BigV Cloud

Friday 16 December 2011 by Norbert

Everybody is talking about the cloud technology, but it's very rare to see any good explanation or a practical use case. Let me try to explain my own understanding of the cloud.

I believe that cloud differentiate from any other hosting environment, when every server instance is replaceable or expandable on demand. In other words, when you can reinstall a complete system in a matter of minutes.

I have a great opportunity to test Bytemark's BigV Cloud and when I was playing with that (creating, removing, extending, replacing each virtual machine), I've realised what replaceability really means. You can dedicate whole operating system to a single application. To a single application dedicated to a certain group of customers without worrying about another group of customers.

This is what is possible when you have a real cloud computing technology available and you are not afraid to use it:

Please note, the whole was created only in a couple of hours as an experiment, so use it with care!

Top Google award for Laposa

Friday 21 October 2011 by Rob Parker / Vozmedia

A Belfast web development firm is celebrating after one of its websites received a top award from Google.

Laposa Ltd, based in Howard Street, created the JING Tea website, which recently won Google’s Best of British Web competition.

The website is designed and managed on the Onxshop content management and eCommerce system, which was created in-house by Laposa.

The competition was judged by a panel of experts based on several criteria, including web design, usability and content.

The company’s Czech-born lead developer Norbert Laposa said: “It is a great honour that one of our websites has been recognised by Google.

“We always aim to create sites that our clients are happy with, but for it also to be recognised by industry experts as best practice in the sector is particularly pleasing.”

Onxshop does have Northern Irish clients, but the majority of its users are based in England. The system is already in use on around 40 business websites, and other sites - including the Waitrose website - were built using Onxshop.

Norbert is hoping that the emergence of a local e-commerce platform will encourage more local businesses to expand their business online.

He added: “Northern Ireland businesses have been a bit slower to recognise the potential of selling online. With Onxshop, Northern Ireland can take the lead in e-commerce software development not only in the UK, but also worldwide.

“It is a relatively low cost way for retailers to expand their business and a great way for new businesses to enter the market.”

Onxshop’s combined CMS and e-commerce package provides one of the simplest options currently available on the web for combining traditional website content management and selling online.

Editor’s notes

Onxshop is an e-commerce content management system, which is free for web developers to download and use in their own projects and is also available in hosted packages from Laposa Ltd.

The Onxshop platform has been operating since 2002. In that time it has processed more than 50,000 e-commerce transactions worth more than £1.5 million.

Google’s Best of British Web competition was launched in May this year. A judging panel selected the UK’s best small business websites from seven industry sectors: travel, transport, professional services and B2B, health and beauty, hospitality, retail, and trade and manufacturing. JING Tea’s website won in the retail category.

Merrion Business Centre office

Thursday 22 September 2011 by Norbert

We have moved our office due to Howard Buildings closure for repairs. But don't worry, we didn't move to far away, we are staying on the same street.

Our new office address is: 58 Howard Street, BT1 6PJ

We are keeping the same old telephone number +44 2890 328 988.

Onxshop CMS launches as open source

Friday 16 September 2011 by Rob Parker / Vozmedia

Onxshop, a CMS and e-commerce package created for web developers, is now available for free download following its open source launch.

The newly released system from Belfast-based Laposa Ltd provides one of the simplest options currently available on the web for combining traditional content management and an eCommerce store.

It was made available for free download last month after almost a decade of use on the web projects of its creator Norbert Laposa.

The platform has been operating since 2002. In that time it has processed more than 50,000 e-commerce transactions worth £1.5 million.

Norbert explained: “The product is stable and has been functioning successfully for several years. It continues to be in active development and I will be providing regular updates.

“Onxshop uses state of the art web design principles, such as Fibonacci based layout, semantic HTML and CSS, and progressive enhancement.”

The platform aims to provide a framework that web professionals can put their own design stamp upon, but also a common-sense system for end users.

While experts can easily alter the CSS to create their own designs, at its simplest level the system offers a series of professional multi-column layouts and content building blocks for easy insertion of rich text, photo galleries, HTML and much more.

The Onxshop system is already in use on around 40 business websites and other sites, including the Waitrose HTML and CSS templates, were built using Onxshop.

Norbert is now eager for other developers who find Onxshop useful to contribute to the source code.

He added: “We are a small company, so it’s a very good opportunity for others to jump on the wagon. We’re not a big corporation. People can deal directly with me, the main developer, and get support from me.

“We want to listen to what people think about the system and make any changes that are going to improve Onxshop as an open source CMS.”

