Your FAQs

In the FAQ section, you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our web application and our services. If your question is not listed, contact us and ask us to add it.

In short, no.

When you save a password against your account, it is encrypted using secure one-way encryption technology. What gets stored in our database is a string of words, numbers and punctuation that does not seem to have any relation to the password you enter on the site. The reason for this is to prevent anyone gaining access to users’ usernames and passwords through our database.

If you have forgotten your password we provide the facility for you to recover your account by setting a new password on your account. Please refer to How do I recover my password? for more information.

What is an Authcode?

An Authcode is a short unique code provided by the registry for each domain. It acts as a PIN number and is used to authorise transfers of the domain between registrars.

Do I need one?

Many registries use Authcodes to authorise transfers and changes to a domain ownership. Whether or not your domain requires an Authcode depends on which registry is responsible for the register relating to the domain. 

If you do need an Authcode, it will be provided to you by your existing registrar. In addition, you can find out if you need an Authcode by checking out the relevant TLD page for your domain, this will confirm whether an Authcode is required for that TLD.

At Redcentaur, we respect your personal data and offer you the ability to manage it for yourself. If you decide you no longer want to receive our newsletters and you want all of your personal data to be removed from our newsletter database, that is something we respect.

You can ask to be forgotten in one of two ways. When you unsubscribe from our newsletter on your Profile page, we will automatically send you a link that enables you to delete your personal data from our newsletter database. All you have to do is click on the link and confirm that you want to be forgotten. If you don't receive that email, or you've deleted it, you can email us and we will do it for you. You will have to confirm your identity if you make the request by email.

Please note, your right to be forgotten only affects your newsletter subscription. We are required to retain any data about you that is relevant to our ability to perform our business and our contracted relationship with you.

When you register an account on this web site, you set your own password. This is because passwords you create yourself tend to be easier to remember! But, we’ve all done it... We’ve all forgotten one of the millions of passwords we have to remember for every single site we visit.

So, we’ve created a simple and secure process to enable you to reset your password when you’ve forgotten it. We can’t tell you your existing password because it is encrypted before we store it in our database, so even if we went into the database to look for your password, all we would see is a string of 64 letters and numbers that you wouldn’t recognise either!

How to change your password when you’re not signed in:
  1. Click on My account (opens in a new window so you can still refer to these instructions) on the main menu;
  2. Click on the Forgotten my password? (new window) link on the right-hand side;
  3. Complete the requested details in the “Request a password reset” form with the details we hold for you (you will need to include your registered email address, username and your preferred security question and answer);
  4. Click on Request reset;
  5. If the details are correct, you will receive an email to your registered email address containing a link and further instructions to change your password;
  6. The link contains a reference id and is unique and time limited. Click the link or copy and paste the entire link into your web browser’s address bar. Create a new password to regain access to your account.

If you suddenly remember your existing password after you have requested a reset, you can cancel the reset by signing in to your account as normal with your existing username and password. We recommend you do this as soon as possible so that the unique reference to your account is killed and the reset link is properly voided.

Registering your account on this site allows you to manage your personal data more easily and enables you to participate in special offers and discounts that are made available to registered users on occasion. From your account profile, you are able to manage your subscription to our newsletter, change your personal details, as necessary, and check out exclusive special offers.

If you want to register your account, you must be an existing client for Redcentaur Design or Redcentaur Hosting: you will be unable to register until you are listed as a client because this web site does not offer services to the general public. If you are an existing client and you cannot register, please contact us to make sure that we have added you to our clients list within the application.

To register your account:
  1. Click on My account (link opens in a new window so you still have access to these instructions) in the main menu;
  2. On the right-hand side, click on Register an account (opens in a new window);
  3. Complete the User details form with a username, password, your email address (that we already hold for you), a security question and answer and confirm your agreement to our Terms and Conditions (new window). Then click on Register account;
  4. If all is successful, you are returned to the Sign-in page with a message saying “Your account has been created. Now sign in.”;
  5. Sign in using the username and password you just created;
  6. If your credentials (username/password) are correct, you are signed in and land on your Profile page.  

