Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Good Logo Design

So what does a logo do? Why do you need one? Why is it important for your business website?

Firstly, a logo promotes your business in the market. A logo gives a unique identity to your business, especially in a website design. The best logo designs are so unique and easily recognisable that the name of the business springs to mind even when displayed with out text. They act as ways of establishing credibility with your customers and building a brand identity.

Therefore, good logo in a web design needs to be memorable. Your customers need to be able to picture your logo easily when thinking about your company. It needs to spring to mind. By the same token, the logo design needs to be easily describable. When your customer is talking about your business with someone else they need to be able to refer to you business in an identifiable way. “That plumbing company with the blue squiggle” isn’t going to cut it.

“That plumbing company with the blue squiggle like water dripping out a pipe” might.

Continuing to use this hypothetical plumbing company logo as an example, the logo needs to be easily scalable. How good will that squiggle look as a favicon in the address bar of a web browser, or on the side of a biro? How good will the logo look on the main page of the plumber’s website, or on the side of his van?

The logo also needs to work in black and white. Will that blue squiggle be distinctive enough if the customer prints off something from the website in black and white?

Having a really good logo makes putting together a website for a business really easy, as the colour scheme and design elements of a good logo can be used as the basis for the whole site design.
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Is Your Site Legally Accessible?

As a UK business owner, you have to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act of1995. You are required to make reasonable adjustments to your services and the way you provide them to ensure that disabled people can use them. This includes your business website.

The DDA states that disabled people should not be treated less favourably than other people when accessing services. This duty extends to the provision of websites where a website falls within the definition of a service under the terms of the DDA.

This means you must ensure that there are no obvious barriers to disabled users on your website. Whilst there are no formal guidelines, the government has supplied guidance for government websites here:

Government guidance on accessibility on websites

How does this apply to your website and your website design?

Well obviously, a fully flash site isn’t going to cut it. Flash websites can’t be read by screen readers, which are often used by visually impaired and other disabled users.

It is best practice to use simple and easy to understand words on your website. Avoid the use of jargon wherever possible on your websites.

Any pictures on your site should have captions with descriptions of the pictures so the website makes sense when read with a screen reader.

Text should be in high contrast to the background. Black on white is best, but white on dark blue is also good. Avoid combinations including red and green in your website design as these will not always be visible to colour blind users.

Make sure your business website structure is very simple, and that users can easily navigate from one part of the site to the other. At the very least there should be a link on each page to the home page.

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Browser Wars: Making Sure All Visitors Can View Your Site

Not all web browsers render websites in the same way. If your site is coded by your web designer to only work in one browser, and your customers use another, your customers could be unable to see important information about your company. In a worst case scenario, they may not be able to see anything on your business website at all.

Some visitors won’t have updated to the latest version of their browsers either. Again they might not be able to see anything on your website.

The way round this is to ensure your business website is as standards compliant as possible. This way the site will be both backwards and forwards compatible. Older browsers might not be able to see everything modern and snazzy on your site, but an older browser will be able to display the most important thing on your business web site, the basic content about your company.

All the websites built here at Toolkit Websites by our webdesigners have been checked to ensure they display correctly on as many browsers as possible.

Avoid having an all flash site as older browsers, and alternative browsers such as screen readers may not be able to display your lovingly crafted animations.

A good way to check how your website appears in a range of browsers is to use a service like Browsershots (http://browsershots.org/) or Browsercam (http://www.browsercam.com)
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Toolkit Websites On Facebook!


We web site designers need to keep up with all the internet trends to make sure we create the best web designs for our customers.

One of the biggest things on the web in the last couple of years has been social network services.
These are online places where people can get together and interact quickly and easily with each other, sharing information, photos and videos etc.

Facebook is one really popular social network service that lets you keep track of your friends and post messages, and upload pictures and videos. Some of us here in the office have used it to keep track of old university mates. Facebook also has a cool feature where you can create a page for a person, a business or a brand, and other users can sign up as fans.

