Blog - First Image

March 22, 2017

Why a Website Care Plan is so Important

care plans

For many business owners, the task of “getting a new website” is one of those items that spends a bit of time moving up and down their ‘to do’ list before they finally get around to hiring someone to do it.

The reason they need a new site is usually because the old one was looking very dated, didn’t have responsive design to make it compatible with mobiles and tablets, or perhaps lacked some area of functionality that the business now requires.

What do a lot of people do when their new site is finally finished? They breathe a sigh of relief, say, “Phew, that’s another big job off the list” and then get on with attending to all the other distractions that continually vye for their attention.

They think, having now been brought digitally up to date, they won’t have to worry about the website for a few years.

The thing is, a website isn’t like a statue that you can have sculpted in stone, erected and left in place to be admired over the years ahead. It’s a piece of software – and as we all know, in the world of software nothing stays the same for very long.

It would be better to think of a website as like a living thing, or perhaps a garden. If you are paying a gardener, which would be better: to have them come around once a month and take care of the things that need doing – weeding, pruning, maybe a bit of planting – or to leave it for months and months on end and then fork out a lot of money in one go for someone to clear up an overgrown mess?

Just as most people wouldn’t want visitors to see an overgrown, unkempt garden, you obviously don’t want potential clients to arrive on your website and find it slow to load, or that aspects aren’t working as they should – or, worst case, that it is down completely.

All of these issues can lose you enquiries and therefore cost you money.

With a WordPress website, the speed of performance and reliability of the site all depend on the software and any plugins that are installed to be working correctly. All of these things need to be updated regularly.

If you are adding your own content on a frequent basis, this is excellent because of course it helps your search engine rankings. It is however important for someone to be keeping an eye on the site to make sure none of the updates has caused an issue.

Could you do it yourself?

It is possible for you to install your own WordPress updates via your admin screen. The problem though is that if an update to a plugin caused an issue it might not manifest itself as a fault until some weeks later.

At this point, how would you know which update had caused the problem? You might end up have to restore to an older backup – which could in turn mean losing a lot of data and updates that had been added in recent times.

If a big issue arises, how much would it cost for you to pay someone experienced to come in and fix it? It could easily be a lot more than you would ever pay out on a regular care plan.

These are the things you need to consider when weighing up the cost and benefit of a website care plan.

How we can help

With a First Image website care plan, we hold a backup of your entire website. Whenever we update it, we check for issues and then make a new copy of the backup.

Our software keeps track of all the plugins and updates that are made to the back end of the site. In the case of an issue arising, we can look back over the updates and isolate the one that is causing the problem.

Another thing we do is carry out regular security scans. If you are on one of our care plans and we spot an issue with one of your plugins, we often fix it before anyone becomes aware of a problem.

You will know what we have done because we send you a monthly maintenance report, which details all of the updates and fixes we have applied to keep your site in top working order.

Your decision

It’s up to you. To use our analogy again, are you going to leave your nice, newly designed show garden to its own devices, doing the odd bit of weeding whenever you get the chance – or are you going to get a professional gardener to mow stripes in the lawn on a regular basis and keep every plant in perfect condition, in case a prestigious visitor shows up?

At First Image we can provide real value and keep your website in secure, working order all year round for a very manageable fee. We have different care plan packages available, depending on the nature of your site and the degree of maintenance you need.

To find out more about the type of website care plan that would be best for you, please get in touch and chat to us about your own requirements.

September 7, 2016

Is your school website easy to update and use?

school website
A school website enables you to share all of your achievements and hard work with parents, governors, pupils and teachers, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. A good school website with the correct quality content is like having an extra staff member on hand to answer questions that any prospective parents or the community as a whole would like answering. Freeing up valuable staff resource.

But most websites are difficult to update and require a working knowledge of ICT – Not ours! We use a content management system which allows all members of staff to easily update your school website with recent information on the curriculum, newsletters, staff information or any number of pages from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

We can also help you to design a website that you and your school can be proud of. A site that represents the vision, mission and ethos of the school, and provides the best impression to prospective parents and inspectors alike.

