Blog

Blog posts in the category Business Advice

How To Start Your New Business

Seedlings growing

Every day new companies are born, but of those only a tiny percentage succeed. What makes them succeed? Here's what to think about when you're launching a business so that it's still going strong in two years time.

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How To Make A Website

Testimonials about Create.net An easy, step-by-step guide to creating your dream site

Why this guide is great: Get started quickly All the information you need - straight-talking advice Up-to-date info on how to make a website Start a trial, talk to an Account Manager to help you

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Be A Great Parent AND Entrepreneur

Mum browses on a tablet computer with her two toddlers snuggled on a sofa

Family comes first - especially when your children are very young - but what if you could be a great parent AND still achieve your dream of starting a business?

Running your own business requires not just dedication, persistence and hard work, it also takes blood, sweat and tears; in many ways it’s a lot like bringing up kids. Juggling both sides of life is no easy task, so here are our top tips on how to make it work for you and your family:

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How to Come Up with a Winning Business Idea

Starry sky over landscape at night time

Starting your own business - it’s one of the biggest dreams we can have.

The internet has made it easier and cheaper to realise this dream, and now anyone can become an entrepreneur. You can make your own business website and start selling in minutes, but first thing’s first: you need an idea.

Read our tips on how to come up with the idea that can change your life.

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YOU CAN DO IT: 8 Reasons Why Anyone Can Start Their Own Online Business

Woman sits at desk in thought

Dreaming of running your own business but lacking the confidence to try it? Today’s the day. It’s time to hang up the excuses and start an exciting new chapter in your professional life.

Follow our 8 tips for success!

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Make 2017 Amazing: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business

Laptop on a white desk with fresh tropical fruit

It’s that time of year again. We’re sipping on green smoothies and have resolved to spend more time at the gym. But while most of these ambitions will have fallen by the wayside by February, we’re three times more likely to stick to business goals than any other resolutions.

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How to Run an Online Business While Working 9-5

Typewriter and work things

Are you brimming with ideas and passion for your own business, but need to be able to balance it with a 9-5 job?


It might seem like an ambitious project - it is! But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

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10 Worst Work-Related Email Mistakes You Probably Make

10 Email Mistakes to Avoid

We use email all the time - as a planet we send 205 billion per day!


It's the most direct, speedy and eco-friendly form of communication, but it’s easy to make a mistake that can damage your professional reputation.


Here are our 10 worst email etiquette mistakes and how to avoid them:

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Royal Mail's Last Posting Dates For Christmas 2016

Royal Mail's Last Posting Dates for Christmas 2015 image of christmas present under a tree

Be prepared for the Christmas rush this year, and make sure your customers know when your last ordering and shipping dates are.

To help you on your way we've compiled a handy guide to Royal Mail's last posting dates to ensure your customers get their deliveries before Christmas.

If you haven't already, why not add these dates to your website? Knowing when they can expect to receive their goods from you can help customers make informed buying decisions.

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Easy Tips To Improve Your Website’s Content

Typing on a keyboard

Do you know how to write the most successful content for your website? Read this article and learn what you need to know (and what mistakes you must avoid) when writing for the web. Don't miss any opportunities - make a great first impression and keep your visitors interested. Take advantage of this free advice from PR and marketing specialist, Jill Woolf.

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10 Essential Twitter Accounts To Follow For Your Online Business

Hand holding a phone on twitter in a coffee shop

Social Media giant Twitter boasts a whopping 316 million users every month, but how do you find your place within the "Twitterverse" and how do you know who to follow?

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3 Awesome Eco-Activities To Do In Your Office

When did you last reflect on the planet and the mark you are personally leaving? There are many ways we can be helping our planet - without Earth our businesses would have no reason to exist and our offices would have no grounding to be built upon! 2016 marks the 46th "Earth Day", so why not take a moment to relax from the pressures of work and read 3 quick ways you could save the planet in your office this week.

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How To Write The Best Terms & Conditions

man signing papers

Protecting your business and establishing a legal foundation for you and your customers should be a priority, but it can be difficult to know where to begin and what to include. Take a look at our top tips for writing the best Terms and Conditions for your business, complete with 10 essential points not to forget.

