There’s never been a more exciting time to own a business in Gloucestershire. If these two events tell us anything, it’s that there’s no shortage of competition!
Competition is healthy. It reminds us that if you’re going to remain competitive, you can’t afford mistakes.
If you’ve invested in technology, you likely think your website is top notch. But if site users aren’t getting a clean, modern experience, you will fall in a high bounce-rate rabbit hole!
Small and mid-sized businesses in the Gloucester/Gloucestershire area are a dime a dozen. To avoid losing business, hire an agency for a simple web design Gloucestershire service.
Here’s how you can achieve a simple web design with an agency in three easy steps.
Step 1 – Partner with an agency who wants to learn about your Gloucestershire business
When selecting an agency, businesses tend to adopt a show me the money approach. But racing to the bottom isn’t the way to handle web design Gloucestershire companies.
Hiring the cheapest agency may leave you with a site that lacks the modern finesse of a clean design. One where your branding is slapped on as an afterthought.
To ensure you are hiring the best agency for the job, let them walk you through the consultative process. After all, they are the web design Gloucestershire experts.
Partner with the agency most interested in your brand journey, and how to turn it into a design concept. Not the one that throws a number at you before they know who you are!
Step 2 – Partner with a web design Gloucestershire agency that has a portfolio of simple designs
Always look at a portfolio before you commit. Look for these aesthetic elements to ensure the agency is up for the job!
The sites in the portfolio follow these four F’s:
Sites should be free of clutter: garbage in, garbage out, as they say in the marketing world.
Look for sites that are full of simple text. Language should be simple and purposeful. Text shouldn’t be there if it isn’t clear and meaningful.
Stunning visuals breaking up the text are particularly useful in modern scrolling sites. If you don’t see text framed by elevated visuals like striking images or HD video, that should be a red flag.
What’s more frustrating than a site that’s hard to navigate? The key to seamless design is flawless navigation.
Also, make sure the portfolio is 100% mobile responsive. Most of your customers are visiting from their smartphones. Web design needs to be modern, clean and ready for mobile.
Flip through several pages on a website. Do this to ensure brand consistency on all pages. Don’t partner with an agency that makes a flashy homepage, but the rest falls flat.
Step 3 – Interview several web design Gloucestershire agencies and ask questions of your own
Now’s your time to take control of the interview. It’s always best to invite several companies to bid on the job.
Prepare several questions that you need to know before you work with someone. Some example of this might be:
What’s your experience with coding the back end of a website site?
Back-end functionality ensures the user has an excellent experience. Coding should degrade neatly and not slow down computers with insufficient specs.
How will you differentiate my website from the competition?
Standing out in a competitive market like Gloucestershire is tough. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they will ensure you leave a lasting impression.
And don’t settle for just a striking design. Functionality also needs to have interface recall. That means the site’s navigation is memorable.
If you own an e-commerce store, users should remember how to add an item to their cart and check out. If navigation is tricky, interface recall could be compromised.
How will you ensure my brand standards are being met and conveyed to my target market?
Ask for examples of when they’ve met brand standards and times they fell short. How did they correct the issues to make the client happy?
Find out how they will maintain consistency on all parts of the site. And how they follow guidelines to make branding accessible to those with disabilities.
Ask them what browsers they test on. And if they have a maintenance plan to keep your brand in the public eye permanently.
Understanding Minimalism vs Simplicity
Designing your brand for the web means knowing the difference between minimalism and simplicity.
A simple site is about streamlining content, imagery and functionality. A minimalist site will have all those elements too.
But minimalism is something else completely.
Minimalism is “a style or technique that is characterised by extreme spareness”.
The elements of a minimalist site include vast white space, clean lines and heavy contrast — reducing the site to those “bare-bones” elements.
With these types of designs, attention to detail counts.
It’s beneficial to find an agency that has produced high-quality minimalist designs. These companies have demonstrated attention to detail. That’s beneficial to your website, whether your style is simple or minimalist.
Designing Gloucestershire’s Business Community in the Era of Web
Gloucestershire businesses are fast moving and always adapting. The proof is in the pudding. Or rather in the pint!
The community only has to look at Clarence Parade to see physical evidence of these changes.
The newspaper office turned pub, The Clarence Social is a story of prosperity out of hardship.
If the fate of newspapers all over the world has shown us anything, it’s that we are in the era of the Internet. Any business that cannot adapt will become extinct.
What it means to adapt changes from industry to industry, but one thing is certain. In Gloucestershire, web design makes all the difference.
If you want to keep visitors engaged with your content, you’ve got to come clean. A clean design, that is! Finding the right agency with these steps will put you ahead of the competition.
CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, is excited to announce our partnership with SoftData Internet! If you haven’t heard about CloudFlare before, our value proposition is simple: we’ll make any website twice as fast and protect it from a broad range of web threats.
