Alan

We answer our critic…!

Where’s Wally?We were highly amused to receive the following comments from an anonymous source…

It’s all rather pathetic, but entertained us nonetheless. Of course we could easily have deleted these messages but thought instead, for the amusement of our visitors it might be more entertaining to respond.

To set the scene here’s how ‘Bob’ came to visit our site (from a UK IP address)…

First off, ‘Bob’ visited Google and did a search for Elle Draper which landed them on Elle’s personal Blog (unlikely behaviour for a random ‘Bob’ in Cyprus) and viewed 4 pages over 24 minutes

From that ‘Bob’ then clicked a link to another Blog site of ours about moving to Lanzarote, he viewed 5 pages in there over a couple of minutes, before finding a link to this website.

After hitting this site ‘Bob’ viewed 28 pages over the course of 22 minutes!

The first message was this one in response to our article entitled ‘Internet Thieves…’ (profanities have been removed, which is the only change made to the originals) Our answers follow…

Author : Bob (IP: 90.194.38.250 , 5ac226fa.bb.sky.com)
E-mail : bob@bobstuff.com
URL :
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=90.194.38.250
Comment:
What a load of fu**ing rubbish. You are just promoting a poxy little business on a rock in the middle of fu**ing nowhere. How many web designers are on your sh**ty island? JUST YOU at a guess (or I bet that’s what you claim!). Jeez … little fish in a little pond slagging off anyone trying to make a living? You c**ts make me sick … if you are going to use negative marketing it isn’t a good advert for you and this sort of prose just makes you come across as a very small outfit trying to build a reputation quickly by appearing knowledgeable and smart. F*CK you’ve only been in business for what .. 18 months??? I live in Cyprus and we see twats like you arrive here all the time … big ideas, big mouths, and gone in three years. TW*T.

There’s not really much to comment on is there with the first message? Nothing more than a string of insults…. The second comment, below, was in response to an article called How not to build a website.

Author : Bob (IP: 90.194.38.250 , 5ac226fa.bb.sky.com)
E-mail : bob@bobstuff.com
URL :
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=90.194.38.250
Comment:
Go on then .. name a reputable competitor .. still get the feeling you are the only company there and you won’t recommend a genuine competitor…. cyprus has twenty good companies … how many you got there? Still reads like it’s just you and you are trying to stop anyone else getting a foot in “your” market … point me to a URL I can trust and I’ll get a quote from both of you. I’ve got three in mind on the island for my new estate agency … are you telling me via your page that you are the only one … or you have done a deal to get a cut from the “competitor” (who is probably a business partner of yours) you recommend .. come on … have it out on a public page not a “private email”.

You come across as protectionist and arrogrant – name your competitors so your potential clients can make a fair “online” comparison. BTW- stop bleating about search engines when your competitors seem to be higher than you (even golanzarote.com scores higher than you!)

Anyone else ?

Okay, now we actually have some comments that amount to more than a string of insults so we’ll answer the key points directly to ‘Bob’.

  1. If someone wasn´t coming to us we´d suggest Timanfrae Media. We have NO financial arrangements with them or anyone else. Not sure how you conduct business ‘Bob’, but we pride ourselves on our professionalism.
  2. Yes, there are few good web companies here, and many people who do it part time.
  3. In number one on this list we answered your request for us to point you at a reputable alternative, can we look forward to receiving your quote then?
  4. Now here´s where we got confused – you say you are looking for two web design companies to quote you for an estate agency website, so presumably you’re opening up as an estate agent here in Lanzarote if you are looking at web designers in Lanzarote. In your other message you referred to our island as a shit*y little rock in the middle of nowhere? Hardly the attitude for a prospective Estate Agent is it? Not sure that’s the way to sell houses.
  5. As regards to the comment about us appearing big in our little market – we must be doing something right! Thanks for the compliment… If you care to look at our portfolio ‘Bob’ you may see that our clients tend to like our style of business – our profile has a knock on effect for them.
  6. We make no apology for what you describe as ‘protectionist and arrogant’. We welcome healthy competition, it provides us the opportunity to prove our promises are more than just words. Again ‘Bob’, look at the portfolio on our Gandy-Draper site. Our clients love us – which isn’t something we feel warrants an apology!
  7. On the same note, nor can we find it in ourselves to apologize for appearing ‘knowledgable and smart’. Thank you again for the compliment ‘Bob’!
  8. We don’t really see the point you are trying to make about searches as any of the following searches – Lanzarote web design, web design Lanzarote, Search Engine Optimisation Lanzarote, Search Engine Optimization Lanzarote will usually put us within the top five , and you may find one or more of our other sites on the first pages too.
  9. The mention of golanzarote.com (who as an information site is not a competitor) suggest more than a passing interest in Lanzarote.

