How Did You Design Your Website?

Business By grossoutqueen Updated 18 Aug 2010 , 11:39pm by pnnllj

grossoutqueen Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:13pm
post #1 of 23

I am looking into buying the domain name for my business but have no earthly idea how to build a website!
I don't even know what to google to look for someone to do it for me.

Did you make your own website or have someone do it for you? Is there a direction you could point me in to get started?

22 replies
JaimeAnn Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:25pm
post #2 of 23

I built my website at www.weebly.com It was very easy to use thier site builder and I was able to add my own elements, So it wasn't exactly like there template.

You can use a domain nam or if that doesn't really matter they give you a free web address , it just has the word "weebly " in it.

It is completely free unless you want to upgrade to the pro version or buy a domain...

I wen't the free route and here is the link to my website so you can see what can be done with thier free service,

www.cakesbyjaimeann.weebly.com

( that is what I mean by "weebly" being in your web address)

jillmakescakes Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:04pm
post #3 of 23

did my site myself 'cause i'm too cheap to pay someone!

I used Yahoo Sitebuilder.com

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:07pm
post #4 of 23

I used freewebs.com...It was fairly easy to make and I can adjust it anytime.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:09pm
post #5 of 23

If you plan on using your web site for anything more than an online brochure, I would recommend hiring a web designer to help you out. Some web hosting providers will offer design services, or you could search local classifieds or craigslist listings to find a designer. Another option would be asking around at a local college to see if any design students are looking for work.

I have 15 years of web design/graphic design experience so I designed the site for my custom-order bakery...it started out as a single page, but as the business grew and I learned what customers were looking for I put together a tab-based interface with multiple pages.

A good place to start is by mapping out your web site on pieces of paper. Start by drawing out how you want your home page to look, then think about the different reasons customers have for visiting your site (called "use cases") and make sure you have enough content to address those reasons. You will be much better off if you can hand your designer a list of web pages and a mockup for each page.

Our web site is http://www.allergyfriendlypastries.com Since we don't have a retail shop the vast majority of our business comes from local Google ads and Yelp.com, as well as word-of-mouth. We pay about $50/year for web hosting and our custom domain.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:21pm
post #6 of 23

I use Vistaprint for my website and domain name. It's very reasonable, about $10 a month. They have templates you can choose from and their website builder is very user friendly. I also purchased business cards and car sign through them that match my web site for a more uniform, professional look.

BlueBurd Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:27pm
post #7 of 23

I used GoDaddy (even though I really hate their commercials!). Wanted the actual domain...in the process of building now, but pretty user friendly.

cattycornercakes Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:34pm
post #8 of 23

I did mine myself using homestead.com. You can purchase your own domain through them as well and its fairly easy to use.

Dreme Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 6:29am
post #9 of 23

I got the domain from godaddy, hosted it through squarespace, and designed/ did the work myself.

From a personal and long run standpoint, get something professional that allows you full control over the site; all the way down to the scripting part. Your website will be unique, unattached to a company, and look professional.

Sweet_Guys Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:49pm
post #10 of 23

We used to have Yahoo! Sitebuilder, but I got tired of paying the monthly fees. We just switched over this weekend to Microsoft's Officelive and it is incredible. It's just like working within a Word document. Insert pictures, type text. We made changes to some of their templates. Uploading multiple pictures is just like uploading in Facebook. They even added a Contact Us page and it is really cool looking. Check it out at www.sweetguys.biz

Between moving the site domain name and sending emails to Yahoo! and Microsoft, I got it all up and running in about two days. And that was converting everything from the original Yahoo! files.

kger Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 6:29pm
post #11 of 23

I'm having this same dilemma now. We have a web host provider (my husband has been using it for awhile) and I already have the domain name. I just need to build this sucker quickly and cheaply. I think what's holding me back is a logo or something. Where we can get those easily & cheaply?

Sweet_Guys Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 8:00pm
post #12 of 23

We had ours professionally designed.

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:53pm
post #13 of 23

I use Yahoo Sitebuilder, it's very easy with the templates they provide.

One thing I'll warn you about is to NOT copy and paste from other people's websites. I've just spent two days dealing with a couple of sites that basically took two entire pages from my site and pasted them into theirs. One person took the pages down, and the other is being uncooperative, so I just finished writing to their web host to get the text removed. It's a copyright violation to copy text, so just write your own.

tracycakes Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:11pm
post #14 of 23

We used rentacoder.com and I highly recommend it. It's a company that has contract programmers that do the work. The way it works is that you fill out their form and basically, give them the business requirements for your website (more on that in a minute) and how much you are willing to pay and submit it. It then goes out for bid and the contractors will come back with their request, usually much less than what you asked for. Once you select someone, you pay rentacoder.com, not the contractor. The coder will start working on your site and continue working on it until you are happy. Once you are happy, the coder is paid and everyone is happy. The coder knows they will get paid and you know you will get a site you are happy with.

