Berryman Glass Recycling — website development and blog

After many months of planning, designing and web development, the new Berryman website is live.

Berryman Glass Recycling is Britain’s largest purchaser and recycler of waste glass. Founded almost 90 years ago, they’re now looking forward, and meeting tomorrow’s challenges, both in terms of maintaining a technological lead, as well as carving out a presence for themselves on the new social web.

Berryman are a progressive business, so the potential for expanding their activities (to include video as well as adopting more aspects of social media, for example) is encouraging.

Berryman now have a place on the web around which they can build various other activities, such as using their website as a point of entry for exhibition attendees to follow up a meeting with one of their team, or as a way of publicizing their activities and various recent business successes.

Berryman Glass Recycling

If you’d like to know more about the specifics of the project, take a look at the Berryman Glass Recycling case study, as well as visuals on the portfolio page.

Emily Cagle Communications — website design and blog

On the back of the success of my popular ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media, the Emily Cagle Communications website and blog provides a wonderful case study for using social media marketing for your business.

Emily Cagle is a marketing and communications consultant who enlisted Octane’s services shortly after reading my ebook and then putting some of the things I wrote about into practice. We’ve both worked together to produce a website and blog we can both be very proud of.

As I mention over on the Social Media Marketing Technology blog:

“It must come as little surprise to know that both Emily & I are thrilled with the end result, which you can read more about in my case study on the Emily Cagle Communications website. But this is only the beginning. We’ve both been working on planning a long-term social media strategy, making the most of the key technologies out there, like Facebook and Twitter to help promote her business.”

Emily Cagle Communications

If you’d like to know more about the specifics of the project, and Emily’s thoughts, take a look at the Emily Cagle case study, as well as visuals on the portfolio page.

Octane’s new look website and blog

Finally, the new Octane website and blog are live and in the wild. It’s taken plenty of planning, designing, coding and time, but I think the end result has been worth the wait.

So why the major overhaul of the Octane website?

I wanted a totally fresh start. But more importantly, I wanted the Octane website to be the hub of operations for all of the other stuff I’m doing.

Octane is my business, but many more people know me for my popular tech’ opinion blog, Blah, Blah! Technology. And more recently, I’ve enjoyed great success with my free ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media.

The one thing I don’t lack is content, so the purpose of the Octane website is to pull together those sources of trusted and valued information and knowledge into one place, so people can learn more about the things I offer.

Right now, you’ll find two columns of links in the footer of certain service pages, like social media and internet marketing, the Octane blog and the home page itself. However, over the course on the next month, I’ll be integrating specific articles from the other two blogs directly into service pages.

How much would a website like Octane’s cost?

Good question! A guestimate of cost would be around the £1,300.00 (Net) mark, which would include:

  • Design & Artwork — 8 hours / £360.00
  • Web Design & Development (incl. custom programming) — 12 hours / £540.00
  • WordPress, installation and setup — 8 hours / £360.00
  • Hosting, Email and FTP — one-off £20 account set up and then £30 each year thereafter.

It’s taken me months to complete this re-design, but that’s because I’ve been fitting all of this work in between my client work, which actually pays!

What do you see as the key benefits of having a new website?

First of all, the re-design is a fresh look. Totally new. Secondly, as mentioned previously, I’m turning the Octane website into a hub for all of my other stuff. But there are other benefits, too.

  1. A far cleaner, clearer design and layout means it’s much easier to manage and update the website and the blog.
  2. A better layout also means that articles and pages are easier to read and find.
  3. Having a business blog is a great way to raise awareness, engage with customers and expose people to your brand and your expertise.

Key points

Keeping the pace — the fact is, if I want to attract new clients, I need to demonstrate the strength and depth of my talents, and that’s what this new website does.

Room to grow — sometimes, you just out-grow a website, and fixing what you have simply isn’t practical. The previous design had served its purpose and something new, bigger and better was needed.

Having more to say — you can’t fit a pint of water into a half pint glass, can you? And that’s the problem I faced. So the challenge was making everything easy to find and read.

What’s next for the Octane website and blog?

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work involved, not least the actual effort in creating the website and blog. Over the long-term, the value rests in keeping the website and the blog up to date. The typical schedule of activities would include:

  • Updates to service pages, with links to new and related blog articles.
  • New blog articles, based on a variety of different themes.
  • Adding new case studies, linking to related blog articles.
  • Adding new images to the portfolio page, also linking to case studies and related blog articles.

