Friday, 9 December 2011

Mobile Website Design

Yorkshire is a major tourism region and visitors are relying heavily these days on their Smartphones and mobile phones to locate Yorkshire businesses and tourist attractions. Many of our Yorkshire website design clients are starting to recognise the need for App development and a good mobile interface to allow for this ever-emerging market.

Is it time to consider a mobile website design for your business? It's not just about tourism, Smartphones offer the consumer an ability to contact any type of business on the move as well as do some online Christmas shopping while they're at it!

More specifically to our Yorkshire clients, a mobile site may mean extra online accommodation bookings, beauty therapy appointments, computer game purchases or even looking up a great place to have a meal.

With Christmas coming up especially (I wonder how many phones will be sold as Christmas presents this year?!), the Smartphone and mobile internet market will be bigger than ever in 2012. Statistics are now saying that mobile internet is soon to overtake desktop and laptop/notebook browsing.

We are all starting to get used to having a wealth of information and websites available to us on the move, whether on an iPad or a Google Android phone...

Every hit your website gets from a mobile device isn't a potential customer, but rather has the potential to aggravate and lose your visitor to another business that has catered correctly to mobile interface design.

Currently most websites will load up on Smartphones and show correctly (unless using flash or other third party plugins), the problem is the text will be tiny, the images indistinguishable and menus are usually very difficult to navigate correctly.

This is not the fault of your website designer - with websites designed for larger platforms this is unavoidable. To make the user interface suit everyone's devices would mean a lesser experience for the user, so why would we want to strip away the quality that the power of a desktop computer can serve. Some websites can be designed to function correctly across all devices regardless of the type, but for most of the internet this is a lot to ask. In my opinion our best option is to detect what device a visitor is using when they hit one of our websites and then direct them to a portal created for the best specific viewing experience possible.

Redirecting visitors to different website portals or sites isn't a new phenomenon, many websites used to do this for specific browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Explorer or Opera. The need for browser-specific sites is dying out thankfully with CSS 3, html5 and other web standards being used in modern browser design. As improvements are made, along come different problems... We now have more screen sizes than ever, more types of computer than before, different operating systems and platforms - as well as interfaces such as small mobile keyboards, touch screens and even speech recognition with services such as Siri on the iPhone.

Whatever comes next will not fit to your website design, you must instead fit to its design! Mobile, for now, means a smaller screen - it has to fit in your pocket. iPhones and Android phones are increasing screen resolution to provide more screen space, but until we get user interfaces that can project or interface glasses we can wear that plug into our mobiles, the need for mobile websites will only increase. Unless of course we all get better eyesight first with laser eye surgery!

It's all about creating simplified mobile sites that are attached to your standard desktop website. The mobile site may have a prefix to the domain address or different extension, and the site itself must have larger buttons and menus that can be used easily on a mobile as well a clean matching interface to allow the best user experience.

If you're interested in how these kind of mobile websites are designed and how they work please visit on a mobile Smartphone to see the kind of mobile website we can create for you.

We are also currently working on Yorkshire and York App development and other ways to get your business and our clients in Yorkshire featured heavily on mobile devices.

As always I'm happy to help anyone with questions or any businesses in need of Mobile Website Design, visit and send me an email.

Monday, 28 November 2011

York Collectable Coins from the Shambles

We are launching a new Penny Press machine on the Shambles in York which will house 4 brand new collectable York coins. The press will flatten a one pence or penny and create a new pressed York coin. I've submitted the final designs today for the new collectables and here are some graphics of the finished coins. We hope they're a big hit with York locals, tourists and great souvenirs for the kids too!

I'll be posting more about these on the respective York websites found on the coins once they're being manufactured.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Online Marketing with a Newsletter

I've recently been putting together mailing lists with clients to help them further with their online marketing.

Setting up a newsletter or mailing list with your website designer has a large advantage over doing it yourself by sending emails to customers out via Outlook or Gmail etc.

Mailing list applications added to your website design infrastructure are able to enable users of the site to sign up to receive a regular update or newsletter. With this you can promote special offers, news about your business or events. This is great for many of my Yorkshire website design clients in particular, offering insights in to Yorkshire tourism events and attraction news for guests visiting Yorkshire. As another example, I've just helped a local venue set up their What's On in Yorkshire monthly gig listing so they can send it out automatically.

