Entries Tagged 'Setfire Media' ↓

Job Opportunity : In-House PPC Optimiser and Data Analyst

Would you like a PPC role where you don’t have to deal with clients? A role where you can focus all of your energy on PPC, rather than spending half of your time producing reports and justifying your existence to someone who doesn’t quite ‘get it’.

This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to grow an already successful PPC account for a fast-growing ecommerce business.  Depending on your experience, you will either take full control of the account, or will be coached into doing so. If you can add value to the business, the role will offer excellent career potential.

You’ll be working in a pretty down to earth team, where results speak much louder than words. Your overall goal will be to increase the revenue and profit generated from the clicks you’re buying and reporting will usually focus on this alone.

Candidate Requirements

Currently, the account has about 200,000 active keywords and 15,000 landing pages. To successfully improve the account (it’s definitely not perfect, so don’t worry about that), we feel the ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

  1. A high degree of attention to detail
  2. Very experienced with MS Excel and able to manipulate large amounts of data
  3. Have profitably grown PPC accounts in the past (not essential, see below)
  4. Excellent academic results (either science degree or exceptional school results)
  5. Be adaptable to different types of work and be easy going

Ideally, you’ll have experience of successfully managing large and complex PPC campaigns, but if not, you’ll need some experience of managing large amounts of data in some other area.

Contact us to apply

New site launched – Spares Next Day

We are pleased to announce the launch of www.sparesnextday.co.uk – a site offering consumables like hoover bags and moving on to a vast array of other domestic spares.

The challenge here has been in presenting products like vacuum bags for sale in a way that allows the customer to find their exact item easily, whilst offering a broad range of both genuine and compatible choices.  With an off-the-shelf ecom application, this becomes more and more of a challenge as the product range expands.

Our Payment Service Provider Axiar is acquired by UPG plc

Having built, managed and run Axiar for the past four or so years, we have now handed it on to UPG plc, the UK’s largest independently owned card processing gateway.

We have loved building and improving Axiar over the years including acheiving its status as a Level 1 PCI-DSS compliant payment service provider. UPG is a great company and we know its in safe hands.

Standard release now follows:

UPG plc purchase Axiar

Universal Payment Gateway plc (www.upg.co.uk) thought to be the UK’s largest independently owned card processing gateway have completed their 3rd PSP acquisition in the last 12 months, following the successful acquisitions of the PSL portfolio and Secure Hosting Ltd. The purchase of Axiar Payment Solutions Ltd (www.axiarpayments.co.uk) in June 2010 increasingly adds to the portfolio of e-commerce specialist payment software companies.

Axiar has been delivering strong growth in the mid market e-commerce sector with a particular skill set in recurring payments for travel companies and high speed ecommerce merchants. The merchants being served by Axiar have been processing via UPG for some time and will continue to get the same great service. Of the transaction Miles Carroll, CEO of UPG plc comments “We are really happy to have completed the acquisition of Axiar and will see great benefit from the transaction. Axiar has a great reputation as a Tier 1 provider of payments and we see a really good fit within our stable of brands. We are proud of our service and have seen strong growth through the subsidiary brands and the movement of 2 existing PSP’s to the platform this year will make for a great year in 2010.” The sentiment was echoed by Jonathan Clark, MD of Axiar, “Like a number of PSP’s we have been using UPG as our route to the banks and found the service and systems to be excellent. The significant investment going into the UPG platform and the already rich feature set, made it the obvious choice for our clients; we are very pleased with the transaction and know our business is in safe hands”

UPG have been going through an expansion process and have added two new data centres to the pool in 2009 & 2010 with one additional data centre going live in November 2010. The business has invested heavily in IBM blade processing technology and Cisco networking systems and by Christmas 2010, over 100 new IBM servers and NetApps devices will have been deployed as part of the tech refresh; this investment in hardware and networking has made it possible to safely absorb the acquisitions into the gateway infrastructure.

UPG continues to enjoy double digit growth and has not ruled out further acquisitions during 2010.

Whilst exact numbers have not been released, it was confirmed that the deal was entirely funded from UPG’s cash reserves.

Simple product filtering

The new filter on kiki jamesWe’ve just made the first release of product filtering for our client Kiki James. When filtering is done well, it can give customers, particularly those unfamiliar with your catalogue, a much better idea of what’s available and help them work out they want to buy.
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When to ask for user details

When should you ask for information from your users? I recently came across two online apps that illustrate the right and the wrong way to resolve this question.

Firstly, we have Mockflow, an online wireframe tool. Includes versioning, collaboration etc.
home page for mockflow

So, if you’re wondering what this application’s like, how do we find out? They have a pretty good video on the homepage, that’s nice enough. And if you take the tour, you can see some screen shots that outline some of the functions of the site. Very nice.

