Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Social Media Day #SMDay

Mashable are the creators of this national day. Mashable first launched Social Media Day in 2010 to commemorate and celebrate the ways social media has changed our world, both big and small.

We LOVE Social Media. And the main reason is because it arms all of our clients with a FREE marketing tool to promote, gain traction and sell their products and services. Having a brilliant Social Media presence can do the world of good to your website and business campaign, and really, every business should be online!

We're celebrating at Toolkit Headquarters with a Social Media picnic. You name it, we'll have it. Cupcakes, sweets and biscuits. We're drooling just thinking about it. But what we're also doing today is offering a Special Offer on all of our Social Media products.

Whether you would like to have your social media accounts branded, or set-up, or if you simply want your Social Media accounts integrated onto your website for you, simply get in touch with us today and receive 20% off!*

Also, seeing as it's Social Media day, take a look at our tips and guides for using Business Accounts for your Social Media Platforms.

Social Media Etiquette
Dealing with bad online reviews
The effect Social Media has on the News industry
Feeling Social?
Is your Mother on Facebook?
All about Instagram
Don't make a hash of it
Why Facebook and Twitter are must have's
An intro to Pinterest, for your business
Making the most of FREE Social Media
What's a like worth?
Top 10 for your Social Media Marketing
A blog about Social Media
Toolkit's guide to Blogging Platforms
Creating your own hashtag on Twitter
How to set up a Google+ page
Customising your Twitter Page
Setting up a business Twitter Page
Customising your Facebook Page
Setting up a business Facebook Page
Toolkit's guide to Social Media Accounts
The rise of Youtube

*You must have a website account with us for any Social Media set-ups. Offer is valid on the 30th June 2016 only. 
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Website of the Week: La Cloche at The Carpenters

This week's website of the week goes to La Cloche at The Carpenters. The Carpenters is a country pub and restaurant in the heart of the village of Sunninghill.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a website with full size backdrop images, as the client provided beautiful high-resolution images of their premises, for us to use. The home page uses a light out of focus image, with the logo and extra navigation down the left hand side, in the style of specials boards you sometimes see in pubs and restaurants.

The home page has a panel along the bottom with links to the more important pages, each with a cool hover over effect on the images.

The Food and Drink page features a layout that is set to mimic the style of an actual menu, with easy to use links and navigation. Downloads are great because it means that it makes a page more concise, and people can download or print the menus for use later on.

The gallery page features a collection of their high resolution images for people to flick through, using a lightbox effect to enlarge them.

The font used is easy to read, and very clean looking. Google fonts like these make a change from the standard web safe fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. The font used here is called Roboto, giving it a modern but sharp look so that the text is easy to read.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly awarded us 5 out of a possible 5 stars and said "What's great about Toolkit Websites? The speed of getting everything together and excellent communication."

Are you looking for a new design for your restaurant or pub? Contact us.
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Examples of GREAT Social Media Marketing

It's 2016, and nowadays you'd find it very difficult to find a company that isn't using Social Media. In fact, if you came across a company these days that had no Social Media presence, you'd wonder why not and may even forget about it and move onto a company that does.

Social Media is where people go to see what the company is like. Have they got a cool voice? An edgy brand? Are they offering promotions and discounts exclusively on Social Media which can't be found anywhere else? Social Media is also the place you can go to see how a company interacts with it's customers, do they respond in good time and give helpful advice? Do they have good reviews and if not how do they handle that? Do they post relevant and useful information?

As a business owner it can be difficult to tell what social media platforms suits your business and which accounts you should sign up for. The best thing to do is take a look at what other brands are doing and how they are utilising social media to boost their marketing. You don't have to have every social media platform going. For example, if you don't have video content to share, there is no point having a youtube or vimeo account.

We've listed some examples below of different companies using different platforms so you can see how it could be done.

Oreo - On Twitter

Oreo know exactly how to market their product. With a quirky, modern and fun Twitter account, you can see animations, information on products or ideas on how to use their products and more on their feed. Keeping up with current affairs, and using puns and jokes in interaction with their target audience, Oreo manage to maintain over 814,000 Twitter followers and fans. You could take tips from them by: Joining in with funny or light hearted trends or topics.

