Southampton's Biggest Muay Thai/Mixed Martial Arts Show - Fast and Furious 14

 
A while back we published a blog post that talked a little bit about the sports that us guys at Toolkit Websites like to take part in.

I do Thai Boxing and am part of a great group in Southampton called Look Borai. Look Borai put on events throughout the year to give their fighters a chance to show what they can do in front of their home crowd.

The next one on August 30th is set to be bigger than the last and this time I will be on the fight card alongside my friends, fighting for our team and representing Southampton. It will be a great opportunity to come and support your local fighters, including me, as well as a lot of fun so if you're local to Southampton I truly recommend attending this brilliant event.

Read more about the actual event here

It will take place at Oceana, a nightclub venue, in the centre of Southampton. There will be around 15 fights in total ranging in fighting styles to different levels. You will see Thai Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and even some Boxing. For some fighters it will be one of their first fights and for others it will be the last hurdle towards battling for a belt and the chance to call themselves a title holder.
Tickets are availableLooking to start Muay Thai or MMA yourself but not sure if it's for you? Attend the Exile open-day


Fight shows are incredible events, there's nothing quite like them. Behind the scenes as well as in the ring in front of the crowd, there is so much atmosphere and emotion. But the fights truly begin weeks and weeks before this point, the fighters have all trained as much as they can and put blood, sweat and tears (literally, if you're me) to prepare themselves and to be at their peak. My fantastic coaches give me so much of their time and attention to make sure I'm ready and that I've improved. It is never a journey you take by yourself.

The Look Borai Trainers:

Fighters usually take a few days rest before the actual date of the show so as not to obtain any injuries and to give their bodies a chance to heal and be at full power for the big night. It is also likely that they will be dieting so as to make the weight of their fight which is common practice.

The Weigh-Ins are usually a chance to come face to face with your opponent for the first time and is the moment when everything starts to get dramatic. After that, it's time to get some food, water and rest before the real preparation begins.

All fighters and coaches from the different gyms retire to their own private quarters at the venue to warm up and wrap hands. The evening will start off with the less experienced fighters fighting first. These fights are usally 3 rounds long, each at anything from 1 minute to 3 minutes. Whilst the fights are happening in the ring, the fighters that are on later will be doing pads with coaches or training partners and getting ready themselves.
 

There can be any number of fights on a fight card but it's usually around 10 to 20 fights and the show will also leave the best til last. Each show will usually have one, sometimes even two or three 'Main Events.' These are often set up to find out who is the top fighter in their particular weight category. Sometimes this can be fighters from the same region, or country and occaisoinally, you will even get international fights with fighters travelling from different countries to try for a belt. These fights are action-packed and very exciting to witness.
 

Of course, by the end of the night, there will be wins and losses but it's the love of the sport that keeps everyone taking part, organising and coming to see these shows. Your opponent can become a good friend because at the end of the day, you put everything on the line for the sport you love and to see how far you've come.

Not everyone trains a martial art to use it in a ring or a cage, but even if you are not a fighter you get to support those you train with in their challenges and the reason why this show and all other shows are so enjoyable and sucessful is because of your gym family.
 
 
Wonderful photos by:
https://www.facebook.com/DanieIRosePhotography
https://www.facebook.com/stephensmithphoto
https://www.facebook.com/UkFightPhotography
https://www.facebook.com/KennyBowersPhotography
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Toolkit's Guide to: Setting up basic Google Analytics



Google Analytics is FREE to set up, in order to track visitors to your website.

With a Google Analytics account you can see:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • What keywords or phrases they are typing in order to find your website
  • Where in the world they are viewing your website from
  • What pages are being looked at the most
  • What pages are being looked at the least
  • Your bounce rate
  • Your conversion rate

And lots more!

We do have a paid for service where we can set this up for you, but if you feel like giving it a go for free, here is a useful guide we have created.

Step 1

Sign up... http://www.google.com/analytics/

You can sign up with your existing Google account or if you don't yet have one, click on ‘Create an Account’ in the upper right corner.

Once you’ve signed up for a new account (if you need it), come back to http://www.google.com/analytics and click “Access Google Analytics” if you’re not already redirected to the setup screen.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll come to the setup screen:



Website Name: You can simply use your URL if you wish or your company name.

Website URL: Just type in your website address!

Industry: this one is optional but will let Google Analytics tailor some suggestions for your account for you.

Pick your time zone: This is key for making sure that Google Analytics accurately shows it's statistics that are to do with times of the day etc.

For Account Name: Feel free to use your company name. You can have/monitor multiple websites in one Analytics Account, so make sure this name will be appropriate if you plan on adding multiple websites.

Data Sharing Settings: completely optional. Select and deselect as you feel comfortable.

Click the blue Get Tracking ID button, agree to the pop-up Terms of Service (after reading fully of course) and you’re all set!

Once you’ve signed up, you will see a screen with your tracking code on it, with the same format as below:



Send the code to your web designer / or if you're a client of ours there is a section in the Toolkit where you can paste the code and save!

We hope that helps.

