Oh my goodness. When you started your business, you didn’t think you’d have to become an expert on website platforms, right?

But here you are, agonising over whether it’s better to build your first ever website cheaply on Wix or whether it’s more cost effective to do it on WordPress. I mean, seriously? You just want to get on and do your thing, are we right?

So, let us tell you why our team work with WordPress and not Wix. We’ll be straight with you – this is not one of those balanced articles that you’ll find all over the web. Our team have been building websites for a combined 5 decades, using a whole variety of programmes and platforms in that time. There’s good reason why we build on WordPress and, generally, run for the hills whenever Wix is mentioned. Let us tell you five reasons why…..

1) The most important reason is that your business will change. That’s a fact. No getting away from it. And your website will need to change with it. With WordPress you are building flexibility into your business right from the get go. Sure, with its 500+ themes, Wix might seem like a flexible option, but once you’ve chosen your theme on Wix, that’s it – you’re pretty much stuck with it. If you want to change or freshen it up 6 months down the line, you’re right back to square one building a brand new site. With WordPress, by comparison, you can slap on a new theme, twiddle the content and it’s like you got a fresh paint job and you’re good to go.

2) You’re an entrepreneur, so we’re going to hazard a guess that you will like being in control of your own destiny. You’re not going to get that with Wix. Their easy peasy drag and drop editor is, we admit, fairly idiot proof. It’s been designed to take the hard stuff out of website design. But what it isn’t is flexible. You might want something just a little bit off piste and, guess what, you’re going to have to compromise. Yep, figured that wasn’t a word in your vocabulary! With WordPress if you need to customise, it can be done. Not always easily, but it can be done. And we like the ‘can do attitude’ that WordPress has…..

3) You are not a coder. Nope, and to be honest, this is the primary reason that most small business owners choose Wix over WordPress. But, here’s the thing, your web-builder is probably not a coder either. Coding is a specialist technical skill that a lot of web builders buy in when they want something really specific (ie a level of functionality that cannot be bought off a shelf, and speaking of shelves, WordPress has thousands of prebuilt plugins full of functionality so the requirement for bespoke coding is fairly minimal at the best of times). So why would your inability to code be the primary reason for choosing a web platform? It really shouldn’t. Take a few steps back and ask yourself what the business needs in a website first. If flexibility and customisation are key to your growth, even in the short to medium term, those should be front and centre in your decision making. If it is, WordPress wins, hands down.

4) You haven’t a clue what hosting is. So what. There are many things in business that need to happen that you may never understand. That’s why accountants exist. And IT people. Why would websites be any different? Here’s all you need to know about hosting: it’s the server where your website lives. Simple as that. Now, like everything in life you can get cheap ones, expensive ones, secure ones, insecure ones (they tend to be more needy than the others) but at the end of the day it’s a place to store all the files that make up your website. Getting it for free as part of your Wix deal is, frankly, not a good reason upon which to base your whole decision. You will get what you pay for: hosting shared with hundreds of other websites, all fighting for bandwidth with each other and slow, slow load times. WordPress sites have some demands when it comes to servers, we get that, but you wouldn’t buy a top of the range Mercedes then expect it to run on cheap tyres now, would you?

5) You’ll probably be obsessed with SEO. Like all new business owners, you’ll read a lot about this, you’ll go to events that tell you that’s what you need to focus on. It’ll be your ticket to getting found online, and then you’ll start obsessing over getting yourself some. We’ve seen it time and time again. With WordPress there’s all sorts of tinkering can be done under the hood of the site to improve your technical SEO, loads in fact. WordPress powers 50% of the world’s websites so it’s a highly developed platform. With Wix, you’re just going to be limited when it comes to SEO. When clients come to us wanting to implement SEO on a Wix website, the best solution we can offer them is usually to rebuild the whole website from scratch on a completely different platform. There’s literally very little we can do. And if we can’t do it, you’ll not be able to do it either. And, as if that ain’t bad enough, the standard technical build of a Wix website directs most of the traffic to their site and not yours on even the most basic SEO factors like meta tags and meta names. Add to this that WordPress domains get upwards of 40% organic search engine traffic while Wix gets less than 20% and you can double your chances of being found simply by choosing the right platform. No brainer.