@TEDTalks - On Youtube

TED talks has a video for any subject and topic you can think of. Simply take a look at topics you're interested in and the suggestions are there! TED talks opens up discussion about a range of issues and topics, which is why their Twitter account has more than two million followers! They also have a Youtube channel with recommended and extra content. Putting topics out there and encouraging engagement is a brilliant way of making sure your Social Media accounts are being interacted with, which is great for SEO on your website too. You could take tips from them by: Talking about industry related topics and putting your spin on them.

NASA - On Twitter

NASA don't bore people with long winded or scientific posts, they know how to work their target audience by posting intriguing content including photos and video from it's Rover, brilliant jokes and puns that will tickle those budding scientists among us, and of course they keep us up to date with Tim Peake's movements and news.  With over 16.4 million people following their Twitter feed, it's no surprise that their posts get brilliant engagement. You could take tips from them by: Giving people a behind-the-scenes special. Give them access to areas of the business that aren't usually seen, and appeal to your target audience.

Starbucks - On Instagram

Starbucks has real success with Instagram marketing because of the variety of posts they add to the picture app. It's not all about pictures of coffee, they use clever features for seasonal products, they share pictures their users have posted which relate to their brand and they are always making great use of hashtags to remain on trend and relevant. You could take tips from them by: Taking artistic photos that are relevant to your business, and sharing them with your followers. Got a product that people love? Get them to Insta themselves with it, using a hashtag you have created to spread the word.

Airbnb - On Vine and Youtube

Airbnb made a short film made entirely of Vine videos for the Sundance festival. It is spliced together from multiple six-second videos, some created by its users from instructions given out on Twitter. You could take tips from them by: Getting your target audience to get involved and send material that you could use on social media. Think of an idea for a video that could potentially go viral!

Toolkit Websites - On Facebook

We have to take this opportunity to self promote, right? Well we think our Facebook page ties in really well with our other Social Media accounts. We have a topic a day, which is then discussed further on our Twitter, Google Plus and even here on our Blog. We like to engage clients in discussion with different topics that relate to our industry, give them behind the scenes sneak peeks, exclusive deals and of course an insight into our products and offerings. You could take tips from us by: Finding topics you like to write about and sharing them with your target audience. Creating guides to certain services you offer or advice and sharing interesting articles and content.

Other articles that might be of interest to you:

How to gain more followers on Social Media
Social Media etiquette
Toolkit's Guide to blogging platforms
Toolkit's Guide to Social Media Accounts
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It's the time of year where people are booking their Summer Holiday or have already been on it! The team at Toolkit Websites love travel, and are always keen to get at least one trip in a year where possible. Taking a break away from the computer is a must-do and the summer is the perfect time for it.

We have done plenty of travel sites, from villas to bespoke tours in different countries, you can see these in our travel portfolio. 

Below the team talk about their holiday plans for this year! Get in touch with us on Twitter and tell us about yours with the hashtag #summerholidays

Lanara Mitchell - Senior Project Manager.

"This year I did three countries in 5 days! My partner and I headed for Prague in the Czech Republic. It's a brilliant place to go and offers an array of different architecture styles to look at. The astronomical clock draws a large crowd on the hour every hour, and Charles Bridge is a central attraction. We headed from there to Vienna in Austria before taking on Budapest in Hungary. Budapest was much more of an appeal than Vienna, and we enjoyed a boat cruise along the Danube, followed by a fresh sea food meal by the water later that evening. We packed in as much as we could in a week before heading back home. We left with very sore feet but very happy smiles!"

Michael Gibson - Account Manager

This year, me and my girlfriend will be visiting the sunny climates of Majorca. Both looking to get the best for our money, we went for a simple holiday. However we are looking forward to spending 7 nights in the sun, drinking cocktails and enjoying the laid back approach. Our adventure will consist of trying our absolute hardest not to adventure far from the pool.

