How Much does a Website Cost? A 2021 Malta Cost Guide

Business Website Costs Explained

Pricing is always a delicate subject in the business world. Without question, you want the best from any purchase you have to make. With web design, however, this can be even more complex as different features can change the price you pay considerably. In this post, we look at the factors that will impact on your expenditure when ordering a brand new or updating an existing business website.

The Complexity of a Website

Generally speaking, the more complex your website, the greater the cost. Technically, there is far more to get right, and this involves more coding, testing, and integration with APIs and other features.

Should e-commerce be involved, the functionality of this aspect is a factor in driving up time and therefore, cost. This is compounded by site security which is another factor that needs to be on-point.

On the other hand, a more information-focused site may require less work and as such, carry less of a price tag.

It is a good idea to make two lists when approaching a web design company. One list is essentials for the site and a wish list. The latter being elements you would like but are not essential to your business. The company should be able to break down costs on the wish list, allowing you to make an informed choice.

Web Design

The design of a website is extremely important and should tie into and reinforce your company branding. When a potential customer or client lands on your site, the design should convey what industry you operate in instantly and ensure that what your business offers is immediately clear. The simpler and more straightforward the better. Design of the website is also factored into the cost of the project. The more complex or ambitious the design of the website is, the more cost it will involve. It is always a good idea that when you approach a web developer for a quote for your project, to have some reference websites that they can look at for an idea of the style you are looking for.

Increasingly, web designers are under pressure to make a website work very well on a wide range of smart devices such as tablets and phones. Again, this level of skill comes with a cost, and it is one of the most important aspects to get right.


Website maintenance is an area where costs can be pushed up and down considerably. Web design/development agencies tend to operate differently where maintenance is concerned. Some offer cheaper web designs but higher maintenance cost, others have higher design costs and lower maintenance fees.

It is a number-crunching exercise to determine which option is best when maintenance agreements are on the table. As a minimum, ensure that the important elements are going to be updated, and that the business has a robust approach to ‘back-ups’ and security.

Hosting and Domain Registration

Hosting and domain registration is sometimes included in the cost of your design, other times this is a separate cost. Domain registration is the registering of your website name, say, while hosting is paying for the server space which is where the site lives.

Hosting comes with a range of options, and this varies the cost. A dedicated server, for example, costs more than shared hosting but indirectly might save you money should your site experience high traffic volumes on a regular basis.

Other fees that can be expected here are DNS Hosting fees, SSL Certificates and if required, business email services.

Web Designer Expertise

It is important to remember that good web designers bring with them experience and expertise. They stay on top of design trends and bring this to new and existing projects. They implement Google specifications to keep your site onside with the corporate giants ensuring you receive no penalties. Some of what you pay for you do not see, but its importance cannot be overstated.

Planning & Time

One of the things which the client will most often not see is the considerable amount of time that is used on planning the project carefully to ensure that the project requirements are being met, brainstorming ideas, seek areas of improvements and through all this, keep the business requirements and their customer base in mind to create a long-term sustainable website that their clients will use without any issues. This time is typically included in the project cost, but if you need such transparency do ask your developer to provide such breakdown if it helps you assess your quotes.

At times, business requirements or client’s ideas change when the project development has already started. In such cases, first of all, it’s important that you make your web designer know that such changes may soon need to be done, to allow for the project to be put on hold before further development is made. Such changes in direction are most of the time easy to accommodate, however, do keep in mind that inevitably, the project cost may change due to the time that may have already been spent developing the project based on the previous plan.

Hidden Costs

Everyone hates hidden costs (and we do too!) – and therefore, to avoid such surprises, please do make sure to ask your web designer about their costs policies. Most will not engage in such bad practices, but it doesn’t hurt to ask to make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy web design agency.

There are however certain areas where a client may perceive added project costs as a ‘hidden cost’. This is where the client/business relationship goes both ways and the client must understand that if the project requirements change, the fees will also change. Let us use an example of a client that requests a quote for a simple, 5-page website. If this website ends up then with 20 pages, then the fees for such project will without a doubt increase accordingly due to the amount of work required to create the additional 15 pages. For extra clarity, you may want to also enquire about the agency’s hourly rate for work outside of the project scope. You don’t want any surprises there either.

Get in Touch

If you need a business or any kind of website, get in touch. We will breakdown the costs involved and ensure you get a valuable business tool which will help you achieve your aims.

One of the most useful Windows applications that I use daily.

There are several big apps that I use on a daily basis. These include things such as Google Chrome (and various other web browsers), Microsoft Office applications, Adobe tools that we use for design work and various others. There is however, a tiny and relatively simple tool that is insanely useful, and it makes our lives so much easier. This is why I have decided to write this article and share this tool with you.

The name of this app is Snipaste. It is a screen capture tool. Simple right? Well, yes… that’s all it is. It’s an app that takes screenshots – but on steroids. There are A LOT of tools that will help you do this. Windows itself, has it’s own Snipping tool, and it’s newer Snip & Sketch and there are loads of other applications that can do the same operation. But so far, I have never found a tool that fits so nicely into my work processes than Snipaste. Let me explain why.

