It’s our 9th Birthday
S7 Media is 9!
We opened our doors 9 years ago this week, and have been busily creating websites, doodling logos and printing all sorts for our loyal clients ever since.
My brother Ritch and I started our business up in our early 20’s and in the midst of a recession, although we are both now the wrong side of 30 and are finding more grey hairs than we would like, S7 has thankfully gone from strength to strength, thanks to our lovely clients and their willingness to refer us onto to other people they know and so on.
To this day we still get lots of start up businesses come to see us, who have a cool idea and a name and we take great pleasure in shaping their brand, creating their printed materials, website or whatever they need and helping them bring their vision to life, we have met some very interesting and lovely people on our journey so far.
Although majority of our clients are based here in Cannock and surrounding towns in Staffordshire and the West Midlands, we have grown our client base the length and breadth of the UK, having clients as far south as Devon all the way up to Aberdeen in Scotland and everywhere between.
To say thank you to our loyal clients who have helped us to reach 9, we are offering 9% discount off any print, graphic design or new web projects until the end of the year, we will also honour this discount to new clients that are referred too.
It’s only took us 9 years to remember to blog about our Birthday on time, so hopefully for the big ONE ZERO, we’ll have a party!
Cyber Security Month – It’s Time Your Website Had SSL
Earlier this year we wrote to all existing web design customers about Google’s plans to push website owners into securing their website using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. We’ve had many customers take the appropriate action, and, as it’s Cyber Security Month, we are reminding those who have not yet done so, to do so. If you’re here, the chances are you probably haven’t opted for SSL just yet. You might even be asking, what is SSL, and why should I have it? I’ll do my best to explain below!
Well, what is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer, SSL, is a type of encryption method that is used across the internet. When we apply SSL to a website, essentially what it does is it encrypts the connection between your visitor, and your website.
So when a user visits your website, that connection is encrypted, meaning that any information passing through from their device is encrypted, and decrypted when it reaches the server. Your website might collect some personal data such as names, addresses, passwords, even credit card information. If some nasty hacker or identity thief was to be ‘listening in’ on that connection, and it wasn’t encrypted, it could cause problems for you and your customers, financially and legally.
Finding out whether a website has SSL (in other words, it’s been given an SSL certificate), is quite simple: when you are on the website, take a look at the address bar in your browser. It’ll say https:// (note the ‘s’ – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), and, depending on your browser, will have a padlock somewhere. Google Chrome has a green padlock, and will say ‘secure’.
Why should I have it?
Let me be completely honest. The internet is, by it’s own design and nature, a pretty insecure place. Encryption is incredible technology, and though it can never be claimed to be a 100% silver-bullet answer to a security concern, it’s certainly the best shot we have at securing this avenue of information transfer. That’s why, when you do your online banking, or you buy something from a big online shop, they always have SSL – the green padlock in the corner.
It would be easy to say that, as a lot of our customers are small businesses, that hackers might have ‘bigger fish to fry’. There might be some truth in that, but cyber criminals are going to take any opportunity which presents a financial gain to them.
If I’m doing some shopping on an e-commerce website, and there’s no green padlock when I come to log in, or when I come to enter my credit card information, I’m out of there. To me, that’s very concerning – my sensitive details are being transmitted without encryption. By having that padlock – an SSL certificate – you’re giving your customer a bit more assurance with their transaction or visit.
Even if your website is not an e-commerce system, or even just a static website, then consider this: Google Chrome – the browser used by over 55% of the world, has started to mark websites as ‘not secure’ if they do not have an SSL certificate. This month, any forms, including contact forms, will also show as not secure.
Search Engine presence
Developing the point just above, it’s also beneficial for your search engine optimisation (SEO). Google are moving in the direction of favouring websites with SSL – just do a Google yourself and you’ll see how many websites have https:// at the start of their web address.
How do I get an SSL certificate, and how much is it?
