Joe Ogden https://www.joeogden.com business brand design Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:45:45 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 First Dedicated Web Hosting Company in Cambodia https://www.joeogden.com/2016/02/first-dedicated-web-hosting-company-cambodia/ Sat, 27 Feb 2016 18:42:28 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=1396 I’ve looked after website hosting and email hosting for clients for as long as I’ve been building websites, and in 2015 I launched Cambodia’s first dedicated web hosting company, HostAsean.com....

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HA - Logo - v1 (01-05-2015)-19I’ve looked after website hosting and email hosting for clients for as long as I’ve been building websites, and in 2015 I launched Cambodia’s first dedicated web hosting company, HostAsean.com.

The company was formed on the 4th January 2015 from my laptop while spending some time in Kampot over the new year holidays. Together with Cambo.Host who provided some essential hardware and networking expertise, I spent a few months configuring, testing, and physically moving servers around Cambodia until we were ready to move everything over to the Phnom Penh server around April.

By June we had ironed out some bugs and were ready to go – Cambodia’s first dedicated web hosting provider was now online to stay.

The network that HostAsean.com uses is provided by SINET, and the server sits in their data centre in central Phnom Penh. Connected to a 50mbps international link and 150mbps domestic connection to give extra speed for all your Cambodia based website visitors. In this case, the domestic network also seems to cover part of Thailand and Vietnam as a bonus. Customers connected to ISPs peered to this connection in Cambodia also enjoy very low latency to their website and email servers – typically only 2-3ms.

HostAsean’s web servers run cPanel for easy account management and are optimised for WordPress and regular business email use. The platform is configured with firewalls and extra security settings, that alongside the recommended WordPress security plugins, help to minimise any chance of your WordPress site being compromised.

Later expansion plans include server hubs in other ASEAN countries, with potential locations being Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam. Almost everyone can benefit from hosting more locally. Especially in countries where the infrastructure is not as fast as the more common Asian web hosting server hubs like Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.


I’d happy to help you get set up with a new website or move your existing one, just pick out a web hosting package or get in touch.

 

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My Website Design Career Beginnings https://www.joeogden.com/2016/02/my-website-design-career-beginnings/ https://www.joeogden.com/2016/02/my-website-design-career-beginnings/#respond Tue, 16 Feb 2016 07:04:28 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=1350 This website is a piece of history in my website design career. It marked the first proper client project I did, and the first sale over the internet for my design &...

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This website is a piece of history in my website design career. It marked the first proper client project I did, and the first sale over the internet for my design & development services. It was 2001 and I was about 16.

 

 

The client was Whispering Oaks, a holiday villa in Florida. I wonder if they still have the Disney bedroom.


internet-explorer-5-5I was supplied with photos and text content for the site and got started. First creating the layout and the amazingly chiseled logo text in Photoshop. Then after seeking the client’s approval, I sliced up the images and put them back together with hand coded HTML. Using tables for the inner page and fixed top and bottom frames for the navigation layout isn’t something anyone would recreate now, but there were plenty of limitations in a time when IE6 was possibly even considered revolutionary. The layout itself has even aged pretty well, wide and clean with a sidebar in place on some pages. It must have been the frames themselves that everyone turned against, rather than their frequent application as a fixed menu bar – horizontal versions of which are pretty ubiquitous on modern templates, such as this site.

I got the project through an online gaming acquaintance who must have shared my enjoyment of lag and packet loss. I first got started learning and building websites a few years prior to this, creating sites for gaming teams in the UK. The first PHP/MySQL based application I worked on was a match results system which generated player stats and stored screenshots and demos for replays. Good wholesome fun.

The Whispering Oaks website itself is still online 15 years later in 2016, I hope it remains up for a good while longer. You can have a look into the time capsule at: whisperingoaks.co.uk. I believe I quoted and was paid £350 for the website that started my website design career, via a cheque through the Royal Mail. Later I did a further brand and website project for the clients IT business, who also still use the logo with blue dots and a swoosh that I made in Photoshop 15 years ago. I would probably ditch the swoosh now, but maybe keep the dots as a brand element..

