Website Design ServicesDomain names, emails, hosting, e-commerce, etc.
Domain Names, Emails and Hosting
We provide domain name registration, email accounts and website hosting options.
Our standard hosting package provides 3 GB of webspace and 20 GB bandwidth per month. It includes up to 1000 email addresses, with webmail for accessing your emails from any computer.
Statistics and visitor tracking show you how many visitors you have had, where they came to your site from, what pages they looked at, how long they stayed and much more.
If you have already have a domain name and/or hosting for your website, say for an existing site, we can discuss whether it would be beneficial to switch to our hosting. If you wish to remain with your existing hosting package, then I can still design a website for you.
Content Management Systems
Content Management Systems (CMS) are database driven websites that allow you to edit and update your own site as often as you like, without having to pay a web designer. If you fancy keeping your own blog, or need to have a news page that is constantly changing, then a CMS is what you need. There is no limit to the number of pages you can have. You can log in and administer your site using your internet browser of choice. You don’t have to be a computer expert either.
Content managed systems can be either single or muti-user. In multi-user systems, various people can log in and amend your website. Different users can have differing levels of accessibility, thus allowing you control over what can be changed.
Another advantage of a content managed website, other than not having to pay for each update, is that both visitors and search engines consider a regularly updated site more interesting. Consequently, people are more likely to return to your website and your search engine ranking will improve.
Have your own online store
An e-commerce website gives you the opportunity to sell products, whatever they may be, to people all round the world. For most small businesses the cheapest solution to taking payments securely online is to use PayPal. Customers can pay you instantly and securely by debit and credit card, their bank account or by their PayPal account balance.
If you only have a small number of infrequently changing items to sell, then you can opt for a simple site with Paypal payment links. If you have many items to sell and want to have complete control over stock levels, updates to items, etc., then you will need a full blown database-driven site.
For a small extra charge you can have an SSL certificate, giving your visitors extra security in the knowledge that their details are safe.
Portfolios and Galleries
Put your photos on the web
An easy way to keep track of all those digital photographs and to share those holiday snaps with your friends and family, an online picture gallery is great. These are designed to be very easy to use; no need to resize your images as thumbnails are generated automatically. You can group your pictures into different photo albums for easy reference.
Show off what you do
A portfolio on a website provides customers with a window onto whatever it is you produce.
Search Engine Optimisation
How will people find my site?
As part of the process of building your website, it will be registered with the main search engines, such as Google. In addition, we can discuss ways to ensure that people visit your site, for instance by:
- The optimum use of keywords and keyphrases
- Improving the quantity of quality incoming links
- Making sure that your website has interesting and up-to-date content
User Friendly Websites
Ensuring cross-browser compatibility
My sites are designed to comply with the latest W3C standards for websites. The importance of building a standard compliant website is that it is the best guarantee of getting a site that it viewable across all platforms and all browsers. It is also important to ensure that your website adapts to all different sizes of device, from smartphones, to tablets, to PCs.
I aim to build websites that are accessible to as many people as possible, including those with disabilities.
What My Customers Are Saying
Don’t just take it from me, let my customers do the talking!
I wanted a simple, clear website, with just enough visual content to hold the viewers attention, whilst they absorbed the information – and that is exactly what I got! Throughout the whole process, Topspin were very helpful. They offered valuable advice, gave effective guidance, were receptive to my suggestions, and were always prompt and clear in their communication. It was effectively a joint, collaborative venture.
Technical hitches were met with patient advice, which was intelligable, even to this technophobe, and the visual layout is both creative and easy on the eye.
I have had positive feedback on the site: ‘looks great’; ‘very professional’; ‘able to navigate it easily’; ‘clear and easy to follow’. As a result, I would recommend Topspin unreservedly.
Matt at Top Spin Web Design was extremely helpful in every aspect of the website design and build process. He listened to the ideas I had and put them into practise quickly and efficiently.
He answered any queries I had promptly and was willing to go the extra mile to facilitate requests.
I now have a presentable, professional looking website which fulfills all the criteria I wanted. I can update my new gallery website whenever I need and the site links to another existing site for buying.
I am delighted with the overall service and would recommend Top Spin Web Design to anyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to consider when planning my website?
The following is a list of things to consider before contacting me about designing a website. Not all will be applicable, but it should give you an idea of what is helpful to me.
- Corporate Identity: Company name, address, logo, etc.
- Domain Names and Hosting: Do you have a domain name? If not, what domain name would you like? Do you have web hosting?
- What does your company do?
- Competitors: Are there any websites that you would consider your ‘competition’? How are they your ‘competition’?
- Favourite Sites: Please list websites you like. Include the URL, what you like about each site, and what you would improve upon.
- Least favourite sites: Please list websites you don’t like, Include the URL. What don’t you like about these sites? What redeeming qualities do they have?
- Products / Services: List the top ten products / services you provide.
- Selling points: Why are your products or your services better than your competition (both online competitors from question 3, and offline competition).
- User goals: Why do you think people will visit your site? When people don’t know you exist, why would they find you or happen upon your site? Why would they come back? If they do know you, why would they take the time to visit your site?
- Technical: How technically savvy is your average visitor?
- Accessibility and Usability: Will web visitors have any special needs? (Eyesight, language, mobility, reading level?)
- Site Purpose: What do you want the visitor to do when they get to your site? What are your goals for the web site in terms of visitor actions? What do you think your site visitor should accomplish on your site?
