Web-Site Development - credits & thanks
Web-site Hosting: Kualo
For business web-sites, probably the most important criteria for selecting a web host are reliability, and a help desk that handles your support requests quickly and effectively. We use Kualo for these reasons - we are impressed at how quickly they help resolve our problems even when they are not Kualo issues. We signed up with them in 2001 when it was hard to find a package that included multiple domains and sub-domains, PHP 5, control panel etc. Many hosting companies now provide these services, but not the same quality of support.
Website Design (layout):
Customised CSS & HTML from 1234.info. If you are familiar with CSS, then you will find it easy to modify to your own needs; for example we created a fluid layout version for our Country Advice.
In hindsight we should (and may yet) pay for for professional website design and recommend that you do. As we have discovered: your products or services may be the best available, but if your site is badly presented, you won't get the business.
If you are not an "expert" in HTML etc, and don't want to pay for a professional design, you could consider Wordpress, or do a Google Search for a website template that suits you.
The gadget boxes on our Tools Page are based on the code in this excellent Nettuts article by James Padolsey. Note, the code for our page has been heavily customised to meet our requirements and reduce load time. Useful articles on page speed optimisation are available from Google and Yahoo.
Caching and Optimisation
Page Load: we are trialling Worx International Quickcache (PHP) on 2 of our pages, and on one of these it does appear to make a noticeable difference.
We use HTML Kit. Note it is not a WYSIWYG editor, and requires you to be competent in writing "raw" HTML / CSS / PHP.