Category: Wordpress

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

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 These may include WordPress, Plugin or Theme updates however any other files that are also out of date will be updated on the next regular schedule.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.

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.

3 Ways to build a Website – Self-Build Vs Friend Vs Web Designer

If you are thinking about building your own site then you will understand how difficult it can be to get it all sorted out. On top of this, you also need to think about how you are going to pay for it and if the site is going to be fully functional after the project has been completed. For this reason, you may want to think about hiring a website designer. They can help you by making sure that your site is the best that it can be and they can also make sure that you are completely satisfied with the service they have provided you with. If you aren’t sure if you can build your own site or not, or if you think you can but you have some reservations then all you need to do is take a look below to see some of the top things you need to think about.

Do You Have A Budget?

If you don’t have much of a budget then you may want to think about doing the site yourself. WordPress is a great option in this instance and as your skills develop past the basics and you move to a self-hosted version of the site you can really start to open up all the possibilities. This is great if you are very confident when it comes to the administration interface and it is also great if you want to customise your site a little bit more. Of course, it is important to understand that you need to have experience in this before you go ahead and try and do it yourself but at the end of the day, it is a great way for you to save money.

If you’re interested in building your own website and would like some help or advice then get in touch – we have training sessions available for all abilities whether you need on site or remote one-to-one training or you would like to attend a workshop.

Maybe You Have A Friend Who Can Do It For You?

If you have a friend who says that they can handle your website design for you and they seem like they are up for the job then you may be tempted to go with this as an option. This has it’s advantages as they probably won’t charge very much (sometimes only as little as £100) and you know them so you feel like you can trust them. Of course, this trust (and your friendship) can also put a significant strain on both of you if problems occur, both personally and professionally. They may not have the experience you need to get the job done to the level you need (especially if web design is not their profession) and whereas they might consider that they are doing you a favour regardless – you might end up in a worse position than you started. After all, this website will be your company front – the first thing a lot of people will see and that representation has to reflected accurately. On top of this, the main reason you are building a site is probably to get found and to make money so if you want it to be a real success then your only realistic option would be to invest.

We’re not here to tell you what to do but if you don’t have the budget for a website right now, our advice would be to postpone it – seriously, you’ll be glad you did.

But What If You Have A Budget?

If you have a budget then great! You’ll probably want to go with one of our turnkey solutions or similar as the basic building block for your site – this keeps costs down and gets up and running quickly plus you can be confident the website will work seamlessly across multiple devices. For the initial price, you will be able to change things like the menu, where the images are and even the colours. If you want more than this then you may need to pay for the additional development time, but at the end of the day, you really are getting the site of your dreams at a significant discount compared to a custom build.

Although a static site is cheaper, if you want a dynamic site with significant SEO benefits built in then you will want to go with WordPress. This is the best way to go if you want to build a great site with news articles, blogs and fantastic features. If you want to go with a static site that you don’t really need to update, then HMTL is simple effective and we can often have you online within a couple of weeks.

Although there are several options available you might be surprised at how much an experienced website designer can help you to get the initial design down as well as other elements of the site both in terms of layout, content and the flow of the website that you might not have thought about. Ultimately the website is for your clients – it is a tool for them to use to easily get in touch and place new orders for your goods and services. Even if you are somewhat experienced, it is a risk designing your site yourself and you need to do everything you can to make sure that all of the codes and links are in working order as well as understanding the psychology of how people navigate a website – even the way people read online articles is completely different than if they are reading a newspaper or magazine. If you miss on any of these then you can’t expect your customers to stay on your site for very long and this is just one of the many things that your web designer can help you with.

A decent web design company should be able to find a package for you even if you are on a budget and if you choose to talk to us then we will always be upfront if we think that there is a better value option available. Why don’t you give it a go for yourself today to see how you could benefit? It has never been easier for you to get started and you could have a great site in no time.

If you’d like to talk to us about the development of your new website then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What are WordPress Custom Post Types?

Post types tell you what type of content you are posting to your WordPress website. There are two default types of content available – posts and pages. Posts are normally used for blog posts and dynamic content, and that mean that when you post your initial blog post, it changes when the second one is posted. Pages are normally used for static content, which means that they are not specific to a certain time. Of course, sometimes you may have content that isn’t specific to what you need, but you should know that it is possible for you to create your own type of content using WordPress Custom Post Types and it is actually easier than ever to do.

