Here is some of my recent work. Take a look, have a read about our journey and get in touch to get started on your own project.
I am Chris, and I have been making websites for years, either for myself or, briefly, on a casual freelance basis.
After helping a friend in 2014, who saw a business launch go wrong due to a bad relationship with a website company, I felt inspired to throw myself into more courses and tutorials.
My work has prompted recommendation to others in need of online services, so I've found myself moving forward in web design as a career.
Demos are for aesthetic demonstration only and some links may have been disabled.
Designed, primarily, for Health & Fitness professionals, the Carina Package is a versatile and fantastic brochure website for those who are busy providing services.
Carina not only informs customers about yourself, your team, your services and availability in a smooth and attractive layout, but also accurately handles the booking process, adding appointments to the calendar, sending necessary emails...all according to availability!
With the installed ACYMailing component, you can easily contact your entire customer base with regular newsletters, promotional updates and reminders about your business. Create your own newsletter templates or customise the existing templates and enjoy a mass mailing solution that is native to your own website.
Whether or not you have a clear vision of the website that is right for you, or you need some help to refine the idea, you can soon enjoy showing off a website that is completely unique to you and your business.
The quickstarts are suitable for a whole range of business models, but each is tailored to particular function and form.
For example, the Carina Quickstart is perfect for a business model that requires ONLINE CLIENT BOOKING, such as personal trainers, fitness instructors, salons or even Bed & Breakfasts.
Technically, due to the use of a powerful Content Management System, all my websites -including the Quickstarts- come with UNLIMITED pages!
However, each Quickstart has a range of pre-made pages that are important for the business model it is created to suit.
Using Carina as an example, pages at installation include:
Features vary for each package, so it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Quickstart you have in mind, in order to establish its suitability to your needs.
However, all my websites come with:
Mobile Responsive Functionality
Embedded Contact Form
Social Network Integration
Newsletter Subscription and Mass Mailing
Frequently Asked Questions (such as this section)
Website Back Up Component
As well as replacing all images to suit your needs (using easy image upload function), you can customise colour with easy colour picker functions. Different packages offer different customisation functionality.
In addition -as a client- you are able to follow my step by step guides in the tutorial section to customise practically every aspect of your website. My Ticket Support system is always available if you need help.
If one of the packages is almost perfect for you, but you have particulars you would like to change or add, you need only get in touch to discuss customisations. A small cost might be charged, depending on the changes you require.
You could also request an upgrade of the available features and we could get that sorted before installation. For example, the Carina booking system is a fantastic component, but there are alternatives that have improved -or more- functionality. In this example, there would be an additional charge, but I do my best to keep everything in your comfortable budget.
When I build and design websites for my clients, I do my absolute best to ensure that it is a tool that enables them to make the most of the opportunities that become available when a business gets online.
The internet is a buzzing marketplace and there are thousands of stalls (yep, we're sticking with the metaphor) with sellers shouting out about their latest stock, new promotions, and "". Whatever business you run, the majority of potential customers are milling around the 'cyber-market' from the comfort of a soft sofa and a Costa Cappucino.
It means that you need a website in order to even be visible in the marketplace
It means that website needs to be kept updated and current, according to developments in your industry and -of course- your own stock, promotions and business.
It means that you cannot rely on -or wait for- someone else to update your stock details or send out a promotions news update on a day to day basis...and can you afford to pay them to do that every day anyway?
It means that you need to know how to update and change your own website, given that it is the primary point of contact between you and your customers.
It means you need a website built with a CMS.
Many of my jobs are for clients who want to update an old website which is not mobile responsive and which needs a 'webmaster' to actually change any text or images that need to be changed. It is (obviously) more time consuming to contact someone, give them the content and hope they get it done before the day is out. This doesn't lend itself very well to the need of modern day business to be current and updated. Nor does it go hand in hand with small business budgets, who can't repeatedly pay someone to change content on a website. A CMS allows the business owner to take the reigns of the website...so -after much scene setting- let's finally get to the answers: What the Hell is a CMS?
A CMS, or "Content Management System", is exactly what it says. It's a system which manages your content.
Your content is everything on your website from your images, text, headings to your logo, which -of course- make up your larger content, such as product and about pages.
In the 'olden days', website content was added in between the code that would tell the browser how to display the content and the page, so you would have to navigate through the confusing code in order to find the text or image that wanted to alter.