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Website & Design Project Review 2015 https://www.joeogden.com/2016/02/design-website-building-in-cambodia-in-2015/ https://www.joeogden.com/2016/02/design-website-building-in-cambodia-in-2015/#respond Sat, 06 Feb 2016 09:53:04 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=1047 A good, eventful year with a few ambitious projects. The main three things that kept me occupied in 2015 were clients in the real estate and insurance industries, and the...

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A good, eventful year with a few ambitious projects. The main three things that kept me occupied in 2015 were clients in the real estate and insurance industries, and the setting up of a website hosting company in Cambodia.


ips-cambodia-real-estate-website-development-5Building Property & Real Estate Websites

I continued with a lot of work in the property and real estate sector in Cambodia, with a rebuild of the IPS Cambodia website, integrating a WordPress site with automated feeds from the listing management backend system. First moving the website and property database over to servers in Phnom Penh, and then rapidly re-building a functional website and help to migrate the domain reputation over to the new name.

Throughout the year the site has been further developed, particularly with SEO in mind, and now ranks for key real estate keywords in Cambodia as it did before. The website continues to be added to with new properties, articles and blog content.


hostasean-web-hosting-website-design-1The First Website Hosting in Cambodia

Together with Cambo.Host, I established Host Asean Ltd early in 2015, Cambodia’s website hosting company. We operate from servers based in Phnom Penh, and by bringing the service locally to Cambodia means we can offer much increased speeds for local businesses. It is a very early stage in a market where websites and internet use is still relatively new, but it is rapidly changing.

Host Asean Ltd just celebrated its first anniversary since the company registration in early January and is steadily growing and creating a place in the market where typically web hosting has been provided from the low cost providers in the US which dominate the global market.


Growing Cambodian Insurance Market

Insurance featured highly among clients and projects, with both People & Partners Insurance Plc. and later in the year, IBS (Insurance Broker Solutions) opening its doors to the market in Cambodia. For both companies I provided a wide range of services covering their logo & branding design, corporate identity, stationery, and marketing collateral. For People & Partners the project also involved creating advertising concept work for their launch campaign, based around the message that “insurance is for everyone” to appeal to the mass Khmer market.

My insurance related work also extends into system development and IT. Largely development and management of custom financial and account management cloud systems for FEIC, also all running from servers maintained in Phnom Penh.


 

Looks like a lot more websites to build and more code to write rather than graphic design in 2016.

Email me at email@joeogden.com if you have any interesting projects lined up.

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Concepts // Ideas https://www.joeogden.com/2015/05/professional-design/ https://www.joeogden.com/2015/05/professional-design/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 04:11:05 +0000 http://para.wpforweb.com/?p=159 The post Concepts // Ideas appeared first on Joe Ogden.

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Website Implementation https://www.joeogden.com/2015/05/html5-css3/ https://www.joeogden.com/2015/05/html5-css3/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 04:08:44 +0000 http://para.wpforweb.com/?p=156 The post Website Implementation appeared first on Joe Ogden.

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Web App Development https://www.joeogden.com/2015/05/web-app-development/ Wed, 13 May 2015 10:46:37 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=497 The post Web App Development appeared first on Joe Ogden.

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Emerging Ecommerce in Cambodia https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/emerging-ecommerce-in-cambodia/ https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/emerging-ecommerce-in-cambodia/#respond Sun, 25 May 2014 17:21:55 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=718 There are a couple of obstacles to overcome if you want to do e-commerce and online payments in Cambodia, either when the merchant or the customer is based in Cambodia....

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There are a couple of obstacles to overcome if you want to do e-commerce and online payments in Cambodia, either when the merchant or the customer is based in Cambodia.

