I am often asked to repair computers and laptops. When I ask the owner what symptoms their computer is displaying the answers are frequently the same so I expect to hear any one of 14 possible answers...

Typical symptoms described to me when I take in a compuer for repair are:

  1. It is running very slowly
  2. Sometimes it won't boot up
  3. I get a lot of pop-up windows
  4. The Internet is very slow
  5. Some of my programs won't start anymore
  6. Some of my programs have disappeared

We've all seen them, and probably received many of them, and in many cases we have used them ourselves when on holiday - but are email auto-responders bad for business?

When you use an auto-responder an automated message is sent in response to any inbound email to your account informing the sender that you are on holiday or away from your office etc.

The Problem:

However, all too often this response is sent to the wrong person! Because if the message your auto-responder is replying to was a spam email, you can be confirming to the spammer that your address is valid. Or even worse, the spammer had forged their FROM address and your auto-response goes to an innocent party that had never contacted you in the first place. This person may then report your mail as spam - and this can get your email address blacklisted by their ISP - effectively cutting you off from all that ISP's customers...

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I am always on the lookout for tools to make life easier & indeed to make computer chores faster. Over the years I've found several utilities that I now couldn't manage without.

Here's a list of the FREE programs I find most useful:


Bulk Rename Utility is a free file renaming software for Windows. Bulk Rename Utility allows you to easily rename files and entire folders based upon extremely flexible criteria. I find this most useful for renaming large batches of photo or images.

Some of the features provided by Bulk Rename Utility include: 

I know that we all think that because a laptop is portable, that it is ok to use it anywhere - so many people take this to the extreme and use it in bed, or on cushions, settees or carpets.

This presents a major problem, because your laptop needs the air to flow into the vents underneath it in order to keep the chips and circuits within safe operating temperatures.

Check for yourself - turn your laptop over and look at the bottom. You will see it has quite a few vents in the bottom of the case. These are to draw air into the case and must never be blocked or restricted.

The incoming air during normal use passes over the internal components taking away the heat they generate and then passing it out of the exit vents - often on the sides of the laptop.

Basically there are two types of email; POP and IMAP, and the method you choose to access your email can make a big difference to the way you work, and to the ease with which you can manage your email.

What are POP and IMAP?

POP stands for "Post Office Protocol" - POP simply downloads email directly to your computer, and then deletes the email from the remote server (although you can set it to leave a copy of the server for "x" days). This then allows you to read your emails at any time, even when offline.

If you only ever use one computer/device to access your email, and you backup your computer hard drive regularly, you can manage just fine using POP.

If you do use multiple devices to access your email, POP has a major disadvantage - once your computer has already downloaded and emptied your email contents to its hard drive, you cannot then access those downloaded emails from your other devices.

Has your computer slowed down since you bought it?  Is it now painfully slow? Are you wondering why?

Read on for a simple, and free, solution...

Windows PCs typically slow down as applications are installed and used. Whether you are using a word processor, writing a spreadsheet, surfing the internet, playing games or anything else, hard drives fill with temporary files that do not always get removed when no longer needed.

Over time Windows tends to accumulate thousands of small files that will slow down the overall performance of your PC if you aren't careful.

I've been creating and hosting websites since 1995, in fact I still have my very first web client. But every now and again, in my role as a webmaster, I get surprised by the strange questions I get asked on the phone or via email that make me want to laugh...

Here are a few examples:

  • Here is my business card, can you make it into a website?
    (in fact in this case I DID make him a website - but it took a fair few questions about his business before I had enough data to do it)
  • The internet is not working anywhere in our village, can you switch it back on?
    (it's flattering to have someone think I have that much control over the internet)

Technical Support


In the unlikely event something goes wrong we provides free 24/7 Technical Support to all our clients.

This document informs you of the terms and conditions on which we supply our services described on our website cms-wales.co.uk to you (“Services”). Our primary services are: Website Hosting, Domain Registration, Website Promotion and Website Management.

Please read these terms and conditions carefully before ordering any Services from our website. By ordering any of our Services, you will be bound by these terms and conditions. Refusal to accept these Terms and Conditions will result in Services from our website being unavailable for ordering. We recommend you read through the terms carefully, printing a copy of your records if required.

Terms and Conditions Section Menu:


CMSW: Means CMS Wales.
Client: Means the customer / the client.

