Website Legalities Updated 

Do you remember my last article on Website Legalities? It covered the privacy laws relating to Cookies and Privacy Policies and the mandatory details you have to display on your business website. If that was a lot to take in, well sadly for the individual entrepreneur there is a lot more you need to know.

Mandatory Details

As an individual entrepreneur, as well as the Cookies and Privacy policy, you have to display personal details that identify you, and the type of activity you carry out. 

Identification

For all activity types – Commercial, Craft and Regulated – your business website must display the following mandatory identity details: 

  • Name and Surname
  • Home Address
  • Telephone Number and Email Address
  • Name of the Director, and name of any co-director or editor if there is one
  • Name, company address and phone number of your business  website host. 

Activity

Additionally, for the type of activity you are registered to carry out, you must display the following mandatory Activity information:

Commercial

  • Registration number in trade and companies register
  • Individual tax identification number
  • General Terms and Conditions of Sale, including price in euros, Tax, delivery costs, date of delivery, payment terms, after-sales service, right of withdrawal, duration of any offers, the cost for phone calls (standard call charges, etc).

Artisan

  • Registration number in the trades directory
  • Or registration number in the register of companies of the chambers of trades in the departments of Moselle, Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin.

Regulated

  • Reference to applicable professional rules
  • Indication of professional title
  • Name of the EU state in which the professional title was granted
  • Name of the order or organisation with which a registration was made

 

This article covers the information required for individual entrepreneurs. There are other mandatory requirements for companies registered in France. All the information for individuals and companies can be found on the Service-Public.Fr site.

 

Tick for compliance - individual entrepreneur

 

 

 

Non-Compliance

Best case, if you don’t comply you will get fined €1500. But do you really want to be worrying about getting caught?

Worse case, if you’re found to be processing data without authorisation you could get 5 years’ imprisonment and a €300,000 fine. 


Non-professional Websites

I’m including this category for completeness. Personal blogs are slightly different. You are not obliged to reveal your identity, but you can still be fined.

If you decide to remain anonymous, then you only have to display the identity details of your website host. Your hosting company has to have your identification details in case of legal proceedings.

If you don’t want to remain anonymous then you have to provide your identification details. Name, Surname, Home Address, Phone Number and Email Address. 

Non-compliance for personal blogs may result in a year in prison and a €75,000 fine.

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need additional assistance? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Creating Great Visual Content

Let’s be honest. Do you think that posting the occasional out of focus photo on Facebook or Instagram is a very effective marketing strategy? I have even seen photos uploaded that are not the right way up and have to tried to tilt my phone and my neck to see what it is. 

Apart from being a fool for twisting my neck, more importantly, if someone can’t spend a few minutes preparing a quick post I don’t want to do business with them.

I’ve posted a few blogs recently about improving content with professional photography, planning your content, etc. And when the following article landed in my mailbox it tied all of these topics together and also provided some ‘Visual Best Practices’. There’s not only information on how to define your content marketing strategy, but a great visual of a mind-map to go with it! 

Read the article – Visual Content Best Practices

Tell a Story

If you put in a little thought, time and effort into what you publish, people are going to remember it more. They will link great visual content to your business and you will stand out over your competitors. Think of it as telling a visual story. 

What images can you use to help to improve your text content and make it more memorable?

great visual content

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Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Enhance your online presence


As a business owner, the best way to enhance your online presence is by having your own website. And I’m not just saying that because I test websites for a living.

Social Media outlets are quick to set up. They’re fairly easy to manage, and free to run (at the minute). But what happens when they change their policies or accidentally delete your account? It does happen, and when it does you have lost your whole business profile, contacts, showroom, pricing. All gone overnight.

Whereas if you own your business website you have control of your own destiny. You own it – lock, stock and barrel. If anything goes wrong then it’s generally your own fault, but it is recoverable.

Responsive Website Design - SAA IT Test Consultant
Responsive Website Design

Choosing a Website designer

Once you have made the decision to have your own business website, for it to be successful I would recommend using a professional web designer. It doesn’t have to be a big company and it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone local either. It can be more beneficial to have someone based in the same country, because a) if you have any problems they’re in the same timezone and b) they should be familiar with the website legalities for your country.