The big question now is, who is ‘Bob’ in ‘Cyprus’. Anyone got any ideas?

  • Is he Elle’s stalker?
  • Is it just an attack on us for whatever reason, be that business or personal?
  • Is he one of the competitors with a poor reputation elsewhere?
  • Is he a ‘wannabe’ planning to move to island and trying to mix things up?
  • Is he one of the sharks in Lanzarote we have talked about elsewhere?
  • Is he actually ‘Bob’ in Cyprus? (In which case why is his original search on the name of Elle Draper? And, why would he be so sad as to post such comments on the site of a web design company on, in his words, a “shi*ty little island”. “a rock in the middle of fu**ing nowhere”, thousands of miles away?)
  • Is he something or someone else? We’d love to hear your ideas…

You decide…! 🙂

How not to build a website!

The World’s Worst WebsiteThe World’s Worst Website has long been a personal favourite, and we often revisit it when we need a laugh. We’ve been reminded of it recently by a site of a ‘competitor‘ (the term competitor is used very loosely) that frankly breaks just about every rule in the book!

We’ve written previously about what you should look for in a web designer so hopefully if you’ve followed our advice you’ll have managed to avoid them. The site is, without exaggeration, hilarious – if you find it you´ll know which one we are talking about. For rather obvious reasons we haven’t included a link to it… (but ask us nicely and we might email you the address)

To remind you of what we stressed on our home page, should you choose not to use Gandy-Draper for any reason, we would rather point you at our more reputable competitors…

Telefonica Domo phone and router manuals

One of the things Telefonica users in Lanzarote (and the rest of Spain) have difficulty finding is manuals, in English, for the Domo phone and routers that are provided on connection. Telefonica don’t supply them in English – much like they don’t readily supply technical support in English either. Customer service, especially to a large minority group like the English speakers in Spain, is not top of their priority list! No doubt this kind of exclusion, were it in the UK, is most probably illegal in this day and age! Continue reading

Plagiarism and Copyright on the Internet

CopyrightThe simplest advice of all is if you want to protect your Intellectual Property and don’t want it to be copied, stolen or abused – don’t publish it on the Internet. Be your work words, photographs, websites or anything else that can be described as creative this is the only sure way to protect yourself. However, it’s nigh on impossible these days to run any business without making a certain amount of examples and information about your business easily available. (The same can be pretty much applied to your private life too with the prevalence of Social Networking sites like Facebook!)

Now, here’s a short story for you by way of example; After a somewhat ‘entertaining’ evening I knocked together a little t-shirt design for a bit of fun on a site I use – I am not going to mention the site here, for the simple reason that despite feeling let down by them, it remains one of my favourite sites and I have no wish to get myself banned… Continue reading

Internet Thieves….

Dollar smileyIt never ceases to amaze us how many people get sucked into the American style Internet scams. There are so many of these shady ‘companies’ it beggars belief. If it wasn’t for knowing these things exist BECAUSE they would be really rather comical.

We can only assume that there are always vulnerable, willing newbies, still with notions (based on articles they have read about the Silicon Valley success stories of the past) that the Internet has made many millionaires in the heady .com boom. It still does. But nowadays it takes imagination and originality to really come up with something new and lucrative.

We stumbled across this one last night and haven’t laughing since, it’s called Smart Money Websites. It’s hilarious, and in the usual style of these thing full of absurd claims and ludicrous ‘I love’ you testimonials like this…

“I absolutely LOVE Smart Money Websites. For the first time in my life I’ve been able to do my own websites, squeeze pages, record audio, split test, Oh my gosh it’s all so easy….”

This ‘business’ was started by a “Wayne van Dyke” who claims to be a venture capitalist, supposedly involved with highly profitable technology start ups.

Problems…

1. A search on Wayne van Dyke leads only to stories about Dick van Dyke thus burying him if it is his real identity in Google (we suspect so you don’t find the truth!).

2. If he’s so damned smart why doesn’t he name his past successes.

In the usual hard sell direct marketing style, the text of this ‘site’ if you can call it that, has lots of repetition, lots of numbers ($50,000 is the favourite), and lots of buttons to suck you into the $1 trail.

So, what are they selling. Well, that’s our point, it’s not really clear. It’s either an MLM (Multi Level Marketing) sell this same business onto others idea, or they are selling pre-build affiliate marketing site. But lets be honest, who cares what they are selling. it’s the way they are selling it that is just plain wrong. They prey on the ill informed.

Here’s some numbers for you – apparently in their view this is the yearly cost of a website.

How to make your first $50K (home study course) – $297
(Reality: Chances are completely worthless if their site is anything to go by!)

