Business Website

Business By HannahsMomi Updated 29 Feb 2012 , 5:29pm by sing

HannahsMomi Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 7:39pm
post #1 of 23

So, those of you who have your own business website...did you create it yourself or hire someone to do it? I'm not sure if I'm capable of doing it myself, don't know a thing about doing it. I was just researching how much web designers get paid to design a site...YIKES! Maybe I just haven't found the right person yet?
Any input?

22 replies
syarber Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 9:29pm
post #2 of 23

I personally dont have a website yet and know that I am not comfortable doing it myself. So I'm going to hire someone. I weighed the benefits of having a pro do it and I figure I will come out a head in the long run because I will be avoiding all the computer frusteration icon_smile.gif Also, I tend to miss my own grammer and spelling errors. Plus I will save time.
If you are comfortable on the computer I know there are sites out there to do it yourself that don't cost alot of money.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 10:55pm
post #3 of 23

If you are starting from zero web design knowledge I recommend hiring someone to help you design and build the site. What kind of quotes are you looking at from professional web designers?

I designed and built the site for my business, but I have 17 years of web design experience.

dsilvest Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 23

There are many do it your self web design sites out there. They are time consuming but easy to do. You just type in the details of your business and add your photos. The sites also off many different templates to add the info to.
I need to redo mine because Office Live no longer offers free hosting. I have found one that has free web design as well as free web hosting. Just look online for free web design and free or inexpensive web hosting.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 11:16pm
post #5 of 23

Just remember that your web site in many cases is the first impression your customers will be getting of your business. Some free web design services are passable, but many are lacking in design options (meaning your site will use one of a handful of templates shared by thousands of other sites on the web) and some use Flash (meaning your site will not be accessible on many mobile devices).

As with cakes, you get what you pay for. Any decent web design student would be able to put together a better site than the free services, and if you cheap out on your hosting provider you run the risk of your site being down more often.

dsilvest Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 11:32pm
post #6 of 23

My free web site has received many compliments over the years. People were surprised that it was free because it looked so professional. It has also been very reliable.
My new site will be just as attractive as the present one. It includes templates to make pages for Ipads/Iphones etc. If I find it is down too often I will pay a monthly fee.
I really think that part of what makes an great website is art design knowledge. You need to make the site attractive, informative and not too busy - in other words have a focal point. Make sure your viewer's eye it sent to the important info. Don't make them look all over the page for what they are looking for.

SnLSweetEscapes Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 11:57pm
post #7 of 23

I did my website myself. It does take a lot of time but I think worthwhile. I pay for my site because I wanted an easy web address for my customers to find me. A lot of the free ones I found you had a bunch of stuff before your actual business name, if that makes sense. I don't pay a lot for mine. Good luck!

HannahsMomi Posted 25 Feb 2012 , 11:57pm
post #8 of 23

Thanks so much for your input dsilvest, Jason_kraft, and syarber! It's great to get others' opinions! I have absolutely no knowledge about putting together a website, but when getting quotes from web designers, it kind of freaked me out! $600 was the lowest quote I'd found. That is so much money to spend when I'm just starting out! My husband is very good with computers, so I'm wondering if he could design my website. He's perfectly willing. I just really want my site to be professional looking since that is where most of my customers are going to come in contact with me. I'm just torn with what to do. I really can't afford the quotes I'm getting...

HannahsMomi Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 12:05am
post #9 of 23

SnLSweetEscapes- I definitely don't want a bunch of junk before my business name...I want my customers to be able to find me easily!

SnLSweetEscapes Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 12:16am
post #10 of 23

I did mine with godaddy and it was pretty easy. I do have some graphic design background thru college but it was easy. They have a bunch of background template to choose from. Then the most amount of time is inputting everything. I like that I can go in at anytime and add or change things. Plus I have a tracking system on the website that lets me know how many people visit the site, what they looked at, a general area where they are from, how long they were there, how they found the site, etc.
I purchased my name so that no one else could take it, not that they would, haha! But this way, when someone puts my business name into the search engine it will come up.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 12:35am
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsilvest

Did you look at my free web site before you decided that it was not a good as yours? I have had many compliments over the years. People were surprised that it was free because it looked so professional.



Your site does looks professional, if you read my post again I never said it wasn't or that anyone's site was better than anyone else's. It is certainly possible to design a nice site with a free service, but in my experience they are the exception rather than the rule.

Quote:
Quote:

I really think that part of what makes an great website is art design knowledge. You need to make the site attractive, informative and not too busy - in other words have a focal point. Make sure your viewer's eye it sent to the important info. Don't make them look all over the page for what they are looking for.



I absolutely agree. Some people don't have this knowledge though, which is why I recommend a professional if you don't have a background in some kind of art or design.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 12:37am
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomi

I have absolutely no knowledge about putting together a website, but when getting quotes from web designers, it kind of freaked me out! $600 was the lowest quote I'd found.



That does seem a little high, especially these days. What specifically are these web designers providing for that $600?

sillywabbitz Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 12:53am
post #13 of 23

If your husband is computer savy, word press sites are pretty easy to implement. They're simple but that's what I like about them. You just have to set them up or find a template that looks less like a blog. You can check out the one in my signature. It is actually a blog icon_smile.gif And FYI the gallery is a plug-in into Facebook and that is the first thing I'll change when I get a chance to update it.

I do pay for hosting because I wanted my own domain and email addresses.

