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The technology we use

Things move fast in the web world - the rules, user experience, search engine algorithms, data protection, advertising, SEO and much more. We make websites using a range of tools and languages.

Webflow is a brilliant system for designing websites. Unlike many web 'builders', this one produces fantastic, clean code and is a joy to use. We have produced over 100 sites using the system and we plan to build a lot more.

WordPress doesn’t mean themed templates, we build bespoke templates for your WordPress project based on your unique designs.
We are able to utilise well supported plugins to provide additional functionality at a sensible cost.

Drupal is an open source platform with an excellent support base. We mainly use this platform for larger, enterprise type sites, however some of our clients have requested we build smaller sites using it too.

Magento is probably the leading standalone, open source, e-commerce platform available at the moment. It’s a big platform and is capable, with its many modules, of providing practically any functionality an e-commerce site might require.

Laravel is a our chosen PHP framework for bespoke building. We settled on this because it is simple, robust, offers fast development and incredibly well supported. It’s the tool we use to build all our bespoke PHP projects with.

Where would we be without Adobe - the designers friend? Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, we use them all for photo retouching, logo design and all the other things you can do with Creative Studio.

web design and finding customers

Finding customers

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Getting visitors to your website is essential if you want to attract business. You can learn more about this process in the Marketing section, but, as far as making your site work well with the search engines, we make sure all the bases are covered:

  • The search engines love websites that work well with all devices, we make sure it looks great on desktops, tablets and mobile phones - whichever way up they are held!
  • The code which we use to make your website is fast and clean. This means we make sure there is no complicated code which slow the site down - the search engines don't like it.
  • We use metatags, alt tags and title tags to make sure your website accurately reflects what you do.
  • We work hard to make sure your website opens efficiently and fast or potential customers will walk away. All images used on your site will be optimised for the screen they are used on - large for large screens, small for mobiles.
  • We tell all the major search engines about your site using Webmaster Tools. These are systems used by the engines which scan your site on a regular basis to ensure it reflects everything that is going on.
  • Getting potential customers to your site is 90% of the battle, after that you need to get them to contact you. We work hard to make sure we convert as many customers as we can and stop them from leaving within 7 seconds!

It's easy to make a website, it takes years of experience to make sure it finds you customers.

SSL in  web design

What is SSL?

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SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a protocol which is designed to defend against eavesdropping and tampering of online systems such as email and websites. It is particularly prevalent in the area of ecommerce systems where information is provided by customers relating to their financial records. You can learn about the details of the system here. SSL, or strictly speaking TLS, websites will start with https.

Although the systems have been developed over 20 years, more and more companies are switching their websites to these system because they offer a form of security that is not offered on a normal http website. Google, using their browser Chrome announced in April 2017 that they would be marking non-SSL websites as Unsecure and it is likely that all browsers will follow this lead over the coming months and years.

Another reason why this move is relevant to everyone running a website is that Google, and likely every search engine, will mark down non-secure websites when determining search results. This inevitably means that unsecure sites will have lower search traffic than secure.

Here at Zigger, all our websites are SSL. There are a few circumstances where the process is complicated by your current domain, website and email settings, (For instance, if you have a current non-secure site, then we need to make sure we divert any links from the old system to the new.) but we are happy to discuss your particular circumstances individually.

If you have any questions about SSL then please call us on 0330 223 0078 and we will be happy to help.

Website design and marketing

Marketing your site

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Creating a website and not marketing it is like writing a book and leaving it on your desk; no-one knows about it and you won't sell anything. There are lots of ways - both free and paid-for - that will allow you to push your website out to potential customers:

  • Make sure you buy a good domain name. The domain name is a unique name that you can buy and attach to your website. It can also form the basis of an email address. So if your company is ‘R Jones Plumbers’, you may want to buy a domain called rjonesplumbers.co.uk. It is good practice to include what you do as well as who you are in the domain. We will then attach this name to your website and you can use it as an email address too.
  • It is good practice to get your name into the popular free directories -such as Yell, Thompson, Free Index - as well as any industry-related directories covering your business.
  • If you haven't already done so, consider getting a business account with Google, this allows you to have access to their services like Place, Analytics and Google+
  • For new websites a good option to consider is Google Adwords. Although this is a paid-for services, it is a good system that is relatively cheap and good value for money. We have run Adwords campaigns for years and will be happy to help out.
web design for optimised websites

Optimised for mobile

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Now that over 50% of internet access is made using a non-desktop device, (in fact it is far higher if you are selling to individuals rather than businesses) it is important your website is easily readable on those devices.

You can test any website by using Google's Mobile-Friendly Tool.

Sounds easy? No not necessarily. When we carry out this work we make sure it looks great on desktops, tablets and mobile phones – in both landscape and portrait modes.

Web design and page speed

Hosting

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Hosting is the process by which your website is available to world. It is put onto a high speed computer, called a server, which is linked to the internet.
We used an experienced UK provider whose services include:

  • Autoscaling
    All our web hosting platforms use our proprietary autoscaling technology. Autoscaling is what makes them ‘true cloud’ platforms: resources allocated to your website are scaled up or down, dependent on demand. So if there’s a traffic surge, your site continues to function and offer the same fast experience for every user.
    Your site isn’t hosted on one or two servers. Instead, it can access the whole platform’s computer, memory and storage resources. So, if for any reason your server is slow, another can step in and take over seamlessly. We always keep plenty of resource in reserve.
    Also, by not being tied to particular servers, it means that if your shared hosting ‘neighbours’ become busy, it doesn’t affect on your site speed. This isn’t the case with many other hosting providers.
  • Load Balancing
    Load balancing is about sharing traffic across servers. Our load balancing makes use of monitors that will respond to traffic load and balance it across multiple servers when needed. Many other providers don’t offer this. The consequence for you is that your site stays online, and remains fast, whatever load the servers are under.
  • 100% SSD storage
    The servers we use incorporate high quality solid state drives (SSD). This provides very high speed response times.
  • Dual octa-core processors
    Each web server has two 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v4 (Broadwell) octa-core processors with hyper-threading to give 32 logical cores per machine. These have access to plenty of fast memory resource: 64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM. Any of our web servers can serve any website we host at any time.
  • Physical security
    All websites and VPS are hosted in a secure, state-of-the-art data centre based in Derbyshire. It’s manned 24/7 and includes high-level physical security measures. These cover everything from backup power generators to advanced fire protection.
accessing website files

Access to your website

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A website is stored as a series of files and folder - images, text, code and pages. These items are stored on the server, but the original copy is also stored in the Cloud using Google Drive and you have access to this file at all times. Once your website is completed, we will send you a link which allows you to access that information whenever you want.

We are frequently approached by people are being held to ransom by their web company, demanding large fees to release their website. We never do this.