What else do you need to know? Knowing how much they charge would be a good start, but there a few other questions you should be asking too.

 

In a study by website designer Joseph Putnam – 94% of people couldn’t trust a website that was unattractive, had navigation problems, or was challenging to access on a mobile device

What’s included in the price?

Does it include registering a domain? Will the domain (mybusiness.com) be registered to you? Does is include hosting? 24/7 support? Does it include Search Engine Optimisation? Does it include making changes if you don’t like the first draft? 

If any of these service aren’t included ask how much extra they cost, and get everything in writing.

 

Website board with different tags

How long have they been in business?

You want someone that’s been around a while, experienced and isn’t going to disappear in a couple of weeks. Ask for recommendations and also ask to see their portfolio. Do they have designs that appeal to you? Do the websites look professional? Can you view the websites fully on different devices – laptop, mobiles, tablets?

Ask them about Responsive Website Design

What do they need from you?

Obviously if you are paying for a service you want to have some input. You’re the business owner, you know your business and should have an idea of the kind of image you want to present. You need to get this across to your website designer and make sure they understand it fully. Show them some websites that you like the look of and ask them whether they will be writing the content or whether you need to provide it. Have you got a logo? What about your colour scheme? 

Update 03/08/2020 – some of the web designers that I have spoken to recently about Cookie and Privacy policies have informed me that it is the client that should tell them if and how they want the cookie banner to be displayed. The onus is on the website owner to make sure the website is legally compliant, not the web designer. So please, bear this in mind and check out the legalities for french business sites 

How long is it going to take?

Before you part with any money find out how long it will take them? There’s no point placing an order for a website if it isn’t going to be ready when you need to start advertising your products and services. They need to fit your timetable, not the other way around.

Finally

I have worked closely with website designers over the years and I now focus on testing website from a user perspective. If you need any recommendations from me then just ask. I’m always happy to help and can give you some hints and tips on what to look for in a designer’s portfolio. In fact I’ve even written a couple of articles on it recently. Check them out.

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Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Website Legalities 

If you have a website, blog or app on the Internet then you have to comply with privacy laws. Regardless of whether your website is professional or non-professional, you must display certain mandatory information. If you don’t comply with the website legalities then you risk being fined €1500.

In the worse case scenario, unauthorised computer processing of data you’ve collected could result in 5 years’ imprisonment and a €300,000 fine.

Have I got your attention now?

Websites legalities is a fairly hefty topic and the mandatory information depends on whether you are an individual, company, type of activity, etc. So I’m going to break it down into smaller chunks and just cover Cookies and Privacy Policies here.

 

Follow the rules Please Stay on the path

Cookies & Privacy

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for several years, if you’re collecting personal information you are responsible for that data. Having a Privacy Policy is your commitment to guarding the privacy of your user’s data.

 

“When operating a website or mobile app, you should be ready to answer questions that your users, business partners, or authorities might have about the privacy policy of your service. If you work with other businesses, you [might] need to share with them your privacy policy and make sure you abide by it”.  Extract taken from PolicyMaker.io website

Business website owners aren’t the only ones who have to comply. Theses website legalities apply to professional and non-professional websites. 

  • A professional website is one that is used by a business, either an individual or a company. The compulsory details to be displayed will depend on the type of activity. 
  • A non-professional website is one that’s used by an individual and is not used for business. For example, a blog.   

To comply with the law all websites must display the terms relating to the use of cookies, and information relating to the use of personal data.

Trust

Apart from the risk of a fine, non-compliance could have other more serious effects. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that users will avoid interacting with a website if they think their privacy is at risk. You need to comply with the law if you want to be seen as trustworthy. 

Find more detailed info, including cookie definition and a free online policy generator at ‘Cookie Law’ and PolicyMaker.io .

Check out Top 12 Trustworthy Policy Generators. Be aware, although most claim to be free, some will apply fees depending on the type of business. 