So there you have it. Seven decades of web building experience distilled into one article about why we choose WordPress over Wix. Our “Websites as a Service” deal is the perfect way for you to free yourself up from the technicalities of website building and focus on the day job. We designed it specifically for people like you: startups who need a quality, flexible website but who don’t yet have the budget to pay for the size of build they need. Works just like a mobile phone or a car contract, financially speaking, and you can get your business up and running as quick as you like.

We’re also powered by real people with real business experience. Worth its weight in gold.

For more information on our packages visit https://www.cunninglygoodwebsites.com/get-started/

During the pandemic it became apparent that websites are a critical part of any business. Any business who was not online suddenly had no way to trade. Our focus in the first lockdown was supporting clients to get their products online. This was the only way they could continue to reach customers old and new.
We spent lots of time improving sites, adding relevant content and upgrading E-commerce functionality so customers could trade and improve their online offerings.

Here’s a couple of staggering facts for you…

• In 2020 there were 4.66 billion active internet users – that’s a whopping 59% of the global population!
• Online spending was up by 34.7% from the previous year to £142 billion

Anyone that thinks a website is an unnecessary expense is missing out on a huge chunk of business. These potential online customers have money to spend on your products and services.

So, what’s changed?

In 2021 we are beginning to see light at the end of the long dark Covid tunnel. As businesses start to re-open and regain some momentum, this is the best time to invest in your website.
It’s no longer about just having an online website presence. You need to be ready for the re-start of the economy and to win all the business opportunities you can.

A common problem is a website taking too long to load, which results in your potential customer getting frustrated and looking at your competitor sites. They buy their products and services instead of yours. Imagine walking into a shop and nobody serving you or asking you if you need help?
Its a similar experience on an ineffective website.

Our “Digital Health Check” ensures that your site is responsive, can be easily found on search engines and performs efficiently when potential customers land on it. Our checks also include SEO, social links and UX/UI. All the basics that need to be in place to ensure your website is working hard for you.

Your website is a living, breathing and critical part of your business. It needs to be nurtured, updated and kept relevant.

Be website aware this year. Take some time to get everything in order and come out of this pandemic in a strong position and give your business the very best chance to grow in 2021.

For more details on our Digital Heath Check package visit

https://www.cunninglygoodwebsites.com/digital-health-check/

We know, right. You’ve just paid a tidy sum to have a brand new website built and now someone’s telling you that you have to pay more to keep it maintained. What’s that all about? Surely it’ll be fine if it’s new……..

If you have a WordPress website and it’s hosted on a shared server by an agency you will no doubt have been told that you need to have your site regularly maintained.

Most agencies who offer website hosting will be keen for you to take out a “website maintenance plan” which means that, over and above your domain (your website address) and hosting (the location of our website files) costs, there will be additional costs to cover the time spent on these updates.

What exactly needs updating on a WordPress website?

A WordPress website is built on an open source platform (wordpress) using a combination of themes and plugins.

The platform itself, WordPress, is being constantly developed. This means that, potentially, every day, there are updates to how it operates, bug fixes and any number of technical tweaks to make it run efficiently. It is impossible to avoid these updates, and even more impossible to control because the platform is developed by everyone (hence the term Open Source) and as such essential changes can be made at any time. Rather like the ground you walk on, keeping your platform up to date is a critical for the security and stability of your website. A bit like badly maintained roads get potholes, and cause untold damage to your car, not keeping your wordpress platform up to date could jeopardise the investment you have already made in your website and no-one wants that.

With all these updates, a stream of activities occur. Themes and plugins, which operate on the platform, also need to be updated in order for the code to work properly. Not to mention, the clever folk who create these plugins are also tweaking and enhancing their code every day too.

Your theme provides a visual structure to the site – what creates its style and layout. As wordpress issues updates, more often than not your theme code will be updated too and this needs to be rolled out after the wordpress update has gone live.

