Do You Have A Website? How Much A Month? How Much To Make?

Decorating By cocobean Updated 8 Feb 2011 , 3:35am by VanillaCoke

cocobean Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 4:48am
post #1 of 31

Thinking about setting up a website for caking. If you have a website can you tell me how much it cost to have someone do it for YOU? How much does it cost per month. What host do you use? I'm not sure where to start.

30 replies
scp1127 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:23am
post #2 of 31

I am sure prices depend on where you live. It may not be popular to say this, but professional web designers are worth every penny for positioning and saving you money. My site was $600.00 and several hundred for positioning, but only for a short time. My designer also saved me a ton of money on setting up my credit cards, making her fee nothing in the long run. Also, since she has my artwork, popping out an ad, car magnet, stickers... you name it... is free to nominal. Plus, you always have support.

I forgot to mention that I designed my site on paper and wrote and entered all copy (past marketing compant owner). I am sure that factored into my final price.

cocobean Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 4:43pm
post #3 of 31

Thanks for your response. I have a few questions after reading through it. What is positioning and why do you only need it for a short time?

Was setting up your credit cards like Pay Pal or something?

I would love to hear others experiences. Sorry if this has been talked about a lot. If so maybe someone can point me to a link.

leily Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:12pm
post #4 of 31

check out the business forum, there is more info there, but not sure on the threads off the top of my head.

As for cost, it's all in what you want, and who you go to. It can be done for $100 or $100,000 (ok, that's a little extreme, but really it depends on what you want)

kristanashley Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:13pm
post #5 of 31

I made my current website with freeware - sitespinner - though, I'm not a website designer, and I'm not that happy with it. I've been thinking of going with a design company like this http://thecutestsiteontheblock.com/ but I'm not sure if it's worth the price to have a cookie-cutter type site. Whoever found a designer to build an entire site from the ground up w/ total support for $600 got a deal - I was quoted well over $1000.00 for the same thing. I use justhost.com for a host and I've been very satisfied with them. I pay like $7.00/ month. As for credit cards, I use paypal - it's easy to set up yourself and it's the best deal that I've calculated (but I don't have a huge volume of business). I don't know what positioning is either, unless he means getting good positioning w/ search engines. There are a lot of services that will get you better search engine positioning, but most of what they do, you could do yourself, if you want to take the time, and would rather not fork out the dough. I'm still new at all of this, so I definitely don't have all of the answers - just telling you what I've done. icon_smile.gif

drummer27 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:33pm
post #6 of 31

I run my photography website though BluDomain. You buy the template and then you pay x amount per year. Mine was $200 and I got a higher end version. You can get them for as low as $100. I also set it up myself and it was SO easy...just drag and drop your photos and then add in your text and you are done. You also are able to go back through and change things as often as you like.

My website is www.bowershots.com if you want to check it out...I know you are looking to do a cake site and not a photography site BUT I think it could easily be adapted. They are designed for use by "creative professionals".

sweetflowers Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:40pm
post #7 of 31

It's is basically you get what you pay for. It's like a person saying they will just make the cake themselves because they have the box with direcitons. Some can do it, some can't so it's really up to you. I would definitely pay for a site and the price does vary. Most web designers will have you do some sort of layout on what you want. Most web designers are also graphic artists, or have some sort of art flair so they can create your artwork too.

My site was free, I did it myself and yes, it sucks. It's being hosted for free too, because I'm a programmer analyst, all my co-workers have their own servers so they are kind enough not to charge me. That can range from anywhere from $10 a month to $100 a month. Positioning is where you come up on a search and you need to be careful on who you sign up with and what exactly they will do for you. the majority of web designers do charge for upkeep and modifications after the site is up. The previous poster with the $600 did get a great deal to get all of that included, but again it varies by area. Even as a programmer, I would hire someone to do this; there is a lot more to web than just sticking up pics and words, just like thre is a lot more to decorating than flour and eggs

gbbaker Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 5:42pm
post #8 of 31

Why don't you set up a blog, it can look like a website and cost a lot less.