Hosting – $240
(Reality: $83.40 if you use someone like Hostmonster)

Site Builder – $250
(Reality: FREE, assuming they mean a basic site building package as is often bundled with hosting accounts, but they are not clear)

Email Autoresponder – $200
(Reality: FREE with any sensible hosting plan)

Split Testing – $249
(Reality: FREE, but, creating similar gateway pages runs the risk of getting you banned from Google, and is no substitute for a little common sense)

Squeeze Page Generator – $480
(Reality: FREE, but, again considered as spam by search engines)

Ad-Tracking – $199
(Reality: FREE)

Webstats – $348
(Reality: FREE with any hosting plan, or you can use a service like StatCounter)

Audio – $348
(Reality: FREE, they simply don’t know what they are talking about)

Dashboard – $1200
(Reality : FREE, probably little more than a host’s control panel or a well designed Admin panel within a custom site which would have been purchased with the build)

Webmaster @$50/hr. x 400 hrs – $20,000
(This is our favourite, the sites we build for people don’t often take more than a few hours – if any – to look after. If you look at our client list you’ll see that if that this was the case we’d be semi-retired now! Yes, it does cost to build a quality site, but a good web design company should be delivering you, at this level, a site you can completely manage and maintain yourself)

Here’s the good news, you only get to pay them $647 a year for all this! The only thing missing from this to truly convince us that this was a scam was a photo of the founder on a Hawaiian beach with a cocktail in hand just to show how they are enjoying spending your money. As the old saying goes, “if it sounds to good to be true – it probably is”.

We did send them a polite (okay, polite is stretching the truth a bit) email to ask what they were ACTUALLY selling, but needless to say have not as yet got a response…

Telefonica

Telefonica logoBeing a web designer in Lanzarote is much the same as being a web designer in the UK, but for one thing, the scourge of all Internet users on the island. Telefonica. One simple word that makes the blood of many an ex-pat boil.

Continue reading

Are you a shopkeeper?

We didn’t burn him!So, you’ve just got your new website and you are feeling pretty pleased with yourself. You’ve started adding it as your signature in forums, you’re looking for links and reciprocal links, and you’re starting to learn a bit about what Search Engine Optimization is, and realizing you can do a large part of it yourself. You’re doing everything right – but – Google isn’t picking you up (be patient, it doesn’t happen overnight), and you aren’t getting the hits you’d wish for… What have you missed?

Think of it this way – your website is like a shop front, at this moment in time you are in a back street. As with a real shop, few of us can afford a prime position on the high street. Irrespective of how good your site is, what gets prime position is the millions of pounds that the likes of, for instance EasyJet spend on billboard space, other conventional media, and Internet advertising on key sites.

Now, here’s the good news. Lanzarote is a small island, so a little bit of investment of time and money off-line can raise your profile considerably. Make sure your address is seen everywhere, put it on the ads you’ve placed in magazines (simple, but often forgotten), have a look at advertising on some of the key websites on the island too (we’re happy to advise if you aren’t sure what you are looking for – it’s all part of the service), make sure you post flyers on the notice boards around the island, make sure you have cards on you always, make sure your friends have cards to give out. Talk to people, it really is that simple.

Whatever you do, don’t just sit back and wait for people to come to you – it’s not going to happen. As with all businesses you have to have a great product and you have to let people know in as many ways as are available to you, on and off-line, what you have to offer.

Social Network Marketing

FacebookYou may have heard the phrase before, but we’ll clarify anyway. Social Network Marketing is using social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to market your business or services by creating profiles for brands or companies, and using the communication tools they provide.

It sounds like a great idea, but there are some major pitfalls to be aware of… Continue reading

Our Clients

Below are just a selection of the many companies and businesses we have provided services for since Gandy-Draper began in 2006.

