Author Archives: Pat Tusler

About Pat Tusler

Pat is a designer, musician, writer, parent, son, husband, disciple and friend. He also manages development projects for businesses and charities.

Community success involves co-operation and collaboration.

Community, co-operation, collaboration and the Internet

Let’s get real here.

We all have to live in the real world – right?

The media and politicians present us with their own view of things but our lives go on whether we listen to them or not.

As members of society and of the world family we can be responsible for our own lives and our own actions.

Modern life involves using the web to buy things, sell things, learn things, exchange ideas, play games, meet new people and keep in touch with friends and family.

All of us can tell our story, give our ‘testimony’ online.

Community success involves co-operation and collaboration.

Community success involves co-operation and collaboration in order for everyone to be happy.

Community is essential

In real life ‘community’ is an essential part of a successful, harmonious, productive society.

‘No man is an island’ and all that. Surely its obvious that we are all benefited by making the effort to co-operate.

Another trite but wise saying; ‘Together everyone achieves more’.

On Mother Earth everything is provided, all we have to do is learn what our purpose is and make the most of our time here.

When we get isolated we can easily succumb to mental health issues, depression and general ill-health.

When we are able to be an active part of a community we function much better. We have support around us for getting through hard times.

Those of us who can help others, could and should help because all communities need active members to make them sustainable and ultimately to flourish.

Co-operation and collaboration are strengths

Through co-operation and collaboration individuals and small groups of people can use the Internet to achieve great things for their communities.

Often new groups go through a process of forming, storming, norming and then performing. So we should expect some listening on all sides before our communities can flourish.

And the basis of it all of course is mutual  respect, trust and ultimately transcendental love. But this is not the place for discussions on the more esoteric aspect of life as humans!

Tusler Design have been involved in communities since the late 1980s, Thatcher’s Britain.

Since the Internet revolution of the 1990s Tusler Design have worked with a consistent emphasis on developing community through working together using the Internet. This is with large, medium and small businesses, organisations and individuals. All our work is aimed at utilising joined-up thinking to help our clients.

“We’ve lots of experience in helping turn ideas into reality!”

So contact us today to talk about your community and your project. We’re happy to have the opportunity to work with you and your group no matter what the cause or subject.

Modern websites need to work on many different devices.

Make it work on all devices

Modern life: means using a desktop computer, a tablet, a smart phone, a web-tv or something else.

You want your website representing you to the best it can. This means making sure your site looks good and works properly for all users, no matter what device they are using. So they can contact you easily and access your services.

It’s not always easy but we’ve got lots of experience of making it work for clients like yourself.

Modern websites need to work on many different devices.

Modern websites need to work on many different devices.

Improve search engine ranking

Google has made it clear that they give extra weight in their search engine results pages to those websites that have been set up to work on multiple devices. Particularly mobile devices.

Get help.

Tusler Design work with our clients on a one-off basis or more regularly to help make sure everything is working properly on all devices.

We provide training, guidance, support and can do it all for you too if you like.

Contact Tusler Design today and we’ll work with you to get things right on all devices, on all platforms, all the time. So you don’t miss crucial sales calls and business opportunities.


wordpress logo

CMS like WordPress is best value

It might sound like a bold statement but using a content management system to run your business website is actually about the best value you can get.

Many clients (and clients of our friends who are web designers) say that the cost of updating, adding and improving their websites went down when they switched to using a CMS like WordPress.

The simple explanation for this is that once you’ve understood how to use WordPress’s publishing tools you no longer need to pay for all your changes and updates.

WordPress is very easy to grasp

Within one hour most clients are comfortable creating and editing new pages and new posts, adding links and images or whatever they need quickly and without needing to attend a long-winded training course.

Even use your smartphone to update

You can use your smart phone or tablet to add pages and posts. Upload images straight from your device, tag and publish them to your blog or news pages.

wordpress logo

WordPress is a very easy to learn and use tool for your content management system.

Hi-end web publishing for us all

We all benefit from access to high-quality web publishing tools nowadays without finding enormous budgets to run it all as in the past.

The Internet and accessible technology has given us the opportunity to present ourselves as we like to be seen.

So, if you have a mission to accomplish, a purpose, aim, target, goals, intention, idea, message or whatever; the Internet is the place to present it.

Use Facebook and Twitter to deepen connections with audiences

Inter-linking your website with your Facebook and Twitter pages gives your visitors and customers a ‘seamless’ experience and connection with you. So your dialogue can continue with your online followers and friends all the time – even when you’re asleep in bed.

Tusler Design can help you with your CMS

Tusler Design create websites using WordPress (and other systems) regularly and can help you set it all up and configure it correctly. Tusler Design also give you training and support in using WordPress and getting the most out of your system.

And use Google Analytics to see what is working

Tusler Design can help you use and understand Google’s great analytics system to improve your website’s performance and conversion rates.

Why not see for yourself?

Please ask about WordPress via the contact page.

And, if you already have a WordPress site and would just like some help, then please also ask via the contact page.

Thinking about design

Good design can be vital to making your website work to its best potential.

Design is an important but subtle element.

People (like you and me) like easy-to-use websites. We like it to be so clear and easy that we actually enjoy the process.