Your plugins are what gives your website its functionality. For example, Woocommerce is a plugin that allows you to sell products on your site of Ninja Forms will allow you to embed forms in your website so people can submit their details. As with themes, these plugins are updates very regularly, in some cases every couple of weeks, and failure to keep them up to date may mean your site won’t work at all.

Now here’s the rub, and any good developer who has lived to tell the tale will tell you: updates can cause problems. Of yes, indeed. If only it were as simple as pressing the update button in the admin section….. but, like schoolkids, not all plugins play nicely together. Code is code and one update can break and another. What your developer will be doing (methodically) when they handle your maintenance, is double checking everything works once the updates have been rolled out and, in the instances that it does not, rolling back the updates to ensure your site remains working while also raising support issues with any plugins that are causing a problem.

So, are maintenance plans worth it?

We are asked regularly by our clients whether they really need to have this plan in place and we’re afraid the answer is always yes!

If your website goes down due to a security issue or an out-of-date plugin your customers are not going to be able to reach you and you might lose the sale. Worse, under GDPR regulations, or similar, an out of date website can easily lead to a data breach and the fines for not protecting customers data can be very considerable indeed. No-one wants that.

By keeping your site maintained regularly you can rest easy knowing that the window to your business is not only operational, it’s not putting your business at risk.

So, what’s included in our maintenance plans?

Our team have a variety of different tasks in our regular maintenance plans, depending on the build of the site, but here is what it generally involves:

  • Installation of anti-spam technology as standard to block spammers from reaching your site.
  • Automatic major platform updates to ensure your site is running on the latest software. This is done at a server level.
  • Daily backups so we can roll back in case anything goes wrong.
  • Monthly plugin updates – ensuring all functionality on the site is maintained and runs at the latest version.
  • Monthly theme updates – keep the look and feel of the site updated and safe.
  • Regular site speed loading checks – making sure that Google is happy with the content and flow of the site.
  • Monthly digital reports – we will send you a monthly report showing what is working and not working on your site. Who is looking, what they are looking at and even how long they are staying     on your site. All useful information for tweaking and making your website work for you.
  • Regular monthly email from your dedicated digital team member reporting all updates and confirmation that maintenance has been completed.

Your website is important to us. We take pride in helping you promote your business online and want it to work for you. We wouldn’t take the risk with our own websites and we expect nothing less than the best from ourselves.

Let us help you realise your business and website potential.

Get in touch for a chat or go to https://www.cunninglygoodwebsites.com/testimonials/ and see what our customers say about us.

YOU’VE STARTED A BUSINESS AND I NEED A WEBSITE.

You see an advert on your social media feed for a “build your own” version or a “get your website live in a few easy clicks” type of thing!

So, our first thought is…really?

In the business of web building, it is increasingly difficult to prove that the cheapest option is not always the best and in these uncertain times where spending options are limited it is nigh on impossible. You have a limited budget. You need a website to help you shout above the noise of your competitors. What are you supposed to do?

With years of experience building websites for businesses both large and small we think there are a few key considerations you should keep in mind when selecting your website developer.

Are you convinced they have built this kind of website before?
Any good developer should be able to share some great case studies of websites created before. You should be able to find those on your designer’s website easily.

Does your Web designer have their own website?
In simple terms, if they haven’t built their own website effectively, then what hope have you got? Go onto their website and try it out. Do you think it looks and feels professional? Do the links work. Is the information easy to find and read? Are their contact details on there?

Can you find any recommendations on their website?
Every good website should have recommendations. Visit the websites and see what has been built for their business? Would you be happy with it?

Do they offer responsive design?
With over 70% of websites being viewed regularly on mobile platforms any website you want designed must be responsive?  The customer journey should be clear, simple and take you where yu need to go in as few clicks as possible.

You need to be clear on what you want your website to say?
Think about your text, page layout and images. If you are using an agency then they will be able to offer copywriting and SEO optimisation and help with any design requirements you have.

Your website is built, that must be the job complete?
No, it most definitely is not. If your website is to function effectively 24/7, you need security updates and maintenance. Ask your web designer how this will be done on your site? They should offer a maintenance package which takes care of security updates, maintenance of any plugins and themes. All websites need to be maintained regularly, a bit like the software on your phone or PC. These days it is more important than ever to ensure your information is kept safe and secure. If your web developer doesn’t offer this service please ask yourself why?

