A quick guide to getting online by Damien Morris

when Andy Bishop, owner of the Shipwright Arms pub on south London’s Tooley Street began thinking about setting up a website, he wasn’t sure what the right solution would be for him.

‘I knew I needed a site to promote our venue during the Olympics and also our newly refurbished function room upstairs,’ says Andy, ‘like a lot of people, I had no idea where to start, what kind of site to get and how to go about it. I also knew that my budget probably wasn’t enough to get the help I really wanted. I was wrong,’ he continues.

‘When I spoke to Onclouds, a local company on nearby Bermondsey Street they took the time to explain my options in plain English. We decided on a domain name (www.shipwrightsarms.co.uk) and they registered it for me, set up a few email accounts and quickly put together a simple, affordable site, based on two others I had looked at and liked.’

“from start to finish the whole thing took just a few weeks

‘Onclouds helped me write the text, sort out photos, transcribe our menus and even re-create our logo. From start to finish the whole thing took just a few weeks – and they stuck to the fixed price we agreed within my budget.’
Hireworks website OnClouds laptop

Chris Richmond at Onclouds explains how the company’s web development process works in 12 steps:

1. Consult to establish the goals of the business and the new website
2. Research and documentation of the kind of site that will meet those goals
3. Agree the plans and pricing
4. Simple designs of the general shape and structure of the pages
5. Design the template pages with a number of iterations
6. Create HTML (web coded) parts
7. Collecting all the text and pictures to go in the site
8. Build all pages, adding the text and images
9. Develop and add any technical and/or animated elements
10. Test all pages and functions
11. Final approval process and tweaking
12. Make the website ‘live’ on the internet

‘We love building sites from scratch,’ Chris says, ‘but that’s not the only kind of web work we do, especially these days when budgets are tight. A lot of companies just want help to update, tweak or refresh a website they already have.’

It seems that even the web industry is adapting to the economic climate as businesses keep a firmer grip on spending.

‘Another client of ours recently developed their new site in-house using WordPress, an easy to use content management system to get more out of their team and save on costs,’ continues Chris. ‘The site took some time to complete and by the end their chief technical guy moved back to Australia, promising to keep on top of maintenance and everything else.’

‘All went well for 12 months or so, until the site unexpectedly started freezing on the home page and no-one knew how to get it sorted. It was way over the head of the techie, who was becoming increasingly hard to get hold of. After a couple of weeks they called us because we were local and they had worked with us on some other projects in the past. A couple of hours later we had investigated and fixed the problem.’

When asked why the business is called Onclouds, Chris explains, ‘It’s all on or in ‘the cloud’ these days, isn’t it? Anything from websites to social media and even databases for managing customers and sales, invoicing and deliveries, contact activity, training and bookings all of which we tailor-make for clients. It’s how we work, it’s who we are.’

For more information, help and support
Ground Floor Rankin House
139-143 Bermondsey Street
t: 020 7403 8105
w: www.onclouds.com

Website management and updates from £150 per month
Typical ‘starter’ website of five pages, from £1,500
Mid-range website of 10+ pages with technical and/or animation features, from £4,500
Tailored cloud systems for managing data and business processes, from £7,500

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