Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting your website content right

It's stating the obvious that your website content is what your visitors are there to see. So it's important that they like what they see, right? Up to now in our blog we've harped on a bit about how the back end code needs to be spot on and how easily a client who isn't clued up with regards to web design, might have the wool pulled over. Even if your code is perfect, if your visible content is full of bad grammar and spelling, or is poorly laid out - you run the risk that your visitors will get that impression of your company.

For a lot of your site visitors, when they land on your website that may be the very first time that they have encountered your company. First impressions are important, a shabby website makes your company look shabby, simple as that. Here are a few of our pet hates when it comes to website content and layout:

1) Bad spelling - no excuses for this one, spell checkers don't require scientific expertise.

2) Bad grammar - not everyone's going to pick this up but a discerning visitor will and again
there's no excuse because your average spell checker usually checks grammar too.

3) Missing links - how exasperating is it when you think you've found your area of interest on a
site and the link doesn't work?

4) Boring technical jargon - If you can get away from it, please do - the last thing you want to do
is alienate a potential customer because they don't even understand your web content.

5) Rough images or dodgy flash - looks cheap and nasty, even MS paint gives you smooth edges
and if your flash isn't "flash" then steer clear because that kind of defeats the object.

Every potential customer arrives at your website with this in mind, "What's in it for me? What can I get from this company that I might not be able to get elsewhere?" and that's exactly what you need to answer in your homepage content. Provide your visitors with exactly what they need and make sure they know how damned capable you are!
Alternatively, give us a buzz and we'll do it for you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Simple website check

In preparation of our new website I thought I'd point out a real simple way of checking whether the basics of your website are up to scratch.

We always point our clients towards to check whether the fundamentals of their website are correct. It's dead simple to use, simply pop your website address in the W3C address bar and click on the check button. If the coding for the page is spot on you'll get a lovely green return telling you everything is hunky dorey, if it returns a red page however, this shows what coding errors exist on that particular page. This can then be printed off and given to your website designer with the message 'sort that lot out or I'm off'.

At we're proud that every site we produce carries the W3C code validation button at the foot of the page, this is our clear statement that we respect the code of the page and have spent our time in making it correct.

It's simple for you to check whether your site has been written as it should be, why not check yours now? If there are issues with your code and your existing designer either can't be bothered to put them right or god forbid doesn't have the knowledge to correct them, give SiteChooser a call and we'll advise you how we can help you out.

Once again, give your code the love it deserves.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't feel tied in

We've had two new clients this week who've called us for advice on their existing sites, in short their existing website company wasn't doing what they'd been asking for on the site and their relationship had become strained - they felt caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

We simply advised them to transfer their domain out to another provider so they can gain ownership of it and get another designer to do the work they're after, namely us. It works for the client as he feels he's moving forward and more often than not it works for the previous web designer as they've probably been avoiding the clients calls for weeks.

Hey, who said it was a perfect world, people fall out some times.

The prospect of transferring out a domain name tends to fill some people with a little dread as they feel they may lose control of it and some lurking despot on the web will snap it up. It's dead simple, most reputable domain name providers will offer the option of tranferring a domain name in, obviously they want the work going forward. The existing registrant has to unlock it with the current provider, once again something that is relatively straight forward to do, he then has to put in what's called an IPS tag, this is simply a name for the company that the domain name is being transferred to. You then ask the new domain name company to transfer it in and they'll do the rest. Some people worry that their site will be down for ages during the process, it doesn't have to be. Keep an eye out for when your site goes down and then you know the new provider has control of the domain, the site can then be re-uploaded. What's a little downtime on a site you're not happy with and if you're honest, visitors probably aren't finding it too often anyway, hence you wanting to change it. It's far better to get the site into your own name and make the changes you want than just leaving it there to rot.

Alternatively do what our two new clients have done this week and visit and ask us to do the transfer process and the website changes for you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Links gone mad

Let's try and get noticed


Pulling the wool over their eyes.

We've been a bit infuriated this week.

We spend ages trying to get our clients websites just right and ready for the big bad world of the Internet, then we check what some members of the competition are doing and it drives us mad.

Are we the only people who think that the code behind a site should be valid and correct, the amount of sites we're coming across that look real nice cosmetically, the owners of the sites are happy with them because they look pretty, but, look behind the scenes and the web code is as messy as an upturned plate of spaghetti.

They come to and ask us why they aren't getting business through their website or even any enquiries, we then have to break the news that despite them having spent hundreds or sometimes thousands of pounds the chances are that the major search engines won't list their sites as they can't read the web code it's made up of and therefore just skips past them - they're not very happy when they hear this.

We then get the job of either trying to back engineer the site to repair it or re-writing the whole thing, don't get me wrong we're happy with the work but it's a bit of a kick in the teeth for the customer having to pay out twice for the same thing.

In the near future we've decided to launch a new site called where people can come and get a free evaluation of their site, the state of the code, link verification, readability etc. We'll keep the blog updated of it's progress.

In the meantime, give your code the love it deserves.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New SiteChooser Website

The brand new SiteChooser website is being met with some big thumbs up from previous clients and business contacts. We're now working on the tweaks to make it really stand out from the crowd. First job will be a javascript revolving portfolio to display our previous project work with the aim of attracting new offers. The real work is still coming in too, another two requests this morning - we're going to need more bods at this rate! If anyone out there is interested please forward a CV and a portfolio of your best work to us. Our contact details can be found on our site at The SEO is coming along as well, article writing and directory submission seems to be half my day right now. All in a good cause. Onwards and upwards.