But if I want to try it out, what do I get?

The next stage in the user flow for mockflow

Hooray, another sign up form. Those never get dull.

Contrast this with Dabbleboard, another online collaborative working tool. Here’s the homepage:

But how do you find out what it’s really like to use? Well, all you have to do is go to http://www.dabbleboard.com/draw, and you can start right away.
The initial page for dabble

Simple, and in terms of engaging your visitors, it’s much more better than asking for an email and a password. Of course, you do need to sign up to dabble board if you want to save your work; but by that point users will be much more committed to the application than someone who has read a landing page and watched a video.

Scottish Ruby Conference 2010

There’s a few tired faces around the Setfire HQ today, after an exhilarating weekend spent at Scottish Ruby Conference. We had a cracking time – we met up with some old friends, made a few new ones, and attended some great talks. Here are our favourites:

Other highlights included Getting the most out of ActiveRecord 3 with Arel, Breaking things with Ruby and Distributed Architectures with Rack, and, for Rob, listening to me snore. Poor chap.

Thanks to the organisers:

… and see you next year!

Using Gmail to send email from your rails app

We wanted to send via gmail for testing reasons. We develop locally, but we want to see how our emails would be formatted in a standard mail client. Which means we need a valid email to send from. The main problem we’re trying to avoid is our test emails getting canned as spam, which is more likely to happen if we’re just sending direct from a local machine.

If you’re using rails 1.8.6 or lower, you will need to use the action_mailer_optional_tls plugin or the actionmailer_tls plugin to achieve this result. We run all our apps on 1.8.7 for the time being, so happily we can use this simpler method.

Firstly, setup a test email account on gmail. This works fine for normal or apps gmail accounts. Then you need to add these lines to wherever you do your basic actionmailer config. In our case, we added this to our development.rb as we’re just using this to test email output for the time being.

config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {
:enable_starttls_auto => true,
:address => "smtp.gmail.com",
:port => "587",
:domain => "domain.com",
:authentication => :plain,
:user_name => "test_emails@domain.com",
:password => "your_password_here"
}

Voila, our emails are sent fine, which makes testing the output a great deal easier, especially if you have to produce html emails.

What we’re doing here is bascially just using standard gmail setup for configuing a mail client. Obviously you could just replace these options for another smtp server if you’d like.

50 of the Best Websites Developed Using Ruby on Rails

Rails has come a long way in the last few years, from the preserve of a vocal minority of maverick developers, to one of the most popular web frameworks around.

Its popularity is due to many things, but chief amongst them is the speed at which you can put together a site in Rails, as well as the intelligent and vibrant community that are involved in it.

Whilst there are some well known success stories using Ruby on Rails out there, the sheer number and diversity of Rails apps is astounding. In celebration of that, and partly to satisfy our own curiosity, we thought offer our round up of some of the best rails sites out there.
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Speak the Web

The Crowd Listens
Photo by @gablaxian

Speak the Web came to a close last night in Manchester’s NoHo bar, with a five strong band of the Setfire crew there to take part. The event were definitely a refreshing change to some of the bigger, more expensive events that Speak the Web is partly a reaction to. Four speakers covered an impressively broad range of stuff – mobile, seo, html5 apis and Css3. The informal nature of the event lent itself to questions from the crowd and a definite lack of the them and us factor sometimes present at conferences. Oh and did I mention it was in a bar?

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A Slight Redesign

We’ve been making a few changes to our site over the last couple of weeks. We liked it a lot as it was, but we wanted to improve in three areas:

A Clear Offering

We wanted to make it really clear what we do, straight off the bat. We’re a software development house, and we specialise in Ruby on Rails projects, done in an agile way. What’s more, we’ve invested a lot of time in the past year or so getting really good at automated testing. We think this really marks us out from other companies in our space, so we wanted to say it loud and proud.

A Human Face

We’re proud of our people and they are the most important part of what we do. Sure, we do Rails – but that’s only because we happen to think it’s the best tool for the job. What we’re really selling is our expertise and experience – and this all comes from our great team. So, we thought it was only fair to take a couple of snaps of them and our swanky offices for your perusal.

A Portfolio

Probably the biggest omission from our site was a portfolio page detailing the projects we’ve been working on recently, and the work we did. We’re not a quick-and-dirty type of place – we take on projects for the long term and work with our clients to achieve business goals. We hope our portfolio reflects this and gives a better idea of the work we do.

As with all projects, we wanted to be sure that our changes represented a real return on investment, so we kept ourselves to just a few hours to do these changes. It’s been great to see a few new leads come through as a consequence of just a small amount of work.

We hope you like the improvements – there are plenty more to come. Let us know what you think!