A customer has one main obstacle, and that is the availability of credit cards and other forms of online payments that are well supported internationally, as useful as mobile phone payments and similar money transfer services are, they aren’t supported by international payment gateways and can’t be used to buy online without custom development. Credit cards are easy, if your market uses credit cards (such as for travel, tourism and hospitality, or digital purchases) then it can be a nice addition.

Receiving payments is another matter, a local bank has just recently (early 2014) started offering a merchant gateway and the tools to interface with it, but also requires some customisation. The simplest solution is something like PayPal or other like WorldPay or Google Checkout or Eway.com.au since there is common support in ready made plugins. You can’t yet withdraw PayPal into a Cambodian bank account, so requires use of an international account somewhere (such as if you’re an expat, your home country or a neighbouring country),  some of the other options can withdraw to a Cambodian account but can be more costly. You can also process payments manually with a local bank, just as if you were taking the details over the phone.

The other main obstacle to online payments is delivery logistics, in that without a regular postal service it is difficult to ship any physical retail goods to a customer in Cambodia, and to do so would require operating a private delivery service. Along with common availability and stock complications, operating an online retail business with physical products has a lot of difficulties in Cambodia.

If your product is suited (digital products are great) and your market already buys online, then it is worth exploring, especially if you have the option to withdraw to an overseas account, and pay a subscription to a payment gateway.

 

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Domain Names, Website & Email Hosting Explained https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/domain-names-website-email-hosting-explained/ https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/domain-names-website-email-hosting-explained/#respond Sun, 25 May 2014 14:21:06 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=693 The internet is inherently broken and doesn’t work perfectly 100% of the time, things break and change, then need fixing and updating, so no web or email hosting is perfect. Hopefully there...

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The internet is inherently broken and doesn’t work perfectly 100% of the time, things break and change, then need fixing and updating, so no web or email hosting is perfect. Hopefully there are some answers to some commonly asked questions below, and solutions for typical situations.

Domain names are registered at a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc. Typically they cost US$10-20 per year for registration of a .com, .asia, or similar domain extension like .net, .org, etc. These are easy to register and you benefit from registering for 5-10 years at once.

This is only to register the domain, to do anything with it you need website or email hosting…

If email is a priority, my recommendation is to sign up to Google Apps, unfortunately it is no longer free (back in Jan 2013) but US$5/user month or $50/user a year is a small price to pay for no headaches. Many people have trouble with regular “all in one” web and email hosting, and if you add up all the hours spend on tech support and potentially missed emails. Having your email on Google Apps also means you have a lot more flexibility with your website hosting, it is easy to change when your email is not dependent on it.

Clients that have had constant email problems have found the solution in Google Apps, the problems just went away.

Most web hosting providers are resellers, they simply set you up an account on their rented server and have little to no control over the actual hardware, this keeps costs down but control is limited. Email is typically very important for small to medium companies and they often have issues, it is well worth the cost to put it in the hands of a specialist provider rather than used bundled with your web hosting.

For website hosting, most sites just need some basic PHP/MySQL cPanel hosting for a WordPress install, this is cheap, easily obtained, and tends to be reliable. As mentioned above, when your email is hosted centrally on Google Apps, it’s easy to shop around for the fastest one for where you need access and change your host.

You might also benefit from a CDN for your website, for about US$10 a month you can mirror the site in Europe and the US for faster international speeds, while having your main website hosting servers in Cambodia to get faster speeds for you and your customers in Southeast Asia.

Edit 28/06/2015 – I am establishing HostAsean.com – a website & email hosting company in Cambodia. Check the blog for promos and coupon codes.

 

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Do you really need a custom designed website? https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/do-you-really-need-a-custom-designed-website/ https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/do-you-really-need-a-custom-designed-website/#respond Sun, 25 May 2014 13:02:55 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=682 So you have decided you want a website for your company, whether you do consulting, real estate, recruitment, retail or anything else, then you would probably benefit from getting a...