There are many drawbacks to this, but the major drawback is that if a business owner wanted to alter some content in order to keep their website up to date, they could very easily delete or alter the actual website's code...and break the website. So, let's imagine you have a website and wanted to change some text on your About page.
<div class="confusingcode" style="morejunk:toyoureye;">
<h3>Can you see this title?</h3>
<h4>Or this subtitle?</h4>
<p class="mainstyle">First you have to find this text and then replace it without deleting a comma from the code and crashing your site! And don't forget to use </br> for a new line, or <p>for a new paragraph</p>
Can you see this title?
Or this subtitle?
If this were a paragraph in a word processor, you could just click and edit it, before hitting "Save"!
With a CMS you can simply add text to a text editor in your admin area. Your Content Management System stores the text in a labelled folder in the database. It retrieves that text to display on the necessary page (or pages) and in the necessary position on that page, while also adding the appropriate behaviour and style parameters that are coded into the website. Yes, that last sentence was probably confusing, but that's exactly the point! You needn't think about it or figure it out; you need only fill in a text box and see it appear on your website page.
The great thing is that it CUTS COSTS for you because you have the power to change, alter and update your website as and when you need to, without having to use a middle man web master and without the fear of it all falling down like a house of cards if you do it yourself.
As small business owners, we need to acknowledge that our world (especially because so much of it is online) is incredibly fast paced; a CMS based website is much faster, it's much easier and it's incredibly user friendly. You may need a web developer to set up a great CMS website (Hi, I am Chris...and I make websites, don't you know!?) but once that is done, you can take the reigns at no further cost, apart from maintenance.
It's the difference between buying a car and driving yourself from meeting to meeting, while paying someone to do the annual service, or buying a car with a driver and paying them to drive you everywhere, every day.
A website based on a CMS is a website that you can (very easily and very quickly) update yourself -without digging around in a page full of code to change a word or two on your "About Page".
With a CMS you simply sign into your administration area and add, create and update text using a text editor (much like Microsoft Word, Gmail or Mac Pages). Uploading images or even videos is as easy as doing so on Facebook. You can manage your website yourself and feel empowered to use your website as the quick fire, updated marketing tool it could -and should- be.
As a last vote for your confidence in a Content Management System...think of your Facebook profile as a website page -which...it is! In 15 minutes of a lunch break, you can change your entire "About Me" information, upload new images to the full width cover section and also your profile image. You can also change the text that displays in many different slots, and even add videos to your video album page. That's a CMS
More than ever, the use of mobile devices has shifted the way we search for, explore and choose our service providers. If your competitors are not mobile responsive, they soon will be, so it makes sense to get your business as accessible to your market as possible.
Regardless of where you find them, the statistics all point to the fact that a huge chunk, if not the biggest chunk, of website users are searching for providers of services from the convenience of the devices they have to hand -which, obviously, is more often going to be their phone or tablet. It's always 'online', it's always in the pocket and it's always ready to go. We no longer need to actually 'move' or 'fire up a computer'.
But we don't need to dig around boring statistics, graphs and charts to find out what we already know, it is perhaps easier for us to engage with our own experience and common sense. How many of us will find ourselves sitting with our phone and browsing where to eat with our friends the next day, or taking a quick look into a present idea while on the bus?
When our urge to "Google It" gets the better of us -as it so often does- we find ourselves grabbing the nearest device and browsing through the available options, quickly discounting those that fail to deliver the information we need. Common sense and our own experience tells us that if a service provider's website is unusable on a mobile device, they are going to miss out on a LOT of business. They'd miss out on yours, wouldn't they?
A mobile responsive website is simply one that is optimised to shrink down to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed.
The alternative to this is a website which -when viewed on a mobile- has tiny text which forces us to "pinch zoom" into the page, attempt to scroll sideways and doesn't click through to other pages very well. In short, it's a bad user experience which does not inspire confidence in the consumer, nor does it give them the information they want. In addition, most websites that are (currently) unfriendly to our smartphones are likely to have other obstacles that the customer would need to overcome in order to actually get in touch with the service provider. For example, a website that is dated enough that it isn't mobile friendly will most likely still have an email address displayed, which -at best- opens a pop up to an email client that is native to the device. This doesn't work on mobiles. And what about "Click to call"? Customers expect that these days.
