Looking After 10000 Photos

We were approached recently by the Scottish Motor Museum Trust to help get their archive of 10000 images up online for people to purchase. Thankfully all the images were catalogued and recorded in databases so we didn’t have to add them individually.

In order for the photos to be accessible online, we first had to resize and compress them, thankfully the wonderful Adobe Lightroom can batch process photos in a jiffy! Then it was a case of importing the many many databases to create the products.

It was fascinating to see all the old photos, some of them included scene where I grew up and may even include a relative, this photo is of Stirling Tram Car company car no.8 drawn by a pair of horses seen below the Wallace Monument.

Stirling Tram Car Service below Wallace Monument

The collection is quoted to be

“Probably the most extensive collection of Scottish road transport images in private hands……a collection of this type relies on a lifelong dedicated enthusiasm which is volunteered”

Have a browse at https://motoringheritage.co.uk/ and see if you can find any past gems that mean something to you

Introducing a new way to pay for your website

Well that’s a slight lie, we’ve always allowed clients to pay monthly, this is just the first time we’re announcing it on our site! Starting in January 2018 we are excited to share we are now going to give the option to spread the cost of the development of your website into manageable monthly payments.

We understand like any other business that when starting out, cash-flow is key and quotes for web development can sometimes seem pretty daunting and expensive and you might decide to do it yourself. Having a great website made professionally straight off the bat might mean the difference between success and failure.

Each project is unique and with prices starting from as little as £50 per month. We’re sure we can help get your business out into the world!

Creating the brand and helping develop your website is one of our favourite things to do, from the initial brainstorm to work out how the website will work, to finalising the little details before it goes live.

Let us help you launch, relaunch or update your business! If you think you or your business could benefit from this option we’d love to hear from you.


The Small Problem with PayPal and Online Payments

When you are setting up an e-commerce site for the first time, the easiest option to take online payments was PayPal, you just needed to set up and account and you or the website developer just had to add the email of the account to the system and away you went. Your online shop could now take payments…WOOO!

But not everyone has a PayPal account, not everyone understands that you can pay by card on PayPal without an account and it takes the customer away from the site forcing them to login to PayPal and then complete the payment. Which if they don’t do, you lose the sale, which is all round rubbish really.

The Other way to take Online Payments

So what is the alternative, Stripe. It was established in 2011 by 2 brothers who found that taking payments online was unnecessarily complicated so they set about simplifying it. And simplify it they have! Customers are no longer taken to a separate site, the complete the payment right there on your website, it couldn’t be easier. Even the fees are lower at just 1.4% + 20p per transaction, which is half the cost of PayPal. It does require the site to have a Security certificate which in the biz is known as an SSL Certificate which you have an ongoing yearly cost but this has benefits too, Google is adding it to it’s ranking alogorithm, so if you have a secure site you might jump up a few places. It’s still early on in the analysis but every little can only help in the ongoing fight to get your site recognised!

We are not in anyway affiliated with Stripe, please let that be clear we just love the simplicity of it, finally an easy to use and set up system for taking payments online.

You can read more about the brothers journey in creating Stripe on a BBC News article. Make you wish you had thought of the idea first! If you are thinking about making your shop into an e-commerce one or have and idea to sell a product send us an email and we can chat through the options

The Social Media Minefield

Social media, well what we really me is Facebook to be honest. If you have a business it’s highly likely that you will have a Facebook page set up for that. If you still have a personal profile, how have they not caught you yet! Facebook became pretty strict on who and what could have a profile, most people I know that did have one have now been converted to a page.

What’s the difference I hear you ask? A profile has friends, a page has likes, a profile doesn’t cost anything and technically neither does a page but if you want to crack the market and gain some ground then you are at some point going to have to pay to boost your post or promote the page the reach a wider audience.

What do you get from paid promotion on Facebook?

More people will see your post or page, but whether they actually ‘see’ it or whether they just scroll on by is a hot topic, it is actually worth it? We plan to find out by doing a small experiment with a fun page of our own.

Dogs of Scotland

So far, all we have done is asked our friends to like it and when we’ve taken a picture of a dog told the owner about the page. They have either gone on to like the page or just liked the post.

