Best Served Cold


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Laravel Zend Search (Lucene)

So every big site needs some sort of search engine, normally something based on Lucene such as Elasticsearch or Solr, however, these need setting up separately to your web server stuff. The alternative is a Lucene implementation built entirely in PHP: ZendSearch.

We set up a Laravel install and looked around for a ZendSearch package and tried a couple, but the performance was poor and after digging into the code of these packages, there were some bits that were really inefficient, so Best Served Cold build their own super fast version!

You can get it here at packagist.org.
Or just:

composer require best-served-cold/laravel-zendsearch

The source code is on github.com

Happy searching.

Google PageSpeed 100/100

We’ve been looking into page speed here at Best Served Cold recently, it’s playing a more important part of search engine rankings now-a-days, but it’s still a bit of a black art.   After installing the firebug extension for firefox, we started working out exactly how to get 100 out of 100 and if that is actually achievable.  Well it is:

Evidence of 100 out of 100 with Google PageSpeed

 

To acheive this with no advisories took some time and effort, including setting up a CDN (Amazon S3 currently), a global HTML proxy (CloudFlare) and playing around with Google’s mod_pagespeed.

So there you have it, super fast pages, confirmed by Google Page Speed!

Red Dwarf – series 10

After many rumors and speculation, it looks like a new full series of Red Dwarf, the cult comedy, has not only been confirmed and commissioned, but according to Danny John-Jules the first episode has been completed!

Apparently, Robert Llewellyn is trying to boycott the Range Rover’s that the producers have elected to use and is campaigning for an electric jeep, but luckily this hasn’t prevented him from showing up to shoot the program!

Let’s hope this series is as funny and quirky as we all remember and want them to be, or it will leave them all feeling like a bunch of smegheads!

What’s New?

It’s been a while since we updated this site so here’s the latest news from Best Served Cold. We’ve both been working on various new and existing projects: CK Clinical and CK Science have had a small makeover, Pressitt has been growing and we’re making continuous updates and changes to improve the service.

We’ve been completing and working on a few smaller sites as well, with Rooney Electrical improving and Dioni getting some updates.

At the moment we’re both working on external sites for larger organisations and will hopefully be able to talk about those projects soon. Let us know if you need any design work or a WordPress site built or edited… we can help with social media, marketing, SEO, Accessibility – everything you need!

Submarine

As you might be aware, we’re big fans of the IT Crowd (see our Tnetennba post) and also of quirky indie movies. So we’re getting quite excited by the new film “Submarine” directed by Richard Ayoade.

From the trailer it feels like the best of a Wes Anderson movie crossed with Sophia Coppola – but with a touch of dark British humour. The film was shown a few weeks ago at the Sundance festival and received some excellent reviews and should be released in the UK on 18th March 2011.

See the trailer:

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Some things I didn’t realise about Richard Ayoade, he’s already a well known music video director and has worked closely with the Artic Monkeys, directing their “The Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo” feature. View Richard Ayoade’s IMDB profile.

101 Best Board Games

If you think board games started with Monopoly and ended with Cluedo you’d be very wrong! Over the last 20 years there has been an enormous resurgence in board games, with the new games being highly developed, intelligent fun to play and often more strategic and less chance than those older games.

Because of this we’ve recently launched our latest “101 Best” site: 101 Best Board Games. It’s still being populated with games and information but we’ve made a few updates to the layout and blog so there’s more news and information on the site. We’ll be moving these new updates across the rest of the “101 Best” sites over the next few weeks.

Why not take a look at one of my favourite new board games: Stone Age.

Pressitt now has customisable Newsrooms

After a lot of development we have just launched the latest update to Pressitt: customisable newsrooms. This update allows users to create their own branded newsroom to hold their releases and link to their social networks around the web. We’re very pleased with the new system and hope that it will bring Pressitt to the forefront of Social Media News Releases.

We’re already working with Eurosport on their jump into social media and hope that a lot more big names will start to see what Pressitt can do for them. Some of the companies that have already used Pressitt for their releases are: Google, Groupon, Lovefilm, Nokia, AVG, Intel and British Airways.

View the SMNR here

Find out more about Pressitt.com

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Pressitt allows you to create your own Social Media News Release (SMNR) – also known as a Social Media Press Release (SMPR) or Social Media Release (SMR) and publish it to an online community of journalists, the blogosphere and the general public.

Many journalists use the Internet as their primary source of research when compiling a story. Pressitt SMNRs are designed primarily with journalists and bloggers in mind. A Pressitt SMNR encapsulates all the information, multimedia and images needed to prepare a story, and offers contact details for more information.

Through Pressitt you can create news that is truly ‘social’, as well as enhance your SMNR with images and video clips. You can also add relevant links, upload PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, or whatever you need to get your message across.

Once published, Pressitt allows your news to be bookmarked, commented on, and shared.

Nylon Films and the Rambert Dance Company

Nylon Films are always working on interesting and unusual projects, their latest was to team up with the Rambert Dance Company to produce a short film about choreography:

From Nylon Films:

We dangled cameras from I-beams, “surfed” them on skate boards and even developed a dance or two of our own (albeit minus the grace and beauty ) while covering bits of the rehearsals with a steady cam…and then Dan Finnerty made all this fabulous footage come alive in post.

For those of you interested in the technical bits — we shot on Canon 5D’s, the Sony EX3, Flips, and Go Pros, the combination of which added to some dramatic moments in the edit, which was done with FCP, After Effects and Twixtor.

Welcome to 2011

2010 was very busy for us – with the redesign and updates of Pressitt, the success of our “101 Best” sites and continuing to build relationships with new clients and customers. We certainly needed a break for Christmas!

But, now we’re back and raring to go. We have lots of new ideas for improvements to the “101 Best” sites and we’ve started growing the group already with 101 Best Board Games (please submit your favourite game) – there’s lots more to come this year! One of our surprise hits was the 101 Best HTML5 Sites showcase that we set up last summer, it’s become one of the top showcases for the new web standard HTML5. We’re hoping for another year of growth in 2011.

We’re also putting the finishing touches to a few updates for Pressitt, lots more about that coming soon.

Our client list is always growing and hopefully we have a few more names for our portfolio arriving in the next couple of months. Our latest site, for Willow Primary School in Slough, is now live and the team at the school are adding content all the time. Towards the end of last year we also had the opportunity to work on a redesign and update of the Party Times blog – part of the well known Party Pieces website.

Please let us know if you need any web design or development work on your site – we specialise in WordPress sites and have created fully bespoke themes for clients.

Rooney Electrical

We’ve recently launched a new site for a local electrician in Langford, Bedfordshire: Rooney Electrical. They are a small, family run commerical and domestic electrical company.

Rooney Electrical are experienced in electrical testing and certificating, generally known as Landlord certificates. Our qualified testing electricians can help with all the electrical paperwork required by law. Installation of new consumer units (fuse boards) and lamp replacement (as needed or as part of planned maintenance).

They can also manage all the usual commercial and domestic electrical requirements: Work space relocation or installation of moving floor sockets, data points, lighting. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing) and Periodic Inspection Report (PIR). Dado trunking for sockets, data points & telephone points. Emergency lighting systems and display lighting as well as outside lighting.

We are a family run, Part P registered, Government approved, commercial and domestic electrical company. Working in and around Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Over the years we have helped many homes and businesses with all their electrical requirements by listening to customers needs and then carrying out what they asked for in a professional, economical and practical way.

View the Rooney Electrical site here

Follow the latest news from Rooney Electrical

The site is built in WordPress using a Woo Themes template that we heavily edited and added a full e-Commerce platform to.