Latest News2020-02-27T12:28:25+00:00
603, 2024

70+ different trades, professions, groups & services

March 6th, 2024|

I was doing a little reminiscing as I pass the 20 years mark as a website designer, thinking of some of the lovely projects I’ve been involved in, and I wondered how many different types of people and groups I have designed websites for.

It’s possible some have slipped my memory, but so far I have helped:

Holiday cottages (lots) and their professional body, local authorities (several), a roofing company, a garden office builder, a music teacher, a choir, support for care workers, a language teacher, a campervan converter and rental agency, B&Bs (lots), a farmer and a long distance walking farmer, a truck driver, a dentist, a quilt maker, a plumber, music festivals (two), a house builder, an estate agent, local communities, various charities, a museum, a library, two GP surgeries, a poet and author, a walking tour guide, a driving tour guide and their professional body, a piano tuner, a yoga teacher, a genealogist, Buddhist meditation groups (two), politicians (three), outdoor theatre, a marquee hire company, a carpenter, an author, a group campaigning for EU membership, campsites, artists (three), a photographer, a carpet fitter, an Alexander teacher, a counsellor, a blacksmith, an energy advice centre, a junior football club, a cosmetic treatment company, a craniosacral therapist, a foreign exchange dealer, a reflexologist, a fish supplier, a catering company, a personal trainer, a solar panel installer, a Manx language playgroup, a vodka bar, a chamber of trade, local heritage groups (two), friends of a church, a map maker, an accountant, an orienteering group, a group of restaurants and cafes, a business coach, a singer songwriter, a Viking festival, a religious walking group, and me, a website designer.


1704, 2023

More shop-front photography underway

April 17th, 2023|

I’ve had a busy Easter “holiday” with the photography of all visible shops and businesses in the village of Port St Mary in the Isle of Man. This was a repeated of the work done ten years ago and represents the completion of the “ten years on” projects for the four towns and villages that were included in the original project.

I’m now turning to expanding the project into other places, beginning with the small shopping area in the centre of old Ballasalla. And I’m in discussions with other Manx towns about including them too, either this year or next. Fingers crossed!

See all the photo comparisons on the website, including Port St Mary in a few weeks from now.

602, 2023

“Laxey and Port Erin 2012 – Ten years on” published

February 6th, 2023|

2022 turned more of my attention again to photographic projects, and I expanded the “ten years on” project to include both Laxey and Port Erin. It’s very rewarding work and of very contrasting kinds of work. This ranges from a full-on week of fieldwork meeting hundreds of people and persuading them to take part, followed by weeks more of office based photo processing and incorporating into the website. This is all preceded by work to gain funding for the project spanning many months, and succeeded by work to publicise the results. Then a sigh of relief before starting all over again. Can I get Port St Mary on board for the ten years on treatment this year?

Read about the latest results on, and see all the photo comparisons on the website

601, 2023

New website for Knocakloe Beg Farm

January 6th, 2023|

It’s always a joy to do work with Knockaloe Beg Farm. A fresh new design for their website that I’ve managed for about ten years with an aim to show off all the delights of the farm, made easier with some wonderful aerial photography. This was their second re-design from myself, around 6 years on from the last. My appreciative clients said: “Thanks to Chris Littler for his great work – we love it!”

609, 2022

The Laxey Institute

September 6th, 2022|

I’ve done a number of websites for both businesses and local authorities in Laxey, Isle of Man, but this was the first for a charity in the village. This often presents challenges when there is a committee of people with strong views of how the site should look, and we achieved a good result that was immediately effective in helping the local community book their space in the facility and for the public to keep in touch with events at the centre.

1612, 2021

“Peel 2011 – Ten years on” published

December 16th, 2021|

At the end of October ‘21 I spent a busy and enjoyable week in Peel visiting and photographing all the businesses I could find. People are often surprised to know there are as many as 140 businesses in Peel. I photographed them 10 years ago too and now we have a comparison to see who has come and gone. So, how was the experience, and what did I find?

I began the photography with a little apprehension as to whether people would still be as welcoming and happy to participate in the project as they were in 2011. By definition everyone I approach is at work and has a job to do, and I had to ask them to stop what they were  doing and pose for a photograph, something that many people don’t enjoy at the best of times. I needn’t have worried though, nearly everyone was friendly and welcoming, and many went out of their way to be as helpful as possible, and I can count on the thumbs of two hands the number of people who were actively unfriendly. An amazing result that has made the project very successful. Thank you!

