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If you have a WordPress site and want to be able to create a test site to make changes to before uploading to the live site then it may not be as easy as you think. Ideally you should be able to download a copy of your database and your files then reload them to the sub domain or new domain, but you also need to remember to change any mentions of the old URL in order to get the site to work correctly. You may be able to do a find and replace in the database in order to get this done or you may have to manually go through and change it. You will also need to consider the HT access file to ensure that it does not try and redirect the test site to the live one. Even if you do all this correctly you can still end up with corruptions and find that the styling is missing from the site or from the admin area. This can be a nightmare and often results in you needing to copy all the files again and re upload them to make sure that it has been fixed. Some hosting […] Read more...



Your website is undoubtedly one of the most visible faces of your business; it’s often the first thing that your customers will see, and we all know that first impressions count. It doesn’t, therefore, take a great leap of imagination to realise that a poorly functioning site featuring bad grammar and spelling mistakes won’t create the best impression and could therefore damage your business, rather than boost your sales. You may think that this is something you can address yourself with a bit of careful self-checking and testing, and many people do – but the slew of sites out there which suffer from the afore-mentioned issues suggests that often, this isn’t done to the required standard. Often that’s through no direct fault of the site owner – you’re often very close to your site and have been involved in it’s development, so actually it’s surprisingly easy to miss mistakes or functional problems; indeed, I’ve even seen self-testers work round a bug or glitch on their site without even realising they’re doing it, as it has become second nature to them. For that reason then, finding someone independent to work through the site and properly test it in an organised manner […] Read more...



Many websites have banner images that are displayed along the top of their site when you first land on it. These banners may rotate or they may be static. Some companies use these banners to have images of their business, staff members or customer testimonials, other companies use these as a way of updating their visitors or sales that may be happening or the launch of a new product. If you rarely change these banners then repeat visitors will tend to start to ignore them. If you use them for placement of events or sales then you may find they are clicked through a lot more. IF you have your banners on an auto scroll you need to get the timing right, you need to allow enough time for the banners to be read and clicked if needed but not too much time that the visitor leaves the page. Always give the visitor the opportunity to click through from banner to banner so if they miss one they can go back without having to wait for it to come round again. Think very carefully about wording and images that you use on your banners as if done correctly they can […] Read more...



When a visitor lands on your website they have already decided on what they would like or expect to see. If they have clicked through from a paid for advert, then they would expect to be taken through to a page that is exactly what was described in the ad. If they have clicked through on to your home page then they will be wanting to be able to quickly and easily navigate through to the section they want to look at. If your website is an e-commerce site then you need to ensure that the checkout process is secure but also easy to complete. Not all people want to have to set up an account to purchase an item or request a brochure / sample for example, so you may instead offer them the option to check out as a guest. Website are always a balance between design, functionality and search engine optimisation. If you concentrate too much on just one of these areas you may find that your site simply doesn’t work as it needs to. Sometimes it is good to take a step back from your site and figure out what it is you actually want people […] Read more...



Many people have moved on from using computers and laptops to access the Internet, and now browse the web through tablets or mobile phones. It’s a simple and convenient way – mobile phones have come a long way in the last twenty years and now it’s possible to access almost as much information as you can from a computer, but without having to own additional devices. The majority of popular and commonly-used websites have separate styles for desktop and mobile browsers to make them easily accessible in both formats. For less used sites, such as small businesses or school websites, there are options to automatically scale the information to fit the screen of a mobile phone. This is ideal for many and usually works without any problems, but it’s important to check it out for yourself to ensure there are no hiccups. A couple of common problems you may encounter include your logo or pictures not fitting the screen properly, text running off the screen or menus disappearing, meaning users are restricted to just your home page. With a quick online search or an alternative mobile version of your logo or header, these problems are usually easy to fix. It […] Read more...



If you are trying to sell a product or service on your website and allow the customer to complete the payment process then you have an ecommerce website. These types of websites should be designed with the customer in mind, making it easy to complete the purchase and make contact with the business should they have any queries. For a customer to pay for a product or service online then they need o be able to trust your company. Adding logos that apply such as the PayPal logo or Visa Secured Checkout, can help build up that trust. You need to carefully think about the layout of your site, making your products or services easy to find, easy to compare and most importantly, easy to buy. If your website asks the customer for a lot of information during the process or to create an account, you may find that this puts some people off. Ideally give your customers the option to create an account or check out as a guest. If you want people to create an account then give them an advantage of doing so such as being able to track orders, create repeat orders quickly next time etc. […] Read more...


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