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Toolkit's Guide to: Social Media Accounts


When it comes to setting up Social Media accounts for your business, you might be wondering which ones are worth having, what benefits they'll provide you with and you may be worrying about the amount of time you'll need to allocate to the management of them!

This blog post outlines what each Social Media account is for, what it's benefits to you are, and whether they are time consuming or not. We hope this helps!

Facebook

Increased Exposure to Potential Customers. Facebook is a great place to advocate what you do, show examples of your work, welcome reviews from happy customers and to engage with your target audience. There are a lot of people on Facebook! So it's definitely the place to be, and with a business page that looks great, and by posting good quality, relevant content, your page will rake in the likes with the aim that they become clients/ customers too.

The Statistics:

1.44 billion monthly users
936 billion daily users
Average time a user spends on Facebook a day: 21 minutes
Daily active users in the UK: 24 million

Time Management:

From personal experience, from posting once or twice a month to posting 4 times a day we found that the most comfortable (and successful) way of posting content to Facebook was to do a post a day.

You can dedicate a post to a certain topic/ product/ theme/ discussion for people to contribute to with comments, shares and likes. The bigger the reach of the post, the wider you are casting your net to reach potential clients.

You can schedule your post to publish in the morning, and watch the reach, likes and shares grow throughout the day. In Facebook's Insights you can see what time of day people that have liked your page are on Facebook. It will tell you what your page likers demographics are, how they found your page and other statistics that are really useful. 

Facebook has an inbuilt system where you can queue posts. So if you wanted, you could plan a whole week or month ahead! 




Twitter

Twitter differs from Facebook in the way that it is designed for short and sweet "status updates" with a 140 character limit. Again, Twitter is a great place to promote your company, your successes, your news and to open up topics and discussion. Tweets have a shorter life span than Facebook posts. With the news feed being updated every few seconds, your tweet can disappear into the pile after just 18 minutes (or so it's been reported.)  

The Statistics:

270 million active users.
The average Twitter user follows five or more businesses
Mobile users are more active on Twitter than desktop users
YouTube is the most popular brand on Twitter, with 46.5 million followers. They’re ahead of Instagram (36 million followers) and Twitter (33 million followers)

Time Management:


Twitter does not have an inbuilt "Queue" system for Tweets. However there are third party/external sites that you can use that offer this facility. In particular Twuffer is a great site to use in conjunction with your Twitter account.

Twitter is very competitive, and therefore is quite time consuming. The external queue systems help, but staying on top of latest trends, topics and events requires a bit of time to be put aside to make a Twitter Business page work for you. If you don't have someone dedicated to monitoring your Twitter page for you, or you won't have the time to update it on a regular basis, Twitter might not be the Social Media account for you.

There is nothing worse than business accounts that look inactive or haven't been updated for years.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn acts as an online CV or business card. The profile itself is a list of qualifications, jobs that have been held down, lists of experience and more.

A personal profile enables you to connect with people you've worked with, for, or studied with. You can also connect with customers/ clients and people can endorse you for the skills displayed on your profile, or write you a recommendation (which is very much like a reference!) 

A business page on LinkedIn does pretty much the same, but for your business. It lets people know how many people work for your company, what you do, where you're based and more. People can connect with your brand to keep up to date with latest news and updates or simply to have you as a business connection. You can see our LinkedIn page below.


Statistics 

350 million active users
200 countries and territories
Average time users spend on LinkedIn: 17 minutes

Time Management

LinkedIn doesn't rely on you logging in reguarly and constantly making updates. In fact, out of all of the platforms, LinkedIn is the one that needs less work. Once your page/profile has been set up and you've added all the information you like, it's pretty much complete.

LinkedIn has a hub where people can publish articles about certain topics, discussions or news, which you can comment, like and share. The main idea behind LinkedIn is connecting with business associates though, and that's easy to do also.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an online pin board. Where people can "pin" ideas, inspirations, to do lists and more. When it comes to using Pinterest for your business, if you have a business that is very visual, for example you are selling a number of products... Pinterest will work for you.

Pinterest doesn't necessarily work for the finance sector, for example, or Lawyers etc.

We use our Pinterest account to show latest designs, logos we have created, and to pin inspiration in the design industry.

Statistics 

47.1 million users
Average time spent on Pinterest: 14.2 minutes

Time Management

Again, Pinterest is something that isn't overly time consuming. You can set up your boards, pin your images and the repins and likes will come rolling in.

You don't have to update it daily for it to be a success, for example, we update ours every time a new website is published, by adding the design to one of the boards.

Instragram

Like Pinterest, Instagram is very visual. Users post images to do with their brand. Whether it's products, adverts, the team or what they are getting up to on a day to day basis, Instagram offers an insight inside your company. If done well, it can create a really human and approachable feel around your company.

Statistics

300 million active users
75 million daily users

Time Management 

Instagram can be updated as and when you like. A couple of posts a week is sufficient for a business page to do well.

Google +

Google + is very similar to Facebook. Most people have either/ or. When it comes to Search Engines, you may notice that Google + is often times featured right next to the website that has come up in rankings. Google + can hold reviews, topics, discussions and you can connect with people within your "circle" to participate in information sharing.