As I've said in my earlier posts, great branding and website SEO is about relevant and quality content rather than spamming potential customers. With a decent mailing list attached to your site you can send thousands of emails and have the advantage of different categories and email types for different types of users depending on the way they have signed up. Being able to tailor your business and online marketing to make it bespoke to the individual offers a large advantage over your competitors. Many of my clients are in the hotel and hospitality industry, so for example having a tick box on the website to allow visitors that are married or staying in York on business, gives you the opportunity to send out different special offers to your targeted audiences.

Speak to your website designer now if you feel you can increase repeat business by interacting with your client base.

Hosting Yorkshire Website Design offers marketing and SEO to help your business, we can help you set up your mailing lists so customers can opt-out or in so you're not bothering them unnecessarily and also giving your powerful control to send thousands of email out to your clients in a few easy steps as regularly as you need to.

Put your online business ahead with an online marketing campaign with Hosting Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Hosting your website in Yorkshire

Simulant Yorkshire website design are now offering a range of services on top of our current website design packages. We can also host your websites and email accounts from just £8 per month, which includes the domain renewal for addresses.
If you're looking for SEO, design tweaks and someone to help keep an eye on your site and give technical support we can help with this also.
With a range of prices for all website design and business needs in York and the Yorkshire region, why not try our service? We are based within York City Walls so are always at hand for IT assistance and website support.
We'll do all the hard work for you - taking the website from your previous company or web designer without you having to understand any of the jargon.
If you're looking for a brand new website design, redesign or improvements to your existing website, or hosting with SEO and support contact Simulant hosting Yorkshire Website Design for a quote at We're always happy to help.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fly by night website SEO

All of us website designers are used to online companies promising great things and within a year disappearing into the fiber-optic abyss. What is worrying is the increasing amount of phone calls from clients I have designed and built websites for reporting spam, cold calling and pressure from many unknown SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) companies out there.

I've been working professionally for businesses as a website designer and developer for over 15 years and don't get me wrong, SEO is a genuine entity and necessity these days, but it's the approach and execution by many companies and individuals that concerns me. At Simulant we try to work long term to help websites achieve a decent search ranking, but in many ways the SEO buzz word is becoming increasingly damaging to the website design industry. The idea of paying a company a few hundred pounds to let them give your site a quick boost on Google to me seems counter productive in the long term, especially when the budget spent on this equates to bad website content. They're targeting the weak and worried, which is many of us at the moment - and a lot of us are falling for it.

I watched a great movie documentary called Page One: Inside the New York Times last night which highlighted how the newspaper industry is struggling due to digital and online alternatives for news. Papers aren't selling and journalists are losing their jobs. One of the many concerns in the film is that if professional print journalism can't be sustained the quality of the news will deteriorate. Many argue this is a good thing, we can read news online, but well written news has to have reliable sources and resources. With less paid journalists out there the sources of well researched and balanced news will become less reliable. Our online news has to come from a good source to start with. Gone will be the foreign correspondents on the front line of war-torn countries and instead we'll all watch YouTube or be reading blogs where we are unsure of the accuracy of the content or even if the story is at all real? Newspapers may not always be completely subjective, but worse is only being left with a social news that is completely opinion based and bias through emotion, location or monetary gain. We already have a mass social news on the internet but we still need the balance of professional journalists who have been trained and have a professional insight. The challenge is to move to a digital market without compromising quality of news or even many of it's original sources. Website news is a large ripple in a vast ocean, like Chinese whispers. News is instant, but then so are the problems of those articles not being checked or fully researched before publishing.

The website design industry faces a similar struggle. DIY websites and low-budget SEO with false promises could mean further bad content online.
Filling a website with keywords, nonsensical terms and hundreds of links may give more hits initially, but in the long-term this content will materialise to simply putting your potential customers off and making your website look like some sort of scam (something Google will also frown upon). With this approach you won't last long.