Foxicakes Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:07pm
post #9 of 31

If you Google "Wordpress website builder" there are several free blogger type website services out there. They use premade templates for whatever type business you are trying to promote. Wordpress was originally developed as a blogging web service, but it is used for all types of retail sites now. They have several "plug-ins" that have been developed for use with their type of code. A plug-in is basically adding specific features to the website that you may want. Kind of like if you buy a car and the basic model only comes with radio, a/c, and manual transmission. But, for extra you can add power windows and door locks, etc. The same goes with Wordpress, you can add a plug-in for a "shopping cart" and a plug-in to add PayPal or any other merchant card service to the site. If you go to PayPal's merchant services area, they will provide you with the code to be able to accept PayPal as a payment option.

You CAN do it on your own and it can be done for little to nothing. What you need to ask yourself is if 1) you are willing to put in the time and effort to do the research so that you understand how it all works.
2) You feel confident in your ability to build a site that isn't going to turn people off to your products and your ability? The truth of the matter is that we live in a very internet-savvy world and websites that are self-done usually LOOK self done and that can turn a lot of the younger crowds "off". It really just depends on who you are trying to market to...

Anyway, I hope that helped a little. Look into the Wordpress thing... It may be just what you are looking for. Good Luck!!

cocobean Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:17pm
post #10 of 31

...love all the responses with ideas. You guys are great. Would love reading even more! icon_smile.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:27pm
post #11 of 31

I have a website through Vistaprint that I pay $20 per month. The fee allows me to customize the template and gives me more pages. The downside is that anyone else could decide to use the very same template. It looks very professional, and I receive most of my business through my site.

cakegirl1973 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:29pm
post #12 of 31

I have a website through Vistaprint that I pay $20 per month. The fee allows me to customize the template and gives me more pages. The downside is that anyone else could decide to use the very same template. It looks very professional, and I receive most of my business through my site.

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:37pm
post #13 of 31

I have a tech background and probably know more then the average bear about html/marketing etc, but I had a hard time trying to make my own website. I had no problem throwing money at the problem but for some reason I had very little luck getting web devs to email me back or be motivated to make my site. So I did it myself. I started with trying to use a fancy program like Page Maker, then tried Site Spinner, hated them both. Then I tried Google Sites.

LOVE Google. In fact, I use a lot of Google's free products.

I bought my domain name thru Go Daddy and added an email account, it's $40/year, I think.

Google Sites has free web hosting, so that saved a bunch of money, the templates are very user friendly, and BAM! I had a site up and running after an evening of tweaking. I upload all my pictures to Google Picasa for free image hosting, and I use Google Voice for a free business number that people can call and it rings to my cell phone. It's 100% free as long as I don;t try and call them back thru it, otherwise I have to pay $.07/minute. I don't have any idea how much potential business I lose because I don't have something super fancy that has flash animations and such, but I think it looks better then a lot of poorly designed web pages out there that people paid someone to do, and so far I've never had anyone tell me they though my site was sub par.

The only non-Google product I use is Wordpress for my blog, I find it easier to use and to customize. but again, I use the free version but will probably download the full paid software to get a more customizable blog template.

BTW I also make sure I use Google Analytics (free) to keep track of my web traffic, I tied my webpage to Google Profile (free) so if someone googles my name my business website pops up (vice versa), I use Google Web Crawler (free) so Google regularly caches my webpage to help with search engine optomozation, I also have a Linked-in Profile, a Facebook Fan Page where I am constantly begging for fans (the more fans you have, the more optomization you have), I tweet (more tweets you have, again the more optomization you have), and I also created a Yelp page that is a free direct business generator (more reviews = more optomization). To tie it all together, I make sure I have each page linked together. Oh, and I also use Google Cart to email invoices and get paid (cheaper then Paypal and easier to use, also has email invoice feature that Paypal does not have).

Remember, there us no point having a web page if you are not generating traffic to it.

www.fromscratchsf.com

Click my link! Help my numbers look good this week icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 6:44pm
post #14 of 31

you might want to check the spelling on your url.

icon_smile.gif

joyfullysweet Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 7:14pm
post #15 of 31

I'm working on mine...I did it for free! You only pay if you want to remove ads and remove their name from the url. Still a work in progress, but the site was very easy to use!
http://www.wix.com/joyfullysweet/pa

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 7:19pm
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

you might want to check the spelling on your url.

icon_smile.gif




LOL I fixed it, I didn't spell check any of that post before hitting the button. tapedshut.gif

I am 1/2 tempted to also buy fromscracth.com and have it direct to the proper URL since I mistype it ALL THE TIME. icon_mad.gif LOL.