The atmosphere around Peel was in fact very upbeat. Many shop windows had been decorated ready for Hop Tu Naa at the end of the week and the pride in the displays and the shops themselves was evident. The Hop tu Naa window dressing competition had evidently attracted a lot of people to the streets, and I saw many families taking part. This is one of the initiatives of the new Peel Traders group that has ideas and enthusiasm and is already putting them into practice. Many shops on Michael Street had their doors open, which also made the shops more welcoming. I discovered this had been an innovation in response to Covid and the new need for well ventilated spaces, but the practice had continued, despite poor weather, as people realised the positive effect on welcoming people through the doors.

As well as the welcoming atmosphere around the town, I do feel there are some green shoots appearing in the shopping area. I think it’s fair to say Michael Street, and Peel more generally, hasn’t had the best of reputations for shopping over the years, but there are some new people doing new things successfully all around the town. Examples include the two new gyms (West Coast Fitness and Crossfit)  at opposite ends of the town, the Promenade kiosk opening into the evenings and in poorer weather, and the unique combination of bicycle repairs and coffee shop in Tyred and Cranky seems a great innovation. The latter had yet to be converted from the old Top to Toe at the time of the photography, but six weeks on is already open and thriving. And food and music is to be combined in the new space on the Quay for the Black Dog Oven, also adding much needed life to evenings in Peel. Our project sponsors Corlett Bolton & Co have also expressed a vote of confidence in Peel and Michael Street by expanding and relocating there from their previous premises on Market Street. The new development on the site of the old gas works, already housing Artreach Studios (who moved from St John’s) and Crossfit is adding life to that area of town and clearly has further potential too. Art sales also have a new presence in town with Strooys Gallery near Market Place.

With this project completing, my thoughts turn to Laxey and Port Erin next year as they will be due their “ten years on” projects, and Port St Mary in 2023. And maybe some new towns/villages would like to get in on the act?

511, 2021

Peel 2011: Ten years on

November 5th, 2021|

Last week I spent five wonderful days in Peel, Isle of Man, photographing all the shops, businesses, organisations and their workers. The criteria for inclusion was simply that there was a “shop front” that is visible to the public, and that it lay within the town of Peel. I did this ten years ago too, so now we have a ten years on comparison and can see which businesses have closed or left, which are new, and who has simply moved along the street or around the corner (a surprising number!). I’ve yet to count the businesses I captured, but in 2011 there were over 130 and it will be similar this time. Although I’d allowed five days for the photography, compared to only three in 2011, I knew at the beginning of the week that stormy weather was on its way and so I made maximum use of the daylight hours on the first two days, capturing around 80 premises. Many high street shops were closed on Monday, some also on the next two days, and I walked up to 10 miles a day until I captured them all during opening hours. Many restaurants, and one or two others, were unfortunately closed the whole week for refurbishment and staff holidays, but I’m happy to say the whole town was captured in its true state, just as it was in the last week of October 2021, and complete with Hop tu Naa displays in many cases, which really brightened up an otherwise dark autumnal week.

So what’s changed in the ten years? I’m grateful to more than a handful of brave people who allowed me to photograph them again ten years older! Many other businesses remained the same, but with new staff members, and many businesses were new to the town. There has a been a notable shift towards service-related businesses: there are around five new beauty salons since 2011, and two new gyms and a Pilates venue. Other new leisure facilities included an art studio and two bicycle repair shops. Notable businesses to disappear however from the high street were two banks, and an opticians, pet shop, a dressmaker, and a launderette amongst others.

I now continue the big task of selecting, tweaking, and uploading over 300 photographs to the website, and I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you in a few weeks’ time. I am indebted to the generosity of Culture Vannin, Corlett Bolton & Co., and Peel Heritage Trust for supporting the work, and to the good humour of over 100 Peel workers who stood, often in the rain, and nearly always in the wind, to be photographed. Thank you!

1910, 2021

Manx Shop Fronts

October 19th, 2021|

I’m very excited to be starting work on a project that has been a long time in the initiation stage. I have secured funding from Culture Vannin and other sponsors to repeat the work I did in Peel ten years ago to photograph and interview all businesses in the town that have a visible presence on the high street. It’s such valuable work to document social and economic trends in image format and will be of great interest to future generations. The outputs will be displayed on the new website, and submitted to Manx National Heritage for long term safe keeping.

1903, 2021

A busy spring time

March 19th, 2021|

The new year has brought a flurry of activity to complete four projects that were initiated some time ago, ranging from 6 months, to 7 years! We have a new website for The Camper Company, a new business for an old client in the Isle of Man which will be hiring and converting campervans for people to enjoy the Manx countryside to the fullest. A new holiday cottage website for Wyndell Cruck Cottage on the northern tip of Peak District near Stocksbridge. And completing soon will be a site revamp for Visit Port Erin, and the Oxford Insight Meditation group. A lovely wide variety of work.

