Toolkit Websites Blog

Website of the Week: North Wales Holiday Lets

This week's website of the week goes to North Wales, Holiday Lets. This website specialises in holiday properties in North Wales, with functionality to organise and book your time away.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a full width panel image home page, with the idea that the home page was to be the back drop, and the internal pages to be more simple and minimal in style.

The website works as an information hub for people looking to visit North Wales. The website provides weather information, helpful "things to do" information as well as suggestions and options for dining, activities and more. However, the main aim of the website is to show case the numerous properties available for let, with detailed information about each one along with imagery.

The website features third party functionality, with the ability for people to book and manage their booking online using a PIMS form.

The gallery features a number of images of the properties, that are easy for people to flick through depending on what property they are most interested in.

Senior Project Manager Lanara created the pages using the content from the clients old website pages, and converting the website design into something more modern, professional and easy to navigate.

The testimonials page is a page that will be of most interest to people looking to book, as the lists of past customers experiences and feedback are valuable. A testimonials page is a must have if you want people to find reviews and see positive feedback about your services and business.

The client was incredibly happy with the end result and kindly awarded us 5 stars out of a possible 5. He said that we're "very easy to contact and quick to respond."

Do you have a property website that you would like to get started? Get in touch with us today!
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To template or not to template

We have often found ourselves explaining that we don't work with templates. It's not that we have anything against templates as such, but every design we create is made bespoke to the clients requirements based on an initial call we have with them at the beginning of the build. We like to think it's our unique selling point... let us explain why we think it's so great.

There are a multitude of free, easy-to-use web design templates that are currently available on the internet. Some of these are ready built, cheap to buy and easy to apply. The issue we have with templates isn't anything to do with how they look or function, it's not even because we feel like our designs are better (although, we'd advise you look at our portfolio and see for yourself!)

The reason we don't work with templates is because that template is not unique to you. Anybody can pick the same template and use it on their website, and for us, we feel that exclusivity is best. We want your website to represent your business, and to be consistent with your branding. We work with you on cultivating the exact design you are after, with our unlimited design policy.

On-line is where first impressions really do count. It’s best to have your own unique design that can’t be found anywhere else. Of course web designs can be similar or have similar elements (you can't copyright code or development!) but you can have it bespoke made to your brand, your colour scheme, using your own images and of course your logo.

We work on a basis where we will work on the design until you are 100% happy with it. Unlike a template, if you feel the logo should be on the right instead of the left, we can do that. If you want to try a slide show instead of a static header image, we can do that too. In fact, we can pretty much change the design to reflect exactly what you're after (within web best practice guidelines of course!)

Before you can have your own design created, you need to find a web design company that understands your brand. Here at Toolkit Websites, we have an initial call with you to determine what it is exactly that you need and whether we can fulfil it. The best thing about working with us, is that you are allowed to change your mind, you're allowed to express your ideas and suggestions. It's all part of the creative process. Or, if you'd rather leave it to the experts, we can create a bespoke design that we feel really suits your business.

Hiring a web design company over buying a template also gives you peace of mind that not only will they make sure your website is mobile friendly, optimised and has the best chance in Google rankings, but it also means you have a support line if you need help or get stuck in the future.

Why not take a look at our services today?
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Website of the Week: Julie Kendrick

This week's website of the week goes to Julie Kendrick. Julie specialises in hair and make up, for the theatre, movie and TV industry. With some huge names on her list, such as HBO's Game of Thrones, Poirot and Les Miserables, Julie has professionalism down to a tee.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a full background image website, using the hi-res images that the client provided. Keeping the font simple and the colour scheme minimal, the website oozes elegance and is a high end looking result.

The website works as an online CV for Julie, to show case her quaifications and experence, as well as sharing details on what she has worked on and examples of her work.

The main aim of the website is to be a place for people to find out more information and if they wish to work with Julie, they can simply get in touch via the contact page.

The gallery features a number of thumbnails, that when clicked on, expand to show the original image. Very important when the images represent your work.

Senior Project Manager Lanara made sure that each page followed Julie's brand guidelines. This included opting for lower case letters throughout the site. This stylistic choice makes the website look softer and adds a unique touch.

The home page is where most people make a first impression about your business. This is particularly important for Julie as she IS the face of her business! We made sure the home page made a statement by selecting brilliant imagery, and slotting them together to flow together. The gallery thumbnails on the home page offer an insight into the work Julie has done, and have a hover over effect on each.

The client was incredibly happy with the end result and kindly awarded us 5 stars out of a possible 5.

"I've been incredibly happy with all work carried out and the help. You all literally get back to me within if not a few hours then a day."

Do you have a make-up and hair website that you would like to get started? Get in touch with us today!
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Health Check Your Website

Why Should You Health Check Your Website?

When you complete a website project and go live, many people tend to leave their website be and expect visitors to flood to the page. This is a dangerous mindset to have, because like any good party, you must send out the invitations!

If you are a client of Toolkit Websites, you have a top class Content Management System on your side. The Toolkit! Here you can update your website regularly, and implement brilliant SEO tactics that will help give you a boost.

One of the features our CMS has is a health check, which tells you what areas of your website need some attention. Whether you need to add page aliases, you need to integrate your social media accounts or you need to take advantage of Google's free tools for Analytics and XML site maps... it will tell you.

It's essential to perform regular health checks to make sure your website is operating at peak performance.Whether this is checking that your website displays correctly in different browsers and on different devices after you make any changes to the site. It could also mean keeping an eye on loading speeds and how the website handles heavy traffic.

Your web designer will have performed all these checks before your website went live, but it's integral that you keep on top of things post-publication.
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Things to avoid when creating a website...