Choose a policy that’s most relevant to your website activity, personalise it and display it prominently on your website. Enable a Cookie pop-up so it displays when visitors access your website. This allows them to accept, reject or change their preferences. Also consider adding a link to your policy on your Contact page. Prove to your customers that they can trust you.

If you have any problems with setting this up, get in touch and I will do my best to help you out. If I can’t help then I’m sure I’ll find someone that can!

 

I hope this article has been useful. The next one in the Website Legalities series will cover individual entrepreneurs exercising commercial, craft and regulated activities.

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

RESULTS: Good Quality Images Will Capture Their Attention

A picture paints a thousand words

After 18 months of testing, 56% of usability testers said that it was good quality product images that captured their attention first, and then they read the description. 

Although the Hotel News article’s user testing results are based on a booking system, the No.1 response can be applied to practically any enterprise that sells products – quality photos matter.

People remember 80% of what they see

Let’s stick with hotels for the time being and imagine you want to book a romantic weekend for 2 in or around Dublin, Ireland.

In Google Search for ‘romantic weekend Dublin room service’. Click on TripAdvisor’s ‘Ten Best Romantic Hotels in Dublin‘. 

I pick one from the list ‘The Marker Hotel’. It’s a bit out of my price range but the room photo has piqued my interest. There are over 1000 photos, but check out the Room/Suite ones and tell me which ones you prefer. Scroll through them and it’s pretty obvious which are professional and which are guests photos.

If you’re looking  for a hotel you don’t just want to see a hotel room. You want to see the bathroom, the dining room, the pool and spa facilities. But they have to be captivating, good quality images in order to entice you in, like The Marker Hotel. 

Now apply that principle and search for your product. Better still get someone else to search for your product and give you their honest feedback.

Regardless of what you are ‘selling’, good quality images are going to catch the shopper’s attention before they read the description. You need to showcase the whole product, from different angles, and in different settings if possible. Think about what you would want to see as a potential buyer. 

 

“We are highly visual creatures and repeatedly buy with our eyes. This is especially true when it’s time to book a hotel room. Potential guests want to see where they will be staying”. 

Read the full article: Creating a picture perfect booking experience Secondary Link

Hiring a professional photographer might sound like an unnecessary expense but, if you want to boost your sales, your photos need to be good quality images. High resolution digital photos will give sharper results, and hiring a professional photographer may turn out to be the best business investment you ever made. Ask for recommendations, check out their website portfolio and chat with them about your product requirements.

If you want to boost your sales, think like your customer or ask someone else to. Then act on their feedback.

Most buyers are looking for inspiration so good quality images will capture their attention and help to create a picture perfect ordering experience! 

 

I hope you found this article useful.

If you think there is anything that could have been better, let me know.

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Tattoo parlour shopfront

Key Design Components

  • Business Logo – if you’ve got one try and place it in the top left corner so it’s the first thing people see. Don’t surround it with clutter, let it stand out. but don’t make it the size of a billboard. Think Quality not Quantity.
  • Site Menu – keep it simple and use familiar terms, like About Us, Services, Accommodation, Gallery, Contact, Location, etc
  • Main Image or ‘Hero Shot’ – this should be the most important aspect of your homepage so make it good. Select your image carefully because this is the focal point of your window display and helps tempt customers into your shop.
  • Headline – place it above, below or within the main image. Keep it short but make it about reader – what can you offer them?
  • Call to Action (CTA) button – It’s called an Action button for exactly that reason, but what do you want them to do? Don’t just say ‘Click here’, be intentional – ‘Show me’, ‘Get a Quote’, ‘Find out more’.
  • Blog – having a blog increases engagement with your visitors so include links to recent posts. Hopefully if they like them they’ll sign-up
  • Introduction – start your conversation with your visitor but keep it concise, informative and friendly. What can you offer them?
  • Portfolio – if your business offers products or services that can be showcased with images or descriptions then add them, but don’t overdo. If there’s a lot direct them with a CTA ‘Show Me More’.