- Site Goals: What are your goals for the web site in terms of you company goals? How is your site supposed to help your business? What is the purpose of your site?
- Site Analytics: What are your goals for the web site in terms of popularity? What type of exposure do you anticipate your website should achieve?
- Site Features: What features do you think your website should include? (Content management, calendar, forum, login, price comparison chart, contact form, anything?)
- Site No Nos: Do you have any definite remarks on what you do not want to have on your website? (Flash, splash page, the colour pink?)
- Contact details.
What is website usability and why is it important?
There is no point having a website if it is so poorly designed that any visitor you do manage to get soon decides to leave. Web usability is all about designing a website that is easy to use and allows visitors to find exactly what they are looking for quickly.
The following are some of the key principles of web usability:
- Simple navigation
- Easy to find and relevant information
- Using the website is a pleasant experience
- Pages are quick to download
1. Simple navigation
The navigation on a site needs to be intuitive and consistent throughout the site. Some ways to achieve this are:
- The navigation menu should be in the same place on each page.
- Use text rather than images for the menu items. If you do use images, make sure that there is a text version as well.
2. Easy to find and relevant information
- Use headings, bulleted lists and bold text.
- Make sure your links are descriptive, explaining clearly where the link will take them; avoid “click here” links.
- Ensure that all the information on your site is relevant to your expected visitors.
- Your home page should state what you offer and what visitors to your site can do.
- For large sites, include a site map.
3. Using the website is a pleasant experience
If a visitor to your site does not enjoy the experience, then they are unlikely to return. Your website should be uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing.
4. Pages are quick to download
Even with the increase in broadband for accessing the internet, it is still important that your website loads quickly. People surfing the web do not like to wait for websites to load and will quickly move on to a competitor’s site if your’s takes too long.
This is probably the most important principle of usable website design. Consistency helps visitors recognise the different areas of your website. It should quickly tell them that they’ve arrived in the right place. It can take the form of consistency in the layout of the site, in the titles of the links and the pages.
In summary, by sticking to these simple design rules, you should have a website that visitors will be happy to use.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why do I need it?
SEO is the process of making your website appear higher up the search results page for a search that is relevant to the content of your website. The reason you need it is that without it very few people are likely to know that your website exists. The good news is that you can do a lot of the SEO work yourself, without having to pay a lot of money to an SEO specialist.
The following are the key steps in optimising your website for search engines.
Choosing Your Keyword/Keyphrase
Keywords or keyphrases are the terms that people are likely to use in a search engine query to find your website. To determine what these are, you need to consider the purpose of your website and note the words and phrases that best describe it. Phrases are better than single words, as they are more likely to differentiate yourself from similar websites.
To test how much competition there is for your chosen keyphrases, key them into Google, surrounded by quotation marks. The phrases with fewer results have less competition and so would result in a higher ranking for your page. However, don’t make your phrase too specific, since it is unlikely that anyone would ever use it in a search.
Once you’ve chosen your phrases, you need to place them strategically within each page. Some of the best places to put your keyphrases are:
- In the page title
- In headings
- In links
- In bold
- At the start and, to a lesser extent, end of the page
- In the keyword and description meta tags
It is important that you use your keyphrases frequently within your page. When writing the content for your website you may find this difficult, as you try to balance the readability of your text with the need to repeat these key phrases.
To keep your search engine ranking high, you’ll also need to update the text within your site at regular intervals. If a search engine “robot” sees that your site has not changed since it’s last visit, it will reduce the frequency of it’s future visits. Less visitsby the search engines will result in a lower page ranking. Also, human visitors will be less likely to want to return to your site if they don’t think there will be anything new to look at. A site with interesting content that is regularly updated will attract visitors.
Search Engine Friendly Navigation
The following tips will help to ensure that your website can be navigated easily by search engines:
- Use text for links as much as possible, rather than images. If you do use images, make sure there are text links on the page as well.
- Ensure that all pages link to the home page.
- Don’t make any pages too long or too short and try to keep them focused.
The final ways to get your website noticed is to get links from the best web directories and from other relevant, quality websites. The major search engines crawl the web, following links from page to page. Any link to a page on your website makes a search engine rate your page higher. The more links that you have from quality websites the higher your search engine ranking will be.
How do I add my website to web directories and why should I?
One of the key ways to get your website noticed is to get links from the best web directories and from other relevant, quality websites. The major search engines, such as Google, use “spiders” to crawl the web, following links from page to page. Any link to a page on your website makes a search engine rate your page higher. The more links that you have from quality websites the higher your search engine ranking will be. Hence, the higher you will appear in the search results page.
The obvious question that arises here is: “How can I know what is a quality site?” Put simply, a quality site is one that the search engines consider to be popular and so appears high up in the search results page itself.
There are numerous web directories out there, so which ones should you be submitting your site to? If there are any niche directories that are related to your business, then these are definitely worth looking at. Search engines could be viewed as a type of directory, and by far the most popular search engine is Google. Any website I build is registered with them. Some other directories and search engines require a fee to be listed.
The question of whether to pay for a listing in a directory is one you need to weigh up. You may want to start with some of the free ones initially. Remember to check your site statistics as they include details of where links to your website came from. You could trial a suitable paid directory to assess whether it provides value for money.
Reciprical links from other sites that are compatible with yours, but not direct competitors, are a good way of improving your ranking. Contact such sites to see if they are interested in exchanging links.
Don't Be Shy
If I didn't answer all of your questions, feel free to drop me a line anytime.