When we post a picture there is a select number of people who seem to always like the posts. This is probably because when they first liked the page they interacted with the posts, liking, commenting or sharing. This appears to be a crucial point in the facebook algorithm, you have to grab their attention to get your posts in their feed.

Decision Time – a website with a shop or a prepaid shopping cart with a website?

So you have a physical shop or you’ve been selling things online via eBay or Etsy and you want to expand and create an online shop of you’re very own! A bit of googling might present you with 2 options. Use a pay per month shopping cart or have a website with an eCommerce system built in. As we build the kind of websites that have shops built in we though we would give you some of the pros and cons.

Shopping carts are great if you want to set things up quickly and get going right away, you might even get a few months free when you do. The problem we see with this is you are then tied into this system for the life of the website which can cost from anything between £20 per month to £250 per month depending on the plan you need. It may start out as a quick, easy and cheap option but costs could quickly escalate over time and end up costing you more than if you had a website designed and made.

You are also possibly tied into the designs and themes that they provide you with, although most shops generally look the same on the product pages the home page might be what makes you stand out from the rest, which in a crowded market place is essential.

Trying not to be too negative about them, they work really well for lots of people BUT if you want to have more control and options maybe the bespoke website option is for you.

We can build you a custom set up and shop with pretty much any set up you need. These are just some of the examples we created –

Taking payments online is now even easier, you always have the ever trusty Paypal but now there is a payment processing provider called Stripe whose fees are less than Paypal and it is just as easy to integrate.

What we are saying is sit down and weigh up what you need from your online shop before you dive into something. Send us an email if you want to find out more or just have a few questions

Email Newsletters and Updates Made Easy

Have you noticed recently that the amount of people that see your posts on Facebook has decreased dramatically and you might not be getting the same kind of response through social media? Facebook now want you to pay to post. The more you pay, the more people will see you post. They have just re-iterated that ‘like & share’ competitions are against the rules and will penalise pages that run them.

We recently ran a campaign on facebook paying for the post to be in peoples newsfeed does work, it cost £18 and we got over 200 responses but that could become costly. It might be time to add another stream of internet advertising to increase your customer awareness. One way to keep in touch with customers is through the use of email newsletters.


MailChimp is an online service which manages email newsletter and subscribers. It’s a free service until you have over 2000 subscribers in your database. You can create a template (or we can) which would reflect the look and feel of your business. Once you’ve sent your email it gives you a report of how many people read and clicked links in the email, handy to find out what works and what doesn’t. Mailchimp handles all the subscriptions and unsubscribes leaving you to write a good update!

WordPress can also integrate a form which allows users to sign up via the website. You can see examples on love-lala.com and velveteasel.co.uk.

It couldn’t be simpler to broaden you customer base

Multi-Language Website

Even if you have a .co.uk domain chances are someone somewhere around the world will have viewed your website and they may or may not be able to speak English. Most of the time this probably doesn’t matter as your main business is probably in the UK, however what if you wanted to expand your business or as hotel or holiday company that wanted to appeal potential customers further afield. As a business in the UK our closest neighbours main languages are not English and a multi-language website would make your site more appealing.

What if it was easy?

WordPress has a plug-in which can make adding another language to your site very easy. You simply add another ‘page’ with the translated text, select the language then publish. Just as you would normally do. The plugin even handles the automatic language selection for the user. If you were in France on a French computer then the language that would be shown for your website would be….French.

Multi-Language Website Translation

We would advise that you get the main landing pages and static pages translated by someone who speaks the language as Google Translate definitely falls down on complicated sentences and context.

For the main European languages – French, German and Spanish, we have people available who can translate content quickly and professionally. Each translator is native to the language so they able to translate context, meaning, tone, and even inflection giving your site a professional look to someone who doesn’t speak English.


Unavoided has provided this service for a website using English and Arabic. The plugin can even do non Cyrillic text, displaying it correctly and clearly. Users can select the language of their choice using a drop down box in the header.



We Love WordPress

And we think you will too!

There’s an internet fact, that WordPress powers 20.1% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. It is by far the most used CMS platform out there at the moment!

Reasons to Love WordPress

It’s easy to use!

