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Wwwomen Through History

8th March 2021

It’s International Women’s Day, and if that’s not an excuse for a history lesson, we don’t know what is. The history of the internet and digital technology is full of women whose stories are as fascinating as they are important to the equipment and infrastructure’s we all take for granted today.

As you launch an app or load a website, make your way through a global pandemic by recourse to internet deliveries or log in to your latest Zoom call, you’re standing on the shoulders not just of giants – but of amazing women. Take today to raise a glass to them.

Take Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), who published the first algorithm – and in doing so laid the foundations for much of the digital world. Lovelace realised that machines might be useful for more than just adding numbers together, writing that, “the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” In saying so, she also invented electronic dance music. (We exaggerate, but not by much.)

Ada Lovelace, a color woodcut-style portrait, based on the nineteenth century A. E. Chaton portrait.
“Ada Lovelace, a color woodcut-style portrait, based on the nineteenth century A. E. Chaton portrait.” by dullhunk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Lovelace has become rightly famous in recent years, featuring in both a Google Doodle and an episode of Doctor Who. But she’s not alone in being a woman to whom we owe a great deal about our current digital world. For example, in the mid-1970s Dr Gladys West pioneered a new way of calculating the shape of the Earth – and in so doing set the process in motion that would end with the invention of GPS. When your sat-nav gets you where you need to go, you have Dr West to thank (it’s totally not her fault when it goes wrong).

Decades earlier, Grace Hopper – eventually a Rear Admiral in the US Navy – invented a computer programme that is widely acknowledged to be one of the first “linkers”. These are packages that take a series of files and combine them into a single file – the basis of ever installer you’ve ever run on your home PC. When you get that exciting new game or download the latest productivity app, you have Hopper in large part to thank.

“Grace Hopper behind my keyboard” by Alexandre Dulaunoy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

And make no mistake: women were at the very centre of the birth of computer science. In the first half of the twentieth century, women like Gertrude Blanch, Betty Holberton and Ida Rhodes all worked together to lay the mathematical groundwork for the explosion in computing that would follow in the years following the Second World War. 

Blanch led the Mathematical Table Project – which sought to, well, tabulate mathematical functions, and would be invaluable to digital computing. Rhodes worked on that project, too, and went on to work with Holberton on ENIAC the first general-purpose digital computer – they invented the C-10 programming language together.

ENIAC first computer

It’s worth saying, by the way, that all six of the ENIAC programmers were women: alongside Rhodes and Holberton were Jean Bartik, Kathleen Antonelli, Marlyn Meltzer, Frances Spence and Ruth Teitelbaum. The ENIAC had forty eight-foot panels; by 1995, all of its functions could be performed by a single silicon chip measuring 7.4mm by 5.29mm. That breath-taking pace of digital development in the second half of the twentieth century rested on the work of those six women.

Their groundbreaking work opened the field for others: from the first African American woman to earn a PhD in computer science (Marsha Rhea Williams, in 1982) to women transforming the sector today like Jaime Levy – who is particularly influential in the realms of interface design and user experience – and the former Corporate VT for Research at Microsoft, Jeanette Wing (she’s now at Columbia University, natch).

If any of this is news to you, that should hopefully demonstrate how important occasions like International Women’s Day are: they give us the opportunity to seek out and remember huge contributions which shouldn’t be forgotten. So happy IWD 2021 – we know you’re reading this on some sort of computing device, so let’s show a little gratitude to the women responsible!


Why You Should Keep Your WordPress Site Up To Date – And How!

8th February 2021

Had you just launched a brand new website and found it hard work? Or maybe you have an established website, and it’s doing well for you? In either situation, it’s likely that the last thing you want to hear is that you need to keep updating your site continually and over time. The truth – however – is that you should.

Take WordPress sites. Nearly forty per cent of all websites globally are built on this platform. There’s a reason for this: WordPress is a stable, usable and customisable system. That makes it an unusually good all-round basis for any website: for developers, functionality can be endlessly extended; for users, it always remains intuitive to edit and update.

website developers

That word again – update – crops up, too, for a reason. All sites need to be regularly given some TLC. For one thing, Google and other search engines tend to give better search placement to sites which regularly feature fresh content. For another, users’ expectations are always shifting, and a good site keeps up with its audience. No website is ever finished – it’s always a work in progress.

WordPress has a few other needs, too, however – and also offers some extra features which make updating your site both easier and more essential as time goes on.

First and foremost, security should be at the forefront of your developers’ minds. WordPress’s popularity comes at a price: hackers understand that if they find a weakness in WordPress, they have opened up nearly half of the world’s websites, and they are consequently always probing the system.

