Custom Web Design : Slabmedia : Boston, MA

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General Information

Custom modules

If you don't see a module in our list, we will design it for you. If we feel that your module has a popular use, it will be added to our module library and there will be no extra charge for it. If the module you want is unique to your site, we will quote you a charge for custom work.

Hosting on another server

Hosting is currently part of the service plan for all Slab sites. Our service plan includes regular updates & improvements, and access to customer service via phone or email.

If you want to license our system, we can arrange that for you for a fee.

What is a "managed system"?

We commonly refer to the Slab CMS as a "managed" solution. What do we mean by that? And what advantages does a managed system have over an unmanaged one?

Being "managed" means our system is integrated, centrally administred and overseen, and secure.

Many content management systems available today, whether they are open source or proprietary, rely on a plugin architecture to bolster their feature set. While the core software package originates from a trusted source, in order to extend the software's capabilities, web developers must rely on plugins submitted by third parties. These plug-in repositiories can be thought of as "App Stores" of sorts, though without the careful curation typical of major companies. In fact, most of the plugins in these repositiories offer no guarantee of compatibility with current core software versions, and many are no longer actively updated at all. In the worst case, they contain overtly malicious code, exposing their users to possbile data theft or loss.

When core software updates are released to address security concerns or add features, any of the plugins used on a site can, and often do, become inoperable. This means that keeping a site completely up to date, both in terms of its features and security, involves ensuring every single plugin on the site is also updated. Given the various degrees of commitment on the part of plug-in developers, we think this is hardy an ideal solution.

The Slab web system uses modules similar to plug-ins to extend its core feature set; however, all these modules are developed in-house, and are tightly integrated into the core software that powers our websites. That's what we mean by managed. Updates to the core always take into account the modules, and vise-vesa. The result are clean upgrades to address feature requests and security concerns, without any downtime, and the elimination of the multiple points of failure inherent in plug-in based software.

Centrally Administred
In addition to integration of our modules and core software, being a managed solution means we oversee our software administration centrally. When you use our system, you can count on us to ensure your site will run as designed, today, and in ten years. We will update your software and any modules you are running to address security concerns transparently and with no interaction necessary on your part. You focus on content, we focus on making sure your site is available and up to date.

In a plug-in based system, every feature facilitated by a plug-in is a potential attack vector for hackers. Your site is more vulnerable simply by virture of the number of different avenues available to attackers. Because Slab CMS is integrated, the types of attacks available to hackers are severely restricted. Rather than many potential points of failure, we have very few (and we watch those like hawks). Managed is more secure than fragmented.

Web System

A web-system is a website builder and a hosting solution in a single package. Our system is dynamic and modular, meaning the end user can manage their own content and additional modules (see below) can be added as needed.

Module / Modular

We use the term module to refer to what is ordinarily known as a website's section or page. A module refers to any section of your site determined by a button in your main navigation. eg: "NEWS" "GALLERY" or "HOME"
Within any given module can be any number of sub-pages, organized by category or gallery.

Content Management System (CMS)

A Content Management System or CMS is a term for a website that can be edited by anyone without knowledge of web-code (html, php or asp) or direct access to the server. The Slab CMS is integrated into the design of the site, so that you can edit the pages you are currently looking at without logging into a separate "admin area". The advantage is that our system is more intuitive and easier to update.
Furthermore, when you create a new page, like a new news item, or a new photo in the gallery, the system creates all necessary navigation for that new page as well as all necessary thumbnails. Your site always stays well organized, and easy to navigate with no dead ends.

Dynamic web site

The word dynamic when used to describe a website means that the content is variable based on outside sources. Most commonly, it means it can be added or updated by the end-user. Some dynamic sites allow a visitor to the site to add content, but not with the same level of access as the owner of the site (the end user).

Front end interface

This means that users can edit the page they are viewing. They don't have to go to a separate, foreign looking 'admin area' to change their content.

Multi level access

This means that different users have different access to areas of the site as well as different kinds of administrative abilities. So, a press agent can be given access to edit only your press pages while you have access to everything. Your average site members only have access to your forum, and anonymous visitors can 'read-only'.

What is the difference between Web Hosting and Domain Registration?

What is the difference between Web Hosting and Domain Registration
Your domain name is simply the text in the url between the http://www. and the end of the .com or .org or .net or whatever ends it. You register the domain name at a registrar like networksolutions.com or pairnic.com or wherever you want (we recommend one of these three). Once registered, your registrar reserves your name so that it cannot be used by anyone else in the world, and points it to your webserver where your site is hosted.

