Search Engine Optimisation or how does google find my site?

23 March 2016 in Blog

Our friend Jason in Spokane recently asked how to get a relatively new website up onto the top pages of Google’s search engine.  Currently the site doesn’t appear at all when users enter a search term such as “Auto Shopping Spokane”, so here are a few basic things that can help.  For starters Google provide a helpful starter guide but the first thing to fix is the <title> for the main page and then give every page a useful and accurate title:

<title>This Credit Union – Auto Shopping Spokane</title>

for the main page title and:

<title>This Credit Union – Auto Finance and Loans</title>

for the Finance page and so on.  Next you’ve got to look at the meta data.  This doesn’t necessarily push the site up the rankings but will help Google display the details accurate in the search results.  Developed By Monkeys meta data looks like:

<meta name=”Author” content=”Developed By Monkeys”>
<meta name=”Description” content=”Developed By Monkeys … a web design house based in Mortimer, West Berkshire … a few monkeys typing randomly”>
<meta name=”Keywords” content=”DevByMonkeys, Developed By Monkeys, Web Design, Mortimer, West Berkshire”>

and this helps Google accurately locate and describe your site.  Once the site is “described” better by the title and the meta tags you can then request that Google’s crawlbot visits your site.

White screen of death in WordPress

19 October 2015 in Uncategorized

I was recently perplexed when a site I was hosting but not administering wasn’t accessible … just a blank white screen appeared.  I followed many of the suggestions I found online such as removing all the plug-ins to find a malicious one with no success, even with no plugins active the WordPress site still returned a blank screen.  I finally found a shared library in the root folder called and a quick search up on that suggested it was the malware and then realised that there was a zero byte index.html file also in the root folder.  I removed both those files and was able to get the site up and running.  Apparently an administrator of the site had created an “admin” user with the dumbest password ever of “password” … it probably hadn’t been much later that the site had been hacked and the malware had appeared.

Firefox browser and the Flash plug-in

15 July 2015 in Blog

A number of websites DevByMonkeys have produced over the years still have some Flash plug-in use (for photo galleries, etc) so if you’re viewing one of our sites you might be seeing that Firefox is blocking Flash by default.  There’s a good write-up of the issue here.  You can keep your Flash player up to date (here) to try to avoid the problems but it looks like we might need to replace some of those old components that still use Flash.


8 November 2013 in Our Work

Rachel of needed a fresher, newer look for her website for her well established personal training, fitness and tennis coaching business in Mortimer, West Berkshire.  Developed By Monkeys were able to quickly migrate her current content over to a WordPress site using a modified Twenty-Twelve theme.  We’re also looking at providing an easy integration from WordPress into Rachel’s facebook page for the business ( though that will hopefully come on line later once the WordPress plugin and Facebook integration is done.


Personal Training, Group Fitness sessions, Fitness coaching, Tennis coaching, Mortimer, West Berkshire.


That’s Facebook Nonsense!

3 May 2013 in Blog

You know those posts that your Facebook friends share or like that drive you mad.  The ones that warn you that Facebook will start charging for posts or that a Facebook group of pedophiles might hack your account.  Well this post is appearing on a lot of business pages at the moment:


It suggests that page owners need to pay to reach more of their audience.  Let’s forget for a second that Facebook provide their services for free and actually why shouldn’t they charge businesses and look at whether this is another one of those rumours that is based on misinformation.  As soon as I saw this post on a business Facebook page I put some of the text into Google and got back over 3.5 million hits which is a clear sign that people are blindly copy-pasting the information.  However on the first page of those hit I found two very useful links.  The first was a site called which explained how the pay-for-viewers post was just that and the second explained more of the intricacies of how EdgeRank works from a marketeers perspective called

Motion detecting web cam

9 November 2012 in Blog

Not an every day task but I recently needed to set up a motion detecting camera that would play a random sound file when motion was detected.  Having checked online for a few ideas I decided to try an Ubuntu (v12.04) system with Kenneth Lavrsen’s Motion.  I had a very old Creative NX Pro webcam that I thought would work and it took no time at all to get Ubuntu and Motion running with the camera.

My first problem was that webcams aren’t designed for outdoor use as the aperture is too wide.  I tried to work out if it would be possible to reduce the size of the aperture but in the end I went for a pair of shades.  Not just any shades … some Oakleys.  So a pair of Oakley lenses were taken from an old pair of Eye Jackets and blue-tacked together in front of the webcam lense to reduce the amount of light.

The next step was to get the sound files working, so I installed mpg123 and configured Motion to run a shell script at the appropriate time:

# Command to be executed when a motion frame is detected (default: none)
on_motion_detected /home/myuser/bin/

The shell script then used a simple loop and checked to see if it was the only copy executing at the time (to avoid duplicate sounds playing) and then played a random file from a specified folder:

if [ `ps -ef | grep mpg123| grep -v grep| wc -l` = “0” ]; then

cd /home/myuser/Music/winston
set — *
#   echo $# >> /home/myuser/bin/play.log

random_num=$(( $RANDOM % ($length + 1) ))
#    echo ${!random_num} >> /home/myuser/bin/play.log
mpg123 ${!random_num}


Motion is a very nice little program as it not only takes timed snapshot images from the camera, but also creates images of each motion event and creates an avi movie of that event.


A new look for Aperture Dramatics

10 February 2012 in Our Work

We’ve just finished work on a new Wordpess site for Lisa at Aperture Dramatics in Burghfield Common, Berkshire.


Fizzy Wizzy Sweet Cart

21 October 2011 in Our Work

Fizzy Wizzy Sweet Cart :

FizzyWizzySweetCart is a traditional sweet cart available for hire at weddings, parties or corporate events based in Swindon, Wiltshire and Developed By Monkeys were happy to help set up and host the brand new WordPress site for Sarah.  Oh and yes we love fizzy cola bottles!

Townsend Associates

10 February 2011 in Our Work

Townsend Associates :

We’ve recently collaborated with Alice at Ally Pally Graphics to create two sites for Steve Townsend.  The first was a WordPress site for his core business of  Townsend Associates and then secondly for his Boats and Restoration Solutions (


Ally Pally Graphics

6 December 2010 in Our Work

Ally Pally Graphics :

Alice at Ally Pally Graphics provides bespoke graphic design services at competitive prices in the West Berkshire area and needed a new affordable website developed quickly and using the standard Twenty-Ten theme for WordPress. Developed By Monkeys were able to help with some of the trickier customisations required and are also now pleased to be hosting the site.