Did You Make Your Own Website?

Business By annabananana Updated 18 Jun 2014 , 3:55am by TheSugarLab

annabananana Posted 9 Jun 2014 , 6:34am
post #1 of 27

Are you super proud of it? Was it free, or a nominal charge? My website is so embarrassing, I don't want to give out the address. I made it invisible, now where do I go for a better one, with basically no money? Please share your website, tell me about it, and help a cake sister out! :cry:

26 replies
TheNerdyBaker Posted 9 Jun 2014 , 6:45am
post #2 of 27

I did actually completely make my own from scratch.  

 

All in all I am super proud of it, plus I had control over absolutely EVERYTHING design wise with it, and that makes me exceedingly giddy.  Love having complete control of all of my projects.

 

I used a program called Web Studio Pro, and its not free, so it might not be what you are looking for.  It is super easy to use though.

 

My hosting is actually down right now, but Ill link a few pictures of my pages.  Hope you like them =)

 

 

 

 

 

annabananana Posted 9 Jun 2014 , 7:13am
post #3 of 27

Cute site! Web studio pro is $160 right now, and I am DYING broke right now. Not dead yet, but getting there. How does it work? I saw it is WYSIWYG, (which is one of the 2 website builder tools I know) so it could be a future option.(since the other term I know is html, and I don't know a thing about it.)

 

 I want what I want, and I don't like compromise, is it compatible with that? I did my own logo, because I am picky. "if you want something done right....."

 

Is there a monthly fee to use what you built? 

 

Right now I have GoDaddy hosting and domain, and I bought a template,(buy once, no fees) but it screws stuff up. I have to write the page with Word, then copy and paste because there are no options to pick a font or size it. and it never looks the same once I save and submit it. It is HORRIBLE looking..... and I have spent so much money!!! 

brenda549 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 2:15am
post #4 of 27

I created my website entirely on my own through Wix.  All from scratch, no template.  If you know what you want (colors, fonts, placement of items, etc.) it is really easy to use.   It is free, but there are wix logos everywhere.  I pay maybe $120 a year for no wix logos and domain masking.  My domain name is hosted through godaddy.  

 

Hope this helps and good luck!

erin2345 Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 2:20pm
post #5 of 27

I used Wix too!  It can be free (I upgraded to my own domain name and no ads etc) and it is super easy to set up.  If you pm me I can send you my website to take a look at.

AZCouture Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 5:30pm
post #6 of 27

AI have a slight addiction to the sites offered by www.bludomain.com, and buy a new template every couple years. It's geared towards photographers, which is ok, our business is dependent on showcasing work thru photography, so it works well. Everything is drag and drop, and nice and neat. Cheap too!

AZCouture Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 5:32pm
post #7 of 27

A[@]TheNerdyBaker[/@], your site is cute as a button, love the pixelated, video game look!

ugcjill Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 5:43pm
post #8 of 27

We have Sandvox and I'm very happy with it. It works well with a Mac, it is drag and drop, there are a lot of templates that are very adaptable and it fits for a variety of website styles. Once you buy the software ($90 I think) there are no ads, no yearly fees and the only additional charges are if you purchase a third party template.

 

They allow 5 pages for a free trial. You can design your brains out with as many pages as you want while trying it out, only the first 5 will be visible on the internet without purchase. Customer support is good, too.

 

Dreamweaver is reputed to be the best, but I was too computer illiterate to figure it out in spite of the lessons they give you. Worth checking if you have some programmer skills, they offer a 3 month free trial.

melmar02 Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 27

AMy site is hosted on weebly dot com, and I chose the free option. Lots of templates to choose from, and the page design is all drag an drop. The only add is super tiny at the bottom on the page and it says something like get your free website at weebly - it's color coordinated to my page so I don't even notice it. Sweetbydesigncakes.weebly.com

annabananana Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 7:50pm
post #10 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by brenda549 
 

I created my website entirely on my own through Wix.  All from scratch, no template.  If you know what you want (colors, fonts, placement of items, etc.) it is really easy to use.   It is free, but there are wix logos everywhere.  I pay maybe $120 a year for no wix logos and domain masking.  My domain name is hosted through godaddy.  

 

Hope this helps and good luck!