We understand that there are many reasons why you might want to unsubscribe from our newsletter for a short period. I know it will be a wrench to be parted from such great news and information but it's understandable if you are on holiday that you don't want to come back to all those emails, including our poor old newsletter.

So, you can manage your subscription directly from your Profile page. If are subscribed, the details of your subscription will be shown and you can change your subscription details on your profile page directly. While you maintain your subscription details in our database you will be able to subscribe and unsubscribe, as you wish. 

If you decide to delete your details from the subscription database, you will not be subscribed to the newsletter and your details will be deleted from the newsletter database under our Right to be forgotten policy.

What is a domain transfer?

A domain transfer is when you as a domain owner chooses to change the registrar you use to register the domain with the registry. There are many registrars available to register and hold the details of your domain registrations for you.

Each registry has different policies and procedures in place for how to complete a domain transfer, please review the specific notes relating to transfers in the relevant TLD pages. Transfer fees may apply as a result of transfering your domain to a new registrar.

How do I transfer my domain?

The process for transfering your domain to a different registrar varies by registry. These notes are generic and the actual process used may vary from these according to the type of domain, the registry and the registrars in question.

The transfer request is usually initiated by the losing registrar upon request by the domain owner. This usually involves the owner of the domain unlocking the domain (if applicable) and receiving the Authcode for the domain (if applicable). In some cases, the owner will have to provide the receiving registrar's IPS TAG for the domain (the receiving registrar will provide this to you).

The owner is responsible for passing the Authcode and the domain details to the receiving registrar. In most cases, the contact details must be provided as per the existing registration details.

The registry is informed about the requested transfer and in most cases contacts the registered owner or administrator of the domain to request a confirmation of the transfer. You will be provided a unique link to the registry's web site and asked to confirm your request there. 

Assuming you confirm the request (which must be completed within five days of initiating the process), the transfer will be completed within a few days.

Important notes

Before initiating a domain transfer, please ensure that your contact details are up to date for the owner, administrator and technical contact.

Some registries automatically add a period to the lifetime of the domain, so you may find your new expiry date is up to a year later than it was prior to the transfer. This is paid for out of the transfer fees applicable for the domain.

Domain owners must ensure that their account with the losing registrar is up-to-date. If the owner is in debt to their existing registrar the losing registrar has a right to refuse the transfer of the domain until their account has been settled in full.

The transfer process is time-limited. If you fail to complete the actions required of you to complete a transfer within the period provided, the transfer will fail and the transfer charges will be lost. Please make sure you unlock your domain before beginning the process as this usually causes the transfer to fail automatically.

We are always happy to hear from people who want to work with us.

The best way for us to get to work together is for you to make contact with us. If you have a specific project in mind, get in touch with us to discuss the project, what you want to achieve from it and how much you want to spend. From this, we will start a conversation to get to know you better and to understand your project and your business objectives. The end result will be a proposal for us to do the project for you. 

If you don't have a specific project in mind yet, get in touch anyway! We will spend time getting to know you and your business and when you have a challenge that we can help with, we will be so far along that the project will take less time to propose and cost for you. We are always happy to give friendly advice and the aid of a different point of view to our clients facing business challenges—even when those challenges can't practically be met by a project we can work on: it helps to keep us grounded in business while we work on projects.

We build strong long-standing relationships with our clients that are essential to the success of our businesses. We are always happy to meet for a chin-wag, helpful advice or just for a coffee and gossip; it doesn't always have to be about work!

The web applications and web sites we develop are not done in isolation. They are a result of working with you to understand you, your business, its challenges and objectives and the constraints of the budget you have available. We take time to understand your business and get to know you. This enables us to work in collaboration with you to find the best solution to suit your requirements and your business constraints.

Sometimes, this will be an off-the-shelf solution that simply requires some reconfiguration and additions to suit your needs and give you a web site that stands out from the other sites that use the same application. If this is the case, the cost will be minimal because it won't take us a lot of time and the project risks are lower.

Other sites will need bespoke development of a solution from scratch. While we work hard to keep the costs of such a project to the minimum, the budget for a bespoke build will be higher than for an off-the-shelf solution, in general.

So, the cost of developing your web site is a factor of your business challenges, objectives and constraints tied in against the proposed solution, the time it will take to build and the risks involved in the project.