WordPress Custom Post Types

Custom post types are defined by the user and they are one of the features that makes WordPress so flexible. You can create as many of these as you want and each one is like a box that you can put your content in. You can also find them being used in conjunction with various plugins, take news plugins as an example. If you had your own coffee shop and you wanted a way in which you could post about the types of coffee that you sell, you would be able to create a custom type for this. This would help you to make sure that all of your content stays separate and it also helps you to make sure that you can distinguish them for your users as well.

Of course, you can do this in any way that you want and you can also customise it as much or as little as you need to so there are always plenty of options available when you choose to create custom posts as opposed to pages and posts as standard.

We’ll let you know if we think a custom post type is right for your website, but if you have something in mind don’t hesitate to contact us.

Next Generation Cloud Hosting

Have you ever considered the thought of cloud hosting? Maybe you have been thinking about shared cloud hosting but you’re not quite sure if it is a viable option for you? Either way, it is a great way to make sure that your site is protected and when you do host your company website on a cloud, you will be putting it on an extensive network instead of a single server.

The (old) limitations of shared hosting

When people discuss shared hosting platforms they are usually talking about a number of websites (hundreds or even thousands) sharing the same resources on a single server. This means that the performance of your website depends greatly on it’s co-websites and if one of those is particularly hungry, then it can draw resources away from your website.

A better, cloud solution

Cloud hosting works using clusters of servers in unison to distribute your website across the network so that if requirements fluctuate across different websites, the system can compensate accordingly calling on additional clusters to deliver power when it is needed ensuring that both the hungry website and your website run quickly and efficiently. This network solution also increases reliability of the system, so that if a single server goes down, your website still stays online. Whilst reliability and uptime are still greater on our managed VPS or Dedicated servers we are so confident with our cloud hosting that it comes with a 99.9% SLA.

In short, because cloud servers don’t rely on individual server power, databases or other websites to power yours, you can get faster loading speeds as well as an increased level of reliability.

WordPress Hosting

Cloud hosting is great for WordPress websites, however it does reply on the WordPress developer / website designer knowing what they are doing. The website configuration itself can be the difference of loading in a split second or four seconds. As Google now ranks sites based on the performance, fast loading times are essential for both SEO and for user experience.

So as you can see, cloud hosting has certainly advanced over the last couple of years and you might be surprised at how much it could benefit you (and how little it can cost).

Levelling Up

For the next level of performance we also have VPS, Hybrid and Dedicated servers available for websites that have a particularly heavy traffic or bespoke on-site processing requirements.

To find out more about any of our hosting plans just get in touch and we can help you find the perfect package to meet your needs

The Importance of Blogs

If you own a website then you will certainly understand the importance of having a quality ranking. It doesn’t matter whether you own a local coffee shop or a corporate e-commerce store with thousands of products, your ranking on Google will determine how many customers you get and how many people visit your site, not to mention that it could also decide whether or not you’re successful in the world of internet marketing.

Get all of the love!

Google loves fresh content, in fact, all search engines do! Of course it can be difficult to change your website content on a weekly basis, and this is where blogs come in. Blogs allow you to optimise certain keywords for your business while also helping you to increase your ranking. This is vitally important, especially if there is a lot of competition in the field. After all, if your rivals are ahead of you on the ranking system, they will most likely be getting most of your traffic, and this is something that you want to avoid at all costs.

A little, often is the key

By posting just once a week, you can help to avoid all of this while also making sure that your customers have plenty of reading material when they visit your site. Your blogs can be about anything and everything, and they can be written in any tone and style so you can have complete creative control over your site and the impression that you leave on your customers.

So do you want to see an increase in your ranking? Maybe you just want to get ahead of your competition, either way, blogs are certainly the way forward and they can really work wonders for your business and your site.

There’s no time like the present

Why not start a blog today? By posting just once a week, you too could be among the top companies on Google!

Helpful Tools

Our Spotlight Social Media Management Tool can help you spread your blog posts out into the ether with ease and even help advise you on the most effective time to publish. Sign up for free and see what other benefits a centralised tool might have for your business.

To discuss how we can help you setup, layout and even write the content of your blogs contact us today.

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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