Cookie Compliance

More recently in Ireland, the Data Protection Commission have undertaken audits of a number of websites in varying industries to gain an understanding of compliance. For the most part, a high number of websites are not compliant. The full guidance can be found here – https://dataprotection.ie/en/guidance-landing/cookies.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small files stored on your browser when visiting a website. They essentially track your movements throughout the website to improve browsing experience by storing specific information each time you visit a site. They can also be used for may other purposes such as;

  • Necessary for the function of a website
  • To track data for Analytics tools (Allowing webmasters to track traffic and behaviours on the website)
  • Used for Advertising in order to tailor relevant ads to a user

Earlier this year, the European Data Protection Board issued guidance regarding the use of such cookies. The main finding from this report, which you can view here – https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/edpb/ was to allow users more freedom over the use of cookies. This means that a user must clearly give unambiguous consent when they land on a website. Implied consent is no longer a valid method.

Solutions

From the 5th October 2020, the DPC will be carrying out further audits and may even issue fines where compliance is not met. 2Cubed can help you to ensure you are compliant. We have been working with a company called OneTrust to help with this. You can read more here – https://www.onetrust.com/products/cookie-compliance/. Don’t delay now, protect your website. Please contact us for more information or to get started – https://2cubed.ie/contact/.

***Please Note***

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice or guidance. It is simply to inform you of the upcoming deadline and what you may do to help to achieve compliance on your website. Each and every website is different and therefore requires analysis individually. You should seek legal advice for all matters concerning GDPR or cookie compliance in your area of jurisdiction.

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Making the Most of Online – eCommerce

Category: News

Since the lockdown in March, many companies have had to re-evaluate how they do business. As a huge percentage of business shifted online overnight, action was required to keep many businesses afloat. At the time, we wrote about some measures our customers had taken to ensure business kept flowing – https://2cubed.ie/2020/04/covid-19-taking-advantage-of-your-website/.

The initial rush to get online hasn’t eased up and Enterprise Ireland are offering businesses funding options to help with this such as the Online Retail Scheme and the Trading Online Voucher.

The funding available from these grants is a fantastic incentive for companies to bring their eCommerce into the 21st century. The Times recently wrote an article outlining this and featured one of our clients Thunders Bakery. Thunders Bakery have used the time during lockdown to focus on enhancing the eCommerce side of the business and have secured funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail Scheme to assist. This will allow them to facilitate an easier and more efficient transactional process for end-users.

You can find your local Enterprise Office by clicking here – https://www.localenterprise.ie/

Why 2Cubed?

2Cubed have designed websites for many businesses across Ireland. Our innovative front end designs are always created with the end user in mind.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with enhancing your eCommerce website to its maximum potential. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Innovative Front End Design – UX Design

Category: News

What is UX Design?

This can have many explanations. Simply put, UX (User Experience) Design is the focus placed with the end user at the forefront of the mind when developing a software product. Thinking about how a user will interact with the product and basing thoughts around this is fundamentally how it’s described in Layman’s terms. UX Design is not simply just about visual design but about the overall interaction and experience. Some points to consider below:

Usability & Accessibility

Focusing on how an end user will interact with your product has been proven to be extremely beneficial and has seen the rapid progression of UX over the past few years. When it comes to web development, this can lead to vast improvements with bounce rates and conversions ultimately driving more revenue through your website. Accessibility is also a very important area to take in mind when designing a website. Search Engines are making it easier for users with challenges to access and use the web as best as they can.

Site Architecture

The architecture of a website in this case is of utmost importance when the design journey begins. The entire flow and processes involved in making a product or a website flow eases the burden on the user and means you are more likely to convert your traffic.

Customer Loyalty & Retention

A well planned and implemented UX can have a number of benefits. UX Design focuses on an enjoyment for a person interacting with the service and thus can result in customer loyalty, familiarity, retention and positive experience. All of these points should be considered as hugely beneficial when focusing on how a user interacts with your software.

When it comes to web design, keeping things simple and practical will have a great benefit to your overall approach and strategy and should absolutely be considered.

Why 2Cubed?

2Cubed have designed websites for many businesses across Wexford and Ireland. Our innovative front end designs are always created with the end user in mind.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with implementing a positive User Experience during design & development within your website, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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7 Reasons Why You Should Hire 2Cubed

When choosing a website provider, there are many things to consider. For many people this will take them outside of their comfort zone and can be an entirely new experience and choosing a provider you can trust is essential to help ensure your web design project goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Trust

When you choose 2Cubed, you can be confident that you can place your trust in us to help you along the way. We are here to offer guidance and assistance for any questions you may have along the way from project conception to completion. We are focused on helping you achieve your goals and vision.

