Hello, I’m Joe, I work in the support team at 34SP.com. I have recently started to ride my bicycle to work each day, as part of the Government’s ”Ride to Work” Scheme (the official links are http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk and the one I’ve used was http://www.bike2workscheme.co.uk).
I’ve done this as a way of getting some exercise into my daily routine, to aid losing some weight that’s been creeping up over the years, and to enjoy the nice weather we get in Manchester (when it’s not raining).
The scheme itself is great. You sign your company up to it, go to the bike shop, pick out your bike and accessories, and then your quote is then paid off via your wages over a set amount of time. This is very handy if you don’t have 500 pounds to spend on a new bike and helmet.
I ride my bike morning and afternoon, 7 miles each way, here’s what I look out for when I’m preparing to ride.
I need to make sure that I am visible to other road users and pedestrians. This means that I wear my hi-vis jacket with reflective panels on it. I also have some front and rear lights for the darker days, thankfully I’ve not had to use them yet. This will ensure that I am seen. For a website, being visible is crucial in order for it to survive or to gain hits. Keeping your site up to date regularly with new posts, information that will ensure that your site is viewed favourably by search engines.
Being safe is one of the most important parts of riding a bike. The one aspect of town-riding is that not enough bike-riders do not wear a safety helmet. Should the worst happen and that a car does not see you, keeping your head in one piece is very important. Keeping your site safe is one aspect that has been overlooked by web users in the past. We have rolled out our FTP Security Lock especially for this, you can read more on this link: http://www.34sp.com/hosting-library/ftp-security-measures/.
After taking all the precautions you can make, you still have to be aware that sometimes there are careless or impatient road users that lurk on the mean streets. This includes people that don’t check their blind spots, won’t or don’t indicate (I believe that some cars don’t actually have indicator lights as standard!) or generally don’t like the idea of other people on the roads.
Don’t take chances, don’t assume that someone has seen you, and don’t take risks. The same can be said for emails. If the email has come to you from an unknown source, has a weird address or subject name or generally looks a bit dodgy, don’t open it. We provide complimentary Spam Filtering on our shared hosting accounts that does collect known spam emails and addresses, but it’s not completely infallible. I would always advise caution, as the last thing you want is an infected website or computer.
Like any other person, every one loves a good shortcut, a time saver that will be more beneficial to them. I love riding my bike past all of the static cars. Thankfully, Manchester Council has set up quite a few bike paths and lanes along the main routes in and out of the city that allow me to weave in and out of the main hotspots of traffic. This can also be said for your websites. Keep the name and the domain snappy. Make it short and sweet, maybe even think ahead and order both the .com and .co.uk equivalent of your address to make sure that any typo’s will still reach your website URL or email address. Also, when building up your site, keep everything as clutter free as you can. Allow for natural navigation such as menus along the top or sides of the page (just don’t use tables though! Google will back me up on that!)
At first, biking after a long time away will hurt, but progressively, it does get easier as my legs and body get accustomed to the rigours of biking and the stop/start nature of the exercise. Some days, especially on cold dark mornings, up hilly terrain, you need that extra bit of power. This can also be the case for your website and the hosting package you are using. If the demands for your site isn’t enough for the server (the legs of your website) to cope with, we have bigger and broader options to use. Our new Business Hosting packages are more suited for the more common e-commerce websites that are springing up all the time, and the VPS Hosting packages are an even more economical and hands-on server you can get. The VPS will give you the strength of the server, and the and the reliability that you need when your site hits it’s peak and needs that extra memory.