Create a COVID Track & Trace System for Your Business

If your business is in the hospitality sector, you might need to think about creating an easy to use track and trace system for your customers.

As the country is tentatively opening up after Lockdown; restaurants and other such businesses now have the added duty to their customers. In-line with the governments track and trace system, it is now expected that businesses such as bars, restaurants, and coffee shops should keep track of their customers who visit with a COVID track & trace system. This means if a COVID case is identified, it’s easy to identify who may have come into contact with the positive case.

COVID-19 Track & Trace System Form

When Boris Johnson announced that businesses in the hospitality sector were allowed to open, he also asked these businesses to help the governments keep a record and help to trace infected individuals.

As a result, businesses have had to deal with the potential headache of keeping track of which customers have visited. There is also the added worry of adhering to GDPR regulations with this process.

Is it Mandatory to Have a Track & Trace?

Whilst it’s not absolutely necessary to keep a record for track and trace, we believe it’s a good thing to do. It is always important to show your customers that you care about their wellbeing.

After visiting a few local restaurants and businesses, it has become clear that some take this more seriously than others. When you walk into a restaurant and see a clipboard full of all the names and numbers of people open to the public; it really doesn’t feel very reassuring – and it looks like a GDPR nightmare.

But you can be relatively clever with the way you carry out this track and trace process. Instead of just having a GDPR nightmare sitting by the door; you can easily make this system automated.

Some of the best examples of these data collection forms is at Mcdonalds. When you visit one of their restaurants, they have a QR code available on all of the walls, which when scanned by a smartphone takes you straight to the COVID Track & Trace System.

All you have to do is enter in a few of your personal details, and you’re done. They also make it clear that they don’t store your personal data for longer than necessary, therefore being completely compliant with GDPR.

Of course, Mcdonalds should have a refined and easy to use system, as they are a multinational fast-food chain. But you’d be wrong to think that you couldn’t do that for your small cafe or local business.

Sokada Can Help you Create a Functional COVID Track & Trace System

Whilst being at work over the last few weeks, we’ve been working for a few local companies to help set up their own track and trace system. We have been able to recreate a version of track and trace that works similarly to Mcdonalds.

We now offer a track and trace system that has a QR code that customers can easily scan on their smartphone. This code takes them to a website where customers can easily fill out a form and register. The process is quick and easy, and any data stored is kept on a secure server on the website, and deletes after 21 days. This means you will never have to worry about GDPR and keeping track of everything.

In the unfortunate event of a case of Covid in your business; you can easily export all of the customers who visited on a particular day. This makes it incredibly easy to hand the data over to the relevant authorities.

Need a Track & Trace System for your Business?

We can set up this kind of system for your business, and help you to comply with the NHS track & trace guidelines. We will work with you to create exactly what you need. So if you’re interested in creating a great track and trace system; just drop us an email, phone or use our contact form, and we can work from there!

We are now pleased to offer our clients a CDN package to improve the performance of your website. This package is particularly helpful if either your website has a lot of images, or you have visitors to your website from all around the world.

If you’ve not heard of a CDN before, you probably have a lot of questions like what is a CDN? How does a CDN work? Does it cost me an arm and a leg? (spoiler: it won’t)

This blog post will hopefully answer all the questions you have and help you decide whether a CDN package would be a good idea for your website.

What is a CDN?

A CDN stands for ‘Content Delivery Network’, and you would certainly not be alone in thinking that you’ve never heard of it before. But in fact, they’ve been around for quite some time now. Did you know that over half the traffic on the internet at the moment is served by a CDN?

This is because most large businesses such as Facebook, Amazon and Google all have their own CDN, and they’re used to improve the loading times of websites around the world. But just because the big boys of the internet use them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother having one for your own website.

Why You Should Use a CDN

A CDN might sound self-explanatory, and to a certain extent, it does do what it says on the tin. A CDN helps with the delivery of the content (mainly images) on your website through a network of different servers. But what a CDN does is put all your images onto different servers around the world. This means that wherever you are, your images are sourced from the quickest server that you can reach, and your page load speeds and images are loaded much quicker.