First of all, this tool can be downloaded from here – Snipaste screen capture tool

After it’s downloaded and installed, you just need to launch it one, and it silently sits in the background waiting for it to be summoned.

Taking a new screenshot, is now a simple matter of pressing the F1 button on your keyboard. Once the F1 is pressed, the entire screen will turn dark to indicate that the screen capturing mode is on. All you need to do then is to drag a box with your mouse or touch-enabled device to capture the area of the screen that you wish to capture. It is insanely useful when you just really need to take a screenshot of a portion of the screen.

So far, there is nothing new or revolutionary. Every other screen capture tool can do this. What happens next is what sets this tool apart.

As you can see, below the captured area, there is a small toolbar that allows you to do various actions. Let’s start from the simplest ones. (excuse the quality of the image, iI zoomed in to the image a lot to show the icons properly.

The first four icons from the right, are copy, save, pin and close. These should be pretty self-explanatory. The one that I use the most is the “copy” button, as by pressing that button, you can then paste the captured image into a document, email etc. If instead of pasting it in your content, you want to save or attach to an email, then you can use the “Save” button instead. The “pin” button, allows you to pin that screen capture to your screen, and the “close”… well, closes this window.

The next set of tools is also REALLY useful.

As shown above, each icon in the toolbox has its own purpose. You have tools such as:

  • Shapes – to draw shapes over your screenshots
  • Lines – to draw lines
  • Arrows – to draw arrows
  • Pen – annotate using your mouse as a pen
  • Highlighter – highlight areas of your screenshot.
  • Blur – blur a portion of your screenshot
  • Text – add text
  • Eraser – erase what you have added

Below, you can see all the tools in use in one screenshot. Excuse the mess in this image, but please bear with me. As you can see, I have used this screenshot to illustrate what this tool can do. Let’s assume that you need to send this to someone else to carry out some changes to your website. The arrows can be used to point towards certain parts of the website screenshot below. The shape tool has been used to immediately highlight the ‘contact us’ button, and I have added instructions using the text tool so that the button can be changed to green. The first line of the paragraph has been highlighted using the highlight tool, and below the paragraph, I jotted down a simple pen/mouse annotation. You can use it to draw something. Last but not least, I have added a blur (pixelation) to hide any confidential information.

This is not all. There are some other extra features. When you are using the various drawing, shapes, and arrow tools, a second toolbar appears right below, that gives you some other options based on the tool you have just clicked. In this case, we can amend the thickness of the arrow, but also select between three different arrow options, and finally, also change the colour.

Last but not least, is the colour picker. This is one of the most essential tools for me. You may not be familiar with web colours. For us web designers, we rarely use colour names to refer to specific colours. We tend to use web codes to accurately point to a specific colour.

For example: If a client decides that they want something done in Orchid colour. The exact shade of colour that the client has in mind, may not exactly be what the designer has in mind. A quick Google search also reveals a lot of different options. Therefore, this can cause confusion.

With web codes, you can never go wrong, and Snipaste can help you pick the right colour that you would like to use. Once you activate snipaste, with the F1 button, the mouse cursor is able to pick colours, and as indicated below, the colour orchid colour code is now #db70db. Handy right?

I hope this article helps. I highly suggest you to download this tool and give it a try. It will make your life easier by allowing you to explain on-screen items with great ease, and avoid a lot of confusion.

What can businesses learn from the Covid-19 (corona virus) pandemic?

Over the past few weeks, I spent quite a bit of time spotting trends of how businesses in Malta and Internationally have responded to this pandemic. In all this fear and uncertainty, many businesses have taken great steps to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees and customers. I’m generally, an optimistic person and tend to see the silver lining in things, and I strongly believe that this Covid-19 pandemic, once resolved, will also be a learning experience for businesses all over the world. Learnings that can be implemented to prepare the business for times like these, ways how to improve efficiency, improve customer experience and save costs.

2020 so far is turning out to be totally different from what anyone has ever imagined. Who would have thought that many countries would end up in an almost complete standstill and with most companies unable to go about their usual business? Many countries have paused travelling operations to the most affected countries. People have been asked to cancel un-necessary travel, schools and universities are on shut down, major events have also been cancelled and various private companies such as restaurants or busy offices have elected to suspend their operation or ask employees to work from home until the situation is resolved.

Yes, it’s an awful time. It is important that we all work together to beat this and return to our normal lives as quickly as possible. It’s important that all basic hygiene rules are followed as closely as possible and following the advice of health professionals and any new government directions. This applies even more to those who have been travelling, as they may have been in the highest risk bracket for transmission. Of course, you have heard all of this many times over. But it’s worth keeping all of this at the forefront of every day-to-day activity that we do, which will ultimately be the key to avoid spreading the virus.

Here are some of the things I have noticed and my points how I think businesses can take up and consider in their day to day operations.

