Author: spotlight

Top Web Design Agency in the UK!

We learned that, thanks to our client feedback we’re currently ranking in the top 40 Design Agencies in the UK by Trustpilot, one of the most reputable review and testimonial websites for companies such as our own.

So this is primarily a thank you – thank you for choosing us for your project and thank you for writing such kind words about us, we might not claim to be the best web design agency in the UK (yet!) but it definitely makes us feel like we’re doing something right! We’re proud of the work that we produce and believe that our attention to detail and putting our clients needs first is one of the key factors to the lasting relationships that we’ve built.

If anyone else who has worked with us and would like to provide feedback then we’d appreciate the kind words and it would be great to climb into the top 10 web design companies in the UK for 2019!

You can read and / or add reviews Here:

Spotlight Studios on Trustpilot

Top 10 SME tools for business

While there is so much to choose from in the online and IT world we thought it would help if we narrowed down our top selections as to what we thought offered the most value, flexibility, scale and ability to implement.

Communications and Business Tools

1. Office 365

Your company is only as good as its employees’ ability to work together to accomplish tasks. The business premium license at just over £10 a month has seen an increase in the last year however they do now offer 50mb Mailbox full access to their business applications on 5 devices and 1TB of cloud storage with Onedrive. Share and work anywhere online at anytime.

2. RingCentral

For many years, Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions were only built for large, national and international companies. But with tools such as RingCentral, you’ll be able to quickly and easily set up your VoIP tool and gain access to soft phone, device applications and whereabouts and systems features such as call routing, faxing, and voicemail. While including more advanced features such as call recording, a unified communications application, and dial-in conferencing at the lowest price levels for calls, and you’re still be able to take advantage of higher call quality and call center features not typically associated with your local telco.

3. ClickMeeting Video Conferencing

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use video conferencing tool, then ClickMeeting is among the best on the market. It offers a free 30-day trial, low-price plan options, and cool collaboration tools such as shared desktops, whiteboarding tools, and in-app private chat. No, you won’t be able to integrate the tool with every social network and you won’t get access to operator-assisted meetings, but it’s got enough to guarantee that your calls are crisp and clear.

4. MailChimp Email Marketing

MailChimp is the most popular and most capable email marketing service regardless of your price level or technological grits. It offers a rich, free plan; lots of third-party integration (much of which is available at the lowest price levels), and it’s got many email templates that help you fire off emails at a rapid clip. You can even take advantage of a decent amount of email analytics to let you know whether or not your messages are falling flat.

5. Elastic Mail

If you require a bit more flexibility than MailChimp allows, then check out Elastic Mail. More of a hybrid of Mailgun and Mailchip with no limit to its marketing database and allows you to send up to 150k mail for free each month. It would be silly not to try it out.

6. Shopify E-Commerce

Yes, Shopify£19.99 at Shopify is the king of all e-commerce platforms. But “best” doesn’t always translate to “best for everyone.” In Shopify’s case, you should be considering this online shopping cart for your web-based storefront regardless of your company’s size. That’s because it requires very little technological expertise to set up, you can try it for free for 30 days, and it provides an abundance of free templates and tools that will make your online business easier to oversee.

7. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is one of the best social media analytics tools available regardless of your company’s size. However, for SMBs, you’ll love that Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial, multiple price tiers, and a clean design that makes sorting and discovering data easy.

8. Hootsuite

If you’re more interested in managing your social campaigns than you are in measuring them, then try Hootsuite. This tool scales as you grow by letting you pay for extras (rather than bundling everything into one price package). Hootsuite offers the most comprehensive package of listening, publishing, and third-party integration options for businesses of all sizes.

9. Zoho CRM (and surveys, campaigns add-on’s also supported for great additions)

If you need to gauge how well your sales and product is doing with your clients or if you just want to know what people think of your new ad campaign, then you should look at Zoho CRM and Surveys. Also Zoho Survey is optimal for SMBs. It has one of the simplest user interfaces (UIs) to manage, offers superb reporting, and is available for about $19 per month. You can also use the free option, which does have some limits however.

10. Slack

Even if you’ve never used Slack, you’ve probably heard all about it. This chat-based communications tool is designed for teams of all sizes to communicate with one another throughout the workday. Slack lets users create chat rooms, private chats with small groups, and one-on-one private chats. You can use the tool to share files, have a laugh with animated GIFs, or connect to other tools via plug-and-play integrations, including Twitter and Zapier. We love it here, and my personal favourite tool in house.

Vulnerability Updates now available

As an add on to our WordPress Webmaster support we are now offering specific vulnerable updates as an add-on to our Webmaster service.

