25 Years of World Wide Web

Who remembers 1989? Hands up. Yep – most of us here at Local Pages too! Whilst we were busy perming our hair and rocking out to Rick Astley, a very clever guy called Sir Tim Berners-Lee was creating the World Wide Web in Switzerland. It was a new way to distribute information on the Internet. We’re not sure about you but how often do you stop and think about how the World Wide Web actually works? It just does, right? Well here’s the science behind it.


The Web is based on hypertext which allows the user to connect from one document to another at different sites on the Internet via hyperlinks. And for the first time in 1989, the Web was accessible to use through graphical icons. Some of the early adopters of this new technology were Apple, Yahoo, The Telegraph and The White House to name but a few. Those first sites seem so basic to us now.


The Telegraph Webpage World Wide Web








At Local Pages life continued without www. until the millennium when our first site was designed. As you can imagine, it was a simple site that allowed us to show information about who we are, what we do and how to contact us. Since then, we’ve had two major re-designs. And our website is a lot more involved. You can access price lists, online copies of directories, our search site, as well as this blog!


It’s not just our appearance, but the way we think about websites has changed too. For any size of business, your website is your “shop window” – your chance to invite people in, stay a while, and invite them to (hopefully) buy something. And businesses spend time and money making sure that people see that shop-window through social media, SEO and blogs. A website that isn’t attractive, or doesn’t rotate it’s “window-stock” regularly can quickly become a redundant or even negative attribute for a business. It’s the age-old saying of “first impressions count” and a customer with plenty of distractions can easily have their heads turned in a different direction.


We would love to hear from you – leave us a comment below telling us about how your website has changed over the years. Did you know we can help with all aspects of website design? We offer anything from a free review, to a re-design or brand new site development.

www.localpages.co.uk World Wide Web

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10 Tips For A Better Website

As a Front-end Web Developer at Walpole Digital Media, I am involved with a variety of aspects of projects, from the initial client meet and requirements gathering, producing designs, bringing them to life and turning them into a website.


Although each project is different, I’ve learned that there are several universal tips that can be applied whatever the challenge. Below I share my top 10.


  1. Avoid carousel image sliders

They may look like a showcase piece, but there aren’t any studies that suggest that sliders are a good idea. When designing a website, I always insist that we avoid using a slider and point people to http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/ when wanting to explain why we should not use a slider.


And here’s why:



  1. Use images

So what should you fill the carousel-void white space with? A relevant and professional image that fits the style and theme of your website will be much more effective. This gives your user a single focal point. It doesn’t need to be boring either; a good web developer will know great ways to display imagery, just have a look at enrola. There’s a lot of focus on images, and we can see some images move and fade into position, some are fixed and as you scroll you see different parts of the image and some are static.


  1. Care for content

In the initial stages of a project, I usually insist that we design content first – this simply means that the client provides all the website content before we design. Although the content may change over time, it gives the designer a good idea as how to best structure the content, how headings will be used and displayed and the overall design in general. It may seem like a small thing, but it goes a long way in helping the designer get a feel of the visuals.


  1. Keep it simple

In 2011, well renowned usability expert Jakob Nielsen published an article about how long users stay on web pages. He says users won’t stay on your website for very long, often leaving within 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer.


Your website visitors are on your website for a reason, you don’t want to make them work too hard to find what they’re looking for. Your website design should be simple and not overly complicated; if it’s too difficult to understand then your users will lose interest and move on. Aside from design, you should keep your navigation and page structure simple. Users want to find what they are looking for in as few clicks and page loads as possible.


  1. Use white space

On more than one occasion I’ve had clients say to me that there is too much white space in my design and the space needs to be reduced so the screen is filled with more content.


I understand it’s important to get the user’s’ attention straight away, and you want to show them as much as possible above the fold. However, white space is essential to good design. It makes your content more legible and gives it breathing space. When content and parts of your website are too close together, the user is more likely to lose focus.


  1. Use attractive Calls to Actions

Most websites will have a Call to Action (CTA), whether it’s getting your visitors to read an article, sign up or even to contact you.