Everybody loves a freebie

  • Offer – feature an offer, maybe a free trial or money off. Everybody loves a freebie and it will help generate leads which can turn into more business, more referrals, more income.
  • Social Proof – Reviews, ratings, number of satisfied customers, awards, press releases. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
  • Subscription – encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletters so they’ll be first to hear about offers and new products. And make your Privacy Policy clear so that they know how you will use their personal data.
  • Footer – always create a footer and consider which elements you’ll include – contact info, social media icons, email subscription, links to latest blog, awards (Social Proof).

 

pizza by the slice window sign key design components

Business Website Homepage

Whether you already have your own business website, or you are creating a new one, think carefully about the homepage design and how you are going to entice customers into your online shop. Certain key design components should be included but overall it’s best to keep the page small, but strong.

The best window displays aren’t accidentally designed and chaotic. They’re carefully intended to highlight the business’ best products and services in a way that is pleasing to the eye and tempts us to go inside.

Before we look at what key design components should be included on your business homepage, let’s think about the content and the purpose of your homepage. 

Think ‘Shopfront’

Wherever you share the link for your business website inevitably it will navigate the visitor to your homepage, so imagine it’s your shopfront. When we’re window-shopping there has to be something of interest to encourage us to go into the shop. Visually or verbally you need to have something on display which is going to entice the customer in.


  1. What do I offer? 
  2. What will make someone choose my business over my competitor offering the same products or services? 
  3. What kind of business image do I want to portray – honest, reliable, trustworthy, value-for-money, family-friendly?
  4. If I advertise myself as a professional – define ‘professional’ – what do I do that I consider to be professional? 
  5. What time is the shop open?

Sign saying less is more - key design components

 

Less Is More

If you are not confident in writing your content then hire someone to write it for you, because poorly written content is bad for your image. You want people to remember your business for your products, not your spelling mistakes. If you decide to do it yourself then write it in a word or google document first and make sure the spell-checker is on. There are other free tools you can use, such as Grammarly, which will even suggest ways of re-wording sentences too.  Be careful though, because sometimes tools can suggest incorrect changes, e.g. if the term you want to use is in French, such as place names.

 

Unbiased Review

I would also recommend you ask an outsider to review your content. Let them view the page and tell you what their first impressions are and give you honest feedback.

Is it clear what you do?

Too much or too little information?

Is it easy to read?

 

Remember

Include as many of the key design components as you can. Keep the whole page short, strong and to the point. Sell yourself but don’t over-exaggerate. Don’t lie about your experience and definitely do not belittle your competitors.

 

 

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Find Out More 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

 

Don’t be afraid to ask

As a training officer one of the first things I said to my new trainees was ‘The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked’. That quote came from someone that trained me to be a training officer (whose name I can’t remember now) and I still apply it to this day. Especially when I’m struggling to understand or remember some of the common web design terms.

Even now, though I’ve worked in the I.T industry for over 20 years, I still sometimes feel out of my depth when I’m communicating with a web designer. I have total admiration for programmers, network support engineers, developers and designers. Anyone who can build a fully-operational website in a few hours, when I’ve taken weeks to do mine in WordPress, earns my total respect. I’m still not happy with my site but now it’s out there I will keep researching, learning and updating it until I get it right. And as I’m learning I’m continually adding to my own personal Glossary of Web Design Terms..

I’m sharing some of the common web design terms and abbreviations that I’ve collated over the years. Hopefully they’ll improve your overall understanding of the WWW and conversations with your website designer. But remember, techies are human too, so if you don’t understand something, just ask.

 

 

Read more >

Basic Taxonomies – Categories and Tags

person typing on white wireless keyboard

If you write about a variety of subjects, categories can help your readers find the posts that are most relevant to them. For instance, if you run a consulting business, you may want some of your posts to reflect work you’ve done with previous clients, while having other posts act as informational resources. In this particular case, you can set up 2 categories: one labelled Projects and another labelled Resources. You’d then place your posts in their respective categories.

Read more >