For just an extra £25/month+vat (or £250/year+vat) we’ll lock down your WordPress plugins, themes and core files from known security exploits which, combined with the resilient hosting, backup, security and monitoring services that make up WordPress Webmaster Support make Spotlight Studios one of the most robust WordPress platforms available.

What are vulnerability updates?

Updates are usually a mix of security, functionality and efficiency but sometimes there are specific updates released to patch a known vulnerability within the plugin that might put your website at risk. These vulnerabilities should be updated as soon as possible before this weakness is exploited – a known vulnerability is one that has been publicly released and puts any website that uses it at risk.

How do we do it?

As part of our Webmaster support we perform ‘Safe Updates’ on your website. This means that we’ll take a backup of your website before we start updating anything and if we detect any issues during or with the website process we’ll roll back the website and investigate further.

How soon will your website be updated?

We’ll ensure that vulnerabilities are patched with 72 hours of becoming available. These may include WordPress, Plugin or Theme updates however any other files that are also out of date will be updated on the next regular schedule.

How do I know if this is for me?

This add-on goes particularly well with our Quarterly or Monthly updates as it ensures a balance between the general security and maintenance that regular updates provide with the additional peace of mind that if anything that any recognised threats are immediately patched.

More Information

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this add-on whether you would like to add it to your existing WordPress support or maintenance plan or start a new WordPress Webmaster Support package for your website.

Invisible Spam Protection

Since the origins of the internet, the battle with spam began. In recent years the tide began to turn with the introduction of Googles reCaptcha. Over the years it has appeared in many different forms. The most universally hated seems to be the garbled, twisted, smudged words that had to be deciphered before you could proceed. Is that an “1” or an “l”- a zero or the letter “O”? Maybe you see two letters where there should have been only one. No matter how much you tilt your head, squint your eyes, and move your chair back, it was never a pleasant user experience. This obvously began to impact on the user experience causing frustration and a reduction on submissions, so the online communities demanded more.

Now that it’s finally here, and we’re definately impressed. It works like a dream, and the vast majority of users will never even know it’s there, except for those rare occasions when your mouse movements are particularly robotic and you see the image challenge. Get in touch today to find out about reducing spam and adding Invisible reCaptcha to your forms today.

Version 1

recaptcha V1

Version 2

recaptcha V2

Version 3

The benefits of having live chat on your website

Live chat is the informal sales assistant of the digital world – there to help boost customer confidence by answering quick questions about products and services without submitting a formal email request.

How effective is it?

This research study – “Making Proactive Chat Work” was conducted by Forrester Research and it found the following:

“Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.”

There was also an e-marketer.com survey that showed that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. The survey goes on to say that:

“62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”

This convenience creates a more inviting shopping experience and has a direct impact on customer satisfaction giving you and edge over your competition and driving sales up. Customers are much more likely to return to websites where they know that they are going to receive the support they need with minimal effort.

What is it, really?

Ultimately, live chat is a real-time messaging system – between you and your customers, your team and your customers or a third party and your customers depending on what level of support you need. They range from free services (with a small setup and installation charge) to subscription based services depending on your needs and budget. The chat window can be fully branded for an additional cost or might have some branding for the provider – we are very open with our supplier partnerships and you’ll notice that we leave the branding on our live chat windows.

Talk to us today

If you’ve been thinking about installing a live chat system on your website and would like to find out more information then get in touch today and we’ll run through the various options available.

Nearly half way through 2017

Following our recent announcements of the absorption of DGL all of us at Spotlight hope that you all had a lovely bank holiday, however now it’s over, it means summer is quickly approaching and we are really excited to let you know our next step…

Well if it wasn’t already apparent from the recent site update, Spotlight Studios have now branched in to new services that complement our original offering. It’s our hope that we can get closer and help facilitate growth with our existing customers whilst looking to grow the Spotlight brand.

After almost 6 years since the inception of Spotlight it’s great to say we have been growing and been as successful enough to be able to move in to new areas of cloud solutions, consultancy and hosted telephony to see how we can help our clients furthermore with more growth expected to come.

Having already helped several SME’s, Charities and Academics alike to reach their goals, by reducing costs, and optimising their online development and infrastructure with a clear ROI. Spotlight are keen to see what more we can do for customers in terms of helping them to reduce costs, optimise the way they currently work and looking to Spotlight as their digital partner moving in to the digital age.