123 Transfers (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
360 Canaries –
website design and hosting
Asesoría Europa
(Lanzarote) – Website design
Ask4Genie – website design and hosting
Atlantic Islands Sailing (UK & Lanzarote) – Website design
Atlantic Sunshine Locations – website design and hosting
Atlantico Homes (Lanzarote) – website design and consultation
Attraction Lifestyles Bulgaria (UK) – Website design and hosting
Attraction Lifestyles Worldwide (UK) – Website design and hosting
Bagley-Hicks (Lanzarote) – Design of website, business cards & logo
Beautiful Gardens and Villas (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Beauty By Alice (Lanzarote) – Design of logo, and flyers
Beauty Stop (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
BigVino.com (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Body and Soul (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Bottles Bar – website design and hosting
British Surgery of Lanzarote (Lanzarote) – Website design
Business Finder Lanzarote – website design and hosting
Buy Your Holiday (UK) – Website design and hosting
Camel House Concerts (Lanzarote) – Website design
Canary Island Dating (Lanzarote) – Website design & interactive marketing
Canary Islands Dream Villas – (Lanzarote) Website and logo design
Carmen’s Restaurant (Lanzarote) – Website design
Casa Bella (Client in UK) – Website design, logo & business card design
CK Haulage (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Clarenden Stone
(UK) – Website and logo design
Clean Sweep
(Lanzarote) – Business card and flyer design
Cocinas Direct (Lanzarote)
– Website design, hosting, business card design and interactive marketing
Computer Wizards
(UK) – Website design, and hosting
Consulting Turistico Canario S.A.
– (Lanzarote) Interactive marketing
Coronas Fish Foot Spa –
website design and hosting
Daly Building Services
(Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Dave Babb
(Spain) – logo design
Diamond & Stars
(UK) – Website design and hosting
Discover Lanzarote
(Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Discover and Recover (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Dove Property
(Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Estupendo
(Lanzarote) – website consulting
EZ-Translation
– website design and hosting
Euro Property Finder
– website design and hosting
Flowers By Serenity
– website design and hosting
Fondation Yann Fouéré
(Lanzarote and France) – Website design
Fumiguard SL – (Lanzarote & Fuerteventura) – Website design
GarabyHunt (UK) – website design
Garabys Letting Agents (UK) – Website design
Gemini Rentals (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Gemini Services (Lanzarote) – Website Design and Hosting
Herman Diving Instructor (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Hubs & Tubs (Lanzarote) – Website design and interactive marketing
Inn Plaice (Lanzarote) – Flyer design
Irish Anvil Bar – (Lanzarote) Website design
Kids Stuff Fancy Dress Hire (UK) – Website design
La Bocaina Restaurant (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing, and flyer design, and website
Lanzarote Business Sales (Lanzarote) – Website design and interactive marketing
Lanzarote Investments (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Lanzarote Lates (Lanzarote) – Modifications to existing website and marketing
Lanzarote Massage (Lanzarote) – website design and hosting
LanzaroteShop4me.com – Website design
Lanzarote Terrace Tidy (Lanzarote) – Website design
Lanzaspas (Lanzarote) – Website design & logo
Legends Playa Blanca (Lanzarote) – Logo and flyer design
Live Angler (UK) – Website design, logo & marketing
M.F. Logistics Consultants (UK) – Website maintenance and SEO
Macey’s (Lanzarote) – Website design
Marine Villa Lifestyles (UK) – SEO
Mathparri (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
More Sun Villas (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
Montaña Villas & Pools (Lanzarote) – Website design & interactive marketing
Nancy Spence (US Senate) (United States) – Logo design
NVQ in Spain – website design, hosting and marketing
Ocean Cable Technologies (UK) – Public Relations
Overseas Property Unlimited (Lanzarote) – Website design, logo, business cards & interactive marketing
Panda’s Gallery (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Paddy Macs (Lanzarote) – Website design
Park Estates (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Playa Blanca Property Services (Lanzarote) – Website design, logo & business card design
Playa Real Villas
(Lanzarote) – Website design
Playa Blanca Rentals
(Lanzarote) – Website design and marketing
Pen Pal People (United States) – Website design & logo
Perfect 10 (Lanzarote) – Logo design
Peter Richardson (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
PMS Lanzarote (Lanzarote) – Website design, logo & business cards
PS Aluminium (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
QSI Group (UK) – Web design
Reflex (Lanzarote) – Logo and flyer design
Renovatio Design (Lanzarote) – Design of website, business cards, flyers & logo, SEO
Restaurant Azure – website design and hosting
Safari Diving (Lanzarote) – Web hosting
SARA Animal Shelter (Lanzarote) – Website design & interactive marketing
School of Soccer (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Seagrass St Ives – website designa nd hosting
Sheraston Villas (Lanzarote) – Interactive marketing
Shop4Me (Lanzarote) – Website design
Shurlock Inn (UK) – Website design
Snorkelling Delights (Lanzarote) – Website design & interactive marketing
Taxes Online (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
The Irish Anvil Bar (Lanzarote) – Website design and hosting
TianRay (China) – Website design
Tootsies Fish Foot Spa – website design and hosting
Transfers 4 You (Lanzarote) Website design
Two 4 One Karaoke (Lanzarote) – Logo and business card design
UGR (mainland Spain) – Website design, SEO & interactive marketing
Villa Azul (Lanzarote) – Website design, logo and business card design
VVO (Lanzarote) – Website design and marketing
Wax Bar (Lanzarote) – Website design
Wedding Blessings Lanzarote – website design and hosting
Willowcoon (Lanzarote) – Website design & logo
Villa Azul – website design and hosting
Your Health and Your Wealth – website design and hosting

… not to mention the many many many bars, restaurants, and associated businesses that choose Canary Nightlife to provide their advertising and promotion.