What makes a great website?
A great website should be designed and built with the focus entirely on the user experience of the website visitor or customer. It should be customer-friendly, easily-navigable and intuitive. With over half of searches now taking place on mobile devices, it is imperative that websites are designed and built to be responsive and user-friendly for PC, laptop, tablet and phones. Bearing in mobile access, it is more important than ever for websites to be fast-loading.
Great websites have a crisp, clean, uncluttered look and use great quality images but also ensure those images are web optimised to maintain page-load speeds. All great websites have well-written content with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Finally, great websites need to be properly optimised for the major search engines. It is not a great website if it cannot be found.
What questions might you ask a client when starting a new project?
The first step is to better understand exactly what client wishes to achieve with their website. Is it an informational site to which they will refer potential customers, or is it a website which they hope potential customers will find which then generates enquiries or sales?
Is the website transactional? If yes, which payment gateway does the client intend using?
Who is your typical customer and what is their profile? Clearly, a website designed for the over-60s will be much different to one designed for the under-20s.
Is the client going to using on-going advertising to promote the site or are they relying on organic searches?
Which of the services we offer will the client wish to use and what is the budget?
How soon should the project start and when is it scheduled for completion, plus can the client get the information needed to me within the required timescales?
What do you love most about your job?
There is no doubt that the client reaction when you create a website for them which is beyond what they were expecting is easily the most rewarding part of this job. It is also immensely satisfying being able to turn a client's wishes and desires into reality. I have a broad-based business background myself and have set up a number of businesses over the last 20/30 years, so using my web design skills to help someone realise their dream and set up their own business is incredibly gratifying.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Being an Officer in the Royal Air Force developed my leadership skills and, on leaving, the idea of being independent and self-reliant was a highy attractive prospect. My first business was a successful restaurant in Hitchin which I sold after 3 years to set up a training company for catering staff called: Edu-Caters. During this time, I was Chairman of the Hitchin Chamber of Commerce & Industry for 3 years.
However, my wife wanted to get back into a retail environment and we opened a specialist perfumery store called, L'Aura in Hitchin's Market Place. Over the following years, we grew the chain adding stores in the West Gate Shopping Centre, Stevenage, Letchworth Garden City, the Rookery Shopping Centre, Newmarket, Cambridge and Kettering. During this time, I set up an online transactional perfume store with over 6,000 items, fell in love with website design and started learning how to build sites.
I then built websites for three different businesses that we launched ourselves and, as a result, business acquaintances started asking me to build websites for them or, in some cases, revamp their existing sites. I found it amazingly enjoyable and satisfying, plus a real intellectual challenge trying to deliver exactly what they wanted, and this led to BWB Business Website Builders being born.
Why should our clients choose you?
I would hope potential clients looking through some of our website portfolio will see the designs are state of the art, visually attractive and simple to navigate. Apart from the obvious areas such as building responsive, fast-loading websites, I think my broad-based business experience, including building my own business websites, makes me uniquely qualified to help clients achieve their business ambitions. Most of my businesses have been customer-facing and I approach the website creation task very much from a customer/user perspective.
In addition to the website design services, I can offer copywriting and content creation, image and video editing, help with SEO and local SEO, plus ongoing website maintenance where required for cyber security, software updates, site back-ups, restorations and changes to content. Well-written, keyword-rich content is absolutely vital, especially now Google are demoting sites in search results where the copy is badly written or has incorrect spelling, poor punctuation or bad grammar.