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Tidy News

Bring on the rest of 2019!

We are now in the full swing of February. Christmas is a faraway memory, some New Year resolutions may have been broken, and the sight of protruding daffodil and tulip bulbs are a common site…

Only three days ago, Mike dashed off to Bulgaria for an impromptu visit after he received an offer for the sale of a house. Although with the wonder of Facetime, it felt like he was still in the office with us discussing projects, invoices and the all important topic of Bulgaria’s health and safety. Seeing the sight of him hanging outside his eighth floor hotel bedroom window showing us how far the window actually opened, is not a sight I want to revisit any time soon.

On Mike’s return, we are all back in the office busy at work, and even managed to cram in a celebratory lunch at Port Solent.

With eleven months left of the year, the Tidy team already feel like we have achieved a lot. Within the next week, Luke will be launching a major new site that he has been avidly working on (watch this space). As well as ending a chapter in Bulgaria, Mike has set some hefty targets for Tidy’s future. And Rosie has streamlined her book keeping work with the help of the accountant, making things more efficient online.

With a waft of Spring in the air, brings the anticipation of hope and new beginnings. Bring on the rest of 2019!

Rosie

A Tidy Update!

Following the festive holidays its back to work for Tidy Design.

The Christmas decorations are packed away, resolutions got made and work trousers feel a little tighter… As much as we enjoyed the festivities, a new year brings both excitement and new challenges, forwards and upwards!

First a farewell:

It is with regret that we have to announce that Jonno is leaving us. Jonno has been with Tidy Design for over two years, and has been a much valued member of the team. He has worked on some major projects, including software development for Kidney Research UK and HeliOperations. His dedication and support on projects has been invaluable, and he will be sorely missed. We wish him all the success for the future, may the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars!

A busy 2018:

Last year has seen a vast array of websites being launched within the Tidy Design office. We have worked on many sites in various industries and sectors; these include health and fitness, commercial decorating, comic books, and even another NHS prenatal website.

At the start of the year, we launched letstalkearlylabour.org. This was a small site designed specifically for women (and partners) who are in the early stages of labour. It is an easy to navigate site, providing key information to help women prepare mentally and physically for the impending task of giving birth.

In mid Spring, we started working with a new client SC Vital Fitness, a local gym that specialises in personal training. This was a much larger site, consisting of a content management system, blog and members area.

One of the more fun sites that we designed this year was bigtripcomics.com. This was for an illustrator who writes and draws his own comics. We had fun looking at all images, and I think the result is a fun and quirky site!

Other news:

This year has also been busy for all of us on a personal level. Rosie ran the 5K Race for Life, and managed to survive the whole ordeal without collapsing. Luke did a trip of a lifetime and went to the Big Apple to watch a UFC event. Arguably his most impressive achievement to date however is when he drank a concoction of nespresso and grappa in one shot! Jonno travelled to Amsterdam a couple of times this year, and has surprised us all by returning each time. We half expected him to emigrate there and live the life of a Dutch man, eating cheese, wearing clogs and eating brownies of a certain variety. And finally, as well as Mike taking his family on the holiday of all holidays, he also impressed us by not shaving for a good five weeks!

A final note:

As always, we want to thank all our clients for being so supportive. Yes, we had a very busy and great 2018, and having lovely clients makes it all much easier and rewarding. We look forward to working with you all in 2019!

Best wishes, team Tidy!

Web Designer Jobs 2019

We are looking for someone to join our small but highly motivated web dev team based in Port Solent, Portsmouth. Your day-to-day tasks will include working on a mix of new and existing projects, these include small bespoke brochure sites (HTML5, CSS3, JS, PHP) to working on larger projects (WordPress, WooCommerce).

There will be a mixed bag of tasks fuelled by an office Nespresso machine. If you enjoy programming, quality coffee, new web technologies and a quirky office environment then please contact us today.

Required:

Experience with PHP, HTML, CSS and Javascript.
Bespoke WordPress development
Passion for technology and development
Ability to work independently and as part of a team
Excellent communication skills, written and verbal
Mobile first responsive design

Desired but not essential:

Experience using Git
An understanding of build tools such as Gulp
Experience and knowledge of SASS
Ability to work with an FTP client

You’re a good fit if:

You like to be challenged, taking the initiative and figuring out solutions. You enjoy working in open and fun office environment.

Benefits:

A competitive salary
A voice in an established small business
Proper coffee machine
Vibrant working environment
Well equipped high-end offices
Port Solent shops/restaurants and sea walks

If you believe that you would be a suitable candidate and would like to be part of our fun and quirky team, please email your CV to rosie@tidydesign.com. We also request that you send a portfolio containing recent examples of your work.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Her Garden Gym

Check out our latest fitness related website for a personal trainer in Bognor Regis, hergardengym.co.uk.

The customer:

Jacqueline is a fitness tutor and personal trainer, who has developed her own personal training studio at home. Jacqueline provides personal training sessions, and offers support and knowledge to make beneficial choices and optimise health and fitness. The sessions are carried out in the comfort of her own training studio, a peaceful haven where women can train in peace and not feel judged as often can be the case in busy gyms. In 2019, Jacqueline will also offer nutritional advice as part of her training packages.

