what we do
We like to make websites that are colourful and informative, using a balance of text and images with just enough styles and scripts to make everything work beautifully. Whilst a picture may convey a thousand words, the pictures slow your page loading down considerably, and the words are what gets your website actually found. In order to keep our websites fast, we like smaller pictures that are relevant and engaging, and not too fussy to work on a small screen.
This sometimes puts us at odds with current fashion and fads (and we've seen a lot). If you want a website that looks like everyone else's and is going to look so "last year" next year, you probably shouldn't be here.
what we won't do
We won't load up your website with gratuitous or unneeded HTML, images, scripts, or styles. We won't send your users off all over the web to grab stuff that makes almost no difference to the look of your website at the expense of their own user experience.
The following examples are of home pages that are supposedly mobile friendly, although some are more suited to movie theatre screens than mobile phones. They are tested using Google's PageSpeed Insights, and GTMetrix, an evaluation tool which uses both PageSpeed and Yahoo's Yslow.
- We made a copy of a typical small business web page which had been made with free software provided by the site's hosting service; the copy looked identical and had the same functionality as the original.
- This website was provided by a south-west media company for a major regional tourism organisation. The home page loads over sixteen thousand lines of code (this one has 205 lines). "Form over Function" at its worst.
- Couldn't resist this one! Recent website for a South-Western tourism group featuring gratuitous (lengthy) background video.
- South-west winery using video background and a popular foreign design and hosting platform (in New York).
- Home page of a major south-west media company.
- Home page of a recent small business client of (5).
|NB: Load times vary; these tests were all made consecutively.
The GTMetrix server is in Canada; better load times may be possible locally.
CMS - content management systems
CMS was hot in the "noughties" because it promised website owners control over their sites to make changes and updates as they pleased. Sadly, it seldom delivers; many people expecting to "take control" of their web sites never do, because getting to know your way around a CMS can be daunting for some. You also need reasonable skills for manipulating images with something like Photoshop, to get it all right. Consequently, many CMS web sites become out of date and tired, or they lose appeal with accumulated spelling, grammatical and formatting errors unnoticed by their authors, and pictures which are distorted or take far too long to load.
CMS was around long before web browsers appeared on mobile phones, and whilst it has struggled to keep up, it is only going to bog your website down. We will happily provide simple short-cuts if you only want to be able to update smaller parts of your web site (eg a pricelist, menu, calendar or PDF newsletter). Otherwise it will be easier and cheaper in the long run to entrust your updates to Mumby Media (and proof reading is built-in!)
video and sounds
Video is great on the web, but consumes a humungous amount of bandwidth; we don't think it should EVER load without a user requesting to see it (see examples 3 and 4 above). It is better embedded in it's own page, or just accessed by a link to your YouTube or Vimeo channel. Sound consumes less bandwidth than video, but should still be used with caution, especially music.
A few years back we found ourselves in a situation where someone was in a jam because a video project (for which a sponsor had already paid) was unable to be finished. It was something we hadn't seriously tried before but we offered to give it a go, and after a lot of extra filming and late night editing we came up with a promo for the Mainpeak Collie Adventure Race. We were pretty pleased with the outcome (as was the client), considering that the whole thing was shot on a shoestring budget by people (including ourselves) using camcorders, none of us with any professional experience of this sort of thing.
This and some later videos are on our YouTube channel. Collectively, they show that we are fairly versatile and could probably be persuaded to do more of the same again, or just about anything else, for that matter!