GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is an attempt by the European Union to tidy up privacy laws as they relate the storage of personal information and the way in which that information is gathered by websites. Although primarily designed to bring to heel those companies that harvest huge amounts of information, it also affects anyone who has a website. Whether the authorities will actually come after those small websites which don't comply or not, is another matter - but if you want to take steps to comply with the letter of the law there are several simple things you should think about.

SSL Certificate

First, make sure your site has an SSL certificate. In simple terms, that it has an address that starts with HTTPS rather than HTTP - for example, This certificate ensures that any traffic between the site and the people who visit it is encrypted. In addition, from July, Google Chrome will mark all non-SSL sites as 'insecure'.

Opt-in checkbox on Contact Forms
If you have a contact form it should include a checkbox that visitors must tick to say they understand that by sending the contact form they're also sending their name and email address. If they don't tick the box, the form shouldn't be sent. This opt-in checkbox should also include a link to your Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy
Every website should include a privacy policy that explains what data the site collects and how it's stored. There are also some specific GDPR requirements - for example, that anyone is allowed to see the data you store about them, can ask you to correct mistakes, or request you remove their data from wherever it's stored. This is also an opportunity to explain that your website uses cookies - small text files - which are placed on visitors' devices to improve the way the website works.

Pop-up notice
The front page of your website should also include a short pop-up message which explains that the site may gather information about visitors, together with a link to your Privacy Policy, where they can read about it how this works in more detail.

GDPR came into effect at the end of last month.

New website for local tree surgeon

Sussex Tree Works
We've just finished a new site for a local tree surgeon, Sussex Tree Works. This well-established Sussex-based firm wanted a site that was simple, showed off the company's range of services, and performed well on mobile devices. We added several before-and-after slides to the Services page so visitors can see immediately the results of procedures such as a Crown Reduction of Hedge Management and we also added a simple feed from Instagram which allows Geoff and his team to upload photos and captions of any works in progress. This keeps the site current in a straightforward and immediate way and doesn't involve any complicated and time-consuming content management.

Revamped design for band website

Dylan Project
The Dylan Project website needed a bit of a wash and brush up. The fundamentals were there already but the chaps felt it needed cleaning up and wanted to move away from the one-page scrolling model they'd used before. We paired the existing content with a new Rapidweaver theme which allows for a big, bold banner area that still integrates well with the existing design, colour scheme and content. The result is a slick, responsive site that will last the band for years to come. The Dylan Project will tour again this winter and if you're a fan of Bob, this is the band that he deserves. Check them out.

New website for Lewes-based flat racing trainer

Lewes-based horse racing trainer Suzi Best needed a simple website produced at speed that would still allow her to update the front page herself and also add new photographs to a gallery. Time was of the essence so we chose a theme that let us use a large 'hero' style header image on each page, added a live feed to Instagram for new photos, and incorporated a very basic content management system (CMS) so news could be added to the front page. Top it off with a contact form and a map - which also offers personalised travel directions - and the whole site took just over a day from start to finish.

New website for Brighton-based band

The Complete Set
Some clients are happy to leave the design of their website to us, while others come with firm ideas about what they want - and don't want. The Complete Set - a loose collection of Brighton-based musicians who meet, record and play intermittently - had a very clear sense of what the site needed to look like and provided a selection of remarkable photographs that we collaged and then turned responsive, so that they worked well on mobile devices. We added a News page so that the band could add news - new recordings, 'tours', and other musings - whenever they liked and a Band page with links to their Soundcloud presence. The result is quite unlike anything we've built before.