A WEBSITE HAS TO GET ATTENTION, IN JUST A FEW SECONDS.Good design lowers the 'bounce rate'. More traffic, more interest, more business. MORE...
* ‘Bounce Rate’ is the percentage who see the homepage and don’t stay. Clear and fast information plus simple navigation lowers bounce rates - equals more people looking at your site.
WE MAKE WEBSITES THAT WORK FOR YOU.
IS IT TIME TO GET A SITE SUPER-FIT FOR TODAY’S WEB USER?
RESPONSIVE OR WHAT? THE OPTIONS.
All the recent buzz has been about ‘responsive’ web sites. The idea has been around since 2010. But there has been a meteoric rise of the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, and whatever Android. This has made a responsive site a must-have for many users.
This is because a responsive site doesn’t mind what screen it’s on. It adjusts to fit. On a wide screen elements go side by side, and on narrow screens they stack up in a nice logical order. In simple terms, that’s it.
‘Responsive’ is important. Today’s web browsing is on many devices, out and about, work and home. When the numbers on small screens were quite low (and we didn’t know better!) we did special ‘mobile’ sites for smart phones. If someone is pushed onto a different ‘mobile’ website they generally go elsewhere. The stats show this. Folk now want the ‘full deal’ on their phone (50% of browsing) or whatever, or nothing.
And watchful of what the world wants, Google likes ‘responsive’. And what they like, we generally do too. And they really like responsive sites. To the extent that they now openly state they give preference to mobile-friendly sites. So if the competition is responsive, and you’re not, be worried.
But, ‘responsive’ web design is much more work, so the budget has to go up. And it’s not 100% essential for everyone! If yours is a trade audience, then yes, a site should work on a regular screen and an iPad, but on a phone, maybe not, just?
Having said that, I’ve only built one non-responsive site in the last two years. Responsive is taking over.
See what ‘responsive’ means for this site. On a regular ‘big’ screen, PC or laptop, narrow the window right down, and see the bits move around. On a tablet or phone, change the aspect, landscape to portrait, and back.
“We’d both like to thank you for your help and hard work over the years. Your input has been over and above just the standard web design service and your tips and insights have been very much appreciated.”
Designing and maintaining web sites as a business, began in 2004. We have in-depth web design and skills experience. Please see our…
Croque-en-Bouche was our restaurant name for many years. We offer serious business knowledge. We’re not just techie designers. More…
As Croque-en-Bouche, we advise on menu design and content, and build award-winning wine lists for hotels and restaurants. More about the…
“I have to say that our new website is bringing in lots of enquiries, so many thanks for that.”
Web sites are a lot about cost. The budget will dictate what you get. DIY is obviously cheap, but do you really have the skills? I liken it to restaurants. You may love cooking and go to restaurants, but could you run a restaurant? Much more than just the grub!
You may recognise the qualities of a webpage, but there’s a mass of stuff going on you don’t see, and it may look OK on your screen, but what about all the other devices it might be viewed on? And try and avoid cheap hosting. This means you’re sharing an IP address (like a phone number, how your site is found) with maybe several thousand other sites. If one of them ever gets blacklisted for something dodgy, you get caught too - same IP address.
If you can afford a few hundred pounds, a decent web site can be yours. Non-responsive is less expensive, and quick to put together. Responsive is today’s gold standard but really, prices start at about £600 for essentially a five or six section site. And on-going it isn’t just hosting, there’s updating the system structure, security and back-up to factor in.
Big point. Web sites are never finished. We should always be reviewing them in the light of customer usage, tweaking and developing. If only because technology is always moving along.
Below we offer a sample of recent sites, to show what we do. They can be sorted by category.
BUSINESS. Sites out there to directly make money, or as a ‘shop window’ for business wares or services. Any sort of business, these days, must have a site.
CMS. Means Content Management System, but really it’s about sites that you, the client can add to and edit the content, to a greater or lesser extent. Everyone likes the idea of it, but do you actually need it, or how much do you need? Restaurants say, need to update their menus, but maybe not much else on a regular basis. And it can be a useful check for an outside third-party (us) to review and tidy up text. Remember, folk don’t read any more, they scan, keep it brief and to the point.
HOSPITALITY. Restaurants, hotels, bed-and-breakfast places, outside catering. A special area for us because we have the skills, knowledge and experience.
NON-RESPONSIVE. Static, fixed-width pages. Sites used to be all like this. Not to be dismissed, can be made to look good on anything from a tablet upwards, can struggle on phones. BUT do you need phone access? I ask the question because static sites are much cheaper. But can seem old-fashioned.
NOT-FOR-PROFIT. Typically charities and voluntary groups and clubs. You can expect some kind of discounted deal.
WHAT DOES IT ALL COST?
For a basic website, the minimum is around £400 (+VAT, as on all these prices). But that is going to be three or four simple pages of a static site, and for a responsive site it will be more. That’s not to say we’re not open to small jobs. If you go to www.putleygardens.org.uk you’ll a very simple one-page static site (got privacy statement, site map, etc. so not exactly one page). It was done for free, because it’s for my village, but would have cost only say £200 including hosting and email setup. The techie stuff of setting up takes a slug of time for starters. Beyond that depends not just on the number of pages but also on the complexity e.g. custom on-line forms, and how much you give me of the text, pictures, logos, etc.