Once we have spent time with you getting to know your business and your expectations, we will be able to produce a written proposal for you, detailing what we will do, roughly how long it will take and how much we expect it will cost you to do. We can then work with you to revise that proposal and agree the solution we will adopt and agree the terms of the project. At this point, we will produce a contract that sets out the various obligations, costs and the terms on which we will work together.

Domain Registries require a minimum number of Domain Name Server records to be put in place for the registration and ongoing maintenance of a domain record. Each registry may require a different minimum number of records.

A DNS record is the address of the NameServer to which the registry directs traffic for a particular domain name. For instance, if you are registering as a domain name and wish to host your domain on's servers, you will need to have two DNS records as a minimum to register the domain and throughout its registration. The DNS records you will need are:


These need to be added to the domain name during registration and/or any time you change your hosting provider.

Each registry also has a maximum number of DNS records it will allow. In most cases, you will not need more than two DNS records.

Until very recently, there were only a small number of different Top-Level Domains (TLDs) available on the market because of technological difficulties which limited the number of letters that could be used. Over the last few years, as technology has improved, there has been a steady growth in the types and varieties of TLDs that are now available. And this is only likely to continue.

Currently, the main types of TLD available are: 

  • Generic TLDs (gTLDs): These are the generic TLDs that everyone is familiar with and have been around seemingly forever. Popular versions include: .com, .gov, .org, .net.
  • Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs): These have been around for as long as the generic versions and signify a relationship with a particular country or culture. Examples of these include:, .eu, .us, .br, .pl, .cn, .ru, etc. Sometimes, there are  restrictions placed on registration of a ccTLD, requiring residency or a formal relationship with the country; however, some ccTLDs are recognised for their importance globally and are open for registration (e.g., .co (Colombia), .it (Italy)).
  • Geographical TLDs (geoTLDs): These are a recent development that have been introduced since the restriction of TLDs to two or three characters has been lifted with modern technology. The list of geoTLDs is constantly growing and current examples include .alsace,, .amsterdam. Often there are restrictions on application for a geoTLD, requiring specific and verifiable relationship with a specific geographical area.
  • ICANN gTLDs (nTLDs): This is a further recent development, enabling the use of far more descriptive generic TLDs.These are growing at an exponential rate with new additions being added all of the time. Current examples include, .aero, .accountant, .associates, .construction, .contractors, .yoga, .zone and many more. Some restrictions apply to the nTLDs that apply to specific professions.
  • Brand TLDs (bTLDs): These are a group of TLDs that are specifically linked to identifiable brands, such as .bmw, .youtube. and others. These are heavily restricted and not generally available to the public.

In addition, many of these TLDs have an international perspective as well, so for example, geoTLDs include a large and growing number of TLDs in other languages, as do the nTLDs.

A Content Management System (CMS) is a web application that enables users to publish, edit, delete and otherwise maintain content displayed on a web site from within an interface designed for that purpose. Most CMS systems provide suitable procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. 

In general, there are two parts to a CMS, a management application and a delivery application, which work together to manage and render web site content in accordance with the framework provided by the CMS.

Content Management Application (CMA)

The CMA is the part that a content author or administrator uses to produce, publish, edit and delete content. Most CMAs do not require the author to have extensive knowledge of web standards or languages such as HTML and CSS, as this is driven behind the CMA by the application itself. In fact, CMAs are designed and intended to ensure they can be used by people who do not necessarily have great technical skills and without the need for an expert.

Content Delivery Application (CDA)

The CDA uses the content created in the CMA and displays it on the web site in accordance with the technical and design principles applicable to the CDA. It is the Delivery Application that visitors to the web site will see when they visit a specific page of the CMS website.


Depending on the CMS and the particular needs of the organisation that uses it, there may be many additional features within the CMS that enables the automation of the collection and use of data and content on the web site. These features may be included in off-the-shelf plugins or modules that are specifically developed for the organisation or the CMS.

With a shared hosting plan, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a Hybrid server you are sharing a part of a large cloud cluster server or a physical server in various sizes of partition. Whenever a server or cloud is shared amongst several users, its resources, such as processing power, RAM memory and disk space, are distributed amongst those tenants as needed. By sharing these physical resources, the cost of providing the server to you is shared and so you get a lower-cost server, the lower the cost, the more the resources are divided.