Video Conferencing

A big chunk of my work time is spent in meetings. Love them or hate them, they are important to discuss projects, ideas, planning, implementation progress, issue resolution and so on. Over the past few weeks, I have faced zero resistance when suggesting setting up meetings over video conferencing (Skype) as an alternative to face to face meetings. To this day, I am still very surprised why some people still resist video conferencing so much. I have over the past few years suggested Skype meetings many times to speed things up, but the majority, still prefer the face-to-face.

Video conferencing is not the solution to everything. Especially at the initial stage of a working relationship between two businesses. Face to face meetings can be essential at the initial stages so that both parties get to know each other a little better, however, a few weeks or months down the line where one simply needs to discuss some basic items, a video call is in most cases more than enough to settle the task at hand.


  • Save commuting/parking time – I would personally easily save 1 to 1.5 hrs per meeting
  • Save fuel and parking costs – driving in traffic wastes fuel, and if these drives are reduced, the fuel costs are dramatically reduced.
  • Save the environment – all the used fuel would be saved from our atmosphere – polluted air is killing more people annually than the Coronavirus, so it’s like hitting two birds with one stone, right?
  • Shorter meetings – During the past few weeks engaging in more skype calls rather than physical meetings, I have noticed that most meetings were shorter and more to the point.
  • And of course, no physical risks of passing on disease – this applies not only to Covid-19, but also the dreaded seasonal colds, flu, gastric flu or any other nasties lurking around us all year.


  • Finding the right platform for you – Skype works in most cases, where you just need to discuss an issue and perhaps some basic screen share. If your needs are a bit more complex, you will need to find the best tool to match your needs. This is really just a one-time hassle, which once resolved will greatly improve your efficiency.
  • The right hardware – if you have an older machine or even a newer one with bad quality video and audio input and output, you will generally not have a great video conferencing experience. Investing in better video conferencing hardware may be suggested.
  • Bad connection – this is the #1 reason for most failed video calls. If your connection is slow, or you are a bit too far away from the wifi router or maybe even using an overloaded network will cause the video/audio broadcast to slow down and ultimately fail.

Besides the hardware, you will also need the communication software to connect with your clients and colleagues. I suggest tools such as:

Basic Hygiene – Everywhere

This one is baffling. To this day, I cannot understand why the authorities still have to explain to people how to wash their hands, how to behave when sick and the proper use of sanitising products. I am a bit of a germaphobe, and I take these things a bit to the extreme… Don’t do that. What you must do, is to ensure that you follow some really basic hygiene rules and ensure that your hands are washed frequently, use of a good hand sanitiser gel or wipes, cover your mouth with disposable paper napkins when you sneeze or cough to protect people around you etc… One thing that a lot of people seem to forget or ignore is to keep your workspaces clean. How long has it been since you have cleaned your desk, keyboard and mouse and other devices that you use daily? Think of the years of germs and grime accumulating in your keyboard. It gives me chills really. So, get cleaning! And make that a part of your schedule.

Sick Leave

Quite a sensitive topic here unfortunately, but I have seen this too many times to be ignored. When you are sick, especially if it’s something contagious, stay at home. This is the only way that virus spread can be reduced – if fewer people get infected, the risk of the dreaded winter flu and other contagious diseases is heavily reduced. Business owners need to be part of this as well and enforce this as a company rule. Would you rather have one or two employees sick, or the entire office? It could bring the entire business operation down to its knees! The employees who are sick at home, need to also do their part and stay at home until fully recovered to contain virus transmission – there is no point containing the transmission at work, but then transmitting the viruses to your entire neighbourhood or your supermarket of choice.

Home Working

There are people that love this idea, and others that hate it. I have been working from home for a few years now, and it has truly changed my life for the better – in many aspects. I really hated it initially, I hated the idea of not being at the office or being stuck at home all day. But eventually I realised, that the only thing that had kept me wanting to be at the office was the day-to-day office banter, and the social times that happen at the office. I didn’t hate working from home, I just hated missing out on the fun at the office. Once my team over the months and years started changing (as it always does), and my old colleagues were no longer there – I started realising that working at home, was the way to go for me and I was infinitely more productive.

Working from home has several pros and cons. Here are some of the points that I think are the most important.


  • Time flexibility – working from home allows you to work with a more flexible schedule and allows you to balance your work/home time. It’s really convenient when you have for example deliveries being dropped off to your home and can just stop for a few minutes to settle the delivery and then go back to work – or when one needs to go for a quick errand.
  • Reduced commuting & stress – Working from home also means, that you do not have to spend your daily 1 to 1.5 hrs travelling back and forth to the office everyday. It’s great to have an extra hour available daily to be able to either sleep that extra hour, go out for a walk or jog or anything else that you enjoy. For people with families and kids, it could mean some extra time in the morning to prepare things calmly and enjoy some extra family time.
  • Cost savings – Travelling less, also means spending less on your commute – either in fuel costs or even in some cases the daily cost of the overpriced coffee or lunch that you may be picking up before work or during your lunch break. You can save so much money by making your own lunch at home, where you probably already have the basics, and can make a quick sandwich or anything else that you like to have for lunch at a fraction of the cost.
  • Productivity – Working from home, with less office distractions, may also mean higher productivity. In most cases, you will not have your usual office interruptions and you can focus on getting your work done.
  • Comfort – In most cases, working from home you may also probably be more comfortable, as there is no need to dress up in shirts and suits, you can simply just wear comfortable indoor wear. You will also be in full control of lighting, temperature and background sound/music or complete silence as you prefer.