What about the performance of your site?
How will you know if your website is actually being seen by anyone? Digital reports are an easy way to show how your website is performing, what your audience looks like, what pages are the most popular and where any improvements can be made.

The list could go on and on, but these are a few to get started with. It’s a big undertaking to have a website built. It is often out of the reach of start-up companies to get it 100% right, simply because they often don’t have the budget to pay for expensive developers and maybe don’t have the knowledge to build it themselves.  Most will go down the “do it yourself” route which turns out to be way more expensive in the long run.

In summary….if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

At cunninglygoodwebsites.com for as little as £59 pm, you can get your site up and running with no hassle. It’s the perfect solution. A real person. On the phone. When you need them. No hidden costs, nothing else to worry about. Website security regularly maintained. No hidden extras. Full access to your site if requested. Real people on a call based in Scotland.

But don’t just take our word for it.  We have some great testimonials from our clients who are delighted with their sites.  Check them out here: www.cunninglygoodwebsites.com/testimonials

Sound good?  Why not get in touch?

Cunningly Good Websites has demonstrated its commitment to cyber security by achieving the Cyber Essentials Management Standard accreditation, meaning the agency fully complies with the requirements of the Government backed Cyber Essentials Scheme and is therefore protected against the most common cyber-attacks.

Cunningly Good Websites completed its assessment in March, subsequently receiving a certificate of compliance from QG Management Standards. The certificate confirms that Cunningly Good Websites met the requirements of the Cyber Essentials Management Standard and that the agency’s ICT defences were assessed as satisfactory against commodity based cyber-attack.

The Cyber Essentials scheme provides businesses with clarity on good basic cyber security practice and by focusing on basic cyber hygiene, ensures that companies and organisations are better protected from the most common cyber threats. Cunningly Good Websites*  is now registered on the National Register of Cyber Essentials Certified Companies.

Tricia Fox, founder and CEO of Cunningly Good Websites , commented: “Achieving this accreditation is rapidly becoming essential for organisations of all sizes. Knowing we have Cyber Essentials certification gives me peace of mind that the defences we have in place will protect against most common cyber-attacks that the agency is likely to suffer. In turn, our clients can have full confidence that their information and sensitive data is secure, and safe from any unwanted attention from cyber criminals.”

*Cunningly Good Websites is a trading name of Volpa Limited

Cunningly Good Websites has qualified as a gold agency partner with Flywheel, the specialist WordPress hosting and management platform and one of America’s fastest growing private companies*. It is one of only a handful of British agencies to be recognised at Gold Partner level.

Cunningly Good Websites has been using Flywheel since 2017 to provide specialist WordPress hosting for its portfolio of over 100 websites for clients. The hosting platform simplifies the process of building, launching, and managing websites on behalf of clients, with its easy to use dashboard and streamlined workflow tools. Flywheel ensures all the necessary WordPress and security updates are delivered on Cunningly Good Websites’s clients’ websites on a regular basis.

Cunningly Good Websites is part of Flywheel’s agency partners programme as a gold agency partner, which provides the agency with additional support by prioritising support requests and providing the agency exclusive access to an array of training and development opportunities. The programme also helps to connect Cunningly Good Websites with potential clients across the globe, who may be looking for a developer or agency to assist with their website, with Cunningly Good Websites appearing in Flywheel’s Agency Partners Directory.

Tricia Fox, founder and Managing Director of Cunningly Good Websites, commented: “Having a go-to, reliable, proactive company such as Flywheel to host our clients’ websites is essential. Not all web hosting is created equally, sadly, and ensuring that our clients’ websites stay online all the time is our key driver of success. We have been delighted with the service that Flywheel has provided and we’re delighted to be recognised as a Gold Partner, joining a very short list of British agencies operating at this level. We look forward to developing our collaborative relationship as gold agency partners with Flywheel and continuing to work together to provide our clients with a quality and reliable web hosting service.”

