Ten Spades Media

Website design for you & your business

There aren’t really secret strategies when it comes to a successful website, in fact it’s pretty straight forward. It’s about engaging people in the story of whatever it is you do in the world. You can evaluate the success of your own site by looking at how may of your customers, fans and followers use your site to stay in touch with what’s happening. If you are selling goods online, then it’s even easier to gauge how well your website is performing for you.

The passion and expertise you have – that’s all you. We can help by providing a solid, dynamic website for you to promote it. How do we do this? »

Building and Maintaining your website • Planning & Strategy

Getting your web site up and running is pretty easy. Making it look just right takes a little more time, but it’s not so difficult, either. The stuff that takes real guts, grit and glamour is planning for the future of your site. It’s about making sure your website stays current, and keeps talking to the audience. For some people, this is also complemented via social media channels. If you’ve got a website, you need to plan ahead to keep it working for you.

This is where some quality planning time can really have great benefit. We’re here to help with that!

Web Design with Ten Spades Media

What we do …and what we DON’T do

What we do for our clients is provide website design and strategies to get them heard in the world.

Here’s what we don’t do. We are not in the traditional design business of re-selling an exorbitantly expensive in-house custom CMS. So many people we have spoken to about their web design experiences have found themselves encumbered with a website that cannot be edited without repeated phone calls and emails to designers and sales teams. Then there are hours, days and sometimes weeks of waiting until changes are actually seen. Oh, and a considerable site updating expense that can be hundreds of dollar per change.

The problem is: that’s an antiquated model that aims to profit off you handsomely for many years after your site is delivered to you (which it never fully is).

Does this sound familiar? We’ve certainly heard this time and time again. Well, you can take back the control – and we can teach you how. In a digital era where search engines ignore ‘static’ sites, you can’t afford to let your content stagnate, and every update you make shouldn’t be an expense. We’ve experienced this ourselves and we’ve got a better solution. The financial scraping has gone on long enough.

We’ll teach you how. For free.

So, here’s something shocking: we don’t charge anything for the most valuable resource we provide. Education. We take a far more holistic approach to this business and assist you with designing a solution yourself that suits your needs. We’ll provide tools that guide you how to best use your time and money. We can assist with some of the tricky, technical stuff during your set-up, but our aim is to educate you how to manage your own site using resources available to you, so that the only expense you’ll have is ‘hosting‘.

Who can we help?

We can offer website solutions for nearly anyone who needs to be on the web. Business owners, independent artists of all kinds, collaborators, not-for-profits, charities, social groups etc. If you need something on the web, chances are we can help you! Just get in touch and ask.

DreamHost • The hosting solution we recommend

What is hosting?

Just in case the phrase ‘hosting’ is jargon to you, I’ll first explain what it is and why it’s important. If you have a solid grasp on how and where stuff lives on the Internet, skip the next paragraph.

A ‘Host’ is a computer that your website lives on. It’s not all that different to when you save a document on your C: drive, except that a Host computer is accessible to everyone in the world. So it has to be switched on all day & all night forever, be powerful enough to bend time and space like a pretzel, and have security features stunningly clever enough to defeat Marvin in an impromptu chess friendly. In short, a ‘Host’ is a computer that delivers your website to everyone, everywhere.

There are a LOT of hosting services in the world. You can spend a lot of time researching what’s what. We use Dreamhost for our own website. Yep, you’re inside a Dreamhost machine with me right now. We highly recommend the experience, and 100% of our clients have churned to Dreamhost from their previous hosting solution.  Let us give you some reasons why.

Reason 1. Dreamy Customer Service

When you self manage your website, having access to quality customer care and technical support is pretty important. One might go so far as to say ‘vital’. Because although we all hope things won’t go wrong, even the sturdiest of plans and good intentions cannot utterly prevent things going awry. Bad stuff even happens to the TSM team (occasionally) and when we’ve needed DreamHost support, we have experienced a level of service second to none. Live Chat technical staff are available 24/7/365 to assist in real time with web chat, which has been a life-saver for us (read: sanity-saver) on many occasions. Most importantly, we have found the support staff unfailingly professional & patient throughout our 10 years of service. We are always happy to talk about how wonderful they are because they are wonderful. When you provide exceptional service people talk about it, and the Dreamhost service genuinely sets the bar.

Reason 2. Dreamy Affordability

It’s seriously cheap, and this is somewhere you can save money with your website. If you are currently hosting elsewhere, grab your most recent bill and really look at it. If you just ‘pay a guy’ to look after your small business site, ask them to itemise your bills so you can see what you’re paying for. You can compare that to Dreamhost pricing here. If you think ‘hosting’ is a highly technical service that you need to pay someone else to manage, you’re wrong. You can easily take control of this yourself. Most of it is quite simple and the rest is comprehensively explained in the Dreamhost wiki. And if things do get a bit challenging, see reason 1.

Some people don’t want to be responsible for this stuff. Their time is better spent doing the things they do to make the world a more wonderful place. If that sounds like you, then we can look after this hosting stuff for you. That’s part of the service we offer. The beauty of it is, you now know exactly what your hosting is worth and what you’re paying for, so our fee is utterly transparent and has to be lean as heck. And that’s how it should be; it’s not something that should cost you the earth.

Reason 3. Important technical stuff

Dreamhost offers shared hosting suitable for small business, and a range of other hosting packages allowing for traffic growth as your site traffic and complexity grows. We can only speak for ourselves, but during 10 years with Dreamhost, downtime has been negligible. Regardless, they offer a 100% uptime guarantee – your account is credited a full day for every hour of interrupted service. We think it’s more comforting to know that you’ll probably never need it. If you are hosting sensitive data, you can be sure security standards will meet the demands of your industry. We have clients hosting some pretty valuable data, and we had to do some serious research  & planning to ensure their regulators would be happy. Dreamhost ticked all the boxes.

Hey – where’s the 6 free months?

If you hadn’t already gathered, we believe Dreamhost is the pinnacle of hosting services. It is the smartest solution available if you want to get in control of your content. So, we’ve created a special code offering your first 6 month’s shared hosting FREE. Sign up for DreamHost shared hosting here (« link!) and use Promo code TENSPADES6 – it’s as simple as that. If you’r enot completely happy with the service Dreamhost provides, they even offer a 97 day money back guarantee.