All of the coders are rated and some that are new work extremely cheap to get the business and get rated. We were extremely happy with the guy that made ours. They have references and you can look at other sites they built. I highly recommend it.

Regarding what you want: spend some time deciding how you want your site to look. You really have to have your thoughts together. We sent ideas and when William built our site, I treated him like I would like to be treated as a designer. I gave him colors, some things I wanted and gave him other websites that had features that I liked. Our website would have been ready is less than a week if we had been timely in getting back to our coder. We got a professional site and didn't have to spend huge amounts of money to get it.

sorry so long but I hope it helps.

kristieanna Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 9:22pm
post #15 of 23

I used blogger. I edited mine myself, but they also have templates you can use and customize.

http://thecupcakedepot.blogspot.com/

11cupcakes Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 9:49pm
post #16 of 23

I used wix.com
Very easy to work with and beautiful flash websites.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 10:03pm
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11cupcakes

I used wix.com
Very easy to work with and beautiful flash websites.



Just an FYI - I've been designing web sites for years and have performed countless usability studies. Flash web sites can look great and they give the designer maximum control, but they are absolutely terrible in terms of usability. Users get frustrated by Flash sites very quickly due to non-standard interface elements and the inability to use traditional browser-based navigation.

If you are only using your web site as a slideshow of pictures Flash might be OK, but if you are planning for any amount of user interaction I would stick with a more traditional site.

Read this column by Jakob Nielsen, a leading web usability expert, for more information: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html

CookieMeister Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:50pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

We used rentacoder.com and I highly recommend it. It's a company that has contract programmers that do the work. The way it works is that you fill out their form and basically, give them the business requirements for your website (more on that in a minute) and how much you are willing to pay and submit it. It then goes out for bid and the contractors will come back with their request, usually much less than what you asked for. Once you select someone, you pay rentacoder.com, not the contractor. The coder will start working on your site and continue working on it until you are happy. Once you are happy, the coder is paid and everyone is happy. The coder knows they will get paid and you know you will get a site you are happy with.

All of the coders are rated and some that are new work extremely cheap to get the business and get rated. We were extremely happy with the guy that made ours. They have references and you can look at other sites they built. I highly recommend it.

Regarding what you want: spend some time deciding how you want your site to look. You really have to have your thoughts together. We sent ideas and when William built our site, I treated him like I would like to be treated as a designer. I gave him colors, some things I wanted and gave him other websites that had features that I liked. Our website would have been ready is less than a week if we had been timely in getting back to our coder. We got a professional site and didn't have to spend huge amounts of money to get it.

sorry so long but I hope it helps.




This sounds a lot like 99designs.com. I used 99designs for my logo, and got over 90 submissions! I was thrilled with the final logo I picked. They do the same thing for website design.

mombabytiger Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 2:19pm
post #19 of 23

I have a friend doing mine. He charged me (drum roll) a box of brownies! And it looks great so far! He has some kind of program where you can pick a website you like on the web and "steal" it. The template anyway. Then he modifies it so it's completely unrecognizable but all the fields are already created. I don't know the name of the program.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 2:27pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBurd

I used GoDaddy (even though I really hate their commercials!). Wanted the actual domain...in the process of building now, but pretty user friendly.




Was it pretty easy to design yourself? I bought my domain name as well through GoDaddy. I don't have a business yet but hope to soon and wanted my domain name.

mindy1204 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:21pm
post #21 of 23

I batered someone to design my site but they are 12 days late and are making me upset, so I may just take it over.

For logos I used glamourlogos dot com and they were very promt and the prices very reasonible.

sodramafree Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:35pm
post #22 of 23

I always suggest people to utilize their local community college or university... see about putting up a "wanted" advertisement/poster in the graphics design department... You will generate a lot of spark from students eager to build their portfolio. 9 times out of 10 they will do it for free or for a small fee. The best part about going at it this way, you will have face to face contact with a real person so you can let them know exactly what you want and how you want it.

pnnllj Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 11:39pm
post #23 of 23

I let a friend do mine, she is trying to get into website building professionally...NEVER again! It's been over a year and it's still not right. Being a friend it's hard to demand the work get done because she has been refusing payment. We started out with godaddy, that didn't work out. Now we are with fatcow, that seems better, but guess what - it's still not published! Ugh!

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