The Notting Hill Web Design blog explores the latest news and innovations in the online industries. Visit often, or subscribe to our feed, to be kept fully informed on the hot issues in website planning, design and management.

You know how they say ‘when it seems to good to be true, it probably is’?

We know that many people will look at our low prices, and indeed our free websites promotion, and assume that there simply must be a catch.

When one considers the following points, you can see their point:

  • A good web designer will charge approximately £40.00 per hour (and of course, we only use good ones).
  • The average five-page website takes us approximately 20 hours to produce – so we should be charging £800 already, and that’s even before we’d make any kind of profit. Yet, our typical website costs just £300.
  • We recently acquired 1,000 inbound links for a client’s website, and charged him £1,000 – but a link-builder will ordinarily charge £5 per link.
  • One of our popular packages requires 276 man-hours to implement. It’s work that most companies would put at £15.00 per hour. We charge £499 for this package.
  • Then there is the small matter of those FREE websites. What company could possibly afford to give its products away for nothing?

So, have we messed up our maths? Performed some wizardry that somehow turns deficits into profit?

Nothing so exotic, we’re afraid. The answer lies in our business structure. Take a look at our About Us page, and you’ll see a number of Indian nationals. As you’ll know from the many companies who outsource to India these days, labour, and the cost of living, is substantially cheaper in India than it is here, and that is our ‘secret’.

Unlike those telecoms giants, power suppliers and IT support companies, however, we do not outsource. We employ, train and manage a permanent team of well-paid professionals in India. The crucial difference is that this team are all Notting Hill Internet Services employees, with all the rights that this status entails.

This set-up gives us a unique advantage. Suddenly, that five-page website comes in at £300, and yet it both provides us with a profit margin, and gives a wholly respectable wage to the designers working on it. Those inbound links? £1 each, and the link-builder is very happy to receive it.

The exchange rate, and our differing costs of living, mean that we can offer websites and web services at prices that small businesses and start-ups really can afford. Those free websites? Well, yes, we lose out a little, but the publicity we get means that we can absorb these costs into our marketing budget (and, while we’re exercising complete transparency here, we should mention that of course we hope you’ll also purchase some of our other – equally competitive – products. No obligation).

We believe we have a win-win situation for small businesses – and for our employees in India. Don’t forget, too, that some of the world’s brightest minds are found in this vast subcontinent – a fact that Google and Microsoft, with their Indian HQs, have been quick to notice.

We hope that this post goes some way towards explaining how we keep our prices so low, and that they really are not too good to be true.

We look forward to doing a new website and SEO to hangover prevention drink​ for Good Shot Drinks.


SES London Conference 

I am very surprised to hear so many SEO companies throwing in the towel after Google’s Penguin update in April 2012.  The general feeling amongst the experts is that Google has defeated SEO companies. I don’t agree!

SES London 2013 - Mid Point Conclusion

It is certainly harder to produce good SEO results based on old, outdated techniques. You just need to shift gear and move to the new era of SEO. Multi-channel marketing, good contents, and visitor-oriented site delivery are the keys now. There will still be the reward of appearing on the first page of Google if all is done well. 
The big question is: how many SEO companies can deliver what they promise. A question that only time will tell. 


roses, hearts, valentine

We’re making a habit of celebrating everything. It’s good when you get a break from work and maybe some cake, however, I’m not entirely sure that Valentine’s Day is the best celebration for the workplace. Here are some reasons why:

1. Someone will get offended. While you found the Bobs mug hilarious, Bob from accounting probably didn’t

2. Someone will feel left out. Some will get too much attention and others will be forgotten

3. Someone will have a breakdown and spend the rest of the day crying because they’re single

4. Someone will take it too far and be forced to attend the ‘sexual harassment in the workplace’ seminar

5. Someone will remember that they are in a terrible relationship/ marriage  

6. Someone will stand on their desk and sing ‘all my single ladies’ coupled with the dance routine

7. Someone will spend the day distracting others about how being single is the best and how they have ‘found themselves’ 

All in all, productivity will be low and morale will be down. However you choose to spend the 14th, we hope you enjoy yourselves!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Notting Hill Web Design


To my absolute horror, there are still bloggers, uselessly blogging about how irrelevant social media is and specifically pinpointing Facebook. I’m certain that they are just blogging to attention seek. I can forgive a fool that thought this a few of years ago, but I would definitely expect business owners to have the knowledge and understanding of their market and the evolution of business/ strategy. 