  • Productivity – even though in most cases, many people experience a productivity increase, some others experience the opposite. They may end up even more distracted and unable to finish a task from A to Z in the usual time. Not everyone’s home is suitable for home working, especially if the house is being occupied by other members of the family during the working time. Pets can also be a huge distraction especially if they are big attention seekers. Cute, but not if you need to finish that report asap!
  • Discipline – working from home, requires a great deal of discipline. If you are mean to start working at 8:00am, and you oversleep daily, or wake up in the ‘I don’t feel like doing anything’ mood, and are not able to snap out of it, you are most likely not going to be able to work from home. You need to take this very seriously, and work like you would be working at the office.
  • Not everyone can work from home – That’s the simple reality, most people don’t just feel comfortable. One cannot make this decision just by the first week or two of this experience. It took me probably around 2 to 3 months to fully get used to it. Now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  • Change of scenery – you will need to make an extra effort to change the scenery. You will at times feel like a recluse, and spending the day and night at home at all times may at time feel quite depressing. You will need to make the conscious effort to change the scenery from time to time. Even if it’s a simple shopping trip, a drink out with friends and colleagues in the evening would be enough to provide a bit of separation from your home environment.
  • Home setup – to be able to work from home well, you need to have your own good working space. If you end up having to work on your kitchen table all week, it may not be the best of locations. It is great if you could have your own small area dedicated to work, but not everyone is that lucky. Also, keep in mind that you are likely to have some expenses related to your working from home activity, such as basic stationery that you may need, internet costs that you are using for your work, office furniture, IT costs and electricity and water. Some companies that enable home working, also provide a special yearly or monthly allowance to make up for these extra costs.

Besides all the pros and cons, and your personal preferences, the reality is that not every job is doable from home. This is not possible for physical customer-facing staff or jobs that involve processing of paperwork or tasks that require a lot of face-to-face.

Today’s reality is that many businesses with the Covid-19 infections have been imposing or suggesting to employees to work from home. Unfortunately, since this came so suddenly, and many businesses and employees were not prepared for it, I am fairly sure that many people will struggle. How successful this will be, will ultimately be a matter of how employees will quickly adapt, how business owners will be trusting their employees to work as they used to, and the accuracy of the work. We will just have to wait and see.

Going Paperless

Physical passing of any objects from one hand to the next, is another big infection risk. Paperwork and money are one of such transmission objects. Nowadays, it is so simple for most businesses to go paperwork and cashless – and I am truly surprised why so many companies have not yet taken advantage of such convenience.

  • Quoting – quoting for products and services doesn’t need to involve a physical paper handed to or mailed to a client, it can be simply emailed.
  • Invoices and Receipts – sales receipts, can also be emailed
  • Delivery confirmations – when a delivery is made to the client, a tablet can be provided to the customer so that they can do a virual signature.
  • Same applies for some contracts – though this one may be a little bit more sensitive.
  • Payments – sending cheque payments in some places is still a thing. This can be very easily replace with online banking and credit card transactions. There are so many really convenient options for your customers to settle their payments. This applies primarily to the people that waste their precious time waiting at banks and local post offices to settle bills. There are so many ways that bills can be settled with great ease, such as credit card contact less payments, bank standing orders for recurring payments and of course online banking, Revolut and so on, to settle bills.

We have been using all these services since day one of our operation, and it saves us so much time, hassle and it is also the greener option.

Online Services

Companies that have invested in a digital infrastructure to support their business operation are the ones that will have the edge over their competition. For companies that sell physical or virtual products, e-commerce has surely been a blessing as customers can move into doing their purchasing on the web with very little effort. Yes, a small change of mentality is required, but it’s not a difficult step. From what I have seen so far, all the online shops that we have built, most of them are experiencing a growth in their online sales.

  • E-commerce – enabling your customers to purchase your virtual or physical products online
  • Online payments – pay for anything online – this is one of the simplest operations and can be used for either buying products, services and anything in between.
  • Digital invoicing – invoice your clients via email, a huge time saver.
  • Online renewals – if your business deals in services or even products that require a yearly or monthly fee, online renewals are a huge time saver.
  • Online quoting – clients can submit their requests, and the business can then supply a quote for the services required via email.
  • Online service bookings – customers can book and pay for a service online
  • Online scheduling – customers can book your services online via a real time availability calendar. Services can also be pre-paid ahead of time, therefore also reducing no-shows.
  • Customer Service – using your website and various customer service tools such as Zendesk to communicate with customers and address sales queries, technical support and general day-to-day queries.