The Spec:

To create a bespoke CMS (WordPress) site that promotes facilities and services on offer. The feel of the site should be feminine, as the target audience is specifically for women. The logo has already been designed, so implementation of this will be incorporated into the site. Source code including images names and page URLs will be constructed with search results in mind. Keyword analysis and integration will form part of the project development. The blog will form a big part of its online success.  

The result:

We have used soft pastel colours to give the site a feminine and stylish feel. We have also integrated the logo provided into the design of the site, which also adds to the soft, natural, feminine impression. The FAQs page has also been integral to the site, detailing all potential questions for Jacqueline clients. We have made full use of the photos provided, which will be essential for Jacqueline to showcase her studio to potential clients. The blog is to be an important element to the site, where she will be able to pen her knowledge of training and nutrition counselling.

Feedback:

Thanks for your work on this, I am very happy with the way the website is looking…

Fitness Website Designs

We are delighted that we were able to launch our latest project procalisthenics.co.uk earlier this week.

The customer:

Paul is a personal trainer with experience training with calisthenics. Initially Paul will provide personal training sessions specialising in calisthenics, and is aiming to open a calisthenics gym within Portsmouth. It will offer structured classes covering a variation of training, and aims to be a community lead gym.

The spec:

WordPress development area with bespoke custom theme. Single page site containing all information on services divided into five main sections. One section to include pricing cards to display packages and prices. These will be editable via the CMS system. Another section will be available to show case future projects including the gym, and capture user emails for potential customers.

The result:

A sleek, stylish and simple one paged site. This is entirely editable so that the customer can control all his content including photos. The site also has elements in which it has scope to evolve once Paul has set up his gym. This was a factor taken into consideration at the start of the project. It allows for expansion and flexibility.

Feedback:

Thanks again for being very supportive and working in a timely manner, it’s taken a lot of stress off me knowing that you guys are on it, cheers. Paul

2019 Marketing Budgets

Are you thinking about your marketing budget for 2019? A general rule of thumb is to invest 5% of your revenue, this would go towards developing your website, employing someone to maintain (or contribute towards) a blog or social media account, attending events and more…

Investing 5% should retain your position, company awareness and visibility online. Investing 10% or more is suggested for growth and gaining a bigger market share. Economists and business owners will debate over the exact percentage to invest, so lets say most small businesses will allocate between 5 to 10 percent to marketing in 2019.

Sample Marketing Plan

Planning ahead in life (and business) is difficult, we don’t know what is around the corner. That said; planning ahead and having a goal is super important. I recently allocated some time to Tidy Design, mapping out the next five years and how I’d like things to pan out – it was a worthwhile exercise, offering much value. A marketing budget will need similar thought and planning applied; if we invest too much then we may break the bank, if we invest too little then we may disappear.

When I think of the term “marketing budget” I think ROI (return on investment). As business owners we all seek a ROI but this is not always easy. ROI’s require a mix of research, insights, planning and data analysis – this takes time and small businesses rarely have free time! It is easy to fall into a trap, too busy to plan!

Expectations…

You will need to know your marketing budget and set a clear plan within that budget (keeping realistic exceptions). Whether your budget is based on a fixed amount per annum or a percentage of revenue per month, knowing these figures is important.

So to conclude; when mapping out your 2019 marketing budget do your research and find out what type of campaign will have the best impact (ROI) for you / your business. It is a good idea to work backwards, identifying what you hope to accomplish at the end of it.

Rest assured that Tidy Design is on hand to help, we’d be more than happy to review your website (its design, performance and bounce rates), putting forward suggestions and ideas on how to improve it. Building a bigger customer base next year will require an upfront investment, we too are looking to develop and grow as a business in 2019, so lets do this together!

Thank you for reading, have a tidy week!

Mike

Race for Life 2018

After nine long months of running round the streets of Drayton, I finally did it… I ran the 5k Race for Life at the weekend and absolutely smashed it!

Anyone who knows me, will understand that this is a big deal. This is coming from the girl who used to forge her own sick notes to get out of P.E lessons. Yes my teacher did eventually find out. You would think that this deserved a couple of detentions and a phone call to my unsuspecting parents…but nope, he just said that he would be happy to write sick notes for me instead. You can’t ask for a better teacher!

Running and exercise is always something I shied away from. Sport in general is something that I’ve never had an actual flare for. So when I decided to sign up for the Race for Life, I felt like I was setting high goals. I started running in the winter of last year, and loved running in the evenings just to be a nosy neighbour and see everyone’s Christmas lights. In a matter of weeks, I could feel the benefits and no longer felt guilty about eating crisps and chocolate digestives in the evenings. I would just run it off the following day. I can’t take all the credit though, as my lovely friends Katherine and Karen did the race with me. When they knew I had signed up for it on my own, they signed up as well just so they could give me some much needed moral support. They truly are great friends!