To find out more about Cunningly Good Websites’ services, please visit www.cunninglygoodwebsites.com

Often people refer to User Experience (UX) design interchangeably with User Interface (UI) design, which is incorrect. UX is a human-first process focused on enhancing the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product, whereas User Interface (UI) design is focused on the cosmetics of the interface. One way to visualise the difference is to compare it with human anatomy, UX being the heart, the code the skeleton and UI is the skin.

We have outlined eight UX principles which are essential to consider:

User’s don’t like to think
Many of the principles below lead back to this point, a user doesn’t want to overthink and wants the route of least resistance. Therefore we need to ensure we’re turning complex problems into simple solutions.

User-Focused Mentality
A user’s behaviour tends to be instinctive. It is essential to visualise their workflow and mental approach when designing functionality. Users often don’t operate as we would initially predict, so involving them in the design process can be fundamental to its success.

Involve the user
Before we can start designing any User Interface (UI) or User Experience (UX) solution we need to understand why we are designing it. To do this we need to ensure that the user’s requirements have been thoroughly and rigorously determined and documented to ensure the solution matches the user’s needs. We need a crystal clear understanding of the user’s intuition, data and required output.

Consistency
Consistency is a fundamental and crucial principle of UI/UX design. This principle ensures that the visual, operational and performance of the product is predictable. The user wants to complete the task with the least amount of brain-power possible. Inconsistencies reduce clarity and damage the UX.

Intuitiveness
User’s are used to things performing in a certain way and being placed in a certain location, based on their life experiences and instincts. Wherever possible we don’t want to oblige users to need extra learning. Working with well-established conventions lowers the threshold for users being able to utilise the product and improves adoption levels.

Clarity and Simplicity
Less is more with the UI, as this dramatically improves the UX. When there are too many workflows and features displayed on the screen users often feel overwhelmed and confused. Usually, there is a heavy focus on design with UX principles, but if the tool is used to perform a specific task the user needs to navigate through their workflow efficiently and that is deeper then a nice design.

Language
Use concise and clear terminology throughout the UI to ensure the user quickly understand the function. Use of technical terms or less descriptive language leads to confusion and slows down a user’s ability to make a decision.

Communication
The interactions and subsequent feedback between the user and machine are significant, whether positive or negative. These communications should be clear and concise, with guidance on next steps when required.

As the shop window into your business, with the potential to reach a global audience, it’s important that visitors to your website can clearly understand what you are selling.

A business can typically spend between £2,000 and £8,000* on their new website, but still fail to attract customers. Why? Because they underestimate the importance of images.

When it comes to making the most of your website investment, a good picture is worth a lot more than a thousand words, Here’s why:

Websites with images get more views 

If you’ve ever clicked on a website with too much text, you already know that reading through those thousand words to get to the point just isn’t going to happen.

Your page has about five seconds to grab the attention of a potential new client. If they can’t immediately find what they are looking for on your site, they will quickly move on.

Clear images allow site visitors to visualise your product

It’s not rocket science. Grab their attention and they are more likely to stay and more likely to buy. Small, blurry images aren’t going to do that.

While it might be tempting to save a bit of money and use your own smartphone snaps for your products, professional high-resolution photographs create the best impression.

Using relevant stock imagery can be a cost-effective way of sourcing vibrant, eye-catching photos.

Well-labelled images help with search engine results

Google and other search engines love a well-labelled image and will use them to improve your SEO and get you further up those all-important rankings.

Search engine results pages deliver just as many image results as they do text-based results. These are displayed before any organic text results are even visible.

So if you forget to add a description and alt text before you upload any image to your site, you’re not only making it hard for screen readers to use your site, you’re missing a trick.

Images on your site should be:

  • In focus
  • Big enough to look good using the popular full screen width websites
  • Relevant to your product or service.
  • Clearly labelled so that search engines can pick them up

Make the most of your web design

As part of award-winning marketing agency Cunningly Good Websites have been building websites for over 16 years.

Our in-house team offers expert support with copywriting, photography, design and digital marketing. Think your website needs a refresh? Give us call on 01738 658187.

