Nick Arkell logo

About Me

Hi, I am Nick (or Nicholas), a creative and technical Cestrian, car enthusiast and 007 fan. I have been lucky enough to do some interesting work like report live from the Olympic Torch Relay in my home city of Chester and work for Walt Disney World in Florida. I enjoy designing websites / writing mind-numbing code (the 'proper' job as some parents would say) and talking on the radio / DJing just happens to be something else I do professionally.

I am a website designer in Chester near Northwich and Knutsford, DJ in Altrincham near Sale and Hale and radio presenter / travel news broadcaster on Dee 106.3, XS Manchester, Yorkshire Coast Radio and Lakeland Radio. If any of those services can help your business, please get in touch. If not, get YouTube open, sit back and watch some cat videos.

My name is mis-pronounced and spelt incorrectly on a regular basis so was it Nickar Kell you thought you were looking for or maybe Nick R Kell? You're probably in the right place as Arkell is not the most common of names and sometimes mistaken for other variations!

That said, I share my Arkell family name with a brewery. Arkell's brewery is a pretty successful business in Swindon and they make a few good ales but I have so far failed to find a link with them. There are a few other people called Nicholas Arkell and Nick Arkell, none of which I have personally met but I like to think they are good blokes.

...a creative and technical Cestrian

Website Design and Development

Overview

Web development is so much more than a page that says a few words about your services. I really enjoy seeing people use the products I have developed, aiming to give end users the best experience and bring more customers to your business. A portfolio of websites can be seen below.

Do-It-Yourself and templates

No to off-the-shelf templates

I prefer not use pre-designed templates to build websites. Sometimes they do the job but more often than not, they either contain a lot of unnecessary code or worse still; do not have much-needed components for a particular website. Some companies use them a lot and they will argue that it allows them to provide customers with a website at an affordable price. I can do that without sacrificing your site's unique stance in a very crowded web!

Thinking of doing it yourself?

I always provide my clients with the means to easily update their website via a system that can be used by anybody with basic computer knowledge. However, there are a number of businesses now offering entire websites on a do-it-yourself basis. The problem is; there is no such thing as a free lunch!

If you are starting a business, look at the website as your shopfront except more important. A shop can be seen by a few thousand people walking past in the street. Your website however can be seen by millions potentially. For an investment that could only be the cost of one or two jobs depending what your industry is, why try to cut corners with your main online presence?

A lot of people go down the DIY route only to realise that it is actually a lot more work than they realised. Worse still, they get to a point where a particular feature is needed and that 'free' service suddenly starts costing them money.

As my Dad always said; buy cheap, buy twice! If you want the job done properly, I (and any other professional web designer / developer) will more than likely be able to work with your budget and build a site that works for your business.

How web development can be used to help your business

It is best to look at my portfolio to get a better picture of what I can do but the possibilities are endless. I have previously developed various websites and online applications for a wide range of industries:

The list goes on and one thing I will never say no straight away if you ask "can _____ be done"? Never say never! There is usually a way even if it involves a bit of improvisation so if you have been elsewhere and they said "no", try me.

My specific skills

If you are not technically-minded or feeling tired already, my advice would be to skip this paragraph. For anybody interested, my development experience lies mainly in HTML, CSS and jQuery / Javascript for frontend development. For the backend, I work mainly with MySQL and PHP. I have worked with various content management systems / CMS including Drupal, Wordpress and Magento. If your website just needs a bit of maintenance, maybe I can help.

...why try to cut corners with your main online presence?

Design

Art and design have been an interest since an early age and this led to me becoming qualified to degree level in a design-related degree at a well-respected university. More detailed information on specific qualifications is listed in my CV, available on request.

What kind of design do I offer?

I try not stay set in my ways. Having dabbled in all areas of design, I have tried out everything from 3D modelling (and printing in 3D) to painting on a canvas. Business-wise, my clients use me for 2D branding and literature, both on the web and in physical form. I am always trying out new ideas and methods so if you have an idea such as some fridge magnets in the shape of your logo or maybe some 3D-printed keyrings, give me a shout and I might be able to help.

Different levels of service

Some people want an entire rebrand for their company so everything from the logo through to the website. Others already have an established brand and want to refresh their online presence. I am always very honest about a company's current website, logo and other branding and would never encourage work to be done where it is not needed.

Business cards and leaflets

The World Wide Web may have become a popular platform for communication, both for business and pleasure. However, business cards and printed literature are still necessary and need to look professional to convey the right impression to your customers.

Training

Some people just want to work on their own projects with a bit of technical guidance and I can help with that too! If you are happy to spend the time learning, I am more than willing to offer my tutoring services. Just as an example, a previous client wanted to know how to edit photos for his e-commerce website. He was spending days on one photo but after a few hours of tuition, I helped him spend a few minutes or less on each one with one-to-one Adobe Photoshop lessons.

Websites, logos... even fridge magnets & 3D-printed keyrings!

Portfolio

I have selected a few of my personal favourites from past projects for various clients. If you do not see a site that tickles your fancy, bear in mind that a lot of my work is designed and built from scratch inline with a client's needs, personal taste and budget in mind. If you have seen another website and want yours to have the same style, give me a shout. I would never encourage plagiarism but happy to discuss how your company's website can be adapted to fit a particular style.

