Insights into web design, software, business & technology

Our insights include ways to improve your own website, digital marketing, online security and much more. If you’d like to suggest a web-based topic for our next post, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Major WordPress Update

Gutenberg is Here Thur Dec 6th 2018 is the official release date for this new and major update to the WordPress platform. The aim is to make the platform much more user-friendly for the non-technical website owner which is a good thing. Is there a downside? Absolutely. If your site auto-updates the WordPress version you may well have some very serious issues including a site that simply returns a server

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Why do we use WordPress

We often get asked why we use WordPress and will it be able to handle our clients demands. It is often perceived through the eyes of many that WordPress is limited as to what it can do and achieve. To the average person this might be true, but once you know and understand the code, the possibilities with WordPress are endless. WordPress enables us to develop professional looking websites that

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We decided back in September that we were going to trial a four day week in October until the end of the month. After a team meeting, we reviewed how we felt as a team how it was going, in terms of; productivity, prioritizing of workload, work satisfaction, and personal life. As a team, we decided it’s going well and we are extending the trial until the end of the

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Bespoke or Off The Shelf?

A large part of our work is creating bespoke solutions for our clients coded in php or C# that perform some specific task to meet our partners business needs. That isn’t always the case. Often we will talk to a business who need on online solution and there will be an off-the-shelf solution available that will meet most of, but not all of, their requirements. We always look at that

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TeamTrack Reveal

Last month you may have seen a blog post (https://www.tadwebsolutions.co.uk/something-exciting-at-tad/) about an exciting project we have been working on here at Tad; a piece of software for small business practices that charge time to their clients, where you and your staff can create records about what has been done for your clients and from this assign to invoices, generate reports etc. The software will be called TeamTrack. In November we

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4 day weeks – will it work?

Here at Tad, we have been researching into 4 working day weeks and if there are any potential benefits to it. After conducting some research, we decided to give it a go. During the month of October Tad employees will be working 4 day weeks which will then be reviewed at the end of the month to see if it is worthwhile carrying on into the future. Each employee will

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Zak’s Great North Run Journey.

The Great North Run 2018 Always wanted to take part in the Great North Run for a charity that is close to me, this is the year I will be doing just that. Diagnosed with a rare liver disease known as biliary atresia at birth and waited 8 years for an organ donor, surgery went ahead in Londons Kings Cross College in 2001. I was well looked after and supported by; surgeons,

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Something exciting at Tad

Over the past couple of months here at Tad we have been working on an exciting new project. Without giving too much information away this is definitely something to look out for! We are developing a piece of software mainly targeted at small accountancy practices, law firms, consultancies etc. Essentially businesses that charge time to their clients. NEPIC and RTC North have also lended a helping hand with suggestions, setting a

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Tad Welcomes Friends

On Friday 31st August, Tad welcomed some of its closest friends to the Commerce House to celebrate the recent move. This provided a chance for friends to come and look around the facilities of the Commerce House, with Christine (Commerce House buildings manager) and Alison (Commerce House receptionist) more than happy to show everyone around and explain the future plans for the building. There was plenty of alcohol on offer

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Brexit – How Do We Plan?

You can’t avoid the news and heated in/out debates (or rants) on social media channels about no deal and holding a second referendum. So here’s my two-penn’orth as a business owner. Should we have a second referendum? In principle I say no, however, we should have a right to veto a really bad (or no) deal once we know the detail. If there is to be an outcome that will

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The Framed Picture Company

Who are the framed picture company? The Framed Picture Company are a leading manufacturer and seller of quality handmade picture frames based in Yorkshire. Their products are sold via an online portal that dynamically provides customers with an accurate image of their purchase as they change sizes, frames, mount colours and other aspects to suit their needs. What was the issue they asked us to solve? The Framed Picture Company

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Zak’s graduation

Got up early hours of the day, had a big bowl of coco pops and began my journey to the graduation ceremony. My first task in the morning before I could go to the university campus was to drop my car off at the garage for repairs (no surprise). But still continued on by getting a lift to the campus and with great PRIDE I started to walk towards the

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Chris’ graduation

On Monday 16th July, our new recruit Chris graduated at Teesside University. It was a day of celebration for all involved, including the rest of the team. With two employees graduating on the same day, it was declared as a company day off for all to enjoy. It was an early start to the day, getting up at 7am to get ready for a day to be proud of, arriving at

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Raheel Joins the team

What did you do before joining Tad Web Solutions? Worked at Visualsoft as a developer. Before that I done an internship here at Tad Web after I graduated from Teesside University. How did you get into programming and online software? Started programming in college and decided I wanted to study it further in University. What has been involved in your first week with Tad Web Solutions? Mainly getting to know