2. Expertise

With many years of experience in the broad field of website design & development, we are perfectly placed to tailor and execute even the most complex of projects. We have many years experience dealing with web design & development in many industries, API Development, connecting complex systems and interfaces and much more. You can view our broad range of services here – 2Cubed Web Design Services. Our graphic design process allows you to tailor your approach and we are here to help along the way step by step. Your design will only reach programming once you are fully satisfied!

3. Transparency

When you sign up to commence a partnership with 2Cubed, we remain fully committed to be open and transparent along each phase of the project. When we create your project plan, we will ensure that the steps listed within your plan are fully transparent for both parties. This helps to keep the working relationship open and clear. If we feel like your expectations are unrealistic then we will challenge the reasoning behind this and come up with a solution as to not impede or restrict you moving forward.

4. Due Diligence, Process & Care

We aim to exercise caution and care when you approach us for a working partnership. Before commencing, it’s important that both parties are on the same page in terms of the scope of the project. Open and honest communication is at the forefront of our principles. Our carefully planned process is built on years of experience and serves as a valuable tool – https://2cubed.ie/our-process/. This is a core part of our business and one that helps you to fully understand the steps along the way in a simplified manner.

5. Fully Managed Service

At 2Cubed, we offer a wide range of services ensuring that you don’t need to worry about items such as:

  • Hosting
  • Backups
  • Security
  • Domain Management
  • Updates, ongoing maintenance and much more

By taking care of this, we make sure to take the stress and hassle of doing so away from you, allowing you to focus on your own business!

6. Training

When your new website is ready to go-live, we offer an option to have training on using the CMS; adding products, pages, posts and much more. This gives you the flexibility to allow your team members to keep the website up to date with the latest information. Whether it’s adding / editing product data or amending content on page to writing a blog, we will guide you through each and ensure you are comfortable using the new site.

7. Aftercare and Support

When your website is pushed live to the world, you can rest assured that you won’t be left in the lurch. We aim to support you fully in the weeks after the launch and moving forward beyond this. We provide Website Maintenance for hundreds of websites across Ireland and we offer a fully managed support system for each of these. This gives you the comfort that you can reach out with any questions or issues after go-live and will be fully supported.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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10 Pieces of Advice for Getting Better Search Results

We’d all love for our websites to rank as efficiently as possible with minimal effort; but unfortunately it just isn’t that simple. Our guide below should give some insight into what’s involved in getting your website ranking well.

Review your current standing

This is a big deal. Instead of blindly going full steam ahead with changes / amendments to your search strategy, we suggest that you review your current site in its present standing. That way, you’ll get a greater understanding of what’s required and will give you a greater chance of success ongoing. Check your current rankings and try to understand the bigger picture in terms of how you are ranking compared to your competitors. Tools such as SEOptimer can help provide a good level of insight from a broad SEO perspective.

Understand how Search Engines work

Understanding the fundamental purpose of search engines and how they index and rank websites is also key in ensuring you obtain and sustain successful search results ongoing. Information to help with this is readily available for free! For example, the Google SEO guide contains lots of helpful and insightful information – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en. Doing this, you’ll get a greater understanding of best practices moving forward.

Develop a keyword strategy

Think about the key terms you would want your website to be found for. Make a list, use an Excel sheet to list these out and then prioritise them in order of preference. Utilise long-tail keywords and gradually narrow down to more generic search terms that are more difficult to rank for. Some keywords are of course, more more difficult to rank than others. Tools like WordTracker can help with this.

Content

One of the most important elements, if not THE most is content. Content plays a huge role in how your website ranks. Using your list of keywords, try and develop and broaden your content to include these terms. You’ll want to make sure that your content is user friendly, easy to read and relevant to your business. Avoid black-hat strategies such as keyword stuffing. The Yoast SEO tool is very good for helping to score and evaluate content based on what you have added to your pages / posts / products.

Utilise your Blog

A blog is a great way to tell a story, to get a news post out to your audience and much more. Using your blog frequently allows you to implement your keywords within the content and is a great way to build your online presence and get found online.

Performance / Speed

The speed of your website can have a huge bearing on user experience and conversions. On top of this, speed is now a crucial ranking factor when it comes to Google. Here’s a great article explaining this in detail. https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/07/search-ads-speed. Use tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix and Pagespeed Insights to audit your site speed and find out what’s slowing it down.

