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M6 GrM6-Group-Logooup of Companies

Back in August, we were approached by our client, M6 Group, to bring their websites up to date. We started working on a major revamp and upgrade a couple of weeks ago.

M6 Group is a commercial vehicle hire and servicing company and they have two websites, their main M6 Group website and Birmingham Test Centre website. Both websites were looking outdated with old images and out of date text. We are working through the websites to give them a new look and new feel, and lots of new content that talks about what they do, and how they add value to the service they provide for their customers.

So far, we have written the new content for the M6 website, and the build is coming along really well, it’s looking smart and modern, which is what they needed. Unfortunately, the person that we’ve been working closely with, Jules, who is their vehicle hire manager, fell out of a lorry the week before last and broke her arm! So, now she’s sending us stuff whilst typing very, very slowly, one finger at a time. We send her our best wishes and a speedy recovery.

We will keep you posted on how the new build goes, and once everything is up and running,  we will let everybody know so you can have a look at their smart new website.

Raysfield Pre-School Cartoon-lion-preschool-logo

A few weeks ago, Raysfield Pre-School approached us with problems they were having adding content on to their website. One of the benefits of having a WordPress website is that it’s a content management system, which means you have access to it, and you can make changes yourself if you need to.

Unfortunately, Raysfield’s website theme had been updated a few years ago by somebody else, not us, to a theme that is no longer supported and the person who did it is no longer available. This put the Pre-School in a situation whereby it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to update the website.

So, they asked us if we would have a look at it and fix the problems for them. We agreed that we could fix it, but the main issue was that the theme was no longer being updated, which meant that as time went on, they would encounter more and more problems. As they are a charity, we offered to update the website theme and move everything over so that the situation wouldn’t happen again, free of charge. The website is now up and running, take a look here.

Monthly Website Reports 

We have been issuing the Monthly Website Reports for a while now, and, although we did write a blog about them back in July 2019, we thought it was about time we talked through the reports with you to explain in more detail what it all means.

This is a very brief summary of what your Report includes.

  • It contains data about updates, analytics and security.
  • It can help you track website traffic, and you can use it to identify areas for improvement, for example, how to convert more website visitors to sales leads.
  • It tells you how fast your website loads as well as the number of pages a visitor views.

Starting from the end of this month when we send out October’s reports, we will be ringing around everybody to talk through them with you, what it all means and how we can help you move forward in your businesses.

We hope the Monthly Website Report is clear and easy to understand, but contact us if you would like more information or to discuss how we can support you over the next few months.

What to Look for in a Website Design Company

The modern business world is a fast-moving place and looks a lot different than it did just 5 or 10 years ago. One massive change over that time has been the need for most businesses in almost all sectors to have their own website. It allows you to catch your potential customers’ attention online and gives people a way of finding out about your services or goods over the internet. A decent website also builds trust with consumers. If you do not yet have a website, it really is worth hiring an expert company to design one for you.

But what should you look when choosing a website design firm?

Experience and Testimonials

Any web design company you hire should produce awesome websites. The company you use must be able to create a site which is responsive, well put-together and delivers a great user experience. But how do you check this out properly? The first thing to do is look into how much experience they have and check that they know what they are doing. It is also worth looking on their own website for customer testimonials or examples of previous work they have completed.

Great Customer Support

A web design company might build you the best site ever, but if they offer poor customer support, it will be to no avail. You must find a web designer who is approachable, able to explain things clearly to you and is easy to contact. An easy way to check this out is giving them a ring or dropping them an email before you hire them. If they respond in a suitable timeframe and in a warm yet professional manner, it is a good sign.

Other Services to Help Your Business Grow

While you may initially hire a company purely to design you a website, it often pays to use one that can help with other areas in your business. This saves you the hassle of finding other companies to do them for you. Whether it is assistance with graphic design, branding or hosting, this can save you time and therefore money in the long-term.

Contact Real Internet Today for Outstanding Web Design

If you are looking for a website design company in the South West UK, contact Real Internet today. We offer all of the above and more to help your business thrive. With a variety of services including web design, hosting and graphic design, our sites also come with an optional monthly maintenance package for a truly one-stop solution.