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 7:22pm
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfullysweet

I'm working on mine...I did it for free! You only pay if you want to remove ads and remove their name from the url. Still a work in progress, but the site was very easy to use!
http://www.wix.com/joyfullysweet/pa




Cute site! But can you have the name be your URL vs having to type the wix part?

joyfullysweet Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 7:24pm
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfullysweet

I'm working on mine...I did it for free! You only pay if you want to remove ads and remove their name from the url. Still a work in progress, but the site was very easy to use!
http://www.wix.com/joyfullysweet/pa



Cute site! But can you have the name be your URL vs having to type the wix part?




Thanks! Yes, you can have it removed, but you have to pay monthly, and pay for the domain (I believe it's pretty reasonable). I'll upgrade when I'm ready to go!

sweetflowers Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 9:34pm
post #19 of 31

Off the topic, but did you hear they ran out of IP addresses? The warehouse that distributes them (like 4 million or billion or something like that) ran out. For you networkers, that means all ISP will need to go to a v6 instead of v4 format. It will be invisible to all us folks, but they have to have all the networks switch over first!

scp1127 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 9:46pm
post #20 of 31

My site was $600.00 because I did all of the work. I designed it on pages and pages of drawn paper of exactly what I wanted. I had color swatches, font selection, logo, etc., already figured out. They designed it perfectly to my specs. After it was designed, they taught me how to insert copy and change all of the site. My positioning is unique in that I wanted less conventional categories and I wanted certain geographical areas.

sillywabbitz Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 9:57pm
post #21 of 31

I use WordPress for my blog and I think WordPress is easy for even non super techie people to use. If you're slightly technical it's awesome because their are tons of free plug-ins to setup galleries, forums, links to facebook etc. I am hosted through godaddy and it's cheap, comes with a couple of email addresses. Wordpress can be used for a variety of things and pretty much every hosting system supports it. Yes we are/did run out of IP addresses...that's nothing compared to what's going to happen when we run out of phone numbers icon_wink.gif

If you are going to pay someone to design your site get a personal recommendation. I have several friends who are private business owners and their web developers are terrible. They never respond, never get things updated. It is always a battle and they're not cheap. Good luck.

cocobean Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 10:20pm
post #22 of 31

o.k. I'm really jealous of all the work some of you have done already! I really loved looking at all of your great sites. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Wouldn't mind looking at more. It's only early Friday. Wonder what dh wants to do tonight. Maybe he wouldn't mind looking at all these great ideas!!

Thanks again for your time in sharing.

sweetflowers Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:08pm
post #23 of 31

OK, I just have to say, please don't get mad at me for this.....did it ever occur to you all that you sound just like some of your customers? I see the threads for 'how much do they think a cake is worth' and that sort of thing on here so much. We really want to get paid for our time, and we tell each other the artistic work involved for making our cakes. It's not just flour and eggs.
And we are absolutely right..... However, it's the same for other forms of art too, and web design is one of them. It's not just a template (box mix) that anyone can do, even with the template there is a lot more to think about. I have been trained in web design and I find the argument you all are giving very similar to the argument for why you charge what you do, and how you aren't a Walmart cake (ie Web Template from Free/cheap site). Seriously, I think the certified web desingers might be laughing at our sites like we laugh at those Walmart cakes. It's just a thought, please don't be mad.

Cindy619 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:39pm
post #24 of 31

You probably need to think about how you are going to use the website before you decide which route to go. Whether you choose a do-it-yourself type or have a designer put one together for you, make sure you think about how often you might want to update it. My husband is a web designer and he set me up with a customized WordPress blog because he knows I want to be able to easily update it myself. You just pay a fairly inexpensive one time fee for the blog and you are set to go!

Hosting - there are many different hosting companies out there. You can go with some of the cheaper ones, but if you are looking for a high quality company and you are willing to pay a little more, I'd suggest looking into MediaTemple (they might be a little over kill if you are a small scale bakery)

Domain Registries - domain registries tend to be a yearly fee of $10-$20. Just make sure you have it set on automatic renewal because I've seen companies lose their web address because they forgot to pay the bill on time (big oops!)