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So you have decided you want a website for your company, whether you do consulting, real estate, recruitment, retail or anything else, then you would probably benefit from getting a website, but you probably do not need a custom designed website.

If you are in Cambodia, then your customers are probably not buying online, but your website will still usually function as a sales (or conversion) tool – does a custom website benefit your sales, or will the functionality offered by a readymade theme be sufficient, and you can instead focus money and efforts on filling the website with quality content – photographs, design work, and customisations to bring the theme into your branding. For most people, this is more beneficial.

Why reinvent the wheel?

I like WordPress, it’s pretty solid and stable, and doesn’t try to do too much. It is easily extended with themes and plugins, and many premium plugins are pretty good. They won’t do exactly what you want, but they will often do 90% and you can adapt your plans to fit around what is available. There are specialist themes utilising different functionality such as social sites, real estate listings, consultancy, directories, review sites, and also themes suited to almost all industries. It is easy to change the colours and fonts to fit your brand, and once the photos and content are replaced with your own then it will look pretty slick.

Speaking of photos, most people can’t run to getting a professional photographer in, or their business is not easily photographed. For something like a restaurant, bar, hotel or retail product based business then I’d suggest getting a good photographer in to make it look great, this is what will stand out on the website and also be used for all your other marketing materials, people look at photos and content not the website itself. If you are in a less easily photographed industry, just get some generic stock photos from sites like Fotolia, iStockPhoto, etc. Theme the generic photos such as using close ups of Angkor Wat carvings, or plants or animals.

Most of the theme layouts are pretty cool, as a designer and developer in many cases it makes little sense to build completely custom sites to the same level, when a theme would do the job just fine. Since a custom build means there is days of work to do and most people prefer things done quickly and are unhappy waiting too long as often happens. You can buy these themes for under $50 and if you have content ready you can have them setup, customised and set live the same day.

All this only takes a few days to set up if you are flexible with website functionality, spend the time you save on graphic design and creating / organising content.

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Cloud Storage vs. Local Office Server https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/cloud-storage-vs-local-office-server/ https://www.joeogden.com/2014/05/cloud-storage-vs-local-office-server/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 15:08:26 +0000 http://www.joeogden.com/?p=729 Many small and medium businesses seem to think that they need a central office file server, which is a pain to maintain and can be costly. However simple the server solution,...

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Many small and medium businesses seem to think that they need a central office file server, which is a pain to maintain and can be costly. However simple the server solution, for example a QNAP NAS is pretty simple, it still requires some administration and assumes you have a decent understanding of networking and the internet in general. You can get someone in to set it up, and come round to maintain it, or start an in-house IT department by hiring an IT guy full time, but usually you could do without the hassle.

Use cloud based storage instead.

Even for large artwork and photograph files, frequently 100-200mb or more in size (that can take an hour or more to synchronise), it is still a solid solution that average internet speeds in Cambodia can cope with – assuming they are pretty much always connected. Dropbox for example, when used like a normal folder, responds to changes almost as quickly as a local server (and in some cases more reliably, for example power outages) in normal everyday use.

More and more people are using cloud based storage for business use, both on an individual and enterprise level, but it fits really well for small-medium businesses as a physical server replacement due to the ease of setup and no maintenance.

I have tried a fair few of the cloud storage services out there both on a free and paid for level, and set up and maintained them for others. I’ve tried Dropbox, Dropbox Teams (Business version), Google Drive, Copy.com, Box.com, and looked into many others. Out of the lot.. Dropbox and Copy get used every day, with an emphasis on Dropbox. Copy.com is good to get a lot of space but I have found the synchronisation and reliability isn’t as good as Dropbox and that is a pretty key feature.

If you have a clunky server sitting in the corner it is easy to migrate to a cloud service, or get the best of both worlds and set up the server to also synchronise to the cloud.

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