Online services are not only helpful for interaction with clients, but also for interactions between employees. There are hundreds of tools that businesses can use to improve communication and workflows between employees – these include online chat services, video conferencing and remote presentation tools, virtual technical support, cloud file sharing, project planning and management tools and so on. These tools can greatly help the company operate as seamlessly as possible. Tools that we currently use, or have used in the past include:

Business as usual

The most difficult part of a time like this, is to keep the ‘business as usual’ – which let’s face it, it’s almost impossible. But the key here, is to try to use everything that is currently available that can help you optimise your operation in a way that in situations such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, or another large scale event or even the simple seasonal flu could make your business operate as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible – therefore safeguarding your business, your employees, your customers – a win-win-win for everyone.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Will AI Increase your Productivity? You know, it just might!

Artificial intelligence or AI isn’t the next ‘big thing’. It is here right now. Often it works away in the background unnoticed streamlining workflow or giving information fast and efficiently to customers. So how can AI make your business more productive?

Customer Service

Customer services are being greatly assisted by AI. Sophisticated ‘chatbots’ are being developed all the time with new features being added regularly. Consider, a ‘chatbot’ can be deployed across social media platforms as well as your website and operates 24 hours a day. More far reaching is that chatbots are becoming more ‘human’. That is to say, they are becoming better at communicating with people and more useful to them.

Today’s chatbot can recognise a query and provide on the spot help. If they can’t provide the help or answer a specific question they can be deployed to relay the information to a specific person who can help.

Increasingly, they can offer related products if a ‘trigger word’ is used by the potential customer or client, and can upsell.

Research suggests that chatbots are accepted by the wider public providing they are of actual use. According to a survey published in Business Insider which gathered the views of 5000 respondents the following was established:

•    44% were happy to deal with a customer service chatbot

•    38% of chatbot users rated their experience as positive.  A further 51% had a neutral stance

•    48% stated they preferred chatbots that solved issues rather than had a personality

Ensuring Compliance in the Finance Industry

An increasing use of AI is to carry out compliance checks when establishing corporate entities. Due to time pressures, it is easy for humans to make mistakes when taking deep data dives to ensure that corporate structures are set up correctly and that they are legal. Human error rates can be high and given the level of fines, it is essential that this mission-critical task is done correctly. AI takes part of the process away greatly speeding up approvals and reducing the error rate.

It is also utilised to sort and retrieve data faster allowing the operator to improve workflow and in turn productivity.


One of AI’s growing strengths is that it can spot trends and patterns in data. This is invaluable in a range of industries but increasingly it is used in health. Using patient data AI sets to work to see if correlations exist between lifestyle and illness. This data is shaping the focus of treatment development and allowing researchers to understand the nature of certain conditions.

Human Resources

It is believed that in the future AI will play an increasing part in human resources. It will analyse candidates and determine whether or not they are a good fit for the company and the role they are applying for. This is believed to be a real time and cost saver and is something that AI developers are working on right now.


AI is increasingly used in marketing. Facebook, for example, has invested heavily in its AI marketing making targeting and the effectiveness of ads more accurate. Many marketers believed Facebook ads were hit and miss. Now many believe the AI has made Facebook advertising far more reliable and see improved response rates.

AI Final Thoughts

Although AI is considered to be new it is already taking the load and making us more productive, agile and efficient. Businesses of every type are benefiting from its capabilities. AI can make handle large quantities of data and analyse it against a specific criteria. AI is the present and the future and now is a good time to look at options that can improve your business.

How can Blockchain help my business?

Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin are buzzwords that have been around for a while but have been subject to considerable hype and speculation in the last couple of years. It is easy to concentrate on other things until this hype and speculation settles down and genuine accurate insights emerge. Let’s take a deep yet understandable dive into how it works.

Blockchains and Secure Transactions

Blockchains are formed by networks of computers that contain a ledger of financial transactions commonly known as the blockchain. Each transaction is a block which contains all the information about a specific transaction. This includes dates, currency, amount, who is getting paid and who is sending it, and the good or services the transaction is for. Note, that users of blockchains create usernames to protect personal identities and this is also a digital signature.

When a transaction is created it goes through a verification process. Unlike standard transactions which are verified via the banking industry, the process is verified by the network computers in the blockchain, which could be hundreds, or thousands of computers. So, if you purchased goods from an online retailer, the network would check the digital signatures, amounts involved, currencies, dates, times, and everything else.

Once the networked computers verify the transaction has taken place, this is added into the blockchain creating a code which is almost impossible to alter or hack. This code is called a hash and is unique to the transaction. Once added details can be seen and reviewed by the public although username details are private.

Blockchains tends to utilise cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins but it also uses conventional currency too.


