Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are You Looking For A Redesigned Website?

Broadbiz have always got new projects to work on, whether it’s a brand new website or a new redesign. Some of our clients had websites elsewhere however they came to us when they wanted a new redesign, offering a fresher look using modern features.

Two of our most recent redesign projects are for www.morganjones.net and www.kenwills.com. Below are some before and after screenshots which shows you how we can transform one layout into a more modern design.

Before & After

Before & After Screenshots - Morgan Jones

Before & After screenshots of the Morgan Jones website

 

Before & After Screenshot - Ken Wills

Before & After screenshots of the Ken Wills website

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Nessa Warner Jewellery – eCommerece Website

Another new website has been launched for Nessa Warner Jewellery, which is a Kent-based designer and maker of jewellery. Using Sterling silver she creates pieces that are modern, versatile and individual. Her designs are born from a love of adornment and the inherent beauty of her raw materials.

You can view the website by visiting www.nessawarnerjewellery.com.

Nessa Warner Jewellery - Website Screenshot

Screenshot of the Nessa Warner Jewellery website

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RESOLVED: Phone Line Issues

Unfortunately we are unable to take any calls due to an issue with the phone lines at Broadbiz.

For those of you who have tried to contact us we haven’t received any calls or voice messages, so it is best to email us on hello@broadbiz.co.uk going forward.

Engineers  are currently working on the issue and we are expecting the phone lines to be repaired soon however we have no confirmation on how long this will take.

Keep an eye on this post as we will be updating it when we have more information for you.

Update 28/06/16 9:37am: Phone line issue has been resolved.

Email Problems – 23rd August 2016 – RESOLVED

From around 1:30pm today, our hosting providers were experiencing some email problems which was affecting our clients that use most of our email services. They have now resolved the problem and are closely monitoring this. All of the latest updates can be found below.

Latest Fasthosts Updates

Customers may experience issues when sending email. This is being investigated by our engineers as a priority, we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  • Most recent update on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 at 15:07: A fix has been put in place and we are closely monitoring this to ensure its stability.
  • Update on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 at 14:13: Customers will receive an SMTP Error when trying to send emails from an email client or webmail. Incoming emails are unaffected. Further information on this issue will be posted when available.

 

 

Ten Years Today for Broadbiz!!!

Broadbiz Logo

The Broadbiz logo, sketched on the back of a train ticket back in 2005…

Today, Tuesday 15th December 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the day that we formed Broadbiz.

Whoooosh… How quickly has that gone? But how much have we achieved in that time?

I don’t want to bore you with too much detail but here’s a potted history of what has happened to us over the past 10 years. There’s lots more planned as we grow and grow.

 

Getting Started in IT

City University logo

A “surprise” element of IT in Ian’s degree course at City University shaped his career and ultimately formed Broadbiz.

Well it starts with my career (Ian Lodge) in IT as far back as when I started my maths degree at City University in 1988. I turned up to do a Maths and Stats degree and was shocked to find out on the first day that there was IT in the course. Apart from playing Track and Field on a spectrum at home, what did I know about IT?

Oh well. Time to suck it up and get on with it. And after limping through my degree course, I actually found out that I quite enjoyed this IT stuff! So I got a job in it working in London for Dept. of Trade and Industry (thanks to my dad for this one) initially programming mainframe computers which were as big as a double fridge with less power that the phone you have in your pocket today!

Then onto some Oracle database stuff and when the web came around for real in around 2000, I turned my skills to web technologies. Having a mum as an artist and my dad as an IT bloke, the web kind of seemed like the ideal path.

 

How Did We Start?

Let's Care header image

The first website header that we made for Broadstairs-based Let’s care; Kerry and Teresa

Late in 2005, my sister-in-law and business partner, Teresa approached me to design a simple site to promote their holiday let management business based in Broadstairs. I was delighted and we got going.

Well somehow I had to be paid and with a full time job and salary in London so we founded the company on 15th December 2005. I remember that I used one of the work PCs to do it which in hindsight was a bit risky, but there were no such things as smartphones back then!

 

The Early Years 2005-2010

The next few years saw the company grow with me doing the development and my wife, Pip doing the paperwork. In all honesty, there wasn’t a huge amount of time to develop but my 4 hour daily commute on the train was used wisely. Whilst other commuters were snoozing on the train, I was developing on a laptop in the corner ready to upload when I got to an internet connection.