José Nobréga - Senior Sales Exec

This June, I got the opportunity to go to France for the Euros all thanks to Coca Cola to watch Germany vs Poland. Myself and my wife decided to go for 2 days along with 2 of our closest friends, which meant we got to see the game, but also visit the major Landmarks i.e. Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc De Triumph, and a few others. The View from our hotel room was of the Moulin Rouge Theatre which was fantastic. The food in France was good as always, although the locals though it was funny to tell me that I was eating Horse! The French people as well as all the other countries fans who had come over for the Euros made the atmosphere very pleasant and entertaining! Would definitely go back and visit Paris.

Paul Langton - Senior Sales Exec

Barbados, or known locally as 'little England'' is truly a remarkable island. The culture, the people, the history, the climate and the way in which they speak and express themselves by always wanting to do more for you are integral part of the Barbadian culture. Sugar is the prime export for Barbados along with Mount Gay Rum. The latter certainly played an important role whilst I was there featuring in many of my drinks and the locals handing it to you like it was water with the strap line ''Time Flies When You're Having RUM''. Cricket is the main national sport of Barbados where you will find many pitches and people of all ages enjoying. A highlight for me was going on a catamaran booze cruise with Barbadian food, swimming with turtles the size of an adult human!

Tom Watson - Junior Web Developer

So this year my adventure holiday wasn't too far from home. My short adventure holiday took me across Scotland, Wales and England climbing to the highest peak in each country. I put aside 4 days to travel across the United Kingdom to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. I had only previously climbed Snowdon and it turns out Snowdon is far easier then the other two. Each mountain was climbed the day after the last which meant at least a 4 hour drive after each days climb.

My more relaxing holiday this year is in Austin, Texas where I am attending a convention hosted by RoosterTeeth, RTX. Looking forward to some great Texas BBQ!

Megan Thompson - Passionate Support

I recently returned from my summer holiday in Gran Canaria with my partner. It was a super chilled holiday, we spent at least 3 hours a day by the pool sunbathing! We really enjoyed visiting the zoo and seeing lots of exotic animals, as well as shopping in the local markets. The only downside of any holiday is coming home, although there's nothing better than a good sleep in your own bed. 

Jamie Holmes - Developer Liaison

I will be going to Bristol for the Balloon Fiesta. As someone who enjoys ballooning, it is a relaxing break, but the early mornings can be a killer if the wind isn't behaving! The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held annually in England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to the site and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time.
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Website of the Week: Smart Signs Group

This week's website of the week goes to Smart Signs Group. Smart Signs are a family run sign & graphics company with branches in Bracknell, Berkshire and Hedge End, Southampton.

Senior Project Manager Andy, began firstly by creating a full width, responsive website design with a full width panel slide show at the top of the website. The page has parallax image scrollers, that use a watermark of the logo for texture. The blue and pink filters work really well instead of using a solid colour, and the clients branding is strong throughout the pages.

The home page features a good use of graphic icons, instead of photos to lay out what services are available.

The gallery page features hi-res images with a pink filter hover over to read more information about the image in question.

The font used is easy to read, and very clean looking. Serif fonts can look quite corporate whereas Sans Serif keep a professional look with a more modern feel.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly said that we are "Very thorough, very organised and friendly"

Are you looking for a new design to showcase your work? Contact us.

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Father's Day 2016 - Southampton

It's that time of year again! Father's day. The same old conundrum of what to do with your Dad or what to get him as a gift ... so look no further, we've done the research and leg work for you!

There are numerous things you could be doing this Sunday with your old man. Whether he's into action and adventure, or something a bit more mellow, Southampton has something to offer everyone! Of course, Father's day doesn't just have to be for Dad's. If you've got a well-deserving single Mum who you'd like to treat, or even a grandparent, the below can apply to them too!

#1 SeaCity Museum - Opposite Southampton's BBC headquarters this innovative, state-of-the-art museum focuses on Southampton and its connection with the sea, including the city’s Titanic heritage and the stories of the people who have travelled in and out of the city through the ages.

It's an interactive experience designed for visitors of all ages.

#2 The Tudor House and Garden -  Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location at the heart of the Old Town. It appeals to visitors of all ages and interests, who find the family-friendly activities, interactive technology and fascinating displays a winning combination.

#3 Southampton Football Club - For those Saints fans among us, a trip to the football club would be a winner! A tour of the ground or tickets to a match could mean you're in your Dad's good books for the whole year!

