Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Toolkit Websites’ Jack Manley skydives for charity

Jack Manley, Toolkit Websites’ Sales Executive is skydiving on the 5th June to raise money for The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education Ltd in Hampshire. (Charity Registration No. 1096603)

Jack has previously thrown himself from a plane in the name of charity, raising money for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent in 2007, Jack was only 16 – the youngest skydiver in the group.

He is now repeating this terrifying feat for a really fantastic cause:

"At The Rainbow Centre we help children with Cerebral Palsy and adults with Parkinson's, MS and those recovering from a stroke learn to overcome their motor impairments through a system of learning called conductive education. It costs £45,000 a month to run The Centre where we currently help over 60 amazing children and 25 inspirational adults from all over the south of the UK."

The Rainbow Centre was established in 1990, and offers Conductive Education services to aid children with disabilities which cause delays in development such as Cerebral Palsy.
The centre also helps motor-impaired adults to gain mobility and independence. The charity relies solely on donations and receives no other financial support, raising money is the only way The Rainbow Centre can continue its amazing work. However, they require £400,000 a year to operate, so fund raisers like Jack are essential to the continuity of the charity.

Jacks target is £250.00 help him meet this by donating here at justgiving.com.


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Facebook launches new Deals application

We all like to get a good deal, and finding one may just have got easier. Facebook has announced a new application called ‘Deals’, allowing brands to offer promotions directly to customers through the Facebook site.
Users who ‘check in’ to locations using the mobile version of the social network can see all the local businesses nearby offering a deal. This can range from discounts to free merchandise, loyalty schemes to meal deals.
Imagine that while looking for a place to eat lunch, you could see offers from restaurants nearby on your phone. Or you’re after a new wardrobe; the application could tell you all the shops offering discounts! It’s the ideal tool to get customers in through your doors.
Big names such as Starbucks, O2 and YO! Sushi have already signed up meaning Facebook Deals is an application worth embracing for any business owner. Perhaps your customers could be missing out on your latest deal because it’s not on Facebook Deals? Maybe your clients are just waiting for your merchandise to appear on their phone!
It all sounds very promising, and with Foursquare and Google offering similar services this is a competitive market already. So potentially this could be great for companies and customers alike!

We can help you get your business on Facebook. Get in Touch!



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Thousands of Business Websites Go Down - Get Premium Hosting Now

Thousands of business websites have gone down today due to an administrative error, making it more important than ever to use a premium, business class domain name service for your company website.

Tech news blog, the Register are reporting that Talk Talk have apparently let a domain name used by thousands of people lapse. The ukgateway.net domain name was acquired by Talk Talk when they bought up UK Gateway, a company that provided websites for both businesses and personal use on the ukgateway.net domain name.

As the Register says:
“Those sites probably haven't gone altogether, but without the Domain Name Server entries which turn written addresses into IP numbers they are inaccessible.”

Here at Toolkit Websites, we host our websites on our top notch website hosting service that has seen 99.99% uptime over the last 10 years. We also have an automated domain name administration process to ensure that domain names within our administrative control do not expire.

Make sure your company website doesn't go down. Talk to us today about getting a premium online business presence on 02380 633644.
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A Toolkit Websites Bear


We create websites for a range of businesses. Plumbers, lawyers, travel companies, there's very few sectors we've not worked in over the years.

Every now and again, we get to make a website for a slightly more unusual business. This month, we're wrapping up the new website for Family Tree Bears, run by Chris Elliot. Family Tree Bears are individually crafted characters for the collector, coming with unique clothing and a family history.

Chris is really pleased with our service, and sent us a miniature one of her bears as a thank you. So without further ado, we'd like to introduce our Toolkit Websites bear, Rosie, named by one of our project managers, Cat.

Here's Chris' take on her Toolkit Websites experience:
"I don`t see how you could improve! have been impressed by how friendly and helpful everyone I`ve spoken to has been (Jack, Alex, Barnaby) Great, personal support and interest in my site from all staff."

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

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Local Spotlight : Jamies Computers

As a proud Southampton based business, Toolkit Websites is always looking to work with other local businesses.

Not surprisingly, as a website design company, we get through a fair bit of computer hardware over time. At the moment we're trying out a range of keyboards in the office to find out the best one for our needs, and of course things wear out over time as well.