A usual sort of small restaurant site with all the bits like email setup, will be around the £800 mark if you are doing responsive, which you ought to be. Our base charge currently is £46.00 per hour for the work we do for you on an ongoing basis. We are generous with our time. Charities and not-for-profit groups get discounts.
Hosting on a my own superfast dedicated server: from £12.00 per calendar month, quarterly in advance, plus back-up and maintenance. £15 to £25 is the usual total monthly fee. Expect a bit more for responsive which has security and backup complications.
The deal for websites is that we work on the theme and a look for the homepage. When you are happy with that, we ask for 33% of the quoted total and a signed contract (sorry, has to be a contract!). The rest is due fourteen days after going live. By the way, all things being equal, we always stay within the quote price.
Search engine work, Adwords and such, costs about £60 set up. ‘Pay-per-click’ when a punter comes to your site. 15 - 50p. a hit? Bit more at the start, to ‘establish a presence’. Think £100 initial budget. Though there are freebie vouchers from Google Adwords. If you want to get stats on traffic, pages looked at, number of visitors, etc., Google Analytics works well. Free but but a small bit of time to set up.
Domain names. For a .co.uk domain, £7.00 per year, and £7.50 for a .com. Note, .co.uk domains have had a recent price rise, also consider getting the plain .co too. Domains transferred in free. I charge you only the actual cost to me, which I know is about as cheap as you can get it. Setting up email through your site - included.
All-singing spam filtering if you need it, through Gmail. Gmail is free to use and provides excellent on-line backup as well as taking out 99% of spam. We get your messages routed via Gmail and back to your mailbox. Your phone and tablets can synchronise with the Gmail account easily. Costs about £60 in time to set up.
The key to keeping website costs down, is to do your homework ahead. Think about the pages you might need, which means working out what you want to really say, and write some text in say, Word. Do a very basic layout on a sheet of A4 paper with blocks named for each section or page you think you’ll want. I can take that stuff plus as many pics (the quality can usually be worked on!) as you have, and start from there.
And tell us which sites (not necessarily in the same business as you) appeal to you re. colour and style. This is very important. The site must reflect you and your business or organisation.
LET’S TALK. CONTACT US.
ABOUT CROQUE-EN-BOUCHE AND CROQUE-WEB
Croque-Web is the name for our web design, now the major part of the business. As Croque-en-Bouche we advise on restaurant menus and such. We were known by our diners, as the ‘Croque’ for decades as a restaurant and can’t lose it now.
After college, I was a Unilever trainee, in advertising and marketing in London. In the ad world for three years (did eat in a lot of good restaurants; why I went for the job?). But the restaurant world beckoned and I opened a bistro in Battersea in 1972.
Met Marion in 1976. She’d done office work until she got fed up and decided to train to cook. Cordon Bleu took her on, and she was top student. We were like minds, food nuts!
In 1978 we started Croque-en-Bouche, on the side of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. It was a small restaurant, just myself and my wife, and a washer-upper. We weren’t fancy, but we were good.
Michelin Star for 22 years, and always in the top ten of the Good Food Guide. And won all the UK wine awards. Our enthusiasm for wine grew, bought more stock than we ought, and became wine merchants alongside the restaurant business.
In the end, we got too old to be polishing glasses at 2.00am, and decided to quit restaurants while we were winning! Carried on as wine merchants, and consultants, and then into web design.
The ‘Croque’ had its own home-made website early on in 1997, but more than decade ago, we did our first commercial sites for restaurants and hotels. We built up and widened from there and cover all-sorts these days, but our specialist catering knowledge is often still useful.
We’ve seen the whole Internet world blossom. In 2011 we decided to leave the wine world too, and concentrate solely on web and design work, with some wine and menu consultancy. And hope to do that for many a year still.
We don’t have opening times as such. We’re available most days, including early evenings up to about 7.00pm (drinks time!). Pleased to talk with you, by e-mail, here by appointment, or on the telephone.
OTHER STUFF WE DO
We often have to write copy, and edit and proof read text. Part and parcel of developing many a site. We’ve also created logos and brand images.
Clients often need publicity materials too, like brochures, spec sheets, promo cards, letterheads. If we’ve done the site we can design that for them quite easily and economically. And get them printed and delivered to them using Vistaprint in Holland. Not expensive, always top quality and delivered within seven days.
We do advise on restaurant and hotel menus, where we have considerable experience and expertise. Ours was a very small restaurant (70 diners/week?), but currently we work with the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, where they do a couple of thousand meals a week. Learnt a lot there!
And some of the wine lists I’ve worked on have got some major awards. I am responsible for the wine list at Shaun Hill’s restaurant, The Walnut Tree Inn. He and I choose the wines together, and the list is the current AA Welsh Winelist of the Year.
The Old Post Office Cottage, Putley Green, Ledbury HR8 2QN
Contact Robin and Marion Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
t: 01531 670809