Blockchains are being utilised more and more for business. They tend to save costs as banking fees are negated but they also streamline workflow. This is especially realised in the following areas:

Supply Chains

Blockchains are also improving supply chain management especially if international shipping is involved. Customs clearance information, certifications, and every piece of information needed are contained in the block. This speeds up clearance and saves cost. To do this by conventional means often means a small army of middlemen who all need paying. With blockchain much of the process is streamlined resulting in a business getting materials faster and cheaper.

This also means that if your business relies on purchasing raw materials or components, a blockchain could speed up delivery and save costs.

Smart Contracts

Given the high security levels of a blockchain to alter a transaction requires a hacker to alter the transaction on every computer in the network. This can potentially be millions even billions. As such, storing sensitive information becomes a real option.  Smart contracts can be generated using blockchains. All the necessary information can be recorded and once verified the agreement is legally binding.  All sensitive information can be encoded into the block using a private key.

Healthcare Information

On the same theme of smart contracts information such as patient records could be stored on a blockchain. This would be protected by a private key so that sensitive information could be released only by the patient as and when needed. It could, with the patient’s permission be shared among the medical community. This would make getting second opinions easier by both patients and doctors and provide an up to date medical record minimising medical error and assisting diagnosis.

Blockchain Business

Embracing blockchain now is prudent. Given the speed accuracy and security offered by blockchain transactions you could find your business runs smoother and workflow and productivity is increased simply by conducting your transactions via blockchain and not via conventional means.

Important Aspects about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you can’t ignore

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into play in Malta and among EU states on the 25th April 2018.  The new regulations are reported as the biggest shakeup in data protection for two decades.  GDPR will replace the existing Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and closes many of its predecessor’s ambiguities.

Businesses within the EU zone or businesses and organisations that want to trade or hold data on businesses and customers within the EU zone need to be fully compliant with GDPR by 25th May 2018 or face heavy non-compliant penalties.  The new regulations apply to both “controllers” and “processors” of user data.

There are three main areas of data protection that are strengthened by GDPR.  They are:

Extended Jurisdiction

Currently, it is possible for a company or organisation to circumnavigate the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC if they are based outside of the European Union.  This has resulted in high profile legal cases to prevent the movement of data overseas.  Under the current legislation, the cases have not always been successful.

GDPR makes it implicitly clear that no matter where in the world an organisation is based it has to comply with the regulations if it holds data on EU citizens or organisations or wants to trade with any citizen or organisation within the EU zone.  This includes British firms following Brexit.

Britain is currently in the process of implementing its own version of GDPR which is very close to the EU directive and will come into play around the same time as GDPR.

Expanded Data Scrutiny

Companies of all sizes will need to show how they store and use data.  They will also have to report data breaches to their country’s regulatory body within 72 hours.  They will need to have documentation and policies stating how data is used and stored.  This can include but not limited to:

  • Data Impact Assessments
  • Disaster Recovery Plans
  • Data use including who can access it, history, and how it is used by the company
  • Companies that have over 250 employees will need to show why the data is being held, how it is used, and how long it is held for. They will need to show what security measures are in place to protect the data.

If a company adopts a “regular and systematic monitoring” of user data or possesses a lot of it, it has to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO).   This officer will need clear responsibilities and report to senior boardroom members.

Companies will also have to show that they have been given clear consent by the user for some of the data they collect and that the user gave a “positive – opt-in”.

Expanded User Rights

User data rights are extended under GDPR.  Users no longer have to pay the £10 Subject Access Charge to obtain their data from an organisation and can request data free of charge.  Businesses and organisation have to provide the information within one month or face penalties.  They also have to explain decisions they made in relation in to the user’s data.

Users will be able to withdraw consent to use their data.  A user can also request to “be forgotten” if their data is no longer necessary for the purpose it was collected, there’s no longer a legitimate interest, and if it was unlawfully processed.


The fines for non – compliance of GDPR are significant.  For serious infringements, it can reach £20 million or 4% of annual turnover for a business, Whichever is the greater.

Resources: European law blog Wired EUGDPR.ORG

5 Web Design Elements that need to die (+1 Bonus Addition)

Despite the great improvement we have seen in the way websites are built in the last few years, there are some companies that still like to live in the past – resulting in poor design elements that still creep through to new websites designed beyond 2016/17 .

These elements serve little to no marketing purpose and are very good at slowing down loading times, (which in 2017, is very bad for business) and also make a website behave poorly, or even render the website inaccessible from portable internet connected devices such as tablets and mobiles.

From a business perspective these design elements are to be avoided at all costs.  They will harm your business reputation as customer interactions become more difficult.  They can also negatively impact search engine performance.

Elements to Avoid at all Costs on a Commercial Website

Too Many Large Images

If you publish a website with too  many high resolution images you will greatly slow down how fast your website loads. Anything that slows down a website is considered a very bad idea. You will find that most of your customers access the web via their mobile, an therefore on these devices large image files will ‘take forever’ to load and few have the patience for that. Google now also penalise sites that have large loading times.  So not only will your customer base lose patience with you, new customers will never find you.

