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In 1997 Tony Raybould, Marketing Director of Dorset Web Ltd., went out to advise local businesses throughout Dorset on the benefits of developing a presence on the Internet. Even though he was aware of its incredible potential, he still finds it hard to believe that 25 years later the Internet would be such a vital part of everyone’s life. Back then it was a case of explaining what a website was, how a modem worked, that email was a new, easier way of communicating and that they would not need a fax machine in the future - only to be told at the end of an hour-long meeting “This Internet thing won't catch on”.
There were of course some early believers and adopters who appreciated how important the Internet may become to their business. The more of them Tony managed to get on board, the more the business grew. With clients including Dorset Police, Dorset Fire, Monkey World and Cottages Direct, Dorset Web gained a reputation as an industry leader, not just throughout Dorset but further afield too. With this reputation came many more enquiries and new clients, and a number of national clients were acquired. Due to this expanding portfolio Dorset Web changed its name to Radikls, which has since gone from strength to strength working on website projects such as James Bond, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Only Fools and Horses, Midsomer Murders and Lord Of The Rings.
Today we focus our passion and skills on offering smaller businesses the support they need to succeed. This includes their hosting, website design and most importantly securing them great positions in Google search results, which has become an incredibly significant aspect of running an online business. We have a wide range of clients covering many sectors across the country. From electricians to roofers and antique shops to funeral directors, our client base now benefits from nicely designed websites that are found easily by those within their local area, ensuring they get business ahead of their competitors.
From day one we have been dedicated to offering a professional and personal service that helps our customers’ websites reach their potential, and we continue striving to achieve this each day. We’d like to thank all of the clients and employees who have contributed to our success over the past 25 years - here’s to the next 25!
We know that it can be difficult to keep your website up to date when your business is busy. It’s often something that is easy to put off until later; pushing it to the bottom of your to-do list before never actually getting around to it. At Dorset Web we can relieve you of the stress that managing your own business website brings.
Our hosting, website design, SEO, and support services can provide you with the ideal website management solution, giving you peace of mind that your online presence is in good hands, allowing you to fully concentrate on running your business.
If you don’t already have an existing website we can provide a completely bespoke website design service, which includes:
An outdated or neglected website is not a good look and will typically result in visitors immediately leaving and searching for a more appealing alternative. If you’re concerned that you won’t have enough time to give your website the attention it requires, let us bear that responsibility for you. Contact Dorset Web today to discuss how our comprehensive range of website design and management services can meet the needs of your business.
It's no wonder that website traffic and online orders have increased considerably since the launch late last year of and Attico websites hosted by Dorset Web.
A comprehensive redesign, a vast array of high quality images, the implementation of a new e-commerce platform have all led to a stunnning website. A local business grant for website development was a very welcome fillip to the project. The end results are clear to see with crisp, clear, uncluttered pages showcasing the full range of high quality items that Attico offers for sale. Specialist gifts, fine paintings, stylish greetings cards, Sid Dickens' hand-painted tiles and many other unique and attractive items.
The "Lockdown at Home" section on the Attico website has been particulaly popular with a wide range of puzzles, books and craft ideas on offer.
The website has been backed up by Dorset Web's support services. SEO, social media and e-commerce expertise playing a big part. The content management system facilitates maintenance of the site, particularly important where the availability of fast-selling items needs regular updating.
Like all retailers, the owner is longing to be able to open up her shop in the Westbourne Arcade for visitors again soon. In the meantime, she is delighted that the new, professionally designed, fully interactive website is doing their job and bringing in a steady flow of new customers and new and profitable business.
Last Orders Drinks Supplier Poole and Bournemouth has responded quickly to the new “normal” with the introduction of Click and Collect and free delivery to customers in Bournemouth and Poole*. Traffic to its website has increased substantially with a subsequent surge in online sales. Shifting its resources to “home” sales, adapting swiftly to the COVID environment has been challenging, yet rewarding.
*Customers with a BH Postcode ordering in excess of £100 worth of beer, cider, wine, fizz or soft drinks benefit from free delivery, below this, there is a small charge of £3.00 (minimum order £40.00).
Established in 1998, conveniently located in Parkstone, Poole, Last Orders prides itself in offering an extensive range of popular bottled beers and wines, in addition to keg beers, exclusive wines, spirits and soft drinks. It is renowned for its excellent service and knowledge of the drinks market. Advice and assistance are available in abundance. Its easy-to-use online shopping site, and importantly, COVID safe and secure delivery and collection service takes the hassle out of ordering your favourite tipple.
Home delivery, online ordering of beers, ciders, spirits, soft drinks and special offers goes hand-in-hand with home drinking. Last Orders is there for you NOW in these challenging times and, even when we are all able to visit our favourite pubs and restaurants again in the future, theywill still be there for customers in Bournemouth and Poole to help you with all your drink supplies. Cheers!
It seems the best approach for your business this New Year is to make your website ‘responsive’. Have you looked at your site on a tablet and different smart phones? If your site is correctly sized, and provides an optimal viewing experience with minimum scrolling, more customers will engage with your content. With a distinct audience shift to mobile browsing, search engines are placing responsive sites higher.
Dorsetweb's clients, weathervanes-direct.co.uk, have noticed an increase in customer activity with statistics that 48% of enquiries came through their new responsive website design. Steve Randall, of fencingcentre.co.uk, also says ‘our sales of log cabins and other products have increased by 25% since we became responsive and developed our search engine marketing’.
Tony Raybould of Dorsetweb says ‘we have seen very quickly that a responsive website is essential in todays consumer market.’
