Web Programming

Checking the progress of your website

Posted on July 19, 2016 at 10:43 am

When you have a website live, it is important to check on the progress it is making. You may be keeping track of all the enquiries and sales but are you looking into your rankings on the search engines and the traffic to your site. Sales is often a numbers game, the more visitors you get to the site the more sales you receive. When analysing the traffic to your site, see where the visitors has come from, where they found your website.

It may be that the majority of your traffic is coming through the social media websites and that this is an avenue that works well for you. If so, you may wish to invest more time and money into this marketing avenue.

You can rent software that will tell you where your website is ranking for certain search terms. This can save a huge amount of time by you not having to do it manually.




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Checking your competitors on the web

Posted on June 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Your business many have a totally different list of competitors online that it does offline. It may be that within your area there are a number of businesses offering the same or similar products to you. These are mostly likely to be your competitors. When looking online you may find a number of businesses that are in direct competition with you that are not even locally based. If, for example, you are selling office furniture, it may be that the buyer is not interested where the furniture comes from just that it is good quality at a reasonable price. When shopping online it is a lot easier to compare prices, so if you are going to list prices you need to be competitive or state why people may want to pay more to use your company (for example longer warranty or free aftercare on your product for 12 months etc).



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Testing your website is vital

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 2:00 pm

There are literally thousands of websites that go live every week and even more that are changed or updated. Having a website that has bugs, meaning it will not function or look as it should, can be enough to put many visitors off using your website before they have even had the opportunity to have a look at what you have to offer.

Whenever you are changing or creating a new website it is vital to test it vigorously to ensure that everything works as it should. Sometimes you may be too close to the project to test it sufficiently so it may be worth asking another colleague or even a family member or friend to test it for you, ideally someone that doesn’t use the website often, to pick up on any problems. Do not be tempted to set a website live that contains bugs as you may find you lose customers and they will not be willing to return having been frustrated the first time they visited your website.

Posted in Web Programming

Learning PHP

Posted on March 28, 2016 at 10:23 pm

PHP is a programming language that a lot of software and websites are designed with. It has a wide range of functionalities and is compatible across multiple platforms. It is also what’s known as open source, meaning that you do not have to pay to use PHP.

When learning a programming language it is often said to being similar to learning a new spoken language. Once you can understand the reasons behind it, it becomes much easier. The code for a website example is often made up of multiple parts such as the HTML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript. All of these work together to output what you see on the screen. If there is a calculator on there for example then the titles, labels etc will be created by HTML and styled by CSS. The PHP or Javascript is often responsible for doing the actual maths behind the calculation.

If you are looking at going into computer or website programming then having experience with PHP is definitely an advantage.


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Analyse your checkout process

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm

When you have an e-commerce website that has been up and running for a few months it is worth analysing your check out process. It may be that you are losing business that could have been easily avoided by making a few small changes during the checkout procedure.

Often a common cause for people leaving a checkout process is that it is too lengthy and time-consuming. Adding in a guest checkout process that will only take the bare minimum of details from a customer may vastly improve your checkout completion rate.

Another issue is not being able to find out delivery costs until the last minute, some companies even ask for card details prior to showing delivery costs. This will make customers dubious and they do not want to have to create an account just to see the delivery costs. Ideally, you should put a separate delivery calculator on the basket page or at least give customers a band in which their delivery will be, which will then be confirmed in the checkout process.


Posted in Web Programming

Website programmers

Posted on January 31, 2016 at 11:25 pm

If you enjoy working with computers and have a technological mind then you may have considered website programming. Website programmers can vary in terms of their ability, qualifications, experience and cost and to find the one most suitable to your requirements can be a tricky task.

Firstly the company will need to consider the budget they have to spend. There is no point in going to a web agency if they only have a £200 budget as they will not be able to build a website for that.

Ideally the client should then write a brief specification of what the website will need to do. From this specification they can start to look for a suitable programmer.

To become a programmer, you do not need any qualifications, but it will often go in your favour when applying for a job at an agency if you do have a relevant one.


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What is an ecommerce website?

Posted on December 23, 2015 at 11:51 pm

An ecommerce website is a site that sells something online. A number of products and services can be sold online and there are several ways of doing so. If you are having an ecommerce website built then you need to consider what payment gateway system you would like to use. Probably the easiest one to integrate is Paypal which does not require a merchant ID just a PayPal account. Although this is the easiest in terms of integration (which also means the cheapest) the costs incurred from PayPal themselves can be quite high compared to other payment gateways.

Security is vital when it comes to ecommerce websites as if the site does become victim to a cyber-attack, you need to make sure that sensitive data such as payment details etc cannot be accessed. This is why it is essential that you get a highly experienced web programmer to build the site for you and thoroughly text it prior to setting it live to the public.

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Is it time to update your website?

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 12:11 am

If your website was designed a number of years ago then it may well be time for an update. You will need to consider advances in your industry and compare your competitor’s websites to see what they are offering. It may be that you need to add downloadable forms, online calculators or simply images of your new products / services.

When updating a website, sometimes it is cheaper and quicker to start a new website rather than trying to amend an existing one. Speak to your current web design agency to find out which is the best option for you. If you do not have a mobile version of your website, then now is definitely the time to do it as Google is favouring sites that are mobile friendly.

Costs vary for updating a website, if you are only adding in a few additions you may be charged per hour for the work. If it is a larger project you may be quoted a lump sum for all the work in terms of design and programming.

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Building sub domain websites

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 12:16 am

A sub domain site is a website that is created on as part of the same domain name as a current site. In the eyes of the search engines, a sub domain website is a totally standalone site. A normal domain would be example.co.uk where as a sub domain would be xxx.example.co.uk with the xxx’s being replaced with the name of the site.

So when would you need a subdomain? If you have a large amount of content on your main website that is cluttering it up you may want to move it to a sub domain and create a mini website. This site will need to be SEO’ed as with the main site but once live and indexed you can actually gain better results by having a site that is completely tailored to a specific subject. You can also link this site to your main site in order to create a backlink.


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Improving as a web developer

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 12:15 am

As a web developer you will never stop learning. There is always new and improved techniques coming out that will mean you can build safer and faster websites that offer a wide range of functionality.

With mobile devices now being used frequently to view websites, it is vital that any site you build is compatible. Some mobile websites actually contain more functionality than the desktop version.

Businesses are getting more technology friendly and want to offer their customers a stress free ordering process, and with many wanting their customers to be able to complete their whole order online, pay for it and track its delivery progress.

If you are a web developer then I would suggest going on a development refresher course every 6 -12 months to ensure you stay on top of your game and offer your customers the best service you can. The more services you can offer the more money you can make!


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