Monday 28 November 2011

Customer Focus (Joinery Contractors, North West)

J C Joinery (NW) Ltd are joinery and building contractors who offer a wealth of services including:

In fact, everything from replacement hinges for a garden gate to a complete Property Refurbishment.

A Professional Approach

Their work is finished to a high standard, but for a reasonable cost whilst using good quality, long lasting materials.

As they're well established and get 90% of their existing work from referrals (with the website acting as a bonus), they must be doing something right.


Based in Thornton Cleveleys on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, they are well placed to serve local homes and businesses in Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster and surrounding areas, including: Fleetwood, Lytham, Kirkham, Garstang, Chorley, Leyland, Blackburn, Burnley, Morecambe, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton and Over Wyre.

For commercial work and larger domestic work, they also operate thoughout the North West, including: Manchester, Bolton, Wigan, Liverpool, Chester, Widnes, Warrington, Southport, Skelmersdale, Bury, Stockport, St Helens, Accrington, Oldham, Bacup, Oswaldtwistle and Macclesfield.

Possibly the best ISP in the United Kingdom?

Okay, before we go any further, we ought to state that the contents of this blog are the opinions of EasierThan Website Design and are based on our own experiences.

Readers are advised therefore to refer to our Disclaimer for a full clarification of our position.

The Best?

As web developers with over 15 years experience of working with different ISPs, we've experienced everything from an acceptable level of service to over 20 emails required to resolve a single issue.

For the first time ever though we have encountered an ISP that we would actually be happy to recommend to a friend. Our current ISP, PipeTen, provide the fastest, friendliest and clearest level of support that we have ever encountered.

And for a website design business, support is the most important factor to consider.


Some are cheaper than others, but these days ISPs are all fairly standard in the services they provide and the level of uptime they offer. The real test comes when you want to do something a little bit more unusual than a straight HTML website or something goes wrong at their end.

We eluded to it above, but one of our previous ISPs (who shall remain nameless, except to say that they are a leading UK hosting supplier currently advertising on TV) regularly required in excess of 10 emails to resolve even the simplest of problems.

Their record was the unresolved issue that caused us to ditch them, which required over 20 emails from ourselves and went on for more than three weeks!

In contrast, from our experience, support calls with PipeTen are typically resolved satisfactorily in 1-2 emails and under 30 minutes.

Credit Where Due

We all know how easy it is to complain when we get bad service and how rare it is that we reward good service. We'd love to give you a list of the lemons we've dealt with over time, but as this is an official site, we're not sure it is the right place.

Instead, we'll say many thanks to Jamie, Gavin, Carl, Matthew, Grenville and the rest of the PipeTen team. Keep up the good work guys!

Thursday 3 November 2011

Customer Focus (Accounting Services, Lancashire)

The Accounts Office offer reasonably priced accounting services, including:
For those looking to develop their business further, they also offer Financial Budgets and Forecasting, along with supporting Management Accounts.

The Associates

Their associates have over 75 years combined accounting experience, working with all sizes of business from individuals, sole traders, partnerships and SMEs to larger corporations.

They can assist in the preparation and production of trading accounts, taxation calculations and online tax return submissions to HM Revenue & Customs, as well as corporation tax and statutory accounts services for limited companies.

If you have employees, they also offer reasonably priced Payroll Services.


With associates based in Preston in Lancashire and Warrington in Cheshire, The Accounts Office have customers throughout the North West including Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster, Warrington, Crewe and Wigan.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Code Tip #1 - More than one translation with Google Translate and no frame (translate whole website dynamically)

Please note, Google have made changes to their translation service and the following solution is no longer working. We hope to investigate it soon and post amendments.

If you find a solution in the meantime, please feel free to post it in the comments.

After trawling through the internet for years (like most web developers do) to find coding solutions and thus saving hours of our own time, we thought it was about time we returned the favour.

Here's one that many people seem to be struggling with for which we've developed a simple solution. There's already lots of tips out there to remove the Google Translate frame when dynamically translating your website, but as most of them point out, it only works once. Try to translate to a subsequent language and Google falls over.

The solution? Read on...

