Is It Too Late To Upgrade? Websites in 2020

website upgrade covid

Our blog earlier this year, ‘Redevelop and Remain Productive‘, was intended to remind people that it’s never been more important to have an up to date website. The opening line reads:

“If you find yourself debating how you will remain productive during this difficult period, we suggest you start with your website.”

As we head into 2021, I am confident your business will continue to face new challenges with the same resilience that so many of our clients have. However, if you did not get round to your website, perhaps your competitors did?

It might be time to take a look over your competition online and check you’re still on the cutting edge. If you aren’t providing sufficient opportunity for your customers to help you through this difficult period, your business and Google ranking will suffer. We have been helping our clients analyse their competition from around the country in order to help keep them focus their priorities. While different sectors vary greatly, there has been a huge uptake in instant engagement systems.

Businesses that had previously focused their attention on social media adapted incredibly well, with many find opportunities for higher engagement. Examples of this were offerings of support into their communities. These contributions to support causes and charities were exposed to a captive audience over the lockdown and for many this was perfect advertising. That heightened engagement carried over to websites, with many more businesses using integrated social media messaging and live chat systems.

Businesses that had not previously used social media or had neglected it are finding their customer engagement is still not returning to normal. Expanding your online offering could be one of the simplest ways to adapt to the changing times. We can take care of all of your requirements and make it as simple as possible for your team to adjust to.

“We might not be running if our website wasn’t ready before the lockdown and we just wanted to say how thankful we are. You took us out of the dark ages!”

A live chat facility offers a simple faceless contact window for website visitors to acquire quick answers to their questions. If you are not available to answer these live chat queries, you could opt for an Automated Chat Bot. These are growing very popular on websites and Facebook pages. The information you can capture from these passing customers may be very valuable to your business. It will also help you improve your website as customers will inform you where your content could be improved.

If you rather speaking to your customers, there’s an option for that too. Smartphone users are very unlikely to scroll down and read a whole load of content wording and then send you an email, especially if there’s a lengthy form to complete. Because your mobile visitors are already holding their phone, allow them to call you with one simple touch of the button. No more copy-and-pasting or memorising the phone number for your customers.

Here To Help

If you’re short of ideas, we’re here to help. The generic advice we post on our blog relates to as many businesses and organisations as possible. We can provide highly specific advice based on your customers needs and competitor analysis. Contact us for more information on how you can enhance and improve your website.

Website Designer Spalding

Boston Website Development

The Problems with Freelance Web Designers and One Man Bands

freelance developer spalding

New clients in areas such as Spalding, Holbeach, Peterborough or Boston always come with new stories. Unfortunately, they often sounds quite familiar. Many clients have already worked with a developer before, a freelancer. Perhaps having even worked with a developer they were originally very happy with. In the end, there’s a number of problems that inevitably arise. We’ve tried to narrow it down to just a few:

  1. Poor Quality Work – It’s hardly a surprise that scarcely qualified developers working in their spare time aren’t able to meet the same quality expectations of many potential clients. It’s very often what’s happening behind the scenes that reveals this. For example, one of our new clients had found that their beautifully designed website was not hitting the rankings as they had hoped. After we had moved it onto one of our servers, we quickly discovered that this is because the website was clearly rushed together in the shortest possible time. Often, all of the developer’s effort goes in to the look of the website. This is likely because they are not specialists in the field, but enthusiasts.
  2. Missing Deadlines – Other commitments are a big problem with freelancers and one man band website designers. One might wonder why an expert would not start establish a company on the back of a good reputation. This rarely happens because they are committed to other companies or even entirely different jobs. There are exceptions of course, but in general this tendency of missing deadlines is very common. In the experience of many of our clients, these individuals undercut the competition and start with overwhelming enthusiasm but that rapidly becomes irrelevant as soon as another commitment comes along. Specifically consider the need to upgrade or update a quality website in order to achieve the best possible results, even if the developer does publish the website on time.
  3. The Freelancer Disappears – Yes, this is a horror story you’ve probably heard before. This is commonly known because it is so frequent. The lack of commitment and often poor reputation mean a one man band can do even better by leaving the area without saying a word. This can leave your business in a VERY tricky situation, especially if your website is not yet finished. Now suppose the developer is still very keen and wants to continue to support your business long term, it’s still not what you had bargained for. You can’t drop in or get a quick response, you’re just locked in to a very fragile arrangement.

Exceptions exist and we are confident that you’ll make decisions that are right for your business, but keep the above problems in mind if you’re considering a freelance website developer. If you’re looking to move your website to a local company with a commitment to every client then we would be very happy to help.

How does a Page Builder stack up to a Web Developer?

