Expand each of the sections below for more info on the services, features and options we offer:
Typing text into a big slab in the page and inserting images throughout has often been the way of doing things with website admin panels, but it has often had limitations if you want to get more adventurous with layout (i.e. columns, rows or blocks) or deviate from just images and text (i.e. insert buttons, icons, or accordions like the one you are using right now).
Our content editor works on a drag and drop basis where you can select from a variety of options and drag them into place. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Text blocks, which can be blocks, rows or split into a range of columns of varying widths
- Image galleries such as thumbnails, sliders or carousels
- Icons and widgets such as Facebook, Google plus or Twitter
- Expandable accordions (like this), tabbed content or expandable FAQ sections
- Blog / News posts as a list, excerpts, whole posts and in any order, or from any category
- Blog News posts or excerpts in slideshow format with prev / next navigation buttons and more.
In fact, you have control of over 30 options which you can just drag into place with ease. The best part is it is so easy to use. For more info see the next section on the actual functions you can incorporate into your content.
Whenever you drag something into the page, it comes up with its own set of options so you can configure it the way you want. An example of adding images to a gallery is shown below: There are many other options this screenshot does not show, such as whether to show captions or not, whether the images should open a larger image when clicked, and so on.
Not only is it easy to use, but your gallery will resize itself to display perfectly in a mobile, tablet, or any sized screen. All of the hard work is done behind the scenes which is why it is so easy to use.
And we have many gallery types as well – slideshows, thumbnail style, carousels, layer sliders (such as the big one on the home page of this website) and more.
In the world of web design, “responsive” is the latest buzzword.
For those not familiar, a responsive site is one that adapts and reshuffles its content to any screen width. This means the navigation, functionality and readability is always easy regardless of the device.
With the increasing use of mobile devices, responsive websites are being demanded more and more. At the time of writing, a majority of even the largest and most reputable sites have not caught up.
The easy test – resize the browser window. If the website stays the same size and the content goes out of view, it is not responsive. Try resizing your browser on this site and you will see that it is.
Not only does the content reshuffle, but notice how the navigation menu turns mobile friendly when the screen gets smaller. The styling of the header also simplifies and adapts. The best part is, you dont have to worry about this. Put in whatever columns or layouts you want, and the responsive smarts are all automated.
If there are other web design businesses who do quality websites, do the simple browser resize test on their own site and see if they are walking the walk.
Common scenarios with backups
It is quite common for any hosting provider to give you the tools for backups to be possible. Nothing new there.
But here are the finer points:
More often than not, the type of backups offered are database only. What about the rest of your site – the images, the folders and files that contain all the code that operates your site and its functions? A database backup does not include any of that.
More often than not, the tools to do the backups are in the control panel of the hosting providers website, not the admin panel of your own website. Some hosting providers do claim to offer both database and front end backups (the files and images as well) however they are not always one process. If not, you have to do two backups – one for the database and another for the images, files and folders on top. That means, if you need to do a full restore, you need to deploy two backups for two different reasons, and hope they co-operate with a unified outcome.
What we offer
First and foremost, a website by Mills Web Design backs itself up regularly without any involvement from you at all.
Secondly, our websites have a single backup function that does the lot – the database, folders, files that run the code, images – everything.
Thirdly, the controls and options are easily accessible – right there in the admin panel of your own website, not hidden in the control panel of the hosting providers website.
If that is not enough, our websites will ask you if you want to do a backup when a significant amount of content editing is detected. All you need to do is answer yes or no. If you ignore it no problem – it is already backing up on a regular basis anyway.
Malware and viruses scour the net constantly, and it is not unusual for the average website to get attacked daily. Most website owners are completely unaware of how often this occurs because, almost always, the malicious process does not succeed in breaking in.
A common method is known as a brute force attack, where an automated process may attempt to “guess” the password based on rapid combinations of characters until it gets lucky. A strong password with a mix of letters, numbers and unusual characters often deals with this adequately.
Another common method involves malicious processes, or even hackers themselves, that try to take advantage of weak spots in old or outdated website software that has not been updated and kept at the latest version.
We keep them out
Our websites are reinforced with a variety of security measures. Repeated attempts to guess a password will result in the IP address of the offending process or hacker to be temporarily locked out. The login page is not longer visible to them.
It is not prudent to rave on about all the details of how we implement security where the ill intentioned can read about it right here, but safe to say we put measures in place and we are happy to describe these to any client who is interested.
What we will say is that any attempt, and this includes failed attempts, by anyone, or any process, means that your website automatically sends you an email to tell you the IP address of the offending computer, where in the world that IP address is, what the person or process tried to do, and what the website did to deal with it.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a large field of knowledge in itself, and there are businesses out there who specialise in just that – putting you through an SEO compaign which might last six months or even more (SEO is like going to the gym – the results take time) and as you can understand, six months of paying anyone to do anything can be expensive.
