Speedwell | BLOG - Web Development

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Web Safety

Web Safety

Recently, our General Manager James Radvan was invited to contribute to the Digital Brisbane blog in order to share some of Speedwell’s digital industry knowledge with Brisbane’s small business community.

Speedwell works with a lot of businesses of all sizes in Brisbane, and we deal with many of the same concerns over and over. One of the common ones is web security, and James deals with that in his first article.

Let us know your thoughts via social media, including what you’d like the next piece to cover!

Automation: What, When, Why, How?



As systems grow in complexity, coverage and accuracy of testing via manual systems becomes too labour intensive. Automation assists the team to achieve maintainability and flexibility of test suites, identifying issues quickly to ensure they are resolved at an early stage. Automation can be done repetitively and adds additional testing that would be difficult to cover through manual testing.

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To CMS or not to CMS

CMS or not CMS


A CMS (Content Management System) is an application, mostly web based, to create, edit, delete and manage content from a central interface. CMSs are often used for running small and large web sites, blogs, forums and news pages up to complete E commerce shopping platforms and can include user targeted marketing.

CMS platforms have come a long way, presented in many shapes and sizes. They are still evolving through new technologies and new ideas. With an abundant selection on the market, thorough investigation and consideration is needed before making the right choice.

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Sitecore Best Practices: Your information is the foundation of your website

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Sitecore Best Practices: Your information is the foundation of your website
With Sitecore your information is the foundation, making sure an installation starts off on the right foot will save time in the long run.

When developing a website based on the Sitecore CMS it is too easy to get into the swing of things and construct your solution using traditional website conventions. Thinking of data items as generic web pages with a bunch of controls that control what data is to be pulled from your database is likely to cause a great deal of pain when it comes to maintaining, or even implementing enhancements for your site.

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Sketch – A Contender for Photoshop and Illustrator



Tools of the trade for a digital designer are Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Photoshop is an image editing program and Illustrator is a vector graphics editor. In digital design, the two are used in conjunction with each other; however, this can bring a lot of frustration and slow down the designing process.

As a frequenter of Dribbble, a community for designers to showcase their work, the application Sketch is frequently mentioned in projects and in comments. Not wanting to be left out on the latest technology, I downloaded a free trial of the application to see what it was all about.

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Google reveals what’s up their sleeve

Android Wear


Wearable technology is becoming more commonplace today.  Products like Nike+ FuelBand, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Google Glass are examples of technology integrating further into our everyday lives.

Google recently announced Android Wear, a version of their Android OS designed for the humble watch.  While Samsung beat Google to the punch with their Galaxy Gear product, it only works with Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets, and is limited to running software written by Samsung.

The difference with Android Wear is that Google have partnered with multiple manufacturers (including, but not limited to companies like Motorola, LG and HTC), various chip makers and fashion brands.  In addition to this, Android Wear opens up the market to all Android developers, so they can write new software, or tailor existing software to work with the new watches.

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Hunting for Software ‘Easter Eggs’

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It’s a natural process of software development for testers to live in a steady flow of bugs. Bugs can often cause developers and project managers to (figuratively) pull their hair out in frustration. For testers bugs can be exciting, interesting, fulfilling, and frustrating too. When a project comes across our desk for testing it can feel like the beginning of an Easter egg hunt. Bugs can be hidden in the most unexpected places and when discovered can give a ‘Eureka!’ moment for a tester. They can also range from very minor problems that most people would never notice, to severe errors that adversely affect business and/or technical requirements of the project. These can bring a feeling of dread and discouragement to a team, especially when schedules are tight. At times it helps to step back and recognise that even the biggest, most well established and resourced companies in technology like Microsoft, NASA, IBM, Intel and others have had monumentally bad bugs in their products. So let’s look at a couple of better-known software ‘Easter eggs’ from the past and present.

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Web Design’s Awkward Teen Phase

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Remember the days of dial up? Reaching top speeds of 56kb/s. When you couldn’t be on the Internet and on the phone at the same time. Does this nostalgic tone sound familiar? Oh how times have changed. As the youngest person in the studio I probably can’t even say exactly what’s changed (being only 5 years older than Speedwell itself est.1997). The following takes a trip down nostalgia lane, looking at web designs’ awkward teen moments and how they have evolved over the years.

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How to use Signalr with Redis to create a simple chat application

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Before I get into the technical parts of this blog, I would like to give a brief summary about why I chose this topic.  In my work, we have a task tracking board similar to Trello where cards are frequently moved around to different groups.   The problem was that other users were not able to get the updates from other users.  So, we used Signalr to do update the board whenever changes were made.  All was well and good, until we created a public version of the site.   The board was still updating but only within the context of the site. For example, the changes made to the public site wasn’t updating the intranet site and vice versa.   This is when we decided to integrate Signalr with Redis.  Redis backplane acts like a middleman between the two sites and notifies all subscribed sites with any changes.

In this blog, I will demonstrate how to use Signalr with Redis to create a simple chat application.

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A Crash Course in SEO

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This is a guest post by Katherine Jacob. Katherine is an expert SEO Consultant for Reload Media, specialising in inbound marketing, link building and content strategy. Katherine also has a growing interest in usability and conversion optimisation tactics. In her spare time she can be found on the soccer field or outdoors enjoying Brisbane’s fantastic climate.

Many years ago, fresh out of university and on the first day of employment, my new boss told me, “You’re in charge of SEO”. I smiled confidently and responded with a self-assured “No problem”. I then quickly grabbed my iPhone, took a coffee break and Googled SEO.  After 20 minutes of panicked research, I still had no idea what it was.

A few years later and I am now a self-confessed SEO nerd. I love nothing more than implementing organic search strategies to ensure long-term, qualified traffic growth to my client’s websites.

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