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TCRM - Bridgend Web Design
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This month’s News is short due to being really busy but today (Friday 31st July)  is the sixteenth year of one of the most important appreciation days of the year, it is, wait for it, SysAdmin Day.

What is SysAdmin day I hear you ask? I will now take a quote from http://sysadminday.com/ , the definitive site on this important day.

“Wait… what exactly is SysAdmin Day? Oh, it’s only the single greatest 24 hours on the planet… and pretty much the most important holiday of the year. It’s also the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who, come rain or shine, prevent disasters, keep IT secure and put out tech fires left and right.”

At this point, you may be thinking, “Great. I get it. My SysAdmin is a rock star. But now what?” Glad you asked! Proper observation of SysAdmin Day includes (but is not limited to):

    Cake & Ice cream
    Pizza
    Cards
    Gifts
    Words of gratitude
    Custom t-shirts celebrating the epic greatness of your SysAdmin(s)
    Balloons
   Streamers
    Confetti

Feel free to spread the news.

Have a good month.

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When we quote for a web site we include quite a few teccie specifications that are on the whole ignored or at least not understood, so this month we wanted to try to explain a few of the terms.

This is going to get a bit(lot) nerdy but stay with us, we hope the information will enlighten you a little.

So here we go, geek hat, sandals and socks at the ready, trekky tickets booked.:

Meta Data: Is the data contained in the header, it offers information about the current web page that a visitor is currently on, it helps google and such decide what the page is for.
Responsive design: The ability to view your website on various devices such as computers/ipads/smartphones etc.
Content Management System: Also known as CMS, this is the backend tool for managing a site’s content Using CMS makes it easier to change the site’s content.
Semantically correct mark up: Document may be enclosed within span or div elements with meaningful class names such as enquiry, or find us here.
Navigation: It means menus, links and things, ensuring you customers can easily get around your web site.
Cascading Style Sheets: This is the system used to separate the design from the content allowing the html to be as simple as possible to improve search engine positioning.
HTTPS: This is a protocol which allows encryption between the clients browser and the server, this minimises password theft.
Web Standards: Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for standardizing website construction.
XHTML: Stands for Extensible Hypertext Mark-up Language. Basically, XHTML is a standard, that has been rewritten to comply with XML rules.
XHTML 1.1 Strict compliancy, one of modern standards that web sites should adhere to, google likes this.

So there you go, you are now a little more knowledgeable and can impress your friends and family.

And... yes..... before you ask..... TCRM web sites do all the above.

And... What has this picture got to do with anything, well it hasn't, we just like it
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We are sure everyone is being inundated with sales calls, stating the world is ending if your web site is not mobile/tablet friendly and if you give them loads of money they will fix it.

However, there are a few things to think about before acting. Just for a change we’ll look at some of the reasons not to change.

Your web site may already pass most of the tests google like. If you don’t know, ask us and we’ll check for you.
If your demographic does not use mobile/smartphones is there a need? We have one or two customers that this may apply to.
If you are thinking of an upgrade/redesign of your site, why not roll it all up together?
You do not like making money that much and you have far too much business anyway.

Ok, we are being a little tongue in cheek but they are a few reasons why not to upgrade. If anyone but google had the formula that google uses to position your site they would be as rich as google itself, so on the whole these phone calls are plain marketing calls trying to panic you into spending money but they are not necessarily wrong.

However, let us look at the other side of the coin!

There are many reasons for having a mobile/tablet friendly site and let us look at them and see if it affects your business:

1.    Mobile/ Tablet usage is going through the roof, well over 50% of browsing now happens on mobile devices, so many of your customers might not be seeing your products well presented.
2.    Positive user experience on your web site is essential, if your site is not mobile friendly it is like having a shop with the lights off for over half your customers, clearly a very bad business decision.
3.    Responsive design  (which is the most popular way of achieving mobile/tablet friendly web sites) has SEO advantages, so your google position can be affected by how good your mobile setup is. How much it affects your site is not well known but it certainly does have an effect.
4.    You could use your new mobile friendly site in you advertising, run a promotion saying your site is now mobile friendly, this will stimulate traffic which is what you want!

Web sites age, if your web site is more than a few years old it may very well need a refresh so what are you waiting for. Give us a ring and let’s talk.

Have a great month
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I am going to go for a totally personal start to our news this month, this is because we celebrated (my wife and many family and friends) the marriage of our eldest son Paul, to his beautiful bride Samantha. Everyone had a fantastic day and the happy couple  are now on honeymoon cruising around the med.

