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.

Legal Documentation & Insurance Claim Website

Drive By Websites has been busy building a mobile friendly website covering legal documentation and insurance claims for an accident investigator. First Call Documents We particularly like the design of the site and we hope you do too – http://www.firstcalldocuments.co.uk/

David Stearn, the owner of First Call Documents, offers a personal accident investigation service. David has 30 years’ police experience with 27 years working on traffic patrol.  He’s worked for 7 years as a self-employed claims investigator.

With the experience he gained whilst working for the police his qualifications include criminal investigations.

First Call Documents also offers an accident investigation service on behalf of solicitors specialising in all types of personal injury or liability claims. David appreciates how beneficial photographic evidence can be and this is another service he offers.

First Call Documents offers a comprehensive service which also includes providing statements in both criminal and civil format to cover road traffic accidents, public liability, employer liability and personal injury cases.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I’m having trouble with my website designer and I need help” don’t let your business suffer.  Working with over 150 local business owners, Drive By Websites is continually setting the pace for services such as website hosting and mobile friendly design.  If you need assistance to get your business presence on the web, then either call, visit or email us for an easy to understand and affordable solution.

Recruitment Website – Early Years & Nannies

Both Drive By Websites & Drive By Design’s expertise was required to carry out the work required by Finnelle Recruitment.

Spalding-based, Finnelle Recruitment supply childcare professionals for nurseries and schools specialising in the recruitment of  Nursery Managers, Deputy Managers either permanent or temporary.

For parents, Finnelle recommend nannies that have been personally interviewed and thoroughly screened by an experienced childcare consultant.  The recommended nannies will possess the necessary skills and experience.

Finnelle Recruitment Logo
First of all, Drive By Design was set the task of designing the Finnelle Recruitment logo.  Our graphic designer just loves getting creative and we feel that the logo design conveys Finnelle perfectly.  We hope you agree.

 

 

Facebook newsfeedThe Finnelle Recruitment website was  then designed with the new logo in mind and, of course, mobile friendliness.  We’ve also integrated a Facebook newsfeed.  Newsfeeds are an ideal promotional tool providing they are kept up-to-date.  We are delighted to report that Finnelle have a good relationship with social media and they regularly update their Facebook page.

During the initial stage of the website design, Drive By Websites will create 4 website designs from which  you can choose or mix and match.  Once the design has been agreed, we will then implement our technical skills to actually build the website.  To view the Finnelle website, please click here

For more information in respect of good graphic design please visit – www.drivebydesign.co.uk

 

 

Love Your Dog & Love Your Lawn – Check Out Wee Patch Restore

It’s been fun designing and building the website for Wee Patch Restore Wee Patch Restore Logo– http://www.weepatchrestore.co.uk/

Wee Patch Restore is a three-in-one spray to mask and repair doggy urine burn on your lawn.

The product defuses the harmful effects of ammonia-rich, grass-burning dog urine.

The three-way spot spray consists of:

  1. A colourant which covers up the unsightly dead lawn patches for immediate visual improvement.Wee Patch Restore Dog
  2. Here’s the science.  Dead grass patches quickly become hydrophobic and repel water. Surfactants reduce the incidence of such water repellent soil which helps to break down and wash out the excess ammonia.
  3. The natural seaweed extract stimulates the microbes that exist in soil.  This will help to break down the excess ammonia quickly and improve the conditions for grass to re-grow.

Wee Patch Restore will dry in less than an hour (obviously, this is very much weather dependent); it’s non-toxic and safe for pets and children and there will be no dietary interfence for your dog.

The site is equipped with a “Buy Now” feature.  There’s FREE DELIVERY (UK mainland)

THE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION TO A FULL-BLOWN E-COMMERCE SITE

There is an alternative solution to investing quite a substantial amount of money to pay for a full-blown e-commerce website when you only have a few products to sell. The affordable solution is what we call an online store.

As you will see by visiting this site, the online store option is perfect if you only have a few products to sell.  Your new site will also come complete with:

  • A mobile friendly solution
  • A content management system to easily make your own updates
  • You can manage your site from any computer or device
  • Search engines just love WordPress websites
  • Secure UK hosting
  • User manual and personal training

Contact us by calling Spalding (01775) 761512 – advice is free and you will find us affordable and easy to get along with.