HTML vs WordPress

What’s the difference between an HTML and a WordPress website?

All businesses know how crucial it is to have their own website in the modern world. Whether it is to help with your digital marketing plans or boost sales, a decent website is worth its weight in gold. This is not always an easy area to grasp, though, if web design is not your forte. One thing which confuses many people is the difference between an HTML and a WordPress site. But how do they differ?

HTML vs WordPress – the major difference

The first thing to know is that they are two entirely different things! HTML is a coding language which web developers use to create static web pages. WordPress, however, is a content management system. These systems allow users to create, edit and publish content online. As a result, they can also be used as a platform to develop effective websites.

But in what other key areas do these two differ?

WordPress is easier to use

If you use HTML to build your website, you will need to have learnt and become proficient at coding in this language first. Even if someone else builds the site in HTML for you, you will not be able to update or change it without coding experience. WordPress, on the other hand, requires no previous coding skills and is, therefore, much simpler to use. Even business owners with no specialist IT knowledge can use its intuitive interface to manage their site.

WordPress has multiple templates and plug-ins to use

An HTML website will have to be built from scratch, and the static web pages coded one by one. This is time-consuming and laborious – especially if you have to de-bug pages which do not work as intended! WordPress sites, on the other hand, come with multiple templates you can use. This not only makes the design process quicker and less costly, but it also gives business owners a wide choice of creative themes to use. WordPress also contains plug-ins which HTML does not. To make your HTML site more dynamic and feature-rich, you would have to code it all in manually. With a WordPress site, pre-configured and easy to install plug-ins make this much more straightforward.

WordPress sites can be quicker

All business owners know that responsive sites with fast load times are essential. Another advantage WordPress websites have is they are usually quicker than HTML ones. This means they will give a better user experience and people stick around on your site for longer.

Awesome web design around Gloucestershire and Bristol

If you need expert website design around Gloucestershire and Bristol, contact Real Internet on 01454 806570. We have many years of experience building lightning-fast, responsive websites which look amazing. Get in touch today for more details.

Speedway Flooring – How to Build a Great Website from the Ground Up

It’s one of those businesses and brands that succeeds by being invisible.

Speedway Flooring is the leading installer of liquid screed floors in the South West. Like us, your first question is probably – what exactly IS a screed floor? It’s the concrete foundation underlying all tiling, carpets and floor coverings in your home, your office, your doctor’s surgery or an indoor ice rink.  If the Speedway team do their job right, you shouldn’t even notice the result. If not, you will certainly notice if, after six months, your tiles crack or your linoleum lifts.

Up until July 2020, Speedway Flooring’s web presence had been as invisible as its perfectly smooth floors. Managing Director and founder, Antony Jones, has built up the business over 14 years by personal referral and word of mouth. Which – like his floors – is a very solid foundation for good business.

Antony realised that a website is now business-critical to share information, stand out from the competition and find new customers. He wants to expand into new markets – how would new customers find him except through web searches? It’s not uncommon for smaller businesses or sole traders to have no web presence – last year a survey revealed that 75% of Britain’s small businesses don’t have a website.

But if you are scaling up, or looking to attract new business, it’s time to bite the bullet.

This is the story of how Real Internet helped Speedway Flooring launch their new website – using the start-up package which is tailored for single services or businesses just starting up.

No smooth talking. Just smooth floors.”  A very good place to start

When starting work on a brand-new website – take your time.  Time to talk with your designer, and copywriter if you’re using one, about your brand. They need to understand your company and your goals as though they were a partner. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Do those competitors have a web presence? If so, what do you like or dislike about it? What do you offer that they don’t?

In the case of Speedway Flooring, it was very clear that this is a company that doesn’t believe in sales spiels and genuinely believes in delivering a perfect service every time. Antony was clear he didn’t want to over-complicate the new website by using too many technical terms or contractor industry jargon.

“People can call me at any time, or quiz me at the site visit, to get the technical requirements and information they need. But going into enormous detail about drying times, or how many millimetres deep the floor needs to be, can be off-putting on a website, especially to homeowners rather than people in the building industry.”

This led directly to the mission statement line on the website home page:

No smooth talking. Just smooth floors.’