#4 Alpine Snowsports Centre - Nestled in the trees at the 150-acre Outdoor Sports Centre, the Alpine Snowsports Centre caters for all your winter sport needs all year round. Beginner or advanced - the centre caters for all. For the more adventurous Dad, you could take to the slopes together!

#5 Ambush Paintball and Laser Tag - Set in hundreds of acres of natural woodland but with easy access from main roads, Ambush has been a successful paintball venue since the late 1980’s. If you're feeling competitive, or you have a group of family members that would love a day out like this, this is the place for you!

#5 Beaulieu - Okay, so this one is a bit more of a trek from Southampton centre, but at the heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu is an award-winning family day out with something for everyone.

#6 First Class Sailing - Ever wanted to cast off and sail into the sunset? Or perhaps just wanted to have a go in a boat and see what it is like? This could be a great course to sign up for if your Dad would like to learn how to sail a boat! It could be a great team bonding exercise too.

#7 Go Ape - Who doesn't like climbing? This could make even the old feel light hearted ;) Tucked away in 440 acres of beautiful woodland and meadows close to the River Itchen. Go Ape Southampton, Itchen Valley Country Park is perfect for a family days out in Hampshire.

#8 Marwell Wildlife Park - For the ultimate animal lover, Marwell is an excellent day out. Marwell is a relaxing and fascinating park at the heart of wildlife conservation. There are over 180 species of animals, from tiny ants to the tallest giraffe.

#9 New Forest Wildlife Centre - Wander through the woodland in this lovely wildlife park, in the beautiful New Forest. Make friends with the sika and fallow deer who follow you around or marvel at the watchful wolves or the cheeky otters.

#10 Royal Victoria Country Park  - Royal Victoria Country Park is just on the outskirts of Southampton and is a great place to watch the busy shipping coming in and out of Southampton.  You can also dip your toes in the sea as there is a stone beach to walk along as well.

There are plenty of other suggestions to. Whether it's heading to Leisure World to catch a film, Go Karting or Bowling, Southampton has plenty for you to do.

Why not let us know your Father's Days plans on Twitter, using the hashtag #fathersdayplans
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Website of the Week: Fresh Ink Studios

This week's website of the week goes to Fresh Ink Studio 1. Fresh Ink Studio provides a high quality service specialising in tattoos, laser removals and piercings.

Senior Project Manager Andy, began firstly by creating a full width, responsive website design with a full width panel slide show at the top of the website. The content was styled using the handwriting font to be in keeping with the feel of the logo branding. The logo has been used as a watermark on the pages to keep the brand theme running throughout.

The website features a neutral colour scheme so that the images are the main focus. The colours of the site are neutral using black, white and the watermark grey.

Each page uses a consistent layout and theme, with the relevant image and text per page. The website is a simplistic layout which means that on tablet and mobile view, it is just as enjoyable to view.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly said "the service at Toolkit Websites is 100 percent!"

Are you a tattoo artist looking for a new website design to showcase your work? Contact us.

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Search Console

You may have heard of Google Search Console, previously Google Webmaster Tools. It is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimise visibility of their websites.

It's a service that gives you feedback about how your website is doing in Google search results. A bit like Google Analytics, it has two primary functions. To monitor your performance in Google Search results and to show you how Google 'sees' your website.

The Search Analytics reports can help answer important questions such as what type of searches bring people to your site, where they are clicking on your website and more.

It allows you to:

  • Submit and check a sitemap.
  • Check and set the crawl rate, and view statistics about when Googlebot accesses a particular site.
  • Write and check a robots.txt file to help discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt accidentally.
  • List internal and external pages that link to the site.
  • Get a list of links which Googlebot had difficulty crawling, including the error that Googlebot received when accessing the URLs in question.
  • See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings. (Previously named 'Search Queries'; rebranded May 20, 2015 to 'Search Analytics' with extended filter possibilities for devices, search types and date periods).
  • Set a preferred domain (e.g. prefer example.com over www.example.com or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs.
  • Highlight to Google Search elements of structured data which are used to enrich search hit entries (released in December 2012 as Google Data Highlighter)
  • Demote Sitelinks for certain search results.
  • Receive notifications from Google for manual penalties.
  • Provide access to an API to add, change and delete listings and list crawl errors.

