Websites that work

We love working with businesses who understand the importance of a professionally designed website. Even though you might have a busy Facebook page, people who consider buying from you will still want to check out a website. 

Starting your business?

There are different options for creating your own website. There are the popular free or rather cheap website builders available from GoDaddy or Wix.

Even though this might be tempting as it’s “free”, however, a free website usually doesn’t look professionally made. There are a lot of elements at play when creating a website. It’s not just the looks that are important, but also the way it is structured, how content is presented, are there useful and enticing Calls to Action? Are the images optimised – just to name a few!

If you really don’t have any funds, we can set you up with a website that at least has the potential to grow. If you use one of the very cheap and free services mentioned above, with a successful business you will quickly outgrow them.

Send us a message and we might just have a solution for you!

 

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Tweaking your existing website?

Do you want to spend some time on your existing website and either update or re-design it and make it mobile friendly? 

Would you like to add a shop to your website, or start selling digital or physical products online? 

Let’s chat and discuss what your plans are and if I can help you with your ideas.

If your website was designed more than 5 years ago, chances are it doesn’t work well on lots modern devices, or maybe it’s not mobile friendly at all. 

 

I'd love to hear from you!

The technical stuff

You will need the following things for setting up your website:

  • A domain name (for example – www.mybusiness.co.uk) – you can buy this at www.123-reg.co.uk. You need to renew your domain name every year or you can buy it for several years at a time.
  • You need web hosting (this is paid either monthly or annually and there are big differences).
  • A business email address – you can have any email address you want with your own domain name, such as sarah@mybusiness.co.uk. However, there are big differences in the type of email account you can have. Again – free doesntt mean good…
  • A business logo – please see one of the questions below explaining the different options on how to create a logo or have one created for you by a designer.

Let us handle the technical stuff

We can arrange the following for you:

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Business email address

The business stuff

  • You need to have a good idea of who your ideal customer is. This is important for your web designer to know as this will impact on the web design they can provide. If your ideal client are ladies in their late 40s, the web design would be vastly different to a website targetting teenagers. 
  • Think about your website structure. The most commonly used pages are these: Home, About, Services, Pricing, Blog, Contact. You can then spit each section into sub sections, for example your About section could have the following sub pages: Meet the team, Visit us. 
  • What are you selling? What products and/or services do you want to offer on your website? 
  • Think about your pricing: I am a big fan of displaying prices on websites. If your potential customers like what they see, they will want to know how much. Give them this information, or give them at least a starting point, so they are able to judge if they can afford your products and services. 

Domain Name Registration

If you have already decided on your business name, it’s time to register a domain name. It’s very easy to do and you should always be the legal owner of your own domain name in order to aovide any potential future disputes.

Head over to this website: 123-REG, register a new account, search for your preferred domain name and register it for one or two years. A .co.uk domain costs around £10 per year, a .com domain is a bit more expensive. You only need one domain name for your business, don’t register all the options that are available (such as .net, .scot etc.). Not only is this expensive, but also you will only ever use one domain name to market your business.

Try and keep your domain name as short as possible. You will probably use this for your email address, and if you have a long domain name, such as www.my-therapy-solutions-scotland.co.uk – imagine saying that on the phone when people want to write down your email address, for example “Michelle at my dash therapy dash solutions dash scotland dot co dot uk”. It takes ages!! Play around with different versions on the 123-REG website and find a domain name that you like. It doesn’t have to be the exact business name you have registered with companies house! It can be anything – and it also doesn’t have to have anything to do with what you offer – think Funky Pigeon!

Top 3 things to consider for your domain name

  • Keep your domain name as short as possible.
  • If some quickly glanced at your business card, it your domain easy to read? Sometimes it’s best to put a “-” between the words.
  • Your domain name does not need to match your business name. For example if your business name is Bob Smith Chartered Accountants Limited, try and register a shorter version, such as www.bobsmith.co.uk, or www.bobsmith-ca.co.uk

Have a look at Igor International – a Naming Agency – for some inspirational advice.

What does Domain Name Registration mean?

A domain name is registered through a domain name registrar and needs to be renewed every year. You can purchase your domain name for a few years ahead.

