best web hosting for small businesses

Best web hosting for small businesses

Over many years of creating websites for small businesses one question always pops up from the client. Who offers the best web hosting for small businesses?

We have hosted websites on just about all the major web hosting platforms, from GoDaddy, 123-reg, Fasthosts, 1&1 and many many more and there is one standout hosting company that you should be the first to consider. To discover our recommendation read on.

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Design Agency versus Freelancers

For all of you who think that it’s tough being a freelancer, take a read of this post from our good friends Designers Up North.

A really cleverly written piece questioning clients who are looking for a new design agency and turning the whole argument on its head.

See how being a freelancer is turned into a positive. Read more here


social media for business

Stop promoting your business on social media

Here’s one to get your blood pumping. A post that I wrote about the loss of our social media sites to the ‘SEO for nothing’ brigade of businesses that flood all of our favourite platforms with impersonal posts about their business and products.

I have nothing against people using social media when there is a strategy behind it, but as most people now believe that you can self manage your websites SEO by posting endless twaddle and therefore drive traffic, get rich, and retire I would like to say one thing.

You can’t.

Sorry. There is no such thing and the sooner businesses recognise this and treat social media, and us the audience, with the respect deserved the better.

Please take a read, and let me know what you think. I would love to know your thoughts, as it makes me sound grumpy, but the message behind it is crystal clear.


Remember print design?

Leaflets, brochures, catalogues, postcards, prospectuses, posters…remember these?

If you are as much of a fan of print design as I am this blog post here on Designers Up North will certainly pull at your heartstrings. With references to familiar technologies such as vinyl, cassettes and even CDs anyone over a certain age will understand where this is coming from.


The 1975 – Manchesters most exciting new band. Take 5 minutes out of your life and have a look round their website – Now if only I could get them to let me do an album cover that would be one more thing off my bucketlist.


Spare yourself 3 minutes to take a look at this official trailer for a dear friend of mine. Director Karl Lear, of Red Yeti Films, in New Zealand has produced a beautiful piece of work. Featuring Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson, it has just won Best Feature Film 2013 at the Aotearoa Surf Film festival. Top work!

working from home with kids

Stay at home dad and designer

So here’s a revelation for you all.

I’m a full time designer AND I am a full time Dad working from home.

Oh yes, I am one of those new sorts, the guy who works from home, and can simultaneously juggle caring for a 2 year old, ensuring a clients design jobs are attended to, and all the business end malarkey that comes with the cross-over that is inevitable. And I love it. I chose it and would not change it for all the tea in China.

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Creating a written brief

briefOne of the biggest initial problems designers and clients face together when beginning any project is the brief.

Many of my clients tell me that they find it incredibly hard to give an outline of the project they want their designer to undertake. And understandably so. If you have never commissioned any design work before, you probably wonder what on earth they are asking for. It is incredibly useful as well for the designer to have a brief. There will be no hidden surprises halfway through, no awkward conversations of ‘We thought it would include such and such…” or “Surely you knew that is what we meant?”.

With that in mind, I offer here a simplified guide, for designers and clients,to getting a clear concise brief. Continue Reading


Are we obsessed with online marketing?

Are you like many businesses who obsess about their website, it’s search engine rankings and how many visitors a day you get?

Believe me you are not alone, and I am probably one of the worst when it comes to this twenty first century phenomenon. But there are a whole host of other ways to drive people to your website and generate income for your business. Think back. No a little bit further than that. You know, to those days when people didn’t know about pay-per-click, or those horrible terms ‘keywords’ or ‘meta-tags’.

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Freelancing Boom in the North of England

Well we all knew it up here, but now it’s official – The north of England is the freelancing capital of the country.

It may surprise some people to find out that London is not leading the way, but Yorkshire and Lancashire with their respective cities are firmly pinned in first place. Personally i do not find this too surprising given the boom in Manchester, thanks to the BBC moving into Media City and the ripple effects that causes. I know many freelancers that have chosen this path for varying reasons – some lifestyle based, others due to the lack of full-time positions available in creative agencies, but whatever the reason I can vouch for Manchester being one of the best places to embark on this path. Don’t believe the story about having a ‘flexible life’ though. That little part is pushing it way too far!

You can read the full article here