Published: 5th April 2018 | Updated: 28th October 2018
Rated: 1.4 Out Of 5 – Utter Trash Award
Our highly experienced team of reviewers turned our attention to Fat Media recently and were both disappointed and shocked with what we discovered. Despite making bold claims on their website, when we dug deeper, we discovered a company that doesn’t really care about their potential clients. What’s more, their pricing structure is enough to make small business owners’ eyes water.
We tested the waters by asking Fat Media to give us a quote for a small e-commerce website project. As their website repeatedly states that they “take the time to fully understand your business”, we anticipated a response requesting further details. Imagine our surprise when, instead, we got a response with an attached quote that was more than four times what other agencies had quoted.
Our team was shocked by Fat Media’s quote, to say the least. It showed a complete disregard for professional responsibility. Based on the figure quoted, it would take over 7 years for the project to break even. What that means is that unless a start-up business had significant capital, they’d be likely to fail financially shortly after the site was launched.
Although Fat Media show on their website that they’ve won a number of awards, what’s telling about this is that these awards are all several years old. None of them have been won in the past four years.
Services Provided by Fat Media
Despite our concerns over Fat Media’s level of professional responsibility, it should be said they have a reputation and portfolio of well crafted, SEO friendly websites they have being responsible for developing.
Fat Media have a knack for keeping a web design project simple. One standout feature we noted was their clever use of dynamic content to ensure the maximum visitor engagement. This is down to the fact that Fat Media’s team includes user-experience (UX) and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) experts.
Web designers with this kind of focus, like Fat Media, know all the tricks of the trade to give your visitors an excellent experience and increase sales. With more and more people viewing websites on mobile devices, responsive web designs are paramount. Fat Media’s websites are all responsive by default.
User Experience Design (UX)
UX is becoming increasingly more important for businesses to focus on, as website visitors demand sites that load quickly, are easy to navigate and contain valuable, relevant information. Because your website is often your visitor’s first impression of your business, UX is a means of making sure you make the right impression. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, after all.
For Fat Media, UX is about so much more than website design. UX takes into account what your potential customers want, need and expect, and delivers those objectives. In terms of conversion rates, UX is absolutely vital for your success. It offers a means of increasing engagement with your products and services and allows you to race ahead of your competitors.
The design side of a website isn’t all that Fat Media are good at. They have a team of font end developers to bring the design to life. They utilise all the latest Front-End technologies in order to give engage and entice your visitors.
Fat Media are dedicated to following best practice in their web development and design (if not in their professional responsibility). This ensures that your site will be secure, perform well, and be compatible with all devices and browsers.
E-commerce websites are vital if you plan to sell products and/or services on your website. They’re an important sales channel, so you need a site that is reliable, easy to use, and which processes payments securely – in addition to showcasing your products in the most effective way.
Fat Media are experienced in creating e-commerce websites on a range of platforms – including Magento and WooCommerce. Additionally, they’re able to create bespoke solutions for clients who want something more customised for their business.
The team at Fat Media claim to be able to give you advice about the best solution for your business – however, our experience in requesting a quote puts this claim into question. Fat Media do have some impressive e-Commerce sites under their belt, however, including Jessops, Lakeland and Typhoo Tea.
Fat Media focus on creating e-commerce websites that give your site the functionality you need for success. This includes the ability for users to create accounts and wish lists, and to complete purchases with ease. They’re also able to provide more advanced features, including multiple delivery options, trade and consumer pricing, and product customisation options. Their experts can integrate your website with systems such as Salesforce and SagePay, also.
Fat Media offer a range of skills that can be used to market your website and business. From SEO, through to Social Media Marketing they have the knowledge and the staff to cover all bases. The cost of this service does however price out the average small business.
Notable aspects of Fat Media’s digital strategy include helping you to create a marketing plan that is right for your business. Fat Media are able to manage all of your digital marketing, or you can get them to handle just one or two channels. The cost of this is prohibitive for small businesses, but larger businesses might benefit from it.
Other aspects of the digital strategy service are analytics and insights. Fat Media claim to be focused on delivering results for their clients, and so they rely heavily on analytics and insights to demonstrate the results of their strategies to their clients.
Hosting With Fat Media
Fat Media, as with many web design agencies, offer web hosting to clients. They claim that their hosting is state of the art and offers enterprise level technical support. Their hosting is resilient, available and secure, and they aim to provide guaranteed network uptime. The data centre they use is based in Manchester, but it’s important to know that it’s not their own data centre. It’s operated by Telecity, so Fat Media don’t have as much control over things as hosting providers who do have their own dedicated data centres.
However, any web design project will incur an extra fee for any hosting and we discovered the prices to be in excess of £750 per year, despite them knowing nothing about likely traffic levels or content. Again, we felt this approach of quoting first and asking questions later significantly harmed Fat Media’s level of professional responsibility to prospective clients.
On their hosting page, Fat Media claim to “pride ourselves on close customer contact”. Further, “our customer service is always personal, and we ensure our web hosting service callers speak directly with our hosting technicians to offer a complete service to our customers”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the kind of customer contact that we experienced when we contacted Fat Media, so this seems to be another area in which Fat Media aren’t living up to the claims that they’re making.
Getting To Know Fat Media
Fat Media are now a truly nationwide agency having grown from an office in Lancaster to setting up bases in London and Bristol. Their team consists of over 120 different experts, which makes them one of the larger web design companies we have reviewed.
They offer a comprehensive list of services in the areas of web design, web development, e-commerce, digital strategy, marketing and hosting. What lets them down as a company, however, is that these services are priced way out of small business’ budgets. Out of all the companies that we’ve reviewed, Fat Media are one of the few who only appeal to big businesses – which is disappointing given their range of services on offer.
However, despite Fat Media’s excellent portfolio and array of talent, we always place professional responsibility front and centre of our reviewing process. Their lack of this is the reason why we would advise all but the largest of clients to avoid them.
We have already referred to both the quality and scale of projects Fat Media have worked on. Their portfolio page showcases a small selection of these.
Why not head over to Fat Media’s website and check their portfolio out for yourself?
Reviews and testimonials from past clients can play a significant role in showing the quality of a web design company. However, in Fat Media’s case, we found that many of the top reviews offered no comments and we suspect some may in fact be false.
Contact Fat Media
Phone: 01524 487 728
Email: [email protected]
Address: Harpers Mill, White Cross Industrial Estate, Lancaster, LA1 4XF
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