Jones the carpenters is a classic design

So ‘don’t make me think’

A few years ago I came across a book on website design called “Don’t make me think!” by Steve Krug of Advanced Common Sense.

Steve’s point is that people don’t like to be made to think when they come to a website.

Just like if we go to a new town we look for reliable things like street names and if they are not there we can get disoriented quickly.

It’s not that we are un-intelligent; its that the Internet and computers, smart phones, tablets and all are actually not so easy to use.

Technology is even more challenging when the circumstances are pressured; low or broken connectivity for example disrupting you while you’re trying to book train tickets.

Simplicity rules

Custom House Cardigan

Another classic simple design is on the Custom House Cardigan site

Internet users like websites to be easy to use and understand. So it makes perfect sense to keep things as simple as possible.

Of course, you don’t want to over-simplify and lose the main purpose of your site’s offering. But concepts, ideas etc. need to broken into bite-size-chunks to make them easier to understand.

Think of any major website and how easy it is to use. These guys are spending millions of pounds on research and development to create their sites and keep improving. We can learn from them.

Take a look at your favourite websites with a view to their design and notice the elements and how they are working together.

Websites can be excellent examples of synergy – where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

As you can see from our own website we tend to prefer things clean and clear. How about you?

signs are useful to help guide your visitors

Websites as communication tools

Each website has a voice.

And the visitors listen to the voice. They do this by reading, or hearing, your text. They are influenced in this hearing, by the colour scheme, layout, type-set, and graphics of your website.

So use your unique voice

At all times keep in mind the idea of who you are talking to when writing your content. Imagine you are speaking to just one person; the reader.

Images are a powerful means of communicating

Your choice of images tell a story because, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, ask yourself, ‘What are you trying to say with these thousand-word images?’

signs are useful to help guide your visitors

Signs are useful to help guide your visitors but there is more to finding your voice and communicating effectively

Email enables direct communication and interaction without having to use the telephone or meet in person. You still have to remember your voice in your email communication.

And of course video telephony is available via Skype and other similar systems. These are an effective means of communication. Often Tusler-Design will communicate with clients over Skype. One advantage being it is instant and thus avoids long distance travel to attend meetings and briefings.

Social networks, (i.e. Facebook) are a great place to promote your messages and to interact with your ‘community’ as there is a balanced audience of male and female users. Twitter is mostly male (though not entirely) and has a different feel and emphasis to Facebook.

And lastly, it’s a personal thing

Your visitors will almost always be alone with you. Websites communicate with individuals and though you might have many visitors, few of them will be with someone else when they’re on your site.

So, why not make the most of the opportunity given us through technology and use the Internet to speak and communicate to your audience and the world at large?

A collection of websites

Planning your website

Start-out in the right way on the Internet and you’ll achieve success much faster.

Here’s a simple tried and tested step-by-step guide to help you plan your website.

A collection of websites

The Basics

Every website is a combination of:

  • content
  • design
  • technology
  • and (much more subtle) credibility

Balance and synergy of these four elements gives your site a head start on the competition.

Know your Audience

Right from the start think about your visitors, your people, your tribe.

Who are they? Ages? Genders? How are you going to offer them something they want?

Have a Clear Theme

Your website needs to flow from your mission. At least it should have a clear theme or subject.

Be Credible

Most websites (yours included) require certain pages in order to be credible. These pages include:

  • home – a welcome message, introduction, links to products and services, call to action
  • about – aims and mission, history, who’s-who, principles and values statements
  • contact – all the ways your customers can contact you; telephone, email, postal mail
  • terms of use – includes the copyright statements and disclaimers notices
  • privacy policy – a statement about your commitment to keeping personal information confidential.

Of course, the above list does not apply to a one-page CV or PR site.

Your products, services, messages, articles, insights, testimonials, picture galleries, video sections, feedback forms, shopping carts etc. will also need pages too.

Talk to Search Engines

Keep on-topic and make your pages relevant to your main subject. Use deep-links to connect articles and pages together.

Search engines like it if you also have a sitemap and special ‘robots.txt’ file.

Think Community

Over recent years ‘Community‘ has become an increasingly important and relevant factor to consider. Particularly this aspect is covered by having a Facebook and Twitter presence.

Keep it Simple!

Remember to follow the 10 principles of online success. The primary one being, ‘keep it simple‘.

Make a Plan

Plan your content, your messages and how you want your visitors, followers, clients, customers, fans and friends to interact with you.

Keep it Fresh

Keep adding and expanding your offering. Don’t let it become stale.

Think Long-term

Maintain a long-term vision for your website. Allow it to grow for at least five to ten years. Longevity is a powerful influence on credibility.

Keep Focused

Remain confident and determined. Just keep building your website and it will grow and develop it’s own character.

Share the Story

Tell others about your website, your services, your blog, your offers. That way they will know to keep checking the site for new content.

Review Regularly

Regularly review your visitor statistics and the pages they are looking at and using. What number of contacts come via the site? Try to create content to increase the traffic, click-throughs, contacts, sales, newsletter sign-ups, etc.

The above is a quick guide to help you in thinking through your site.

Contact Tusler Design to get your website designed and online working for you.

Its personal and it always was...

