Monthly Archives: October 2014

Simple Ways to Keep your Wooden Furniture Looking Great

wooden furnitureThere is a reason most interior designers love incorporating wood into their designs. Whether it is wooden furniture, cabinets or hardwood doors, wood, with its earthy look and colour lends so much sophistication to any design. Wood seems to evoke something that is homey, rich, and bespoke. No wonder then that sometimes it can be a tad more expensive and more difficult to take care of.

There are a few dos and don’ts when keeping wooden furniture and fixtures looking great. Joinery For All Seasons is a UK manufacturer of timber wood windows, doors, flooring and other home fixtures. They have a broad experience with the material and can certainly offer tips to homeowners on how to take care of their wood finishing. Here are some of them:

First off, anything that is made of wood should be kept away from sunlight. It should be installed or shielded in a relatively cool and shaded place. One reason for this is that extremities make wood brittle and easier to crack. Too much sunshine and the wood may dry out and become flaky and susceptible to breaking even when applied with oils and certain varnish for protection. Let it be bathed in sunlight and you will soon find the fibres within the wood separating and peeling from each other.

Now, this occurrence may contribute to another problem. With widening gaps within the wood, dust, dirt and grime may eventually settle in, producing not only a terrible appearance, but also making it possible for the overall deterioration of the material. Some even say that constant dusting will do this to the wood. If improperly cleaned, such as frequent dusting or constant wiping with a rag, dust and dirt will eventually find themselves snugly settling inside the gaps, making the otherwise rich brown colour be soiled with black stains and soot.

If sunlight causes harm, so do moisture naturally. Constant exposure to water or moist will make the wood soft and susceptible to fungi and other bacteria that will contribute to the corrosion and discolouring of the material.

How then to clean wooden furniture, floor and hardwood doors? Recommended of course are the waxes and sprays that are specifically created for wood. Some, however, prefer ph-balanced soap and water. Typically, water doesn’t go well with wood as it makes the material expand, but when done periodically it will effectively clean the material.
For better upkeep, however, it is always best to ask the manufacturer for tips on how to keep the wood’s fine finish and beautiful appearance.

A Wonderful Haven: The Best Retreat Destinations in Queensland Worth a Visit

Tourist SpotsQueensland is one of the top tourist spots in the world. It’s one enormous place, so there’s no doubt that many people are curious to explore the state. There is so much to love about it apart from its breathtaking views, adrenaline-junkie activities, and heart warming food.

There’s an endless list of things to see, experience and feel. This is the reason you should visit the place once in your lifetime. This article will highlight some of the great things Queensland has to offer.

Thorsborne Trail

Experience the Queensland outback by exploring the 22km Thorsborne Trail. This is a must-try activity for serious hikers and outdoor lovers. After all, it has already gained a strong reputation as a crowd-pleasing haven. Experts say the place is a shelter of amazing flora and fauna, making it even more appealing to tourists craving for a one-of-a kind adventure.

Garden City

Westfield Garden City, one of Brisbane’s major shopping centres, boasts a welcoming atmosphere. This is a great place to taste the most scrumptious meals and enjoy outdoor dining spaces. As industry expert Hatch & Co. puts it: “The menu draws inspiration from the principles of traditional slow cooking to create rustic, home-style dishes crafted from the best of local and sustainable produce. The range of meals includes hearty mains, flavour some pizzas and generous share plates. The beer, wine and cocktails list includes a range of local and imported labels to complement and enhance the food offering.” This proves that visiting the Garden City is a must on every tourist’s to-do list.

Fitzroy Island

Visit this tropical paradise if you want a change of scenery. You can spend a day chilling on this island while admiring the stunning greenery and a blue ocean. When explored, you can see many sea creatures like crabs, sea snails, hermit crabs and even starfish. The weather here is warm, so you will find a great secluded spot to relax and unwind. You can take a nap, read a good book or have chat with other tourists.

Queensland is home to some of the best places that offer relaxation, peace, complete privacy and worldwide cuisine. These must-see destinations list will make you want to visit the place over and over again.

Venetian Blinds – The Ultimate Accessory for Your Home in Perth

Venetian BlindsDecorating your home and adding an element of functionality via a window treatment has never been easier than through the use of Venetian blinds. Such blinds are considered a classic and elegant means of form and function to windows that are rather dull. The same treatment can also create a fashion statement and contribute to better aesthetics.