Right now, these are the very services I’m offering my clients who’re wanting to embrace and make the most of social media for their businesses.

I’d like to think there’s a good 1-2 years in this new website design, with maybe 2-3 years in the underlying structure, before I’d consider another major overhaul.

In the here & now, the timing of the new design is to coincide with the impending launch of a client website, and planned marketing efforts of my own.

Work has been good for me this year, with no real slow down, which is excellent. But I don’t want to sit back and become complacent! I always want more work.

If you’d like to know more about how Octane can help you business, feel free to contact me right now, or call 0870 755 0004 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Does your business need a blog?

Maybe you’ve heard about blogging, but you’re unsure about how a blog might benefit your business. Octane can help demystify business blogging.

As a writer and a blogger for many years now, I have a wealth of experience that I’m more than happy to share with you.

As a part of your broader website strategy, a blog is a worthwhile adjunct to your business website, empowering you and your staff to publish without the intervention of a web developer like me! Which will help reduce costs over time.

A company blog is a commitment

A blog is a long-term investment and is unlikely to bring immediate benefits. So it’s best to plan with a strategy in mind, one that ties in with your other marketing activities. However, there are a number of benefits that will make all of that effort worthwhile, in the end.

One way to think about a blog is as a way for you to offer a shop window on your business, giving existing and potential customers a chance to see things they might not ordinarily be able to.

Ideas for your business blog

There are plenty of good ways to use your corporate blog, which include:

  • Share up-coming events and promotional activities.
  • Present ideas and share future plans with clients and stakeholders, to gather feedback.
  • Quickly highlight issues pertinent to your industry or field, or to specific clients.
  • Giving your staff a voice, so they can share their own thoughts and ideas.
  • Keeping customers up to date with your blog feed, which they can subscribe to.

These are just a few ideas for you to consider. I’m sure you’ll think of more!

What are the benefits of business blogging?

There are many ways a blog can benefit your company, such as:

  • Higher search engine rankings — generally speaking, a regular stream of new web pages or blog articles is considered appealing to the search engines, who will pay more attention to your website or blog — the more pages there are, the more there is to be found.
  • Gaining trust — by writing concise, informative and authoritative blog articles, over time, you build a sense of confidence and trust in those visiting your website, assuring them that your business is active.
  • A sense of community — you’re engaging with your customers in a conversational dialogue that is difficult to replicate by any other means, and by allowing people to comment on your articles, you’re encouraging those people to participate, giving them a reason to return.
  • Better communications — blogging is essentially a publishing platform, whereby you control the content and when those articles get published.
  • Cost effective — in terms of communications, blogging is very low cost but has the potential for a high ROI (Return On Investment).

What are the downsides to blogging?

Like most things in life, there are downsides and blogging is no different. Because blogging allows people to connect directly with you, there always exists the chance that a disgruntled former member of staff, or former client will leave an inflammatory comment.

  • If someone makes an offensive comment, do not allow yourself or anyone else in your company to be drawn into an argument. Be dignified, bite your tongue and remain calm. If need be, remove the offending comments, or close comments for that particular article.
  • It’s quite possible that a dispute may arise between two or more people commenting on an article of yours. Again, restraint is what’s required.
  • Sometimes, an inadvertent slip can cause a lot of harm. So if you allow members of staff to write their own articles, unless you have complete confidence in them, be sure to first check what they’ve written before allowing them to publish.
  • The more successful you become, the more likely it is you’ll get lots of junk comments on your blog. Depending on what type of blog software you use, you should have the ability to automatically remove these comments.
  • Plagiarism is common place. Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with this, which can typically involve anything from a polite warning email or reporting them to Google, to a very legal Cease & Desist order.

Whether you’re a small business like me, or a large enterprise, blogging can help your business on many, many levels.

If you’re interested in the idea of business blogging, then contact Octane right away and let’s see how I can help your business…

Welcome to Octane — Web Design, Development and Consultation since 1999

Hello and welcome to the new Octane blog! Octane Interactive Limited as been trading since June 14th 1999, providing web design, development and consultation to businesses of all sizes up and down the Yorkshire region and nationwide.

This blog will serve several purposes, including helping to raise awareness about Octane and the excellent web design & development services we offer, as well as allowing you, maybe a potential client, to ask questions in a more informal setting.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I will do my very best to answer…