If you’re interested, just drop us a line through our form or give us a shout on 01543 573329, and we can get the ball rolling. There’s typically two types we offer – a standard SSL certificate, appropriate for static websites and those using our content management system (CMS), and there’s one designed for e-commerce websites. The standard just gets the job done and encrypts, where as the e-commerce SSL also offers a warranty.
The cost really isn’t much at all. The standard SSL has a low, one-off payment for installation, plus a very low yearly renewal. Our e-commerce level SSLs are a little more money, due to their warranty, and the yearly fee includes the installation. Just drop us a line and we’ll go through the pricing with you.
Customers on our Peace of Mind hosting and maintenance package, and SEO customers, receive a standard SSL certificate as part of their plan. Want to know more about our maintenance package? Scott posted on our blog a little while ago talking about how we can maintain and host your website, and the price is very reasonable indeed.
Please note: if we’re your web designers, and we host your website, we will do it for you. If we don’t host your website, I’m afraid we cannot install an SSL certificate for you – you’d need to speak to your current hosting provider.
Let us know if you want any more information, and thanks for reading!
Introducing our “Peace of Mind” website support package.
This year we introduced a website maintenance and hosting package that gives you “Peace of Mind” that your website, is up to date and safe.
Our support package starts from just £35 a month and really should be considered a must with the internet’s ever changing landscape.
For the monthly fee you get your standard web hosting package, you will also get a monthly back up of your website ensuring you always have a fall back if something goes wrong, and we will also install any security updates when released to make sure your web installation is as safe as it can be from hackers.
On top of this you get 30 minutes of time to be spent in a range of ways, so if you need phone support on any issues you may be experiencing, you need us to enter content or design imagery for sliders and web banners etc then it can be done as part of your support. If you do not have a support contract it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your website is secure and backed up, and considering the small difference in fee between this and our standard hosting-only package, it is certainly more cost effective and gives “peace of mind.”
The small print
Content Management System websites and static website hosting only, a different band of support is required for E-Commerce, email hosting not included. Monthly minutes rollover up to one hour, then expire. If more minutes are required per month these can be purchased at an extra cost. Full terms and conditions available, minimum of 12 months contract.
New website designed for Cannock based Barns Hotel and restaurant
S7 Media at the Midlands Expo
The S7 Team took a field trip to the Midlands Expo in Birmingham last week to meet with other business owners and take in some seminars from industry leaders.
It was an excellent event, where we met some cool people, it was a packed house all day!
We hope to have some new case studies to present you soon, thanks to a couple of new Content Management System Website orders we received as a result of the Expo.
Whilst at the Expo, we took in a keynote session from Richard Woods of Apprentice Fame. Although Richard missed out on Lord Sugar’s money he made quite an impact on the show. Richard shared some good Search Engine Optimisation ideas and we look forward to trying these out this month, every day’s a school day!
If you are interested in learning more about how S7 Media could help your website climb the Google rankings, please get in touch and let us run analysis on your website – so we can show you how you can get more views and ultimately more conversions.
As well as Search Engine Optimisation, we build all sort of websites for companies across the Midlands and the UK and can design and print practically anything you can think of, so if you have a project you feel we can help with please get in touch.
Secure your website with an SSL certificate
Google have now decided that websites without an SSL certificate will be penalised in the search rankings. Simply put, a website with an SSL certificate installed normally has https:// at the start of the website in the address bar and the image of a padlock that you will have no doubt seen when browsing websites. If your site doesn’t have either of these then Google will no longer see your website as safe.
Websites with SSLs will be ranked higher than those without one, but fear not – for a very negligible, one off fee of £50 we can install one to your static or content management system website, which should help you remain in Google’s good graces.
To have your SSL certificate installed please call us on 01543 573329 and we can arrange an installation date for you.
If you have a support contract or an SEO package we will be in touch to arrange installation of you certificate free of charge.
If you have an E-Commerce website don’t despair! We can arrange an SSL certificate to suit, but these are done in a slightly different way to non-selling websites so please contact us for more information.
Christmas shut down
Thank you to all our clients who have worked with us this year on web design, branding and print projects it has been a fantastic year and we look forward to 2017.
