Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Why Favicons are Important for Your Brand

It's the little things that matter. That's why we offer a bespoke favicon service here at Toolkit Websites. If you look at the address bar of your web browser, you can see our little cogs logo. This is our favicon. It'll appear in your bookmarks folder if you bookmark one of our websites, it appears in that address bar, and on your tabs in your browsers.

So why do you need one? Well, favicons build brand identity by getting your logo all over the internet. The more you logo and company name seems familiar to people, the better.

Let's face it, the little icons are cool. They make your website look less generic, more professionally designed. That 16x16 px square is prime website property, and you don't want the huge no - no of your website suppliers icon appear there, or worse no icon at all. You definately shouldn't be advertising your website supplier on a website that you're paying for to advertise your business. Lots of websites will just display the standard one of the web browser. What a missed oppourtunity!

There's a good reason for favicons being prime property online. Bookmarking! If people bookmark your website, it's probably going to go into a long list in their bookmarks folder. Having your logo next to your name will make that link in the bookmarks folder more recognisable and therefore one that people are more likely to click on.

It's the same with tabbed browsing. When people have multiple tabs open, and jump from site to site, having a favicon next to your website title will again provide a quick visual reminder which tab belongs to your and your website.

If you'd like a favicon for your business website, check out our favicon design page

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Going Green at Toolkit Websites

Spring is supposedly in the air and we website designers have been inspired to be more green. Here's how we're trying to make our working environment greener.
  • We try to be a practically paper free office, and email or IM each other messages rather than using scraps of paper or post it notes
  • We have a paper recycling bin.
  • None of us here in the Southampton Office drive to work, choosing to walk, cycle or take the bus when it's raining really hard! :o) We even have a bike shed in the old coal cellar.
  • We only print things out when it's really necessary.
  • We have lots of plants in the office to improve the air quality.
  • We always try to boil the kettle for a full round of tea not to waste any hot water.
  • We have real towels in the loos so there's no paper towel waste or hand dryers using electricity.
  • We use Ecover cleaning products in our staff kitchen.
  • We make Richard recycle a plastic bag when he goes to the shop to buy sandwiches.
  • We turn off our computers and monitors when we go home in the evening.
Have you got any suggestion on how we can be even more Green?

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Toolkit Websites Team become Film Stars!

Last week at Toolkit Websites, your website designers became film stars for the day.

Carl and Dpamben from Made in the Shade came to our Southampton offices to film a new corporate video about Toolkit Websites.

We're hoping it will help old and new clients get a feel for Toolkit Websites and what we can do for their businesses.

We had great fun rearranging the office to get the right shots and watching everyone when it was time for their close up.
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Use Facebook Pages to Market your Business!

Want a free way to market your business? What about on Facebook? Whilst you might not use Facebook for your social networking, its almost a given that some of your potential customers are users.

Facebook have some great ways you can market you business including the Share button which can be built into your website allowing people to post your website to their profile and traditional pay per action style ads with advanced targeting.
Here at Toolkit Websites we use, Facebook Pages. As an organisation, you can't have a profile under the terms of use, but you can have a 'Page' which you can use like a profile build a community. Here's our Facebook page.
You can create a company page from when logged into your profile by clicking on the Advertising link in the footer. By choosing a category, naming the page, and completing a number of fields, your page will be created. You can then share it with others, and they can choose to become 'Fans' of your 'Page'
As people become fans of your company's page, it will pop up on their news feed, revealing to the rest of their Facebook friends that you have added the page. It then links the page name with your page, driving more people to click on the link to your page and have a look.
To make your Facebook page really useful as a marketing tool, you will need to add a range of content to make it appealing:
  • Discuss your products and services using the wall and discussion board to get valuable feedback.
  • Upload videos about your products or services.
  • Upload photos and tag your fans to generate subtle publicity in their Photo feeds.
  • Share details of your events.
  • Set up an RSS feed of your website or blog updates so the latest content from your business is available to your fans.
  • Post client testimonials.
  • Encourage existing clients to become your fan on Facebook to generate a sense of community.