We've created a Toolkit Websites page on Facebook where you can leave us wall messages with suggestions on how we can improve, see some of our video customer testimonials and check out our portfolio of existing client websites. So if you'd like to take a look at our page and sign up, please click on this button:






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Internet Explorer Security Problems!


We recently wrote about why you should use Firefox to browse the web.

Turns out your favourite website designers are a bit psychic! Today, the BBC News reported that there is a really serious security flaw in Internet Explorer.

The flaw leaves you vulnerable to attacks that could see you losing control of your computer and having your passwords stolen if you continue to use Internet Explorer. Microsoft is working on a patch to fix this. The BBC goes on to say:


"Microsoft says it has detected attacks against IE 7.0 but said the "underlying vulnerability" was present in all versions of the browser."

10000 websites have already been affected. In the mean time, no matter what version of IE you're using, it would be best to switch to another browser that doesn't have this security flaw.

We use Firefox when we build a web site here in the office, but there are plenty of alternatives such as Opera, Chrome or Safari.

You should also make sure you have an anti - spyware program and good anti virus software to make sure you're completely protected. Spybot Search and Destroy and AVG are good programs we've had experience of using here in the web design team office.
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Marine Resources Testimonial for Toolkit Websites

Some of our website design customers have leapt at the chance to swop video testimonials for Christmas web designs for their business websites.

James Ward, from Marine Resources in Southampton, Hampshire, UK sent us this great testimonial on why he loves his company website from Toolkit Websites . You can check out the Marine Resources website here with it's lovely Christmas web site design:

http://www.marineresources.co.uk



We've added this video to our video testimonials page on the main Toolkit Websites website. You can see the video testimonials page here:
http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/video



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What’s Firefox?

Firefox is a free, open source web browser that comes with lots of great features. We use Firefox here in the Toolkit Websites office to access the internet and view both our demo and client websites.

“But I already have a web browser. I use Internet Explorer” I hear you cry. “Why should I download Firefox?”

Did you know that by using Internet Explorer to access the internet you could be putting your computer at risk? Security firm Secunia.com reported in September 2008 that 10 out of 31 security flaws in IE7 remain unfixed, with the figures being higher for older versions.

Spreadfirefox Affiliate ButtonFirefox 3.0 had only 3 reported flaws in Sept 2008 according to Secunia, and Mozilla is already working towards supplying patches.

The other great thing about Firefox is that it’s one of the most standards compliant browsers out there, meaning it will render websites correctly on screen.

The Ad-ons console lets you customise Firefox to suit your needs. Here in the office we use ReminderFox to remind us when to make calls, and Colourzilla to get codes for the colour of anything on a website. It's a great too for getting the colours right on your business web design. Both of these make our job as web designers a lot easier.

If you want to try Firefox you can download it for free from: www.getfirefox.com
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Mega Monday for Online Shopping


The second Monday in December is known in the retail industry and by web site designers as ‘Cyber’ or ‘Mega’ Monday. It’s the day when all the Christmas shoppers get online and do their gift buying on e – commerce websites. This year, Internet trade body IMRG, reported that online sales volumes were up 18% year on year!
Clearly lots of people are taking advantage of the great deals you can get buying online, and the convenience from shopping at home. Both online only businesses like Play.com and Amazon and high street retailers like M&S who were running special offers saw a surge in purchases. Given the current financial situation, consumers are doing more research online before they make important purchases. Consumers are also purchasing items online that they first saw whilst out shopping offline to try and get a bargain.
This is why it is so important to have a company website. Your customers are investigating the services offered by your competitors and weighing up why they should choose you over them. Make sure you’re included in that research by having a relevant and informative business website, and if you can, offering your customers the ability to buy online.
If you’ve already got your business web design from Toolkit Websites up and running, you too can be part of the boom in Internet shopping. The Toolkit, our content management system, is built to work easily with Paypal. Paypal have also just launched a great new way to create Paypal buttons that match the design of your site, right in time for Christmas. You can find out more about the Paypal Button Factory here:
Once you’ve generated the code for your stylish button, you simply paste it in to the HTML view of the Edit Page window. You’ll be selling your services online in no time!
Here’s our guide to adding Buy It Now buttons in the Toolkit:
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New Referral Scheme at Toolkit Websites


Have you got your Christmas card yet from your favourite website designers?