Websites made easy

The Internet is actually a personal place.

Because we are all persons, (I hope you agree). We are all interacting with webpages, sites and applications all the time when we are online.

So it is a personal environment where we want to establish a connection, or relationship with our readers. This means you and me.

As website owners we can control the content of our pages so that our visitors are rewarded when they come to see us. Seem obvious doesn’t it?

Just like real customers in the real-world visitors to websites love to get fresh content, insight, ideas, inspiration, products and services. If they are pleased, and have a pleasing interaction; they come back.

Its personal and it always was...


3 things to remember about your visitors.

Keep your visitors in mind all the time when developing your website;

  • What are visitors to your website looking for?
  • What are they hoping to obtain from you?
  • How can you deliver it for them in a timely and affordable way so they want to return?

Next steps towards online success.

Take a look at our own website planning guide where you can get a good idea of what you need to include in your website.

When you’re ready either phone or email and we’ll be able to help you. Contact us.

Achieving success requires some planning

Ten fundamental principles for online success

10 fundamental principles to achieving online success

  1. Keep it simple. Speaks for itself doesn’t it.
  2. Be yourself. This applies to companies and organisations as well as individuals.
  3. Be unique. Promote your USP, your unique selling points on your website.
  4. Make it easy to use your site.
  5. Continually add fresh content.
  6. Maintain a blog about your industry or niche.
  7. Keep it positive.
  8. Clearly display your contact information.
  9. Be approachable. Allow your visitors to connect with you and keep up to date. This can be achieved via a newsletter email list, Twitter account or Facebook page.
  10. Keep an open mind. There’s always something new to learn to improve what you’re doing.

Join the mailing list and Pat will send you the 11th principle.

Huwbryn homepage screenshot

Natural animal bedding from Wales

Animal bedding experts ‘Huwbryn’ recently commissioned a complete overhaul and revamp of their website at

Huwbryn homepage screenshot

Huwbryn homepage screenshot

Huwbryn supply a variety of premium animal bedding products, all grown on their family run farm in west Wales. Was a pleasure to work with them to develop the new site and animal bedding shop.


Completeness lifestyle and handmade gifts website


Designer, creator and crochet guru Kasturi has a beautiful new website at

Kasturi has her ‘maker’s blog‘, a ‘gallery‘ of creations she has produced and ‘handmade gifts‘ available to buy.

The site features a directory of spiritual resources and useful links to help on the journey through life. All in all, rather nice!

JR Fabrications welding and fabrication in Carmarthen west Wales

JR Fabrications new website

JR Fabrications are an established company of welding and fabrication based in Carmarthenshire. Their new website is now online at

You can find out about all their services, read their frequently asked questions and see examples of their welding work in the gallery section. There are some excellent testimonials there as well proving the high standard of their workmanship.

JR Fabrications welding and fabrication in Carmarthen west Wales

Fresh Mundos

Mundos supply gifts for discerning customers

Mundos (the high-street shop in Cardigan) has refreshed and re-launched their cool shopping site at The store uses Magento ecommerce system.

The web site is hooked up to their EPOS system from the main shop using Talgara. So customers can buy anything they like in the online shop and know it’s available in stock – in real-time.

It’s a great example of a high-street shop making use of the Internet.

New look for ‘Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park’

Our friends over at Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park have completely re-vamped their web site at The previous site was in place since 2005 and the owners wanted a new look and feel whilst keeping hold of the family centered identity of the farm park.

Visitors vs Qualified Visitors

There are two main groups of visitors to your website; qualified visitors and un-qualified visitors.

Qualified visitors being those people who come to your site and proceed to interact with, and do business with your company.

Regular ‘un-qualified’ visitors are those who engage with your web site but don’t buy anything or make any commitment by joining a mailing list or following you on Facebook or Twitter.

As you know yourself, real people visit sites for different reasons. It is possible to observe information about these real people by looking at the visitor data reports for particular web sites.

As a business person you are almost certainly interested in how your web site performs in relation to your bottom-line sales figures.

As the owner of a web site you are almost certainly interested in its traffic data. Meaning you are interested to know how many people have visited and how many pages they have looked at.

Beyond these overall figures there are further sources of interest. For example which pages have visitors looked at the most? How long are they spending engaging with your content?

Are they able to grasp the messages you want them to? Do they take the ‘call-to-action’ and contact you, join the mailing list, download the file or buy something from you?

Looking at the traffic data you can see trends or busy times for your site. You can see which terms visitors have used in search engines to find you. You can see which other websites on the Internet are linked to you and which give you the most traffic.

You can even set ‘goals’ in your data tracking to see how many times someone inquires, downloads a file, buys a product. And also when they make purchases you can see how they went through the buying process and if they stop you can see which page or form they left in-complete.

Over the long term you can use your traffic data to show which subject areas or themes your visitors are most interested in. You can then create more content for them and you can also point them to further calls-to-action to deepen their relationship with your company.

7 Top Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing

Social media sites have become the main buzz in the online world.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others have all made the Internet more relevant and connected than ever before.

As of the time of writing this article Facebook has 800 million users, 30 million in the UK.

Twitter logo

Top tips to get it all working for you

As web site owners we want to promote our business, organisation, cause or local group to others and these are some sure-fire methods we can use on social media sites to get our message across effectively.