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Chris Joins the team

What did you do before joining Tad Web Solutions? Before joining the team, I completed a four year sandwich degree in web and multimedia. It was during these four years the true passion for front end web development started, although backend development was also completed. How did you get into programming and online software? The best aspect of working within the web development industry is seeing project which you have

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Moving Forward – A Business Perspective

At Tad Web we have recently sat down with our business advisors to plan the next 5 and 10 years of the company moving forward, where we aim to be at that point, turnover, profit, staffing, the works. It has led to some big changes here. The major change is that Peter Calvert, a director of the company and minor shareholder, felt that this new direction was not right for

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Mastering The Strong Password

With all the talk of GDPR, it’s easy to get caught up in what you need to be doing in terms of data privacy from May onwards. It goes without saying that irrespective of the size of your business, you should always have a focus on security. We’ve previously discussed website security and in this post we’re going to look at password security and the art of a strong password.

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What Do Website Cookies Do?

Over the last few years, you’ll have seen a notice on nearly every website that goes along the lines of ‘We use cookies to improve your experience of our website’. That’s all fine and dandy, but what are website cookies and what do they do to improve experience? It’s important to understand that websites use cookies in different ways and that the examples I’ve included in this post are just

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Tad Web Solutions Expand Team

In the last twelve months, we’ve celebrated our sixth birthday as a company, had staff nominated for publicised awards and worked with a number of a great companies both near and far. 2017 was most certainly great for Tad Web Solutions and we capped off the year by opening up a new position in the company to grow our development team. In doing so, we’re able to work with more

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We’re Hiring!

We’re on the lookout for a developer to join our team in the thriving Boho Zone in Middlesbrough. Working as part of a team of three to four, the ideal candidate is flexible, self-managing and willing to learn and adapt. You’ll work on a wide range of projects, including maintenance of existing websites and web-based software as well as the development of new projects. About Tad Web Solutions Founded in

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Do I Really Need A Web Designer?

Starting out as a small business, every penny counts. For a new start, a website crafted by a web agency can be one of your most expensive purchases. With the continued rise and development of frameworks like WordPress that allow you to maintain your website on the go, is there really a need for a web designer? Do they justify the cost, which can be over a £1000? Call me

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The Cost of Software

We should be open and clear about the cost of software and the truth is developing bespoke software packages for your company doesn’t come cheap. At Tad Web Solutions we like to be honest with potential clients and where an off-the-shelf solution is available at a much lower cost than developing something from scratch we will suggest it and offer our support, if needed, in setting it up and maintaining

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Automating Business Processes

The central focus of Tad Web Solutions is to help our clients improve their business by having a great website that advertises what they do but increasingly via automation, by building cloud-hosted systems that increase productivity, improve customer experience and/or make them stand out as being better and more forward thinking than the competition. What kind of processes should be automated? Simply processes where there is a business case for

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How To: Decide If You Need a New Website

A new website can be an exciting prospect, whether it’s the first website, bringing your website online for the first time, or a new website to bring your company into modern web times. Seeing your competitors rebrand themselves and redevelop their website and online presence from the ground up can sometimes make you feel like you need to do the same – you need a new website to stay in

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How To: Move To A New Email Address [Responsibly]

UPDATED 02/11/17 Throughout 2017, there has been news of email hacking and vulnerabilities – you can use the website ‘Have I Been Pwned?‘ to check if your email address has been included in any of the public email ‘dumps’ over the last few years. If it has, this post will run you through the process of migrating to a new email address and securing yourself! —————————– Many of us, myself

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Should My Website Have a Blog?

A blog  or new page on your company website is a great way to expand your footprint online – more content and more posts means more information that can be indexed by search engines, the likes of Google and Bing. It also means your potential customers can find out more about your business and your expert insights. Content they might not always find on your standard website pages. However, there

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Meet The Apprentice: James Ward

In our previous post, Meet the MD, you had the opportunity to gain a little bit more insight into how Tad Web Solutions was founded and how it’s managed by Ian Elcoate. Apprenticeships have been and continue to be a key part of our business, so now lets take a few minutes to meet our current apprentice, James. James has been an apprentice for Tad Web Solutions for little over

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GDPR is Coming

New data protection regulations will be in force from May 2018 in the form of GDPR and anybody who stores data needs to be aware of what is coming, what it means for them and what measures they need to add to their websites and data storage procedures to comply with the regulations and in doing so protect their clients’ data. We’re currently embarking on this process for Tad Web

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WordPress 4.8, What’s New & What’s Better?