We are happy to help you select a professional domain name for your business. If you don’t know where to start – just give us a call and we will talk you through. If you don’t know much about domain names, we would recommend using the UK based site www.123-reg.co.uk for domain name registration.

A .co.uk domain name is only about £10 per year, a .com domain name is only about £12 per year. When you start up a business, you do not need to register every domain option available, such as mybusiness.co.uk, mybusiness.com, mybusiness.net and so on. Unless you are Amazon, there is absolutely no need in registering every option.

Do you need help with a logo for your business?

There are different options to create your own logo:

  • £0 – Cheapest: Create it yourself or ask a friend.
  • £5 – Head over to the Fivver website and have a logo designed for £5.
  • £20 – Pretty cheap: Head over to the Vectorstock website, search for an icon and use this with your business name.
  • £100-£150 – employ a local designer – you may get a few design options presented based on your ideas. Supporting local businesses is always a good idea. I can recommend a few good companies in Scotland.
  • £200 – Head over to Designcrowd and start a logo contest. Choose the one that’s approx. £200 and you will get over 100 logo submissions to choose from. The contest usually lasts 10 days during which time you can already speak with the designers from all over the world and request changes to their submissions and shape a logo to suit your needs.
  • £500+ – Speak to a branding agency and have a logo developed with an agency.
  • Also check out T-Shirt printing Edinburgh – if you need your logos professionally printed for your staff

Do you want to add a newsletter sign-up to your website?

There are different providers that allow you to send newsletters from. The most common ones are:

Never send a newsletter from your own email account. There are different reasons as to why you shouldn’t do this:

  • The company providing your mail hosting might have it in their contract that you must not send mass emails.
  • You won’t get any statistics and won’t be able to find out how many people opened your newsletter, and how many clicked on the links in the newsletter.
  • It’s very likely that the email will land in people’s spam folder as it doesn’t come from a trusted source.
  • You really don’t want 100s or 1000s of subscribers in your personal email address book.
  • There are also GDPR considerations (very important!!). You must give people the option to unsubscribe, and you cannot do this by using a personal email account.

Top 3 things to consider for your domain name

  • Keep your domain name as short as possible.
  • If some quickly glanced at your business card, it your domain easy to read? Sometimes it’s best to put a “-” between the words.
  • Your domain name does not need to match your business name. For example if your business name is Bob Smith Chartered Accountants Limited, try and register a shorter version, such as www.bobsmith.co.uk, or www.bobsmith-ca.co.uk

Have a look at Igor International – a Naming Agency – for some inspirational advice.

What is a POP/IMAP email address?

Most web hosting providers (incl. us) can provide one or several free email addresses as part of your web hosting package. These email addresses are called POP or IMAP email accounts. When we set up an email address for our customers, the standard Inbox size is 1 GB (1000 MB). This sounds a lot, but most clients need to manage their inbox regularly and remove old items, as they can fill up within a matter of months.

Advantage: It’s free. Super easy to setup.

Disadvantages: 

  • Very limited space (sometimes as little as 200 MB!). We offer 1GB inbox space for free included in our Small Business Hosting accounts (no extra charge).
  • No backups. You are responsible for your own backups on your computer.
  • Your email stops working when the inbox is full and you need to then log in and manually delete the emails.

Can I have a proper e-mail address?

As soon as you own your own domain name, you can have your own business email address, such as max@mybusiness.co.uk. There are two types of email addresses:

  • “cheap” or free email address. Please read about POP email addresses below.
  • a proper business email address = Microsoft 365. Please see below.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is basically online storage space  for the files that are required to display your website, such as the content pages, photographs and so on.

Web hosting prices vary dramatically from £1 per month to several £100 per year. If you are inexperienced, you may want to opt for the cheapest version, but I wouldn’t recommend that.

Cheap web hosting packages are mostly on shared servers. (I have written a non-geeky article about this here). This means one web server hosts several websites at the same time. And in the very cheap offers, it can mean that too many  websites of many different companies are stored on one server which will result in a very slow website. Because the web server is so busy displaying websites of so many other companies, and the server (which is basically a computer) may not have a lot of memory. So when your website visitors look up your website through Google, they may be presented with a white page for a number of seconds before the website is displayed. This means you are loosing customers before they actually see your website.