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We picked up a series of clients over those years and by 2010 we had 40-50 small clients who were happy to see their web developer on a rare day off, evenings or weekends. We realised we had something that we could sell and just as importantly that we could help local businesses expose their products and services to the local and worldwide communities via the power of the web.

 

Working in the Local Community

As community minded folk, we wanted to make this thing work for some of the organisations in the local area that maybe had little or no available funds to make the most of the web.

Visit the Broadstairs Water Gala website

Screenshot of the Broadstairs Water Gala website

From day one, we have offered 20% off of all our services for any Community or Charity based organisation and the number of organisation that we have helped have been many.
These are just a few of them; Broadstairs Dickens Festival, Margate Soul Weekend, Broadstairs Town Team, Thanet Wanderers RUFC, Broadstairs Water Gala and Thanet Support.

Broadbiz still offer 20% off for all these organisations and more information is available on our website so feel free to get in touch if we can help.

 

The General Election 2010

Whilst the formation of the first coalition Government for nearly 40 years might not seem like a key turning point in many lives, it was a major factor for me.

Business Innovation & Skills logo

A redundancy offer from Business Innovation & Skills in 2010, allowed Broadbiz to thrive.

With a Conservative lead Government came a redundancy offer for every single employee at DTI, now renamed the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Whilst I had quite a key role in the development of ICT in the organisation and didn’t think they would entertain my application, I thought there was no harm in putting up, fully expecting to be turned down.

But, with a recession kicking off, there were not many hands in the air and it turned out that every hand that went up got offered a package including me. And this started the next part of my life and for Broadbiz to become a proper business with proper revenue and proper salaries.

 

Move to the Kent Innovation Centre – 2011

It was clear from the start of this new era that local business owners were only going to be interested in us if we had proper premises and one of our clients, Aquaread was based at the Kent Innovation Centre and suggested we came and had a look. Which we did and we are still here now!

Kent Innovation Centre

A move to the Kent Innovation Centre in 2011 gave us the professionalism we needed

With a proper professional premises, client parking right outside, high-speed internet and a welcoming reception area, we were set. I know this sounds like an advert but this is a great place for a small business and yes, there are some offices available if you are interested!

Over the years, we have moved from a 1-desk room to a 2-desk room and now into a 5-desk room. The good thing about this place is that when we upsize again in a few months, we will need to drag our furniture along the corridor into a bigger office.

 

The Employer Years 2012-2015

Obviously with professional offices, we could employ people and Lewis Hardisty (still with us today) joined us in 2012 as the first. Then in 2015, Jamie Galvin and Jonathan Plumridge also joined us on apprenticeship schemes and today we are a team of 4 developers plus Pip as the office manager.

The team at Broadbiz; Lewis, Jamie and Jonathan

The team at Broadbiz; Lewis, Jamie and Jonathan

There will be more people joining us over the next 6 months or so, so if you are interested and think you have the skills required, please do drop us a line.

 

The Changing Web 2012-2015

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

It might not seem so long ago, but it’s really only the last 4 years that we have had the web in our pocket and that has been the real change in humans’ need for the web and the information that it holds for us all.

Technically there have been some massive changes which most readers will not be interested in, HTML5 and CSS3, mobile-friendly but that you use every day and we are proud of the fact that we keep abreast of the changes in the industry and adapt our services accordingly.

 

The Growth Years 2013-2015

Website Screenshot - The Gallery Boutique

Screenshot of the Gallery Boutique website, the shop is based right opposite the Harbour Arm in Margate. Just one of our online shops.

From 2013 onwards, we have seen the real upward trend for Broadbiz and that growth grows every few months.

These days, we get enquiries from around 5 local businesses each week and whilst not every single one is a perfect fit for us and for them, we sign up at least 10 new clients every month.

We are supporting well over 300 clients now and our business model has always been to work long term with those.

 

How Do We Feel About All This?

Izzy and Ashlee at Harry Potter World in Watford

Izzy and Ashlee were 2 months and 2 years old when we started this thing! Now 10 and 12 and we’ve been there!

Pip and I both feel very proud of what we have achieved with Broadbiz over the last decade. It has allowed us to work in the lovely area in which we live, reduce our commute and watch our two wonderful daughters grow up. They were 2 years old and 2 months old when we formed the company.