Here is a quick guide on what you should know about Venetian blinds. Perth owners should take note, as there are many providers specialising in the same:

A Greater Sense of Control & Security

The best thing about installing Venetian blinds is the fact that it allows you to control how much light gets into your home. More than just illumination, the blinds also provide the privacy you require. Open glass windows allow strangers to see what you into your home and can inadvertently pose a security risk. Using venetian blinds limits the possibility of tracking, which results to better security.

Excellent Style

There is a reason why Venetian blinds are considered a classic when it comes to accessorising windows. They look amazing in any kind of home, whether it is a country style house or a minimalist modern home. Their versatility rests on the use of different available materials—wood can be used for country style homes, while aluminium or PVC is best suited for contemporary or modern style houses. They also come in extremely narrow width blade configurations or large wide ones, depending on your requirements. There is also a wide variety of colour palettes to choose from, so there is no problem when it comes to integrating them to your current home design setup. Of course, you can also have them bespoke to better suit very specific requirements.

Minimal Maintenance Needed

Venetian blinds are practical because there is very little maintenance required. All that is needed to keep them in good shape and appearance is the occasional wiping down with a soft damp cloth—simple as that.

Venetian blinds come in a range of sizes and designs that allow the homeowner to install them conveniently. They can be customised to fit the window size, which means you do not have to worry about size limitations. They come with a set of installation instructions that are easy to follow.

SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO processRaising the buying public’s awareness to business is one of the biggest goals that business owners need to accomplish. It takes a great deal of work to do so. More than raising awareness, though, you need to affect them enough to do business with you for you to make conversions.

With the last quarter of 2014 firmly underway, it is vital to update your strategies and do away with outdated SEO as the year comes to a close and a new one begins. There are a few mistakes every Brisbane SEO company should need to do away with before the year ends.

Inadequate Link Building

Inbound linking is one of the most important factors you need to focus on if you want to make the most of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Improper Keyword Use

Keyword stuffing was, and will always remain unacceptable practice. It filled sites with a flood of nonsensical content that prompted Google to come up with Panda and just to penalise brands that use such a manipulative tactic. Make sure you have good quality content, and not merely a hodgepodge of keywords piled atop one another.

Not Measuring

With so many free tools that are available, it has become increasingly possible to measure the effectiveness of all your efforts. Even if you exert so much effort, you will not see positive rankings if your methods are ineffective.

Not Focusing on Conversion

E-commerce is all about conversion. Campaigns tend to focus primarily on traffic increase. While it does do good to have large volumes of traffic, it is still useless if it does not convert.

Conclusion

There is virtually no way to predict what will happen in the coming year. What is sure, though, is that you need to stop making these mistakes now instead of bringing them over into 2015.

Leak Detection Services in Perth – Prioritizing What Matters Most

Water leakAccording to a recent industry survey, water leakage is the second most harmful source of damage to property, next only to fire. The statistical data also suggest that if not taken care of in due time, the more devastating the damage and more expensive.

This is why leak detection services focus on identifying the root cause of the problem because they know that the longer a leak source is undetected, the more havoc it causes to the property.

Importance of Leak Detection

Severe damage to property can ensue if the source of leak detection remains undiscovered. Detecting the source of the leak can be difficult, time consuming and prone to errors. Perina Plumbing cites instances that sometimes when they detect a leak, there may be other unfound leaks, and the problem of water loss remains. This results to loss of revenue, added costs and disruption of operations for commercial establishments. Finding the source of the leak the first time is crucial so the company can minimise disruption to operations.

Promptly identifying the source of the leak leads to lesser devaluation of the property.

Methods of Leak Detection

Leak detection services have a number of methods that they use to weed out the source of the underlying problem in a typical home or commercial establishment. The methods range from the conventional dig-and-drill approach to meter-based analogue detection and sophisticated infrared thermography methods. Among these, the latest and most sophisticated is infrared thermography technology.

Detecting the source of the problem keeps the building’s integrity so that it serves its owners longer.

Detecting the source of a leak is not for novices to handle. It requires sophisticated equipment, training and experience to perform the job right, the first time. Spare yourself the headache by choosing the right leak detection services to handle your problem.