When you do, you will notice our snazzy cheques inside the cards created by our web design team. These cheques are the first part of our new referral scheme.

Do you know anyone who really needs a business website? Are you pleased with your website from Toolkit Websites? If you refer a friend to Toolkit Websites and they order a website from us, we'll pay you £50 in cash.

That's right, £50 in cash, just for you.

What's more, if your friend orders their website design before Easter 2009, they will receive a £47 discount on their setup fee too!

What a bargain! Consider it a little Christmas present from your friendly website design team.

To refer a friend to Toolkit Websites, please fill in the form on the page below:

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/refer


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Can't Wait For Christmas at Toolkit Websites!

Even website designers can't wait for Christmas! We're counting down the days and getting all excited. Our web design team have been having fun decorating our Southampton Office. Check our awesome traditional Christmas Tree:

Alex also created a tropical Christmas tree using the spiky plant that lives by Richard's desk:


We've put up the Christmas decorations on our website too. Take a look at our festive website design here:
http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk


Some of our web site design customers wanted seasonal web site headers too.

Here's a sample of some of the Christmas web designs we created so far this year, click on the images for larger versions:




If you're a Toolkit Websites customer and would like a Christmas website design for your business web site, our team of little elves... I mean web designers will be happy help you out. Check out our guide on Toolkit Support:


http://www.toolkitsupport.co.uk/seasonalheaders


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Best Wishes from Toolkit Websites




It might sound surprising but website designers do use paper sometimes! Here at our Southampton office at Toolkit Websites we often brainstorm ideas on pieces of paper to come up with ways of providing a better web design service.

We're also using paper this week in another fun way because we're sending out Christmas cards to all our website clients! As you can see, we've been busy signing the cards today to make sure the postman delivers them in time for Christmas. That's Tristen, our Web Design Technical Manager hard at work!

So look out for your card in the post if you've got a business website from Toolkit Websites!


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Splash Pages Aren’t Cool

Splash pages are used on some websites by website designers as an “introduction” to the site; they usually fill the page and have a button/link in the middle inviting the user to “enter the website”. Unfortunately splash pages generally have the opposite effect and according to some reports 25% of visitors leave a website as soon as they hit a splash page.

Further more splash pages can cause more problems than just putting your visitors off; they can even scare the search engines away! The splash page in your website design can act as a blockage to any search engines trying to visit your web site in order to rank you within their index, which obviously is the last thing you want to do.

In short.. keep it simple. You wouldn’t add a second front door to your shop to greet your customers, so don’t do the same with your business website.
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Customer Testimonial at Toolkit Websites!

This week at Toolkit Websites, one of our customers, Boyd Butler popped into the office in Southampton, Hampshire, UK. He gave us a video testimonial on why he chose to use our web design services for his business website, www.kamsportsinternational.com

Take a look!




We've added this video to our video testimonials page on the main Toolkit Websites website. You can see the video testimonials page here:
http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/video

Would you like your business website to be featured on our video testimonials page? Then create a video testimonial, upload it to a video sharing site like Vimeo or Youtube and send us a link. If you do it in December, as a thank you we will create a festive banner for your website, and then return it to it's former glory in January.

We've already put up the Christmas decorations on our main Toolkit Websites site, which you can see here:

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/home
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Updating Your Website

Importance Of Frequently Updating Your Business Website

Once your web site goes live, it is important to add content to it regularly. Web site content needs to be original and always fresh. You should never have old content on your company site, as it can really turn off visitors . Website visitors should always have access to content that is relevant and up to date.