How Does a CDN Help Me?

If your website is hosted on our server, it’s currently sitting on UK cloud-based servers. So when someone visits your website, all of the content and images comes from the same place and is transferred to the user’s phone or computer.

This is fine if your clients are in the UK, as our server is never that far away from them, and it doesn’t take that much time for them to load your website. But what if you have someone in Australia that wants to visit your website. Their computer or phone still must access the same UK server, and because it’s so far away (even for technology), it will take a long time for the page to load.

Another instance of when a CDN comes in handy is if you have lots of visitors to your website at once. This might be because you’ve just posted an interesting blog post that people want to read. If there is one server dealing with all these visits to your website, it’s going to slow your website down.

You know the well-known phrase ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ – A CDN works on this kind of principle. A CDN is able to use multiple servers at once to help one person or hundreds of people load a page. What this means is there is never too much work for one server to manage.

To show you just how much a CDN improves your page load speeds; here’s an example of our own site, showing that across the world. We have speeds that score at least 97% based on PageSpeed score and a load time of 1.2 Seconds!

Why You Should Use a CDN

Why Should I Care About Page Load speeds?

One reason you should care about page load speeds is that it affects your customer’s experience. Studies have shown that for every extra second it takes your page to load you lose 7% of your traffic.

It’s not just conversions that you need to consider. For over a year, Google has been taking into account the loading speed of a page to help determine page rankings on their search engines. What this means is the longer it takes for your page to load, the lower down in the search results you will appear.

Where Do I Sign Up?

We’re offering our CDN package to all of our clients that don’t have an E-Commerce website. This package costs £100 for the initial setup and full website optimisation and then £10/month to continue hosting on our CDN.

If you’d like to add this package to your website, or you have any questions about our CDN, please get in touch with us.

Ever since I can remember, when I talk to businesses about their websites, they ask me the same question “What’s more important – website design or marketing?” Up until recently I have always replied with the same answer… actually, they are both equally important. But is that changing?


The designers view

Most website design companies will want to sell you a new website design. It’s all about the design, because that’s how they make their money. They will usually find issue with a previous design and explain how you can change this and how that will impact on your business.

They often do have a point, as the design is usually the first thing a visitor notices. It is important to get the look and feel right; so yes, the design is very important. It will also impact on how a visitor perceives your products and services; if the design is poor then it is assumed that the services and products are equally poor.

A clear and obvious call to action is also very important and if this is well considered and designed properly, it should mean that you will get more enquiries. Especially if your visitors like what they see.

From a marketing view

In the same way that a designer wants to sell you the design element, a marketing company will want to sell you marketing; no surprises there. There are a wide range of marketing opportunities available and all can be used to promote your website. A marketing company will say that it is all about the data they add and positioning your site correctly. They usually tend to try and baffle you with terminology and statistics, SEO, PPC, analytical reporting, trends…

Actually, they aren’t wrong. All of these are important but are they more important than the design of a website?

As always, I like to look at these and apply a good level of common sense. If your website looks bad this will affect sales and enquiries, so it must be good. In all fairness it doesn’t have to be amazing, on trend or completely out there. It has to make a user believe in the quality of your services enough to allow them to contact you. But, if a user can’t find your website on a search engine, then it doesn’t matter how beautifully designed it is, you won’t make sales or get enquiries.

What you can see and what you can’t!

But it is now becoming more and more important that you consider another element; a much maligned and forgotten part of the process – the code and how the site is built. Yes, this is the geeky bit; the element that no one really understands. How your website is built is rightfully very important.

Site speed: If your site loads slowly because it’s been poorly coded or has a bloated theme with lots of plugins, this will have a negative affect on your search engine position. Google wants it’s users to have a great experience; slow loaded and badly structured websites will be penalised. Slow websites will also have a higher than average loading time, giving you a higher bounce rate, causing your rankings to be lowered further over time.