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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?

desk with pens, camera and laptop

Should you make your own website or outsource it? When launching a new site, this is often the internal debate many go through. With a new, untested business venture there is the difficult decision as to whether you should spend money hiring a professional to do all of the work, or roll up your sleeves and do it yourself.

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4 More Alternatives To Royal Mail

flowers in box

Royal Mail are one of the most reliable and trusted postage services in the UK, but are they the best option for your business? There are many new postage couriers available in the UK, each offering a different service and set of prices. Read on to find out if you are using the most cost effective courier for your company. Save money and check out your options!

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Spring Clean Your SEO

Spring Clean Your SEO

Spring is upon us (despite what the weather may say) and it’s that time of year to get out your feather dusters, dust off your keyboards and freshen up your website for the months ahead!

SEO is always evolving and search engines are constantly updating the way they crawl websites for information. Luckily we’ve included some vital points to consider whilst reviewing your website, to ensure you’re ahead of the curve this Spring.

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Benefit Your Business With An Awesome LinkedIn Profile!

Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile For Your Business

There are currently over 332 million people connecting on social media giant, LinkedIn. Are you making the most out of these potential business connections in your own personal profile? We have put together a few pointers to make sure your best assets are on show and you are being found by the right people. Check them out now.

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Watch Short Talks On How To Succeed At Social Media And PR

Learning where to start with Social Media, PR and general Marketing can be time-consuming and potentially a drain on resources. If, like many, you’re not sure how best to spend your time, take a moment to watch the talks from our recent meetup where experts offer their tips for success.

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Get Your Business Online In 3 Easy Steps

It’s now easier than ever to create your own website, and the pride of owning your own corner of the internet is a great feeling. However, getting your business online can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you’re not sure where to start. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating, especially if you follow these 3 quick and easy steps.

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5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Productivity

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Productivity

January can often be a difficult time of year to keep up your motivation and productivity at work. With the Christmas rush and early 2016 sales over, you may now need to inject some excitement back in to your working life. There are many ways in which we are able to boost our motivation and morale, and I have compiled my top 5 to share with you all. Don't suffer in silence this January. Let's make it the most productive month yet!

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Get Ready To Launch - 5 Tips For A Successful Website

Get Ready To Launch - 5 Tips For A Successful Website With Create

Getting your business online is now easier than ever, but with a wealth of ideas and resources available it can be tough to know where to begin. Whether you’re launching a new or established business, the key to success is a great website. Read on for our top 5 tips to help you achieve a successful site.

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6 Free Ways To Make Google Analytics Work For Your Business

Close up of flowers with a blurred computer and desk in the background

Google Analytics is a really powerful tool, which can be highly valuable to all walks of business. With a wealth of information available online, and countless help guides to trawl through, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Read on to learn about how you can get started and how your business can benefit from Google Anayltics.

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3 Common Legal Mistakes To Avoid on Your Website

Man working at desk

Presenting your company online means there will be rules and regulations you must adhere to - it can be tough to understand the various legislations and requirements your business must comply with. Want to legally sell via the Internet? Make sure you are not making these mistakes on your website.

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Four Alternatives to Royal Mail

Postage Logo

Royal Mail are no longer the de facto postage and courier service for the UK, albeit obviously still a big deal for many. Over recent years there has been a rise in the use of alternative courier services available to the public.

So I set out on a little journey to find some of the best. Before starting I took a look at the Create Community's reactions to Royal Mail, to see what was causing some people heartache, and it seemed like the recently-announced smaller-sized parcels and packages were a popular topic.

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The Crafter's Guide To Taking Great Photos

Blog banner on The Crafter's Guide To Taking Great Photos

We recently had the pleasure of reading a great book from author Heidi Adnum. "The Crafter's Guide To Taking Great Photos" offers an abundance of fantastic tips for taking fabulous photographs and making sure your products "Shine Online".

