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News Archive: 2012

News

We’re very busy bees here at Hiltonian Media, but occasionally we find time to let you know what we’re up to.  Read below for our latest news, or keep updated by subscribing to our RSS News Feed.

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What’s New?

Just one week to comply with EU “Cookie Law”

18th May 2012

To anyone unfamiliar with internet terminology, phrases such as cookie law”, cookie policy” and cookie control” may sound like some bizarre April Fools joke. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth – they all refer to one of the EU’s most misguided attempts to impose red tape on businesses at a time when they least need it.

Businesses and organisations have just a week to comply with the new EU “Cookie Law”. As we reported last month, the Information Commissioner (ICO) will begin enforcing the law on 26th May 2012, requiring websites to gain consent from visitors for the use of cookies.

Almost all websites use cookies, whether it be for tracking visitors for analytical purposes, login or e-commerce functionality, or social media plugins. Some websites may even use them for advertising.

But don’t worry – Hiltonian Media is here to help! We can hold your hand through the compliance procedure by performing a cookie audit on your website, writing a cookie policy for you, and implementing a mechanism for gaining consent from your valuable visitors. Call us now on +44 191 303 8 403 to find out  how we can help you towards compliance before it’s too late.

Does your website comply with the new Cookie Law?

19th April 2012

Almost all websites use “cookies” to function correctly, but from May 2012 all UK websites must obtain consent to do so from visitors. The new “Cookie Law” is rather bewildering, but Hiltonian Media is here to help. Read on to find out how the new law affects your organisation and what you need to do to comply.

Cookies are small text files stored by visitors’ web browsers, allowing websites to keep track of people as they navigate to different pages. They are most often used for logins, e-commerce shopping baskets, website analytics, behavioural advertising, social media plugins, and much more besides.

However, the new law, more formally known as The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, requires websites to obtain consent to use cookies and provide detailed information to visitors about how they are used. Websites failing to comply could face a fine of up to £500,000.

In practice, we think compliance with the legislation can be achieved in three stages:

  • Performing an audit to determine to what extent your website uses cookies
  • Writing a statement to inform visitors how your website uses cookies
  • Deploying a mechanism for obtaining consent.

There is much confusion surrounding how best to obtain consent, but Hiltonian Media believes that this greatly depends on the extent to which cookies are used. For example, a website simply using cookies for analytics or login functionality may choose to display a popup box the first time someone visits a page on their site advising them that cookies are used. However, a website that uses cookies for behavioural advertising may need to provide a mechanism for visitors to refuse such cookies.

To help guide you through all of this, Hiltonian Media has put together the following package for website owners:

  • A cookie audit of up to 50 pages — £150
  • Writing a cookie statement — £75
  • Implementing a consent mechanism — from £55 (depending on your website complexity and use of cookies)

As we are not lawyers, we can only provide advice based on our understanding of the new law. If you are concerned about strict compliance, we suggest that you consult a legal practitioner.  (Prices exclude VAT)

If you are interested, call us now on +44 191 303 8 403, or email enquiries@hiltonian.com.

More Information

Facebook to upgrade all pages to use Timeline – what does this mean for you?

20th March 2012

Facebook recently announced that it is to upgrade all pages to use its new Timeline layout.  Whether you like it or not, your page will be migrated to Timeline at the end of March – the deadline is looming, but what do you need to do about it?

Hiltonian Media on Facebook

The most noticeable development is the introduction of a “cover” image – a large area at the top of your page where you can upload a graphic. Hiltonian Media suggests that you use a bold and striking graphic that hits visitors between the eyes when they land on your page. This is a great marketing opportunity, instantly catching the attention of anyone who wanders by.

You can also add milestones to your Timeline. For example, you could add the date on which you were founded or moved to your new premises, along with photographs and a description. Or you could highlight the release of a new product, an important hire, or awards that you have won. Why would you want to do this? Well, for starters, it can engage users, especially if you give away titbits of information that are fun or might not be immediately obvious. 

Posts to your Timeline can be starred as being important or pinned to the top for up to 7 days – the perfect way to keep that new product foremost in your fans’ minds.

Another crucial aspect of Facebook Pages that is changing is the functionality that allows you to add pretty much any content you want to “tabs”. In the past, page owners have been limited to using FBML – a cut-down version of HTML – through a rather cumbersome admin interface. Now it is possible to embed content from pretty much any website address directly into your page, allowing you to edit content from within your usual Content Management System (our Sursum Corda platform is perfect for this). The tabs now have high visual prominence, especially if used with a custom icon. However, setting these up needs a little prior knowledge of the Facebook developer platform, so you may want to drop Hiltonian Media a line if you're uncertain how to make a start with this. We can also help you set up content templates that will integrate seamlessly with your page.

We've already migrated our own page to Timeline, and are in the process of doing so for several of our customers. We'd love to help you with your page, too.

So if you're struggling to smarten your Timeline up in readyness for the switchover, or you're interested in how you can add interactivity and run promotions on your Facebook Page, why not get in touch today? Don't delay – these changes are coming soon!

Planned server maintenance during February

23rd January 2012

A hardware upgrade will take place at 6am GMT on Sunday 5th February. This work requires the affected server to be powered down for between 15 and 30 minutes shortly after this time

During this period, most customer websites and email accounts will be unavailable. Virtual Server customers will not be affected.

Services should be considered "at risk" for about three hours after the upgrade has been completed, whilst software re-configurations take place. Customers should avoid any mission-critical activity during this time.

Hiltonian Media apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.

To keep updated of service updates and other news you can follow us on Twitter @HiltonianMedia.

Emergency Maintenance Work: 6am on Sunday 22nd January 2012

21st January 2012

A hard disk drive malfunction in our primary web and email server has been identified, and is scheduled for replacement at 6am GMT on Sunday 22nd January 2012. It is expected that the server will be powered down for between 15 and 30 minutes shortly after this time.

During this period, most customer websites and email accounts will be unavailable. Virtual Server customers will not be affected.

Because a mirroring arrangement is in place, the faulty hard disk drive should not cause overall failure of the server unless the secondary hard disk drive also fails. Whilst this scenario is extremely unlikely, services should be considered "at risk" until the faulty hard disk drive has been replaced, and customers should avoid any mission-critical activity during this time.

Hiltonian Media apologises for any inconvenience this may cause, and the short notice provided. However, we hope you will appreciate that this hardware failure must be dealt with as a matter of urgency. The scheduled time of the work has been selected to minimise any potential disruption.

To keep updated of emergency maintenance and other news you can follow us on Twitter @HiltonianMedia.

UPDATE (22/01/12 at 7.30am):

The faulty disk has been replaced and the server has started correctly. Once we have verified that everything is working as expected, the new disk will be re-synced with the master. 

UPDATE (22/01/12 at 8am):

The server is working as expected and the new disk is being re-synced with the master. This will cause a degradation in performance for 1 to 2 hours.

UPDATE (23/01/12):

The emergency maintenance work was completed successfully yesterday morning, and services are no longer "at risk". Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Planned network maintenance during January

4th January 2012

The datacentre in which most of our servers reside will be performing network maintenance during January 2012. The work is to improve network resiliance, reliability, and performance.

This work is unlikely to cause more than a few moments of downtime for web and email hosting customers, but services should be considered "at risk" during these period and therefore customers should avoid any mission-critical activity during these windows:

  • 11pm on 10th January to 6am on 11th January
  • 6am to 7am on 12th January
  • 10pm on 17th January to 6am on 18th January
  • 10pm on 31st January to 6am on 1st February

If you have any questions about these upgrades, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your patience, and our apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.