One of the overriding themes of web design in recent years is the importance of a great user experience. When people visit a website, it’s the equivalent of them walking into your shop. It’s important that visitors feel welcome and enjoy their time there. Part of this is down to the way the site looks, but a vital factor is ensuring visitors can find what they’re looking for and convert to paying customers quickly and frustration-free. For businesses who provide appointment based services, be they personal trainers, gyms, therapists, consultants, restaurants, activity centres or something else entirely, a robust and reliable integrated online booking system is an essential component of a good user experience and a high conversion rate. Having successfully implemented a range of booking systems on client’s websites, we offer a booking system integration service to help those looking to add this functionality to their digital platforms.
Robust booking system integration
Visitors to your business website need to be able to convert to customers as quickly and painlessly as possible, but with an endless number of seemingly great booking systems out there it can be impossible to know which way to turn. For many, the answer is simply to find the cheapest, install it and hope for the best. It can then take days or weeks before the business has an idea of how well that system works for them. By that time, the amount of labour invested into integrating the platform can make it a nightmare task to then change and even then the change may be to an equally inappropriate platform. By working with us you can avoid this messy process of trial and error and begin with a robust system, fit to grow with your business.
Understanding which booking system best for your business
Having implemented booking systems for clients across a huge range of industries for many years, we’ve had hands-on experience with all the key players in the world of online booking systems. Working with us, you have direct access to our knowledge. We’ll take the time to sit down with you and chat through what functionality it is you need. This means understanding the nature of your business and the services you offer and learning about your target customer and their preferences. Armed with this knowledge our team can then identify the most effective booking system suitable for your niche, no need for trial and error here. Of course, all solutions we suggest will be mobile and tablet friendly, ensuring the best possible user experience no matter where your visitors have come from.
Booking systems integration from an experienced perspective
Over the last 10 years we’ve built hundreds of websites. With the many website platforms and frameworks out there, not all are fully capable of successful integration with all booking systems. By partnering with us, you’ll get the benefit of our extensive web design experience, which means no nasty surprises if you try to integrate a booking system that won’t work with your platform. We’re on hand to help, we’ll present alternatives and explain the advantages and limits of each. Alternatively, we can migrate or rebuild your site on a modern, user-friendly platform, ensuring full support for the very best booking systems in your industry and future-proofing your site for years to come.
If you need help navigating the maze of online booking system integration, give our friendly team a call today. We’re always up for a chat and will help cut through the jargon and find the system that’s going to work best for your business.
Frequently asked questions
Definitely, this is vital and is a fundamental part of all of our designs.
Edits to the coding of your websiteEven though most websites are written in a common programming language (html) – different designers use their own variations of the language, which slows down the speed that edits can be made by us.
- The text and images you may have utilised on your website are very useful and can continue to be used
- However, the (html) coding that your previous web-designers may have used to get your text and images to display may not be so great and in some cases, could benefit from an overhaul
- If your website is a basic, mainly static html website, then it is possible that small edits can be made with ease and should not cost much.
- However, if your website is very large or contains animations, galleries, interactive elements or quote forms, then it’s likely that edits will cost much less if the same work was being done on an Alloy website.
If you are launching a new online marketing campaign including social media, SEO etc. and your website requires major edits and additions such as news, information, frequently asked questions etc. – then working on 3rd party code will cost much more than if the same work was being done on an Alloy Website.
- In general, if you are considering investing more than £300 in online marketing for your business – then it’s likely that your 3rd party website will become the limiting factor in our efforts
- If your 3rd party website requires technical edits/corrections, you should consider if buying an Alloy website would resolve these issues at a lower cost than the edits on 3rd party code.
By spending from just £299 on an Alloy designed website – you not only get a solid foundation to build upon, but also your further marketing investments are amplified by the built-in features of Alloy websites such as:
- Blog publishing platform
- RSS feed output for syndication
- Easy code editing
- Easy edits by the customer via the CMS admin platform
- Almost all website add-ons are from £40 and can be bolted-on with ease (testimonials, advanced quotes, link directory etc.) allowing your website to expand with your business.