Mobile / User Experience

Since the majority of users will visit your site on a mobile device, we can’t stress just how important it is to have a fluid, responsive and user friendly mobile layout in place. Without this, your organic positioning and traffic may be hugely negatively affected. Ensure that your content is easy to find, easy to read and not blocked by annoying pop-ups etc. Mobile optimisation is absolutely essential and should never be overlooked.

Link Building

Once you are happy with your website in terms of performance, mobile responsiveness and content, performing your link building strategy will supplement these greatly. We recently wrote a post on link building which you can find here.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is the place to measure your website’s performance / errors / reports and more. Here you can submit your sitemap, check for any pages with mobile errors and see your performance on Google for a particular period. On top of this, keep an eye out for any algorithm updates and changes to understand whether or not you are being penalised in any way – https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

Google Analytics

Without measuring your performance and metrics, it’s going to be difficult to improve. Google Analytics provides a huge amount of data for doing so. Even if you are to just looking to measure organic performance ongoing after following the above recommendations then this is your go-to tool. Google run free online classes for beginners to familiarise yourself with Analytics and can be really beneficial! https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/

Conclusion

To conclude, spending time and effort on the points above will no doubt help to increase your search rankings and results. Take your time and make sure you are doing things the right way rather than looking for a fast fix.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Why You Need A Website Maintenance Plan

You find out website has been hacked. Your customers cannot access important information or your users cannot purchase your goods or services. What do you do? Panic!

You don’t have a website maintenance plan in place and don’t have a point of contact to help resolve the issue. This is just one of the many issues you are likely to encounter without a professional website maintenance plan in place. Websites are more vulnerable to breaches and hacks nowadays more than ever. Sophisticated systems are always targeting sensitive information and vulnerabilities.

why do i need a website maintenance plan?

What’s involved in a website maintenance plan?

Ensuring your site is fully up to date and patched ongoing is one the fundamental purposes of a website maintenance plan. Along with this, some of the other key purposes a plan may include are as follows:

  • Speed Optimisation / Performance
  • Server updates
  • Content addition / general updates and support
  • Health Checks
  • Broken links etc which may harm SEO performance

2Cubed offer a number of website plans, tailored for you. This allows you get the most out of your plan while being safe in the knowledge that your online business is safe and secure.

Find out more about our fully managed website maintenance and management services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/website-management-maintenance/

You can use our dedicated ‘get a quote’ form to get a quote based on your requirements – https://2cubed.ie/get-a-quote/

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LEO Online Trading Voucher – 2020 update

  • Financial assistance for small businesses to expand and trade more online
  • Up to €2,500 available with just 10% of this coming from your business as co-funding
  • Businesses that have already received an online trading voucher previously are eligible to apply for a second voucher

The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme has been in place for a number of years and has offered thousands of businesses the funding to start or help with trading online.

The scheme has been a great success and a vital access to much needed funding for many small businesses. Our previous post on this topic outlined exactly what was on offer in regards to this – https://2cubed.ie/2019/02/leo-trading-online-voucher/.

Due to the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19, the Local Enterprise office have expanded this scheme to help businesses who meet the criteria further. In order to qualify for the funding, you must:

  • Have a limited or no eCommerce presence at all
  • Have 10 or less employees
  • Have a turnover of less than €2 million
  • Must be trading for at least 6 months

In addition to this, 90% of the total amount is now available through this scheme. This means a new website or adding eCommerce to your website may only cost you €250. This is an excellent incentive particularly with footfall dropping to almost record lows. The funding can be used for areas such as IT consultation, development or upgrade of an eCommerce websiteimplementing a digital marketing strategy and much more.

This applies to applicants who apply between now and September 30th 2020.You can find out more here https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme-/. If you are looking to apply for the scheme, please click here to find details for your local enterprise office – https://www.localenterprise.ie/Find-Your-Local-Enterprise-Office

Alternatively, you can download the application form HERE.

Contacting us

If you have any questions on this scheme, please reach out to us in the same channels as you normally would:

Technical Support – support@2cubed.ie

General Enquiries – by using our contact form or by emailing hello@2cubed.ie. You can also avail of the LiveChat service on our website.

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Easter Opening Hours

Category: News

We would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter. Our office will close on Thursday 9th April at 5:30pm and will re-open on Tuesday 14th April at 9am.

Contacting us

Please reach out to us in the same channels as you normally would:

Technical Support – support@2cubed.ie

General Enquiries – by using our contact form or by emailing hello@2cubed.ie. You can also avail of the LiveChat service on our website.

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