Think of your webserver (we are a webserver provider) as your house, and the domain registrar as the local town registry of deeds. You can go the to registry of deeds to find out where the house is, but you don't go there expecting to see the house.

Another way to think of these two is the difference between your phone number and your phone. The number gets a caller to your phone, but you don't need to buy your phone from the phone company that registers your number (in an ideal world).

Please contact us with further questions about domain names and hosting on SLAB500.com

How do you claim a domain name?

The trick to acquiring the domain name you want is to use a trusted registrar to (a) find out if it is available, and (b) to register it for yourself.

It is important to use a legitimate registrar, such as pairnic.com, so that you don't inadvertently alert scammers that you want that particular name.  If you use yahoo or google to search for the domain name, you risk having your domain name stolen before you get a chance to register it.  Scammers have ways of tracking which domain names are desirable and will pounce on ones that are searched.  To avoid losing your domain name in that way, stick to the trusted registrar sites to do all your research.

Once you have determined that the domain name you want is available, then you can use that same trusted registrar, or the registrar with whom you already have sites registered to claim it for yourself.

Why did my Domain Registrar email me?

Did you receive and email from your domain name registrar that looks something like this?:

"Dear Customer,  
This notification is being sent to you as a regulatory requirement of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) WHOIS  policy.  When you registered your domain with us, you agreed to keep your contact information in Account  Manager   current, and WHOIS policy mandates that we ask you to verify and/or update this information periodically.  Further, ICANN requires us to remind you that providing inaccurate or dated contact information may be grounds for domain name cancellation..."

But what does it mean?

Domain Registrar companies are required to periodically remind their customers to update their information to keep the data current and accurate.  When you get an email like this, we suggest that you take the opportunity to check in and make sure your information is correct.  The emails usually contain instructions on how to do this, and it is important that you keep that data current so that you won't miss renewal reminders and so that your domain name remains protected.  

If you can't remember which company you used to purchase your domain name and are not sure if the email is legitimate, you can go to any domain registrar and look up your information (we recommend http://whois.pairnic.com) and look up your registrar there; pairnic is a competing domain name registration company and will list where your domain name currently lives.  It's kind of like how you can look up someone's phone number using different kinds of yellow-pages: they all have the same information listed even though they are different companies.  Once you are sure the email is legitimate, go ahead and follow the instructions provided.

How do I set up my email at Slab?

WebMail Access

USERNAME or ACCOUNT ID or LOGIN: address@yourdomain.com
(important! - must be your entire email address)
PASSWORD: (something like) Yr^Pss^#W1*Rdd (but not that)
(we recommend using upper and lower case letters with numbers. Your email account is important to your security)

POP3/IMAP Access - use this information for setting up your mail client (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mail)

POP / IMAP server: bigslab.mail.pairserver.com
Use SSL: checked
If you get a warning during initial check, you can either hit "connect" or "save this certificate." The certificate is valid, but a warning sometimes shows up.

SMTP server: outgoing.slabmedia.com
Use SSL: checked
SMTP server port: 465 (recommended)
SSL should be checked or set to on: for outgoing mail using outgoing.slabmedia.com
ie: your username and password for your incoming mail (see above)

QUOTA: The mailboxes have 2GB of disk space in the Inbox of your mailbox. You can either set your mail program to remove msgs periodically, or you can go in through WebMail and move/delete msgs from the Inbox. If you go over quota, incoming msgs will be bounced.

PASSWORD: The password can be reset through the WebMail interface.

What is an SMTP Server? How do I set up outgoing mail? new

SMTP Service

To send e-mail, you need to specify an SMTP (outgoing e-mail) server in your POP3 or IMAP e-mail reader. SMTP service for outgoing e-mail is provided on our networks by the relay.pair.com server. This is the only server on our network that may be used for SMTP traffic.

You may configure your e-mail reader to use this service by setting your SMTP server to:

We recommend using SMTP Server Port: 465

SSL should be checked or ON

AUTHENTICATION should be set to use the same username and password as your incoming email.

iPhone/iPad Email Walkthrough (iOS 7/8/9)

1) On your iOS device, go to “Settings”—> “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.

2) In the “Accounts” section, click “Add Account”.

4) Click "Other"

5) Click “Add Mail Account”.

6) In “Name” type your name, in “Email” type your full email address, in the password field type your email password, and in “Description” type your name. Click "Next".