In the past few months Spotlight have now joined with key partners like Microsoft, Spitfire, SAP One, and Symantec to name a few, we carefully selected these vendors and partners to ensure we meet your requirements to the upmost ability, now we can also help guide your strategy for your telephony and IT infrastructure overall or even if you’re simply looking for some advice? Ensuring we are helping to minimise touch points across the business with a bespoke package that suits you and your company. Making IT straightforward and simple with a view to an achieving your business goals. Please get in touch to understand more at what these partners and Spotlight can do for your business.

Expect to hear us reaching out to our existing clients on the recent changes, further to this and expanding our offering we have also recently hired our new Sales Director – Sean Cook, whom has spent over 10 years selling IT and telephony solutions to Blue Chip Multi-National retailers like Tesco and Kingfisher to name a few while at BT Global Services and having recently worked in the distribution channel for the Small Medium Enterprise market. He should be a fantastic addition to Spotlight and would expect you to hear from him shortly if you haven’t already to introduce himself.

Lastly to our update, we have also extended our reach and relationships in Bristol and South West Region. A further extension to our current offices in Bradford and Manchester we are also extending our reach to Bristol and the south west, as local to the founders, but more to the fact, we are focused on making a difference in the both northern and southern regions of the UK and how now have presence in both.

With an additional sales focus to become more customer eccentric and to focus on listening to our clients’ needs when moving to the cloud or adopting a new hosted phone or cloud solution. We can consult, implement and roll out with minimal disruption and down time for your organisation. You may have already invested in this area so we like to ask a few questions as to where we can help?

  • Does it work for your business as you’d expect?
  • Are you and your business endpoints secure?
  • Have you had any security concerns or threats in the past?
  • Wondering what Office 365 and hosted telephony can do for my business?
  • Are you currently securing people’s mobile devices as well as internet browsing?
  • Not sure how to move away from current on premise infrastructure with large impacts?
  • Feel like you could be getting more business form online?
  • We’re you aware that all business in the next 5 years are expected to be online and may only be online?

Let us put you at easy, let Spotlight help you shine, helping to reduce time and overheads and touch points among your business. Please get in touch for a chat and book in your consultancy while diaries are open!

GDPR Enforced 25 May 2018

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will be enforced from 25 May 2018. UK organisations that process the personal data of EU residents have only a short time to ensure that they are compliant. The regulation is designed to harmonise data protection law across Europe, and make the law more relevant to our digital age.

How does Brexit Affect Us

In short it doesn’t. Forget about Brexit, we don’t get a “get out of jail free” card. The GDPR does not just apply to businesses in the EU, it applies to any organisation that controls or processes EU data, wherever they are in the world. Our government has already announced that it wants the UK to be “the safest place in the world to go online”. Here’s an overview of some of your new responsibilities:

  • Keep a record of data operations and activities
  • Carry out a data privacy impact assessment (PIA) for systems and projects
  • Consider if you will be required to designate a data protection officer (DPO)
  • Notify the supervisory authority of a data breach
  • Review data processing processes
  • Implement “privacy by design” and “privacy by default”

How can Spotlight Studios help

We have a wide-range of data protection expertise to help you prepare. We can offer consultancy and resources to help you understand these new regulations. Get in touch today to find out more

Spotlight Studios Acquire DGL Web Design

In one of the most exciting pieces of news in 2017 Spotlight Studios have acquired the web element of DGL Creative. David is a very talented designer and has over 18 years’ experience in the graphic design and web industry. We have had the fortune of working with him over the last 12 months and are delighted to welcome DGL customers over to the Spotlight Studios brand. We are well positioned as a company to support all their business requirements and take them forward as they grow.

David has been working on his new business Trappd which we’re proud to have been a part of. The business has seen tremendous growth over the last 9 months and he has recently launched his second premises in Northampton. Having had first hand experience at Trappd (Corby) I can highly recommend a visit and it’s definitely the best escape room experience I’ve ever had out of the 4 I’ve been to.

We wish David all the best in his new business venture and look forward to the continued growth of Spotlight Studios.

Wanna Decryptor: Stay Vigilant

A malicious new strain of self-replicating ransomware known as Wanna Decryptor / Wannacry / Wcry, is disabling computers worldwide and has affected leading organisations such as NHS.

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Manchester

Beehive Lofts
Beehive Mill
Manchester
M4 6JG

Bradford

re:Center
Richmond Road
Bradford
BD7 1DP

Bristol

Coworking Spaces
Coffee Shops
Bristol
Br1 1AA

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Spotlight Studios Ltd, Beehive Lofts, Beehive Mill, Jersey Street, Manchester, M4 6JG
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Company Number: 07829328
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