Tip 1 – Spread the word

Spread the word using informal networks of real people. Sometimes referred to as viral marketing. Use your Facebook and Twitter page to let your friends, followers and subscribers what the latest buzz is in your world. Fresh information is a vital part of a successful web presence.

Tip 2 – Link up your social pages

Link your Facebook, Twitter and websites together using widgets so that your messages are consistent across your family of pages. Make sure your social media profiles link to your main website and your other media pages and blogs

Tip 3 – Keep it friendly

Make the most of your friends and subscribers liking you or your brand by using social media to be friendly in return. Give messages that are useful and add to your subject and profile. Peter Kay, the funny UK entertainer has a great approach on his Facebook page. He just tells you if he’s got a gig on or at Christmas he might give one funny line i.e. “I see DFS have got a sale on Boxing Day”.

Tip 4 – Post up-to-date items

Post up to date news using Facebook and Twitter to encourage viral sharing by followers through their likes and shares, thus exposing your message to your friends friends and contacts.

Tip 5 – Choose your name carefully

Get your vanity URL at Facebook and Twitter by carefully choosing a name or phrase you want to promote online. For example Tusler Design has the URLs and

Tip 6 – Promote your brands with their own pages

If you’re involved in ecommerce consider setting up specific Facebook pages for your brands, sub-brands and categories. This allows your customers to be specific about what they particularly like about you, thus promoting particular aspects of your business to their friends.

Tip 7 – Reward your friends

We all like to receive gifts from time to time so try to think of rewards for your friends and subscribers – this could be special offers or the ability to pre-order items or access to limited editions etc.

And remember – using social media in a responsible way enhances your website’s credibility with the search engines as an up to date and fresh source of information.

Beautiful smile

Images, Pics and Graphics

A picture is worth a thousand words

Smiling Face - worth a thousand words

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So which pictures work best on the Internet?

Often we can see that the use of face pictures is most powerful, especially if the person in the image is smiling. As human beings we are attracted and interested in other faces.

If a face is not appropriate then the image should show the subject in its best light. This is not to dupe or confuse the viewer but to give them the best and most interesting aspect to look at.

When buying online purchasers often like to see several views of an item before they click ‘buy now’. It is useful to give an overall image showing the entire item and then include detail shots showing clearly what is special about a product.

We tend to make buying decisions on irrational feelings which are then rationalised by the mind. Consequently we want to make our images as attractive and intuitively engaging as we can, so that visitors love what they see before they have any conscious thoughts of buying or owning the item.

Landscape v Portrait

Some years ago we learned that in general images in landscape aspect work better than those in portrait. It is difficult to know exactly why this is but if you look around the Internet you will see that most websites use the landscape aspect for almost every shot. Also we now have widescreen TV which is of course in landscape aspect.

Landscape v Portrait

Landscape v Portrait

Perhaps it is because our eyes are next to each other rather than one above the other? Whatever the reason, most of us enjoy landscape images and they seem to give the best experience to the viewer.

In printed media it has been known for some time that viewers of pages in magazines and newspapers scan the page in a Z shape. From left to right along the top, then down to the bottom left and across again from left to right. So you often see a graphical ‘tripping point’ in the bottom right corner of the page. This is intended to stop the eye from simply going on to the next page.

On web pages it is not so clear how the eye moves but there has been much research to suggest that users tend to scan a web page looking for something that engages their eye. This can be a word, phrase, link or graphic.

Often the top of the page is the most significant because if the visitor is engaged at the top of the page they have no need to scroll looking for what they want.

On larger web sites where information is in hundreds or thousands of pages or in a database then the ‘search’ function becomes very important and many users will go straight to the search box without even looking through the contents list or navigation. In this instance images need to underpin the messages and credibility of the site without detracting from the ease of use and quick access to the right information.

Like so much of life, business is not an exact science and communication is very personal and individualised.

In working for an artists collective a few years ago I realised that there is value in treating every piece of content, be it text or image, as if it were a person in its own right. With individual strengths and positive aspects to try and accentuate on the web site. After all the web is two dimensional and basically flat.

So the challenge is to bring some depth and quality to all the images used. And keep always trying to improve of course.

Philip Ling

Philip Ling Estates website update

Philip Ling Estates

Philip Ling Estates updated site.

Newcastle Emlyn estate agents Philip Ling Estates recently commissioned a complete overhaul and upgrade to their property web site at

The web site features complete listings of their west Wales property database, showing only those properties currently available to purchase and to rent. Both commercial and private.

Users can search and review all the properties listed and can register and get email updates of new properties or changes to existing ones.

At its core the site uses property management software called ‘Open Realty‘ to control all its primary functions. The developers released a new version (number 3) which was completely customised by ourselves and our colleagues at SCL Internet Services in Cardigan.

The system is now fully editable by Philip Ling Estates in-house staff and is linked to where properties are simultaneously listed.

Marketing Your Website

There are several ways that you can market your website to the world at large.

A key marketing element is Search Engine Marketing which we’ll look at in more detail in the next article.

Use Your Analytics Data

It is important to remember that researching and monitoring your visitors and visitor statistics is essential in helping understand which of your marketing messages are working and which are not.

