I went with a purpose. I had in mind all things clients have been raising recently and to try to get a different take on ideas. With that in mind, I was looking for:
- Online Payments,
- Website Localization,
- App development,
- and a little email marketing.
- Plus, looking to source a new web hosting provider. Current server working well, but possibly in need of an upgrade soon (<12 months)
Online payment processing:
Barclaycard, Worldpay & Sagepay all saying the sweetest things.. All have plusses and not too many minuses, all similar pricing. It'll come down to client preferences and technical requirements. In order to keep client's costs down I only want one to recommend but which one? I think I shall try Barclaycard's epdq, on the basis that I have a client already using them happily. The problem with some of the lesser known companies is just that, they are lesser known. It's then down to client customers to use them. Many already baulk when it comes to paypal.
A whole plethora of providers to see. I picked two, bearing in mind I already use a third and have had experience with one or two others. The key thing is not the technical ooh we've got loads of gigs of this and oodles of space and super quad core doo dahs, but the support if and should things go wrong. The other key component is the migration of data and services from one server to another - that's teh same whether you move comany or not.
Rackspace push their 'fanatical support'', the sales chap was .. sales but the technical guy started technical and soon realised I was impressed by the size of his hard drive!! He spoke in plain English. Peer 1: interesting. Hadn't come across them before but the chap I spoke too wasn't pushy and offered a migration solution too. The have all the technical capabilities plus can do 24/7 support.
What was strange was no sign of 1and1, Fasthosts etc ie the popular public hosts. Maybe this was going to be a better day than I thought ...
Err-ing towards Rackspace with their Email Server too. No rush to make a decision, no doubt I'll get a sales call or two in the next few days!
Website localization & SEO:
With a couple of clients trading throughout Europe I was looking for both translation and local SEO services. Quite a few to choose from so spoke to three. Applied Languages, TEMA and Web-Translations. As you'd expect all offered similar solutions. Not sure which way to go here so will get a brief out to them all and work with clients on choosing one. The key thing I was looking for here was an understanding that UK keywords and phrases when translated 'mean' something different. All ticked that box thankfully!
Most sites I develop do pretty well in the search engines if they are updated regularly, which is pleasing. There were more SEO comes present with big flashy sites, scantillay clad "introducers" al trying to grab your attention. I only spoke to one! Eazy Tiger from Leicester. Josh (and I've forgotten teh other chaps name - sorry!) were both friendly, not full of themselves and I've agreed to meet them in the next few weeks and to put a couple of sites their way for ideas.
Loads of these, couldn't spot any real differences, couldn't get inspired. I know about it to inform clients but for now shall look to sub this out.
App Development and mCommerce:
The future is mobile (or is it?) Smart phones are changing the way consumers look and buy things, or are they? Didn't spend a lot of time on this as already on information overload. As I like developing I'll give AppShed a go and then gear up for this for next year. Probably take a few clients along too. I suspect this will be a huge area in 12 months.
A longer than expected day. Lots of interesting stuff. Lots of people. Lots of stands. All good.
Looking forward to next year's Internet World 24-26 April 2012 @ Earls Court 2 already!