Written By Patrick .A (Tech IOSH)
I remember the days when people created websites for family and close friends. I mean, you were that guy; the guy family came to if they needed a website designed for someone’s business, personal, wedding or landmark birthday, to showcase the pictures and basically project happiness. Personally, I have also had to design obituary websites for family members who have passed on. Those particular websites bring no fun in terms of creativity, but importantly I could earn extra income. That feeling of knowing that I could earn an extra income without having to sell drugs or do anything else illegal or dodgy was priceless! It made me feel special (and I don’t mean special needs – no disrespect), I mean an above average individual.
On this track, I went from just designing websites for friends and family to, designing websites for local businesses in Birmingham. It was slow winded but the more I canvassed, the more it grew as a business. At this time I was front-end, back-end, Sales, Customer Services, HR, Legal, Graphic Designer, SEO expert and Business development Manager for my company. That being said, I think the main reason for such growth was because inside, I am a nice person and that’s what you got when you spoke to me. The fact that they have met with me personally and knew I would be dealing with every aspect of the process was key. Customers liked that there was no first line team or second line team… just me!
Another reason why my website design business grew was because I was not afraid of canvassing. I was never afraid of traveling around Birmingham, Solihull, pretty much all of The Midlands, a few days a week canvassing for new clients building relationships; a relationship of convenience. This was an important factor and I made people laugh while in conversation. I was born with these gifts and have had these qualities in me my whole life. I was always happy to answer any questions they may have had and explain the process to follow step by step, in terms of how we would move forward with the website.
I loved to draw as a kid and I did this a lot. I loved Marvel and DC comics and I also loved watching cartoons. I could occupy myself easily by drawing cartoon characters like Danger Mouse, Tom & Jerry or Inspector Gadget. Then, when I received my new comics at the end of the month, it was Captain America or Thor… I mean I could do this all day and be happy. I also enjoyed still life drawings, so maybe after church on a Sunday morning, I could look at a section of the house, rearrange everything if need be and take flight. The end product got better and better but at this point in my life my biggest fan was my magnanimous mother. She got me the tools I needed and bought me all the comics and magazines. She also helped me channel my creativity; she was the real star! And so, when I was aged 12, after she was assassinated, shot and killed in her car while on a visit to Nigeria in 1990 (On the 27/12/90) I lost everything, including my passion for drawing. She was only 43 years old; May her beautiful soul continue to rest in peace.
As far as Website Design as a business is concerned, it all started February 2012, in Moseley, Birmingham. I went into an independent clothing shop in the village to see what they had. I bought some clothing, as you do and then got chatting with the owner (a young Urban English man in his late 30’s I presume). I always made an effort to make conversation and I was a loyal customer and so over a period of time we became friends as well. Like everybody else, I feel good when I’m nicely dressed but most importantly, I have always been one to support local businesses. One day he mentioned Moonfruit to me. I had never heard of this website builder prior to the conversation with Matthew, but I knew about computers from studying Computer Science in university and Website Design at South Kent College in Ashford. I remember being the best student at SKC evening classes, which I attended before my night shifts on the Railway. My tutor Ray was always happy to see my work he was the kind of person that appreciated hard work and he always said to me “You’re going places”. So yes, I was definitely interested in finding out about this Moonfruit platform, coming from MSDOS and Microsoft Frontpage. Matt told me that the bank had introduced him to this website builder but that he just couldn’t seem to get his head around it. He also complained that it wasn’t user friendly. So, I went back home, fired up my PC and got to work.
It took me a while to understand the Moonfruit platform and I noticed that I kept forgetting things that I had learned a few weeks back. Maybe due to the fact that I had not used that particular Plugin or added that snippet since the first day, but It didn’t stop me from learning. At the is time I was working as a clerk, but I wasn’t earning enough money, so I decided to set up my own website design business. I found my first client through a colleague I had worked with, whose brother was opening a phone shop and asked me to design his website. Now, I had my first client and he was very happy with the website design but then it slowed down and so I started canvassing. This form of marketing was efficient in my opinion, as I was gaining up to 3 clients a forth night and I was always so happy to come back home and say to my beautiful wife… “I got another one today” what joy!
It was tough financially at the beginning, I’m not going to lie, Basically I survived on credit cards but after a year I had around 15 clients. Some businesses closed down afterwards, so I was always on the lookout for prospective clients. However my resident clients were requesting changes daily, weekly and so on. Some of these requests were alien to me, so I would raise a Support Ticket with Moonfruit Support and by the next day I would receive a response. This happened like clock work for a period of time and then one day I heard the bad news. Yell.com had bought into Moonfruit, my heart sunk.
I read the comments on the forum and sent an email to the backend team to better understand what this meant, they said there would be no changes and that every thing would carry on as before. I knew this wasn’t possible, not just by intuition but I was now also in a position where I would converse daily with business owners and listen to their likes and dislikes. I had heard a lot about Yell.com prior to this take over and it wasn’t good, not in the slightest. No one seemed to be happy with the fact that they never received what they were promised by Yell.com but still had to pay for the full year. They were terribly upset and couldn’t wait until the end of the year to cancel their subscription.
