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Studio Roundup for February 2024

General / 23 March 2024

Analytics solutions

Last year we switched from Google Analytics to a self hosted solution using Matomo. Using Cloudflare as a fallback, we have been comparing the data and experience. We found that Matomo is better as a marketing and analytics tool for seeing user behaviours while Cloudflare Analytics is a bit simpler and best suited to technical insights like the amount of raw traffic.

Being a system based on PHP and MySQL provides us with a lot of options to customise the web UI and the data reporting side of things. We have been providing advanced Wordpress development since 2020 so it’s a natural fit for our development toolkit and operations. Watch this space!

Garrett Ray Jewellery

Valentine’s Day dominates the retail space for the month of February and it was no different for our marketing efforts at Garrett Ray Jewellery. Offering a number of gift ideas for that special someone, a unique red 3D background was made to set the mood for this Valentine’s Day campaign.

18k white gold petals surrounding a blush pink spinel. Part of the Garrett Ray Blossoms collection.
Solid precious metal tunnels for stretched ears! Available in sizes from 8mm to 25mm in sterling silver, 9k, and 18k gold in the Stretched Ears category.
The tunnels for stretched ears also come with a charm holder variety, featuring a small ring perfect for clipping on Garrett Ray Charms for infinite customizability. Seen here in gold sporting the Vintage Key Charm from the Cottagecore collection.

Featuring a pair of acorns for their beautiful potential. Potential that holds power. Representing the Autumn Equinox, and the harvest to prepare for the coming longest night.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Celebrate the coming harvest in the Autumnal months (beginning in March in Australia) with the Mabon Amulet pendant. Part of the Garrett Ray Solstice collection.

The maiden’s amphora spilling over its bounty of water. A symbol that represents the Aquarian period of the ancients, a time in the old world of floods and rain, followed by the bounty.

Available in multiple formats we’re promoting the amulet charm on the left and stud earrings on the right.

The Pixie Cap is endemic to the Southern Hemisphere. Proof Australia also has fairies.

Add a touch of whimsy to your outfit with the Pixie Cap charm from the Garrett Ray Cottagecore collection. Available in sterling silver, 9k gold, and 18k gold.

Tech feature

Self reliance is important when you’re a small business — it prevents outside risks from affecting you and helps keep costs down. When cloud companies own all your data and you’re beholden to them to continue a product to run your business — you may be stuck with few options.

In recent years, platforms like Google, Meta, Reddit and X have closed off their old API’s entirely, introduced prohibitive pricing schemes for new API’s and established developer vetting policies that have made it harder than ever for small businesses to build robust solutions. Even if you clear all the hurdles and get an application launched— you could be offline with no warning because of a policy change, a platform error or just an outage. These effects can sometimes become very costly — in one worst case scenario we’ve had to abandon an entire project because a product a client requested to use became unavailable right before their launch.

Free and Open Source Software provides an alternative path to the walled gardens of Silicon Valley but it can seem prohibitive due to a lack of industry sophistication and client’s understanding. Today’s job market caters to the short attentions of hiring managers and recruiters, preferring to focus on the latest buzzwords on job requirements rather than articulating fundamentals they need — a typical job ad will insist you have experience working with a framework that’s meant to make a job easier but skip over the fact that most inductees in a team take weeks to onboard regardless of past experience with a tool. Every business and new hire is different.. The knock on effect is an industry fixated on using the latest frameworks and cloud products rather than looking at the bigger picture.

At Open Studios we are passionate about providing an alternative path to the cloud, using our experience with open source software like Wordpress, Node.js, MediaWiki, Moodle and Matomo to provide an ecosystem that is reliable, that provides value and can be customised as needed for business of all sizes. The cost difference usually working itself out over time — you may be up for a bit more to get things up, but when you own the code and just need to change hosting providers you have a lot more options than when a cloud company disappears or just decides a product you use needs to go. In fact if you really commit to a solution and start to customise it (rather than just try to shoehorn your needs into something else)— that’s when you can really get the most value out of your investment.

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