Remove Google Frame

Just to recap, the first thing we need to do is make sure the Google Translate frame is removed when it appears. This is done by placing the following code just below the <body> tag of the page you wish Google to translate first (the home page is probably best):

     <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
          if ( !== window.self) {
      = window.self.location;

Set-up a Translate Page

Next, set up a blank page called Translate.[Ext] which should be placed in the root folder of your website. Ext can be ASP, PHP or whatever coding you use. Or it can be just Translate.htm as the only thing it will have in it is HTML and Javascript:


Link to Translate Page

Somewhere on your site you'll need to create your links for calling the Translate.[Ext] page as follows:

          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=es">Spanish</a></li>
          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=fr">French</a></li>
          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=de">German</a></li>
          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=it">Italian</a></li>
          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=pt">Portugese</a></li>
          <li><a href="/Translate.[Ext]?Lng=en">English</a></li> 

They don't need to appear in a list obviously and if you prefer, you can display your links as flags. A quick search on Google Images for 'Translate Flags' or similar will reveal hundreds of free ones.

You can add extra links using Lng=[Code], where Code is the language you want to translate to. See Google for a full list of translatable languages.

Translate Page Code

Finally, insert the following Javascript code below the <body> tag of your new Translate.[Ext] page. This code will ensure that every time the Translate page is called, the user is freshly redirected to a translated version of your home page (or another page of your choosing):

     <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
          var sURL = window.self.location.href.replace('%3D','=')
          var iPos = sURL.indexOf('Lng') + 4;
          var sLng = sURL.substr(iPos, 2);

          if (sLng == 'en') {
               window.self.location.href = 'http://www.[URL]';
          else {
               window.self.location.href = '|' + sLng + '&u=[URL]';

The URL is the domain of your site including www (if relevant) e.g. If you want to point to something other than your home page, include the full path and make sure that the Remove Google Frame code above is placed on that page.

In the above example, English (en) is the normal language of the site. This can easily be swapped to your own native language by changing sLng == 'en' to your country's code. All it does is redirect the user without calling Google Translate, thus setting their view back to normal.

No Javascript

For anyone who does not have Javascript enabled you may also want to add the following to your Translate.[Ext] page:

          <p>Sorry, the automatic translation of this site using <a href="">Google Translate</a> services requires Javascript to be enabled on your browser.</p> 


The code is fairly simple so we haven't included a walkthrough for now, but we might add one at a later date if there is a demand.

If you have any questions, submit them below, but please make sure you've read the whole post before asking for assistance.

Possible Errors

When copying the examples, make sure each piece of Javascript is on its own line. Wherever it is clearly wrapped above, you need to ensure that it isn't still on more than one line when pasted into your code.

Items in square brackets should be replaced with your own value as explained. Do NOT include either the [ or ] characters.

Copyright Free

The above is all offered without copyright so feel free to use and adapt it as you wish.

If you have the opportunity though, spread the word and perhaps add a link somewhere back to this page.


Saturday 22 October 2011

Follow Us On Facebook

If you're on Facebook, you can also keep up to date with EasierThan Website Design via our Facebook page.

So why not sign in and become a fan of EasierThan Website Design's Facebook Page and get regular exciting updates of what we're up to.

Be the first to learn about new website launches and be the envy of all your friends.

You'll never be short of something to talk about when you're out and about and the opposite sex will just fall at your feet to hear all you have to say!

We don't yet have hundreds of fans, but its quality rather than quantity that counts, eh?

See you on there...


The above blog post may contain traces of sarcasm. Digest with caution. If you feel you may have been affected, please consult a qualified medical practitioner at your earliest convenience.

Friday 14 October 2011

Customer Focus (Scaffolding Contractors, Lancashire)

Apex Scaffolders are scaffolding contractors operating throughout Blackpool, Lancashire and the wider North West area.

Their services include:
and much more...

Over 25 Years Experience

Over the years Apex Scaffolders have worked on every aspect of scaffolding services, from projects for private households through to multi-national organisations. They have a range of skills from a basic house refurbishment to complex design work.

Highly Trained

Additionally, their highly trained and accredited workforce keeps up with the latest industry developments in both scaffolding and health and safety.


Apex Scaffolders head office is in Fleetwood, Lancashire from where they operate throughout Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster and the wider North West area.

Badminton Association Website Template Launched

EasierThan Website Design are proud to announce the launch of BaddersWeb.

BaddersWeb is a badminton association website template software solution for badminton associations and leagues, which features a user-friendly content management system back-end for update by specified association league members.

It was developed in conjunction with Blackpool & District Badminton Association and as such is built with regular badminton players in mind.

The software is a re-usable template solution that can quickly be deployed to another association or league, but also with the necessary flexibility to add more features as required.


Both the public facing front-end and admin back-end of BaddersWeb are feature rich, including club, league, cup, tournament, inter-league (town teams), news, association history, downloads, officers, committee information and more.

If you represent a badminton association or league and are looking for an affordable well featured website solution that allows you to easily control your own content, then BaddersWeb is for you.