As time went on, the responses from Moonfruit Support team would take up to 48 hours instead of the usual 24 hour turnaround. Then it started to take a week before I would get a response, then down to totally despondent, no replies whatsoever. System updates were not being made regularly hence none of the feature Plugins were working and customer service staff based offshore were very rude and unhelpful towards affiliates - it was a nightmare. I use the word nightmare because I used to have nightmares about it for a long period of time. I was losing customers because I couldn’t comfortably respond to an enquiry… I seemed incompetent, unable to answer their questions as to why a certain feature wasn’t compatible or simply just wasn’t working. In particular, the contact form feature on Moonfruit websites, this feature would just stop working and as you can appreciate, this would offend anyone.
This became such a problem that I had to start paying separately, to use contact form features designed by a German software company called C****ider.
Then came the day that Yell.com/Wix took over completely… all of my customers websites went down. I was only informed of this changeover, 24 hours before Moonfruit shutdown and disappeared off the face of the planet.
When Moonfruit closed and changed over to Yell.com/Wix, half of my websites did not move over. Those that did move over were in a horrific state. Random pictures that I had never seen before, had appeared in the strangest of places. Other pictures that were supposed to be present, had disappeared and text was all over the place. When I tried to make any changes, I was shocked to find that I couldn’t, because Yell were listed as the owner. This meant that I now had to call and ask permission to make any and all changes to my own websites. I was distraught. I had put literal blood, sweat and tears into securing these clients and maintaining their websites for years, only for Yell to commandeer my websites and insist that they now owned all of the websites and content therein.
I thought offshore customer support was bad… UK Based Yell.com customer service office was the worst experience I had ever had in my life! absolutely appalling. I knew I was done and I lost even more customers that very day - I think I lost around 9 customers in one day. DNS transformation was a disaster, as no one on either side (YELL nor WIX) understood my requests. The only way to describe the experience is, I felt how Eubank must have felt after his 41 fight win streak came to an end, at the hands of Steve Collins. That’s how I felt mentally and I am still recovering, till this day!
I have now managed to move the hand full of customers that I had left, over to another platform and quietly move away from anything relating to Yell.com or Wix, in order to get away from the mental trauma I have had to endure. I know I will remain scarred for the rest of my days.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE TRUSTPILOT REVIEWS FROM FELLOW MOONFRUIT CUSTOMERS:
All of these reviews can be viewed online if you search Moonfruit Reviews in Google.
I was really happy with moonfruit...
I was really
happy with Moonfruit having built a free website and pay no yearly fees to them
I have just received an invoice from yell of £89 to host my website for the year ???? I did not agree to this and stunned I now have to pay for it they have been no help whatsoever cant even access my website even tho they want me to pay them each year what an absolute joke
Date of experience: 26 May 2022.
Very poor handling of this transfer to Wix. Moonfruit chat starts then never finishes. Wix also don't answer properly. Now stuck in the middle with each telling me to contact the other. Can't update my website. Spent a great deal of time over the last few weeks on this and getting nowhere. Paying for a service that I am not getting.
Date of experience: 07 December 2021
My feedback is the same as the other bad ones here. Always used to be great, but the migration from Moonfruit to Wix is appalling. The email telling me one of my sites is "there" has a link that doesn't work so I can't access my site, create an account or edit anything. I've been pushed from pillar to post between Wix, Moonfruit and most recently Yell. Still no further forward. Scary and worrying as my self-employment depends on these sites!
Date of experience: 01 November 2021
I have been a moonfruit customer for 10 years and I've finally had enough. The recent changes are appalling and the customer support is none existent! I would urge anyone thinking of setting up an account to go else where.I spent 3 hours editing my site and checking and saving along the way and none of the changes were saved!! Appalling site DO NOT USE
Date of experience: 13 October 2021
Thank your for reading from www.wbvr.co.uk
Written By Patrick .A (Tech IOSH)
CAN A BUSINESS GAIN TRUST BY USING VIDEO ADVERTS?
Research proves that just under 30% of people aged below 24, do not trust businesses that do not have an online presence or a user-friendly website with specific features i.e., video adverts. This is due to the fact that a video is worth a thousand words. A video introduction into a business or product, explaining the process could help reduce suspense and also increase trust in the business by a prospective client.
THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD INCLUDE VIDEO ADVERTISING IN YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY.
1) Search Engine Optimization: SEO is indeed one of the benefits to adding video advertising to your business/personal marketing strategy. The idea is that if a prospective client spends more time on your business website than he did at your competitor’s website, to web crawlers- this must mean you have useful information and this process based on search engine algorithms might mean- that your website is of some importance.
2) Product Personality: Nowadays, people generally spend more time online, either on their computer, Tablet or their mobile phone. Having a personalised video done by a member of staff that clearly understands the product or someone with a nice face and personality, would help build a connection between a prospective client and your brand. Having a video advert on your website can make the process painless, for people that are receiving the same information, on a small smart phone screen. Especially if they are like me and only have a short attention span.
