A is for... (The A-Z of Ballyhoo)
And thus begins a journey through the alphabet with Ballyhoo, taking you from A to Z across 26(!) blog posts cataloguing everything we can think of beginning with the letter du jour.
Now, this isn’t merely a content building exercise. Over the past year or so we’ve been on a journey of self-discovery as we have finalised our rebrand and delved into what makes us Ballyhoo (but what does Ballyhoo even mean? I hear you cry! You’ll just have to wait until the next installment in this thrilling series to find out).
Arguably the cornerstone of web design, accessibility is fundamental to producing a good website. When we talk about website accessibility we are concerned with whether the content and functions of the site are all readable and usable by anyone who visits the site, regardless of visual impairment or any other issues that may affect how the website is consumed. By ensuring that we adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines we can ensure that the websites we develop are accessible to all.
At Ballyhoo we aspire to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Acorns Children's Hospice is the primary charity that Ballyhoo supports. The work they do in providing palliative care and respite to life-limited children and their families across the West Midlands is so important. Read more about our involvement or make a donation.
We've been working with Active Superstars for many years, supporting them to introduce an online booking and payment system for the PE classes, sport courses and holiday camps they provide to school children across Birmingham.
A bit of website jargon for you now. The administrator of a website is in charge of updating and adding content to a website, as well as managing orders, bookings or users if the site has that functionality. You can have multiple admins of a website with different access permissions and even super admins! Administrators log in through a, you guessed it, admin area. One of the popular services we provide at Ballyhoo is website support & maintenance where we can act as a defacto administrator to take the hassle out of adding content or support you when you need a little extra help to manage your website.
Ads (formerly AdWords)
Google Ads are the results you often see at the very top of search results pages. They can work for almost any advertising budget and get your business noticed at the very moment someone is looking for products or services like yours. A well-crafted, well-timed ad can turn searchers into valuable customers.
We help a variety of businesses get their Ads set up so that they are effective and provide a good return on investment - regardless of how much they have available to spend.
Another Ballyhoo client that we have been proud to work with over the past few years. AGA Rangemaster needed a specialist web developer to create a product selector web application to help customers choose the perfect range oven for their home. In addition, we also created custom product registration and warranty request web forms to add additional functionality to their website. These are all great examples of web applications (see below).
Album Art Exchange
Album Art Exchange is a specialist website serving the music community by creating a space to share and download high-quality album artwork. An issue faced by the consumption of digital music and the rapid increase in screen resolution is that the default album artwork (which is a renowned and important subset of art in its own right) isn't always shown off to its best. AAX allows passionate music and art lovers to ensure the artwork on their devices can be enjoyed in all its glory.
Me! Now, where to begin. I am co-owner of Ballyhoo and I have been in the company since the start in 2009. I wear many hats; my current job title is Operations Director, which encompasses all the jobs needed to keep the business running, but my passion within the industry is UX and design, so, more often than not, I take creative responsibility for projects. I am a perfectionist, which can be a curse sometimes, but it means I'll make sure your project meets high standards.
Google Analytics to be precise. But also a broad term for the data we collect on website traffic and on-site behaviours that give us insight into how your website is performing and what we can do to improve it. It's the foundation for any online marketing strategy or optimisation to improve conversions (number of website visitors vs. those who make a purchase or trigger a tracked event like completing a contact form).
Anthony Chaffey. The captain of our ship and the driving force behind Ballyhoo (and incidentally my husband). Anthony, or simply Chaffey as he is known to many, has been making websites for nearly 20 years. He's a graduate of Computer Science and he's been either a director of a digital agency or a freelance web developer ever since. Logical, organised, innovative, knowledgeable, passionate - the guy you want leading your web design and development project.
Application. You know what an app is in relation to your phone but when we use this term as web developers it is used in a slightly different sense. At Ballyhoo, we are well-versed in creating web applications - so anything that you might access via your browser that provides a service or function, like online booking, online shopping, email or word processing. We specialise in creating custom solutions and can even make web applications behave like smartphone apps so that you don't need to spread your resources across multiple operating systems.
Aristi are our clients and neighbours here in the Innovation Centre. They are specialist cyber security and data protection experts and we highly recommend them if you need any assistance in these areas. We rebuilt, and now help them to maintain, their website.
Attention to Detail
Something we are very proud of is our attention to detail and the lengths we go to to ensure that all the bases have been covered. It's one of the main attributes we look for when hiring and it's also something we aim to nurture and develop within the team. Whenever we work on projects, even if it's just a simple content addition, there's a sense of pride taken in all that we do and we aim to add value by looking beyond the task at hand to make sure we've not only got it right but that it was the right thing to do in the first place.
Audit needn't be a scary word, not when it comes to websites, anyway. Website audits are a key first step in any website journey, particularly for established businesses who often suffer from feature-creep and diluted or contradicting brand messages. Whether you are setting the scene to get stakeholders on board with a website redesign or looking to ensure you are fully GDPR compliant, you can't improve your online presence without first knowing where you are now. Branding audits, website audits and Google Ads audits are just some of the things we can help with at Ballyhoo.
Avery Berkel is a leading scale and weighing solution specialist - just check the logo on the label printing scales next time you're in the fruit and veg aisle. They're also one of our oldest clients and we've been privileged to work with them extensively on their systems (more of those web apps we've been talking about).
That's all for the As. If you can think of any important ones we’ve missed, leave a comment below. Keep an eye out for our next post where we tackle the Bs 🐝🐝🐝