Author Archives: Victoria

About Victoria

Website builder, Marketer, Google Analytics enthusiast. See more here : About Victoria & Clare Associates

New wordpress site for Professor of Behavioural Science at Newcastle University

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Daniel Nettle contacted us because he wanted to build a new wordpress website to explain his work as Professor of Behavioural Science at Newcastle University, but needed some help with the technicalities.

In particular, he wanted to be able to provide a downloadable library of research papers, which would allow the papers to be listed and retrieved using tags or categories, using a simple easy to maintain template.

Daniel is still working on uploading some of his older content, but you can see the new site growing here : http://www.danielnettle.org.uk/

New Canine Hydrotherapy website

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Here’s a new little project that we pulled together for an existing customer who is moving into a new area of business : http://www.k9splashhydrotherapy.co.uk/  .  We are huge doglovers at Clare Associates – in fact, we regularly foster dogs for the Oldies Club dog rescue charity, whose website we also look after. So we were very happy to be asked to help with this new project which will bring hydrotherapy services for dogs to Plymouth.

The K9splash Hydrotherapy site uses a variation on WordPress’s default 2015 theme, customised to give it a little more personality and a watery feel suitable to the subject matter!   Content will be developed further as the business becomes more established and photography becomes available.

Hiding All WordPress notifications from those who don’t need to be bothered with them.

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We love WordPress, it’s grown from the blogging platform we started using way back in 2005 into a really powerful content management system which can be extended in all sorts of exciting ways: either with plugins and themes from the great WordPress community, or by creating custom code.

But occasionally you can see its roots showing, and when you use it as a multi-user system with several users all with different editing permissions is one of those situations.

If your website has users who just have the job of editing a single page or post – for example, if your website is a community site like http://www.launcestonbusiness.co.uk/  where each member has their own page to look after – you probably don’t want them all bothered by nag messages about updating plugins such as Woocommerce,  or WordPress core : your site admins will look after all of that and your users don’t want to know about it.

Fortunately, as long as your wordpress website has its own child theme for customisations, you can simply pop this code into your functions.php file,

function hide_update_notices() {
if ( !current_user_can( ‘manage_options’ ) ) {
remove_all_actions ( ‘admin_notices’);
}
}
add_action(‘admin_menu’,’hide_update_notices’);

Hey presto!  admin notices show only to those with the ability to do something about them.

Website relaunch with automatic Twitter & Facebook blog feed

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We’ve worked with James Silvey at In2Networks, a specialist in IT solutions, networking and support based in South Devon for many years, so we were delighted to be asked recently to pull together a new website for the business.   James is always lovely to work with and we’d definitely recommend him if you are looking for helpful and constructive hardware support.

The website itself is a simple one, but with a few clever tweaks.  For example, it’s fully integrated with Twitter and Facebook, so that each new blog post that is added to the website will automatically tweet & share itself, complete with the right photo!

in2networks

In the In2networks line of business, it’s essential to be up to speed with the importance of taking backups and ensuring everything is thoroughly virus checked, so as well as our usual automated backups and security tools, we’ve added additional backup functionality so that he can take a one-click backup using Xcloner, and download to store it locally whenever required.

 

Welcome to Launceston Chamber of Commerce!

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We’re delighted to announce that the new Launceston Chamber of Commerce website is now ready for use.  We designed a new clean layout based on the WordPress system, with a new logo that works better when displayed at low screen resolutions, using the new Chamber colours.

lansonchamber1

The site does of course adapt to display nicely on mobile devices.

lansonchamber2

An important part of the project was creating a system for each chamber member to be able to manage and update their own entry themselves.   We have also set up a simple tool to allow members to enter offers and discounts that they may want to offer other members, and these will be automatically emailled to all Chamber members once a month (unless they opt out, of course!)

Clare Associates are ]proud members of the Launceston Chamber, and if you don’t know Launceston well, we’d definitely encourage you to visit the town.

New WordPress website for a Looe-based lettings agency

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For smaller businesses, websites that work are not just about getting people to the website.  It’s also about making sure the website can be managed as quickly and easily as possible – because every minute struggling with a difficult interface could be a minute when business is being lost or customers are not getting the service they deserve.

