Sign up for G Suite and save 20% on the first year

Does your company need affordable, easy-to-use email with your own domain name? For a limited time Phoenix Gate Studio is offering a 20% discount for a whole year to new customers who sign up with G Suite email service from Google.

You can sign up for a free trial and the 20% discount off your first year, or contact us using the form below and we’ll help set you up.

Google’s G Suite includes an array of tools and apps for just $5 per user, per month.

What does G Suite include to help your business?

  1. You can get custom email and more with Gmail for work.
  2. It helps employees get things done while collaborating more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Millions of businesses large and small have already made the switch.

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Summer Deal: Free domain with one year of email

Until the end of August, Phoenix Gate Studio is offering a deal to get you started with a professional email address at your own domain name. Just sign up for one year for email service*, with our Google for Work plan, and we’ll cover the cost of a free domain name for one year.

You pick the domain name, and as long as it is available we’ll register it for you, set it up with a Google for Work email account, and provide all the instructions for using it, including setup details for connecting it with Microsoft Outlook, your smart phone, or most standard email programs.

That’s a savings of $50, including the cost of setup.

A professional email account is an important indicator for your customers and potential customers that you represent an established and reputable business. It’s the first step in setting up your business so you can email and communicate with customers, and it’s useful for a number of business activities. Most importantly, it shows that you’re serious about your business.

To get started, fill in the form below and we’ll get you set up right away.

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[li_item icon=””]No setup fees[/li_item]
[li_item icon=””]Ready within 24 hours[/li_item]
[li_item icon=””]Reliable, fast service through Google servers[/li_item]

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* A signed contract is required for this service, and all fees are due at the time of signing. GST/HST is also applicable for Canadian residents. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer from Phoenix Gate Studio. Phoenix Gate Studio is an approved reseller of Google for Work services. Standard domain extensions (.CA, .COM, .NET, .ORG) are included.

One year of email service with Google for Work is billed at $60 per year, plus taxes.


How do I embed a Tumblr post and what is the value?

Embedding posts from Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and a few other websites, has become a common practice, especially among bloggers and journalists. It’s a tool that can help you tell a bigger and better story that revolves around engaging with fresh, dynamic content that is available to reuse simply and easily.

This week, Tumblr announced that it has followed other social media sites, and now allows users to embed posts from the Tumblr dashboard. That means that a whole new ecosystem is available to embed, and that’s giving people access to an incredible amount of content.

Tumblr is quite simply massive–their counter currently has them at 100.5 billion posts across 218.2 million blogs–and the styles of posts vary greatly between users, companies, and age groups. If you have a topic you write about, Tumblr offers something relevant that fits your niche.

To take a look at how it works, check out one example from my own personal Tumblr blog:

Essentially, the post looks exactly like it did on Tumblr, right down to my user icon, hashtags, and the action buttons in the bottom-right corner where Tumblr users can like the post, or share it. (Clicking the image takes you to my Instagram photo, since the image was posted directly to Tumblr from that service, but interactions with media will depend entirely on what was posted, and how it was posted.)

For those users who want to share their own Tumblr posts outside of the site, this new functionality is a big boon that allows people to spread content even further than before. You don’t need to post something twice–now you can post it once, and share it anywhere else. It even means that a company can run a Tumblr blog separate from their regular website blog, and selectively share posts on their website whenever they feel like it.

The only downside to the functionality is that, at least right now, you can only share content from the Tumblr dashboard, or from a site that has embedded a post already. The reason probably comes down to Tumblr themes not being all compatible with the necessary code, but whatever the reason, it means you need to keep an eye on the Tumblr dashboard to find posts you want to share, or do a search to find posts that way.

For instance, below is a post I found on Tumblr with the CES hashtag, from this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

How To Embed A Tumblr Post

So, how do you embed a post? It’s really simple. From the Tumblr dashboard, or from a shared post on a website (like this one), look for the icon that resembles three dots in a row and click on it. It will look like this after you click on it:

Tumblr embed a post

Next, just click on “Embed” and Tumblr will display the embed code, which has already been highlighted for copying. Copy it (using CTRL+C on PC, and Command+C on Mac) and, next, in your content management system, paste in the code.

For WordPress, you will need to paste the code into the Text editor (not the Visual editor), so the code doesn’t get mangled by the text editor. For any other content management system, you will likely need to paste it into the HTML view. It’s also important to note, for users who aren’t aware, that this code will only work in a content management system, including WordPress or Blogger. You can’t paste this code into Facebook or Twitter.

Okay, But Is Embedding Worth it?