Google + is a great place to advocate what you do, show examples of your work, welcome reviews from happy customers and to engage with your target audience. With a business page that looks great, and by posting good quality, relevant content, your page will rake in the likes with the aim that they become clients/ customers too.

Google promote the use of their platform (obviously!) but if you are unsure about having an account as well as a Facebook one, you can always link them up to publish the same content on both. 

Statistics

300 million active users
Average time spent on Google + 7 minutes 

Time Management 

Like Facebook, a post a day is a great way of tackling Google +. If you like, to slash the amount of time you spend working on your social media accounts, you can link Facebook, Google+ and Twitter up so that they are in sync. This means if you publish a post on Facebook (for example) it would automatically publish the same update on your other social networks.


We hope this article has been useful and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!



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Website of the Week: Halliloo Longhorn Beef


This week's website of the week goes to Halliloo Longhorn Beef, known for their prize winning traditional beef, with big names such as Heston Blumenthal proudly using their meat in his beef dishes!

Halliloo Longhorn Beef were looking for a simple, yet professional one-page website promoting their speciality beef. With concise and easy to follow content, with a product section to make your order via PayPal 'add to cart' buttons, the website needed to be easy to use and to reflect the company branding and reputation.

The site scales to the device it's on
Project Manager Andy took to creating a sleek and sophisticated design on our responsive platform, ensuring that the website looks good and functions correctly on a range of devices. Selecting a black, full width panel layout, this gave him the opportunity to let Haliloo's beautifully taken professional photographs stand out and become the main focus of the page.

Each panel is laid out in a way that is easy on the eye and easy to follow. The product and pricing information is on a white background panel so that it's clear to see.

With parallax scrolling on the imagery, the website has a very fluid scroll, meaning that even though you need to scroll through each panel to reach them, it has interesting and engaging content throughout.

The website was built, using the clients existing branding colours and logo. With an addition of a very light filter over the images to make sure that the colours don't drown out the content on the pages.

Every detail on the page has been carefully constructed and put into place, and the end result is a really high-end, Google Friendly website that passed the 'mobile friendly' test with flying colours.

The client gave us 5 out of 5 stars and loved that they can update the website content whenever they like, using our Content Management System, The Toolkit!

To take a look at other websites we have created, please feel free to browse our portfolio, or for a more extensive range, why not take a look at our Pinterest page?


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Toolkit's Guide to: PayPal Buy Now Buttons

When it comes to selling your products or services from your website, you may be advised to set up a PayPal account and/or create some PayPal "Buy Now" buttons to add to your website pages.

Before getting started, take a look at our handy little guide, so that you know exactly what code to send through to us, for us to embed on to your site!

Step 1. Once you've created a PayPal account you will need to visit the Buy Now Buttons page.

Step 2. Get started! Create your first button for your first product/service, starting by filling out the details shown in the following screen shot



Step 3: Once the button has been created, you will be faced with some code. It might look like gobbledygook but don't worry, all you need to do is copy the code from the box shown in the screen shot below.


Step 4: Send the code for each of the buttons to your web design company. Or in this case, your project manager!

We would advise on sending them separately with the email title stating which product or service they are for, in order not to complicate things!

We hope this helps.

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Toolkit's Guide to: Drop Box




During a website build, it can sometimes be a struggle to send over all of your images, content files and documents to us. Adding them as attachments to emails isn't always a great way of doing it, especially if you're trying to organise it so that we know what goes where. And then there's the file size limit for email attachments...

To get around this, and to make it easier for you to share these items hassle free, we have a Dropbox account that you can share your website assets to... for free!

All you need to do is sign up for a Dropbox account, and get started right away.

Step 1: Create a folder in your Dropbox account. Give it a name such as "Website Images" or if you want, you can create a folder for each page of your website.

Step 2: Upload your images, content and documents to the folder(s)

Step 3: Share your folder with us! Simply ask your project manager for the email address to send the invitation to, and hey presto! We have access to the folders, saving you effort and time.

See screen shot below for visual instructions. We hope that helps!


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Toolkit's Guide to: Colour Picking


If you want to get across to your web designer an exact colour that you've spotted and would really like to use, or you have particular colours in your branding that you need to have used consistently in your project, you can use a colour picker tool to get the hex codes for the colours you need.

In web design, we use RGB colours. HTML colour codes are hexadecimal triplets representing the colours red, green, and blue (#RRGGBB). For example, in the colour red, the colour code is #FF0000, which is '255' red, '0' green, and '0' blue.

For example, below shows the hex values for different shades of red.


Some great colour picker tools can be seen below:

Colorpicker
Colorzilla (an add on for Firefox)
Paletton
hexcolor 

Happy colour picking!

Please Note: If your website uses gradients (is not a solid colour but made up of lots of different shades) you will need to select hex codes for the separate shades.

Also, neon colours or metallic colours such as gold, silver and bronze are a bit more complex, and would probably be best for your web design company to create for you.
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