We will be closing for Christmas on Tuesday 20th of December at 1pm and will return to work on Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at 9:30am
Merry Christmas to all our clients, we wish you all the best and look forward to a prosperous new year together.
S7 is 8!
We do it every year, we get busy and manage to forget to celebrate our Birthday!
The start of November saw us celebrate our 8th birthday, it seems unreal to think Ritch and I started our business back in 2008!
We have put a wide variety of new websites live this year, making content management system websites, e-commerce websites and static websites for clients in our hometown of Cannock and throughout Staffordshire and we even ventured up as far as Bolton in 2016.
It has been an unprecedented year for website design going from strength to strength, year on year.
As well as web design, we have created a lot of print from our Cannock HQ this year, many business cards, letterheads, leaflets, NCR receipt books and banners have passed through our doors. We have printed big and small, from massive 3 metre teardrop banners for our local council to promo stress footballs for a Wednesbury based company to celebrate Euro 2016, it has been a fun year of designing!
It has been encouraging to see how many start up businesses have come to us to use our services this year. We generally have a lot of start up’s approach us, but with this year being a bit of a tricky one with the EU referendum we wondered if that would change, thankfully it is good to see people willing to chance their arms and have a go. As such we have undertook some really cool corporate branding work this year and have some new logos we are particularly proud of. We promise to get them in our portfolio section soon as we plan to give this a overhaul.
We feel incredibly fortunate that we have managed to turn in another record year of business and that is thanks in no small part to our amazing customers and their kindness in recommending us to other businesses. If you are interested in working with us please call us on 01543 573329 or contact us here.
Content Management System Website for West Midlands Based Business
Dudley based company Full Supply got in touch with us to create a brand new Content Management System Website for them.
Full Supply wanted a more dynamic, modern feel to their new website and had grown increasingly frustrated with their old website as they didn’t have the control that they wanted to edit areas of the website.
The new website is easy to navigate giving Full Supply’s clients the ability to easily find the information they require, we have incorporated a “Sticky” header so that the navigation is always available when browsing and have also created the website to be responsive so it is easy to browse on tablets and smart phones.
The guys at Full Supply were delighted with their new website and we equally pleased to find out how easy it was to edit when we trained them.
“We had not realised how tired and dated our old web site was looking. S7 Media was recommended to us and they took the content of our existing web site and gave it a completely new look.
After being shown a few simple moves, we can now put news updates on ourselves and our twitter feed updates automatically. We are very happy with the result and all of this without breaking the bank.
Scott and Richie are very friendly and efficient and they know their job”
Kerstin Mitchell, Full Supply Ltd
Check out their website here.
If you are interested in discussing a website project please get in touch here. Whether your project is a content management system website like Full Supply’s, a simple Static Website or an E-Commerce Website we are always happy to help.
New CMS Website and Printing for Cannock bar – Bank Bar Live
Cannock’s coolest bar is now under new management and has been newly refurbished and it looks incredible! Part of the overhaul, was to create a brand new website, tweak the branding and deliver printing and window livery, so we were delighted to oblige!
We created a new Content Management System Website for the Cannock based bar, which allows them to login to an easy to use administration area to make updates to their menus, calendar and blog.
We were asked to design a cool and vibrant website that would reflect the new look of the bar as well as incorporating a dynamic feel and a mobile version of the website.
The new management of the bar wanted to aim towards showcasing live music, which is the reason behind the new name Bank Bar Live. We were asked to re brand the bar, keeping a link to the previous logo but refreshing it to reflect the new direction. The new branding was extended to the window livery that we did for the massive front windows and the promotional material such as the posters and flyers that we designed and printed.
Keeping in with the live theme it was important to the Bank Bar Live that they implemented an events calendar on their new Content Management System website so that they can keep their clients up to date with what bands are due to play.
We had great fun working on this project and can’t recommend enough that you go and check the bar out, they have a great selection of craft beers and real ales (Our favourite!) and their famous chunky chips are back on the menu too!
To find out more check out their new website here
If you are interested in our Web Design service, Branding or printing please get in touch