Why is this important?

Search Console can generate reports for your site—for free! It might be a few days before you see useful information because it must first gather and process the data. You can use the reports to figure out how to improve your presence on Google. Using the reports, you can make changes to help Google better understand your web pages and as a result make your website perform better.

Get started here today.
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The Psychology of picking your colour scheme

Recently, we had a client suggest that we write a post about colours and their meanings. So here it is!

Colours have different meanings that affect our thinking, feelings and thoughts. They have deep subliminal and symbolic meanings that sometimes we're not even aware of. Being faced with a colour choice can be quite daunting, when you are deciding on your company branding. Before you think about the design of your logo or branding, you should have also thought about the appropriate colours that will reflect a good message and overall tone.

As with many things in design, colour is subjective. It can evoke different reactions from different people for different reasons! This is all down to personal preference and obviously you can't please everyone. Taking a look into what different colours represent or mean, may help you decide what colour scheme is most suitable for your business.

We have laid out what each colour symbolises or represents below but in brief here is a quick list below: 

Red: Passion, Love, Anger
Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality
Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Deceit
Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature
Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness
Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth
Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil
Grey: Moody, Conservative, Formality
White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue
Brown: Nature, Wholesomeness, Dependability
Tan or Beige: Conservative, Piety, Dull
Cream or Ivory: Calm, Elegant, Purity

Warm colours include: red, orange, yellow and variations of these three colours. They resemble fire, autumn, sunsets, sunrises, positivity and happiness. Both red and yellow are primary colours with orange between them. These can be used within design to reflect passion, happiness and energy. 

Red is a popular colour with branding, but it can also be associated with violence and blood. Research has shown that red has actually been seen to enhance human metabolism and raise blood pressure! Red has different meanings in different cultures also. In China for example, red is the colour of prosperity and happiness. In South Africa, however, red is the colour of mourning.

The perfect way to use red in your branding or design is to use it as an accent colour. Small doses of it, as call to actions or hover over colours is a great way of introducing it into your design without it being overwhelming

Orange is associated with Autumn and sunsets and rises. It's a vibrant colour that can represent change or health. Like red, orange is a colour that can be very dominant and works better as an accent colour. However, it can be very strong colour to bring attention to your brand and any call to actions you might have.

Yellow is considered the brightest of the warm colours and can be associated with hope, and happiness. Yellow in it's brightest form could be too bright for company branding, but there are lighter and softer shades of it that work quite well. Dark yellows echo a gold colour which can give a high end feel to a brand, or they could be used in a design that is more vintage styled. A pastel yellow is often used as a gender neutral colour for those steering away from either pink or blue.

Cool colours include: Green, blue, and purple. These are more often associated with colours of night, water and nature. They tend to be calming and relaxing.

Green is very popular with companies that have an eco-friendly aim or are nature/ garden related. It's fresh, it represents vitality and green living, and can be used in a number of shades from emerald to lime green.

Blue is a popular colour in design. It's very corporate and there are many companies that use it in it's varying shades. Sky, LinkedIn, Faceboo, Twitter and IBM all use blue, and it is seen as a formal colour in darker shades, and a friendlier feel in it's lighter shades.

The meaning of blue is widely affected depending on the exact shade and hue. In design, the exact shade of blue you select will have a huge impact on how your designs are perceived. Light blues are often relaxed and calming. Bright blues can be energising and refreshing.

Purple is a colour that has been associated with royalty. It’s associated with creativity and imagination, too. Purple can be a choice for luxury companies or high end products. Whereas lavender and lilac tones are often used in beauty or pampering designs. A slate purple is a popular colour for people that are looking for something more understated with a feminine undertone.

Pink is a colour often chosen for companies that are leaning towards the female market. But not always! It can be used as a brilliant accent colour for call to actions. Recruitment and sales companies have often times used pink just because it's the colour they'd be least likely to pick.

Neutral colors are often used as the basis of a design. They’re commonly combined with brighter accent colours. But if you want to use a neutral colour in your branding, it's important to take a look at their associations too, because even neutral colours have meanings and moods.