While I feel some other social platforms can be imperative to a businesses success, I will focus today on Facebook only, as according to it’s the most used social network. Not too long ago, many businesses refused to get a website and thought they could survive doing what they did in the olden days. They got left behind! Many of those businesses either closed down or suffered until they were forced to get online to survive. Here are just two short reasons (out of many) why you need a business fan page:

Your audience

Soon, the Facebook generation will be your only audience left. If you don’t find a way to stay connected to them, someone else will. Facebook allows you to target and promote your business to your specific market in a way that your website can’t. It already knows the interests, hobbies, age range and gender or most of its users. You can use this to your advantage to specifically and cost-effectively promote to the right people. Just looking at your friends, colleagues, and family, you know most of them have Facebook and check it daily but, they won’t be on your website daily! Facebook will allow you to keep them updated on your business more frequently, keep your business in their minds and lead them to your site. Meet your potential clients in their comfort zone and place of addiction (Facebook). Websites and blogs are great and necessary but before the client gets to them, you need to capture their short attention span and give them a reason to care about your business while they are killing time on Facebook, communicating with friends and trying to make the work day end faster. 

Google and the others

While I agree to certain businesses/ industries such as fashion, music and large brands, benefit from and invite more audience interaction than certain businesses, the SEO value that is built from social networking is great and necessary for all businesses. By producing and distributing content across social media, you will be able to build a good relationship with search engines as well as your (potential) clients. Having the buttons clearly linked on your site and making frequent and consistent updates improves a sites organic search presence and is becoming more important criteria for ranking.  This, I will say is the most important reason to be on Facebook and the best answer to those who are skeptical. 

I predict that in the not too distant future, businesses that resist using social media will be left behind just like those who thought they could survive without websites or online listings. 



Celebrating Our 14th Birthday

Happy Birthday to us! We’re very proud to say that we are in our 14th year in this business and are continuing to grow and evolve with the fast pace of the online industry. We’d like to thank Fari and Carolyn for putting together such a great team and our clients and associates for their loyalty and support.

It’s such a huge achievement to have survived so long amongst many competitors and the daily challenges that the internet throws at us. Here is a virtual toast to another 14 years of success and hard work!


Posted in Office, YouTube

A combination of the January blues and the cold weather has everyone in the office in a bit of a funk. I hope this video inspires you all to play a prank on your Bosses and colleagues to lift your spirits and have you all laughing again!

If this proves to be too complicated you can always cover the office equipment and furniture in tin foil, if you're hiring make your friend pose as a difficult or inappropriate job applicant, take a screen shot of a colleague's browser and set it as their desktop image… the pranks are endless. It's important to make the work place fun.


Any serious business requires a website these days. At the very least it will promote your services, and at best it will increase your sales many times over.

1. Become a Part of the Global Internet Community, Open up to the International Markets.
Websites reside on the Internet, also called the World Wide Web (WWW), a global network of connected Internet servers. Internet users are able to receive and transmit text, video, voice, and other media information across the wired planet in a matter of seconds. The expression “global village” may describe the Internet very well. The Internet shortens geographical distances, country borders don’t exist here – information is transmitted instantaneously across the entire planet.
Your website is a pathway into the Internet”global village” where people meet, make business contacts, shop, sell products and services, watch video excerpts, search for books and read the latest news. With your own website, you can begin to exchange ideas with the global Internet community. You can reach present and potential clients instantly by publishing the information about your company, services or products on your professionally-designed website. Now your business address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, hours of operation can be at the fingertips of potential buyers.

2. Stay close to your area neighborhood and provide services to your Local Market.
In addition to the global reach of the Internet, your Website can boost your local business or organization’s presence – allowing you to focus on other projects either at home or in your regional area of residence. Whether you’re in New York or Tokyo, Rome or Washington, there are others who may require the services you offer by giving you access to Web search engines and allowing you to advertise your business to all Internet consumers. Not in business? If all you need is the creation of a website for your community volunteer projects or even a fan club for the state college basketball team, the creation of a website will accomplish your goals.

