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Nexcess Blog

Posts by: Jay Dobry

4 Reasons to House Clean Your Database

November 2, 2017 0 Comments RSS Feed

5 Reasons to House Clean Your Database

Databases are bedrooms.

When tidy, you can find your socks, shoes, cellphone, and everything else you need within minutes. But when cluttered, it takes 10 minutes to remember your left your shoes on the stairs, and 10 more minutes to remember you left your cell in your shoes because your hands were full at the time.

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Posted in: Webmaster

Nexcess Grill-Off Recap

August 21, 2017 0 Comments RSS Feed

Nexcess Grill-OffIf only summer could last forever.

August is the season’s swan song, heralded by back-to-school sales and even the occasional Halloween display (madness!).

At Nexcess, we aren’t ready to say goodbye to our favorite season until Labor Day, which is why we host our annual Grill-Off at our headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. Now in its fourth year, we expanded the event by inviting clients and neighbors to celebrate summer with us while raising money for a fantastic cause.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Money War News

May 17, 2017 1 Comment RSS Feed

Nexcess Money WarFrom the journal of wartime correspondent Jay Dobry, who served with near-distinction in the Second Annual Nexcess Money War.

For those who aren’t Money War historians, this annual event divides Nexcess into six teams. Each team picks a charity, then Overseer/Billing Manager Jackie assigns a container to each team. In Week 1, teams score positive points values for any money put into their container, so teams tend to donate to their own tubs.

Scores are tallied, then in Week 2, teams score negative points for any money dropped into their containers, so teams usually donate to other teams’ collections. After week 2, the winning team’s charity receives 75 percent of bounty, and Nexcess matches the amount. The “losing” teams’ charities divvy up the remaining 25 percent.

The charities:

After some drama and playful mischief in first war, the containers are now locked down by 24-hour camera surveillance, lava pits, and feral robo-monkeys.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Are dedicated IP addresses still necessary?

January 26, 2016 2 Comments RSS Feed

The short answer: probably, but not for the reasons many still believe. Not any more, at least.

“Once upon a time” in eCommerce equals about 18 to 24 months. Once up a time, if your site needed a SSL certificate to process credit card transactions, you needed a dedicated IP address. Once upon a time, it was believed a dedicated IP address might make your site faster and rank higher.

And to this day, we sometimes still hear the same mantra. If you sell online, it’s just “better” to have a dedicated IP address. Never mind why, it’s just better. Because eCommerce, or something.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Magento 2 and PHP 7 Availability

December 31, 2015 3 Comments RSS Feed

Magento 2Magento 2 and PHP 7 are now available, and we are ready to host them! Read on for answers to your most pressing questions regarding their availability.

Can I just upgrade my store to Magento 2?
No. Unfortunately, there is no upgrade path from Magento 1.x to Magento 2. You will need to recreate your store, and we strongly recommend you fully test your Magento 2 store in a development environment before shutting down your Magento 1.x store.

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Posted in: Magento, Nexcess

Writing Gooder, Part 3

December 1, 2015 1 Comment RSS Feed

One day soon, Twitter, Snapchat, and kitten memes will eradicate all other forms of web writing, forcing technical writers to find jobs as sideshow freaks. Until then, I present three more ways to tighten the screws on loose and lazy writing. Go here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

#4 “Which” and “that” are not identical twins

This is difficult to explain without venturing into Ye Olde Festival of Yawns, but here it goes anyway.

“Which” and “that” are not interchangeable. They are mere cousins, and they’ve grown tired the Internet’s relentless abuse. Particularly “which,” which hasn’t bothered anyone since The Witch and Which Incident of 1987.

Use “that” when only some of whatever comes after “that” applies to the subject. For example, “The shopping carts that are empty make me sad.” In this example, only some of the carts are empty; some are full. If you use “which, “everything changes: “The shopping carts, which are empty, make me sad.” Now, all of the carts are empty, and they all make me sad.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Writing Gooder, Part 2

November 19, 2015 2 Comments RSS Feed

Recently, I unleashed my inner English teacher upon this unsuspecting blog, only to tease (or perhaps relieve) the audience with one rule. With apologies to Conrad Vachon, the hero of my introduction from Part 1, let’s jump right into two more ways to flex your writing muscle.

#2 Passive voice should be exterminated Exterminate passive voice

This ties in with the first rule, “Omit needless words,” but it’s important enough to stand on its own. At best, the passive voice is awkward and long-winded. At worst, it’s a lazy, swollen abomination feeding on the flesh of your writing.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Writing Gooder, Part 1

November 12, 2015 2 Comments RSS Feed

As this is my first blog post for Nexcess, an introduction is in order. I am one of the technical writers at Nexcess, though I’ve also been fortunate enough to write for the Web and a few other places.

Writing is easy. Writing well is damned hard. And the Web is full of easy, lazy writing that punishes shoppers and readers alike. But this is eCommerce. People see pretty pictures, click on things, fill a digital shopping cart, and click Buy. Why waste time by criticizing web copy, Mr. Technical Writer?

It is true that strong web copy probably cannot save a confusing or ugly webstore. It is also true that a sleek user interface and good product can often compensate for lackadaisical writing. I bow down to the power of an intuitive interface and glossy images, yet even the most image-driven web store eventually turns to the written word for its product descriptions. The image hooks readers, and unless the price annihilates your competition, the copy reels them into the boat. Bloggers enjoy many more allowances for personal style and conversational tone, but since they only have their writing and knowledge to sell, those elements aren’t good excuses for a sloppy effort. The Internet serves up a mountainous steaming heap of blogs every day, and expertise and pretty pictures aren’t always enough to nurture a following.

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Posted in: Nexcess