The admin area or WordPress is very simple. With a bit of training you’ll be able to manage your site with ease, each area is clearly defined and with the different user levels you only ever see what you need to see. There’s no chance that you could ever delete your site or page and it be lost forever, it just goes into a trash archive and can be restored! It’s one of the top questions we get asked when we train people on WordPress.

It’s customisable to your own specifications

We build custom WordPress templates so we try to make it look good, easy to use and easy to navigate the admin area. As mentioned in our post Templates vs Design, we design our websites from scratch, incorporating your companies/brand colours. User experience is very important, we like to make our websites easy for people to use. Ultimately if they have a good experience on your site they are more likely to use your service/buy from you, which is what we all want. Creating specific sections for your admin area of your site will make it easier for you to manage, some recent examples would be an artist area in the The Velvet Easel Gallery, courses for Lendrick Lodge and beer for the Allanwater Brewhouse.

You can launch quickly

We have turned a website around in one week flat, enough said!

It goes Mobile and Responsive

Making sure everyone can view your site whether they are on a mobile, tablet or 27″ screen is easily done with WordPress. Adding a custom mobile theme is just one of the services we offer as standard!

Choosing to build your site with WordPress is a great decision and you will not regret it!

Mobile Themes

There is no doubt that browsing a website on a mobile phone can difficult. Trying to find the phone number of the shop or the address of the restaurant is never easy on a desktop designed website. You have to zoom in and scroll round and inevitably your finger hits the wrong button.

This is where a simple mobile theme can come in handy. A mobile theme removes all the unnecessary info from a page and just shows the user what they want. The homepage should have easy access to all the info a user might want – a telephone number, the business address, a map and big buttons to all the areas on the site.

We are able to provide you with a mobile that needs no additional content management. It will have the look and feel of your website just much easier to use. Users on a mobile will be automatically re-directed to the mobile site with the option of accessing the desktop site if they wish.

Over the past couple of months we have been asked more and more if a mobile site is possible, the simple answer is yes!

Templates vs. Design

When making decisions about a new website the questions that you may be asking yourself are, ” Do I want to build my own website  using widely available, generic  templates which  can be bought or are provided free on many websites?”  OR,  “Do I employ an expert to make one specifically designed to reflect my own particular companies  image and ethos?”

Worpress is an good starting point for both. There are countless free templates and many quality templates that you can buy and these will provide you with a basic website.

In asking herself these very questions, one of our clients, Rosalind Walker , who owns The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello, Edinburgh had these thoughts:

“I had seen many websites built by friends and others seeking to save themselves  a bit of money by using web building templates (understandable given the major expense  involved in all aspects of starting up a new business).

However, in using them it often felt that they remained forever incomplete or were totally confusing…many seemed to be left un-updated with a sense of the ‘Marie Celeste’ …someone had been there but had just upped and left! 

I had taken many personal and financial risks in order to set up my own business…I decided I wanted an expert to put a public face to this business…I  set about finding a good web-designer”

Nowadays everyone is likely to be aware of the importance of a website in the promotion of a new or existing business – having it look good and easy to navigate has to be a priority.

In todays very crowded market place it is vital to stand out and promote your particular companies individuality and brand – with their knowledge and experience of the online world and a web designer/developer is likely to be of great value.

A bespoke website design will provide your business with an individual look which will be attractive to both new and returning customers. Having your website designed to do exactly what you want and need it to do will make your life very much easier as well as ultimately being extremely cost effective.

We have the knowledge and experience to organise your products, events, categories, tags, posts, pages and anything else that is essential in making the site function smoothly…

When a site is well organised users will find it simple to navigate and easy to use – it will encourage them to return again and again and to recommend it to others.

If you need all of the above, please get in touch and we will provide it.

Gift Vouchers

Being able to sell gift vouchers without having to lift a finger at a busy time of year like Christmas sounds pretty good right! Now you can by making the vouchers downloadable PDFs. Customers simply purchase an item out of the store like normal and they are emailed the voucher which they can print out and give as a gift.

Easily added to a current Woo Commerce system on WordPress you are able to sell not only monetary gift vouchers but experiences as well. The vouchers can be given an expiry date and can even be personalised with the recipients name.

Contact us if you and your business are interested!