Can you determine how wide to make your background? The side parts in green? Can you put stuff in there? Like links, or a paypal feature? Mine are SO WIDE and there is nothing in them. I like the way your site works. The contact part looks great too! they wanted more money to do drop down menus. 

annabananana Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 7:55pm
post #11 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by melmar02 

My site is hosted on weebly dot com, and I chose the free option. Lots of templates to choose from, and the page design is all drag an drop. The only add is super tiny at the bottom on the page and it says something like get your free website at weebly - it's color coordinated to my page so I don't even notice it.
Sweetbydesigncakes.weebly.com

I have seen a lot of weebly sites that are terrible, but yours is really nice. 

annabananana Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 8:04pm
post #12 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

We have Sandvox and I'm very happy with it. It works well with a Mac, it is drag and drop, there are a lot of templates that are very adaptable and it fits for a variety of website styles. Once you buy the software ($90 I think) there are no ads, no yearly fees and the only additional charges are if you purchase a third party template.

 

They allow 5 pages for a free trial. You can design your brains out with as many pages as you want while trying it out, only the first 5 will be visible on the internet without purchase. Customer support is good, too.

 

Dreamweaver is reputed to be the best, but I was too computer illiterate to figure it out in spite of the lessons they give you. Worth checking if you have some programmer skills, they offer a 3 month free trial.

Your site works nicely too. 

annabananana Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 8:06pm
post #13 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I have a slight addiction to the sites offered by www.bludomain.com, and buy a new template every couple years. It's geared towards photographers, which is ok, our business is dependent on showcasing work thru photography, so it works well. Everything is drag and drop, and nice and neat. Cheap too!

I don't get their sites. They look too fancy for my poor little brain! 

brenda549 Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 11:13pm
post #14 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by annabananana 
 

Can you determine how wide to make your background? The side parts in green? Can you put stuff in there? Like links, or a paypal feature? Mine are SO WIDE and there is nothing in them. I like the way your site works. The contact part looks great too! they wanted more money to do drop down menus. 

That is the one thing I did not have control over was were the grid lines fell.  According to the site, you can put things outside the grid lines, but they may not show up on mobile devices.  

 

The contact page I created in JotForm.  I did not like the ones available from Wix.  Whenever someone completes the form, Jotform sends it to me in an email and also adds it to my JotForm Dropbox.  

annabananana Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 6:40am
post #15 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by brenda549 
 

That is the one thing I did not have control over was were the grid lines fell.  According to the site, you can put things outside the grid lines, but they may not show up on mobile devices.  

 

The contact page I created in JotForm.  I did not like the ones available from Wix.  Whenever someone completes the form, Jotform sends it to me in an email and also adds it to my JotForm Dropbox.  

Oh no! more stuff to deal with! their forms are not customizable? how hard is jot forms to deal with? is is a lot extra $? 

petitecat Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 7:07am
post #16 of 27

Hi Annabananana, I have created my site through wix, and hoping that when the business starts to make money, I can upgrade to a paid ad free version. I tried several free sites (it is free so long as there are ads). I made the mistake of choosing one site and making a website in detail, only to find that I was struggling with the gallery page. I just couldn't get it to load more than 8 photos in total. Out of frustration I tried other sites instead of contacting customer support (it just didn't occur to me, duh!).

 

Before I even started, I googled free website reviews and had a read of several reviews that give you the pros and cons. Then from there I chose one to try (which was a mistake, I should have tried several to begin with!), then found I couldn't load more than 8 photos on that site (I can't remember now which one it was). I went on to try others and finally settled on wix.

 

I would suggest you try a couple but don't fill them with a ton of detail. Create a document in word so you can copy paste your text. Have a look at the different templates on offer, and see how you can customise them, and when you are happy with the look of the site start putting in detail like text and pictures. I was able to change the background and text in mine which I was very happy with. 

 

Have you used a free website? Perhaps you can customise it to make it look better- change the background etc? If it still doesn't look right to you, perhaps its time to try some others!

 

HTH :)

brenda549 Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 11:15am
post #17 of 27

A

Original message sent by annabananana

Oh no! more stuff to deal with! their forms are not customizable? how hard is jot forms to deal with? is is a lot extra $? 

