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Professional Websites

Bespoke Web Design For Small Businesses

Professional web design adds value that simple site packages can’t provide. Advanced fea­tures and bespoke user exper­i­ences boost sales and com­pet­it­iveness, leading to faster growth. These are goal-focused solu­tions, not just web­sites.

Why Professional Website Design?

Common pro­fes­sional web design require­ments include:

  • Bespoke Web Design — you need mem­orable branding and premium design ser­vices to help your company stand out
  • WordPress devel­opment — the flex­ib­ility of WordPress makes it ideal for a wide range of pro­jects, including advanced eco­m­merce, mem­bership sites and more
  • Bespoke web devel­opment — some pro­jects need coding from the ground up

These are all too variable to list as simple packages. So they will need detailed dis­cussion before a real­istic estimate can be provided. Why?

Well, there may be several solu­tions, ranging from those using existing com­ponents and frame­works, to those that must be designed and built from scratch. Your goals and cir­cum­stances will affect which of these will be most suitable.

Pricing & Planning Professional Websites

Business web­sites are critical mar­keting vehicles com­peting in a con­stant off-road race for sales. Your leading com­pet­itors invest heavily in the design, build and main­tenance of theirs. So likewise, you need to invest in the best solu­tions you can afford.

Of course, it’s risky to do that without adequate dis­cussion. So to reduce that risk, I offer a free initial con­sultation. At that point, if your require­ments seem likely to be met by one of my simple site packages, that’s what I’ll suggest.

Otherwise, that free con­sultation is fol­lowed by an optional paid Discovery phase (recom­mended for pro­jects over £3k). That lets us assess the details of the project in depth, to work out a real­istic solution, estimate and schedule.

If you then decide to go ahead, the cost of the Discovery phase then reduces the estimate for com­pleting the project. It’s like engaging an architect before com­mitting to building a house. Still, even though it makes sense, few web designers offer this risk-reducing strategy.

Excellent and pro­fes­sional work from beginning to end. Pete was open to ideas and able to make sug­ges­tions on how to develop my site. — Lisa P. Web Design: (5/5)

Do you need pro­fes­sional web design?

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Bespoke Web Design

So what can bespoke web design do for you? Well, as any web designer will tell you, first impres­sions matter. Visitors assess your website almost instantly, and visual design con­tributes a lot to that. Actually, most designers will claim it means everything, but we’ll come back to that…

First, what is the visitor looking for? Signs that they could get to know, like and trust you — because that’s who people buy from. So bespoke web design puts your target audience first.

Still, there’s more far to that than pretty pic­tures.

Your audience uses a wide variety of devices. So pro­fes­sionally built website layouts are “responsive” — they adapt to look good on varying screen sizes. This is so vital that even pre­built tem­plates usually do it. Still, some web designers are more used to print design and still sell sites that fail at this. So it’s worth noting that pro­fes­sional web design really delivers several layouts, rather than just one.

Your vis­itors have to find your website before visual design matters at all. Many visual designers will don’t do much with SEO. They may build in some basic SEO fea­tures, but you’ll still need spe­cialist SEO help to fix what they’ve left out. They may even build use systems that hobble SEO efforts from the start.

Then we have CRO, or Conversion Rate Optimisation. That means designing to max­imise the con­version of vis­itors into buyers. Whilst visuals do matter a lot here, so do things like usab­ility, site structure and content planning. It’s pos­sible to build very pretty sites that don’t convert well. Like SEO, CRO involves ele­ments of ongoing optim­isation through ana­lysing stats and trial-and-error. So designers who don’t offer ongoing support often overlook this.

So whilst there is a lot involved — and a lot of value — in getting visual branding right, there’s even more involved in making it work.

Pete is one of the most cre­ative, reliable, com­petent and ingenious people it has ever been my very great pleasure to work with. There is no problem he can’t find an ingenious and unex­pected way out of, and he has a work ethic you could bend horse­shoes around. I cannot recommend him highly enough for his breadth and depth of know­ledge and his total com­mitment to whichever project he is cur­rently under­taking. — Ian A. Web Design: (5/5)

Do you want a website that means business?

Get in touch!

What Is Website Development?

Even web pro­fes­sionals argue about how web devel­opment differs from web design, as there’s a lot of cros­sover. Still, web page layout code isn’t pro­gramming code (which involves complex cal­cu­la­tions and decision-making logic). So here, web devel­opment means web pro­gramming.

Many web designers focus on layout, and don’t like pro­gramming. Conversely, web developers are often cri­ti­cised for lacking basic design skills. Some of us can do both — but that takes at least twice as long to learn.

In any case, web devel­opment used to mostly mean pro­gramming web servers and data­bases, or the “back end” of web­sites — and some­times still does. Running pro­grams in the vis­itor’s browser (or “front end”) just wasn’t as prac­tical as it has since become. So many web applic­a­tions are now a mix of both front-end and back-end web devel­opment.

Still, these days, despite the huge variety of web applic­a­tions that web developers build, a lot of web devel­opment revolves around man­aging website content, and one applic­ation in par­ticular — WordPress.

WordPress Development

WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System (CMS), powering over 30% of web­sites and almost 60% of all CMS sites. That’s because it’s extremely user friendly and flexible. Thousands of plugins let WordPress (WP) manage eco­m­merce, book appoint­ments, run online com­munities and more.