HannahsMomi Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 1:24am
post #14 of 23

jason_kraft- the cheapest one I've spoken to so far is offering:
up to 5 pages on my website
text, pictures, and downloadable documents
mapping feature with directions
calendar integration for scheduling
contact form for visitors to email me
email account


I will keep looking...there has to be someone cheaper

ajwonka Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 1:51am
post #15 of 23

I used Yola & do pay a small fee yearly to own the domain & have the site hosted. I used to use a free sideshow program but, with minimal notice, they shut down the site & I had to recreate every sideshow in another program. Proved to me that, with free sites, you're at their mercy. Better to pay for a site & get something that works consistently!

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 2:58am
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomi

jason_kraft- the cheapest one I've spoken to so far is offering:
up to 5 pages on my website
text, pictures, and downloadable documents
mapping feature with directions
calendar integration for scheduling
contact form for visitors to email me
email account



The best thing you can do is sketch out what you want your web site to look like on paper or in Word/Powerpoint (including the home page and each supplemental page), including content and a general sense of what the design should be (color scheme, background, logos, etc). The most time-consuming part of designing a web site is putting together a template that describes text styles and where graphic elements go (including creating those graphical elements if they are custom) while fitting in with the style of your business and what you want to convey to the customer. If the client already has an idea of what they want it shouldn't take more than an hour or two to make up a template, followed by 10 minutes or so per page to lay out the text and graphics.

This is why there are so many free web design sites out there...the only design work they have to do is creating a few prefab templates users can choose from, everything else is pretty much automated, and bandwidth is basically free. The thing they skimp on is support, which means if your site goes down you may not be able to contact someone knowledgeable quickly. In fact with a free or cheap host you may not even know that your site went down at all.

Adding a map and directions should take no more than 5 minutes, there are free third-party tools that offer web-based calendars (although personally I find it's easier to handle that offline), a contact form takes 10 minutes, and email accounts are included free with most web hosting packages. You shouldn't be paying more than $50-100/year for a good web host.

Back during the .com boom I used to make $100/hour+ doing web design for businesses, but these days the market rate is considerably lower. If you have your design requirements and copy worked out on paper I'd say around $300 would be a fair price for the initial custom site design including hosting and simple updates, with an annual fee in the $75-150 range depending on hosting costs and how much maintenance is required.

syarber Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 6:34pm
post #17 of 23

Thanks Jason. I was feeling a little lost in looking for a designer and what actually a fair price was. I love all the helpful hints we learn here. icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 26 Feb 2012 , 7:24pm
post #18 of 23

Online marketing research is very clear about DIY websites versus ones that are made by a professional: one conveys a message of success and professionalism to the consumer, one conveys a message of an unsuccessful amateur to the consumer. Your free website may look very nice to you, but might not be conveying the right message about you and your product, or attracting as many people as you could be. Generally, the DIY website has too much info, too many pictures, too much clutter and too many clicks to get to the info people want, resulting in people clicking right off your page. That's because you don't know how to design a page from a marketing perspective. And not all web designers have an eye for this either - many will just junk up your page with all the stuff you think you want. A good designer will slim it down and tell you what you need and red pen the rest.

I wanted to target high-end wedding cakes. But my free site said anything BUT high end wedding cakes. The majority of people I was attracting were people with low budgets looking for the cheapest cake they could get. That's completely not me or the type of business I wanted to go after! After researching this, last year I decided to re-brand and up my online presence and switch from the free Google Site I made (that had 12 tabs and countless sub tabs of content and pictures), to a sophisticated site that would speak to the clients I wanted... and slimmed me down to 6 tabs with some sub content.

I found a content writer, a logo designer and a web developer on Etsy. SInce re branding and rolling out my new site, my traffic has tripled, the time people spend on my site has increased by 120%, people are actually reading my content and looking at my photos, and those surfers have turned into calls to me which has turned into bookings. It's been the best advertising dollars I've ever spent.

SweetDreamsBoutique Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:03am
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsilvest

There are many do it your self web design sites out there. They are time consuming but easy to do. You just type in the details of your business and add your photos. The sites also off many different templates to add the info to.
I need to redo mine because Office Live no longer offers free hosting. I have found one that has free web design as well as free web hosting. Just look online for free web design and free or inexpensive web hosting.




Do you mind if I ask which one you are switching to? I also use office live and haven't even started the search to find a new host.

dsilvest Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:06am
post #20 of 23

I haven't totally decided yet either. I am looking at Office Live's replacement, Wix and Weebly. Not totally happy with any of them. I have a few months to decide.

kisamarie Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:45am
post #21 of 23

I got my domain from Godaddy but their design stuff is the pitts! I have a friend who's a designer who said she would do it for me for a class project, but that was 6 mos. ago and still nothing. I got a quote last night for $500, I don't know what to do. The designer was going on about my increase in visibility and all that, but thats a big chunk of change! Decisions Decisions!! I just want one page with a link to a gallery, I think I could take a web class and do it myself for $500!

FromScratchSF Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 5:27pm
post #22 of 23

I just went to Etsy and typed in "webpage" - http://www.etsy.com/search/handmade?search_submit=&q=webpage&order=most_relevant&ship_to=US&view_type=gallery

There are several that are $100, some are around $250 for a few pages.

sing Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 5:29pm
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Just remember that your web site in many cases is the first impression your customers will be getting of your business. Some free web design services are passable, but many are lacking in design options (meaning your site will use one of a handful of templates shared by thousands of other sites on the web) and some use Flash (meaning your site will not be accessible on many mobile devices).

As with cakes, you get what you pay for. Any decent web design student would be able to put together a better site than the free services, and if you cheap out on your hosting provider you run the risk of your site being down more often.




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