So what do we do with the out of date computer hardware? Well, in-line with our company policy on trying to be as green as possible, we were pleased to hear about the IT disposal service offered by Jamie's Computers.

Part of the Society of St James, a charity that provides housing, care and support to homeless and vulnerable people in Southampton, Jamie's Computers offers IT disposals, training and refurbishments.

For us, the disposal service is perfect. Our older equipment goes off to help enable Jamie's computers to create work based training and voluntary opportunities for vulnerable people. They'll even come and collect your hardware for you, saving you a trip out the office.

So if you're a business looking to recycle your old IT equipment, why not get in touch with Jamie's Computers?


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


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Special Offer on Page Dressing

Many of our clients are taking up our page dressing service to add that little something extra to the key pages on their website. The service includes the creation of up to 3 bespoke static graphics, such as buttons or backgrounds, and the layout of your page content based around your needs.
The Page Dressing service is ideal for your home page to highlight important information, or to link to a form or your contact details.

We’re running a special offer on our page dressing service this month, where 1 page dressing costs £80+VAT, rather than the usual price of £95+VAT. To take up this special offer, please email us quoting MARCH2011 before the end of April 2011.

More on our Page Dressing service
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Facebook was bigger than Google Last Year - Your Business Needs to be on there!

We were very interested to read a post from social media experts Mashable.

According to Mashable, Facebook was the most searched word of 2010, and it was also the most visited website in 2010. Facebook was visited more often that Google in 2010!

As Mashable says:
"It’s only a matter of time until Facebook topples the entire Google empire, though. We’ve seen the trend develop for months: Facebook is getting bigger than Google. According to comScore, Facebook’s U.S. traffic grew by 55% in the last year and has shown no sign of slowing down."
What does this mean for our website design clients? Well, we've written in the past on our blog about how you can use a Facebook Fan Page to put your business on Facebook. This is definitely the best place to start.
A fan page gives your business a space on Facebook where you can post news, events, and updates about your business. It's a great way to stay in touch with your clients. If you'd like us to take the hassle out of getting one setup, we offer a Facebook Fan page setup service.
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Google change their algorithm, ‘Farmer update’ affects 12% of websites


On 24th February Google announced new changes to their search engine algorithm codename ‘Panda’ (renamed the ‘farmer update’). These changes were developed to decrease the rankings for low quality websites and content farms.

These websites often have large quantities of repeated and un-useful content which is often copied from other websites or used to trick search engines into ranking them high.

These changes mean that higher quality websites (those with original content, containing research data, reports and thoughtful analysis) will be at the top of the rankings.

Unfortunately some high quality websites have found that traffic has decreased since the new algorithm rolled out. Google are working on refining their algorithm, but aren’t making changes on a case by case basis.

Throughout the year Google make up to 500 changes to their algorithm, although rarely announce that there have been alterations. The new algorithm has only been rolled out in the U.S. although they are looking to expand the algorithm to all locations in the near future.

To make sure your business website does as well as possible on Google in light of the new algorithm, make sure you're updating your website regularly with good relevant content. If you'd like help learning how to use the Toolkit to update your website content, call the support team on 02380 633644 or check out our support website:

http://www.toolkitsupport.co.uk


Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.
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Valentine Design for Your Website

Love is most certainly in the air here at Toolkit Websites! Our team of dedicated cherubs are ready to shoot their heart shaped design arrows at your website to inject that little bit of lovin’ into your business!

At this time of year, everyone is looking for that perfect gift, that quiet weekend away for their loved one. It is estimated that Valentine’s Day sales are growing by 50% year-on-year in the UK with online sales showing the best results. With this in mind, we have created a range of sample headers and graphics aimed at wooing your clients into falling in love with your offerings all over again!

If you're running a Valentine's promotion, it's definitely worth looking at some headers or bespoke graphics to match and add that little some extra to your website.
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Going Above and Beyond with Unlimited Design Changes


Here's another post from our passionate service series, looking at how unlimited design changes mean our clients always get the best from their design.

Very little in life runs smoothly, and a web design project is no different from anything else. One of our project managers, Cat, was working with Ruth Skinner on her new website for her new bed and breakfast. Cat had put together a beautiful design, and they were very nearly ready to start work on the content layouts when Ruth got some bad news.