Free Website Builder

Almost all our clients come to us knowing exactly what they are looking for. Generally, it’s something like this:

  • They want someone to build a website
  • They want someone they know and can trust to build a website
  • They want to be able to drop in and see their chosen web developers when it suits them
  • They want something bespoke for their business, and not a generic template
  • They want to be able to discuss web development options and choose what’s right for them
  • They want the development to continue for years to come and not stop once the website is live

All our clients fit into this list somewhere, but there continues to be new customers that need to be convinced of these benefits first. We don’t push our services on anyone and often I’ll just direct people to where to research the benefits of real web development over a cheap page builder. In some cases, I’ll even recommend that they use a page builder at first and come back to Drive By Websites once they have outgrown it. These cheap page builders on Wix, Godaddy or 123-Reg have their benefits. They’re easy to work on and they aren’t much on the pocket either. But that’s as much as you can expect, the benefits end there.

Website Builder (cheap/free) vs Drive By Websites In Spalding

Our services include optimising websites. From as early as the initial design stage we’re implementing ideas and trying to focus on SEO strategies to enhance the potential reach of the site. Further still, we implement the tools to allow our clients to take SEO into their own hands. Now, there is some training and a learning curve involved but we aren’t working by the hour and we’ll take as much time as it takes to get our clients geared up to make continuous improvements to their websites.

We also put all our website design costs up front. This is where the page builders have gained a very bad reputation. Suppose you’ve got a nice simple website to get you going, you then want to go live. Already you’ll incur costs as they want to throw in a domain cost and a connection cost. Then you’ll find it’s not high enough in Google, so they offer you an SSL certificate for even more cost. Over time these issues will arise and leave you wondering why you had started with the page builder in the first place. It is likely still cheaper in the end, but you’ll certainly not be trusting your host like you should.

The main issue, above all else, is these page builders are missing all the fundamentals named at the top of the page. All the priorities for almost all our clients are missing from the page builder offering. I would still go as far as to say it’s just scratching the surface because the technical advantages of our systems over these page builders are endless. Nonetheless, that isn’t often what matters most for our clients.

For more information on what we offer or the technical benefits of our systems, give us a call on 01775 761512.

What Are the Benefits of a Blog?

blogging

Continuous fresh content will mean Google needs to regularly index your site and is also a consideration when Google decides how to rank your website in search results. If your website doesn’t contain a lot of content, or any fresh content, a blog would be the perfect way to achieve this while also target specific keywords.

While it isn’t easy to commit to a blog, keep in mind that it may only be a weekly or biweekly update that is all you need to start increasing visitors. If don’t know where to start, try creating a list of different content opportunities. We regularly suggest using testimonials as blog posts, as they usually contain excellent keywords but also don’t require any writing time for the blogger. You can also use events, industry news and business changes.

How does this bring a return in visitors? As well as ranking new pages into Google, a good blog psot can also receive social media shares and links from other websites. All of this will also increases your ‘Domain Authority’, where Google considers your site a higher authority than your competition.

If you would like more information or a quote to get set up with a blog, or for us to blog for you, give us a call on 01775 761512.

Announcing the South Lincs Arts Directory

The future for local art-related ventures is The South Lincs Arts Directory.  The Directory has  exceptional versitality.  It’s been created to give people from South Holland and the Borough of Boston an opportunity to search for local arts and heritage.  The Directory includes listings of both professional and voluntary artists, organisations, venues and groups who are locally-based in, or work in, Boston Borough and South Holland.

Get ListedAre you an artist?  Act now to get listed by simply clicking here to input your details.  There’s an easy form to complete – you can even add your listing from your Smartphone.  Your details will be moderated by the webmaster.

Maybe you have an event coming up in South Holland or Boston Borough?  The South Lincs Arts Directory is the website to visit.  It’s easy to search for artists, arts’ organisations, groups and even venues.  The database is being updated all the time as new listings are added.

South Lincs Arts Directory Get ListedSouth Lincs Arts Directory is also a great opportunity if you are interested in joining an amateur arts group or taking lessons or classes in an art form?  Browse the South Lincs Arts Directory and search the listings for artists, organisations, venues and groups.  You will find that they will be either based in or work in our local area.

Spalding Links LogoDrive By Websites is proud to have been given the opportunity to design and build the website on behalf of Transported Art – southlincsartsdirectory.co.uk.  Our inspiration for the site was taken from www.spaldinglinks.co.uk a site we designed and built in 2015.

The additional features we included are:

  • The site is responsive which means that the site is mobile friendly and can be viewed on any hand held device.
  • Listings can be added from a mobile phone and moderated by the webmaster.
  • A randomised image gallery on the home page.

 

 

 

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