Best Viewed on a Firefox / Chrome / Internet Explorer / Edge

Some sites still have a message saying something like “best viewed on Firefox.”  Firefox is a great browser, and so are the others, but your site should work on every browser not just one. This browser preference harks back to a time when browsers were limited in what they can do. As the most used browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Windows Edge, and Opera), can display sites with full functionality these kind of messages have no place especially on a commercial website.

Your Site Lacks Responsiveness

If your site does not adapt to the screen size it is being viewed on you need to change this now.  More and more research in how we view the web shows we use mobile devices over desktop PCs.  When we grab a coffee in the morning we look on our phone.  We read email on our phone and click through to offers, via our phones and tablets.  Guess what happens if your site cannot be viewed properly on a phone or tablet. Making sites responsive is a must.

Flash Animations

At one time Flash animations were the best and only way to display a video. Flash, however, had many flaws. It used too many resources, it assisted hackers with its poor security, and in 2010 it was banished by Apple who ensured their iPhones no longer supported the format.

Newer, more secure and faster technologies now exist. HTML5, Web Assembly among others are much better choices.  Adobe, the makers of Flash are now killing it and have opted for HTML5. You should do the same.

With Flash on the way out, your promotional videos won’t play for your audience and as such your marketing message is lost.

Background Music

For a billion reasons background music or sounds should no longer be a feature on a commercial website.  They are off putting and disrupt your marketing message. They also channel resources making load times faster, and they make your business appear like an elevator. They really are so 1990s.

Special Award Goes To: Live counters

If your website features “You are visitor number 004567” anywhere on the site – then please, please please, remove it asap. There are more transparent ways nowadays to track your user activity. Tools like Google Analytics can help you get more information on the use of your website and a lot more information than what a typical web counter can.

Get a Professional Site

If you are interested in getting a professional site that will become a valuable business tool, then get in touch.  We can give you a state of the art smooth website that avoids dreadful things that should no longer exist on a commercial business website. Click here to get in touch.

Why your Business still needs a Website

Despite the huge social media growth, the business website’s importance cannot be overstated. Although social media use is on the rise to find products and services, a business website if utilised correctly will still be your main portal to sales.  A good professional design combined with good online marketing is still the best way to leverage sales and increase revenues.This post looks at how and why the business website is more important than ever before.

Search Engines

The bottom line is that not everyone uses social media. There is still a very large percentage of the online population that does not use social media (for a variety of reasons) and that makes it enough as a reason to make sure that your business has it’s own website. Secondly, some businesses that conduct a lot of social media marketing seem to forget that Google, Bing, (and many other smaller search engines) is still considered as the “go-to” place for the majority of searches online… so why give that up? So if you want to appear at the top of a Google or your preferred search engine, you need a website to do it.

More Content Options

The fact is that social media sites like Facebook only provide you with limited content options.  Although you can use ad options and build a following using Facebook, and you can inform your audience about your special offers and developments, the fact is that with a business website you can build dedicated shopping portals, publish blogs, and provide giveaways like vouchers and brochures.  Here, I’m just talking about the tip of the iceberg.

As your website is your online sales message, having a fully customisable site gives you full control over your sales message.  This makes it the most powerful online business tool you have.

Measure your Success

The other factor to bear in mind is that with Google Analytics you can see where your visitors are in the world, what traffic drivers get them to your site, what pages they view, and how many hang around to see what your site is about and how many disappear without a trace.  With a little technical knowledge you can also set up goals and events, which is an easy way to keep tabs on your business success. These insights give you the business intelligence to make changes to your site to both attract visitors and keep them on your site. And let’s not forget you will make more sales.

Branding your Business

Building trust is important with your customer and client base, and to build trust online you have to have a website, as well as a strong social media presence.   If you think of big successful brands, how many of them do not have a business website?  None, of course.  This is because they realised that they do far more business and repeat business with a website, than without one.

One of the many reasons for this is that it gives online options such as taking payments online, and answering questions as well as giving you a true business presence.   This builds the trust you need to do business.

You can also use features such as testimonials to make your sales message more authentic.

This Makes Sense! But What Next?

Let’s get your business website up and running.  It is time to build trust, perfect your business presence and start making your online business a success.  Click here to contact to get discussing options.

8 Sizzling Tips to Improve your Business Website

Take your Business Online with a Professional Quality Website

Your business website has the power to make your business a success (Also a failure!).  Capable of reaching audiences a shop front never could, your business website will work well if you have a great, user friendly design and good digital marketing in place.  Potentially you can expand your business and develop your online brand.  Greatly improving your revenue stream in the process.

With this in mind here are some website tips to incorporate into your business website.

Think Holistically for a Better Business and Brand

Branding is influencing online business transactions and not just with your customers.  Both Bing and Google will give brands higher search engine placement, even if sites below them have better search engine optimisation in place.  So when you speak to your web deisgn team ensure they understand the importance of branding.  This includes professional quality logos, images, and with the web design itself. To this end you should ensure branding is consistant throughout your site design.