I am on the starter program which is free on Jotform.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 3:19pm
post #18 of 27

I taught myself basic HTML webcode for my website and used a coding program (a very old version of Dreamweaver) to write it in/manage files.  The plus is that I have complete control, it's free, and it doesn't have the generic look that some sites have.  The downside is that it takes more time to start with and isn't as easy to manage/add cool stuff into!  I'm no way a web expert but used to work for a web-design company as an information architect and picked up a few main tips from the web developers there which they always told me to be careful of with site builders:

 

- Check that they are compatible with as many browsers (and versions of browsers) as possible.  Mozilla reads code differently to Safari and IE.  IE 8 reads code completely differently to IE 9 (go figure!!) so the software must be adaptable.  Keeping the site simple will help but a lot of the 'cool' stuff may well not render (at all) on old browsers.  If you are having problems with browser compatibility, get Google analytics installed and try to see what browser most visitors are using to view your site...atleast you can make it right for the majority of customers.  I quite often see websites built with site builders with text overlapping or just 50 times bigger than it should be...usually because the browsers don't like it.

 

- Make sure it's Google Analytics compatible: I have heard that some aren't (although don't know which).  Google have changed their analytics a bit recently, but it's still VERY useful!

 

- Can it work on mobile devices?  Does it have a mobile version automatically?  Not all websites have a mobile equivalent (mine doesn't although i need one!) but you can atleast make sure that your website is still fairly easy to use on a tiny phone screen.  Think big buttons for fat fingers ;-)

 

- Check the code is 'clean': I'm not sure if this is as much of a problem as it used to be but a few years back, the code created from wizzard-built-websites was really cluttered and messy.  Visually, you may not see much of a difference but it can cause problems for the browser crawlers which 'read' your code for use in the search engines.  If anyone is using a screen-reader (such as blind people), it can sometimes come out as gobbledigook.  If you can't read code yourself, maybe see if the site builder websites have feedback sections where you may be able to read comments?

 

Sorry everyone...i've just seen how much I've written and that it may not be totally relevant to the question...hopefully it will be useful to someone :-)  Don't get me wrong, I have seen some AWESOME sites mate with site-builders, and, they have come along way since I stopped working in the sector 3 years ago but I'm sure much of it is still relevant.  Hope it helps a little at least and gives you stuff to look out for!  Happy website-making :-)

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 3:21pm
post #19 of 27

p.s. don't neglect your SEO!!!  It's probably the most important bit as it will help people find your page in the first place :-)

annabananana Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 5:14pm
post #20 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

p.s. don't neglect your SEO!!!  It's probably the most important bit as it will help people find your page in the first place :-)

Um.... what is SEO???

annabananana Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 5:18pm
post #21 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by petitecat 
 

Hi Annabananana, I have created my site through wix, and hoping that when the business starts to make money, I can upgrade to a paid ad free version. I tried several free sites (it is free so long as there are ads). I made the mistake of choosing one site and making a website in detail, only to find that I was struggling with the gallery page. I just couldn't get it to load more than 8 photos in total. Out of frustration I tried other sites instead of contacting customer support (it just didn't occur to me, duh!).

 

Before I even started, I googled free website reviews and had a read of several reviews that give you the pros and cons. Then from there I chose one to try (which was a mistake, I should have tried several to begin with!), then found I couldn't load more than 8 photos on that site (I can't remember now which one it was). I went on to try others and finally settled on wix.

 

I would suggest you try a couple but don't fill them with a ton of detail. Create a document in word so you can copy paste your text. Have a look at the different templates on offer, and see how you can customise them, and when you are happy with the look of the site start putting in detail like text and pictures. I was able to change the background and text in mine which I was very happy with. 

 

Have you used a free website? Perhaps you can customise it to make it look better- change the background etc? If it still doesn't look right to you, perhaps its time to try some others!

 

HTH :)

The one I have requires a lot of money to change anything. It is a template, and it is really complicated to change anything. And it is very basic. And it is generic, there is no place for my new logo on it. 

How hard was it for you to mess with the photo gallery on your WIX site? I too, am struggling with the gallery on my website. I finally posted a link to my facebook page! 

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 5:53pm
post #22 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by annabananana 
 

Um.... what is SEO???