A Dedicated server, though, is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a whole physical server that is dedicated to a single tenant. You have access to use all of the resources available to that server, you aren’t sharing them with other unknown tenants and you can use the server as you wish, with your own applications. 

The Dedicated server is suitable for important mission-critical objectives, applications with high-performance requirements and key websites with high traffic levels, as well as applications that require significant levels of security.

Our Dedicated servers offer you the flexibility to use every last ounce of resources for your own purposes, from behind our firewall. The server comes with either Linux or Windows operating systems and we can install either a Plesk or cPanel licence at additional cost.

A Hybrid server is a large dedicated server divided into smaller chunks using the same virtualisation technology that is used to divide our cloud servers into VPS parcels. In fact, a Hybrid is similar to a VPS in some ways but the Hybrid is split into fewer, larger partitions giving performance close to that of a dedicated server but at a lower cost because you are sharing hardware resources, as in a VPS.

The main differences between our Hybrid server and our VPS are:

  • Hybrid servers are split into larger partitions, meaning you have much more space available;
  • Because there are fewer Hybrid partitions per server, you get a larger share of available resources than in a VPS;
  • Our Hybrid servers offer greater flexibility and configuration than a VPS.

A static web site is a web site that is primarily coded using only presentational code and that offers users limited interactions with it. Presentational code includes HTML and CSS, which are the backbone languages used for presentation across the internet. By their nature, they are static: they do not offer the ability to dynamically change the data presented based on user interactions. What you see is what every user sees. In a static web site, only basic user interactions are supported, such as completing a contact form or navigating to a different page.

In a static web site, this principle is only marginally altered by the use of JavaScript as a presentational element. While JavaScript can be used to fundamentally interact with a server and present dynamic data, this is not a facility that is used within a static web site. Interaction with a static web site is limited to clicking on links to navigate to a different static page, entering information into a contact us form and otherwise basic interactions. 

In general, static web sites have become a thing of the past. These days, most web sites are some form of web application, offering users and/or the site's administrators the ability to interact dynamically with the web site to save and change the data that is presented.

A Synchronous Registry is a domain name registry that immediately enacts changes to its registry, whether additions (new registrations) or ownership/transfer changes.

An Asychronous Registry modifies the registry off-stream and updates changes periodically, perhaps twice per day.

With a Sychronous change, updates can take a few hours to be propagated across the internet and take effect, changes to an Asychronous registry will take longer to be propagated; it can take up to 72 hours for a change to propagate in extreme circumstances.

A TLD is a Top-Level Domain. The internet addressing system, called the Domain Name System, enables every page of every web site to be reached from anywhere in the world. This is achieved by creating an address for every domain on the internet. 

If you consider your home address, for example, the TLD is like the country used in your home address and enables the correct registry to be found quickly to identify where to send traffic looking for your web site.

A TLD is the last part of a fully-qualified domain address, such as .com, .eu, or .uk. These are all second-level TLDs, because they come immediately after the domain address (e.g., is a domain name + second-level TLD). Some registries also support third-level TLDs, such as,, etc., which add the TLD a level lower than in the second-level TLDs.

Responsibility for management of most TLDs is delegated to specific organisations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). This is what makes the internet work, ICANN sets the rules required for assigning names and numbers while the individual registries set the specific requirements for their particular TLDs. All domains using the internet are required to be registered so that they can be found from anywhere in the world and properly addressed according to the standards set by ICANN.

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is derived from using virtualisation technology to divide a larger server into smaller virtual servers, each behaving as if it was a dedicated private server remaining isolated from the other virtual servers around it. A VPS is the next step from a shared hosting plan, providing the privacy and flexibility of a Dedicated or Hybrid server but still with shared resources that make this an affordable option.

Rather than splitting individual servers for our VPS plans, we use large cloud clusters with fast and reliable architecture that provides flexibility and robust performance. Our standard VPS has 1 core CPU, 2GB RAM, 20GB HDD disk space and a Plesk licence included. Other options are available, such as increasing CPU cores, RAM memory, disk space or changing to cPanel or Webmin. You can also change from a hard disk (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD). The options you choose may affect the cost of the service, contact us for prices.