One of the best things about a website built by Toolkit Websites is that you can really easily update it using the Toolkit. By frequently updating your company website it will always have latest content which will make it interesting. The more interesting your business website is, the more likely your visitors are to return time and time again. Higher web traffic means better search engine results! Also, by having a web site that's constantly updated the search engines will return, which will help you get a higher ranking and increase in sales.

Also, you can build trust with visitors by frequently updating the website and providing interesting and relevant content. If you're an expert in a field, why not write some articles on some industry news, or some how to guides? Once your visitors start trusting your company website, they are more likely to return, it can result in better sales of your products or services.

However, your business website should have a really good professional web design. Even if you have all the latest information, visitors will not revisit a site if it hard to navigate and read due to a poor website design. So, while thinking about the design of your website, you have to consider building up the homepage, selecting fonts, using right background and colour for content, proper internal linking between the web pages, etc.

Search engines constantly change the way they rank each web page. To achieve greater success for your firm's web site in the search engine results, you also need to research more about your top keywords and use them properly on your web pages. You can use keywords in links, page titles, headings, as alt text on images, and within the content it's self. You can easily monitor keywords by using statistics programmes like Google Analytics and then update appropriately.

Regularly updating your site will ensure that you get repeat visitors and thus improve your search rankings. Better search rankings mean more exposure for your business website and your business. So get updating your content!
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Free Wine for every referral to Toolkit Websites!

We have had a lot of great feedback about our web design service over the past year with many clients referring us to their friends, family and business associates.

The number of referrals has grown so much that we have now set up a referral scheme to say a big thank you for any recommendations of our website design services.

For every new website design order that comes from a referral, we will send a gift box containing a lovely bottle of French wine and associated goodies all within a fantastic wooden presentation box.

So if you know of someone with a website that's in need of a refresh, or someone with a business without a website please fill out the referral form on our website.

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/refer

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What Type of Email is Best for Business Use?

What do you think when you see a new email pop into your inbox?

Do you judge the sender based on their address?

Do you question how trustworthy they are?

Let’s face it if you received an email from:


garden_man@hotmail.co.uk

Or

info@gardenservices.co.uk

Which one are you more likely to trust…? Getting an email address for your business is a great idea; if you can email your clients from your professional business email you will make a far greater impression.

Another important consideration is the storage of your e-mails, when checking out various e-mail providers find out what their policy is on storage make sure they offer a back-up service so you can feel safe that there is a copy kept somewhere!

Most professional email providers will make a small monthly charge for their services, because the service that they offer is far superior to free/unlimited mailbox offers. Here is a short list of questions to ask yourself before getting your business email account:

* Can I access my email online?
* Can I setup my mailbox on an email client (Outlook etc)?
* Does my mailbox have spam and virus protection?
* Can I setup my email on my mobile phone?
* Does my email support POP and IMAP?

Hang on a minute.. What did that last question mean?

If you are setting up your email on a email client (Outlook etc) you’ll need to decide if your setting up your email so its received using POP or IMAP.

POP and IMAP are just 2 different methods of receiving your email, receiving your email using POP means that the emails are downloaded onto your email client and are not saved online. Whereas IMAP means that your email client views your emails online and allows you to manage them, whilst ensuring they stay online.

We, as web site designers, strongly advise setting up any email accounts using IMAP to ensure that your emails are backed up online and you do not run the risk of losing your emails if there are any problems with your computer.
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Browser Safe Fonts

Sometimes you'll want to have your web page, or maybe just part of a web page appear in a different font.

However, if you try to use fonts other than the "system" fonts, (a font which is preloaded onto a computer) you risk ruining the design of your website.

If you use a font that is not installed on your website visitors computer they will see the text in a substitute font which may not look good on their screen.

For example, the words Palatino and Comic Sans MS, appear in the indicated font if using a computer which has those fonts loaded, but will appear as the default Times New Roman unless the default has been changed.