In creating the product, we know that most badminton associations and leagues do not have bottomless coffers, so we've made a number of pricing models available for you to choose from.

More Information

For more information about BaddersWeb, please take a look at the main website:

Life of a Web Developer

As per our About Us page, this is an official blog for EasierThan Website Design.

For that reason, we can't really feature any strong language or opinions or anything else that might be considered controversial.

But that doesn't mean we can't tell you where to get them...

So, ever wondered what it's like to be a web developer? Take a look at the following personal blog posts from EasierThan founder, Dave Barton to find out.

Why being a Web Developer is interesting…

An interesting article that suggests our lives aren't
actually as dull as non-techies might expect. Although you still might not agree after you've read it.

How much should a web page cost?

Fairly self explanatory. During the early days, we perhaps priced ourselves a little low. Necessary to get the work when you're starting up, but it kind of throws minimum wage out of the window.

I Hate Google Instant!!!

self explanatory. Sometimes new features in established and popular products are not always very well received!

This time next year Rodders, I DON’T want to be a millionaire…

A fascinating post that examines a disturbing trend in British small businesses for being content not to expand and make more money.

Why I strongly dislike Search Engines!!

A look at the pitfalls and questionable necessity for Search Engine Optimisation. Is a better solution on the horizon?

To disable right click or not to disable right click?

An example of the things we web developers have to tackle in our daily lives. An interesting article even from a user perspective.

Swap yer for a driveway?

Sadly not to be in the instance concerned, but a nice thought that a web developer might sometimes be able to trade their skills for those of another tradesman.

Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round)

And finally proof that we also relax every now and then. If you're also a developer or techie of some kind, try your hand at this unique and original quiz.

Customer Focus (Concrete Driveways, Blackpool)

Northern Cobblestone specialise in high quality pattern imprinted concrete installations, including:
They also offer a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Repairs service for existing installations, including restoration and resealing.

Flexible Paving Solution

Steps, ramps and other features such as LED uplighting can also easily be incorporated into the design. And wherever you can reasonably lay a path, you can install pattern imprinted concrete.

Its also suitable for forecourts, walkways, courtyards, pool decks, shopping centres, car parks, stableyards, theme parks and many other commercial paving applications.


As an alternative to Block Paving and Indian Stone, pattern imprinted concrete offers a number of benefits as follows:
  • No sinking or spreading
  • Oil and stain resistant
  • No weeds
  • Low maintenance
  • 25% harder than standard concrete
  • Fade free colours

Northern Cobblestone are based in Poulton-le-Fylde on the Fylde Coast with many customers throughout Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster and the wider Lancashire area.

New Website Designs

At EasierThan Website Design we believe in creating functional and practical designs that are clean in appearance, well organised, easy to navigate, optimised for search engines, work well on all platforms and conform to W3C accessibility standards.

For that reason, we tend to stick to fairly simple templates that are easily adaptable and as a result, many of our earlier sites were very similar in appearance.

And after all, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!". That said though, we thought we'd share a few of our recent efforts that stand out a little from previous sites, two of which were reproduced from non-flexible, non-compliant sites created by third parties.

Apex Scaffolders

Scaffolding Contractors in Fleetwood, Lancashire

This website started life with just four pages, hence the use of the single column layout.

To produce more content for Google to index, it has since grown to include over a dozen pages related to types of scaffolding services.

As these are intended as landing pages for Google searches rather than essential reading for a website visitor, the single column layout has been retained.

Roberts & Co Financial Planning

Independent Financial Advisors in Preston, Lancashire

A very appealing design featuring a banner image that is slightly larger than we would normally advocate.

It takes up a little too much of the browser window when viewed on a lower resolution device.

However the customer really liked the simple imagery created for their original website and as it nicely reflected financial planning and advice matters, they asked could they keep it when EasierThan redesigned the website.

We took the existing images and made them slightly wider and shorter and adapted the design to stretch and shrink to fit screen resolutions as low as 800x600.

Northern Cobblestone

Pattern Imprinted Concrete in Blackpool, Lancashire

A pleasing adaptation of our standard website template featuring a logo designed by us for the customer.

Early SEO efforts for the site proved very successful and they quickly achieved top rankings for Concrete Driveways Blackpool and similar terms.

As can be the case though, competitors then stepped up their game causing them to slip a number of places. Efforts are now therefore underway to restore that early lead.

Call for a Quote

This is just a small selection of what we can do. If you find a website template you like, chances are that with some effort we can recreate and adapt it to be as user-friendly as the above examples.

If you like what you see or want to know more, visit our website and give us a call for a quote.