Still, con­trary to what some WordPress developers will tell you, other CMS plat­forms like Joomla, Drupal, CMSMadeSimple and OctoberCMS have their uses — as can fully bespoke coding. So you need unbiased advice, but won’t get that from a spe­cialist WordPress developer — or anyone who spe­cialises in a single platform. That’s why I keep exploring options.

Even so, having used several altern­atives and coded some from scratch. WordPress devel­opment is simply too flexible to rule out without good reason. So I have used it to build many cost-effective, editable, pro­fes­sional web­sites since 2004.

There is a WordPress plugin for every common need — even advanced eco­m­merce and mem­bership sites. Even if you don’t like some­thing about the interface, pro­fes­sional WordPress devel­opment can fix that, too.

WordPress developers who code (not all do) can also write bespoke plugins to provide fea­tures that existing plugins don’t. We can also dig into the code when that’s needed for troubleshooting, or to optimise the site for speed and SEO. So it’s worth checking that your WordPress developer is a pro­grammer.

This is the strength of open-source software — it lets pro­grammers adapt the code. It’s worth cla­ri­fying that many website plat­forms don’t. Some won’t even let you transfer your site else­where if you outgrow them. Many small busi­nesses never see that coming.

Approaching Pete to set up a new website was the best move I have made. We wanted a system that was easy to nav­igate and look good when cus­tomers shop online. Pete made the whole process simple and dealing with him was a great pleasure. He can’t do enough to help and solve any problem that may arise. I would highly recommend Pete for his exper­ience and know­ledge and total ded­ic­ation to see the project through to final con­clusion. — Steve H. Ecommerce Website Design: (5/5)

Looking for pro­fes­sional WordPress devel­opment?

Get in touch!

Bespoke Website Development

Sometimes, even the flex­ib­ility of WordPress and other CMS systems isn’t enough. Some web applic­a­tions don’t even need a CMS. They may be quite basic web­sites that just need some form of advanced, custom pro­gramming to enable complex beha­viour or to integrate with external systems.

For example, Festival Medical Services needed a bespoke team-man­agement system. That had to handle variable rotas for hun­dreds of volun­teers in mul­tiple teams at major events across the UK. Existing plat­forms couldn’t do that. So I wrote it from scratch — with a secure, net­worked triage system for first-responders to use in the field.

To be clear — such systems involve a lot of complex work. Frameworks and com­ponent lib­raries now make this far easier than it was a few years ago, but full web applic­ation builds tend to be five- to six-figure pro­jects. Anything larger really needs an agency.

The com­plexity (and cost) of website devel­opment pro­jects often sur­prises small busi­nesses. So to explain — it’s largely because com­puters are stupid. They need to be told, in the tiniest steps, how to process valid user requests –- but also how to handle invalid ones. Almost no-one reads instruc­tions, so making things seem easy is actually very dif­ficult. Design and pro­gramming both play a part -– and as noted above, few designers are also developers.

Still, spe­cialist web developers will always sell you bespoke web devel­opment. So the only way to be sure that your require­ments do go beyond what existing systems can handle is to ask someone who can do bespoke website devel­opment, but who also offers WordPress devel­opment, other existing systems, and simple sites.

Can’t recommend him highly enough. He was extremely pro­fes­sional, laid out exactly what we needed to do and his role within that, setting expect­a­tions all round very clearly, and working within our budgetary con­straints to set clear bound­aries. He was extremely prompt and punctual in his responses and work. He was also extremely patient with his recom­mend­a­tions and explan­a­tions, which were clear and simple to follow. Excellent value for us as a charity. We’re very grateful to him — he was a real pleasure to work with. — Emma C. Bespoke Web Development: (5/5)

Think you may need bespoke website devel­opment?

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Why Trust Netcentrics.co.uk?

If anyone else does all this, I haven’t met them in over twenty years in this field. Those who could focus on the largest, most luc­rative pro­jects they can. That’s far easier from a business per­spective. So they just won’t mention options they don’t offer, even if those would be more cost-effective.

Still, my aim has always been to help small busi­nesses with a broad skillset and flexible solu­tions. Otherwise, you’ll never get the unbiased, exper­i­enced pro­fes­sional web design and web devel­opment advice that your business website project needs.

Why do I care so much? Not sure — upbringing, I guess — but I do. That’s why I helped to set up Which? Online (the Consumers’ Association ISP) many years ago, then ran and mentored their mul­tiple-award-winning tech team.

Apparently, most techies find it hard to translate tech-speak into plain English too. You tell me the level you’re com­fortable at, and I’ll match it. It’s my job to make digital mar­keting solu­tions usable, not con­fusing.

So What’s Holding You Back?

Still planning your project? Think it’s too soon to discuss it with a web designer or web developer? Actually, that’s pre­cisely when you need the kind of advice I can provide!

Businesses often plan sub-optimal solu­tions without informed, unbiased advice. Many turn to network con­tacts who don’t have the same breadth of rel­evant exper­ience. That matters, because solu­tions that suited them may not work at all for you.

So, did I mention the free initial con­sultation?

In any case, you read this far for a reason. So thanks for that. Still, success belongs to those who take action. We all forget most of what we read within a day, and plans delayed much longer than that often get derailed com­pletely.

So even if you still have reser­va­tions, contact me today. Then at least you’ll have taken the first step to online success, and you’ll have an exper­i­enced guide as you take the next ones.

Got keen? Get started TODAY!

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