We offer shared web hosting too, but we use a reputable company based in the UK which do not “over-pack” their servers.

 

How much does web hosting cost per year?

There are many different hosting providers available. Please be careful choosing your provider. Make sure your hosting provider is in the same country as your business. So a UK business should really have their web hosting in the UK. This actually has a positive impact on your search engine results in the future, and can also impact website speed.

We offer web hosting to our all customers. Having your web hosting with us will give you the following benefits:

  • Small No-frills Business Hosting, from £15 a month.
  • Monthly Hosting plan for websites with SSL requirement: from £25 per month. Monthly Direct Debit Payment Only.
  • Businss VPS hosting with SSL, for shops and larger business websites: from £39 per month. Monthly Direct Debit Payment.
  • Daily website backups (7 days) gives you that peace of mind.
  • Monthly website security updates.
  • Personal contact by e-mail and telephone and our own support system.
  • We are based in Scotland.
  • Video support for your website – enabling you to learn more about how your website works and amend the small things yourself.

What is Business/VPS hosting?

We also offer VPS hosting. This means that we configured a server with web space, memory and processors – similar to buying a computer and configuring it for your own needs. We then only host 5 or 10 websites on this server and we can monitor clearly which websites are very busy. We can add memory, storage and processor speed so that everyone benefits from a fast website.

This is all done virtually, we do not have a physical device in our office.

VPS servers are more expensive, as they use a different memory type, and we limit the number of websites per server. We make sure that the servers are fast and reliable. They come with 7-day-backups.

We also offer SSL for the websites that are hosted on a VPS server.

VPS hosting if for businesses with larger websites. If you have a large blog with hundreds of blog posts, or if you have lots of galleries, and many web pages and your website is very business, with at least 5000 unique visitors a month, we recommend VPS hosting.

What happens after the website is live?

As soon as you are our customer, you will get access to our support app. It’s a simple messaging app which you can run in your browser, on your iPad or even on your phone. Chat with us from anywhere, anytime (well, in moderation…). You can use this to send us documents, and message us.

Membership website?

We work mainly with WordPress and we have experience creating membership websites where people can sign up and then get access to member-only content. The sign-up process can be free, or we can integrate this with online payments, such as Stripe (they are pretty cool to work with by they way and their pricing structure is clear and very competitive!)

Do you want to sell things online?

We work mainly with WordPress and there is a big shopping cart option which can be added on (called WooCommerce). The software itself is free, the installation is pretty straightforward, but the setup can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. So if you need help – speak with us.

This can also be integrated with Paypal and Stripe payments.

Do you want your website visitors to sign up to an email automation?

An email automation is a sequence of emails you have prepared in advance, which are then sent out at certain pre-defined intervals to the people who subscribe to your email automation. This is a common process, you will probably have subscribed to a newsletter in the past, and then you receive beautifully crafted email for the next few days or weeks. Those emails were written well in advance and the software is now dealing with the automation bit and sends them out to your new subscribers.

These automations need a contact form on your website or on a landing page. The website visitor fills it in and this then triggers the automation to start. It’s pretty cool stuff and can save you a lot of time!

Marketing automation providers:

Can I pay by card?

Yes, apart from AMEX, we accept all the major credit and debit cards. Once you accept a quote we have provided, a 30% deposit is due to be paid to get started. The rest would be due on completion of the project.

Business Email Address – Microsoft 365

We would advise the setup of a proper business email address through Microsoft 365. The most cost-effective solution is around £40 per year. This will give you 50 GB of space as well as the option to use Online Versions of Microsoft Word, Excel etc. 50 GB will take you years to fill up. The emails will also sync properly with phones, tablet computers, your laptop etc. This means if you delete an email on your phone, it will automatically be deleted on your laptop and your tablet too. POP Email accounts do not offer the same amount of flexibility, and most certainly no backup.

Advantages:

  • 50GB web space.
  • Backups.
  • Online versions of Microsoft Software.
  • Syncing between devices.

Disadvantages:

  • You need an IT person to set this up for you to work with all your devices (one-off cost).
  • Annual fee, approx. £40 per email address.

Check out the Microsoft 365 Website.