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25 June 2014
The new .uk domain name – should you switch?

by James


As most website owners in the UK will be aware, the new .uk domain names are now available.

This means that instead of having:


as your domain name, you can have:


We think this is a great move by Nominet (the non-profit company that manages UK domain names), and expect .uk to become the UK domain of choice over .co.uk.

But what if you’re currently using a .co.uk? Should you swap? We think the answer is yes, but it’s worth considering the following.

  1. If you already own the .co.uk then there’s probably no rush. The .uk has most likely been reserved for you until 2019. There are a couple of caveats here, so we recommend using this tool to ensure you do have the rights.
  2. It will take the general public a while to get used to .uk, so it’s important to have both the .co.uk and the .uk in case your potential clients enter the wrong address.
  3. If and when you do swap from .co.uk to .uk, you can keep the .co.uk and forward all visitors on to your new .uk site. This way you won’t lose any visitors who didn’t know about the change.
  4. What if you’ve spent time and money on SEO for your .co.uk domain? This is a very relevant question. If done right, you can guide Google (and the other search engines) through your domain name change, and although you are likely to get a temporary (a few weeks) drop in SEO rankings, these should get back to their previous state very quickly. However, as Google is a fickle thing you can never be completely sure. We can assist you with this to make sure everything runs smoothly.

So in summary, we recommend .uk over a .co.uk domain. If you want to switch give us a call and we’ll make sure it’s done right.



8 April 2014
Webby Awards top 5!

by Afy

We're a Webby nominee!

We’re incredibly proud to announce that our website for Patentise has been nominated by the Webby Awards as one of the top five law websites – in the world! – this year.

Winners are announced in the next two weeks – show your support by voting for Patentise here.

8 October 2013
Igloo in net magazine!

by Afy

Net magazineNet magazine, the leading publication for the web industry, has featured Igloo in its website showcase! In this November’s issue, our lead developer James talks JavaScript: specifically, about the JavaScript behind the website we designed and built for INTERIOR-iD.

Download the full article to read how we created our own in-house JS framework, and used code as efficiently as possible.

Read more about the INTERIOR-iD site here. We’ve bragged blogged about our Webby Award nomination here.

28 May 2013
Portfolio update

by Mike Scott

Three new projects have just been written up and featured in our portfolio. They are: a website for Patentise, and brand identity work for Mars Omega and Interior-iD. Look at them with your eyes.

27 April 2012
Work — Interior-iD

by Mike Scott

We’ve really pushed the boat out on this one. An image rich, fullscreen, HTML5 website for INTERIOR-iD. Looks great on your PC, and if you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone or iPad, check it out, you’ll have never seen anything like it (on an iPad!)

The premise of the site is that it is a frame for showing Interior-ID’s work as vivid, full-screen images, with project information as well as menu links and navigation arrows all being housed in the black frame.

More detail on this project soon in our portfolio. Until then, visit Interior-iD, on any device you like! www.interior-id.com

15 March 2012
Say goodbye to Internet Explorer 6, but not quite yet!

by Olly Lockett

Goodbye IE6 cake

At the beginning of the year Microsoft celebrated the death of Internet Explorer 6 (or IE6 for short) with a cake at their headquarters in Redmond, Washington. More specifically they were celebrating that in December 2011 IE6 usage dropped below 1% of all traffic in the US.

Microsoft have been keen to see the back of IE6 for some time now as it’s one of the biggest things holding up further development of web technologies at the moment. It’s also very buggy and difficult to code websites for, not great adverts for Microsoft. Unfortunately usage has not dropped that low in the UK – Microsoft puts usage here at 1.4%.

The software giants aren’t content to sit back and let events take their course however, for example Google has stopped supporting IE6 with many of their web apps. It’s Microsoft itself though that has taken the biggest step, they recently released a Windows security update that automatically updated users from IE6 and 7 to version 8. I run IE6 on my computer to test sites on and when last month it was automatically updated to IE8 I watched the stats of the websites we monitor excitedly waiting for IE6 users to disappear… but they didn’t. In fact there was virtually no change in the percentage of IE6 users at all.

So who are all these IE6 users that aren’t applying Windows security updates? We have another tool which we can use to help us solve this problem. Analyzing the stats from this year of our biggest sites, we can see the domain names of IE6 users’ ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The top 10 are:

  • Unknown (17.5%)
  • fsa.gov.uk (5.4%)
  • nhs.uk (5.3%)
  • gsi.gov.uk (5.1%)
  • police.uk (4.3%)
  • chase.com (3.9%)
  • messagelabs.net (3.7%)
  • southwark.gov.uk (3.7%)
  • edfenergy.com (2.5%)
  • mod.uk (2.0%)

I think there is a perception that the majority of IE6 users are stubborn consumers who have no inclination to upgrade, and most campaigns – including Microsoft’s own banner campaign – rely on educating people to upgrade there and then. However our data paints quite a different picture, government users alone account for over a third of known IE6 users, and corporate users account for most of the rest. Most people therefore are using IE6 because they have to due to decisions made at management level.

If our (very non-scientific!) analysis is correct then the main thing stopping companies developing next generation web technologies in the UK is the government itself.