Lets also not take away from the fact that there are SEO experts out there who really know their stuff, are good at what they do, and can get real results. But the point still stands – expensive.
If you have the money to spend, and getting to the top of the search results are worth it, then dont think for a second we are telling you not to engage an SEO expert.
But this is what we will tell you and yes, it is our opinion, buy hey lets indulge anyway…
Search engine success is a bit like the 80:20 rule. You can achieve 80% results if you apply 20% knowledge and effort. However you need another 80% of knowledge and effort to push that last 20% of the results.
So here is the shortcut…
We can arrange a session to consult with you and show you how to use good SEO common sense to tweak and enhance the searchability of your site with all the SEO tools that come with it. With this basic SEO knowledge you then have the ability to take a DIY approach.
In other words, we can give you that 20% of basic SEO knowledge you need to achieve an 80% result.
We are not claiming to make you an SEO guru, or replace the services of a professional SEO consultant, but we do give you the power to take significant control of your website’s search performance into your own hands.
If you want the phone to ring more often, you will know what you can do about it.
We ensure all websites are compatible with the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer (includes versions 7,8,9,10)
If a content management system is not user friendly, images can sometimes be tricky.
Attempting to insert a tall, thin image into a gallery that also has a wide, landscape image can run into questions of neatness and presentation when you see them side by side.
Our galleries are designed to do all that thinking for you, so that presentation always works.
What if you want to insert an image that is exactly the width of the page, but without the proper tools you dont know how many pixels that should be?
Or what if you have two columns and want to insert a picture that fits into the width of one column exactly? To add complication, how do you know it is always going to look right when the column or page width is always different depending on the screen of the device viewing it?
Rather than a long winded technical explanation, lets just say that all this is taken care of for you.
You also need not worry about inserting oversized images that take ages to load. The system makes optimised copies for easy loading.
We provide three types of training all of which are optional.
A user guide is provided which is why training is not always required or desired.
Training for website administration
This is simply a session on how to administer and manage the content on your website. Most of the time training is not required or requested, as the user guide combined with the intuitive drag and drop admin functions are sufficient. Training is, however, useful for those who really want to take their website by the reigns and work it to its full potential.
Training for online store administration
This is also optional, but in the case of an online store we do recommend it as there is an increased level of admin involvement with online merchandising functions.
Take advantage of this and you can really move up through the search results with tweaking and refining your site over time.
Well worth it if you are not ready to jump into an agreement with fully blown SEO professionals, but do want to increase your search effectiveness nevertheless.
Everyone’s requirements differ. This does not stop us from providing you with a user guide tailored to YOUR specific functions.
Writing a user guide fresh for every client would seem impractical, so how to we do this?
For every different function we have offered in the last three years, we have documented the screenshots and user information to go with it. Each piece of “user guide info” is filed away separately. Depending on the functions your website has we simply import all the relevant pieces of user guide info into the one document and spit it out as a pdf.
You therefore benefit from a concise user guide which focuses on exactly what you have without the bloated “one size fits all” approach.
Lets cut to the chase – ongoing support agreements usually sound enticing but are more often than not structured in the favour of the vendor. Approaches such as “pay $150 per month and you can call anytime about any problem” rely on the reality that you might call a few times after your website goes live, but after a while you will never really need to keep calling, despite the continued monthly payments.
We keep it simple – no ties or agreements.
Within three weeks of your website going live we endeavour to fix any bugs at no charge. After that, just call us if you have a problem and we charge our hourly rate to resolve it.
If you want an estimate before we begin, no problem. See our pricing page for hourly rates or any other cost related details. Simple!
We ask you your preferred domain i.e. yourname.com.au and we will ensure it is available and set it up for you, and provide you all the details you need to continue renewing it in future.
We ask you if you require emails to go with your domain i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. There is no limit to how many if you require multiple.
We do not have a server out in the back room and nor do we intend to. Our approach is to source a reputable, large scale and well known hosting provider who’s sole focus is just that. We then purchase and set up your hosting on your behalf and pass this cost on to you in our invoice. The advantage is that your hosting is independent from us allowing you flexibility in the future to go with any web designer you wish without politics or “vendor ransom”. If you have a specific hosting provider that you prefer, then we can do that as well. We believe the best approach is no ties, and full flexibility. The hosting we arrange for you uses cloud technology. Rather than a single server, cloud hosting uses multiple servers which work as though they are one, which means there is no single point of failure and hence a more reliable service.
Within the large world of IT services, we specialise and focus on quality websites and their related products and services. That is what we do. The fact that we specialise means we can focus on providing a high standard of service in one area without spreading ourselves thin across many. We do not rip templates off the web and try to “massage” someone elses work into something you may want – a practice commonly done. All of our websites are custom built 100% by us to your exact specifications. That means we do a design mockup which you can revise until it suits you exactly, then we build your website to that effect.