Which set the tone for the entire website. A few well-written pages are more effective than dozens of over complicated ones.

The art of web design

“The best websites require users to think less. They do this by ensuring they understand and meet their users’ needs in a clear, easy and efficient way.” Tom Fogden, web designer.

A good website is usually more than a simple static home page with contact details. For smaller companies who offer a single service, up to 4 pages is usually plenty to explain the product and introduce the team.

Increasingly, potential customers want to know who they are buying from as well as what they’re buying. It gives the same reassurance as a personal referral so including some background about Antony was going to be a key component. Speedway also needed to explain in layman’s terms what liquid screed flooring is and what the benefits are.

The home page solved this neatly by creating two click-throughs: About Us – the people – and Liquid Screed – showcasing the product and its key benefits. We were even able to add a more light-hearted comment on what NOT to expect from a liquid screed floor: “cracked tiles, uneven floors, higher energy bills and headaches!” into the list of benefits. Keeping the tone friendlier and more conversational. No smooth talking, just smooth floors.

To create the About Us page, the team decided to use a direct quote from Antony talking about his career and why he’s passionate about doing a good job, every time. It was important for everyone that the personality of the company, as well as the product, was clear on every page of the site.

…and the science

As a user, what’s the one thing that is guaranteed to drive you crazy, or drive you to other sites? Links that go nowhere, confusing website structures which take 10 clicks to find the contact details, laborious load times?

The science of web design is about making the online experience as easy as possible for a potential customer. In reality, this is all about building a site that is easy to navigate. Of course, you can buy website building templates ‘off the shelf’ now, and DIY your website design. In reality, what you won’t have access to is experts who understand the mysteries of “Google optimisation” and compliance. And particularly, how to create clear, simple structures that allow customers to find what they need fast.

You know yourself how frustrating it is when certain sites simply don’t look right on your different devices. Real Internet will ensure that your site appears the same whether it’s accessed on a laptop, mobile phone or a tablet. It’s called responsive design – since the website automatically adapts or responds to the device or platform it is loading onto. If you don’t build this into your design, words can be cut off at the edges or images could be cut in half. And you wouldn’t want to lose any zeroes off the price list and mislead potential customers!

Pictures can speak louder than words

If your images aren’t good, your site won’t look good, either. You can make anything look attractive – even cement!

In many instances, we suggest steering clear of using stock photography which can look over-staged and commercial, even cheesy. But, for Speedway, using a mix of well-shot, well-lit images, and powerful close-ups, plus real-life images of the Speedway team installing floors, gave the new site visual standout.

Dividing the web pages in two, and devoting 50% of the screen to an image, demonstrates confidence in your product or service, and catches attention.

For Speedway’s home page, we chose an aspirational image of the ‘finished product’ and on other pages such as Liquid Screed, we embedded images of the team at work, laying the liquid floors. Research confirms that in most cases, ‘people buy from people,’ especially with smaller businesses. So, putting a face to a product creates a stronger emotional connection, and builds trust in your brand.

If you are a smaller business or sole trader thinking of creating a website, please get in touch with us here at Real Internet – we’d love to help you get online!

What is website hosting, and what do you need to know about it?

Website hosting is one of the most important web services you will need to consider as a business. At Real Internet, we offer a range of hosting packages tailored to our clients’ needs. But before you know which package is going to be best for you, you need to know the basics of hosting.

What actually is hosting?

Web hosting is, quite simply, where your website is stored. Our hosting service means your website and all associated files and services are stored on one of our servers. When users connect to your website, they connect to our server that it is hosted on, which allows them to browse it.

The important elements of hosting for you

If your website is going to be hosted, what do you need to consider?

The first is the speed and reliability of the server your website is going to be hosted on. Your website must remain fast and responsive to navigate, even during periods of heavy traffic. If not managed properly, the server can become overloaded, which can lead it to become sluggish or even crash entirely.

The second thing you need to think about is security. Your whole website is stored on the “hosting server”, so you need to be assured that the server itself is safe and that your website is going to be secure while stored there. At Real Internet, we take great measures to ensure our hosting servers are as secure as possible.