Solution:
Use Native Fonts: (Fonts that ship with the computer)

Basic PC Fonts:
  • Arial
  • Courier New
  • Times New Roman (default)

Basic Mac Fonts:
  • Helvetica
  • Courier
  • Times (default)

Generally Supported good looking fonts: (PC)
Verdana, Tahoma and Arial
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Bowling Social!

Here at Toolkit Websites we web site designers sometimes like to let our hair down a bit.

We recently had a company social to welcome Alex, the newest member of our web design team, to the company and which included a trip to 10 Pin Bowling in Millbrook, Southampton.

Richard, our website design project manager, managed to get the lowest score but bowled the fastest bowl of the night! How does that work? Alex, also managed to score a strike with one of the slowest bowls.

Here's a picture of us enjoying ourselves:


After that we went to dinner at our favourite restaurant Coco Rio and for a drink at the Orange Rooms. Our office is in the Bedford Place area of Southampton which is really vibrant in the evenings.


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New Website Support Number

Following feedback from our web site design clients we have today replaced our premium rate support number with a local Southampton number.

We constant monitor our webdesign client's feedback to look for ways on how we can improve our website design service. We recognise that its important to our clients to be able to talk to us about their website design . Of course we will continue to provide our high speed email support service in parallel with the web site telephone support.

Our new number is: 02380 633 644

We can be contacted with any website design queries. Our opening hours are:

Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.30 pm

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Use Web Stats to Grow Your Business

Advertising your website is crucial if you want to increase your customers. Although some people will find your web site through links, emails or offline marketing (eg leaflets) most serious customers will come through advertising.
When most people start a new website design they immediately think they must work on optimisation to get to the top of the search engines, however this can be a costly and unreliable process. Instead you can pay a small amount per click to attract targeted leads to your website. This is a much faster and easier path to generating new business.
Google Adwords (Pay-Per-Click or PPC)
As website designers, we recommend and personally use Google Adwords to advertise our business. We have found the system to be very easy to use and to deliver excellent results. You simply set a budget starting from £10 per month and setup your keywords for example “Physiotherapy in Brighton” and then tell Google to send visitors to your website. Within 24 hours you will be receiving new visitors to your business website.
You only pay when visitors click on your ad (and therefore sees your website) so you know that your money is being well spent. Your first campaign can be setup in about 30 minutes and will give you guaranteed results.
Statistics
A good idea is to ensure that your companty website comes with a statistics package for monitoring your website visitors. Using the statistics, you will be able to see which pages visitors look at most, where visitors are going and what they are downloading. You will then be able to modify your business website appropriately.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
An important reason to update the content of your business website regularly is that regularly updated content improves your visibility on the world’s search engines, including Google. How search engines view your website has a major impact on visitor numbers and new leads.
Google uses ‘Spiders’ to search the web. A Spider is an automated program that methodically clicks on every link in the entire web, cataloguing every page founds. This catalogue is then used to determine where your website is listed in the search results.
SEO is a means of improving the number and position of your website’s listing when keywords are typed into a search engine, thereby improving the number of visitors to your site from search engine results. If we were talking about the high street, SEO would equate to the provision of large numbers of prominently placed adverts for your shop in places where your core audience would be most likely to see them. The goal here is to attract high numbers of the right customers.
Getting listed with the Search Engines
When you create a new website it is invisible to the world because the site is not listed in any search engines. As soon as you start to advertise your website, or other websites link to yours then Google will find and index your site.
Regular Updates
Once you are listed in Search Engines they will revisit your website on a regular basis to see if anything has changed. How often the search engines visit your website depends on how often they think you update your site – if Google visits your website once a month but nothing has changed then Google will only come back in the future once every two months for example.
“The more you update your site, the higher your ranking with Google.”
The site needs to be active if it is to produce the optimum results for your business. That means that your site should be a constant work in progress, incorporating regular updates, whether about products or services, company news or industry developments.
If you keep adding new content to your website, this will also increase the number of phrases in your content that search engines will use to display results.
Links.
An important factor that determines how popular your website is with Google are inbound links. The more websites that link to yours the higher rating you will get.
Be careful though because the search engines are clever at spotting websites that are built solely to link to other websites so we do not recommend using these services. Simply ensure that other companies in your industry are linking to your website where possible. Also ensure that any online PR you can attract has links to your site.
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Toolkit Websites: New Site online !