How Much Does a Corporate Function Cost?

corporate costFor as long as commerce and entrepreneurship existed, people would hold elaborate gatherings to celebrate partnerships, achievements, and new beginnings. This habit is alive and well in the 21st century, and people today tend to call it a corporate function or event. Another thing that hasn’t changed is that these events tend to burn a hole through the organiser’s pocket – functions for larger companies can easily hit five digits.

These celebrations are valuable to the company’s future, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Understanding where the money goes, however, will help you decide where the company might be able to cut the costs a bit.

What makes up the price tag?

While your accounting department would be happy to tell you the specifics after the event is over, that won’t help you plan for it. Basically, these factors will have the largest impact on the bottom line, and your decisions should revolve around them.

1. The type of event – Of course, different events will need vastly different things. An end of year party will cost differently from a new product launch or a team building event, for example. This determines the equipment you’ll need, the services you’ll ask from the venue, and how extravagant the entire affair will be.

2. Number of people – Quite obviously, larger events with more attendees will always cost more. On the bright side, these will also have a lower cost per head than a smaller event of an equivalent quality. It is simply more cost-efficient to serve larger groups of people, so it’s possible to get great discounts.

3. The venue – The upfront cost for renting the venue is often your biggest expense, though some places like The Fiddler offer packages that charge per head instead. These packages often include the cost for the venue, food, and everything else the company will need. That simplifies the process greatly, and allows you to make more accurate decisions.

Easy ways to cut costs

There are several things you can do. First of all, getting multiple quotes is crucial, and can serve as a bargaining point. Some venues may also be willing to waive some fees depending on how large the function is and how nicely you ask. Finally, and most important, don’t think that you have to stick with conventional options like hotels; those are the most expensive, and not necessarily the best.

The Art of Storytelling in Content Marketing

Content MarketingPeople love and respond to engaging stories, that’s why it’s important to take advantage of the art of storytelling as a content marketing tactic. Many experts in the digital marketing field encourage businesses to incorporate basic elements of stories when generating content.

If you’ve diligently scoured the web, searched for top SEO companies from directories and now you’re in the process of deciding who to work with for the business’ content marketing strategies, this may help you narrow down your options—try to assess if your prospective SEO partner can deliver content that integrate these following narrative elements:

1. Conflict

Conflict makes audience want to know and read more; it sustains the attention of readers, thus giving opportunity to build a strong impression for your brand. The content marketers you will be working with must be able to present a clearly defined problem or need so that readers know what the content is for and why it’s worth reading.

2. Resolution

The content must not only create conflict, but also provide a useful resolution. This is where excellent marketers seamlessly introduce the brand; they adopt the “show, don’t tell” principle in fiction. They capitalize on details, examples and stories, not on bluntly telling how amazing the product or service is.

3. Atmosphere

Stories that have an atmosphere of authenticity (or the close-to-reality factor in the context of fiction) are very popular. The readers sense if a content is just trying to make a sales pitch. An engaging, relevant content goes beyond promotion of the product; it addresses the concerns of target audience and from there, speaks about what the brand truly stands for.

4. Point of View

Excellent content marketers know how to build an image of the readers in their minds. They are able to put themselves in readers’ shoes, that’s why they can generate relevant topics and interesting content that are appealing and worth sharing.

Before you hire an SEO company that will help you with content marketing strategies, it’s important to assess the quality of content marketing services they can deliver. Make sure that they can produce not just great content, but engaging and compelling stories that will boost the image of your brand.

Enterprise ICT Investment Trends in South Africa

Information TechnologyInformation& Communication Technology is referred to as ICT in South Africa, the largest of its field in the African region. In 2010, companies have spent $10.6 billion ICT solutions in South Africa, which translates to $29 billion in revenue.

Research and Markets recently published a report regarding South African ICT investment trends, up to the end of 2015. This paper surveyed 48 businesses in the country on how these companies apportion their budget on IT-related solutions, such as telecommunications, IT services, consulting, software, and hardware.

The 57-page report demonstrates the basic technologies the various enterprises are putting their money in, and in the order that they invest in technologies such as cloud computing, mobility, cyber-security, green IT and virtualization.