Social Networks

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are notable online services where you can market your business, website, products and services.

Television and Radio

National and regional television and radio are arguably the most invasive and persuasive advertising tools available today. Although the BBC don’t carry adverts, ITV and Channel 4 and Channel 5 do. As do other channels of course.

Large promotional or e-commerce sites are sometimes advertised on television and radio in an effort to attract high volumes of visitors. Television marketing in particular has a significant cost implication.

Secondary routes to obtaining radio and television coverage are available through vehicles like talk shows, breakfast TV, cable and the news networks.


Celebrity endorsement can be a real catalyst to bringing awareness and coverage to your site. Of course obtaining the endorsement may require a major effort but it is often worth considering as part of a thorough marketing campaign.

Newspapers and Magazines

National printed media newspapers and magazines are potentially excellent methods of reaching target markets and can also provide exposure through feature articles and timely letters and comments to the editors.

As with television, advertisements in national media can be costly and need to be properly rationalised towards achieving an appropriate return on investment.

Local media newspapers and magazines are like their national brothers and sisters in providing excellent, targeted advertising and exposure of their readers to your messages.

Posters and Leaflets

Poster campaigns can have varying levels of impact. They are useful when carrying out national campaigns to reinforce messages that are appearing on television, in the media, or even through direct marketing of some kind.

Localised poster campaigns can have impact especially when their message is simple and easily remembered.

Door to door marketing using leaflets and flyers can be remarkably effective particularly if the message is very simple and there is some reward for the person who responds to the advert. For example this reward could be a special offer code that entitles them to a discount if they buy online.

An advantage of a flyer or brochure is that people can keep them as a physical reminder of your message.

Direct Mail and Telephone

Direct marketing using printed mail can be another key element in communicating your message although this method is best utilised in a targeted manner because of the potential large cost implication. For example, one million targeted letters at a cost of 33 pence per mailing amounts to a large bill (£330k). Investors using this method need to ensure there is a realistic likely return on investment.

Direct marketing using telephone can be effective but in the UK is not popular with many people and can have a negative impact on a marketing campaign.

Email Marketing

Direct marketing using email is another powerful tool but has been misused in the past and spam resulted.

The most effective method usual nowadays is to use ‘opt-in’ mailing list management tools where people give their name and email address and permission to send them emails.

Newsletters and Forums

Website Newsletter – this is an excellent way of regularly updating your visitors with relevant and interesting information. They register their email with you so you know they are interested in what you have to say.

Website communities and user forums – depending on the nature of your site a forum or notice board can be an amazing generator of repeat visits and lateral marketing leads. Giving your visitors and customers a chance to express their views can be a powerful tool.


Affiliate Marketing – this has two main categories;
1. Joining as an affiliate
2. Running your own affiliate program

Joining an existing affiliate programmed can give you the opportunity to link your site with many other commercial sites that offer related products and services.

When a user clicks through from your site you sometimes get a small commission. More often when a user from your site clicks through and makes a purchase or becomes a member then you get paid a commission.

Running an affiliate marketing programmed is no small task and may require employing one of the larger affiliate marketing companies like TradeDoubler to manage your affiliate marketing function on your behalf.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth networking is as relevant to the Internet as in any walk of life. There is no substitute for a site that is recommended by a friend or colleague.

This principle can be used favourably by asking friends and loved ones to tell all their friends about your new site!


Hold an event to launch your site and then host other events throughout the year to promote your website messages.

Bridging the digital divide

Meditation via the Internet

Meditation via the Internet - this is a 'heart meditation' graphic

Smart phones and tablets are seen as the new solution to bridging the ‘digital divide’.

Up to now there has been a rather large portion of the population who are not interested in the Internet.

The challenge for marketeers has been how to create products that connect these people with the Internet and the various services on offer.

Once the relationship is established with the new ‘consumer’ of data and services, Internet companies can claim another name, another email address, another potential revenue source, and keep it on file for later use.

Email addresses are considered assets of a business as they have intrinsic value. The value being that there is a person connected to the email address who may well have money to spend.

There are many legitimate and worthy business and organisations using the Internet in a positive and constructive manner.

The opportunity and ability to access the Internet need not necessarily be a bad thing. However, it is a well known fact that ‘you cannot please all the people all the time’ and no matter how many of us take to the Internet there will remain those who are otherwise inclined.

This is surely a good thing, or as humanity we might face the prospect of becoming homogenised, all plugged into our laptops or tablets or smart phones, compulsively checking our social networks for tid-bits of gossip.

Perhaps the Internet can become a powerful tool for assisting us in the very personal process of self-realisation?


Ralfab Motorsport – site is live

Escort jumping

Mark 2 Ford Escort jumping

Motorsport and rally specialists ‘Ralfab Ltd’ have a shiny new website.

Based in New quay in west Wales, Ralfab build complete rally cars. And also fabricate a variety of car components which are for sale on the website.

Specialising in Mark 1 and Mark 2 Ford Escorts they are happy to work on any car.

Check out

Accessibility and Usability

Making websites that work for everyone.

As a website commissioner or owner there are some ‘accessibility’ basics of which you should be aware.

Web accessibility is about providing access to information and services without restriction.