 

 

Introducing Cloud Walking With Hilary

The team here at Drive By Websites has had a very nice time working with Hilary Peach to design and Cloud Walkers logobuild her new website – http://www.cloudwalkingwithhilary.com. 

Hilary Peach’s background is in nursing and she has recently opened Cloud Walkers in Knight Street, Pinchbeck.  Her specialities are massage therapy and foot care.

Cloud Walkers’ philosophy is “Achieve harmony between mind, body & soul and well-being will follow”.

If you are suffering from pain and tension, Hilary will help to redress the balance to ease the pain and tension which, in turn, will improve tone and condition within your body.   The benefits of massage are to reduce anxiety, improve your mood and relax.  A massage will contribute to a “feel good” sensation.

For more information in respect of how Hilary can help you, please visit her new website – http://www.cloudwalkingwithhilary.com.

We are delighted that Hilary has included a blog within her website because we feel that the modern Bloggingbusiness approach needs to fully embrace the communicative power of the web.  In our experience, a dedicated News/Blog facility is the best way to do this.  Not only does a blog connect you to your customers – whilst simultaneously updating your social media pages in one go – it also feeds a constant reminder to search engines, like Google, that your website is more up to date and relevant than your competitors.  The inclusion of a blog within your website is highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Every Day You Meet A Microbiologist !

During the time that Drive By Websites has been trading, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting a diverse range of talented business owners but it goes without saying that Award Consultancy comes tops for a science-related Award Consultancy Logobusiness.  It’s not every day you meet a Microbiologist!

Award Consultancy is a consultancy in cleaning, disinfection techology and environmental microbiology. The business specialisms are:

  • Innovaton – Providing microbiological advice to bring new and existing products to market
  • Testing – Advice on microbiological testing in both the laboratory and field
  • Problem Solving – Assistance with the resolution of hygiene issues
  • Training – Provision of bespoke training and sales presentation packages

Petri Dishes

Microbiological issues can arise within healthcare associated infection (HCAI), especially with multi-drug resistant bacteria (MDRO’s) and food in terms of product shelf life and environmental swab failures.

There are other industries that can also have microbiological problems, for example, leisure.  Viruses such as Norovirus can cause serious issues, for example, in hotels and leisure facilities with a negative impact on business revenues.

For more information, please visit http://www.awardconsultancy.co.uk

You may recall that 21st April 2015 was the date when search engine results would never be the same again.  Google stated, at that time, that they will promote mobile-friendly sites which means that if your site doesn’t pass the mobile friendliness test, then it will feature less prominently on its search engine results.

In a blog post, Google stated that “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

One of Drive By Websites specialisms includes assisting each and every one of our clients in respect of designing and building responsive websites (mobile friendly websites).

For more information, please feel free to give Drive By Websites a call on Spalding 01775 761512 – advice is free.  You will find our prices affordable with a fast turnaround.

Security Company’s Mobile Friendly Website

Looking for a security company, then look no further than Lincolnshire based DCS Security Solutions. DCS SecurityDCS is a local, family run company with over 24 years’ experience in the security trade.

The systems offered are:

  • Intruder & Fire Alarm
  • CCTV
  • Access Control
  • Oil Tank & Driveway Alarm
  • Panic Alarm Medical Emergency

The company also installs a wide range of external detectors and beams, both wired and wireless, for securing farms and industrial yards.  These bespoke systems allow for integration with cctv, security lighting, sms text message or monitoring station notification.  For more information, please visit http://www.dcs-securitysolutions.co.uk

The price of all of the sites Drive By Websites design and build includes:

  1. one year’s secure UK hosting together with our 24×7 support (99% uptime guarantee)
  2. daily off-server backups of MySQL Database Data and all website files/images, etc (99% uptime guarantee)
  3. the content management system to easily make your own website updates with a back-up facility to restore any mistaken edits.
  4. update training, a user manual will be provided
  5. our technical support for the year.

 

 

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