Our Studio Blog has Moved

January 3, 2014

The Tinstar Graphic Design and Studio Blog has moved – we’ve brought it back under the wing of our main website. Come by any time.


Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files

October 18, 2015

Thousands of websites started receiving this message relatively recently. It’s to do with mobile friendliness and it requires a change to the robots.txt file. Thanks to the following sites that provided the solution:

Look for the messages in Google Webmaster Tools to see which sites are affected.

Vantage Broking, Clean and Simple

November 8, 2013

Clean and simple. That may not describe the petrochemical industry, but it certainly fits the new Vantage Broking website, just finished.

Vantage Broking, Oil & Petrochemical Broker

It’s been a while since we got our teeth into a simple, small HTML website – and this one (for a European oil & petrochemicals broker)¬†was a pleasure to work on. When developing a website, a business owner can easily be distracted by what everyone else is doing and adding to their website. This simple truth, though, is that if a visitor can ascertain what a company is all about within a couple of seconds, then the job is done.

Onto the next!

The Contract Chair Company website

October 2, 2013

So much has changed in SEO since we started working on The Contract Chair Company website so many years ago. TC3, as we like to call them, are a contract furniture supplier with a showroom in Hammersmith, literally underneath the arches. Our remit over the years has changed as radically as the online landscape. In addition to the actual design and construction of the website (build in partnership with digital supremos Group Brand), today we consult on everything from appropriate use of social media networks to on-page SEO. Our account with Moz.com helps us enormously with the latter – we can run reports that cover what needs to be done to improve the website down to the nth degree.

With Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm update the landscape is set to shift yet again – but as ever, we always take Google’s line with regard to website content. If the content is useful, unique and written primarily for the user, it has a much better chance of ranking well that something spammy and keyword-heavy. This wasn’t always the case. In the case of TC3, there’s now a large section of the site given over to essential furniture guides – it’s definitely not just another furniture catalogue.

We’re very proud of the results.

Contract Furniture Website

2014 Wall Planners kicking off

September 6, 2013

Quotes for the 2014 wall planners have started coming in with a vengeance. All good news – especially since the prices have been slashed this year for all sizes of calendar. The most popular sizes are our 914 x 660mm size, our A1 year planner and A2 year planner.

Wall Planners customised for your business

Tinstar planners are completely customised to suit our clients’ requirements – and can be based on an established template with corporate colours integrated, or can be designed from the ground up. They can be supplied flat packed, individually rolled into tubes or tubed with a pen & sticker kit.

How to view Google cache information for your website

August 30, 2013

In order to find out the last time your website was indexed by Google, you need to view the cache information. This used to be easily accessed from the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) but now you need to use a more direct method.

Copy the following:


Add your website address to the end of it:


Resulting in:


Pass dynamic data from a link to a form

August 22, 2013

In WordPress, use the following to extract a string from a URL:

$jobreference = $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'];

So from a previous page you can add a dynamic string to a link. When it leads to a contact form, the unique string can be extracted and echoed into a form field. For example, from:


$jobreference will be: “string”

Building a custom contact form for WordPress

August 14, 2013

Almost as simple as you think.

HTML Entities for Triangles

July 10, 2013

I’m always having to look these codes up – so where better than our own blog? The HTML codes for pointy triangles are:

For HTML Entities
◄ = ◄
► = ►
▼ = ▼
▲ = ▲

Thanks to StackOverflow

Changing the Hosts file on a Mac or PC

May 11, 2013

Just as much for my own reference as for anything else, if you want to preview a website on a development server before changing DNS settings or nameservers, here’s how.

On a PC

Open the following file using Notepad:

Underneath all the entries (anything prefixed by a # is commented out), enter the following (replace the number with the IP address of your development server):

123.456.789.101 yourwebsite.com

Save and close the hosts file. Restart your browser and you should see the development website under the correct domain name.

On Windows 7, you need to run Notepad as an administrator to be able to save the file.

On a Mac

Open Terminal. Type in:

sudo -s

Then type your password when prompted. The type:

$sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

This will open the hosts file – it looks much the same as the PC version. Change it in the same way as above. Control-O will save it.