What is the most difficult part of web design?

Web design is skilful.

It is at times a frustrating process, from initial set up of domain, to pointing nameservers, arranging hosting, to propagation to installing themes and plugins.

Naively, I used to think it was about buying a domain, installing WordPress, buying a theme and oof the website is done.

If only.

It’s a process, a skilled one, but a procedure I’ve now mastered where I can get a domain to Coming Soon page in double quick time.

Once the theme is installed, the design begins and this is where the most difficult part emerges. It’s not the building of pages, the menu, the customisation of the footer, the embedding of social media links – no, it’s the content.

Themes have a handy way of adding lorem ipsum dolor placeholder text to an element and that’s often where designers and clients’ toes start curling.

Not mine though – stretched out in Birkenstocks – because I am a copywriter who’s evolved into web designer as I realised, in a Homer Simpson epiphany moment, that the content is the most difficult part to complete well  and I should do both. Which I now do.

The setting up of the website is relatively easy, but words, sentences, unique copy, calls to action are where the real work kicks in.

Look.

That dummy Call to Action box with subscription comes pre-loaded with lorem ipsum – the web designer wants the client to add copy here in two lines. The client asks web designer if they could do it.

Result?

Often inertia.

 

Now this is where Get Pro Copy differs.

Not only do I not have to call on a web designer to build the website scaffolding so I can add the bricks. I erect the scaffolding, add the bricks, the internal features and leave you with a website that is not a compromise, a new build shell. It’s there with optimised content, social media links in headers and footers and a commitment from me to support your website so you achieve a good ROI.

You get copy that is optimised for search, written by a graduate in English, a responsive website design and maintenance that is standard.

Websites start from £300 up to £1000, with all that included and more.

That’s my USP: content and design at prices you’ll like.

Want to know more?

Get in touch.

Aftercare and why it matters with web design

Aftercare- and why it matters with web design.

I thought I’d explain how I operate and how some web designers behave, exemplifying what you get after your payment has been credited and your website shines bright like a diamond. On all devices.

I back up your website daily within the WordPress dashboard with a nifty plugin that does it for me. Siteground and Tsohost, the two hosting providers, where your website will sit with me having overview, back it up constantly too so you’re doubly assured.

You need someone to have your back up, hun, because if your website comes tumbling down, you and I want it restored, with me facilitating that through the plugin or by contacting the hosting specialists. If your site is not being backed up, it’s like leaving £1000 on the front seat of a car, with your keys next to it, ready for both to be taken.

Standard with websites from Get Pro Copy Ltd, and if your website gives you the white screen of death on Friday night at 8pm, you don’t have to wait for the web design agency to facilitate the fix on Monday or contact your hosting provider yourself. It’s what I do for your website and the 53 others I manage. See more of I what offer here.

Updates.

I like to think at 53, I know a fair bit about web design having been in copywriting and web design (front end and back end, ooh Mrs) since 2015, but I always learn more and now instead of going into every website’s dashboard every Sunday to manually update plugins, I’ve been alerted to a paid tool that does it. It costs money every month, but it will save me 2 hours every week, so it will pay back in time efficiency.

Which brings me neatly to outsourcing.

I’ll hold my hand up and say clearly if someone asks me to create an email marketing template, I’ll try it, but something that may take you 6 hours to do will take me three and a specialist one hour. I outsource it. Same with SEO. I have a rudimental understanding but I wouldn’t claim to be an SEO specialist (or email expert) but I know two excellent ones and will point you their way.

Same with web design – if someone asks for a website that I know is well outside my comfort zone, instead of letting you down and stressing myself out, I’ll refer you on to web design experts in that niche.

Obviously, brochure websites, property listing websites, blogging sites and ecommerce ones are all well inside my comfort zone so I don’t hand them to other designers like confetti at a wedding, but if someone asks for something that is incredibly complex and where I’ve no experience, I’ll pass you on.

I’ve built 53 websites since 1st May 2018 when I went solo and several clients have had more than one from me – what does that tell you? Business is all about treating people right, so Adam, Khaleel, Steven, Julie and Rita can turn round when asked who did their website and say without gritted teeth “Stuart Walton, he’s great.”

I care about you and your business before the website build begins, during it and afterwards when your payment has long been expended on a customary purchase of some Apple device or accessory. I get repeat business. Seen my testimonials?

Aftercare is one reason.

You want more pages adding or minor changes? I do that for my reasonable hourly rate and don’t deliberately swerve requests as CBA,

Want to know more?

Contact me.

 

27 years in a classroom – time well spent.

Time is a great healer, they say and it’s true. Time heals and gives perspective and sometimes when I think back over recent events, I get a little bit sad about what happened from 2013 onwards to my teaching career.

But there’s absolutely no need to be – because my time in teaching from 1987 to 2013 was time well spent. Not particularly for my own health, but for the impact I made on so many pupils.

If I was to draw a pie chart, the shit fest of the final few years would pale into insignificance compared with the great times that went before.

1987 to 1990 working in a church school in Oldham, with the claim to fame that I briefly taught Anna Friel, the actress, before a promotion took me towards the promised land of Manchester and arguably the best staff I’ve been privileged to work with. Not the types you get now, but old school colleagues with a spine and a fierce sense of integrity.

Same in Bolton in the early 90s until Staffordshire called in one of the most challenging schools in the country, as Head of English at the Mitchell High School, where I met Prince Charles, witnessed a headteacher assaulted, lost my front teeth in a bike accident but soldiered on teaching and inspiring this corner of Stoke.

Teaching continued to please until the latter years and, when I was effectively locked out of the profession, it felt like the end of life.

It wasn’t.

Only tonight, I’ve had messages from pupils I taught years ago, who’ve seen me tagged in social media posts from the weekend wedding of Anthony and Helen.

That’s my legacy.

Respect and lovely words from ex pupils, many of whom still come back to me for references, proofreading and CVs, which I do without payment of course, because I feel pride in the fact that 20 or 25 years on, I’m remembered and trusted.

Ex students often come to me for websites too – they implicitly know I will do them proud as I’ve always done, without ripping them off.

So, at the start of term, when I see former colleagues preparing for school, ex pupils kids dressed in blazers too big on Facebook and give my own children’s shoes their once a year polish, I feel decreasing resentment because my time in teaching was time well spent.

It’s just now I’ve started a new chapter in my life – writing and web design – where I can hopefully forge another legacy.