Code structure: Code structuring is important when it comes to ranking efficiently in Google. Structuring titles, content & images are all major factors in the search engines. An example of this is header tags. Your page could have multiple H1 tags, causing issues when it comes to Google identifying your focus keyword. You could also have a lack of key headers like H2 & H3s, also giving you a negative effective while ranking.

Page & Site builders: The question we hear a lot is “can I go onto Wix and create a website and be ranked in Google” The answer is yes & no. Yes, you can create a website. However it’s highly unlikely you will ever get a good search engine ranking using this method. Page builders and site builders like Wix & Divi actually struggle to get ranked against websites with a great coding structure. This is because builders like Wix add bloated code to factor all websites on their platform. An example of this is our average home page design comes with 500 lines of code. All this code is relevant to the page you are viewing. Therefore loading fast and allowing Google to dissect relevant information. An average Wix homepage is 5500 lines of code; 5000 lines extra of bloated code calling in all web fonts and unnecessary scripts, causing website speeds to be extremely poor and having irrelevant code for Google to dissect.

Mobile Friendly: Ensuring your website has been coded to support mobiles & tablet devices is crucial. The mobile market is currently taking the lead when it comes to browsing websites. Mot supporting mobile means Google will not rank a website on a mobile or tablet device, if the website does not support it.

What’s the answer?

Well the answer is that there is no individual element that is more important. Each project needs to be looked at with fresh eyes and a plan devised that will enable the right website to be created. Beautifully designed, well optimised and purpose built to enable the website to be found on a search engine, this will give the user enough confidence to contact the owner about their services and products.

When you are looking for a company to build you a website, you need to make sure that they have the skills to enable them to create the website that you need. They shouldn’t try and sell you one particular service, but help you understand why they are all important.

If you have a project you want to discuss in more detail please contact us, we would love to show you how we are different.

WordPress 5.0 has arrived

WordPress are about to launch the biggest update of the year and most probably next year. This update will shake the way we’ve known WordPress and completely revamp the user experience of creating pages & posts.

The Gutenberg Editor

Gutenberg is the biggest part of the WordPress 5.0 update and there are lots of ways to describe how this will work but I feel the WordPress Gutenberg handbook explains it perfectly!

Gutenberg began as a transformation of the WordPress editor — a new interface for adding, editing, and manipulating content. It seeks to make it easy for anyone to create rich, flexible content layouts with a block-based UI. All types of page components are represented as modular blocks, which means they can be accessed from a unified block menu, dropped anywhere on a page, and directly edited to create the custom presentation the user wants.

It is a fundamental modernization and transformation of how the WordPress experience works, creating new opportunities for both users and developers. Gutenberg introduces new frameworks, interaction patterns, functionality, and user experiences for WordPress. And similar to a new macOS version, we will talk about “Gutenberg”, and all the new possibilities it enables, until eventually the idea of Gutenberg as a separate entity will fade and it will simply be WordPress.


To summarise, WordPress are swapping the Classic Editor for Gutenberg block builder.

I’m not ready for Gutenberg what do I do?

If you are not ready for Gutenberg (That’s fine you are not alone) you can install the Classic Editor, backup the website and perform the update.

Will my existing site with Sokada use Gutenberg

Not currently, we are installing the classic editor onto all websites previously built to this blog post. Due to the bespoke parts for the websites we have built, we felt this was the safest approach rather than rushing a testing and push live process. We aim to have all previous websites on Gutenberg as soon as possible so our customers can enjoy the features Gutenberg have to offer.

Sokada’s future with Gutenberg

We will be embracing the WordPress update with all future websites planning to use Gutenberg. We have just started our first production website using this and understanding the process of how we can use this block builder, to enhance the customer and user experience, when it comes to our websites.

If you have any questions about The WordPress 5.0 Update, then please get in touch!