When a mobile responsive website shrinks down, it is most often to a single column which displays the most important information to the viewer, simplifies their navigation experience and gets them to the 'Buy', 'Call' or 'Book' button with ease.
That's what you want, isn't it?
No doubt you have checked out a few website agencies (you should, if you haven't) and found that "Mobile Responsive" is often an added feature for an extra charge. This may have left you wondering if you can do without it. You can't.
While many web developers and agencies still charge extra for mobile responsive functionality, I believe that's like selling a car and charging extra for the wheels.
Web hosting can best be explained as the lease for and use of the building in which you run your business and in which you will install your furniture and products (website content).
It's the renting of an 'online' business premises in much the same way that you would lease a floor of offices in an office building.
Most web development agencies buy space to resell to their customers at a premium monthly price. At Nebula Designs, we consider it cheaper and safer for you to go to straight to the main hosting companies -but we will gladly help you with the process.
This obviously depends on your needs, which are directly related to the type of website you require. Factors to consider would be it's probably size, number of users and various other aspects which may require a dedicated server (don't worry, we can learn about this later).
Most of the time and for most business websites and online projects, a standard package from a good web host is going to suffice, with the main consideration being the amount of allocated storage you may require (but this can always be upgraded later, so -really- don't worry).
A web host package from Hostpapa, for example, is going to cost roughly £2.95 a month, whereas A2Hosting -on their current deal- would cost £4.90 a month.
Without a doubt, I would recommend A2Hosting, because with
That being said, Hostpapa offers much the same package in their £2.95 deal, but you would notice a lack of speed and an occasional moment of website downtime.
It is a decision to make, but with guidance. Simply keep in mind that upgrading your package is never too arduous a task, most often being a simple request to the Customer Support of your web host.
Yes, you can.
Much like any lease, you would still have to pay until the end of your contract -even if the space is unused, but you are more than able to relocate your entire website to a preferred hosting provider.
The one exception to this is in the all too common scenario of a relationship breakdown between a client and a smaller web developer or agency who is providing web hosting. The difficulty here is when the client isn't even sure who is hosting their site or has no access to the web host.
Many businesses have found themselves at the good will of the developer they have fired. If you do choose to have your website hosted through your web developer or agency, ensure you have rights to your domain name and access to your website back up files, should you decide to move.
I could...but I don't. However, I am happy to assist you in setting up your web hosting.
The reason I do not offer hosting is because I would merely be leasing space from the web host in order to sub-let it to you -at an increased cost than if you leased it yourself.
I have made the decision that it is in my clients' best interests to provide assistance while leaving them in the safe and reliable hands of the established and recommended web hosts.
I do, however, have affiliate relations with web hosts I either use, trust or recommend. Please consider linking to them from my website in order to credit me with the sale, which would be helpful...but, read the reviews and have a chat first.
The one exception I would make is if you really need to get online, but can't afford the UP FRONT payment of a year or two which most web hosts demand. I would consider helping you by arranging a monthly fee type of web hosting, which you won't get from the hosts themselves. Please get in touch if this might be helpful to you!
The Chancel is one of Plymouth's favourite restaurants.
Boasting an extensive menu in its warm and inviting atmosphere, The Chancel also go to great lengths to encourage events and special nights for their regulars and new customers alike.
Tucked down in the heart of Looe is Schooner Point Bed & Breakfast, which was taken over this year by Paula and Tom.
Schooner Point is one of the highest rated B&Bs on TripAdvisor and enjoys many very positive reviews, but the website they adopted with the business was extremely outdated, with no mobile responsive functionality and no way for them to alter content themselves. Their webmaster could take two weeks to change text or images for them, which was an extreme frustration for the new and excited owners who wanted to boast of their new room decor and developments.
Focal Frames is a recent start up, providing high quality, handmade frames for local customers. Paul used to make frames when in the Royal Marines and felt it was something he wanted to return to after seeing the custom frame work his daughter was buying for her work at Tweet Tweet Designs. Despite having a comprehensive list of equipment, like many start up businesses, Focal Frames operates as a home business, where Paul builds the custom frames in his home garage.
Tweet Tweet Designs is a small, independent craft gifts business that previously relied upon word of mouth and Facebook as its method of marketing.
Abby was looking for a cost effective way to expand her business and gain more control over how her products were viewed and purchased.