We are also very proud of the fact that we are able to make a difference to 100s of businesses and we like to think that lots of those would not be in the position that they are now without Broadbiz.

The promotion of local businesses to local people, keeps local money in the local area. We can never begin to measure that, but we have definitely had an impact on the local economy.

 

Any Regrets?

None. Really none. OK, we may have done a few things differently but pretty much it’s been good. Here’s to the next 10 years, 20 years, however many!

 

Get In Touch with Us

If Broadbiz can help you at all, whether you are interested in developing or redeveloping your web presence or working here, please get in touch.

New Launch – J W Construction and Property Maintenance

jwconstructionpropertyHere at Broadbiz HQ, we have just completed the development a new site for Birchington-based building firm, J W Construction & Property Maintenance. Take a look at www.jwconstructionproperty.co.uk

The site for J W Construction has been in development for quite some time allowing the customers to make sure that each element is perfect before the launch.

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Gap in the market Launch

gapinthemarketshopBroadbiz have just launched another brand new website for the brand new Gap In The Market shop on Broadstairs High Street and you can see that at www.gapinthemarketshop.co.uk.

The shop is run as part of the Gap Project which is a charity set up in 2001 addressing social issues, deprivation and hardship including loneliness and isolation.

As a charity, Gap In The Market were entitled to our community package which give community and charity websites a reduction of 20% off all our costs.

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“Mobile Friendly” vs “Responsive Design”

There’s been a lot of talk about Mobile-Friendly and Responsive websites recently so we thought it worthwhile laying out our understanding of that and what we do, here at Broadbiz HQ!

What are mobile-friendly websites?

barnwoodpropertyMobile–friendly websites display perfectly well on desktop and mobile devices, i.e. phones and tablets. They are small enough to load over mobile networks and they don’t include things like Flash which has incompatibility issues.

They can be read easily and can be navigated using the “Pinch & Spread” method. Obviously your mobile device will be smaller but ultimately, you can see the website, read the content and have the same experience as if you were looking at the website on a desktop.

What is a responsive website?

Responsive web design (RWD) takes a different approach to designing your website. The website is written in such a way that it detects what type of device you are using and delivers you a suitable layout.

kentcabincraftcentreYou can navigate the site using the “Flick & Scroll” method similar to the way in which you would navigate one of your apps, such as Facebook or Twitter.

The navigation menu will alter dependent on what device you are using; the desktop site will display a navigation bar whilst the mobile version will give you a button to click on at which point the navigation menu will appear.

Most importantly though, it’s the same content. Some developers will provide you two websites, one for desktop and one for mobile. That not only causes additional effort and complexities in keeping the site up-to-date but it’s also not favoured by Google who see a whole bunch of conflicting pages and content.

What do Broadbiz do?

We do things the right way for you. Remember, we are looking to work with you as long as you are in business so it’s in our interest to get it right and to keep it right!

We take your website and make it fully responsive so it works on desktop and it works on mobile as well. It’s the same content and most importantly it’s all of your content. The information that you have is available on all devices and if you really want to switch between the two layouts, there’s always a link at the bottom to allow you to do that.

Yeah, but how much?

To do this, we charge an additional £7.50 per month on top of any of our packages.

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You can find out more about our mobile friendly offering on our website.

Launch of the Pickwick Carpets Website

Screenshot of Pickwick Carpets Kent

Screenshot of the new Pickwick Carpets website, launched by Broadbiz on 17th of June 2015

Here at Broadbiz, we have just launched a new website at for Ramsgate-based carpet supplier and fitters, Pickwick Carpets. You can see what we have done at www.pickwickcarpetskent.co.uk.

Pickwick carpets already had a website but they felt it wasn’t working for them so they gave us a call so we could give it a brush a tidy up.

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Launch of the Barnhill Estates website

 

Screenshot of the new Barnhill Estates website

Screenshot of the new Barnhill Estates website, launched by Broadbiz on 12th of May 2015

We have just launched a new website at www.barnhillestates.co.uk, a new property management website for Barnhill Estates are based in the heart of Canterbury. They are a friendly family run business established since 2005 building a close relationship with customers.

Kerry and Rose needed a professional website and needed it quickly, so we turned this round for her in a matter of week.

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