The planning permission for the bed and breakfast had been refused! Ruth had to go away and think of a new business plan. She decided to use her great location to open a pub. But this meant she needed a whole new website design to work for a pub, and there was no way the bed and breakfast design would work for her.

Now, at this point, some web design companies would say " Well, as we've nearly completed your project and we'll have to start again from scratch, that will be a whole new website." And charge accordingly. But because Ruth had come with us, and our web design packages always come with unlimited design chages, Cat was able to say "No Problem" and put together a completely different design for a new pub.


And what a lovely design it is! Take a look at the website here:

http://www.thesuttonplough.co.uk

Ruth Skinner from The Sutton Plough had this to say about her Toolkit Experience:

"I think you provide a very well organised and structured service, infact you've thought of everything! It's all worked very smoothly and Cat has been great, so thank you!"

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You need a Call to Action on your Website


If you're working with website design company like Toolkit Websites, you'll probably hear the term "Call to Action" being bandied about. Whilst it does sound a bit like marketing jargon, it is actually some thing extremely important to consider when putting your new website together.

A "Call to Action" (CTA) is a part of your website that encourages the website visitor to complete an action on the website, such as filling in a form, or contacting you.

It's amazing how many people hide their contact forms away with small links on the bottom of their websites for example. We've recently updated our website to use new CTA graphics to encourage visitors to use our new live chat service.

What seems to work best to convince visitors to take action when visiting your website, is to give them a nice big shiny button to click on. If you're going to go down this route, here's some things to keep in mind:

1.Think about colour.

To make your call to action button stand out from the website, it's best to have your button designed using colours that contrast strongly with the rest of your design. This will help the button catch the eye of the website user. If you have a blue website for example, you might like to consider an orange button as this is the opposite colour on the colour wheel. Or if you have a mainly black design, a white button would work well.

2. Think about positioning.

As mentioned earlier, it's no good hiding away important links at the bottom of a website. The best places to put your call to action button are at the top or centre of your website so they are the most prominent element of the design. Remember to put lots of space around your button so it can been seen in it's own right, and not get confused with other elements.

3. Think about time.

You can increase the number of clicks on your button if you can convey a sense of urgency through it. For example having the text "Contact Us Now" sounds more urgent than "Contact Us" or simply "Contact". Adding information on how long a process will take can also help with convincing users to act. You could try "Get a Response in 30mins" on a button to a contact form for example.

And finally...

4. Think about size.

Most people think that their logo should be the largest thing on their website. Not so. The largest, most prominent element on the website should be your Call to Action. Your logo alone will not convince people to contact you, but a cleverly written Call to Action that really catches the eye might just do the trick.

So, if you'd like to get more from your website, consider adding a prominent call to action on the site. We can design bespoke buttons for your website for any purpose.

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Europe’s #1 Browser goes to.... Firefox!


So it has happened. Firefox is finally the dominant force in web browsers throughout Europe!
The young fox took its first steps on the big stage by releasing Firefox V1.0 on November 9th 2004. Internet Explorer, more commonly known as IE had been dominating the browser market for years. In fact up until 2003 – 2004 when IE released IE 5 and 6, Microsoft catered for a formidable 95% of users who browsed the World Wide Web.

Whilst IE has been in a steady decline, Firefox has been growing in popularity. The main reasons for this are due to its speed, features and abundance of available add-on extensions. Some standard features include a spell checker, download manager, customizable skins and live book marking just to name a few!

But one of the best features Firefox has to offer is its browser security. Unlike IE, which is widely known for its regularly exploited security flaws and loop holes. Firefox developers are constantly trying to address vulnerabilities and release patches when necessary.

So in December, the open-source Firefox stole the lead in the European market share by recording 38.1 percent while IE shares slipped to 37.5 percent. Another browser, Google Chrome saw shares rise to 14.6 percent from just 5.1 percent the year earlier. It is believed that Google Chrome is taking the shares from IE whilst Firefox is maintaining its stand in the market.
Globally, IE still remains the market leader, but it seems they are losing the strong grip they once had!

Find out why we love Firefox on ToolkitSupport.co.uk

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