The decline of IE6

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as we can see from some of our data (compiled from almost a million users) IE6 usage has been shrinking rapidly for a long time now, so there are signs that big businesses are switching to more contemporary technologies and we have it on good authority that even the new government intranet won’t support IE6, the switch is coming! In the mean time unfortunately IE6 users represent a rich segment of the market and our sites all still support them.

But we can say goodbye to IE6… Just not quite yet!

16 September 2011
Work — Gemma Bell website

by Mike Scott

Last week saw the launch of Gemma Bell’s website. As well as being a prolific tweeter, Gemma brings a genuinely personal approach to food and restaurant PR, and works with some of the best chefs and restaurants in London and nationwide.

Gemma asked us to create a smart, professional website that showcased her enviable clients, vast experience and personal touch.

Aside from how the site looks, the build took advantage of some elements that are rare to HTML websites, such as smooth page transitions (in modern browsers — Chrome, Firefox, Safari), fading images and smooth rollovers for links.

Another nice bit of technology we implemented was a simple system whereby Gemma emails an iPhone photo to a certain address and that photo instantly appears on the home page. As ever the site is fully integrated with our Make CMS allowing Gemma to keep her clients, case studies and press cuttings up to date.

Gemma was a really great client — a pleasure to work with.

If you like good food, follow her on twitter.

20 May 2011
Portfolio update

by Mike Scott

Six recent projects added to the portfolio section…

24 February 2011
Work — The Boathouse website launch

by Mike Scott

Following on from the previous post about the drawing of the logo for The Boathouse, here is the recently launched website. Aside from the looks of the site, there’s a fair bit of technology working away in the background, such as the prices & bookings section which shows available dates and prices on a user-friendly bespoke calendar, integrated Twitter updates on the homepage and a gallery whose transitions between photographs are smooth (rather than the common HTML annoyance whereby with each new page visited you begin back at the top of the page as oppose to staying at the same level).

We created decorative separators to divide areas of content on the pages, adding a unique, ownable graphic element to the site that can also be used on printed materials and emails.

As ever, the site is fully integrated with Make — our very own Content Management System — meaning every element of the site, from text and images to availability and prices, is updateable by the client.

With the days beginning to get lighter and the weather warmer, here’s to a prosperous summer for The Boathouse cottage!

18 January 2011
Work — Julie Harkin Casting website

by Mike Scott

We recently launched a new multi-faceted website for Julie Harkin Casting, following on from the brand identity work we finished in November of last year. The site, as well as being a place for credits and projects, general information and contact details, features an extensive client area in which Julie’s clients can view video auditions for projects currently in development.

The client-facing part of the site is run entirely from our own Content Management System.

As well as the logo changing on every page, we also came up with a gradual colour-change for the background of the site — which we think is a really nice, subtle addition to the site’s aesthetic.

The site has received a lot of great feedback from Julie’s clients (some of the major players in the casting world), and we think its functionality and ease of use could be a genuine game-changer in the industry.

25 October 2010
Apple vs Flash… Fight!

by Olly Lockett

Image credit: issaco

As HTML 5 gets closer to fruition some are beginning to question whether it finally removes the need for Flash altogether. None are fighting the battle to banish Flash to the annals of history more than Apple and this week the conflict between Apple and Adobe (who produce the authoring tools for Flash files) flared up again.

Historically Apple and Adobe have had great relations; Adobe is responsible for producing the graphics programs that drew creatives to Macs for many years when they weren’t quite mainstream yet. No one (not even Adobe) expected a phone to run full Flash – Adobe tried to make a stripped down version called Flash Lite but it never really took off – so it was never questioned that the iPhone should be able to run it.

The debate started when Apple released the iPad. Most predictions expected it to run a modified version of OSX, instead it ran an uprated version of what is now called iOS. When Apple announced it was “the best way to experience the web” many could not help but notice the absence of Flash. What followed was a very public debate between the two companies: Apple arguing that HTML 5 now offered everything that Flash could do but that it’s more ubiquitous, open-source and efficient; Adobe arguing that Flash is ubiquitous, that it’s very capable of being used on smart-phones and that they are very open-source (the last statement being a little bit of a lie, but Apple is hardly a pioneer of open source code).

The debate didn’t really go anywhere but over the last few weeks it has hotted up again with two important announcements.

Unlike the browser Google Chrome, which includes Flash functionality by default, Apple’s browser Safari only includes Flash as a separate plug-in. Last week they announced that they would no longer be supplying it with their new computers. This is clearly a move designed to force developers to create alternatives to Adobe Flash content but until this happens it means that a brand new Mac, which always made a point of working straight out of the box, will not show videos on let’s say the BBC website until Mac users download a separate plug-in from a third party. I have to say I don’t think that Apple are putting their users first in making this decision.

The second announcement perhaps makes it a little more clear as to why Apple are being so aggressive towards Flash. Last year Adobe announced that it has done a deal with TV chip manufacturers allowing them to ship “Flash applications” to televisions and opening up a huge new area of the market. This week they announced that Adobe AIR 2.5 is out which will enable Flash based applications to run on Google Andriod, RIM’s blackberry playbook and Samsung’s latest TVs.

It is yet to be seen how this conflict will pan out, whether it will just be a messy confrontation between companies with no real winner or whether Apple will succeed in sinking Flash. Ultimately it seems this will rest on whether Adobe and AIR 2.5 can successfully break into the App market and retain its development community, perhaps this in itself is an interesting insight into the software market in 2010.


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