A web application is a type of web site hosted on a server. While a web site generally just imparts information intended for public consumption, a web application will usually allow a certain amount of interaction by users and/or administrators. The effectiveness and value of a web application to its users depends on the level of interaction that is afforded to them.

For example, a web application may enable a certain amount of social interaction through its site, such as, Facebook™ or LinkedIn™; while a static web site will usually only link a number of pages together and offer users the ability to send the owner an email, for example. Web applications require a considerable amount of development, interaction design, testing and data management when compared to a “static” web site.

Some web applications do not appear to be applications to their visitors. This is because the interaction and management elements of the application are used by administrators to deliver the web site to visitors; these tend to be Content Management Systems, such as WordPress™ and Joomla.

Note, a “mobile app” can be a similar kind of arrangement but these tend to be web-style applications that users can download and use from their devices, interacting with a web server as required to store and retrieve data.

What is Internationalised Domain Naming (IDN)?

IDN is a system that enables registrants to register a domain name using a language other than English. This is important in some countries where there are differences in keyboard, character length and ability to type domain addresses in English, which has been the requirement until recently.

IDN allows a domain to be registered in a language other than English and to use the standard language characters and symbols available within that language to define the domain name. 

Why would I want to use IDN?

IDN is really useful if your target audience primarily speaks a language other than English. For example, if you wanted a web site for a German hotel called the "old green castle", until recently, it would have to be "". With IDN, you can now use the correct German, "altegrüneschloß.com", which is far more natural.

While this example does not show the great potential for IDN-related domain names, when you consider languages in asia which use glyphs and symbols unrelated to latinate letters, the usefulness of the system is apparent.

How do I use it?

Each registry currently provides IDN support for a varying number of languages. Some registries, of course, provide no support at all. If an IDN is important to your domain naming, review the IDN details for the domain you prefer before registering.

To register a new domain using IDN, you will need to expressly identify the related language during registration. Each registration must be specific to a particular language, because of the method of translation used.

Note, when an IDN-enabled domain name is viewed in a standard English browser, the address will not relate to the name of the domain. The name will be very different as registries use punycode to provide the translation of the domain name. Our example domain name would read as: in an English-speaking browser. For this reason, it may be appropriate to register a separate domain name suitable for other language users to find your domain.

Many registries allow registrants to enable Contact Privacy. Each registry has its own rules on who is able to enable privacy and under what circumstances; some registries do not allow privacy at all.

Contact Privacy allows an individual (and, in some cases, organisations) to optionally protect their personal contact information from WHOIS queries, which can help to protect individuals from spam, nuisance calls and junk mail.

WHOIS is a facility that every registry provides for anyone to look up the owner of a domain name. To look up a domain owner's details, go to the registry in question (e.g., for .uk domains) and use their WHOIS facility to get information relating to the owner of a specific domain.

There is a small fee for enabling Contact Privacy, which is payable annually. 

Domain Locking relates to a registry flag that can be set to prevent unauthorised transfers, changes and deletions of a domain and is intended to combat a number of domain-related scams that exploded in the early 2000s.

Domain Lock sets a flag on the registry, REGISTRAR-LOCK, to true. This flag prevents all:

  • domain name changes, including domain contact details;
  • transfers of the domain name to another registrar; and, 
  • deletion of a domain name.

The facility is free to use and most registries now implement the system (a few do not). You are strongly advised to implement the lock when it is available to prevent your domain being transferred, traded or deleted. When you want to make changes or move your domain to another registrar, you can unlock it and authorise the transfer.

When a domain expires, there is a set process at the registry for a registration to be deleted. This is done to protect owners who have failed to renew their domains on time for a number of reasons. Each registry has different policies and practices relating to expiry, so check the details on the relevant TLD page.

At expiry, the domain enters a Grace period, during which the domain can be renewed at normal rates. There is a separate answer relating to the Grace period.

Following the Grace period, the domain will be marked for deletion. Some registries provide an additional period of time called the Redemption Period, where an existing owner can redeem the domain from the deletion list. The process for doing this is more expensive than a standard renewal and requires considerably more work to undertake. The owner must pay the necessary fees and redeem the domain with exactly the same contact details and registrar as the current (expired) record.