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Our Top Resources: 2015 EU VAT Rules for Digital Products & Services

Top Resources for Complying with the 2015 EU VAT Rules for Digital Products & Services

Changes to EU VAT rules from 1st January 2015 mean businesses selling digital products or services to EU consumers will now have to charge tax based on place of 'consumption' rather than 'supply'.

Businesses will need to apply the relevant tax to their products based upon the country the customer is purchasing from, then this tax will need to be paid to that country.

Here are our top resources to help you understand the changes and any action you may need to take.

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Changes to EU VAT rules for Digital Products and Services

Changes to VAT rules for digital products and services sold in the EU

On January 1st 2015 new EU VAT rules will come into effect which update the place of supply legislation for digital products and services. Businesses selling using Create’s Digital Products tool - ‘Downloadables’ will be affected by this change so please take the time to read this important blog post.

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5 Tips for a Healthy Home Workstation

5 Tips for Setting up a Healthy Home Workstation

Whether for convenience, financial or environmental reasons, many small-business owners are choosing to set up a workspace at home. Enterprise Nation reported in 2014 that one in 10 domestic properties are now home to at least 1 business and they contribute £300 billion to the British economy.*

And as people spend more and more hours in their home offices, it’s important that they are set up correctly.

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Craft a Creative Business


Earlier this month a copy of Craft a Creative Business arrived at our offices. It’s a new book by business expert and founder of The Sewing Directory, Fiona Pullen, and is jam packed full of useful information and advice on everything from improving your search engine ranking, to taking amazing photos.

I caught up with Fiona this week to find out how the book came about and to get her top tips on becoming an author.

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Tips for achieving a better work-life balance

Tips for achieving a work life balance

In this era of long hours spent on the computer, email on every mobile, and bosses that expect an immediate response no matter the time of day, there is no better time to be mindful of your own (hopefully) well-calibrated work/life balance. This is especially important for all you small business owners out there, putting in even more hours outside of the regular 9-5 in order to keep your own efforts thriving!

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5 Must Read Blogs for Business Owners

We've put together a quick list of five top business blogs we think every entrepeneur should read. All the blogs below feature fantastic resources that we believe will help your business succeed!


The Guardian Small Business Network:

Packed full

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How to use the Psychology of Colour to Brand your Business


This isn’t quite going to be one of those articles that encourages to you to use lots of red on your site because it’ll attract attention or to combine yellow with black to create a buy now button that everyone notices. I want to encourage you to think about colour a little differently.

Many of us are familiar with the idea that colour conveys meaning and can stir emotion. At a very simple level we know that red can be aggressive and blue is calming. But clichés aside, you can use colour to connect with your visitors at a subconscious level and persuade them to buy more, and that’s where things start to get really interesting.

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Adding the personal touch to your orders

The Wise House Packaging


Small personal touches can make all the difference to your customers and to the relationship they build with your business. Whether it is a note, a free gift or a great wrapping, these are opportunities to convey your brand personality to your customer and make them feel appreciated, thereby encouraging them to come back and buy again.

We spoke to Lucy from

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Using Your Business Experience To Supplement Your Income

Joanne Dewberry

There are many ways to supplement your income using the experience and knowledge you've gained while running a small business.

Below craft business owner, blogger and recently-published author Joanne Dewberry explains how she does it and gives tips on how to make more money just talking and writing about what you love!

For a chance to win a free copy of Joanne's book, 'Crafting a Successful Small Business', just check out our Twitter feed @create and retweet one of our tweets about this blog between 9am and 9pm today - COMPETITION OVER: Congratulations to @MrsHelenTP and @CottageSoapCo!

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Ecommerce Sellers Predict Business Growth For 2014

Ecommerce Sellers Predict Business Growth For 2014

Our recent end-of-year survey shows that business confidence for online selling in 2014 is high with 82% of ecommerce sellers surveyed feeling that 2014 would be a better year and that their business would grow.

The survey will help us to provide Create users with support materials that they have informed us will be relevant to their businesses and in a convenient format.

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Do You Need To Register Multiple Domains?

Register domain

You may have already bought your web domain, maybe you have a number of different domains or perhaps you are yet to claim even your first domain. In this blog we will be looking at domains, from the basics to multiple domains, why you may need them and how you should manage them.

