A couple who launched a new web design company say they have been encouraged to see more smaller businesses establish their online presence.

Darwen-based Stephen and Stephanie Ashcroft set up their own web company - ‘Fruity Llama’ - during the pandemic and have produced websites for a range of local and regional companies.

Stephen said more and more smaller businesses were investing in web services.

He said: “I have been from a design background and Stephanie comes from an e-commerce background and it has worked really well so far.

“With the global pandemic pushing consumers further towards online purchasing, it’s clear that having a digital presence is central to the success of small businesses.

"We provide a design and build service that will help small businesses establish their online space faster, thanks to designs that work as well as they look.”

The company has produced websites for local companies including Heritage Envelopes, The Brookside Hair & Beauty Salon, Vincent & Valerie Skincare, Bestpac UK, and S Dawes Weaving.

Stephen said it was important for companies to invest in something that was right for their business.

He said: “My advice would be to invest in a website that is done properly. You do get what you pay for in this business.

“You will get a good return on your investment. A good website can make a huge difference to a company.

“Also, having a visually appealing website means nothing if you haven’t got the visitors to appreciate it.”

Presently the couple work alongside a number of remote based designers.

Stephen said: “At Fruity Llama, we utilise our range of experience and technical skills to help local businesses rank higher on Google.

“Our search engine optimisation will ensure your website is attracting more customers to support your growth and sales, much more effectively than conventional approaches.”