The good news is that WordPress are extremely good at upgrading WordPress’s code to rectify security issues – all you need to do is keep the version of WordPress that runs your website up to date, and you’ll stay ahead of the hackers.

wordpress security

Ensuring you’re running the latest version of WordPress is crucial for plug-ins, too. These are the widgets of software that your developers can install on your site to add all sorts of extra functionality. They’re the “secret sauce” of WordPress: because the platform is “open source” – meaning its code is available to all – developers are constantly expanding its capacities and making the fruits of their labours available to everyone else via plug-ins.

Plug-ins, though, change over time – and to ensure everything is as up-to-date as it should be, you’ll be good to keep your plug-ins fresh. Newer plug-ins, though, require the latest version of WordPress – and so, if you’re going to have a cutting-edge website, you need to hit that ‘Update’ button regularly (before doing so, please ensure you read on to find out how to do this properly!)

That leads us to the third reason you should update your WordPress site regularly: performance. Over time, the demands made by users and browsers alike change, and the functionality they need shifts. Successive WordPress versions increase speed, extend features and enhance compatibility – updates, in other words, improve how your website works.

5g speed

The good news is that updating your WordPress is easy – though we’d recommend your developer take the reins, just in case. 

  • Back up your site – this step is crucial just in case something goes wrong – if you don’t know how to backup your site, don’t even think about carrying out any updates yourself! There’s nothing worse than having your site crash without one!
  • Set an ‘update schedule’ – do it regularly, and on an agreed timescale;
  • Take the opportunity to audit your plug-ins, deleting any you no longer use.
  • And update WordPress itself before you update any plug-ins or themes.

That’s it! It’s possible to install plug-ins that manage all this for you – but the manual approach, if you have the capacity, is a good way to have confidence in, and oversight of, the process. Whatever route you choose, the important thing is to update regularly and often. Your website, and your users, will thank you and you can rest assured that your website’s safety is up to par!


Reasons Why You Should Have An eCommerce Website

10th August 2020

In the time of coronavirus, perhaps there’s no need to emphasise how important eCommerce is to any business. With the restrictions placed upon us by the need to restrict the spread of the virus, online shopping has become a primary means of purchasing from the business we want – or need – to support.

That’s left many businesses stranded since they have previously not invested in eCommerce. Independent shops, in particular, have often considered an eCommerce site as a “nice-to-have”, or even an unnecessary addition to their existing business. 

On the contrary, we happen to think that, for most businesses, at least some eCommerce element to a website is very often not just a good idea – but a no-brainer. We’re going to explain why in this post.

First and foremost, eCommerce makes sense because there is a very clear market for it. Even before the current pandemic, the value of global eCommerce sales for 2019 was around 3.45 trillion dollars. That’s a lot of economic activity you simply cannot access without an eCommerce website.

Who is spending all this money? As you might expect, Millennials and Gen X spend about six hours a week shopping online – this makes eCommerce for brands with a more youthful slant a must. But the older generation shops online a lot, too – four hours a week, in fact – which might surprise businesses targeting a more mature demographic. Even a third of seniors are regularly searching eCommerce websites.

Again, that data is for last year – way before coronavirus. These trends are only going upwards. The numbers demonstrate that online purchasing is now mainstream – there isn’t a single element of the market not accessing eCommerce, and that means businesses should be in the space. The reason is simple: eCommerce makes shopping easier for customers, and that convenience is attractive. In other words, you’ll attract more customers merely by offering functionality.

Naturally, too, your store becomes a 24/7 destination – no more restricted opening hours, and no additional payroll expenses! Anyone in the world can shop with you. And your business operations will probably become more efficient, too – eCommerce can be an extremely seamless process from the perspective of the seller as well as the buyer. Whether accepting digital payments or preparing orders for collection in-store, doing eCommerce right makes customer service very easy.

On top of all this, since search engines reward eCommerce websites for all sorts of reasons with greater prominence in their results, you’ll also – if you optimise your site appropriately – reach larger audiences through search. Ecommerce grows your customer base in a range of powerful ways, then, and having an online sales arm thus acts as a kind of force multiplier for your brand awareness.

These arguments are in our book pretty powerful: eCommerce is very far from a ‘niche’ product and has been for a long time; whatever your business, you can benefit from it – pandemic or otherwise. Better user experience, greater brand awareness, larger sales funnels: these are the reasons why you should have an eCommerce website.

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire, and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at


Website Navigation Best Practices

27th July 2020

Few things are as important to an effective website as its navigation. That means menus and structure, buttons and breadcrumbs: essentially the architecture of how a user can quickly and easily find the content they’re looking for.