So, what has this got to do with the TCRM and business I hear you ask, easy, have you seen how much weddings cost! Please can you all immediately spend thousands on upgrading your web sites as currently our diet consist mainly of gruel and water and I have had to give up drinking. Sorry, only joking! I had to give up drinking because of the diet.

I must give a namecheck to a few of the companies that helped make the wedding day so fabulous, they all gave their best, thanks.

So my personal thanks to:

    Graham Davies: Photography - http://www.grahamdaviesphotography.co.uk/
    Castell Coch: Wedding venue - http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/castell-coch/?lang=en
    Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel: Wedding breakfast venue - http://www.coed-y-mwstwr.com/
    Singleton Cars: Transport - http://www.singletonslimos.com/

I have started crying again so a rapid change of subject...
I wanted to flag something up, if you have a great idea for an online business but the setup costs are high please come and talk to us. We are really keen to see local business succeed and if we can help by spreading the costs out or coming to some form of deal to get the idea off the ground we really want to hear from you. At least you can get an impartial view on the idea to see if it has commercial possibilities.

So that is it for the month lots of great projects underway so busy busy busy, have a great May.

TCRM
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I hope the News has not affected you too much, I am at a loss as to how they will continue without that key element in the mix.

Am I talking about Jeremy and Top gear, no.
Am I talking about Janice Atkinson and UKIP, no.
Am I talking about Afzal Amin and the Conservatives, no.

No it is far more important than this collection of minor trivia, no, it is Zayn has decided to quit One Direction because he wants a quiet life. If the world wants to buy music from this “Modern Beat Combo” who are we to criticise but is it really important enough to feature on the News, I am sure the people who care do not listen to the news anyway!

Another ground breaking piece of news that seems to have drifted by today  is Apple’s announcement of their latest generation handset, strangely called the “BirNisan”, which apparently is the name of the developers dog.
We really think Apple have lost the plot on this one. As you may be aware the latest IPhone already has sensors built in that can detect your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature, well it does not take much programming to work out your mood from this data.
The system then responds in a few ways (all configurable). The case changes colour, modifies your ITunes playlists and if you buy Apple’s latest add-on it will release a perfume. All these done automatically based on you mood. We are not sure what sort of smell it will release if you need the toilet but I am sure Apple have a suitable fragrance.

Anyway I digress, little time for writing lots of news today as these web sites will not write themselves so we will cut it short there, have a great month.

TCRM
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TCRM web sites are designed to be fast, efficient, easy to manage and add great value to your business.
We pride ourselves in producing a product that is better value for money than anyone in the area. This is a big ask as we are trying to sell features on our site that mostly you cannot see, but have to rely on for great results. A very high percentage of our customers are delighted or at the very least perfectly content (some people simply don’t get excited by web sites!) with their web sites but occasionally we do come across the odd customer that believes their web site is not working for them. This is very bad news for the customer but even worse news for us. We want, sorry need, all our customers to succeed and a great web site is key to this, after all if they do not succeed neither do we. So if your web site is not working for you, what is your first action? That is an easy question to answer  – tell us ASAP.

Most of our customers do not use our added SEO facilities but if your web site is not working, you need us to take a look at the SEO and check it is hitting the correct buttons for your customer base. We have state of the art tools and we might not be able to solve the problem because you have huge competition but certainly the first phase is to find out what the problem is. So if you have fewer enquiries than you expect from the web sites get in contact and let us take a look. If we can spot any obvious problems there will be no charge and any additional effort we make is at our very reasonable rates.

If your web site is broken (does not work for you) this is bad, here is a stolen logo to remind you.

Have a great month
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I hope everyone reading this has now recovered from the madness of Black Friday! I don't know about you but I was shocked at how quickly this American tradition has taken over in the UK. Reports on the news of people fighting and almost rioting to get a couple of quid off consumer electronics, madness in my opinion and the truth is that the savings are normally on fairly shoddy products and the savings only really amount to $50 or $60. But the question is then for us, the small to medium enterprise, how do we counter such aggressive tactics? We need to be clever, all of us, by making sure that when our potential customers are searching for products that our websites are the ones that come up at the top of searches. TCRM are here to help you in your battle against the huge national retailers by making sure that the searches you want  to hit give you the results that you expect.

TCRM are well aware of the way in which the massive search engines work, we produce all our websites in XHTML 1.1 which is well optimised to take advantage of modern search algorithms. Making sure that a website fits well into Google's and Bing's expectations is now of key importance in the web design community as over 80% of searches in 2013 were completed in Google or Bing. Obviously these are the search engines of choice for the public.