It stands for Search Engine Optimisation - have a google and you will get loads of information about it...it's worth reading up on.  There are people who specialise in copy-writing for SEO (and charge lots of money for it!!) but there are a lot of things you can do yourself.  Essentially it's the wording which you use on/throughout your website which the browser crawlers 'read' and use when compiling search results...so you want to be including terms/phrases in your text which people are likely to search for when looking for you.  Using relevant file names for both your webpages and pictures is also a good idea (I have people find me through google images).
If you've ever seen a webpage with we make 'wedding cakes, celebration cakes, birthday cakes ...(insert a lot more types of cakes here)' and 'we serve the following areas ...(insert a long list of towns here)...'.  The chances are that this is for SEO reasons; they want the browser to link up the type of cake and the place if someone searches for them and show it on the browser search results :-)  Does that make sense?? x

petitecat Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 6:04pm
post #23 of 27

AHow hard was it for you to mess with the photo gallery on your WIX site? I too, am struggling with the gallery on my website. I finally posted a link to my facebook page!  [/quote]

With Wix I didn't have a problem at all with gallery images. It was another website builder which gave me problems. Why don't you give Wix, Weebly etc a go to see whether it would work for you?

Original message sent by Snowflakebunny23

It stands for Search Engine Optimisation - have a google and you will get loads of information about it...it's worth reading up on.  There are people who specialise in copy-writing for SEO (and charge lots of money for it!!) but there are a lot of things you can do yourself.  Essentially it's the wording which you use on/throughout your website which the browser crawlers 'read' and use when compiling search results...so you want to be including terms/phrases in your text which people are likely to search for when looking for you.  Using relevant file names for both your webpages and pictures is also a good idea (I have people find me through google images).

If you've ever seen a webpage with we make 'wedding cakes, celebration cakes, birthday cakes ...(insert a lot more types of cakes here)' and 'we serve the following areas ...(insert a long list of towns here)...'.  The chances are that this is for SEO reasons; they want the browser to link up the type of cake and the place if someone searches for them and show it on the browser search results :-)  Does that make sense?? x

I'm going to do this ASAP. Thanks for the tip!

brenda549 Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 8:28pm
post #24 of 27

I am not trying to push Wix on you.  Just trying to give you some thorough experienced information.  I am sure that there are some that have had less than stellar experiences with this and other website builders.  

 

Regardless of which direction you choose to take Snowflakebunny is dead on with everything listed if you want a successful website.  I know that with Wix it helps you optimize SEO and has a tool to help you analyze your website.  I am not sure if they still offer it, but if you sign up for one of the premium plans you get some funds to put towards Google Adwords (which has been the best money I have spent for my business).  I can access my site from Chrome, IE, and Mozilla fairly easily and it will create an automatic mobile website for you.  I am not too crazy about how my mobile site looks based on their mobile optimization.  I changed it to look like my original website and will try it out for a while.  

 

Before I started using Google Analytics, I used Statcounter to see where my traffic was coming from.  I was able to add the html code for that fairly easily on my site as well as adding the html for the jotform.  

 

I am a teacher first and foremost.  My classroom website is on weebly (as requested by my school) and it is fairly simple to use.  I do not worry about SEO or analytics for that site so I cannot give you information on that end.  

 

Most places worth the time and effort will have FAQ on all of Snowflakebunny's suggestions.  I would start checking them all out.  

AZCouture Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 8:38pm
post #25 of 27

A

Original message sent by annabananana

I don't get their sites. They look too fancy for my poor little brain! 

[@]Annabanana[/@], don't get what? They are very nice indeed, and probably the simplest format I've ever worked with.

Singerssoul Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 8:46pm
post #26 of 27

I use Weebly and it is free, although I paid for my domain with them.  I have freedom within my chosen template and their build out tools were simple.  I find it super easy and can make changes anytime and put out the updated site any time.

TheSugarLab Posted 18 Jun 2014 , 3:55am
post #27 of 27

I just redid my website on squarespace a few months ago. I do need to go update it but the fact that I can update it easily is great! They give you stats on how people are finding your website and which pages they are viewing (not many people read my FAQ page but hey! at least I can say it's there). It isn't free but its super affordable for what you get. You start out with a really nice template but then you can total customize where things go, what type of gallery you have, and even background images. They do have versions for mobile, although mine currently has a weird color so you can't really see the menu bar. Feel free to check it out if you want. 

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