3) Better Understanding: It is imperative that as a business, you do everything possible to stay ahead of the pack. For example- A website with no video adverts could be seen as, less entertaining than a website with stunning video adverts… it’s a no brainer. After watching video advertising clips on your website, the prospective clients would now have a better understanding of the kind of business that you are and the products you sell.
STATISTICS BASED ON REASEARCH FOR WEBSITES
Property Listings from property companies that include videos receive 278% more enquires.
Businesses that later included video advertising would confirm that, they saw an increase of over 50% after including video adverts on their websites.
Results of a survey showed that 90% of customers that viewed the video advert included this as part of their buying decision.
Today, only 50% of businesses use video advertising on their websites, based on research carried out. This would indicate that now would be a good time to start using video advertising on your website. There isn’t a better way to introduce your brand to potential clients.
INCREASE IN SALES:
Having a video advert on your website that explains the process completely, would help prospective clients to better understand the product you are trying to sell. A good video advert could help place the product so well that prospective clients may begin to think that actually do need this product.
A good video advert that flows nicely, will only present an opportunity for an increase in sales. Now is as good a time as any to start with video adverts. A certain audience may only trust businesses with video adverts as this is what is expected in this digital age… if you are unsure of how to get started, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.
Thank your for reading from www.wbvr.co.uk
Patrick .A (Tech IOSH)
This article is me writing from my perspective. I don’t know much about anybody else’s current financial situation but one thing I do know, is that I worry! I worry about the future… but I guess we have to stay optimistic.
Sadly, I have noticed that cost of living in our beautiful country has started to increase; and has been on an increase since early 2021. “The annual rate of inflation reached 11.1% in October 2022, a 41-year high”. This bit of information in itself speaks volumes, as we receive information from various media outlets regarding the increase in the inflation rate. I can definitely see the effects of this in my everyday life because inevitably it affects me, especially in relation to the way I spend money day to day i.e., being able to afford groceries or being able to afford things we enjoy as a family i.e., trips to the cinema, going for food at the local eatery once a fortnight/month or just in the way that we now shop at our local supermarket. Recently we have resorted to buying frozen produce instead of fresh in a bid to save money, I have even gone as far as swapping one veg for another due to the price difference or just having peas instead of peas and carrots with dinner.
I remember way back, after I left home in the year 2000 and was working 3 jobs; I worked as a cleaner, railway staff via agencies and a sales man for a karate club based in East London. I was doing all of this while studying computers (Hardware A+) but the luck I had was that my tutor who happened to be my very good friend, was also my flatmate. We lived together in a flat at Woodbury Down Estate, Manor House, in Finsbury Park and Finsbury Park Station was the closest underground station, or bus 253 which came through. Like I said, i lived with a good friend of mine called Neil, who was slightly older but we got on very well. We shared a passion for films and always talked about upcoming movies and classics. I admit, I am what one would call a film buff. We used to go shopping once a month for supplies, which lasted the whole month, excluding the odd top up here and there but mainly if we spent around £160.00 it would last us the month.
I also remember living in Ashford for a period of 5 years with my then partner after moving from Finsbury Park to Kent, mid 2001. We used to shop at ADSA’s by the outlet, and we would do the shopping for the week, enough to feed two people and it only came to £25.00 total and I mean everything that we needed was included in that shop.
We both worked full time, she worked for Stena line and I worked on the Railway as a Grinder across the south-east region of the country. We could afford treats like trips up to London to visit family at least once every month. We could also afford hotel stays overnight, even a 4 star.
Around the same time, I could afford to go clothes shopping on the weekends at the Mc-Arthur Glen Designer Outlet. Then go over to the food court, where there were lots of options in terms of what you wanted to have for lunch. I particularly enjoyed patronising the jacket potato stall, which never disappointed in terms of quality… its was absolutely delicious. The following week we would go clubbing at NV’s nightclub, get a taxi back and still could afford to have breakfast at the local greasy cafe.
Fast forward to 2022...
More recently, I have been working as a NEBOSH Certified, Health & Safety Manager in construction via agencies and it is now costing over a hundred and sixty pounds a week in petrol. By the time I pay for sandwiches, a packet of crisps and a can of Red Bull, I’ve got nothing left. All I think about day to day is… am I going to be able to afford the heating this month or the shopping next month, as a result of the fuel prices and energy bills continuing to rise. I have also increased the visits to Poundland as it seems to be extremely relevant in todays Britain.
I read about the war between Russia and Ukraine and the fact that they happen to be exporters of large agricultural produce such as; wheat, and some metals. These products will inevitably become more expensive on international markets, which will only lead to a further increase in prices of food and materials. My wages have not increased in the last 10 years, so clearly earnings are not inline with inflation. A percentage of the population are now reliant on Foodbanks, whilst another percentage are living off credit cards and pay day loans. New research released yesterday 16.1.2023 also confirms that the richest 1% in England are now richer than 70% of our population combined. It definitely is getting harder to stay optimistic.
Thank your for reading from www.wbvr.co.uk