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.
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Good Online Customer Service for your Business

As Web designers, we know the internet makes our lives so much more convenient. You can use the web to make purchases and interact with businesses on the other side of the world. However, there is a downside to this. The internet often feels like a faceless medium, making it easy for scammers to rip people off, as it seems like there is no way to hold people accountable online. Understandably, this might put people off using the internet to do business.
This is where good online customer service comes in. In order to use the internet successfully to boost your business, you need to make sure you Reassure Your Customers and create a pleasant online experience for them. It doesn’t matter if your site is an E-commerce site or simply an online brochure, all the advice below applies.
Make your self accessible.
Provide your customers with as many ways as possible to get in touch with you. Then add this information to your site as prominently as possible. Lots of people will visit a company site to find a telephone number, as they prefer to talk to a ‘real person’ rather than wait for an email.
It’s also good to have an online contact form that automatically emails the customer query to you. These can be easily implemented into any website. Why not ask your website designer to add this to your site?
Have a FAQ page.
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and an FAQ page is a page of just that, frequently asked questions about your business. Collate the questions you are often asked by customers and add them to page along with your answers. You can often get good ideas for these pages by imagining what sort of thing you would want to know as a customer about your business, or by checking out your competitors’ websites.
When you’ve created a FAQ page, make sure the page is easily accessible by adding links to it in your menu bar, and on your contact page on your company website. Customers may then be able to find the answer to their question without having to contact you directly, thus saving you time.
Manage and Meet expectations.
On your contact page, terms and conditions page or shipping information page on your business website, to set out how long customers can expect to wait during their interactions with you. If it’s going to take a day to respond to their emails, make sure you say that somewhere on the site, and fire off a quick reply to their email saying that you’ve received the email and will reply in more detail within 24 hours. Then make sure you make a note of the email and reply in more detail within those 24 hours.
Use this model for any kind of interaction with the customer. Let them know how long it will take, and make sure it happens within that time frame.

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Why All Flash Sites Lose Customers

Flash is a type of animation software that can be used to create animated features on your website. Flash can look really impressive and lots of people ask if they can have site that are built completely in Flash with animated menus and features.
However pretty these sites look, they loose customers. Why?
Software issues. To view an all Flash site, the customer has to have Flash installed on their computer. If they don’t they won’t be able to view the site correctly, or in the worst case scenario, view the site at all! This can also happen if they customer is using an older version of Flash to the one that was used to create your site. If a visitor can’t use your site, you’re turning potential customers away! You can avoid this by using Flash sparingly in your site such as only having one animated header. If your customers don’t have Flash installed they’d still be able to view the rest of the site, even if the banner didn’t work.
Search Engine Optimisation.
Search engines can’t see images, they can only read text. The same goes for Flash. Any text, content, navigation or headings that are embedded in the Flash are going to be invisible to the search engines and won’t help towards your search engine rankings. Again you’d be loosing customers before they ever see your site.
Ease of Use.
Flash means you can have unusual and interesting navigation on your site with items appearing and disappearing as you wish. However websites perform best when the navigation matches what people expect to find on websites. That means menus across the top of the page or down the left side, and a consistent layout on every page. If the navigation is too complicated, people will just give up and look at another site. The same goes for if they have to site through Flash introductions, other wise known as Splash pages.
Load Time.
Flash takes longer to load than HTML. If you have an all Flash site, your customers are going to be waiting for longer to view your site. Just like with easy to use navigation, if your site takes too long to load, people will just go to another, quicker to load website.

Flash is best when used sparingly like icing on a cake. You wouldn’t want to eat a cake made completely from icing no matter how pretty it looked. Animated headers and banners are good because they provide an emotive introduction to your business giving information up front, and some Flash elements like buttons can add a nice touch to a site. Just don’t go over board!

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