Black is a commonly used neutral colour. It's associated with power, elegance, and formality. It can also be associated with being outdated and old fashioned (as in black and white movies.) Depending on your industry this could be a good or bad thing. It can also give a very high end feel, like that of a black tie dress code. It can give a very sleek look to a website. Product websites for example don't favour a black design because you want your products to be the main focus of attention, which is normally achieved on a white backdrop with coloured buttons. It's important to think of your target audience too.
White is at the opposite end of the spectrum from black, and in the same way is great with the use of an accent colour. White is often associated with purity, cleanliness, and virtue. A lot of websites that sell products use a white background, and so do clinical websites such as dentists, doctors and surgeons.

It can help to convey cleanliness and simplicity and is popular in minimalist designs. It can make any accent colour take centre stage, meaning call to actions and buttons that you want people to click are easier and clear to see. Designs that are minimal tend to suit a certain type of industry though, so it's important to take a look at design examples using your colour scheme to see what they've done too.

Grey is a colour that has risen in trend.  It can sometimes be considered moody or depressing but light shades of it used alongside other colours can look really sleek. Dark greys can be used instead of the heavy contrast of black, to be less harsh in design. It is usually a formal colour but can give a website a modern feel to it also. Corporate designs favour shades of grey, as it's sophisticated.

Brown is a colour often used in trade services such as carpenters and flooring solution companies. Brown is associated with the earth, wood, and stone. Not only is it a natural colour but it can be warm too.

It’s also seen in wood textures and sometimes in stone textures. A dark brown can be quite formal, where a lighter shade of brown can lend itself to a more modern feel.

There are plenty more colours that you can use, and it's a great idea to take a look at a palette tool to show what colours go together and which contrast.

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Toolkit's Guide to QR Codes

QR or Quick Response Codes are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smar tphones or dedicated QR apps, that link directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more. 

With over half of us now owning smart phones, QR Codes have the potential to have a huge impact on advertising and marketing. The QR code also makes it an interactive experience and something people can do on the go. 

If you have a smart phone there are a number of different bar-code scanner applications such as Red Laser, Barcode Scanner and QR Scanner that can read and decode data from a QR code. You can also create a QR code using the free websites below:

A QR Code is an 'image-based hypertext link' that can be used off-line – any URL can be encoded into a QR Code. For example you could have it link to your social media account.  Facebook for example, have provided the QR code above so that people can message you easily and quickly.

You could have your QR code in newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets and on business cards for people to scan. You could have them printed on product packaging or labels, or advertisements of any type.

A QR code is meant for print, rather than on the web. If you placed your QR code onto your website, it would be pretty pointless. You want people to be inspired to get their phone out and scan your QR code. So it should be included in eye catching promotional material like a flyer or leaflet. It's a great way to get traffic to your web pages, in order to see more clients or customers sign up or buy!
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Website of the Week: Incredible Careers

This week's website of the week goes to Incredible Careers. Incredible Careers is a professional talent management agency specialising in TV and media industries.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a full width, responsive website design using cartoon/sketch style imagery instead of photos. The content was styled using the handwriting font from the logo in some areas, and boxes to segregate certain sections.

The website features a slide show of graphic style images, the clients testimonials in a non-flash scroller and a neat footer for the contact details and social media icons.

The colour scheme uses a soft blue colour, teamed with a call to action lemon yellow and neutral grey. All of the colours work well together, and it means that the graphic images really 'pop' out on the slide show.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly said "Toolkit - did exactly what they said they would do. Had great patience and understanding."

Are you a recruitment company looking for a new design to showcase your work? Why not contact us.
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The rise of Mobile

Mobiles have radically changed the world we live in, and the way we do things in day to day life.

The first mobile phone call happened way back in 1973,  Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, called a rival telecommunications company and informed them he was speaking via a mobile phone! From then on, it took 11 years before the world’s first truly portable commercial mobile phone went on sale in 1984. A Motorola, that cost a massive £2,500!