- Keen to stick with your website created by a 3rd party?That’s fine we are happy to work with you however possible, but 90% certain it will cost you more(in the long-run).
- Considering a new website built by Alloy but worried about the costs?from just £299 you can get your old website data moved over onto an AlloyCMS platform, ready for you to get publishing blog posts and to reap the financial rewards of having a website that ranks better on the search engines, and brings you more business.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Whats the difference?
- Edits or additions to Static HTML websites are done through a code editor that requires you to update every file on the website upon each edit.
- CMS websites allow you to create single files to control the appearance of pages, then dynamically inject content into these pages to rapidly create multiple different pages with an identical layout.
As an example, if you wanted to add a portfolio to your website, of say 6 projects including a projects summary page + 6 individual project pages.
- To code in static HTML this would cost approx 7 x £40 per page = £280
- To code in a CMS website costs approx £100 to create the templates then add 6x £10per page to create the portfolio items = £160
Scenario 1: If you have had a website for several years and are ‘due’ for a brand new website, then fantastic!
- Our statistics show your new completely new redesigned site will help to convert around 10-25% more visitors into enquiries than your old website
- Building from your text and any photos on your old site, your new one can be put together faster than a website for a new company
- Any further online marketing investments in your Alloy website, build upon the strongest of foundations, to create an impressive tool for converting customers and also to build a valuable online presence for your business on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo).
Scenario 2: Possibly you have a more recently-built website, that does not perform well in terms of converting customers, or attracting visitors from search engines. It’s the same in every trade, and as you may expect – all webdesigners/ SEO / Marketing Consultants are not made equal, so if you have any doubts your current providers are not giving your business the best possible chance online – (whilst online marketing channels offer small businesses a phenomenal potential), then it’s up to you to act for the benefit of your business.
- In some cases it’s possible work with your current website to make improvements and additions
- But often edits to a 3rd party website will incur extra costs, and if you intend to make a major push for increasing online visibility and lead generation, it often becomes far more cost efficient to move over to an Alloy CMS website which from just £250, offer the strongest possible website platform to build upon.
What’s so great about Alloy websites?
- Edits to your website are cheaper than you may be used to
- Alloy sites can be upgraded to have a built-in blog publishing platform – regularly publishing news and testimonials, tips and advice, helps to keep your website and online presence ‘fresh’ and topical to benefit from even higher rankings and more leads generated from search engines.
- Your website is linked up with Analytics visitor tracking software – goals are created & conversions are tracked from day1
- Your website is coded to perform in harmony with the search engine algorithms, who sweep through on a regular basis to judge your site and determine it’s ranking potential on the search engine results pages (SERPS)
- You get an premium quality and high reliability web+email hosting service
So hopefully, after weighing up the pros and cons, you will come to the conclusion that an Alloy website offers both your business a visually appealing and high performing interactive brochure, but also acts as a highly tuned ‘engine’ that can power your online marketing activities, moving forward.[hr]
So, what’s involved in the move?
1. Your Domain Name
Your domain name (www.mycompanydomainname.co.uk) is the most valuable online asset to your business.
- Before you contact your current webdesigners, you need to find out if you are the legal registrant of the domain.
- Enter your web address here to see who is the registrant of your domain http://whois.domaintools.com/
- If you have your domain printed on stationery, or even your van, it would (of course) cause problems if it was disconnected from your website by a disgruntled webdesigner or company.
- If you are not the registrant of your domain then you need to be very careful asking to gain legal ownership (of what you thought was your property after paying-for, but possibly isn’t)
- Even if you are listed as the domain registrant, you need be cautious asking to gain control of the domain, and move your business elsewhere, as there are several things 3rd parties can do to slow down or complicate the move of your business away from them.
- Once you are ready to make the switch, we can either gain control of your domain and point it to your new Alloy hosting + email account, or we may have to move your domain away from your previous conmapny, to a new domain registrar of your choice. This process is usually free, but requires a renewal of your domain for a year or 2.
