Our previous site had been developed by a friend which we were very grateful for, both in terms of his time and creativity and allowing us to have a online presence. This was initially quite a small site and with my curiosity about expanding it, I read some books, searched the net and spoke to the person who originally designed and within a week I had taught myself to alter images, change the text, add new pages etc. This allowed for the site to be developed and over time the adding of numerous new pages and new features as I grew in confidence with my BASIC skills.
I soon realised that our online presence was not visible to google and other search engines and again with a bit of learning over time my amateur SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) skills had us on page one of various search engine listings. Not bad for a gardening social worker who had no experience previously.
Having had an awful winter (December/January 2009) we were aware that our beautiful location had a downside in that when the snow and ice came it made it treacherous to get here and our sales figure plummeted. Not what you need in a economic downturn.
So in January 2010 our first attempt of an online shop took place buying a shop from our online host. This was great as it provided a purpose built shop with features that allowed me to put The Secret Garden Centres own brand and was easy to navigate allowing me to build up a reasonable online shop front. However I did find that as you were redirected off our main site that it lost the potential for seo and as it was not integrated within the site.
This was confirmed when I spoke to and met with Charlotte of Charlottes Web Design in a consultation over Facebook at the end of the summer 2010(another story). Charlotte was patient, jargon free and planted a seed about what we could do with the site, so after mulling reflecting etc a decision was made to begin our new website.
So in January 2011 the old shop was closed and Charlotte began the process of redesigning, revamping, funking up and adding our own unique touch. Given my desire to learn and have control of the posts and future content I was involved in the process of developing the site with Charlotte. Like an apprentice I was keen to learn asking loads of questions and driving Charlotte demented.
And so after many late nights loads of inputting frustration with our host (Easyspace aka waste of space) the new shop and website opened its doors). I have to say we are delighted and the feedback so far has been excellent.
Kathryn Browne Congratulations Guys ,i love the new website, its so detailed and eye catching !its super !
Catherine A Connors Love the new website, trés chic 🙂
Elaine Rogers Just had a look – it’s looovley – really soothing colours and the images are divine 🙂
The shop includes tools, gardening sundries, feeds, organic seeds, seed potatoes, gift vouchers and so much more.