Yesterday, the team behind WordPress made their first major release of 2017 – WordPress 4.8, dubbed ‘Evans’. With this being a major release, you’ll need to login to WordPress and update manually. Remember to make a backup of your site before doing so – we recommend contacting your web host if you’re not confident in doing this yourself. So What’s New in WordPress 4.8? WordPress 4.8 incorporates a range of

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Pioneering Change in a Small Business

There are a lot of things that may change significantly in the next year and even the next week, as a this week we will know the result of the General Election. Those of you who know me, know I am rather political but I’m not planning to try and convince you to vote the same way as me but to briefly examine what will happen post-election and post-Brexit assuming the

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Essential WordPress Plugins

Time after time now you might have heard that WordPress proudly powers 27% of all websites on the internet. It’s a hugely impressive stat. Just as impressive is the fact that the WordPress repository has over 50,000 plugins that aim to provide extra features and help your business website stand out from the crowd with zero or little knowledge of website coding required. But with 50,000 plugins, comes a lot of time

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Tools To Become A Web Designer

Prologue: The purpose of this post is not to say “don’t continue your education, become a web designer”, but to remind us all that education is not the only option. I decided the conventional route of tertiary education wasn’t for me. I came into a web agency with no prior experience or knowledge, just the want to learn and use the skills I had been taught in school. It is

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What’s the process for designing a website?

Amongst everything else that is part of your job, particularly in a small business, managing the design and development of your website can feel like a step into the unknown. What’s the web design process for me? What do I need to supply? At Tad Web Solutions, we’re open and transparent throughout our whole process and understandably, our clients play a huge role in each of our projects. The process for

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WordPress: Why should I use it?

In British vernacular, many of us clean our home with a ‘hoover’. Technically we’re actually using a vacuum cleaner, that may or may not be made by the Hoover brand. Similarly, if you’re going to search for something online, a common term is to ‘Google it’ even if you’re using Bing, Quora or DuckDuckGo. To ‘Google it’ has become such a common phrase, to ‘Google’ has become accepted as verb. Don’t

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Meet The MD: Ian Elcoate

Many of our existing clients and partners will already be familiar with our Managing Director, Ian Elcoate. He plays a hands-on role and is the lead, expert web developer for a number of our projects and works tirelessly as part of the team at Tad Web Solutions to drive our business forward. Lets learn a little more about the life and times of the Managing Director of Tad Web Solutions and

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50 Points: Your Comprehensive Website Launch Checklist

A website can be a huge investment for your business. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your website is working for you and helping you to win more customers. Our team at Tad Web Solutions have compiled this comprehensive website launch checklist. This list is a guide and suitable for if  you’re about to launch your website, or if you already have a website available to the

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Apprenticeships In A Small Business

This year, National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2017) runs between Monday, March 6th and Friday, March 10th. It’s most likely that you’ll read a lot about National Apprenticeship Week and the benefits of apprenticeships from recruitment agencies, training companies, large organisations and the Government. Apprenticeships are growing to become a more and more viable alternative to the conventional route of entry to work via college and University. There are plans to begin apprenticeships in

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What is Web Security? How You Can Secure Your Website

How can you as a website owner ensure that your website is secure? More importantly, what is web security? Web security is the cumulative phrase for all of the methods and measure that you can use and enforce to keep the files behind your website and any data of your customers safe. Security should be built into your website from the very beginning, but certain systems, the likes of WordPress,

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Web Design or Web Development – What’s The Difference?

Web design and web development are both about creating websites, so what’s the big difference? At Tad Web Solutions, we’re experts in web design and web development and many projects often include both elements. Here’s an explanation on how to differentiate these services. What is Web Design? Web design is exactly what it says on the tin – it’s the front-end design of a website. Web design is how a website looks and

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Non-HTTPS To Be Labeled “Not Secure”

With the Chrome 56 release, any website that is not running HTTPS will have a message appear in the location bar that says “Not Secure” on pages that collect passwords or credit card details and the final step in the staged rollout will be that Chrome will label all plain HTTP pages as “Not secure”. What does this mean for your website? Any page on your website that is non-HTTPS and

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How To: Optimise Your Website for 2017

Happy New Year! Now that the mulled wine has wore off and the Christmas decorations are packed away once more, it’s time to kickstart 2017 for your business online and optimise your website. It’s pivotal, particularly for small businesses, that your website works for you. Here’s our guide to ensuring your website is optimised for the year ahead. That said, please bear in mind that a well optimised website is

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Are 5* Reviews Losing You Business?