211, 2020

Award for Go-Mann Adventures

November 2nd, 2020|

Congratulations to Andrew Foxon and Go-Mann Adventures for winning the award of Isle of Man’s Leading Tour Operator 2020, from “World Travel Awards”.

And thanks for crediting my small piece in the puzzle!

“Go-Mann Adventures provides guided walks, guided tours and outdoor skills courses on the Isle of Man.

2020 has been a difficult year for anyone in the leisure and tourism business, but with the support of Island residents, visitors from Guernsey, Chris Littler web design and the Department for Enterprise, Go-Mann has offered a wide range of guided walks and outdoor skills courses during 2020.
The World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Voting for the Award comes from qualified executives working within travel and tourism and the consumer travel buyer.
Andrew Foxon said:
“I’m delighted that the people who have been on walks, tours and courses with me have enjoyed them so much that Go-Mann Adventures has been given this award. The Isle of Man is a great place to live and visit, with so much to explore and sharing this great place is at the heart of what I do.”
1610, 2020

Spanish with Victoria

October 16th, 2020|

My partner, Victoria, is starting a new venture for her Spanish language business. Moving from face to face to online teaching means now that the whole world is her oyster, not just local people in Sheffield. It’s been an exciting challenge to develop a new website to promote Spanish with Victoria alongside the development of the business model. We are launching the site early to capture some business before the Christmas period ready for an intensive online course to begin in January, and the website will develop enormously over the next couple of months.

910, 2020

New site for a Sheffield music teacher

October 9th, 2020|

Many of us are finding news ways of working in the Covid-19 environment and having to think a little differently about how to reach new clients. This has been the case for the owner of my latest website. Fiona Robinson is a music tutor specialising in flute, piano, recorder and music theory lessons. Pre-Covid all this work was done in face to face lessons; more recently she has moved to online teaching, and now, going forwards, it will be a combination of the two. Fiona’s new website, only days old, has already shown up in search results and yielded its first new enquiry, which is very reassuring!

906, 2020

Go-Mann Adventures back in business

June 9th, 2020|

Many of my clients have suffered big, or complete, losses of business over the last few months. I’m happy to have been able to work with one of them, Go-Mann Adventures, during this period to carry out a complete overhaul of their website in time for the coming weeks when they are able to resume their business. For Manx residents I can highly recommend their offering – do go to the new website for Go-Mann Adventures and choose a guided walk or skills course from the great selection on offer. UK residents will need to wait a little longer until it’s possible to visit the Island!

2003, 2020

Photo projects – 10 years on

March 20th, 2020|

Starting in 2011 I began a series of photography projects involving documenting the whole retail areas of towns and villages in the Isle of Man. They were fun and fascinating, even at the time. But of course the real value of such projects is revealed years down the line when you can look back and see the changes. So I’m looking forward to repeating the first of the projects next year in Peel and revealing just how much has moved on. If you’d like to get involved, and, in particular, can suggest sources of funding for the work, please get in touch. >> Peel 2011

1803, 2020

Move to online meetings

March 18th, 2020|

My work is generally quite a solitary affair, but you can’t beat face to face to meetings at least once for every project to really to get to grips with the issues and ensure the best outcomes. In steps Covid-19 and turns all upside down. So now for the foreseeable, I’m proposing to use online methods for meetings, with Zoom being my preferred option, but I can accommodate clients’ own preferred methods, including Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp etc.

2702, 2020

Green shoots of spring

February 27th, 2020|

As I look out of my office window (into my back garden) I see nature springing wonderfully back into life, and it feels like my work life is mirroring that at the moment with some new and vary varied projects coming on stream. I’m in the early stages of developing new websites for Sheffield For Europe, a genealogist, a poet, and a music teacher.

401, 2020

New year highlights

January 4th, 2020|

One of the highlights of the beginning of the year is to publish the shortlist of the best photographs of the year in the annual competition for Peel in the Isle of Man. I’ve been running the competition for about 15 years and am never disappointed by the beauty of the town as displayed in the photos. You can can see the shortlist on the Peel Online website, or head over to Facebook where you can more easily share the images with friends.

1411, 2019

Are you getting ripped off?

November 14th, 2019|

I’ve been contacted by two potential customers in the last few days with shocking stories of being ripped off by extortionate monthly fees for their website. Enticed with promises of free website design, they have then been subjected to poor service and high prices. I have set out a much fairer alternative for them that should give them better results and for a much lower price overall. Of course they may find suitable services elsewhere too, but I’m happy to offer them my approach and a little free advice! Please do contact me if you believe you’re not on a good deal at present.

1410, 2019

My ethical approach to design

October 14th, 2019|

The way I work is important to me, and my job satisfaction depends on it. I believe that a sound working relationship with my clients benefits both of us.