Starting at the very beginning with "What is a domain?”: a domain is the address that people will type in to find your website. It's the area of the web that you own; for example, “www.create.net.” Much like a number plate on a car it is unique to you. It should be fairly short and certainly memorable so that your website is easy to find and share.

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Meet The Art & Craft Fair Organiser: Jon Tutton

Jon Tutton

Jon Tutton has been organising art and craft fairs for over 10 years. Currently, he runs MADE London, MADE Brighton and Brighton Art Fair. This week Create catches up with Jon to find out what makes an events organiser tick and discover some top tips for selling your wares at similar events.

How did your events get started and why did you start them?

Brighton Art Fair was our first event, started ten years ago, and it was an attempt to solve a paradox - Brighton was awash with artists but it didn't have many places to view and buy contemporary art. We felt that a big event to put art in Brighton under the spotlight and provide an opportunity to connect buyers with artists was sorely missing, so we organised one and immediately it was a big, popular, annual event.

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10 Tips For a Successful Cake Business

Ella Harvey - Strawberry Lane Cake Company

As part of National Baking Week we talked to Create bakers, tutors and cake decorators about how they run their successful businesses using Create.

Today we hear from Ella Harvery, owner of Strawberry Lane Cake Company, who shares with us her tips on running a scrumptious cake business...

There are lots of things to consider when starting a new cake business. Here are some of the key things I would recommend:

1. Register with your local council and go on a food hygiene training course. You can do these courses online and sometimes they are offered for free through local councils.

2. Practice, practice, practice. Keep pushing yourself and learning new skills and make sure you have the right skill set. The best people to test your cakes on are friends and family; they are also very good at spreading the word about your new cake business.

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Top Tips From Baking Businesses [#INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Tips From Baking Businesses

It's National Baking Week this week (14th-20th October) so we're celebrating not only with our very own Cake Off contest but also by talking to the owners of successful baking businesses using Create to sell their products and get their brands noticed.

In the below infographic five top bakers share their business tips, ranging from things to consider when taking orders right up to clever ways of using your website and blog.

If you're a baking business, let us know your top tips by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @create!

Click the preview below to see the full size image!

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Business Mum Sarah Shares Her Tips For a Balanced Life

Sarah Sienkiewicz

For Business Mum Week we asked the Create Community to share their tips on achieving the family/work balance when it comes to raising children and running your own business.

We had an amazing response and so far we've shared interviews with business mums as well as a graphic of succinctly put and inspiring quotes. Today we're handing over to life coach and Create Community Member Sarah Sienkiewicz who is here to share her top tips on achieving the ultimate balance.

I'm a stay-at-home mum to Sophie, aged 3, and Leon, aged 2. Sophie goes to pre-school between 8.45 and 11.45am and my husband works different days of the week according to his shift pattern (e.g. two days, then two nights, then four days off).

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How To Sell Your Products Through Retailers and Exhibitions

Photograph of Hannah Marshall

Today Hannah Marshall of Maker's Boutique tells us how to sell products through high street shops, retail outlets, galleries and exhibitions. She'll help you to understand what this entails, what to watch out for, what you can expect from stockists and what you need to deliver to be successful, plus some super top tips. You can check out Hannah's previous blog to see more on How To Sell At Craft Fairs.

Selling in a retail environment for the first time is very exciting. This can happen through various outlets; shops, galleries, exhibitions and even high street shops. It is the perfect way for many artists to sell their work if they are uncomfortable or shy selling it themselves, as many creative people tend to be. It is an ingenious way to have your work promoted and sold for you, so you can busy yourself with your favourite activity - making stuff!

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10 Top Tips From Business Mums [#INFOGRAPHIC]

Business Mums logo

Being a parent can be difficult at times. No sleep, extra shopping, shool runs... and that's before you factor in having to go to work!

However, many parents find that working for themselves and running their own online business is not only an empowering and profitable activity but a great way of being around for their children more, and Business Mum Week (1st-7th Oct) is a great way to celebrate this!