7) On the next screen, make sure “IMAP” at the top is blue. Enter the values as listed below, substituting your email address for "user@mydomain.com". Incoming mail server should be bigslab.mail.pairserver.com, and the username would be babar@squash.org. It is important that your outgoing mail server (also known as an SMTP server) be outgoing.slabmedia.com! Your username and password are the same as those you entered for the incoming mail server. When complete, press "Next" to proceed.

8) At this time, if you encounter an SSL related prompt, click “Continue”. The account may take a moment to verify.
9) On the next screen, turn off “Notes” and press “Save”. Your email account should be viewable in Apple’s iPhone Mail.app now! Please give the device a minute or two to sync your data.

I am using IMAP to check my mail, how do I archive messages off the server?

The IMAP protocol for checking mail was created to all multiple devices to check the same mail spool. This method leaves all messages received or moved to folders to remain on the server. At some point the you will run into quota issues. Here is a link to Apple's article on how to download messages to your computer and to delete them from the server.

In Mac Mail

In the menubar, Go to Mailbox > New Mailbox and create a new mailbox called my_IMAP_archive - or something you want to hold your off-line mail. Make sure it is inside of the "On My Mac" folder in the pull down menu.

Then go to the menubar and under Mail pull down to Preferences

Now click on Rules and then Add Rule

Give it a name like "Archive IMAP Mail"

Using the pull down menus, set up the rule to say that if Date Received is More Than 30 days old, Move it to my_IMAP_archive (or whatever you named it).

Save and apply - and you are done. Mail will check to see if there are messages on the server that are more than 30 days old, and pull them down for offline viewing. This prevents your inbox from becoming huge and un-checkable.

Can I filter my email through my Gmail account, and check it with my desktop application?

Using Gmail to filter your mail is useful because it allows you to take advantage of gmail's spam filtering, to check gmail from your phone, and lets you send mail from your regular email address through Gmail.  Before you make the switch, however, be sure to consider that you are effectively giving all your personal information to Google with this method.  Make sure you read Google's privacy policy and that you are comfortable with it before performing the following actions.

In your Gmail account, go to settings and choose 'accounts' and 'import'.

Then set up a POP account via Check mail using POP3: input your mail server and fill in your username and password.  You want the mail to be deleted once it is checked.

Once you do this, you will have the option to set your default email address under "Send mail as:" on the same page.

Then in mail on the Mac or Outlook in Windows, set up the program to check your gmail account with IMAP settings - and label it appropriately. You can then disable your old account.

How do I remove duplicate email messages?

Here is a link to a mail scripts program that allows you to remove duplicate messages from Mac Mail.  

Mac Mail

Download Mail Scripts 2.9 Here

Mail Scripts 2.9 removes duplicate mail.  It locates all duplicate messages found in the selected mailbox(es) and move them to a separate mailbox for easy removal (on 10.4 and higher, duplicate matching is based on the message source, on 10.3 it is uses the unique message header "Message-Id" for initial matching).


Download Duplicate Email Remover 2.15.3 Here

Duplicate Email Remover 2.15.3 - Delete duplicate e-mail messages and posts in Microsoft Outlook folders, Microsoft Exchange Server folders and mailboxes; supports searching across folders. A duplicate found can be marked, copied or moved to any folder. Works as an add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002/XP, 2003 and 2007.

How do I check my mail using WebMail?

You can login to mail.pair.com with your email address and password.

Each email account has access to WebMail. To create a new message, click "compose." Your IMAP folders are listed on the left, to view a message, just click on it. You will see options to reply, delete, forward, etc, just like any mail application.
How do I check my mail using WebMail

How do I delete the messages in INBOX.Trash?

Login to WebMail Click Trash from the left hand navigation. Select the message(s) you would like to delete, either individually by clicking on each message or by using the Select All in the pull down at the bottom of the message window. Once the messages you would like to delete are checked, then click the Trash icon in the top of the menu.

Video Demo

This video should answer most of your questions regarding editing and adding content on Slab. Click the link below.

Getting Started

Email or call us, and we will set you up. Production time is about 4-6 weeks from receipt of deposit and all design materials.  Rush service is available for 50% additional to the quote.  Turn around time is then 10 business days.

Logging in

In the footer of every page of the site there is a button that says members login or 4 Admins or some such. Click there and then enter your user name and password assigned to you by us.
To register for a user name and password, fill out the information below this login form and a username and password will be sent to you. However you will not be assigned administrative abilities without the permission of the site manager.

Adding new pages in a section

You can add pages to any module that has already been installed. Simply login and click on the NEW button near the bottom of any page or, if you don't see one at the bottom of the page, in the SLAB500 MENU near the top of the page.
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