With five days of the end of the Redemption period, the domain is deleted from the register. This means the domain has been put back on the open market and is available for registration by anyone.

Note, not all registries offer a Redemption period and the window for redemption is different for those registries that do offer it. The cost and time required to redeem an expired domain are considerable. Do not rely on the Redemption Period as an option for domains you want to renew.

When you register a domain name, you purchase the domain name for a limited period of time. At the expiry date, the domain is de-registered and returns to availability for another registrant to use.

However, as a domain owner, you have the right to renew an existing registered domain before its expiry and maintain your ownership of the domain name indefinitely, provided you continue to renew your registration, keep your records up to date and accurate, and pay your renewal fees on time.

Autorenewal is a facility that enables you to automatically renew your domain names before they expire (assuming you have paid your registration fees, etc.). Within a few days of the expiry date, the registry will extend your registration period. When this happens depends on the period for autorenew that the registry sets. You are also able to change your autorenew settings within a specified period of time before a domain is due to expire; this can be up to expiry (i.e., 0 days), or any period prior to that date. Check the details for your registry.

If you have autorenew set and your domain is renewed, you are responsible for all charges attributed to the renewal of your domain. Once a domain has been renewed, the renewal cannot be reversed and liability for all charges falls to the owner.

If you currently have autorenew set and you want your domain to expire, you can change your autorenew settings. As long as you turn off the autorenew facility before the change period ends, your domain will be left to expire once your registration period has ended.


Redcentaur Design is a small web development and graphic design agency that offers clients end-to-end web development solutions. We don’t just make web sites. We build technical solutions to business problems that fit with the way you do business and how you want to work. We take great pride in the work we do, making sure that solutions we provide work once they are released into the wild and thrive after we have finished nurturing them into existence. Let us amaze you with our talent!

Shared hosting refers to when you rent space on a server with other clients and share the resources provided by that server, or cluster of servers. Connections to the server, bandwidth, processors and RAM are all shared between the clients and their websites on the server and, as these are finite resources, they are allocated intelligently between the accounts as necessary to meet the demands on the server. This means that you have access to server space and the benefits it offers at a greatly reduced cost but ultimately, your use of server resources will be in competition with every other website allocated space on the shared server; this is the downside of having server access for reduced cost.

Other options include a Virtual Private Server (VPS), which is a virtual machine running its own copy of an operating system on which you have your own instance; a Hybrid server, which is a shared resource like a VPS but with fewer sections and therefore more space and resources allocated to each participant; or a Dedicated server, where you rent a complete server and all of its resources.

Most domains offer a Grace Period when a domain expires. This is the period during which the current owner of the domain is able to renew the domain at the current renewal price. 

Each registry offers an individual Grace period for their domains. So, for example if you register a domain on 01 January 2000, the lifecycle of your domain might look like this:

  • Domain registered: 01 January 2000;
  • Domain expires: 01 January 2001;
  • Grace period: 31 January 2001 (assuming 30 days grace period);
  • Redemption period: 02 March 2001 (assuming 30 days redemption period);
  • Domain deletion: 07 March 2001.

It is important that any domains you want to renew are renewed before expiry of the domain registration. The Grace period should not be relied upon to renew expired domains and the new expiry date will be an anniversary of the previous expiry date.

The Redemption period is a period offered by some domains as a final opportunity for an owner to renew a domain. It requires a considerable amount of additional work and is far more expensive to expedite than a standard renewal, our fees are therefore higher for redemptions. Not all registries offer a Redemption period.

Once the Redemption period (if available) has ended, the domain will be posted for deletion within the next five days. At this point the domain will be available on the open market and may be registered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

There are several project management processes acceptable for use on web development projects. These include “Waterfall” methodologies, PRINCE2 and “Agile” workflows. Here is our take on some of these solutions and our experience of working with them. These thoughts are generalised, so not set in concrete and not true of every project of its type.


Waterfall project management is generally used in construction projects and historically has been used in the ‘construction’ of web sites in the past. The process requires defined stages of development with set procedural gates between each stage. A project is unable to proceed to the next stage until the gate has been passed, requiring agreement of the developer and the client. Generally, the stages involved include: Definition, Design, Construction, Completion and Close out.

