Blog Archives

Simple tips for writing engaging blog posts

February 25th, 2015

Write great headlines

Headlines need to be engaging, and quickly draw attention. They are the first thing the readers will see and they will determine whether or not the user will continue to read the full article. They are also used if the article is shared on social networking sites, so a snappy headline will increase your views. Check out this article on writing great headlines.

Content rich articles

Quality articles are more likely to be enjoyed and therefore shared by readers. Quality content needs to be well written, concise, and more importantly needs to provide value and be of use to the reader. Don’t worry about word limits. There are statistics around the ideal number of words for a blog post but these figures shouldn’t be a target. Filling a blog post with irrelevant content will only dis-engage the user and decrease it’s value to the reader.

Serve a need, or solve a problem

There is a plethora of information on the internet so creating unique, quality content can be difficult. If you can provide a fresh prospective on a topic, or a unique solution then this will ensure your article is interesting, engaging and useful to the reader.

Break up your content with sub-headings

Sub-headings make an article easy to skim read. Your reader will find the content that is most relevant to them and if they find something interesting, they are more likely to keep reading. They are also handy for adding keyword rich content into your article.

Media-rich content

Images and video play an important role in creating engaging articles. They can help explain a concept, provide evidence for a point you are making, or simply emphasise what you are saying. They are shown to increase viewer retention and engagement. Check out this article which provides some interesting information about which images are good for creating great blog posts.

Make sure readers can comment and share

This is crucial for getting your content out there and have your readers spread the word.

Should I buy a template or get a custom design

December 10th, 2014

It is easy to think that purchasing a theme for your website will be a fast and cheap way of getting your business online. There are some factors to consider before you purchase your theme however to ensure you don’t spend a lot of time and money.

Themes are cost effective

Yes they can be, but not always. If you are willing to make some compromise in order to ‘fit’ your content into the theme then yes it can be a cheap alternative to designing your website from scratch.

Sometimes it can be as simple as getting your logo to fit the template. If your logo is suited to a light background and the template has the logo on a black background, it can be difficult to get your logo to look good in the template. You may have to get a designer to develop your logo to look good on a dark background, will likely incur a cost.

Themes can be difficult to customise and you never really know how difficult the customisation will be until you delve into the code and find out how the template works. Making what seems like a simple change could prove to take a considerable amount of time – which could also cost you more.

Choosing the right theme

There is a huge range of themes to choose from so finding the right one for you can take time. It’s an important step too as choosing the wrong theme will have negative effects.

Theme developers can easily make their demo sites look amazing, but the work involved in getting to that point can take some time. They also like to do sneaky things like have a link back to their own site at the bottom of theme, which doesn’t look very professional. It also takes people away from your website.

Make sure to check out the user ratings for the theme. If the average rating is high, it’s more likely the theme is solid. Be sure to check there are a high number of people that have actually ranked the theme too. A five star ranking from 1 user doesn’t mean the theme is going to be five star for you! Also check the comments and the support forums. The support forums often identify any glaring problems that people are having with the theme.

All those features come at a cost

Behind the scenes, themes have a lot going on. They often have a sliders, lightboxes, parallax features and other fancy javascript effects which look great, but can effect the speed and performance of the site. If speed is an important factor for your website, be we wary about themes that are packed with ‘features’ which can slow the sites load time.

A custom design is more effective

And it can often ended up saving time. Taking the time to choose a theme that suits you, customise the look and feel to fit with your brand and then fit all your content into your theme, it can often take just as much time to design your layout from scratch.

There is a lot more flexibility when designing a custom website and we aren’t fitting the content around the theme. We are designing a theme that fits our message. I buy pants that fit me, I don’t buy great looking pants and then put on weight in order to fill them out! A distant analogy but you see what I mean.

Are you willing to compromise?

If you are willing to compromise a little on how your website looks, then a theme can be a good way to get a website up and running quickly. But a website designed and built from the ground up will always be better suited to your needs, and of your users needs.


If you are keen to investigate if building a website using a theme will work for you, we are happy to help. We also love building custom designed wordpress themes – contact us for more information.

Our website design process

November 26th, 2014


Firstly, it’s good to identify what the project will and will not include. There are a lot of associated tasks and we need to see whether these are necessary and if there is a budget for them. Tasks like creating a Facebook page or other social media accounts, or whether we need to do any branding or print design work.

We also talk about what your expectations are in terms of the outcomes of the website. From here we can agree on an itemised quote for your job.


We look at your business and the type of services or products that you provide. We then develop a plan for the content on your site. What pages you are likely to have, and what sort of content will be on these pages.

This leads on to looking at what your keywords are likely be. It’s always good at this stage to look at how much competition there is for these keywords, and how likely it is that we will rank well in search engines for them – or whether it’s likely we will need to do more work in order to get the site ranking higher.