*How much?!  Find out more about our Cunningly Good Websites from £59 per month.

It’s a fair question. When you are growing your business and watching every penny, it may seem like a no-brainer to go with the free template website option. If you can’t make money until you have a website, how can you afford a website?

Remember that old adage though – there is no such thing as a free lunch…or for that matter, a free website.

Many companies offer a “free” version of their services which seems great to the start up business who, quite frankly, have enough to pay for at the beginning of their journey.  You can have your website up and running in an hour – who doesn’t want that?

But there are downsides to some of these websites…

Restricted Choice

Choosing a “free” option often means you have limited control of your domain name.  Your domain name is more important than you think to your business.  A good domain name helps build your brand and adds credibility to your business, especially if you are a start-up. 

For this reason, you want to be able to choose a domain name that reflects your business – not one that’s promoting another company’s name!

Limited Functionality

Free or “build your own” websites are usually quite easy to set up, but the trade-off is that the templates can be quite rigid. If you want your website functionality to be flexible and to grow with your business, this can cause problems when you try to change things later.

Poor Support

If something does go wrong with your site, who do you turn to? With some “build your own” options, getting a response from the support team can take days unless you pay for “upgraded support.” Not helpful! If your site goes down, you become invisible to your audience and prospective new clients. The longer this takes, the more money you lose.

To get a true picture of how a company treats its customers once they’ve signed up, have a look at their independent TrustPilot reviews. They are an eye-opening read!

How are we different?

Cunningly Good Websites offers another way.

We’re here for the start-ups, the entrepreneurs, the small businesses with big ideas. Our team have been building websites for a combined 7 decades. We’ve seen the challenges faced by growing businesses, we’ve heard the frustrations – and we’ve come up with a Cunningly Good solution.

From £59 per month

Our pay monthly packages offer you a professionally built website, with full control and full support, ready to go live from £59 per month. That’s it. No upfront costs, no huge loan required, no technical expertise needed. You can leave it up to us.

Full Control

From the very start of the process we will talk to you to find out what you need, give advice on layout and design and put you in full control of your content and tone.  After all, it’s your your business and your vision we are bringing to life.

Dedicated Support

Your monthly contract gives you access to a dedicated support line and a speedy response to deal with any issues you might have with your site. We’ll help with updating content and adding images. We’ll also help your site evolve as your business grows, with a complete rebuild after three years to ensure it always looks its best.

And all this included

Our prices also include your choice of hosting and domain name registration, fully responsive display for mobile and tablet, privacy policy and GDPR compliancy, SEO, Google analytics, search engine submission and a full site backup EVERY 24 hrs.

So, don’t spend hours trying to get your free website template to do what you need it to do. We suggest that you treat your website as a business investment – not a cost.  By investing in it from the start you’ll save money, hassle and time.

Call us for a chat and find the best package to suit you. Then relax and give your business the attention it deserves.

  1. Your customer expects it.
    The first thing anyone does when faced with a new business is search for an online presence. If you don’t have a website does your business even exist?
  2. You control the content
    Opting to have your own websites gives you full control of the content and messaging that you want to put across to anyone looking at your site.
  3. All your competitors have one
    If your competitors have a site then there is no question that you need one. People are keen to research where they use services.  If you are not visible your competitors will pinch those potential new clients from under your nose.
  4. You’re open 24/7
    Even when you are away from your desk or office you are still out there and visible to your existing and potential clients through your website.  It’s live 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.
  5. It’s great for Google Searches
    If you want to be seen you need to be on Google and that means having a website that is updated regularly with relevant content.
  6. It’s the shop window for your services and/or products
    Your website will communicate to any visitors what you do. Your homepage needs to be clear, concise and welcoming.  You want folks to explore your site so make it interesting and show them what you have to offer.
  7. Easy access to potential new clients.
    Reach a wider audience with your website and cut down on that time-consuming direct mail marketing and advertising that only hits the local market.  Spread your wings!
  8. Gives you a voice
    Your website will speak directly to your customer and you can say exactly what you need to

Need help to get your website off the ground or just need a refresh of your existing and tired looking site?  Get in touch now.