Try Onxshop for yourself by downloading it from or try the online demo at

Our work wins Google’s Best of British Web competition

Thursday 15 September 2011 by Norbert

JING Tea wins Google competition for best online retail business

South London online tea retailer, JING Tea, has won Google’s Best of British Web competition, which recognises small UK businesses who are making the most of the internet.

According to Google, the competition was designed to inspire small businesses to make the most of their websites and reap the business rewards of being online. According to a recent survey by IPSOS, 40% of SMBs in the UK do not have a website. Of those businesses not online, 60% do not feel having a website is necessary – many still see it as too costly or too complicated. In reality, SMBs actively use the Internet are growing four times faster than those who remain offline, said Google.

The competition, launched in May, searched nationwide for the country’s best small business websites across seven industry sectors including travel, transport, professional services and B2B, health & beauty, hospitality, retail and trade and manufacturing. Winners were selected by a panel of experts based on several criteria including web design, usability and content.

JING Tea ( was launched in 2004 by Edward Eisler who wanted to create a company that could supply the best tea to the world’s finest establishments. 

After travelling around the globe and building relationships with the world’s finest tea farmers, JING Tea sources the world’s finest teas and supplies them to customers through its website.

JING Tea launched its website in 2006 and immediately saw the business grow. The company now supplies the tea to 70 countries across the globe, from Hawaii to New Zealand, as well as world renowned hotels including select Mandarin Oriental, Rocco Forte Collection and Ritz Carlton properties as well as restaurants by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey.

Eisler, said: “Our website has played a great role in turning JING Tea into a truly international company. It has allowed us to supply our products to all four corners of the globe, allowing thousands to experience some of our finest teas and teaware. Being crowned Best UK website by Google is a great achievement for us. 

“Google is at the forefront of internet technology and recognition from them is as high praise as we could hope for. It reflects the hard work that we have put into our online presence and convinces us that the time we have put in has paid dividends.”

Google said it is determined to help more retailers like JING Tea take advantage of the internet’s potential and help the UK economy grow by encouraging small businesses and entrepreneurs to visit, where they can get access to the free and simple website builder run by Google’s partner, and download the tips and tricks guides to boost their existing websites.

Matt Brittin, managing director Google UK, said: “We’re delighted to crown JING Tea as the retail winner of our competition to find the country’s most outstanding small business websites. JING Tea is a great example to other businesses in the industry, demonstrating how using online marketing such as AdWords really helps to expand a business’s reach. We hope their success will inspire others to make the most of the Internet.”


PostgreSQL vs MySQL

Saturday 30 July 2011 by Norbert

What is better, most advanced or most popular? I guess the same can be with OS X vs MS Windows.

Google result postgresql

Google result mysql

Disclaimer: We don't use MySQL and we don't use MS Windows.

Why Magento is not good for us

Wednesday 27 July 2011 by Norbert

It was looking promising back in 2007, but since it's release in 2008, we knew the promise was empty. The version released was so badly written that even trying to setup a simple product catalog was not possible without hacking the core to fix a few typo mistakes. It was obvious that the system was never used in a production environment, it that sense our own open source eCommerce system Onxshop was already running as a stable software for a couple of years. We didn't have any reason switching to Magento. Yes, it was a version 1.0 in 2008, but reading the comments below nothing has changed in the last 3 years.

Even if Magento was well written, we would still have a big problem that it can only do a product catalog, shopping cart and nothing more. Our clients need usually more than this, they need a complete website, a blog, an user forums, a CMS system. We don't want to add Wordpress for blog, than add Vanilla for user forum, etc. It's very bad for long term support to have a few isolated software packages running on one site. We need everything to interact together. Products, events, news feed, blog, newsletter subscription, user logins and the rest cannot be scattered throughout several isolated systems. E.g. using the same taxonomy system is impossible when running separate systems for one website.

Anyway, Magento future is sealed when bought by eBay. Another hype is over.

Read other people's opinion on why Magento is not what it looks like:

or just google "why not magento".

Comments (0)

Onxshop GitHub Repository

Thursday 14 July 2011 by Norbert

We are happy to announce that Onxshop CMS/eCommerce source code is available on GitHub (Source Code Management repository).

This is a big step for the future of our innovative software development and we hope to improve accessibility of this software to more web designers and developers.

Onxshop GitHub repository

Timeless Web Design

Wednesday 23 March 2011 by Norbert Laposa

I've found that it's hard to explain to my clients that most of our designs are timeless and they don't follow the trends. They are usually asking for some decorations and they don't concentrate on the content. This article might help my frustration.

Think of the water container as content, and water as the design. It fits perfectly, and adapts to all changes. Water design is timeless because it doesn’t try to make its mark, it simply embodies its content. It’s beautiful exactly because it expresses function with such seeming ease.