As part of the Tad Web Solutions rebrand and marketing strategy, we recently opened an account with Reviews.co.uk. Their website acts as an impartial platform for us to gain valuable insight and feedback from our clients on how we operate, how clients value their end product and most importantly, if they’d recommend us. The fact that this feedback is made public is a bonus – if we’re doing great, then our customers

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5 Tips: Twitter Success

Update December 2017: Twitter has now fully rolled out an extended character limit for tweets. We’ve updated the content of that post to reflect this. By now you’ve realised that Social Media can prove pivotal to a business. Facebook & Twitter are, for many people, the first point of contact when reaching out to a company. Here’s 5 tips for Twitter success and how to make the most of the

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Our Partner: Squegg

For this part of our Partners series, we caught up with Ben Sanson of Stockton-based brand consultants and design agency, Squegg. We at Tad Web Solutions work closely with the local company on a number of projects. This includes our very own recent rebrand. We’ve had a great response so far, with great credit given to Squegg. Who are Squegg? Squegg are a brand agency from the North East of

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Our Partner: Mabo Media

This is a first in a series of posts we at Tad Web Solutions will be publishing around our working partners. We pride ourselves on transparency and quality, therefore we select our local partners very carefully. It’s because of the strong working relationships that we build, we’re able to provide turnkey solutions to our clients, all managed by Tad Web Solutions. Meet Mabo Media Mabo Media are a Google Premier

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The Apprentice Blog: The Beginning

Foreword by Peter Calvert This is the beginning of a series of posts to form an apprentice blog from James on his experience and his progress as a level 2 apprentice as part of the web design team at Tad Web Solutions. James is based in our Teesside office and is working towards a qualification whilst also gaining valuable work-based experience. The Beginning of my Apprentice Blog I joined the

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The Tad Web Solutions Rebrand

Since forming in 2011, it’s safe to say that we’ve remained very attached to our ‘Mouse and Globe’ logo. It’s one of the few things that have remained a constant throughout the last five years. We’ve refined and improved services, welcomed new staff and moved offices, but the Globe has always been the same. That is, until now.

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Tad Web Solutions turns 5!

After I’ve spent twelve months away, it’s good to be back at Tad Web Solutions and a part of the Board of Directors, a company where I started my working life as an apprentice. As Tad Web Solutions turns 5, I’d like to speak on behalf of the company when I say we’re at a very exciting point in our business timeline, here’s why.

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Microsoft Access File Conversion

MS Office is pretty ubiquitous and lots of the free versions of office software are, in my opinion, pretty rubbish. So we use Office 365 on all machines whether PCs or Macs. The good news with 365 is you automatically get updated versions and this week we have found the bad news is that you get updated versions! We’re currently working with a new client to create a customer management

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Benefits of Business Partnerships

The joining of businesses and the benefits of business partnerships can include improved efficiency growth. The building of partnerships is the foundation for success; partnerships are what enable many companies to make continuous improvements to products and services, much like ourselves at Tad Web Solutions Ltd. Forming business partnerships seems like the most logical option and in some cases it is. When running a small business with a diverse profit

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Partnering with Education

I had a great meeting with Joanna, the Principle of Stockton VIth Form College, this week. We arranged it based upon a brief conversation we had at an event where I was very impressed by their plan to provide students with work experience and on-the-job education. I’m very keen to work with local educational establishments. We really want to provide opportunities and experience to local young people but as a

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Mobile Apps for Business

Mobile apps for business in todays society are becoming popular than the mobile web, and  if you think that mobile apps are for the bigger companies and named brands like Supermarkets or Banks, then your wrong. Smaller businesses are pushing there mobile trends, but not forgetting that a successful mobile plan involves more than just a mobile-friendly website design. Looking from a growth aspect, these days you’ll notice that many small industries

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How Google’s Mobile Friendly Update Affects You

Every now and again, Google updates it’s algorithm to improve the results you get in searches. On April 21st of this year, Google released arguably one of it’s largest updates to date – the Mobile Friendly update. As we continue to manage a vast majority of the websites we create for clients once they’re complete, we occasionally get calls citing ‘my website has dropped down the rankings on Google’ which in

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Should you learn code?

With countless mentions on the news, endorsements from celebrities and the BBC offering to give away one million ‘mini computers’ to school children to assist learning, ‘Should I learn code?’ has become a serious question that all of us should consider.

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Have Tablet Sales Peaked?

Some analysts are talking of tablet devices falling out of favour as phone screens become larger and deliver the same functionality. Figures suggest Apple sold 15% fewer iPads in 2014 than they did in 2013. Is the tablet dying? Have tablet sales reached their peak? Worldwide tablet sales are still set to increase according to industry analysts with sales per year as: 2010: 17.6 million 2011: 59.8 million 2012: 124.8 million

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