1. Business terms

1. Contract: The instruction for work to commence and the payment of the required deposit by the client constitutes a contractual agreement between the client and CMSW. The instruction for work to commence and / or payment of the required deposit indicates the client has read and agreed to the Terms of Business outlined in this documentation.

2. Start date of works: Work on projects will commence within 7 working days from the date the required deposit is paid and cleared unless a prior agreement exists.

3. Agreement of delivery: Acceptance of agreements and deposits by CMSW constitutes their agreement to deliver the outlined project subject to these ‘terms of business & services’ and compliance of these terms by the acting client.

4. Delivery schedule: All projects are scheduled into existing time tables. CMSW agrees to deliver the finished project by either the scheduled / estimated or agreed date of delivery subject to any disclaimers / waivers as within. No compensations in financial or services are offered for projects completed after scheduled delivery dates. Any delays resulting from the customer through actions / non-actions will more than likely extend delivery dates. As such CMSW offers no compensations for delays arising from such circumstances but will always seek to achieve agreed delivery dates and keep the customer informed on any such alterations required.

5. Customer satisfaction: Should the client be unsatisfied with the final media the project can be cancelled. Paid deposits are forfeited. Balances remaining will not be due. Intellectual copyright of final artwork / source code / images will remain with CMSW as per ‘Intellectual copyright’ terms as within. Alternatively the project can be revised in order to rectify any dissatisfaction the client has and bring the project to a satisfactory state. No additional charges will be due unless revisions are deemed excessive, will take longer than the quoted hours estimated for the whole project or the project needs to be started from scratch.

6. Cancellation: The client may terminate the contract at any point but in doing so will forfeit the deposit. In instances where deposits were not requested and formal agreement to these terms of business were respected CMSW reserves the right to charge for any hours worked at their hourly rate of £19.99 per hour. All uncompleted designs remain the intellectual copyright of CMSW as per the ‘Intellectual Copyright’ terms as within.

7. Office hours: Normal office hours apply Monday to Friday 7am until 10pm, Saturday 8am to 8pm, Sunday 8am to 12pm. These are the scheduled working days and hours of work. Hours outside of these times are defined as 'Out Of Hours'.

8. Priority request: Priority requests are available to customers who require urgent work that needs to take priority over previously scheduled work. Such requests are charged at a ‘priority request rate’ (See Financial terms & charges). The number of available priority requests per working week / month are limited in number.

9. Out of hours; is available to customers who at their request require urgent work to be done outside of the normal office hours of Monday to Friday 7am until 10pm, Saturday 8am to 8pm, Sunday 8am to 12pm. Such overtime is charged at an ‘Out of hours rate’ (See Financial terms & charges).

2. Financial terms & charges

1. Quotations: The price quoted to a client is for the cost to complete the project as detailed in the quotation. Alterations or adverse changes to a project brief after a quote has been given may result in a re-quote being delivered to the client where additional charges may or may not apply. Quotes are valid only for the number of days stated on the quotation.

2. Deposit: A deposit of 50% of the total cost of the project is required before work can commence. On occasions alternative deposit amounts are scheduled. After work commences this is non-refundable.

3. Payment options: Payment is currently accepted by Bank Transfer, Debit/Credit Card, Paypal or Cash, unless otherwise agreed. Non Payment or Late Payment will incur late payment charges as detailed on the related invoice. See invoice terms for details.

4. Payment due dates: Invoices are due by the due dates stated on them. Late payments are subject service suspension where applicable, see invoice terms for details.

5. Representative customer: Invoices are made out to the customer on a business by business basis.

6. Call outs and meeting charges: Time is recorded per hour from departure of the CMSW office up until our return and includes the time during the meeting / call out. Some exclusion’s apply, which are detailed here within. Reasonable travelling expenses also apply.


  • Complimentary consultations for prospects / new customers.
  • Pre-scheduled meetings that were quoted for or included in a project quote.
  • Materials required or supplied as part of the call out will be charged separately.

7. Hourly rate (Standard): The current hourly rate for all work is £19.99 per hour. Consecutive hours are charged at the same rate; such consecutive hours are subject to a 10% time allowance wavier before becoming chargeable.

8. Hourly rate (Priority request): Is charged at time and a half per hour. = £Hourly rate + 50% of hourly rate, per hour. = £29.98 per hour.