Circling back to the start, for anyone looking for content to help them tell a story, Tumblr posts can be a great source for discussion, and of course they can be fun, interesting, or just plain funny. But, what other value is there?

In terms of Search Engine Optimization–if you are writing content for your site that you hope will appear highly in Google searches and possibly improve traffic to your website–there is also value in embedding posts because search engines can read the content that is being embedded. Whether it will help a lot depends on a whole bunch of other factors, of course, including keywords, keyword density, and even the length of the whole post.

The greater value, as I see it, is simply that social media offers a huge opportunity for engaging with your audience. Writing a smart, well-written article that includes embedded content can help retain visitors on your pages for longer periods of time, and possibly entice them to share a story elsewhere on social media. The value of embedded content can be big, especially with posts that offer images, video, or other graphics–and Tumblr is really all about the images.

There are no guarantees, of course, but this is a promising opportunity, and Tumblr has a wide range of incredible content from brands, businesses, and savvy people from around the world. If nothing else, it’s worth testing to see what reaction you get from your readers. Just be conscious of the type of content you share, and how relevant it is to your website, and your readers. Knowing your audience is still one of the most important factors.

Here’s one more of my own posts, for the Doctor Who fans, just for fun:


CASL: What you need to know about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

Business owners have a lot of options in front of them when it’s time to promote sales, drive traffic to their website, or reach out to customers. Despite the power of social media, there is no question that email still plays a big part in marketing and sales campaigns, and it works incredibly well in getting customers, and leads, interested in new opportunities with your business.

That’s why Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, or CASL (pronounced “castle” by many), is raising eyebrows for many businesses who are unsure how the law impacts their email newsletters or what they need to do since the law comes into effect, for commercial electronic messages, tomorrow, on July 1, 2014.

With that deadline in mind, if you or your business have not started complying with the new rules, you definitely need to start, so I’ve put together some basic information to help you plan for the new law.

First of all, it’s worth noting that I am not a lawyer, and none of what I’m about to explain is official legal advice. As a web developer, however, I can tell you a few best practices, and help you understand the basics of CASL.

The first thing to realize is that the anti-spam legislation has its challenges, but it’s also represents what should be considered good business practices. The new rules are intended to deal with spam by ensuring that people not only explicitly choose what they receive by email, but also that they can easily leave that subscriber list at any time.

If you’ve ever received unwanted marketing phone calls when you’re having dinner, you can likely understand why this rule is necessary. Prior to these rules, I’ve been on multiple lists that had signed me up, but didn’t offer me an easy way to leave them.

So, how do I comply with CASL?

Compliance essentially means that businesses need to use a newsletter system going forward–one that allows customers, or potential customers, to explicitly opt-in to communications, and to cancel their subscription at any time.

For businesses who have managed their email lists using a simple spreadsheet of information, it is possible to comply with the requirements of CASL, but it is much simpler to use a system like MailPoet (for WordPress), or Campaign Monitor. By using solutions like these, customers can sign up for your newsletter on your website, and in each email they can click on a link to unsubscribe.

What if I don’t comply by July 1, 2014?

Technically, July 1 is the first deadline you need to be aware of for CASL, but there’s a second one; July 1, 2017. Where there is “an existing business or non-business relationship”, implied consent is considered to be given to businesses unless the customer indicates that they wish to leave the newsletter list.

During this transition period, businesses need to seek out express consent from their customers.

Businesses should be aware, however, whether or not they have anyone on their emails lists who they have never done business with. For those who have harvested email addresses from lists created by other companies, or taken email addresses off of websites, you could be found in violation of CASL.

What is I don’t comply with CASL?

For individuals who violate the new law, there is a maximum fine of up to $1 million, and businesses can face fines up to $10 million per violation. There are a number of factors that will determine the fines levied for infractions, but it’s still obvious that it’s not worth risking the fine just to maintain a large email list.

What do I do next?

The first step is to set up a newsletter system for your future communications, and then ask your existing clients or contacts to sign up using the new system. Many companies are handling this by setting up a special sign-up page for their newsletter and sending out a link to that page through their existing email list. This strategy is also helpful in that you are not bringing old contacts into the new system.

Where can I get more information on CASL?

The Government of Canada has extensive resources available for businesses and individuals. Here are a few of the main resources you should review to better understand the law and its implications:

How Phoenix Gate Studio can help you and your business.

Phoenix Gate Studio can help you make the most of your email communications, and we can make sure you comply with all of the new rules under CASL. Whether you need a built-in solution for your website, or are ready for a third-party solution to manage your email newsletters, we can help you not only with compliance, but by making your newsletter grab the attention of your readers, and giving your company an easy-to-use system that is quick and efficient.

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