We thought it was time here at Toolkit websites to give our web site design a new look. We think it makes finding out information about our website company much easier. Why not take a look?

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk


We've also added a whole new Portfolio section to show off some of the sites we've created for our recent web site design clients. Each client has given us a testimonal about how good they found our website design service. You can see there comments here:

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/portfolio

And if you've ever wondered about the people behind Toolkit Websites, you can see our mugshots on the Team page!

What do you think? Leave us a comment with some feedback.



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Email Marketing

If you’re not emailing your customers right now, ask yourself who is? Email Marketing is a simple yet very effective means of bringing business to your company.

Sending out newsletters/updates to your existing/prospective customers is a great way of driving fresh interest to your service.

It’s important to use a service that can manage your email marketing effectively, many internet service providers don’t allow emails to be sent to more than 250 contacts at any one time. Your personal/business email is simply not designed to handle bulk mail-outs.

So what can I do?

There’s plenty of email marketing providers out there who offer specially designed systems to manage your newsletters.

Here’s a checklist of things you should look for in your email marketing provider:

Reliability – Check and make sure your provider can handle the amount of contacts you wish to send your newsletters to.

Tracking Tools – See how many people open your newsletter.

Compliance Checkers – Sending bulk email has legal Implications, Using a professional service ensures your on the right side of the law!

Subscriber Lists – Setup different contact lists for different newsletters.
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Why Use a Content Management System? (CMS)

A Content Management System (known as a CMS) is an online control panel that will allow you to update your company website from any computer in the world. Using a username and password you can login and update your website at any time of day or night.

A business website with a CMS will make it easy and affordable for you to add new pages, images, products, or downloads to your website. A CMS will also give you cost savings because you are able to make changes without employing your web designer at their expensive hourly rate.

The system will give you control over the web site content whilst still ensuring that you cannot damage the website. The web site design and layout will still need to be created by your web designers at the start of the project.


Choosing a Content Management System
You will want to test-drive the CMS provided by each web designer. You should ask them for a demonstration of their CMS. It should be straightforward to provide you with a username and password to test the CMS online.

Once you have access to the CMS you should think about:

1.Is the CMS easy to use?
2.Could you use this CMS every day to update your business website?
3.Can you easily add new pages, images and files to your website?
4.Can you upload word files, pdf files, audio and movies?
5.Does the system offer all the features you need?
6.Can you edit all the elements of your company website? You will need to be able to edit each page and also the Menu, Sidebars, Footer, Search Engine Meta Tags and Search Engine Descriptions.
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It's Toolkit Tea Time!


Designing websites is thirsty work and being websites designers, we certainly make sure we are never parched! Given the simply staggering caffeine intake our office consumes, I think its safe to say that we are a team of tea connoisseurs.

In fact we love tea so much we've put together a guide for the perfect Toolkit Cuppa'

Step 1.



Gather your Toolkit Mugs (make sure they are clean!) and pre-load the tea bags on a per mug basis. You can read dot net magazine (an office favourite for the web design team) whilst the kettle is boiling.

Step 2.



Boil kettle and add hot water to mug, leave for 1-2 minutes.

Step 3.



Use a teaspoon to squeeze the tea bag against the side of the mug to ensure tea is of a good strength (our technical manager Tristen is very keen on this step). Then remove the teabag.

Step 4.



Pour milk into mug for approximately 3 seconds, any longer than this and your staring down the barrel of a "milky cup" (a cardinal sin!). Once complete give a quick stir with the teaspoon and check the tea colour against the swatch list (see bottom of post) to make sure your on the right track.

Step 5.



Bring mugs to the rest of the website design team and utilise your new found popularity.