9. Hourly rate (Out of hours): Is charged at double time per hour. = £Hourly rate + 100% of hourly rate, per hour. = £39.98 per hour. Out of hours are any hours outside normal office hours.

10. Minimum charges: The minimum charge for any works is 1 (one) hour at the current hourly rate of £19.99. Therefore even very small updates will be charged at £19.99 unless the client has a CMSW 'Support Plan' package on their account which allows frequent small updates each month for as little as £19.99 per month - see: Website Management Packages

3. Creative media terms

1. Intellectual copyright: CMSW will hold intellectual copyright of any material, including any source code, imagery and photography created for the client, until payment of the final invoice is made. At this time we will transfer the intellectual copyright to the client. Copyright of stock imagery used in web or graphic designs are represented by their own respective copyright notices and intellectual copyright.

2. Client responsibilities with regard to copyright: In situations where clients provide images, text, animations or any other content for their website or media publication(s) they are legally responsible for ensuring that this material does not infringe any copyright laws. Photographs taken, or images designed by CMSW, remain the copyright of CMSW until payment of the final invoice is made.

3. Mock and draft designs: Any mock / draft or "live preview" designs supplied to the client by CMSW remain the intellectual copyright of CMSW. We reserve the right to use any un-used mocks / drafts in our portfolio and or in other design projects.

4. Accreditation: On all graphic and web design work CMSW reserves the right to credit work to CMSW with the inclusion of a small hyperlink where seen fit (usually in the website footer). Clients can request the exclusion of such credits with prior agreement with CMSW. Credit exclusions are chargeable at £50.00 per media design. The client agrees that unauthorised removal of credits on designs such as websites will automatically impose the credit exclusion fee, charged at £50.00. Should CMSW fail to include our accreditation in the completed artwork or designs the client is then not liable for a credit exclusion fee.

5. Proofing: Clients are responsible for final proofing of artwork and web designs. We check all our artwork and web designs before publishing, but clients are responsible for final proofing. CMSW cannot be held liable for any errors found after the client has approved artwork for print or a web design for publishing.

6. Publishing, print & digital supply; Final artwork / source code / images are only published to the Internet / submitted to print / supplied to the client once the final invoice is paid.

4. Data storage policy

1. Data storage: CMSW stores final client artwork / source code / images for a sufficient period preceding the completion of the project and up to a point when the project is deemed dormant. Dormant artwork / source code / images are catalogued and archived for a period of 5 years.

2. Client supply: Clients can request original artwork / source code / images to be supplied to them electronically, though they accept responsibility for the safe keeping of media files from that time and beyond any archive period detailed above.

3. Supporting files: Supporting files, used for the creation of any project(s) are deleted when the project is deemed dormant and therefore CMSW holds no liability or responsibility to store such media files on their system(s). This excludes any photography work undertaken by CMSW and thus such image files will be catalogued and archived as normal.

4. Backup liability: CMSW takes appropriate precautions and practices to backup client artwork / source code / images through a range of backup and archive systems. CMSW offers no guarantee or warranty for projects neither deemed dormant nor past any archiving period detailed above.

5. Waiver: In the event of an act of god or circumstances beyond their control, and ensuring all precautionary practices were followed, CMSW holds no liability for the safe keeping or backup of client original artwork / source code / images nor the responsibility to re-create any such media files without fees.

5. Service specific terms

Website design terms

1. Website warranty: Websites come with a one month warranty from the published date to ensure system establishment and foundation. Any errors, defects, changes or minor additions are made without charge during this time.

Website management terms

2. Management plan terms: Website management agreements abide to a ‘website management plan terms and conditions’ as well as the conditions here within. Reference your agreement for details.

Client web hosting terms

1. Semi-Managed services: Web hosting, domain hosting and email hosting services are provided to clients as a ‘semi-managed hosting service’ by CMSW. Clients will therefore have full, unrestricted access and control to their allocated hosting space and services such as Control Panel access and email account creation. All server side administration tasks will be managed by CMSW.

2. Email storage: Clients are responsible for ensuring their Pop3 / iMap email account(s) storage spaces do not exceed their total hosting account quota. (most CMS Wales hosting packages allow unlimited space).

3. Payment of charges: Service charges are to be paid by the due date stated on the invoice. Late or non payment of service renewal charges will lead to Late Payment Fees and/or Reactivation Fees, Account Suspension and in extreme cases termination of any and all services contracted.

