Happy Christmas from “The Bishops”

Dear everyone,

It’s that time of year again and as is now becoming a tradition, we’ve decided to donate our card/postal money to charity again. This year we’ve decided to donate to the Stroke Association.

James and Katie are continuing to enjoy dinghy sailing and we bought a boat so that we can keep up with them and watch them when they’re out on the water. My ankle is much improved after my operation at the end of last year and I’m back on two feet again. We’re hoping to test my “new ankle” out on the ski slopes in 2017.

Here’s this years “elf yourself”, together with a few photos from the year.

Test your site with Google

There are numerous websites and tools that offer web page testing and reporting. WebPageTest, GTMetrix, Yslow and PageSpeed and a few others come immediately to mind, but despite their popularity amongst testers and site developers, few are as well-known as Google.

Despite the fact that PageSpeed was already available from Google, I’ve noticed a little pop up recently when visiting google.com. This is promoting web page tests from https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

This site builds on PageSpeed but now focusses more on mobile application performance. According to their site, “People are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly.”

And “Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

Bearing this in mind, it is a wonder that people don’t do more to ensure that their websites perform better. After running a report you see a simple report including ratings of your site’s mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed.


After clicking on the “Get My Free Report” link, Google send you an emailed report which includes more details, although the report isn’t as detailed as some from the more established tools that I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Where it differs from those more established / conventional testing tools/sites is that by putting pop-up ads in Chrome, this Google-sponsored performance report could encourage more site owners to consider performance and not just content on websites.

BackBlaze Review

I’ve been toying with the idea of backing my PC up to “the cloud” for some time now. I’ve used Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive and other cloud based storage before, but what I really want/need is a proper backup.

By that I mean something that I don’t need to think about and just does it’s job. I’m not looking for the ability to sync data across devices (I can use Google / Dropbox / OneDrive for that. All I need is reliable (ideally off-site) backup.

A few years ago, I read the BackBlaze blog, “PetaBytes on a budget” and based on this, even toyed with the idea of setting up a similar service in the UK. This remained a pipe dream after I found that they were already planning to launch a UK service themselves.

Fast forward to now, I installed BackBlaze last week and subscribed to their “backup all you want” for $50 per year. Even with the pound at the current low, that’s less than £40 per year!backblaze

Although it took about 8 days to do the initial backup over fibre broadband, now it happily runs as a background service and I don’t have to think about it any more. I just wish that I’d done this sooner.

If I need to restore a file or folder, I can just download it or I can order a HDD or USB stick with my entire backup on it directly from BackBlaze.