Skye Website Services: Web design, improvements and upgrades. Website management, development, training, promotion and
marketing. Specialising in assisting sole traders and small businesses on the Isle of Skye, and the rest of the Highlands
and Islands of Scotland, and other parts of the UK, particularly in remote areas.

Website Features

Here are some features which can be incorporated into your website:

 

Website Enquiry / Order / Booking Form

  


Many users either will not have an email address of their own, or be on someone else's computer where they may not know how to use their own email address, or simply prefer not to give their email address out. Providing a simple enquiry form (with the option not to submit their email address, but provide a phone number or postal address instead) always brings in lots of extra enquiries. Please note that this is not a full booking or ordering system which resets available dates and / or stock levels, and / or takes payments. A full online booking or ordering system of this nature is a separate option.

You receive enquiries as emails to your normal email address or your new domain-based email address if you prefer.

 

Domain Based Email Address (with redirect to your current email address)

  


A domain based email address is much more professional looking than a normal email address: your website would show you@your-new-domain.co.uk. This email address can be set to redirect to your current email address. I also strongly recommend spam-protection (see section on this topic below).

 

Domain Based Email Address (which you use as a new email address in its own right)

  


Rather than setting the domain based email address to redirect to your current email address, your replies to website enquiries would come from you@your-new-domain.co.uk rather than from your current email address. You are far less likely to lose emails in spam filters if your reply comes from the same address to which the email was originally sent, and you are also able to keep business and personal emails apart.

This includes a webmail system which allows you to check your emails from any internet-connected PC anywhere, anytime.

I can also help you set up your own computer to send and receive the emails via Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express if you use these mail clients.

 

Spam Protection For Email Address

    


There are nasty little things that crawl the web known as "spambots" which harvest unprotected email addresses from websites to send you emails of a somewhat dubious nature! I can (to a large extent) protect your email address from being harvested in this way - highly recommended.

 

Integrated Google Map

  


Google maps make it much easier for people to find out how to get to your business. You often see these on websites - you click on the map to zoom in and out or move north, south, east or west, and they display directions, distances etc. It will save you time explaining to people on the phone how to find you.

 

Favicon and Add to Favourites Link

  


A favicon is a little icon that sits next to the web address in the browser address bar and appears when you add a website to your favourites (bookmarks) list. I also provide a special link to help people add the page to their favourites list. It helps when people want to revisit the site making it much easier for them to find it again. Both features help to reinforce "brand identity".

 

Photographs

  


You may not have time to produce all the information and photographs you need to produce your website. My wife is a photographer and you can view her work on her photography website which I am currently constructing. She is available to take photographs for websites if required at very reasonable rates.

 

Photo Gallery

  


This is particularly useful for holiday accommodation websites where a photo gallery of the local scenery can be highly effective in encouraging website visitors to become real vistors. For any product with visual appeal, this can be a useful feature.

 

Enlargeable Photos

  


The user can click on the photos displayed on the website to view larger versions of the images. This allows you to display more and smaller images on a page, while still allowing the user to see the images at a large size.

 

Online Shop

  


Increasingly people expect to be able to directly purchase your products online without having to contact you personally or visit your store. I have a range of affordable options for creating an effective online shop.

 

Booking & Availability System

  


Increasingly people expect to be able to see at a glance whether your holiday accommodation is available for the period they desire without having to contact you personally. An availability calendar serves this purpose quite well and is an inexpensive solution. Increasing numbers also expect to be able to book their holidays online, and I have a range of affordable options for creating a booking system which will take payments.

 

Pay By Paypal Page

  


If you have a fairly simple payment regime (e.g. a holiday cottage with a set deposit or a series of set payments for various times of the year) a simple way to take payments is to create a special page whereby people can pay via Paypal. You would simply send them a link to this page, as a possible means of payment. For this you need a Paypal account of the right type, but I can guide you through the process of setting one up.

 

Guestbook

  


You might wish to allow users to leave comments on your website. This is usually best achieved by a page on which you invite users to submit their comments via an enquiry form, from which you then select to add to the page. These additions would then either be carried out by me at your request, or by yourself if you manage your own website updates.

You might however prefer a more sophisticated automated system. In the latter case, there is a moderation process whereby you accept or reject entries as appropriate, and accepted entries are then added automatically to the page. However, this kind of system is more expensive to implement and the timesaving is marginal.

 

Blog

  


You might wish to post information in the form of an online newsletter with the option for visitors to add comments - of course, under your control!

 

User Forum

  


You might wish to enable visitors to your website to share and exchange information with each other and post their discussions on your website - usually via a registration and moderation process which you would control.

 

Chat With Visitors

  


I can integrate an online chat facility on your website which enables visitors to chat to you directly via your website (with or without a login password), or even with each other. Users often prefer this to email as it is quicker.

 

Multimedia - Audio & Video

  


For certain websites, such as educational sites, audio and video content can be a very effective means of delivering information in a user-friendly format. Music websites often contain downloadable samples of the artist's work.

 

Site Search Facility

  


If you have a large website with a lot of information, a site search facility can assist users in finding their way to the information they want.

 

Extra Pages

  


How much extra pages cost depends largely on how many pictures would have to go on them, and / or they required extra features.

 

Content Creation

  


If you don't have time to write the content for your own website, I can write content (and even research information) for your website and therefore save you the time. Costs will depend on the amount of information required and how much research, if any, is required.

 

Individual Image Optimisation

  


Images have to be correctly sized for the pages on which they appear (usually have to be reduced in size and sharpened when doing so), and also they need to be "compressed" so that they do not take ages to load - slow loading images can annoy web users. This is normally achieved by "batch processing" where all images (of the same proportions) are processed together. However, some pictures require far more compression than others. Thus batch processing results either in some images taking a long time to load, or some images being poor quality, depending on the chosen compression level.

In order to avoid this problem, and ensure that each image is set to the optimal quality / load-time balance, I offer individual compression of all your images. This is worthwhile in that the quality of the pictures on your site will be ensured, and the pages will load much faster. It is however, a time-consuming and hence relatively expensive process. Costs will depend largely on the number of images you have.

 

Printer Friendly Pages

  


Browsers tend to print pages badly. Often the information gets broken up over multiple pages, and various ink-wasting features get printed such as site menus, repeat elements such as banners, etc. Printer friendly pages can be set to ensure that your pages print neatly, and with minimal wastage of the user's ink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How People Will Find Your Website

 

 

It is vital that your website can be found amongst the millions of other websites on the internet. Please refer to the home page and see the tabs along the top for further information about how to achieve this. Your website is highly unlikely to be highly positionned in Google for relevant and popular search terms without some form of active promotion. I always build websites to be search engine friendly, but please consult me for advice in how to ensure it can be found.

Keeping Your Website Up to Date

 

 

Usually I offer to carry out these updates for you, and for most of my clients this proves to be the cost-effective option. Because of my experience I can carry out updates in a fraction of the time it might take you, and therefore this is the recommended option.

 

If however, you want to make frequent updates, e.g. on a daily or weekly basis, or if there are several people in your organisation who have responsibility for updating your website working from different locations, then you might find a Content Management System (CMS) useful.

 

Alternatively. you may be used to web editing software, such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage to update your website. I can build your website in such a way that it will work well with such editors. Although I prefer to hand-code, I can ensure that your website is easily editable using such software.