Personal Projects

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In between jobs and contracts I have worked on a variety of my own projects that complement or enhance my skills base as a web developer. This includes:

  1. LoboWeb Hosting and Email solutions for SME's
  2. MeanLife Media and Publications‚ showcase for my online publishing projects
  3. Karma-IT - IT Support to people in a SoHo environment.

LoboWeb Hosting and Email solutions for SME's (2001 - present)

I set up LoboWeb in 2001 to offer web design, hosting and email solutions for SME's. By 2006, I started to lease my own LAMP/Plesk web server and entered the world of web server administration. From here I have been solely responsible for maintaining the web and email server and ensuring that it is as secure and stable as possible and to minimize any down time.

In 2008, I implemented Parallel's Plesk Billing / Modernbill CRM / standalone billing software on the website. I also set up support for domain name registration and provisioning as well as registering an Equifax SSL certificate to assist with securing access to sensitive areas of the site and to help authenticate the site.

In 2009, I experimented with a range of open source 'cloud' technologies that fit in with how businesses can now increasingly use their mobile device to access email and the internet, etc. With this in mind, to date I have to date implemented support for IMAP, SyncML, WebDAV and CalDAV

Today Loboweb exists as a small web hosting company that offers a personal service to a handful of SME's. Please feel free to contact me if you require any assistance with your web hosting and email, or simply visit www.Loboweb.eu website for more information.

Mean Life Media and Publications (2001 - present)

Actually, I set up Mean Life Media and publications in 2008 to act as an umbrella for all my 'online publications'. Howver it was much earlier in 2001 that i first started setting up websites or website portals where others could register and publish their own details online as well as being able to interact with online forums and post details of forthcoming events that likewise registered members could also interact. 

I first set up www.Ealing-Life.co.uk in 2001 with the goal of leveraging the internet to set up a community portal for people living and or working in the London Borough of Ealing. By 2003 I utilized technologies such as PHP and MySQL to set up and install an open source Content Management System to manage the site and incorporate various features that I had previously relied on third parties to provide. At the time I chose to utilize the Xoops CMS partly due to its ease of installation plus its great support for third party modules that could be used to extend the functionality of the site. This included support for features such as automated registration, site search, Banner Ad rotation, interactive forum, user profile, Web Links Directory, Classified Ads, News Syndication to name but a few.

In 2005 I moved to Streatham and decided to set up www.StreathamLife.co.uk to provide a community portal where I now lived. I was responsible for designing, developing and hosting the website and in less than a year the website was averaging 40,000 hits a month. On the website I have set a quite a few local businesses with an email address and webpage. For SME's this is a quick and very efficient way of getting online. Working as a web editor, I have also managed to review most of the best eateries to help ensure that StreathamLife.co.uk is a constant source of useful local information. 

In 2006 I expanded my web publishing to the following websites/community portals:

  • LondonLife.org.uk
  • Country-Life.org.uk,
  • GoaLife.org
  • Portugallife.co.uk

For all my publishing sites, I have a range of affiliate schemes that generate revenue depending on factors like Click Through Ratio and whether or not an advertised item is purchased online. Examples of affiliate schemes used include Tradedoubler which allow you to place ads from most major companies and provide a tracking scheme that tracks if an item is purchased and if so generates a commission. I also use GoogleAds that are generated based on site content and again provide a small commission if an ad is clicked on aswell as a small percentage of the purchase price of an online click through. To date, the income from these schemes is very modest although steadily increasing.

In 2007, I set up www.2dareis2do.co.uk, a portal for followers of Tottenham Hotspur Football club. This site initially took advantage of the third party Planet Module that is a PHP port of the Python based xml feed aggregator. This enabled visitors to the site to keep up to date on transfer rumors, results, football analysis match previews etc.

In 2008, I registered Meanlife.co.uk to act as a single point of interest for all my web-publishing projects. I also evaluated various CMS to access the pros and cons of each including Typolight, CMS Made Simple, Xoops, Wordpress and of course Drupal the leading open source CMS's. I hope that these sites act as a showcase of my skills and abilities to date, as well as providing a platform to keep abreast of the latest developments in php and MySQL.

In 2009, I expanded www.Londonlife.org.uk across every borough in London. This site update allows for a custom theme and content to be displayed for each borough or micro-site, while maintaining a single database that is used for central registration. This is by definition quite a large project and to date I have implemented bespoke themes for just a few boroughs at the time of writing.

In 2010, I expanded www.Country-Life.org.uk to provide news feeds for every county with in the UK including Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. This utilized the Drupal CMS including the excellent domain module that allowed for micro-sites or sub-domains to be set up across the UK while using a single install base.

In 2013, at the time of writing, I have reached a point where I simply do not have the time or resources to continue with all these projects. Therefore I am looking to curtail MeanLife.co.uk publications and wittle this down to a few. I hope that in doing so I will be able to focus more on these individual projects, which in fairness I have spent very little time on recently due to other commitments.

Karma-IT.co.uk (2004 - present)

When out and about, many people could often do with help to sort out their IT problems. My experience of web design and development has given me a good understanding of various IT issues which has helped me to assist many others who may be feeling exasperated or have reached breaking point. If there is an IT issue or problem that is preventing you from doing what you want to do, i.e. managing your business, then why not give me a call. I can also assist with the procurement of any new IT equipment or network resources including software and antivirus protection.

The Karma-IT website also acts as a reference point for me. Here I can log details of various IT issues that I may have experienced, and acts as a useful future reference point should I come across this issue again, or wish to continue with my line of investigation. Being online this may also be and has been a useful resource for others. 

In fact the majority of my posting refer to It issues regarding setting up and configuring a web host. I am therefore looking into incorporating or migrating this content into the LoboWeb website where alot of these issue are also relevant in the near future. This may continue to be publicly viewable.