Take Inspiration from your Competitors

Before you embark on a web design for your business, see how your competitors have approached the problem.  This can give you ideas you might not have thought of and you can incorporate these into your design.  It is a safe bet they are going to do the same when your site is up and running. This does not mean copying, and also, don’t automatically assume that their approach is working well for them.

Feature a Blog and Use it

Blogs are not only great for your visitors to get further information about the item/service or product they are looking for, but if you can do it professionally they are great for many forms of online marketing including search engine optimisation.  Ensure your development team is onboard and includes a blog in your design.

Identify your Unique Selling Points

If you are going to sell online, you need to work out your USPs.  Why would your clients and customers buy from you over a competitor?  This is the first step in motivating your visitors to buy.  Ensure your USPs are featured prominently on your business website.

Have an Easy Navigational Structure

Your site should be easy to use and built for the visitor and the different parts of your site should be very easy to find.  It is a good idea to ask your design team to make the parts of your website you want your visitors to go to, prominent on the homepage.  For most sites this will be the product / service pages as this is where your site will do the business for your business.

Impact and Trends

Web design is in part trend driven, especially for business websites.  Fluid and or responsive web design is a must have to engage a mobile audience, but this is just one aspect of design trends.  Today, there are many sites which look the same and reveal parts of it as you scroll down.  Although this is not a bad trend to follow and is visually pleasing, sometimes an original approach can be refreshing for your visitors, and with web design team skill, make more of an impact.

Make your Products/Service Pages Landing Pages

At the end of the day, homepages are not where transactions are conducted.  These should be treated like the cover of a magazine, and tell visitors what they can find inside your site.  Landing pages however, should sell your product, service, and have a clear sales message.  They should be simple to follow, use contrasting colours for call to action buttons and forms, and you should minimise the number of links on that page.  You do not want your visitors to go wandering off.

To that end all of your online marketing for your products and services should point to your products and services pages and not the homepage.

Videos are Cool but Avoid Flash

Videos if made professionally, can and do sell products and services effectively.  That said, you should avoid using Flash.  Increasingly, it is becoming incompatible with several formats including the Android Jelly Bean operating system, and is rapidly becoming outdated.

Business websites when built well will be all things to all people and search engines.  Ensure your design is professional, branded, and ready to build trust with your target audience.

This all Makes Sense… What do I do now?

Contact us and get your business website project off the ground.  You will have a professional site, branded, and one that is ready to do business for your business.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of tweaking and improving websites, together with other various online marketing techniques to improve search engines rankings (In simpler terms, to show your site first for a given keyword or phrase typed into a search engine).

Another way to put this is that if you sell shoes online, and someone types in ‘wedding shoes’ on Google, your site should appear prominently in the search results.  Ideally, at the top.

Organic Results

In our example this kind of result is known as an organic search result.  It is not a paid ad which can appear at the top of search results.  To get your site to the top of a search engine organically requires three aspects to be on point.  They are;

  • Onsite SEO elements
  • Offsite SEO elements
  • Site Performance

Onsite SEO Elements

Onsite or on-page SEO elements are effectively signals which are detected by search engine crawlers, sometimes called spiders or robots, and tell the search engine what your site is about.   Although there are a lot of elements involved in onsite SEO most of it is governed by keyword phrases.  Search engines will look for phrases that are in the title of the page, the URL, the Meta description, and the content of the copy, together with variances of the keyword phrase on the page.

Taking our example earlier, the keyword phrase ‘girls’ platform shoes’, search engines will analyse millions of results to determine which pages are relevant to the search.  They then sift through the results ordering them by the ‘best’ match.  They then display these results to the searcher.

How they determine the best match is strongly determined by the on-site SEO, off-site SEO and site performance.

Offsite SEO

Offsite or off-page SEO involves getting your name and services/products out there on other sites.  It often involves the following;

  • Social media updates
  • Link building – Where another site hyperlinks to your site.
  • Press releases
  • Outreach – Where other blog owners are encouraged to visit your site and comment on a blog post for example
  • Reviews

In essence what search engines are looking for are mentions of your site around the web.  Links are a major determining factor for search engine rankings, and providing the link does not appear artificial, low quality, paid or irrelevant, the more links you have the better your search engine placement.

So when Google ranks results for the keyword ‘girls’ platform shoes’, it will look at what is happening on other sites to determine the ‘best’ order for results.

Site Performance/Usability

If your site has onsite and offsite elements in place but visitors come via a search engine, stay for seconds and leave this is not good news.  Search engines will conclude your site is not relevant to the keyword and stop showing your site as high in the rankings.

Therefore it is important your website appearance and navigation are on point.  Never underestimate the user experience where SEO is concerned.

Contact us for SEO Services

This post scratches the surface of search engine optimisation as the more you explore it the more complex it becomes.  What is clear however is that if you do not have SEO work on your site, you are not going fulfil your potential in terms of visitor numbers.

To get your site on the first page of Google, click here and complete the form.  We can help you get the best out of your site.