Businesses

At Prater Raines we love spending time with you getting to know how your company works, so we can build you online tools and websites that ease your workload and allow you to get on with the thing you do best: running your business.

Only sometimes do you check the BBC News and find one of your websites being mentioned, but this is one of those days.

We were approached to build a standalone website to support the Whirlpool Dryer recall some months ago, and working to a limited but developing brief delivered the site as required.

It has since supported tends of thousands of their customers since to resolve the issue with their dryer.

Today saw another burst of media activity around that recall, seeing a large increase in the number of people visiting the site. The site responded well throughout: the dryer checker (linked from within the site and hosted by Whirlpool themselves) was slower due to the sheer number of visitors.

Cover / poster of "King and Country", "Longer than it takes to say Goodbye" and "CLD"

We were pleased to bring live a new website for Oxford Music Theatre recently at https://oxfordmusictheatre.co.uk

Based on WordPress and offering a number of free downloads and previews, the site offers a range of scores for choral editions of songs from shows by Jane Bramwell and Michael Brand.

Debit and Credit Cards

Strong Customer Authentication is coming. This is going to change the way a large number of credit and debit card transaction happen – especially online – during this year.

We’ll be working with all of our clients that take payments on ensuring their systems are compliant – which should be led by the payment processor in each case, and will, hopefully, require minimal changes on the part of the client, but we’ll watch and learn…

In the case of our clients using GoCardless (the DD based payment / donation processor) it is unlikely they will see any changes (as they are not card based payments). However, they’ve written a blog post explaining more about how they expect SCA changes to effect their – and other – payments in future.

For almost 20 years, Lib Dem Image have been the official supplier of Liberal Democrat merchandise, campaign materials, clothing, gifts & books.

In 2005, we developed Lib Dem Image’s first online shop – previously they had sold only via phone and mail order and from stalls at Party conferences.

Although the shop was developed for a “tight” budget even then, it grew to become their main sales platform quite rapidly. However, although it has been clear for many years that the site needed some investment, LDI and the Party had not been in the position to invest in a significant refresh. So, until now, the 2005 site, with a few tweaks and a very limited investment in development had continued to trade and work securely and effectively, but looking, with the best will in the world… dated.

Wind forward to 2018, and Lib Dem Image and the Party agree a new long term agreement to extend LDI’s contract as official supplier. This gave all sides the confidence to look at and invest in updating their web site. Having worked with them for 13 years and with great experience of their service and needs, we were delighted they spoke to us about that redevelopment!

And launching at the start of 2019, we’re proud to introduce the new Lib Dem Image website. Based on WooCommerce and WordPress, the site is now fully mobile and tablet friendly, hosted on our own UK based secure WordPress hosting. Payments are being taken through Stripe, which offered good value to LDI and a full API and seamless integration into WooCommerce which we enjoyed!

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After a great Christmas and New Year break, it’s always nice to be back in the office – Happy New Year!

Although we’ve been monitoring and checking email and voicemails throughout the Christmas period, we’re now back up to full speed.

You can call us on 0345 363 7163 from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, or email info@praterraines.co.uk to get in touch. Alternatively, if you live near our Sandgate HQ then you can drop in there to have a chat – always happy to see you.

Also: is this the time to finally get your company website sorted? We’ve got an offer to help you meet that New Year resolution – we’ll set you up new basic WordPress website for just £250 plus VAT * this January – HALF our usual price!

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Over the August Bank Holiday weekend Sandgate (where Prater Raines is based) holds an annual Sea and Food Festival. There’s free music, a public fireworks display from the beach on the Saturday night and a range of entertainment and food stalls on the Sunday.

Prater Raines are delighted to invite our customers down to visit Sandgate to join us for a few drinks, some food and fireworks on Saturday 25th August.

Nothing fancy: if the weather plays nicely, we’ll be on and around the beach: if not, in and around Sandgate & local pubs!

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Prater Raines are delighted to have been accredited by the Liberal Democrats as an Approved Supplier under their GDPR compliance programme. We’ve been supplying website to the Party for over 15 years so really hoped we would!

The accreditation is for our Lib Dem “Foci” website service as a “Website, Email, Campaigns and Social Media Platform”.

However, our WordPress installations and support are also acknowledged to meet their GDPR compliance requirements as well, with EU (actually UK) hosting, always running the latest version, automatically upgrading on your behalf, ensuring data is stored within the local WordPress database, regular plugin updates and built-in SSL support.

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SDC Systems homepage

Although we recommend that we host your website for you, it doesn’t have to be that way…

We were approached in April 2016 by data software and security company SDC Systems. They were looking to move their website from a legacy system to WordPress to make it rather easier to update and add new content.

At that stage they wanted this change to occur with the minimum of design changes, and also to host their new site in-house as they clearly had significant technical experyise. We did so for them, porting their content and site structure with a limited number of changes in under two working days – all to time and specification.

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We’ve been delighted to work on Major Foodie since moving to our hosting a few weeks ago, and have already delivered the first batch of changes that site owner Richard had been seeking.

The changes have been about evolution not revolution: tweaking design and functionality to be easier to use, work better on a range of devices and make reviews and content east to find – all to Richard’s specification.

As examples of the changes, on the home page we’ve reworked the main image slider, making it resize nicely whatever screen size (and orientation) of device you are reading on, adding captions to each picture and a click through to the relevant review in each case. We’ve also added a bespoke styled Twitter feed to bring their very active Twitter presence to the front page of the site in a style that fits well with the rest of the content rather than a standard plug-in.

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When we first met Major Foodie, his WordPress site had been going some time, and although he was, in the main, happy with it there were some changes and upgrades that his previous developers hadn’t been able to deliver.

A little while after our first discussions the site started to have problems, and, when we investigated it became clear it had been hacked.

We cleaned the site on its existing shared hosting, updated and re-set logins and passwords, restored files (from a back-up we’d taken when we first met – there was otherwise no regular backup in place), updated PHP, the WordPress install itself and the plug-ins to the site which were out of date, and generally got things back up and running.

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