- All the details are completely managed for a seamless move with minimum hassle
2. Your website
Your website text and images can be grabbed from your old website before it is taken down, and used in your new design. Your new website can be prepared, ready to go, so that once you give your old company notice, you can have a seamless transfer over to your new Alloy website and premium hosting account.Features of Hosting from Alloy Marketing
- Premium quality UK based hosting
- Servers are based at the premium Blue Square data centres in the UK
- Expected uptime is an outstanding 99.95% uptime
- To give you an idea, there hasn’t been 1 single hosting / uptime complaint from customers in 2012, and it’s mid-April!
3. Your emails
When you enquire about your specific requirements, we can find out how you are currently receiving and sending emails. The identical email accounts and redirects will be recreated on your new Alloy hosting. If you are just using 1or 2 accounts this service is free.If you have more than 2email accounts, there is a nominal admin fee to cover the small costs of setting up the extra accounts on your new hosting and providing the configuration details you need to change if any.
- If you are using hotmail, gmail, yahoomail or another free service, and you receive emails forwarded from your website, then you will not need to change anything at all and your transfer will be seamless.
- If you are using your business email address to send/receive via POP or IMAP, using a desktop email browser such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail Desktop Version etc. We can setup the same accounts on your new hosting, but with new passwords, so you will just need to open the options panel for your email software and enter your new email server passwords and details. This is a very easy process that we can provide clear illustrated instructions so that you can complete at your end within about 10 minutes.
Once your new website is designed and ready to go, and you are ready to make the move, we initiate the process by gaining control of your domain name and then pointing over to the new Alloy webhosting. Unlike many conventional agencies, we have the flexibility to be able to initiate your transfer at the weekend, so if there is a few hours when your website is not available, it’s at the weekend.
- If you have control of your domain, the transfer time will be between 2-24 hours.
- If you don’t have control of your domain, and we need to transfer it to a new domain registrar, so that we can gain control of it and point it to Alloy webhosting, then the process can take between 4 – 48hours.
The design process
Here is a summary of our design process to help you keep the costs of your design as low as possible:
- Stage 1: Research and feedback – We will send a questionnaire to collect your ideas and see which competitors have websites you like.
- Stage 2: Mockups / concept designs – Your suggestions and ideas will be transformed into a visual mockup image of your website home page, we usually provide an intial mockup and refine this towards a finished design. Changes to the design at this stage are the cheapest, and it’s best to get something you are 90% happy with in the mockup stage, especially in terms of the general layout of the pages, and the colour schemes.
- Stage 3: Concept converted into a working website, for you to try out and test, we will make the final tweaks and add that “polish” to visual design at this point. Changing a few photos or text at this stage is usually fine and within the bounds of your website quoted budget, however major changes to the design such as change of colour schemes, major changes to the layout of the pages may incur additional costs, but we will always notify you before proceeding with work that is beyond the scope of the original quote.
In summary, try to get all your ideas prepared and given to us at stage 1, and making major changes to the design will always be cheaper during stage 2, rather than stage 3.
Additional edits to your design
- We will inform you of any work that is out of the scope of the original quote before proceeding with any work.
- Additional edits beyond the scope of the original quote will be quoted for you on an ad-hoc basis, usually at the standard rate of £30 per hour with 1/2 hour minimum.
Ownership and copyright
On receipt of your final payment of the website design balance, you will have full ownership of the website design and text, and of course any images provided by you. If we have provided photos for you in the design, we retain the rights to these photos. If you have bought photos yourself for the design, or we have bought photos on your behalf, you will have ownership on receipt of the design balance.
If we have registered a domain name on your behalf, or you have transferred your domain to our management, then you will retain full ownership of the domain as long as you are up to date with your domain name renewal payments which are paid yearly and usually cost around £7 per year for .co.uk domains and £12 per year for .com domain names. Failure to pay your domain name renewal fees within 30 days will result in your domain either expiring, so that neither us or you can control it anymore and it will return to the market for sale in 45 days. In some situations where the renewal fee is not paid within 30 days, we may choose to pay your renewal fee which would give us legal ownership of the domain name.
If you registered your domain or in situations where we were managing your domain name and you requested for us to transfer the control of the domain over to you: You have the responsibility to renew, pay for and manage your domain name, and we can not accept responsibility if your domain is not renewed in time and goes into expiry mode.
