SiWeb aims to help people with their websites.

My name is Simon Batty I moved to Norfolk in 1996 to set up the Fieldview Astronomy Center. My background is in science and as part of that I have been writing computer programs for more than 30 years.

Even back in 1996 I realised that the INTERNET was going to become important and when in the November of that year I became the part owner of a large B&B which was used as a base for the astronomy center one of my first jobs was to put together a website to advertise our business.

Since then I have put together a number of websites and given advice not only on web design but hosting and domain name options.

So after nearly 20 years playing with the INTERNET and running a holiday business as well as working as an industrial scientist what have I learn't ?

  • These days if your in business you need a website, it's the first place people look for almost everything, but you knew that!
  • Your website is your shop window and there are so many shop windows out there that you have a short time to catch someone's eye.
  • Being eye catching is not about being as fancy and complicated as possible. It's about getting your message across clearly.
  • Complicated websites may show up the prowess of the developer and cost you lots of money, but they can be difficult to find your way around.
  • Don't just get your website sorted and forget it, things change. These days it's all about making the website work on all device types PC's to mobile phones.
  • Look at your website as if you are a prospective customer and get your friends to look at it, if it confuses you and your friends it will confuse everyone.
  • A lot of importance is put on getting to the top of the Google ratings, getting the SEO right it's called. But how important is it? If you want to get to the top of Google, then you need to pay for it, only you can decide if it's worth it. There are a few basic things that can be done to help your ratings, but for most of us our website is our shop window, we tell people about our website and exchange links. Word of mouth/social media (i.e. Facebook etc.) is possibly more valuable than spending a lot of time and money trying to get the SEO just right.
  • When you ask someone to setup a website for you, you will choose a domain name they may register this for you and setup the hosting package. Make sure you get it all registered in your name and you have control over the domain name account. Otherwise the developer has control and not you. I have seen this more than once. It's your website not the developers.

  • From a business prospective:

    I have run a small business for almost 20 years. If you are starting up your business and looking for a website, for what it is worth here are my views on your website from a business prospective rather than as a web developer.

    These days a website is almost essential. However, when you start a new business you will get bombarded by all sorts or people and organisations telling you what you need to do to improve sales and attract more customers. My experience is that you need to be very careful where you advertise. Two main reasons for this. Firstly because you can so easily spend a lot of money on advertising that give little or no return. Secondly when you first start your business you need you business to grow at a manageable rate. You need to learn the ropes and be comfortable running your business. Say you have a successful Google advertising campaign and have lots of new customers, can you deal with those customers? can you finance the expansion? or find staff in a hurry? If not you will give bad service and your business will suffer.

    So think, is that Internet adversing campaign essential or would a few local adverts giving your details and of course your website address a better way to start, then aim to take over the world when you are fully prepared.

    If you would like help with any aspect of your web requirements, that is: Designing a new website, updating a website, sorting out hosting problems, a programming project you would like help with or just your PC is playing up please contact me. I am happy to help and hope I charge a sensible rate, certainly not by the minute or hour.