Web Design for small and local businesses

Web Design covers everything from a small single page website to a huge global platform, such as Amazon. Whether it's your first website or indeed a replacement website, the most important thing to do first is to decide what you need your website to achieve for your business.

My latest work for businesses based in Chesterfield

Need some help with your website?

Sounds ridiculous I know, but I don't advertise - 100% of my work comes in from referrals. I've created this website as existing clients keep asking me what my website address is, so they can pass it on to their colleagues. Suffice to say, I didn't have a website until finishing this today! Busman's holiday and all that... So, if you need some help with your website and you like what you see below, I'd be very happy to hear from you - and thanks for looking me up.

Business objectives first

What do you want from your website?

Whether it's more sales enquiries, more online sales, more people in your local shop or simply just a place to display your company information - the planning & research stage is vital to the future performance of your website - and therefore vital to the performance of your business.

I've seen it time and time again where a small business leaps head first into a website project and then woefully regrets their haste in doing so. Before giving any thought to your website, the objectives of your business must be clearly established - or all website efforts will be in vain and end up costing you money, unnecessarily.

Hand-coded, custom built website design

Would you buy a Hummer, just for the school run?

Metaphorically speaking, why would you need a Hummer just for the School run? Do away with sluggish performance, bad handling, excessive MPG, awkward parking and complex servicing etc and use a car that's fit for purpose.

The point here is that many of the freely available 'off-the-shelf' website builder platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal & Wix (to name but a few), are heavily loaded with lots of bloated code that in most cases, you simply do not need. One of the key indicators in effective SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the speed and performance of your site, so if you don't need all the extra baggage - don't use it. I'm not saying these platforms are bad - on the contrary, some are very good. We developed our own CMS for customers that need a dynamic (database driven) website that is specific to their needs and does not carry all the bloated code often associated with off-the-shelf platforms. My point remains, however, that in many cases, off-the-shelf website builders are not right for small businesses that don't require a dynamic website with all the built-in functionality. Lean, mean and focused is the way to go.

This website is hand coded, which means that it only uses the code it needs to perform, which means it's fast to load, which means Google sees this as a benefit, which means I have a better change of climbing up the search rankings. Furthermore, it's built to meet my exact needs and geared for mobile devices as a priority. Of the 300+ websites my business runs, it's abundantly clear that the overwhelming majority of people now use their mobile devices to visit websites. As I write this (24th June 2021), my website isn't yet live - so invisible to Google. It will be interesting to see how it performs over time. I'm quietly confident.

Website security really does matter

You can't pick a lock that isn't there

Another significant benefit of hand coded websites is that they are incredibly secure. Unlike dynamic websites (like WordPress etc) unethical hackers can't gain access to back end databases, as there are no databases to hack! With the off-the-shelf platforms, hackers focus on known weaknesses and vulnerabilities and can inject code to gain access to the server and databases, which means they can gain access to all of your data, your customers data and perish the thought, sensitive card and payment data. A GDPR nightmare just for starters!

  • Think about your business objectives and ideas

    What's your business idea?

    With almost 30 years' experience in sales & marketing, 15+ of which running my own limited company, I can help you assess your market opportunities, drill down on your objectives and in what order to prioritise them. I can also help with your business structure and share my lessons learned over the years.

  • Defining a strategy

    Defining a strategy

    What, why, when, how, where and who? Little words, but if you can quantify each one in line with your business objectives, you'll have a solid foundation on which to build your website so it will perform well. Fail to do this and your website is likely to underperform and won't grow your business as it should.

  • A structured and targeted approach

    A structured and targeted approach

    Fail to plan and plan to fail - a phrase used by many, but is often overlooked. It may well be a cliché, but it is a brutal fact nonetheless. Once a strategy is defined, I can work with you to put together a website plan that will factor in all the strategic objectives of your business or project.

  • Design and Implementation

    Design and Implementation

    This is where your website design project really starts to come together. Making great use of imagery and of course strictly following your brand identity, the web design process is the part customers find most exciting - the end result - seeing their vision and business brand live on the Internet for all to see.

  • Optimise for all devices

    Optimise for all devices (Technical SEO)

    On average across all sectors, mobile browsing now counts for well over 60% of total website traffic. This is hugely significant when it comes to optimising your website for all devices. To gain any traction with the search engines, your website must be fast loading. Not only that, it has to be fully responsive, which means the user experience (UX) needs to be great on all devices. If you want that conversion, you need the right website to deliver that strong UX. This is often referred to as Technical SEO, which means the actual code / server performance rather than the content itself.

  • SEO and Website Conversions

    SEO and Website Conversions

    Once the website is optimised as per the above technical SEO requirements, you're in good shape to do well in organic Search Engine Results Pages (also known as “SERPs” or “SERP”). There is no magic dust, however, so even with the best technical SEO in the world, you still need well written content that is 100% relevant to your target audience. Content is King.

  • Ongoing support, right when you need it

    Ongoing support, right when you need it

    I'm literally fanatical about customer support. I'm of the absolute belief that if you do a great job, and continue to do so, your business will grow organically. In my 'day' job (Owner of Creativity Sells and DealerWebs), I haven't ever needed to employ a sales team - 15 years later and we're booked up until next year. This is in part due to the performance and strong ROI of our solutions, but I'm convinced it's largely due to how we support our customers. Strong support is something that filters down from the top - and I've always been passionate about supporting customers. Over 90% of our customers have come to us through referral. That speak volumes.