Fisher Management, a Looe-based lettings agency with 25 years experience, has two strong selling points: excellent customer service and loads of experience in the South East Cornwall property market.  Putting property details up on the website needed to be as quick and easy a process as possible, so that Ross Fisher, the business owner, can concentrate on his core business.
fishermanagement

Ross told us that he found the Zoopla property management form the easiest to use of all those he had tried  – so we built a clean, attractive and simple-to-manage WordPress website for him that incorporated an ‘add a property’ form that was closely modelled on the Zoopla approach, without requiring a complex and expensive custom build.   And yes, it adapts to work on mobile phones.

fishermanagement-resp

Thank you to all our customers for helping us support Oldies Club dog rescue

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This post is just a quick THANK YOU to all our lovely customers for supporting Clare Associates, and letting us support one of my favorite charities.

The Oldies Club is a charity  that helps old dogs (aged 7 or older) that have become homeless, both by taking them in and rehoming them, and also by working with hundreds of other dog rescues alll around the UK to publicise their old dogs waiting for homes.  The Oldies Club is entirely run by volunteers, and all the old dogs they rehome are looked after in foster homes.

Clare Associates created the Oldies Club website, and we have supported them since 2005 by hosting their very popular website.  Our customers have helped us pay for that web hosting, and we hope that as well as getting good, fast web hosting, it will cheer you up to know you are contributing to help dogs like Perdy!

DSC00597  DSC00480

Perdy spent some time recently ‘helping out’ at Clare Associates, and she is still looking for a home.   Perdy is living in a foster home in Cornwall: you can find out more about her here.

Closer Cornwall : a website to share the wonders of South East Cornwall

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We’re delighted to announce the launch of the new Cornwall : Closer Than You Think website.  Created for the South East Cornwall Tourism Association, Cornwall, Closer Than You Think is designed to show the world the fabulous beaches, wild moors, superb fishing, and amazing adventures on offer in South East Cornwall – and, we hope, will tempt you to come and visit.

Closer Cornwall

The site is still a work in progress: we are expecting more pages on Beaches, more late availability offers and lots more photos to appear as the site develops.  But we hope there is already enough here to give you a flavour of this unique and special part of the country.

We developed this website using Drupal 7, which is one of our favorite content management systems.  It allows us to create a site with lots of quick and powerful  ways to navigate and search content and also to allow the site to be managed by the SECTA committee.   The site is responsive so that it’s easier to use on different devices and in particular the all important mobile phones and tablets which are increasingly the most popular way for people to navigate travel websites.

Ways your website is different to Facebook

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More and more businesses are getting Facebook pages.  This is a great trend.  Facebook is designed for everyone and their gran to use, and so it’s quick to learn and generally pretty easy to learn.

But it’s not the whole web, and shouldn’t be.   Facebook funds its vast infrastructure of servers and ever-developing programming by a highly sophisticated system of advertising.  Facebook is making lots of money off showing adverts against your content.

And so, Facebook can do some things that your website may not be able to do so well.  It’s beautifully networked and set up to allow interesting content to be shared, and if you want to upload photos direct from your camera, say, and have Facebook resize them and make them into web-ready versions, then the cost of running programs and computers to do that work barely makes a dent in their huge ad revenues – whereas the costs of doing that on a stand-alone website are not completely invisible: someone has to pay for the hosting service and if that’s not ads, it’s the website owner.

But if you want to find out about a business or organisation, a Facebook page is often not the easiest place to look.  Profile information is limited in quantity and format.  Posts on the wall are sorted in order of time, rather than in order of priority, and often assume you already know something about the poster.  Messages may not be reliable.   And of course, the page is part of the Facebook interface, so it’s busy and full of distractions and adverts and notifications.

Your own website has the unique advantage that there’s nothing on there apart from what you want to communicate to your visitors.  Your choice, your message: no distractions, nothing to get between you and your customer.   With the help of free tools such as Google Analytics, you can get a clearer vision of what content most interests your customers, and experiment with moving things around to get better results.

So do you need a Facebook page AND a website?  Maybe you do.  Facebook isn’t right for every business, and for some very small businesses, a website may be more than they need.  But for most businesses, the two should be working together, rather than being viewed as a ‘one or the other’ option.  Both will need time and effort to develop and both have loads of potential to benefit your organisation.