The idea is that anyone should be able to access any products and services without discrimination. In particular this is referring to disabled, blind, deaf and otherwise inconvenienced visitors. In short, everyone should all be able to use your website.

In the UK there is specific legislation, covered in the disability discrimination act (DDA) 1995 and amended in 2005, that requires anyone providing a service or product to make it accessible to all. This includes owners and developers of websites and requires them to make their sites easily accessible by all visitors.

There are established guidelines on accessibility provided by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

Disability Discrimination Act

The DDA Code of Practice states:
2.2: “The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public.”
2.13 – 2.17: “What services are affected by the Disability Discrimination Act? An airline company provides a flight reservation and booking service to the public on its website. This is a provision of a service and is subject to the act.”
4.7: “From 1st October 1999 a service provider has to take reasonable steps to change a practice which makes it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of its services.”
5.23: “For people with visual impairments, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include … accessible websites.”
5.26: “For people with hearing disabilities, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include … accessible websites.”
The DDA does not give specific rules on the level of accessibility required. However, at a minimum level all sites should follow basic accessibility principles.


The European Parliament emphasised that European institutes and member state governments are asked to fulfill priority 1 as well as priority 2 of the W3C/WCAG guidelines.
[Priority 1]
A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.
[Priority 2]
A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.
[Priority 3]
A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.

There are degrees of conformance to these priorities.

Conformance Level “A”: all Priority 1 checkpoints are satisfied;
Conformance Level “Double-A”: all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints are satisfied;
Conformance Level “Triple-A”: all Priority 1, 2, and 3 checkpoints are satisfied;
The guidelines in full are at

Accessibility Checklist

An overview of selected W3C Priority 1, 2 and 3 checkpoints of relevance to website owners and commissioners.
Your website should conform to these guidelines;

  • Use Web Standards for XHTML/CSS.
  • Allow text on the page to scale.
  • Optimise the site for an 800×600 view to prevent horizontal scrolling.
  • Use meaningful ALT text for all images.
  • Clarify the natural language of each page.
  • Avoid items that move, blink, scroll, or flicker.
  • Avoid spawned windows such as pop-ups.
  • Use descriptive hyperlink text.
  • Avoid the use of frames.
  • Ensure that all information conveyed with colour is also available without colour.
  • Ensure that foreground and background colour combinations provide sufficient contrast.
  • Use an easy to read non-serif font type, size and colour.
  • Ensure clear and consistent navigation.

Tablets still not used for buying online

Apple ipad

Apple's iconic iPad

Jakob Nielson, renouned web usability expert notes on his website that users of Apple’s iPad put it down when they want to buy something online.

They use their desktop to carry out e-commerce transactions after researching on their iPad.

Another note of interest is that owners of iPads invariably share them with family members (unless they live alone of course).

Apparently many people surveyed said they’d found apps on their iPad that they didn’t know where there and must have been added by a friend or family member.

Main uses of iPad reported by Nielson:

  • Playing games
  • Checking email
  • Social networking sites
  • Watching videos/movies
  • Reading news
  • Browsing the Internet
  • Some shopping-related research

Read the full article at

Web Design Technology

Web Design Technologies and Tools

Modern websites use a variety of software tools. Aiming to give users a good experience. And to give owners a return on investment.

Some of the many tools we use in our web design and development processes are listed below.

Google analytics

Google analytics is a fab web user information tool. Google’s tracking tool gives you in-depth information about the pages your users are visiting, how long they are spending, what keywords and phrases they are using to find you and much more. Google Analytics works perfectly with Adwords so you can monitor your pay-per-click advertising results and compare them against natural listings. Giving you a complete overview to reconcile with sales. Very powerful when linked to your e-commerce store to track conversion rates.


YouTube is the video tool that changed the Internet. And perhaps the way we communicate. Posting videos of examples from your website gives you valuable exposure to a complete new audience online. You can use videos to quickly promote your products and services. Each video page on YouTube can be deep-linked back to your site. There are so many possibilities with YouTube.


Facebook has changed the way we communicate. As a promotional tool Facebook gives you personal connection to customers and clients, all of whom have expressly ‘liked’ you. You can be more informal on Facebook than in other communications.

Twitter logo

Twitter is perfect for brief messages and updates. You can use Twitter to make short, quick news announcements and give your clients and customers a place where they can ‘get the latest’. Twitter also makes it easy for you to follow others in your industry or interest group.


WordPress is our open-source content management system of choice. The functionality and flexibility of it make it a powerful website management tool and provide for many levels of dynamics and interation with users.


Magento is an awe inspiring open-source e-commerce platform. The amount of flexibility and ease of use are un-equaled in our experience of using shopping carts and online payment processing systems.


MailChimp is a perfect tool for managing mailing lists and newsletters. It enables tracking of emails opened and tracks click-through routes as well. You can easily see who has opened your email and who has also clicked on one or more of the links.

Zend Technologies

Zend is the perfect development platform if you need to build high-quality PHP applications quickly.


PayPal is often the most straightforward method of receiving payments from your website. There are numerous other excellent payment gateways including Worldpay. SECpay and SagePay

adobe photoshop

Photoshop is still the fundamental building block for most new web designs. Also in-page graphics play an important part in creating the desired user experience on many sites.