Please note: As some of my work is done through agencies, some of the projects below are not my specific clients.

Simply Residential / Simply Spain

simply-residential.co.uk screenshotSimply Residential are an independent estate agent based near Manchester, dealing with rentals and sales of both residential and commercial property. They also promote properties in Spain through their sister company, 'Simply Spain'.

For the British properties, they firstly wanted a complete rebrand to give the company a more professional appearance to help bring in more business. This included a new logo which they use on all literature, their shop front, property listings and their website of course. A new website was also needed as the existing one was looking dated and unsuitable for viewing on mobile devices.

simply-spain.com screenshotThe new site needed to take a file of property data exported by the database they use and import those properties along with associated photos, all on an automated basis. I firstly wrote hundreds of lines of code in PHP to take that data and convert it into a format that could be imported into the website. The original format was intended to use in websites like 'Rightmove'. Once converted, the site then takes that newly formatted data and imports at set intervals into their website. It is all fully automated with no human involvement needed.

Simply Spain uses a similar setup but with a lot more properties.


Fit Fit snack bars

fitfits.co.uk screenshotFit Fit is a healthy snack bar made from dried fruit. The company behind the idea were looking for a website that would promote their snack as a modern lifestyle product.

They also wanted to sell the snacks online initially to help spark interest before the bars were sold through other retailers. I setup an easy-to-use e-commerce system to do this which is secure, integrates the entire order and payment process into the website.


Optical portal

Optical Portal screenshotSome companies have used my skills as a developer to build systems that are not necessarily available to the public but still use web browser technology. Those systems are generally known as 'hosted databases'.

A company who visit retirement homes to test residents' eyesight wanted a simple way of doing the following:

In addition to the above, they also wanted it integrated with a login setup for carehomes. They are able to visit the system from anywhere in the World with it being web-based, login and then do the following:


Brytannic Finance

brytannic.co.uk screenshotBrytannic Finance are mortgage brokers who also provide other financial services. Their website is very content rich so they wanted something quirky on the front page to make them stand out from the crowd.

I created a simple animation of a bus moving along a road, stopping occasionally to pick-up a customer. It fits with their branding and gives them a more friendly image for consumers visiting their website for the first time.


Accrington Arndale

arndaleaccrington.co.uk screenshotAccrington Arndale are a shopping centre in Lancashire with a range of different businesses all under one roof. Their website is a directory of all the shops and other businesses based inside, each with their own user account to add special offers, jobs and more.

The content management system also allows the shopping centre to easily promote events and advertise other promotions on the front page.


North West Celebrations

northwestcelebrations.co.uk screenshotSome companies want a basic website that displays their product in a stylish but minimal style.

North West Celebrations are a company who supply various goods for weddings and other ocassions. Their website uses clean, defined sections to promote their services with plenty of photos. It also is mobile and tablet friendly of course!


Dart Swap

dartswap.co.uk screenshotA darts player approached me with the idea to produce a community website with the following criteria:

Websites designed and built from scratch

DJ

As a DJ, I can bring a fresh approach to your event. Having entertained at both private parties and for the public, my carefully selected mix of music will suit the venue and the occasion. Sticking with the name 'Nick Arkell' because I could never think of a cool DJ name, I have enjoyed a wide range of gigs for some very interesting clients.

Who do I work for?

I currently do a lot of my DJ work for Stonegate Pubs, a company who operate over 660 pubs and bars across the country so my gigs with them have taken me to Yates's in a big town one week and a little pub on the corner in the next.

With my own mobile disco setup, I can bring a fresh approach to your wedding / birthday / anniversary and any other party or event, mixing music together so it flows properly and only using the mic when absolutely necessary (such as announcing the buffet is ready). I can taylor everything to your specific needs:

Some of my other previous clients:

Please get in touch for a fast and free quote.

...bring a fresh approach to your party or event

Broadcaster and voiceovers

I am an experienced broadcaster and currently one of the voices reading travel news in the North of England (across Cheshire, Lancashire, Humberside, Yorkshire, Manchester and Cumbria) on Chester's Dee 106.3, Yorkshire Coast Radio, BBC Radio Lancashire, XS Manchester, Minster FM, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Humberside, Lakeland Radio and others.

I have also presented radio shows on stations such as Cheshire's Silk 106.9 and done short pieces for shows on BBC local radio.

My work in radio stems from being at university and thinking back to the old days of 'Neighbours' when Toady used to be in student radio. I wanted something to help meet people and build a bit of confidence and ended up running the station in the end!

I have previously provided voiceover services, most recently to a company who supply celebrity showbiz news videos to websites like MSN entertainment etc. It was certainly an interesting gig with some of the names that had to be pronounced correctly. I can provide quick turnaround with voiceover work as I have recording facilities nearby at most times of the day.

If you are interested in hearing voice demos, please send a message through my contact form for a fast response.

I am an experienced broadcaster and can provide a quick turnaround with voiceover work

The Great British Car Show

I made a short documentary a few years ago (2014) to dip my toes in the world of film-making. My aim was to give people an insight into the world of car shows across the UK and it even includes a few words from a formula one legend!

Contact Nick Arkell

What does 2 & 2 add up to?
LinkedIn logo
Twitter logo