An easily navigable website situates users clearly, enables them to find their way smoothly, and provides clear guidance as to where – and how – to locate key information. Achieving all of that requires careful thought and close attention to user behaviours.

Keep an eye on your site’s bounce rate. This is a measurement of how soon after arriving at your website the average user leaves it. Most visits last for less than twenty seconds – and that means you’re not converting. Good navigation is one of the key ways sites can persuade users to stay long enough to make a difference.

Be as descriptive – and as simple – as possible.

Make your navigation menu plain and clear. If you try to be clever or creative with your page headings, your user is likely to get lost. Make life easy for them. If you have a Contact Us page, then just call it Contact Us!

Likewise, give your users a helping hand.

Guide them through your site. Include relevant links to further content on each page, use smart design to guide their eye-lines to the important buttons and pages. Keep menu choices concise – seven items or less – and use sidebars to add further information.

Consider SEO – but don’t let it lead you.

The search engines like all of this – short menus, not too many links, clear page headings. That’s great! But equally, menus are meant for humans – and they should be designed primarily with users, not search engines, in mind.

Make your buttons active.

You want to encourage your users to click. Part of this is about using design to draw attention to key actions. But it’s also about using active phrases: “Order Here”, for example, or – as above – good old “Contact Us”. Consider what your audience wants to find, and use appropriate phrasing to emphasise those areas.

Go Mobile-First.

Perhaps the majority of your users will log on to your site using mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet. That means your navigation needs to work on mobile. It should be smooth and readable on every screen – don’t lose users because your menu won’t expand, or can’t be seen, on mobile!

And finally, add a search function.

Search is a fall-back, of course – it’s most useful when all else has failed, and where a user needs to go isn’t clear. But having a Plan B is always a good idea, and search puts a user’s journey back into their hands when necessary.

Follow these rules of thumb and your users will understand how your site is structured – and where to find the content they need. That’s the key goal for any site’s menu – and that’s why these are the definitive website navigation best practices.

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire, and are always ready to help. Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at to speak to one of our website design specialists.


Top Four Favourite WordPress Plugins to Boost your SEO

27th April 2020

We love WordPress: it’s intuitive, flexible, and endlessly upgradeable. In many ways, it’s the ideal Content Management System for your website: really powerful and full of customisation potential, but also slick and straightforward when you need it.

That’s why WordPress websites are so popular online: more websites than not are powered by the platform, and this alone is a token of how good WordPress is. People choose it because it makes websites look and feel good – but also because it makes websites easy to build and manage.

That’s good news on two fronts: your users will keep coming back to a site that’s fun and easy to use, and you’ll be able to keep it fresh and up-to-date. All this assumes, though, that you have an audience. What if you don’t? And, even if you do, surely you want to grow it, right?

That’s where websites alone aren’t enough. You also need to optimise your site for search engines, so that new users can easily find your products and services by typing in the key phrases most relevant to your business.

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) requires a lot of small tweaks to a number of elements on your site – and which tweaks and to what effect change all the time, as the search engines update and alter their algorithms. That can make for a lot of work.

There is a wide range of plugins for WordPress that can help. That’s another of the platform’s strengths – as open-source software, anyone can write great plugins for a WP site that expand its functionality. The only problem with this is that it can be difficult to choose the best plugins for the job at hand! 

Often, you need more than one plugin working in tandem to get the best results. This is particularly true when it comes to SEO, which requires so many different boxes to be ticked for the best results. That’s why we suggest the suite of our following four favourite WordPress plugins for SEO. 

Together, this fantastic four will get your site shooting to the top of Google (or Yahoo!, or Bing Or DuckDuckGo … you get the point):

  1. Yoast SEO’s free version helps with your on-page SEO, from writing enticing meta-descriptions to crafting easily readable copy. Purchase the premium version and you can get extra benefits including suggestions for internal linking and automatic redirection tool.
  2. Redirection by John Godley is great when you need to tweak your URL to make it user- (and search) – friendly, but don’t want to break any referral links you’ve already generated.
  3. WP Super Cache will store a version of your website for faster page load – which will, in turn, earn you serious search engine brownie points.
  4. Compress JPEG & PNG images by TinyPNG reduces the size of your images without compromising their quality – and this, too, helps improve your page speed (remember, too, that alt tags and image titles really matter to SEO!).

And there you have it: your recipe for SEO success on WordPress. Or, to put it another way, our top four favourite WordPress plugins to boost your SEO!