Our websites are easy to use too as we pay particular attention when we design your school website to usability and user experience. Why not talk to us about our easily updatable websites which allow you and your staff to get on with more teaching and spend a lot less time updating your website.

Below is a typical number of pages which you may like to have on your new school website. Some may not be appropriate right now – but others may be there which would be useful to your staff, parents and pupils which you hadn’t thought of in the past. If there are pages you’d like which aren’t in this list, do not worry. We will piece together all of your requirements during our early consultations.

  • Home Page – School logo, Head’s opening statement, Welcome Message. Display any awards the school have been recognised for achieving
  • School Mission – Mission, Vision, Philosophy
  • School Newsletters – Weekly, Monthly or Termly newsletters
  • School Awards – Showing names of pupils who have achieved good discipline, academic or sporting acheivement
  • Latest News – Recent events, Up coming events, School and Community Issues, What’s been going on in school
  • Calendar – Meetings, school events and term dates
  • Parents Association – Who are they and what is their role within school
  • Subjects – Information on each subject area of the national curriculum
  • Policies – Containing downloadable information on the various policies you have in school including welfare Child protection & Bullying
  • Teachers/Staff – Who’s who – profiles and pictures Teaching and non-teaching staff
  • Vacancies – Information about recent job vacancies within school
  • Prospectus – Prospectus and detailed information for parents
  • Admissions – Info School admissions information for prospective parents
  • Community – School in the Community/History of the area
  • Directions – Map of the locality and how to find school
  • Class Pages – Containing information on topics each class is studying, revision guides, homework etc
  • Useful Links – Useful school links for pupils to help with homework or useful links for parents such as Ofsted or Parentview etc
  • Governors Section – Who’s Who, the governors role within school
  • Work Showcase – A chance to display the good work done in school
  • Teacher section – A private password protected area for staff where they can share Important documents
  • Contact information – School contact details, email address, contact phone numbers, mailing address Contact us for more information on how we could help you to create an impressive and effective web presence for your school!

If you would like any help setting up your school website, or need a re-vamp on your existing one, please give us a call on 0121 445 6491 where we will be able to answer any questions you may have or contact us

August 19, 2016

We’ve Always Been Goodfellas

When I was young, my father wanted me to join the family business. “Little Leon” he said, “You will be a Mafiosi one day, and the people will call you Godfather. Bambino, come learn about your destiny – sit on papa’s knee!” And I looked at papa, and replied: “Dad, I’m 22 and you’re a quantity surveyor. You’ve got to stop the Mafia stuff or they’ll kick you out of Rotary!.”

And yet, as I carved out First Image’s territory on the mean streets of Coventry, I learned that my beloved papa, Don Derek, was right.

I recruited like-minded capos. Stand-up guys who put the squeeze on lousy branding and design: Social Tony, who makes search results sing like a canary; Slim Pauly, our inside man for bella artwork; Marky Blue Eyes, who runs our marketing capers like clockwork.

Now, our Design Mafia is going big time.

We’ve muscled in on new territory on the East Side, setting up in a swanky new Bromsgrove joint.* And I want our good friends to know that your problems are our problems. One word from me, Don Coppoleone, is all it takes to make those problems disappear.

Other design mobs? They’re running a racket! They shake you down for a big piece of the action, then stiff you on results. Not the Design Mafia.

When you have a marketing problem, we’ll make sure it sleeps with the fishes.

Fraternally,
Don Coppoleone

* Psst! Just between you and us, we’re holed-up at Little Farm, 116 Cottage Lane, Marlbrook, Bromsgrove, B60 1DT. It’s the perfect location because it looks like a respectable, classy place from the outside. And to be honest, it also looks like a respectable classy place from the inside. Whaddya expect? (Wiseguys have high standards too ya know.)

April 17, 2015

Are you ready for Mobilegeddon?

On 21st April 2015 Google are changing their search results.
This will have a major impact on sites that are not designed for mobile phones.