Toolkit tea is easily our most popular cuppa' in the office (all fairtrade too might I add) however under certain circumstances we do have other options such as green tea, earl grey, clipper, coffee, de-caff coffee and more recently raspberry tea (you should see our tea cupboard!).

If you found our tea process in depth you should check out the BBC version.

Toolkit Tea Swatch List

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How should I layout my website?

The layout and structure of your Web site Design is the ‘chassis’ that remains the same on every page throughout the website. A strong structure makes it easy for visitors to know where to go on your business website.

When a visitor first lands on your company website they will make an instant judgment about your company. It is important to have a professional layout in the Website Design . This will encourage visitors to stay and browse and then contact you or purchase your products.

Display your Logo. You want to build the brand of your company. The visitor will expect to see your logo at the top of the website design. Typically the logo will be in the top left hand corner.
Make the navigation easy. You want to make the navigation on your site as easy as possible for your website visitors to find what they are looking for. A clear menu and page structure is important.
Include standard pages. The modern website has evolved to include a number of pages that visitors expect to find on every website. The standard pages are: Home / About Us / Services or Products / Contact Us. Also every website should have a Site Map which lists every page on the site.
Create a Sitemap. Before you begin getting quotes for your website you should draw up a rough sitemap for your web site designer. A sitemap will give you an idea of the number of pages you need and what they will be. When you ask for quotes, your web design company will ask ‘Roughly how many pages do you need?’ and you should have an idea (even if you change your mind later).

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.
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New Toolkit Websites Team Member

We would like to officially welcome Alex Jones to the Toolkit Websites team. Alex will be managing the Support Team and helping our clients get the most out of their websites.
She has a keen eye for detail and loves to solve queries that even Morse would struggle with! She's also a recent graduate of the University of Southampton, Hampshire.

You can see a photo of Alex and read more on our website:

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/team



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How to Write Web Content

Content is one of the most important parts of your website. Visitors will not stay on your business website if the text is hard to read.

Search engines also use the content from your website to determine how highly you are ranked in the search results.Your business website content is your sales pitch and should provide visitors with as much information as they need about your business.
Tips for Writing Your Content

  • Use a Sitemap. List and name all the pages you would like to have on your company website. Then list the main points for each page.
  • Keep the Content Relevant. Don’t ramble about topics which are not related to your Main Points for each page on your business website
  • Use Lists Where Possible. Web readers often scan pages and lists make it easy to digest information on your website quickly
  • Use Headings and Sub-Headings. By splitting up the text on the website visitors can scan a whole page for the part that’s relevant to them.
  • Use a Spell-checker. You should spell-check and grammar-check your text thoroughly. Typos and badly written sentences on your business website will send visitors away faster than the speed of light.
Important Pages

  • Home Page. A short introduction to your company and website. Clear links to the most important parts of the website. An image of your team, your office or a stock photo relevant to your business.
  • About Us. Detailed information about your company, what you do, how long you’ve been in business and your aims.
  • Testimonials. A selection of testimonials from your clients explaining why they use your company and why you’re better than the competition.
  • Contact Us. This is the most important page. Add lots of different ways for visitors to get in touch with you.
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Getting Your Business Web Design Right!

Before you buy a website you should always ask to see some ideas of what the Website Designers could do for your company. Most web design companies will happily provide you with some initial ideas or a demo website.

It’s very important to get the design of your website looking good from the beginning. Here are some tips for achieving a good website design:

Don’t make your website too complicated. Avoid littering your website design with too many options, font sizes, graphics and colours. Make things clean, clear and simple and prospects are more likely to turn into clients.
Don’t overdo it on fancy design work. Creating a website is about selling your products and services to customers. Your Website Designers should not be trying to win design awards. Make it easy to navigate from A to B and go for a smart and professional looking design. The most successful website design in the world, Google.com, is also one of the simplest.

Avoid heavy use of flash. Creating a full flash website design is like making potential customers sit in a long queue - even before they can read your company brochure! Flash websites are not indexed by search engines and visitors are unable to bookmark them properly.