We also talk about what you want your site to look like. We look at your current brand and start developing an idea of what your website should look and feel like. Do you need a sleek, professional looking website, or a fun and colourful site?


We start by collecting all the necessary items – your high resolution logo, branding and marketing material, imagery and any other items you have that will help us create a design that fits with your current brand.

It’s also great at this stage if all the content is written. In many cases the content is not finalised, but the closer it is to a finished proof, the better we can create the design to tell your story effectively.

And now we can start to have some fun with the project, creating concept designs, and working with the client to develop a concept into a finalised prototype.


An effective design process will mean that development can be done solely by the website designer and without a lot of input from the client.

This will include developing the functionality of the website based on what was discussed and approved during the design process. It will likely include developing tools for the client to update the content of the site (A content management system).

Here we will also add all the content and images throughout the site.

Testing and Implementation

At this stage we will review the site with the client and train them on updating the system.

Once the client is happy with the website, and happy they are able to update the content easily, we will put the site live. There is a process here to go through to ensure it is all working as expected. We will also add tracking codes to keep an eye on the traffic that comes to the website.

Post Launch

It’s always interesting to revisit the website a month after it has been launched, looking at the traffic that has come to the site and seeing what areas have worked well.

How much does a website cost?

November 12th, 2014

It’s a question I get asked all the time! So below I will go over some of the aspects that determine the cost of a website design.


If you already have your own logo and marketing material, then great! You don’t need to worry about this. If you don’t, then you will likely need to look at designing your identity before, or at least alongside your website.

The amount you spend on a logo generally depends on the quality of the finish you want. If you want a quick and cheap logo, then there are plenty of low cost, template based solutions out there – search google for ‘cheap logo’ and you will find a number of fixed price logo solutions. At the other end of the scale, you can hire a graphic designer or design agency to work on a series of conceptual designs, allowing you a greater range of unique ideas to choose from.

Content Writing

Websites are often based around content. This is what we read to learn about a businesses product or service and it’s also what google sees in order to determine what our website is all about. If you are a fluent and imaginative writer and able to engage and captivate readers then you will most likely be able to write a lot of the content yourself. If you don’t have the time or the articulation skills to write the content yourself then you need someone else to do it for you, which will in turn increase your website design costs.


Great photography can enhance the impact of your website substantially. Some industries demand that good photography is a must, like bars and restaurants. Other industries don’t have quite the same requirement for having good quality photos, like more trade based industries who can in most cases get away with having self taken photos.

Whatever industry you are in however, professional photography will enhance your website significantly so it is always worthwhile allowing for a professional photographer in your website budget.


This doesn’t require a lot of explanation. If you want a website designed and developed for you at lightning speed, it will cost you more! If you have a generous few months to spend on the website design process then this wont be a huge factor in the overall cost of your website design.

Marketing Strategy

The cost of marketing your website is often overlooked and can vary greatly between businesses. It can also vary greatly depending on your overall marketing strategy.

For example, if you are an entirely online businesses, with no other avenues for generating sales, then online marketing will likely be very important for you. However if most of your sales are generated via word of mouth, and your website is more of a tool to showcase your business, then you probably don’t need to allow such a large budget here.

You also need to look at how much you might need to spend in order to provide a return. Many businesses are targeting ‘high competition’ keywords, which basically means there are many other companies spending money competing for the same search terms as you. If you want to compete online for high competition keywords, then you will need to invest more.

Take my industry for example, web design is a very competitive keyword. Personally, as a small business competing with a number of much larger businesses, I find it more valuable that I spend my time marketing my business in other areas besides marketing it online, like at networking events or simply by spending time implementing a good sales process.

You also need to look at various areas of online marketing you want to spend money on. You could focus on longer terms results, by focusing on increasing your rankings in organic search results, or if you need business quickly, you could look at pay per click advertising, which can be implemented and tracked immediately.

Website functionality

The more functional aspects of your website also determine the cost of your website build. eCommerce websites for example require significantly more back-end functionality as well as order tracking and secure payment processing, which increases the website design costs.

Other common website functions which are factors in a website cost include, online forms, image galleries, products catalogues, blogs, secure login areas and there are many more. The more functionality a website needs to have, the more costs are involved.

It is a matter of determining how much functionality your website really needs, and whether there is room in your budget for these aspects.

Associated Costs

There are a number of associated costs that need to be taken into account too.

Domain names – These are relatively inexpensive (a domain name is around $30-$40), but you may which to purchase a number of variations of your domain name like a common misspelling of your actual domain name, or possibly an abbreviated version of your domain name, to make it faster to type.

Hosting – Website hosting costs involve having a computer store your website, so that users can access the website and download and view the website. Hosting costs are determined by the size of your website and by the amount of traffic to your website. If you have a significant amount of visitors to your website, then your hosting costs will be more than a business with very few visitors to your site.

There is also the ongoing cost of marketing your website, which I have written briefly about above. In most cases this will be the largest on-going cost of your website.