Below we share the top tips that Create users who achieve that crucial balance between work and life in an infographic, 'Tips From 10 Business Mums'.

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How To Sell At Craft Fairs

Hannah Marshall

You may have read our earlier blog introducing you to Hannah Marshall of Makers Boutique. In this article she will be giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about successful selling at craft fairs, including why you should, what you can expect and 5 tips from the expert!

There used to be a time when Art and Craft Fairs were a scary place, filled with tumbleweeds, toilet roll covers and gem-trees, and the only place to find creative innovative handmade products was at a Trade Fair or Gallery. Now I’m sure Fairs like that still exist, but the Art and Craft Fair has now evolved to showcase your wares in the company of equally talented contemporary artists and designers.

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Review: Best Email Marketing Services

Envelope Logo

Email marketing to your customer base is a great way to remind them that your services are there for them, let them know about any great deals or sales you are running, to let them know important industry news and company updates or just how valued they are to you as a customer. Yet finding the best email marketing service for your needs can be confusing.

I've reviewed three of the best email marketing services out there below. All are either free or have free trials. Let's take these services for a spin and put them to the test.

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How To Win Business Awards In The Parent & Baby Industry

Awards blog logo

Winning awards in your industry can be a huge help to your online business. Not only will you be able to gracefully gloat at your next industry event, but the benefits to the promotion of your work are excellent.

Not only will you be listed alongside other worthy winners and trusted suppliers and promoted by the awards organisers (free publicity, yay!) but very often you'll come away with a snazzy logo to proudly pop onto your website!

The trick to winning awards is knowing which awards to enter and how to go about it. Below I'll be looking at some amazing awards to enter in the parenting industry and talking to the award winners themselves, who are full of incredible tips to help you get your parent and baby business seen by all the right people!

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How To Become A Create Affiliate

Create Affiliate Program

Joining the Create Affiliate Program helps you to earn extra income, meaning your Create website could pay for itself - and more! This blog takes a look at what it means to be an affiliate with real-life case studies, how you can join up and top tips for getting the most out of the program. You don't even need to have a Create website - anyone can join!

Becoming a Create affiliate is a lot easier than you might think. Signing up is quick, you have access to regular reporting, and payments are made to you on a regular basis.

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How To Win Business Awards In The Wedding Industry

Awards Blog Logo

The wedding industry is one of the biggest industries out there, with UK weddings alone worth £10 billion each year!

It can be hard to stand out in this thriving industry but one of the best ways to get noticed is through winning awards.

There are many awards up for grabs so let's take a look at few you could enter and talk to previous and current nominees and winners to discover their tips on lining that virtual mantlepiece with trophies. After all, who knows? 2014's winner could be you!

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Remote Working: Does It Do The Job?

Lindsay Brand of Create

Create Customer Account Manager Lindsay Brand has contributed to a new ebook by Future Of Working entitled "Remote Working: Does It Do The Job?" See the ebook for yourself and find out how this has worked for us in this blog.

Remote working is a much-debated topic, with some business leaders seeing it as the future, whilst others believing it damages productivity. Earlier this year Yahoo Chief Marissa Mayer banned Yahoo staff from working remotely, garnering much press coverage over the decision. Yet Richard Branson believes that one day offices will be a thing of the past.

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Legal Requirements For Online Sellers

Legal Blog

Although selling online has inherent advantages over selling from a bricks and mortar location, it also has its very own legal requirements that can be tricky to navigate.

To provide a helping hand, we've put together this list of the main regulations you should consider when carrying out distance selling, ranging from advice on how you should describe your products to what information you need to present to visitors on your website.

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Create Makes A Date With Sussex Uni Speed Networking Event

Bethan Adelekan of Create.net

On Wednesday 5th June Create's resident HR ninja Bethan will be advising Sussex University Students on how they can make sure their CVs and covering letters are up to the best standards as part of the “Make it Happen... Finally” Speed Networking with Recruiters event. Find out more about the event and Create's tips for successful applications in this blog.

The event, which is in its second year, will see five recruiters giving advice and answering questions on various stages of the recruitment process.