Axent Embroidery produce customised embroidered and printed clothing for corporates, schools and universities, alongside groups, clubs and associations. They also make clothing that is specific to trips and tours, so if your sports team or dance troupe is planning an excursion or competition tour, then Axent can produce fun and exciting items that will help to promote group cohesion and increase team spirit. Axent has been looking to redevelop their website for a while to keep up with growth and to make it easier for customers to view and order products online, however they have been so busy that it has been hard for them to find the time. Eventually it became imperative that Axent addressed this issue, so they contacted Dorset Web to undertake the long-overdue task of building an up-to-date e-commerce site.
Axent wanted customers to be able to view their full range of base products before contacting them for a quote for personalised embroidery. The new system not only enables customers to view products but uses form pages for both simple and detailed enquiries. We also built our Net-sell e-commerce system into the site to make ordering of their high quality branded products even easier. Our ordering systems are innovative and intuitively designed, yet are easy to use and feel familiar to the end user. This not only helps to ensure that prospective customers stay on the site long enough to secure a purchase but also boosts Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) by encouraging "click-throughs" and increasing traffic. A good e-commerce site will also promote brand loyalty, as fast, efficient and above all safe online transactions, ensure that customers to feel confident to come back time and time again.
Another feature that we have included in Axent's website is that it is "responsive". This means that it adapts to different kinds of devices from PCs to MacBooks, mobile phones to tablets. Building Axent a "responsive website" has not only enabled ease of viewing for customers on the move but has also helped SEO by adhering to the "30 second rule" of usability. In other words, a simple website that is easy to view and navigate on all hardware and platforms will encourage users to remain on the site. This factor, combined with an uncomplicated online payment system using a choice of either Sage Pay or PayPal, makes for a site that is as user friendly as possible.
Here at Dorset Web we love to work with successful small businesses to create websites that have that personal touch. In an age of multi-national corporations and mass-produced imports its lovely to see companies that were started locally and yet have gained an international reputation for unique products made with the highest quality of craftsmanship. Dorset Weathervanes is one such company. A small business started by one man (Graham Smith), who has been making weathervanes since 1986 after combining his artistic skills with manufacturing expertise from fifteen years as a Precision Engineer. After building up a reputation locally, the company has gone on to gain an international client base and has produced over 9000 hand-made weathervanes across 20 countries. Dorset Weathervanes offer a comprehensive personal design service, which means that many of their products are unique and personal to the client. And it is precisely this personal touch, which is the key to the company's success.
Likewise, Dorset Web share the same ethos of client centred design. We produce unique websites, individually tailored to suit each client's needs. So in response to the need to reflect both the locally-produced artisanal nature of Graham's products and his global reputation, Dorset Web developed a site which could accommodate both Dorset Weathervanes' growth and their personal and unique service. Their previous website had been running for 12 years and was not able to reflect the high levels of professionalism nor the international service that the company provides. Therefore, we were able to supply them with a highly efficient e-commerce website system for their standard product ranges together with more personal touches like company history, product images and client testimonials. By simplifying Dorset Weathervanes e-commerce system, making it visually stimulating, yet more intuitive and familiar to the end user, Dorset Web have also ensured that potential customers feel at home when visiting the site and therefore more comfortable to spend money. Indeed, this is essential in an international context, where it is imperative to communicate that all-important sense of trust to prospective customers.
Alongside these things, we also made the new website “responsive”. In other words we made a site that would keep that same level of usability on all hardware, including mobile phones and tablets. A responsive website will have adaptive scaling parameters and use relative units like percentages for images and page elements. This allows for ease of reading and navigation on all devices, and ensures that a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling is required from the user. We did this to ensure that potential customers viewing the site on mobile devices remain on it for longer than the first 30 seconds, which are critical for ensuring that first time users continue to use it rather than look elsewhere.
We recently launched the assured retirement living provider Royal Bay Care Homes' new website with the effect of increasing click-throughs and boosting the online visibility of their portfolio. So far we have not only improved the company's overall traffic by 20% but enhanced the visibility of Royal Bay's regional estates. The Dorset Web team did this by modernising their main website to make it more user-friendly and by using newer source codes to ensure that it is simpler and easier to maintain. More importantly, we gave each of the company’s care homes its own domain name and more location friendly meta-titles so that they ranked high in regional searches.
Dorset Web have not only designed Royal Bay’s new website and improved SEO but have also been able to help maintain and manage the sites of all the care homes in the company’s portfolio. We have also provided them with our net-inform package, which enables visitors to Royal Bay's website to view the latest news stories for all regional sites. We were also able to provide a simpler email system to maintain and manage email contacts, together with a highly competitive maintenance and consultancy package to ensure our commitment to the company’s future. Moreover we also built Royal Bay an Extranet system so that care home managers are able to access and download the latest forms and information, and to place requests for capital. We did this at the company's request because they wanted to ensure that each home was using up-to-date forms and information, and that expenditure requests had to be formally accepted before capital was released. Since its installation, this centralised system has not only become a valuable tool in a fast growing environment but also a necessity in ensuring that all managers are kept up to date with central policy and information.
It’s still early days for this launch but all in all Royal Bay’s online traffic is improving and more importantly each of their care homes is showing up better in regional searches. Moreover, Royal Bay are very happy with the new look of the site, which uses more streamlined and accessible design, and on the strength of the growth already witnessed, it looks like the project is another Dorset Web success story.
A unique Japanese experience awaits those that stay at Hellbarn Holiday Cottages in North Chideok, Bridport. Owned by Shige and Diana Takezoe, the four barn conversions offer a relaxing away from it all winter break and the chance to experience Shige cooking a fantastic Japanese dinner.
The website has been managed by Dorsetweb as one of their longest clients in 15 years of trading and most of the bookings are through the website. Visit hellbarn.co.uk for more information.