For most people, building a website can be a daunting and frustrating task. Many people that want a website for their business don't keep in mind that the website needs to be created to respond to a users needs, and therefore needs to be built in such a way that will be relevant, useful and good quality to the visitor. 

Here are some things we must avoid when creating a website...

1. Using fonts, or text that are not legible or easy to read

One of the most important things that your site must have is content that is readable, easy to access and of good quality.

Beautiful typography and swirly text is all well and good, but when it comes to people being able to decipher your web content, practicality must come above aesthetics.

Making sure that your website is easy on the eye in terms of design, easy to navigate and that the font used is easy to read, should be top if your list. Google Fonts have a variety of styles and font faces to choose from, meaning that your typography can still be artistic and unique.

2. Bad Content Layouts

Sometimes less really is more. Simple and minimal layouts are easier and much more enjoyable to navigate through. If you have a website with pages that are loaded with content, boxes and call to actions it can be difficult to know where to start. Avoid people bouncing from your site by leading them into your content with ease. Full width panel websites with a gentle scroll are perfect for a home page first impression. Internal pages can be more content rich if need be, but layouts should break up the text to be easier and readable chunks.

3. Bad Navigation

The easier it is for people to get to your website pages the better. You should always have your main page navigation in the menu bar in a fixed position on your website. People are used to this being at the top so that they can flick to the page of their choice and back again. If you do have links from pages to other pages, make them clear and make them relevant.

Your website doesn't have to house all of the information about your business. In fact, giving them a taster of what you do and what you have to offer will entice people to get in touch with you to learn more. Only having the content that you need will make your website relevant, better quality and more enjoyable to navigate. At the end of the day, these are the types of sites Google favour, and that will ranking highly in search results.
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Website of the Week: Hawkeye Recruitment Firm

This week's website of the week goes to Hawkeye Recruitment Firm. At Hawkeye, they pride themselves on their purpose, that is: finding the right quality people for employers’ highly specialized, hard to fill positions!

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a responsive website design following the clients brief. The website needed to be a clean professional website, with strong call to actions and a clear and easy to follow navigation.

The website uses a full width panel layout, each panel bespoke made to the clients requirements. The home page features boxes that link through to pages they would like to highlight, as well as a slide show with captions for each frame. Each panel is stylised and created to fit the contents purpose.

The main aim of the website is to be a place for people to find out more information and to visit the list of job vacancies available. The footer that features on every page houses all of the useful information along with contact and social media information.

The contact page features a full width map for location, and an easy to use contact form to capture any enquiries or questions. There is also a bright yellow banner which a call to action button for those looking to get in contact.

Senior Project Manager Lanara made sure that each page follows the brand guidelines. The panels are either white, blue or an image panel. Each page is different but they follow a consistent style. The imagery was chosen carefully to reflect multi-ethnicities as well as sexes. There are a number of abstract style graphics and images used to reflect certain topics as well.

The candidates page features an email alert button, in order to capture a persons contact details in order to alert them of future job vacancies or related news. The jobs page features a third-party iframe for a program that stores and utilises the job vacancies. The about page features an attractive time line of the company and it's progress, which is a different way of displaying information to just having plain text. We created a favicon that appears next to the business name in the browser window. This was taken from their logo, and uses the small eye shown in the lettering.

The client was incredibly happy with the end result and kindly awarded us 5 stars out of a possible 5.

"We are completely satisfied with the service received! Customer Service, flexibility and reliability are all given five stars! What is great Toolkit Websites is the consistent communication between project managers and their customers, and admirable understanding of what we need, bringing this to life to reflect exactly what we wanted! This makes for top-quality service worthy of praise. For this reason will certainly use Toolkit websites for other smaller/upcoming project websites, and will spread the word about the impeccable service!"

Do you have a recruitment website that you would like to get started? Get in touch with us today!
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Crowd Sourcing; What is it and how is it done?

Crowd sourcing is where you can get work or funding (usually online) from a crowd of people. The idea is to outsource ideas, funding or even skills from outside of your business or office.

Wikipedia remains one of the most famous examples of crowd sourcing. Rather than creating an encyclopaedia alone or hiring anyone to write the articles they simply opened it to the public to come forward and create the information off of their own backs. The result of this is one of the most comprehensive on-line encyclopaedic available.

The idea behind Crowd sourcing is really quite simple. That the more ideas, hands or skills the better. By canvassing for these qualities, the end result will be superior. There are different types of crowd sourcing depending on what your business is about. For example, you could crowd source to find people with particular skills you are looking for. Graphic designers, web designers or developers may be interested in rising to the challenge of creating a logo or web page for a project that intrigues them or would be a beneficial addition to their portfolio. Not only does this mean you are giving your business a boost of awareness, but you're giving people the opportunity to come forward and provide you with ideas and suggestions you might have otherwise missed out on.

For example, the Olympics committee launched a competition for people to have a go at designing the Tokyo Olympic logo.

Crowd funding is slightly different in the way that it's asking for monetary contribution to a project or business start up. You can use a crowdfunding platform, set a goal for the amount of money you'd like to each and a deadline. Businesses that are most likely to use crowd funding include charities, film and production or start ups such as website applications or browsers.

Open innovation is a similar concept to crowd sourcing, in the way that is opens up an idea of business model to people from all aspects of business such as investors, designers, inventors and markets. The idea is that they collaborate, by pitching in with their expertise, with the idea that the end result would be a profitable business reality.

Open innovation opens up network channels meaning people from all over the world can connect and collaborate. It can also drum up interest and awareness of your business and your project.

The main benefit to crowd sourcing is the ability to receive better results, ideas and utilise other peoples skills. Results can be delivered quickly and accurately, and in a marked out time scale. The only thing you should be aware of is that organisation is key to crowd sourcing or funding. Being able to manage a host of people and make sure all ideas come together and work in harmony, is a task in itself.

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