I have also head of many companies offering customers a guaranteed first page Google ranking by charging say £500, the company then spends £300 on Google adwords advertising and pockets the £200 as easy money, this means Google ads are doing all the work for them and once the money runs out the website drops back to its original position - the client could have spent the full £500 budget on the ads and have retained the position for much longer. This kind of offer pitched at customers over the phone sounds great. "I can guarantee you're on page one of Google for just £500, think of the money you'll make back from that within the month in extra business and enquiries!"

Us website designers need to warn about the dangers of these scammers and start informing our clients and website maintenance/management customers that we can easily too add them a budget for Google advertising without the high charges and commissions, or show them how to do it themselves - this is far more effective than paying separate SEO companies for fly by night success. Our clients need to know that Google algorithms are constantly monitoring your site so good SEO is about looking forward and ever developing a website to continue to help it climb, keeping the content clean, fresh and relevant to retain it's search position. Many businesses are tempted to jump ship every few months to try a new online service but their own website designer can do the things these companies offer at a fraction of the price. Good online marketing campaigns are team effort and relies on good content from the business and good publication from the web designer.

Remember, often if it sounds too good to be true, it is! Those businesses working the hardest with their website designer will benefit the most. My advice is stay in constant contact, ask your website designer questions about your site and also generate ideas with your website designer on how best to market the site throughout the year. You'll be amazed at the improvement in search ranking.

Simulant Yorkshire Website Design offer ongoing SEO services, website design, hosting and more from the City Centre of York in Yorkshire. For more information or help with your website please visit:

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Holidays In York Letting Agents Website Design

Simulant Website Design are currently working for InYork Holidays Letting Agents on a brand new accommodation letting website. With a clean fresh new look, properties for rent in York through InYork will now have their own unique page with photos, availability calendar and map. We're focussing on promoting York accommodation and York tourism with the new site.

Monday, 17 October 2011 is a new eCommerce website selling Video Games, Consoles, Computer Hardware and Software, as well as loads of retro Nintendo, Sega and Playstation games. Simulant hosting of Yorkshire are proud to work in conjunction with Sore Thumb Retro Video Games and help further promote York Businesses online through great website design.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Self Catering Web Design

We have just completed work on - York holiday rental apartments in the city centre. A fantastic place to stay whether on holiday or just visiting York. Popeshead currently comprises of two accommodation apartments with ensuite bathrooms, fully furnished facilities and kitchens which Simulant Yorkshire Website Design completed photography and website design for.

Guesthouse Website Design

Pinfold Cottage Guest House in York are launching a brand new website. York Web Designers at Simulant have just put this in place at: - a great family run bed and breakfast in York.

Yorkshire Accommodation Website Design

Mick and Mandy from Bronte Guest House in York recently asked Simulant Web Design Yorkshire to clean up their old webpage. Here is a link to the new site we currently manage for them: The Bronte is a lovely bed and breakfast in Bootham, close to the City Centre of York and the Museum Gardens.

Hotel Website Design

Galtres Lodge Hotel now have their 3rd website with Simulant York hosting provider. A York web designer from Simulant created their first over 5 years ago now! This time the owner (Nick) has decided on a bold green look. The main challenge with this one was just improving the navigation of the site, so that in a few click potential guests could access the restaurant information, menus, wine lists, special offers etc and most of all the book online feature. Galtres Lodge is still one of the best hotels in York, it's a fantastic place to stay and Michael's Brasserie serves great food. One of York's best and most central city centre guest house accommodation hotels and restaurants.
 Check out the new website design at

Guest House Website Design

Simulant web design Yorkshire are currently working on a new website for a newly opened Bed and Breakfast in Harrogate called Scotia House. The website address is:

Clothing Retail Website Design

Simulant web design Yorkshire and hosting is now maintaining, a friendly shop based on the historic Shambles street which sells the finest Bolivian handbags, clothing, gifts and imported souvenirs.

Pub Web Design

The Shepherd & Shepherdess Pub in Beamish website is now complete - a great website for a fantastic pub with great ales and home cooked food.

If you're in the area we recommended stopping by for a pub meal or drink in a fantastic atmosphere!

Dance Academy Web Design

We have just created a new version of for the Chelle's Dance Academy. If you're looking for good dance tuition, yearly stage shows or competitive dance then this is the place to contact.