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If you need further assistance with advanced Search Engine Optimization, PPC, or other services then speak to our friendly experts. We are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at



5 Reasons WooCommerce is best for your eCommerce Website

17th April 2020

Around thirty-five per cent of all websites online are based on the WordPress platform. This dominant position for the content management system (CMS) is the result of the ease with which WordPress sites can be installed, set-up and maintained.

WordPress is attractive to businesses of all kinds because it is a flexible and expandable framework. Via “plug-ins” – small bits of software which users can add to their WordPress site to enhance its functionality in almost any imaginable way – WordPress sites are endlessly elastic.

The “open source” nature of WordPress means that developers can easily build new plug-ins and offer them directly to WordPress users. This results in a multiplicity of options that offer huge choice and versatility – and this is a key part of the success of the WordPress platform.

Of course, choice requires decisions, and the wide range of options in the realm of e-commerce for WordPress means that the appropriate option isn’t always obvious.

Allow us to make this easy for you: if you want to sell things online via a WordPress website, just choose WooCommerce. It’s as simple as that.

Why is this choice so easy, you ask? There are five key reasons:

  1. WooCommerce is customizable. This is no one-size-fits-all plug-in. With features and functionality aplenty, WooCommerce can be entirely tailored to fit your business, products and services perfectly.
  2. It’s free. That isn’t always a sign of quality, of course, but in WooCommerce’s case, the best things in e-commerce really are free. With absolutely no financial barrier to adoption, and yet full to the brim with features, WooCommerce is the best in class.
  3. It works well with other plug-ins. Many WordPress developers will tell you horror stories about plug-in conflicts: everything is working fine until that one installation brings an entire website crashing down! WooCommerce likes playing with others. You won’t experience crashes, and your site will be more stable for it.
  4. It is built on the same principles on which WordPress itself was built. In other words, it is open source and fully expandable. That means that, just like with WordPress, users are endlessly improving and enhancing WooCommerce. That benefits you directly – and, if you have a developer on-board, means you can get in on the bespoke coding action, too.
  5. It boasts built-in secure payment processing. eCommerce lives and dies on the comfort of your customers. If they feel sufficiently protected, they will buy – and WooCommerce offers all the security features today’s savvy online shoppers expect. They won’t feel a moment’s hesitation buying from you – and that’s half the battle won.

So, there you have it: if you’re thinking about selling via WordPress, there’s only one choice to make. There are five reasons why WooCommerce is the best choice for your eCommerce website – and each of them is decisive!

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire, and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at


Image+ launches The Wave

6th December 2019

Adding to our ongoing success was the recent launch of a brand-new and sleek web design for The Wave. 

Over the past few months we have been working with CV Life to launch a captivating new website for The Wave. This was not the first project that we worked on with CV Life. We have previously created a website for their Mana Spa– a spa in the heart of The Wave– and we have just launched CV Life’s main webpage. Hence, we are over the moon with this flourishing partnership that we have developed. 

Aman Surey, CV Life’s own Marketing and Communications Manager (pictured above, in the middle),  said that The Wave’s new website is “attractive and intuitive”. According to Aman, the new design has been instrumental to The Wave’s launch success, with most of their sessions becoming “sold out” within the first week. 

The key to this particular website’s success lies in its simple but effective design structure. Our mobile optimised version allows the user easy access from all types of devices. Moreover, its “streamlined booking system” allows the user to book a session without having to register first. As a result, it is “much more likely for visitors to The Wave to book again”.

The impact of our impressive design has been recognised by various organisational bodies, including Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. They published a wonderful coverage from The Wave’s website launch. You can it read here.


Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at


3 Benefits of Having a Responsive Website

2nd October 2019

The days when mobile was a niche means of browsing the world wide web are over. More than half – around fifty-one per cent – of all global internet users now access their online resources using only their smartphone.

That makes huge demands on websites … and on designers. When mobile is the dominant means of accessing the internet, webpages need to display beautifully on even the smallest screens.

And yet, other devices – from tablets to laptops, desktops to large plasma screens – remain significant channels for internet activity. The marketplace is fragmented and is likely to remain that way. The days of the one-size-fits-all website have been gone for some time.

The answer to this new age of variety is responsive design. Put simply, this is an approach to web development which ensures that a site can query a user’s device – and display in a way that is appropriate to that platform’s screen size and orientation.


Responsive design enables any site to look beautiful on every device. And that brings with it significant benefits in this age of mobile internet access.


1. Responsive Design Improves User Experience 

These days, users are looking to have the same experience of a website, no matter what device they are on. Non-responsive websites distort the user experience because they don’t appear the same across the board.  So, users have to learn the site anew on each visit. Reduce this kind of friction – it’ll increase your conversion rates.