Dreamweaver has become more of a super ftp tool than an editor. It is still rolled out for some hard-coded web pages, scripting and editing cascading style sheets (CSS).

orissa designs

Orissa Designs – site is live

Orissa Designs specialise in hand crafted, up-cycled, shabby chic furniture and Hindy deity reliefs.

Orissa Designs also sell high quality, ‘temple-grade’ incense.

Their new shiny website is live now from today so well done to them for getting it there. All done with WordPress and PayPal.

Then there is the Facebook and Twitter – but you can spot those for yourself of course.

Orissa Designs’ website is at

orissa designs

How the search engines work


Google search box – we all know, use band love.

Each of the major search engines works in a different way to the next.

What they all share in common is the aim of delivering relevant and timely search results for their users.

Some of the search engines use software spiders and robots to crawl through content and index it. They actually copy the entire Internet onto their own hard disks.

Other search engines use real people to look at web pages and then decide whether to include them in search results. These sites have lost prominence in recent years due to the increased dominance of companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

How do you make a site do well in search results?

Start with a good website

They key principle in making your website rise in the listing pages is to make it a relevant one.

Know your subject

You must know your subject and make your website about that subject.

When you add content; text, images, video, or audio, make it about the subject of the main website.

Keep to the point

Don’t get distracted and go off the point. Keep focused on what you’re trying to achieve.

Keep text simple

Make your text easy to read and comprehend. Avoid using long sentences and paragraphs.

Use titles and heading tags

Use titles, headings and sub-headings in the right way throughout your pages.

Meta tags too if it helps

Meta tags are useful but are secondary to what is actually on the page itself. There is no point in putting key words into meta tags that are not included on the page.

Use style sheets for layout

Where possible avoid using tables for your site layout. If you have a designer working for you make sure you point this out to them.

Know your users

Get to know your visitors and what they like and use on your site.

Use the right key words and phrases

Research and develop using the keywords people use to find your site. Also research associated key words and phrases and develop content to attract searches around these terms.

Links to you

A very important factor in determining your website’s position on the search engine results pages is how many sites are linking to you. Not just how many, but also how good or authoritative they are on a given subject.

If you have a few ‘quality’ links this can be more effective than lots of low-quality or irrelevant links.

Please drop us a line if you want to talk to someone about your website and search engine optimisation – contact us.

Monetising your website


Or – how can I make money from my website?

Could this be the most often asked question?

The simple answer to the question of how to make money through your website is – there are lots of ways.

A few proven methods include;

  • Selling items
  • Selling knowledge
  • Selling support / guidance / instruction
  • Displaying paid adverts
  • Displaying pay-per-click ads
  • Affiliate systems
  • Collecting donations

How you make your site pay is the next question.

Success in this involves understanding your visitors and what they are looking for on your website.

You can benefit from knowing how many visitors you have and what pages they are looking at. Also what search terms are they using to find your website.

Ask yourself some questions. “Is the site communicating with the right target audience? Is it giving the responses I’m looking for? Am I getting the number of sales I need to make a profit?”

If you’re unsure about what you could do to monetise your website have a look at some of these sites for ideas:

EBay – sell things and make money.

Amazon – more than just books. You can affiliate in several ways.

Google adsense – display Google ads on your site to earn revenue.

Chitika – display user targeted ads.


Quick tip:

When people put the term ‘buy’ or ‘shop’ into a search engine they are usually ready to part with their hard earned cash.

So for example; If you sell hand made furniture you might put on your homepage a phrase like. “Buy hand made furniture from our online shop today.” You may also put in the page title. “Hand Made Furniture Shop – Buy Online Today”.

IT and business back-up

Back up your data

The single most valuable piece of business advice.

When I first started my own business I asked my late father, an IBM exec for 25 years, if he had any particular advice about information technology (IT) that he could pass on to me.

He told me that the single most valuable thing he’d learned in years of creating computerised systems for manufacturing and industry was simply the importance of backing up computer data every day.

Each new client would have to be shown the risks involved in not backing up regularly. The potential disaster in terms of loss of business data and sheer time trying to recover or restore data could be averted by simply carrying out the basic procedure of backing up.

External hard disk drive

External hard disks provide an easy and quick way to back-up data.

You may have already experienced the sinking feeling you get as you realise you’ve just lost that document you were working on because of the computer freezing.

Worse still you may have experienced your computer actually appearing to blow up during an electrical storm.

If you’ve backed up your data you’re in a position to get “back up” and running again without major stress and anxiety.

Nowadays all the major operating systems come with back-up software built in. Do you use yours?

Best practice

The best standard is to make three back-ups of your data.

One can be kept on-site, the other two ideally would be stored remotely in two different locations. This is in the event of some sort of major event like your office burning down or your being burgled.

Email marketing software

Marketmailer email and newsletter management

Recently we had another look at the email marketing tool ‘MarketMailer’ (

Since first using it several years ago the software has improved in almost every way possible. This is a great credit to the developers.

Market Mailer is more than a list manager it also is a newsletter creation tool. It enables you to target your messages to the right people.