Not only this, we need to be sure that our websites are optimised for tablet and phone browsing as this method of browsing is fast overtaking traditional desktop internet consumption. TCRM are at the forefront of this technology making the customer's experience completely seamless between these different technologies. The internet has become the modern battlefield for the acquisition of new customers and you, me and all small enterprises need to make sure that we have the right weapons to go to war with. We at TCRM know what the modern consumer wants from a contemporary website and are striving at every moment to make sure that we stay ahead of the curve and provide the features and utilities that customers want but our competitors can't provide.

You can't afford to fall behind in this ever more competitive market. The first thing a prospective customer or client will do when they hear your name is try to find your website. Without good search engine optimisation that is all but impossible. Once the customer does find your website you need to ensure that their experience across all platforms is seamless. TCRM can make sure that both of these goals are realised so that you can boast a website that is as professional looking as the big high street brands. This will reassure your customers that you are more than just an alternative, you are a competitor. If you are looking at your current website and thinking that it doesn't quite look up to par, make sure you give us a ring for a quote today and watch the hits to your website soar into the stratosphere.
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Hi Everyone

What a busy few months! Is it just me or is Bridgend seeming like a much better place to be lately? For a start the town is looking better than ever. I was sceptical at first about the work being done to Nolton Street and the town centre but now it's completed I am starting to feel more and more proud of my town every time I walk through. From the great new redevelopment of Nolton Street to the very recent renovations on the corner of Caroline Street extending down Elder Street, more and more of Bridgend is looking clean, modern and successful. This is a great time to be in Bridgend and a great time to be doing business. I can see more confidence on the faces of everyone I speak with and this is being reflected in the businesses of Bridgend. Everywhere is bouncing back from the recession that hit so hard 6 years ago and it really does bring a smile to my face to see local businesses in Bridgend flourishing.

Myself, I have been busy non-stop for the past couple of years and so it seems has every other business I've worked with! Some of our latest projects have been great fun to work on. Shearing Sports Wales is a fantastic organisation with the aim of promoting competitive shearing in Wales. Like me you might be amazed to learn that competitive shearing is an active and vibrant sport whose roots are centuries old and deeply embedded in Welsh heritage but not only that, it’s another thing over which we have a delightful rivalry with our antipodal cousins in New Zealand (and do a lot better than we do in the rugby!). Still a big part of the Royal Welsh Show, it’s a great part of living Welsh tradition, it has been a great project to be a part of and has certainly taught me a few things about our rural roots.

Some great news as well for Bridgend Business Forum, the annual Christmas lunch’s guest speaker is none other than writer, broadcaster, actor and former conservative Member of Parliament Giles Brandreth. I have to be honest, these events are often the highlight of my year and I’m hoping to attend again this year. Networking with local businesses is very useful and a great reward in itself but having the event hosted by the always fantastic Coed y Mwstwr hotel and with great speakers every year it has become a firm favourite in my calendar. I’m hopefully looking forward to seeing you all there on the 12th of December for some Christmas cheer.

I always find that Christmas is a great time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future, I can see a bright future for Bridgend and for everyone involved in making our dreams reality. I hope this Christmas you will all raise a glass to the future of our great town and the success of its superb local businesses in the coming year.
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Bridgend Business Future as a Technology Hub
 
What is Bridgend?
If I was to answer that question only a few short years ago my answer would have been that it was a centre of manufacturing. Harman Becker, Sony, Ford are just a few of the huge manufacturing companies that provided so much employment for Bridgend.
Many of these companies have now moved on or found times difficult and scaled back their operation, Bridgend suffered for it. But now Bridgend has profited from an economic revival to match the recent facelift of its town centre. Technology is now the keyword for Bridgend's workforce. From software development to infrastructure support to research and development a myriad of modern, high tech companies are choosing to make their investment in this once small market town.
TCRM are excited about this and so should you be. As more and more companies choose to place their future technological investment in Bridgend all small businesses need to be ensuring that they are best placed to take advantage of this new economic prosperity and reap the rewards that are there for the taking. Every new office that opens in Bridgend means equipment, furnishing, recruitment and a whole host of other needs that local businesses can provide. When new investment comes to town you need to be sure that your business is at the top of the searches for those needs and you are the one who gets that business! Luckily your local web design firm, TCRM, are here to help you in this regard. We can make sure that it is your website that catches the eye and sits at the top of those search results. Don't miss this golden opportunity, let TCRM help you make sure you get your products and services into the right hands. http://tcrm.co.uk/
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