Unfortunately, a waterfall process has never really been suitable for web development projects because it requires a clearly specified and well-understood definition before a successful project can start. In construction, you would have a set of architect's drawings and blueprints. In web development, you have a set of needs, challenges and expectations that need to be fulfilled... usually they are not well defined or specified!

Waterfall tends to slow down the completion of a project because we have to work towards each gate in turn and our concerns are focused entirely on making sure that we are ready to get through the gate at the appropriate moment, rather than focusing on what you have asked us to solve.

Indeed, waterfall projects tend to result in solutions that satisfy only the specified aims and objectives as set out at the start of the project. Anything that crops up during the project tends to be either neglected or bolted–on as an additional cost. As a result, waterfall projects usually end up costing the client significantly more money and tend not to solve the real problem that the client wanted, resulting in disappointment and project failure in the long–term.


PRINCE2 is a heavily structured project management framework suited to large projects in medium– to large–sized organisations. There is a much stronger emphasis on process and on organisational structure within a PRINCE2 project. PRINCE2 is not a very flexible project management process and requires a significant amount of reporting and role–reporting within the project structure.

Like Waterfall, in PRINCE2, there are a set of specifications and requirements set out at the start of the project, which must be completed by the end of the project. Equally, there are a set of stages and approvals that need to be completed along the way. The difference is that PRINCE2 expects a project to define its approach through planning documentation, logs, reports, registers and lists. In many circumstances, this can result in the project becoming bogged down in committee meetings, approval processes and reporting rather than to responding to changing business needs, changing environment, updated user expectations and infrastructure specifications.

As a result of the additional burden of bureaucracy, reporting and documentation, often PRINCE2 is not considered suitable for smaller scale web development projects and are often cited as the main reasons for such projects failing.


Agile is a relative new–comer to the project management spectrum and was first discovered in the undergrowth of some software development projects. Because it grew out of software development, the transition to other “soft” projects like web development is fairly easy and it has in place many of the concepts that are important to these kinds of projects where Waterfall and PRINCE2 don’t.

Unlike PRINCE2, Agile is designed as a process to emphasise project execution over explicit management of the project itself: rather than talking about how to manage a project, it describes what the project will do and focuses on actually doing it.

In an Agile environment, there is an acceptance that requirements and specifications may, or even are likely, to change during the course of the project. This is because the client isn’t sure what they need to specify at the start of the project, or indeed how to specify heavily technical requirements; and the developer isn’t entirely clear on how to deliver often very soft specifications and requirements. As a result, Agile expects there to be a close collaboration between clients, stakeholders, users and developers who work as a team (at key moments during a project) to ensure that the project is ultimately successful.

The Agile concept is very different from PRINCE2 and Waterfall; if you are used to the latter types of project management, it can be a challenge getting used to Agile. In essence, Agile focusses on continuous planning, commitment, execution and review to deliver a set of “Products” or requirements at the end of each Sprint (a short project stage that is used to deliver key elements of a project). The project has a list of requirements (Products) to be delivered and during each Sprint the stakeholders agree which will be delivered and how they will be accepted. At the end of the Sprint, there is a demonstration of the Products to be accepted and an update of the list of requirements.

Agile projects require robust, disciplined mechanisms of process control, including constant feedback loops and continuous project improvement as essential management techniques. The project planning, requirement specification, governance, development, implementation, reporting and acceptance are built into the process throughout the project. It engenders transparency and brings decision–making and management to a participative level. Decisions are made on project operational certainties, rather than on predictions based on schedules and Gantt charts that are usually out–of–date and ineffectual.

Our process

At Redcentaur, we can work with each of these project management processes. However, the use of PRINCE2 or Waterfall adds a significant amount of additional resource to a project as a result of the need to report, specify, track and approve that these processes require. As a result, the cost of the project will rise significantly if these are used.

Our preference is to work with our clients to ensure that the project we deliver meets their needs, rather than a pre–defined set of specifications that may, or more likely will not, meet your needs at the end of the project. An Agile environment tends to offer the ability to work together in flexible way to meet the challenges of the project and deliver a product that is fit for purpose.