As they say themselves:

Marketmailer is: “a full featured email marketing solution, allowing businesses to create, send and track email newsletters in a cost-effective and anti-spam compliant manner.”

The pricing structure is varied to suit a wide range of requirements either paying monthly or annually.

And there is telephone support there when you need it.

All very impressive and user friendly.

The other major piece of software that compares with Market Mailer is Mail Chimp which we will look at later in the year.



Web site designers at your service

TD’s re-purpose as resource centre

It is now the intention of ours to develop the Tusler-Design web site as a business resource: both for owners of sites and people working on sites on behalf of the owners.

This means we intend to post regular, weekly updates to the new website.

Business focused information in easy to read formats

Each week we post;

  • articles based on our experience in web development
  • news snippets of relevance to website owners
  • insights and tips for improving websites
  • software reviews
  • marketing information
  • additions to our internet resource database

All aimed at giving you new and interesting angles, viewpoints and understanding.

In the course of our every day work we are constantly learning about ways to improve websites, attract more visitors, convert more visits into sales.

As the Internet becomes busier with more and more websites, site owners need to know how to keep improving.

How to get their staff to develop their websites to achieve the best results possible, and then improve again.

The reality is that the Internet is constantly changing as it grows and diversifies. Asking new questions of developers and designers to meet the desires of users.

It is often in facing and overcoming these challenges that progress is called and technology advances.

Favourite Browsers

Mozilla Firefox logo

Mozilla Firefox logo

Do you know which web browser your visitors are using to view your website?

You can find out easily enough by looking in your analytics reports.

If you’re using Google Analytics this information can be found in the Visitors Overview section and is part of the section called Technical Profile.

Tusler-Design’s visitors use five main browsers;

  1. Firefox – 42%
  2. Chrome – 21%
  3. Internet Explorer – 18%
  4. Safari – 15%
  5. Opera – 2%

We can help you monitor and interpret your analytics data.


Keywords and phrases are important in improving search engine listings

Keywords and phrases are important in improving search engine listings

Successful websites usually have carefully thought through the key words and phrases that are important to their visitors.

Creating content to attract traffic (visitors) to websites and specific products can only be targeted through being relevant.

Keywords and phrases can be analysed in relation to worldwide and local searches.

Then content can be created to inform each subject, interlinking (via hyperlinks of course) to related pages within the website.

Thus improving natural search engine listings for our clients’ websites.

Basically it’s more targeted visitors, looking at webpages they are interested in, leading to more interaction and more sales.



Rathayatra UK site updated

Tusler Design recently spent some time updating the Rathayatra UK website at

The site now uses the popular WordPress ( content management system. It has all the latest information on the London festival and also lists UK and European Rathayatra festivals.

Visitors can sign up for the mailing list and also follow festival news and updates via RSS or Facebook.


New website for Tusler Design

At last

Having left making a new site for ages we just got round to publishing this latest offering.

It is using the latest HTML5 markup language via WordPress 3.1 and a template system called ‘Platform’.

Hope you like it, feel free to tell us what you think. How could we improve it?

And of course, tell us how could we help you with your website?

creative process

Our creative process

creative process

The governing principle in website design is to KISS

“Keep it Simple Sweetie”


With that in mind, we;

1. Listen carefully to the client.

We follow the principle of understanding the client, the brief, the need, etc. first.

2. Research and develop.

Once we understand the brief we research and discuss possible solutions and technology to fulfill the requirements of the client.

3. Design and populate.

Create a staging website where we and client can publish and test content and usability.

4. Revise and review.

Once the site is almost complete or at a working level we review and check that the new site fits the brief.

5. Go live and linked up.

Publish the website to the Internet and link it with our directories and other relevant sites.

6. Timely review.

At an agreed time we meet with clients to review how effective the site is and how it can be improved.


epos shop

EPOS Shop screen shot

EPOS (electronic point of sale) is a competitive market place.

We just re-designed if you want to have a look.

The project involved re-coding the entire website and re-writing all the content.

Ongoing now we are monitoring the search engine position of the site.

open source

Open Source

open source

Tusler-Design use and recommend open source software for content management system (CMS) solutions and for online shops. Open source has the advantage that it is being constantly improved by developers all over the world and is also free (or very low cost).

WordPress Blogging Platform.

WordPress is a fully customisable web publishing platform and content management system. We take the basic system and modify it for each specific client.

WordPress, like other CMS systems, enables contributors and editors to easily edit and update their website without needing to contact a specialist web developer all the time.

WordPress has thousands of widgets and plugins which make it suitable for a wide range of internet sites. >

Magento E-commerce System.

Magento Ecommerce platform is the most sophisticated piece of shopping software we have seen. The fact that it is open source is even better.

Magento gives shop owners the ability to quickly display their products with clear images, descriptions, and prices; all linked to customer accounts and secure shopping carts.

Site owners then choose their preferred payment gateway and start selling online. >


Ubuntu is a full featured open source, linux based operating system.

Not strictly a web development application Ubuntu is more like your Windows or Mac OS but is free and open source. Worth a look if you’re frustrated with Windows and your PC has slowed to a crawl.

The Open Source Initiative.


Open Source coding is not new to the Internet.

The Open Source Initiative began in 1998 and created one of the first web browsers; Netscape Navigator.