February 14th, 2009
With a couple of recent incidents of high-profile sites (ma.gnolia and Journalspace) failing due to the lack of a rigorous enough backup policy, now seems a good time to reassure customers about Big Red Design’s own policy.
A nightly dump of all MySQL and PostgreSQL databases is performed and the files from these, along with all website files go into two independent automatic backup systems. In the first, weekly full and nightly incremental backups are taken and stored on the Big Red Design web server, hosted in Germany. These are in tar format, compressed using bzip2.
The second method involves a nightly rsync of the databases, website files and server configuration files to the server in the Big Red Design office in the UK. This machine retains all files uncompressed using hard links to unchanged files from the previous backup in exactly the same way as is used by Apple’s Time Machine backup system. Once a month, a copy of the most recent version of this backup is taken to DVD and stored in a safe.
However, we encourage customers not just to take our word for it, but to make their own backups too. If you would like assistance in doing this, we’d be glad to help.
February 6th, 2009
This redesign of the Big Red Design website brings with it a number of new features:
- The Customer Support section has been made available to non-customers and is due to be expanded soon.
- Recent Big Red Design-related Twitter posts are included on the site.
- The site now includes a Blog, which will be used to discuss issues relevant to the business. Visitors to the site are encouraged to comment on the blog posts.
The aim of introducing these features is to make Big Red Design a far more active participant in the web development community.
Staying at the cutting edge
The website continues to use XHTML 1.1 but has moved from CSS level 2.1 to CSS level 3. This standard is still very much in development – it is not yet complete and not all of the features that it describes have yet been implemented in web browsers. Some of the features, such as support for rounded corners and shadows, have only been implemented in one or two browsers as proprietary properties. These are not recognised by the CSS Validator and result in errors, which unfortunately prevent the site’s CSS from validating. However, these properties are limited to one file – proprietary.css. All other CSS files used by this site validate as CSS3 and as browsers ignore properties they don’t know about, they have no effect on accessibility.
The site also uses Microformats to give more semantic meaning to information presented on the site. For example, if your browser supports Microformats, it will allow you to add our electronic business card directly to your address book.