3. Sell Products and Services Online – The advantages of doing business on the Web.
You should consider an Internet Store to become your future storefront. First, potential customers need to know what services you provide and what is your price range. You can reach your future customers by advertising on the Internet-surfers will be able to find you when they search for your business or organization site on web search engines.
You can collect critically important data from your clients by asking them to submit requests for new products or reviews of your existing products: time-to-market turnaround is reduced by the speedy communications offered by the Internet. Your website will become a cheaper advertising medium than traditional brochures or newspaper and magazine ads.

4. Electronic commerce, or E-commerce, is a leading business practice in the global marketplace. E-commerce is an extremely effective way to quickly distribute custom products to clients anywhere utilizing a variety of selections which is almost infinite.
E-commerce is an Internet technology which allows businesses to create revenues over the world wide web by closing the sale right over the Net. Web stores with a real-time authorization of Credit Cards offer a tremendous potential for Internet vendors.
The majority of Internet users are college educated individuals that represent a solid consumer base – they’re looking for value and variety in their spending. With today’s explosion in the number of Internet users globally, the demographics of online shoppers will not only increase, but their spending power will continue to grow as well.
There are no limits to creativity in e-commerce: you can sell books, cars, Internet or telephone service from your website. What is your specialty? With broad international customer potential, you could expand your business to foreign markets as well – you can translate your web pages into foreign languages and reach millions of potential buyers across the globe.

5. Promote your Business among the World’s most Savvy Consumers.
The number of people who use the Internet is growing every day. They are the people who keep up with modern technology, use computers for work and recreation; they’re always looking for new opportunities and services. You can reach this consumer community of Internet users through your personal or corporate website – your company presence on the Web is vitally important to the future of your business. A “window” into the world of the Internet – your website is a place to meet your future clients, business partners, subscribers, and friends.
Web surfers who use their computers for shopping can access your web store or corporate site and place orders or request services 24 hours a day. You can receive customer and client feedback instantaneously via e-mail or a CGI script placed on your web page from anywhere in the world.

6. You Can Offer 24 hours / 7 days a week Service.
In today’s dynamic marketplace, offering a business that is available 24-hours-a-day is not an option, it’s a necessity if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition. Having a company or organization website will allow you to reach interested clients, customers, or new visitors 24 hours a day (the Internet servers where websites are nested never sleep). Forget about the 9 to 5 business hours, now business is done 24 hours a day across the wired globe!

7. Publish The Latest News Now!
The World Wide Web is a dynamic information medium – you can announce the latest news, perform immediate price updates, and have the viewers read about and view the product pictures in a matter of seconds. Today’s stock quotes, current jackpots, live survey results – all can be updated every minute or even every second. The CGI code on your Internet server program will perform dynamic changes to your site to ensure up-to-the-moment punctuality.

8. Answer Commonly Asked Questions on your website.
You can avoid repetitive phone calls and e-mail messages from your clients by having the answers ready on your Home Page. You can concentrate on the core business and customer satisfaction instead of going over the same “What is your business specialty?” questions. Now you can do business faster and more productively by placing important information right on your homepage.

9. Get More Coverage – Receive Critical Media Exposure.
Media correspondents usually begin their coverage of a business or an organization by first looking up the available information on the Web. They’ll most likely first go to the Search engines and then will “click on” to get to your Internet home page. You can attract media attention almost immediately with an operational, attractive website – just look at the media coverage gained by the sites of and!
Your company could gain significant market share with the help of publicity from the newspapers or online magazines, TV coverage or online surveys. Your winning web home page would attract public and corporate attention and help the viewers familiarise themselves with your business’ specialty and product offerings, or your organization’s mission and history.

10. Turn your Company Internet or Intranet Into a Conference Room for your Employees.
The company Internet site may also become a convenient conference room for your employees – they can communicate instantly via e-mail, attend conferences online in chat-rooms, or by video-conferencing. Your employees would be able to obtain the latest company sales figures, client contact information, or news right from the Home Page. No matter where your employees are – they’ll stay in touch with the company through a website at home, in a foreign country, or when they are flying on business with their laptop connected to the Internet.