Since then, mobile phones have evolved dramatically. They are no longer just a device we use to make calls, and they have become much more powerful multimedia devices. We not only browse the internet to check email, use GPS and post on Social Media, we also use them as our cameras to take pictures, our diaries and planners and more.

Mobile use is still growing. By 2018, more than one-third of people around the world will use smartphones. This year, adults in the U.K. will spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes a day on their mobile devices.

What does all this mean for your business? Well, your marketing needs to reach customers where they are. And these days, that means on mobile.

This means that your first port of call is having a mobile-friendly website. In order to make this happen, you will need to speak to your Web Design company about building a responsive website.

Responsive website design is where your website resizes to fit the screen of the device that you are using. Usually this means your website will look good on a desktop, tablet and mobile device (and all the sizes inbetween.) It means that your website is fluid, and like water, sets to the shape and size of the screen you are viewing it on.

Our Brand New Fluid Responsive Design service allows your website to work on mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops all using the same design. It's called 'Responsive' because the layout 'Responds' to the size of the screen that it is being viewed on.

This means that on smaller devices a websites design will compress, so the logo, graphics and images become smaller and the page layout will stack for easy scrolling.

To give you an idea of how Responsive Designs work with us, take a look at our video below of our own website responding to a smaller browser window.

If you are interested, why not give us a call on 02380 633 644 today?

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Google's 'Digital Garage.'

Google launched The Digital Garage to help small businesses grow online.

What is Google's Digital Garage?

Google says that it's Digital Garage is "Free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe."

With the idea of boosting your digital knowledge, you can enhance your knowledge on a number of topics in the digital industry. If you have always wanted to know the ins and outs of e-commerce, or analytics, this is the place for you. And, if you complete all topics, you get awarded a certificate from Google to say that you've completed it!

Google said: "Our vision is simple: businesses of all sizes stand to benefit from the transformative power of the digital era. It is Google’s responsibility, as both a catalyst and an engine for growth, to help individual businesses prosper, and the UK economy grow."

You don't have to be in the Wed Design industry to get to grips with this. This is for all businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are an employee wanting to brush up on your digital marketing knowledge, or you are an employer who wants to do the same... it's open to everyone.

A few members of our team have completed the course already, and have their certificates pride of place on their desks!

Give it a go, here.
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Social Media Integration

When it comes to integrating your Social Media platforms, there are a number of ways of doing it. Some people simply add the icons for the Social Media accounts and link to them. Externally linking to your Facebook or Twitter page for example is great, but it could mean that you lose the attention of the person viewing your website and there is no guarantee that they will navigate back.

So what other options are there for integrating your Social Media accounts onto your website?

If you have your website with us at Toolkit Websites, we have a piece of functionality called the "Social Media Bar." This is a discreet and subtle bar that sits at the bottom of your website page, housing all of the icons for your social media platforms. When you click on each one, it brings up a feed for each of them, so people can browse your Facebook updates, tweets, Linkedin posts, Youtube videos and more, without leaving your website page.

You can see a screen shot of it in use below.

What other options are there?

You could use the widgets that most Social Media platforms provide to embed your Social Media accounts into your website pages. For example Instagram has an attractive Widget creator where you can select how it looks and works, on your website page. Just like the feeds mentioned above, these will also automatically refresh and update on your web page, whenever you post to your Social Media accounts.

See below an example of our Twitter feed embedded into the side bar of our blog.

Most Social Media platforms (and accounts such as Trip Advisor etc) have widgets where you can add like boxes, or functionality that shows your most recent testimonials on your web page. You can see an example below of one of your clients Trip Advisor Widgets.

These are great because people can access that information rapidly, whilst remaining on your website. People are also familiar with accounts like Trip Advisor, so it gives your website a genuine feel and is likely to make a customer/ client feel more trusting about your services and reputation.

There are also numerous share and follow buttons that you can add to your website, including Pinterest "pin" buttons allowing people to pin your website images to their Pinterest boards from your website!

However you integrate your website, you need to make sure it's easy to access, easy to share and prominent on your marketing and branding. People are naturally drawn to Social Media to find out how your company interacts with it's target audience, what online reviews you have, and more. It's the perfect tool to gain traction about your services, and to maintain a presence online.
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