Today, hundreds of thousands of websites—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments—use CloudFlare to make their sites faster and more secure. We power more than 65 billion monthly page views—more than Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple, Bing, eBay, PayPal and Instagram combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through our network.
Faster web performance
CloudFlare is designed to take a great hosting platform like [Your Company Name] and make it even better.
We run 86 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for CloudFlare, we begin routing your traffic to the nearest data center.
As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.
CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money, and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, CloudFlare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that CloudFlare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.
Broad web security
Over the course of 2011, CloudFlare identified a 700% increase in the number of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) we track on the Internet (see the chart below). As attacks like these increase, CloudFlare is stepping up to protect sites.
CloudFlare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the CloudFlare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.
In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the CloudFlare network.
We have some exciting news! Over the next few weeks, SoftData will be offering several new, in-house, digital services to ensure our customers can use a trusted supplier for their online requirements.
A local Gloucestershire Digital Specialist has joined the SoftData team and will be providing his expertise to our customers and local businesses within the Gloucestershire area. This will be via several non-for-profit organisations.
We are very excited to welcome ‘Luke Allsebrook BSc MSc’ to you all. He already has strong links within the Gloucestershire business community, as well as vast experience running a non-for-profit networking organisation in Cheltenham. He loves to help local businesses and he will be running a series of FREE business seminars in the near future, in association with SoftData and the Four Gates of Gloucester. No sneaky ‘contracts’, or hidden charges, just a well-known specialist on board to help us all out!We have some exciting news! Over the next few weeks, SoftData will be offering several new, in-house, digital services to ensure our customers can use a trusted supplier for their online requirements.
To register your interest or to find out more, please contact Luke directly on:
We will be launching several new blog articles soon to help you get more sales from your website, some of the first articles will cover:
• How to make sure your site is mobile friendly
• How to submit your site to Google, Yahoo and Bing
• How to optimise your site to get more traffic from Google
• How to target the most valuable keywords for your business
• How to make your site rank better in free Google listings
• How to rank high and avoid Google penalties in 2015
If you have any queries or would like us to provide an article on a particular subject, please let us know and we will put our new Digital Specialist into action!
Softdata Internet is constantly striving to provide the very best in web hosting, and we have brand new servers live. We have already migrated most of our customers to the new hardware and will finish the job this weekend.
We don’t anticipate any down time during this operation
Web Hosting Deals for July
Every new hosting order will be entered in our free contest to win a Kindle Fire. This is a fantastic device and we are entering all new customers that order web hosting with us in the month of July so don’t delay, place your order now
Get a FREE .uk domain with your order
The .uk domain is one year old and to celebrate we’re offering it to you FREE with every standard hosting pack!
Not only that but we will throw in bronze hosting for the new domain for you Free for a year
With a .uk domain you:
- You’ll be giving your business the best UK identity
- You can take advantage of one of the most important domain opportunities ever
- Tell customers you’re in the UK
- Target everyone who wants to buy British
- Enhance and protect your brand name
- Get a short email address that people will remember
Have you got yours yet?
Softdata Internet Ltd always make sure our customers get the very best value. Our new servers are now live and all our existing customers will be migrated to our new platforms. The migration will be transparent to our users.
The new servers have more memory, more disk space and they support all the latest security enhancements.
Why is WordPress so popular?
This is a question that comes up regularly and 80% of our new web hosting orders include a request to have it installed. WordPress was written as blogging software but has improved steadily over the years until now it is really a Content Management System ( CMS )
Most web hosts now allow a 1 click install of the software ( including us ) and it is very simple to get up and running. So here are some of the reasons:
WordPress is Free
The WordPress Software is written in a PHP free script and licensed from GNU
WordPress is Feature Rich
People have different requirements and everyone wishes to publish a website with a unique identity. There are several thousand apps available within the WordPress Plugin library to give your website extra functionality. You will find everything from calendars to shopping carts there, and most are free.
The look and feel of a WordPress site is managed by the theme. Again there are thousands of free themes available and commercial themes are not expensive. Changing the way your site looks is now a snip
WordPress Work’s with every device
Whether you have a Windows PC or Linux or MacBook; WordPress is available for every operating system.
So why not let us register a domain for you with WordPress installed ready for you for less than £1.00 a week.
The .uk domain is one year old and to celebrate we’re offering it to you FREE with every standard hosting pack! Not only that but we will throw in bronze hosting for the new domain for you Free for a year
With a .uk domain you:
You’ll be giving your business the best UK identity
•You can take advantage of one of the most important domain opportunities ever
•Tell customers you’re in the UK
•Target everyone who wants to buy British
•Enhance and protect your brand name
•Get a short email address that people will remember
Have you got yours yet?