As well as signing up for the 5K, I also signed up my eldest son Isaac for the Muddy Run. To say I was so proud of him was an understatement. For a six year old to run 5K whilst doing muddy obstacles on route, is not an easy feat. Isaac absolutely loved it and as the title suggests, he got extremely muddy! Lucky for Mike, we took my car instead of his, as there was no chance Isaac would be getting into Daddy’s car looking the way he did after the race.

Isaac and I received some really generous donations from lovely family and friends, and all the donations go to the exceptional charity Cancer Research UK. Thank you to everyone who supported us!

Rosie

Google Chrome Update

A secure web is hear to stay; in July 2018 Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’ … Is your website ready? Will this impact your business?

The short story; Google will soon identify insecure sites in its Chrome browser, another move to make the web a more secure place. This update will coincide with Google’s release of Chrome 68. We know Google has been pushing us towards HTTPS for many years now. If your website does not already offer its users a green shiny padlock, the chances are your organic search results have been impacted. The future is not orange, its green!

Here at Tidy Design we appreciate that a migration from HTTP to HTTPS can be quite an undertaking. The process (and cost) will all depend on your website (its age, the framework, its structure, the quality of code, number of pages, what it offers etc)… If you need any support with SSL compliance / auditing then we’d be happy to help.

Cheers for stopping by, have a productive week!

Mike

Google Rich Cards

Google Rich Cards are a search result format that builds on the success of rich snippets. Google Rich Cards use schema.org, a structured markup to display content (similar to rich snippets), giving users a more visual search result. From what I have read, this is targeted more towards mobile users.

For website owners / developers this is yet another new way to stand out from the crowd in Google’s SERPs, but at this early stage coverage will depend on your sector and content. As Tidy Design is looking to recruit and grow as a company in 2018, I have been experimenting below with a job advert – this code was added to a script type=”application/ld+json” tag;

{
  "@context" : "http://schema.org/",
  "@type" : "JobPosting",
  "title" : "Web Design Portsmouth",
  "description" : "Info here",
  "identifier": {
    "@type": "PropertyValue",
    "name": "Tidy Design"
  },
  "datePosted" : "2018-06-28",
  "validThrough" : "2018-08-28T00:00",
  "employmentType" : "Part-Time",
  "hiringOrganization" : {
    "@type" : "Organization",
    "name" : "Tidy Design",
    "sameAs" : "https://www.tidydesign.com",
    "logo" : "https://www.tidydesign.com/img/sd-tidy-design-logo.jpg"
  },
  "jobLocation" : {
    "@type" : "Place",
    "address" : {
      "@type" : "PostalAddress",
      "streetAddress" : "Office 56, Pure Offices",
      "addressLocality" : "Port Solent, Portsmouth",
	  "addressRegion" : "Hampshire",
      "postalCode" : "PO64TY",
      "addressCountry": "GB"
    }
  }
}

Google is actively experimenting at the moment, trying to provide more publishers with a rich preview of their page content. Overall some interesting times ahead…

If you’d like to experiment with your own structured data then check out this testing tool

https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend!

Mike

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Google just announced that they’re beginning to implement a full-scale roll out of their “mobile-first indexing” protocol, after a long period of testing and experimentation with limited roll-outs.

Mobile Phone

By this, Google means that its system of crawlers that help the search engine discover and “index” (collect into a searchable list) websites will attempt to do so using the mobile-friendly version of a site first rather than the historically-used desktop version. Put simply – on the current desktop-first indexing system, Google will look at your site from a desktop perspective first and determine its ranking signals from what it finds, proving subsequent boosts for sites with mobile-friendly views. On the new system, Google will look at your site from a mobile perspective first and determine its ranking signals from what it finds. It will fall back to a site’s desktop view if no mobile-friendly view exists or in certain other scenarios.

Overall, this shift shouldn’t impact rankings much (in theory) – but it is a fundamental shift in how Google thinks about web content. To put it in perspective, Google is effectively now approaching the web as a mobile utility over a desktop utility. This is a natural progression given that since 2015, the majority of Google’s traffic and searches have come from mobile users. Google has advocated good mobile-friendly design for years by teaching and by ranking boosts.

This change will roll out in waves, with webmasters receiving notifications via Google Search Console when their property has made the switch.

So what should you do if you are switched to this new system? The answer, right now, is not to panic. As stated above – not much should change. Of course if your site isn’t responsive (adapts well to different screen sizes) or if you don’t have a dedicated mobile version, then your non-mobile-friendly desktop content will no longer rank quite as well and you may want to take some action to update the site in preparation. Thankfully, mobile-first and mobile-friendly design has been in the web developer’s consciousness for years, and Google has increasingly encouraged a mobile-friendly web – so this isn’t coming out of nowhere, and the majority of modern sites already meet the requirements for at least basic mobile friendliness.

So for the most part, everything should be fine. For webmasters and web developers, going forward an increased focus on responsive design (a good approach so as to ensure that mobile content and desktop content don’t differ in a significant way) and mobile-first optimisation (load times, page speed, navigation, readability, etc) will be important. Overall, this is just a natural step forward for Google and the web, and a long-term boon for the increasing number of mobile web users.

Jonno