According to a Google survey 94% of people use a mobile phone to get local information and the vast majority of those searches take place at home or at work, despite it being likely the person searching could do so on a desktop computer.

Look at your website on your phone now… Do you have to pinch, swipe or zoom to read it?

If so then get ready for Google to punish and banish you from mobile search results. You’ve not got much time, but you do still have time. Contact us today and book a free consultation.

We’ll build you a new site which works beautifully on mobile, tablet and desktops too.

Want to know how your site will do? Take this FREE mobile friendly test

April 10, 2015

Is your website up to scratch?

Website Review
Making sure your website is up to date and performing as well as it should be could mean the difference between securing that all important job contract or being overlooked completely.

It’s never been more important in today’s competitive market to ensure your website is up to scratch which is why we at First Image are providing a free website review service designed to analyse how well your website is really performing. We look at how well your site performs on mobile devices, how well it performs in regard to search engine optimisation amongst other criteria.

This is a free no obligation service so you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Simply fill out our quick and easy contact form and we’ll contact you at a convenient time to discuss the results. If you’d prefer to call us direct you can contact us on 024 7685 5950.

Free website check-up
April 2, 2015

April Print Offers

April print offers

Once again we have some amazing offers this month on business cards, flyers, leaflets and showcards. Make this the month you get noticed and take advantage of these great offers while they last.

This month we are offering:
busines-cards

Business Cards

Regular double sided business cards (400gsm silk)
Half price from £40

Luxury double sided business cards (400gsm silk & matt laminated)
Half price from £49

StarMarque double sided business cards (400gsm silk, matt laminated & spot UV)
Half price from £64

Luxury shaped double sided business cards (400gsm silk & matt laminated)
Half price from £69
leaflets

Flyers

Matt laminated flyers (250gsm silk & matt laminated)
Half price from £67

Promo flyers (280gsm gloss)
Reduced from £99

Leaflets

Premium silk leaflets (170gsm silk)
Half price from £61

promo-flyersGloss leaflets (150gsm gloss)
Half price from £65

A4 Gloss folded leaflets (150gsm gloss & folded)
20% off from £276

A3 Gloss folded leaflets (150gsm gloss & folded)
20% off from £398

Showcards

Silk showcards (400gsm silk)
Half price from £68

Contact us today either by phone on 02476 855950 or by sending us a message via our contact form to take advantage of these great offers.

Make Enquiry

 

March 4, 2015

What makes a successful website?

Having your own website is all well and good but having a successful website that really works for you and your business is another thing entirely.

So what is it that makes a truly successful website and that will win out over your competitors? Well today we thought we’d take a look and give you a run down of how we approach web projects and what you should be looking out for when it comes to making a website successful.

1. What is the aim of your website?
This sounds pretty basic but it’s an important question to ask yourself and one which many people forget to really consider. Before diving straight into anything you need to ask yourself: what do I want to achieve from this website and who is this website for? Correct planning from the outset is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure your website will be successful.

2. Calls to Action
Creating a good user experience is vital for your site to be successful. One of the best ways to do this is to have plenty of calls to action. In simple terms you want to make it as easy as possible for people to access the information they need. You don’t want users having to search around or scroll forever to click through to the page they’re looking for otherwise they’ll simply give up and go elsewhere. Having nice, clear call to actions improves the user experience and therefore your website.

3. Quality content
You can have a great looking site but if the content of the website itself isn’t up to scratch then people will see through it. Make sure firstly you have a good amount of text/content for the site and the content is both informative and beneficial to the users.

4. Good Design
Along with having quality content, how that content is packaged and presented is of course vital. First impressions count so you want to make sure your website creates the right one. Make sure the site fits in with any existing branding your business may have and that it shows your business off in the best possible light.

5. What makes you different?
No matter what line of business you’re in, there is always competition so ask yourself, what makes me different? Think about what your unique selling points are and highlight these (maybe you’re the best value or the most highly thought of in your industry).