To some extent, we are all experts in web design. Your taste may run to minimalist, lavish, or brash, but one thing is for sure. You’ll be able to say, within seconds of visiting it, whether or not you like a website.

It’s perhaps tempting to think of web design as nothing more than choosing a couple of pretty colours. So why do we consider it such a key part of the website building practice – indeed, an element that can make or break its success?

Well, let’s consider a few of the important factors that web designers have to keep in mind, every time they create a new site:


Wine behind the label Blinkhorns

The look and feel

This website represents your company, and as such, you need it to convey your brand values. There is a whole wealth of subliminal clues and iconography the experienced designer can call upon rounded corners or handwritten elements for friendliness, red starbursts for rock-bottom pricing, stately fonts for respectability.

The great thing about web designers? You tell them what you want in words, and they translate it into visuals.

Usability and accessibility

Those two words may not mean much to the man on the street, but you’ll soon know about them if they are missing from a website. Usability simply means how intuitive a site is to use. If you’ve ever experienced the frustrations of clicking and clicking around a site, trying all the obvious places to find the one nugget of information you need, then you’ve experienced poor usability.

Accessibility, on the other hand, is all about ensuring a site is available to any user, whether they be disabled, elderly, partially sighted, or whatever.

A good designer weaves usability and accessibility into every single site he makes – and he knows he’s done a good job when you don’t even notice it.


The web can be a confusing place, with new technologies coming online every day. The best designers know which have the greatest take-up: there’s no point in including a video on your site if it’s in a format most people won’t be able to view.

Equally, your designer will need to ensure the site works on any number of browsers run at any number of resolutions on any number of operating systems.

Look for the designer who can’t stop telling you about the great new features he’s seen online – he’s the one who is bang up to date.

Appeal to search engines

As if that wasn’t enough to think about, designers have to be sure that their sites will actually be found – and that means putting into place SEO-friendly features. Neither Flash videos nor text that is actually made of an image will do you any good at all in your Search rankings, because they simply won’t be seen, however nice they look.

On the other hand, if your designer adheres to a few simple rules, you’ll find that your design actually boosts your climb up the ratings.

Keeping up to date

As in every other visual discipline, fashions change in web design. Make sure you don’t employ someone who’s sitting on their laurels, churning out the same old designs that made people sit up and look back in 1995. Look around you, and see what your competitors are doing. Then decide whether you’d like to imitate them, or innovate a little more.

Great designers are always changing – as quickly as the web itself changes.

Not looking like quite such an easy job anymore, is it? So now you may begin to understand why web design can be considered both a creative art and a rigorous discipline.

When one takes all of these factors into consideration, design suddenly begins to look a lot harder. Perhaps it does not work to entrust to just anyone.

At Notting Hill Web Design, we make a difficult process easy. If you want a simple life, you can choose one of our off-the-peg designs, which are ready-tested for robustness, durability, and pizzazz.

If you want something a little more unique, choose our tailored design service. We’ll put our best minds on your project, and come up with something that puts your site at the very front of the pack.

Have you noticed that the YouTube logo has a little cartoon Psy next to it? Well, if you press it, it takes you to this hilarious video that summarises the top trending videos and events of 2012. Psy and various viral celebrities got together at the YouTube studios in LA to recreate this year’s most watched videos and trends – GANGNAM STYLE! While YouTube had created rewind videos for 2010 and 2011, they don’t compare to this year’s video which doesn’t just show the video clips but re-enacts them in this Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe mashup.

Psy has been honored with the staring role in this video as his song had become the most watched video, knocking Justin Bieber off of the top spot with his 2010 hit “Baby”. 

Here are the top ten videos acted out by Psy and his fellow YouTube stars – Jenna Marbles, Walk off the Earth, Real Annoying Orange, Graydon Sheppard of ‘Sh*t Girls Say fame’ and Felicia Day:

If I haven’t already wasted enough of your time at work, you can also check out the behind the scenes video and  YouTube’s interactive timeline video 
I hope you all enjoy the last two weeks of 2012 and wish that 2013 is just as exciting.