Data loss prevention is the third consideration you need to make. If there is an issue, you need to have access to a backup of your website and all necessary files/data to continue operating. A properly managed web hosting service will also contain provisions to help protect your website against data loss.

Investing in quality web hosting

A great website is worthless if it’s insecure and unresponsive to browse. Web hosting is the backbone of your business’ online presence and the very thing that ensures your website can be seen by the world.

Learn more about how affordable quality web hosting can be by contacting Real Internet for a quote today.

5 Good Reasons Why You Need a Responsive Website

In today’s world, there’s a vast majority of users out there accessing the Internet via smartphones and tablets, rather than a laptop or desktop computer. So if your website appears clunky, and difficult to use on their device, they’ll simply leave your site and shop elsewhere.

What is Responsive Web Design?

It’s a coding technique web developers apply to the build of a website design so that, regardless of the device that is being used, the website will respond and adjust to the screen size. A responsive website design is easy to navigate on any device and will deliver a great user experience, resulting in happy customers and increased sales.

Here are 5 very good reasons why your website should be responsive.

One Size Fits All 

A responsive web design will adapt to different screens automatically. It cleverly detects the user’s screen size and resolutions, and then generates the best possible output for that device.

Seamless Experience 

Mobile friendly versions of websites are often simplified versions of the parent website. This can often be really frustrating when a user jumps from their mobile, to their laptop and gets a completely different screen. A responsive web design will provide a consistent look and feel.

Cost Effective

Instead of owning and maintaining multiple websites for different devices, a responsive website, its content, and imagery, only needs to be maintained once.

Customised Marketing

Multiple versions of the same website can make marketing campaigns onerous. However, with a responsive website and valuable data from Google Analytics, the web pages can be highly customised.

Reduced Bounce Rate

High bounce rates are frowned on by search engines. Responsive websites achieve a lower bounce rate compared to their non-responsive counterparts. They load quickly and will keep users on your page.

At Real Internet, we offer affordable web design services that cover the South West UK. We are a creative and passionate team, that deliver thoughtful, well designed, responsive websites from start to finish. We love to talk responsive so contact us today.

Why bespoke web design is a good investment

If you run a small business you probably realise that it’s essential for you to have an online presence. With the role technology and eCommerce plays in our lives, a website is a must. Investing in bespoke website design might seem like a stretch too far for you and your budget right now but, in reality, it’s one of the wisest investments you can make.

Your website, your way

Your business is unique, surely your website should be equally as unique? You have individual requirements from your website that a web design company can help you achieve quickly, efficiently, and surprisingly affordably. When you use a template to build your website, you are always going to be dealing with some sort of compromise in functionality.

Using the services of a web developer you can have your website built to your exact specifications – your website needs to work for your business, and for your customers, if it’s going to be successful. It’s much easier to do that by building it from scratch.

Ongoing improvements

A website is never “done” – it requires constant updating and improving to ensure it’s as responsive and secure as possible. There is no better team to handle the management of your website on an ongoing basis than the team who built it. Many web design agencies, such as Real Internet, also offer ongoing maintenance packages to clients to keep their websites running perfectly. This allows you to keep your website secure, and ensure it always suits your changing needs.

Improving brand image

Something all small businesses need to consider is brand image and digital marketing, and a bespoke website offers an excellent boost to your overall image. It makes your business seem better established and higher quality, without any extra work required on your part. Think of all the largest and most successful businesses in your industry – they don’t use website templates, and neither should you.

Get started today

A bespoke website tailored to your exact needs is surprisingly affordable, and open to businesses of all sizes. Give your small business the website it deserves, and contact Real Internet today to get the ball rolling.

Wordpress Updates

WordPress Updates and Maintenance – Behind the Scenes

If you are one of our many WordPress customers, you should receive a fortnightly report about your website.

Real Internet example of web design mistakes confusing sites

Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Common Web Design Mistakes – Creating a website takes skill that web designers and developers have learnt over time. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Real Internet Mobile web design: responsive design vs mobile-dedicated website

Mobile Web Design

Over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of internet users accessing the web via mobile devices. According to Statista, mobile users currently account for just over half (51.65%) of the total global online traffic.