6. SEO
So you’ve got a great site but if people can’t find it it’s like having a sports car with no petrol, it’s nice but ultimately it’s not going to get you far. Establish an effective SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign from the outset so you’ve got a clear idea of what keywords you want to rank for and also make sure the site is well built so them search engines will look on it favourably. Although there are no guarantees with SEO you can certainly give yourself the best possible chances by following best practices and giving it some forethought.

If these points are taken into account then you’re in the best possible position for your website to be truly successful.

If you’re interested in starting a web design project or looking to update your existing website then send us a message today. Remember you can also take advantage of our free website review service to see how well your current site is performing.

March 4, 2015

March Print Offers

March Offers

Make sure you get noticed this month by engaging with your customers with effective marketing. We’ve another great selection of offers for March including half price on a range of products including business cards, leaflets and showcards.

This months offers include:

Business Cards

business cards

  • Regular business cards (400gsm silk)
    half price from £40
  • Luxury business cards (400gsm silk, matt laminated)
    half price from £49
  • StarMarque business cards (400gsm silk, matt laminated & spot UV)
    half price from £64
  • Opuleaf luxe business cards (400gsm silk, matt laminated & foil)
    half price from £102

Showcards

showcards

  • StarMarque showcards (400gsm silk, matt laminated & spot UV)
    half price from £96
  • Opuleaf luxe showcards (400gsm silk, matt laminated & foil)
    half price from £185
  • Silk showcards (400gsm silk)
    half price from £68

Leaflets & Flyers

Leaflets

  • Gloss leaflets (150gsm gloss)
    half price from £65
  • A4 gloss folded leaflets (150gsm gloss & folded)
    20% off from £276
  • A3 gloss folded leaflets (150gsm gloss & folded)
    20% off from £398
  • Promo flyers (280gsm gloss)
    reduced from £99

To take advantage of these great offers contact us today either by calling us directly on 02476855950 or by sending us a message via our contact form.

March 4, 2015

Flying high with Radford Academy

We’re delighted to have recently completed the new identity and website for the Radford Primary Academy.

The new identity and subsequent brand guidelines that have been created will help ensure the academy is correctly represented and help to maintain the high standards of the academy as a whole. It will also create a unified image, mark the transition to it becoming an academy, as well as helping to facilitate consistent communication in the future.

Radford Primary SchoolThe school was actually the site of the first flight of the siskin aircraft. This connection with aviation history provided the inspiration for the new identity. With this in mind we came up with the strapline “High Flyers” which represents the high aspirations and excellent standards the school embodies.

As with any school its branding and identity affects everyone from the children through to its staff and parents. Therefore it was important for everyone to be involved in the process and let the children, staff and parents choose their own logo design.

First of all the children were asked to design a new logo for the school, based on the plane theme, and we received some very creative initial ideas, three of which were fine tuned, shortlisted, and presented on the website. The votes were counted and the winning logo was chosen. Which then allowed us to develop the brand identity.

We’re very proud to announce the launch of the new responsive Radford Primary Academy School website. This again forms an integral part to the schools identity as well as being a valuable resource for all the staff, pupils and parents.

The project has been both fascinating and a pleasure to be involved with. We’re looking forward to working with Radford Academy again going forward and watching them continue to fly high in the future.

February 9, 2015

February Print Offers

Printing Banner
February is the month for quality recycled print products so for this month only we’ve got some fantastic offers you really can’t afford to miss out on. We’re discounting a range of products including:

  • Half price on premium recycled leaflets! Normally you’d pay £145 but this month you’ll only have to pay £72 or have them folded for only an extra £21.
  • Half price on recycled one-piece mailers, a bargain at only £119 for 250.
  • Half price on postcards at only £68 for 250.

One Piece MailersPostcards-03Folded Leaflets

As well as these we’re offering unbelievable discounts on a whole range of products from business cards to promo flyers so for more information or to take advantage straight away on these offers give us a call today on 024 7685 5950 or send us an email at info@first-image.co.uk.