There are some things to consider when designing your CTA, such as:

  • Design – it should look attractive, eye catching and enticing.
  • Wording – short and concise with the correct possessive determiners. Studies have shown the use of ‘my’ in a CTA is far better than using ‘your’.
  • Colour – the button should stand out from the rest of the page and recognised as a clickable button. There isn’t a specific colour that you should go with, as long as the rules above apply.
  • Size – make the button too small and it won’t be visible, make it too big and it looks like you’re trying too hard. A bigger button isn’t automatically better, so be sure to find the right balance.
  • And positioning – usually CTAs will be placed above the fold, which is great! But it really depends on what you are trying to sell. If you have a complex product, having a CTA at the top may not help as users will not know what it is until they scroll down to read about it, resulting in the CTA being placed afterwards the more logical option.


  1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly

With the virtual world easily accessible from the palms of our hands, it’s essential that your website is mobile and tablet friendly, also known as ‘responsive’ in web terms. You will often realise that the layout of the website changes when you view a website from your laptop and come back to it later on your mobile or tablet – this means the website is mobile and tablet friendly.


Furthermore, Google disapprove and discredit your website in their ranking system if your website is not friendly for devices other than desktop or laptops. If you want to get onto the first page of Google, then this is good start. After all, who doesn’t like being on the first page?


  1. Keep your website consistent

Keeping your design consistent is about being professional. Inconsistencies with headings, styling, fonts and more are like having spelling mistakes in an essay. They lower the perception of quality.


It’s important to keep elements on your website fairly consistent and when users browse through your website, they expect things to be the same.


  1. Get social

If you haven’t set up social media accounts for your website, do it now! Keeping your social media account active and interesting can help boost your business and lead to traffic on your website. You can’t expect users to be coming onto your website everyday, but you can expect them to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook. Once you’ve got their attention, you can reach out to them with regular posts and updates to keep them interested.


You can also link your social media accounts to your website by adding widgets.


  1. Hire a professional

And finally, it may seem obvious, but you should always hire a professional. Sure, we may know that friend of a friend, or an individual who is offering their services for a very small amount on a Facebook group, but before you go down that path – think about what is being represented. Your brand. Your identity. Trust.
As I’ve mentioned already, users will take a few seconds to immediately judge whether they trust your brand and website, and if they don’t, then they have no business doing on your website. And this will be a recurrence.

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Why all businesses need a website in 2016

How many times a day do you go on the internet? We bet that the amount of time you spend online has significantly increased over the past few years, right? The explosion of the online world has been felt across all industries and now almost everyone has a smartphone, tablet or some form of device that enables them to access the internet at any time, in any location. The internet is full of huge opportunities, but it also opens up the market to a high number of competitors for the services you provide. You need to be on top form to fight off the competition, but even with these technological advances, a lot of business still DON’T have the number one tool; a website which delivers results.

Does your business have a great website? If not, why not? We commonly hear the excuse that a business “doesn’t think it’s a worthwhile investment” or that it’s simply not worth the money. Well then here are our top reasons as to why it could be the best investment your business will make.

  1. Do you want to attract new customers and increase sales?
    If you are trying to run a successful business, then we hope the answer to this question is a loud YES. To do this you need somewhere to direct potential customers to and a container to hold all of the information about your products/ services. Think of it as an online brochure with the ability to reach a global audience without the hard work of manually posting one through every door! Without a decent website that appeals to your target market, they will simply move onto one of your competitors.
  1. How do you market your business?
    The internet isn’t all about having your own website, of course this is the first (and biggest) step, but you need to get out there and promote it online. Social media, email marketing, blog there’s a vast variety of online marketing tools available out there, but these all need to point back to a website. There’s no point tweeting about your fantastic new product, if you can’t include a link for someone to read more information about it.
  2. Who are you?
    We all know that the best way of securing new business is via word of mouth, but since the internet became such a huge thing, an extra step was added to this; Google. It’s pretty common for someone to Google a company name to check them out before deciding whether to make contact or not. If you haven’t got a website, how will they find you or how to contact you?

Convinced yet? If not, just try Googling some of your products or services and see just how many of your competitors have a website.

Websites don’t have to be a burden to your business, with the right website developer; it can be a simple and stress-free process that leaves you with an efficient, appealing online sales tool that helps to drive your business development.

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