Left to Right: Peter Colins, Mike Fox & David Bellin

What will 2018 bring for website design

Wishing everyone a happy new year, Mike Fox welcomed all attendees to the first Breakfast Matters of 2018, before introducing guest speaker David Bellin from The Web Studio.

With more and more business enquiries originating via an online presence, having a website that operates as a shop window to properly reflect your products, services, and brand is vitally important. David guided the audience through the online successes of 2017 and made his predictions for great web design in 2018.

Starting with a brief history of the internet and the evolution of website design, David summarised five key technological developments that he would recommend businesses invest in to give themselves an online advantage.

Mobile:

With over 61% of people in the UK using mobile devices to browse the internet, it is vital that businesses make their website mobile-friendly to make the most of mobile device customers, and to make it compliant with Google Mobile First algorithms for improved search rankings.

 

Adobe FlashPlayer:

Not compatible with most mobile devices, will be redefined by 2020. Update videos using more contemporary technology eg HTML5

 

Images:

Using quality images and professional stock photography to replace dated icons and gimmicky clipart, helps to reinforce your brand image and boost your communication efforts by represent a message through an image.

 

Video:

The presence of online video is growing e.g. YouTube. Engagement with video is linked heavily with increased sales and website conversions.

 

Graphic design:

Lots of space and good use of colours. Simple layout of information.

There are always improvements you can make to a website to keep up with trends and changes in technology. Optimise your website to make it as responsive as possible.

 

David answered questions from the audience and clarified queries such as:

  • Encryption through https. Preferred for ecommerce sites but not essential.
  • Modern devices are responsive to images of different resolutions preventing the occurrence of blocked images and slow loading.
  • Using WordPress as a content management system. Often cited first because it suits most people’s needs, however there are lots of user friendly and good platforms to choose from, and WordPress is not the only option.
  • SEO. Good, quality content is king.

 

Mike then introduced Peter Collins of Find and be Found, who talked about strengthening LinkedIn and Google MyBusiness pages for company pages.

Linked In:
Encourage connections with company pages from your network and employees by following, posting and sharing engaging content. For example, following the Chamber company page gives easier access to the Chamber network, and sends out a message about the strength of your company.

 

Google Business:
Ensuring you have a complete and professional profile when searching for your company, is reinforced by positive reviews.

Attendees where then invited to consider sponsoring a future newsletter or participating in “A Coffee With …” and “Your Business Matters” features to raise the profile of their business.

 

Mike presented new Chamber members with their certificates, assisted by Anne.

The new members who were welcomed are:

  1. The Belmore at Sale – Sarah McIntosh
  2. GM Business Connect Magazine – Jon Cheetham
  3. Prevent Breast Cancer – Michelle Cohen
  4. St Ambrose College – James Keulemans
  5. Two Brothers Coffee Ltd – Steve Jones

Following the presentation, the focus of the January Breakfast Matters meet-up moved towards the business card draw, with Paul Mirage selecting the lucky winner of a dinner for two at the Townfields bar, courtesy of the Cresta Court Hotel. Mike Fox presented this fantastic prize, to David Menon of Informed Solutions. Peter Collins, Find and Be Found, presented Mark Davis from EFM Altrincham Ltd with a free LinkedIn health-check.

The third winner was Melvin Harris from Mel’s Computer Care who will receive assistance with creating a 12-month strategy plan from Mike Alleyne of New Level Results.

The meeting concluded with Mike reminding everyone that the next Breakfast Matters events will be held 1st February 2018 and will feature guest speakers John Rankin and Anas Hassan. Our New Year Lunch will also be held at the Belmore on Friday 2nd February. Mike also welcomed suggestions from the members to make suggestions and take an active role in helping to improve and increase the benefits of Chamber membership. The lunch will be sponsored by Mike’s firm Slater Heelis LLP and our guest speaker will be our vice patron Sir Graham Brady MP.

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