Firstly, I keep prices low by working efficiently with you to get the job done quickly, but without cutting corners. I assess all projects for value for money and specify the project such that spending more would not be justified by the benefits, and spending less would lose too much.

After site completion I offer complete flexibility over methods of keeping your site up to date. I can train you to do some or all of the updating yourself, or, if you prefer a hands off approach, I can do it all for you. And importantly, I only charge for the time taken to do your updates, often only a few minutes – there are no minimum fees.

Throughout all the work the advice you receive is impartial, and if I think someone else is better placed to do your work I’ll tell you. Or if I think your proposal would not give you value for money I’ll discuss it with you and see if we can find a way to ensure your money is well spent.

Overall I hope you’ll then be very happy with my service and happy to recommend me to your contacts. Almost all my business comes from word of mouth, although a recent customer found me on a Google search for “ethical web design”, which was very nice to hear!

209, 2019

Walk for Freedom

September 2nd, 2019|

After a long summer break with lots of travelling with the family, it’s now back to school time, and back into a busy period of work for me throughout the autumn. I’ve just set up a quick blog for clients and friends, the Andersons, who are about to embark on a gruelling walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Good luck to them, and you can follow progress at John’s Walk for Freedom. I’m now looking forward to meeting up with various clients, new and old, in the Isle of Man in a couple of weeks’ time.

2105, 2019

A busy month

May 21st, 2019|

I love how very varied my work can be, and I’m quite busy now with a number of new projects underway, in addition to looking after around 60 existing websites. There has a been a new site for my plumber – we have been each other’s clients for around 7 years; a new site for the Isle of Man Tour Guides association currently at draft stage; a new site with a very quick turnaround for a local coaching company. Also under discussion at the moment is a new website for a hospital consultant!

2603, 2019

A job for the nicest and best Spanish teacher

March 26th, 2019|

My partner, Victoria Munguia, has a business that provides private tuition to learn Spanish. She gets most of her students through the website I set up a few years ago, and it achieves top rankings on a number of relevant search terms. It was time however to bring the site up to date with a new responsive design and an SSL certificate to keep those good rankings in places. Spanish Tuition Sheffield

1203, 2019

Website for Sheffield for Europe

March 12th, 2019|

This job is a little different from the usual. Sheffield for Europe, a non-party political group campaigning for a people’s vote on leaving the EU, have a new website very capably set up by another volunteer, but more manpower is needed to maintain it. I have stepped in to do my bit to help ensure there is democratic solution to this issue, this time based on fuller knowledge of the options on the table.

1701, 2019

New for Old

January 17th, 2019|

Much of my work these days is with existing clients. Some of them need regular SEO and promotion work through social media, which is usually carried out each month. But a big part of my current work is in redeveloping old HTML websites to bring them up to date with fully responsive designs, and an easy to use content management system. The latest is example is a new site for Malden Roofing in Sheffield, whose previous website had been serving them for a whole decade!

1409, 2018

Isle of Man Biosphere Partner

September 14th, 2018|

I have become a business partner of the Unesco Isle of Man Biosphere. For me, this particularly signifies that, in my work with clients on the Isle of Man, I am aiming to:

  • Protect our natural resources – I work from a paper-free office and have a zero commute time to my office in the back garden. I encourage clients to make the best of paper-free marketing by using websites and social media;
  • Develop our economy in a sustainable way – I’m proud to work in a very ethical way, supporting other small businesses like my own through provision of effective websites, that are also very good value for money.
  • Support and promote our cultural heritage – for example through my involvement with many cultural and community based organisations over the years, notably Peel Heritage Trust, and Peel Online on behalf of Peel Commissioners; Peel Carnival and I did a website for the Manx Energy Advice Centre in its early days.
  • Engage with the local community – in my projects to photograph the retail sectors of 4 Manx villages and towns I touched upon almost the whole working community in these places, recording a key aspect of life to be preserved for future generations. Through Peel Online and other local authority websites I aim to engage with the local communities through provision of information on local life, events, and places to visit.
1109, 2018

New website!

September 11th, 2018|

New website.

I’ve been designing websites since 2002, but this new site is only the third I have designed for my own business! I’d like to say that my sites were so future proof that they didn’t need replacing any sooner, but that might be stretching the truth a little. It is true that I have been busy enough with client work that I haven’t found enough time to devote to my own, a familiar story for many a tradesman I think. It’s also true that for me, like many of my clients, having a website, or doing any kind of promotion, is a necessary evil in order to help the business flourish. I am lucky that almost all of my work comes through word of mouth, and the website really isn’t there to attract lots more work. Instead it is a way for people to find me if they have already heard of me, and a way to find out a bit more about what I do; to find out more of what is involved; and to get to understand some of the jargon.

The site is a work in progress and I’ll be adding more over the coming weeks.

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