There are many factors which determine the overall cost of designing a website and every business has their own unique requirements and budgets. We don’t offer packaged website design solutions because we like to talk through all of these cost factors first in order to develop an efficient and personalised quote, relevant to your needs and your budget.

If you have more questions, or if you are keen to see what a website might cost you, feel free to get in touch with us.


5 easy ways to increase visitors to your website

October 29th, 2014

It’s easy for small business owners to get overwhelmed by the plethora of information around Internet Marketing, so here we have made a brief list of quick and easy tasks small business owners can undertake to market their business online, without investing a substantial amount of time and money.

Create a Google ‘My Business’ Listing

Google My Business is free and allows businesses to get themselves online quickly and easily, which makes it an excellent option for small business owners. Google My Business focuses on local searches, this means better chances of your business being at the top of the search engine page results for your category and location.

Write an Informative Blog Post

Fresh and relevant content is vital for an engaging website, it also helps increase your chances of being found through a google search. Blog posts can be as short or as long as you like, as long as the content is relevant, and useful to the reader. There is plenty of information online on how to write effective blog posts so do a quick search for ‘How to write a good blog post’ and you will find plenty of useful information to make sure your post is effective and engaging.

Create a List

Often small businesses already have a list of customers email addresses, but are not effectively marketing to these customers. There are plenty of free tools for creating email campaigns (like Mailchimp) and creating an email campaign is made as simple as possible with drag-and-drop templates and rich text editors. Creating an email campaign doesn’t always have to be about selling, it can just be a good way to keep your brand fresh in your customers minds, and to provide some useful information to your customers. There is also plenty of resources online around how to create an effective email marketing campaign but if you need any advice or help around creating an email marketing campaign, feel free to get in touch with us.

Get some links to your website

Good quality links to your website are the best way to increase how google perceives how relevant or important your website is, and the more important google thinks you are, the higher your will appear in googles search engine. Links to your website can be gained in a number of ways:

  • Ask other companies that you have relationships with to link to your website. Try and get some good quality keywords within the link itself and link it to a page on your website that is relevant to that keyword.
  • Comment on blogs. Often blogs provide a link back to the website of the person that comments. Many blogs however do not allow a link back to your website, so make sure not to waste time commenting on blogs that don’t allow links back to your site! Check out the other comments and see if they link to a website.
  • Comment on forums which are relevant to what you do. Again as above, some forums may not allow links back to your website so check before you start posting!
  • Post articles on others blogs. Guest posting is a popular way of getting good quality links back to your website. It can be a win/win way for blog owners to get some good quality content for their website and for writers to get good quality links back to their website.

There are lots of other ways to get good quality links to your site so have a quick look on google for ‘good quality links to your website’.


Share what you are doing through whatever social media portals you have. Exactly which social media tools you decide to use will depend a lot on the type of business you have. For example a funeral home may not necessarily benefit from having an Instagram account, but it might be useful for them to build a reputation through something like LinkedIn.   If you have any questions or if you need some advice around any of the points discussed here, feel free to get in touch with us. We are always keen to help small business market themselves online.

Mobile Friendly Web Design

April 17th, 2013

If you have heard the terms, responsive design, or mobile-friendly website, then you probably understand the need for building your website so that it’s accessible from a mobile device. If you don’t know what a mobile friendly site is, then read on!

Why build a mobile friendly website?

Well, basically because so many people browse the internet using some type of mobile device, and that number is growing.

based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015

With the number of people browsing the internet from mobile devices increasing, developing a website that displays well on a variety of different devices is a must. There are a number of ways you can develop a mobile friendly site, but a trend has grown around building ‘responsive’ websites, and google has recently recommended responsive design.

Responsive Design – What is it?

A responsive website responds to the device size and delivers the website content appropriately. Your website delivers the same content to all different devices, but it specifies how it should appear on different size devices.

A Mobile-first approach

Not only do we need to consider how our website will look on a mobile device, we need to consider how our users will use our website on a mobile device. The mobile-first approach considers mobile browsing first when designing a website.

If you have any questions or if you need your mobile friendly website developed get in touch with us.

Rally Car Photos

July 4th, 2012

Well we didn’t manage to get any action shots of the rally car but at least now we have proof that our sticker is on the car!

The car looks great and we’ll look forward to seeing it covered in mud and/or upside down in a ditch.. I mean on the winners podium. team win Westland Rally

April 26th, 2012

Congratulations to the Hamish Anderson and the RallyTyres team on winning the Westland Rally. Mammothweb sponsor the Rally Tyres team and can’t wait to see the photos of the rally car with our branding on it! Check back soon and we should have some shots of the Rally Car.

Our New WordPress site

January 24th, 2012

Our new site uses WordPress finally! WordPress makes it a lot easier to add and edit pages and content. It is the most popular content management system used today and we love it.

Check out some of our WordPress website packages.