Notable trends covered by the report include:

• According to the survey, the budget in the field was all set to change overall in terms of size in the year 2014-2015.Apart from the allocations to the various core factors of the IT expenditure, it also showed the expenditure planned for the networking, IT management,  data centre and other applications.
• It also illustrates the various ICT fields the companies are interested in outsourcing.
• The report also gives insight on the movers that play an influential role in the companies’ investment patterns in each of the technology sectors.
• The survey helps financial and ICT analysts understand the trends for advanced and core technology sectors. The report also helps South African ICT providers like Internet Solutions to invest in the appropriate technology to help small-to-medium businesses.

The report also explains how ICT companies preferred to spend or invest their money, and what their objectives are with IT investment plans. It also expounds on the various elements that help them pick an ICT provider.

These trends presented in the report have provided a clear picture to both the service providers and the vendors. They are now better placed to provide appropriate solutions to the various companies in the country.

A Guide to Choosing Between Forged and Cast Aluminum Wheels

wheelWheels come in countless variations in terms of design, but when it comes to the manufacturing process, aluminum wheels are always either forged or cast. Most drivers know about this, but there is still some confusion on why forged wheels cost significantly more. What makes them so special, and are they worth it?

Even if both types use the same material, how the manufacturer makes them has a big difference in their performance levels. Read on to find out whether or not these advantages are worth the extra bucks you will have to shell out.

Forged Aluminum

Forged wheels are famous for being lightweight, but incredibly durable. The complex process involves using vast amounts of heat and pressure to shape a solid hunk of aluminum. For the same shape and size, these wheels are far stronger than their cast aluminum counterparts. They have superior mechanical properties, are more resistant to breaking and bending, and tend to last for a very long time.

Premium forged wheels are the top choice for racers and drivers of high-end cars. Finding them in the United States can be a bit difficult, however, due to their exclusivity. While some of the most well-known foreign brands, such as The Fuchsfelge, now have a branch in this country, others are still import only. Still, there are enough local choices to satisfy even the most demanding drivers.

Cast Aluminum

The casting process is much simpler and easier than forging, since it basically only requires pouring molten aluminum into a mold, and then letting it cool. Because aluminum is not naturally dense, this method requires a greater amount of metal to become durable enough for the road. Even then, the results are inferior to forging, and there is a greater risk of variance and impurities in the metal.

While they are not exactly prestigious, cast aluminum wheels are fine for everyday use, especially if they come from a reputable manufacturer. Even if they have a shorter lifespan, taking care of them properly can help preserve your investment.

This is another example of the age old question of quality vs. price. Only you can really determine whether or not the extra cost of forged wheels is worth it, as every driver has different needs.

What Makes a Future-Safe Link?

The changes in the search landscape from a decade ago have been massive, but one thing remains crucial in every SEO campaign: links. Yes, even though search engines cracked down on link building and rolled out policies on this, it still remains an essential part of every marketing campaign. With links at the core of search algorithms, your backlink portfolio will always be important.

disavow txt fileNevertheless, every marketer is pretty sure that things will change again in the near future. When that happens, thousands of sites will see drastic changes in their rankings, including innocent ones. This is why you have to ensure that your links are future-safe. How? Make sure that each link in your portfolio has the following characteristics:

High-Quality

When you’re still building links on sheer number alone, you’re sadly stuck in 2005. Since Penguin rolled out, it has all been about the quality of your links. The link should be something your website deserves. This means you need to build your link portfolio the natural way, without any black-hat tricks in between.

As the marketers at LinkCleaners explain it, every link you add on the Internet should add value to the Web. As long as you follow this Google-recommended guideline, your portfolio is safe.

Editorial

Links are powerful, which is why you should deserve it if it appears on another site. This means that every link should be purposely and willingly pointing to your site, and that the site administrator has done this at their discretion. As much as possible, you should “earn” your links through recommendations and posts from other websites. This does not, however, discourage building your own portfolio. But do know that every link pointing to your site must have been done properly and creatively.

Multipurpose

Go beyond the typical purpose of enriching your portfolio whenever you build a link. This is what Google has been talking about from the start: promote your brand to search engines and visitors at the same time. Never treat the two differently, as it has always been Google’s aim to enhance and streamline every searcher’s experience. While you’re building links, make sure that they engage your audience, bring in more traffic, and popularize your brand. Doing so keeps your portfolio immune to future algorithm shifts.

A future-safe link is one that incorporates these three concepts. As long as every entry in your portfolio has these, you can be sure that no algorithm will hit your rankings anytime soon.