Select good images. Ensure you have chosen relevant, good-looking images that reflect your company ethos. Either use your own digital photos or you can find a wealth of professional high-resolution stock photographs on the web for your website design.

Use a modern design style. Some web designers are still stuck in the nineties. You need your website to look as though the site is new and fresh. This does not mean the website needs to be over-complicated. You just need to ensure that your Web site Design looks smart and professional.

Choose a smart colour scheme. Typically a two-tone colour scheme will give the best results. This means that you should choose one colour, for example blue, and then use two versions of that colour for the Web site Design . You could have a dark blue background with light blue rollovers for example. Always avoid colours that clash.
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Metro Again: Google told to hand over YouTube logs

Google must hand over details of every person who has ever watched a video on YouTube, a US court ruled.
The internet giant is being hit by a £500million lawsuit from entertainment company Viacom over copyright infringement.
The owner of channels such as Nickelodeon and MTV, Viacom claims that 160,000 unauthorised clips of its television shows have been uploaded on to YouTube and viewed more than 1.5billion times.
In seeking the user details, Viacom has been trying to prove that the site is almost solely reliant on viewing illegally downloaded clips.
But internet experts have warned the ruling potentially threatens the privacy of millions of internet users. Marcus Green, of internet consultancy Toolkit Websites, said: ‘Who knows what Viacom could do with that information.
‘It could create a precedent for other companies to get users’ search history.’
The ruling was only a partial victory for Viacom, which had also been seeking Google’s confidential search code – which reveals how the site works.
But this was a ‘trade secret’ and should not be disclosed, a court in New York ruled.
Viacom will not be allowed to use the user information for anything other than the current lawsuit, it added.
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=203414&in_pa

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We've moved!


We've moved offices to a new office in Carlton Crescent in Southampton. The place is shaping up nicely and starting to look really good.

Our new address is:

Toolkit Websites
30 Carlton Crescent
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EW


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Featured in the Metro

The Metro today ran a story about how the .com era was brought to an end yesterday as internet regulators allowed thousands of new domain names.
Here’s what Marcus, our founder, had to say on the topic:
Marcus Green, a web expert from Toolkit, warned: ‘There’s going to be a land grab for domain names.
If there are lots of different suffixes, there are lots more sites businesses have to register.
It will be expensive. It creates a big issue of web security.
It’s OK if you know what you’re doing but if you’re my mum or dad it’s going to add a whole new level of complexity.’
Read the full article:
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=194053&in_page_id=34
Get a small business website:
http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk
Here’s the full article:
Dot-com era brought to and end
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The .com era was brought to an end yesterday as internet regulators allowed thousands of new domain names.
In one of the biggest change to the web in its 25-year history, businesses were given the all-clear to apply for suffixes far more wide-ranging than the .org, .com or .info currently in use.
The new names could cover locations such as .london, industries such as ‘.bank’ or entertainment such as .gamble.
It could also pave the way for an online red light district where all adult sites carry the suffix .xxx.
But critics warned it would make the net a more complex and expensive place for small businesses and home users, while offering easy pickings for fraudsters and cybersquatters.
Yesterday’s move to open up the Internet was agreed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
It will replace the current system by which all addresses fall under 260 geographical or generic names.
The new names will start to appear from next year.
‘This is a historic resolution,’ said ICANN’s Peter Dengate.
‘It’s going to make a big difference to how the Internet looks and works.’
But there are a lot of details to be worked out, not least the cost of buying a domain.
Fees for top level names could be as high as £50,000.
ICANN still faces another tricky decision on whether to allow the .xxx suffix – an idea it has cleared once and then withdrawn.
Marcus Green, a web expert from Toolkit, warned: ‘There’s going to be a land grab for domain names.
If there are lots of different suffixes, there are lots more sites businesses have to register.
It will be expensive. It creates a big issue of web security.
It’s OK if you know what you’re doing but if you’re my mum or dad it’s going to add a whole new level of complexity.’


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