4. Domain cancellation: CMSW reserves the right to cancel any domain services following the non payment of service charges by their due date and in turn allow those domain names to expire and follow the industry standard process for those domain names to become publicly available for purchase.

5. Transferring away: Customers wishing to transfer their domain names away will need to submit a formal request and pay the following fees accordingly to their domain extension and number of domains. Transfer fees are; Per domain = £20.00. These fees do not include email backup, website backup / download or restoration on new hosting platforms. Such services are available at an hourly rate subject to rates applied when required. All contracted services must be current and paid for prior to a transfer request commencing.

Any client credit held on account is void if said client chooses to move away - but may be used towards transferring away fees, or any time required to help the client make the move away as seamless as possible.

6. Transferring away client responsibilities: Clients are responsible for ensuring that all email messages are downloaded or backed up from the server prior to a transfer away. The above fees do not include email backup / restoration, website backup / download / re-upload or database re-population on new hosting platforms. Such services are available at our hourly rate subject to rates applied when required.

7. Uptime of services: CMSW strive to prove an uptime of 100%. Any scheduled short interruption to services, for upgrades to hardware or software, will be announced in advance in the "Announcements" section of the Client Area and also directly via email to each hosted client. See our Uptime Guarantee.

8. Open source solutions: Clients using any open source content management system, such as Joomla or Wordpress are responsible for the security and function of any such installation unless a ‘Website Management’ agreement is in place which undertakes the constant monitoring and maintenance of security and functions within the installation.

9. User error downtime: CMSW is not liable for website downtime caused by user installation of plug-ins / modules / add-ons, user editing, or third party involvement. Any time required to rectify any such downtime is chargeable unless it falls within the website warranty period or a ‘Website Management’ agreement is in place which undertakes such circumstances and eventualities.

6. Additional terms

1. Where applicable we may impose additional terms and conditions individually respective of the media design/project concerned. These additional terms, if any, will be detailed in the quotation supplied for the media design/project concerned.

7. Disclaimer and waiver

1. Waiver of terms: Should CMSW waive any of these terms on an individual basis, this shall not affect the validity of remaining clauses or commit CMSW to waive the same clause on any other occasion. By agreeing to these terms and conditions your statutory rights are not affected. CMSW reserves the right to change or modify any of these terms or conditions at any time. Should clarification of any of the above points be required please contact us.

2. Delivery date extension: In circumstances and / or eventualities beyond our control CMSW reverses the right to extend delivery dates if required. This includes situations such as system crashes, data loss, power failure, loss of Internet access, acts of god.

3. Holidays: Where applicable CMSW reserves the right to extend project delivery dates, scheduled website updates and meetings during times of scheduled holidays without limitation to family emergencies. Any such pre-scheduled holiday plans are taken into account when setting project delivery dates where applicable. 

8. Related Documents

Please also see our Privacy and Cookie Policy

v.2.12.0 - 6th December 2018 by: CMS Wales, Sychpant, Velindre, Crymych, Pembrokeshire, SA41 3XD, UK

Many businesses, both small and large, have a website designed and built, get it online and then just forget about it, assuming that was all that was required and it is now "someone else's problem"

With some larger companies, once the site is built and online they often assign it to their I.T. budget and think no more about it. Whereas they should really assign it to the Marketing budget (The IT Department should be looking after the computers and network on your premises, their job is to keep your office systems running. While the Marketing Department should be in charge of all things to do with marketing - and a website is definitely marketing!).

Those websites can never succeed, they can never bring a Return On Investment...

Unfortunately, just like owning a car, your website will continue to require you to allocate resources and money on an ongoing basis.

Here are 6 costing and resource factors to keep in mind if you wish your website to be a productive asset to your company:

Site Management

Can't find the time?

With one of our Joomla/Wordpress Site Management Plans you send us your copy and we do the updates for you.

Disk Defragmentation is like house cleaning, but for your PC. Defragmenting your Hard Drive picks up all of the pieces of data that are spread all over your drive and puts them all back together again.

Why is defragmentation important?

Every computer suffers from the increase in file fragmentation that occurs during normal computer use, and if you don’t do something about it, your PC performance goes downhill fast.

Many of the PC's and Laptops we are asked to "repair" because their owners say they have slowed down, are usually fixed again simply by defragmenting the Hard Drive/s.

How does Fragementation occur?