2. Responsive Design is Cost Effective and Requires Less Maintenance. 

Having a responsive web design which works on every device will not only save on costs but will also increase the reach of your business to different users. That’s because you won’t need to build a different site for each platform. Responsive design means one website – and that means one bill and one set of maintenance tasks.


3. Responsive Design Means Better SEO and Better Rankings.

A responsive website only generates one URL instead of two URLs for two different versions of the same website (or five for five!). This, in turn, facilitates better search engine optimisation – which results in better ranking on Google. Google also awards extra SEO points to websites that use responsive design – so you’ll have a head start regardless.


There’s no excuse not to use responsive design in today’s web marketplace – in fact, it should be non-negotiable. The reasons to use responsive web design are legion in today’s multi-platform world. In fact, the case for responsive design is more or less unanswerable, as these key three benefits for having a responsive website show!


Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at



Top Social Media Websites For Web Designers

23rd July 2019

Web development can be a lonely job – all that coding and screen-watching can take its toll, even in an office as open-plan and friendly as ours. How do web developers stay social?

More seriously, there’s a professional aspect to social networks for web developers: communities of fellow code surfers help keep us sharp. They’re great places to share ideas and experiences, and to figure out how to crack the latest problem – and to devise a brand new project.

This sort of community is specialised, of course, which means that Twitter and Facebook aren’t the social media websites that web developers first go to. Instead, we tend to default to the following four as our go-to networks.

  1. Behance is a social network that enables developers to create an online portfolio showcase – and discover the latest work from top online portfolios from other creative professionals across industries. This allows us to stay on top of a range of work across the industry – and a range of solutions, too.


  1. Dribbble, meanwhile, is a community of designers that focuses on answering the big questions that developers come across every day. Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creatives share small screenshots that show their work, process, and current projects – and everyone chips in where they can be helpful. Think of it as crowdsourcing expertise.


  1. Twibfy is an inspirational platform where designers can “discover, share, submit and organize the content they love”. In practice, what this means is that we can build libraries of great ideas and fresh designs, enabling us to call on a vast range of possibilities and solutions for every project. In other words, we can store up inspiration for later.


  1. Tavern, finally, is a repository of Product Design questions and answers. Every day a new question is posted, so people can share their experience and offer solutions to fellow developers. This sort of community can be invaluable – it means that no developer has to reinvent every wheel, and it speeds up project progress as a result.


Web developers aim to be efficient and creative in everything they do – and social networks are one way that they can both pick the brains of others and gather ideas … and fuel their imaginations.

The best developers are the most switched on and plugged in – and that’s why these are the top social media websites for designers!


Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at



Four Reasons Why You Should Implement Infographics in Web Design

10th July 2019

Infographics are great. In the digital age, information and data power so much of our lives – and yet can be difficult to visualise. Tracking the flow of data can be hard, and infographics make it easier – which is why they can be so very useful.

An infographic is simply some kind of illustration that conveys a representation of some form of data, often but not always numeric. For example, an extremely simple infographic would be two circles side-by-side, one bigger to denote the larger of two numbers, and the other smaller to represent the lower integer.

In reality, of course, infographics have become an art in themselves, moving far beyond such simple representations to become memorable illustrations in their own rate. By making information accessible to the human brain – which so likes to visualise even the most abstract concepts – infographics have become crucial to how we communicate online.

In short, infographics can make complex information accessible and relatable. That’s reason enough to make use of them. But there are also several other reasons why you should implement infographics in web design.


  1. Brand Awareness and Recognition. Some companies blend an infographic with their corporate logo, which helps to promote brand awareness and recognition. Because infographics are so well tooled to represent data, this can be a particularly useful method for companies who deal in information.


  1. Aesthetics. Infographics will attract attention since they are so visually compelling. Make use of this quality: deploy infographics carefully throughout your website, and you’ll be able to ensure that your visitors’ eyes come to rest where you want them to.


  1. Viral Capability. Great infographics have the ability to generate a ton of interest. They make complicated questions be more easily understood – and that means that people are likely to share them with their friends. As a result, they can go viral almost overnight. Infographics are useful and that makes them powerful.


  1. SEO. If your infographic goes viral, you will quickly see your page gain in rank. All those viral views offer the potential to land on your site, which not only give you a chance to convert that traffic – but will add to your rankings with Google. Again, search engines reward websites that provide good information. Infographics very much count towards your Brownie points.


So there you have it: four reasons why you should implement infographics in web design. Hm. Maybe we should have made an infographic about it.


Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at


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