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Free Postage Is Something Worth Shouting About

Postage logo

Put yourself in your customers' shoes: it's the start of the month and you've decided to scout the internet for bargains - after all, everyone deserves a treat! You stumble across the perfect watch, made just for you, and you immediately click “Add to Basket”.

You then pop straight through to the checkout, only to find the postage cost takes your order to more than you would like.

With a sigh of disappointment you abandon your purchase, hopeful that another website will offer a better postage option.

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Royal Mail Delivers Annual Price Shakeup

Royal Mail logo

Hot on the heels of what some dubbed 'Black Monday', when the government introduced large changes to welfare and benefits, the Royal Mail yesterday introduced their new pricing structure for 2013.

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Create's Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012

Create in 2012

Here at The Create Blog we aim to inform, educate, entertain and sometimes just give you free goodies!

2012 brought all this and more, and 2013's going to be even better, with lots of exciting updates on their way and new features being devised and tested in the Create Lab.

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Start The New Year With A January Sale

January Sale Header



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Page Speed: Why It Matters And How We're Improving It

Clock

Page performance is one of those subjects you can't avoid reading about on the web. Fast and optimised pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions. Faster websites can also have a beneficial effect on search engine rankings since services such as Google use page speed as a factor in their ranking algorithm.

There's also the little fact that when site visitors don’t have to wait for your content to load, they stick around longer.

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#AskCreate Twitter Q&A and Book Giveaway!

Global Entrepreneurship Week logo

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (12 Nov - 16 Nov) Create will be answering your questions on site promotion all day, every day, through our Q&A sessions on Twitter @create.

Each day we'll be covering a different topic on promoting your website, from SEO to branding and plenty more besides.

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Royal Mail Set To Roll Out 'Delivery To Neighbour' Scheme

Royal Mail logo

Love thy neighbour? Let's hope so!

In a move that sees Britain's national postal service attempt to catch up with independent couriers, the Royal Mail will soon be rolling out their 'Deliver to Neighbour' scheme to the whole of the UK (pending approval from Ofcom).

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Create Sponsors Mumpreneur UK 'Best Online Business' Award

Mumpreneur UK Logo

For the third year running, we're excited to announce that Create is sponsoring the 'Best Online Business' award at the Mumpreneur Awards 2012.

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The EU Cookie Law (and how it crumbled)

Cookie image

As you may have heard, the ICO issued a ‘clarification’ on their guidance regarding the new EU Cookie Law just a day before the law came into force on Saturday May 26th. It was clear to many that the law hadn’t really been specific enough in advising which kinds of websites should gain explicit consent from users before placing cookies on their device, and which websites could rely on ‘implied consent’.

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The EU Cookie Law, Create and You

Cookies image

IMPORTANT: THIS INFORMATION HAS NOW BEEN UPDATED. CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATED COOKIES BLOG POST.

Privacy is a serious concern to those using and building the web, so it’s understandable that those who write laws governing it should want to ensure that, as far as is possible, the privacy of the user remains integral to the web experience.

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Photography in a Snap!

The photographs of products on your site are the only way your customer can see what they're purchasing. Unlike a real shop, your customer can't handle and inspect your products, so you want the images to look great to really make them want to buy buy buy! It can be expensive to hire a photographer to take really nice pictures of your products. It can also be a nuisance when you want to
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SEO Tips: The most delicious seo tips you'll ever read!

Optimise for search engine TRAFFIC not search engine ROBOTS.

Google and other search engines are becoming increasingly more sophisticated at working out which sites are popular and which sites are genuinely providing value to the user.

A lot of people make the mistake of optimising a site for the search engine robots in an effort to manipulate where their site ranks for certain keyword(s). This practice can actually have a negative effect as the search listing becomes unattractive to the human eye.

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Watermarking your images? Things to consider...

There’s often a misconception that when something is on the internet it is free to be used and has entered the public domain, generally all images, photos and text is copyrighted to the person who created the content.

No one likes to think that someone will be out there copying their ideas, and using their text and images which they have spent hours working on, but it does happen and often it is simply an innocent mistake.

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