Emails - You can an email address forward to your normal standard email account (gmail, hotmail, etc) so you usually don't have to pay any costly fees to have email addresses through your hosting company.

If you're interested, you can take a look at my site to see how a customized WordPress looks (no ads, etc.!) but I'll warn you, I'm in the process of setting it up so you'll see it constantly changing over the next couple of days!

www.monkeytreatsbakery.com

cakelady2266 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:43pm
post #25 of 31

I'm chiming in with my two cents. Web sites are a pain to design by yourself, I tried. I tried this after paying a skilled certified web designer $750 of a $1500 estimate, and after 7 weeks I didn't have a website. I'd like to add she was unemployed and not very busy too boot. So I fired her. Tried to do it myself, it didn't work well and gave me tons of migraines.

So finally a web designer relative of my husband that I didn't know that was what he did, found out about my problems and gave me a call. We took this route, I purchased a flash website from Bludomain for $100, hosted with them for another $100 and purchased a domain name for $15. I burned a disk of pictures and he put them up for me. All he wanted from me was some free cakes for the wife and kids. Not a problem for me.

I love my website....and once I purchase the template package thingy the only thing I will have to pay is the annual hosting fee and domain renewal, to the tune of $115 a year. There are no monthly fees. You could probably do your on uploading, I just didn't have time.

Check out www.bludomain.com and look at my website and see what you think.

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:45pm
post #26 of 31

sweetflowers, you are absolutely right. A good web designer is worth every penny. That is why I hired one. Even if I could make my own site, coordinating the credit card issues at the best price saved me tons of money, much more than the cost of the site over time. And I could not get the positioning I needed without professional help. Because my positioning was outside the normal categories, I was told to create a blog explaining my connection to the odd searches. I would not have known how to do that on my own.

Many times the web is the first impression of a business. Because my business gets orders from the web, customers must feel comfortable paying before "receiving". A professional site was imperative for this consumer trust issue.

Not to start a war either, this is just my opinion. But everything you do in your business plays into public perception, and a professional web site can only be a positive reinforcement to the quality and attention to detail that you put into your business daily.

sillywabbitz Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 10:19pm
post #27 of 31

I agree with Sweetflowrers and scp in the value of a great web site. When I was planning my wedding if I went to a vendor's website and it looked dinky or was hard to navigate, I would immediately cross them off my list. I'm of the computer generation and I expect to be able to view information, place orders, make payments and communicate with my vendors this way. It may not be fair but perception is everythingicon_smile.gif I hope you find a good designer to help you.

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:42pm
post #28 of 31

Let me preface this by saying that my husband does digital forensics, my BIL is a programmer, my brother is an IT manager, I come from a tech marketing background, and at least 3/4 of my friends either work at software gaming companies or in porn icon_eek.gif (tech/web side! I know that sounds bad but someone has to upload that stuff and design those websites). I totally agree that good web designers are worth every penny - but they are really hard to find and in my experience, are really hard to work with. Maybe because of where I live? Anyway I will one day update my page to something more fancy, but for a just starting out cake place, I think my site is fine. Not great, but fine. It's all relative to where you are in your business I think.

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:49pm
post #29 of 31

I interviewed three designers and picked the one who could tell be back what I said to them concerning my needs. They charged half up front and half upon completion. I guess I had good luck there, but I had the absolute worst luck on contractors for my buildout, so we all get screwed somewhere.

VanillaCoke Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:32am
post #30 of 31

I made my site myself through Intuit- their small business website division. Their web design software wasn't too hard to use, but the templates are limited. I picked one I liked ok, and then I redesigned the heck out of it. I knew NOTHING about web design, but I'm a huge internet shopper and I knew what I didn't like in websites, what looks bad, and what's annoying. It took me many, many hours to produce something I was happy with. I had to teach myself some html and learn about metatags and all of that business in order to optimize my own site for search engines. I just didn't have the money to pay a professional or I TOTALLY would have. In the end, with a LOT of blood and sweat, I made a site I like, that looks good and is showing up on the first page of google for my city, so I'm pretty happy. It costs $10/month or so, and my domain was $8. SO I'd say if you can have someone else do it, then do. If not, you can do it yourself but you get what you put in.

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