Many extras are listed to give you an idea of prices, some are not, please ask if you can’t find the add on you’re looking for.
- Homepage slider – from £30
- Photo Galleries – from £30
- Testimonials slider – from £30
- Latest news slider – from £30
- Polls / Surveys – from £30
Social media Add-ons
- Twitter feed – from £POA
- Facebook feed – from £POA
- Social sharing buttons – from £POA
- Social Follow buttons – from £POA
- Website feed into Facebook Page – from £POA
- Share to reveal content – from £POA
Enquiry form Add-ons
- Extra fields in standard forms – from £20
- Advanced enquiry forms – from £30
- Survey forms – from £30
- Quotation forms – from £30
- Fact finder forms – from £POA
- Enquiry / quote calculators – from £POA
- Blogging / Article publishing platform – from £POA
- Article submission – from £POA
- Recip. Link directory platform – from £POA
- Email marketing integration – from £POA
- CRM integration – from £POA
- Email newsletter subscription setup – from £20
- RSS Feed subscription setup – from £20
Don’t delete it! Speak to us first or you might lose the SEO benefits of having had a website at all, even if it might not be a great one there will be some value in it!
We’re here for you! Our copywriters and content creators will be in a great place to devise a content plan once they’ve finished learning about your business and building elements of your new site. Give us a call to chat about what you need.
We understand that some customers may have already invested in a website and simply want to add functionality to it. We’re always happy to help with this. Sometimes existing sites have been built on frameworks which don’t support certain features and upgrades. In these cases we’ll have a chat with you and take a look at what you’ve currently got in order to work out the most economical way to get the features you’re looking for.
As part of our competitor research we look at the design styles being used on other websites in your industry. We also chat with you about the look and feel you’d like for your site. If there are particular websites you like the look of then do share them with us and let us know what you like. If there’s a site you’d like as a template we’re always happy to take design cues from it. Rather than copy it, we’ll make you something ever better.
Weekly, or bi-weekly updates are the best way to demonstrate to Google that your business is active and deserving of ranking. If you can’t think of ways to continually update your website with new content we can help you come up with a strategy.
- For 30 days after the launch of your new website, you can request edits (within reason) free of charge.
- After this stage, or if you have a website designed by a 3rd party – website updates are charged at £30 per hour with a 1 hour minimum.
- Most edits such as changing phone numbers or addresses only takes a few minutes, so it’s worth preparing some other text you may wish to add or edit to get the maximum value for money for your 1 hour.
- Adding full pages to your website is also charged by the hour, but in general, they take 1 hour to create and then around 20 minutes of edits – resulting in an average charge of £40 per page.
- Please ask for a free no obligation quote before any work starts so you know exactly what you are getting.
- See here for the webdesign package price list
The standard turnaround for a website is 4 weeks from the date we receive all the content and information needed to build it. Depending on the complexity of the site it can sometimes be quicker than this, so if you need something completing urgently do let us know and we’ll do all we can to help. If you’d like a holding page or something similar to act as placeholder whilst your site is being worked on, just ask.
Small businesses are often targeted by cyber criminals because historically they have paid less attention to the security and maintenance of their websites. To combat this and mitigate the threat of attack we offer a number of services to make your site as secure as possible. Our security-focussed options include 3 tiers of email and website hosting, SSL upgrades and regular malware and virus scanning.
First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by your good selves, or that you’ve got permission to use them. Then, when your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
- You will own the visual elements that we create for this project. We’ll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as we’re not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
- We will own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete design and we’ll license that you, exclusively and in perpetuity for this single project only, unless we agree otherwise. We can provide a separate estimate for that.
- We love to show off our work and share what we’ve learned with other people, so we reserve the right, with your permission, to display and link to your project as part of our portfolio and to write about it on websites, in magazine articles and in books.
There are great SEO benefits to regularly updating your website with new content, so we always encourage our customers to do so. We use cutting edge content management systems on the sites we build to allow for client’s and their staff to easily add updates once their websites are complete. If you’re not confident in doing this it’s something we’re always happy to help with. We can also help you put together a content plan and assist with content creation too if needed.