Ten tips for eCommerce websites

Wednesday 23 February 2011 by Norbert Laposa

1. Sell only products you fully understand

World Wide Web was created mainly to share knowledge. Be an expert in your area and share your knowledge, that’s the only way how to genuinely improve your ranking in search engines and people will also trust you and buy from you.

2. Be honest

Create impression, that your customers can talk to you: always display who they are dealing with and give them a telephone number, possibly picture of your office, tell who you are, name people behind the company on About Us page, don’t try to look bigger than your are, if they want to buy from a big company, they’ll go to Amazon or Tesco.

3. Don’t rely only on sales over your own website

Promote trade/wholesale and use your website as a catalogue, sell everywhere - sell on eBay, Amazon, but have your own shop with cheaper prices - encourage to buy directly.

4. Rent premises

There are plenty of empty premisses in Belfast and you can negotiate a good deal. The ideal situation is to have a high street shop and also sell online. You can rent a shop from £100 per week in Belfast city centre.

5. Try to sell abroad only light postage items and heavier items locally

i.e. washing machines in Belfast.

6. Use good quality photographs (large size) and use an informative description

You’ll mainly need a good light for shooting good photographs. Create description for each photograph like you would explain what’s on the photograph to a blind person, this will not only help screen readers, but also Google to display your product image in Google Images.

7. Main sites pages should be your main product categories

Your website is about your products, reflect it in your information architecture.

8. Treat returning customers

Provide discounts, loyalty scheme, high quality newsletter about your latest products or maintenance tips, not just an advertisement.

9. Secure some support package with your web designer/developer

For example monthly retainer. Always ask what will be an approximate yearly maintenance fee, you need more than just a web hosting for good quality customer experience.

10. Prepare your catalogue first

Before you go to a developer prepare your catalogue as a spreadsheet such as: product title, SKU code, category, net price.

A Web of Knowledge

Wednesday 12 January 2011 by Angela Frizzell

Original article posted at North City Business Centre

Norbert Laposa first found a passion for web design and development while studying at University. During a time of growth in the internet revolution, Norbert saw the opportunity to make extra money while studying a degree in Civil Engineering. It wasn't long before he was running his own web company.

His entrepreneurial spirit was evident from a young age and owning his own business was always an ambition. After 10 years of experience in web design and ecommerce he felt it was time to expand his operations from sole trader to a limited company. Therefore, in August last year he entered full-time self employment. While mentioning this to his copywriter, she recommended making an appointment with an advisor at North City Business Centre. Norbert was reluctant to take the step and so his colleague arranged a meeting for him and he was soon sitting in a one-to-one mentoring session. To his delight, mentoring was very beneficial as he gained all the advice and guidance he required to develop Laposa Ltd.

Norbert said, “North City Business Centre helped me create a proper business plan and guided me in how I should promote the advantages of my business. The advisors are always happy to meet with me and are interested in my business.”

Laposa Ltd offer consultancy and web design and development. They are distinctive as they offer their own unique Content management system and ecommerce system. Both systems together are very strong and so differentiate them from others in the market. This umbrella of services creates a package sought by many companies at an affordable cost. 

When setting up his business, the first idea was to operate locally. However, this was not a winning approach for Laposa Ltd. With clients in London, Prague, Hong Kong, Japan and Dubai an international portfolio demonstrates how word of mouth can spread when the work is of a very high standard.

Jing Tea, a tea and tea ware company based in London is one of Laposa Ltd’s most prestigious clients. A close relationship provides a platform for success. In the past year, their ecommerce site has doubled its earnings gaining a profit of thousands of pounds. This is partly due to the work of Norbert and his constant development of their website. He believes “an ecommerce website is never finished.”

Norbert understands his field of work extensively and even the most elaborate websites are achieved. His wide range of experience ensures he is flexible and skilled in his line of work. Achieving 4 awards from Interactive Media Awards in 2006 and 2007 demonstrate his dedication for web design and development. A recent client ToptheClass approached Norbert about designing their website and from a possible 27 options, Laposa Ltd was chosen as the company which could offer the desired result.

Norbert has constantly being progressing the business forward. With many referrals he has built lasting relationships with his clients. He aims to complete all work to the highest quality, no matter how long this may take. Self-employment suits Norbert, “I can use the technical tools I feel comfortable using and there is more freedom. Although I tend to work over and above that expected, I enjoy my work and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”

Laposa Ltd has big plans for the future; an ever growing client database provides the opportunity to employ people full time. Within 5 years, Norbert hopes for a total of 5-10 people working for his company. This company could become an international phenomenon.



58 Howard Street
Belfast BT1 6PJ

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